What does it mean to be a “human being”?

I read a question from a lady on a friend’s post, trying to figure out when a fetus was a person.  To her mind, the moment conception happens, there is now a person, fully protected by law.  Thus, to her, abortion is murder.

The current earliest cutoff date for abortion in some state’s legislation is 6 weeks, which is the point when a fetal heartbeat is detected. This is one and a half months.

One way of thinking about it is viability.  Can the baby survive without medical intervention?

The earliest a baby has survived outside the womb is 21 weeks and 5 days. This is just shy of 5 and a half months. However, babies at that age need extreme medical intervention, which is very costly.  Can the parents afford that? Will insurance pay?

Interestingly, even babies born at 36 weeks (9 months) can experience respiratory distress and need to be in NICU.  They are often not able to survive on their own and need intervention.  The current “full term” date for a child is 39 weeks. 

So at what point is the child able to live without assistance?

Should the fact that children need constant attention from parents or guardians for many years be considered assistance? Children will not survive for the first several years of their life without someone else providing them food, shelter, and attention.

Children are not legally considered adults until a minimum of 16, when they can get a driver’s license, 18 when they can vote, and 21 when they can drink alcohol.

So at what point are they considered legally independent of their parents? Parents are not legally responsible for their children’s actions when they reach 18.

Consider the opposite end of the spectrum, where adults are on life support due to accident or illness.  When do you cease life support? Are they “alive” if machines are doing all the work?

Consider suicide, when people feel their life is not worth living.  Do they have the legal right to kill themselves?

Consider social welfare assistance – food stamps, subsidized housing – are these forms of “life support”?

At what point do you start to be human, and at what point do you stop?

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New abortion law thoughts.

Georgia and Alabama have recently passed abortion laws that are in violation of federal law.

Here are some points to consider –

Unplanned pregnancy can create poverty. This is why there are so many food drives, baby supply drives, and school supply drives. Did you know that in America in 2001, over half the pregnancies were unintended? And half of those were from contraception that failed. (I’m sure there are more current figures but I suspect they are similar.) I challenge all my pro-life friends to propose a real solution.

On a related note: perhaps it is time for all women in America (not just Georgia and Alabama) to stop having sex with men. I wonder how long it will take for their partners to petition the government to provide free, 100% effective, side-effect free contraception.

What we need is perfect contraception, where there are no unintended pregnancies. That will solve this issue (and many others). Abstinence isn’t something everyone is capable of.

When every anti-abortion person is willing to adopt every unintended baby, then I will know they are pro-life. But as it is, when they say they will kill a mother who has an abortion, they are not pro-life at all. They are for forcing women to have children that they know they are unprepared for. They are creating further poverty on every level – children who are unwanted, growing up in homes where there isn’t enough time or money to afford them.

Consumerism is the new religion

Consumerism is the religion of the world.

It is destroying the planet.

It is the antichrist

– the opposite of life-giving, of healing, of resurrection.

It is about trust in yourself,

not sharing, greed.

It creates war and poverty.

It builds present presents and walls.


Time to cast out this false God

this idol of “you deserve it”

this spirit of “me first” and to hell with everybody else.



It pits person against person,

creating nations that war against each other

blinding us to our true nature

of oneness of unity,

that we are all in this together on this life-raft we call Earth

and if we don’t pull together we’ll discover

to our horror

there is no planet B.



Instead of trying to Terraform Mars

why don’t we re-form Terra

(which is the old name for Earth)?

A different take on the immigration issue.

shirt

(Image credit – Lupito’s Photography)

A friend posted this image on social media recently, and while some of his friends understood the message, some decided to take it another direction.

Ed S. said “It wasn’t stolen they fought among themselves until a third player beat everyone…has happened before…pick up a book.”

My friend replied “A third party that steals is still stealing.”

Grant A. replied “Who can claim domain first? Different tribes utterly destroyed each other from the beginning of time, well into early American history. Should Mexicans give Mexico back to the Mayans, Aztecs, Toatecs and Omatecs? They are after all in all essence Spanish by decent for the most part. This is a question deeper than we will ever know. Who was here first originally and has the original claim?”   and added “correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t early settlers/government call westward expansion imminent domain? I haven’t studied history concerning this since college.”

To which my friend replied “The thing about history is that it is written by the victors”

And here is my reply –

“I’ve heard this line of reasoning before. Is it a script? Because it doesn’t justify how we took their land and forced them onto reservations. Maybe deep down the fear of immigrants is rooted in karma – that they will do to whites what our predecessors did to the people who were living here. Maybe it is time to break the habit of history repeating itself. Maybe there is something in the message of Jesus feeding the masses, that if we give thanks to God for what we have, and share it with those in need, there will be more than enough. Maybe I’m an idealist, but so was Jesus. And he is worth following.”

 

 

Bizarro universe

I rarely talk about Trump. But I’m seeing a disturbing trend where people who say they follow God support him, even going so far as to say that he is “God’s anointed”. And that is completely illogical.

I have yet to understand how anyone can say that Trump was put in office by God. The Bible does not say that God is on the side of anyone who lies, cheats, steals, brags about sexually assaulting women, makes fun of people who are disabled, or any of the other travesties of morality that Trump happily and flagrantly exhibits. The man does not act in a Biblical manner in any way – the exact opposite, in fact. There is no translation of the Bible in any language that justifies his actions.

Perhaps people like him because they have secretly held the same opinions as him and they are now grateful someone is openly racist. That is their right. But for those same people to claim to follow Jesus is completely illogical. It is a sign that they are not following God, but something entirely different, and darker.

I feel like we have entered some bizarre opposite universe, where people say that black is white and that up is down.

I had thought to include verses here from the Gospels illustrating the need for caring for “the least of these”, of loving your neighbor as yourself, for showing kindness and compassion to people in need, but really, it would take too long because it would include the ENTIRE GOSPEL. Every single message from Jesus is completely opposite what Trump does.

I look at you, Jerry Springer and Joel Osteen – among many others, who have encouraged people to be proud of ignorance and baseness – to be self-centered instead of self-less, to be greedy.

But mostly, the ones who are to blame are those who have chosen to let their “leaders” tell them what to think, and have not read the Bible for themselves, have not measured their earthly leader’s actions against the way of life that Jesus taught. I pray for them, for our country, and for the world, that we may know the truth of God in our hearts, and live it every day.

Today is the day we honor American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. Let me end with a quote from him –
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Invisible war wounds – poem

My Dad had PTSD,
invisible war wounds
from a war
he never left home for
in fact, he had to
leave home
to leave the war.

He was a son of a veteran
who brought the war home
in his pockets,
in his perfectionism,
in his need for things to be
just so
and it never was,
because it never could be.

Gone were the days
of an innocent youth,
it never happened.
He was trained by an incompetent,
unwilling
drill sergeant,
masquerading as Dad.
He was living in an army
he never enlisted for,
was shanghaied
simply by virtue
of being born.

Pledge – poem

I don’t pledge allegiance to the flag
it is a piece of fabric
after all.

I pledge allegiance
(I stand behind, I agree with, I commit myself to)
the idea that the flag
represents
that we are a nation
united.
(One, whole, complete)
Stronger together.
United in our belief
that all people
are created equal
(all people, all races, all creeds, all abilities)
and they are endowed
(gifted, granted, made)
by their Creator
(the One who made them)
with rights that cannot be removed
from them,
rights so essential to their being
that they, that we,
aren’t people without them.

So I don’t pledge allegiance to the flag.
I pledge allegiance to us,
united,
and whole.