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« Richard Dawkins Crashes Private Movie Screening | Main | Darwinism Is an Inadequate Explanation »

March 31, 2008

Comments

His statement reminds me of the practice in many so-called "Christian Lifestyles" or "Marriage" courses at many Christian high schools where students carry around a sack of flour in a diaper to apparently show what a pain it is to have a child. "Wow", the assignment seems to suggest, "isn't it a major inconvenience having a baby?" Friends, infanticide is right around the corner...

It never fails to amaze how those like Mr.Obama can cling to a double standard. I'm quite sure that he would not liked to have been classified as "punishment" before he was born. And I'm quite sure that he never considered his own daughters as such before they were born. But the minute the sacred cow of abortion rights is raised, all of a sudden the "generic" unborn can be relegated to something that be be thrown away at the inconvenience of the mother. I think such ideas are inherently parasitic to culture. They survive only at the expense of others while offering nothing in return. Nothing that is except the inevitable decline of the culture in which they thrive.

I will defend Barack on this one. The quote is not a defense of abortion it is a defense of more comprehensive sex education that includes "information on abstinence and birth control," as the author says. The very words of Senator Obama are consistent with this the article writer's summary. Senator Obama is claiming to be a father who will teach moral values first; and in my opinion this makes him a respectable parent. He then goes on to say that he wants to protect his children from difficult consequences namely unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases; and in my opinion this evidences that he is a loving parent. For, what loving parent could want these for their child?

That he names STD's shows that he is not advocating abortion, at least not in the excerpted portion of speech, but rather contraception and safer sex practices, because an abortion is not going to cure an STD. For instance, if you catch HIV and get pregnant, aborting the child will not get rid of the HIV.

To remain consistent in argument the following must be changed:

"One of the most insidious affects on our attitudes of legalized abortion is separating sex and pregnancy in our minds."

Abortion is not what separates sex and pregnancy in the public mind; abortion only terminates a pregnancy. It is contraception that separates sex and pregnancy. Contraception separates sex and pregnancy by preventing pregnancy; abortion can only happen after pregnancy.

As for a baby being punishment do recall that in Genesis 3:16 we find "To the woman He said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children." I don't think that any one would call this a reward given the offense that had just been committed against God. An increase of pain makes the term "punishment" consistent with Judeo-Christian theology. Furthermore, I doubt the pain was meant to end at birth, for now given the sin corrupted world Adam and Eve had brought upon themselves, they would have to worry about the perpetuation of sin and the pain it could and would bring their offspring.

Sorry, if you dislike Obama but this is not what to grill him on. Dislike him for not wanting to make abortion illegal, but do not deride him for wanting sex-ed courses to teach about contraception.

From the comments section at Ben Smith's blog:

Next anti-Obama attack point quote played ad naseum "Punished with a baby".

Posted By: Jonze | March 29, 2008 at 03:25 PM

**************************
Somebody found this predictable.

Regarding Alvin's comment -- which referred indirectly to Obama's remark, "I don’t want them punished with an STD at the age of 16. You know, so it doesn’t make sense to not give them information":

If Obama really is interested in not withholding information from teenagers that will help them avoid getting an STD, what kind of information is he talking about?

Could it be information that the U.S. government has admitted that the "epidemiological evidence is insufficient to determine the effectiveness of condoms" in preventing most STDs? *

Of course not.

The problem with so-called comprehensive sex education classes is not that they teach "about" condoms, birth control pills, devices, etc. It's that they merely pay lip service to the idea that (a) for a whole host of reasons, such as these shouldn't be used at all, and (b) it's a good idea to remain abstinence until marriage.

Not to mention the fact that CSE programs don't honestly convey information about the alarmingly high failure rates of condoms at preventing STDs and condoms and other forms of birth control at preventing pregnancy, especially when used inconsistently -- which, among teenagers, is surely the norm.

* See here:

http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2001pres/20010720.html

Like so many people on his side of the political spectrum, Sen. Obama endorses the freedom to engage in all forms of behavior without feeling any consequences. The problem for all of us is that reality has a way of constantly intruding.
For Sen. Obama to consider a baby as "punishment" is vile. It's just one more reason not to vote for him or his shriller female counterpart, Mrs. Clinton.

John,

You have said it yourself "especially when used inconsistently."

************

Heath,

Are your beliefs informed by the book of Genesis? If so, why does God promise the woman pain in childbearing after she eats of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?

Alvin,

Maybe I am not following you accurately but aren't you confusing the pain with the baby? Didn't God command to be fruitful and multiply? I can't see any Biblical defense of the suggestion that bearing a child is punishment.

To me, Obama's statement implies that the natural result of sexual intercourse is somehow undesireable. I have a hard time accepting this as compatible with a Christian worldview.

I am willing to chalk this up to the problems associated with speaking off the cuff in public. Obama certainly will have the opportunity to clarify if he wants.

Still, Obama's positions on partial birth abortion and infants born alive after abortion are of more concern than sloppy language. These postions support an interpretation of Obama's attitude that make it easy for me to accept that "punished by a baby" is exactly what he meant to say.

Heath makes some great points concerning the lack of real education surrounding supposed "sex ed" programs.

I must say, attempting to connect "babies as punishment" with the Genesis passage really requires more 'reading into' the passage than letting the passage speak for itself. The passage tells us specifically what the punishment is and that is an increase in the pain of childbirth, plain and simple. To say that this passage teaches that children are in and of themselves 'punishment' or anything of the sort is fanciful and seems unwarranted and unbiblical given that the issue on the table is "childbirth" and not "children".

To answer your question, Alvin. It's not uncommon for God to use first order evils to facilitate second order goods. God is ominpotent and sovereign therefore able to even use evil (pain/bad) for good and his ultimate purpose. I guess what I'm getting at is that there is aboslutely no need to tie together or inextricably relate "painful childbirth" with "children are punishment". It could very well be the case that painful childbirth as a punishment, per se is completely unrelated to the issue of whether children are a punishment or blessing. Honestly, to gain a fair handle on the question of whether children are blessings or punishments we should look to other passages that directly address this issue. I'm so surprised at how many times we look to obscure passages for a teaching on a certain matter when they are more fully and directly addressed in others, such as this issue. It seems clear to me from my readings from the scriptures and their entirety, that that children are indeed a blessing, not a punishment.

I think there needs to be a balance here between explaining to teenagers the consequences of sexual activity. This includes STDs and, of course, unplanned pregnancy.

However, we cannot simply tell them that the baby is a wonderful thing, and a is a blessing, and they can then, in turn, do wonderful things by offering the baby up for adoption. A baby is not all rainbows and butterflies. There are negative consequences that are associated with the beauty of childbirth. And if we pretend like those "punishments" don't exist, we are doing a disservice to our young people by not giving them the full story.

"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." -Mother Teresa

I understood what he meant completely. If his daughters make a mistake and have pre-marital sex, he doesn't want them to be punished with an STD or an unplanned pregnancy. If they’re going to make a mistake, he would prefer to have consequences that don’t involve life-changing twists.

It’s a punishment when she’s having a baby before high school graduation. Many teen girls that haven’t graduated high school have sex countless of times in school and are never punished with a baby or an STD.

Some teen girls have sex only one time and BAM! They are exposed to an STD or trapped with a baby for the rest of their life. He doesn’t want that to happen to them. If they’re going to have a baby, he wants them to do it when they're older and better prepared.

"However, we cannot simply tell them that the baby is a wonderful thing, and a is a blessing, and they can then, in turn, do wonderful things by offering the baby up for adoption. A baby is not all rainbows and butterflies. There are negative consequences that are associated with the beauty of childbirth. And if we pretend like those "punishments" don't exist, we are doing a disservice to our young people by not giving them the full story." (Steven. April 02, 2008 at 06:55 AM)

Amen!

Jack, you are correct in your statement that Obama's comments were not a defense of abortion as stated (or at least the small portion of them that I have heard on the news). But they do suggest a foundational view about the nature of "children" that supports the practice of abortion. One way this is done is through the way his comments puts the worth of a child on the same value level as a contracting a STD. Both are viewed as a "punishment" and with the way the comment was made they are both equally undesirable. I am not saying that was the intent of his comment but it was the effect. I am not an English major and can't therefore dissect and name the literary strategies he used, but his comments regarding having a child were placed back to back with his comments about STDs and his description of both were exactly the same thus creating a clear picture of the equal nature of the two. In effect, where in intent or not, he was saying a child is of the same value as a sexually transmitted disease. Since an STD is something that is bad and that we try to get rid of if a child is of the same import and value as an STD then it is something that we should try to get rid of. Again, I am not suggesting this was Mr. Obama's intent, and I am all for giving people the opportunity to recant or clarify. However, I also believe that our words and actions flow directly from our beliefs (For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. Mt. 12:34). In addition, is it not really a stretch to conclude that this statement comes from a foundational belief that abortion is a preferred choice in an "undesirable pregnancy" when you view his stance regarding this issue from his political history. Either way we are talking about a man that wants to lead our nation. His words do indicate the extent to which he values infant children (at the very least) and it should be of concern to us.

The second issue that arises from these comments that disturbs me, both as a citizen of this country and as a parent of 5 teenagers, is the implication that every consequence of one's actions that is viewed as undesirable (or negative) is therefore a punishment. I believe that is an unbiblical (and unhealthy) view of negative consequences and can lead to poor decision making or even lead to individuals being frozen into inaction due to fear of "punishment" by less than desirable consequences that might occur from the decision. Again, I understand that this was not his point but it is an indication of how this man thinks and it should concern us. How will a man that potentially views all negative consequences of one’s actions as punishment make decisions of national import? An interesting question to ponder. I doubt this is really his belief but it certainly isn’t difficult to extrapolate from these comments.

What is this world coming too and how much longer can the Lord tarry?

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/jul/07073008.html

Oops! Excuse the spelling mistake and that was meant to be a new post.

William,

Not confusing the pain with the baby. I (childless and male me) am supposing that there is more pain to having children than just the birthing part.

Yes, God commanded human beings to be fruitful and multiply. Reproduction is not evil. And the Book of Psalms 127:3 says "Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him." Sure, we can make the distinction that the pain and not the child is the punishment, but per divine decree you will not witness one without the other. I agree that Senator Obama probably didn't choose the best words in his impromptu response. I agree that his position on abortion is of more concern than sloppy language. However, I do not assume that anything more is implied by his comment. I would rather let his actions speak for him and his actions show that he values children. Senator Obama has two daughters, he and his wife did not abort these, moreover, he speaks of concern for what they are taught in regards to sex. He wants his daughters to do what is right, but, should they not, he wants the consequences to be within the bounds of what they are ready for -- no pregnancy, no STD while they are still young/impressionable.

S.C.
"It's not uncommon for God to use first order evils to facilitate second order goods," is truly brilliant. God is at times described as a parent, one who punishes because He loves and is attempting to set things straight.

"Do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves,as a father the son he delights in." -- excerpt from Proverbs 3.

"Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness." --Hebrews 12:10.

And, see the verse quoted above in the section to William. Do not call this one obscure, although you might be tempted to say it is only poetry and nothing on which to build doctrine (but do not go there). Do not persist in calling my use of scripture "obscure" Genesis 3 is well known.

More along the lines of what you argue in regards to punishment is what I said at first about Adam and Eve having to "worry about the perpetuation of sin and the pain it could and would bring their offspring." Think about the story of their two sons Cain and Abel.

Guys, the core of what I am trying to say is that there is more genuine reason to dislike Sen. Obama and this one quote is not it. We should not take any and every word utter by the "opposition" (if that is how you see Sen. Obama) and twist it into something insidious.

Did anybody notice the second post I made? That came from the comments section to the article that Melinda gave the "statement" link for. This twisting of words was predicted.

Let's be fair.

One more thing while we are on the subject of sex-ed.

Abstinence and virginity are not the virtue of chastity. Chastity is what Christians must seek to promote. This is an obligation best fulfilled by parents and clergy I suppose; don't expect it from public schools, least of all in Germany. (AP, that post is insane.)

"Chastity" is the key word.

Alvin, there was a time when parents could count on public schools to support the values that parents were teaching their children at home. Not anymore. Many teachers -- the ones who pledge their fealty to liberal groups like the NEA -- purposefully undermine parents. You see, parents and clergy have an uphill battle when it comes to teaching values. The state has several straight hours every day to undo everything that is taught in the home. That's why we're going to homeschool when our daughter is old enough. I've seen too much with my own eyes to trust a bunch of bureaucratic strangers with the little gift God gave me.
(You'll notice I called my baby girl a "gift.)

Um...hope you plan on quiting your job in order to home school your child through grade school, high school, college, and adulthood. It's funny how parents are always so quick to blame the education system for a lack of parental participation. More and more parents expect teachers and the school system to raise their children because they are too busy to do so. The public school system is there to make sure your child meets state mandated standards and provide a safe learning environment, not to perpetuate every ones individual morality. I have 10+ teachers in my family and friends and none of them express the opinion you assume them to. Wonder if the Bible talks about sheltering our children from the world so that they may only interact with those of the same beliefs and preach to their own. And when you respond by saying I am taking your comments out of context, I would respond and say...see how easy it is to take Obama's statement out of context.

Jay,

Considering that our schools are some of the most violent, and have some of the lowest levels of education in the world (compared to other western countries), your statement about the public school system being there to make sure my child "meets state mandated standards", and "to provide a safe learning environment", is hardly accurate. And your statement about the school system being there "not to perpetuate every ones individual morality" is none sense. The school system has made it its duty to perpetuate its morality of materialism by indoctrinating young minds with the false religion of darwinian evolution.

I also have 3 teachers in my family that have the same view as the 10 teachers in your family, and all of them repeat the same mantra of "sheltering our children" as being such a negative thing. We shelter them from other evils in this world, so why not from public school, which seems to be the breeding ground for all sorts of evil?


AP and Heath,

What kind of sex-ed do you plan on teaching for home schooling?

Alvin,

We agree on much I think, but you say: "I do not assume that anything more is implied by his comment. I would rather let his actions speak for him and his actions show that he values children......he wants the consequences to be within the bounds of what they are ready for"

At what cost! The problem is that I see the implications of his comment in the context of his very public positions on the life issues. I think that there is a relationship between those positions and positions he takes on sex ed in the public schools.

I do agree that if we only had this one quote to go on, there shouldn't be such a big deal made of it. I think you are right to suggest that this quote should not be the primary focus of critical remarks. Better to look to the policies that flow from Obama's worldview and judge them.

Alvin,

For one thing, I would not be teaching my kids any sex-ed until they were at least in their teens, unlike public schools which start in some cases in kindergarten, which is ridiculous! It's sad to see how early young children are losing their innocence. And as for sex-ed in general, being such a sensitive subject, it should be up to the parents to educate their kids in any manner they wish.

Even if it means not educating and not giving any information?

"I think that there is a relationship between those positions and positions he takes on sex ed in the public schools."-- I can respect this.

I hope the relationship is clear before November.

Alvin,
I guess it depends on what you mean by educating and information. These days, public educators think that it's necessary for young children to be informed about every detail of sexuality, which should be left for later years when they're old enough not only to understand but also to care. I see parents forcing their kids to grow up when they should be enjoying their innocence (relative) for as long as they can. I'm not suggesting that parents bury their head in the sand and ignore the subject. Instead I'm suggesting that they be a little more wise about it than what is evident in today's society. There's absolutely no reason that this kind of burden should be placed on young children. Let them enjoy their youth as much as they can without being bothered about things that they'll have to deal with for the rest of their adult life

Alvin,
The home-schooling curriculum will begin with this simple biblical and scientific principle: Life begins at conception.

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