Will Adoption Rates Spike if Abortion Becomes Illegal?

Stephanie Wilkerson from the Evangelical Outpost blog posted a piece this morning titled “Practical Love in the Pro-Life Fight.” It’s worth reading although I know many of my readers will disagree with Stephanie’s second point.

Stephanie’s thesis is that pro-life Christians need to commit to:

  1. be willing to make the necessary sacrifices to participate in adoption;
  2. reconsider our methods of sex-education;
  3. learn to love the women who are considering or who have had abortions.

iStock_000016415920Small

I want to make a comment about her first point, because I know people who are pro-choice solely because they’re concerned about the social ramifications of making abortion illegal before we are setup to take care of the children that would be born who would have otherwise been aborted. I absolutely agree with Stephanie that we should encourage Christians to adopt more, but I think there are more factors that would influence how many newborns would be available for adoption in a post-abortion America than she covered.

I suspect in a post-abortion country, (or more likely, a state that makes abortion illegal after Roe is overturned,) many people will actively work harder to not get pregnant. Some people will take birth control use more seriously. Some may abstain from intercourse if they really feel like an unplanned pregnancy would be a major disruption to their lives. Right now abortion can be thought of as a very late form of birth control. I’m not saying lots of women USE abortion as a form of birth control, (although some demonstrably do,) but that one of the things that may factor into a persons sexual decisions is the availability of abortion if birth control fails. Obviously some single people will still engage in premarital sexual activity, but I suspect that activity would be reduced, because life without abortion would be different.

I also suspect that most of the people that would get pregnant would choose to parent as opposed to gifting their child for adoption. We actually see this now, and I don’t know why it would drastically change. Many people feel like it’s morally wrong to choose adoption, often because they are confusing newborn adoption with the foster care system. Some simply don’t want to go through the emotional pain of carrying a child to term and then giving the child to somebody else, even if the adopting couple is clearly in a better position to care for this child.

So, yes, we need to keep pushing adoption, and I’m grateful to see mega-church pastors taking this issue on and strongly encouraging their congregation to love the “widows and orphans” of our society in dramatic ways. But I don’t think there would be 1.3 million more children available for adoption every year in an abortion-free country because I think our unwanted pregnancy rate would go down considerably and because many would continue to choose parenting over adoption.

Question: What do you think? What does the church need to do to prepare for an abortion-free country? Leave a comment below.

President

Josh Brahm is the President of Equal Rights Institute, an organization that trains pro-life advocates to think clearly, reason honestly and argue persuasively.

Josh uses speaking, writing and campus outreach to emphasize practical dialogue tips, rigorous philosophy and relational apologetics.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • Navi

    Good post. If I remember correctly, the change in birth rate was very modest in the years following Roe v. Wade. There’s also this study from eastern Europe, which suggests that ending legal abortion will significantly reduce the abortion rate but have a negligible impact on the number of births:

    https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:dgpzxlQboE0J:www.dartmouth.edu/~dstaiger/Papers/LevineStaiger%2520JLE%25202004.pdf+The+Journal+of+Law+and+Economics+2004+communist+europe&hl=en&gl=ca&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESgHVHsmd2qCbCfe_HlDZho_o-c0k2BRk-MWfA_2yyyP8h7kknG8uyviPas52KrUF5fZF7MB7EXJR0XAlSnImrOCR1LhzbwAqU3g32JR2m0fKR9l3wfC1mwKHdeVjsFJpjyuk4bM&sig=AHIEtbQSAlgaDusNCOnlJHDPU5is6OnV3Q

  • Jonathan

    Another point is that according to this Lifenews article: http://www.lifenews.com/2012/05/17/why-do-more-people-choose-abortion-over-adoption/

    the ratio of couples waiting to adopt vs those who receive placement of an adopted baby are 36 to 1.

    The article further states that, “In the USA, there are approximately two million infertile couples waiting to adopt.”

    And I know from personal acquaintance that some of those who adopt overseas do so because it is easier to adopt overseas then from here in the States.

    So I would think that info would also make a significant difference in the end-result.

  • Crystal

    I read this article recently:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/11/09/ohio-high-school-teaches-kids-that-adoption-is-only-option-for-babies-resulting-from-rape-or-incest/

    My thoughts on it: I think the teacher should have given all the options but explained what was morally wrong with abortion. But I wish that we didn’t have to keep choosing like this between women’s right to abdicate pregnancy and unborn person’s right to live. Sad. If only we had something to answer both dilemmas. How should the teacher have handled this? I think that doing it like, speaking about how serious rape and rape culture is and then saying “is the answer to violence more violence” is a good idea. If anyone else wants to tell me I am right or wrong they are welcome to.

    • averagjo

      Hi Crystal,

      This is a very sad predicament. I have talked recently with my friend Kim at work and she told me that even though her pregnancy was potentially deadly she chose not to abort. Though in the same breath she said she couldn’t carry a child that was conceived due to rape. This is so difficult for me as I have always believed in abortion to save the life of the mother, but felt that rape or incest would be a case where at lease adoption could take place. She opened my eyes in feeling the hurt that one would feel having a constant reminder of that terrible and horrible act for 9 months, I must admit this is something that makes me wonder if I have misjudged things. If what is damaging to the body is as damaging as what is damaging to the soul then both would be justifiable. Again this moral issue is hard for me but rape is a horrible act and I just can’t continue to have the thought that I can stand in Judgement of a Woman who makes that choice. I am not perfect either and I would not want to be judged for trying to protect myself. I leave the answer to this one in God’s hands as I don’t have a clear answer.

      • Crystal

        Josh Brahm has a very good answer for rape babies. He encourages people to empathise with the woman while asking a question like “Is it right to respond to violence by committing more violence?” Is that not a good inquiry to this question?

        Yes, rape is troubling on both sides of the coin. I believe showing empathy to the mother AND to the baby is crucial. Because rape babies can grow up and when they hear that people think rape babies should die, then they think that they are inferior and unworthy. Also the child did not commit a crime by its presence and it is not fair to put it to death for the crime of the father. However I think that the conservative position that women must carry despite the intense trauma of rape and depression, as it currently stands, is a highly unjust one because it forces a woman to carry a pregnancy to term regardless of her feelings (which I find highly offensive). That doesn’t mean I don’t advocate against abortion in cases of rape; what it does mean is that I am deeply restless and troubled with a position that demands so little empathy for a victimised woman and I would like to see serious reform in this area so that the needs of both mother and child are respected.

        Here’s the story of one woman conceived by rape:

        http://www.rebeccakiessling.com/rebeccas-story/

        And here’s the story of one woman who was raped, whose blog I follow and I deeply respect her despite disagreement on the life issue:

        http://www.xojane.com/issues/pro-life-activist-to-pro-choice-christian

        I know of rape victims who are pro-legal abortion who would rather that people believed rape victims should keep their babies because it’s sl*t-shaming consensual sexual relationships otherwise (the woman I referenced is one of them).

        Here is a horrifying piece of satire about rape, supposedly written by a rapist to thank the GOP for being pro-life:

        http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/10/25/a-fan-letter-to-certain-conservative-politicians/

        It really made me think in a lot of ways, I must say.

        You state that you’re troubled by the thought that you could be standing in judgement of a woman in such a terrible situation. On the one hand, you have every right to voice your opinion for the sake of human life, because every life is equally worthwhile. On the other hand, you are trying to be empathetic to a woman struggling with a rape pregnancy and I commend you for that. My advice is to LISTEN to women who have been raped and express support for both pregnant and unborn persons as empathetically as possible.

        I struggle with this question myself. How can I respect a woman’s trauma and empathise with her need for bodily autonomy in this case while exhorting her not to take innocent life? At present I do not know but I think compassion for rape victims is an area of needed reform for quite a few (not all, because some are good in this area) PL people.

        As for life-of-the-mother I completely see the inconsistency in that position, because even in those cases the unborn person is as worthy of life as the mother. However, sometimes you can’t save both and in those cases, the life that can be saved should be saved. I do hope for a day in the future where we can save both lives due to superior technology and abortion to save the mother’s life will no longer be employed to save life.

        This is my position on the PL movement as it stands, spoken in the words of another person who shares my feelings:

        http://www.xojane.com/issues/confessions-of-a-former-pro-life-activist

        • averagjo

          Truly thought provoking Crystal.

          Those articles definitely raise a lot of thoughts and questions in regards to giving the truth in love. As I see it the only way we can show the mother who is raped the love of Christ is to show them support and love no matter what their choice is. Yes we should most certainly give them the information that all life is precious and given by God, but we must also respect that they will ultimately have to make that choice for themselves. I am afraid that now that Pandora’s box has been opened there is no shutting it now we must pray that God will change hearts and minds individually. I will continue to pray on how to minister to those who have faced this horrible choice.

          • Crystal

            Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

            I think both lives and both people’s rights are equally important. I should have stated that we need to show compassion not just to pregnant but to unborn persons in this terrible situation, because their lives could be snuffed out at such short notice. To be honest I find both the position that women can be forced (not required by laws that should be designed to protect both women and children but forced) to bear the consequences of the rapist’s actions and the position that unborn children can be forced to bear the consequences abortion through death to be equally repugnant, and I think it’s high time we found another way.

            I also believe it’s time that people started investing their time in technology that would allow unborn persons to live while allowing women their bodily autonomy; if created in such a way that it could sustain unborn life while women could repeatedly use it without surgical or societal problems, I think it would do a lot for the abortion debate and it would decide matters decisively on our side. However I have heard that once the unborn person is disconnected from the woman’s womb it tends to shut off and die due to its disconnection; a very heavy dilemma indeed if this problem is to be solved:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_uterus

            • averagjo

              Hi Crystal,

              That is a very intereating idea, and I think it has some good potential. It does raise some possible concerns though. If the mother gives up her child who then takes custody? Will there be a chance for adoption agencies to step in and find homes for these children? Would family member be allowed to adopt? Would the mother be required to have her parental rights terminated? What is it was due to rape would the Father have rights through genetics testing? Is it possible that some would become wards of the state and thereby government property? I am not all saying it would be a bad idea as it certainly solves the issue of life vs death, but it does raise some other concens.

              • Crystal

                Hey, those are good questions, and I appreciate them. I’m just worried the idea is dead because of that factor I mentioned about the embryo dying due to disconnection from the uterus, although I have this feeling that if this particular brainwave doesn’t work out that we’ll find something better.

                I can’t give answers to all those questions, because I don’t know. You’re right; we’d have to have a plan and really make sure everything worked out on those levels too. Although I will unhesitatingly state that a rapist should automatically lose rights to his child, and not be allowed rights through genetic testing or in any other way. Were you aware in quite a few states in the US that a rapist has visitation rights??

                Also, do you think PL people are seriously involved in science, or not involved enough?

                • averagjo

                  Hi Crystal,

                  I wonder on the grounds of bringing a child to viability you could make the point that instead of early abortions it could be advocated for late tern c sections? I understand there are issues with cost and then the inherent risk of surgery. If we would claim then to be comparable to the inherent risks of a botched abortion though perhaps this could be a road taken? I was actually shocked to hear that rapists can have visitation rights, that is definitely something that needs to be lobbied against. My fear in the case of a mother who abandones the baby due to rape, what if she never tells anyone and the father (rapist) finds out and then tries to take custudy, or if he someone claims she is lying and that it was consensual, definitely would have some check and balances in place to keep these things in check. Interesting point on science, I think true science what we can see and observe needs to be part of our argument against abortion for science actually tells us that life beginning at conception will continue to the point of birth if the process remains uninterrupted. Anything that happens in between is either as a result of things not lining up correctly or some external force terminating that life.
                  Also from the standpoint of trying to save the lives of unborn babies I think out approach should be two fold offer solutions through medical progress (maintaining the life of the baby outside of the mother) and offering love and support to the mother and not condeming them by calling them names or making rash character judgements.

                  • Crystal

                    “I wonder on the grounds of bringing a child to viability you could make the point that instead of early abortions it could be advocated for late tern c sections?”

                    I’m not sure what you’re referring to here; could you please expound on this point in your reply? If you mean that transferral of the baby from the mother to an artificial womb should be managed via C-sections then I realise that could happen in some cases (I think on reading below that
                    *is* what you mean but if I am wrong or you mean something else feel free to correct me); however I would like to see medicine and technology developed to the point where C-sections will not be necessary in the vast majority of scenarios.

                    “I understand there are issues with cost and then the inherent risk of surgery. If we would claim then to be comparable to the inherent risks of a botched abortion though perhaps this could be a road taken?”

                    It is a way and we could do that as one road out of many, yes, but the vast majority of abortions are done in the first trimester, as Planned Parenthood admits in this PDF, and I quote the following:

                    “In 2011, an estimated 1.1 million abortions were performed, a 13 percent decline from 2008. The abortion rate in 2011 was the lowest rate since 1973 (Jones and Jerman, 2014). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
                    Prevention (CDC) estimates that 66 percent of legal abortions occur within the first eight weeks of gestation, and 92 percent are performed within the first 13 weeks. Only 1.2 percent occur at or after 21 weeks (CDC, 2013).”

                    https://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/5113/9611/5527/Abortion_After_first_trimester.pdf

                    They go on to say that legalised abortion was the reason for the decrease of first trimester abortions; what’s your opinion on that one? For my part I think it is an absolute lie because common sense dictates that when the government makes something legal and freely accessible
                    people will be more likely to participate in it than if the government legally censored the activity.

                    BTW here’s an interesting article put out by the Guttmacher Institute about why women have abortions, etc:

                    https://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html

                    The first trimester abortions are why we have to find another way that doesn’t involve C-section style surgery for all trimesters especially the first one. Women generally recover from abortions in about two weeks from what I have found:

                    http://www.afterabortion.com/physical.html

                    https://www.mariestopes.org.uk/women/abortion/surgical-abortion-explained/how-long-will-it-take-me-recover-surgical-abortion

                    http://www.boulderwomenshealth.org/our-services/abortion/abortion-faqs/

                    We have to do better than that, and our operations need to be conducted in such a way that a woman doesn’t suffer pain to the same extent as she would if she had an abortion, preferably not at all.

                    I have a theory but I am not sure how it will work gestationally-wise? It’s this – once you get the embryo out you immediately attach something to it that would bond to the embryo and enable it to continue to receive the same nutrients it was getting from its mother even after separation from its mother’s womb before transplanting it into the artificial one. I have read that an embryo will die on separation from its mother’s womb and that is an obstacle that would have to be overcome if this was to ever work out.

                    On this one, it’s confession time as I have been very naughty in this way – I have put off studying gestation for a while due to time constraints. I would like to be sure my theories are workable at least as I would like to talk out
                    of education rather than ignorance. Also I don’t mind putting out ideas; even if others pick up on them and do them I would have done my job by sowing the seeds for reproductive reformation in our society.

                    “I was actually shocked to hear that rapists can have visitation rights, that is definitely something that needs to be lobbied against.”

                    Totes agree! It’s outrageous. Rapists lost their rights the moment they forced intimacy on a woman:

                    https://www.salon.com/2015/10/04/parental_rights_for_rapists_youd_be_surprised_how_cruel_the_law_can_be/

                    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/10/the-daily-show-parental-rights-rapists_n_7041588.html

                    https://www.upworthy.com/the-daily-shows-samantha-bee-did-an-eye-opening-report-about-rapists-and-parental-rights

                    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/08/01/us/rapist-child-custody/

                    I think there are efforts underway to strip rapists of their parental rights:

                    https://news.vice.com/article/new-federal-law-gives-states-incentive-to-strip-rapists-of-parental-rights

                    https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/family_law/20141.authcheckdam.pdf

                    https://familycourtinjustice.wordpress.com/2015/06/03/rape-survivor-child-custody-act/

                    http://www.lifenews.com/2015/12/17/law-would-stop-rapists-form-getting-custody-of-their-child-when-a-raped-woman-rejects-abortion/

                    I confess I have concerns over falsely accused fathers and what should be done with them if indeed it was discovered that they had been falsely accused; however, I also realise that false accusations of rape are rare and that such laws are important for the mother’s well-being.

                    “My fear in the case of a mother who abandones the baby due to rape, what if she never tells anyone and the father (rapist) finds out and then tries to take custudy, or if he someone claims she is lying and that it was consensual,
                    definitely would have some check and balances in place to keep these things in check.”

                    Indeed. Never considered that before but that would
                    absolutely have to be dealt with. Whatever happens the rapist can’t be allowed parental rights. For this to truly work, we’re going to have to reform adoption, and stand against rape culture. I will be happy to dive into the
                    benefits and downsides of such technology with you another time.

                    “Interesting point on science, I think true science what we can see and observe needs to be part of our argument against abortion for science actually tells us that life beginning at conception will continue to the point of birth
                    if the process remains uninterrupted. Anything that happens in between is either as a result of things not lining up correctly or some external force terminating that life.”

                    That paragraph is very well put actually, although it must be pointed out that pregnancy can go wrong at *any* time, and some pregnancies develop wrong either from the start or very early on – molar pregnancies for instance. I believe I shared with you the Peter Singer quote about life beginning at conception, plus the quote from an abortion practitioner. Please tell me if I didn’t and I’ll be happy to post them up. See, these people know the truth, they don’t want to admit it because it doesn’t serve their purposes.

                    What I mean specifically by science is this – prolifers
                    need to get into the scientific fields and use their minds to benefit women and children. They need to not just invent superior technology that is female-friendly and preserve the life of the unborn person and the bodily autonomy of the pregnant person; but also to invent new medical procedures to save lives of mothers and unborn children during life-of-the-mother scenarios; invent new drugs for women suffering mental illness, morning sickness, and any
                    other malady that can be taken during pregnancy; invent new contraceptives and improve old ones (in all areas including implantation prevention, if indeed that does occur); and create other ways to generally improve the lives of pregnant and unborn persons via technology and resourcefulness. In short they need to be encouraged to be the new minds of the future, and to win the respect
                    of the scientific and medical establishments through their groundbreaking research. Unfortunately I haven’t seen too many prolifers doing at least some of this stuff; perhaps my circle is too small and I hope I am wrong on that. However
                    seeing the opposition towards using contraception to win the battle on abortion (although it must be stated that many PL people are for contraception not against it), I fear that this might not become reality unless PL people get
                    their act together and start really thinking about things:

                    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/12/19/southern-baptist-leader-birth-control-is-the-sexual-misbehavior-that-led-to-same-sex-marriage/

                    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2015/09/when-pro-life-means-anti-birth-control.html

                    http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2015/01/march-life-organizers-think-birth-control-same-abortion

                    I wish I could get my hands on that article about the Utah seminar where the Mormons boo-hooed about how contraception was ruining everything.

                    Here’s one brave soul that stepped out and is trying to make a difference:

                    http://www.xojane.com/issues/unpopular-opinion-i-am-both-pro-life-and-a-scientist

                    “Also from the standpoint of trying to save the lives of unborn babies I think out approach should be two fold offer
                    solutions through medical progress (maintaining the life of the baby outside of the mother)”

                    Totally agree, here’s to hoping it works out!

                    “and offering love and support to the mother and not condeming them by calling them names or making rash character judgements.”

                    I think so too; that’s why we need to stop calling solo motherhood a mistake and a responsibility for idiocy.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,

                      Yes I can understand that, c-sections can be difficult and
                      it would be much better if science had a better way, such as an early birth
                      where the child could then be place in (as you said) an artificial uterus or
                      some other such device that could help bring the child to efficacy.

                      I did not realize that so many abortion were done in the 1st
                      trimester, but it does make sense because the further along a baby gets the
                      more it becomes humanized in the minds of those who don’t like that idea, also
                      if the mother hasn’t gone through “all” of the pregnancy changes then it might
                      justify her desire to not go much further when those changes would start to
                      occur.

                      Yes I don’t see legalization as being the means for dropping
                      early abortion rates, seems more likely the people are being made more aware of
                      what abortion really is and fewer are going through with it as a result? That
                      would be my theory but I haven’t done enough research to know.

                      I am definitely fascinated with the idea of science solving
                      this problem of keeping life alive, because if you can get it to happen scientifically
                      it may actually discourage people from giving up the pregnancy, if for instance
                      (this might be kind of extreme) the woman still wanted the child but the time
                      wasn’t right and she decided to go through with this as a way of avoiding the
                      termination of life, with the expectation that once she had “whatever” in order
                      that she could assume the child back into her life. For instance if medically
                      there was no safe way to carry the baby to term gestation ally or it was going
                      to interrupt her midterms (selfish reason I know ) but whatever the case if it
                      saved the life of the child and provides a chance for the mother to re-enter
                      perhaps this isn’t a bad idea?

                      Rape visitation rights must be terminated; there is no viable reason I can
                      think of to allow the sickness to continue. It may sound harsh by my opinion of
                      rapists is that they should be terminated. I see no value in a human being that
                      carries forth these idea, interesting thing is though through that thought
                      comes to me is the conviction that God can save anyone (even rapists) but I
                      have to admit this is a place I definitely struggle with. False accusation of
                      rape is a real concern, but the truth is that it is rare and there are more
                      actual rapes that happen than false accusations.

                      I am glad we agree on the idea of that there needs to be
                      checks and balances to make sure rapists don’t wind up with custody, again
                      which is my hugest fear with the whole idea.

                      Yes you most certainly did give me the quotes, now that I
                      think of it, lol ok I know who Peter Singer is now thanks for the
                      clarification. It’s true molar pregnancies and ectopic pregnancies are places
                      where there really is usually no hope of a life being born.

                      Here is a very interesting point, if we are to love life; we are to love life
                      of the mother the child and both throughout the pregnancy. Agreed there needs
                      to be more than just words there needs to be research in these areas and in
                      making it safer to become pregnant, be pregnant or ways to protect from
                      pregnancy, because as you’ve stated before people are going to have sex,
                      abstinence only work for those who wish to practice it, so for those who don’t
                      and don’t wish to have children there needs to be safe and efficient ways to
                      practice this.

                      Yes Roman Catholics and Mormons often time balk at the idea of birth control,
                      but the truth is it needs to happen, because there are women who don’t want to
                      have children (some ever) and there needs to be ways to keep this from
                      happening, we must remember the culture we live in and that (even if we feel it’s
                      not right) people are capable and willing and wanting to have sex. So yes I
                      agree this is definitely something we need to be aware of and fight for.

                      Yes condemning people for anything in my opinion is wrong, love is the answer,
                      it speaks very clearly in the scriptures of “a gentle answer turning away wrath”
                      and I feel if we could all respond in such a way how much more beautiful of a place this
                      world could be,

                      Hope you are having a wonderful day Crystal It a gorgeous
                      sunny day here and I pray it where you are as well. Love you and may the Lords
                      favor fall on you this day.

                  • Crystal

                    “See, these people know the truth, they don’t want to admit it because it doesn’t serve their purposes.”

                    I mean by this primarily people like Peter Singer, and abortion practitioners. I believe most people know that the unborn is a person on an instinctual level, and can see the baby with their eyes but I am not referring to them so much (although I do think that people have been seriously conned on this issue, and once they understand the truth they will more likely than not turn away from belief in abortion) as educated people – doctors, scientists, philosophers, etc – who understand it is human life and seek to eliminate it anyway.

                    • averagjo

                      I guess I need to do more studies as I am not aware of Peter Singer and his beliefs. That said I will agree, and there is amazingly a turning of the Tide that is taking place in regards to abortion. It seems even without legislation there have been far fewer abortions, I think information is changing peoples hearts and minds. When you see what is being done to these poor lives without an intervention on their behalf it becomes painful for even the most ardent of supporters to continue support (anyone outside of that bubble is in my opinion in severe denial of the truth). It is hopeful that through educating the educated we can make some headway in this area, what are your thoughts about the video’s that have been posted by the agency Center for Medical Progress? If you haven’t seen them, prepare to have a Kleenex or Handkerchief nearby, if you have do you feel they are helpful to the cause or just unnecessary abrasiveness?

                    • Crystal

                      “I guess I need to do more studies as I am not aware of Peter Singer and his beliefs.”

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Singer

                      Do you think it is wrong for a PL person like myself to agree with Peter Singer’s beliefs on animals *only*? Also to make it clear I disagree with Peter Singer on life issues as regarding humans. He is a vegetarian, animal-rights activist, pro-abortion,
                      pro-euthanasia individual. To me, belief in culling out humans and respecting animal rights conflict, despite the whole sentience and sapience thing.

                      “That said I will agree, and there is amazingly a turning of the Tide that is taking place in regards to abortion.”

                      That is very heartening to hear; can you show me examples of this?

                      “It seems even without legislation there have been far fewer abortions, I think information is changing peoples hearts and minds.”

                      Josh Brahm’s site, Equal Rights Institute, which we are on now, helps to answer people with – generally though not always – sound prolife arguments, to challenge people’s preset assumptions and asking them to really think for five minutes at least. I appreciate that he takes the time to try to get people to think through the implications of their positions rather than just call or imply that people are nazi-baby-killers, and I am trying to do the same when I speak to legal abortion advocates on this
                      very controversial topic – to treat them with sensitivity and respect as people as I discuss these things, to take breaks and to find areas of common agreement. I think this is very important; I know in the beginning I tried but I do not believe I was quite as good as I could have been (someone correct me if I’m wrong on that). All I can say is that I hope I improve.

                      Speaking of which, I want your expert opinion, because this sounds like BS to me:

                      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2016/02/25/bryan-fischer-says-abortions-are-like-food-for-demons/

                      “When you see what is being done to these poor lives without an intervention on their behalf”

                      What is being done to them breaks my heart too, but it is important to understand *why* so we can better answer it and encourage more people to care.

                      One of the closest beliefs that could relate to the lack of intervention (in my opinion) is the belief that the ZEF is not a person despite its humanity. I think another one is the bodily
                      autonomy argument – Thompson’s violinist. It’s one of the most popular arguments legal abortion advocates appeal to, so they can bolster their point about bodily autonomy:

                      http://www.l4l.org/library/thomviol.html

                      http://www.str.org/articles/unstringing-the-violinist#.VtDZn1LLe68

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Defense_of_Abortion

                      Another argument is sentience and sapience, and the potential human life. If it doesn’t have the properties of a human being – sentience (ability to feel pain) and sapience (ability to show
                      wisdom) then it doesn’t have a right to live although it is a potential human being. There is one problem in this argument though – we are all at a developmentally different stage from each other. Science has proved this and whether we were to accept that life begins at conception or implantation (although in this case it would be harder because to implant it had to have
                      been conceived) this particular argument would fall flat on its face. Also is it not possible for sentience and sapience to develop? We all had to have a beginning. There is such a thing as acorns growing into oak trees and apple seeds growing into apple trees. Why would the original product need sentience
                      and sapience anyway; wouldn’t it need the capability for it at least? Just out of curiosity, can you define a human being and list the qualities it currently possesses – not the ones it will possess in the future – as a person while it is a zygote in a petri dish; I am curious as to your answer on that one. Sometimes its looks are brought up to argue that it is not a person. Also how
                      would you answer the question: why is there no battle raging to save the lives of cancer cells, e. coli, and cheek cells as well; for by PL logic cancer cells and e. coli are nonsentient, nonsapient cells that ought to have a right to live, and cheek cells could easily be converted into cells that will develop into a baby, with scientific manipulation. I’d like to discuss this aspect a little more in the future but I believe at present I should cut the paragraph
                      short at this point as I wish to give more thought to my next points before putting them up.

                      “it becomes painful for even the most ardent of supporters to continue support (anyone outside of that bubble is in my opinion in severe denial of the truth).”

                      I’ve seen legal abortion advocates express their moral qualms to each other about the morality of third-trimester abortions. I can read the anguish and the doubt in their words as they express
                      regret for those lives lost, although they still say they accept the “choice” of the mother. On the other hand, I’ve also seen people answer without too much thought that they have no problem with third-trimester abortions, or that their beliefs in abortion have been strengthened through research. I guess we as PL individuals are not doing our job when people do this, although some people will disagree because they disagree. Even some abortion practitioners occasionally express doubts and hesitation over what they do. Personally (this is not a criticism of any person I know but rather of a belief system) I do agree with your assessment that belief in second-and-third-trimester abortions without regret is a severe denial of the truth, because it is a sick and heartbreaking practice and fortunately most people can see that at those trimesters at least, it should be illegal to do such a thing.

                      “It is hopeful that through educating the educated we can make some headway in this area,”

                      That really needs to be our goal here. If you become a regular reader and commenter at ERI website you will learn how to rationally debate and relate to legal abortion advocates. It is
                      incredibly helpful, for one of the best ways to wipe out abortion is to wipe it out in the consciences and hearts of the people. Generally speaking our laws reflect our morals.

                      “what are your thoughts about the video’s that have been posted by the agency Center for Medical Progress? If you haven’t seen them, prepare to have a Kleenex or Handkerchief nearby, if you have do you feel they are helpful to the cause or just unnecessary abrasiveness?”

                      Personally I would rather not see such awful movies. I know that abortion is morally reprehensible and that is all I need to know. As for their being helpful, it depends – if the people are telling the truth then they are absolutely helpful and there is nothing wrong with what they did. If the people are lying then they are wrong and it is bad enough what PP is doing without making up lies about them. We need to be honourable in all our dealings regardless, for we have the truth on our side so we have nothing to fear and we don’t need to sneak around telling lies to prove
                      our points. I have wondered a lot about defunding PP but I am considering the viewpoint that financial punishment for abortion rather than total defunding of PP is the way to go, due to PP offering contraceptives, sex education, and a few other services (although CPCs also offer quite a few beneficial tools as
                      well).

                      It would mean a lot to me if I could receive replies to these two particular comments:

                      blog.equalrightsinstitute.com/will-there-be-a-needed-spike-in-adoption-rates-if-abortion-becomes-illegal/#comment-2520613161

                      blog.equalrightsinstitute.com/will-there-be-a-needed-spike-in-adoption-rates-if-abortion-becomes-illegal/#comment-2520803076

                    • averagjo

                      HI Crystal,

                      I hope this day finds yout well,

                      You were wanting an article I think in regards to the reductions in abortions. I can’t speak for the rest of the world but this article referring to the states shows a decrease and a lot of the clinic closures

                      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-24/abortion-clinics-are-closing-at-a-record-pace

                      As far as standing with Peter Singer on animal rights issues, I see nothing wrong with that. Animal lives should be respected and they should not be killed for causes other than protection from or for food. Even in the case of food I feel much better knowing the entire animal came to good use, as early natives in the States would do.

                      I think Josh Braham”s site is doing somen amazing things for the pro-life cause, as with anything though there can be knowledge spoken that doesn’t fit well with narrative and causes your message to be rejected (as you’ve mentioned). That said I think there is a lot more good than harm in regards to educating people. So I think Josh”s website is certainly helping the cause more tham hindering it. More to come

                      About the patheos article, I am not sure which part you are calling BS on the article itself or the commentaries. But let me take you back to another comment I recently made. There is a legal order to how things work in the spiritual realm. The truth is that anytime sin abounds (of any kind) it opens the door to darkness and of the price of darkness is Satan. Does he actually devoure these children… no I believe God brings them home to heaven to be with him. Does the sin of the act still have an effect on the nation where it takes place? Yes I believe it does, I believe that when a nation turns their back on God, that he backs away, and then the tragedies that he held back happen because he is no longer protecting that nation (this is actually the definition of the wrath of God) he steps back and stops intervening. More to come

                • averagjo

                  HI Crystal it’s bedtime here, have a good night’s rest and we’ll talk more later :)

                  • Crystal

                    Okay, sure bud. Please come back when you can, I’ll try to answer more of your questions. As for me RL comes first and is calling me away too. Bye and bless ya mate.

                    • averagjo

                      Thank you Crystal and bless you as well, thank you for helping me to see things from a different perspective. It truly helps my witness as a Christian and relationships as a man. :)

                    • Crystal

                      I don’t mind hearing a different perspective myself, it’s part of growth. Civility helps! I generally can’t stand it when people are rude towards those trying to express a different opinion. I am rude to racists and name-callers if they’re not willing to change their ways though but that’s just me.

                      I appreciate that you want to do your job well as a man and I congratulate you for that.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi again Crystal,
                      Yes being rude to those who are hate filled or rude is definitely something I struggle with myself. I think it’s easier to say you don’t let anybody’s words affect you than it is to live it. Thank you, yes as I have mentioned in another post, I have not always been this way, but I am learning to become a better person and man because truthfully my goal in life is to spread the love of Christ that I feel so deeply in my own life. Sometimes that means talking about the scriptures but more often than not it mean loving people where they are at. Which is what I am desperately trying to work on in my life these days.

                    • Crystal

                      Generally I am too polite and obedient to the meanies! Although I tend not to be when I see them attacking another person. I’m happy I could be so helpful in exhorting you to be a better person and man. You’ve got a rough journey ahead of you so it makes it harder but it shows character that you would try.

                    • averagjo

                      Yes rough journey indeed. But your perspective is definitely helping to change some of my misconceptions. I pray that I can be helpful in your life as well. Definitely worth putting effort towards being a better person and man God has called me to do so, so that is my goal. :)

                    • Crystal

                      “But your perspective is definitely helping to change some of my misconceptions.”

                      That’s great! You’re young, you’ll learn and grow if you keep being open to it. Some of the ideas you’ve written up are very brilliant as well I must say :)

                      “I pray that I can be helpful in your life as well.”

                      Just curiously puzzled – how can you be helpful in *my* life, and what do you mean by this?

                      You have a great goal, please continue keeping it as such.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,
                      To respond to your question the best way I can describe it is in the Bible it mentions the idea of Iron sharpening Iron, by giving and receiving information we can both be sharpened in our way of speaking to other and to one another. Also in our ways of understanding one another, for as Iron sharpens Iron, so one person sharpens another Proverbs 27:17

                    • Crystal

                      Oh, okay, that’s a great answer! I can accept that.

                      I was a little worried you were going to try to convert me, because I would respectfully resist such behaviour and it wouldn’t work out.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,
                      Understood, to ally your fears I will state that I do not believe in the ideology of conversion. It is the choice of someone to believe what they do and God is not forceful so if I am to be lead by his example it is important that I respect peoples beliefs even when they don’t exactly match mine. Again something the spirit is working on in me :). You are a wondeful creation just as you are and I am truly enjoying our conversations.

                    • Crystal

                      Thank you for being understanding :)

                      I have to say this as generally as possible – I’ve seen what fundamentalist Christianity can do to people, how it can break them down and make others into tyrants. It and my own bad choices nearly destroyed my life and that is why I don’t want to be Christian today. I appreciate that you have chosen to forsake that road and follow the path of love.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,

                      I can completely respect that, I have seen many church and Christian abused people in my own walk, I have even experienced it some myself first hand so I do understand. we all have made bad choices in life and the amazing thing is it’s never too late for a new start. We can all be new creations and leave the past behind. Yes I most certainly would rather be an ambassador of love than of judgment these days. Here is one of my favorite chapter in the Bible 1st Corinthians 13 ”

                      13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.

                      4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

                      8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

                      13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love”
                      That last verse is so clear, that love is the greatest and the other that without love nothing really else matters. I feel unfortunately the modern “Church” has forgotten their true commission, which is not to convert but to show people the love of Christ.

                    • Crystal

                      “I can completely respect that, I have seen many church and Christian abused people in my own walk, I have even experienced it some myself first hand so I do understand.”

                      I am sorry you were abused but I’m glad you understand where I am coming from. At present I don’t feel comfortable sharing my experiences but in the future, when I know the time is right, I will consider it.

                      Would you consider Christian-abused people to be a
                      common phenomenon in the church?

                      I don’t understand how you could embrace a faith that was used by your family to batter and crush you. If it had been me I would have refused to convert out of pure rebellion and possibly spite.

                      “we all have made bad choices in life and the amazing thing is it’s never too late for a new start.”

                      That is very true.

                      “We can all be new creations and leave the past behind.”

                      I’m not sure whether you’re talking about justification or sanctification? I did learn about Christian theology in my
                      past, you know. But how can people be new creations and leave the past behind when they’ve done so many bad things? I know it’s the sacrifice on the cross for sins but I don’t have much to say at present over this section.

                      “Yes I most certainly would rather be an ambassador of love than of judgment these days.”

                      That is a worthy goal. In what ways do you believe Christians can be ambassadors of love rather than of judgment? Also, if you believe you are meant to be an ambassador of love, I’m curious as to what you believe about hell?

                      This is one reason I so deeply enjoy Beth Caplin’s blog sometimes, and I recommend you read there too:

                      sbethcaplin.com

                      “Here is one of my favorite chapter in the Bible 1st Corinthians 13”

                      Just curious, but what version of the Bible is it? Is it not a chapter in the Bible urging humans to have empathy to improve the social structure? I’m not sure what it means at all.

                      “That last verse is so clear, that love is the greatest and the other that without love nothing really else matters. I feel unfortunately the modern “Church” has forgotten their true commission, which is not to convert but to show people the love of Christ.”

                      What’s the difference between conversion and love? From what I know of Christianity, if you love people you *will* try to convert them to save their precious souls from the burning fires of an eternal hell, as preached by Jonathan Edwards, slaveowner*, in his sermon Sinners in the Hands
                      of an Angry God. Jude says “And save some with fear, snatching them out of the fire, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” Therefore conversion and love are the same thing in the Christian’s mind and if you really love people you will warn them about hell and the judgment to come.

                      Also do you believe in relational evangelicalism?

                      *This earns him a mark in my black book of bad deeds; I can prove it to you. Learning this simple fact about that guy, that he bought and owned people (or at least one person) is helping in my healing in regards to that sermon:

                      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2016/01/26/slaves-in-the-hands-of-an-angry-white-god/

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,

                      No pressure from me, you are on your path as I am on mine
                      and I want you to be sure before entrusting those things to me, hurts don’t heal
                      when they are exposed necessarily unless they are handled gently and I
                      completely understand.

                      Yes absolutely, as I mentioned with monarchy, anarchy and
                      other political viewpoints, the church itself has been turned into a mandate to
                      abuse and control people. I see it too many times that people are made to feel
                      guilty not from what the scripture teaches but from their perspective of what
                      that individual should or should not be doing. What a horrible thing when God
                      says we are forgiven of all are sins and loved deeply (“Consider the lilies of
                      the field or the Sparrow”) then on the other hand told, that we just aren’t
                      meeting expectation and we just don’t measure up to the “flock” What the hell
                      is wrong with people that they can place a guilt trip on someone who is seeking
                      the will of God and working through their salvation through fear and trembling?
                      Are we not already questioning ourselves enough without the church heaping assaults
                      and insults upon us? Yes it’s a horrible phenomenon and it’s why I believe in
                      relationship not religion.

                      Here is the thing Crystal, the darkness of the critical nature of the Church
                      was not enough to dissuade me from the Love I knew existed in Jesus Christ, Just
                      as my abusive father was not enough to turn me away from his loving side. My
                      conversion came at an early age, but my relationship with Christ didn’t fully
                      begin until my dad had passed away when I was 19. This though is what makes it
                      easy for me, if the Church I attend doesn’t fulfill what Christ’s speaks of the
                      truth I am gone, I will not stay in a Church where judgment and hate and
                      spread.

                      Sanctification fits this narrative better, but overall
                      justification works here as well, for it is through Christ’s work on the cross
                      that we are saved not of ourselves (only so that we are not boastful of it)
                      which means God working his free gift of grace into my being, justifies me.
                      Then through justification Christ molds me into a better image (this is what
                      the Church is missing by in large) and I am a new creation and becoming more
                      new (by dying to myself daily.) Yes you hit the nail on the head, it’s because
                      no one can do right! Paul himself was the king of Pharisees (despised Church
                      hypocrite) and God used him, but even in being used by Christ his anguish comes
                      forth in Romans 8 through 9. So the good that I want to do I do not and the bad
                      things I don’t want to do I do, wretched man that I am who will save me? Praise
                      be to God for his grace and forgiveness.

                      I believe hell is real, however I don’t think God relishes the idea of anyone
                      being there and I don’t think we as Christians should either ( I was deeply
                      disturbed by that article about Jonathan Edwards, what a horrible thought.) I
                      believe that sin has caused are separation from a holy and loving creator and
                      with all things that have to do with law, he cannot be with us or have us with
                      him with the presence of sin. It says very clearly that light can have no fellowship
                      with darkness in the scripture. So here is God’s quandary, he can’t have
                      fellowship with us because we are fallen; he wants to be he can’t. The only way
                      to rectify the situation is through sacrifice (which is what Jewish religion
                      did for years) the only perfect sacrifice though was Jesus, who being the son
                      of God was the only perfect person/God to ever walk the earth. Through his sacrifice on the cross we are
                      covered in his blood (or life force if you will) and it has covered our sin.
                      Now here is the tricky part, because grace sounds too good to be true Satan
                      steps in with his lies and says, no there is no way God could ever forgive you,
                      you are a horrible sinner and not worthy of his love. Here is the thing, he has
                      one part of that right, we are horrible sinners not worthy of God’s love that
                      is what makes grace such an amazing thing! We can’t earn it! We can’t boast
                      about it! All we can do is be thankful and pass it along, That is the true
                      message of Christ and the cross. Where loves really wins!

                      I was intrigued by Beth Caplin’s articles and yes I will be spending a lot of
                      time there, I will confess I struggle with mental Illness as well. I was once
                      diagnosed as BI POLAR 2 and am currently diagnosed MOOD Disorder NOS. I take Depakote
                      and Lexapro to keep myself in balance and I have taken Zyprexa an ATIVAN in my worst moments of trying to
                      cope. I know your mental health issues are on a much higher level than mine,
                      but I can promise you I totally understand where you are coming from and where
                      Beth is coming from as well. There is not enough faith in the world to take
                      away mental illness but God can help us to cope better. I will never stop
                      taking my meds to try to find out though, I think God gives us medicines and treatments
                      for a reason (and yes I believe they are God given) to help us to be the best people
                      we can be.

                      Basically what the chapter means in Corinthians
                      is that no other spirituals gifts are enough on their own, then center of the
                      message of Christ and of the cross is love, everything else springs forth out
                      of love, therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

                      Conversion means I am trying to change you, Love means I am trying to encourage
                      you. One is forceful that other is gentle. One means I am right you are wrong.
                      The other means I have an idea I would like to share with you. One means if you
                      don’t repent you are going to hell, the other means, I believe in hell and I
                      would like to save you from it. For if I truly believe in hell, and I know that
                      I was headed there too, before someone intervened and I don’t intervene on your
                      behalf…. How is that love? Love only gives gently it doesn’t force; anything
                      that forces you to convert is not of God but is of Satan. (Also how I feel
                      about the Islamic religion, but don’t get me started on that.

                      I don’t know about relational evangelicalism but if it has anything to do with
                      the beliefs of people like Jonathan Edwards I don’t feel a need to lol… well let’s
                      just say I’ll despise it

                    • Crystal

                      Do you think abortion is a conversion issue? Also, would you consider yourself “personally pro-life but politically pro-choice”?

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,
                      Interesting questions, I am not certain how best to describe it other than to say that I think the value of life goes well beyond any theological discussion. Obviously there are pro life individuals who are not any religion and celebrate life based on the ideology that all life is important Woman, Children, Man and Animal. That said it does still surprise me that people who are not Christian can be pro-life it’s refreshing to say the least. Not to say that I believe people who are not Christians don’t believe in the sanctity of life, but that my experience has brought me to see that few I have met have been pro-life, that said I haven’t met a lot of Christians even who were fully decided on their choice between pro-life and pro-choice. So abortion being simply a conversion issue ie needing to convert someone to convince them of the value of life? No not at all.

                      Part two.

                      I would most definitely consider myself pro-life on a personal level. As far as my political desires? The truth is I feel the Pandora’s box has already been opened, I am under no illusion that the political landscape will be able to change the way we view abortion or change it’s legality. To me it’s more of an intellectual and emotion driven conversation (science definitely helps in this pursuit) So I guess from a political standpoint I am neutral on the issue of abortion as I feel it is overly politicized already. Also because from someone who started as a right wing conservative republican I can transferred my views to a more libertarian stand point. I want less government and more personal accountability. I know that we have what we have, but I think we could all stand to have more of an ability to make our own choices, not that, that relieves us from having laws and controls, but that we have more freedom on certain issues. So I hope that long rabbit trail wasn’t too confusing… to sum up I am personally not for abortion but neither am I for government having full control of the decision process either way.

                    • Crystal

                      On the first question you misunderstood, because my question was do you think it’s a good thing to convert people to the PL position through reasoned arguments, honest morality, and scientific proof for the PL position?

                    • averagjo

                      oh ok I guess I had never considered that conversion would be a term used in changing ones for from pro-choice to pro-life or visa versa. OK from that perspective yes I think it is a good thing to use the above mentioned arguments to help change peoples ways of thinking in regards to pro-life and pro-choice through reasoned arguments and research yes. I guess I again I had never thought of this as an issue of conversion.

                    • Crystal

                      I’m glad we agree that encouraging people to come over to the PL side is a good thing. It could be seen more as an issue of persuasion than conversion. PL is not a religion but rather a moral stance on a moral issue that affects all of us.

                      Do you personally think that adoption rates will spike if abortion becomes illegal, and also do you think abortion will ever become illegal?

                    • averagjo

                      Again another fascinating question,

                      Truth is I am not certain adoption rates would spike, the reason I say this is that I feel people would take more precautions if they didn’t have an easy way out (not that I consider abortion an easy way out) but it can be used that way at times. I think if at the very least it was made to be less convenient that would at least cause there to more time to think about it without making a rash decision based on emotions. The truth is though the beginning of that has to come from loving our daughters even when they have a pregnancy that wasn’t expected. If we as a culture and the Church being a large part of that can embrace mothers and show them that the life they are carrying means something to us, I think we have a strong case for the end of abortion. That said I am not certain it will ever become illegal, there are too many proponents and I feel our culture has gotten to used to the idea, in a way it would be like banning cell phones how can you take away something that people have become so dependent on? Not justifying it by any means but I feel that will be one of the arguments made.

                    • Crystal

                      I think that adoption needs reform, because too many children get given away to bad families where they become more battered and more abused than before. However there are ways around this, as movies like Juno will attest.

                      As for solo motherhood, I don’t consider it a tragedy. I deem it an opportunity for women to have children in a matriarchal-structured household, which I think is valuable for society. One reason we have abortion is that solo motherhood for young single women is still severely stigmatised in the sense that it’s seen as not-cool to have a baby when you’re young.

                      If PL wins the battle on abortion they have to embrace feminism. The church attitudes toward solo mothers have encouraged abortion for too long. We need a better way – a way that recognises the spirituality of such feminine functions as menstruation, pregnancy and childbirth, and menopause, while being truthful about anything that could go wrong and all that could go right (also do you personally believe there is anything spiritual about these functions, just curious and hope you don’t mind my asking); the right of women to be solo mothers; and the celebration of new life and a woman’s countercultural acts (those of having sex while being female and getting pregnant too) before all else. Although some folks say being forced to be pregnant just for having sex is a punishment, and I get where they’re coming from. I simply don’t think that there is any moral justification for abortion in non life-threatening circumstances and even in those life-threatening circumstances choosing to save one life when all else has failed is a difficult decision to make.

                      Here’s some feminist perspectives on solo motherhood:

                      http://www.singlemothersbychoice.org/2015/06/27/in-praise-of-the-single-mother/

                      http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/08/single-parent-double-standard/

                      As for abortion being illegal I think we have an uphill battle, but I don’t consider it impossible. If Wilberforce could get slavery illegal in England while so many people believed in slavery, then I think we can do it too, although in a way it would be tougher due to living in a global world.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,

                      I am afraid this is another area of which we will fall into disagreement. Simply because there seem to be issues that have risen due in part to a patriarchal society, does not mean to me, that it is necessary to move towards a matriarchal society. I believe Fathers are still a very important part of he equation and that indeed God has endowed us to be leaders in our households. That he has set this in place from the beginning. While in my own part I see it as more of a partnership I also see the importance of having the Man as the leader of the household. Because of my views in this regards they are incompatible with the idea of solo motherhood, that said I don’t see it as being necessary to have a man for a woman to raise children I just feel that is not the design that the God I worship desires. I am also not sure that embracing feminism is the right way to go either. There are ideas that the suffragettes fought for that I strongly agree with, however there are extremes of the feminist movement that I don’t agree with. Such as referring to God as Female when A he refers to himself as Father and Son and B he is neither Male or Female according to his own words. Another issues of concern for me is the desire to emasculate males and subjugate them to being feminized. I believe there is a reason for masculinity and femininity and I believe by embracing both parts we get what we strive for, which is equality. Short of this we have issues on both sides of the coin and it becomes a matter of opposition versus compatibility. I think if we are to win the war of hearts and minds in regards to pro-life we must embrace the best of who we are equally not raising one ideal higher than the other. As far as the spirituality of womanhood, I believe God has set into place a very wonderful process inside the body of a woman, where life has a chance to be formed and grow. I think there is spirituality involved as the whole process brings a soul into existence and not just a body. Yes I think we can agree on that but possibly from different perspective.

                    • Crystal

                      I hope you don’t mind if I touch on this first:

                      “As far as the spirituality of womanhood, I believe God has set into
                      place a very wonderful process inside the body of a woman, where life
                      has a chance to be formed and grow.”

                      I do agree with that, but sometimes the process is very difficult for the woman :*(

                      “I think there is spirituality
                      involved as the whole process brings a soul into existence and not just a
                      body.”

                      It is possible, but I never thought about it that way very much. I tended to think of the feminine processes as a way that a woman could experience herself on a level of ecstasy and appreciation for the unique feminine functions because they make her different from a man, become more aware of everything in every way (including learning about her body if she is struggling to have a better life in this area), and possibly be in touch with higher powers as well. Which is one reason why I stress to myself that my language used to describe these processes be as positive as possible, and train my mind to want positive outcomes; I’m getting better at it but sometimes it’s very difficult. Such areas are very neglected, I’m afraid. Hence the pain and torment that many women suffer due to the great chasm set between them and their feminine functions from an early age onwards.

                      “Yes I think we can agree on that but possibly from different
                      perspective.”

                      Agreed, and hoping conversations like this are in your comfort level range, because I don’t mind dropping this topic if it isn’t.

                    • averagjo

                      Not at all, I think it’s wonderful that you can celebrate your femininity. I guess from my perspective I never though of it that way, but we are spiritual beings so it makes sense that it is intertwined into all things that make us who we are. Not being female I guess I have a hard time identifying with the ideas, but I am happy that you are learning to embrace them. I know that society definitely makes it a negative point of women and their physical and emotional differences from and early age. It seems they do the same thing to young boys in a different way, by telling us to be tough and not to cry. So from that perspective I can identify with being discouraged to explore certain feelings and emotions. As I say I think we are all beautifully and wonderfully made and that even the things that society wants us to view as grotesque are beautiful in their own way. So yes I can agree that there is a spiritual connection between or bodies and ourselves.

                    • Crystal

                      You mentioned the following as a concern of yours:

                      “Another issues of concern for me is the desire to emasculate males and
                      subjugate them to being feminized. I believe there is a reason for
                      masculinity and femininity and I believe by embracing both parts we get
                      what we strive for, which is equality. Short of this we have issues on
                      both sides of the coin and it becomes a matter of opposition versus
                      compatibility.”

                      I can understand this worry, and I want to reassure you now, I believe in equality. I don’t want to suppress men and I try to be very sensitive to that because I love feminism, not in spite of it. Because feminism means equality not suppression of anyone and I wouldn’t want to see you or any other guy squashed because you’re a man. I think men are highly intelligent and I have a deep respect for them if they behave with dignity especially towards women and nonwhites, and think that treating weaker members of society well is also important for men to do as well. I’d appreciate an explanation as to why you have those concerns, especially of being emasculated, as well. Because I think it’s important for guys to celebrate their masculinity too. And non-cis people should celebrate their identities whatever they are (disagreement there but that’s what I think).

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,

                      I guess part of my concern comes from what seems like a desire to change men into women, such as having men wear skinny jeans, have feminine hair styles, make up lines just for males, I understand that there are those men who want to look or act more feminine and that is their choice I don’t necessarily disagree with that. What I think bothers me is what seems like a desire (from perhaps a radical feminist standpoint) to cause males to lose their masculine identity so that they can more closely identify with females. I do agree that men need to understand feminism and females better, if they did I think they would be respectful to women and understand their needs better. Again I guess my point is balance, but seeing as your comments reflects this I guess my argument has been deflated lol. Next :)

                    • Crystal

                      “What I think bothers me is what seems like a desire (from perhaps a
                      radical feminist standpoint) to cause males to lose their masculine
                      identity so that they can more closely identify with females.”

                      Please explain how you define masculine identity. Also in what other ways do radical feminists want men to lose their masculine identity that you have observed?

                      “I do agree that men need to understand feminism and females better, if they did I think they would be respectful to women and understand their needs better.”

                      This is the way for men to truly more closely identify with women. If they have those fashion changes without a change of heart then they won’t be any better off. It’s attitude not performance that counts.

                      “I guess part of my concern comes from what seems like a desire to change men into women, such as having men wear skinny jeans, have feminine hair styles, make up lines just for males”

                      Just curious but have you ever thought that this might be a way for men to explore their femme side? Also how is this suppressing guys, please explain as I am trying to understand. As a choice we agree it’s not suppressive but if men were being forced into this we would agree this is highly suppressive; do you see men being forced or pressured into such choices anywhere? Although I know of butch femininity, or masculine femininity, where women celebrate the maleness of their character.

                      “Again I guess my point is balance, but seeing as your comments reflects this I guess my argument has been deflated lol.”

                      Well, I do try to be balanced. I believe in equality first and foremost, which means that women don’t get to rule over men unfairly either, just as men don’t get to rule unfairly over women. Ability, not gender role and biological sex, determines your aptitude.

                      Here is a definition I wrote up about what being manly means to me as a woman; please read it and tell me what you think of it:

                      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2016/02/nagmeh-abedini-franklin-graham-and-the-silencing-of-evangelical-abuse-victims.html#comment-2494976076

                      The thing is, I don’t mind men being manly as long as they are respectful to us the women. I want to feel safe and to implicitly trust and reverence my future hubby knowing he will be honourable with me, but I can’t if guys handle me inappropriately and treat me like an object because I am a woman. To be honest I’ve lost a lot of respect for the sex due to their disgusting behaviour including wife battering (which conversation we had the other day).

                    • averagjo

                      I identify Masculine identity as being strong protectors, courageous in protecting the weaker but also being warriors. I determine that men in general should be considered the stronger vessel and Women the weaker vessel. This is not to say that women don’t have there own particular strengths, because they do women have incredible skills and abilities, but I think men should be in the role of protector and champion of the woman. Yes I think men should definitely be influenced to understand women, I know quite a few of my male friends consider that a lost cause, but I don’t I think understanding breeds familiarity which leads to understanding. I will never be able to fully understand what it feels like to be a woman, but I can definitely do my best to gain information so I can better understand. I guess my fear is that in the process of Women pushing men towards being more sensitive and towards embracing their “feminine side” by wearing different clothes makeup and hairstyles, blurs the lines between female and male, if I can identify with females that is good, if I become confused and identify as a female, well I am not so pleased with that idea. I am not saying that transsexuals or effeminate men are bad or wrong. I just think there is confusion in roles that takes place. (I am sure we won’t agree on that one} I liked your article on the expectation of men masculinity and the role it should fill. I am in agreement with most all of those ideas. I think the truth is that men need to respect and love women and visa versa, feminism on it’s own doesn’t always seem to embrace this idea, there can be a lot of male bashing (not physical) that takes place in what I’ve seen. I think that embracing the best of who we are is a good thing and generally trying to gain a better understanding of one another I think is the key. These are just my ideas though and as I say I am open to discussion on all these points. Just to let you know you have very kind in your responses I really have enjoyed our conversations.

                    • Crystal

                      This will be long, so I will break this up into two parts. Some of these issues I’ve got strong feelings about so please don’t be offended or worried if my tone comes across as passionate, as I am by no means intending to be hostile by my comments, just challenging you to think through a few things; but never be afraid to disagree ever. Thanks for talking about these things with me, some men I know wouldn’t give me the time of day.

                      “I identify Masculine identity as being strong protectors, courageous in protecting the weaker but also being warriors.”

                      I do agree with this sentence, although I have to state that not all men have the temperament or the ability to do this. Are those men any less male? I don’t think so, because masculinity is determined by biology rather than role. Also women can protect men and other women and are very good at it; we should not pass those contributions over as such women are heroes!

                      Putting that aside, please let me explain how the butch cis male ideal of protector makes me think, if he lives up to it, and I hope it’s okay what I’m going to say next. I think of men as these amazingly strong, brilliant, beautiful people with such physical power and strength, and such deep, powerful voices, yet with the ability to be so gentle and kind and respected by everyone because they are honest and compassionate, I find it nothing short of a miracle that such people should exist. Men are capable of marvelous feats but the greatest one of all is being good. In short I’m very pro the idea as long as he lives up to his side of the bargain and doesn’t use it to hurt and betray.

                      I mean nothing inappropriate by the following scenario, but just so you understand a little better what women want in a man. Do you know how a woman feels when her partner, with hands so capable of gentleness and strength and voice so soothing, commands her lovingly to come to him, turns her towards him, draws her gently nearer in such a way she would not dream of resisting his voice nor his hands as she knows this man means her nothing but kindness, and holds her close to his heart, tightening his strong arms around her to help her feel more secure? She snuggles into his embrace, feeling safe, protected, and loved, as he kisses her tears away and lets her know that he loves her for now and for always, and she swears in her heart to be loyal to him, to always make him happy, to never leave his side, and to suffer and die for him if necessary. You earn our loyalty, respect and devotion if only you are kind. Sorry to ramble on like that as I mean nothing by it but to please remember to treat your bride like that on the hardest of days, and some women consider it sweet to be called “my bride” even when they’ve been married to the same man for years. Also I think they are words you need to hear, very much. If you want reverence you need to be willing to show respect back, because women don’t want to be only loved, they want to be respected too.

                      Also another scenario – imagine your friend coming to you with a problem, and she’s been condescendingly patted on the head by other men, told her problem is insignificant, and basically been mansplained to. But she looks to you because she knows you to be intelligent and she knows you will help her. To listen to her when she talks and then try to solve the problem, to let her know she is intelligent and smart when other men have told her only that she is beautiful, means a lot coming from a man, because it means you, as a male, value her with her contributions and her sharp mind. Being complimented for intelligence by a good, kind man speaks volumes to a woman’s heart and secures respect for you. After all, if you want to be a leader, isn’t this the way a good leader acts?

                      For a woman who doesn’t want to be protected but can look after herself the offer can come across as condescending rather than helpful, as she has securely established her independence in herself. I believe that men need to be respectful of the fact that sometimes women *don’t* want to be protected and take a hands-off approach yet be there for the woman if she asks for or needs help, giving her courage and support in enforcing her boundaries. There is a balance between being overprotective and not being protective enough. Being overprotective means smothering the woman emotionally and spiritually but not being protective enough means being neglectful and in some cases either apathetic or a despicable coward.

                      I want to see men raise their voices to defend us when other guys are rude and call out suggestive things to us on the street. I want to see them look tall and imposing as they step between a woman and her attacker and not back down. I want to see men listening to women they care about rather than saying “that sucks”. I want to see men empower women by treating them as equals not using them as inferiors. That is what I think the best way to protect, provide, and lead is, if indeed that is what you think you must do.

                      “I determine that men in general should be considered the stronger vessel and Women the weaker vessel.”

                      Do you mean physically? Or emotionally? Or neurologically? Also on what basis do you determine this?

                      Also, if women really are the weaker vessel how could your mother have borne you into the world? Are you aware of how much physical and emotional effort it takes to birth a child, and to be pregnant? It’s hard, challenging work, and sometimes it can be painful and even life-threatening! What about a woman raising a child, especially by herself? What about the fact women visit the Red Tent (have their cycles) once a month and often feel pressured to pop a painkiller in their mouths and move on rather than respecting themselves, suffering in silence often without the hope of proper treatment? What about the woman who rises above the challenges of fighting for better treatment of women, and faces being ridiculed, mocked, spat on, scorned? What about the woman who faces torture and rape for refusing to reveal the names of people she is hiding or rescuing from an evil government? What about the woman who puts on a pair of boxing gloves because she knows she has to defend herself in this world? What about the woman who works hard, without a break, stinting herself of time and sometimes food so she can feed her children? What about the woman who faces shame for solo pregnancy, or speaks out about her past experiences with a rapist and faces ridicule on that level? What about the woman who has had to stare down her attacker because no man would defend her and say that is no way to speak to a lady? What about the fact that more often than not we bear in silence things men don’t even have to think about? How is that weakness? Don’t you think with the things we face we’re a bunch of tough little b*****s? Please just think about it, very carefully.

                      “I think men should be in the role of protector and champion of the woman.”

                      May I ask why you believe that, so I can understand your opinion better?

                      Here’s my POV on that:

                      That’s a nice sentiment on paper, but men so far have generally done a bloody poor job of it. More often than not, they’ve beaten and betrayed us, and they want the title without the responsibility. They frequently brag about being protectors and use protection as a way to control and exploit women, but when trouble comes they hide behind mummy’s apron strings because all it is is really bluff and they didn’t mean it at all. If men are to call themselves protectors they need to try changing a society that gives them the power to hurt women. Also women need to learn to protect themselves, because men cannot always be trusted. This is a comment from my friend, I found it insightful:

                      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2016/02/nagmeh-abedini-franklin-graham-and-the-silencing-of-evangelical-abuse-victims.html#comment-2494843490

                      “Just to let you know you have very kind in your responses I really have enjoyed our conversations.”

                      I will always be kind unless you do something to betray my trust. I know of some people who would have torn you apart and cursed you for some of the beliefs you espoused. But I care more about a proper dialogue with an open-minded person than turning them off by snarling at them, it’s not helpful to be rude online unless you’re defending yourself. Also you have been very gentlemanly, nary a peep of sexual advances or condescending talk towards me in your conversations, so thank you for being honest with your partner and respectful to me. Plus I want you to enjoy yourself! Online discussions should be polite and fun.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal, Reply part 1

                      Well you weren’t kidding about the long part, I have decided
                      to copy these comment into a word document so that I can respond to each point
                      easier, as what has been written is very point by point and I don’t want to
                      miss any. I hope you as well will understand my passion about my viewpoints and
                      understand that while I am open to changing my views on certain things, there
                      are others that define my very being which will not be changed. Of course I am
                      willing to talk about these things; only through conversation can there come
                      to be understanding.

                      I am glad that my first sentence on Identity of Masculinity
                      is something that in the most part we can agree with. I understand your
                      position that not all Men may have this temperament, some men are very brutish and
                      strong and others are more sensitive… this is true and my argument doesn’t discount
                      that idea. What I will say is even though every man shouldn’t necessarily be
                      out fighting in wars, I think every man is called to be a leader, those who
                      shirk that responsibility are still male biologically speaking but they have
                      cast aside the role God gave them (in my opinion)

                      To your second point about this, I understand that we are
                      living in a culture that has decided that everything and everyone need a label,
                      while I can understand the desire for it, I do not and never will consider myself
                      a butch cis male. I am a heterosexual Christian Male and if I am to be labeled
                      that is how I desire to be labeled. As far as your view if these men I agree to
                      be a man requires more than brute strength it requires intelligence, wisdom,
                      strength, sensitivity, compassion and many other of the attributes you
                      mentioned. I take issue with your last statement though, because of what our
                      culture has decided the word good to mean. In my understanding good is to mean
                      perfect in all ways only God matches these qualities therefore any man or woman
                      will fall short of this no matter what they attempt. Being merciful, loving and
                      compassionate are all “good” qualities but no one except God has them perfected.
                      I agree a man should never use his position as a means to hurt, harm or betray
                      if this is your definition of “good” then yes I can agree with that.

                      This next passage is quite interesting to me, and my
                      response will be much shorter as a result. All of the things you mentioned in
                      the section are my relationship with Carolyn to a tea, if you don’t believe me
                      I can have her respond to it with her own remarks. So since we can agree that
                      this is an ideal; of what a man should look like then yes I believe we can move
                      on.

                      Good scenario with the friend as well, and I can tell you in
                      the time I have been in my current position all my co-workers have been women and
                      I have always kept and attentive ear to them and lifted them up when others put
                      them down (including their male acquaintances and spouses, lovers etc). On your
                      point of some men only calling women beautiful, my belief is that there are
                      many types of ways people are beautiful and physical attraction Is only one and
                      not nearly the most important. That said I appreciate women for their minds and
                      their compassion more than for their physical looks, so yes I believe can move
                      on to the next point, whew…. (Perhaps in the future we can break these up more)

                      Your language in this passage is very passionate so I can
                      see these ideas matter a lot to you, so I will make my best attempt to tread
                      lightly. I agree that people in general need to respect one another’s
                      boundaries, I may not always need or desire someone’s help or assistance, and
                      you as well can be independent and do things on your own, no disagreement
                      there. Though here is where things become complicated. Your desire is for a man
                      to know his place? He is to be both a care taker and protector when needed but
                      take hands of approach when he’s not? I do understand there is a balance but
                      the issue I run into with feminists is they half way expect a man to know what
                      approach to take? Sorry it doesn’t work that way… we can’t read minds and if
                      you consider me apathetic or a despicable coward for now knowing the
                      difference, then I guess I’ll accept that lol.

                      So in the scenario of the woman on the street getting cat
                      calls, what if I am stepping on your independence and your desire to defend
                      yourself? How am I to know the difference? I’ll give you an example. One day I
                      am working in my job and I notice a doctor being overly familiar with one of my
                      co-workers, brushing up against her and saying things that are demeaning and
                      condescending. I wait until after the moment has transpired and ask her if she
                      was ok with what just happened? As if not it is my intention to bring it
                      someone else’s attention. She says, no she’s fine with what happened and she
                      wants to handle it herself. I know she’s not fine with it, but I still have to
                      respect her judgement, I could have gone to that doctor and placed him on
                      warning, but then I don’t have her backing my story because she doesn’t want to
                      cause waves. Do you see my quandary? Do you realize also that few men have as
                      much vocabulary as I do in regards to these things? As far as men who are
                      emotional and in touch with their feelings, I feel (and have been told) that I
                      am very sensitive to others feelings and caring and compassionate. I would
                      never simply tell a woman “that sucks” and then just move on I aspire to have
                      empathy not apathy. So I feel we agree for the most part, with how all this
                      should look but disagree on what role each person should play.

                      Here again in this next part is where I feel we will find
                      the least amount of common ground and is another sensitive subject, I’d say it
                      is for both of us; again I will try to tread lightly. I think whenever someone
                      says weaker, it sounds at the beginning like an insult, the truth is though
                      from a biblical weakness is considered a good trait. “For the meek shall
                      inherit the earth” “In our weakness we find strength” So when I say weaker vs
                      stronger I do not mean it say inferior more to say valuable and precious, something
                      to be attended to and cared for. The very idea of my compassion comes from the
                      understanding that it is my role and duty as a husband to care for and protect “my
                      bride” and to offer protection to all the women around me (who actually desire
                      to be protected). God has given me an interesting trait in that I am 6 foot 10
                      inches tall and weigh 350 pounds and am weak as a kitten lol, in that I don’t do
                      anyone harm I don’t strive to be aggressive. That said just the look of me is
                      imposing and people often times think I am aggressive or mean simply because of
                      my size. It has caused me to desire to be more careful and sensitive as it
                      would be easy to just intimidate I’d much prefer making people feel comfortable
                      and safe around me. So for me to say women are the weaker vessel and men are
                      the stronger vessel is only to say men (all men) should seek to protect and compassionately
                      love all women as Christ set the example of his love for all mankind. That said
                      if a woman doesn’t want men or a man to protect her I feel she has made that
                      choice and her decision and the things that happen are her responsibility,
                      often times these situations don’t work out for the best, but if that’s what
                      they desire then they can choose that for themselves. That said I see absolute
                      strength in women and their abilities they are capable of many great feats and
                      as many if not more than men in their own ways, we all have strengths and
                      weaknesses but we should celebrate those things not condemn one another or try
                      to take the others place. Again I think understanding is the key here.

                      As far as men being the champion and the protector, I think
                      I made it pretty clear in my last section what that looks like, but to emphasize
                      more clearly I think as a woman is oftentimes (not always) in need of a
                      physically strong counterpart it is the role of a man to treasure and protect
                      and keep women safe from harm and abuse (especially from himself).

                      I don’t disagree with the next point, men have done a poor
                      job of it, the way men treat women these days is horrid and it is nothing close
                      to what the Bible has as an expectation of the way women should be treated. I
                      think in a lot of ways though the confusion of roles is what has caused a lot
                      of this. Men aren’t being taught to be protectors, as women are not being
                      taught that they need protectors. As a result I think a lot of men think women
                      are to be treated however a man desires to treat them, men don’t know their
                      role and women don’t know theirs so we end up in a place where both are angry
                      with each other and they end up fighting over who is right rather than
                      accepting that they are both right in their own way and wrong in their own way.
                      As far as men changing the society, trust me some men are trying to change
                      these things… We are facing flack though as we are seen as trying to control
                      women in the process, again see how we can’t win?

                      I want to again make it clear that I am enjoying our
                      conversations and even though I am certain there are many more things we won’t
                      necessarily agree on it does help me to have the conversation at least so I can
                      gain perspective. I understand that you know of people who would have torn me
                      apart for the beliefs I am espousing, but let me just mention this, these same
                      beliefs are the ones that cause me to treasure my beautiful Bride Carolyn, and
                      to listen hear the thoughts of other women around them and show care and
                      compassion, so if the beliefs I am espousing are hard to hear perhaps it’s because
                      there is an element of truth there?, just something to think about. Thanks I
                      intend to be gentlemanly and I am glad that is how I have come across, I will definitely
                      consider your points some more, but as I say there are some things of which I
                      will not change my mind about.

                    • Crystal

                      Hey, thanks for your response :)

                      Two things in mind. First I don’t consider you a coward at all! I think you’re a very nice person and I appreciate the fact you would talk about these things so civilly with me.

                      “Being overprotective means smothering the woman emotionally and
                      spiritually but not being protective enough means being neglectful and
                      in some cases either apathetic or a despicable coward.”

                      You said in response:

                      “Sorry it doesn’t work that way… we can’t read minds and if
                      you consider me apathetic or a despicable coward for now knowing the difference, then I guess I’ll accept that lol.”

                      I said that statement because some men can’t be bothered protecting women and do everything they can to get out of it, not in the sense that they’re not built to be strong and protective or have had something happen in their lives so they can’t protect (like being crippled, etc) so much, but because they consider women inferior and they as men matter more. It was not meant to be an indictment on your character and I apologise for implying this. Also you’re not a coward for not knowing the difference, and I think you did the right thing for asking that woman what she wanted done. However if it were me I know I would want intervention on my behalf regardless of whether it was masculine or feminine and I tend to think the default position for a man should be to step in and intervene on the woman’s behalf especially if she’s having a difficult time dealing with it herself. Also I didn’t mean to preach to you about those long paragraphs but was rather telling you how it feels from a female perspective.

                      Secondly, this is my fault in this way – the rules here say we have to stay on-topic, and I think that we need to keep the conversations about adoption rates spiking on this page, and move the conversations about masculinity and femininity onto the page provided below:

                      blog.equalrightsinstitute.com/responding-to-the-astute-observation-that-i-am-a-man/

                      Which means I will respond to your comment in full, on that page and then send you the link so you can respond to me there.

                      Thank you, you are kind and you don’t have to change for me or for anyone. In some ways we don’t agree on this topic but we can still have good discussions about it.

                    • averagjo

                      Yes I agree we will do that, from here on. I’ll make any comments to this over there.

                    • averagjo

                      Reply part 2

                      That said I see absolute strength in women and their abilities
                      they are capable of many great feats and as many if not more than men in their
                      own ways, we all have strengths and weaknesses but we should celebrate those
                      things not condemn one another or try to take the others place. Again I think
                      understanding is the key here.

                      As far as men being the champion and the protector, I think
                      I made it pretty clear in my last section what that looks like, but to emphasize
                      more clearly I think as a woman is oftentimes (not always) in need of a
                      physically strong counterpart it is the role of a man to treasure and protect
                      and keep women safe from harm and abuse (especially from himself).

                      I don’t disagree with the next point, men have done a poor
                      job of it, the way men treat women these days is horrid and it is nothing close
                      to what the Bible has as an expectation of the way women should be treated. I
                      think in a lot of ways though the confusion of roles is what has caused a lot
                      of this. Men aren’t being taught to be protectors, as women are not being
                      taught that they need protectors. As a result I think a lot of men think women
                      are to be treated however a man desires to treat them, men don’t know their
                      role and women don’t know theirs so we end up in a place where both are angry
                      with each other and they end up fighting over who is right rather than
                      accepting that they are both right in their own way and wrong in their own way.
                      As far as men changing the society, trust me some men are trying to change
                      these things… We are facing flack though as we are seen as trying to control
                      women in the process, again see how we can’t win?

                      I want to again make it clear that I am enjoying our
                      conversations and even though I am certain there are many more things we won’t
                      necessarily agree on it does help me to have the conversation at least so I can
                      gain perspective. I understand that you know of people who would have torn me
                      apart for the beliefs I am espousing, but let me just mention this, these same
                      beliefs are the ones that cause me to treasure my beautiful Bride Carolyn, and
                      to listen hear the thoughts of other women around them and show care and
                      compassion, so if the beliefs I am espousing are hard to hear perhaps it’s because
                      there is an element of truth there?, just something to think about. Thanks I
                      intend to be gentlemanly and I am glad that is how I have come across, I will definitely
                      consider your points some more, but as I say there are some things of which I
                      will not change my mind about.

                    • Crystal

                      “As far as men changing the society, trust me some men are trying to change these things… We are facing flack though as we are seen as trying to control women in the process, again see how we can’t win?”

                      I can sympathise with the difficulty and I appreciate that some men are trying to change these things; it means a lot to me and I know a handful of good men I trust. It helps hearing a man’s perspective on these things as well. How do you think women can make it easier for men to protect them? Also in what ways are guys accused of controlling women when they try to change these things, can you explain?

                      Although I will say that topics related to adoption spike rates and similar subjects are for this page, so on that note I have a question for you: What do you believe about in-vitro fertilisation?

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,
                      Yes it is interesting where the topic took us lol, ok back on track with the ideas of the thread. I believe in-vitro fertilization is a wonderful invention but I believe also it has the potential to misused, obviously when multiple embryo’s are implanted from a worldly stand point selective reduction is acceptable, but if you are pro-life this can lead to a quandary as selective reduction is just polite way to say abortion of the unwanted embryo’s. From this perspective it becomes a moral issue every embryo is indeed a potential life. Another problem is the idea of life put on hold through the freezing process. The thing I like about in-vitro is it gives women who may have never had any other chance to birth a child, but I find it irresponsible on the part of doctors who implant more than 2 or 3 because there is always the chance that as many as you place there will become viable. This said there have been instances where multiples in the realm of as many as eight have been viable, and doctors have actually tried to persuade the women to use “selective reduction” as a way to overcome the possible problems involved with this many children at once. I liked what the woman in this particular instance had to say “When I look at my children these days, which one of them would you have had me selectively reduce?” So in the end I think like many technological advances it is neither good nor bad it’s how it’s used that can be either one. If that makes sense?

                    • Crystal

                      I think your answer is very fair. Except I am curious to know, what is so problematic about freezing the embryos? I completely understand your concerns with the first one though.

                      What’s your opinion on the following subject in the article:

                      https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/feb/01/human-embryo-genetic-modify-regulator-green-light-research

                      Also, what is your opinion of the following scenario:

                      Woman A got three ZEFs created for her through in-vitro fertilisation, and she decides she does not want them implanted in her, or she only wants one. The others will most likely be taken and used for embryonic stem cell research. Woman A tells her friend Woman B, who is pro-life, single, and abstinent (a virgin in fact), about her in-vitro fertilisation and her decision to only have one embryo. Woman B decides to have the other two embryos implanted in her and carry them to term, and Woman A and Woman A’s doctor say yes, she can (I’m not sure if that is legally possible and I’d really like to know if it is; but for the sake of this scenario it is). Woman B carries them to term and finds a loving family to adopt them out to, which Woman A also likes. I have a question: do you think Woman B is sinning against God by being pregnant (partially because it could give the appearance that she was sexually active when she wasn’t), and looks like a sl*t for offering to carry the ZEFs, or do you think Woman B is a hero for saving them from a lethal form of embryonic stem cell research (not all forms are lethal to the embryo but some are)? I’m curious to know what PL people’s thoughts are on this kind of scenario because I’ve heard a lot of folks say in-vitro should only be used for married couples, etc; and also tend to disapprove of unwed pregnancies.

                      In regards to the masculine/feminine side of the argument could you please answer this on the link I gave you, when I respond to your comment in full, rather than on this page:

                      blog.equalrightsinstitute.com/will-there-be-a-needed-spike-in-adoption-rates-if-abortion-becomes-illegal/#comment-2506699347

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,
                      I guess I didn’t explain to well lol. It’s not the freezing part that bothers me, it’s the idea that at some point someone might say well I’m done with these and just discard them. I know at this point they aren’t being harmed in the same way as abortion, but there is the connection to life that exists even at this early stages, and I fear that if neglected it just leads to the idea that life isn’t really all the important, or at least not until it is born. To the article you posted, I can’t morally stand behind genetic research even for noble causes. I don’t like the idea of man trying to control how things turn our, perhaps there is a purpose behind what we are trying to eliminate or perhaps by eliminating something we deem bad we also eliminate something that could be positive. Either way I just don’t like the idea of any type of gene manipulation. To your discussion of the use of embryo’s to be given to surrogates to pass on life and adoption to the life that exists, I stand behind that fully, and no I don’t think the woman should be viewed as a (insert derogatory name here) I think she should be thought of as a hero, and I would to shake her hand!

                    • Crystal

                      In regards to your beliefs on freezing embryos I can understand that although I think there is a time and a place for freezing them. Yeah, people create them then discard them, which is morally problematic unless you can find a willing surrogate to take them.

                      “To the article you posted, I can’t morally stand behind genetic research even for noble causes.”

                      Personally I never thought about it the way you said it. What worried me about the article was two things: life might be taken in the process, and human beings are being experimented on without their consent which is not ethical. Again, I’m reminded of the Maze Runner which deals with this very topic, only the subjects are teens.

                      Also I dislike genetic manipulation for animals as well as people; I think that animals should be left alone as they are. Personally there might be a time and a place for genetic experimentation but not at the expense of human or animal life or consent, nor of ethics.

                      “To your discussion of the use of embryo’s to be given to surrogates to
                      pass on life and adoption to the life that exists, I stand behind that
                      fully, and no I don’t think the woman should be viewed as a (insert
                      derogatory name here) I think she should be thought of as a hero, and I
                      would to shake her hand!”

                      I totally agree with you although I am curious as to why you hold the position you do on this issue :)

                      Is it legally possible to do that though?

                      Also I have heard people say that IVF should be illegal because it promotes the abuse of innocent unborn life. I would have thought the abuses should be strictly regulated by law rather than the practice itself being made illegal. I’m pretty sure there would be people in the PL community who would frown on that kind of action for whatever reason possible – for destroying morality and decency, for becoming sl*tty or at least giving the appearance of it, for becoming a parent in a non-traditional way – yes I can hear some of the criticism now. Yet I think you gave the right answer, because every good PL person knows that LIFE comes first, before anything else, and if some other moral position will demean life it is generally best to err on the side of life unless you are defending yourself or executing a genocidal individual.

                    • Crystal

                      Just interested in your opinion – if abortion ever became illegal what do you think would happen to such practices as IVF and embryonic stem cell research? Furthermore, if you could foresee that abortion could become illegal in the future, what do you think the church would need to do to prepare for an abortion-free* country, and would you think the church should even be involved in such preparations?

                      *By this the author means making abortion illegal, but we will always have abortion with us so abortion-free is inaccurate in this sense.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,

                      Intereating ideas, well if abortion were to become illegal I would think that anything that could be done to an embryo should be stopped short of giving it life. I don’t agree with stem cell research as I think it is often used as an excuse to keep doing more and more abortions. Anything that is done with an aborted baby I consider horrible because as you mentioned it completely ignores that right of that creation to make the choice. As far as IVF is concerned I think you would definitely have to make some changes in regads to procedures but I would hope that with reforns it would continue, as a way for mothers who have a hard time getting pregnant to become pregnant and also for woman who for whatever reason can’t carry a preganancy, to pass on their life through surragacy. I love the idea of women who are willing to.make that sacrafice for each other I see it as a very beautiful practice. No One Should ever shame a woman for wanting to help bring life into this world .

                    • Crystal

                      “Intereating ideas, well if abortion were to become illegal I would think
                      that anything that could be done to an embryo should be stopped short
                      of giving it life. I don’t agree with stem cell research as I think it is often used as an excuse to keep doing more and more abortions.”

                      Agreed. I do, however, have a question. I know of embryonic stem cell research procedures that do *not* take the life of the embryo; do you consider those unethical? Also, what is your opinion on mothers who donate their miscarried or stillborn babies’ bodies to medical science so that they could help someone else? One reason people want abortion to continue is that women donate their aborted babies to PP so that the organs, etc, can be passed on to a child that needs to live; what is your opinion on that?

                      “As far as IVF is concerned I think you would definitely have to make
                      some changes in regads to procedures but I would hope that with reforns
                      it would continue, as a way for mothers who have a hard time getting
                      pregnant to become pregnant and also for woman who for whatever reason
                      can’t carry a preganancy, to pass on their life through surragacy.”

                      I totally agree. It shouldn’t be banned entirely as that would force couples to be sterile unless someone decided to adopt a baby out to them. Yet I think that it can open the door to some very unethical practices if not properly regulated with respect for human life.

                      For curiosity’s sake, do you think that secular humanism and the desire to utilise science in every area of life has such an intense grip on the West that abortion becoming illegal is next to impossible?

                      “I love the idea of women who are willing to.make that sacrafice for each
                      other I see it as a very beautiful practice. No One Should ever shame a
                      woman for wanting to help bring life into this world .”

                      I do agree with that answer and I appreciate the fact you would understand why some people would want to do that.

                      Would your answer be the same if Woman A had totally decided against carrying the embryos at all? Also, would it be the same if there had been no Woman A involved, and Woman B had simply decided to either adopt a snowflake baby or at least give it life and find it a good home?

                      Also, what would be your response to those who protested that such behaviour was out-of-order, and that it is shameful for a woman to seek to be pregnant outside of the bounds of marriage whatever her motives (which would be to save embryos from embryonic stem cell research, to find or offer a good home for a child, or simply to experience birth in a positive way while making sure the child’s future home was well accounted for), protested that IVF should only be practiced by married couples (one reason out of many being that children are best raised by a mother and father), or gave any of the other objections I listed? I can understand the objection that people are carrying on an inhuman trade from the level of arguing that it should be illegal though I don’t totally agree with such reasoning. But as for the other objections they would be rooted in very anti-women taking control of their fertility ideas, wouldn’t they? I know your opinion but in this question I’m asking for your response to the nay-sayers who would make life difficult for someone like that.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,

                      As the idea of an embryo not being harmed and there being research done through stem cells, I was not aware of this process. If life is allowed to continue, I can’t really see this as a bad thing. Especially if it allows good things to come of it, stillborn and miscarriages, if I were the woman I would not want this, but I am not sure of the ethical complications. Should bodies be used to further science? This one I am not sure where I stand on it, it seems cold and cynical but at the same time it might serve a higher purpose? As far as aborted babies being used as tissue donors.. I don’t think this is right, I don’t see a way to justify taking someone else’s life simply so another can live. Now let me say this though, I lost my daughter to a tragic accident when she was 5. I know for the type of girl she was she would have wanted her death to mean something. So we did agree to donate her organs for the hope that others cold have a better life. We also donated certain other pieces for research, obviously outside of that we had a burial and service. But I do agree with the idea of tissue donation, and entire body? That I struggle with. As far as those who try to make some moral issue about surragacy of embryo’s they can go dive off a cliff! Lol jk, my view on this is I don’t care how it “might look” to someone who says only married people should be having children, if its for the sake of saving life I don’t see that it should matter if it’s a doctor in a hospital or a young woman who wants to bring forth a discarded life they are both heroes in my sight, and tell the naysayers to piss off lol

                    • averagjo

                      Oh and one other thing I forgot to mention (and this will really make those nay sayers flip I am sure) I am so on board with the idea of saving these unborn embryo’s that if science were to make it possible I’d carry one to term myself.

                    • Crystal

                      Unfortunately as a male-bodied individual it would be presently impossible for you to do so, but I admire the offer :)

                      Do you know how science could make it possible for male-bodied people to be able to carry unborn embryos to term?

                      I’m happy to hear it doesn’t matter the reasons that a woman would choose to do such a thing, nor her station in life; thanks for being a reasonable person and putting life first.

                      Also especially considering a few factors:

                      1) a woman has a right to control her fertility (within reason of course)
                      2) reproductive choices are empowering when chosen
                      3) that child could be raised in a loving home
                      4) anyone offering to do that would be pretty brave especially considering pregnancy and childbirth are potentially life-threatening, and unless someone is using medical or alternative (including spiritual) means to overcome pain they might very well suffer greatly
                      5) I thought life was the highest ideal here; again I am reminded that for some folks it’s a smokescreen

                    • averagjo

                      I have heard that there is research in this area, but yes as of yet it is not a reality.

                    • Crystal

                      Wow, that sounds cool. Can you expound?

                      Also, only if you get time, please send me a couple
                      articles about this research my way so that I can look at them.

                    • averagjo

                      Yes I am I open to women of all stations in life being willing to making that aacrafice. I know it is a huge sacrafice and there is incredible pain and suffering that comes through this. As I have said before I see it as a wonderful thing that women would make this sacrafice and if I could I would do so myself.

                    • Crystal

                      I hope my mentioning the potential downsides of the childbearing process is okay with you. I totally agree with your statement and I tell every mother out there with a baby that she is brave. I don’t know why they don’t get awarded medals for courage, Anne Frank noted. Yet I will say that not all women suffer; painfree childbearing is a thing :)

                    • averagjo

                      Not at all one must mention all of the negatives along with the good. yes I agree women should be celebrated for child bearing and birthing and yes I believe that as a society we should do whatever we can to make it as painless and comfortable an experience as possible. I have heard that water birth can be a very comforting experience as far as making birthing easier. I know in all cases it isn’t possible but when it is I think birthing should be done in most natural ways possible.

                    • Crystal

                      I think you are right. Also I believe we need to start changing our language toward childbirth – like encouraging people to think of it as *challenging* rather than *painful* and *pressure waves* rather than *labour pains* – hypnobirth therapists frequently emphasise positive language to describe the experience. You’d be surprised how many people had less to no pain when they employed such methods as hypnobirth and took such speech to heart. Although I will say, it doesn’t always work out and some people suffer horribly, but I think that pain is a sign something is wrong rather than a sign that everything is normal; why do people only say there is good pain when it applies to women I will never understand.

                      My mother had me via C-section so natural birth was impossible in her case (yes, sometimes we need the hospitals!). The disgusting thing is that some people (as I mentioned before) really believe C-sections are a sign of narcissism in our society and that it is less selfish to birth naturally, ugh! Although I will admit sometimes C-sections are unnecessary that doesn’t mean we can’t have the practice itself because sometimes it just might save a life!

                    • averagjo

                      Yes I think in general we should do what we can to make labor not sound quite so awful, but I think we also need to be realistic, because it’s not going to ever be completely a pleasant experience, but between changing the words we use and changing how we go about making it come about I think we can change the fears that come from it, and it can be a beautiful wonderful experience but it will take people coming to grips what it is and what it isn’t to get to that point. Yes if there is pain like you describe it makes sense that there might be something going on that is out of the normal, and if possible alleviating that through C-section sounds perfectly reasonable to me. How can something that ultimately protects life and health be considered narcissistic? I don’t get that I see that idea coming from sadists.

                    • Crystal

                      “Yes I think in general we should do what we can to make labor not sound quite so awful”

                      I do agree, if our language were more positive then I think we would have a better chance of more pleasant birthing sessions. How do you recommend making labour sound better?

                      “but I think we also need to be realistic, because it’s not going to ever be completely a pleasant experience”

                      Change “ever” to “always” and you’ve got it right.

                      “but between changing the words we use and changing how we go about making it come about I think we can change the fears that come from it”

                      What do you mean, change the fears? I don’t see it as changing the fears so much as changing the perceptions of it. Also how do you go about between changing the words we use and how we go about making it come about?

                      “and it can be a beautiful wonderful experience”

                      I totally agree, but it can also be torture.

                      “but it will take people coming to grips what it is and what it isn’t to get to that point.”

                      Honesty is key!

                      How can we encourage people to come to grips with a
                      balanced view on childbirth?

                      “Yes if there is pain like you describe”

                      Trust me, pal, it really is THAT BAD. Once I was very sick and took medication incorrectly and when that time of the month came around I thought I was dying, the fiery pain was that bad and something I never want to feel again! I’m betting unmedicated, un-spiritually guided childbirth would be far WORSE than that. If you doubt me try out a labour simulation machine and see how that goes.

                      “it makes sense that there might be something going on that is out of the normal”

                      You’re absolutely right, smart man! The pain is a common phenomenon but it is not the way things should be.

                      Is not pain generally seen as a sign that something is wrong? Of course the rules change when women are involved; in that case it’s God-ordained! I assure you, when it comes to agony I am no masochist. Fear is one of the biggest factors of childbirth pain out there. People talk about childbearing pain and its accompanying friend menstrual pain as if it is on a different level from all other pains. Childbearing pain is seen as “good” pain because
                      the contractions serve a useful purpose to birth the child into the world. I understand it would be uncomfortable and challenging but it doesn’t have to be agony if we can help it. Furthermore, as women have taken charge of their fears
                      they have experienced better births, which is why I think that the idea of “good pain” is such utter confounded bullsh*t. There is no such thing as “good pain”; trust me my man there really is not. Have you ever had your legs or any other muscles on your body pull so tight that it hurt like fire and felt taut and pained you as it throbbed and yanked whenever you tried to move your leg? That is called *cramping* and please just imagine that sensation pulsating through your abdomen every few minutes, amplified ten times over. Also if your leg was broken you wouldn’t think the pain was good (although it is warning you that something is wrong and that warning is necessary for survival), you’d have tears streaming down your face and be totally at the mercy of the pain as you feebly rasped out a heartbroken plea to the doctor for a painkiller. When it came to my femininity I suffered those days once, and my resolution is, never again!

                      “and if possible alleviating that through C-section sounds perfectly reasonable to me.”

                      Yeah me too. Can you describe any situation that you know of where such a thing would be impossible?

                      “How can something that ultimately protects life and health be considered narcissistic?”

                      Well, for one thing, C-sections are apparently a financially
                      booming business as quite a few of them are done for convenience rather than for necessary medical intervention (this is an interesting claim, and worth investigating although I believe sometimes they are absolutely necessary). Also, C-sections and epidurals prevent the wonderful aspect of the pain, which brings bonding between you and your baby in such a way that the medical interventions of man don’t quite compete with that blissful torment and the bonding endorphins that rush forth from those anguished sensations (I’m being snarky, and some adherents of Lamarze technique teach this). I suspect that, more often than not, people really enjoy watching women physically respond to natural childbirth and that feeling increases when the women are suffering because their movements are so damn sexy (again I’m frustrated). In other words, women exist to benefit others and if they ask too many questions, seek to empower themselves in a way that men will reject, or reject pain, they are being narcissistic.

                      “I don’t get that I see that idea coming from sadists.”

                      Out of curiosity, why do you believe the idea comes from sadists? I see it coming from pregnancy fetish people, promoters of certain birthing techniques, traditionalists, followers of cults and spiritually abusive religions etc. And
                      yes, we could say that at least some of these people are sadistically inclined while others are sincerely deluded; I bet the pain will wake up the female adherents real fast although I wish neither harm nor anguish on anyone of them.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,

                      Interesting ideas, how to make labor sound less scary, well
                      I think for one thing making it sound as natural as possible, letting a woman
                      know that this is a natural process and that there are ways to encourage a positive
                      experience through breathing, hypnobirthing, water birthing etc and that it can
                      be pleasant and doesn’t have to be horrible. As far as general language goes,
                      perhaps calling it a birthing session instead of being in labor. Perhaps
                      instead of contractions we could call them progressive uterine pressure events?
                      Perhaps pushing could be called encouraging the process? I don’t know maybe
                      these are crazy ideas, but perhaps by making things more encouraging and less
                      technical we could help it be less scary?

                      Gosh your guess is as good as mine on this one, births are very hospital
                      oriented these days, and so everything has become so dang technical which
                      leaves people who don’t understand the jargon feeling confused and discouraged.
                      I advocate for more homebirths done with doulas and midwife’s but then I know
                      that can’t always happen, so there is definitely a need for the hospitals to
                      become more friendly to the idea of home style birthing in a hospital setting.

                      I think we had a language error misunderstanding, what I meant to say when I
                      said fear was exactly as you mentioned (perception of the process).

                      Again I think it begins with changing the culture, one
                      person at a time, there at some point needs to be advocacy that furthers the process,
                      but as the great historian and theologian Alvin Lee said “I’d love to change
                      the world, but I don’t know what to do. So I’ll leave it up to you”. (jokingly stated) I would love to be able to
                      make these things happen, but I am an idea man… I am not an activist, I will
                      certainly stand for what’s right when it happens, but as far as putting myself
                      out there (I am an introvert and I don’t do well with pressure and crowds).

                      Again from my own experience I can only comment on the pain I saw Susan go
                      through, yes I can sympathize, but no I can’t say I know what a women in that
                      position is feeling. Agreed though that if the pain is unbearable then
                      something is most certainly not working, one thing I despise is the medicines
                      they use (Pitocin) to encourage contractions. That stuff is horrible and it
                      doesn’t work half the time… I say get rid of that stuff because there is
                      nothing natural about forcing the body when it is not ready (Susan had 18 hours
                      of heavy contractions, when truthfully she’d been better off going straight to the c- section- to her
                      credit though she desired to and she stuck through it, but man I know it was
                      pure torture for her). I do understand your idea of an unbelievable horrible
                      cramp, as because of my quick growth I have been a sufferer of many incredibly
                      painful leg cramps that have left me in tears, the idea of that in my stomach
                      and continuously does not bring about great confidence, also I can guarantee I
                      would be seeking whatever medical help I could get to alleviate the symptoms. I completely understand where you are coming
                      from pain is not a good signal by any means.

                      I can’t think of any possible scenario when c-section would be considered any
                      more unsafe an option than “natural birth” truthfully it seems it would always
                      be the better option in any dangerous situation that was painful for no reason.

                      I see nothing sexual about a woman writhing in agony, and
                      anybody who does is a sicko in my opinion, whatever the cause for people
                      discouraging c-sections I feel that if it helps someone (who even just doesn’t want
                      the pain) then why not, it won’t hurt anyone and it could possibly be
                      considered more helpful. Some women aren’t even allowed the choice of a “natural
                      birth) due to previous c-sections or other complications. As far as pain
                      causing a better bonding experience? I’ like to see the research on that one
                      because I don’t buy into it.

                      How else can you explain someone wanting to see someone else in pain? I saw
                      Susan in pain but I did not relish in it, she wanted to go through a “natural
                      birth” heck if I was her I’d done an elective c-section or when we were faced
                      with having to have the pregnancy induced because of low amniotic fluid I’d
                      gone straight for the surgery, I am not sure it is a cultural thing that makes
                      women want to go through with that (peer pressure) but I would have been more
                      than happy to let her have a c-section if she’d wanted it. So yes I see it as sadistic, even if those
                      you mentioned stand behind it I most certainly don’t.

                      That last point we can strongly agree on J

                    • Crystal

                      My question did not just concern rich, poor, middle-class women doing this, but also lesbians, transmen, prostitutes, sexually active women, virgins, defacto partners, solo mothers, widows, divorcees, common-law married women, fiancees – basically anyone other than a properly, legally married-in-the-sight-of-God-and-humanity woman; also a married woman taking in another person’s rejected zygotes to save life. However after speaking to you I assume that you would be okay with all of these scenarios; if I am wrong on this assumption, by all means correct me.

                    • averagjo

                      Yes I would be ok with all these scenarios because in the end the accomplish the goal which is to save lives. The only concern I’d might have is with the sexually active ones, as I believe that overall health of the baby could be impacted by the health of the mother, but that said giving life a chance is more important to me than judging the character of the person carrying it. It’s a sacrifice no matter how you look at it, but I guess I would also hope those that volunteered didn’t use drugs or smoke during the pregnancy either as these can have horrible affects on the child. That said outside of those instances I see this as a viable solution.

                    • Crystal

                      Oh, I nearly forgot – will such people offer pain relief or encourage alternative methods to overcome and reduce pain and nausea? This answer doesn’t apply in every case, but more often than not, NOPE.

                    • averagjo

                      hmm I am not sure about what your question is here? but I if you are saying that in regards to the birthing process, I am not sure why it would be any different for invitro pregnancies that non in this case.

                    • Crystal

                      It’s a rhetorical statement. Of course it wouldn’t be any different for in vitro; that’s not my point. My point is this – despite all the advances in medical science and all the alternative ways of eliminating pain and nausea out there, there are people in this world who STILL believe the nonsensical idea that women deserve to suffer pain in childbearing and would rather shun anesthetics and epidurals for childbirth or hypnobirthing/yoga/other, nonspiritual ways (at least I think they are) than open themselves to Satan (in the case of some alternative methods), impede the birthing process (in the case of medical methods). In short, they believe women should feel the raw pain. I am not joking. I could back up my claims.

                      For instance I spoke to one person once who believed that women should not have C-sections because they were selfish (no kidding) and when I tried to reason him out of his ideas by explaining to him I did not appreciate pain in the area of femininity most common to my single life and was trying to get rid of it (and I used examples to prove this) – and at least that was my motive in my comment although I’m not sure how clear I made myself, his response was that it was beautiful that I could feel the many aspects of pain. Also I tried to explain to him my fears (I got pretty graphic, to my shame) and his response was positive enough but I couldn’t help but notice that this guy got excited whenever I described anything painful :(

                      He’s not the only one. There are more people with this mindset that childbearing requires neither medical nor alternative methods. Then they tell women their only purpose is to bear children. People like that make me really, really angry. Some of these people have a sadistic pregnancy fetish that makes them enjoy the suffering of others, while others are religiously minded and believe that the pain is punishment for being a woman and the sins you committed and you shouldn’t do anything to decrease/eliminate it or you can’t do anything about it. If you’d like I’ll be happy to try to back up my statements because I wouldn’t say these things if I didn’t know some people’s minds.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,
                      Wow there is a lot of passion in your statements, I am sorry I had missed the point of what you were trying to say. Let me give my personal experience of birth through the process my ex-wife and I went through. My ex-wife decided that she would like to have as natural a child birth as possible, not painful mind you just less medical. Being that she is Diabetic a home birth would not have been a possibility. So she hired two Doulas. I am not sure if you have heard of this practice but basically a Doula is a person (usually a woman) who has either experience her own children’s births or other women’s births who understands the pain and discomfort in the process involved. They were both amazing support people and they were able to work with the medical staff to get my ex (her name is Susan) what she needed (they were a go between with the medical staff) They also brought in essential oils and knew about massage techniques and pressure that could be added during things such as back labor (when the baby is pushing on the back) There was also the option of going into the water and showers to help with the pain as well as soothing music when possible. It was quite the experience and even though medically a C-section was required due to her not being able to get to the point of being dilated enough to give birth, just having those support people there through the process was an amazing experience. Unfortunately it is also a cost that insurance doesn’t pay for, but if the culture could change I think this would be a great option. As far as thinking pain is beautiful or thinking that women should have to endure pain because of some sin in the garden of eden “bullocks to them!” If there is a way to reduce the pain without danger to the woman or the child I am all for it. Also as far as C-sections go, there is nothing I can see that is wrong with the idea of all births being done by C-section if that is what the woman desires, Susan actively wanted to try for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-section) and it was hard to find a Doctor willing to go along with that plan, but we did find one, and had the same doulas along for our second child. This also was not successful (Due in large part to having the same problem as last time. Ultimately both children were born by C-section but I don’t consider that a bad thing. I am glad that the technology existed and I don’t see it as selfish at all if that’s what it takes to make it comfortable I am all for it.

                    • Crystal

                      Thank you for sharing that, very much. I honestly hope Susan didn’t suffer very much if at all; pain in childbirth is horrible but I do appreciate that she had support during this very difficult time. Yes, I do know about doulas :)

                      Have you ever heard of abortion doulas? As I see it, this is yet another way of legitimising morally unacceptable behaviour. Can I understand that women might desire support through an abortion? Yes, on that level I grok it, yet at the same time I am deeply appalled by this:

                      http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-abortion-doula-turner-met-20150824-column.html

                      http://nymag.com/thecut/2014/09/my-year-as-an-abortion-doula.html#

                      I’d like to know what you think.

                      Thanks for letting me know that you don’t approve of this attitude against pain relief. I agree, anyone who wants to punish women for Eve’s sin can go fornicate themselves with a rusty pipe. Also I don’t see how C-sections can do anything but benefit those who need them! Nothing narcissistic about that, in fact it’s life saving and as I mentioned, LIFE comes before other considerations as much as possible. However what kinds of situations would pain relief bring danger to mother or child, do you know of any?

                      In regards to our discussion on celebration of femininity, I wrote and said, “I’d give you some articles about what influenced my thinking on this issue but you’d have to be okay with that first.” I very much want to share at least some of what led me to this place but is this offer acceptable to you? Also would your wife mind if I did, because she can read them too and be encouraged if she wants :)

                      Last but not least, I saw this interesting video recently on YouTube called “Hypnobirthing Dad’s Role” and I was struck strongly by the way the man treated his wife. I sensed by the way he touched, supported, served, spent time with, and looked at her, that he deeply cherished her and he treated her with nothing but the utmost tenderness and service, and when she smiled at him I saw how much she blossomed under his affection and she was happy to bear him their child; it was a truly beautiful birth and I know if I ever had a partner I would want to be treated the exact same way. I’m telling you this because, again, I’m wanting to help you be a better man and if you have any guy friends that will soon hold their children then please let them know, this is the way they should treat their wives/partners during that time.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,
                      I think I gave my opinion about abortion doulas, but to make it clear nope can’t stand behind that.

                      Yes agreed again on the idea of C-sections they are life saving and heck if a woman wants to plans to do it that way simply because she feels it is safer and better over all choice, I applaud her for taking advantage of todays medical advancements, I also applaud the women who desire to have a child the old fashioned way, both are doing what they feel is best for them and for the life of the baby and that is to be honored. I would be happy to read some of the articles that influenced your opinions and I would most certainly ask Carolyn if she would like to see them as well, I think the deeper my understanding of femininity gets the better man I become :). What a beautiful story about the love shared between a man and women in a birthing experience, I will be sure to share these ideas with any guy friends I have who are facing a soon birth. I like to feel I provided that sort of support to Susan during the birth of our children, certainly not every memory of my life with Susan is bad it’s difficult though looking through the lens of the pain I feel to remember those better memories.

                    • Crystal

                      “I think I gave my opinion about abortion doulas, but to make it clear nope can’t stand behind that.”

                      I do agree, what alternatives would you suggest to such a thing though? Abortion has become so mainstreamed, just as you said.

                      In regards to the way people choose to have children I agree with you; no one knows better what the best thing to do is than they themselves and no one
                      should be judged for their choices. Yet I do think that the person delivering the baby should know what they’re doing because home births can be risky in
                      that way.

                      I have a friend that calls childbirth torture, and I can’t blame her for that opinion (in fact I agree, and think of it as a rack – if it is painful).

                      “What a beautiful story about the love shared between a man and women in a birthing experience, I will be sure to share these ideas with any guy friends I have who are facing a soon birth.”

                      It’s good that your guy friends listen to what you have to say. You’re right, it is beautiful and if you ever want to watch it just go to YouTube and type in the words “Hypnobirthing Dad’s Role”.

                      Some guys are absolutely useless at caring for their partner during childbirth. They look at their I-phones or they faint at the sight of blood, or they don’t attend at all, or they tell the woman “it was horrible too – for me to watch it” or best-case scenario they just fluff around anxiously not knowing what to do. How to overcome these stumbling blocks I don’t know; do you have any suggestions?

                      On a more negative note, I feel very nervous telling you this as I’m not sure how you will take it (please know I’m not accusing you of anything!): as a tokophobic individual I struggle with the idea that someone could claim to love me yet inflict such horrible pain, sickness, torture, and possible death onto me (people generally don’t care about such things I’ve found); what is your answer to that? I know it would be highly likely that I would tend to feel very scared and angry if he tried to make me pregnant, too; or even suggested it. I tend to think of it in terms of “He wants to hurt me” and I tend to think of it as such a mean thing to do to a woman, because of the potential downsides of pregnancy (I hope I’m making it very clear that I’m not accusing you of being mean or anything, but rather just telling you I find my
                      future partner making me pregnant scary). I know people with this fear so strong in them they would rather kill themselves than carry to term; how do you
                      answer them? As a mentally ill individual I fear trying alternative methods of overcoming pain for fear mental problems get worse. These are very real struggles for me. Honestly I hope I haven’t put you off talking to me about these types of subjects :(

                      Yes I try to have a positive idea of birth but sometimes I will think about these physical activities very negatively. Then I think about it like a marathon, a race that has to be run – endurance, that kind of thing and on that
                      mental level it’s not so bad.

                      “I like to feel I provided that sort of support to Susan during the birth of our children, certainly not every memory of my life with Susan is bad it’s difficult though looking through the lens of the pain I feel to remember those better memories.”

                      That must be hard, I am so sorry. I’m curious to know how you can remember the better memories at all while struggling through such a haze of pain, if you wouldn’t mind sharing. Also, I hope you don’t mind my asking this but from your ex’s POV, did she feel supported by you during that time?

                      I am still working on the resources to help you understand the fair sex better, will get those to you as soon as I can. Take care, mate.

                    • Crystal

                      “What a beautiful story about the love shared between a man and women in a birthing experience”

                      The look on that particular woman’s face, I would describe as *radiant* and I believe it would have made the birthing process go much smoother.

                      Such affection is definitely a way to win a woman’s heart, I can tell you that now. Knowing that our partners care in such a way is like flowers and a diamond ring to us, and being held by our guys is worth a thousand words. To us, being loved like this is romantic. In short, when a man nurtures his partner, she blooms; she is radiant because she is loved, confident in his affection, and more desirous to please him than ever before (at least that’s how I would feel if I were treated so compassionately).

                    • averagjo

                      HI Crystal,

                      Yes you have hit the nail on the head here. Love that builds up, encourages and nurtures… means so much more than anything that can be bought or given. The love you express being so desirable is the love that a child of God experiences when the draw near to him. It’s one the to be desired for ones body or mind but to be desired for ones soul and spirit this is so much deeper. This is the type of love I share with Carolyn, we are knit together as one flesh. Our spirits become intertwined as much as our bodies. (Sorry hope thats not too graphic). We love each other so deeply that we literally get lost in each other’s eyes. You can be treated that compassionately, God loves you that deeply and he is match maker he can find that person who can love you that truthfully and that deeply… but it is my opinion that this won’t happen until your wounds heal, and to begin that process I believe you need to surrender to the love of God. I am not trying to convert you however so I will leave that up to you.

                    • Crystal

                      I understand what you are saying, and will answer this comment properly later. However my real questions were more along the lines of, how do you think a man feels when he receives affection from someone he has cared about and invested time in, what do you think are the best ways a guy can treat a woman so that he makes her feel this way, and what kinds of emotions he can show to encourage such a response from her emotionally? If I think of anything else along these lines I’ll ask it too if that’s okay.

                    • averagjo

                      There is no way to describe how amazing it is for a man when he finds someone who cares, there are a couple of songs that really express it the best in my opinion and I’ll share them here

                      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gvDwr9-MlfE

                      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=o_V9HXox3U0

                      Sorry for again bringing in music but it’s one of my favorite ways to shown emotions

                      Both of these songs address the idea of men who have been living a lonely aimless existence. When a woman comes along and shows them how much better life can be. There is almost a sense of being rescued. As the one song says things just keep getting better as love keeps growing. I see this as being a phase when that general attraction first occurs. Then as it grows and man would do just about anything got the woman he loves, it’s a dance if you will between the two that they both keep getting better at. The ways a man shows his love is through laying down his life for his bride, meaning he sets asides the things he would have done in the past to lift up love and encourage her. He works and comes home to do the dishes and or cook a meal he cleans the house folds the laundry, he let’s her know that she isn’t just there to do all the chores, he does chores with her. He plans evenings together and takes her to dinner and movies. He laughs and has fun with her, and invests into her life, he looks to find things that interst her that they can do together. He rubs her back at night when she is sore and listens to her cares and concerns for the day, kissing away her tears when she has had a bad day. He listens to her dreams and dreams with her. There are so many more things but it is that whole thing of building or growing a relationship that makes love so amazing.

                      One more song, this one points out what that perfect love can look like.

                      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uSfjp1ky4Mw

                    • Crystal

                      BTW I explained how I meant my questions and I was thinking specifically along the lines of times when the woman needs the man most, childbirth being one of those times.

                    • averagjo

                      Yes I understood that, but without first having that love based on closeness and intamacy that love that you find so desirable in the child birthing process and other difficult situations won’t exist. You can’t have one without the other without it being faked.

                    • Crystal

                      “without first having that love based on closeness and intamacy”

                      Could you please explain what you are referring to by that statement and also in what ways people can build love for each other so they can grow closer together? Sorry for the barrage of questions BTW, I know you are busy.

                    • averagjo

                      Think of romantic love as being like starting a fire. You need things that burn quickly at first to get a fire started (this is that original flash of infatuation) it has the potential to burn itself out instaneously but if one knows how to keep fires going they know that the orginal kindling needs to be slowly increased. Smaller sticks become bigger sticks become small logs and so on. This is a process. Some call it courtship others call it dating, either way all along the process there are ransom acts of kindness meant to ingratiate one to another. As time goes on they know each other as well as themselves this is the beginning of intamacy as intimacy grows the passions of love grow and the connection becomes deeper. It gets to the point of where when one is hurt both are hurt when one is sad both are sad when one is overjoyed the other is overjoyed they truly do become as one. It’s an amazing thing and as it grows it just keeps getting better. Actually not busy at all here :)

                    • averagjo

                      Crystal I don’t mean to be condescending but it feels to me like your ideas of love are purely of logic, I don’t see you as having anymore than an idea of what you think love should be. I think you are at a strong disadvantage and I think is a subject we should probably just let be, as I don’t see us getting anymore since we areally coming from two very different perspectives. I think I am needing to take a break also as I am spending too much of my time trying to nurture a friendship that seems very one sided. I feel you expect me to explain my every thought or idea and frankly it’s exhausting. I pray you find some answers but more importantly some peace.

                    • Crystal

                      “Crystal I don’t mean to be condescending but it feels to
                      me like your ideas of love are purely of logic, I don’t see you as having anymore than an idea of what you think love should be.”

                      You’re right I don’t; I’ve never been in love.

                      “I think you are at a strong disadvantage and I think is a
                      subject we should probably just let be, as I don’t see us getting anymore since we areally coming from two very different perspectives.”

                      Okay.

                      “I think I am needing to take a break also as I am spending
                      too much of my time trying to nurture a friendship that seems very one sided. I feel you expect me to explain my every thought or idea and frankly it’s exhausting. I pray you find some answers but more importantly some peace.”

                      Uh oh.

                      I can see I haven’t been very fair to you and I apologise for that. I know how I meant what I was writing – that I was taking an interest in your perspective – but I am sorry, very sorry; as I never meant to exhaust you by anything I wrote and no you don’t have to explain your every thought or idea. Please forgive me for asking how I can make these
                      commenting sessions far less one-sided than they were, because I’m a little scared that question will annoy you. I feel absolutely awful and it is only fair that you should take a break; I need one too. Also if you don’t want to write to me again please just tell me and I’ll respond to your remaining comments (if you want me to) and leave you alone. Bye for now and I feel terrible; this was my fault and if I only knew a way to make things right I would.

                    • averagjo

                      HI Crystal,

                      I apologize as well, I don’t always respond well once I get frustrated. Give me a little time, and then let’s try to find a better way communicate as I feel these forums can make communication confusing at best, (trying to track where we left off). I want you to know I still desire your friendship and I am sorry if my last comment made you feel I don’t. I feel Christ has placed you in my life to help me gain understanding and heal from my hurts, as well as expose those I still have, I pray I can also be a help for you… To finish I just want to say my love for you hasnt changed and my desire for friendship hasn’t either. I pray this day finds you better and let’s try to come up with a better vehicle for communication.

                    • Crystal

                      Oh, thank you for writing back and letting me know everything is all right; I was so hurt (because I knew my faults and thought I had driven you away because of them) and bewildered (because I couldn’t figure out what I’d done wrong and want to make it up to you whatever it is) and angry (because in some ways I thought I had been more than fair to you and spent a lot of time including hours I should have been working to write, and decided it wasn’t my fault, and your words shocked me) and I honestly thought you’d never write back again but now that you’re back I very much want to hear where I went wrong so I can communicate better next time. I wrote up all those responses because I’d said I would and I was trying to think of things to say hence the flood of tiring questions (I try to keep my word when I can but in a way I needed a break too) but I see I haven’t been totally sensitive to you either and I asked you how I could improve in the other comments; you’ll find that I can be incredibly obliging when asked to do or not to do something. Yes I would love for us to come up with a better vehicle of communication, especially as RL (real life) is just as important as cyber-life if not more so and we’ve both got a lot of things to do besides sitting there chatting to each other. Besides I have no problem waiting; we both need as much time as we need. Also we must keep them fun and not feel obligated to answer each other all the time, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to write back to each other from time to time. Again, thanks and I hope your day goes well :)

                    • averagjo

                      HI Crystal,

                      Thank you for your understanding,

                      My feeling is as a friendship we shouldn’t feel obligated to neglect out duties of work and our real world relationships to try to answer questions to so many different levels. Deep thought is a good thing, but if there is no lightness or levity and all seriousness pretty soon it gets to be a burden not a joy. For us to spend time discussing things we are passionate about is good! When that becomes all we talk about that becomes a strain. Yes if we could find a place where we could converse back and forth, a messanger type function that might be easier than trying to respond to each other posts. Not to say that we couldn’t continue that as well but with a little less expectation, say perhaps one response per response per day? These are just some ideas and I would love to hear your thoughts on them.

                    • Crystal

                      Initially I felt sad and a little hurt about the first few sentences but I must agree with you 100%, for the sake of the long-term you are right and we must try to remember that from now on.

                      Remember that link I told you about:

                      ifightbullies.blogspot.ru/2015/12/banned-from-rok.html

                      Or better yet I can take you to the think-tank my friends introduced me to and I can finish answering any off-topic comments and we can say anything light and lenifying we like there too:

                      https://disqus.com/home/discussion/friendlyatheist1/nine_dead_in_charleston_church_shooting/#comment-2399203382

                      I know that link leads to one of my comments but you can type anything you like up under that.

                      You said, earlier on in the conversations, that two responses a day would be sufficient. One to two responses a day I think we can manage. However my circumstances are making it harder for me to write in (and I think yours are too) so please don’t expect a response from me nearly as often as there used to
                      be. Also if we have any problems with anything each other is doing, it would mean so much to me if we could speak gently to each other over the fault; especially as you value gentle speech when it is addressed to you. Last but not least I will try to fit in with you too, so please forgive me if I don’t catch on immediately.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,

                      I am glad we are able to see eye to eye on these points,

                      I am sorry you felt sad about my first two statements; they
                      were meant in no way to devalue our friendship I can assure you. I just want to
                      make sure we aren’t allowing our friendship to hinder our work or family/friend
                      relationships.

                      I think I will go with the second link as I think it may
                      allow a little more less than topical discussion, I don’t know about you but I
                      tend to like chasing rabbits (rabbit trails ie off topic commentary), and not
                      every website allows for that type of discussion.

                      I will start by posting over there and then we will continue
                      from that point, I was also wondering what your working hours are and if
                      possible we could maybe communicate more in chat style through a program called
                      Trillian, it is cross platform so you can use it on a smart phone/ tablet (IOS
                      or ANDROID) and also on windows and apple operating systems. I have already installed it on my phone and my
                      username is that same as it is here, (averagjo). Let me know if that works,
                      also if you would prefer not to tell me your work hours, I completely
                      understand, just might make it easier to find time to converse.

                    • Crystal

                      We do see eye to eye on these points. I realise you weren’t trying to devalue our friendship but rather trying to make time for it while being committed to your family and I think that is a good thing! I think you are a kind and nice man and I respect you though I don’t always agree with you. Somehow I suspect if you had been friends with me before all the bad stuff at the hands of Christianity and Christians happened in my life, I would be more likely to be a Christian today.

                    • Crystal

                      Another thing – I know I don’t deserve this but please let me know you forgive me at least even if you never want to write to me again. Also I wish I knew where I had gone wrong so that I could rectify it especially as I am very unsure what I have or haven’t done (except in regards to asking too many questions; also I suspect that the conversations have been too much about my interests in some respects and I apologise for that). I am asking for honest and severe correction of my behaviour so that I don’t repeat whatever it is I have done (I know about asking you questions about every little thing so I will try to stop it from now on), that is if you are willing to offer it. If you are not, I respect that too, and won’t press the issue; and if you do not want to write to me again, I will thank you for the time you spent with me and move on. I am truly sorry for being such a bother especially as I never meant to be a pest, for asking too many questions about your every thought, and for any self-centeredness I have shown. Please forgive me but if I only knew what else I had done so that I didn’t do it again I would feel better.

                    • Crystal

                      One more thing – I am willing to try again if you are, and I promise to remember not to expect you to explain your every thought or idea, and not to be one-sided. I apologise for so many comments (I think part of the reason is that I blame myself and want to express how sorry I am and how willing I am to be corrected for my behaviour if you are willing to offer such correction), feel free not to answer all or any if you’d rather not. Thank you for the time you did spend with me answering my comments; it was rude of me to take you so much for granted, and I would like to know how to make it up to you so that you don’t feel exhausted if we chat to each other again. I am indebted to you for the time you did spend with me, caring about me as a person, and I will try not to burden you again – that is, if you want to give me another chance.

                    • Crystal

                      There was a time when women DIED if they didn’t push the baby out. Also women still die in childbirth, even in the US!

                      Also, just wanted to make it clear – it’s not the support for a woman having an abortion that horrifies me; on that level I can understand people having abortion doulas. What I find horrifying is the normalising of taking another person’s life and treating it the same way as other types of surgery that really help people live, on that level it’s sad and I’m shocked and grieved by it. Do you think I am wrong?

                    • averagjo

                      Yes agreed, there are still situations where I think it would be better to have a C-section for the life of the mother and the child. Sure traditionalist will say that vaginal birth is the only natural birth, but do we say to a diabetic that needs insulin “that’s not natural!”. Do we say to a person who has lost their legs that has prosthetics to walk that they aren’t “natural” since when do we judge people for taking advantage of medicine for the betterment of man kind, as I said in another response I think anyone who sees C-sections as narcissistic is in danger of being called a sadist in my book. Yes I don’t agree at all of the idea of abortion doulas though, that’s wrong we can’t afford to be that supportive of someone taking a life. It reminds me of an article where a young woman with no medical issues was sad over a break up and used it as a means to have doctor performed suicide. She had her mom and dad and two sisters with her while a doctor administered the lethal dose of medicine the killed her, I can’t wrap my mind around that one, life should me more than to just let a loved one die because they have a broken heart, especially if no one did anything to try to get her to go to any form of counseling, I was heart broken by that story. No I don’t think you are wrong at all, I believe everyone deserves loving and concerned people in their life, but I don’t believe you should have support people when life is being taken away that would otherwise live and live well.

                    • Crystal

                      “Yes agreed, there are still situations where I think it would be better to have a C-section for the life of the mother and the child.”

                      Agreed 100%

                      I’m sure you probably know all this, but to refresh the memory and educate the readers, here’s at least some of the reasons that people have C-sections:

                      http://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/c-section-medical-reasons.aspx#

                      http://americanpregnancy.org/labor-and-birth/reasons-for-a-cesarean/

                      http://www.webmd.com/baby/tc/cesarean-section-why-it-is-done

                      BTW in case I didn’t mention this before I was born via C-section and this makes the accusations of selfishness etc, very personal to me.

                      “Sure traditionalist will say that vaginal birth is the only natural birth”

                      I know :(

                      I wonder what kind of traditionalists you are referring to.

                      “but do we say to a diabetic that needs insulin “that’s not
                      natural!”. Do we say to a person who has lost their legs that has prosthetics to walk that they aren’t “natural””

                      Brilliantly put argument, well done mate. Do you mind if I use it?

                      “since when do we judge people for taking advantage of medicine for the betterment of man kind”

                      Multiple choice:

                      a) When they can’t afford it and need free healthcare

                      b) When they’re women

                      c) When they’re minorities

                      d) All of the above

                      I look forward to your response to that question.

                      “as I said in another response I think anyone who sees C-sections as narcissistic is in danger of being called a sadist in my book.”

                      I do agree with you, especially considering that C-sections are necessary to save LIFE.

                      Please, read through my conversations at these places when you get time and tell me what you think:

                      http://blog.secularprolife.org/2015/06/insight-into-american-moral-compass.html

                      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/05/25/ray-comfort-josh-duggar-wasnt-really-a-christian-when-he-molested-those-girls/

                      On looking back I am ashamed of some of the things I wrote. I realise my motive was trying to get him to understand a different perspective but still it would mean a lot to have correctional feedback if I need it.

                      People *still* have this attitude that pain is good for women, it makes me mad with rage:

                      http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/column-10-pain-is-womanly-and-other-bullshit-myths-of-childbirth

                      As for abortion doulas, I share your sentiments completely because people are supporting someone taking someone else’s life; supporting such a decision is extremely depraved. That story about that young woman killing herself was just horrible and I think it’s such a tragic ending to such potential! Letting a loved one die without recommending counselling is incredibly heartless, bordering on abusive. Possibly the family thought they
                      were respecting her decisions, but then again possibly the family wanted her dead and couldn’t care less about her welfare. It is hard to tell in these cases, and you’re right about life being more than that. This sort of death is what voluntary euthanasia will lead to and that is why I am so deeply opposed to it. With voluntary euthanasia, you might as well kiss proper therapy good-bye because there will be no need for it; suicidal people will just kill themselves with no hope just like that young woman did. No you should not
                      support people wanting euthanasia in that decision but rather encourage them and point them to a better way. It gets harder to know the right thing to do when someone is suffering from an agonising medical condition or is in incredible pain from a ravenous potentially lethal disease out in the wild with no doctor to treat the person (I’m thinking of The Maze Runner type situations here far more than normal life), though (although generally I strongly recommend keeping the person as comfortable as possible, etc); however I can confidently assert that such individuals commonly targeted for euthanasia as the elderly, people with depression and other mental illnesses, suicidal people, and medical illnesses right up the scale to brain-death should not be encouraged to be euthanised, nor should they be. BTW I think you’ve hit the nail on the head in your reply; I think people should be counselled and helped from under the cloud rather than dying under it and being supported in that decision, because one day they will be thankful they *weren’t* euthanised and may very well go on to do great things.

                      Here’s an article dealing with euthanasia, and reading the comments is revealing. It showed that some of the biggest
                      motivators for euthanasia were concern for the suffering of an elderly or sick relative and a desire to grant autonomy to elderly and sick people ending their lives on their terms. I started a discussion with some of my fellow commenters on this page; they were very respectful despite their disagreements with me (as they usually are!). Unfortunately I never finished it; perhaps I should go back and try again:

                      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2016/01/18/scientists-pat-and-peter-shaw-rejecting-religious-do-gooders-ended-their-lives-on-their-own-terms/

                      One of my fellow commenters asked me this:

                      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2016/01/18/scientists-pat-and-peter-shaw-rejecting-religious-do-gooders-ended-their-lives-on-their-own-terms/#comment-2466074649

                      If that question was posed to you, how would you answer?

                      Have you ever heard of the book My Sister’s Keeper:

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Sister%27s_Keeper_%28novel%29

                      This book deals with euthanasia being performed on someone who was born “for that purpose”. The ending is horrific and the author seems to be pro the idea of someone being created just for the purpose of donating their organs, never mind what the donor has to say about their own lives. Legal abortion advocates are often very fond of pointing out the hypocrisy of not permitting abortion for a woman yet allowing people to opt out of organ donation. On the bodily autonomy level, it is inconsistent because the only way the child will survive is being carried to term. However, on the life level, it is perfectly inconsistent because human life should be respected and organ donation does have the ability to kill someone if done incorrectly or unethically.

                    • averagjo

                      Hello Crystal,

                      Oh my goodness but you have been busy responding lol. I am sorry I am so slow, I tried to respond to something today, but I think I forgot to post it. I was very busy at work today, my co-worker Kim brought her husband to work today and then we had a situation come that needed some consistent attention. Needless to say I haven’t had much time to write. Let me quickly say this, (as I still don’t have a lot of time to write). Yes I pray daily for my friends and family! I have prayed for you, but since you have given me something specific to pray for, I will be praying for you in regards to that as well. I also wanted to let you know that even though there are still some areas we don’t fully agree in, I stilll love you and pray that as God works on my heart there will be fewer things for us to disagree on. Hugs and love from the United States and Carolyn and myself in my prayers always and Often :)

                    • Crystal

                      Heya, I apologise for the flood of comments, but I did say I would reply and I try to keep my word in these areas. I have to get back to my job soon!

                      When you can write back please do so; I don’t mind waiting and I hope all is going well with your friends and you and your wife.

                      Just curious – what have you been praying for me? Oh, and thanks for offering to pray for mental issues; I feel like I really need it at times. Despite our disagreements (BTW disagreement is fine) you have been a good and kind friend. Please know I love you and your wife too.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,
                      No need for apologies just trying to keep up lol :)

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,

                      I can understand the stigma that comes from people making
                      assumptions about c-sections with regard to your personal experience, that is
                      not fair because it probably actually saved your life, and In making people
                      feel guilty about c-sections it risks the life of the child and the mother. I
                      am sorry you have had that experience and I am thankful your Mother was brave
                      enough to do what was necessary to protect your life.

                      When I say traditionalists I am referring to the process of
                      pain in child birth being natural and that it should be that way, and anything
                      to detract from the pain or discomfort is unnecessary. The boorish oafs that
                      think they know what is best (is how I will refer to them)

                      Yes please do use that argument and any others necessary to
                      combat this idea that c-sections are somehow narcissistic that idea needs to be
                      gone from everyone’s heads lol.

                      Hah ya got me! Ok I chose D because you are correct that we
                      do judge people in these regards and we shouldn’t brilliant argument.

                      I haven’t yet had an opportunity to read through those
                      articles yet, but I will when I get some time,

                      To reflect on the ideas and your motive though I will say
                      this, sometimes you have to be brutal with people about the facts to change
                      their thinking. For example one of the Correctional Officers I was mentored by
                      used the term “verbal stunning” it gets the chance for you to get them to stop
                      for a minute and consider, this gives you the opportunity to try to reason with
                      them, once you start building a dialogue you can start moving towards a more
                      acrimonious approach, but sometimes you have to come out with both barrels
                      blazing to get someone’s attention, from there you can go to a place where you
                      can have an actual conversation (not always the best approach but sometimes you
                      have to try something different right?).

                      I can definitely see your passion strongly in this one, good
                      job! Euthanasia is such a terrible thing to accept. It’s bad enough that people
                      commit suicide on their own, but to license it? I have to wonder what ever
                      happened to the Hippocratic Oath? Seems more like the hypo critic Oath to me. That
                      poor dear woman if her parents and sister truly cared for her they’d have
                      stopped it. That said there is no reason for Doctors to allow this to be a part
                      of our society, and without them making it so it would be a crime to help
                      someone kill themselves (which it should be).

                      Oh my that story sounds just horrid, and yes I can see that being something
                      someone would do if there is not some out-cry against it, I suppose that is my
                      only fear, is if embryo’s could be maintained in a laboratory, would there be
                      people that would use that technology for nefarious purposes such as Organ
                      donation or further stem cell research or even testing on humans (which is why
                      I don’t agree with cloning because then who is this person? Are they themselves
                      or nearly a copy, and if so then what are their rights?) Afraid I might have
                      opened a can of worms with that last statement. At any rate, I am signing off
                      for the day and I will talk to more this weekend as I have a busy night. Take
                      care dear Crystal and may the Lord bless you in all you do.

                    • Crystal

                      BTW, I know I’ve said this before but if your wife ever wants to be part of our conversations that will make me very happy :)

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,
                      I will ask Carolyn if she would like to be a part of these conversations, I am not sure what her answer will be but I will let you know either way :)

                    • Crystal

                      Thank you for offering to do that (asking her and letting me know), but I don’t want Carolyn to feel pushed into anything. Whatever decision she wishes to make she should be comfortable with it. You mentioned that your life is like an open book to Carolyn. I thought that was nice and I wish I could have someone I could trust like that but I find it difficult and terrifying to communicate with people if I find them to be unsympathetic. Also you stated that you believe that people can’t be loved or love if there is no trust; I do agree, and I think that lying and deceit indicates a lack of trust not just in a marriage but in any other relationship. Good man for being so communicative with your wife :)

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,

                      My belief is if you aren’t honest with the person you love,
                      then how can you claim to love them? I understand you feeling unsafe when
                      people are unsympathetic, I would pray that when you find someone that they
                      will be sympathetic to your needs and cares and desires. I know it is hard to
                      trust someone that deeply but once you can do it; it can be one of the most
                      amazing earthly relationships you can experience. When you love and are loved
                      truthfully there is nothing like it, and it’s nothing you can

                      Explain… you just feel it.

                      Thank you for your love and encouragement Crystal, you are helping me to be a better man and husband :)

                    • Crystal

                      “My belief is if you aren’t honest with the person you love,
                      then how can you claim to love them?”

                      It’s true what you say, especially in marriages and with children. My parents always tried to tell me the truth, to the point of not discussing Santa with me until I was old enough to understand he was a fantasy character! I appreciate them for that.

                      Sometimes though you have to lie to stay out of their hair or protect yourself emotionally (I speak of difficult relationships here and I am glad you don’t find yourself there with Carolyn!).

                      “I understand you feeling unsafe when people are unsympathetic”

                      That is why I lie sometimes, because I don’t feel safe telling people things I know they won’t like, or because I don’t trust them. Let’s just say that honesty is an area I struggle in.

                      “I would pray that when you find someone that they will be sympathetic to your needs and cares and desires.”

                      That’s a nice idea, I’ve fantasised about it sometimes myself; yet I don’t feel comfortable getting married.

                      “I know it is hard to trust someone that deeply but once you can do it; it can be one of the most amazing earthly relationships you can experience. When you love and are loved truthfully there is nothing like it, and it’s nothing you can Explain… you just feel it.”

                      That’s awesome; as I said I wish I could find someone I could trust that deeply. Yet I doubt at times that I have the character for such a relationship, although it is easier to tell the truth when I can communicate properly with them, I feel they understand me, and we share a common bond and lots of interests.

                      “Thank you for your love and encouragement Crystal, you are helping me to be a better man and husband :)”

                      That’s great and I hope to help you more as the days go on.

                    • Crystal

                      I stated I don’t want Carolyn to feel pushed into anything. I don’t want her to ever feel excluded either, it is a nasty feeling I know. I want her to feel part of everything whether she writes in or not.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal yes understood,
                      I asked her opinion on this and she feels comfortable with us talking about these things, but she really doesn’t wish to invest a lot of time into our discussions, but thanks you for the offer :)

                    • Crystal

                      Well, that is her decision, and I am glad she has decided for what is most comfortable for her. If she ever changes her mind she will be made to feel most welcome but I respect her decision.

                    • Crystal

                      “Anything that is done with an aborted baby I consider horrible because
                      as you mentioned it completely ignores that right of that creation to
                      make the choice.”

                      Why is it we take such care to care for born people’s right to refuse to be used as medical experiments, even to the point of allowing abortion and of allowing people to refuse to be organ donors, yet if someone is seriously ill (ie braindead, PVS, sometimes coma, or just suffering from some serious physical or mental disease), unborn, or an animal, that we don’t care about their consent when it comes to medical science? That just doesn’t make sense to me at all!

                    • averagjo

                      Yes I agree it is sad that people allow that to be the case. People should always respect life in all it’s forms as well as animal lives. I do agree medical science shouldn’t be using living people or animals for experiments that is just wrong.

                    • Crystal

                      Your comment was so well-stated, well-done :)

                      “People should always respect life in all it’s forms as well as animal lives.”

                      Yeah, and some PL people give other PLers a hard time for including animals :(

                      “I do agree medical science shouldn’t be using living people or animals for experiments that is just wrong.”

                      Again, agreed 100% but what alternatives can we recommend to scientists other than living people and animals? Besides, I am tired of scientists experimenting on animals, it’s just plain cruel and half the time they do it to “improve their genes” or fiddle with something in the cat breed including the shapes of ears. I despise rats but am deeply saddened for any rat that is unlucky enough to end up in a laboratory or a science class, as sometimes rats are cut open (after being given anesthetic) and experimented on. Animals don’t deserve to be treated like this.

                      As for human beings, using them against their will is just plain unethical and wrong. We know of the cases of euthanasia involving brain death, etc – which I personally consider unethical. Yet have you ever heard of horror stories like this:

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organ_harvesting_from_Falun_Gong_practitioners_in_China

                      I am against cloning of animals and humans because it was not consented to and it violates their free will. Would you consider the cloning of human beings to be a violation of God’s image on people and why? Also, do you think the attitudes of scientists and philosophers toward human life influence the way the media and eventually entertainment portray this very crucial topic?

                    • Crystal
                    • averagjo

                      Oh and to answer the role I see the Church taking , I believe it’s only responsible for the Church to step up and provide love and caring support to these mother’s and help them through the various stages of the pregnacy and either adopton process or raising and supporting. I believe in the idea that it takes a village to raise a child and if the Church were to adopt that ideology I think we could definitely make some headway in making ourselves more than just speakers of pro-life but supporters of it.

                    • Crystal

                      “I believe it’s only responsible for the Church to step up and provide love and caring support to these mother’s and help them through the various stages of the pregnacy and either adopton process or raising and supporting.”

                      I know of some churches that do this and when they do, they do it well. However this doesn’t seem to be one of the church’s strengths; do you know of any churches that do this? What *is* one of the church’s “strengths”, if you will,
                      is preaching abstinence, pushing abstinence-only sex education, and shaming people, especially women and LGBTQ+ that are not virgins or properly married. Generally speaking the church doesn’t provide workable solutions or aid to solo and teen mothers at all; but rather, they shame them. This is one reason I am morally opposed to church involvement unless it is genuinely non-judgmental, helpful, and constructive.

                      “I believe in the idea that it takes a village to raise a child”

                      I do too.

                      “and if the Church were to adopt that ideology I think we could definitely make some headway in making ourselves more than just speakers of pro-life but supporters of it.”

                      In what ways do you think the church should adopt this ideology? Also, by adopting this belief, how would the church make headway in making themselves supporters of prolife thought and practice and not just speakers of it? Just curious, could you be referring to more church families adopting and setting up missions to help pregnant women by any chance, or does it encompass that and
                      more?

                      IMO you want to know how the church can make headway? Stop shaming women for having sex whilst in possession of a uterus. Also stop telling women they are sinners for not abstaining. Help them. Offer them aid, and provide ways to
                      prevent abortion from occurring in the first place. Try to help people understand *why* abortion is so morally unacceptable rather than just preaching at them that it is, because telling them alone might sow a seed but it doesn’t
                      really convert too many people. Abstinence is only one of many options. It works great when it’s properly followed, but regardless of what the church says, people will have sex and it’s time they realised that.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal I have posted a response to the first part of this over on the other link.

                    • Crystal

                      Thank you :)

                    • Crystal

                      I do hope I am listening to and being respectful towards your concerns rather than being dismissive and brushing them under the carpet. I know what it is to have that happen to me so I am trying not to do the same to others.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,

                      Let me just state this really quickly and the I will reply to your other posts. No not at all this is genuinely good discourse and I am enjoying it, I have been spending some time talking with Carolyn (My Beautiful Bride) and that is why I haven’t responded until now. Now back to your points lol

                    • Crystal

                      That’s great, please tell her hello from me. Also I hope she doesn’t mind the things we talk about.

                    • averagjo

                      Yes I will definitely say hello to her, yes she knows we are talking and I have told her what we talk about so yes it’s fine :)

                    • Crystal

                      Oh, that’s good. I’m glad you don’t keep secrets from your wife and I don’t tend to trust men that do.

                    • averagjo

                      Nope to Carolyn my life is an open book. :) I don’t think you can love or be loved if there is no trust :)

                    • Crystal

                      Take the response to this page for now unless I find a better one:

                      blog.equalrightsinstitute.com/responding-to-the-astute-observation-that-i-am-a-man/

                      “Again I guess my point is balance, but seeing as your comments reflects this I guess my argument has been deflated lol. Next :)”

                      I acknowledge this. I do believe in balance on these issues. The only reason I am responding to this comment is that I hadn’t responded to it before. Also – and this applies only if you no longer hold the beliefs you espoused in this comment – please know this reply does not apply to you although I would be interested in hearing that you did change your ideas, and why.

                      “I guess part of my concern comes from what seems like a desire to change men into women, such as having men wear skinny jeans, have feminine hair styles, make up lines just for males”

                      Why do you think it’s about changing men into women? Also have you considered that it could be about allowing guys that didn’t fit in 100% to explore another side of themselves so that the sexes had greater common ground?

                      “What I think bothers me is what seems like a desire (from perhaps a radical feminist standpoint) to cause males to lose their masculine identity so that they can more closely identify with females.”

                      Okay, please define masculine identity, particularly in this context. Do you believe that masculine identity encompasses the way men dress, and if so how would men lose their maleness and be more feminised by embracing more feminine styles? Also do you think it is wrong for people of both sexes to share common ground on clothing styles? I’m sorry, I’m a little confused as to what you mean here.

                      “I do agree that men need to understand feminism and females better, if they did I think they would be respectful to women and understand their needs better.”

                      What do you think are the best ways for men to do this without losing their masculine identity in the process? I mean as well, if more feminised styles of clothing are a problem then over what kinds of things should men and women bond over?

                      Just a thought – if masculine identity encompasses the way men are biologically and neurologically wired far more than the way men look, then how can they lose it by the way they dress and by their mannerisms? I mean, they can’t change their biology (there are operations to make you trans but that’s not for this discussion) or neurological wiring, can they?

                    • averagjo

                      Ack I responded to this but it didn’t post lol. Ok let me try again

                    • Crystal

                      Yes, it did post. Please don’t bother writing it up again.

                    • averagjo

                      Oh ok thank you, for some reason I am not seeing it?

                    • Crystal

                      Don’t know why you’re not but will respond when I can.

                    • averagjo

                      ok I see it now weird.

                      No worries sounds like you are busy today.

                    • Crystal

                      I will be soon.

                    • Crystal

                      Just curious – how do you define femininity? Because when I think of it I think of the biological feminine processes but do you have more in mind as well?

                      “Not at all, I think it’s wonderful that you can celebrate your femininity.”

                      Thank you, that is very nice because today is one of those days that hearing such a thing is very meaningful to me :)

                      “Not being female I guess I have a hard time identifying with the ideas, but I am happy that you are learning to embrace them.”

                      In some ways, due to my ignorance on certain matters, it became a harder road than it needed to be; but I am getting on the right track again and am working to experience my femininity on my own terms, learn a lot about myself to improve all aspects of my life including this one, and take pride in it again rather than being subjected to what I believe and know to be negative experiences. I’d give you some articles about what influenced my thinking on this issue but you’d have to be okay with that first.

                      “I know that society definitely makes it a negative point of women and
                      their physical and emotional differences from and early age.”

                      Yes, ever heard of those jokes about women’s biological femininity, or men joking about raping or assaulting women, or other such things? Just the statement that women are inferior alone is enough. Also what do you mean by emotional differences (which in some ways are largely influenced by hormones)?

                      “It seems hey do the same thing to young boys in a different way, by telling us to be tough and not to cry.”

                      Boys should be allowed to cry because they’re people first and foremost and have emotions. Just curious though, how can you believe in roles yet think that boys should be allowed to shed tears? Because complementarianism tends to lead people away from allowing boys to show any emotions at all.

                      “So from that perspective I can identify with being discouraged to explore certain feelings and emotions.”

                      Woman up and take painkillers, resting is wimpy and that time of the month isn’t that special anyway. You’re being way too sensitive about childbearing and you’re afraid of nothing. If you didn’t wear that provocative outfit those boys wouldn’t have been tempted to whistle at you/you wouldn’t have been raped. Women should be quiet in church, etc. Women can lead men into sin theologically and sexually. Women should have intimacy whenever the husband wants it, he is the head after all. This and a lot of other stuff makes it hard for us to explore who we are. Just like it must be for men, being told they can’t cry etc.

                      “As I say I think we are all beautifully and wonderfully made and that
                      even the things that society wants us to view as grotesque are beautiful
                      in their own way.”

                      They are, yes. But problems with them aren’t beautiful – they need fixing.

                    • averagjo

                      So much to answer in this one,

                      I see femininity and masculinity as being both biology and psychology. I see men and women and being dynamically different in both regards. So yes there is the biological pieces and the the cycles, but there is also a different emotional reaction. Men tend to be (even without environmental adaptation) to be more logical thinkers and less emotional. Not that men are not capable of emotion we just aren’t naturally as emotional and I think that is even besides hormones. I think this is actually a good thing as men are able to live in a fire fight when people are dying all around them and not be emotionally crushed. (let me say I don’t like war, but I do see it as a necessary evil in some ways) Where as women are great in hospital situation because of their more natural empathy and sensitivity can be strong but also emotional and great care takers. Men as Doctors and Nurses (I have noticed) tend to be more withdrawn from the person and drawn to the symptoms, where females in the same role seem more capable of treating the person. I am not saying one cannot learn to be like the other, but that there is a difference in who is good at what. Yes I have heard the jokes and language men use to and about women I have never agreed with it and I do my best to tell people who tell me those things that it is not respectful. About allowing boys to cry, I believe that men need not some much get in touch with their “feminine side” as much as getting in touch with their emotions (which are not necessarily masculine or feminine maybe a combination of both). Yes I do agree it is out of balance we definitely need to encourage men to explore their feeling and women to explore the emotion, feeling, bodies etc. These are definitely things we can agree on.

                    • Crystal

                      Again, please take your response to the Astute Observation that I Am a Man page until I find a better one; I hope Josh will forgive us for being so off-topic at times!

                      “I see femininity and masculinity as being both biology and psychology.”

                      Actually, I grok the biology. But why do you say, psychology? I thought good Christians depended only on the Bible – or am I misunderstanding what you are saying?

                      “I see men and women and being dynamically different in both regards. So yes there is the biological pieces and the the cycles, but there is also a different emotional reaction.”

                      Is this not all the MORE reason to employ women in those places they were previously forbidden from, so that they might contribute their differences to new jobs and situations?

                      “Men tend to be (even without environmental adaptation) to be more logical thinkers and less emotional.”

                      Perhaps there is a certain truth to men being more logical and women being more emotional; I am very unsure as to this subject.

                      Did you know that Emanuel Swedenborg taught the men = logical, women = emotional belief? Not to vilify metaphysical spirituality (I tend to adhere to it) but he was involved in mysticism, which the Bible condemns.

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emanuel_Swedenborg

                      Here’s the quote from page 249, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Penguin Classics, under the section “Notes”:

                      “Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), Swedish scientist and mystic, believed that men and women were constituted by similar substances in a different organization. In women, reason is subordinated to feeling; in men, feeling is subordinated to reason. In their union a spiritual marriage between love and truth is effected. The first English congregation was founded in the 1780s.”

                      “Not that men are not capable of emotion we just aren’t naturally as emotional and I think that is even besides hormones.”

                      What led you to that belief and what else besides hormones makes men less emotional, in your opinion? In short, what led you to believe that men are more logical
                      and women more emotional, in general? I believe you mentioned observations as a reason; would there be other factors that would lead to such a view?

                      “I think this is actually a good thing as men are able to live in a fire fight when people are dying all around them and not be emotionally crushed. (let me say I don’t like war, but I do see it as a necessary evil in some ways)”

                      Well, guys do get PTSD from wars. Perhaps not as much, but it does happen.

                      “Where as women are great in hospital situation because of their more natural empathy and sensitivity can be strong but also emotional and great care takers. Men as Doctors and Nurses (I have noticed) tend to be more withdrawn from the person and drawn to the symptoms, where females in the same role seem more capable of treating the person.”

                      Do you mind if I ask for real-life examples? I’m not totally against this viewpoint if it isn’t used to suppress people so I’m curious to see this in action.

                      “I am not saying one cannot learn to be like the other, but that there is a difference in who is good at what.”

                      Okay, I can understand this viewpoint to a certain extent in the abstract. I am curious to know; why do you believe that? Is it because of God’s design?

                      “Yes I have heard the jokes and language men use to and about women I have never agreed with it and I do my best to tell people who tell me those things that it is not respectful.”

                      Oh, good!

                      “About allowing boys to cry, I believe that men need not some much get in touch with their “feminine side” as much as getting in touch with their emotions (which are not necessarily masculine or feminine maybe a combination of both).”

                      Now that is a new perspective on the issue of boys crying and I like it :)

                      “Yes I do agree it is out of balance we definitely need to encourage men to explore their feeling and women to explore the emotion, feeling, bodies etc. These are definitely things we can agree on.”

                      In what ways do you think men and women can be encouraged to explore these areas of themselves? Also, you are correct, we do agree on this, last couple of sentences.

                      “As far as men being the champion and the protector, I think I made it pretty clear in my last section what that looks like, but to emphasize more clearly I think as a woman is oftentimes (not always) in need of a physically
                      strong counterpart it is the role of a man to treasure and protect and keep women safe from harm and abuse (especially from himself).”

                      Why do you believe women are in need of a more physically strong counterpart?

                      “I think in a lot of ways though the confusion of roles is what has caused a lot of this. Men aren’t being taught to be protectors, as women are not being taught that they need protectors.”

                      Firstly, why do you believe that? Secondly, I disagree, I think it is the roles themselves (not so much the protector but more the men are in charge of the delicate illogical flowers known as women cr*p) that caused the problems. Just because people had roles in the old days doesn’t mean women weren’t abused because of those roles, or the misuse of them if you will.

                    • Crystal

                      “I am not certain how best to describe it other than to say that I think the value of life goes well beyond any theological discussion.”

                      I do agree with that position. Respecting life is a human rights issue and if we respect the right of someone to live then all our other rights follow from that. But what determines the extent of the worth of human life, and the
                      inherent right to live, without a God?

                      “Obviously there are pro life individuals who are not any religion and celebrate life based on the ideology that all life is important Woman, Children, Man and Animal.”

                      I happen to be one of these, and tend to be very strict on it too.

                      “That said it does still surprise me that people who are not Christian can be pro-life it’s refreshing to say the least.”

                      Why does it surprise you? However, I’m glad you find happiness in it. We exist, in many different groups. Prolife atheists, vegans, pagans, animal-rights activists, humanists, feminists, gays – there are a lot of us around if you want to keep looking.

                      “Not to say that I believe people who are not Christians don’t believe in the sanctity of life, but that my experience has brought me to see that few I have met have been pro-life”

                      Now that accounts for your surprise my friend. Being PL is not exactly a popular view, you know. It has the Christian image painted on it and is portrayed as wacky and extreme (granted, some Christian PL people do stand for and do wacky and extreme things). I think secularism, evolution, and a highly sex-oriented society have a lot to do with why people tend not to accept PL thought and practice; would you agree with that and can you list additional causes for this phenomenon?

                      “that said I haven’t met a lot of Christians even who were fully decided on their choice between pro-life and pro-choice.”

                      Some of these people are genuinely struggling but others are waffling on the Bible’s clear commands. For the latter group, I have no sympathy for them. Some people are PL because God said to be rather than that they came to that position because they could see it was obviously rational.

                      “So abortion being simply a conversion issue ie needing to convert someone to convince them of the value of life? No not at all.”

                      Since you seemed to mean conversion to Christianity in this scenario, I agree with your conclusion here.

                      “I would most definitely consider myself pro-life on a personal level.”

                      Now that is where it always starts. However, from my experience, it should never end there.

                      “As far as my political desires? The truth is I feel the Pandora’s box has already been opened, I am under no illusion that the political landscape will be able to change the way we view abortion or change it’s legality.”

                      I realise that we risk this possibility. Yet I also remember a great man called Wilberforce that held a contrary opinion to most in his day on slavery, and bravely changed the world he lived in for the better.

                      “To me it’s more of an intellectual and emotion driven conversation (science definitely helps in this pursuit)”

                      I agree that science helps in the pursuit of persuading people to reconsider their beliefs on abortion which is what we need to try to do more often. From a different perspective though, if this were, say, animal abuse, would this be more of an intellectual and emotion driven conversation in your eyes than abortion is? Also, I believe that the climate is so ripe that it could lead to euthanasia as well.

                      “So I guess from a political standpoint I am neutral on the issue of abortion as I feel it is overly politicized already.”

                      You are right, it has been overly politicised. There has been no swift solution to this moral crisis in our society. I’m not against working actively for legal reforms for years if that’s what it takes but I am against it being used as a political bat over people.

                      Try reading this comment and you will see the level of disrespect I feel for politicians:

                      https://disqus.com/home/discussion/secularprolifeblog/secular_pro_life_perspectives_the_colorado_springs_shooting_what_we_know/#comment-2395091869

                      “Also because from someone who started as a right wing conservative republican I can transferred my views to a more libertarian stand point.”

                      I’m not American but I’m not crazy on either party. There is no politician good, no, not one.

                      Why did you choose a more libertarian road?

                      “I want less government and more personal accountability.”

                      Generally, I would agree with you. Also, I share your views in this sense – simply laying down laws without supplying people with the tools to keep the laws will not work. That being said making laws means we must properly determine whether our actions cause harm/death to people or not. Does abortion do this? Yes it does. Laws are made to protect the innocent among us who otherwise might have no voice.

                      Let’s take wife-beating, for instance – do you think it should be illegal? Do you think it is your business if someone beats their wife? Yes, we can provide all the tools in the world – counselling classes etc – but still it should be
                      illegal otherwise more men will find it legally acceptable to beat their wives and the women will be less likely to have legal recourse to protect themselves.

                      “I know that we have what we have, but I think we could all stand to have more of an ability to make our own choices, not that, that relieves us from having laws and controls, but that we have more freedom on certain issues.”

                      Could you please expound on what you mean here, and how a society free to make its own choices even on issues like abortion would look to you? Also, when it comes
                      to euthanasia, how would such a society handle that?

                      “So I hope that long rabbit trail wasn’t too confusing… to sum up I am personally not for abortion but neither am I for government having full control of the decision process either way.”

                      You said that you are not for government having full control of the decision process either way – in other words, would you believe that legalising and illegalising abortion are both sides of the same coin to you?

                    • averagjo

                      HI Crystal, another crazy busy day at work lol (I guess that’s why they call it work right?),

                      I keep forgetting about all of my earlier responses so I had to go back and look at this one before responding.

                      Let me start off by saying, my supris come’s from the idealogy that even many bible believing Christians and theologians are not exactly clear on all issues of the sanctity of life. Seeing as how these are my peers (and some I even hold in high regard) it makes it harder to understand why someone without a deep moral concern based on.

                      religious belief would side even from a humanistic approach with the idea of ever interfering with the “idea” of a woman’s right to choose. That being said I don’t see it at all suprising when I see it from the element of someone having the scientific knowledge to back up the idea that life begins at conception. I definitely agree with you on the ideas of us having an overly sex obsessed culture (seems we see and hear it everywhere these days) and secular thought and evolution definitely play their own role as well. I suppose the difficult part is knowing bible believing Christians the believe in abortion as a woman’s right to choose and in evolutionary theory of the survival of the fittest seems rather hypocritical to me, but what do I know lol.

                      As to how to change the culture? Well I believe you and I are a part of that very process at this moment and in our everyday life. Here is my findings. Murder is illegal, yet everyday thousands (at least) are murdered. Sexual abuse is illegal, yet again the facts speak that 1 in 3 and 1 in 5 males will face some form of Sexual abuse in their life time. Drugs are illegal in most places, yet everyday people break the law taking drugs, selling drugs and getting the younger generation addicted to drugs. Violent crime is illegal and yet has it changed our violent sadists rapist culture? My point is making abortion illegal only does one thing, makes it a crime. So playing this out to its logical conclusion. If a woman (once abortion is made illegal) is caught in the attempt of abortion. Is this attempted murder? If so there is cause for a long term prison sentence. If she is sucessful? Life imprisonment or death penalty. If she isn’t found to have contributed any great harm in her attempt but there was intent, neglect abuse etc. All of these create a new problem…where are you going to house all these women. Because we have made this such a cultural belief, how do you turn the ride/close the door? From a legal vs illegal standpoint I’m not sure we’d stem the tide let alone turn it and as a side effect with it criminalized we create another problem, a larger legal conundrum. So again in this case I feel knowledge is power, if we can influence and inform I see us doing much more good than trying to change laws. Laws only control the law abiding as it were
                      And I’m our present day darkness I am not sure it would even change things.

                      Now on the idea of animal abuse vs abortion that is a very good correlation for people who can logically accept it. I agree that out culture would certainly not accept the idea of animal abuse, because it’s an in your face issue, however (and I am not sure how it works where you are from) millions of dogs and cats are “destroyed” every year for lack of good homes and no one seems to bat an eyelash. I think the problem we are seeing here is “out of sight out of mind” because we don’t see (outside of certain videos) just how callaous and cold the abortion industry has become, the public at large doesn’t see the holocaust taking place right in front of their very eyes. That said changing hearts and minds about what abortion is on an individual level is where I see the battle.being won.

                      To comment quickly on one point, yes I believe abuse of any kind against your wife (more often than not) or husband should be illegal and also not tolerated. That said do I think making more laws about it will change things? Well again if you go back to cultural beliefs, no matter what the law says (some make their own laws such as Sharia) the culture is going to dictate what is or isn’t acceptable more than what the law states. As an example alcohol was once prohibited in the United States, by criminalizing it they created more criminals and it just went underground, oil that

                      Ths

                    • Crystal

                      Also when I correct or disagree with you I’ll generally be as gentle as I can be (unless you defend nazis or some other such crazy thing – I know you wouldn’t but I’m very harsh on that kind of thing). I’m letting you know up front that you’ve got nothing to be afraid of, because you seem to have had a pretty rough start in life and if anything I don’t want you to be scared to speak your mind, and I want you to know someone cares about you the person despite not liking some of your ideas. I hope I’ve been gentle in our past interactions as well, because I think it can mean a lot to an emotionally battered individual when someone is kind to them and possibly help heal them further.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,
                      The feeling is mutual Crystal, I respect your values. You have been brought through life on your journey and I on mine whatever the reason our paths crossed I pray that I can be a good friend to you and invest myself in being a positive reflection of the love of Christ. :)

                    • Crystal

                      Seeing a different side of Christianity should be interesting. I’m happy you took my invitation to this site, and I hope you don’t mind if I show you another one:

                      blog.secularprolife.org

                      Also I think you’ve been very nice. Some men are just plain rude.

                    • averagjo

                      Not at all I am more than open to take our discussions to whichever forums you would like to converse on :)

                    • Crystal

                      Thanks! Just pick an SPL article (preferably recent), comment on it, and send me the link. I’ll be down as soon as I can, but am rather busy today so might not get to you immediately. Also I hope you don’t mind my pointing out that you missed these comments although I don’t expect you to answer everything I write:

                      https://disqus.com/home/discussion/joshbrahm/will_adoption_rates_spike_if_abortion_becomes_illegal/#comment-2502079110

                      https://disqus.com/home/discussion/joshbrahm/will_adoption_rates_spike_if_abortion_becomes_illegal/#comment-2502116893

                    • Crystal

                      Same to you.

                    • Crystal

                      BTW if anyone is rude to you online it’s best to ignore them, I learned the hard way. I see you have the tendency to try to reconcile, like me. It doesn’t work with some folks and sometimes I will be rude or ignore them to stand my ground and defend myself, then I leave them forever. That’s just the way some relationships online are, especially as some people consider confrontational statements as speaking forth truth to be a virtue.

                    • averagjo

                      Good morning Crystal (or at least it is morning here)
                      Yes I think you are right, probably best not to try to reconcile with those who are openly hostile, it might be considered akin to trying to keep a starving tiger from eating you when your in it’s cage lol. I will do my best to keep that though in the forefront of my mind while I am posting on Love, Joy Feminism for sure. Thanks again for the good advice :)

                    • Crystal

                      It’s best that you do for LJF, it’s unofficially a safe space for survivors of spiritual abuse, domestic violence, and that kind of thing. For some, they find the mention of the words and the ideas “pro-life” and “Christian” to be triggering.

                    • averagjo

                      Yes I can understand that, the Church as not done enough to let people know they are loved. I myself have been part of the condemning side, but no more God is calling me to love people where they are at and even though it’s easy to say you love everyone it’s much harder to prove it, thank you again for helping me to understand that. I will do my best to be more sensitive to the issues discussed there.

                    • Crystal

                      Thanks for the admission. Just curious, how did you judge people in the past? Also if you want to be sensitive lurk for a while, get to know the territory, and if you have any controversial ideas phrasing them in a question rather than a dogmatic statement could ensure that you are less likely to be attacked.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,
                      Boy what a tough story, well I guess to start with I was raised in a very “traditional” Christian home. The ideas that were forced into my mind at a very early age, were; if someone disrespects you or challenges you any in way you have to right to respond with physical abuse, emotional abuse, spiritual abuse or any other type that exerts control over that person or animal. You have the right to be racists against those who have intimidated you or made you feel unsafe. You have the right to hold people accountable to levels that you yourself are not held accountable to. Long story short I was the poster child of not how to raise a child. I have struggled my whole life for identity as this is not who I wanted to be, and I have found some success but also a lot of failure along the way. As I mentioned in another post it is quite possible the Lord is still working on these heart issues within me, I must admit these are hard things to talk about, but as much as I say it’s wrong to objectify women, I have. As much as I say it’s necessary to love and respect women I haven’t. As much as I say it is best to meet people where there are, I have failed there as well. My only saving grace truly is that God Jesus has not allowed me to stay as I once was, and continues to change me from the inside out on a daily basis.

                    • Crystal

                      First off, before you read on, if you find any or all of these questions too personal or painful, please don’t respond to them.

                      “I guess to start with I was raised in a very “traditional” Christian home”

                      Can you explain what you mean, because you put “traditional” in quotes?

                      “You have the right to be racists against those who have intimidated you or made you feel unsafe”

                      This idea makes me curious; what do you mean? As for the other ideas, I understand them intellectually enough to know they are non-sense.

                      “Long story short I was the poster child of not how to raise a child.”

                      I can see that, I am so sorry my friend. However you are trying to make something of yourself and I commend you for that.

                      “I have struggled my whole life for identity as this is not who I wanted
                      to be, and I have found some success but also a lot of failure along the
                      way.”

                      Don’t worry, just keep trying and hang in there because if you keep going you will be more likely to find your identity than if you don’t.

                      “As I mentioned in another post it is quite possible the Lord is still
                      working on these heart issues within me, I must admit these are hard
                      things to talk about, but as much as I say…”

                      Thanks for being brave enough to admit you haven’t lived up to your words at times. The intentions are good, and the words come from your heart, so that is a start. Putting them into action is harder than we realise though.

                      I feel like this question is a little rude but if you’re comfortable with this can you tell me some of the ways you objectified and did not respect and love women, and also some of how you failed to meet people where they are? If you don’t feel right about this query please don’t answer.

                      “My only saving grace truly is that God Jesus has not allowed me to stay
                      as I once was, and continues to change me from the inside out on a daily
                      basis.”

                      Well, I’m glad it’s working out for you then. As I’ve stated so many times, you’re a very open-minded person (some would say you have a repentant heart), which is part of the reason the operations on your soul are so successful. You will keep changing, learning, and growing and you will be far better ten years ahead than you are now; and you are far better now than you were ten years ago so hang in there, buddy.

                  • Crystal

                    Oh and when you can, can we please pick up where we left off? Thanks.

                    • averagjo

                      Of course! Where exactly did we leave off again?? lol

                    • Crystal

                      I think there are a few comments of mine you haven’t answered if you check in the Inbox. We could resume there if that’s all right with you.

                    • averagjo

                      Of course, although now I think I have responded lol.. So I will wait for your response and go from there :)

          • Crystal

            Although I will note, that even if a raped woman got an abortion she will still bear the consequences of the rapist’s actions, she just won’t be pregnant.

            • averagjo

              It’s true as rape doesn’t go away just because the baby isn’t there as a reminder. I feel all women who have been raped are probably suffering some form of n PTSD and I think we as a nation need to acknowledge that and seek to trear them appropriately and help them seek the best possible care.

              • Crystal

                I know. Though an abortion might bring relief for some, it would bring intense guilt over killing a person for others.

                I think you have it. We need to address the issues of trauma behind rape through therapy, etc. Then we can talk about abortions, but not before then (unless the situation requires something different).

                Also what do you think of rape culture? Do you think it’s real or imagined by the evil liberals?

                • averagjo

                  No I definitely believe there is a rape culture. In most women I’ve dated and or been Married to there have been issues of rape and incest. I read about it in the paper constantly and I also work at a Prison where more than half of the people incarcerated are sex offenders we definitely have a rape culture in this country and no evil liberals convinced me of that lol

                  • Crystal

                    How would you suggest addressing the issues of trauma behind rape in therapy?

                    Also, have you ever read at this website before:

                    samanthapfield.com

                    Cuz I have and she’s confounded awesome :)

                    She’s also the one who taught me about rape culture, although there were others that had a hand in that as well.

                    • averagjo

                      Hi Crystal,

                      I will have to look at the article more in depth later. To answer your question as easily as I can. I believe the first and most important thing is to let them know “it’s not your fault” this can seem silly after all why would you assume they would think it’s their fault? It is strange how the mind works but it seems no matter how little responsibility we hold for what has happened to us we always tend to second guess ourselves and say “if only i’d done this” or “if only I hadn’t done that”. These are normal reactions in minor incidents in our lives they are magnified when we face trauma. A victim of rape needs an opportunity almost immediately to regain a sense of contol. Our society rushes them straight to a hospital where a rape kit is taken furthering the shame and embarassement. Then comes the police questioning which often times makes the Woman feel like she is being interrorgated and made to feel guilty. If I could find a way to do it I’d lobby for a rape recovery center. The first thing that would be offered is something to drink and eat in a calm peaceful environment. Then when she was ready I would offer counsel , but mostly someone to listen and hear her. It’s important she regains sone sense of power. Then I would ask her what she wants to do in regards to the rape kit. I would offer her the ability to do it on her own terms with no pressure. I would then offer a place of peaceful sanctuary where she could clean up and listen to calm peaceful music and other things that restore peace. I would make allowance for her to stay until she feels ready to leave and make sure she has a safe person to escorts her. I would make sure that all interactions that could feel shaming or embarrassing were done with women either exclusively or at least present and then have regular followups setup for the next 6 months with continued followups for a year as needed. I would have in thsee followups chances for the women to talk to each other through group therapy. I would give them the opportunity to speak freely and not be judged for their feelings and emotions. I would make sure to continue followup for the next 5 years on a more limited basis or at any point where the services were no longer desired.

                    • Crystal

                      That solution you have offered is simply perfect. I swear you must have a brilliant mind!

                      As for the “article” it’s actually a website. Just type in “rape” and “rape culture” into the search engine and you’ll come up with dozens of results.

                      Confronting rape culture is essential if we are to end the abortion battle. People need to see that prolifers CARE. I have read that some people consider rape culture to be more of this feminist stuff so they don’t look at it, although it’s actually very real and terrifying!

                      Also have you heard of Roosh V and the pro-rape conferences he was planning to hold? Guys like that ought to be locked up in prison, what a hateful bastard (sorry for swearing Josh but that guy disgusts me beyond measure).

                    • averagjo

                      Oh yes I meant to comment on this, my co-worker Kim and I had conversation about the rape culture today. Apparently one of her classmates in a class she was taking made the comment “well if women wouldn’t dress so provocatively” needless to say she was not impressed with that comment. I think its that overall viewpoint that continues the culture and makes it easier for Men to continue to justify their evil behavior. No I had not heard about Roosh V and the pro-rape conferences and frankly I am shocked and appalled. This is something that should not be allowed and yes for certain any participants and organizers should be locked up!

                    • Crystal

                      First off, please wish Kim well for me and let her know she is not alone in her views.

                      “Apparently one of her classmates in a class she was taking made the
                      comment “well if women wouldn’t dress so provocatively” needless to say
                      she was not impressed with that comment.”

                      Yes, because it is false. The majority of rapes/sexual assaults happen at the hands of someone you *know*. Also did not Jesus say that if the man lusted after the woman he had committed adultery with her already in his heart?

                      “I think its that overall viewpoint that continues the culture and makes
                      it easier for Men to continue to justify their evil behavior.”

                      It certainly is. Many people admit that even if a woman dressed in concrete blocks that men would still lust after them, yet they insist on holding on to this harmful myth. Sorry but life just doesn’t work that way, which is why it makes me really wild, now, when people insist that my clothes had something to do with that old bastard ogling me. You’d be shocked at how many rapists went after women dressing modestly! Also, if a man needs to see only a certain kind of clothing style on the opposite sex to keep himself from raping, he needs to re-evaluate the way he views women! Just curious but do you see any conflict between the Christian teachings on modesty (especially for women) and the feminist understanding of rape and rape culture?

                      “No I had not heard about Roosh V and the pro-rape conferences and
                      frankly I am shocked and appalled. This is something that should not be
                      allowed and yes for certain any participants and organizers should be
                      locked up!”

                      Yes, ITA. Here’s some articles about it:

                      http://www.vox.com/2016/2/6/10926872/roosh-pro-rape-rallies (this one I find well-balanced although it disagrees that the rallies were pro-rape)

                      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/legal-rape-advocates-cancel-pro-men-meet-ups-for-fear-of-their-safety_us_56b3698fe4b01d80b2454002 (although I must add that I doubt he really cancelled them, due to a notice on RoK that seemed to imply or state otherwise)

                      http://www.rawstory.com/2015/02/misogynist-blogger-make-rape-on-private-property-legal-so-women-can-have-learning-experiences/ (ugh, this guy is gross)

                    • Crystal

                      Another thing – these dear people think it’s their fault because society made them believe raped and abused women were always at fault, and they’ve seen others that spoke out get blamed, ridiculed, and shunned while the perpetrators get a free pass. In the interests of true justice we have to fight this and rapists must be PUNISHED!

  • Hypatia

    Rape is horrendous and I empathise that the pro-life movement may feel it has to say that abortion in the case of rape should be forbidden otherwise it will be accused of hypocrisy. Personally I would leave the decision to the women, but then I am prochoice. There are no simple answers to this, its all shades of grey.

    When you hear of children being raped and becoming pregnant I think not allowing a termination is horrendous especially for a child as young as nine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Brazilian_girl_abortion_case

    Again there are no easy answers, my only conclusion is we should look at why people rape, I have been under the impression that its is about power rather than sex but feel free to correct me if I am wrong. Can we try to treat possible rapists before they commit the crime?

    Lastly I know some prolifers are against the IUD, but I feel encouraging women to use this form of contraception would help prevent any unwanted pregnancies either through rape or consensual sex. The only downside I can think of is that the IUD prevents menstruation in many women and the tampon manufacturerss wont be happy if this becomes a popular contraceptive