“Don’t Tread on Me”, even when we disagree

This article is difficult to write because, quite frankly, I know it is going to anger a lot of people who I care about, but I feel the need to jump into the fray to express an opinion about TRUE freedom.  This “stand4life” and “fight for life” movement is going too far.

Thomas Jefferson Quote Tea Party Poster

Image courtesy of iMaksim.com

The life of a child is not a choice…it is a blessing.  Children are precious and helpless and need love and nurturing.  With that being said, I CANNOT advocate the state legislating away the privacy of the individual under the guise of protecting the unborn.  I am proud of my state and I love that i am from the Lone Star State.  One of the proud legacies of this state is that individuals are able to have more freedom than other states.  We build great businesses and we thrive when other states are struggling in bankruptcy and being forced to buy sodas less than 24oz.  We protect our fellow Texans property rights, their right to own a gun, their right to put a manger in their front yard at Christmas, but now we’re saying that Texas women don’t have the right to make a medical decision without the permission of the state?

Yes, I know, I know what your response may be, something like…”It’s a child, not a medical decision!” or “It’s up to us to protect those who cannot speak for themselves!” or “Every person should have the chance to live, your mother gave you the opportunity!” or some variation of those statements.

In a pregnancy of less than 20 weeks, regardless of how conception occurred, the child’s life is not viable outside of the mother’s body and therefore attempting to force her to remain pregnant is an absolute violation of her right to privacy as she dictates her own medical care.

I understand that those of you fighting for the bill want to help innocent babies and I want that as well, however I am NOT willing to advocate for stepping on the rights or violating the privacy of the ALREADY BORN women simply to make you feel better.  If we begin to say that the state can regulate what happens between a woman and the physician that she chooses, why can’t the state regulate how many guns we own?  If we violate an adult woman’s right to privacy, why can’t the state tell you what to put in your front lawn on any given holiday?  Consider that your attempts to protect the innocent are doing more to violate what you claim to protect—freedom.

Freedom is not pretty.  Freedom is not easy.  Freedom is choice and means allowing people to make choices that we don’t agree with.

To my fellow Christians, consider this…

God believes in choice and freedom.  God loves us so much that He gives us the freedom to choose Him.  He does not force us into a relationship with Him and He loves ALL without regard for their choices.  Making or supporting the state regulating an individual’s choice is not a holy thing.

Any state that regulates choice of ANY kind, that does not infringe on the rights of another, especially to this degree is no different from the state forcing us all to practice a religion that we did not choose.

Before you begin the argument that abortion infringes on the right to life of another human being, consider that if a mother who is 14 weeks pregnant dies in a car accident, the child dies as well or if she is murdered and the child’s life was not viable outside of the womb, we do not charge the suspect with the murder of that child.  If we begin to give rights to a person who is not yet born, especially one whose life is not viable outside of another’s body, we begin to tread down a slippery slope in a self righteous effort to control the lives and decisions of others.

To my legislators, if you are TRULY interested in helping the unborn rather than creating more laws, consider bolstering reproductive education.  Consider offering counseling, subsidized by the state, to women who are considering or have had abortions.  Consider that investing more time educating women on the effects of abortion, both physical and mental, does more to support your citizens than over regulating them.  Consider that as you create more laws, you are not encouraging life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, you are finding ways to turn citizens into subjects.

Don't tread on me

14 thoughts on ““Don’t Tread on Me”, even when we disagree

  1. In ¶10, your claim that society does not charge suspects with the murder if they kill an unborn child via a car accident or through murder of the child’s mother is factually inaccurate.
    At the federal level, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act considers any child in utero, defined as “a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb,” to be a legal victim if injured or killed during the commission of a federal crime.
    State laws are constantly evolving, but around 18 states actually do have laws on the books that allow for a murder charge in such circumstances. For instance, in 2004, Scott Peterson was charged for double murder for the killing of his wife Laci and the fetus, Conner, she carried. California statutes under “Crimes against a Person,” §187, define murder this way: “Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought” (emphasis mine). California accommodates abortion in spite of this definition by incorporating an exception if the death of the fetus has the consented of the mother of the fetus. California’s definition of murder, similar to your view of a fetus not being human being if not viable outside the womb, is concerning because both imply that human being-ness is not an innate biologically-determinable quality but rather something that must be ascribed to someone by another person.

    • Whether or not someone is human or the state of having being-ness is a biological quality, however whether or not a woman will carry a child to term is a decision made by that woman. Creating more laws that would FORCE her to be a mother is not healthy for the mother or child…rather finding ways to encourage her to make a decision that preserves the child’s life through education, support, and/or counseling does more to support the new life that lives within her. My purpose in writing this article is not to debate semantics (Laci Peterson was seven and 1/2 months pregnant when her husband Scott murdered her so my point stands) but rather to point out that the state of Texas is not helping women by making it more difficult for them to go to the physician of their choice and abort their baby. If the state of Texas is actually interested in saving more unborn babies, they will realize that it must be done through educating women about the potential trauma of abortion (which includes PTSD and even suicide). If the state of Texas is interested in saving babies, they must first work on saving their mothers, not by creating more laws.

  2. The Bible clearly contradicts your statement in ¶8: “supporting the state regulating an individual’s choice is not a holy thing.” Romans 13:1 states that human government is at God’s decree: “Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God.” “Consequently,” states verse 2, “whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” Supporting the state, unless requiring something contrary to God’s law, is a holy thing instead of an unholy thing. Verse 3 explains that God uses government to restrain evil and the Texas legislature is attempting to fulfill that commission.
    If government regulating human choices is unholy, as you claim, then a man can rape any woman if that is his choice. After all, it is his body and you, I, the government, nor God cannot tell him what to do with it. He is free to choose and it is not our business what choice he makes. Obviously, if government allowed this choice, they would not be fulfilling God’s command. Moreover, the man’s choice in this scenario must be restricted by government because it ignores the rights of the innocent woman, just as abortion ignores the rights of the innocent, unborn child and potentially the rights of the biological father.

    • Abortion, while it takes a human life, is at the end of the day, a medical procedure. It is a medical procedure that is performed by a physician and takes place, at the patient’s consent, inside the body of a woman. The woman is allowed to give consent because the state has granted her the majority status to make decisions for herself, unless she has had them taken because of mental illness or granted power of attorney to another. Rape does not follow because there are two consenting adults and one is victimizing the other one. I have never said that abortion is a good thing, nor am I approving it. My argument is that it is not and should never be up to the government to regulate a medical procedure that an adult woman consents to if the procedure involves something (or someone) that must remain in her body without her consent. I know that abortion destroys a life, it is actually my argument that it destroys two lives…the life of the woman who has it is forever changed (and often traumatized by it). It is my belief that if the state wants to act on behalf of God in order to prevent women from doing an “evil” thing, they would realize that God would have them FIRST love on the woman who is already born as she is the ultimate decision maker about that child’s life. If the state of Texas is trying to become holy, they should show love for their neighbor (any woman seeking an abortion) and educate her, counsel her and love on her…but that might be too holy for the state

      • Your discussion with me and others has helped reveal an assumption you are making that seems fundamentally flawed. Your argument is essentially that while abortion is taking another’s life, it is justified because people have supreme rights over their own bodies: “Abortion, while it takes a human life, is at the end of the day, a medical procedure . . . and takes place, at the patient’s consent, inside the body of a woman.” However, a fetus is not part of a woman’s body but genetically a distinct, separate individual, even though it is temporarily dependent upon her for life (which is the same after birth as well). The mother’s body recognizes this and begins an immunological attack, with the embryo only surviving by its own built-in defense mechanism. I agree with you that the state must not “regulate choice of ANY kind, that does not infringe on the rights of another.” However, an unborn baby is another, a separate human being, which you also agree with based on your statement that “being-ness is a biological quality.” Therefore, abortion is the murder of another human being, regardless of location. By the way, your position is the same as Judith Jarvis Thomson from the 1970s, which has been consistently shown as immoral. In summary, God commands that individuals not murder other individuals because they are created in His image. God even gave government the authority to take murderers’ own lives to discourage this activity and dispense justice. Any other position compromises God’s commands and is simply doing what is right in your own eyes. Prayerfully consider this. Blessings, JB.

      • I apologize for the month and a half delay in my response. An unborn baby is a separate human being, true. However, just as we allow family members to “pull the plug” on other family members when on life support, prior to the baby’s life being viable outside of their mother’s body, it is an issue of life support. To simply state that God gave government the authority to take murderer’s lives is to use the law rather than the new covenant of grace that Jesus brought to us. Under the new covenant of grace, we are not justified in taking anyone’s life which would include convicted murderers and those on life support yet many make that choice regularly. Again, my argument is not nor has it ever been that abortion is right, simply that the state does not have the right to dictate what a woman can have performed as a medical procedure but obviously at this point my opinion no longer matters as the bill was signed into law. I simply know that forced grace is not grace at all. The best solution is and will always be loving on and supporting the mother in an effort to show her that the decision to spare her child’s life is more than just the right thing to do for the baby, it’s the right thing to do for herself.

        Blessings to you Bean :)

  3. “Before you begin the argument that abortion infringes on the right to life of another human being, consider that if a mother who is 14 weeks pregnant dies in a car accident, the child dies as well or if she is murdered and the child’s life was not viable outside of the womb, we do not charge the suspect with the murder of that child.”

    I don’t think it’s wise (and I know it’s not logical) to use laws to justify a moral argument. Let me give you a couple of examples:

    (circa early 1800′s)
    “The law makes you my slave, therefore it is ok if I also enslave your child”

    “You can not legally take any substance into your body, nor can you legally terminate your own life, therefore you do not have freedom over your own body and should not be allowed to kill the fetus inside you, regardless of its attained stage of development.”

    No, I’m sorry, your argument will have to stand on its own merit, independent of current or theoretical law.

    So let’s start over. I’ll go first. Science loosely defines a living organism as one that grows, responds to stimuli, can adapt, reproduce, metabolizes and can keep it’s internal environment stable. By all of these metrics, a fetus is a living organism..alive. If we inspect the DNA of a fetus, we invariably learn that it is human, and thus, a living human, or in other words a human being. By definition, when one human being ends the life of another human being, it is homo (same species) cide (to kill).

    Like toxins, some homicide is legal (abortion), some is illegal (1st degree murder, manslaughter and everything in between) just as alcohol is legal and heroine is illegal, but both are deadly poison.

    I believe that each human life has a right to grow and to experience all that it can without the threat of death from any other human, even its mother. There is obviously no way for one human to end the life of another human without violating that right, therefore all forms of homocide should be illegal.

    So now make your case.

    • I share your belief that each human life SHOULD have the right to grow, however many do not because of various reasons. Some babies die in utero because of various diseases, deformities, abnormalities or for reasons that simply go unknown. Other babies die because the woman who carries them chooses to terminate the pregnancy voluntarily. There are many rights that we can agree or disagree on that go unfulfilled every day. The right that I believe supersedes the state of Texas is the right of the individual to choose a physician and have a consensual medical procedure performed without it becoming the business of the state. Your belief that all forms of homicide should be illegal would make the state of Texas criminals for the lives of convicted criminals that are ended by the death penalty.

      I am satisfied with my argument as prior to December 1865, if a slave gave birth, the law was that their child was also a slave.

      My argument is not a moral one…

      I believe that life begins when that child’s heartbeat begins and is shown by a beautiful flicker of light on the ultrasound while they are still smaller than a bean in their mother’s womb. I believe in Psalm 139, that God knows our inmost being knits babies together in their mother’s womb. My problem is not when I believe life begins, my problems is that I do not believe that it is the right of the government to meddle in the affairs of the individual when they are consulting with or requesting various procedures from the physician of their choice. While it is a hard pill to swallow, this includes the right of a woman to end the life of her child when the child cannot exist outside of her body.

      • “My argument is not a moral one”

        Clearly. Your argument is completely arbitrary. It’s the equivalent of arguing for slavery because…well….it’s fine. Or arguing for the power of the Roman pater familias.
        To say it’s ok because it’s done by a doctor is circular. Doctor’s do it because it’s been ok’d. Not the other way around. Before that it was like Pop-A-Lock in a dark alley.

        You talk about government overreach and slippery slopes. The Government has only a few fundamental functions. In a nutshell, to protect life and liberty from those who would take it away. The rest is up to us. The slippery slope is when we place the freedoms and lives of some above those of others. If a mother can snuff out the life of her child in the name of freedom, or choice, or convenience, then why not a child snuff out the mother when she is not viable without life support that only the child can pay for? Or the mother snuff out the retarded child that is not viable without expensive interventions? When you put one human life on the chopping block, that is the slippery slope.

      • I’m not sure why it bothers you that I’m not making a moral argument.

        I’m also not saying that because it is done by a doctor it is circular. I’m saying that because the adult who the procedure is being performed on has consented to the procedure.

        The government’s duty to protect life is protecting the life of those who they have acknowledged as born (usually through vital records like a birth certificate).

        Your question about whether or not a child can end the life of their mother on life support…the answer is yes. The government cannot force a person to continue paying for life support if a relative needs it. If they pull the plug, and their mother dies…then my point remains.

        Essentially, this is a life support debate, not unlike the Terri Schiavo case. In my case, the life support device is the mother who no longer wants to support the life of her child. She has the right to “pull the plug”. It is heartbreaking, but life is heartbreaking. If you want to help mothers who are making a choice like this one, consider finding ways to help educate and counsel them, not only about alternatives but about the real side effects of abortion.

      • Do you agree or disagree with the scientific argument I made that a fetus is a living human?

      • I thought I answered that but I will again, yes I do believe that a fetus (with a detectable heartbeat which happens as early as 3 wks gestation) is a living human being.

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