Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Supreme Court

We didn't really get into this yesterday so I am bringing it up again today. I personally believe that life begins at conception and am Pro-Life. I've often not understood how others of faith can disagree on this point but they do. Some believe a fetus isn't viable until it quickens (moves) and some believe that a fetus isn't viable until it takes its first breath. Some believe that it isn't about killing babies but about a woman's right to choose whether she has a baby or not.

One of the fears/hopes about who is elected is changes the future president may be able to make on the Supreme Court when current justices retire or die. If McCain is to take office there is a chance that changes he makes may lead to the overturning of Roe v Wade. If that happens the issue of abortion will be turned back over to the individual states. Many believe the ruling was unconstitutional in the first place and that this should not have been made a federal issue.


Questions:

1. We've all heard the argument, "You can't legislate morality!" What exactly does that mean? (Take the issue of the differing faiths out of this for a minute... There are many very moral people that do not believe in God) Don't all of our laws have a moral root? If we can't legislate morality then why do we have any laws at all? Where is the line? Who decides the line? Isn't it our job as individual people that are part of a democracy to vote our conscience?

2. Does the issue of possible changes in the Supreme Court affect who you vote for?

I have a little post y'all might find amusing up here on my other blog about my Mother-in-Law meeting the McCains and Palins yesterday in Ohio.

23 comments:

Two Dogs said...

First.

Two Dogs said...

Roe is asinine. It is a blatantly stupid opinion that is 100% unconstitutional. There is not one honest legal scholar that finds it as anything other than a bad, bad, bad decision. Unless something is specifically enumerated in the Constitution as a federal responsibility, then it becomes a state RIGHT. Find the word "abortion" in that there US Constitution. I'll wait.

1. From a federal standpoint, there is no need to "legislate morality." See reason above. Federal powers are limited by the Constitution, yet we have allowed the Fed to ignore the very document that founded this country as a very loose confederation of states. From a state or local standpoint, most folks that live together believe the same things. Good examples are Salt Lake City or San Francisco. There should be all kinds of laws in Utah that protect the tenets of the Mormon beliefs, because they moved there for that reason. Morons took away Mormon rights to worship as they see fit. The Fed jumped the shark and outlawed Mormon First Amendment rights. What part of "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...." is so very hard to understand? Obviously, people cannot read.

2. Since I have been old enough to vote, I have tried to determine which candidate would appoint judges that intellectually honest. I have never seen one yet. Not even Reagan. Just stand back and just continue to watch the trainwreck in slow motion. And know that we allowed the freaks to ruin our country by standing on the sidelines and hiding our "morality."

Roland Hulme said...

If you're pregnant, you're going to have a baby, so by those semantics, it's difficult to argue that life begins at anything OTHER than the moment of conception.

(Although the Bible explicitly states that a baby isn't 'valid' until a full month after it's born. http://rolandhulme.blogspot.com/2008/09/abortion-morality-and-bible.html)

I think you have to accept that abortion IS killing an unborn baby, whichever way you look at it.

So as a personal choice, it's not one I can make.

However, four million American women have abortions every year and I'm deeply skeptical of criminalizing that (and driving those women to illegal abortionists) and even more skeptical of our right to decide - without ever having to take responsibility for our decision - if a mother is equipped to bring a baby into the world.

Some pro-lifers sit smugly in their armchairs and say: "These women MUST have their children!"

Yet when it comes to looking after, feeding, educating, clothing and supporting (financially and emotionally) these kids, those same pro-lifers are nowhere to be found (they're at a GOP rally, demanding that welfare for single mothers be cut.)

It's deeply hypocritical.

If we want to end abortion, we should do so by eliminating unwanted pregnancies, not enforcing our will on other people (and not having to take any responsibility for it.)

Roland Hulme said...

As for the supreme court - I am scared John McCain will hire more goons like Scalia, who are more interested in pushing their right-wing agenda than sticking to the law.

But then again, I'm also scared that Obama will hire more goons like Ginsburg, who are more interested in pushing their left-wing agenda than sticking to the law.

Why can't the supreme justice dispassionately and objectively administer the letter of the law?

Just Me said...

"You can't legislate morality." Well, we do it all the time. If we didn't, we'd be abusing each other off the face of the earth. In a perfect society, everyone would have a strong, home-grown moral foundation, strong enough that we'd never take something that wasn't ours, willfully harm another person, and never tell a lie.

If you look at the Constitution and its amendments, you can see that they don't directly point to any moral issue but are geared to the protection of citizens' rights.

The Tenth Amendment "Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled."

In short, the Tenth Amendment says that if it isn't spelled out in the Constitution, the states make their own decisions upon it.

Abortion is clearly an issue that should be left to the states, not the Federal Government.

Interestingly enough, Norma McCorvey (aka Jane Roe), is a pro-life advocate and is dismayed that abortion has become little more than after-the-fact birth control, and she even tried having the ruling overturned.

THAT is where abortion "rights" go wrong. I have heard many people claiming that teaching young kids about abstinence is failed logic (I disagree), but you will not convince me that, in today's society, women -- no, couples -- aren't capable of protecting themselves with standard birth control methods.

Back in 1973 when Roe v. Wade was decided, birth control wasn't as available or openly discussed.

We're not just talking about the super-young teen mothers here. I visited a site called www.abortionfacts.com, and viewed statistics by age and a breakdown by teen years on that site. The statistics, unfortunately, are from 1995, but I am fairly confident that the demographics regarding age and race would probably remain somewhat consistent.

The highest percentages of teen-aged mothers seeking abortion were 18 and 19, which is still rather young but old enough to obtain proper birth control. (And I say that because I can almost understand a dippy 15-year-old kid being too chicken to buy condoms from the stores his/her mom shops in.)

In the second chart breaking it down by age groups, the highest percentage of abortions were performed on women aged 20-24 -- again, old enough to obtain and properly use birth control.

Yes, I am sure there are instances of conception after rape or incest, but I doubt that a significant percentage of the more than 23,000 abortions performed that year on the 20-24 group in NYC ALONE resulted from rape or incest.

Something is significantly wrong with a society that blithely murders its unborn, "viable" or not.

So, frankly, I'd like to see Roe v. Wade overturned with decisions on the subject be returned to the individual states.

And, while we're here, there should be NO Constitutional amendment declaring marriage as between a man and woman. That's another state issue as well.

BLBeamer said...

I can answer Roland's question, "Why can't the supreme justice dispassionately and objectively administer the letter of the law?"

Because, any one who is nominated will be subjected to such intense scrutiny and slander that no objective, dispassionate person will subject themselves to such abuse.

Two Dogs said...

Roland, you might want to edit your post on your blog. According to your quote from the rabbi, a baby is not viable until after its 30th birthday. Wow! Talk about late term. Lemme go take care of that little problem with Little Dogs, he's only 18! I no longer have to worry about paying for college. Problem solved.

Again, intellectual dishonesty is a really, really bad thing.

Unwanted pregnancies are really easy to prevent. Do not have sex unless you are prepared for the consequences of your behavior.

However, I commend you for at least trying to apply some morality concerning abortion, yet you still backslide with calling Scalia a goon. I certainly would like some backup on his political agenda in his decisions. Ginsburg? Yeah, we agree on that moron.

Two Dogs said...

When Just Me and Beamer comment, Baby Jesus smiles and we all get smarter.

Just Me said...

I forgot to answer #2.

No, the potential to pick a justice does not affect my vote, because there are many issues a president will influence, not just who sits on The Court. I also feel that, short of dying on the bench, I suspect that the justices hold off on retirement until a like-minded President occupies the White House.

Just Me said...

And, yes, as a Catholic I know I'm supposed to refrain from any form of birth control other than the calendar.

I also know (from personal experience) that the calendar isn't foolproof, and many women don't have a regular enough cycle to put it to use.

For those reasons, I disagree with the Church's stance on artificial means of birth control, and in this arena I have no problem supporting Planned Parenthood and similar groups; however, I am horribly offended when my tax dollars fund abortions. I don't think abortion should be a free service.

BLBeamer said...

Just Me - if you don't like your tax dollars being used for abortions (neither do I), then you should not be directly supporting Planned Parenthood since they are already getting tax dollars.

Roland Hulme said...

Two Dogs just made me laugh so hard coffee came out of my nose!

I will change that typo before your son gets his college career permanantly deferred!!

BLBeamer said...

Roland - Better send your mother some flowers right away. One can't be too careful!

Coffee Bean said...

"Some pro-lifers sit smugly in their armchairs and say: "These women MUST have their children!"

Yet when it comes to looking after, feeding, educating, clothing and supporting (financially and emotionally) these kids, those same pro-lifers are nowhere to be found (they're at a GOP rally, demanding that welfare for single mothers be cut.)"

That's a pretty generalized statement Roland. That may be the case among some... but not in my circle. There are Crisis Pregnancy Centers all across this nation. They provide help on many different levels (counseling, food, clothes, resources for getting health care, support for whether they decide to keep the baby or give it up for adoption, etc.) There are Koinonia type group homes for pregnant teens/women that have nowhere to go. Every year all across this nation these non-profit Christian organizations raise money for the continuation of their ministries and many dig deep and give.

I am Pro-Life but I am not angry at those who choose to have abortions. My heart breaks for them... for the loss of what could have been, for the guilt that enslaves so many women after the fact, for the inner pain that most hide.

I believe that if it is illegal to get an abortion that people will take preventative measures more seriously and that most will follow the law. Yes, there will be those that seek out illegal abortions and there will be no controls over the safety of those abortions... but that must be weighed against the lives that will be saved. Not just the lives of the babies... the emotional welfare of the mothers.

I know a woman who got drunk one night back in the sixties. She was a sophomore in college and she had sex for the first time that night... and got pregnant. She told me that if abortion had been legal she would have had one. Her child is my husband.

Two Dogs said...

CB, I am sure that at some times when things are not right at home, you become Pro-Abortion in theory.

Bogart in P Towne said...

I can't hold non-christians to my belief as a Christian...but abortion is not a matter of faith, but a matter of reason. When you can show me the exact moment that a life becomes a "life", then abortion can be in the discussion.

And yes, the make-up of the court influences my decision...probably more than most other issues.

Coffee Bean said...

I'll take that tongue-in-cheek Mr. Two Dogs!

Even in the worst of times I have never regretted having any of my children.

I will be honest and say that I panic a bit when I think of the incest/rape side of it. To force someone who has already been so violated to endure a pregnancy... I would hate to have to make that decision. I did know someone long ago that I've lost touch with that was the product of a rape. He was adopted and raised in a good home. He became a youth pastor.

Two Dogs said...

Dang, CB, you are worse than an Etch-A-Sketch.

You wrote, "She told me that if abortion had been legal she would have had one. Her child is my husband."

I responded, "CB, I am sure that at some times when things are not right at home, you become Pro-Abortion in theory."

About whom am I referring?

Two Dogs said...

About = To

Coffee Bean said...

OH!!! Totally slow on the uptake there! I got it now.

Ahh... hmmmmmmm...

I kid! I love my hubs big time! Even when he doesn't pick up his dirty laundry. Even when he eats apples or chews gum (well, no, actually I hate him then, but when he is done I love him again).

Becky said...

I believe that "you can't legislate morality" means that as far as personal choices are concerned...and let me clarify personal choices to mean those choices that only affect ONE person...yourself.

As humans, our rights end where another's rights begin. I have no right to take the life of another person...his/her right to LIVE trumps my right to KILL.

Likewise with stealing, cheating...etc.

My right to play music loudly until 3am is trumped by my neighbor's right to sleep...etc. There are areas of necessary compromise...on the smaller issues, but not when life/death is concerned.

That is how, I believe, most good legislation is formed. Taking into effect the ramifications of the parties involved...obviously the most significant issues would be those that include life/death.

There are some aspects of morality that cannot be measured or legislated, however...like the person who decides to do what is best for someone else rather than himself...even when they had could have been "defending their rights."

I agree that Roe v. Wade was an example of legislating from the bench. It was an unconstitutional case...and I don't believe that overturning it would send women to back alleys to have abortions. Put the decisions back where they belong...individual states.

Just a clarification (Roland)...Justices Scalia and Ginsberg were not hired by a president...they were nominated. The confirmation process necessitated the rubber stamp from many persons...so I am hopeful that no matter who is elected, the confirmation process will be fair and the nominated justices will be swiftly approved or denied by a majority of people who can objectively speak to the will of the people that voted them into office.

Yeah, I know, a little pollyanna-ish...but I am hopeful.

And CB, absolutely the Supreme Court vacancies have weighed heavy on my decision for whom to vote.

The Maid

Just Me said...

FWIW, I don't independently support Planned Parenthood. I would if they were not performing abortions.

I stole this joke from a friend of mine, but I often refer to Mighty B (when out of earshot) as the "Planned Parenthood Poster Child."

It took me a minute to get the "when things are not right at home" comment too, CB, so don't feel obtuse.

On the Christian crisis pregnancy centers, a friend of mine volunteered for one, and I was impressed by the work they did and how many babies they saved and how many mothers they helped with clothing, diapers, furniture, and the like.

I'm not against a single mom on welfare. I am against any person blatantly leeching from the welfare system with umpteen kids and no effort at working outside the home. I do think there should be limits to time spent on welfare.

And, finally, not knowing anyone dear to me enduring a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, I have a hard time justifying an abortion for that person. I feel like the baby is as innocent a victim as the mother, and I suspect aborting that baby would scar the mother even more deeply than she has been already. I understand not raising that constant-reminder child herself. Adoption is the best alternative.

Brenda said...

I think the purpose of the supreme court is to uphold the constitution thereby protecting our rights. Roe takes away the rights of the unborn because they do not see them as people yet. I hope I do not sit and look smugly at anyone. I have compassion for the woman who does not think she can parent a child. There is adoption. 3 of our children are adopted. I'm glad she did not opt for abortion. She made poor parenting choices later and should have put them up for adoption right away. As far as morality. As far as I am concerned they uphold the values of their own political party.