Are homosexual people evil?

This is a stupid question.  Homosexuals are people and like all people, some have the capacity for evil.  The homosexuality has no relationship to the evil.  If you are against people who happen to be homosexual, then there might be something wrong with you.  If you are against homosexual activities, then that is more supportable.

A better question is “Are homosexual people sinners?” and the answer to that is yes, at least for those who engage in or fantasize about homosexual activities.  This in itself does not make them bad people, it just makes them at odds with God.  He tells us not to engage in certain behaviors, not because He is a killjoy, but because those behaviors are harmful to us and/or to His plan.

Some people think that homosexuality is a worse sin than most others.  I beg to differ.  As far as I can tell, there is exactly NO difference between two people of the same gender fornicating and two people of opposite genders who are not married fornicating.  Sin is sin.  Keep in mind that a “sin” is an offense against God, and often against oneself.  Therefore, it is up to God and the people involved to deal with it.  Not me and not you and not the government.  What people do in private is their business as long as nobody gets hurt.

By the way, this brings up an interesting question.  Are a couple who got married in front of a Justice of the Peace (or an Elvis impersonator) really married?  In the eyes of man and most legal systems, absolutely.  In the eyes of God?  I do not know; if He was not invited to the ceremony, He might not recognize the marriage.  There is the possibility that they, too, are sinning when they indulge in lovemaking.

As mentioned, many homosexuals are not “bad people”, but sadly, a few are.  These are the people  who think than anyone who is not wholeheartedly in favor of homosexuality is “the enemy”.  That there are no negative aspects of homosexuality.  That “all” heterosexuals and/or religious people and/or Republicans are out to get the homosexuals (sadly, some of the listed people ARE out to unreasonably damage homosexuals).  A reliable sign of this sort of people is someone who applies the term “hater” to anyone who disagrees with any homosexual agenda, even those who actually love the people who are homosexual but just disagree with some of their behaviors.  These are the most radical of the homosexual activists; people who seek to force homosexuality as the new “norm”.  Many of these people can be considered to be evil, not because they are homosexual, but because their tactics and sometimes even their goals are evil.

Let us consider three recent cases which made the news.  In case one, a gay couple went to a baker to get a wedding cake, and the baker refused to make such a cake because he did not believe that gay people can be legitimately (as opposed to legally) married.  In case two, another gay couple went to a photographer to cover their ceremony, and again, the photographer would not comply due to his religious beliefs.  Now in either case, if the couple had been normal, reasonable, intelligent people, their response would have been something like “Ok, we won’t buy your bread/get our portraits taken here either, and we’ll tell all our gay friends about  you so they won’t bother you.”  And everybody would have gotten what they wanted, or at least deserved.  But no; in both these cases the couple whined about “discrimination”, and there was a big outcry and government involvement and court cases, and as a result, the photographer and baker have been damaged if not actually ruined.  For doing the gay couples a massive favor.  And as an even worse result, other bakers and photographers and even other wedding related artists may not dare to express their beliefs, which makes makes the odds of future gay couples being at risk for having their ceremonies damaged has been significantly increased.

What?  Consider.  Making a superior wedding cake is an art form, and so is meaningful wedding photography.  A ceremony is hoped to be a once in a lifetime experience; do you really think it is low risk to have the cake and photography (or anything else) to be done by people who are not in full agreement with the joining?  Really?  If a person is “forced” to do art, do you really expect truly good work if the artist is not “feeling” the moment?  Or even is repulsed by the moment?  Or is it more likely to result in a standard cake which could be bought at Safeway for a tenth of the price, and photographs which do not capture all (or even any) of the joy of the ceremony?

But what about “equal rights”?  Aren’t homosexuals “discriminated against”?  Certainly there are occasions where a person’s actual rights are violated because of their homosexuality.  This needs to be addressed on a case by case basis, since homosexuals already have “equal rights” wherever they happen to reside, because they are people and thus must be allowed the same human rights granted to everyone else in that area.  But many occasions in which homosexual people are denied something just because they are homosexual are not really discrimination.

In many cases, what they are desiring are not “rights”.  Consider the push for “gay marriage”.  Marriage is not a “right”; it is a privilege granted upon the acceptance of, and the ability to, satisfy the accompanying responsibilities.  Or at least it should be.  Are there gay couples who want to get “married”?  Of course there are, but how many of them want to do so because they want to contribute to the institution of marriage as the building block of society and child rearing?  Certainly not all of them; some want to get married to get “for free” the benefits automatically granted to the people in a marriage, which an unmarried gay couple must set up for themselves or in some cases influence modifications to the laws.  Some want to make a statement about their relationship with another person.  I suppose it is possible that some think they may be able to “fool” God into accepting their homosexual lovemaking.  It is likely that at least a few view it as a means of thumbing their nose at society or even to “destroy” or at least further devalue the institution of marriage.

In the cases above, if the couples had been black, which not only is something over which they have no control, but does not have any provable or viable theoretical link to their suitability to be married, then a really good case for discrimination could have been made.  Then the baker’s/photographer’s beliefs could have been considered unreasonable and they might well deserve to be put out of business.  Homosexuals have a choice about engaging in homosexual activities.  And many people who believe in God and follow His word do not think that homosexuals can be validly “married”.  Ditto for some people who study society and history.  Are they right?  Maybe; at least it is a valid theory.  Thus calling this sort of thing “discrimination” cheapens the word.  True discrimination is an evil act; to apply the word to lesser offenses weakens the disapproval the word causes, and thus the censure for engaging in true discrimination.

The couples in these two cases either were activists who were eager for an opportunity to push their beliefs on others and punish people who disagreed with those beliefs, or were normal people who were “conditioned” to be horrified by the rejection rather than glad not to get the wrong baker/photographer for their event.  Or perhaps neither, and unrelated activists seized the opportunity to further their goals.

I promised three cases, didn’t I?  The third is Brendan Eich, who started Mozilla and became its CEO.  Six years ago he donated $1000 to the campaign (California Proposition 8) which attempted to define marriage as only between a man and a woman.  The proposition was approved in the election, but after several years of legal wrangling  was declared to be invalid.  Even though they “won”, gay activists went through donation records from six years ago and found Brendan’s name and raised a fuss, even though the matter had already been finally settled and Brendan could no longer have any impact on the issue (and there does not seem to be any evidence he is anti-gay, just the contribution as indication he is, or was, anti-gay-marriage).  Just as a punishment, and a warning to others not to disagree with them, they managed to cause him to lose his job (he was forced to resign).  Evil.  Just pure evil.

Morality and Survival

I’ve been having a discussion with a fellow prepper, and the question arose about whether it was acceptable to raid other people (depriving them of what they need to survive and/or killing them in the process) in order to enhance the chances of your own survival and that of your family.

He is of the opinion that it is, morally at least, a gray area.  He ‘will do anything’ to ensure the survival of him and his family.  The difficulty is that there is not a one to one correspondence between the morality and the effectiveness of an action.  If the primary goal is survival of the family, then that action seems the most effective decision to make, and it is hard to fault him for making it.  However, that decision should be made with the full understanding that no matter how effective that plan may be, the actions required are morally wrong.

Be sure to note that a plan can be highly effective, but morally wrong.  In fact, this is very often the case.  Conversely, just because something is morally right does not guarantee it to be effective.  And in this case, the moral course of action may very well be less effective for the goal of survival.

Why do I claim that the course of action which gives an appearance of effectiveness is morally wrong?  Well, we can go to the Bible to see that stealing and murdering is frowned on by God.  Assuming that you put any stock in the Bible, of course.  Perhaps a more general support for the position would be a form of the ‘Golden Rule’ which just makes sense.  ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ and more specifically, ‘do not do unto others what you do not want them to do unto you’.

Consider that you have what you need for you and your family to survive.  Would you want someone else to come and take it, either killing you or some family member(s) and/or leaving you without the means to survive?  I suspect not.  Well then, I contend that this shows that the action is not ‘moral’.

I have lived by that version of the Golden Rule for thirty five years, and intend to continue doing so, even in a survival situation.  Does this mean my chances of survival are reduced?  Probably.  I can tell you, from my years of experience, just because I do something for someone that I would like someone to do for me, often it is not done for me.  And similarly, things I don’t do because I would not want them done to me, sometimes are done to me.

Here is the thing.  You don’t follow the Golden Rule for others; you follow it for yourself.  And perhaps for God.  I can always (well most of the time) look in the mirror and be pleased with who I see.  Those times when I say to myself, ‘you know, I really wish I had not done that’ are greatly reduced.  I believe that God is moderately happy with me (of course, I still have many areas which need work).  If I fail to survive because I do not perform an action which I believe to be immoral, well, I think survival is more than just staying alive.  In my opinion, survival includes not only the body, but the soul.

By the way, note that while I believe that ‘murder’ is wrong, I have absolutely no problem with self defense.  It appears to me that God detests taking the life of innocents, but can accept taking the life of someone who is attacking you without cause.  ‘Turn the other cheek’ does not say that you cannot defend yourself against deadly violence; it specifically refers to a slap on the cheek, or more generally, an insult.  THAT you are not to respond to.

 

 

 

 

If you are against abortion, what can you do?

The simplest and most obvious is, don’t have one.  This means, sadly, not having sex with anyone with whom you do not want to have children or at least would not be willing to have them, and in every sexual encounter, proceed in the manner most likely to result in your intention on having a child or not having a child being realized.  And if unintended pregnancy does occur, suck it up and do either of the only two options available (keeping the child or putting the child up for adoption).  It would be hard to imagine anything worse than a person who believed abortion is wrong, having an abortion.

OK, that takes care of you, but how about everyone else?  In the previous article, I came to the reluctant conclusion that laws were not appropriate.  ‘Forcing’ people not to have abortions seems to be a losing proposition for everybody, including even God.  Encouraging people not to abort seems to have more potential; treating the problem rather than the symptom.

For every attempt to educate people about the risks of casual sex, there are hundreds on the joys, social acceptability and even desirability of casual sex.  Thanks, Hollywood.  I doubt we’ll ever see any laws to discourage unintended pregnancies.  Education about the potential risks and the questionable morality of abortion may have benefit, and pursuing laws to that end may be worthwhile.

Other than working to pass laws and supporting candidates for office who claim to share your views, what can you  do?

There are some who feel so strongly about abortion doctors killing babies, that they think killing the doctor is justified.  These people are mentally incompetent and should be treated like the dangerous psychopaths they are.

Then there are those who think standing outside an abortion clinic and yelling insults at the people going in is doing God’s work.  Sorry, they are doing the Devil’s work.  First of all, they are not at all representing God’s love, they are demonstrating Satan’s hate.  This tends to drive the people yelled at further from God, not draw them closer.  Second of all, the insults are usually perceived or desired to be perceived as lies, which may tend to make the person less likely to listen to reason.

But let us say that you actually drive away a potential abortion customer; you go home for supper feeling really good about yourself.  That is the only result you pay attention to.  No thought whatsoever for the person you ‘convinced’ or the child you ‘saved’.  The person you yelled at is probably not feeling good.  They were in a bad situation and now they are likely feeling worse, with your condemnation weighing on them and having to start from scratch in resolving their ‘problem’.  They probably use your behavior as God’s representative to drive them further from God, in which case you helped the Devil steal their salvation.  There was a reason the person was considering abortion; the child may now grow up unwanted or in inappropriate circumstances, in which case you may have helped the Devil create further destruction of Society and enhanced Chaos.  And even those who are not directly involved see your representation of God and apply that negative impression towards Him.

There is one class of anti-abortion activists which do seem to unequivocally be doing God’s work.  These people are supportive and caring of the woman during the decision whether to abort, showing her all the pitfalls of that path.  And they are supportive during pregnancy, including helping her working towards a better future for herself.  And after the birth, they handle all the work of adoption.  Doesn’t this seem like a more Godly methodology?

 

Should there be laws against abortion?

This is a very controversial subject.  Some people feel very strongly about their viewpoint, occasionally to the point of violence.

On the one side, you have those who believe that a child is not a child until it is born.  That is, ‘life’ begins at birth.  Before then, it is a ‘wart’ which the woman has the right to have removed if she so chooses.  These people tend to not believe in, or at least to not have much of a relationship with, God, and their vision is directed inwards, that is, worrying about what seems ‘best’ for them.

What really is confusing is many of these same people also seem to believe that if someone attacks a pregnant woman and as a result, the unborn child dies, that is not an unsolicited abortion but  is instead, murder.    This seems an odd contradiction and implies that a child is only a child if you want it to be a child, which has disturbing connotations.

On the other side, you have those who believe that a child is a child the instant it is conceived, and that the woman has no right to kill it.  These people tend to have a close relationship with God and their vision is directed upwards; that is, attempting to figure out what God wants.  And what they think God wants is for the child to be born.

I have been on both sides of the question.  Before I found God, I believed that pregnancy was a biological happenstance, and that it would be ‘good engineering’ to prevent a child from being born to parents which did not want the child.  Fortunately, I was never in a position where I had to participate in that decision.  Once I found God, I became convinced that killing a child was a sin, and now intend to never commit that sin, no matter what the temptation.  Notice the concept of ‘choice’.  At one time, I would have chosen to participate in an abortion, and now, I choose not to participate.  Because of  being able to see both sides of the question, I’m uncertain about LAWS preventing abortion.

Abortion is the term used to describe a procedure which results in a pregnancy being terminated and the child prevented from being born (alive).  It is a nice, technical term, which is currently legal and has a fair amount (as much as 50% during the first trimester, perhaps less than 20% during the third trimester) of societal acceptance.  And is misused to make a vicious crime seem ‘ok’.  I refer to ‘partial birth abortion’.  I suggest that any person who thinks that a child in the process of being born is not a child, is either incredibly stupid, insane, or just plain evil.  Can anyone explain to me how this is not the case?  Isn’t birth only used as a delineation because it is ‘easy’ to apply in allowing the child to be killed or attempt to prevent it from being killed?

This then means that ‘partial birth abortion’ is really ‘partial birth murder’ and the first term should not be allowed, as it cloaks the crime in a shroud of legality.  It should be obvious that I am firmly against it, but I don’t see a ‘law’ being the optimal solution.  There should really be no need for a law against this; we just need to stop referring to it by the camouflaging term.  The people who perform this procedure should be charged with first degree murder, and the people who request the procedure should be charged with conspiracy to commit murder.  And they would be, if we had not allowed the use of the word ‘abortion’ as part of the term.  Since common sense is very uncommon, I would tend to support a ‘law’ which prohibits that which should be intuitively not done.

Note that there is a (fortunately tiny) movement to get ‘post birth abortion’ accepted.  This is currently not a problem, but could be some day.  In my opinion, anyone in favor of allowing ‘post birth abortion’ is a prime candidate themselves for the procedure…

There is a problem though.  Birth can be (and currently is from a legal standpoint) a binary event.  Pregnancy proceeds until an instant of time, and then birth has occurred.  This makes it easy to delineate between the conditions.  It is a bit more difficult to separate the process into three conditions, pregnancy, birth in process, birth completed.  Worse, we’ve just moved the problem back a bit.  Can we really say that one second before birth begins, the child is not a child yet one second later it is?  Now we have to divide the process into four sections,  conception, viable child, birth in progress, birth completed.  And who can tell when that first ‘break point’ is?

The latest time frame of this break point between non-viable and viable would be when the child could survive outside the mother’s body with ‘minimal’ assistance.  But what would be the definition of ‘minimal’?  Wouldn’t two different children have different times when they meet this qualification, and how could that be determined?  Do we really want to be involved with removing the child from the mother’s body and than watching to see if it lives or dies?  Trying to apply this on a case by case basis would be an invitation to chaos.  The other option is to use historical medical records to come up with an ‘average’ time before which it is not a child and after which it is.  But do we really want to assign life and death based on average history, ignoring individuality?  This would be a flawed determination, but it could be better than the current methodology.

Conversely, the earliest time frame for this break point is conception, and a follower of God will usually insist that God intends the child to be a child at conception (or even earlier).  However, if a person does not believe in God, then that premise will not be accepted.  And without being able to prove that God exists (which nobody has yet done), much less what His desire is, that premise cannot and should not be forced on the unbeliever.  Or even the believer.

After separating ‘partial birth abortion’ from ‘regular’ abortion, we can now analyze whether laws against ‘regular’ abortion seem appropriate.  Here are some of the reasons why people claim we DO need such laws.

The first is that ‘God wants it’.  This is not a valid reason for having a law of man.  Man’s laws are intended to (or at least should) be for the benefit of society and its members.   To attempt to enforce God’s laws is pretty arrogant of us.  And it would seem, useless.  After all, God does not appear to want us to do the right thing because we are forced to do it by a law of man.  He wants us to do the right thing because we know it is the right thing and we WANT to do the right thing.  For that matter, He considers the DESIRE to do a thing the same as actually doing it.  He reserves the rights to punish the breaking of His law to Himself.

Then there is the “we are depriving ourselves of a person’s potential” argument.  And yes, we are with every abortion.  Who knows which one would be another Einstein another Salk, another Churchill, another Jordon?  Or another Hitler, another Hussein, another Dahmer?  There is the potential for greatness and the potential for disaster in every birth; let me suggest that the potential for neutral or worse is considerably greater in a baby who is not planned for and worse, not wanted, than in one who is at least wanted.  Oh, and let us not forget, God knows what children are going to end up being aborted, and it is my theory that he does not waste a ‘person’ on them. For that matter, potential greats die in childbirth (the mother OR the child) or accident or violence or disease or suicide, etc.  So this reasoning may be a pretty argument, but it is by no means justification for laws.

Then there is the horrifying number of abortions performed.  Shocking, but not a reason for a law.  The act is either OK or not OK; the number of cases does not change the justification.

Here is a heartbreaking one: the rights of the unborn child.  The Constitution says our ‘right to life’ is inalienable; that is ‘cannot be taken away’.  Balderdash.  If a person commits offenses bad enough, the State is allowed to execute them.  If a person attacks someone else with intent to kill, that victim can defend himself with the potential result of the attacker dieing.  People can kill themselves deliberately or through extreme stupidity.  Natural disasters and accidents kill even those who have done ‘everything right’.  No, life is not a ‘right’, it is a privilege with responsibilities.

Here we are, depriving a person of life, and there is nothing they can do about it.  Sounds terrible, doesn’t it?  However, we routinely deprive things of life; animals to eat or because there are too many of them, plants to eat or because they annoy us, insects, bacteria.  Obviously, ‘life’ in general is not sacred.  So how about ‘sentient’ life?  That, we (well most of us) do tend to hold in high regard.  If a baby is sentient prior to being born, that would indeed be reason for a law.  But at what time does a baby become self aware?  ‘Rights’ are, after all, usually misrepresented.  There really are no ‘rights’; they are more ‘privileges’, since with each comes responsibility.  Prior to birth (and for that matter, for a while after birth), a child is incapable of satisfying any responsibility, and thus is limited in their ‘rights’.  If they are not even self aware, then are their rights being violated?  Or is it merely their potential or future rights which are being violated?  A tough one, but unless it can be proven the child is self aware prior to birth, I must reluctantly conclude that this is not in itself justification either.

There is some evidence that an abortion has negative impact on the woman’s mental and physical health.  This includes a significant increase in risk of breast cancer and other diseases, and difficulty in having a desired child.  Plus there seems to be, in some women, various degrees of regret or depression.   Are these risks significant?  Some say yes, some say no.  But in either case it seems likely that they are not justification for laws.  We allow alcohol and cigarettes, which are known to be harmful.  What we can and should have in law is a requirement for anyone wishing to undergo an abortion be exposed to education about all the potential problems which could result.  And an age limit below which parental approval is required.

Finally, there are the effects on society.  It seems that as we devalue the life in the womb, the value of life afterward takes a hit.  This may be a factor in the increase in random violence.  Or it may be a result in the relentless suppression of God by those who are ‘offended’ that something greater than themselves exists.  Unless a direct correlation between abortion and any significant negative impact on society can be proven, laws are not going to be of benefit.

As far as I can see, laws prohibiting all abortions are not appropriate.  Severe restriction in the third trimester would be acceptable to me as a ‘compromise’ between the positions.   Laws requiring education before the procedure and parental approval seem absolutely necessary.  Abortion should never be paid for directly, or indirectly, by public money, as the people who don’t believe in it should  not be forced or tricked into paying for it.  It should not be paid for by any insurance policy unless that policy has an extra cost rider completely paid for by the set of policy holders who chose to add this rider; again, those who don’t believe in abortion should not be forced or tricked into paying for it.  Logically, the best place for laws would be in the prevention of undesired pregnancies, but of course that will never fly.

What are the alternatives to abortions?  After not getting pregnant involuntarily, there are only two:

Have the child and keep it.  If the woman was going to abort the child, one hopes she had valid reasons, and if so, those reasons likely still exist.  Any negative impact on the woman may or may not be appropriate ‘punishment’ for the ‘crime’ of getting pregnant inappropriately.  And why should the father escape ‘punishment’?  Most importantly, why should the child be punished for the actions of the mother?  What if the child ever learns that their parent(s) considered aborting them?  This option CAN end well, but often does not.

Have the child and give it up for adoption.  It would seem that if there are people who want a child and a woman who has one she does not want, that a mutually beneficial solution is obvious.  And it does work on occasion.  The downside is that there is a powerful bond between a woman and a child just delivered and many who originally intended to give up the child for adoption change their mind.  Thus they, and their child, are subject to the conditions which lead to thoughts of abortion in the first place.

Let us say an adoption does take place.  The ‘birth’ bond is not present, but in most cases parental love for the child and love of the child for the parent are the same.  Downsides include not knowing about the child’s genetic history or access to relatives if a transplant is necessary, and the ‘trauma’ of learning that you have been adopted or having ‘your’ child desire to meet their ‘real’ parents.  Still, this is often less trauma than the other option.