Friday, January 27, 2017

Non-Religious Reasons: Part 4 - Abortion

Part 3 here

One non-religious reason against safe abortions.

There isn't one. ...because there is no such thing as a "safe" abortion.

Just a refresher (from Google). Abortion: the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy.

Definition of "Pregnant": having a child or other offspring developing in the body.

So, every single abortion is the termination of a developing baby.

"But Luke," you may say, "it's not a baby, it's a fetus."

...which, if you were thinking that, you clearly missed Part 1 of this brief series where you learned that a fetus, by definition, is "an unborn human baby more than eight weeks after conception."

Though you may feel it at the moment, I'm not so thick as to not understand what "safe" means in the original context. It means "safe for the mother." And, yes, if I had to choose between losing two lives over one, I'm utilitarian enough to agree that "safe" is better than "unsafe" ... but such a discussion misses the more important part: The purpose of abortion is to terminate an unborn fetus' life (remember: human baby).

And one of the roles of the government is to protect its citizenry. And while it is true that the unborn do not currently fall under the protected status, anyone who cares about the disenfranchised, the powerless, the voiceless should be demanding that our government do better, be better, and seek to protect the most defenseless.

This is not to say that I do not have incredible sympathy for women in crisis pregnancy situations. We must do better by them (and the Church -- which, I realize has nothing to do with non-religious stuff -- I believe should be at the forefront of that, which is why I'm so proud my church is involved in Alternatives). In fact, some of the most frustrating things for me when I hear about Pro-Choice arguments are all the things that make women in these situations feel like they don't have a choice. Be it churches, boyfriends, their family, or socially, we have repeated failed women who need love, support, and care during these horrible situations.

And I'm not even 100% against abortion. I merely think that we should start with the assumption that it's wrong -- like killing anyone -- and allow for the possibility that there may be times when the government has reason to condone such behavior (like in self-defense or national security). Of course, I would urge everyone to be as cautious about that as possible. But, really, that's a totally different topic.

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In conclusion:

Please, at minimum, take two minutes to google a topic before posting about it on social media.

And, if you don't feel like doing that much work yourself, come chat with me and I'd be thrilled talk about these issues. I get it: marriage, research, and health are huge, important, complicated issues filled with all kinds of nuances and twists that make it difficult. I appreciate the difficulties with many of these things and fully recognize where the Church and Christians and I have totally screwed up in these kinds of things. I urge us all to do better, and I know I have much to learn about all this.

But if you are looking for nothing more than one non-religious reason why the government should be concerned, I hope I've helped you out.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

Non-Religious Reasons: Part 3 - Stem Cell Research

Part 2 here

One non-religious reason against stem cell research.

There isn't one. ...but this isn't what people are actually arguing about.

See, if we did the smart thing and collected stem cells from fat tissue instead of embryos, no one would/should be complaining. And I read this scientific knowledge first in Wired way back in 2010! (Seriously, it's a great article: All Natural: Why Breasts Are the Key to the Future of Regenerative Medicine and has been out for more than half a decade.) If you took the time to look at the science, you would find that fat is a ridiculously better source for stem cells than unborn human babies (aka "fetus"):

There is roughly one adipose stem cell per 100 fat cells. (By comparison, bone marrow contains one per 250,000 to 400,000 cells.)

So go donate some of your fat for science (I'm willing!) and let's super-power stem cell research.

What people complain about is the use of stem cells from aborted children (and not just for the obvious scientific reasons).

...which brings us to the non-religious reason against safe abortions.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

Non-Religious Reasons: Part 2 - Same Sex Marriage

Part 1 here

Give me one non-religious reason against same sex marriage.

There isn't one. ...but this isn't actually a problem for people who support traditional marriage.

See, marriage itself is a religious practice. It is a covenant between two people. For the Christian, it was established by God and therefore has a lot of stuff associated with it (things you're likely to hear about during a traditional marriage celebration).

"But Luke," you may say, "non-religious people get married too!"

Yes, in a sense. But these -- again, going no further than Wikipedia -- are civil unions defined as "marriage without religious content carried out by a government institution." And, I don't know if you remember back to when the whole gay marriage "thing" went viral here in the States, but that was one of the main arguments put forth by the supporters of "traditional (read: religious) marriage": Civil unions already exist; it is against the First Amendment for the government to force civil unions into the definition of marriage.

Now, does that mean I think we should strip gay couples of their rights? Not at all! Indeed, when I first heard how the government was mistreating some homosexual couples, I was angry and could not believe that some civil unions did not provide the partners opportunity to file their taxes jointly or to have visitation rights at hospitals. That was absurd.

But rather than fixing the government's problems, the government crashed through the separation of church and state and established a mandated religious expression for same sex unions.

You should be on the side of "traditional marriage" while also demanding better from our government concerning the civil unions it oversees.

"But Luke," you may say, "the government hands out marriage licenses. So marriage is a legal (not religious) thing."

And you are right, in part. The part of marriage that is connected to the government has everything to do with what the government does: collecting taxes, enforcing justice, and ensuring their citizenry is not abused. It doesn't actually define marriage itself (though, in seeking to protect, say, children, incest and under-aged pairings are often prohibited).

Please note: Marriage should not be defined by the government. The only time the government gets involved is when the elements of unions impact taxes and separations.

Click here to go on to the non-religious reason against stem cell research.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

Non-Religious Reasons: Part 1 - Separation of Church and State

I can't find the original, but these questions are attributed to maswartz:

I honestly think people forget that the church and state are supposed to be separate. Give me one non-religious reason against same sex marriage. One non-religious reason against stem cell research. One non-religious reason against safe abortions. Go ahead.

Enough of my friends have been sharing this lately that I thought I'd take the time to actually write down the reasons rather than just thinking, 'Just one? Okay.'

Before we jump into the specific questions, we need to address the larger issue first: Separation of Church and State.

You need merely type the phrase into Google and it will reveal to you (from Wikipedia) that:

  1. It's not actually part of any official government documentation, but rather is a phrase from a letter written by Jefferson.
  2. The text from the First Amendment specifically restricts the State establishing a religion...
  3. and prohibits the government interfering with religious expression.

In other words: The idea is that government must not interfere with religious experience whatsoever. It says nothing about religious people being part of the State or their involvement with government.

And when it comes to questions of marriage, research, and terminating a fetus ("an unborn human baby more than eight weeks after conception") I plan to show that the State has at least one non-religious reason to be concerned. Moreover, for those who want greater separation between government and religion, you have my wholehearted agreement if you've read the above and think, "Sheesh, yeah, let's stop having the government infringe on religious practice."

Even if you don't agree, I urge you to click here to move on to the non-religious reason against same sex marriage.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester