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November 29, 2003


Tricky on the 'preservation of human life' issue when it's abortion, though, Katherine, because even if the kid would grow up with AIDS or whatever, it's seen by Catholics (myself included) as a human with just as much right to life as the mother.

That's the tough call. I daresay sometimes it's necessary to make that call. But not easy when it's the choice between one human and another.

Again, this is just on the abortion bit of your post.

Passing a law making abortion illegal under any circumstances, though, James, says that the mother has less right to life than the foetus. And that's just wrong.

actually, the abortion bit was just in there so as not to chop up the quote. if your doctrine says life begins at conception I suppose it makes sense to weigh the certainty of one death over the risk of another. knowing what I do about bio it's hard to weigh an early stage pregnancy the same as a grown woman, from my point of view, but it's the AIDS stuff that made me spitting mad.

it's the AIDS stuff that made me spitting mad.

Me too.

This attitude of the church stems from the idea that baby-making is the only acceptable goal of intercourse - everything else is fornication. The injunction has its roots in Deuteronomic law - but the intent from the time (discouraging extramarital affairs, expanding the church) seems better handled in other ways now.

It does cast a light on the power of the evangelical Church in the 3rd World. Liberation theology has power - and has done a world of good in helping create an ethical base for opposing tyranny. But those who are willing to risk their lives for the expansion of the faith are generally the hard core, and they're going to bring in their complete ethical structure, not just what a more secular or ecumenical individual would consider the "good" stuff.

But its also not limited to Catholicism - Islam has similar evangelical power, for similar reasons, and Koranic injunctions are even more explicit and comprehensive than their Old Testament counterparts.

For me this goes back to the difference between those who believe and live their own lives to that belief and those driven to enforce that belief on others.

On the abortion side I believe that life begins at conception but believe that while the child is still in the mother, she can do as she pleases, she'll just have to answer for it eventually.

However, when you say: I don't trust any religion that values something else higher than it values the preservation of human life.
I have to disagree. I value many things more than human life, especially my own. My families lives, freedom and souls top that list. My religion helped teach me this.

Surely the points you list are indeed debatable, but in the end judgement will occur, we humans just have this disappointing characteristic of thinking we're the ones to do it all the time and right now.

And the AIDs bit...Yeah, I've been pissed about that for a good while now. Seems way out of whack, and maybe even a bit sinister...

When I speak of human life as the highest value--I'm thinking in terms of what you would kill for, not what you would die for. You might die for the freedom to practice your religion or save your soul; would you kill others for failing to do so or to save their souls? And it's the rare threat that endangers freedom without endangering anyone's lives. Perhaps I should have said "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," but that phrasing would open a whole other can of worms.

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