My niece posted this on Facebook:
Uh-huh. Let’s see about that.
Actually, the “wall” between church and state is not what people think it is. It’s based on a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to a church, and the text of that letter is usually misinterpreted to mean religion and the state should be completely separate and have no influence on each other. Which is impossible in real life. Anyway, see Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists. Read it carefully. It doesn’t mean what most people think it does.
Same-sex marriage is the law of the land now, so that’s over with — not that it’s that big of a deal since the population affected is tiny; they simply scream and holler well over their weight class until people get tired of listening and another barrier is lowered. However, the backlash is starting to cause something I have wanted to see for years — several states writing legislation to significantly reduce state control of marriage, which would in effect nullify the Supreme Court ruling regarding same sex marriage without outlawing it. Indiana has a bill before the legislature right now to that effect. So I’m all for anything that does that. Why should anyone have to buy a license from the state in order to get married?*
Stem cell research goes on regardless of whether it’s funded federally or not. The key is not the research itself, it’s whether federal money should be spent to further it. And there have been compromises over the years to allow some federal funding. I’m all for stem cell research as long as it’s done properly — there are some major breakthroughs coming in therapy because of stem cells. But the original argument over the use of stem cells was that only embryonic stem cells would work, because only they are “pluripotent”, which goes back to the abortion argument. After a lot of smoke and fire, it was discovered that adult stem cells can also be induced to be pluripotent.** So there’s likely no pressing need to use embryonic stem cells in any case, which should mean properly-done stem cell research should bother exactly no one other than extreme Luddites.
Abortion, on the other hand, is murder in a lot of peoples’ opinion — and that’s hardly a religious question, unless you think you can only be moral if you are religious. And a “safe abortion” is a contradiction in terms anyway. But it’s ALSO the law of the land, regardless of how you feel about the outcome of Roe v Wade. My argument has long been that abortion needs to be removed from politics, because eventually the “Roe Effect” will take hold and it won’t be an issue anymore.***
TL;DR version: I wish people would think about these things before they just generalize about them. I’ve been thinking about them for over forty years, and a Facebook meme isn’t going to change my mind about any of them.
* Of course, if people don’t vaccinate their kids, rubella is going to come back, and then the state will once again have a pressing interest in whether or not the potential mother is rubella-free. But I’m sure that can be handled some other way. Like by a family doctor testing her before or right after she gets pregnant. (Before 1987, women had to have proof that they were rubella free before they could get married in Indiana. In point of fact, even though this portion of the code was repealed in 1987, my wife still had to have a rubella test in 2000 before our county would give us the license. Interesting.)
Also interesting is the fact that the bill in question in Indiana still prohibits polygamy. Which is fine with me.
** I’m not going to go into this in depth, but the NIH says, “Human embryonic stem cells are thought to have much greater developmental potential than adult stem cells. This means that embryonic stem cells may be pluripotent—that is, able to give rise to cells found in all tissues of the embryo except for germ cells rather than being merely multipotent—restricted to specific subpopulations of cell types, as adult stem cells are thought to be. However, a newer type of reprogrammed adult cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells, has proven to be pluripotent.” NIH FAQ regarding stem cells, research question #2, accessed 1/24/2017; bold emphasis mine.
*** For those who can’t reach the linked 2005 WSJ article by James Taranto,
The Roe effect, however, refers specifically to the nexus between the practice of abortion and the politics of abortion. It seems self-evident that pro-choice women are more likely to have abortions than pro-life ones, and common sense suggests that children tend to gravitate toward their parents’ values. This would seem to ensure that Americans born after Roe v. Wade have a greater propensity to vote for the pro-life party–that is, Republican–than they otherwise would have.
In my opinion, there’s more to the Roe Effect than whether or not a child is aborted or allowed to come to term and be born; it also depends on the consequences of education for that child. A child can be born into a family that considers abortion to be murder, and through indoctrination in our public schools, come to the conclusion that a fetus isn’t human and can therefore be safely disposed of. Such families also generally believe that sex should be confined to marriage and that it is a sin to have intimate relations before marriage. Young girls from such families who find themselves fallen pregnant (a interesting term) typically believe that their best option to avoid punishment or disapprobation from their parents is to get an abortion, even though abortion is far worse than simply accepting fate and keeping the baby or giving it up for adoption — which have more consequences in and of themselves. Perhaps the true solution is to stop telling children that premarital sex is a sin and will be punished by $DEITY, and tell them instead that sex is indeed a wonderful thing, a sacred mystery if you will, but it can lead to bad consequences for young girls who engage in it — and make it clear that even if a daughter finds herself pregnant, she’ll still be loved and accepted and everything that can be done to support her will be done. Because I’ll bet you more girls run away from home to find an abortion when they find out they’re pregnant whose parents go all fire and brimstone on them about premarital sex than those whose parents are proactive and supportive even if the worst happens.
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