Sunday, April 23, 2006

A sick and twisted tale

A quick note: the following rant does not necessarily apply to those poor girls who aren't smart or educated enough to make a rational decision. It's aimed at women who should know better.

Working on the paper tonight, I edited a column by a very liberal young man who was shocked--shocked, I tell you!--that Ohio has made it a felony to get an abortion. According to his column, even if the woman goes out of state, she can still be charged with a felony.

The irony was that he claimed outrage that abortion would be lumped in with other crimes, such as . . . murder.

The column was basically one long rant about how the ultra-conservatives in charge of America want to keep women barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. I had to double-check the name to make sure it was a guy who wrote it. But what got me the most was his talk about women choosing to carry a pregnancy to term. What if she doesn't want to? Should she have to suffer through an unwanted full-term pregancy? Oh, the horror!

Look. There are tens of thousands of couples who want to adopt children. Giving the child up for adoption isn't that complicated, logistics-wise. As far as I know, you sign a couple consent forms and medical records and that's it. The kid's off your hands and some other couple is now very, very happy. And the baby is still alive.

But that's the "painful" way. Abortion, at it's heart, is a coward's way out. It's running away from the battle because the mother--that's right, mother--is too scared of the emotional trauma she'll suffer if she has to give up her baby. So she kills it.

Of course, if people like Planned Parenthood would make a bigger deal out of adoption than they do of abortion, if we weren't a culture of one-night stands and "it's just a piece of paper," if people were willing to make sacrifices for a person who could never, ever fully pay them back, we wouldn't have this problem.

Good God, do we need Jesus.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Reports of my demise . . .

. . . are totally true. Yep, that's right: I'm dead. Or at least I would be if final projects were lethal. Where's a good masseur when you need one?

Expect blogging to pick up a little more after this week. My HELL WEEK came a week early this semester; finals aren't until the week after next, but all my crunch time has been in the last four days. On the upside, I had an internship interview that I think was pretty promising. Now I've just got to follow up on it and I could very well be golden. Here's hoping!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Hoo-wee, we got us a party!

The Iranians enriched uranium (or so they claim). While that thought is normally enough to send me screaming to the bunker, I find that the anxiety of the announcement was greatly decreased by this picture and the LGF thread that accompanied it. While most of the comments consisted of "Let's nuke them before they nuke us!" (which I don't entirely agree with--more on that later), by far the best comment was #51:

"Then did he raise on high the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, saying, "Bless this, O Lord, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy." And the people did rejoice and did feast upon the lambs and toads and tree-sloths and fruit-bats and orangutans and breakfast cereals ... Now did the Lord say, "First thou pullest the Holy Pin. Then thou must count to three. Three shall be the number of the counting and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither shalt thou count two, excepting that thou then proceedeth to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the number of the counting, be reached, then lobbest thou the Holy Hand Grenade in the direction of thine foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it."
Best. Quote. Ever.

Now: as to my qualms about using nuclear weapons: my thought is that if we can knock Iran to its knees without using them, everyone will be better off. The problem is that if we attack after Iran gets the bomb (or, God forbid, after they've already attacked us), then we'll pretty much have to use them unless they're dumb enough to blow their entire arsenal at one go. If we act in time and nobody else (*cough* Pakistan *cough*) gets involved, then I doubt there will be any mushroom clouds on the horizon.

At least, I truly, truly hope not.

I pray not.

Monday, April 03, 2006

The right to choose

Something I've noticed in studying various cults and cultish religions is that they usually consist of one person (usually a man) or a few people who tell the entire rest of the group what to do. These systems operate under a common rule: Thou shalt not think for thyself. Read through this article and you'll see what I mean.

The Cliff's Notes version: a small, unaccredited Christian college in Pensacola, Fla. exercises an insane amount of control over its 5,000 students' lives. They don't allow dancing. They don't allow any contact at all between the sexes--not even handshakes. Even prolonged eye contact with someone of the opposite gender is forbidden; the school refers to it as "optical intercourse" or "making eye babies." Students are barely allowed off campus, and boys and girls can barely walk to class together without getting in trouble. Only a few hundred Web sites are accessible on the school's computers, TVs only work during the six o'clock news, and even then the commercials are blacked out. All movies and video games are verboten, and students can only listen to classical music or Christian music approved by the school. Photos of nude statuary are censored, and if a student wants to read a book that the library doesn't have, he must get it approved first. And this, unfortunately, is just the tip of the iceberg. Students who run afoul of the administration are essentially shunned.

Now, I could go on and on about this, about how the guy who started the college left Bob Jones--Bob Jones University--because it apparently wasn't strict enough. But what galls me the most about this story is the absolute, god-like control the school has over the lives of its students. These are adults, or almost adults, and they're capable of making their own choices.

One of my most firmly held beliefs--which stems from my faith in my savior, the Lord Jesus Christ--is that people should be allowed to make their own decisions, for better or for worse. A favorite trick of the enemy is to take something bad for people and just ban it outright, because if something is forbidden, it's hard to get information on it and make a competent decision. For example: alcohol. A lot of religions, including various Christian denominations, ban consumption of alcohol because it can be destructive. But alcohol itself isn't the problem--Jesus' first miracle was turning water into wine, after all--but consumption without moderation is. But it's harder to teach people moderation than it is to just forbid something, so bannination is the more commonly chosen road.

Another example: there's a lot of smut on TV. But abstaining from smut because you have no choice doesn't really count. You can't force people to be righteous because righteousness stems from personal choice. The truly righteous man is the one who sees the evil and turns away from it, not the one who can't get at it at all because somebody higher up flipped a switch. Real godliness comes from self-control, not control of someone else.

Perhaps the best example of all is the Islamic attitude toward women and the female form. The reason they keep women covered is because they believe that men can't control themselves when they see an improperly dressed woman. Well, whose fault is that? In Western society--indeed, in any society based on reason and respect--it is the man's responsibility to control his passion, not the woman's to prevent it. Of course, this doesn't mean that women should walk around falling out of their dresses and hiking up their skirts, but neither does it mean that they should walk around swathed in burlap. Intsead of banning boys and girls from being together, wouldn't it be better to teach them how to behave responsibly and then trust them to do so? I guarantee that the latter tactic produces better-adjusted human beings than the former.

And in case you needed on more red flag about this school, the founder of Pensecola Christian College claims that the idea for the school "came from God," and that students who leave the college are going against God's will. As I've watched my sister spiral into a relationship with a guy who exerts far too much influence over her, this has been one of the recurring themes of her "new life." Something that this intensely painful experience has taught me is that my relationship with God is my business, and no one else's. If I'm going against God's will, He'll tell me. He may use another person to relay the message, but it won't be in the form of a condemnation. I have very little patience with and no tolerance for self-appointed prophets of any persuasion. Once I let someone else begin making my decisions for me, I have become their slave. Even God does not make our decisions for us; as He once told my sister before she became involved with this misguided young man, "I'm not a Magic 8 Ball, Sarah."

After all, we don't think much of a 35-year-old man whose mother still buys his clothes for him. Why should our relationship with God remain so immature?