My name is David Moberly and I’m a candidate for Seat 6 in the upcoming election for City Council in Meridian, Idaho.
Q: Why should I care enough to get out and vote in a City Council election?
A: A lot of your day to day life is wrapped up in the decisions made right here in Meridian. Budget items that affect property tax rates, business regulations and planning and zoning are just a few decisions that are directly controlled by your local City Council.
Q: Why should you vote for me?
A: Glad you asked! Below is an outline of what I stand for. While simple, these are the principles that will govern the way I lead:
1. Small & Limited Government: Pretty simple — less taxation and regulation equals keeping more of your money and dealing with less bureaucracy.
2. Liberty and Freedom: A slight distinction from point one as this relates more to personal liberties. The government is servant of the people, not vice-versa.
3. Pro-Life and Pro-Family: I support equal protection under the law for everybody, including people who are not yet born.
As a lifetime resident of the Treasure Valley, my commitment to Meridian is as a resident, a business man and one who spends each and every day in this city. For any questions that I haven’t addressed, I invite you to contact me personally. You can call, email, visit my page on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter, and ask away. I will make every effort to answer your questions as quickly and honestly as I can.
Written by ADB
Before discussing any viewpoint, it’s important to understand that there is not a perfect solution to the challenges we face. This is a complicated world we live in with many hidden consequences to the decisions we make every day. We frequently spew our beliefs with no regard whatsoever to these hidden consequences and libertarians are no different in this regard.
Like any belief system, every individual has his or her own adaptation. Please accept that the views I present here are my take on libertarianism and do not necessarily reflect the views of all libertarians.
At its core, libertarianism is an adherence to the principle of non-aggression. A person has no business interfering with the activities of another person, either directly or indirectly, unless in response to interference.
Libertarians think in terms of freedom rather than rights. Freedom is a “negative right”, such as the right not to be murdered. We consider the common usage of “right” to be “positive rights”, such as the right to life or the right to shelter. This is nonsensical outside of a legal context — it’s a state that you have without interference. These positive rights are aspects of wealth.
The libertarian perspective doesn’t try to define needs and desires. It doesn’t try to define morality. It doesn’t try to make rules. It simply tries to understand and embrace our natural inclinations.
Libertarianism assumes that each and every individual is the best steward of his or her resources. This provides the most flexibility for individuals to solve problems for themselves in the way that they see fit while providing others that same flexibility.
Economics, per its definition, is an analysis of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Based on this definition, economics revolves around value.
Value has two basic definitions. Scientific value is a numerical quantity that is assigned or determined by calculation or measurement. Perceived value is the relative assignment of utility of a good or service. When we talk about economics, “value” refers to the latter while “price” refers to the former. Clear definitions of price and value are critical for discussing economics.
Economic value is relative. There is no inherent value. It is based entirely on the opinion of the individual. When someone claims that an object or person has inherent value, it is a projection of his or her own perceived value on other people.
The people most qualified to assign a price to a product or service are the same people who wish to acquire or provide the product or service. Further, what one person pays for a product or service is completely independent of what another person pays.
The transactions are between the buyer and seller and are not the business of other parties. It is an act of aggression for an outside party to interfere with a transaction.
Role of Government
It is a common misconception that a libertarian is anti-government. While many libertarians will say they are anti-government, the real meaning behind the libertarian opposition to government is the involuntary nature of participation.
One clear example of this is the topic of charity. People opposed to the libertarian worldview claim that libertarians are cold and heartless, that people who can’t survive on their own should be left to die. This is very far from the truth. Like everyone else, libertarians are very supportive of charity and supporting those in need. But forcing people to participate in charity is an act of aggression, violating the core principle of libertarianism.
This same view carries into the other roles of government. Whether it’s managing the construction of road networks or military operations, participation in government is enforced through the threat of violence. If we refuse to pay taxes or expand our homes without permits, we face aggression. And while many of us will gladly pay to support social services, libertarians oppose the aggressive nature of forcing other people to pay for those social services.
Libertarianism is an adherence to the principle of non-aggression. Interfering with the economic activities of other people is an act of aggression. Consequently, libertarianism holds that people should be free to produce, distribute, and consume goods and services with absolutely no interference.
Libertarian views on economics are very much aligned with the Austrian school of economics. For more information, visit the Mises Institute at http://www.mises.org/.
This is a quick overview of libertarian principles. I will be happy to debate the finer points in the comments.
ADB is a small business owner. He specializes in all things computer and is the smartest computer guy in the world. He is married, has two daughters, one dog and two cats. He loves pretending to be a tactical sniper, decorating his house, and arguing about political issues that are impossible to solve. He especially likes being a non-conformist and thinking outside the box.
by Kyle David
At the heart of the Liberal1 economic viewpoint is the belief that free market systems, while good at many things, aren’t always rational or efficient. Where they’re not, government is uniquely equipped to act on behalf of the citizens left behind.
It’s important to understand that Liberalism in the U.S. is not Socialism. Socialism believes the means of production should be run by the state. Liberalism opts for private markets with government intervention when needed. So Liberals don’t favor “government” over “free markets”. Their goal (as with many Conservatives, I suspect) is equal opportunity and maximum freedoms. The difference is that Liberals believe this is best achieved through mixed markets: government acting strategically on private, profit-driven markets.
The “rational market” theory posits that free markets, if left alone, are self-corrective and benefit everyone equally. Adam Smith famously called this self-correction the “Invisible Hand”. As has been observed in the two centuries since Smith’s theory was developed, however, that “Invisible Hand” appears to be either severely crippled or absent altogether in specific situations. For example, John Maynard Keynes observed that markets cease to be rational and efficient in times of low overall demand, e.g. recessions. Keynes observed that prices and wages don’t shift efficiently as Smith theorized they should, but rather the macroeconomy reaches equilibrium between supply and demand by pushing up unemployment capriciously and irrationally.2 In Keynes’ theory, high unemployment during recessions is not simply caused by a lack of productivity or laziness, then, but is built into the mechanics of the macroeconomic system and, as always, disproportionately affects those on the lower end of the income scale. The system thus punishes the poor during recessions which are created by irrational macroeconomic forces.
Thus from a Liberal standpoint, if the government can increase demand by stimulating the economy in some way, it has a practical obligation, and perhaps a moral one, to do so. One such way is through fiscal stimulus of the kind that was enacted in the U.S. in 2009.3
Though it may seem theoretical, the concept behind this critique of free markets applies elsewhere in very practical ways. The popular argument that “my money is mine, not the government’s, and I earned it fairly through my hard work” is, according to Liberals, partly true but also incomplete and oversimplified. Liberals can agree to an extent because the market indeed rewards productivity — again, Liberals are not Socialists. But three problems are conveniently overlooked by the “I earned my own money fairly” argument.
First, the argument fails to take into consideration the vast network of resources and opportunities that have led to an environment conducive to success (an educated populace, roads and infrastructure, rule of law, etc). To attribute success purely to individual effort ignores these collective factors in favor of a highly individualistic view of success.
Second, for reasons mentioned above (and many others) the market looks to be a rather unreliable indicator of one’s true economic value to society. Is the CEO of a securities firm who didn’t understand, let alone predict, the housing crisis on his watch really worth 10,000 times more to society than a school teacher, as their salaries would suggest? Is compensation in this system really “fair”?5
Third, and more to the point, what exactly is lost when a person’s dignity and quality of life is wrapped up primarily in what they produce? Is a professional athlete worth vastly more to society than a disabled worker who relies on federal housing and subsidies to work part-time in a local factory? That’s a big ideological question which I suspect will continue in the following conversation. More practically, for those who think the task of caring for this disabled worker (or an elderly retiree, or a poor single mother) should fall to his family or his church — which I agree would be ideal — consider what you’re asking of him if he has neither or if neither is able or willing to help. A Liberal would say that that responsibility, when it arises, falls on the collective, and the only true “collective” apparatus available to us is our representative government. And the only means available to that government are regulation, taxation, and distribution.
If our collective goal is truly equal opportunity and maximum freedoms for all, then it falls on the collective to attempt to bring about equal access for those left behind by an economic system that is often inefficient, irrational, and which at times blindly selects some for failure. Whether civil rights for African Americans when whites are in power, or dignity and equality for the underprivileged when the wealthy are in power, Liberalism seeks to attain equal opportunity and freedoms for all in a system that tends to favor some at the expense of others.4
- The word “Liberal” can mean almost anything including, at times, one political philosophy and also its opposite (see “Liberal Economics”)! I use it here to mean the contemporary, capital-L Liberal Party in the U.S.
- For a brief outline of Keynesianism in its own words: http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/KeynesianEconomics.html
- Studies of this kind are enormously complex but the emerging evidence matters. Here are the 9 major non-partisan studies of the effects of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/post/did-the-stimulus-work-a-review-of-the-nine-best-studies-on-the-subject/2011/08/16/gIQAThbibJ_blog.html#cbo. One of the reasons Keynesianism has enjoyed such a resurgence lately is because of how much better the U.S.’s stimulus approach to the global financial crisis appears compared to Europe’s austerity approach.
- Greg Mankiw, economic advisor to George W. Bush and Mitt Romney, recently wrote an article defending the market’s ability to fairly compensate individuals regardless of background titled “Defending the One Percent”: http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/mankiw/files/defending_the_one_percent_0.pdf. He sparked several critiques which illustrate the Liberal position, including Harold Pollack’s “The Complacency of the Meritocrats”: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/06/21/the-complacency-of-the-meritocrats/.
Kyle has a Bachelors in Religion and Philosophy and a Masters in Divinity. He currently teaches Bible at a private Christian school and only interacts with politics and economics as an amateur with a particular interest in the intersection of faith and politics in America. Kyle loves baseball, author Marilynne Robinson, and chips with good guacamole.
***This is part of a series comparing political views. To read the introduction, click here.***
Conservatism Empowers Economic Strength
Summary of the Conservative Worldview
Here are some fundamental principles of Conservatism arranged in a row of dominoes that fall, each into the next, along a logical path.
- Conservatism’s philosophical point of origin is this fact: Humans are fallible and corruptible. All humans act badly sometimes. Some humans act badly often. This is human nature – non-perfectible, rooted in the motivations of self-preservation and self-improvement.
- To protect society from imperfect human nature, this first principle is recognized as truth: Humans are endowed with unalienable rights from God, the Creator. If you prefer a non-religious rationale, these rights come from the logical application of the concept of Natural Law. This first principle is self-evident. Without it, what’s to stop power-hungry men from arbitrarily enslaving others?
- No person is entitled to deprive another of his/her unalienable rights without consent. In fact, the litmus test for unalienable rights is, “Can the right be exercised at no cost to others?”
- Unalienable rights include the right to accumulate property, through honest labor and trade, which cannot be confiscated without the owner’s consent.
- Since nobody is entitled to another’s property, individuals are morally responsible to earn a living for themselves and their dependent family. This is self-reliance.
- Government is last in a descending order of sovereignty:
Government cannot exert control over sovereign individuals without their consent, because unalienable rights aren’t granted by government.
- Government may collect and spend some of the resources of individuals for their common benefit, but only as stipulated in the contract that formed the government – the Constitution. Existing by “consent of the governed” is the only way government is compatible with unalienable rights.
- The most important purpose of government is to provide a consistent, objective legal system to protect honest people from inevitable attempts by unethical people to separate them from their unalienable rights and accumulated property.
- Upon taking office, the human nature of politicians doesn’t magically change. In fact they seem to become even more corruptible. Unchecked power funded by vast treasury resources is intoxicating, and threatens the sovereignty of individuals. So a vigorous system of checks and balances is required to enforce accountability and preserve the proper order of sovereignty. This is “separation of powers.”
Conservative Approach to Economics
Practical economic policies are established in harmony with human nature, without assuming humans can be induced to become selfless and communal by ignoring their natural self-interest. Economic policies must be constrained to realism, not rely naively on unconstrained idealism. Conservatism expects certain traits of normal economic behavior, which are NOT flaws:
- People won’t work as hard to benefit strangers as to benefit themselves and their family. It’s a motivation for self-preservation.
- People react to new government taxes and excessive regulations by adjusting their behavior to maximize their take-home pay. It’s a motivation for self-improvement.
- People don’t hide their savings under their mattress. They invest in bank accounts, shares of enterprises (stocks), and loans to enterprises (bonds), fueling new cycles of production.
Economic policies should keep these points in mind:
- Centrally controlled economies don’t work. Prices and resources must be allowed to respond to the needs and preferences of the millions of purchasers, expressed during their billions of daily transactions.
- Prosperity is fueled by production. Consumptive demand invites production, but production must come first.
- Incentives matter. Activities that increase production, savings, and voluntary charity should be incentivized. Activities that increase consumption and dependency on government-provided subsistence should be reasonably DIS-incentivized. Often, well-meaning policies create unintended outcomes by DIS-incentivizing production and incentivizing consumption and dependence on government subsistence.
- Every dollar taxed from the private economy is removed from the production-investment cycle. While some government infrastructure strengthens society, it shouldn’t exceed 19-20% of the total economy, or the economy’s power is sapped.
- Policies should be judged by their actual results, not their superficially-intended results. They should be revised or repealed if unintended consequences arise.
An Economic Metaphor
When government policies inadvertently DIS-incentivize work and production, and/or incentivize consumption and redistribution of property, then society cuts itself off from the source of its prosperity and power, hoping to coast on its past momentum. That’s a lot like unplugging a power strip from the wall outlet and plugging it into itself.
Jeff Rutherford is a Colorado native living in a rural ranching community southeast of Denver with his wife and two teenagers. Having earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering Technology in 1984, he now makes his living as a senior technology manager in the high-tech electronics industry. His hobbies are investing, amateur (at best) woodworking, corresponding with friends, collecting classic rock music, fixing the tractor mower in summer, fixing the tractor plow in winter, and studying crucial subjects such as American history, economics, and the various theories of government.
In July 2012, Jeff began a blog called Necessary And Proper Govt, as a cordial place for rational discussion of the proper role and reach of government in our lives, and the tradeoffs between liberty and security. He approaches life as a pragmatist, coming from a solid conservative perspective on fiscal, national defense, criminal justice, and marketplace issues — and a mildly conservative perspective on the so-called “social issues.” Jeff seeks to calmly elicit the logical views of his participants to try finding common ground upon which to build a bit of civil agreement, or at least respect for each other’s principled opinions.
“A worldview is a more or less coherent understanding of the nature of reality, which permits its holders to interpret new information in light of their preconceptions. Clashes among worldviews cannot be ended by a simple appeal to facts. Even if rival sides agree on the facts, people may disagree on conclusions because of their different premises.” -Michael Lind 
One of the hindrances to a productive political discussion is that of failing to understand our opponent. It is easy to think that those with political views different from our own are illogical or even just plain evil. We think they want to destroy the world as we know it. However, it is rarely the case that those who maintain opposing political views are dumb, irrational, evil, or any of the other accusations we tend to throw at each other.
We argue about the details, without understanding the bigger picture. Each position is built on foundational principles, those of which we tend to assume are true and obvious. We build a logical framework of our political beliefs based on an ideology, one that is cohesive and relatively consistent.
The problem comes when we argue about the superficial issues without understanding the underlying principles or worldview. We go around in circles with our opponents, but never really hear or understand what they say. When we evaluate our opponents’ beliefs based on our worldview, their ideas appear to be illogical. We misunderstand their motives and intentions. Then the name-calling begins, because we cannot figure out how someone could hold such a belief without having some mental or moral defect.
They are simply building on a different foundation.
Worldview affects so much more than just our political ideologies, but in an attempt to demonstrate the importance of understanding worldviews and the effects they have, we are going to look closely at differing political views.
Over the next few weeks, we will examine the dominant American political ideologies: conservatism, liberalism, and libertarianism. Because of the complexity of each view, we intend to focus primarily on their approach to economics.
My goal is to help people understand differing views by presenting each view fairly and rationally; free from the usual hate-filled misrepresentation that accompanies so many articles and debates. In an attempt to remove bias and give each view a fair representation, I have invited individuals who embrace each view to explain the underlying principles of the position they represent.
I regard each person invited to participate in this series very highly. They are intelligent, rational and respectful. I invite you, our readers, to participate in the discussion as we all seek to better understand one another. Each of the writers have included links for further reading. I encourage you to take advantage of the resources provided.
Since this is a blog that embraces a Biblical worldview, I want to challenge our Christian readers to also evaluate each view in light of their religious beliefs. It is often assumed among evangelicals that Christians must be conservative, in all areas. As you read, ask yourself if the view being presented is consistent with a Biblical worldview. Is there anything specific to each view that is contrary to the Bible?
To most people, Memorial Day means an extra-long weekend to vacation or relax and get stuff done around the house. I want to challenge you to remember why we have this holiday, and do something to honor it.
I grew up taking care of a cemetery with my brothers and Dad. This was my Dad’s 3rd job and not his main one, so we kids worked till he got there and then we all worked together. The Saturday before Memorial Day, we mowed, watered, and weed-whacked for about 14 hours so we could make that cemetery beautiful to honor the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. And to support and thank those who have lost their loved ones. Then on Memorial Day we would hold a lovely little service where I played the keyboard and led singing with Mom, my brothers did taps, we had a 21-gun salute and a speaker who reminded us of why we were there. This gave me a deeply embedded gratitude and knowledge that freedom is not free but paid with the highest price of life.
About three years ago, my husband and I decided that we wanted our kids to know what Memorial Day was all about and give honor to the men and women who have sacrificed their own precious, wonderful lives so that we may live safely in freedom.
Our first attempt at getting to a Memorial Day service was more like a crazy adventure. We couldn’t find many services, but the one we found we were unprepared for. It was at the Idaho State Veteran’s Cemetery and it is an incredible service. They have all different speakers, including the Governor, a military band, a fly over, and cannons. The only thing we didn’t know was that it is about a mile hike just to the cemetery from the parking lot and another mile hike straight up a huge hill to the service. Did I mention my 6 kids were all 7 and under. We now know to come an hour early and take a bus. We finally got up to the top when the cannons were fired. That was awesome! My kids will never forget that experience.
All those graves and flags, honoring the true heroes of America, left a clear memory in their mind of absolute sacrifice. Let’s not forget to give a little bit of our time and thoughts to remember why we have such a wonderful, free country. God bless America and those who have given their lives to defend it.
Here are Memorial Day services going on in Boise:
- Governor Butch Otter will speak at a ceremony at the top of Freezeout Hill in Emmett at 9 a.m.
- The Idaho State Veterans Cemetery will hold its annual ceremony at 10 a.m.
- The Idaho Civil War volunteers will pay tribute to veterans at Morris Hill Cemetery at noon – and then at the Military Reserve Cemetery on Mountain Cove Road at two p-m.
- At 1 p.m. Mayor Dave Bieter will unveil a statue dedicated to Idaho Veterans at the Boise Airport.
Here is the answer in a nutshell: four Americans were murdered, it was a terrorist attack, everyone knew it, and they covered it up as a spontaneous protest. They did not respond to the call for help for more security to keep it from happening. It was two months before Obama’s second term election, no time for truth when you want the American people to think terrorism has been dealt with. We now have enough whistle-blowers to know the truth.
There have been threats against various people in the FBI in an effort to keep their mouths shut, and now Gregory Hicks, Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. in Libya, is giving us the truth. If we all remember the Nixon cover up of Watergate, and his following impeachment, this sounds similar. It wasn’t so much Nixon’s involvement as it was the cover up that got him impeached.
Though I realize this wasn’t entirely intentional neglect, more like terrible judgement, the continuing cover up and lies from the Obama administration is sad. It’s the same as a child getting “caught” and continuing to talk and lie to convince themselves and others of their innocence. Here is Jay Carney giving us a great example of that. Hilary Clinton and Susan Rice were accusing some stupid YouTube video for being responsible for the murders of these Americans when the real terrorist suspects were running around free. Our country deserves and demands better than that!
Some people in this administration, including the head of it, need to lose their jobs and feel the consequences of not defending the very people they are paid to keep safe and then covering their failure.
If we are a “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” we need to hold our politicians accountable for their actions, or lack thereof, while in office. This is not a “further your career game” but a serious job of protecting innocent lives.
By Jane Pinkerton
Kermit Gosnell has been found guilty of first degree murder of three of the four babies. He was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the case of the woman he gave an overdose of Demerol to.
Planned Parenthood took to Twitter and extended sympathy for the woman, with no mention of the babies. This was the organization’s “compassionate” tweet:
A just verdict. The jury has rightly convicted
#Gosnell for his appalling crimes, ensuring no woman is victimized by him ever again.
Of course, they can’t extend sympathy for the babies because then they would be admitting that they are babies, not fetuses, and in doing so they would be granting “personhood” to the babies and thus aligning with mainstream thought (including Roe v. Wade) that states a baby at 24 weeks gestation is viable. Now, I believe most pro-choice people agree with Roe v. Wade on this point. They don’t want a baby murdered when it could live on it’s own outside the womb and the vast majority of them were cheering alongside the pro-lifers when they caught wind of Gosnell’s conviction. I think most everyone agrees that what he did was unconscionable. Which is why I believe Planned Parenthood should drop the agenda and admit, like the jury has, that these were babies who were murdered. If they care for women like they claim to, they would be able to do that.
I am thankful for local Pennsylvania reporter, JD Mullane, who covered the Gosnell trial on Twitter, detail by detail. If you are on Twitter, you should follow him (@jdmullane). And thank him while you are at it! Mullane said that he spoke with another pro-choice reporter at the trial who has changed his stance to pro-life.
This from Mullane — The state of Pennsylvania has a pro-choice Republican governor who has allowed all 22 of the state’s abortion clinics go 17 years without an inspection.
Now you tell me that there aren’t any more Gosnells and that his is an isolated case. Go ahead and tell me that more “unfettered” access to abortion is going to keep the Gosnells away from women and babies. And yes, please tell me again how legal abortion keeps women safe from “back-alley” abortions with rusty coat hangers (overdoses on Demerol anyone?) and all of that. After all, since abortion is now legal, women shouldn’t be risking unsafe and illegal abortions, correct? Something comes to mind about safe, legal and rare? Oh nevermind. You know, just throw something in there about how compassionate Planned Parenthood is, that should cover it.
Just a warning: I might roll my eyes, and I will definitely conclude that you are out of touch with reality and that you hate logic. Abortion kills human life. Period. It can’t be sanitized. And women deserve better than that. Whether we have had abortions ourselves or not, we don’t want to be deceived by Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry any more!
You know what, as a pro-life woman, I am tired of the guilt trips about women. Of course I feel for women who don’t want to be pregnant. Of course my heart aches for women who feel they don’t have another option. But pregnancy is not cancer! It doesn’t just “happen” to a woman! We all have hard times and it’s never acceptable to murder someone else because we find ourselves in an unwanted circumstance. Rape and incest account for 1% of abortions, so don’t throw the R&I thing at me. And I am not talking about women like Beatriz who will die unless they get an abortion and will face jail time if they do. Seriously, pro-choice friends?? I am talking about women getting abortions simply because they don’t want to be pregnant. THIS is where we live here in the US. It’s where Planned Parenthood makes the big bucks. It must stop.
By Steph Nelson
Abby Johnson’s relationship with Planned Parenthood began as a volunteer. She progressed from volunteer to abortion clinic director within eight years. Abby writes a beautiful story of her slow metamorphosis from the pro-choice side to the pro-life side. But her story is about so much more than that. Along the way she learns to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to her, she gets to see that this issue is more than just “pro-choice vs. pro-life.” Let me start at the beginning and I will try not to give too much away because I highly recommend that everyone, no matter what your view on abortion, read this book. I checked it out at my local library.
Abby was attracted to Planned Parenthood because of its emphasis in 2001 on lowering the amount of abortions performed through contraceptives and family planning counseling. She felt at home with PP’s mission to serve women who might not otherwise have access to quality healthcare. She is a certified counselor and as such, knows the value of being a listening ear to women in desperate circumstances. Abby was all-in for PP’s mission to serve women and she was decidedly pro-choice except that she didn’t approve of late-term abortions, favoring adoption in those cases. Once she is employed by PP, her pro-life church rejects her request for membership and she is deeply hurt. She and her husband then take up with a pro-choice Episcopalian church, which works out great until Abby becomes pro-life, at which point she is rejected by the pro-choice church.
After a few years at PP, Abby notices among other things, a slight shift in the way that PP runs their company. PP is trying to open a mega-clinic in the metro area of Abby’s state where they will begin performing late-term abortions. She is told, in essence, that her clinic’s quota for contraceptive care has been lowered while its quota for abortion has been elevated since abortion brings in more money. Abby protests this, stating that she believed PP’s mission was to lower the amount of abortions performed, thus making abortion rare. She points out the inconsistency of that with increasing abortions and performing late-term abortions. For this she is formally reprimanded for disagreeing with her supervisor. She is told to open her clinic for abortions every day of the week instead of only on Saturday, which had been the clinic’s previous practice. Shortly after this corporate meeting, Abby is randomly asked to assist an ultrasound-guided abortion in her clinic where she holds the ultrasound wand as the abortionist sucks a tiny fetus (Abby notes that she saw a spine, arms, legs, hands, feet, etc.) from the womb. She describes how the baby tried to get away but eventually was “crumpled up” and disappeared as the abortion doctor quipped, “Beam me up, Scotty!”
The rest of the book is her journey to let go of the idea that abortion is healthcare since she sees firsthand over the course of eight years that it is not. She is hesitant to join the pro-life movement and thinks at first that she can just leave PP but not exactly be pro-life. That proves very difficult for her and I will leave you to find out why.
I loved this book for a lot of reasons. The main one is that it showed that it’s possible for someone to change their views when confronted with reality and fact. Abby says that the Holy Spirit was setting everything up so that she could plainly see what Planned Parenthood actually stands for and what abortion actually is. The book highlights how the politics of abortion play into church life, and she also has interesting insight into the pro-life movement as one who watched it grow while she was still a PP clinic director. She notes the blurriness of lines between victim and attacker, pointing to her own experience as everything from the victim of the pro-life movement to the role of being responsible for hundreds of fetal deaths. She had thought the women were the sole victims in abortion, but later sees the unborn as a victim as well.
I also appreciated how Abby is very forgiving of PP and her co-workers. Even as she tells her story from the other side of the fence, she makes it clear that she gave PP and the pro-choice side every benefit of the doubt. And she is quite gracious as she recounts the story and her friendships, stating repeatedly her confidence that there are pro-choice people who truly believe PP is doing good, and that abortion is “the only option” for some women, and they don’t all want to just kill babies. It would be easy for Abby to leave PP and slander them, especially after what PP does to her toward the end. (I will leave you with that suspense). But she is resolute in her view that there are well-meaning people in each camp, and there are also mean-spirited people in each camp.
This book gave me hope that eventually Planned Parenthood’s motives will see the light of day and they will no longer be the darling of “women’s healthcare.” Abby was brave to change her view and I can only hope to hear many more stories like hers.
Women deserve better than abortion.
By Steph Nelson
I find there is a trend that I keep seeing. It’s not all that bad, but I wonder where these styles came from. I am twenty-two and I am interested in fashion in an average way. This blog is a worldview blog and I think our worldview reflects how we dress just as much as it affects everything else in our life. However, I am wondering lately about low v-necks, skinny jeans and colored pants. Not to mention when a guy styles his hair more than I do, I get a little uncomfortable and wonder if I am not enough of a girl or he’s not enough of a guy. I am not even saying that I dislike these trends, but I do wonder where they came from and why they are here.
Some people think social roles are wrong or bad. However, I think that if you were born a girl, then darling, embrace the girl in you to the best of your ability. Personally, I would rather play in the mud than go to a ball in a big dress. But then again, I understand that I was made by God a certain way and so I also enjoy curling my hair, wearing women’s clothing and generally being feminine. Girls are supposed to attract, be pretty and have some sort of softness to them. (And yes, be intelligent, be able to hold a job, and be strong in their own way… etc. I am not just a damsel, but being saved by a boy sounds fun to me too!)
But men? They were made to protect, provide and work hard. I live in Idaho, where I am not surprised to see cowboys here and there. My grandpa was a milk truck driver and so I came across farmers growing up. To be honest, as a girl and in a very pure Christian sense, I appreciate when a man has a bit of muscle going on. He doesn’t have to be Hercules, but it’s nice to know that he is walking around a bit stronger than me and can outwork me in a physical sense. (And yes, he’s intelligent and can be kind too, etc.) When I get married I’ll be looking for masculinity, because I want to be the feminine one in our relationship. Girls want to feel safe, protected and provided for – those things take strength!
It seems to me nobody really stands up and claps for the cowboy anymore. Nor do we cheer on the hunter very much or admire the quiet hard worker guy, and we don’t encourage the father. (Just look at all our sitcoms on T.V.). We do cheer on the the ultra-sensitive musician (or the metro sexual worship leader) and we think the graphic designer guy is super cool. We young twenty-somethings check out the dude with the neat necklaces that hang just above his deep v-neck shirt and our eyes travel down to his colored pants and his canvas Toms and say, “Oh… so that’s where we are going? That’s the future?” (If the paragraph you just read bothers you then click this link)
To be honest? All those tight clothes are what women are supposed to wear… right? And even I’m careful about how tight my clothes are to honor the men around me. Now, now, I don’t want to bash the way the guys my age dress and I am not even totally against it.
Me? I just wrote a post to chew on.
What do you think about young men’s fashion these days?