Jesurgislac’s Journal

June 9, 2009

The day I killed

Filed under: Bad Stuff Happens — jesurgislac @ 8:56 pm
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2nd May 1990. I got a phonecall from my best friend. Her cat was having kittens, literally, and so – metaphorically – was she. I arrived when they were only a few hours old, and I looked down at the litter and pointed out the one I wanted. Eight weeks later I took her home.

She was my cat in a way no other cat ever was or ever will be. She rode on my shoulder. She came to greet me when I came home, lifting her head to have her nose petted and, if I picked her up, twisting round in my arms to clamber on to her favourite resting place, couched like a cat out of heraldry across my shoulders: all my t-shirts had holes in them. Once she was out of kittenhood she never once clawed my bare skin. She hated vets, and would sit growling on the table as I held her with my face down by hers, assuring her that the nice man with the big needle wasn’t going to hurt her. (Once or twice vets warned me I shouldn’t have my face so close to her when she was growling like that: I assured them she wasn’t going to go for me.) She wasn’t a lapcat, but a few times in my life when I was emotionally distraught, she came and sat on me sympathetically. I could look over at her and say her name and she would start purring, even across the other side of the room.

She was beautiful and elegant and intelligent and I was her human and she was my cat.

She was getting older and more fragile, but still herself; playing dominance games with the neighborhood cats though they outweighed her (she used to be a fighter: a ragged ear and a ragged eye from the times she couldn’t get away , but both healed clean). But one day in August 2005 she didn’t come to the door to greet me. I went to find her, and she was curled up on my bed, looking as if moving was too much for her. I took her to the vet, and the vet x-rayed her and told me:

She had a tumour in the wall of her stomach. Inoperable.

“You can take her home. But don’t take too long.”

I don’t know how to tell you the next part. I killed her. I paid a vet to do it, but I did it.

I paid the housecall fee for a vet to come round: the day after the day after they told me. She spent the last morning of her life in the garden, in the sun, and once or twice she looked the way she had even six months ago, even a year ago: and I wished it wasn’t true but I knew it was. I’d called my manager and got the day off work: he was sympathetic.

The vet injected her with a sedative. I held her on my lap until she went to sleep. Then we put her on a towel and the other injection went in: she died after a few minutes.

I still think, sometimes: could I have done something if I’d known about the tumour earlier? By that time I was taking her to the vet for checkups every couple of months, and the vet hadn’t found the tumour last time. Could I have kept her alive longer? Did I have to kill her then?

I’ve been having arguments online with people who think late-term abortions shouldn’t happen for about as long as I’ve been online. They tell me a natural death is better, that it’s wrong to kill, that women who make the decision to kill a fetus that’ll never live or live a brief life in excruciating pain, are cowards and irresponsible – that they ought to want to give birth and watch as their baby dies in pain, because that’s the pro-life thing to do.

I know that deciding to kill my cat, after she’d had fifteen years of life, was not a decision on a par with having to decide about a late-term abortion. But I also know that decision was the one that caused me about the worst pain I’ve ever felt, that I still can’t write or talk about it without crying. It wasn’t easy. It was hard to decide, hard to do, it hurt to do.

I don’t even know if it was the right decision. I don’t think it was: I think that I had been put in a place where there were no right decisions to make. I had a cat, I loved her, she was going to die, and if I left making the decision too long, she was going to suffer horribly. The decision had to be made. I was the only person who could make it. There were no right decisions to make. So I decided to do what I knew would mean the least suffering for my cat: I had her put to sleep, then killed, when I was holding her.

And you can call that decision whatever you like. But all my cat knew was that she’d spent a morning in the sun, that I held her on my lap, that she went to sleep on the human she’d trusted almost since her eyes were open. I killed her. I was not pro-life. I chose for her to die, because she was my cat, and I was her human, and it was my choice to make.

George Tiller memorial

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56 Comments »

  1. I’m moved by your story and your obvious love for your cat.

    But humans are different. God has a plan for each conceived human being. He uses our suffering for a better good. A malformed child has a purpose in this life, to better the person taking care of it, or change the heart of someone who needs it. I know that there was a purpose for my wife having lung cancer. It was to bring us closer together. Yes she went through the pain of the surgery and rehab-she still goes through it. It made me a more sensitive person. That aborted baby has a purpose in someone’s life, a purpose God had in his mind, to bring light into someone, somewhere.

    I’m not here to yell and scream about how abortion is evil, though I think it is. I think the best way to stop it is not to kill abortionists-it’s to change the hearts of those contemplating it, quietly and gently. Those who have already gone through it,it’s time to let them heal and seek forgivenenss, because I know having an abortion is something that will live with you forever. Even enacting laws that outlaw abortions are not going to change anything with out changing the hearts of those who are open to having them.

    Comment by David — June 9, 2009 @ 10:21 pm | Reply

  2. God has a plan for each conceived human being. He uses our suffering for a better good.

    Well, if you choose to believe in that, I fail to see why you’re so certain you know better than God what God’s plan is.

    I’m not here to yell and scream about how abortion is evil, though I think it is.

    I’m glad you’re not here to yell and scream, but I fail to see how a lifesaving surgical procedure can be “evil”.

    I think the best way to stop it is not to kill abortionists-it’s to change the hearts of those contemplating it, quietly and gently.

    I think that is a hopelessly arrogant attitude. To be certain you know better than God what God’s plan is, and better than any pregnant woman who suffers a medical emergency late in pregnancy, what they ought to do.

    Those who have already gone through it,it’s time to let them heal and seek forgivenenss, because I know having an abortion is something that will live with you forever.

    I don’t think it’s for you to decide whether a person needs “forgiveness” for making a decision like that. Nor do I see what point there is in your thinking it’s up to you to decide if they need forgiveness or healing. These women whom you think should have decided differently, in the midst of a medical emergency, the loss of a wanted baby, are strangers to you: all they would know about you is that you are a man who sets himself up to know better than God. That may make you feel that you are entitled to decide on healing or forgiveness, but you have to accept others do not see you as more all-knowing than God.

    Even enacting laws that outlaw abortions are not going to change anything with out changing the hearts of those who are open to having them.

    True. All that such laws would do would kill women who were unable to obtain safe illegal abortions or leave the country to where they could get a legal abortion. Trying to “change the hearts” of women so that they follow your plan, rather than their own conscience, is intolerably arrogant, but at least not as murderous as the pro-lifers who want them to die in illegal abortions.

    Comment by jesurgislac — June 9, 2009 @ 10:40 pm | Reply

  3. God communicates his plan to us. Whether or not you choose to believe it. In most cases, the surgical procedure is not life saving, it’s life killing. What is arrogant about preserving life? What’s arrogant about showing ALL the ways there are not to kill the baby? I find it arrogant for someone to think they know better than God. It’s not for me to “decide that someone needs forgiveness”. That comes from the person themself. And how seldom is it that it’s a medical emergency??? Or the loss of a wanted baby. That’s not what pro-life people are fighting about. The point is they need comfort, which, ultimately, is what forgiveness is about. And for your information, what pro-lifers, for the most part, want is NO abortions. Which is why I said that changing the law isn’t going to solve anything until you change the hearts. Seems yours needs a bit of work, too, but then so do we all.

    Comment by David — June 9, 2009 @ 11:05 pm | Reply

  4. God communicates his plan to us. Whether or not you choose to believe it.

    Well, no. You may believe in a God who communicates his plan to your political movement, but I don’t choose to believe in a God that communicates only with pro-lifers.

    What is arrogant about preserving life?

    What is arrogant is deciding that women are not life worth preserving, and that no woman has the capacity to communicate with God and know God’s plan. Your dismissal of the idea that God can communicate with anyone other than your “us” – pro-lifers – is, well… religious, I suppose, but it’s an exclusionary, perpetually arrogant religion.

    What’s arrogant about showing ALL the ways there are not to kill the baby?

    What’s arrogant is presuming that you know better and more than each and every one of the pregnant women who had to make the choice in late pregnancy, what they were going to do about a medical emergency.

    . And how seldom is it that it’s a medical emergency???

    Every late-term abortion is a medical emergency. There are now only two clinics in the whole of the United States, now pro-lifers have shut down Doctor Tiller’s clinic by murdering him, that can help women in this particular medical emergency. And how long will they last against such a successful domestic terrorism campaign as this one?

    Or the loss of a wanted baby. That’s not what pro-life people are fighting about.

    That is what pro-lifers are murdering for. Doctor Tiller was murdered in the pro-life fight to stop women getting help in medical emergencies – late-term pregnancies, the loss of a wanted baby.

    And for your information, what pro-lifers, for the most part, want is NO abortions.

    And for your information, what pro-lifers campaign for is not NO abortions, but illegal abortions, limited access to contraception, and limited or no sex education. A successful campaign to minimize abortions does not include arson attacks, bomb threats, assaults, abusive and violent actions outside health clinics requiring patients to be escorted in: that’s not how the Netherlands got their abortion rate down to one-seventh of the US’s, the lowest abortion rate in the world.

    Comment by jesurgislac — June 9, 2009 @ 11:22 pm | Reply

  5. Ah, now we have the agenda. Dr. Tiller did not, in most cases, perform emergency surgery. It was elective more often than not.

    By last count, abortionists are winning, by the way. 50,000,000 to 5.

    This nutcase that killed Tiller, and those who think he did right, are not sincerely pro-life people, by definition. You paint your picture with a very broad brush and maybe a little halucinogen.

    Again, most of us do not condone using violence to fight this violence, while most lefties are certainly not against doing the exact same type of thing to support their causes. Examples like Green Peace and that wacko whale rescuer. I agree, Japanese or anyone should not be killing whales, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to fight it. And ramming ships into ships and committing acts of piracy by illegal boarding are not the right way to do it.

    I am a pro-lifer, and I promote no abortion, which starts with no sex outside of the bond of marriage. I realize that’s an ideal that will never be totally implemented, but that’s where the bar sits. We are fighting for the lives of children who can have no voice. Most of us know what “medical necessity” means. That’s a case of Sophie’s Choice, and a decision I’d never want to make. And any pro-lifer who commits violence to combat this blight is misordered, and should be put away. You can never use evil to fight evil.

    Comment by David — June 9, 2009 @ 11:54 pm | Reply

  6. . Dr. Tiller did not, in most cases, perform emergency surgery. It was elective more often than not.

    And since God communicates with you, and not with either Doctor Tiller or these women, you know for a fact that God’s plan could not have included the health, well-being, or future children of these women: God’s plan was for their deaths or for major damage to their health, and no future children. I guess, since God told you all of that, God also informed you that most of the medical emergencies that Doctor Tiller dealt with each year were nothing of the kind, so it would be futile to ask you to provide a cite.

    By last count, abortionists are winning, by the way. 50,000,000 to 5.

    Well, that’s a thoroughly sick and inhuman way of looking at the eight people murdered by the pro-life movement.

    This nutcase that killed Tiller, and those who think he did right, are not sincerely pro-life people, by definition.

    What, because they took the rhetoric that Doctor Tiller was a violent murderer seriously and sincerely, unlike the majority of pro-lifers who merely mouth it without believing it? I find it odd that you assert the people who evidently took the pro-life propaganda to be sincere can’t be sincere pro-lifers: though I admit the name for the pro-life movement is deeply ironic, given that the aim is to increase the maternal mortality and morbidity rate by denying access to safe legal abortion, and the means involve violence and murder.

    Again, most of us do not condone using violence to fight this violence

    Really? So, where are the pro-lifers volunteering to protect George Tiller’s clinic against pro-lifer violence and murder, and agreeing they’ll refrain from verbally attacking his successor? Pro-lifer terrorism has just closed down his clinic, only 9 days after he was murdered: if you claim most people in your movement don’t condone that, where’s your evidence?

    I am a pro-lifer, and I promote no abortion

    So you believe women who suffer medical emergencies in pregnancy should die. How is this pro-life, again?

    And the notion that you can force people to be celibate outside marriage? This has never worked, for all of human history.

    We are fighting for the lives of children who can have no voice. Most of us know what “medical necessity” means.

    Somehow, I don’t see you fighting for the lives of pregnant women, given your asserted belief that if anything goes wrong in pregnancy, they should die. Your assertion you want doctors killed and clinics bombed in order to “protect” fetal lives, is an active denial of healthcare to pregnant women. Not very “protective”.

    And any pro-lifer who commits violence to combat this blight is misordered, and should be put away.

    Pro-lifers who believe you to be sincere when you talk about “Sophie’s Choice” will use violence. Pro-lifers who know you’re insincere won’t. You, evidently, fall into the “insincere” camp yourself, despite those messages from God to you personally.

    Comment by jesurgislac — June 10, 2009 @ 12:18 am | Reply

  7. Re-reading through our dialogue so far, David, it strikes me that while the point of my story was that sometimes you can be in a position where there’s no good decisions to make but a decision still has to be made – the point of your argument seems to be: You know what God wants other people to do, and as God can’t talk to these other people, you’re going to.

    This isn’t really the discussion for this thread – your God, your belief, fine – but the God you present, who wants girls aged 10 to die because rape got them pregnant and they’re too small for that; who wants children who can’t live to be born so that their parents can watch them die slowly to “teach them a lesson”; who does not care what damage a pregnancy can do to a woman, she must suffer it without intervention; who has no plans for a woman beyond whatever pregnancy will kill her, and who can’t have plams for any future children that a woman may bear if she gets an abortion that preserves her fertility; your God doesn’t seem to like women very much. Perhaps that’s why you believe your God can’t communicate with women.

    And there isn’t really anything to be said in response to it, though I tried. If you’ve got a religious conviction that women must suffer and die in pregnancy and it’s evil to terminate the pregnancy because God says so, there’s nothing to debate: you believe in a God that I would say is an evil God, but that assertion rests on nothing but your word that God talks to you and your fellow pro-lifers. Surely you can see that neither law nor public policy can be based on messages from God?

    (I do also wonder about people who are convinced that other people should do what they say, regardless of what damage what they say will cause, because they know they have an individual hotline to God that the people they’re trying to order around don’t have… but if that’s your concept of religion, I don’t suppose you’ll see anything wrong with it.)

    Comment by jesurgislac — June 10, 2009 @ 6:59 am | Reply

    • Erroneous translation. Are you that dense? My point is that we all need to listen to God. But I guess some, like you are incapable. It’s quite telling that you have such reverence for your pet, but so little for human life. My point is that God does everything for a reason. Even to giving your cat his last day on earth. Whatever God’s plan is, it’s his plan and not for us to mess with. But I guess you’re too blind to see that. I tried to open your eyes, but many people aren’t open to reality. Same is true with the rest of your responders. I officially give up. I pray that God is more patient than I am. I know he is. So there’s hope.
      By the way my concept of religion is not mine, but what’s been taught for thousands of years. Good luck.

      Comment by David — June 10, 2009 @ 4:14 pm | Reply

      • My point is that we all need to listen to God. …. My point is that God does everything for a reason.

        Okay. So, if you believe that – really believe that – then some women listen to God and know from God that the right thing to do is to have an abortion. Because if you sincerely believe that, you therefore believe that your God is also responsible for the advances in human knowledge and compassion that enable women to choose abortion, and doctors to perform abortions: and those women, and their doctors, were as capable of listening to God as you are.

        Who are you to dictate to them what God says, if you believe they too can hear God?

        Whatever God’s plan is, it’s his plan and not for us to mess with.

        David, that argument would lead directly to your wife refusing surgery and rehab for her cancer because that messed with God’s plan for her. I’m glad she didn’t – but then I don’t believe that advances in medicine and healthcare should be rejected because that’s “messing with God’s plan”.

        Comment by jesurgislac — June 10, 2009 @ 5:16 pm

  8. Because it will never happen to him Jesurgislac. It is not a choice he will ever face. If I got pregnant, it would be, as my doctor put it, a race to the finish to see if my heart or my kidneys gave out first, but either way, I wouldn’t live long enough to produce anything that could survive on its own. I would die, either suffocating on my own blood or poisoned by my own waste, and the fetus would die, as well.

    David doesn’t care, because that won’t happen to him, ever.

    Comment by Personal Failure — June 10, 2009 @ 2:00 pm | Reply

    • Yeah. Easy to make grand moral statements about a decision you know you don’t have to make.

      Comment by Jesurgislac — June 10, 2009 @ 8:23 pm | Reply

  9. oh, and i terribly sorry about your cat. i had a cat before my dog- a stray tuxedo i named moses, because he had walked far to the promised land. he was the stupidest thing i ever saw, and the sweetest. he always wanted to be in my lap, and the mere sight of me made him purr. i had to stop wearing button down shirts because he would chew off the buttons while he sat in my lap.

    his kidneys failed. we tried to get them started again, but nothing worked. i held him while the vet injected the drugs. he purred until he died.

    Comment by Personal Failure — June 10, 2009 @ 2:04 pm | Reply

    • Thanks. I’ve had other cats – before, and now – and I love them a lot, but that cat I picked out of the litter the day she was born will always be special to me.

      his kidneys failed. we tried to get them started again, but nothing worked. i held him while the vet injected the drugs. he purred until he died.

      Oh, cats. How they do rip out our hearts.

      Comment by Jesurgislac — June 10, 2009 @ 8:22 pm | Reply

  10. My first real long lived cat (I had one that we got rid of in a move when I was 3), was a Siamese named Spike. He was born to my paternal great grandma’s cat. There was the initial rivalry of a 4 yr old versus cat that occurs between all cats and little kids forced into proximity. But as we got older, we both climbed trees together, tried to trap small rodents together, and always went to bed together. He would lie on my pillow and lick my head (mom thought this was odd, to me it was normal [i have a feeling i’ll regret using that word!])

    We got a couple other young kittens later. Spike became the feline patriarch, and generally ignored their playful demeanor. He did his playing on his own terms and not with them. He would often come flying into my room, attack very violently a corner of a fuzzy blanket, and then suddenly get up, look around, lick his paw for a second and leave with his head tilted upward and walk out as though nothing happened. He occasionally would try to tangle with the much bigger black devil cat down the street (I think the devil cat bench pressed his owner at times- very big and strong), and then I would have to clean Spike up and bring him back to health.

    Then one day when he was around 9 yrs old, he started moving slower, getting sick after eating, etc. The vet diagnosed him with feline leukemia. While we always had dogs as well, and I was predominantly a dog person, Spike was MY pet in the family, or rather I was his pet if you had asked him. My parents decided it was best to put him down. That was a long 2 days from when the decision was announced to the actual event. I was less than pleased with it, but I understood the decision. I felt at that time that I was allowing my best friend to be killed.

    Comment by Mike Lovell — June 10, 2009 @ 2:27 pm | Reply

    • Spike was MY pet in the family, or rather I was his pet if you had asked him.

      Isn’t it always the way.

      He would often come flying into my room, attack very violently a corner of a fuzzy blanket, and then suddenly get up, look around, lick his paw for a second and leave with his head tilted upward and walk out as though nothing happened.

      Aw, bless!

      That was a long 2 days from when the decision was announced to the actual event. I was less than pleased with it, but I understood the decision. I felt at that time that I was allowing my best friend to be killed.

      Cats, they do claw their way into your heart. 😦

      Comment by Jesurgislac — June 10, 2009 @ 8:27 pm | Reply

  11. David’s assertion that God gave his wife cancer to make *him* a “more sensitive” person is telling. And apparently incorrect, as I see little evidence of sensitivity in his posts.

    You made the compassionate, and loving, decision. I’m sorry for your loss.

    Comment by taijiya — June 10, 2009 @ 2:30 pm | Reply

    • Trying to find the good in what happens to you is a endeavor that shows character: I’m not going to carp at how David and his wife dealt with his wife’s cancer. I’m sure they dealt with it as was best for them.

      I merely object to David’s repeated assertion that he knows how best other people should respond to tragedies – and that while modern medicine and surgery didn’t mess with God’s plan for his wife, for other people, they need to check in with David first for David to confirm God’s plan isn’t getting “messed up” by their staying alive.

      Comment by Jesurgislac — June 10, 2009 @ 8:32 pm | Reply

  12. Wrong. God never wills evil. He gave his definition of evil in the commandments. Murder is evil. If you listen to God and he tells you to commit murder, you’re not listening to God. God allows evil as surely as he allowed his son to be killed, but that does not mean he condones it. He gives free will, if he didn’t then his love would be slavery rather than love. Your logic regarding the surgery my wife had is flawed. The surgery was called for. If God thought she was ready to go home, he would have taken her. Regarding abortion, there is never a good reason to commit murder. Never.
    There are good advances in medicine and bad ones. Stem cell research using embryos would be a bad one. Cloning would be a bad one. Finding a cure for cancer or AIDS would be a good one.

    Comment by David — June 10, 2009 @ 5:30 pm | Reply

    • I ask this in all seriousness: can you please explain to me, preferably without resorting to “God’s will”, why potential life (that of the fetus) always trumps extant life (that of the woman)? Why is the one consistently valued over the other?

      Comment by taijiya — June 10, 2009 @ 6:02 pm | Reply

      • I’ve never said that. They are both equally life.
        For the record, I would stay silent (though I would in my heart be opposed) if this was just a case where the fetus is ectopic or causing life endangerment to the woman. When I say opposed, I would like them to try to save both.
        I can also understand the human desire to not want a newborn to suffer if it could not viably exist on its own. I had a brother who died at 6 months due to this and I know he suffered. I disagree with interfering with God, but I understand the desire.
        I am absolutely against abortion as an afterthought to failed birth control.

        But again, I know that whether or not abortion is legal or illegal, without changing the mindset of society in general, it will not stop, probably never stop.

        In track and field, they set the bar high for a reason. In faith and morals, the bar is high as well. We all fall short and fail sometimes, but we must always strive for the best we can be.

        Comment by David — June 10, 2009 @ 6:29 pm

      • Actually, David seems to think both lives are equally worthless, since his assertion unqualified is “abortion is evil”: the fetus can die, but it’s evil to save the woman’s life.

        Comment by Jesurgislac — June 10, 2009 @ 8:34 pm

    • Wrong. God never wills evil. He gave his definition of evil in the commandments. Murder is evil.

      Indeed: but nowhere in the 613 commandments that it is recorded that YHWH ordered the Jewish people to live by – nowhere – does it say that when a doctor has the choice of letting both pregnant woman and fetus die – or even to let the pregnant woman risk death or serious damage to her health – or killing the fetus to save a pregnant woman, it’s evil for the doctor to choose to save the pregnant woman by killing the fetus. Nowhere at all in the Bible does it say it’s mandated by God that pregnant women must die because trying to save the life of a pregnant woman by killing the fetus she is carrying is wrong. If you think that’s in the Bible, you’re just plain wrong.

      Your logic regarding the surgery my wife had is flawed. The surgery was called for. If God thought she was ready to go home, he would have taken her.

      So, surgery to save your wife is called for: surgery to save someone else’s wife is wrong. OK. Arrogant much? Don’t get me wrong: I am very happy you felt able to let modern medicine and surgery be part of God’s plan for your wife. I just don’t see how you feel that God rules out modern medicine for other people.

      Regarding abortion, there is never a good reason to commit murder. Never.

      It’s very easy to say you’d never kill to save your life when you know that you life would never be at risk. You may think you would choose to die in agony rather than have an abortion: but you’ll never be pregnant, so it’s never a sacrifice that will be asked of you.

      Stem cell research using embryos would be a bad one. Cloning would be a bad one. Finding a cure for cancer or AIDS would be a good one.

      So, stem cell research that would find a cure for cancer or AIDS would be…?

      Comment by Jesurgislac — June 10, 2009 @ 8:19 pm | Reply

      • Jesurgislac, are you dense? Nowhere in any statement I made did I say that the baby was more important than the mother. What I’m so against is abortion as a form of birth control, or out of convenience. Losing a baby to save the mother’s life is not what I’m talking about, and never did I mention it. This comment goes to your second point. Necessary surgery to save a viable life is not wrong. By the way, I was at risk, when I was born. My mother had the choice to abort, or bring me to term and put me up for adoption. Thankfully, she chose correctly. The point is that there are other options to abortion.
        Cure for AIDS? not happening. We can’t cure viruses. On embryonic stem cell research, even many doctors are finding out that the embryonic stem cell argument is moot. Adult stem cells show much more promise, and concrete promise. No embryonic stem cell research has produced any promise. And that debate at election time was about release of government funds to do research. There was no prohibition on private sector funding, of which there is plenty.
        But to create embryos in order to harvest their stem cells is absolutely wrong. Stick with what’s available. That’s bad enough.

        Comment by David — June 10, 2009 @ 9:45 pm

  13. Losing a baby to save the mother’s life is not what I’m talking about, and never did I mention it.

    David, are you dense?

    I wrote, in my original post; “I’ve been having arguments online with people who think late-term abortions shouldn’t happen for about as long as I’ve been online. They tell me a natural death is better, that it’s wrong to kill, that women who make the decision to kill a fetus that’ll never live or live a brief life in excruciating pain, are cowards and irresponsible – that they ought to want to give birth and watch as their baby dies in pain, because that’s the pro-life thing to do.”

    Your response to that was that “abortion is evil”. You’ve repeated that, without qualification or apology, all down this thread. Abortion is how doctors save a pregnant woman’s life or health or future fertility. You say that’s evil. You are thus dismissing both a pregnant woman and her fetus as equally worthless.

    Now if you would care to take back your condemnation of abortion, and agree that it’s a life-saving, health-preserving, fertility-preserving procedure, which is performed in late-term pregnancy in response to medical emergencies, fine. But don’t lambaste me for being “dense” when it’s suddenly apparent you have no notion what you’re talking about.

    Necessary surgery to save a viable life is not wrong.

    So, abortion is not wrong. Are we now clear about that? You were wrong when you said, nastily, that “abortion is evil”: you were wrong to accuse women and doctors of murder.

    Comment by jesurgislac — June 10, 2009 @ 10:18 pm | Reply

    • You’re pretty good! You can hear nastiness through your computer. Can you sense sarcasm, too?

      You don’t read very well. You’re talking about apples and I’m talking about oranges. But give me a percentage-how many abortions in this country do you think have been performed because the life of the mother was in danger, or because the health of the fetus was a concern? If they could limit abortion to this percentage, as I’ve said many times here I, for one, would shut up. Most people do not want to endanger the life of the mother and leave the baby without a mother. Some radicals do, but I’m not that radical. I wouldn’t even call that an abortion. Abortion, to my mind, is done by someone for whom pregnancy is inconvenient for some reason or another, whether failed contraception, or whatever. YEs, abortion is evil in the vast supermajority of these cases. The very fact that you’re obscuring one type with another is very telling. And I never accused the woman having the abortion of murder. Most of the doctors are, though. Those who support the abortion on demand industry.

      Again, my purpose is to change people’s hearts, preferrably before the baby is ever conceived. By the time the woman is outside the clinic, it’s way too late. Abortion is, rarely, a life-saving, health-preserving, fertility-preserving procedure, which is performed in late-term pregnancy in response to medical emergencies. And Dr. Tiller did perform medically unnecessary late-term abortions.

      Comment by David — June 10, 2009 @ 11:32 pm | Reply

      • You’re pretty good! You can hear nastiness through your computer

        Unfortunately you can’t make your remarks upthread any nicer by being sarcastic about how I noticed you were being nasty.

        You don’t read very well.

        I wrote in my original post, and in all my responses that I was writing about late-term abortions, which are by definition performed as a medical emergency. You are now asserting that I should have understood that in responses to my post and my comments about late-term abortions, you were consistently and persistently changing the subject to early abortions, performed for the most part because a woman who conceived did not want to be pregnant.

        I’m writing about apples. You accuse me of “not reading very well” because I presume, joining a discussion about apples, you are talking about apples, not trying to change the topic of discussion to oranges! You’re arrogant in every aspect of your life, aren’t you?

        If they could limit abortion to this percentage, as I’ve said many times here I, for one, would shut up.

        Yet, when responding to a post about this percentage of abortions, you did not shut up, did you? You persistently tried to change the subject to talk about the abortions you presume to disapprove of. As if, faced with abortions that even you have to acknowledge are not evil, you just can’t face admitting that – you want to be able to fulminate about abortions so badly you just can’t shut up!

        I wouldn’t even call that an abortion.

        You should. It is. That’s exactly what it is: and that is the kind of abortion that Doctor Tiller was harassed, shot, stalked, and finally murdered for providing. By pro-lifers who believed the rhetoric of the insincere majority, who so casually use hate speech about abortion “killing babies”.

        . The very fact that you’re obscuring one type with another is very telling.

        David, I clearly stated in my original post that I was writing about late-term abortions: I clearly stated in every single comment I’ve made that I was writing about abortions performed in medical emergency: that you chose to misunderstand me does not make my statements obscure: it means you were determined to rant about oranges in a discussion about apples.

        And I never accused the woman having the abortion of murder.

        What, more insincerity? Or just the belief that women aren’t really human?

        You stated, explicitly, without making exceptions, that you think abortion is murder. Women choose to have abortions: no licenced doctor would perform an abortion on a woman against her will. So, either you believe women aren’t fully human and incapable of understanding their own choice, or when you said you think abortion is murder, you were accusing every woman in the US who’s had an abortion of being a murderer. Or, of course, you’re just totally insincere and you don’t really believe abortion is murder at all.

        Most of the doctors are, though. Those who support the abortion on demand industry.

        More nastiness. This time aimed at doctors who work in an area of healthcare that is, in the US, under attack by the pro-life movement. You really are a piece of work.

        Again, my purpose is to change people’s hearts, preferrably before the baby is ever conceived.

        Being arrogant, nasty, and accusing women of committing murder (or of being subhuman) is not going to change anyone’s heart. Not that it’s the women having abortions whose hearts you need to change: you need first of all to change your own heart. To root out of it your need to control other people, your need to insult and condemn other people. You need humility and love in your heart to repent the evil you’ve urged on others with your hate speech about doctors committing murder, and that nasty little claim upthread that “By last count, abortionists are winning, by the way. 50,000,000 to 5”. Then you need to change the hearts of your fellow pro-lifers until they realize the evil they’re doing in trying to make abortion and contraception harder and more expensive to access, instead of actually working to minimize the number of abortions needed.

        The Netherlands has proportionally far fewer abortions than the US, far easier access to clinics and doctors who perform abortions, and it was not caused by any domestic terrorist movement against doctors or health clinics, nor by any attempt to make abortion illegal. Yet I’ve never seen a pro-lifer say “Let’s work to emulate the Netherlands.” Evidently, they’d rather continue the high proportion of abortions in the US, in order to have something to fulminate against.

        Comment by jesurgislac — June 11, 2009 @ 12:29 am

  14. I took my 14-year-old domestic longhair in for euthanasia about three weeks ago. I applaud your characterization: “I don’t even know if it was the right decision. I don’t think it was: I think that I had been put in a place where there were no right decisions to make.” It’s so hard to walk away from that process, however much suffering was relieved or avoided, without a great helping of guilt and regret.

    Anyway, my veterinarian — a wonderful woman who provides acupuncture and chiropractic as well as conventional vet services — told me that my just a week earlier, her dear friend and veterinary colleague in Oregon had ended her own life through physician-assisted suicide. As vets, they had discussed it often and compared it to their experience with companion animals. Their line of work involves euthanasia for pets on a regular basis, but how did it apply to a terminally ill human?

    And she felt that, since her friend’s death, it was clearer than ever — that it was the most compassionate choice, one that she was honored to provide in her own way.

    I’m not sure what the point is. I guess just that I agree with you — that it’s never easy, it never feels right, it’s the best of all the bad options… and that the choices we make about life and death with our pets apply to the way we live and die with our fellow humans.

    -Cris

    Comment by ambignostic — June 15, 2009 @ 5:18 pm | Reply

    • I’m so sorry for your loss.

      It took me years to come to the conclusion that the reason I couldn’t feel I’d made the right decision was that there were no right decisions I could make.

      As vets, they had discussed it often and compared it to their experience with companion animals. Their line of work involves euthanasia for pets on a regular basis, but how did it apply to a terminally ill human?

      “When all usefulness is over, when one is assured of unavoidable and imminent death, it is the simplest of human rights to choose a quick and easy death in place of a slow and horrible one. I have preferred chloroform to cancer.” – Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 17th August, 1935.

      I will always believe people have the right to choose how they want to die. My problem – I think the problem – is when it becomes necessary to choose for someone else.

      I guess just that I agree with you — that it’s never easy, it never feels right, it’s the best of all the bad options… and that the choices we make about life and death with our pets apply to the way we live and die with our fellow humans.

      Thank you for taking the time to say that.

      Comment by jesurgislac — June 15, 2009 @ 5:59 pm | Reply

  15. Jesurgislac,

    I just wanted to thank you for your persistence and clear communication in dialoguing with pro-lifers. I know that it’s exhausting, at times infuriating, and largely thankless work.

    A year or two ago, I was one of those ‘pro-lifers’ who didn’t really believe the rhetoric (of ‘abortion is murder’ and the like), but I had been raised to view pro-choicers as amoral, selfish infidels. It was, in part, your contributions to one of those epic abortion flamewars on Slacktivist that helped me to finally shake free of that mindset.

    Thanks.

    I love the image you found, ‘Trust Women’. I’ve come to see that this is really the heart of the whole abortion ‘debate’.

    Comment by Adrenalin Tim — June 15, 2009 @ 7:16 pm | Reply

    • So you were a different kind of pro-lifer. Those that condemn, label, and marginalize women because they had abortions.

      This points out a difference between some pro-lifers and others, and demands a differentiation. There are some who are anti-abortion, but also militant. And there are those of us who are anti-abortion who try to change the public heart by education, giving women a choice, taking women by the hand and helping them rather than throwing flames at them.

      Of course there are both of those on the pro-“choice” side as well.

      You don’t change minds by enacting laws or repealing laws. If you could, there would be no more racism or sexism now. Laws don’t change people’s hearts, education does.

      Comment by David — June 15, 2009 @ 7:57 pm | Reply

      • So you were a different kind of pro-lifer. Those that condemn, label, and marginalize women because they had abortions.

        No, not really. I was one of the ‘kinder, gentler’ pro-lifers like you seem to be. One who didn’t realize that any effort to hand pregnancy decisions over to the government is in itself condemning, labelling and marginalizing to women.

        there are those of us who are anti-abortion who try to change the public heart by education, giving women a choice, taking women by the hand and helping them rather than throwing flames at them

        Maybe I’m confused, but where I come from that’s called pro-choice. It’s pretty simple, really – if you think that a woman should make the decisions about her pregnancy, you’re pro-choice; if the government, the church, the man, the doctor, or anyone else, you’re anti-choice.

        You don’t change minds by enacting laws or repealing laws. If you could, there would be no more racism or sexism now. Laws don’t change people’s hearts, education does.

        I agree, to an extent (though there is a degree to where the law can be oppressive and discriminatory, and needs to be changed in order to allow full civil equality).

        Comment by Adrenalin Tim — June 15, 2009 @ 8:19 pm

  16. Jesurgslac,
    The women do not commit abortion. The doctor does. The woman decided that she wants one. That is sinful enough, but the murderer is the doctor. Late term abortions are not, by definition, medical emergencies in most cases. Dr. Tiller did medically unnecessary late term abortions. Again, if it was medically necessary, it’s one thing. Although to target the baby over the mother without trying to save both if possible is wrong.

    Again, any “medically necessary” abortion would be permittable by me. And again, I’m not against medically necessary abortions. I am against abortions for the sake of convenience, which most abortions today are.

    God bless.

    Comment by David — June 15, 2009 @ 7:50 pm | Reply

    • The women do not commit abortion. The doctor does. The woman decided that she wants one. That is sinful enough, but the murderer is the doctor.

      Humbug. If what the doctor does is ‘murder’, then the woman has hired a contract killer, and is equally culpable under the law as the one who does the deed.

      Comment by Adrenalin Tim — June 15, 2009 @ 8:20 pm | Reply

    • The women do not commit abortion. The doctor does. The woman decided that she wants one. That is sinful enough, but the murderer is the doctor.

      No. Legally, and morally, a person who hires a killer is also guilty of the murder. If you sincerely believed (as I doubt) that doctors who perform abortion commit murder, then necessarily you also believe that a woman who decided she wanted an abortion and requested the doctor to perform the abortion has committed murder.

      If, of course, this is just hate speech against doctors who perform abortions safely and legally, as part of the pro-life terrorist campaign against health care for women, you would naturally avoid accusing women of committing murder. That would make you a complete hypocrite.

      Late term abortions are not, by definition, medical emergencies in most cases.

      Persistently asserting an untruth will not make it so. Third-trimester abortions are performed because of medical emergencies; a third-trimester abortion is not an operation that any doctor would perform lightly.

      Second-trimester abortions are most often performed late because it took a long time for the girl or the woman to realize she was pregnant – sometimes because she had been raped, or because she was ignorant or inexperienced: or because the US health care system meant she had to save and plan for far longer than should have been necessary to pay for her abortion and the travel time.

      Delays because an inexperienced girl has been raped are tragic, but the whole situation is tragic: no one should be forced to bear a child because of rape. No young girl should have to bear a child – pregnancy is an active risk to health and future fertility for girls who are still growing and developing.

      The delays caused by the political wing of the pro-life movement trying to make abortion more expensive and less accessible are appalling and infuriating: but late abortions as a result are not something a pro-lifer has any moral high ground to complain about. Not that this would stop you, obviously.

      Dr. Tiller did medically unnecessary late term abortions.

      No, he did not. Doctor George Tiller’s criteria for late-term abortions were specifically that the fetus was dead, dying, or so critically damaged that if carried to term, the baby would not live: and that the pregnancy, if carried to term, was a risk to the pregnant woman’s health. That’s what pro-lifers murdered him for.

      Although to target the baby over the mother without trying to save both if possible is wrong.

      The problem with pro-lifers trying to pretend they value both, is that preferring the fetus to the pregnant woman means both are more likely to die. The only way to give a fetus the best possible chance of survival is to value, protect, and cherish a pregnant woman’s health. She and her doctor are the only two people able, in any specific instance, to make the best decision possible in the specific circumstances.

      What pro-lifers do is target the pregnant woman and pretend they’re doing so because they cherish the fetus. What this leaves out is that attacking pregnant women means attacking the fetus a woman is carrying.

      Again, any “medically necessary” abortion would be permittable by me

      And when you get pregnant, or you rule the world, you get to say what’s “permittable” and what’s not. Until either occurs; what you think is “permittable” is irrelevant.

      I am against abortions for the sake of convenience, which most abortions today are.

      Easy to define “convenience” as “something that doesn’t affect me”.

      Comment by Jesurgislac — June 15, 2009 @ 9:14 pm | Reply

      • Easy for you to make up definitions yourself. It is obvious that you are all for unlimited abortion. It’s your painting us with a broad brush (as many of us do you, I understand) that will never mend the rift between us. How about some concrete definitions? There were never any concrete definitions before this debate arose, that’s part of why there’s so much venom. You say it’s not a life, I say it’s a life. If it was defined ahead of time, there wouldn’t be a legal question. But the pro-abortionists wanted to keep the language vague so they could fit as many into the definition as possible.
        They should have defined it explicitly before letting the door open to practically unlimited abortion.

        Comment by David — June 15, 2009 @ 9:56 pm

  17. David: Easy for you to make up definitions yourself.

    Except that I didn’t You define pregnancy and childbirth as an “inconvenience”: an experience you yourself will never – cannot ever – have. Easy for you.

    It is obvious that you are all for unlimited abortion.

    Obvious, is it? Do cite. What exactly have I written that makes you find it “obvious” that I am all for every single pregnancy in the whole world being aborted? If it’s “obvious” to you that this is what I want, you must be able to find, somewhere, somehow, something I’ve said that suggests that…

    Or are you just making crap up for the sake of it?

    It’s your painting us with a broad brush (as many of us do you, I understand) that will never mend the rift between us.

    Someone who, as you just did, comes up with the idea that I want every single pregnancy in the whole world to be aborted, has absolutely no moral high ground when it comes to claiming I’m “painting with a broad brush”.

    The rift between us is simply this: For me, women are human beings, not slaves, incubators, or breeding animals. For you, it doesn’t matter if the incubator is damaged in producing its load; it’s just a woman, not a real person.

    How about some concrete definitions?

    Okay: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

    That’s a concrete definition. And it absolutely supports my position and destroys yours. (Dates from 1948, too. Well before the debate on abortion began in the 1980s.)

    There were never any concrete definitions before this debate arose, that’s part of why there’s so much venom.

    No, the venom arises from the determination of your side to argue that women are not entitled to full human rights: you can’t argue that position without venom (as you have just demonstrated) and you can hardly be surprised when people who do regard women as human respond with venom.

    You say it’s not a life, I say it’s a life.

    You’re lying. I’ve never said a fetus is “not a life”. I’ve written extensively on abortion and choice all over the bloody Internet, and nowhere, in anything I’ve written, will you find any assertion, anywhere, that a fetus is “not a life”. You are making crap up for the sake of it.

    Nor is your issue that the fetus is a life. Because the pregnant woman is a life too. Your issue that you want to control what a pregnant woman decides for herself and the fetus she carries.

    If it was defined ahead of time, there wouldn’t be a legal question.

    Oh, yes, there would. There are always legal questions when one group of people wants to treat humans as incubators, slaves, or breeding animals.

    But the pro-abortionists wanted to keep the language vague so they could fit as many into the definition as possible.

    Now you’re making crap up again. “Pro-abortionists”? None on this thread. There’s another breed of anti-choicer, the men’s rights activists who want it to be the man’s decision to abort or not: you can call them pro-abortionists if you wish, as they seem to think they should have the right to decide for an abortion in order to avoid being required to pay child support.

    They should have defined it explicitly before letting the door open to practically unlimited abortion.

    No such. There are far more babies born each year in the US than there are abortions, and the US – thanks to the pro-lifer campaigns against sex education and contraception – has an unusually high abortion rate for a developed country. Your dark fantasies about practically every pregnancy being aborted are blatantly false.

    Comment by jesurgislac — June 16, 2009 @ 8:33 am | Reply

  18. If abortion is such a great thing for women’s dignity, how come so many have life-long repercussions psychologically and physically?

    If you believe that a fetus is a life, what right do you or anyone else have to kill it for no good reason?

    I don’t define pregnancy as inconvenience. That’s what it is to many women who have abortions.

    Regarding men’s responsibility, I totally agree that the man who impregnates a woman IS responsible. But if he’s responsible, he has a say in the fate of said child.

    You say there are far more babies born than killed, well praise the Lord. But why is it that the population of Europe is declining? IT’s because there is no longer a sustainable birth rate due to contraception and abortion.

    By your statement “All human beings are born with dignity…” you leave out, on purpose, those who haven’t been born. I believe they also have dignity and rights. So you’re leaving out part of the population. And your definition falls dead. I believe that ALL humans have dignity and rights. None above the other.

    You say we decided women didn’t have rights. It’s not for us to decide. Rights are not endowed by man. God gives us our rights.

    Comment by David — June 16, 2009 @ 7:10 pm | Reply

    • If abortion is such a great thing for women’s dignity, how come so many have life-long repercussions psychologically and physically?

      Well, not many do. As this recent review in Nursing Times of the available studies shows: there is no greater chance of falling into depression after abortion, than there is after childbirth. The pro-life movement has in effect invented a fake syndrome to justify denying women the right to choose abortion. Of course some women suffer depression and wonder if they made the right choice: the pro-life movement takes emotionally vulnerable women and uses – or abuses – them for political purposes.

      A few women do suffer life-long repercussions, like this poor woman, but the reason they do appears to be nothing like as simple as “she had an abortion”:

      When Arias talks about the effects of abortion, she’s so fervent that it’s hard to maintain her gaze. But the idea that abortion is at the root of women’s psychological ills is not supported by the bulk of the research. Instead, the scientific evidence strongly shows that abortion does not increase the risk of depression, drug abuse or any other psychological problem any more than having an unwanted pregnancy or giving birth. For Arias, however, abortion is an act she can atone for. And this makes it different from the many other sources of anguish in her past. As a child, she was sexually abused by her stepbrother, she told me. An older boy forced her to have sex when she was 14; seven months later, she says, she woke in the middle of the night to wrenching cramps and gave birth to a baby girl who was placed for adoption. A year later, Arias’s father, a bricklayer to whom she was close, plummeted from several stories of scaffolding to his death. She left home and fell out of touch with her mother and two brothers.

      Arias seems to be a recognisable example of the kind of woman who may be liable to depression after an abortion (see review above) – and sadly, instead of getting the emotional support that would have been useful to her, she got caught up in the pro-life movement that turned her depression into a political crusade.

      If you believe that a fetus is a life, what right do you or anyone else have to kill it for no good reason?

      I know a fetus is alive, sure: that’s biology. A fertilized egg may become a human being if a woman is willing to spend up to 40 weeks investing her bodily resources, her health, risking her life, making that egg into a human being. I do not believe that you or anyone else – including me – has the right to force her through that against her will. You cannot justify slave labour by saying if she should go through it, she could produce a live baby: it’s her body, it’s her life, it’s her choice.

      If you believe that a woman is a human being, what right do you or anyone else have to decide that her reason for choosing an abortion can’t be a good reason?

      I don’t define pregnancy as inconvenience.

      You did upthread: “Abortion, to my mind, is done by someone for whom pregnancy is inconvenient for some reason or another, whether failed contraception, or whatever.” If you want to take it back and admit you were wrong, fine.

      Regarding men’s responsibility, I totally agree that the man who impregnates a woman IS responsible. But if he’s responsible, he has a say in the fate of said child.

      Well, in principle, yes – though I would put it rather as he has an obligation to help provide for the child in whatever way best suits the child’s primary carer and is judged reasonable according to the law: once there is a child. But until there is, he’s not. A man who has sex with a woman does not thereby gain the right to control her body, so he has no say in whether or not she chooses to have an abortion.

      But why is it that the population of Europe is declining?

      Good grief. There are so many problems with that I don’t quite know where to start. Though to begin with: You do know that the definition of “Europe” is itself an awkward one? The European Union has a precise legal meaning, but Europe does not. Two: The population of Europe is not, in fact, particularly declining – birth rate outstrips death rate. (There are very few countries for which this is not so.) What is true is that European countries tend to have a lower rate of population growth than countries in Africa or Asia. Three: I know where you got this idea from, it’s from a racist/sexist notion about “demographic winter” – based on the idea that white women aren’t having enough babies. Unless you are yourself racist or sexist, the fact that we live in a world of 6.7 billion people and rising is enough to tell anyone that women tending to have fewer babies is not intrinsically a problem.

      IT’s because there is no longer a sustainable birth rate due to contraception and abortion.

      You answer a false statement with a false answer. Three false answers, in fact. First: there is a perfectly sustainable birth rate in Europe. Second: European countries tend to have a noticeably lower rate of abortion than countries in Asia or Africa. 1999 study. Third: Denying access to contraception tends to increase the abortion rate. (The fact that many pro-lifers associate themselves more or less strongly with denial of access to contraception, is the clearest clue anyone needs that pro-lifers are pro-abortion as well as anti-children and families.)

      By your statement “All human beings are born with dignity…” you leave out, on purpose, those who haven’t been born. I believe they also have dignity and rights.

      Not my statement. Though I’m proud to quote it. On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I quoted you Article 1, and I’m sad you don’t recognize it. A woman’s right to decide for herself whether to terminate or continue the pregnancy is solidly protected by her human rights under Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.

      You can grant for the sake of argument that a fetus has equal human rights with a pregnant woman. But that wouldn’t give you any rights over the pregnant woman. I know this must be difficult for you, but you just have to trust and respect women as human beings, with the same equal right you have to dignity and freedom.

      I believe that ALL humans have dignity and rights. None above the other

      But that would include all women. And unless you set yourself above all women, each pregnant woman has the same right you do to make her decisions about her own body, her own life. You do not get to make those decisions for her, not though you make the excuse you only want to do it to force her to produce a baby out of a fertilized egg.

      You say we decided women didn’t have rights. It’s not for us to decide. Rights are not endowed by man. God gives us our rights.

      And yet, you think God doesn’t give human rights, or conscience, or free will, or the ability to know and follow God’s will, to women. If it’s not for you to decide, why are you arguing that you should be allowed to decide?

      Comment by Jesurgislac — June 16, 2009 @ 9:31 pm | Reply

  19. Just on your last point. I don’t have a right to make decisions about my body against God’s plan. That pregnant woman doesn’t either. Stop trying to think you know what I believe because you misrepresent it all along the way. God did give us free will, that’s why Eve was able to turn away from Him. We also have a conscience, but those things are gifts from God that we are not to misuse. Just because you have freedom of speech does not give you license to yell fire in a theater. Just because you can have sex anytime you want doesn’t mean you should. And just because you get pregnant doesn’t mean you have a right to kill the being inside you. You aren’t talking about freedom, you’re talking about license.

    Regardless how you define Europe, the Caucasian population there is aging, as is the population of the US. Spain and France are the worst: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/may/09052202.html

    Comment by David — June 16, 2009 @ 10:47 pm | Reply

  20. David: I don’t have a right to make decisions about my body against God’s plan. That pregnant woman doesn’t either.

    And you think you know better than she does what God’s plan is. If you recall, we started off this conversation pointing out that your assertion that you can communicate with God and tell other people what God wants them to do is supremely arrogant: I see you haven’t achieved any more humility since then.

    Stop trying to think you know what I believe because you misrepresent it all along the way.

    Really? Then what on earth are you arguing with me about? If you do think that women can know God’s will and follow it as well as you can, you would have to be pro-choice, wouldn’t you? Yet your arguments all down this thread have consistently been against women getting to make their own choices, and consistently for your notion that you know better than they do what God wants for them.

    God did give us free will, that’s why Eve was able to turn away from Him.

    And didn’t give Adam free will, which was why he had no choice but to eat the apple? Hm?

    We also have a conscience, but those things are gifts from God that we are not to misuse.

    So why are you misusing what you claim to regard as your gift from God in this way? Instructing other people not to follow their conscience but to follow your will?

    Just because you can have sex anytime you want doesn’t mean you should. And just because you get pregnant doesn’t mean you have a right to kill the being inside you.

    David, that’s a statement of your belief, and I believe you have the right to complete freedom of conscience: you yourself should, if you feel that’s right, refrain from having sex unless you and your partner intend to use your sperm to conceive, and obviously, if you get pregnant, you have the same right any other pregnant person does to decide not to have an abortion. Your assertion about what you believe, however, is not something you can force on other people against their will: and that is freedom.

    Regardless how you define Europe, the Caucasian population there is aging, as is the population of the US.

    Ah, but I am not racist like you are: I do not care how many people in my country are “Caucasian”. You may: I don’t.

    By the way, some facts and figures for you:

    France has a birthrate of 12.57 births/1,000 population; a death-rate of 8.48 deaths/1,000 population; net migration rate of 1.48 migrant(s)/1,000 population: population growth rate: 0.549%. Life expectancy at birth is 80.98 years, and the median age is 39.4 years.

    Spain has a birthrate of 9.72 births/1,000 population; a death-rate of 9.9 deaths/1,000 population; net migration rate of 0.99 migrant(s)/1,000 population: population growth rate: 0.072%. Life expectancy at birth is 80.05 years, and the median age is 41.1 years.

    Spain has a disproportionate number of people over 65, by the way, because it is disproportionately a favored destination for older people in Northern Europe looking to retire and live in the sun. (As is the South of France: but Spain is cheaper.) I would guess if the person who wrote the LifeSiteNews article had done ny research at all, they would know that; but perhaps they just wanted to whip up your fears regardless of the facts, have you considered that?)

    Those figures are from the CIA World Factbook, you can look them up yourself: what they say is that both countries are doing well – people who live there tend to live long, healthy lives, birth and death rates are in balance, more people want to come live there than want to leave.

    Only a very peculiar person would want people to be dying younger…

    Comment by jesurgislac — June 17, 2009 @ 11:22 am | Reply

  21. Regarding your facts and figures, does any of this go to how many children are born per married couple? I don’t think so. A sustainable birth rate is 2.1 children per couple, so I think both your 12.57 and 9.72 miss the mark. Vastly.

    OHHHHHH! So mentioning Caucasian makes me racist? Since when did you become the chief determiner of racism? And you think I’m judgemental??? And what did I say to suggest I want people to die younger? The aging population indicates fewer children, fewer births. This is due to birth control and abortion, some of it mandated by the state.

    I’m doing what Paul suggests.

    Comment by David — June 17, 2009 @ 3:57 pm | Reply

  22. OHHHHHH! So mentioning Caucasian makes me racist?

    No: asserting that it’s a problem that not enough Caucasian babies are being born makes you racist.

    And you think I’m judgemental???

    Yes, I do. Sorry if that hasn’t been made sufficiently clear to you so far.

    And what did I say to suggest I want people to die younger?

    That you see an aging population as a problem. It’s caused by increased life expectancy: women tend to have fewer babies when they have confidence that how ever many children they decide to have, those children will live to grow up. If you want an increased birth rate, work to increase infant mortality, which will in turn ensure that a decreased life expectancy shows up in the statistics. If that’s what you want, you can have it by denying health care to women – oh wait: that’s what pro-lifers do.

    This is due to birth control and abortion, some of it mandated by the state.

    Huh. Again, you’re associating birth control with abortion. Which is worse for you? Because low abortion rates are a direct result of easy access to birth control. If you take away birth control, you send abortion rates high and higher. So which do you want, David? More and more abortions, the kind of high abortion rates you see in countries that have the kind of population growth rate you want, the kind of increased infant mortality that you seem to desire? As I’ve noted elsewhere, pro-lifers do tend to be very pro-abortion.

    Abortion mandated by the state? Not in Europe nor North America, which were the parts of the world we were discussing: you don’t seem to want to discuss the countries with high abortion rates, high infant mortality rates… and high population growth rates.

    Comment by jesurgislac — June 17, 2009 @ 8:43 pm | Reply

    • This is about the point in a given conversation where a ‘pro-lifer’ conveniently disappears, isn’t it?

      Comment by Adrenalin Tim — June 19, 2009 @ 10:59 pm | Reply

      • You don’t know your Bible obviously. In the modern world, it’s known as “flush”.

        Comment by David — June 20, 2009 @ 7:32 am

      • I don’t understand David’s response to your comment, Tim: does he mean that when a pro-lifer conveniently disappears because he’s lost the argument, there’s a Bible verse that calls that “flushing”?

        Comment by Jesurgislac — June 20, 2009 @ 10:55 am

      • That’s how I read it, as well…

        Comment by Adrenalin Tim — June 20, 2009 @ 9:29 pm

  23. On one hand I’m ever so glad I added you to my blogroll, because with this one you’ve written a beautifully sad post that made me cry; Partly because I’m emotional about animals and partly because my cat’s just been very sick. Also because you perseverance in the ensuing argument has been admirable.

    On the other hand I also got to read David’s poisonous bigotry and his subsequent denial of ever having been bigotted. Like – EVAR! That was rather depressing. If I could be arsed, I’d go dig out the numbers showing how more women die from childbirth than from abortion – especially in places where abortion is NOT safe and legal.

    Also, David seems to not consider how a pregnancy and consecutively a child might affect a woman’s life. A baby is a HUGE responsibility. If a woman is not ready for shouldering that responsibility both the lives of the child and the mother will be seriously screwed up ad perhaps lost.

    I am very careful with my birth control, because I know that with my current psychological issues, going through a 9 month period of preserving my body for the sake of another would send me to suicide. Additionally, due to the same issues I cannot have a baby dependent on me 24/7 which is usually what happens the first months after baby is born. For my psyche’s sake, I need to disappear away from the world for many hours at a time – no matter who calls for me, and that includes a baby. Of course I’d never actually leave a baby alone, but that would mean I’d drive myself suicidal with taking on a responsibility I am in no way ready for yet. Hence being careful with my birth control.

    And should it fail me, yes, I will abort. As soon as I find out; as soon as possible. And thankfully, due to socialized healthcare in my country I can do it with relative ease.

    Jesurgislac, thanks for writing a beautiful post, and thanks for fighting the good fight in spite of such venom.

    Comment by jemimaaslana — June 22, 2009 @ 3:16 pm | Reply

    • Thanks for your comment, Jemima.

      Yes – the essence of the pro-choice position is so simple: Trust women. Why should that arouse such ire and venom in the pro-life movement?

      I’m sorry to hear your cat was sick. They do claw their way into our hearts, don’t they?

      Comment by jesurgislac — June 22, 2009 @ 4:54 pm | Reply

      • Perhaps because, if you consider women subhuman and therefore without morals and ethics, it truly is outrageously ridiculous to place such responsibility into their hands. Honestly, I don’t let my cat handle my finances either, you know?

        My cat’s going to be fine – most likely. I’ve had him and his friend since October. I adopted them from a friend, who couldn’t take them with her and they would otherwise have to be put down. They were 8 and 9½ at the time, and no one wants to adopt ageing cats apparently. I couldn’t bear the thought of two such adorable cats (that I’d just met the same afternoon) being euthanised, so I offered to take them in. I also fully understood that when you’ve just finished your studies, and you and your partner just split up and you’re alone with your daughter and moving back to your home country – paying the equivalent of 7000 dollars to take two ageing cats with you is impossible. My partner and I took them in, and well… how can you not love that purring creature sleeping next to your pillow at night – even if he insists on taking up half the bed? And it’s not my partner I’m talking about hehe

        A bad case of struvites clogging his urethra had him very miserable, but the vet took care of that, and the poor kitty has had a catheter in all weekend, dripping blood and urine on our floors (heck, we’ll clean it, that’s okay) and not being allowed to wash himself. It’s out now and he’s cleaned himself thoroughly and is currently sleeping next to me on a chair. He’s just cost me two months rent in vet bills, but fuck it, I love him to bits anyway. Darned little bugger 🙂

        Right… I think that’s plenty from me about mah kitteh X-P

        Comment by jemimaaslana — June 22, 2009 @ 5:07 pm

  24. This was so well written. I am so sorry about your cat, but it sounds like she had the best possible life and the best possible owner.

    Comment by MsGoblinPants — June 23, 2009 @ 4:28 am | Reply

  25. I think that David guy had an epiphany and realised the best use for Bible pages is toilet paper, hence the “flush”.

    Comment by Maggie — November 18, 2009 @ 8:52 am | Reply

  26. […] fire to kittens, on the other hand: inarguably wrong. Even if you hate cats, and as many of you may know, I am a fervent and committed cat worshipper […]

    Pingback by Why is abortion like setting fire to kittens? « Jesurgislac’s Journal — June 27, 2010 @ 12:14 pm | Reply

  27. Why is it that my dog has no compunctions about killing, but I do?
    When we answer that question, we will be comfortable with ending lives by our choices. As a side note, growing up on a farm I had to do some of the killing. I’ve done quite a bit of it, actually. For a time, I didn’t have to, and when the time came again, I was troubled by it. The worst possible stress I have found, though, is to ask someone else to do what was mine to do when my dog was in misery. I will never do that again. It is an unbelievably horrible way to allow people to avoid reality and the responsibility for owning a pet-slave. Everyone wants to have the cute kitten, but nobody wants to own up to shooting rabid Old Yeller. It is the owning that is the cause of the problem, not the killing.
    It is buying the gasoline that causes states to fund terrorism, not the religion of terrorists. The action, not the belief, is what matters to the future.
    Your action to end the misery of your cat was done in full faith and knowledge that it would be a better future if the cat didn’t suffer. You contributed to a better world in doing so at that point. If you want to contribute more, then don’t get another pet unless it’s going to be a useful working animal or food. The world is on the verge of starvation due to the luxuries we have wasted resources for. Pets are a luxury. Get a pig to eat your garbage and butcher it and eat it yourself. If you can’t do that, you are simply a ghost of a human being that refuses to acknowledge the reality of living. Sure, you could claim veganism, but we all know that is a lie about human nature (admirable, but still a fantasy that humans are not killers and that all killing is evil..see note about dog above). Better to be part of a symbiotic living world, where animals and plants and humans contribute to each other’s life and usefulness (death) than to pretend the lie that humans are somehow separate and unique and specially isolated from the effects of their existence.
    Evil is any action taken based on Blind Faith. It also applies to inaction. Allowing an animal to suffer because one believes “God will decide” is cruel and awful. Draw your own analogies to abortion vs. future usefulness and cause and effect at each stage of the process of marketing sex/life/death.
    It’s ALL marketing: especially morality.

    Comment by Auntiegrav — January 26, 2011 @ 4:26 pm | Reply

  28. Sorry, didn’t realize that was an old post. ..huh…

    Comment by Auntiegrav — January 26, 2011 @ 4:27 pm | Reply

    • That’s okay! No problem leaving a comment. Where did you get here from?

      PS All first comments are modded to keep off spambots, otherwise, I just generally practice free commenting.

      Comment by jesurgislac — January 26, 2011 @ 5:43 pm | Reply


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