I would like to thank you for this forum. I listen to your program while milking cows on Sunday afternoons. I have spoken out for the "flaming moderates" on the abortion debate in our local newspaper, and been condemned for that stand. My brother-in-law has Down Syndrome. I think that abortions in this day and age should be unnecessary for the most part. There is no longer any real scorning of un-wed mothers in our society. At the same time, most "partial birth abortions" are performed on the advice of a physician; and, I refuse to see an undifferentiated blastula as human. I would love to sit down and have beer with Rod Dreher, but feel that he is more a student of liberal arts training and less a student of biology. There are holes in Mr. Dreher's understanding. He is against abortion, against same sex marriage, but for organic farming.* There is more to a holistic life than being crunchy.I was raised as a Southern Baptist but abandoned that mindset by the time I was in high school. I spent half of my life divorced from God because of critical thinking. In that time, I received a science degree in college, married and came back home to take over our family's dairy farm. It was only because my wife found a church [in my own town, amazingly] that accepted what Marcus Borg calls "post-critical naiveté" that I was able to return to religion. Biology is the essence of a chaotic system.As a working farmer, part time student of theology, and a "scientist", I become impatient with those that shut out other sciences. We are more than the sum of our DNA. It is absolutely necessary that an embryo implant into the uterus in order to grow, divide and become a functioning human fetus. Until it reaches a point of vague medical viability, the fetus is very much a body part of a woman. From a biological viewpoint, it seems to me that a fetus evolves into a human. The resolution of this is "above my pay grade".I was struck, recently, by a passage from Exodus that I had never heard from either the left or the right. Starting with Exodus 21:22, this passage relates that the contents of the uterus are the property of the husband [not the father], and that the value of the fetus' humanity is to be set according to a sliding scale. As a small-b-baptist, I was dumb-founded that the Catholic Church could simply go its own way on this issue and ignore this passage. As a descendent of abolitionists and suffragists, I wonder how anyone could not understand that there are inherent contradictions in the Bible that we work out according to our greater angels. We are to hold up human dignity first and foremost.Combining these things together leads me to be mostly against abortion AND to know that we have to keep Roe v. Wade. It simply can not be black or white, red or blue.
* I have some difficultly understanding those that blindly accept things such as "organic is better". There is a range of effects. Organic production of fruits and vegetables is probably a great idea, though it is extremely labor intensive and would require hordes of migrant workers if practiced on a wide scale. On the other end of the scale, organic production of row crops is immoral. Tilling the soil merely to kill a few weeds destroys the soil, releases carbon to the air, and causes erosion. Modern No-till farming practices build soil structure and sequesters carbon by utilizing limited quantities of herbicides. Organic dairy farming is somewhere in the middle. The vast majority of the benefits of organic dairying are to be gained from grazing which increases the amount of omega-3 fatty acids and other antioxidants in the milk fat.By the same measure, homosexuality is a mater of biology, not choice. The Bible deals primarily with inheritance and the necessity of avoiding idolatry. The opposition of some Christians to homosexuality, gay marriage and other such issues is difficult for me to accept when we are told that nothing that is of God [God created] is evil. All of my cows are bisexual. I use artificial insemination, and observe homosexual relations between my cows to know when to breed them. If homosexuals remain "straight" in their actions, then they are going against their God given nature.
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