Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Wrapping up the Debate

Well, yesterday's comment board turned into another free-for-all, and if anyone's feelings were hurt, I apologize. Emotions were running high. Just a few parting thoughts, and then I'm moving on to other pressing issues:

To anyone who is contemplating an abortion right now, please read this, from "Journal of an Insomniac". It is not a display of bloody pictures. It is simply a touching tribute to a birth mother who chose life.

Gabby said something yesterday which stuck with me. She thinks this discussion is best left for another time, because anyone seen opposing abortion is looked on as a religious zealot, and in this fragile government the subject is taboo.

I agree that the Harper government has its hands tied on this one. Therefore the only thing we can do is voice our concerns to M.P.'s from other parties who may be open enough to truly listen to another point of view. Of course, even if Parliament changed the law, the Supreme Court would likely strike it down anyway, so this may be all for nothing.

That is the state of democracy in Canada.


RGM said...

Excellent stuff from the past couple of days. I didn't jump into the conversation until just a few minutes ago, as I spent all of yesterday doing MA thesis stuff, but you're definitely on to something good here and it's good that at least in some corner of Canada people aren't afraid to engage in this debate and keep the level relatively cool.
In a lot of ways the abortion debate reminds me of the Not In My Back Yard syndrome. I know a lot of women who say that they would never have one and are morally opposed to it, but feel that it is fine if other women do it. Recently, over in Dartmouth a new strip club was established very close to a residential area. My SO goes by it on the bus every day she goes to work, it is in a rather prominent location. A lot of people protested the existence of the place, wrote letters, all that stuff. I noticed that in many of the letters they identified not the strip club as the problem, only its location. They didn't want it near their kids, which is a perfectly legitimate reason for not wanting prostitution in your part of the city. However, in identifying the location as the problem, they implied that the existence is OK so long as it wasn't their kids who were being subjected to it. Moral relativism at its worst.

I see that a lot with the abortion debate, and I find that really troubling. With this type of issue, something can't be morally wrong for one person and morally right for another can it? I'm disturbed that people so flippantly toss a societal problem into another person's yard just so that they themselves don't have to deal with it. If the vision of Canada is to truly develop a society that shares common values, ought it not be the responsibility of the government to be a little less laissez-faire on big ticket items such as this?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Great points, RGM! Interesting that you should mention strip clubs. It reminds me of the recent SCC decision to allow swingers' clubs, since they felt society was ready for it. The attitude was the same - it isn't hurting me, so why not?

The current philosophy in Canada is everything is cool, as long as it isn't hurting me personally. Strikes me as a tad self-centered.

Good luck on that thesis, BTW!!

RGM said...

It is very interesting/troubling how individualistic we've become as a nation. We've certainly come a long way from the traditional conception of Canadian liberalism towards one that is edging into the fierce individualism of American liberalism. I'm sure Paul Martin would blow a gasket over that statement, but there is an element of truth to it. If there weren't, the moral relativism that pervades Canadian society wouldn't be so prominent.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Well said. Moral relativism is the new religion. The opiate of the progressives.

Any dissenting view is labelled as "bigoted".

vicki said...

Thanks rgm for bringing in the m-word...morals.Our universities have their 'moral relativism-situational ethics classes' daily. "What is right for me,is not right for you, what is wrong for you is not wrong for me" "There is no right or wrong...let's just smile and be happy...but don't hurt me 'cuz that ain't right"...huh?!?!
No wonder we are on the slippery slope.
great discussion joanne!!

Chuckercanuck said...

joanne (tb),

my silence on this is driven purely by pragmatism. no rocking Harper's minority boat.

having said that: all abortions are a sin. that doesn't mean we make them illegal - as we all know legal and moral are two different things.

in a perfect society, there would be no abortions. all people, no matter what side of this debate they fall on, should strive for as close to an abortion-free world/nation.

RGM said...

Interesting point you raise; I only took one or two philosophy classes in my undergrad years (needed for credits) and we spent a couple of days on the absolutism/relativism debate. I came away pretty strongly in favour of the former, I think it was the debate centred around (why is it always the graphic discussions?) female genital mutilation as practiced in parts of Africa that really tilted me in that direction. If it's something that we view as morally repugnant and a gross violation of a person's rights here, how could it possibly be acceptable as "just part of their culture" there? I don't know if I just lucked out and went to a fairly conservative university, but I personally haven't encountered much of the 'moral relativism-situational ethics classes' that you describe. Maybe that was in the sociology department, I just don't know.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

CC - I hear you, and that is why I am not suggesting that the Conservatives bring this up. It would be better if someone from one of the other parties did, like Paul Szabo or Joe Comuzzi or somebody. However, as I stated it wouldn't likely change anything anyway, because in Canada, the Supreme Court rules supreme. It has a higher authority than elected officials, IMHO.

You also said "all abortions are a sin. that doesn't mean we make them illegal - as we all know legal and moral are two different things."

Yes, and even if they were illegal, they would still happen. I still resent being forced to pay for them. Also, polygamy is illegal, but it is still happening in B.C. Luckily I don't have to pay for that because they like having lots of babies.

Memo to Elizabeth Thompson: All the preceding statements are purely the personal opinions of the author, and in NO WAY reflect that of the government. (Just so I don't get quoted out of context).

Gabby in QC said...

Sorry, Joanne. I know your post is called "Wrapping up the Debate" but ... allow me this, OK? Thanks.

rgm said (Wed May 10, 06:36:58 AM CST)

'In a lot of ways the abortion debate reminds me of the Not In My Back Yard syndrome. I know a lot of women who say that they would never have one and are morally opposed to it, but feel that it is fine if other women do it ... the moral relativism that pervades Canadian society ..."

Those women who say they would never have one but are morally opposed to it are not necessarily fine with it, as you contend. It may simply be a dose of realism, that no matter the evidence, the arguments, the reasons, the alternatives given NOT to perform an abortion, some will always champion their POV as one of a woman's right to choose, thus an individual choice, since it's her body. And those same women (opponents of abortion) may then conclude, well, if it's YOUR body, YOU pay for the abortion.

It is similar to a person watching a speeding truck heading down a hill into a cliff. One may see it, would like to stop it, is definitely NOT fine with it, but recognizes s/he is powerless to stop it, as do some opponents of abortion. I don't think it's a case of moral relativism to recognize that there are some kinds of behaviour I personally cannot change. But I don't have to accept the concept OR be expected to pay for it, nor do I have to agree that it should be covered by the Canada Health Act.

Finally, I wonder what Tommy Douglas, a Baptist minister, would have to say re: abortion. If anyone knows what his views were on the subject, I'd be interested to know what they were. Just curious, no sarcasm intended. I would appreciate sources.

Zac said...

I think Alex on the other page had a great point. If those on the right want to reduce the number of legally prescribed abortions you have to get realistic on a number of other points:

1) adoption by same sex couples
2) more sex education in school
3) free condoms for children/teenagers

Taking these options would give more options to mothers. I know the church opposes these measures but they are necessary.

You get my drift, you guys have to open your mind in other areas to get the results you want.

Zac said...

"Finally, I wonder what Tommy Douglas, a Baptist minister, would have to say re: abortion."

Gabby, I'm not sure of what he would say but I'm sure of one thing. Not all people who are religious oppose abortion, thats more of a generalization. People can be religious and progressive at the same time. I know a few myself.

RGM said...

Gabby, without getting back into the debate, I wasn't speaking in generalities, just the people I know personally who have said that they are OK with the idea of abortion even if it isn't for them.

We do have the power to stop it. This is the great thing about living in a democratic society: we can lobby our members of Parliament to seriously consider putting some legislation on the table that would restrict the conditions under which a person is allowed to have an abortion. Just as we have the power to prevent other actions which we consider to be wrong, we can do this. Throwing our hands up in the air and conceding defeat because one person alone might not be able to effect change isn't the answer. Remember, it takes a village. :)

Lord Omar said...

Good day Joanne,

Omar, congratulations on your letter to the editor about Freedom of the Press (the Record). It was very well written.

I know nothing of this letter you speak of. If it was signed by someone calling themselves, Omar, it was some other.


Soccermom said...

Zac - I like your term: legally prescribed abortions. "You know, Doc, I've got this belly that just keeps getting bigger and bigger, and I really don't like it. What can you do about it?" Not quite like getting a prescription for anti-biotics for that strep throat. At least many of us on the pro-life side of the fence feel that way.

There are long wait lists for people wanting to adopt babies. I have friends who went all the way to Florida to adopt twins because the wait lists here are so long. Next you will say wait lists are long for only caucasian babies. My friends, who are caucasian, adopted twin african-americans. What about people travelling all the way to China to get a baby (usually a girl, because we all know, many baby girls are aborted or even snuffed out at birth there because of their gender). I have neighbors who adopted native children. I have two cousins who are adopted
who have been absolute blessings to our whole family. What a loss that would have been to all of us if their birth mothers had chose the other option. Now that I think more about it, I know several more families who have adopted children from a different race.

And as I said yesterday, I would dearly like there to be no demand for abortions, but I know that's not going to happen. And the abortion industry will not be legislated out of existence. But as another blogger said, that is the key - slowing down the demand. Education, Education, Education is the key. People like Henry Morgentaler don't want women to know that they may be haunted by this decision for the rest of their lives. Too many people make their living doing this work.

Now I'm going to throw something else out there: Progress for the sake of progress is not always a good thing...

Zac said...


perhaps my wording was wrong, forgive me. I was more refering to cases where it would harm the mother, thus a doctor would recommend an abortion in order to save her life, but once again, I guess that we have addressed, or rather, argued down that issue, so I appologize for beating a dead horse.

Many parents do not way to adopt. I know a few myself. Personally, I would adopt. I understand where your coming from. I would prefer a mother who didn't want her child to carry the baby to full term and then give it up for adoption too. I just realize that that is a utopian view of this issue that is not realistic.

I agree with you about Alex's point, there needs to be more education, there needs to more free condoms and other contraceptives available to children and teenages and there needs more openess in same sex couples adopting.

soccermom, please understand when I say that I am just as uncomfortable with the idea of abortion as you are. Obviously we disagree when life begins, but I think that we can find common ground in the area of late term abortions. I don't believe that life begins at birth.

With that being said, I feel that we don't need to return to the days of back alley coat hanger jobs. I believe, and will always believe, that there should be legal protection and medically safe ways for women who choose to ahead with this procedures.

If you feel strongly, like I feel strongly, that there needs to be a better system of sexual education (which doesn't include abstinence), more contraceptives provided to young people, and more of a push towards adoption, then you and I have found valuable common ground and I would be happy to fight along side you to make that a reality in this country.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Omar - Sorry, big boo-boo there! I meant Tango!! Yikes that was a major faux pas.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Gabby - Please never apologize for leaving a well thought-out comment.

Soccermom said...

Zac!!! We have found common ground! Adoption should really be stressed! There should be limits on late-term abortion! Thank you for your comments!

However, I disagree with you that abstinence should be dismissed outright. It is an ALTERNATIVE, as well, although unrealistic I realize, to a lot of people. But it is nevertheless, an ALTERNATIVE.

Zac!!!! I'm so excited! We have some common ground!
See, I said you were a good kid!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Gabby - "But I don't have to accept the concept OR be expected to pay for it, nor do I have to agree that it should be covered by the Canada Health Act."

Do you know a way to opt out? I'm all ears!

CC - BTW, I guess I had you pegged wrong. I though you were o.k. with abortion. Je m'excuse.

Zac - "You cannot exempt yourself from paying for someone elses abortion no more than you can exempt yourself from paying for someone elses heart transplant."

Interesting that just recently the medical profession was debating about whether they had to care for people who are addicted to smoking, drinking or drugs, etc. The other issue is whether or not they should be covered by our public health care system when they do nothing to help themselves.

I see a parallel here.

Zac said...

You should see a parallel here. In fact, if I were you I would bring up McGuinty cutting eye exams from OHIP.

My point is not necessarily to debate the merits of paying for abortion but to make the point that aslong as abortion is considered "medically necessary" is some cases, your fight isn't with the Canada Health Act, but rather with abortion laws, which declare it to be "medically necessary" in some cases.

If you want to stop paying for it, start with the head of the "beast" not with the tail.

Zac said...

soccermom, Im glad that we have found common ground, but we are still a distance apart on other issues. But we shall leave it for another day.

Both sides, pro-life and pro-choice can find common ground and fight it out over the details. It is possible.

I'm still in favour of allowing early term abortions and believe that they should be funded by the government and available to those who want them. I do believe that information should be available to those who want them though and that we should take preventitive steps, such as education and free condoms.

Perhaps we can both have our way soccermom.

Chuckercanuck said...


I could never support the notion of handing out condoms to teenagers.

what they hell is wrong with telling them not to have sex? why should a 16 year old have sex?

it really is okay, even as a liberal, to say: children remain children so long as they are children.

Britney Spears is not going to be remembered as one of the great moral philosophers of western civ.

Soccermom said...

Zac, yes we are worlds apart on when life begins. But I do believe that is a matter of education as well. And women considering having an abortion need to know the facts on fetal development. Have you ever checked out a fetal development chart? By seven weeks, the baby has a beating heart. He grows very quickly over the next few weeks. By only two months, the baby is constantly moving and has developing fingers. And I could go on and on. Many women don't realize they are pregnant until probably two months +. (it's been a few years, I can't quite remember). And by that time, his/her little heart is already beating.

If a distinct heart beat by 7 weeks does not mean life, I don't know what does!

Just something for you to think about, Zac. As I said yesterday, your feelings on this subject may change when you become a parent one day.

I'm done here for the day, or I'll never get any work done! Ta Ta!

P.S. I still think you're a good kid!

Red Tory said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Soccermom said...

Chucker Canuck - great post! My thoughts exactly. By the way, I'm a huge fan of yours!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Chucker- "what they hell is wrong with telling them not to have sex? why should a 16 year old have sex?"

Wow, I have seriously underestimated you! My deepest apologies. Regarding the 16 year olds having sex though, maybe you should convey your thoughts to some of the Liberal M.P.'s...

Lord Omar said...

Recently, over in Dartmouth a new strip club was established very close to a residential area.

A little context to this generalization. The new strip club is located on very commercial Wyse Road and the building that said Den of Inequity is housed has always been some sort of rowdy drinking establishment. Is there a residential area near? Yes. Is it very close? No. That a Metro Transit bus drives by this establishment on a very busy commercial thoroughfare is hardly worth mentioning. And the North End Dartmouth prostitution that rgm points to? Pretty much non-existent compared to 10years ago. We all know you go to school in Halifax rgm, but where you from??

Zac said...

"I could never support the notion of handing out condoms to teenagers."

CC, your assuming that if kids don't have condoms, they won't have sex. Most kids start having sex at 14 and most are too embarrased to walk into a store and buy them, plus they sometimes don't have the money.

I say give 'em condoms, teach them how to protect themselves. This isn't endorsing sex, its saying that if you choose to partake, here is how you stay safe.

Lord Omar said...

"I could never support the notion of handing out condoms to teenagers."

The absolute absurdity of this statement boggles the mind. Condoms should be made available free to whomever wants them. Christ, you right-wingers bully pulpit about abortion, but then you don't want to give condoms to teenagers. Unbelievable. Truly, I don't know how you stomach spending so much time here, zac.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Omar - Nobody is forcing you to stay here. You might prefer Calgary Grit.

Zac said...

There all good folks Omar, I enjoy getting under thier skin.

SUZANNE said...

I added a comment on the other post, I hope that was okay.

I would like to say that there's a lot of talk about "reducing abortions", but what about legal protection and rights for unborn babies?

Because that's what's really missing. That's the heart of the abortion debate. It's really not an abortion debate, it's a debate about the value of the unborn child, worded as an abortion debate.

If the unborn child has no value, or almost none, then it's not a big deal. Keep abortion legal.

If he has some value, then he deserves some protection.

If he's an equal, then abortion can never be justified.

I fight for the rights of unborn children. There are no rights for unborn children in Canada. I consider them equals. I consider my unborn children equal (when I have them) and I am distressed that they are not socially acknowledged or legally protected in case of attack (except as a "part of my body, which I find demeaning).

This is the reason for my struggle. People do not have the right to kill their equals, and as long as abortion is legal, they will continue to do it with impunity. Of course abortions will always happen, but with a law, justice can be maintained, and the law can teach society that unborn children are valuable and equals. Coat hangers kill babies, too.

Lord Omar said...

I enjoy getting under thier skin.

Well apparently you must. Good people? I am not convinced.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

As I said, Omar. Feel free to go back to your own kind.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Right, Suzanne. And it all boils down to taking responsibility for your actions. That is a very strange concept in our current society.

Lord Omar said...

As I said, Omar. Feel free to go back to your own kind.

My own kind?? You are a bigot Joanne. Plain and simple.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

lol!! Omar, you are such a treat. I am surprised that you would take offence at my suggesting you go and play with your Liberal friends. As if that is such a demeaning comment. Or are you not a Liberal? Then I could understand why you took it as an insult.

Lord Omar said...

I am a liberal not a Liberal. My bad for flipping off the handle...long day ;)

Chuckercanuck said...


that kids are having sex does not legitimize it. teachers can't hand out condoms like hollowe'en candy and then pretend they aren't endorsing sex. that's bogus.

if a teacher went handing bullets out or crack cocaine, would you accept that as a non-endorsement?

Chuckercanuck said...

joanne (tb):

to quote the Prime Minister, my social views are complex and not easily captured in a political soundbite!

I have all the contradictions of an Irish catholic hiding from his wife and priest at the bar.

Chuckercanuck said...


thanks. I love your posts too.

RGM said...

When was I referring to North End prostitution? Moreover, that it is "pretty much non-existent compared to 10years ago" isn't good enough. It's still going on IN the strip club, which is what I was referring to.

I have no idea what it was like 10 years ago, I'm from BC, only here for my studies. What the case was 10 years ago I don't know; what I see NOW is what concerns me. As I've said, the location is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things; that it is close to a residential area only makes it of even greater concern for the effects it has on women and children in the area. That it EXISTS AT ALL is the problem.

Lord Omar said...

It's still going on IN the strip club, which is what I was referring to.

And you know that prostitution is going on in that club? Have you been in this club? And if you have, did you purchase sex? If indeed sex is going on in this club, which I believe it is not, then I would prefer that it happen there, within the boundaries of a safe and controllable environment rather than on Albro Lake Rd. where it was happening 10years ago. The greater problem here? Antiquated sex laws that should be reformed. That and redneck westerners that bring their antiquated beliefs to where they are not appreciated.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

RGM - Don't let yourself get caught up in Omar's vicious trolling. He's not out to bring any illumination to the discussion. He only wants everyone to be as miserable as he is.

Lord Omar said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Zac said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mary said...

I don't know how you keep with this busy, busy blog. You yourself said it is like giving birth each and every day. I believe it! At least you are not aborting yours.
Keep up the good work!

RGM said...

Joanne (TB),
It's hard to let something as egregious as what he's saying just go by. I wish I had the restraint, I just don't.

What do you consider stripping to be if not the selling of a person's body? There may or may not be actual penetration happening within the club, I certainly do not know because I find it repugnant to set foot in such places, but the use of one's sex in exchange for money is by any credible definition prostitution.

"Redneck westerner"??? That's hilarious! Almost as hilarious as your suggestion that my views are not appreciated on what is, in fact, a conservative blog, and not your own. If you're speaking of NS generally, you're certainly not a great representative for Canadian unity, as my understanding of Canada is that all views are encouraged to be aired and discussed. But I'm a Western redneck who loves Canada, what do I know, right?

vicki said... daughter has friends in university. The philosophy classes centre on the moral relativism/situational ethics theme, and it often creeps into sociology classes as well. Lucky for you, you were spared.
joanne you are the hostess with the mostest!great input here from so many thinkers. Did omar really think he was getting under our skin?! lol delusions of grandeur!He even implied that I was a genius on another site! lol
Handing out condoms is not teaching responsibility.
Teaching and encouraging abstinence will help kids realize there is more to a relationship than sex. The irony of the sexual revolution is that feminism has not changed the 'same old story'...that girls want love and guys want sex. Hence girls are deluded thinking sex is love.Girls still get used.Sad.

Zac said...

So many comments disappearing?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

RGM - Sorry, but Omar isn't welcome here anymore. If you want to chat with him on his blog, feel free.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks for your kind comments, Vicki. I guess Omar got under MY skin. I don't like to be subjected to such negative unproductive vile all the time. If you want to discuss things with him though, he's just a mouse click away.

Zac said...

"Teaching and encouraging abstinence will help kids realize there is more to a relationship than sex."

Vicki, I think that you are forgetting what it is like to be 13 or 14. Honestly, teachers could teach abstinence to me and my class mates until they were blue in face, it didn't stop us from going and having sex. I'm a bit older now, but I can still remember those days. I'm afraid that not much has changed.

I believe that kids are going to have sex regardless of what we teach them. Handing out condoms and telling them how to use them will, in my mind, help avoid the transfer of STD's and avoid unwanted pregnancies. If we ignore the issue and teach kids that sex is wrong the message won't seep in. Kids need to have sexual education that teaches abstinence but doesn't necessarily promote it.

Zac said...

BTW, Joanne isn't such a bad 'bout letting him return?

Chuckercanuck said...

well, on record, let me point out:

Quebec has this reputation for being very "progressive" and all that.

The problem is - we are very reluctant to use government as a tool to regulate morality. Maybe its because traditionally, the Catholic Church regulated that stuff. When the Quiet Revolution happened, we didn't want any institution regulating morality.

So, because we allow something doesn't mean we like it. To allow stripping, for example, doesn't mean we cheer it on and seek to normalize that behaviour.

Where the more traditional social conservative and Quebeckers, like myself, can agree is that we disagree strongly with people who, by virtue of something being allowed, want to normalize that thing.

No matter where on the abortion spectrum you land, you should want no abortions in your country. The question is if that's a rule or a goal or something in between.

Zac said...

Vicki, I'm impressed. Not every day that I get someone talking about moral relativism. Perhaps we can debate about post-modernism? existentialism? phenomenologicalism? post-structuralism?

I'm sort of a philosophy fan. I was thinking of starting a philosophy blog, if I do are you interested in participating?

Zac said...

sorry, I mean:

Joanne, Omar isn't such a bad guy...

vicki said...

zac..I would never expect teachers to 'teach' abstinence.That is the job of do have that 'Nanny state' mentality.
And I never taught my kids that sex is wrong. We teach them that sex is good, sex is beautful, God gave us sex..for marriage. Why would teaching abstinence mean sex is 'wrong'?
No joanne..I don't need to talk with omar...the 'genius' comment was his way of ..'trying to get under my skin'

vicki said...

Thanks zac...I find psycho babble quite boring. I'm more in to rights and responsibility type discussions,with faith in Christ to keep me humble and hopeful. Comes from practical life experiences. Hope you have a great time with it tho.

Chuckercanuck said...


"post-modernism? existentialism? phenomenologicalism? post-structuralism?"

All these four things you mention are entirely in the continentalist tradition.

I've noticed that people who shy away from the anglo-american philosophical traditions tend to be lefties.

Except Kiergegaard - but he's so much older than all that other stuff. And he was very funny.

Heidegger? Give me a break.
Husserl? Who what?
Sartre? 600 pages to say you make your own bed in this world.
Merleau-Ponty? To me, if you say, "Merlot" it better be from California and you better have two bottles.

Zac said...

Interesting CC.

Personally I'm a Nietzsche fan. I can find merit in Hobbes, Locke, et al.

Perhaps you might be interested in participating on a philosophy blog?

I just don't want to set one up if its going to be myself and crickets.

Zac said...

So, if sex is good, why are providing condoms to hormone drivin teenagers wrong?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

CC - Very interesting perspective as always.

"When the Quiet Revolution happened, we didn't want any institution regulating morality."

What happened during that Quiet Revolution? When did that occur? Quebec went from ultra-Catholic to laissez-faire. What caused that to happen?

RGM said...

I, too, can live without Omar's form of negativity in my life. Let him troll elsewhere, I say! You've got a great blog here, you're already in my blog links and I'll have to be sure to put one up on my own blog for you as well.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Zac - I have deleted a few comments that did nothing to further the discussion, and were off-topic.

Here is a partial clip from Omar's comment though. This part is still topical:

"Um, Joanne, this gentleman is in my town, spouting untruths. How that is trolling for anything is a bit rich, don't you think? Please don't make blind assumptions on whether I am happy or miserable."

I would consider inviting Omar to join us again if he were willing to actually try to discuss things in a respectful way, without being mean-spirited and derogatory.

Kate from "Small Dead Animals" recently had to establish a set of comment rules, and now I can see why.

I hate having to use "Comment Moderation". I think it takes away from the freedom of the debate. But I can't see another way around it now.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

RGM - Thanks! That's very kind. I appreciate your contributions to the discussion.

Debi said...

To get back to one of the topics of discussion:
Teenagers should not be denied condoms as I am sure most would agree but I don’t believe in handing them out like lollipops to younger teenagers. Condoms are readily available at the grocery store and drug store and most teenagers today have more money and disposable income than many of us could have imagined in our teenage years. I don’t think this is an issue.
If anyone cannot remember what those raging teenage hormones are like…well…it’s on every teenage angst show on TV. Hopefully parents will teach their own moral values to their kids and kids will have the ammunition to make their own informed decision but if and when they do choose to become sexually active, or get caught up in the moment, the lack of a condom would leave them vulnerable to life changing occurrences; (pregnancy) as well as a host of diseases, the worst of which is death. I think the issue here is not to shove it in their faces but to make it available if they so choose, as it is. With education from the schools and parents and the media, kids are taught that when they become sexually active, they need a condom.

Alex Elliott said...

Handing out condoms is not teaching responsibility.

Handing out condoms is preventing unwanted pregnancies and preventing abortions.

If you look at abortion rates in industrialized countries, you see that the abortion rate in the Netherlands, where they teach all kids about birth control, is less than half of what it is in Canada. Every study of sex education has shown that abstinence-only education doesn't reduce the practice of premarital sex, but it does make people more likely to have unprotected premarital sex.

If you were truly interested in reducing the number of abortions, you would advocate full sex education. Teaching abstinence only just ends up killing more fetuses in the long run.

vicki said...

joanne..I don't know if you have closed the discussion on abortion, but I just resd some sad news...a newborn baby was found dead in dumpster in BC. This is always so shocking, and sadly I think it relates to the abortion problem. If a baby can be killed in the womb (legally) at anytime during the pregnancy...why is killing the newborn any different?Some will have faux sympathy for the mom and think that 'if only she had an abortion...this wouldnot have happenned'I would challenge them...what is the difference?
Sad, so sad.

liberal supporter said...

The right to life begins at birth. Doesn't matter how alive you are before birth. As far as the law goes, you get your rights as a separate person at the time you become a separate person, at birth.
Let's provide all the support possible to birthing kids instead of killing them before birth, but legally, it's birth.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks Debi, for getting us back on track. I agree with you. We have to be realistic, and denying teenagers access to condoms is not a good idea. On the other hand, I don't think they should be tossed in a kid's Easter basket or Christmas stocking either...

Parental values and participation are key. Too many parents have abdicated that role.

Mary said...

Way to go Vicki,
When you said :
“Handing out condoms is not teaching responsibility.
Teaching and encouraging abstinence will help kids realize there is more to a relationship than sex. The irony of the sexual revolution is that feminism has not changed the 'same old story'...that girls want love and guys want sex. Hence girls are deluded thinking sex is love. Girls still get used. Sad.”

I agree with you Vicki, God made us to desire out “Husbands” not just casual flings. So many girls do not get enough love and approval and so the first guy who pays attention to them they cave thinking that it is true love, and give themselves away, again and again, looking for that true love, till they are so fragmented they get bitter about life.

kelly said...

As parents we need to teach our children that they are worthy of a true and loving relationship. We need to teach them to respect others and their own bodies and that giving in to their hormones and lust is going to leave them feeling used up. I agree with sex education in school INCLUDING absitnence. I believe that our children are not animals and don't have to give in every time the urge hits them. They have brains and can excersise self-restraint. Having said this, I know that sometimes things get carried away and the engage in. All I am saying is they need to have all the choices set before them and to let them know that we, as parents, value them and their decisions, but that we also know that they have the ability to put off having sex until, ideally, they married or at least in a committed relationship.

Zac said...

Being (fairly) young myself, high school and middle school weren't that far off for me.

Not everyone was having sex when they were 14, but a large majority were. I think we need to acknowledge that. Parents and school play a role in this. Parents need to impart certain ideas about sex (tip of the hat to Vicki, see I'm not a nanny stater). School's need to impart certain facts.

I had friends whose parents would scream to the hills that sex at such and such an age was wrong, or that they should wait until marriage. From my experience, it didn't work. Sorry to say.

Some wait, most don't. Provide tools for the "most" so they can stay safe, not just from unwanted pregnancies but also from STD's/AIDS et al.