The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Archive for the ‘Women’ Category

Late term abortion: a perspective that might surprise you

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WICHITA, KS - JUNE 1:  Julie Lawson (R) carrie...
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via Daylife

The murder of Dr. George Tiller in Wichita stirred up a buzz about late-term abortion.  In reading around, I stumbled onto a view that I hadn’t considered before. Here ’tis; the emphases are mine.

Lynda Waddington speaks, interviewed by Anderson Cooper:

Waddington: I think those who are anti-abortion have been very successful in painting the picture of who I am and who other women are who have late abortions. And it kind of ticks me off because it’s not accurate. I mean, supposedly I’m just a person who woke up one day and had a back pain or a leg cramp and decided to have an abortion. And that definitely wasn’t the case. This was a pregnancy that was planned. A pregnancy that was wanted and loved. And it was tantamount to having a loved one on life support and making that decision whether to end the life support or not.

Boy, oh boy.  How easy it is to demonize those with whom one disagrees!  How naive, to assume we know others’ motives.  How self-serving, to conclude fellow humans but immoral beasts.  Does any good come of it?

Plenty of tragedy does.

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The End of Exclusion (Sermon of 8 Feb 09)

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Isolation Room
Image by Victor V via Flickr

With the casting out of the demon on that first Sabbath afternoon of Jesus’ public ministry, his obscurity vanished. Like a cannon shot, news of it exploded through the villages. Here’s what happens next.

Mark 1:29-39 (MSG)

29-31Directly on leaving the meeting place, they came to Simon and Andrew’s house, accompanied by James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed, burning up with fever. They told Jesus. He went to her, took her hand, and raised her up. No sooner had the fever left than she was up fixing dinner for them.

32-34That evening, after the sun was down, they brought sick and evil-afflicted people to him, the whole city lined up at his door! He cured their sick bodies and tormented spirits. Because the demons knew his true identity, he didn’t let them say a word.

35-37While it was still night, way before dawn, he got up and went out to a secluded spot and prayed. Simon and those with him went looking for him. They found him and said, “Everybody’s looking for you.”

38-39Jesus said, “Let’s go to the rest of the villages so I can preach there also. This is why I’ve come.” He went to their meeting places all through Galilee, preaching and throwing out the demons.

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shephe...
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About Peter’s mother-in-law:   Actually, she deacons to them.  For reasons of their own (that look a great deal like gender bias!), translators treat the word to mean “became a deacon in a church” when it applies to men, but “waiting tables” when it applies to women (See Richard Swanson: Provoking the Gospel of Mark; A Storyteller’s Commentary, p 108). “In the context of Jewish understandings of the abundance that God created when making the world, the deacon was in charge of enacting God’s created intentions.”  Peter’s mother-in-law was in charge of enacting God’s created intentions.

Likely she was well known for helping others.  Is this why the crowd knew where to show up at sundown? Some think the women who followed Jesus were the reason women dared approach him. Think of the women at the cross who ministered to Jesus all the way through – perhaps greater heroes than we know, and greater shapers of the story than we know.

She’s up, she’s deaconing, and at sundown, a throng gathers at the door. Who can tell me why they came at sundown? Because that’s when the day after the Jewish sabbath began. Jesus had no problem healing on the Sabbath, but the crowds apparently assumed he would. Read the rest of this entry »

Study: “Virginity pledges” don’t delay sex

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And, alarmingly, those who so pledge are less likely to use condoms when they become sexually active.
clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com

Teenagers who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are just as likely to have premarital sex as those who do not promise abstinence and are significantly less likely to use condoms and other forms of birth control when they do, according to a study released today.
The new analysis of data from a large federal survey found that more than half of youths became sexually active before marriage regardless of whether they had taken a “virginity pledge,” but that the percentage who took precautions against pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases was 10 points lower for pledgers than for non-pledgers.
“Taking a pledge doesn’t seem to make any difference at all in any sexual behavior,” said Janet E. Rosenbaum of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, whose report appears in the January issue of the journal Pediatrics. “But it does seem to make a difference in condom use and other forms of birth control that is quite striking.”
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Sounds like whatever our religious outlook, we’d better be sure our kids get a frank and honest sex education, including contraception and disease prevention.


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Written by Monte

December 29, 2008 at 3:20 pm

5 former slaves who are changing the world

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Five astonishing stories.  Click the link for the details.
clipped from razoo.com

Iqbal Masih was sold into bonded labor at a carpet factory in his native Pakistan at the age of four[…] At ten, he ran away […] refused to return to the factory, and began to travel the world, visiting rallies, meetings, and even elementary school classrooms, to tell the story of the abuses he had suffered as a child slave, imploring others to help fight for an end to human trafficking […]

Hadijatou Mani was sold into slavery at the age of 12 for $500 […] [At 24] Mani brought a lawsuit against the Niger government, claiming that they hadn’t enforced their anti-slavery laws to protect her […] Mani won the case—a landmark ruling in the human trafficking world. A regional tribunal forced the government to pay Mani $19,000 in damages […]

in southern Sudan, Simon Deng was abducted at the age of nine […] Deng, now 47, is a United States citizen who works as a lifeguard on Coney Island. But his primary mission is raising awareness of human trafficking in Sudan, both through speeches and as the leader of the Sudan Freedom Walk, a 300-mile trek from the United Nations’ headquarters in New York City to Capitol Hill […]

Somaly Mam, a Cambodian orphan, never knew her parents. She doesn’t even know how old she is […] Around the age of 16, she was sold to a brothel in Phnom Penh […] When she finally escaped the brothel at age 21 after a friend’s murder, Mam vowed to devote the rest of her life to helping other sex slaves go free […] Since escaping the brothel, Mam has helped more than 4,000 former sex slaves to go free […]
Given Kachepa from Zambia, was a member of a children’s choir […] a charity organization asked the child singers to move to Texas and perform there […] he would receive an education and a salary […] [Once in Texas] they were forced to perform up to seven concerts a day, and were forced to go without food when they misbehaved. […] the boys never saw a penny for their work. […]the INS removed the boys […] Today, Kachepa is committed to speaking out against slavery […]
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Pro-life, Pro-Obama

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Where can you find the lowest abortion rate in the whole world? See if this answer surprises you:
Western Europe
.

Douglas Kmiec

Douglas Kmiec

I found that figure on a website called Prolife ProObama, where I was greeted by a letter from Douglas Kmiec. And there a strong case is made that – well, obviously – pro-life voters may accomplish more for their cause by voting for Barack Obama rather than John McCain.

Douglas Kmiec is no fuzzy-headed liberal. He was Ronald Reagan’s legal counsel in the White House, also serving that role George H.W. Bush. Kmiec, a committed Roman Catholic, was dean and professor of law at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. and at Notre Dame. And he’s now a professor of Constitutional Law at Pepperdine University.

And he writes:

  • The most frequent reasons given by women seeking an abortion are that a child would limit ability to meet current responsibilities and that they cannot afford a child at this point in their lives.
  • Unintended pregnancy has increased by 29% among poor women while decreasing 20% among higher-income women.
  • Women below the federal poverty level have abortion rates almost four times those of higher-income women.

Strange, eh? Abortion generally is slowing in the USA. So why would it be soaring among poor women?

Over at  God’s Politics, I came across Tony Campolo on the same subject:

More than 60 percent of all abortions are economically driven.  The reality is that without provisions for hospital coverage; pre- and post-natal care; maternity leave so that a woman giving birth will not lose her job; and nursing assistance to help single mothers transition into parenthood, millions of women who want to carry their pregnancies to term will not do so.

There you go.  Most women who have abortions do so because Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

October 31, 2008 at 12:04 pm

Senator Clinton, does lying have no limits?

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Presidents lie, I guess: LBJ on the Gulf of Tonkin. Nixon on Watergate. Reagan denied involvement in Iran-Contra. Clinton “did not have sex with that woman” (lots of people pay good money to not have sex like that). GWB about … oh, forget it (some of my conservative friends still believe Bush’s statements were well-intentioned mistakes, to which I say, “Dear ones, you are not looking.”)

It comes hard to me to admit all this. I clung to hope that Bush was honest much longer than I should have. It still disappoints me (yes, I’m naive and stupid.)

But friends, Hillary did not mis-speak. In her prepared comments, starting in January, and even after being called on it, she repeated a fairy tale that cast herself as a hero, bravely landing under fire, running for cover. As the girl from the Tuzsla airport recently said, “It is an ugly thing for a politician to tell lies.” Hillary brushed it off as unimportant, just a blip, a result of lack of sleep. Since January. In prepared remarks.

Let me ask you, do you accidentally tell stories about yourself running from gunfire? Wouldn’t people doubt your competence if you did?

Check me out. Here are two reporters’ takes on it. See what you think.

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Written by Monte

April 1, 2008 at 12:19 am

Mary Seacole: Black British Heroine

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Thanks to a Clipmarks clipper from the UK named MickFinn, I’ve been amazed by the heroic story of Mary Seacole. Here’s MickFinn’s intro:

Mary Jane Grant was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1805. Her father was a Scottish soldier, and her mother a Jamaican. Mary learned her nursing skills from her mother, who kept a boarding house for invalid soldiers. Although technically ‘free’, being of mixed race, Mary and her family had few civil rights – they could not vote, hold public office or enter the professions. In 1836, Mary married Edwin Seacole but the marriage was short-lived as he died in 1844.

clipped from en.wikipedia.org

Mary Jane Seacole was a mixed-race British nurse. . . Seacole was taught herbal remedies and folk medicine by her mother . . .
[O]f a nomadic disposition, on hearing of the terrible conditions of the Crimean War and certain that her knowledge of tropical medicine would be of use, she travelled to London and volunteered as a nurse . . .
Although an expert at dealing with cholera, her application to join Florence Nightingale‘s team was rejected . . . She then borrowed money to make the 4,000 mile journey alone . . .
[S]he distinguished herself, treating the wounded on the battlefield, on many occasions treating wounded soldiers from both sides while under fire . . .
Following the cessation of hostilities in 1856 she found herself stranded and almost destitute, and was saved from penury by the Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces . . .
Today she is noted not only for her bravery and medical skills but as “a woman who succeeded despite the racial prejudice of influential sections of Victorian society”

A watercolour of Mary Seacole, with sleeves rolled up ready for action. c.1850.

c.1850;

The only known photograph of Mary Seacole, taken for a carte de visite by Maull & Company in London in c.1873.1873:
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I wonder how many thousands of such heroes there are, of whom I’ve never heard. You know of her?


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Written by Monte

February 13, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Posted in healthcare, Race, Women