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Stung! The ethics of entrapment

February 4th, 2011

by Carolyn Moynihan

Is it OK to use deceit in the service of a cause you believe in?

Oh, the joys of Schadenfreude. When the American pro-life group Live Action released a videotape on YouTube earlier this week showing a Planned Parenthood clinic manager describing herself as a “partner in crime” with a pimp and a prostitute, there could have been few opponents of abortion who did not feel a surge of satisfaction at the unmasking of an old foe. That would have been only half the gratification, however; the rest would come from knowing that this was the work, not of battle-weary pro-life stalwarts, but of the eager, active young people who have rallied to Live Action and the pro-life cause.

In the style established by its leader Lila Rose (pictured), the organisation sent a man and a woman posing as sex traffickers to a New Jersey clinic (and several others) where they discussed how they could secure STD testing, abortions and contraception for underage girls who were illegal immigrants — in other words, sex slaves. The manager was incredibly, indeed, criminally co-operative. Planned Parenthood has lost no time in sacking her and denouncing her behaviour to the media, but nothing can change the fact that this is a damning evidence for Live Action’s “Expose Planned Parenthood” campaign, whose aim is to end federal funding of PP.

On further reflection, though, “stings” appear to be a troubling development in the pro-life movement, involving ethically dubious behaviour: pretence and even plain lying. It is a game that two can play — and will. A lot of unsavoury characters will be gunning for Lila Rose and her friends. People will try to infiltrate her movement. She will find it hard to trust people. The finances of her group will be examined line by line to look for dubious connections and so on.

There are other ethical questions. Since the video is evidence of a serious crime by the PP office manager, why isn’t the woman’s face blocked out? Why is her name given? Even pro-abortionists have legal rights.

And what if the boot was on the other foot — if it was someone whose values and ethics were on the correct side of the moral divide, so to speak, and who was subjected to entrapment?

Take, for example, the following story, which I was writing when the PP sting broke.

Two weeks ago a psychotherapist was due to appear before a panel of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy to answer charges of misconduct. The case has been adjourned owing to the intimidation of one of her key witnesses but Lesley Pilkington, 60, still faces the possibility of being stripped of her accreditation after treating a man who said he wanted to be cured of his homosexuality — and who then complained to the BACP because she tried to do just that.

Mrs Pilkington, like a significant number of mental health professionals, believes that sexual orientation is not unchangeable: one in six in the UK, according to a 2009 report has been involved in such therapy. She believes that same-sex attraction is not something innate but develops in a person because of their upbringing and other environmental factors. She believes those things not only because they coincide with her Christian faith but because there is scientific and empirical evidence to support them. And she has a very understandable motive for concerning herself with the issue: her own 29-year-old son is homosexual.

Patrick Strudwick, the client who complained about her, is a gay activist and a journalist who vehemently rejects the idea that sexual orientation can be changed. In fact, he runs a campaign called Stop Conversion Therapy Taskforce. A couple of years ago he went to a conference in the UK run by the US organisation The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) on reparative therapy. There Mr Strudwick approached Mrs Pilkington and told her he was unhappy with his homosexual lifestyle and that he wanted to leave it; he then requested treatment for his same-sex attraction. (He also dealt with a male psychiatrist.) She took him on, advising him that she always prayed at the beginning and end of the sessions. He said that was just what he wanted.

In May 2009 he went to her house for the first of two sessions with a dictaphone taped to his stomach. He recorded that and a second session conducted over the phone. He did a similar thing with a male therapist. He gave transcripts of the recordings to Professor Michael King of University College London, the academic who led the survey of mental health professionals referred to above and a declared opponent of reparative therapy. He then told the two therapists who he was and what Dr King had said.

Next Mr Strudwick lodged formal complaints with the BACP about both therapists, and subsequently published an account of his therapy sessions in The Independent. It included this obliging comment from Dr King:

Keep reading.

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  1. February 4th, 2011 at 12:25 | #1

    Good article. After some reading and reflection on the issue, I came to a similar conclusion. While I support Live Action’s goals, I do not support their methods of achieving them. In my opinion, a Christian organization especially should not be using tactics such as lying, deception, filming people without their knowledge, and posting those videos for the world to see.

    And that is tough for me to say, because I see a lot of potential good that could possibly come from these videos, as it is possible that they could provide a catalyst for defunding Planned Parenthood.

  2. Mark
    February 4th, 2011 at 13:28 | #2

    “And what if the boot was on the other foot — if it was someone whose values and ethics were on the correct side of the moral divide, so to speak, and who was subjected to entrapment?”

    This discredits the entire piece for me. The author is attempting to make a good point but then shows her strong anti-gay bias and ruins a possible good discussion.

    However, in regards to Mrs Pilkington, if she had been, say, a physician who recommended blood letting for a fever, should she be allowed to practice, even though she believe deeply it to be a good technique?

    The question is, however: is it ever right to use deception to show someone doing something you consider wrong? On some other blog sites they use the examples of Nazis coming to your door. Do you lie to hide your Jewish neighbors?

    The fact of the matter, if someone is not following policy, they should be fired. It does not necessarily mean the entire organization is corrupt.

  3. Sean
    February 4th, 2011 at 16:15 | #3

    The videos have already been discredited. This isn’t investigative journalism, but rather, yellow journalism. It’s designed to let anti-abortion people say, “See? These are bad people!”

    What’s odd is, individual women, not abortion clinics, decide to get abortions. Condemn the people getting the abortions, instead of the medical service providers. I guess it’s easier to blame an organization, rather than the individual’s choice.

  4. Mont D. Law
    February 4th, 2011 at 16:59 | #4

    I read the conversion article and it is very creepy. The treatment the two therapists offered was kind of a God/New Age thing that mirrored feminist spirituality craze of the 80′s. All affirmations & visualizations with a little bit of repressed memory thrown in. Very strange.

  5. February 4th, 2011 at 17:44 | #5

    I fully support the methods of Live Action. They are same methods that law enforcement and journalists use across America and have used for many years. Do you have any idea the penalties that stores face for selling to minors in a police sting to determine compliance with state laws regarding alcohol and tobacco sales? How many stories have been broken to the public because of undercover journalism? What if the shoe was on the other foot? How about such as if a pro-choicer exposed a pro-life organization for planning to use violence? Yes, I would agree that their tactics were pefectly ethical in such an instance. But that is not the instance. This is about Planned Parenthood demonstrating institutional covering up of the sex trade. Maybe you should have tuned into Expose Planned Parenthood’s last night. Maybe you should realise that Planned Parenthood is supported by public tax dollars which allows them to continue killing unborn children and that such organizations should at least be expected already established laws on the books. Yes, I as a Catholic fully support the tactics that Live Action has used to expose this culture of corruption that Planned Parenthood has become. Do you really oppose Live Actions tactics, or would you rather that Planned Parenthood continue to cover up for the buying and selling of young woman’s bodies so that they can profit from abortion and pimps can profit from the destruction of these young girls lives? The individuals who run the Ruth Institute should be ashamed of themselves for even allowing this article to reach the light of day. God bless Lila Rose and brave members of her pro-life organization!

  6. nerdygirl
    February 4th, 2011 at 18:54 | #6

    Meh. Lila Rose has no ethics. She wants PP shut down. To heck with the fact that they provide low-cost healthcare to men and women who otherwise might be unable to afford it. To heck with cancer screening, STD testing and everything else. 3% of what they do doesn’t sit well with her, so they should be shut down.

    Screw that. I’m not losing my access to healthcare so some over-privileged girl can sleep better at night having done nothing to actually help someone in need.

    I hope she appreciates the donation I’ll be making in her name.

  7. Deb
    February 5th, 2011 at 06:17 | #7

    @nerdygirl

    “3% of what they do doesn’t sit well with her, so they should be shut down.”

    Abortion is more than 3% of what PP does. 95% of PP profits come from abortion.

    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Planned+Parenthood's+Latest+Annual+Report%3A+Abortions+at+America's…-a0204073149

  8. February 5th, 2011 at 06:23 | #8

    Brian F Hudon :
    Do you really oppose Live Actions tactics, or would you rather that Planned Parenthood continue to cover up for the buying and selling of young woman’s bodies so that they can profit from abortion and pimps can profit from the destruction of these young girls lives?

    The answer is that I oppose BOTH Live Action’s tactics AND many of Planned Parenthood’s activities. However, the ends do not justify the means. We should not do evil that good may come of it.

    I understand where you are coming from on this. There is a big part of me that admires Lila Rose and Live Action for their courage and their initiative, and I agree with their goals. But I still can’t in good conscience approve of their methods. I don’t think badly of you for coming to a different conclusion, but this is the conclusion I have come to.

  9. Mark
    February 5th, 2011 at 07:25 | #9

    @Brian F Hudon
    “Do you really oppose Live Actions tactics, or would you rather that Planned Parenthood continue to cover up for the buying and selling of young woman’s bodies so that they can profit from abortion and pimps can profit from the destruction of these young girls lives? ”

    The buying and selling of women’s bodies? What CENTURY are you from? I can understand if you disagree with Planned Parenthood but at LEAST get your information correct.

    Thou shall not bear false witness.

  10. Sean
    February 5th, 2011 at 07:31 | #10

    It does point one thing that’s so dangerous about conservatives: they hold their opinions so strongly, they are able to rationalize all sorts of bad behaviors in pursuit of getting their way or proving a point they want desperately to believe.

    Look how NOM doesn’t care whom it hurts, as it pursues prohibiting same-sex marriage: gay people, their children, the parents, siblings and other relatives of gay people who want them to have secure life-long relationships, the nation’s constitutions, judges, and the list goes on and on. I like to think that love overcomes hate but so far, love is really struggling with hate on this issue!

  11. February 5th, 2011 at 13:14 | #11

    I think both sides are guilty of pursuing their way at the expense of gay people, their children, parents, siblings, etc. We know why you won’t endorse the Egg and Sperm Compromise, you oppose each of its three laws: You believe same-sex procreation should be legal right now as a matter of principle, 2) you don’t think marriages should protect the marriage’s right to procreate with their own genes, and 3) you think having less than equal rights would be so bad that you don’t care about helping gay families get all the other rights and protections except procreation rights and recognition in all 50 states. You’d think that the reason NOM and Maggie and JRM didn’t endorse the Egg and Sperm Civil Union Compromise was because they opposed Civil Unions, but they both have said they are fine with Civil Unions as long as they are somehow kept distinct from marriage. And they supposedly are opposed to manufacturing people in labs and turning children into commodities, though they haven’t ever called for any laws against it, as far as i can tell, so maybe that’s why they haven’t jumped at the chance to preserve marriage and stop same-sex marriage in every state. Or maybe they don’t think that marriages should protect the couple’s right to use their own genes, perhaps because they think that would lead to a claim to be allowed to use technology, or perhaps they think married couples with bad genes shouldn’t be allowed to procreate using them, or that some marriages shouldn’t be allowed to procreate at all. Or perhaps they are opposed to federal laws as a matter of principle. Why do you think they agree with you that we shouldn’t enact the Egg and Sperm Civil Union Compromise right now, and help thousands of couples and their kids, and preserve marriage, right now??

  12. Kari
    February 5th, 2011 at 13:50 | #12

    @Mark
    Mark, Brian does have his information correct. PP is profiting from the buying and selling of women’s bodies. How is that from another century? When PP profits from the byproducts of that sex industry (prostitution) by selling a product (abortion) to those consumers (prostitutes and pimps) and markets it to them directly by helping them cover up a crime I would say YES they are certainly to be blamed for those crimes.

    To others, I can not for the life of me understand how any of you can say that PP has any redeeming value or qualities. They are an organization that was founded for the express purpose of eliminating those whom their founders deemed undesirable or unfit to live (blacks, the poor, minorities). If you don’t believe that statement do some research about the origins of the former name of PP, The Birth Control League, and their founders, one of whom was Margret Sanger. A good video to watch is Maafa 21 (it is very well documented), to learn about the history of PP and its ties to amoung other things Nazi Germany and Hitler.

    As was mentioned before the majority of their income comes from abortions AND taxpayer funding. Without abortions and our tax dollars they would be out of business. Abortions are big business for them, which is one reason they have decided to start to move into the business of late term abortions in their new multi-level, mega building in Huston, TX. Late term abortions are big money $3,000-$4,000 each, not the measley $350 – $450 for a earlier abortion.

    They say in all their talking points that their goal is to decrease abortions by increasing “family planning” ie birth control or contraception. A couple of things they don’t tell you are one: many studies that have been done have shown consistantly over and over again that contraception use does NOT decrease the number of abortions being sought after it actually increases it (there are many reasons for this too numerous to go in to here); two: they are behind the scences telling their directors (ask Abby Johnson, former PP director in Bryant, TX and now pro-life advocate and author of the book Unplanned) to increase the number of abortions in their clinics in order to increase the clinic incomes to met budgets.

    To say that PP is doing any good at all is to grossly misunderstand the goals and history of the organization, the way the organization is run and to see the services it provides in a morally neutral light devoid of any guiding compass to steer one’s soul safely home.

    Finally, to address the tactics of Lila Rose and Live Action. I would concur with a previous commentor that mentioned that there is a long history of journalistic reporting that does undercover reporting and uses these same methods to expose corrupt organizations. Noone complains when they do and those corruptions come out into the light. How is this any different? In fact it is not, it is exactly the same. They are acting in the capacity of a journalist to uncover the corruptions in this corrupt organization. Just because they may not have the credentials of a major network behind their name I do not think takes away from what they are doing.

  13. February 5th, 2011 at 13:50 | #13

    Mark :@Brian F Hudon “Do you really oppose Live Actions tactics, or would you rather that Planned Parenthood continue to cover up for the buying and selling of young woman’s bodies so that they can profit from abortion and pimps can profit from the destruction of these young girls lives? ”
    The buying and selling of women’s bodies? What CENTURY are you from? I can understand if you disagree with Planned Parenthood but at LEAST get your information correct.
    Thou shall not bear false witness.

    Did you even bother to watch the Live Action videos? Do you know that Planned Parenthood regularly will say nothing when they become aware of people who are involved with prostitution? Do you understand that prostitution is the buying and selling of bodies?

  14. February 5th, 2011 at 14:00 | #14

    nerdygirl :Meh. Lila Rose has no ethics. She wants PP shut down. To heck with the fact that they provide low-cost healthcare to men and women who otherwise might be unable to afford it. To heck with cancer screening, STD testing and everything else. 3% of what they do doesn’t sit well with her, so they should be shut down.
    Screw that. I’m not losing my access to healthcare so some over-privileged girl can sleep better at night having done nothing to actually help someone in need.
    I hope she appreciates the donation I’ll be making in her name.

    Planned Parenthood is able to provide all these affordable services because abortion covers the cost of them. You’re not entitled to health care that is paid for by the killing of innocent unborn children. Your health care is provided by virtue of my wasted tax dollars which support institutionalized infanticide. Birth control is not health care! Abortion is not health care! What are the ethics of people who do not want a pregnant woman to see an ultrasound of her unborn child? What are the ethics of people who do not want parents to know that their 13 year old is having sex with a 31 year old and may be having an abortion?

  15. Sean
    February 5th, 2011 at 21:27 | #15

    “Birth control is not health care! Abortion is not health care!”

    Sure it is. What if a mother’s health is at stake?

  16. nerdygirl
    February 6th, 2011 at 00:51 | #16

    Dear Brian.

    YOU have no right to decide that birth control is not a part of my health care. YOU DO NOT HAVE THAT RIGHT OVER ANYONE. What are the ethics of someone who wants to FORCE a rape victim to view an ultrasound of her rapists child? Chances are your precious tax dollars never make it to PP. I don’t like that viagra is covered under medicare. I don’t like that politicians have access to the same cushy health insurance after one term of service. I don’t like farm subsides going to large conglomerates pushing family farms out of business. But you know what, my tax dollars also go to things like libraries, and roads, and civil services that do actually help people. So instead of getting uppity about my “wasted” tax dollars, I try to remember the good and I try to actually help people.

    In short. I probably don’t like what you do to your body. But thats fine, it’s YOUR BODY. Personally, I need birth control. And I don’t need people like you telling me what to do with MY body.

  17. Heidi
    February 6th, 2011 at 13:45 | #17

    AMEN nerdygirl! They can keep their laws off of our bodies, as far as I’m concerned.

  18. Heidi
    February 6th, 2011 at 13:51 | #18

    “Birth control is not health care!” Ugh. I remember when I was on my boyfriend’s health insurance years ago. He worked for a Catholic hospital. Not covered? Birth control–unless “medically necessary.” Never mind that we could barely afford to take care of the kid we had at the time and couldn’t have afforded another one. I would have had to have an abortion had I gotten pregnant because there is no way we could have cared for another baby. Or, I would have had to choose to give my baby up for adoption. Glad I never faced that awful choice. Oh, and guess what WAS covered? Viagra. It made me insane. Thank God for Planned Parenthood during those years. I don’t know what I would have done without them.

  19. Mark
    February 6th, 2011 at 14:57 | #19

    @Kari
    Twist words all you want, Brian does NOT have his information correct.

    Sad that your misinformation would cost so many women proper care.

  20. Mark
    February 6th, 2011 at 15:00 | #20

    @nerdygirl
    EXACTLY! And, again, if abortion was a choice a man had to make regarding his body, this wouldn’t even BE a discussion. It would be a non-issue.

    “Birth control is not health care!”
    Interesting, course, as far as the Catholic church here was concerned, birth control wasn’t covered. But they did cover Viagra – double standard.

  21. February 7th, 2011 at 05:07 | #21

    I do have my facts correct. Planned Parenthood pays for their non-abortion services with abortion money. Why should people who can’t figure out that abstinence is cheaper than raising a child be entitled to birth control? Abortion is and was about my body. Abortion was legal in my state even before Roe V Wade. It could have been me that was aborted. My mother never considered abortion however. Abortion is every person’s concern. Planned Parenthood uses low cost items to get people in the store so that they can continue to sell the big ticket items that make money. They are a business and businesses are about making money. To Planned Parenthood, women are a means to an end.

  22. Paul H
    February 7th, 2011 at 05:15 | #22

    Heidi :
    “Birth control is not health care!” Ugh. I remember when I was on my boyfriend’s health insurance years ago. He worked for a Catholic hospital. Not covered? Birth control–unless “medically necessary.” Never mind that we could barely afford to take care of the kid we had at the time and couldn’t have afforded another one. I would have had to have an abortion had I gotten pregnant because there is no way we could have cared for another baby. Or, I would have had to choose to give my baby up for adoption. Glad I never faced that awful choice. Oh, and guess what WAS covered? Viagra. It made me insane. Thank God for Planned Parenthood during those years. I don’t know what I would have done without them.

    It makes sense to me that they might cover Viagra but not birth control. However, I also wouldn’t have a problem with Catholic hospitals (or anyone else) not providing coverage for Viagra, if it is really a sticking point for some people, as it sounds like it is.

    The key difference between Viagra and birth control is that Viagra helps to restore a function of the male body that is not working properly. On the other hand, hormonal birth control takes a system within the woman’s body that is working properly, and intentionally makes it not work properly. I think it is this distinction that leads some people (myself included) to say that technically, birth control is not health care — because it doesn’t restore health. Instead it takes a healthy, correctly functioning system of the body, and intentionally makes it not function correctly.

    But again, if Viagra coverage is a sore spot for some people, then I wouldn’t object to them dropping it.

    There is also the consideration that this was a Catholic hospital. Since the Catholic Church teaches that it is morally wrong to use contraception, it should not be surprising that a Catholic institution would not pay for contraception.

    Also, you say that there was no way you could have cared for another baby. My experience has been that couples often think that they can’t take on another child, whether they already have zero, one, two, or more. But when the baby actually comes, they find a way to make it work. As the old saying goes, “every baby comes carrying a loaf of bread” (or something like that).

  23. nerdygirl
    February 7th, 2011 at 14:18 | #23

    “Why should people who can’t figure out that abstinence is cheaper than raising a child be entitled to birth control?”

    First off, you’d rather have people who you claim to be stupid raising children. I mean thats how that reads, why should anyone dumb enough to not know abstinence is cheaper then having a baby be allowed access to birth control. That is horrible logic. Oh this person doesn’t seem to get this financial concept that I find super simple, they should have a child. They should be responsible for raising a human being. I mean really, you are advocating for people who you find stupid and irresponsible to be raising more children. Thats…..not well thought out.

    Also I am so tired of the “I/you could have been aborted argument.” It’s emotional pandering. You know who else could have been aborted, every freaking genocidal dictator, murderers, rapists, and other sucky people could have been aborted.

    Paul You don’t have a vagina, you don’t know what cramps are like, you don’t know how sudden and violent mood swings can be, and you don’t know the general suckiness that can accompany ovaries. So please, let individual women decide whether they need it or not.

  24. Paul H
    February 7th, 2011 at 14:42 | #24

    nerdygirl :
    Paul You don’t have a vagina, you don’t know what cramps are like, you don’t know how sudden and violent mood swings can be, and you don’t know the general suckiness that can accompany ovaries. So please, let individual women decide whether they need it or not.

    Hey, I’ve been married for ten years, and I have been at my wife’s side through four difficult pregnancies. (Though is there any other kind?) I know about “sudden and violent” mood swings. In fact, I’d say I know all that stuff just about as well as anyone can without actually being a woman. :-)

    And I’m not sure where I said that women couldn’t decide whether or not they needed birth control. I only said that I understood the decision of a particular hospital not to cover it on their insurance plan. I occasionally pay for medical care that isn’t covered on my health insurance plan, and I’m not rich. It is possible for people to do that.

  25. Mark
    February 7th, 2011 at 15:09 | #25

    @Brian F Hudon
    “Planned Parenthood pays for their non-abortion services with abortion money.”

    Source?

    “Why should people who can’t figure out that abstinence is cheaper than raising a child be entitled to birth control?”

    Oh, you mean like Bristol Palin, the poster child for abstinence who, oops, also happens to have gotten pregnant as a teen? Abstinence works SO well.

    “Abortion is and was about my body. Abortion was legal in my state even before Roe V Wade. It could have been me that was aborted.”

    What if Hitler had been aborted? Or Martin Luther King? Or Gandhi? Or Stalin? High school debate nonsense.

  26. nerdygirl
    February 7th, 2011 at 17:33 | #26

    Paul, fair enough. I accept that. And while I don’t agree with it, I’m okay with a Catholic hospital not being okay with birth control. I dislike the idea of lobbying to keep birth control as something not covered by insurance. Thats not fair.

  27. Deb
    February 8th, 2011 at 06:10 | #27

    @Mark

    “What if Hitler had been aborted? Or Martin Luther King? Or Gandhi? Or Stalin? High school debate nonsense.”

    And the Bristol Palin comment was the epitome of logical debate? C’mon, Mark.

  28. Mark
    February 8th, 2011 at 11:24 | #28

    @Deb
    Just pointing out the obvious

  29. Deb
    February 8th, 2011 at 12:44 | #29

    @Mark

    Um, Bristol Palin is one example of failed abstinence. Obvious only because she is in the media (why did you bring HER up?*). Many girls are successful at abstaining until marriage. I also could point out where sex-ed failed and young adults who used “protection” still got pregnant. That was my point. Not the epitome of logical discourse.

    *Are you that much a mouthpiece of the American political left?

  30. Mark
    February 8th, 2011 at 16:55 | #30

    @Deb
    “Bristol Palin is one example of failed abstinence. Obvious only because she is in the media (why did you bring HER up)”

    Because she seems to be the poster child for those who only believe in abstinence education (you know she still does speaking gigs about abstinence). If you are using abstinence as the perfect birth control solution, it’s only logical I point out that it isn’t the be all and end all you claim. So, name call all you want, it is a rational response to your “claim”.

  31. Betsy
    February 8th, 2011 at 17:30 | #31

    Now wait a minute. Bristol wasn’t preaching abstinence before becoming a mom, was she? She’s doing it now to set an example of “Hey, I screwed up. I should have practiced abstinence. And here’s why…” People who have made mistakes and learned from them make the best teachers, no? There’s a big difference here.

  32. nerdygirl
    February 8th, 2011 at 19:22 | #32

    Bristol Palin is viewed as a bit hypocritical because her mother was for abstinence only education. Now, I’m unsure of Bristol’s views before getting knocked up, and I’m unsure of how it happened, whether she was on hormonal birth control and using condoms, using condoms or hormonal birth control incorrectly, or not using condoms or birth control, and honestly it makes a difference. Did her school properly cover contraception or was it glossed over? Did she pay attention? Generally speaking if a parent is for abstinence only, one would think they’d try to impart that view on their children. Here it failed, and it failed in the national spot light. Does a lot get dumped on Bristol thats unfair and uncalled for, sure. But shortly after her pregnancy she had publicly said abstinence is unrealistic, so at best she’s had a total change of heart, at worst she’s towing the acceptable party line for her mother.

    Anecdotally, the girls I’ve known who’ve practiced abstinence who made a big deal about either ended up having sex before marriage/got pregnant. Those who weren’t so loud about or judgey towards others, actually waited till marriage.

  33. Emma
    February 8th, 2011 at 19:22 | #33

    Betsy, what you say is true: Bristol was (obviously) not preaching abstinence before finding herself with a bun in the oven. But she comes from a mother with possible designs on the White House, and is therefore herself a very public figure. Certainly her mother advocates (and has been advocating) abstinence education instead of comprehensive sex ed for awhile now, and her own daughter is proof that this doesn’t work. And so is worth discussing.

    Let’s also remember that it was her mother, by accepting the VP nomination, who thrust her knocked up teenage daughter into the spot light in the first place. One might almost wonder about Mrs. Palin’s own parenting skills on so many levels.

  34. Brian F Hudon
    February 8th, 2011 at 20:40 | #34

    Mark :@Brian F Hudon “Planned Parenthood pays for their non-abortion services with abortion money.”
    Source?
    “Why should people who can’t figure out that abstinence is cheaper than raising a child be entitled to birth control?”
    Oh, you mean like Bristol Palin, the poster child for abstinence who, oops, also happens to have gotten pregnant as a teen? Abstinence works SO well.
    “Abortion is and was about my body. Abortion was legal in my state even before Roe V Wade. It could have been me that was aborted.”
    What if Hitler had been aborted? Or Martin Luther King? Or Gandhi? Or Stalin? High school debate nonsense.

    My source? A friend of mine who happened to run a very large Planned Parenthood for a number of years, who is now pro-life. Abortion, because it is relatively expensive with a high profit margin compared to the cost of, if any, the “other services” that Planned Parenthood provides, funds the “other services” in addition to providing the profit margin. Abstinance is the only 100% proven method of preventing an unexpected pregnancy. Really Mark? How old are you? Are you under 38? If so, than you are an abortion survivor whether you choose to believe so or not. Think of it this way, if babies in the womb had the power to choose to kill their mothers or not, I’m sure that most women would be pro-life.

  35. Deb
    February 8th, 2011 at 20:54 | #35

    @Emma and @Mark

    “… and her own daughter is proof that this doesn’t work.”

    That’s a false conclusion and a blanket statement. All it proves is that Bristol Palin had sex before marriage and no one knows her feelings on that subject prior to getting pregnant.

    “So, name call all you want, it is a rational response to your “claim”.”

    I’ve never claimed anything on this thread except that you accuse people of juvenile debate and then engage in it yourself by dragging the Palins into it. Really? The Palins? They are one family that doesn’t speak for all other families. Irrational.

  36. Deb
    February 8th, 2011 at 21:01 | #36

    News-flash:

    Comprehensive sex-ed has it’s failures too. Girls are still getting pregnant even when they (and their partners) are well versed in all forms of “protection”. So the logic of “because someone got pregnant therefore the teaching method was bad” fails with comprehensive sex-ed too.

  37. Mark
    February 9th, 2011 at 05:31 | #37

    @Brian F Hudon
    “A friend of mine who happened to run a very large Planned Parenthood for a number of years, who is now pro-life.”

    LOL, please, “a friend” told me? How about a realistic source? It’s public knowledge so you should be able to come up with something more substantial to support your “claims”.

    “Abstinance (sic) is the only 100% proven method of preventing an unexpected pregnancy.”

    And not driving a car is 100% effective in preventing car accidents. But we are living in a real world where people are, at times, sexually active (isn’t that the “natural thing”?). Abstinence only education has been a great farce and failure.
    http://www.newser.com/story/103447/abstinence-only-states-have-more-teen-pregnancy.html

    “If so, than you are an abortion survivor whether you choose to believe so or not. ”

    LOL, do you think abortions MAGICALLY appeared after Roe v. Wade? Abortions have been going on since time began. A doctor in my little small town was doing a very lucrative abortion business in the 1920′s.

    “Think of it this way, if babies in the womb had the power to choose to kill their mothers or not, I’m sure that most women would be pro-life.”

    What a ridiculous statement!

  38. Mark
    February 9th, 2011 at 05:40 | #38

    @Deb
    “I’ve never claimed anything on this thread except that you accuse people of juvenile debate and then engage in it yourself by dragging the Palins into it.”

    It’s similar to the Catholic church (and, if you are old enough, Gary Hart). People who PONTIFICATE their views better be careful they don’t have anything to hide. It’s called HYPOCRISY. When Mrs. Palin, who was so vocal of the superiority of abstinence only education, turns up with a pregnant daughter, she deserves to be ridiculed.

    “They are one family that doesn’t speak for all other families. Irrational.”
    Uh, not really. See my link in the post above.

    Also, a more open approach to teen sexuality will be far more effective than pretending it doesn’t happen or telling teens to completely ignore their urges. http://healthland.time.com/2010/09/09/what-the-u-s-can-learn-from-the-dutch-about-teen-sex/

  39. Mark
    February 9th, 2011 at 05:47 | #39

    @Deb
    The difference is, Deb, is the attitude of abstinence only supporters; that their method is the ONLY one to teach and the only one that is effective. Comprehensive sex-education does not claim to be 100% but works to decrease pregnancy and STDs. I educate my teens on the benefits of abstinence but also give them ALL the tools to protect themselves. The more education, the more information, the better. It would be like never teaching a teen how to drive and at age 18 giving them a car and saying “go ahead”.

  40. Deb
    February 9th, 2011 at 10:39 | #40

    @Mark

    I read the extremely short article you cited on “abstinence only” states.

    First, this article mentions nothing about abortion. Were the numbers of initial pregnancies the same despite the sex-ed method? If so, did the states with lower teen pregnancies have more abortions for teens? Would this then say that abortion is just “back-up” contraception? Could it be that those states with higher teen pregnancies have teens more opposed to having an abortion? The article doesn’t even address this.

    Secondly, and more importantly, the article itself said these states were “emphasizing abstinence-only sex education.” What does “emphasizing” mean- that they learn all forms of “protection” but abstinence is “emphasized”? This needs to be cleared up.

    Third, the article says: “Planned Parenthood immediately issued a statement noting the “crystal clear” education correlation.” Correlation doesn’t prove causation. I suggest finding answers to my questions above before asserting causation, Mark.

  41. Deb
    February 9th, 2011 at 10:48 | #41

    @Mark

    Uh, every good Christian admits to being a hypocrite… because no one is perfect. That doesn’t make the TRUTH about how we should behave any less the TRUTH. I am a hypocrite because I sin; yet I hate sin and say it is wrong.

    “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” – GK Chesterton

  42. Deb
    February 9th, 2011 at 11:15 | #42

    @Mark

    “she deserves to be ridiculed.”

    Harsh… so glad you are above mistreatment of others.

    By the way, you misread me about the Palins. I find them tedious to discuss. I have moved on, so should you. The fact that you are still seething with hatred for them (as evidenced above) indicates that you are a mouthpiece of the American political left.

  43. nerdygirl
    February 9th, 2011 at 13:38 | #43

    Can we please have a discussion without accusing anyone of being a mouthpiece of any side?

  44. February 9th, 2011 at 13:55 | #44

    Deb, I agree with you 100% that Sarah Palin is tedious to obsess over and pretty much through as a political force. But it wasn’t the American political left who thrust her, her strange and incoherent ramblings, and her vast family problems, a into the spotlight, it was John McCain.

  45. Deb
    February 9th, 2011 at 14:27 | #45

    @Emma

    But it’s the political left that – can’t. stop. talking. about. her.- three years post election.

  46. Deb
    February 9th, 2011 at 14:28 | #46

    correction: almost three years post election.

    I don’t want to be accused of being so dim that I can’t add. :)

  47. Mark
    February 9th, 2011 at 14:52 | #47

    @nerdygirl
    Rational as always. You are correct

  48. Deb
    February 9th, 2011 at 17:32 | #48

    @nerdygirl and Mark

    O.K. you got me (hanging my head in shame). I will not use the term mouthpiece here anymore (even if the shoe still fits) as long as some derivation of “hate” is no longer used as the counterpoint of choice.

  49. Mark
    February 10th, 2011 at 08:49 | #49

    @Deb
    LOL, HARDLY an apology (or even taking responsibility for name calling) but I guess it’s the best we can get.

  50. Mark
    February 10th, 2011 at 08:51 | #50

    @Deb
    “But it’s the political left that – can’t. stop. talking. about. her.- three years post election.”

    Palin is crafty as a fox. She always seems to pop up to create attention when she begins to slip out of the lime light.

    But, I don’t want this discussion to be a Palin basing “(even if the shoe still fits)”.

  51. Deb
    February 11th, 2011 at 07:31 | #51

    @Mark

    Are you going to respond to the flaws I pointed out in the article you cited on “emphasizing abstinence only” states?

  52. Mark
    February 11th, 2011 at 14:32 | #52

    @Deb
    “First, this article mentions nothing about abortion. Were the numbers of initial pregnancies the same despite the sex-ed method? If so, did the states with lower teen pregnancies have more abortions for teens? Would this then say that abortion is just “back-up” contraception? Could it be that those states with higher teen pregnancies have teens more opposed to having an abortion? The article doesn’t even address this.”

    I believe this is the study the article was referring to:
    http://apha.confex.com/apha/134am/techprogram/paper_132103.htm

    As you can see, they were looking at contraception use (part of a comprehensive sex ed program), not abortions.

    “Secondly, and more importantly, the article itself said these states were “emphasizing abstinence-only sex education.” What does “emphasizing” mean- that they learn all forms of “protection” but abstinence is “emphasized”? This needs to be cleared up.”

    From what I can determine, the “emphasizing abstinence-only sex education” is just that, states where abstinence-only was stressed. It appears difficult to pull out those systems that only used abstinence-only versus just emphasizing it. However, studies that looked at abstinence only education found either no change or an increase in activity:
    http://www.siecus.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Page.ViewPage&PageID=1124#_ednref2
    (look under “Title V Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Funding”)

    “Third, the article says: “Planned Parenthood immediately issued a statement noting the “crystal clear” education correlation.” Correlation doesn’t prove causation.”

    No, it doesn’t and that may have been a poor choice of words. And yet, there is a large body of research out there that states abstinence-only education is ineffective:
    http://www.westvirginianow.org/Resources/research_saysAbstinenceOnly.pdf

  53. Mark
    February 12th, 2011 at 18:04 | #53

    @Deb
    (crickets chirping)

  54. Deb
    February 13th, 2011 at 06:46 | #54

    @Mark

    Not crickets, just busy. I’m always happy to give you a rebuttal.

    “From what I can determine, the “emphasizing abstinence-only sex education” is just that, states where abstinence-only was stressed.”

    This statement of yours says nothing. Stressed, emphasized… potato, potahto. You are going to have to look at a curriculum and how it was presented by teachers to get to the root of this. The answer to what “emphasized” means says a lot about this “study”. Did the teachers tell the students all about all forms of protection, STDS rates, failure rates (in terms of pregnancy), and then say that abstinence is 100% effective against disease and pregnancy? If this is what “emphasized” means, isn’t it just comprehensive sex-ed with a disclaimer added on the end?

  55. Deb
    February 13th, 2011 at 07:33 | #55

    @Mark

    The first study you cited does not look at number of initial pregnancies either. No mention of whether the “pregnancy risk group” used abortion to “back-up” their contraceptive choices. This statement in the article you cited was interesting: “The Overall Pregnancy Risk Index was calculated using the contraceptive risk score and the percentage of teens reporting sexual activity.” This article needs to explain how the “contraceptive risk score” was calculated. Is that just failure rate of contraceptive choice or is there more to this score? Exactly what is a “contraceptive risk score”?

    You do realize that Dr. Laura Lindberg, PhD and Lawrence B. Finer, PhD, work for the Guttmacher Institute, which is the research arm of Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood has a vested interest in getting youths to be sexually active- sexual activity is how they make profit. If you want to cite Guttmacher Institute, you need to be willing to cite researchers not funded by them also.

    The SIECUS article about Minnesota raises more questions. It was no more clear than the first article you cited. In it they said: “Such sexuality education would have had to take an “abstinence-first approach,” but also include information on contraception when age-appropriate”. What exactly does this mean? Is it comprehensive sex-ed with a “wait until marriage” tacked onto the end? If so, can the age-appropriate contraception information be to blame for the increase in sexual activity? Again, these questions need to be answered.

    It also said: “The report found that sexual activity among junior high school participants of the ENABL program at three schools doubled between 2001 and 2002 and that those participants who said they would “probably” have sex during high school almost doubled as well.” Who decides what is “age appropriate”? Children vary greatly in maturity, especially in middle school years, so teaching by grade in middle school would hardly be appropriate. How did the teachers handle these differences in maturity?

    In fact, any study of either sex-ed or abstinence needs to be very specific. Only studying the specific curriculum and how the teachers presented it with regards to student behavior will do. Were there curriculum workshops to prepare teachers? What exactly did the teacher say? Was the program scripted and did the teacher follow the script? When the teacher answered questions, did he/she follow curriculum guidelines or speak off-the-cuff? If he/she spoke off-the-cuff was the information comprehensive in it’s coverage of contraception or was abstinence pushed? Lastly, has anyone done a study on just the students and what is the greatest contributor to their view on sexual activity? Parents, peers, teachers, society at large?

  56. Mark
    February 14th, 2011 at 08:09 | #56

    @Deb
    “Children vary greatly in maturity, especially in middle school years, so teaching by grade in middle school would hardly be appropriate. ”

    And why is that? Do we wait until kids / teens are sexually active before we talk to them?

    You seem to be able to criticize studies you probably do not agree with but have yet to provide any that support your views.

    Show me where “abstinence only” education has been shown to be effective and what it’s methods are, exactly. The impression you present is that kids should not be taught anything regarding sexual activity until some vague, non-defined time when they are “ready”.

  57. Deb
    February 15th, 2011 at 04:44 | #57

    @Mark

    I said: “any study of either sex-ed or abstinence needs to be very specific”. Notice I included abstinence in this sentence.

    “Do we wait until kids / teens are sexually active before we talk to them?”

    “You seem to be able to criticize studies you probably do not agree with but have yet to provide any that support your views.”

    I made valid points, which you have barely addressed. Instead, you choose to accuse me of being vague so you do not have to address them.

  58. Mark
    February 15th, 2011 at 16:52 | #58

    @Deb
    “I made valid points, which you have barely addressed. Instead, you choose to accuse me of being vague so you do not have to address them.”

    I am sorry, but I have addressed them. You, on the other hand, seem very defensive and critical without putting forward any proof for your statements.

    But then, how intelligent of a response can one expect from someone who makes such ludicrous comments as “Planned Parenthood has a vested interest in getting youths to be sexually active- sexual activity is how they make profit.” As someone said PUH-LEASE.

  59. Deb
    February 15th, 2011 at 17:20 | #59

    “I am sorry, but I have addressed them.”

    No, you haven’t. You have called me unintelligent instead because you refuse to take the time to address the questions your citations prompted. Since when does one need to cite sources for questions of scientific inquiry?

    If it makes you feel better to insult my intelligence, have at it. I suggest you pick your battles on this blog, though. You are spreading yourself so thin by commenting on every. last. post. that you have to resort to personal attack to avoid actually having to spend time considering my valid questions.

    Furthermore you said: “But then, how intelligent of a response can one expect from someone who makes such ludicrous comments as “Planned Parenthood has a vested interest in getting youths to be sexually active- sexual activity is how they make profit.”

    I’ll do you one better: how intelligent are you if you think PP isn’t out to make a profit? Newsflash: if everyone saved sex for marriage and was open to children (God’s plan) PP would be out of business. They need sexually active teens to fuel their business. You even stated so much on another thread : “contraception constituted 35% of total services, STI/STD testing and treatment constituted 34%”. By the way, 97% of their profits are from abortions.

  60. Mark
    February 16th, 2011 at 06:45 | #60

    @Deb
    “You are spreading yourself so thin by commenting on every. last. post. that you have to resort to personal attack to avoid actually having to spend time considering my valid questions.”

    LOL, pot calling the kettle black.

    “Newsflash: if everyone saved sex for marriage and was open to children (God’s plan) PP would be out of business. They need sexually active teens to fuel their business.”

    Newsflash: that isn’t reality, never has been, never will. Now, if you would like to live in a dream world of Ozzie and Harriet, I can’t stop you. It’s sad, because the world is more wonderful and complex.

    And if you are SO against abortion, you should be putting EVERYTHING behind contraception (be it the rhythm method, condoms, BCP or anything else). And also be advocating for SSM since to say people should wait to be sexually active until they are married basically is an empty statement to gays and lesbians since they are DENIED the right to marry.

    But, I’ll answer you back. it’s sad that the Catholic Church needs to continue to tell people that they are damned without the churhc in order to keep their profits up.

  61. Deb
    February 16th, 2011 at 12:26 | #61

    @Mark

    “And if you are SO against abortion, you should be putting EVERYTHING behind contraception (be it the rhythm method, condoms, BCP or anything else). And also be advocating for SSM since to say people should wait to be sexually active until they are married basically is an empty statement to gays and lesbians since they are DENIED the right to marry.”

    We’ve already discussed the nature and purpose of sex from my view versus your view, remember?

    “But, I’ll answer you back. it’s sad that the Catholic Church needs to continue to tell people that they are damned without the churhc in order to keep their profits up.”

    The above quote of yours makes me truly sad. I pity you and your views of Christianity. I would love for you to be in full communion with the Catholic Church. I love you enough to want the best for your soul. If I have treated you in a way that has betrayed this, I am sorry. But I am not sorry for defending the truth about marital sexuality and the dignity of every human person from conception to natural death.

  62. Mark
    February 16th, 2011 at 15:21 | #62

    @Deb
    “We’ve already discussed the nature and purpose of sex from my view versus your view, remember? ”

    I guess it’s just the pragmatist in me. If someone is concerned about a problem and wishes to deny freedoms to others, then they really need to deal with ALL aspects of the issue in real life, not make believe.

    “I pity you and your views of Christianity.”

    Please, save the self indulgent pity since you really have no concept of my views of Christianity, just my views of the Catholic Church. Two VERY different things.

    And it’s sad that you still can’t comment about the scandal. You should not bury your head in the sand.

  63. Deb
    February 16th, 2011 at 17:27 | #63

    @Mark

    “And it’s sad that you still can’t comment about the scandal.”

    I have commented, repeatedly, that those involved with the abuse of children should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. I am just not saying what you want to hear, which is to denounce the Catholic Church in its entirety.

    “wishes to deny freedoms to others” I have never once expressed a desire to deny freedoms to anyone. Quote me to prove me wrong. And, by the way, outlawing an abortion is just outlawing murder.

  64. Mark
    February 17th, 2011 at 09:27 | #64

    @Deb
    “I have never once expressed a desire to deny freedoms to anyone. ”

    If one wishes to deny women the right to an abortion or same sex couples from marrying, then they are denying rights.

    “I am just not saying what you want to hear, which is to denounce the Catholic Church in its entirety. ”

    And what are you doing for this organization that you love so much to make SURE that the abuse has stopped and that they are dealing with it?

  65. Mark
    February 17th, 2011 at 09:32 | #65
  66. Deb
    February 17th, 2011 at 12:30 | #66

    @Mark

    “And you could start with Philadelphia.”

    I think the criminal charges brought up in Philadelphia are appropriate. How many times must I say they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law? Honestly, Mark, you are so full of hate that you have lumped all Catholics into a collective “evil people” in your mind. How do you know that I am not doing everything in my power to stop the abuse? Your comment was conjecture as to my character and it shows your bigotry against Catholics.

  67. Deb
    February 18th, 2011 at 05:26 | #67

    @Mark

    Again, Mark, if your main issue with the Catholic Church was the abuse of children, you would be attacking public schools (which have more cases of abuse) and Protestant churches (see:http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,286153,00.html ) and those who participate in public schools and protestant churches with the same fervor and hatred.

    Instead, I suspect that your real issue is with the Catholic faith is the Church’s unbending teaching on human sexuality: sex is between a married man and woman and always open to new life.

  68. February 18th, 2011 at 10:39 | #68

    Deb, just to clarify, when you say that those priests who abused children should be punished to the fullest extent of the law, do you mean Biblical law or our actual justice system?

    I ask because in another thread on this blog Commenter Ruth and I got into a discussion about whether it is right or wrong to impose Biblical law on folks who aren’t part of that particular faith.

    I assume you mean our actual justice system, given that the Catholic Church knew about the ongoing abuse of children for decades and chose to do little, if anything, about it until it became to publicly scandalous to ignore.

    Of course, Commenter Ruth also seems to want to impose some sort of Christian version of Sharia on the United States — a notion I can only assume most Catholics and Christians would disagree with — so maybe she’s not a fair person to hold up as a counter-argument.

  69. Deb
    February 18th, 2011 at 12:25 | #69

    @Emma

    They should be punished in the actual justice system to the fullest extent of the law.

    “Of course, Commenter Ruth also seems to want to impose some sort of Christian version of Sharia on the United States — a notion I can only assume most Catholics and Christians would disagree with — so maybe she’s not a fair person to hold up as a counter-argument.”

    On which thread did Ruth say this? Could you be misinterpreting Ruth? A vast majority of Catholics (a venture to say 99.9%) would be talking about the US justice system when talking about the law.

  70. Mark
    February 22nd, 2011 at 15:19 | #70

    @Deb
    “Again, Mark, if your main issue with the Catholic Church was the abuse of children, you would be attacking public schools”

    LOL, couldn’t wait to use the old, we’re not the only ones, approach.

    And TALK about conjecture! I have no bigotry against Catholics, just the hypocrisy in the hierarchy.

    You always come back with saying you are against abuse and that, somehow, you are working against it in the Catholic church. But THEN it’s back to the public schools. Do you not even see it?

  71. Deb
    February 23rd, 2011 at 10:26 | #71

    @Mark

    “But THEN it’s back to the public schools. Do you not even see it?”

    I want to see you as vehemently against the hypocrisy of the public school bureaucracy and Protestant churches as you are against the Catholic Church. Then I will believe that your distaste for the Catholic Church is due to the abuse of children. Otherwise, I am left to suspect that you REALLY dislike the Catholic Church because of it’s teachings on sexual morality, and you use the abuse scandal to discredit what you really hate- the truth that sexual intercourse is only for a married man and woman and always open to new life.

    Don’t you even see this?

  72. Mark
    February 23rd, 2011 at 15:38 | #72

    @Deb
    “Don’t you even see this?”

    Of course I do. It’s why I have been trying to get you to see it (but, alas, you still avoid it).

    As far as the Catholic Church’s teaching on sexual morality – just a large load of hypocrisy. Do I go after the public schools as vehemently? No, but then, unlike the Catholic Church, they do proclaim themselves as holier than thou and attempt to sanction their narrow minded view of the world. Course, now you bring in the Protestant church into the mix but few of them have schools so they are not really a part of this discussion.

    “the truth that sexual intercourse is only for a married man and woman and always open to new life.”

    LOL, FAR from truth.

  73. Deb
    February 23rd, 2011 at 16:51 | #73

    @Mark

    “No, but then, unlike the Catholic Church, they [public school] do proclaim themselves as holier than thou and attempt to sanction their narrow minded view of the world.”

    So, for you, you will tolerate the abuse in public schools because they teach a view of sexuality you agree with? That’s sick, Mark.

    That’s my point. I won’t tolerate the abuse in either place.

  74. Mark
    February 23rd, 2011 at 20:46 | #74

    @Deb
    “So, for you, you will tolerate the abuse in public schools because they teach a view of sexuality you agree with? That’s sick, Mark.”

    Nope. Missed again, Deb. But I do not put much reliability in a person or institution which claims to be so pure when they are secretly doing the things they are telling others NOT to do. A lot like the plethora of Republicans who scream traditional family values only to have recently been found with another woman (or man) other than their wife. The hypocrisy plays a BIG part for me.

    But I will say, I approve of age appropriate, comprehensive sex ed, not the abstinence-only model, or the wait until marriage to have sex idea. The later I object to since same sex individuals are denied marriage, so to teach sex only after marriage is an empty concept to them.

    “That’s my point. I won’t tolerate the abuse in either place.”
    But you do. You tolerate it your church. I know of many Catholics who are ACTIVELY working to rectify this injustice. I also know of some who have left in disgust by the lack of any attempt to stop this behavior or even take responsibility for it.

  75. Deb
    February 24th, 2011 at 04:55 | #75

    @Mark

    ” I know of many Catholics who are ACTIVELY working to rectify this injustice.”

    I find it interesting that you assume that I am not actively working to rectify this injustice. Again, I suspect this is because I defend the Church’s teaching on human sexuality- which is your real beef with the church. One can defend the truth of human sexuality and fight to see that children are not again abused by priests.

    “Nope. Missed again”

    Really? So instead you are going to rely on public schools to teach sex-ed even though they have 1 in 10 students sexually abused? This just because they agree with YOUR view on sexuality? Again, that’s sick. If you really cared about children, you would be appalled by this thought too.

  76. Mark
    February 25th, 2011 at 09:24 | #76

    @Deb
    “Again, I suspect this is because I defend the Church’s teaching on human sexuality- which is your real beef with the church. ”

    Nope, wrong again. But you do seem to defend the Church, a lot.

    “This just because they agree with YOUR view on sexuality?”
    Nope, batting 1000, Deb.

    You seem to really have this all or none thought process. Am I aware that there is abuse in the public schools? Yes, as in most of society. Do I want them to teach sex-ed? Yes, as long as it is age appropriate comprehensive sex ed.

    And, which thought actually, am I suppose to be appalled at – teaching sex ed or abuse in public schools.

  77. Deb
    February 25th, 2011 at 12:15 | #77

    @Mark

    “Nope, batting 1000, Deb.”

    I’ll prove you wrong.

    You have said:

    “But I do not put much reliability in a person or institution which claims to be so pure when they are secretly doing the things they are telling others NOT to do.”

    You are saying here that you dislike the Catholic Church because they teach that sexual intercourse is between a married man and a woman always open to the creation of new life; all the while some of their members have strayed from this teaching (this includes the priests that abuse children).

    Then you said: “I approve of age appropriate, comprehensive sex ed, not the abstinence-only model, or the wait until marriage to have sex idea. ” and this:

    “Am I aware that there is abuse in the public schools? Yes, as in most of society. Do I want them to teach sex-ed? Yes, as long as it is age appropriate comprehensive sex ed.”

    So now you are saying that you are aware that there is abuse in public schools (more than the Catholic Church, I may add) but you are not as mad at the public schools because they teach comprehensive sex-ed that you think is appropriate.

    See, you will tolerate abuse as long as those doing it are teaching sex-ed that you approve of. You said it yourself. It’s not the children you are as concerned about, it is that they learn sexual ethics that you agree with. Again, sick.

  78. Deb
    February 25th, 2011 at 12:21 | #78

    @Mark

    “But you do seem to defend the Church, a lot.”

    Mark, any reader who reads this thread will see that, NOT ONCE, have I defended the priests that abused children or those who covered it up. I, in fact, have stated REPEATEDLY that they should be punished to the FULLEST EXTENT OF CRIMINAL LAW.

    What I have defended, though, is the Church’s teaching on sexual intercourse: it is between a married man and woman always open to the creation of new life.

    Are you saying that nothing short of denying Christ in the Holy Eucharist (and my Church that brings Him to me) will make you think that I am for the protection of children?

    If so, nothing short of you quitting counseling until all counselors stop abusing will convince me, too.

  79. Mark
    February 26th, 2011 at 10:28 | #79

    @Deb
    “You are saying here that you dislike the Catholic Church because they teach that sexual intercourse is … children).”

    Nope, that is not why I criticize the Catholic Church.

    “So now you are saying that you are aware that there is abuse in public schools (more than the Catholic Church, I may add) but you are not as mad at the public schools because they teach comprehensive sex-ed that you think is appropriate.”

    First off, you have not shown nor proven that the abuse is greater in public schools despite you strong bias.
    Secondly, you asked how I felt about public schools teaching sex-ed, and I told you.

    “See, you will tolerate abuse as long as those doing it are teaching sex-ed that you approve of. ”

    Nope, totally missed the points, Deb. Just not being so self-centered nor biased in favor of your religion.

    “It’s not the children you are as concerned about, it is that they learn sexual ethics that you agree with. ”

    I am very concerned about children (apparently, you care more about the Catholic Church than kids). I do think they should learn the sexual ethics I agree with because it’s what the science agrees with.

  80. Mark
    February 26th, 2011 at 10:35 | #80

    @Deb
    “Are you saying that nothing short of denying Christ in the Holy Eucharist (and my Church that brings Him to me) will make you think that I am for the protection of children?”

    No, Deb, I would not want anyone to deny their faith. What I have been trying to point out that while you, at times, say that those abusing kids in the Catholic Church should be punished, you immediately go and blame the public schools for doing the same thing. I was raised differently. Taking responsibility for ones own actions has nothing to do with what anyone else is doing.

    It is the hypocrisy of the Catholic church that I have an issue with. That, from the Pope on down, they can criticize how two consenting loving adults want to live, and at the same time, not bothering about the pedophilia or rape going on in their own home. I feel the same way as I do towards those “Family value” politicians who work tireless to prevent same sex marriage because it is ‘immoral’, all the while they are having sex with their mistress or male lover.

  81. Deb
    February 26th, 2011 at 18:21 | #81

    @Mark

    We are going in circles.

    You are lying that I am defending the priests who abuse, and you know it.

    My point was that you seem to dislike hypocrisy from the Catholic Church more than from any other source. That is why I mention the public schools, of which one of their duties is to keep children safe. I wanted to see if you dislike their hypocrisy just as much. This would prove to me that it is more about the children than about sexual ethics.

    “I feel the same way as I do towards those “Family value” politicians who work tireless to prevent same sex marriage because it is ‘immoral’, all the while they are having sex with their mistress or male lover.”

    This quote proves my point.

  82. Mark
    February 27th, 2011 at 13:22 | #82

    @Deb
    “You are lying that I am defending the priests who abuse, and you know it. ”

    I am not lying.

    “That is why I mention the public schools, of which one of their duties is to keep children safe. I wanted to see if you dislike their hypocrisy just as much.”

    OMG, you really are clueless! The public schools don’t go goose stepping around saying how other people should act! They don’t get involved in political campaigns to push their religious views. THAT is the hypocrisy and you refuse to admit it! Their sexual ethics? You mean priests who condemn same sex marriage while at the same time are raping nuns? http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/vatican-confirms-report-of-sexual-abuse-and-rape-of-nuns-by-priests-in-23-countries-688261.html
    (“When she [Sister Marie McDonald, mother superior of the Missionaries of Our Lady of Africa] addressed bishops on the problem, many of them felt it was disloyal of the sisters to send reports.”)

    And what “point” of yours does my last sentence prove?

  83. Deb
    February 28th, 2011 at 04:45 | #83

    @Mark

    “The public schools don’t go goose stepping around saying how other people should act! ”

    Exactly why you don’t have such vehemence against abuse in their ranks. As long as there is no “goose stepping” you will not go after it with as much hatred… even if children are being abused. See? It’s not about the children for you.

    “THAT is the hypocrisy and you refuse to admit it! ”

    Um, this will be the 7th time I’ve admitted that it is, in fact, hypocrisy. Priests who abuse children or rape nuns are HYPOCRITES and EVIL, I may add. But the teaching that sex is between a married man and woman open to children, is truth. If priests themselves can’t follow this it makes them EVIL and WEAK, but it doesn’t change the truth on sexual intercourse.

  84. Mark
    February 28th, 2011 at 15:25 | #84

    @Deb
    “See? It’s not about the children for you.”

    LOL, no, you are so wrong and just blind to what I am saying. I can only assume it comes from your preconceived bias.

    “But the teaching that sex is between a married man and woman open to children, is truth.”

    Even if it’s taught by HYPOCRITES and people who are EVIL? And you dare to lecture ME, when it’s not about the children but about you???

  85. Deb
    February 28th, 2011 at 18:05 | #85

    @Mark

    ““But the teaching that sex is between a married man and woman open to children, is truth.”
    Even if it’s taught by HYPOCRITES and people who are EVIL? ”

    Yes, that’s the thing about truth, it is still truth even if those teaching it are evil themselves. Look, those in the Church who commit evil and are in the hierarchy still will have to answer for it in the next life. Being a priest or bishop doesn’t exempt one from God’s judgement. And you should know what Jesus said about those that cause scandal to children. Still, truth cannot be a lie, and Jesus created the Church to preserve the truth. And yes (for the umpteenth time) even if those who teach it are evil, vile, awful, hypocrites, it is still revealed truth.

  86. Mark
    February 28th, 2011 at 19:02 | #86

    @Deb
    LOL, I see. So the TEACHING is what is important to you, not the children. Let them get abused as long as the TEACHING is what YOU agree with.

    Isn’t that what you have been accusing me (unjustly) of doing? Why then are you so forcefully in support of it? What happened to all your high and mighty concern for the children? Ah, just another bit of hypocrisy.

    “Jesus created the Church to preserve the truth.”

    And, apparently, those in charge of it are doing everything they can to dispense with truth.

  87. Deb
    March 1st, 2011 at 06:38 | #87

    @Mark

    ” Let them get abused as long as the TEACHING is what YOU agree with.”

    No, Mark, if you go back and read you will see that I want those who abused children punished in this life and face God’s judgement (whatever it may be) in the next life. You are falsely asserting that the Church’s teaching leads to abuse and thereby my supporting the teaching is supporting abuse. This is an illogical conclusion.

    “And, apparently, those in charge of it are doing everything they can to dispense with truth.”

    Yes, those who abuse and those who cover it up would be denying truth, but it is at their own peril. Still, the truth remains and there are those good priests and bishops (and there are some) who are left to defend it.

    Mark, I’d like to see this amount of hatred for the Catholic Church be leveled at other institutions who have higher incidences of abuse. Then I’d think you were concerned with children. You see, I don’t think that ALL public school is bad, as you have implied ALL Catholics are bad. I think our culture is coarse. It is the weakest among us (the unborn, children, elderly, handicapped- if they are allowed to live and not aborted) who suffer most in a coarse, over-sexualized culture.

  88. Mark
    March 1st, 2011 at 17:01 | #88

    @Deb
    “You are falsely asserting that the Church’s teaching leads to abuse and thereby my supporting the teaching is supporting abuse. This is an illogical conclusion.”

    LOL, you are quite right, this is an illogical conclusion…for you to make. I have never said any such assertion.

    “Mark, I’d like to see this amount of hatred for the Catholic Church be leveled at other institutions who have higher incidences of abuse. ”

    Warning, warning, Deb is diverting the light of exposure and pointing it to someone else…….again.

    “I don’t think that ALL public school is bad, as you have implied ALL Catholics are bad.”

    You have implied as much about public schools. And, no, if you read my posts, my issues is with the leaders and hierarchy of the Catholic church, not with Catholics in general.

    CHANGE OF TOPIC: “It is the weakest among us (the unborn, children, elderly, handicapped- if they are allowed to live and not aborted) who suffer most in a coarse, over-sexualized culture.”

    And how, exactly, does this fit in with what we have been discussing?

  89. Deb
    March 2nd, 2011 at 05:11 | #89

    @Mark

    “LOL, you are quite right, this is an illogical conclusion…for you to make. I have never said any such assertion.”

    Yes, you did. I have said over 10 times that the priests that abuse and those who cover it up should be punished in this life and the next.

    But then you always come back with: “LOL, I see. So the TEACHING is what is important to you, not the children. Let them get abused as long as the TEACHING is what YOU agree with.”

    I never once said “let them get abused”, ever. Do you realize you lied? I just defended that sex should be between a married man and woman always open to the possibility of new life. How is defending this view of sexual intercourse defending evil priests- who obviously ignored this teaching and are deserving of a lot of jail time?

    And I didn’t change the topic, I was merely pointing out the reason children are being abused in churches, schools, and government programs. I offered this as an alternative to your assertion that this is just a Catholic problem caused by the Catholic teaching.

  90. Mark
    March 2nd, 2011 at 15:14 | #90

    @Deb
    “I never once said “let them get abused”, ever. Do you realize you lied? ”

    Uh, since I never said that you said that, there is no lie. You IMPLIED it, just didn;t say those exact words.

    “I offered this as an alternative to your assertion that this is just a Catholic problem caused by the Catholic teaching.”

    See? There you go again, not comprehending what I am saying. Please get off the Catholic-defense wagon just a bit to read what I am saying.

  91. Deb
    March 3rd, 2011 at 05:36 | #91

    @Mark

    “Uh, since I never said that you said that”

    Yes you did, read your reply 2 prior to this one.

    “Please get off the Catholic-defense wagon just a bit to read what I am saying.”

    Then what are you saying? That the priests are hypocrites? I’ve agreed to that so many times I’ve lost count. That the abuse of children is evil? I’ve agreed to that even more often.

    You say I haven’t read your posts, but the prior questions focused upon the high points of the dead horse you’ve been beating. What is your point, Mark? What have I missed?

  92. Mark
    March 3rd, 2011 at 16:55 | #92

    @Deb
    “That the priests are hypocrites?”

    If the Prada shoe fits ……….

    “What have I missed?”

    You are basically blinded by your total allegiance to the Catholic church. You “claim” to be critical about it’s abuses but IMMEDIATELY turn around and point the finger at others, a juvenile tactic that my mother wouldn’t let me get away with when I was in elementary school.
    You have accused me of not caring that children are taught sex ed in public schools by “molesters” because I accept their message yet you demand that they be taught by possible molesters in Catholic church if it’s the message YOU agree with. You accuse me that I am more concerned about the message than abuse, and then you turn around and say you are fine with it (abuse), as long as the teachings come from the Catholic church.

    You are more about projection of your issues than actual debate.

    But, as I have said, you have made it clear that as a Protestant I am not really a part of God’s church.

  93. Deb
    March 4th, 2011 at 04:20 | #93

    @Mark

    ” accept their message yet you demand that they be taught by possible molesters in Catholic church if it’s the message YOU agree with.”

    Wrong. It should be taught by parents, according to their beliefs.

    “then you turn around and say you are fine with it”

    Never once did I say I was fine with it. You lied, three times now. Shame on you.

    “But, as I have said, you have made it clear that as a Protestant I am not really a part of God’s church.”

    Again, a lie. I will conclude that you must lie and smear character to feel as though you have “won” an argument. I have also apologized, twice, which you refuse to believe is sincere. I’ll ask you again, are you too good to forgive.

  94. Mark
    March 7th, 2011 at 16:22 | #94

    @Deb
    Deb, I am truly sorry that you are so blind you cannot see your own bias in your comments. You said all that I claimed, and more. You may not intend to mislead, but you do.

    Again, I am not too good to forgive. But I am not so foolish as to accept a back handed “apology”.

  95. Deb
    March 9th, 2011 at 07:05 | #95

    @Mark

    “But I am not so foolish as to accept a back handed “apology”.’

    It wasn’t back-handed… it was sincere. I am even more sorry you don’t believe me.

    This thread is going nowhere. On other threads (if I have the time to comment), I will try not to offend you. But if agreeing with you 100% is how to avoid offending you, then I can’t promise it won’t happen. I truly wish you well and I am praying for you (and myself) as we comment on this blog.

    God bless you, Deb

  96. Mark
    March 9th, 2011 at 15:26 | #96

    @Deb
    “But if agreeing with you 100% is how to avoid offending you, then I can’t promise it won’t happen.”

    Just another example of your lack of understanding. But I wish you well too, Deb.

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