They might correct me, but if they do, I will argue with them. As long as the first syllable of "vegetable" and "vegetarian" is pronounced with the short-e vowel sound and the soft-g consonant sound, I will pronounce the first syllable of "vegan" the same way. -- Ron
P.S. -- In case anybody's wondering, I'm an omnivore, but it would not be much of a sacrifice for me to go vegetarian. I usually eat mostly vegetables and fruits and cheese and nuts anyway, with usually only a small token amount of chicken, beef, pork, shrimp or fish. So I could pretty easily go vegetarian, but I could never go vegan. I like cheese way too much.
They want a world in which nobody ever has or wants sex, unless it's within a monogamous heterosexual marriage, and then it happens only once for each child the couple is going to have, and even then it's always under the covers, with the lights out, and even then, neither the husband nor the wife can enjoy it.
I wish we could show anti-abortion people that it's not that kind of world, it never can be that kind of world, and it's just plain silly to want it to be that kind of world.
In the opening-credits sequence on "Leave It To Beaver" there is a shot of the Cleaver house from the front. That is a BIG house with only four people living in it. There must be at least four or five bedrooms in that house. So, I always wonder, WHY do Wally and the Beaver have to share a bedroom? I would've been really pissed about not having my own room. -- Ron
I am a 66-year-old Southern white male who has no interest in guns. I don't understand what these gun nuts see in the damn things. What are they good for? The only thing you can use them for is to shoot somebody. There's target practice, but that's not a use, it's just practice. There's self-defense, but in my 66 years on the planet there has not been one single time when I ever had need of a gun for that purpose. Shucks, if I had one, I'd be much more likely to accidentally shoot myself or somebody else. (My mother had two of her siblings killed in domestic gun accidents, one of them when she was a little girl and another one before she was even born.) You can go hunting, but that has no appeal for me. I have no desire to shoot critters and make them suffer and die, and I frankly wonder about the mentality of people who like to do things like that. So what the hell are guns good for? The damn things are totally useless, it seems to me. And the way these guns nuts practically worship the things is frankly perplexing to me. -- Ron
P.S. -- If this looks familiar to you, it's because I posted it about three weeks ago on Thom Hartmann's site.
I was born in Georgia in 1949 and grew up in central Georgia and south-central Alabama in the 1950s and 1960s. My father was a Southern Baptist preacher and my mother was a very conservative, straight-laced woman of the sort you would expect to marry a conservative Southern Baptist preacher.
My parents took me to an interesting array of backwoods Alabama churches where my father guest-preached all through my childhood and adolescence, places with names like Carlowville, Marion Junction and Wetumpka. Some of those backwoods churches still had slave lofts in them where antebellum slave owners sat their slaves during Sunday services. Those slave lofts were closed off and nobody ever went in them any more, but everybody knew they were there and what they had been used for.
We also had a regular church in my hometown where my mother and I were members. We attended that church on Sundays when my father was not with us, and sometimes he attended that church with us as well. I distinctly remember Sunday School discussions about a variety of subjects, including the issue of when the soul enters the body.
I was taught in that Southern Baptist church that the soul enters the body at birth, when God breathes the breath of life into the newborn infant's body. That is the moment when the doctor slaps the infant's behind to get respiration started, and then the infant starts crying. I was taught that the moment when the soul enters the body is that moment or perhaps one not more than a few minutes before, when the infant is still in the womb but just about to venture forth into the world. I distinctly remember Sunday School discussions among the Sunday School teacher and the other kids in the class. I distinctly remember that was the teaching about when life begins, the moment of birth when the soul enters the body.
There also is a secular institutional confirmation of that teaching in the fact that we all celebrate birthdays, not conception days. We all measure our age from the moment of our birth, and the state documents that confirmation by issuing a legal document called a birth certificate and begins to measure the individual's age from that moment. And later in life when other legal documents are issued by the state that also mark the birthday, not the moment of conception, as the beginning of that individual's life, documents such as driver's licenses, passports and Social Security cards.
We all tacitly agree with that means of marking the beginning of the individual's life when we say we're 30 years old on the date that is 30 years after our birth, when we celebrate our 21st birthday by going out drinking legally for the first time, when we observe other milestone birthdays such as 16 and 18 and 40 and 50 and 62 and 65. We all tacitly agree that our life started at the moment of our birthday, not at the moment of our conception. Pro-life people and pro-choice people all tacitly agree that the moment of birth marks the beginning of our lives.
Those Sunday School lessons that I remember were during the 1950s and 1960s, years before Roe vs. Wade. I don't go to church or Sunday School any more; the truth is, I am now almost an atheist, so I don't know what they say about this issue in Sunday School classes now, but in the world at large, I can tell that the religious people have subtly changed their teachings on this issue. Now, they don't seem to believe any more that an individual's life begins when God breathes the breath of life into the newborn infant's body at birth but instead nine months before that moment, the moment when the sperm cell fertilizes the egg in the woman's uterus. Is that the way it works? A sperm cell fertilizing an egg? Pardon me if I'm showing my ignorance here; I actually don't know the difference between an ovary and an egg and a zygote and an embryo, but the principle I'm trying to articulate is valid in any case, and that is that they have subtly changed their teachings in the wake of Roe vs. Wade. They didn't announce that they were going to change their teachings, they just started teaching something subtly but substantially different to try to make it get more in synch with their stated belief that abortion "murders babies."
I admit that this suspicion of mine is based on the half-century-old memories of just one individual and thus is itself somewhat suspect. So I am wondering, does anybody else have memories of Sunday School lessons from before Roe vs. Wade that would tend to corroborate mine?
All of this says little about my own beliefs about abortion, so let me say first that I do not have a dog in that hunt. I have never gotten a woman knocked up (I had a bicycle accident when I was 12 years old that left me sterile) and nobody else in my family has ever had that problem either. I do have a brother who has a 31-year-daughter, but she was planned and wanted. So the abortion issue does not affect me one way or the other and never has. But on philosophical, ideological and political grounds, I am firmly on the pro-choice side of the issue.
I actually would have some sympathy with the pro-life people's claim that abortion "murders babies" if they were consistent in that assertion -- that is, if everything they did and preached were in service of "saving babies' lives." But that's not what I see them doing. Instead, what they are doing seems to me to be motivated by a desire to keep people from having sex. And when people have sex anyway, the pro-lifers seem to want to make it fraught with all kinds of perils and pitfalls and onerous consequences.
And when those pro-lifers' goals are at odds with each other -- those goals being their stated one to "save babies" and their unstated one to keep people from having sex -- they will come down on the side of the unstated goal every time. Promoting contraceptives and family planning would unquestionably reduce unwanted pregnancies and thus cut down significantly on the demand for abortions, which you would think would be something they would very much favor. As Bill Clinton used to say, making abortion "safe, legal and RARE." But instead, the pro-lifers strenuously oppose contraceptives and family planning and condoms and birth control pills because of their unstated goal, that they don't want people to be able to have sex without inconvenient consequences. If you try to tell them that they should promote contraceptives and family planning because that will have the effect of preventing abortions, they will try to argue that people will have more sex then and that will cause a greater likelihood of unwanted pregnancies. Those are rationalizations and excuses, of course. I would like to ask them, do you think that people having sex is actually a WORSE thing than what you call "murdering babies"? Because they seem to.
I also have some problems with the pro-choice side of this issue. I don't believe what they say, that abortion opponents want to "control women's lives," is the whole story. That probably is part of it, but nobody ever mentions the fact that when a woman gets knocked up and doesn't want to be, it's a problem for the man too. Yes, if she is unable to terminate her pregnancy, she will be "sentenced to nine months of hard labor," but both she and the man who knocked her up will be sentenced to 21 years of hard labor in the form of the bills, burdens and responsibilities that are the consequences of being parents. So BOTH the man's and the woman's lives are being controlled if the pro-lifers have their way, but as I said above, the REAL reason the pro-lifers have such a big problem with abortion is that they are just simply trying to keep people from having sex. This seems as obvious to me as the nose in front of my face, and yet nobody on either side of the abortion issue ever mentions it. It's the elephant in the room that everybody ignores. WHY?
I am firmly pro-choice, but I would have a lot more sympathy for the pro-life position if they would stop being even MORE opposed to anything that they perceive as making it easier for people to have sex without conception occurring. Because they really do seem to be MORE against that than what they calling "murdering babies."
I posted this about three weeks ago on Thom Hartmann's site but haven't posted here at DU in several years. I'm going to start posting here again, starting with several posts I have made recently on Hartmann's site.