Posts Tagged ‘rape

25
Sep
11

The Real Ten Commandments

{Updated with an additional link.}

The Ten Commandments of GodStone‘ just didn’t appeal to most folks. Ohh, maybe that’s putting it a bit too diplomatically. Even my friends (yes, there are some) wouldn’t read it. That is, they wouldn’t admit to reading it. I gave my Pastor a copy, and he never had time to read it. For a year. So, I get it – folks don’t like the concept of re-writing The Big Ten. Or maybe they detected a degree of hubris in the title. Gee, it is my version – why not an eponymous title?

Some people simply could have been satisfied with the Bible’s original re-write: it’s either Exodus 20:2-17 or Deuteronomy 5:6-21. Don’t ask me which was first, much less which is closer to being ‘original’. And do not ask me to stick with exactly ten (10, diez, dix) items for my next version. If the Bible can have sundry versions, with miscellaneous numbers of specific shalts and shalt nots, then I can also.

A n d  h e r e  i t  i s .

We usually discuss religious doctrine (I am herein concentrating on my heritage of Christianity) in terms of its official scriptures and their formal interpretations. It’s time to look at the practical reality of Christianity. The following is The Real Ten Commandments – the rules that certain Christians (Lord bless the many for whom this does not apply) actually hold sacred. Well, sacred for application to others, if not for themselves. I also retained some of The Original’s sticky bits. You might want to follow along with one of the Original versions (some folks might be sufficiently lax to think that I am fabricating things), but a more general knowledge of the Bible and Christian behavior is most pertinent.

  1. God is a jealous, spiteful, vengeful god. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
  2. Thou shalt not make idols. Building oversized mansions and driving overpowered cars doesn’t count.
  3. Thou shalt not worship the idols that you make. If you do, you’ll probably get away with it, but your kids will get screwed.
  4. If you love Me, a thousand generations will have it easy. If any of them crosses me, the deal’s off.
  5. Thou shalt not use the name of God in vain. If you can get some profit or manipulate someone by doing so, you’re golden.
  6. Observe the Sabbath Day, or whatever day that you feel like substituting, and keep it holy so the football game or round of golf will be guilt-free fun.
  7. For six days thou shalt labor, since you’re gonna count Saturday fishing as work. You, your family, visitors, livestock, and male and female slaves shall take it easy. You can decide whether the hermaphrodite slaves can participate.
  8. It was work for the Lord to create everthin’ in six days, so He rested on the seventh day and his slaves had better rest, too. They should consider it practice for Jubilee. They’ll get to return to the foreign country from which I permitted you to kidnap them. The wives which you took in conquest just get the Sabbath, not the Jubilee.
  9. Honor thy Father and thy Mother so that your brother or sister won’t take the inheritance that you so richly deserve.
  10. Thou shalt not kill unless the person deserves it or a Christian Governor or President says ‘it’s ok’. You shall satisfy your blood thirst with executions and unprovoked wars.
  11. Thou shalt not commit adultery, for serial monogamy is sufficient and wholly acceptable to thy brethren. Thou shalt also not divorce, unless a TV preacher says that it’s ok because your wife has Alzheimer’s.
  12. Thou shalt not steal, for connivance and manipulation will serve as well without the appearance of criminality.
  13. Thou shalt not lie about your neighbor, for gossip is equally effective.
  14. Thou shalt not desire thy neighbor’s goodies, or thy neighbor’s wife, or livestock, or male or female slave. As before, you can figure out what to do with hermaphrodite slaves. Your neighbor’s husband, and anyone else not proscribed, is fair game.
  15. Thou shalt not permit a woman, or anyone acting in a woman’s behalf, to decide her own sexual or reproductive behavior. Women shall know their place.
  16. Thou shalt not suffer the uninsured to live, or at least to live without suffering, for the uninsured and those not self-sufficient have not My favor.
  17. A man shalt not lie down with another man. Thou shalt interpret and extend this injunction in any way that suits your thoughts and fears. But lesbians are pleasing in My sight, and probably in yours, too.
  18. These Commandments shalt be sacred and inviolable until the Lord establishes a New Covenant. Thereafter, thou shalt enforce these Commandments selectively, as it pleases you. Definitely ignore all that Levitical stuff, like avoiding mixing nylon and cotton, unless it suits your purpose. Just don’t get carried away, like Thomas Jefferson did.

All in all, I do prefer Jesus’ answer regarding the two greatest Commandments. May it be so with you.

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29
Sep
10

Questions & Abortion

During this election cycle, it is a more prominent position for candidates to advocate the outright ban, without exception, of abortions. Exceptions which are currently legal include the cases of incest or rape.

This is not the limit of reproductive control. Abortion is defined as occurring after implantation of a zygote on the placenta. Some activists and politicians also advocate banning the destruction of a zygote prior to implantation.

I have several questions regarding either of these total bans of abortions.

Abortions occur with the participation or involvement of one or more people. Examples of individual participation would be: a pregnant woman who intentionally or neglectfully does something which results in abortion; a doctor who intentionally or neglectfully does something, without knowledge of the pregnant woman, which results in abortion. Examples of multiple participation would be: a standard abortion, with a consenting pregnant woman, an attending doctor, and nurses, assistants, and staff.

In the case of a violation of law, who is the responsible party?
For a standard abortion, would the doctor (who overtly performs the proscribed act)
be the responsible party, with others as accessories?

The proponents of Colorado’s proposed ‘Amendment 62‘ to their Constitution write,

“It won’t threaten the death penalty on doctors who do legitimate invasive surgery that could unintentionally harm a child in the womb.”

The proposed amendment does not specify such a limitation – the proponents refer to how existing law is implemented.

To what penalties, ostensibly less than death, might such doctors be subject in Colorado
– or in other jurisdictions which might have either of these total bans of abortions?

The proponents of Amendment 62 also write,

It won’t open the door to criminal investigations of women who miscarry. …miscarriages are completely unintentional…
It won’t ban surgeries for women who have tubal pregnancies, also known as ectopic pregnancies. The crucial issue in criminal law is always intent.

Establishing or eliminating intent or negligence requires investigation by government prosecutors. They do not have the discretion, under comparable current statutes, to dismiss investigations without even a perfunctory investigation. Miscarriages, for example, have resulted from stress, alcohol consumption, and abuse as well as from unintended causes.

Do proponents of either of these total bans of abortions want state or federal governments
to investigate episodes which are currently regarded as medical conditions?
Do proponents of either of these total bans of abortions want state or federal governments
to investigate such episodes beyond the current practice of investigating the situation
as it regards the pregnant woman’s welfare?

Many criminal statutes are written to both outlaw a specific act, and also ancillary acts. These ancillary acts include conspiracy, aiding & abetting, etc. Some prosecutions for conspiracy are successful despite an inability to prosecute for direct violation of statute. Assuming statutes written in conformance with such common practice:

Would even non-medical staff of a doctor who performed an abortion be subject to prosecution?
Would people be prosecuted for planning an abortion – perhaps to be conducted outside of legal jurisdiction
– regardless of whether or not an abortion occurred?

For pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest, the pregnant woman would, with the total ban of abortions, necessarily carry for nine months and give birth to the child of a blood relative or of an attacker.

The Colorado state Constitution states:

[Section 3.] All persons have certain natural, essential and inalienable rights, … the right of enjoying … their lives … and of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.
[Section 25.] No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law.

A pregnancy due to rape or incest would be a arduous experience. It would often be psychologically (and even physically) damaging to the pregnant woman.

What consideration do the proponents of abortion bans give
to the effects of such pregnancies upon a woman?
Does a ban’s “due process of law” obliterate the damage done to a woman’s rights under Section 3?

That potential for harm that a pregnant woman faces also exists for a child who is the result of a criminal act. It can be shattering to learn, for instance, that Grandfather is also Father.

Who decides for the yet-unborn child?
Does government decide that a pregnant woman must always either abort or not abort?
Or should the pregnant woman decide – sometimes to abort, sometimes to carry for adoption,
or sometimes to actually carry, birth, and parent the child?

Abortion bans often are proposed in the form of defining personhood for a zygote or embryo. That is, they would make abortion legally indistinguishable from the killing of any other person.

What would the legal penalties be for violations of an abortion ban?
Is there any way, consistent with the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution, for penalties
(compared to post-birth killings) to be reduced or for death penalties to be proscribed?

The proponents of abortion bans have never specified how they believe that total bans could be implemented. I do not know whether they have not considered the need to write implementing legislation (as is required for all other legislative or constitutional initiatives) or they choose to avoid the subject.

What might be some unintended consequences of this amendment?

Are people who support efforts to totally ban abortions buying the proverbial pig in a poke?
Do they have the slightest notion of the significant ramifications of such laws?
Do they want such laws to apply to themselves, their family, their doctors, and others?




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Basic Understanding

A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.
- Edward R. Murrow

Intellectual Property Notice

All original material Copyright James R. Stone 2010, except where specifically noted. Some images licensed under Creative Commons, or GNU Free Documentation License, or unlicensed and public domain.

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