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summer_in_TX's Journal
summer_in_TX's Journal
June 23, 2018

Pro-life Democrats at Texas State Convention

My husband heard a news story on NPR this afternoon talking with a group of Texas Democrats at the Texas State Democratic Convention going on now in Ft. Worth who are pro-life. They mourned how militant the pro-choice left had gotten on that issue and how hard it was to find room to stay within the Democratic party.

Abortion has been very much on my mind in the last few weeks, after visiting our son and daughter-in-law and our two grandchildren. The last day of our visit, my husband raised the issue of considering voting for a Democratic candidate we consider a very strong candidate for Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Col. Kim Olson, a retired combat pilot who served in Iraq.

“I could NEVER vote for anyone who supports abortion,” our son said. The Democratic party platform itself was enough to make him say that. He knows that any Dem no matter what they personally believe has to run on the party platform, which is correct.

We gently tried to point to other issues, but in our love and desire not to damage our relationship, we were fuzzy in what we said. We were sad and quiet during the entire three hour drive home and the rest of the day.

I’ve read the well-written Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Questions by Randy Alcorn too (in fact, I gave our son one of my two copies). But after much reflection and prayer, I couldn’t escape the understanding that God’s gift of free will was primary. I could not imagine God forcing a woman to carry a baby to term. I was convinced that God’s love was too great to compel someone to do that, no matter how much God loved the life created in her womb. If God wouldn’t, then God’s people shouldn’t either, no matter how much we want to leap to that unborn child’s defense.

There’s a line we should not cross. We can pray, offer support, create safe places where pregnant women could give birth, support economic policies that allow women to prevent unwanted pregnancies more easily, support adoptions, support programs that allow teenage mothers to continue their educations while their children are cared for at school, share our view that life is sacred from creation to death and provide information. However use of guilt would be going too far, and so would using legal or personal coercion. Ultimately I concluded we could not hijack the woman’s body to carry that baby to term because that would violate the free will God gave her - a respect borne of the deep love God has for her, as He does for all of us. He does us the honor of allowing us to make our own decisions, even bad ones, knowing that we will make mistakes but that we will learn and grow.

In wrestling with this issue, I’ve concluded that the God who created the cosmos out of nothing and is omnipotent (while choosing to not use that power to coerce) could be trusted with the immortal souls of those babies whose mothers chose to abort them. Though God had a purpose and plan for that infant’s life, God is able to achieve that purpose even when the original plan was aborted. And I trusted that the Holy Spirit would continue working in the lives of those women who made that choice. In fact, I know at least two women whose journey to God came about because of their abortions.

I asked a dear friend, the person with the most intimate and faithful walk with God I know, a retired nurse who had not been able to conceive and so had adopted a child, what was her belief about abortion. When she was a young nurse, she said, it had upset her when abortions were performed at her hospital, until she talked to a wise mentor. His conversation with her was much like my internal pondering. After that, she too trusted God with the issue.

That’s not to say I think abortions should normally be allowed late in a pregnancy. By the age at which the baby’s movements can be detected, most women will have had time to exercise free will. Even free will has limits. Limitations, however, should have a judicial appeal process that would allow a judge to permit it in rare circumstances such as risk to the life of the mother or to the physical safety of someone whose body isn’t mature enough to safely carry a baby to term, as could be the case of a girl pregnant through incest or molestation.

I honor my son’s desire to protect life. God’s creation is beautiful and praiseworthy, and I understand why he would conclude what he has.

It grieves me that he is appalled that we support a woman’s right to choose. He questioned whether I just had come to a belief that “seemed good to me.” But that sells me short. I genuinely want to want what God wants and to do what God would have me do. He is also mistaken to think that we think abortion is good, or just fine. We don’t. It’s a grievous act, but to disrespect the woman or family’s free will would be worse, in our opinion, because it would not follow God’s way.

That part of the conversation was not the only thing that made us sad, though. In fact, that was a minor thing because as I said we understand and honor his desire to protect life. What we found deeply troubling was realizing that to accomplish that desire, he was willing to completely ignore many moral issues important to us and that we believe scripture indicates are ones that matter to God too.

We assume that he voted for Trump for president from a number of statements he made during the primary season, although we didn’t want to know that he did. His wife couldn’t do it and voted for an independent candidate, and perhaps he did too.

I've read the very fierce remarks some have made here on the absolute necessity of being pro-choice in every aspect of the Democratic party platform, and I'm pro-choice myself obviously. But the tone of the comments doesn't allow for any dialogue or sense of inclusion, and I was saddened by what felt like a very hard rigidity.

My husband's question is how do we include people such as these pro-Life Dems. This election more than any other in our lifetime is about good and evil, and surely the stark immorality of this administration OUGHT to have decent people like our son and his wife voting against every Republican up and down the ticket. It's very hard to bear the thought of our son and his wife not supporting Dems when to me it's such a clear-cut issue of good vs. evil.

June 16, 2018

Tariffs on Canadian paper pose an existential threat to community newspapers ....

Do you rely on your local newspaper to keep up with how your tax dollars are being spent? If so, tell your congressman you don’t want a new tariff to put the paper out of business.

A new study reveals that communities that lose their newspapers see an alarming increase in the cost of local government because there’s no watchdog reporting on how your hard-earned money is spent.

A new “temporary” tariff on Canadian newsprint — the paper used to print 75 percent of American newspaper pages — poses a dire threat if it becomes permanent. Simply put, your hometown paper can’t exist if it costs more to print than it earns in revenue…

Under the arcane and almost unfathomable rules of U.S. trade policy, the newspaper industry isn’t allowed to formally make its case to the administration, which will decide soon whether to make the tariff permanent. Members of Congress, on the other hand, may submit official comments to be considered. Very few have done that.


Our small-town weekly newspaper had this editorial in this week's newspaper. In searching for more info, turns out a whole lot of Texas newspapers had the same editor. They're urging readers to urge their members of Congress to write the Commerce Department and International Trade Association, since only members of Congress have standing to make the case apparently, and newspapers can't even send representatives to make their case to the administration. Apparently only 4 Texas reps have so far.

I missed a couple of earlier DU posts on this tariff including this one: https://upload.democraticunderground.com/10142081919

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Hometown: Austin, Texas
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About summer_in_TX

@WimberleySusan Good media policy is essential for democracy to thrive. Red Letter follower of Jesus' way of Love. Neighbor. Ally. ALL bear the image of God.

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