Abortion: It’s Not Just a Woman’s Choice

Raquel Welch made a surprising (for her) statement last week. Jerry Janquart excerpted this little gem she wrote in It's Sex O'clock in America:

"Seriously, folks, if an aging sex symbol like me starts waving the red flag of caution over how low moral standards have plummeted, you know it's gotta be pretty bad. In fact, it's precisely because of the sexy image I've had that it's important for me to speak up and say: Come on girls! Time to pull up our socks! We're capable of so much better."

Raquel_sd457802 That's remarkable in itself coming from a 60s sex icon. But I want to pick up on something else. She mentioned the pivotal moment in her life when she first became pregnant:

"Even though I was married to the baby's father, Jim Welch, I wasn't prepared for this development. … At the time, we were 19-year-old newlyweds, struggling to make ends meet. But he was unflinching in his desire to keep our baby and his positive, upbeat attitude about the whole prospect turned everything around. I have always loved Jim for how he responded in that moment."

When she became pregnant, she was afraid, confused, and vulnerable, but she found strength in her husband and his support. This enabled her to not only carry the pregnancy to term but opened her heart up to the wonder of becoming a parent:

"During my pregnancy, I came to realize that this process was not about me. I was just a spectator to the metamorphosis that was happening inside my womb so that another life could be born. It came down to an act of self-sacrifice, especially for me, as a woman. But both of us were fully involved, not just for that moment, but for the rest of our lives. And it's scary. You may think you can skirt around the issue and dodge the decision, but I've never known anyone who could. Jim and I had two beautiful children who've been an ongoing blessing to both of us."

As a mother of three children, I can tell you, pregnancy is emotionally and physically overwhelming. Another life has taken over your body – it's both wonderful and terrifying. But no matter how "together" you may otherwise be, you will also be, at some level or another, a mess in need of someone to lean on.

Which leads to my point about men and abortion:
Her husband was there for her and their children. Because of his moral backbone, their two children lived to see the light of day and became "an ongoing blessing" to both of them.

Men, listen up: If you become the father of an unborn child, you are that child's advocate, and you may be its lifeline. Speak up, be a man, and be the father your child and your child's mother need you to be.

You'll never regret it.

Science, Stephen Hawking, and Free Minds

Hawking-big-ideas-192x108 Last night my 11-year old daughter Sally asked me if I’d like to watch "Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking" with her. How could a mom refuse that invitation? So we cozied up in our jammies and tuned in. It was a great show, and highly educational. But not in the way you might think.

The subject of this, the first installment of a series on the Discovery Channel hosted by Hawking, was Aliens. The show opens with Hawking alone in an empty room in his wheelchair. We hear his computerized voice say,

Hello. My name is Stephen Hawking, physicist, cosmologist, and something of a dreamer. Although I cannot move, and I have to speak through a computer, in my mind, I am free.

 Another narrator picks up from there,

Free to explore the universe and ask the big questions. Such as, Do aliens exist?

The question, Hawking says, cuts to the heart of how we see our place in the universe. "Are we alone?” He thinks probably not, even though scientists have been looking and listening out for about forty years to no avail. The narrator continues, speaking for Hawking,

The possibilities are infinite. How do we know where to look?

The answer brings us back home to Earth, where the only known examples of life exist. From there, Hawking explains what is currently known about the origin of life on Earth:

Exactly what triggered life here is still a mystery, but there are several theories.

He presents two. The most common theory is that life began purely by accident in pools of primordial soup. Images on the screen evoke Darwin’s “warm little pond,” teeming with amino acids randomly bumping into one another for eons and eons until just the right combination of circumstances caused just the right bump:

It somehow just happened … the ultimate lucky break that started the chain of life.

That's the first theory. The other one is an

intriguing idea, called Panspermia, which says that life could have originated somewhere else and have been spread from planet to planet by asteroids.

Let’s pause there. Panspermia, as I pointed out in this article from Salvo 11, falls within the boundaries of Intelligent Design theory (ID), with which regular Salvo readers are familiar.

I explained Panspermia and ID to Sally. It took about one minute and she grasped it well enough. Then we re-wound the recording to listen again to Hawking’s musings about the first, and “most common,” theory. He admits the improbability of it,

It is extremely unlikely that life could spontaneously create itself, but I don’t think that’s a problem with this theory. It’s like winning a lottery. The odds are astronomical, but … someone hits the jackpot.

“Yes, Sally,” I said, “but that’s because someone outside the system created the lottery, and funded it so that it could be there in the first place.”

Light bulbs went off immediately. “Ah-HAH,” she laughed out loud. “I didn’t think of that, but that makes sense!” We laughed together for a moment then watched the rest of the show.

The point I’d like to make is she’s a 6th grader, and she’s capable of thinking with a free mind, taking in competing theories about something, and, to a certain extent, analyzing them. This is how critical thinking skills are developed. But as this Crosshairs, also from Salvo 11, points out, wherever the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) gets its way, teachers are prohibited from informing students about competing scientific theories concerning the origin of life, including the one offered, though not by name, as a valid theory by no less a science luminary than Stephen Hawking. (The NCSE also opposes students being informed of different views concerning global warming, but that’s another issue for another post.)

Stephen Hawking is an amazing and inspiring man, and we enjoyed watching his show. I’d like to focus on that ideal of a free mind and note two things. First, the NCSE, by intentionally ignoring ID (and vehemently opposing it when active ignorance is no longer an option), limits free inquiry and hinders, rather than advances, science. They do our children a disservice.

Hawking-aliens-12 Second, while Hawking does believe that alien life likely exists, including life of superior intelligence, he leaves no leeway for the possibility that that intelligence might be a supernatural being. In so doing, I suggest he limits himself and his scientifically brilliant mind more than he realizes. To limit experimental science to only those things which can be seen, heard, and touched is reasonable. To limit your mind and imagination after the same manner hinders free inquiry.

Even a 6th grader can understand that.

Score Two for Phil Mickelson

When Phil Mickelson
won the Masters last weekend, his wife Amy was at the 18th hole waiting
to share the moment. When Mickelson came off the green, there was Amy, wearing,
in the words of one commentator, “a smile bigger than her sunglasses.” They
hugged, both of them in tears, for a very long time.

Phil Mickelson and Amy Mickelson Ahhh … the thrill of
victory. Yes, victory is thrilling, but there’s a story behind this
story that transcends sports. Amy was diagnosed with breast cancer last year,
and for eleven months has been undergoing chemo and radiation. She has not
travelled at all during that time, but mustered her strength to see his final
strokes that day. “I want to recognize my family,”' Mickelson said, choking up
during the victory ceremony. “My wife has been through a lot this year, and it
means so much to us to share some joy together. She's an incredible wife and an
incredible mother, and she has been an inspiration for me this past year in
seeing what she went through. I'm so happy that she and our three kids are
here. It was such an emotional week, and I'm having a hard time putting it into

Tigerwoodsfamily640_doomsday_604x341.gif There was another
media sensation at the Masters. Tiger Woods returned to professional golf after
having taken several months off in the wake of publicity concerning his serial adulterous
affairs. His estranged wife, Elin, and the couple’s two children did not attend
the Masters this year.

On display that last day were two very different approaches to love, sex, and marriage. One takes an anything-goes approach. This  is the view we see in pop culture, for example in Glee and The Big Bang Theory. Sex is what it's all about, and if it feels good, do it.

The other views sex
as a part of marriage and marriage as a solemn commitment. Sex is good, but it also
serves a higher purpose – that of bonding a couple together and preserving the
integrity of the family for the resulting children.

What was really on
display at the 18th hole was the inevitable outcome of each. The
Woods family, except for Tiger, was absent and their future remains uncertain. Ironically,
the Anything-Goes approach to sex inevitably leads to broken relationships and
fractured families. Just look at Tiger.

Phil_mickelson_and_wife_amy_with_children_golf_hero_green_celebrity_getty The Mickelson family
has endured pain and difficulty too, and their future is also uncertain, but in an
entirely different way. They remain an integral unit, and at the Masters, they
shared their joys and sorrows as one family.

commentator noted
, “Finally, we have some justice in the world. The right
man won.” I say he’d already won before setting foot on the course.

Why We Pray

“Band of Brothers,” a 2001 ten-part miniseries based on the book of the same name, follows a group of WWII paratroopers, E Company (“Easy Company”), through basic training, the D-Day invasion at Normandy, into occupied France and finally into Germany. Author Stephen Ambrose based his narrative on interviews with Easy Company veterans.

In the ninth episode, “Why We Fight,” the soldiers encounter a whole new realm of evil. It’s April 1945, the war in Europe is all but over, and the men of Easy Company are stationed in the German town of Landsberg awaiting orders. One day a few of them venture out to explore the area. They emerge from a forest, and before them stands a high barbed wire fence with a locked gate. Behind it are hundreds, perhaps thousands of dazed, emaciated, starving prisoners.

Barbed wire fencemau-cover

The men of Easy Company have seen fierce battle, but this is a horror of an altogether different kind, and they are speechless.

After they set about meeting the prisoners’ basic needs, like food, water, and medical attention, they force the townspeople from Landsberg out to the camp to make them look, straight on, at the human atrocity which has been taking place in their own back yard and presumably with their complicity.

This scene came to my mind the other day as I stood and prayed, quietly, outside a Planned Parenthood clinic. It was Day 1 of 40 Days for Life.

SIECUS and Sex-Ed Subterfuge

A new study concludes that abstinence-only sex-education actually works, reducing sexual activity among teens by a third. Yesterday, the Washington Post quoted John Jemmott, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who headed the study, "I think we've written off abstinence-only education
without looking closely at the nature of the evidence. Our study shows this could be one approach that could be used.”

Why has abstinence education been so vehemently opposed, and where exactly
did comprehensive sex-ed come from in the first place? The answer to that
question goes back to the 1960’s when a junk sex scientist, an abortionist, and
a publisher of pornography took it upon themselves to teach children about

In 1964, the trio of Wardell Pomeroy, collaborator with Alfred
Kinsey on Kinsey’s two seminal (but discredited) volumes on sexual behavior, Mary
Calderone, medical director of Planned Parenthood, and The Playboy foundation,
headed by Hugh Heffner, founded SIECUS, the Sexuality Information and Education
Council of the United States.

Last summer, Salvo 9 reported on the sex-ed subterfuge carried
out by SIECUS. Read more here. Click here to see the fake ad from Salvo 9.

Tim Tebow: An Inconvenient Life

Imagine you’re an expectant parent, you’re deathly ill, and your doctor says your unborn child may have grave developmental problems. What do you do?

Pam was serving as a missionary in the Philippines and expecting her fifth child when she suffered a life threatening infection with a pathogenic amoeba. Because of the drugs used to treat her condition, the doctors recommended abortion, both because of potential damage to the unborn child and to preserve Pam’s life. She declined.

A few months later Pam gave birth to a healthy baby boy and named him Tim.

That was 1987, and that boy would be Tim Tebow: the quarterback who’s become a household name among football fans; who’s broken records and won numerous awards as a University of Florida Gator, including the Heisman Trophy awarded to him as a junior; and who has now become, unwittingly, something of a lightning rod over the abortion divide in America.


We may get to learn a bit of Pam’s and Tim’s story during the Super Bowl. Focus on the Family has created a 30-second ad about them with a theme of “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life,” and at the moment it appears CBS plans to air it.

Then again we may not. A few women’s groups including New York-based Women’s Media Center, the National Organization for Women (NOW), and the Feminist Majority (whoever they are) are taking issue with it:

  • The Women’s Media Center objects to the ad because it was conceived by Focus on the Family.
  • Terry O'Neill, president of NOW, condemned the ad as “extraordinarily offensive and demeaning.”
  • Sports columnist Gregg Doyle says Super Bowl Sunday is too sacred for it. "If you're a sports fan, and I am, that's the holiest day of the year," he wrote. "It's not a day to discuss abortion.”

Terry O’Neill, extraordinarily offended, said of the Tebow ad, "That's not being respectful of other people's lives. It is offensive to hold one way out as being a superior way over everybody else's."

Last year, a similar controversy resulted in NBC rejecting a Super Bowl ad from CatholicVote.org that, ironically, congratulated newly-elected pro-abortion President Barack Obama, and inspired viewers to “imagine the potential of every human life.” Apparently that was deemed extraordinarily offensive and demeaning too.

An advertisement about a mother and her successful football player son, shown during a football game, is “not being respectful of other people’s lives.” Really?

“It is offensive to hold one way out as being a superior way over everybody else’s.” Really? Or is that merely Ms. O'Neill's way being held out as superior?

Yet to be determined: What will CBS deem to be the superior way?