Peter Baklinski

Why the fight against abortion starts with opposing contraception

Peter Baklinski
Peter Baklinski
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April 23, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A pro-life atheist from the Maritimes argued last week that the Catholic Church's teaching against contraception undermines its argument against abortion. But had he examined recent research on the matter as well as looked into the abortifacient mechanism built into mainstream contraceptives, he might have reached a different conclusion.

Jackson Doughart, a political theorist student at Queen’s University, wrote in the National Post on Wednesday that a “prohibition on contraceptives would doubtless result in many undesired pregnancies, and hence a greater number of candidates for abortion.”

The Catholic Church teaches that “each and every marriage act must remain open to the transmission of human life,” and thereby excludes “every action…to render procreation impossible”. The Church also teaches that a couple can naturally and morally postpone pregnancy by not having sex during the woman’s fertile period.

Doughart’s piece, titled The Vatican’s opposition to contraception undermines fight against abortion, was a response to a correspondent who had privately attempted to convince the atheist that the Church’s teaching against contraception “makes her position entirely consistent”. The correspondent, who held in high esteem Doughart’s secular defense for the right to life of the unborn, suggested that the defense could be tightened “if you found a way to reason to why [the unborn] face this plight in the first place”. 

In an attempt to shed light on the Church’s position, the unnamed correspondent wrote to Doughart: “Contraception closes the sexual act to the gift of life. Once a contracepting man and woman have allowed a contraceptive mentality to seep into them, they immediately view a newly created child as an inconvenience at best and as a hostile intruder at worst. For them, the only solution is to get rid of the baby through abortion. You see, contraception leads to the need for abortion.”

But Doughart called the claim “absurd” that “Sexual Act A, which is performed with contraception, is more likely to result in abortion than Sexual Act B, which is performed without.” 

Echoing the oft-used pro-contraception argument of the abortion giant Planned Parenthood Doughart concluded: “I don’t see how both a practicable and philosophically-defensible argument against contraception can be made by anyone who is genuinely interested in reducing abortion.” 

Abortion advocates link contraception to abortion

But adamant abortion advocates don’t agree with Doughart’s conclusion, pointing out that a link does indeed exist between contraception and demand for abortion. 

“Most abortions result from failed contraception,” admitted Joyce Arthur, founder and executive director of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, earlier this year. 

Arthur’s statement parallels a prediction made in 1973 by Dr. Malcolm Potts, former medical director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, who said: “As people turn to contraception, there will be a rise, not a fall, in the abortion rate.” 

What Arthur and Potts have perhaps unwittingly revealed is the massively lucrative ‘get rich quick’ scheme of the multi-billion dollar abortion industry: 1) encourage unrestricted sexual activity among young people, 2) promote the idea of “safe sex” without consequences especially through using contraception, 3) expect contraception to fail since every method, be it the condom, pill, intrauterine device, etc., has a startlingly dismal failure rate in real world usage, 4) provide abortions to women as a solution to their ‘unexpected problem’. 

Researchers have exposed this ingenious business plan of the abortion industry simply by following the money. They found that contraception is the gateway mechanism for increasing abortion. And abortion is where the profit is. 

Analysts have exposed the abortion-centered nature in the case of Planned Parenthood’s business model, finding in the organization’s own billion dollar financial reports that abortions account for more than half its income. 

Experts say contraception necessitates abortion

The United State’s highest court had no difficulty in seeing the causal link between contraception and abortion in a 1992 ruling that confirmed Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that brought legal abortion to America. 

In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Supreme Court argued that in some critical respects abortion is of the same character as the decision to use contraception: “...for two decades of economic and social developments, [people] have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail.” 

What the Supreme Court pointed out is that in a contracepting society, abortion not only becomes a necessity, but it becomes the ultimate fail-safe method of birth control. In the mind of the court, contraception doesn’t lessen the need for abortion, but on the contrary, contraception precipitates abortion. 

One woman, writing at the pro-abortion website RHRealityCheck.com last year, expressed her bewilderment at the failure of her intrauterine device. Confirming the validity of what the Supreme Court said, she described the process that led her to “fix” the problem by having her baby aborted. 

“Something went wrong, but now there are steps to fix it,” wrote the woman who identified herself as NW. “Yes, I’m pregnant, but it’s a temporary state. I can see the day on the calendar when it won’t be true anymore.” 

“I go with Planned Parenthood,” writes NW. “I spend so much of my time defending them and giving money monthly, it seems only right to maintain my loyalty in my moment of need.” 

Dr. Dianne Irving, a bioethicist at Georgetown University and a former bench biochemist with the U.S. National Institute of Health, would have no trouble explaining NW’s series of choices that led to the demise of her growing baby. 

“Since it is ... a long-recognized and documented scientific fact that almost all so-called ‘contraceptives’ routinely fail at statistically significant rates resulting in ‘unplanned pregnancies’, is there any wonder that elective abortions are socially required in order to take care of such ‘accidents’?” Dr. Irving asked. 

“Thus abortion has become a ‘contraceptive’ in and of itself,” she said.

Dr. Janet Smith, a professor, author, and national speaker, agrees with Dr. Irving: "Contraception leads us to believe that sex can be a momentary encounter, not a life-long commitment. It has brought about the concept of 'accidental pregnancy.'" 

“The connection between contraception and abortion is primarily this: contraception facilitates the kind of relationships and even the kind of attitudes and moral characters that are likely to lead to abortion,” she wrote.  

Put differently, contraception radically changes the meaning and purpose of sex. Contraception turns the sexual act between a man and a woman that is biologically ordered towards the creation of a new life into a parody of the act, where a newly created life can suddenly be viewed as an uninvited and unwelcome guest. Abortion becomes the easy solution by which the parent permanently and violently disinvites the unwelcome guest. 

Sarah Nelson is one woman who discovered within her own heart that her acceptance of contraception instilled in her what she called a “spirit of abortion”. Sarah always considered herself to be pro-life, but she was also in favor of contraception. She had been raised among protestants who openly encouraged newly weds to contracept. 

“Rarely were children talked about in terms of ‘abundance and overflowing joy’, she said. Some of her mentors strongly suggested that couples should limit their family size “for the good of God”.

One day after praying for an end to abortion on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Sarah became aware of an anti-life mentality that had insidiously rooted itself deep within her. She saw that this mentality had prejudiced her against valuing new human life and that it was responsible for blocking her own desire one day to have children of her own. She realized that this mentality came from her uncritical acceptance of contraception. 

“I was not really open to having children, nor had I been encouraged to be so from my church leadership,” she said. “From this flowed the natural conclusion that contraception was fine. And if contraception was fine, then I could see how the logic worked that allowed abortion (God forbid) to be fine because it got rid of an ‘inconvenience,’” she said. 

“I was horrified as I suddenly and instantly knew the horrible truth: being closed to life through contraception actually leads to the reality and horror of abortion,” she said. 

Research suggests high contraception rates only increase abortion rates

Research backs up the causal link between contraception and abortion. 

A 2011 Spanish study found that as use of contraceptive methods increased in a sample of more than 2000 Spanish women (49.1% to 79.9%), the rate of abortion in the group doubled in the same period. 

The researchers were clearly puzzled by the findings of their 10-year study, calling it “interesting and paradoxical” that the large increase in elective abortions was associated with a remarkable increase in the number of women who used contraceptive methods. 

Research from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute showed in 2011 that a majority of abortions took place in America after contraception failure: “54 percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method [usually condom or the pill] during the month they became pregnant.”

The former Planned Parenthood associate also found that “[p]oor women’s high rate of unintended pregnancy results in their also having high — and increasing — rates of both abortions (52 per 1,000) and unplanned births (66 per 1,000).”

A 2012 Russian study found that while Russian women had the highest rate of contraceptive use when compared to surrounding countries, they also had the highest abortion rate. 

The researchers were clearly perplexed when they found “higher odds of modern contraception” led to a “higher level of abortion,” calling their findings “contradictory,” “unexpected,” and “paradoxical.”

Like the researchers in the Russian study, Swedish officials were baffled earlier this year by statistics showing a rise in the country’s abortion rate following the introduction of the abortifacient morning after pill. Despite sales in the pill having doubled between 2001 and 2012, the abortion rate approximately within the same period was seen to have increased from 18.4 to 20.9 per 1,000 women. 

“Our hope was that the pill would bring down the abortion rates,” said Catharina Zätterström, deputy chairwoman at the Swedish Association of Midwives. 

Mainstream contraceptives have killed millions

Doughart’s essential argument that contraception ought to make sense to “anyone who is genuinely interested in reducing abortion” appears logical at first glance, until it is pointed out that mainstream methods of contraception — such as the pill and IUD — act as an abortifacient to the newly created human being. In other words, contraceptive drugs destroy newly created human life in its zygote stage. 

The manufacturers of hormonal contraceptives write in their product monographs that if their product does not prevent ovulation, and if it does not sufficiently thicken the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the ovum, then it ultimately changes the woman’s uterine wall to prevent implantation of a newly conceived human life. 

Experts call the death toll from hormonal contraceptives “staggering”. 

Dr. Bogomir Kuhar, a clinical and consultant pharmacist, estimated in 1996 that the total number of newly created human beings destroyed in the U.S. annually since 1973 by the use of oral contraceptives (the pill), contraceptive injections (Depo-Provera), contraceptive implants under the skin (Norplant), contraceptive devices inserted in the reproductive organs (IUD), ranged conservatively between 6.5 million and 11.6 million. Averaging this number and multiplying by the number of years between 1973 and now, a mind boggling 363.6 million newly created human beings have been aborted through the use of contraceptive drugs. 

Compared to the estimated 55 million abortions legally committed in the U.S. in the same time period, contraceptive drugs cause the destruction of more than 6 times the number of human beings. 

Professor Charles Rice, professor emeritus at the University of Notre Dame Law School, called contraception the “defining evil of our time,” adding that its legitimization has inevitably lead to abortion and a host of other evils. 

In the final analysis, the strategy of promoting more contraceptive use to decrease abortion approaches the textbook definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. As research suggests, increasing contraception use to decrease abortion is like trying to extinguish a roaring conflagration with a liquid called gasoline. 

The real solution is suggested by the correspondent in Doughart’s piece, namely a “retooling of people’s minds”. Young people need to be educated about responsible sexual behavior. They must be educated to see marriage as the only appropriate context for sexual activity and that such activity is ordered to the union of the spouses and to the procreation of children. 

The notion of ‘accidental pregnancy’ that has been repeatedly pummeled into the minds of contraceptive users must be replaced by the notion that human life is a gift and that every person has something unique and unrepeatable to bring into the world. 

Only a titanic shift in the predominantly promiscuous and amoral attitudes and behaviors that characterize Western society’s understanding of sex will end the genocide of innocent human beings through abortion. Such a shift will not gain traction until contraception is recognized as a deadly cancer in human relationships and labeled as a great destroyer of peace. Anyone who is, as Doughart says, “genuinely interested in reducing abortion,” should not be afraid to trace a problem to its cause so as to find and implement a real and lasting solution. 

LifeSiteNews journalist Peter Baklinski has a B.A. in liberal arts and a masters in theology with a specialization on marriage and the family (STM). He is married to Erin. Together they have five children. 


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‘It’s a miracle’: Newborn girl survives two days after being abandoned in a field

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By Thaddeus Baklinski

The survival of a baby who was abandoned by her mother and left in a field for two days has been described as "a miracle" by the doctor attending the newborn girl.

"She had been left alone naked, and weighed less than a kilogram, in part because she was so severely dehydrated," said Doctor Barbara Chomik at the hospital in the northern Polish city of Elblag, according to a report from Central European News.

"It is a miracle that she survived under those conditions for so long. It is simply a miracle," Dr. Chomik said.

The report said that the child's mother, Jolanta Czarnecka, 30, of Ilawa in northeastern Poland, had concealed her pregnancy from friends and fellow workers, and had given birth in a field during a lunch break, then returned to work.

When blood was noticed on her clothing, the woman at first claimed she had accidentally given birth in the toilet and the baby had gone down the drain.

However, when investigation found no evidence supporting her claims, Czarnecka admitted to having given birth to the child in a nearby field and leaving her there.

When searchers found the child, two days after her birth, the little girl was dehydrated and covered with insects.

Czarnecka is facing charges of attempted murder for allegedly abandoning her child.

Czarnecka, who has entered a not guilty plea to the charges against her, could be sentenced to five years in prison if she is convicted.


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To the Christians who think 50 Shades is all sorts of awesome: Please, stop and THINK

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By Jonathon van Maren

It’s pretty depressing when you realize that, in 2014, many people seem to think that destruction of human dignity is a small price to pay for an orgasm.

I suppose when I write a column about a book that just sold its 100 millionth copy I shouldn’t be surprised when I get a bit of a kickback. But I have to say—I wasn’t expecting hundreds of commenters, many saying they were Christian, to come out loudly defending the porn novel 50 Shades of Grey, often tastelessly interspersed with details from their own sex lives.

People squawked that we “shouldn’t judge” those who practice bondage, domination, sadism and masochism (BDSM), and informed me that “no one gets hurt” and that it “isn’t abuse” and said that it was “just fantasy” (as if we have a separate brain and body for fantasy).

Meanwhile, not a single commenter addressed one of the main arguments I laid out—that with boys watching violent porn and girls being socialized to accept violence and torture inside of a sexual relationship, we have created a toxic situation in which people very much are being hurt.

In response to the defenders of this trash, let me make just a few points.

  1. Not all consent is equal.

People keep trumpeting this stupid idea that just because someone consents to something or allows something to happen, it isn’t abusive.

But if someone consents to being beaten up, punched, slapped, whipped, called disgusting and degrading names, and have other things done to them that I will choose not to describe here, does that make it any less abusive? It makes it legal (perhaps, but it certainly doesn’t make it any less disgusting or violent.

Would you want your daughter to be in a relationship with Christian Grey? Would you want your son to turn into Christian Grey? If the answer is yes to either of those, someone should call social services.

Anyone who works with victims of domestic and sexual assault will tell you that just because someone permits something to happen or doesn’t extricate themselves from a situation doesn’t mean it isn’t, in fact, abuse. Only when it comes to sex are people starting to make this argument, so that they can cling to their fetishes and justify their turn-ons. Those women who defend the book because they think it spiced up their sex life are being incredibly selfish and negligent, refusing to think about how this book could affect other women in different situations, as well as young and impressionable girls.

In the words of renowned porn researcher and sociologist Dr. Gail Dines:

In his book on batterers, Lundy Bancroft provides a list of potentially dangerous signs to watch out for from boyfriends. Needless to say, Christian [Grey of 50 Shades of Grey] is the poster boy of the list, not only with his jealous, controlling, stalking, sexually sadistic behavior, but his hypersensitivity to what he perceives as any slight against him, his whirlwind romancing of a younger, less powerful woman, and his Jekyll-and-Hyde mood swings. Any one of these is potentially dangerous, but a man who exhibits them all is lethal.

The most likely real-world ending of Fifty Shades of Grey is fifty shades of black and blue. The awful truth in the real world is that women who partner with a Christian Grey often end up hightailing it to a battered women's shelter with traumatized kids in tow. The less fortunate end up in graveyards.

  1. 50 Shades of Grey normalizes intimate partner violence…

…and sickeningly, even portrays it as romantic and erotic. Amy Bonomi, Lauren Altenburger, and Nicole Walton published an article on the impact of 50 Shades last year in the Journal of Women’s Health. Their conclusions are intuitive and horrifying:

While intimate partner violence (IPV) affects 25% of women and impairs health, current societal conditions—including the normalization of abuse in popular culture such as novels, film, and music—create the context to support such violence.

Emotional abuse is present in nearly every interaction, including: stalking (Christian deliberately follows Anastasia and appears in unusual places, uses a phone and computer to track Anastasia’s whereabouts, and delivers expensive gifts); intimidation (Christian uses intimidating verbal and nonverbal behaviors, such as routinely commanding Anastasia to eat and threatening to punish her); and isolation (Christian limits Anastasia’s social contact). Sexual violence is pervasive—including using alcohol to compromise Anastasia’s consent, as well as intimidation (Christian initiates sexual encounters when genuinely angry, dismisses Anastasia’s requests for boundaries, and threatens her). Anastasia experiences reactions typical of abused women, including: constant perceived threat (“my stomach churns from his threats”); altered identity (describes herself as a “pale, haunted ghost”); and stressful managing (engages in behaviors to “keep the peace,” such as withholding information about her social whereabouts to avoid Christian’s anger). Anastasia becomes disempowered and entrapped in the relationship as her behaviors become mechanized in response to Christian’s abuse.

Our analysis identified patterns in Fifty Shades that reflect pervasive intimate partner violence—one of the biggest problems of our time. Further, our analysis adds to a growing body of literature noting dangerous violence standards being perpetuated in popular culture.

  1. Really? Sadism?

I notice that commenters rarely break down what the acronym “BDSM” actually stands for: bondage, domination, sadism, and masochism. If they did, they could no longer make the repulsive claim that “love” or “intimacy” have anything to do with it.

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The definition of sadism is “enjoyment that someone gets from being violent or cruel or from causing pain, especially sexual enjoyment from hurting or punishing someone…a sexual perversion in which gratification is obtained by the infliction of physical or mental pain on others.”

As one of my colleagues noted, we used to send sadists to a therapist or to prison, not to the bedroom. And 100 million copies of this porn novel have been unleashed on our society informing people that getting off on hurting someone is romantic and erotic. It is a brutal irony that people who scream about water-boarding terrorists are watching and experimenting with sexual practices far more brutal. As one porn researcher noted, some online BDSM porn promotes practices and behaviors that would be considered unlawful under the Geneva Convention if they were taking place in a wartime context.

It seems the Sexual Revolutionaries have gone from promoting “safe sex” to “safe words”—just in case the pain gets too rough. And none of them seem to be volunteering information on just how a woman is supposed to employ a safe word with a gag or bondage headgear on.

But who cares, right? Just one more casualty on our culture’s new Sexual Frontier.

  1. “It’s just fiction and fantasy and has no effect on the real world!”

That’s total garbage and they know it. I’ve met multiple girls who were abused like this inside of relationships. Hotels are offering “50 Shades of Grey” packages replete with the helicopter and private suites for the proceedings. According to the New York Post, sales of rope exploded tenfold after the release of the book. Babeland reported that visits to the bondage section of their website spiked 81%, with an almost 30% increase in the sale of things like riding crops and handcuffs.

I could go on, but I won’t. As Babeland co-founder Claire Cavanah noted, “It’s like a juggernaut. You’d be surprised to see how very ordinary these people are who are coming in. The book is just an explosion of permission for them to try something new in the bedroom.”

  1. What does this book and the BDSM movement say about the value of women and girls?

I’d like the defenders of this book to try stop thinking with their nether-regions for just a moment and ask themselves a few simple questions: What does sadism and sexual torture (consensual or not) say to our culture about the value of girls? What does it say to boys about how they should treat girls? The youth of today are inundated with porn and sexually violent material—is nobody—nobody—at all worried about the impact this has on them? On the girls who are being abused by boys who think this is normal behavior—and think it is normal themselves?

Dr. Gail Dines relates that when speaking to groups of women who loved the book, they all grow deathly silent when she asks them two simple questions: Would you want your daughter to be in a relationship with Christian Grey? Would you want your son to turn into Christian Grey?

If the answer is yes to either of those, someone should call social services.

__

This book and the sadism it promotes are an assault on human dignity, and most of all an assault on the worth and value of girls and women. Please consider the impact you will have on your daughters and the vulnerable and confused people around you when you read and promote this book. Anastasia Steele is, thankfully, a fictional character. But real girls are facing these expectations and demands from a culture that elevates a sexual sadist to the level of a romantic hero. Ask yourselves if you want their “love” and “intimacy” to include sadism and domination, or real respect.

Because you can’t have both.

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Ryan T. Anderson

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New York Times reporter: ‘Anti-LGBT’ people ‘deserve’ incivility

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By Ryan Anderson

As I recounted Monday at The Daily Signal, The New York Times reporter Josh Barro thinks some people are “unworthy of respect.” Yesterday Barro doubled-down and tweeted back at me that “some people are deserving of incivility.” He argued that I am such a person because of my views about marriage policy. You can see the entire exchange on my twitter page.

What Josh Barro says or does doesn’t really affect me. I’m not a victim, and I’ll keep doing what I do. But incivility, accepted and entrenched, is toxic to a political community. Indeed, civility is essential for political life in a pluralistic society.

It also has deep roots.

The Hebrew Bible tells us that all people are made in the image and likeness of God and have a profound and inherent dignity. Sound philosophy comes to a similar conclusion: as rational beings capable of freedom and love, all human beings have intrinsic and inestimable worth. And so we should always treat people with respect and dignity—we should honor their basic humanity. We should always engage with civility—even when we sharply disagree with them. Faith and reason, the natural law and the divine law, both point to the same conclusion.

Just as I think the best of theology and philosophy point to the conclusion that we should always treat people with respect, so I think they show that marriage is the union of a man and a woman—and that redefining marriage will undermine the political common good.

The work that I’ve done for the past few years for The Heritage Foundation has been at the service of explaining why I think this to be the case. Bookish by nature, I thought the best contribution I could make to public life was to help us think about marriage. So while my early work after college was in philosophy and bioethics, and my graduate coursework was in the history of political philosophy, I put my dissertation about economic and social justice on hold so I could devote myself to this debate at this crucial time.

Along with my co-authors, a classmate of mine from Princeton and a professor of ours there, we set out to write a book making what we considered the best philosophical argument for what marriage is and why it matters. Our book seemed to help the Supreme Court think about the issue, as Justice Samuel Alito cited it twice. The reason I’ve written various and sundry policy papers for Heritage, and traveled across the country speaking on college campuses, and appeared on numerous news shows (including, of course, Piers Morgan) is that I know the only way forward in our national debate about marriage is to make the arguments in as reasonable and civil a spirit as possible.

Some people, like Barro, want to do everything they can to shut down this discussion. They want to demonize those who hold contrary viewpoints. They want to equate us with racists and claim we are unworthy of respect and ought to be treated with incivility. This is how bullies behave. In all of recorded history, ours is the first time where we can have open and honest conversations about same-sex attraction and marriage. This discussion is just beginning. It is nowhere near being over.

All our fellow citizens, including those identifying as LGBT, should enjoy the full panoply of civil rights—the free exercise of religion, freedoms of speech and press, the right to own property and enter into contracts, the right to vote and have a fair trial, and every other freedom to live as they choose, consistent with the common good.

Government redefinition of marriage, however, is not a civil right—nor will redefining marriage serve the common good. Indeed, redefining marriage will have negative consequences.

We make our arguments, in many fora, as transparently as possible. We welcome counterarguments. And we strive to treat all people with the dignity and respect they deserve as we carry on this conversation.

One of the most unfortunate parts of my exchange with Barro last night was his reaction toward those who identify as LGBT and aspire to lives of chastity. They freely choose to live by their conviction that sex is reserved for the marital bond of a husband and wife. Some of them also seek professional help in dealing with and perhaps even diminishing (not repressing) their same-sex sexual desires.

I have written in their defense and against government coercion that would prevent them from receiving the help they desire, as New Jersey and California have done. Barro describes my support for their freedom as “sowing misery…doing a bad thing to people…making the world worse.”

There really is anti-LGBT bigotry in the world. But Barro does a disservice to his cause when he lumps in reasonable debates about marriage policy and the pastoral care that some same-sex attracted persons voluntarily seek out as, in his words, “anti-LGBT.” If we can’t draw a line between real bigotry and reasonable disagreement, we’re not helping anyone.

This debate isn’t about restricting anyone’s personal freedom. However it goes, people will remain free to live their romantic lives as they choose. So too people who experience same-sex attraction but aspire to chastity should be free to lead their lives in line with their beliefs, and to seek out the help they desire. We can have a civil conversation about which course of action is best—but let’s leave aside the extremism.

Barro asks, “Why shouldn’t I call you names?” My answer is simple: you should not practice the disdain and contempt you claim to abhor.

All my life, I’ve been educated at left-leaning institutions. Most of my friends disagree with me about these issues. But they’re still friends. And their feedback has made me a better person.

My final tweet to Barro is where I still remain committed: “people on all sides of LGBT debates and marriage debates need to find a way to discuss these issues without demonizing anyone.”

Reprinted with permission from the Daily Signal, where you can find Ryan Anderson's Twitter exchange with Barro.


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