Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Part 1: The case for Life

This is the first of a three part series on Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness starting with Life. Coming from the first line of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, these inalienable rights for all make up the foundation of our society. Not to be viewed as an ancient scroll but a living manifesto of the U.S., it is something that any shade of American can hold as their own. Left or Right, all people in the melting pot can subscribe to this. It’s important to note that these rights are not given by man but by the Creator or for you atheists out there, nature. The point is still sound; the Founders recognized a truth, a truth that mankind’s basic rights are not subject to the will of those who hold power. These are your rights. You own them. The original entitlement. This is what makes us, U.S.. Don’t throw them away. Embrace them for yourself and those around you.

Life. Everyone has one. If you don’t, well you’re not reading this. Life is the right that is listed first because every other right is mute without it. Life is important. You’re life matters to you and people around you. Self preservation is one of the most powerful instincts you have. You will do anything to protect your own and would not give it up for material possession. You would however give it up for another through acts of love or service so that another may live. As a society, we do not consider it a virtue to be suicidal and offer help to those in despair. Slavery and torture is despicable. Murder is wrong and punishable. We defend all living people’s right to succeed by providing services and education to support them. Life is priceless.

Humanity’s greatest accomplishments have come from life. As obvious as that sounds, it’s true. Works of art like, Michelangelo’s “Pieta” or Beethoven’s 9th symphony would not exist. Imagine if there was no Beethoven. You wouldn’t even know that he was missing of course but even if you don’t know his music his 9 symphonies influenced music beyond our knowing. Would rock and pop be the same today or exist at all?

On the other side, what would the world have been like without Adolph Hitler or World War II? Every interaction created because of him would be changed. The world today would be different. Pick anyone else of note. If they didn’t exist what would the world be like? Let’s bring it home. You celebrating your mom’s birthday or brother’s wedding wouldn’t happen if they didn’t exist. You wouldn’t exist if your mother or father didn’t meet. You would be someone else. Erase someone from your life for a minute and what would your life be like without them? Obviously simple but it comes to a point. Life matters personally and to the world and our world is crafted by the people who make it.

Somewhere along the line we have lost sight of this. We need to be reminded that life is important. Most important. When a person is missing we notice a gap in our life. While there are a number of topics surrounding this subject the greatest travesty against life in society today is the concept of abortion. The recent investigative videos released by the Center for Medical Progress about Planned Parenthood’s selling of unborn children’s parts for money is horrific for a number of reasons. 1. the killing of human life. 2. the disregard and lack of respect for those lives. 3. making said parts a commodity. If you don’t believe that life is present during abortions then the second two don’t really matter. I want to make the case for life.

Murder is a plague on society. Violence ruins not only the murdered but the families and communities around them. Civilizations developed mechanisms to combat it from capital punishment to right to defense laws. War is hell but it is understood that two opposing army’s will fight to death but when civilian casualties arise it is a total calamity. To murder innocents is often considered unforgivable. The foundation is laid and developed upon that no one has the right to take the life away from the innocent, however we miss the connection.

It is often said that unborn children are not fully human or alive. For those of you in the camp that people come from people and that people are not born from the dead, skip ahead because I’m preaching to the choir. For anyone else, please follow the logic. If what is formed at conception is neither human or alive, then what else is it? I haven’t heard of the global crisis of human’s delivering salamanders. There isn’t a time after conception where said growing human becomes a diamond either. 100% of babies don’t struggle with any other identity other than human.

That being said life starts at conception when two living human cells whose sole purpose is to create life combine to create, well, life. That’s simple science, not opinion. That newly formed human (zygote) is now beginning it’s growth to adulthood and death. Like every other human being. No one person develops outside of this pathway unless it’s cut short. So why is it called anything but? Population control, reproductive rights, rape and incest, and personal freedom are some of the rallying cry’s that opponents of life use to convince you that life is only for those privileged to see the light of day.

If life is so precious to those who have it and call any loss of innocent life a catastrophe, why is it so hard to make the connection that abortion is not something society should rally behind. Why do we feel the need to defend the cause for abortion so belligerently? Even if you have the right to abortion, why enjoy it and tout it as a noble attribute of society? Why are there no commercials on TV like the tobacco ads showing what abortion is or government funding and programs to show that babies are actually worth having? With only 1% of abortions being from rape, why doesn’t the 99% take responsibility and have respect for the powerful act that creates life? Why does that same 99% not think a person unable to defend and speak for itself is worth granting the basic right of Life to? Why does the federal government recognize and protect bald eagle eggs, pre-birth, and not human life pre-birth?

Difficult questions to ask. Difficult questions to read. Difficult questions to break open. We don’t even know who we are missing because of the toll abortion has had on society. Over 57 million since 1973 willingly given up. How many Pieta’s have we missed out on? Who was in that number and what would have been their names?

If you haven’t seen the videos, see them below.

First Center for Medical Progress video

Full length unedited version

Second Center for Medical Progress video

Third Center for Medical Progress video

Abortion stats –

Abortion stats –

A civilized debate on marriage with two opposing sides…

The debate over marriage is a hot topic today with a varying degree of opinions and passions. One of the problems with this debate is a lack of civility on both sides. The following is a reposting from a Facebook post my friend Kevin Kerr put up shortly after the SCOTUS decision. I decided to engage him in an exchange that I feel represents two opposing sides. I enjoyed this debate for many reasons, mainly because Kevin is an adept debater, but it also shows how discourse can be intelligent and respectful. He definitely kept me on my toes. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I have. Remember that no matter what side you’re coming from, respect and love the other. Public discourse will determine the future. Let’s go.

Kevin Kerr – (Original post) Marriage equality wins. But seriously, can you really argue against it? I mean, beyond personal feelings or opinions, just straight up logical argument, how could you possibly deny marriage to only certain pairings of consenting, adult humans?

Kevin Kerr –  I’m openly welcoming polite discourse. Let me exercise this brain of mine.

Adam Jarosz  – Hello good sir, I’m back! I love me some polite discourse. 

This is the biggest change in human society and family make up in possibly, forever. This is a Christian, Judeo, Islamic, (insert any other non-western culture) foundation that has been the cornerstone of all societies for all time. Marriage as defined between man&woman has been the optimal creator of the family unit, which progresses the survival of the population.

With the age old standard out of the way, any love is up for grabs. It’s all relative. Who’s to say you can’t marry more than one? It’s love. Marry a relative? It’s love. Marry an underager. It’s love. Marry a shoe? It’s love.

I don’t think anyone is prepared for the ramifications of this. You won’t be able make a logical argument against any of them in the future. As long as you say it’s a civil right, tell anyone against you that they’re a bigot, and get enough people on your side you can get anything done.

We believe marriage is more than just a feeling of love. It’s the gold standard for procreation, society, and a sacrament of our Creator. I think the biggest question out of all of this is, what is truth?

Kevin Kerr – The slippery slope arguement is null when marriage equality is viewed in this way: Two male consenting, human adults A and B and two female consenting, human adults C and D are available for marriage. Does it seem logical to say that only the combinations AC, AD, BC, and BD are permissible while AB and CD are not?

Your tradition cannot dictate the behavior of others who do not keep that tradition.

If procreation is the intent of marriage, then the infertile and the elderly could not marry.

Adam Jarosz – I appreciate your feedback. You make good points that I enjoy reflecting on. I want to clear something up, no one is looking to keep homosexuals from having a fulfilling life as they wish. I’m certainly not advocating a second class citizenship. Homosexuals do contribute to society in positive ways. No one serious is saying to ban gays or keep them in the closet. I wish nothing but the best for LBGT but I do take issue directly and specifically with the role of marriage.

Here’s what I don’t understand, you are taking something that was objectively true, marriage as known through history as between m&w and making it subjective. It’s been that way through every major religion and culture. A horse is called different names in various cultures but it’s still a horse. Where the LBGT movement all of a sudden comes in with a cow and calls it a horse. Sure it has four legs, ears, and eats grass, but it still moos.

I understand that gays want to love the way they wish, no one is saying they can’t do that in society. They could spend the rest of their lives together before all this was in place and I applaud the move from the shadows. I was ok with civil unions to equal out insurance and benefits for partners. Yet the movement wanted something that was intrinsically different and by calling the cow a horse, they got what they wanted. Thousands of years changed in a matter of a decade or two by one of the smallest percentages in the population. Who are they to change it? As a strategist, I applaud the design. Make it civil rights issue, again another cow. Push it through media and youth and make it a populist movement. Call out those in opposition intolerant to neutralize them. Who wants to be intolerant?

Instead of owning the differences and claiming that it’s the same, the movement burned a lot of bridges by encroaching on something sacred held by religions. That’s not good enough however, lawsuit after lawsuit for those who hold on to those beliefs in the wedding business and more create animosity. How did less than 2% of the population all of a sudden command the beliefs of the faithful and expect respect?

I think you are underestimating the slippery slope. If everything is subjective, then anything is permissible. I just read article on polygamy as the next horizon. There is always a next horizon. If you make the case for gay marriage, the case can be made for polygamy and more. But if you disagree with it you’re intolerant.

While I wouldn’t say two men or two women couldn’t raise successful children, research has shown that children are more successful when raised by a mother and a father. A real gender equality has significant benefits for the growth of a child. Simple online research will give you what you’re looking for in favorable samples to your cause but broad samples do show this as true. Now I don’t believe that a homosexual couple couldn’t raise a home. Like a single parent home or foster parent home it’s the exception to the rule, a child benefits from it’s genetic parents being engaged from birth. A man and woman alone can make that child, and that engine is optimal not the exception.

Kevin Kerr – You have a sacred religious viewpoint on something that is a civil matter. Religions did have a definition of marriage for a long time, but that definition was definitely subject to change over millennia, but that’s another story.

My point is you might get married in a church, but it is the state that provides the legal definition of your marriage and the benefits inherited. Your religious definition is irrelevant in the eyes of the civil courts. And inversely, allowing two people of the same sex to marry doesn’t diminish your religious definition.

Romans 13, bro. If you have to follow the laws of the government, because all governments are placed by God, then this decision is God still speaking. A reminder that the real purpose is to love one another, because love is the fulfillment of the law.

Kevin Kerr – As to the polygamy thing, I personally cannot find a moral argument against it. I can’t see why I should be against it. Polygamy was a bad practice because of the cultural aspect of it, not the moral implications of multiple spouses. The cultural practice was one of the enslavement of young girls to a figurehead husband who according to biblical scripture was the master of his household and his wives.

According to the modern customs of the polyamorous movement, men and women are held in equal regard and relationships are formed as an expression of romantic love that exceeds monogamy. I’m not talking swinger communities either. A free and equal exchange of love between multiple committed partners. I have no moral objection to that practice, as it is respectful to all parties.

Currently, though, I doubt that the definition of marriage will change to allow multiple marriages. Legal code, tax code, etc are all tied to single marriages. Allowing sane sex couples the same right to marry the people they love doesn’t shake the foundations of the laws marriages were built on, it simply broadens who gets those same rights and privileges. Shifting to a polygamous definition of marriage would require a complete overhaul of our legal code regarding marriage. Therefore it is incredibly unlikely to happen.

Kevin Kerr – And the data that children raised in households with a male and female parent have been refuted many times by science, but continue to be cited. There is no evidence that children in same sex parent households are worse off that in opposite sex parenthouseholds. In fact, some studies found the opposite correlation. Since the rate at which opposite sex couples have accidental children nears 50% and same sex couples only get children when they are emotionally or financially ready, the degree of care and happiness of the children in same sex parent households is statistically higher. (…/children-of-same-sex…/).

Furthermore, the study you reference was funded entirely by the conservative organisations that oppose same sex parenting, who needed “scientific evidence” to back up their claim. The methodology was innately biased because the data was cherry picked to support their hypothesis. (…/critics-challenge-findings…) I think the survey pool was 3000 individuals and the survey was designed to attack the deck toward their hypothesis. I’d compare it to the study that supposedly found evidence linking the MMR vaccine with autism, which was done by a man who had a patent for a different vaccine and funded by people who had a lawsuit regarding the vaccine. It’s unethical science, but because of the internet the studies keep getting used even though they’ve been proven false.

Adam Jarosz – I dare say ol chap, you are doing a service to your side. Thanks for delivering decent arguments. I appreciate you using scripture to engage from my perspective, however it is taken out of context. St. Paul is building off of Wisdom 6 when Hebrew kings and magistrates ruled by consent of God. Romans 13 is in response to a message that declared people free from law. If you check the chapter before, Romans 12:2, “you’ll see that we’re not called to conform to this age but to be transformed by the renewal of our mind, so we may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 13 isn’t applicable in every subsequent scenario, like we certainly wouldn’t conform to Hitler’s Germany and explains our opposition to abortion. 

I can go on from there, but you’re not interested in hearing scripture. However you do bring up a good point I would like to elaborate on. Using that scripture does bring a great point about love. We are all called to love one another. Absolutely right and I want to make clear because this point isn’t always clear, that my opposition to gay marriage isn’t opposition to gay people. You may think the two are intrinsically linked but they’re not. We would never wish harm, physically, mentally, or otherwise to anyone of homosexual orientation and really hope for them to thrive as created. But love also doesn’t mean we accept everyones actions. Changing the definition of marriage is that action. If you want to understand the perspective of this, read the Theology of the Body.

In my research I’ve found plenty of stats and articles that can be found in favor of both ways when it comes to raising kids. Because a piece is funded by conservatives doesn’t automatically discredit them, the quality of research does. Liberals also throw an extraordinary amount of money looking for numbers to support their claims. The difference is the gay family movement doesn’t have much data to work from where there is a lot of data on the benefits of having a mother and father.

Going back to the slippery slope and polygamy because I think the perspective you’ve shared really highlights the issue at hand. What is best for society and how should it be determined? From the Judeo-Christian perspective, which the country was formed, is centered around the belief that there is a Creator. Short changing the introduction, there is an order to this culture that has been well formed and its evidence makes up this society. “Traditional” ideals such as religion, promotion of life, family structure, justice, governance, and others are fairly predictable and well established. If you share a belief in said Creator, these make sense. The order is logical.

In closing, when you remove the Creator from the equation, that order becomes disordered and may appear illogical. With the popularity of atheism rising or the growing segment of “nones”, there will be a growing conflict of world views. A culture clash. We know what a Theist America looks like. We know the bounds. You know what we stand for. An atheist America scares many because you can make the case for anything, especially given time. The US formation and manifesto doesn’t make sense. Rights are granted by men and are alienable. The old adage, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything” is true.

I’ll leave you the last word good sir. The following is what I believe the conversation boils down to and starts a bigger one. I enjoyed sparring with you and I hope I made the case that there is a logic to one m&w marriage. A logic I’m sure you don’t agree with but just the same. I do respect your argument and your ability to articulate it. Cheers.

Kevin Kerr – I hold your opinions and your arguments in deep regard and respect. You’re good people, Mr Jarosz. You know the old (totally not Voltaire) quote: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”  

Change can be scary, I get that, especially when it shakes at the foundation of the orderly structure you build your life around. I hope that if changes continue, you don’t feel too much turmoil, just as I hope to not feel the same if the rubber band of (let’s call it progress just from perspective) snaps back.

I really don’t know if you’re still local, but if you are I’d love to catch you for a “no politics and/or religion” lunch or something. You have to meet the kiddos.

Adam Jarosz – I’d love it, what are you doing on Monday for lunch?

Special thanks to Kevin for allowing me to repost. Cheers – Adam Jarosz