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dtseiler Donating Member (102 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:30 PM
Original message
Help Me Convince my Pro-Life Mother-In-Law
A couple of weeks ago I was at the out-laws house. They know I'm 100% die-hard ABB. So I was surprised when they turned a conversation towards politics.

Some background: my mother-in-law is hard-core Catholic. She was in a nunnery when she met my father-in-law and they got married etc. My wife is one of ten children.

Anyway, I felt she was agreeing with me on how I felt Bush* was ruining the country with regards to the economy and spending on the war. I didn't touch on health care or the environment. I came away thinking I may have converted her.

However today my wife told me that her mom is voting Bush for the sole reason of pro-life. I responded to my wife that poisoning our air and water with mercury isn't pro-life, and refusing to help families who can't afford health care isn't pro-life. She said I need to tell that to her mom, which of course is true. My wife is also pro-life but she sees the larger picture of what is at stake (thanks to some hard campaigning by yours truly).

So what I ask of you, my friends and fellow DUers, is this: help me draft my mother-in-law, and all those single-issue pro-life people, see the light about Bush* and join the ABB cause. I'm pro-Kerry myself but right now I want to focus on the ABB message and not just get all Kerry up in her grill. I was going to expand on my mercury poisoning and universal health care mini-platforms that I mentioned earlier, but if there are other points that would help, I'd love to hear them.

Thanks.
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plurality Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:34 PM
Response to Original message
1. point her to Kucinich who was pro-life but realized it's not his place...
to make that decision for others. I seem to recall something in the bible about God giving all of us the ability to make our own choices. So one can be personally pro-life, while respecting the rights of others to make their own choices. I was able to convert a few pro-lifers with that argument while canvassing for a pro-choice candidate.
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xray s Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
2. It's hopeless
Spend your time finding people who agree with you and get them to register and get out to vote.

The only thing you can hope for with your mother-in-law is she may stay home if Bush's economic and foreign policies make her mad enough.

She will never vote for a pro choice candidate.
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. 1/4 of Clinton's voters in 1996 were pro life
and 1/4 of Democratic Congressman are pro life. That, it should be noted, is more than blacks represent in either case. You might want to rethink that.
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woodstockjimi Donating Member (112 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #2
13. I AGREE! DON'T LET YOURSELF GET FRUSTRATED!
She is set in her ways!
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #13
34. Hi woodstockjimi!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
3. or point out
that Presidents do next-to-nothing on the issue, no matter what party they belong to.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:38 PM
Response to Original message
4. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Carni Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:39 PM
Response to Original message
5. Mention bush's love affair with Bob Jones University
Do a google search on Bob Jones University and their bashing of Catholics etc (they hate Catholics right along with other religions
- I mean to say the right winged religious nuts don't consider Catholics Christians..unless they are Catholic Right winged religious nuts like William Bennett and Antonin Scalia)

ANYWAYS...Ashcroft has ties to Bob Jones U and bush went there and sucked up royally before the selection 2000.

Also point out that the Pope is very upset by this war in Iraq and condemns it.

Maybe someone else can offer more tips because I have forgotten a lot and I am not actually a church goer but I think the Bob Jones connections might be a start!

GOOD LUCK! :)
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dtseiler Donating Member (102 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #5
14. good poitns on BJU and the Pope
Those are good points. Playing the Pope card.

However what I really need is to convey to her how Bush isn't necessarily pro-life and that voting Democratic doesn't mean you're voting pro-choice. Obviously I don't think I can make her be pro-choice. I'm pretty sure my view of "there are more important things to worry about" won't really work with her either, and might really turn her off.

Worst case scenario is I lay out the environmental poisoning (thanks to RFK Jr's Rolling Stone article) and the health care angle.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #14
23. Pope card is good
One of my vigil partners last year at this time was a Catholic who goes to unsanctioned 'underground' Masses in Latin, who voted for Bush solely on the abortion issue. She is furious at him. Likes DK for being against the Patriot Act, but is stuck on the universal health care thing. She will not be voting for Bush, not enthusiatic about any of the Dems, may go Libertarian.
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:40 PM
Response to Original message
7. It isn't pro-life to cut funding for school districts
and leave them to finish funding special education programs for disabled children. It isn't pro-life to ruin social security and disability programs for disabled children. It isn't pro-life for Republicans at the state level (because their federal funding was cut) to cut funding via CHIPs for surgery and clinic healthcare for the working poor. I seriously doubt Jesus would have signed any legislation that creates those aforementioned situations.
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SharonAnn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #7
33. It isn't pro-life to let unemployment benefits expire.
It isn't pro-life to refuse to raise the minimum wage. It isn't pro-life to change the overtime law so that pwople won't get paid overtime.

Etc, etc, etc.
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Bullshot Donating Member (807 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:43 PM
Response to Original message
8. Help me convince my pro-life mother-in-law...
Ask her if a real pro-lifer would concoct all kinds of lies to
lead this country into war, resulting in the deaths of
thousands of Iraqi citizens, injuries to thousands more.  Or,
don't those lives count in the eyes of a pro-lifer?

And don't the hundreds of U.S. and allied soldiers who were
killed and the thousands wounded count in the eyes of a
pro-lifer?
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tedoll78 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:44 PM
Response to Original message
9. Here's another angle: futility.
Seven of the current US Supreme Court justices have been appointed by Republicans, and yet only three are actually willing to pull the trigger and outlaw abortion totally. Given that the Democrats will always have a filibuster-proof number of Senators (a pretty reasonable assumption), another Scalia will NOT make it onto the bench. A Kennedy or O'Connor? Maybe. But not a Scalia.

Secondly, you might want to refer her to the Constitution itself. Fetuses have no rights. Zero. Zilch. Na-da. See the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause:

"All persons born or naturalized.."

A fetus is neither born nor naturalized, and thus is not protected by law. And if a state attempts to contradict the Constitution in defining who has protections, its efforts will be knocked-down, as this is the realm of federal constitutional law. It may sound harsh to some, but it's the cold, hard truth. There is no "I-feel-uncomfortable-with-that-so-let's-ignore-the-Constitution" escape clause available.

Thirdly, her best hope is to minimize the number of abortions. If she were to look at a graph of the health of the American economy and compare it to a graph of the quantity of abortions, she'd see a pretty strong correlation. Democrats now have the mantle of fiscal responsibility. I cite The Clinton Years as Exhibit A.

Hopefully at least one of these will help. Best of luck!
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dtseiler Donating Member (102 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. re: futility and constitutionality
While futility is certainly true, tell her to not even bother because she can't possibly win is never a message I would tell anyone. The worst enemy is the one with nothing to lose.

Obviously constitutionality isn't a factor because I'm sure she'd love to see the constitution changed, same as those anti-gay-marriage zealots.
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cornermouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:44 PM
Response to Original message
10. Pro-life is a religious issue.
You'll never win that one.
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arewethereyet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. nor should you try
no good can come of it, its an article of her faith. Its an incorrect interpretation of scripture but that won't matter.
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dtseiler Donating Member (102 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Not trying
I'm not trying to get her to become pro-choice. I'm just trying to get her to see that Bush isn't really pro-life in the larger scale of things, and that the democrat-to-be-named-later is the more sensible choice given her convictions.
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arewethereyet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. those are seperate and unrelated matters from a scriptural standpoint
there is no larger scale. Give up, you're up against a doctrine crafted by people a damn sight smarter than you and I over hundrreds of years.
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arewethereyet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. the ONLY chance is doing it based on scripture
and you are not likely to be a credible messenger.
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elfin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:44 PM
Response to Original message
11. it isn't "pro-life" if a pregnancy kills a woman or girl -
It is simply "anti-choice", taking away the free will that supposedly the creator gave humans to determine their own paths.

No government should decide what is "sacred". That is solely the province of religions(s). If a woman CHOOSES to listen to her religion, that is one thing. If religion depends on government to do its bidding, then we no longer live in the USA.

She and her religion can be anti-choice, but need not impose that stricture on all.

If she and her religion have a successful message, there is no need to worry about the government.

She can be comfortable in her own beliefs and need not concern herself with others.

Good luck.
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silverlib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:55 PM
Response to Original message
16. Some things that worked with someone I know...
Edited on Fri Feb-13-04 10:15 PM by silverlib
We have a member of our peace and justice group at church who has always been republican and is totally against the war. She has been having a very difficult time with voting for a pro-lifer in the abortion sense.

When we talk about the current administration, we talk about neocons and PNAC, and point out that this is NOT the Eisenhower republican party that she was raised supporting.

We also point out the dangers and mishaps in legislating morality.

And then, what finally turned her around, was the "criminalization" of abortion. She does not want women who opt for abortion to serve time in jail under a murder conviction.

I don't know if this will work for your purposes. I agree that it is impossible to convince some people. This is a woman who really, really wants the troops out of Iraq and the UN peacekeeping forces to take over. And she really believes it was wrong for the administration to attack and occupy this country.
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dtseiler Donating Member (102 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Same here
My mother-in-law is against war in general and her and my father-in-law believe that Bush* screwed up royally with it. Which is why I was extremely surprised that she would still support him over this issue.

Definitely a good point with the "This isn't your father's GOP" item.
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cpa Donating Member (281 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 10:05 PM
Response to Original message
21. Pro-Life Mother-In-Law
I am also a Catholic. I never have been nor do I ever want any person in my family involved with abortion. However, abortion is personal and does not belong in politics. There is also another Catholic doctrine-that of free will. It has also not been scientifically established as to when life begins.
People who vote solely because of pro-life are suckers. Bush has not done anything to decrease the number of abortions during the past three years. In fact, mother-in-law, Bush may have increased the number of unsafe abortions due to his funding cuts to certain programs designed to prevent abortions.
I presume your mother-in-law is pro-life because she feels that abortion is the taking of a human life. What about all of the innocent Iraqi lives Bush took by his unnecessary war in Iraq? Remember, even the Pope said to Bush that if he went to Iraq, " he went without God." What does she say when she sees pictures of Iraqi children who were maimed because of the bombs that were dropped? Even more, why does she not hold Bush accountable for failing to protect about 3,000 Americans killed on Sept. 11?
I respect her desire that abortion be eliminated. I hope there never is another abortion. But there are other things to consider. These things relate to the living.
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dtseiler Donating Member (102 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. Excellent
cpa I couldn't agree more. I definitely feel more comfortable with these points. Maybe getting some numbers together (although stats might not make a difference) and presenting my case.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 10:09 PM
Response to Original message
22. Tell your mother-in-law that God will not forgive her for abbetting war.
Edited on Fri Feb-13-04 10:25 PM by roguevalley
Tell her that God will hold her accountable with blood
on her hands for helping a psycho wage war against the
innocents. Tell her that God will not allow her into
heaven if she 'selects' what she believes and leaves out
the rest. Beat your swords into plowshares and work at
war no more. Tell her its her soul on the line and if
she wants to abet a killer, its blood on her hands.

Use her own psychology against her. You cannot cherry pick
convictions.

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lastknowngood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 10:13 PM
Response to Original message
25. Tell her that bush has killed over 535 American children and
untold numbers of Iraqi children. He is preparing for 5 more wars, use the PNAC site as reference, and he is denying healthcare to over 41 million Americans. The shrub doesn't care about abortion in fact he paid for his former girl fiend to get one, to the repugs it's a wedge issue used to divide good people from each other and further the goals of the soulless business interest of his group of friends.
If she wants to stand pro life she must stand against Bush
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woodstockjimi Donating Member (112 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. TELL ME MORE
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frustrated_lefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
26. It depends.
Is she pro-life, or anti-sex?

If she doesn't have a moral objection to sex or enjoying it, you might inundate her with statistics about the value of sex-education which is not focused on "abstinence only" in terms of reducing the rate of teen pregnancy. You could point out Dean cut the rate of teen pregnancy in Vermont by 176%. You could mention how horridly inefficient abstinence-only education is when it comes to preventing pregnancy. You could point out that Bush refuses to fund agencies which offer contraceptive education, even if they are proven to effectively cut the rate of pregnancy.

If she's anti-sex, it's a lost cause.
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dtseiler Donating Member (102 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. hard-core
Well she's anti-pre-marital-sex. Once we got married the pressure for grandchildren was in high gear. Plus she has 10 kids of her own. So it's not just sex.

But I assume you meant pre-marital, and more specifically TEEN, sex, which yes she is against.
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frustrated_lefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. Then just leave it alone.
She's your mom, and from the tone of your post you like your mom. Do what you think is right, but, based on what you've said, I think you may be better just leaving the issue alone. It doesn't sound like you'd change her mind, and you could very easily hurt an important relation with her.

You might ask her why she is so adamant in her position and try and understand her position better. Maybe that would provide you an inroad to further discussion. But starting out trying to convince her she is wrong sounds like it would be counterproductive.
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alcuno Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
30. I am a Catholic and understand that they will never ban abortion.
It is a wedge issue for the Republicans and if they ever outlawed it there would no longer be a reason for pro-lifers to vote for them. There were 8 years of Reagan, 4 years of Bush I, and now the 4th year of Bush II. That's 16 years of using abortion to get votes. It's political manipulation in its crudest form; playing on the sympathies of Americans who believe that a fetus is life.

I agree with your mother-in-law, however, the Church teaches us that sin is in the heart of the individual. We need to let go of the need to control others through legal recourse and work to make abortion rare and every newborn child loved and cared for.
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Bonobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 10:58 PM
Response to Original message
31. It's not called "Pro-Life" on this side of the aisle. It's "Anti-Choice".
And THAT, is exactly the point she must understand.
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-04 11:03 PM
Response to Original message
32. I know it sounds weird and unlikely,
but I still maintain that if you give the govt the right to tell you when you must finish a pregnancy, you are also giving the govt the right to tell you when you must not. I know that seems improbable, but I have right wing friends who are "pro-life", but are willing to make an exception if the woman is on welfare, and require her to terminate. Pretty slippery slope, huh?
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