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What a Difference a Moment Makes
The Reformed Pastor ^ | May, 9, 2011 | David Fischler

Posted on 05/09/2011 11:22:41 AM PDT by Reformed Pastor

The newsletter of the United Methodists' General Board of Church and Society is out today with, among other things, a column protesting the practice of shackling women prisoners in childbirth. Heather Rice, a blogger with the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good and Associate Director of Policy for the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, writes:

Forty states in America do not have a prohibition against shackling women prisoners during childbirth.

This is a shameful practice that strips away the dignity from the sacred moment of welcoming a new life into the world and increases danger to the health and well-being of both the child and mother. My own state, Virginia, is one of them.

In our Christian faith, the sanctity of human life is established in Genesis 1:27: "So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him." In particular, the newborn child bears within himself the divine image, the image of the Christ child. Imagine Joseph frantically preparing a stable for pregnant Mary as the humble welcoming place for a new life. The human story behind Christ’s birth demonstrates that every mother and every child should experience a degree of dignity in the moment of birth....

In my own state, Virginia, legislation that would have prohibited the egregious practice of shackling women prisoners during childbirth was considered this year. I testified in support of the bill at the initial subcommittee hearing in my capacity as Associate Director of Policy at NRCAT. For me this was not just a professional issue, but as an evangelical, a deeply held personal one as well.

The bill passed unanimously in the subcommittee. Unfortunately, rather than choosing to protect the sacredness of birth and safeguarding infants, the full committee defeated the bill. The chairwoman did agree to write a letter to the Va. Dept. of Corrections recommending they look further into the issue.

I pray they do the right thing.

As evangelicals, we should not tolerate a situation that forces women to welcome their children into the world in chains.

Now, I happen to agree with her. I can't conceive of any reason why, if a woman is properly guarded in the delivery room, there should be any reason for shackles. This sounds to me like one of those "we have to treat men and women equally" things that refuses to take the differences between the sexes seriously. But here's the things that really gets me: look who it is that's trumpeting this article.

The GBCS is a member of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights, and one of the most vociferous proponents of partial birth abortion. That being the case, the idea that the agency would reprint an article taking a public policy position based on the sanctity of life is the height of absurdity. "The human story behind Christ’s birth demonstrates that every mother and every child should experience a degree of dignity in the moment of birth," but apparently not in the moment just before birth. Church and Society leaders are against shackling women during childbirth, but are perfectly happy for women to see doctors in order to have those same children ripped apart in the womb moments before childbirth would take place.



TOPICS: Current Events; Mainline Protestant; Moral Issues
KEYWORDS: abortion; unitedmethodist

1 posted on 05/09/2011 11:22:42 AM PDT by Reformed Pastor
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To: Reformed Pastor

By the time she hits “transition,” a woman in labor is not going anywhere.


2 posted on 05/09/2011 11:28:03 AM PDT by Persevero (We don't need Superman -- we have the Special Forces)
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To: Reformed Pastor

1. Where on God’s earth are women shackled while birthing a child?
2. Do ten states have laws explicitly banning such shackling?


3 posted on 05/09/2011 11:31:00 AM PDT by Elsiejay
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To: Reformed Pastor
I can't conceive of any reason why, if a woman is properly guarded in the delivery room, there should be any reason for shackles.

Everybody's an expert on other people's business.

Define "properly guarded". Who decides whether this includes handcuffs? Ignorant and sanctimonious "Christian" busybodies, or those professionals who have a certain amount of guarding to do and a given amount of resources with which to do it, and who must take responsibility (and face risk to their own lives) when something goes wrong?

4 posted on 05/09/2011 11:36:57 AM PDT by rogue yam
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To: Reformed Pastor

“The newsletter of the United Methodists’ General Board of Church and Society is out today”

You should have stopped right there. ( Just Kidding)


5 posted on 05/09/2011 11:39:47 AM PDT by Augustinian monk
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6 posted on 05/09/2011 11:43:55 AM PDT by TheOldLady
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To: Reformed Pastor
The newsletter of the United Methodists' General Board of Church and Society is out today with, among other things, a column protesting the practice of shackling women prisoners in childbirth.

Five years ago, the UMC chose the image of a dandelion - a weed, aka a tare (Matthew 13:25-40) - to represent their message. It's still apropos today.

I see that you're an EPC pastor. Welcome to Free Republic!
Reformed Pastor
Since May 9, 2011

7 posted on 05/09/2011 11:49:26 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (Posting news feeds, making eyes bleed: he's hated on seven continents)
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To: rogue yam

I would like to see some input from prison guards - is there a history of women in labor getting violent or escaping? If so, then shackles are apparently necessary, or at least, should be used on a case by case basis.


8 posted on 05/09/2011 11:58:25 AM PDT by Persevero (We don't need Superman -- we have the Special Forces)
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To: Reformed Pastor

I’m also quite sure that there are 40 states that don’t have laws preventing full body cavity searches for mothers about to give birth.

Or how come 40 states don’t have laws preventing the use of biting restraints

or whatever

The reason is because the states have either not found the time or interest or necessity.


9 posted on 05/09/2011 12:16:03 PM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: Reformed Pastor
Welcome to Free Republic. Have you been lurking for awhile?
10 posted on 05/09/2011 12:23:31 PM PDT by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: Reformed Pastor

Is this really a big issue for you? Of all of the issues which could be addressed by your denimination, this is the biggie?


11 posted on 05/09/2011 12:26:40 PM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: Persevero; Reformed Pastor; Augustinian monk; Alex Murphy

Western society is full of evil, lying collectivists who call themselves “Christians” but who are in fact seeking the destruction of Western Civilization.

The National Religious Campaign Against Torture is an clear example of such evildoers.

Our new FRiend smells like a commie rat to me. Perhaps he would like to tell us all what he thinks about Jim Wallis?


12 posted on 05/09/2011 12:27:23 PM PDT by rogue yam
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To: Reformed Pastor

The tyranny of the extrouterine over the introuterine.


13 posted on 05/09/2011 1:39:26 PM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: Reformed Pastor

Outlawing shackles on all pregnant prisoners means they are unavailable to use on criminally insane and violent pregnant prisoners when they might actually be needed.

I’m thinking this should be left up to the guards and medical personnel on a case by case basis.


14 posted on 05/09/2011 1:55:43 PM PDT by Valpal1 ("No clever arrangement of bad eggs ever made a good omelet." ~ C.S. Lewis)
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To: rogue yam

Have you ever seen a woman in labor, close to giving birth? The idea that she would be dangerous to anyone, especially an armed guard (without which I can’t imagine a prisoner being allowed to be transported to a hospital, much less accompanied to a prison infirmary), is ludicrous.


15 posted on 05/09/2011 2:45:42 PM PDT by Reformed Pastor
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To: Alex Murphy

Thanks much!


16 posted on 05/09/2011 2:45:50 PM PDT by Reformed Pastor
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To: wmfights

For a while. Other folks have occasionally posted my blog articles here, so I thought I’d start doing so myself.


17 posted on 05/09/2011 2:46:02 PM PDT by Reformed Pastor
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To: Mr. Lucky

This has nothing to do with my denomination. The point, though, that a good number of the commenters seem to have missed, is that this post isn’t about the question of shackling women, about which I’d never really thought that much before seeing this (the opinion I expressed of the practice in the post is only a tentative one that could be changed with evidence that it is indeed necessary). The point of the post is about the hypocrisy of the GBCS, which is worried about the “dignity” of birth, but has no problem with partial birth abortion.


18 posted on 05/09/2011 2:46:08 PM PDT by Reformed Pastor
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To: rogue yam

I have no use for Jim Wallis, which, if you’d gone to the blog from which this post comes and looked around for about 30 seconds, you’d know. Of course, first you’d have to learn to read—I expressed no support for the NRCAT, but was only commenting on one item from one of their employees, and in any case was not aiming at agreeing with her (though for the moment I do) so much as flaying the GBCS for its hypocrisy in wailing about the “dignity” of childbirth while supporting partial birth abortion.

Perhaps before you start throwing around epitets, you should have a clue about the person you’re insulting.


19 posted on 05/09/2011 2:46:12 PM PDT by Reformed Pastor
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To: Valpal1
I wouldn't favor outlawing shackles on pregnant women, except when they have gone into labor, when doctors need to be able to maneuver their limbs (at least legs) to carry out the delivery. I'd have no trouble with exceptions for the criminally insane and those who are imprisoned for violent crimes.
20 posted on 05/09/2011 2:46:41 PM PDT by Reformed Pastor
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To: Reformed Pastor
Have you ever seen a woman in labor, close to giving birth? The idea that she would be dangerous to anyone, especially an armed guard (without which I can’t imagine a prisoner being allowed to be transported to a hospital, much less accompanied to a prison infirmary), is ludicrous.

ROTFL! I see your point, but still....

[In the delivery room, following a painful contraction]
My wife stood up in the stirrups, grabbed my bottom lip, and said "I WANT MORPHINE!!!"
I said "But dear--" [imitates LaMaze breathing, reminding her of their "natural child birth" classes]
She said, "YOU SHUP UP! YOU DID THIS TO ME!!!"
And on the next contraction, she told everyone in the delivery room that my parents were never married.
-- Bill Cosby, from Bill Cosby: Himself

21 posted on 05/09/2011 2:56:26 PM PDT by Alex Murphy (Posting news feeds, making eyes bleed: he's hated on seven continents)
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To: Reformed Pastor

First off, I’m not a big fan of blog pimping on FR so I responded only to what you posted here.

You quoted Heather Rice at length and somewhat approvingly. Heather Rice is obviously a standard-issue Christianity-is-leftism liar. Conservatives don’t do what you did, Reverend.

I think I do have a clue about you. You drip of arrogance and sanctimony of the most commonplace sort, and your call for more government regulation of things about which you have no particular expertise is a straightforward instance of the collectivist mindset that is choking our economy and our society to death.


22 posted on 05/09/2011 3:10:24 PM PDT by rogue yam
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To: Reformed Pastor
Have you ever seen a woman in labor, close to giving birth?

I've been a woman in labor, close to giving birth multiple times. The idea that women in labor aren't or can't be dangerous is BS. Especially a crazy one.

Rather than having exceptions to a law, it would be wiser to have no law at all and leave it to the discretion of the officials and doctors in charge. Otherwise you'll just have a bunch of lawyers gumming up the works insisting their client doesn't meet the exception guidelines. Not only will it cost taxpayers more, eventually some medical personnel will get hurt because some nutcase ripped out their own IV and stabbed a nurse with it.

23 posted on 05/09/2011 3:51:21 PM PDT by Valpal1 ("No clever arrangement of bad eggs ever made a good omelet." ~ C.S. Lewis)
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To: Alex Murphy

Wonderful! That does put a whole different spin on it... :-)


24 posted on 05/09/2011 3:56:45 PM PDT by Reformed Pastor
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To: Reformed Pastor
For a while. Other folks have occasionally posted my blog articles here, so I thought I’d start doing so myself.

Great!

I look forward to seeing your posts. I am in agreement with the Reformed on most things.

BTW, I think a prisoner should be shackled. If someone doesn't want to be treated like a wild animal they shouldn't act like one.

25 posted on 05/09/2011 6:25:45 PM PDT by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: Alex Murphy; Reformed Pastor; xzins

The UMC may have faults, but there are still conservatives fighting for conservative values there whom we should support


26 posted on 05/10/2011 2:49:24 AM PDT by Cronos (Libspeak: "Yes there is proof. And no, for the sake of privacy I am not posting it here.")
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To: Reformed Pastor; xzins
My apologies, I see that in your blog you have an article on Methodist Court Upholds Traditional Marriage
27 posted on 05/10/2011 2:52:59 AM PDT by Cronos (Libspeak: "Yes there is proof. And no, for the sake of privacy I am not posting it here.")
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To: Reformed Pastor

I’d think it would depend on the woman and on her crime. A murdress, especially of her own children, or of others should be under some restraint.

A delivery room does have some dangerous equipment.


28 posted on 05/10/2011 6:54:23 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain & proud of it: Truly Supporting the Troops means praying for their Victory!)
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To: Reformed Pastor

Fair enough.


29 posted on 05/10/2011 9:07:36 AM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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