An Open Forum

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By Rebecca Teti

Tuesday: Open Forum

(Join each day’s Coffee Talk discussion: Mon: Parenting; Tues: Open Forum; Wed: NFP; Thu: Marriage; Fri: Education; Sat/Sun: Changing Roles)

This is the Open Forum Coffee Talk. That means ... anything goes. Ask a question, make a suggestion, share a story, offer some advice -- the floor is yours!

Rebecca Teti


  • how about - since it's the sad anniversary of roe v wade - a discussion about how to kindly and lovingly open our clueless friends' minds and hearts to the horror of abortion and birth control... (i know, dang heavy topic for so early...)

    Posted on Jan 22nd, 2013 at 5:32 AM by carrie k

  • Carrie k, great topic! Definitely heavy but so very important. Especially once the hhs mandate takes effect we will have to be ready to defend our stance on abortion and birth control. I pray that Catholics are ready when the scoffers attack or, even more, when good people are seeking truth. Now that I think of it, I don't have any great answers so I'll be reading the comments in hopes of getting some.

    Posted on Jan 22nd, 2013 at 7:18 AM by peggy b

  • Yes, how do we discuss the issue kindly with loved ones-especially regarding birth control and sterilization? Most of my relatives feel getting sterilized is the responsible and loving thing to do. They view my family of 6 children (one with severe disabilities) and feel sorry for me.

    Posted on Jan 22nd, 2013 at 7:48 AM by cc

  • there's the rub... our families and friends- in they're greatly deceived minds - Believe that birth control IS a responsible, loving way. Mine roll their eyes and sigh at my position on BC, as they go on letting it ruin their lives (and maybe mortal souls?)... soooo, where/what is ground zero, where we can kindly start a conversation that helps them SEE?

    Posted on Jan 22nd, 2013 at 7:57 AM by unknown

  • afraid of? - suffering and not being able to offer it up. having to watch my children's suffering (and not being able to offer it up). and hell.

    Posted on Jan 22nd, 2013 at 8:46 AM by unknown

  • I don't think fear is the issue, unless you mean fear of opening emotional wounds for people. Since 1/3 of American women have had abortions, you have to assume in any discussion of it that you are opening a sore spot. That can't prevent us from speaking the truth, but the question being asked is two-fold: how to be sensitive to the walking wounded, and also how to help the closed-minded to simply open themselves enough for a genuine conversation to take place.

    Posted on Jan 22nd, 2013 at 9:23 AM by Rebecca Teti

  • I think for a lot of people, especially if they already know our beliefs on BC/abortion/sterilization, the only way to "talk" about it is through our own lives. I'm as big a fan of apologetics and speaking the truth as anyone (heck, I give talks on the subject at hand), but a lot of people close to us can feel really defensive about their own choices. It would just be *so* hard to admit that their decisions were the wrong ones - especially if they can't be changed now. Sort of like one woman at church who was, totally out of the blue - I'd just met her at a day of prayer - giving me a hard time about having had my 3rd baby. She was so intent on finding a reason why even 3 kids was too many ("I just can't find a reason that will work with you!") that I figured she must actually have been trying to convince herself that she really couldn't have had more than her one. And it was far too late for her to change that decision. So I think a lot of what we can do with our friends and families is plant seeds, knowing that they might not be very willing to admit to us that maybe their choices weren't really for the best. We can be ready with some stock replies, or with a book to give them ("Good News about Sex and Marriage" by Christopher West is a good one, especially for those without a lot of good formation), but I think most casual conversations (unless they are really asking) won't produce much obvious transformation. Also, the first "unknown" is Jeanne.

    Posted on Jan 22nd, 2013 at 9:25 AM by Anna

  • yes... This!!>>> "how to be sensitive to the walking wounded, and also how to help the closed-minded to simply open themselves enough for a genuine conversation to take place" (much better wording than my 6am brain could muster...) And, Nice, Helpful response Anna! I do try to plant seeds rather than be "in your face", but sometimes its tough not to just scream!

    Posted on Jan 22nd, 2013 at 9:30 AM by carrie k

  • Also, any suggestion on how to have a sensible debate when the debaters are arguing apples vs oranges... human baby vs clump of cells. Or rather, how to help them see 'baby' instead of 'cells'?

    Posted on Jan 22nd, 2013 at 9:33 AM by carrie k

  • Yes, it is so obvious when others are trying to make themselves feel better about their choices by nicely (or not so nicely) challenging our choices. My sil is always telling me how crazy my life must be, how tired I must be etc... I realize she is only trying to convince herself. It's too late for her to choose a different path.

    Posted on Jan 22nd, 2013 at 9:41 AM by cc

  • I'm having trouble believing that 1 in 3 American women have had an abortion. I think they (the pro-choice groups providing that statistic) are also including miscarriage, which is often coded as abortion by the doctor. I know that when I had a miscarriage a few years ago, the insurance company rejected "care and treatment of miscarriage" then the doctor resent the claim to my insruance company as "abortion" and it was paid. Does anyone have an unbiased source for these statistics?

    Posted on Jan 22nd, 2013 at 10:08 AM by MMH

  • I read a great book called "Pro-life answers to Pro-choice questions" and it gave me some great answers. Sometimes, the best way to get someone to understand your point is to ask questions. If they mention "tissue" you can ask, or direct, how was it made? From where did it come? If given time, warmth and nutrition, it will cease to be "tissue" and become human. When does that person believe the baby is viable? Then, when they give you a number of weeks, you can ask them--what if they baby grows a bit faster, would the baby be viable then? {They often answer "yes" then you can keep backing up, using the benchmarks/timeline of life and state that scientists have detected brain waves and heartbeats at these intervals.} I talked to my very staunchly pro-death stepfather, and finally got him to say that IF the scientists determined that life begins at conception, then he would have to believe that the tissue was a baby. I simply smiled and said, "well, they have." He changed the subject after that. I have also used the seed analogy such as: a small acorn is really a "baby tree". When given water, light and the proper place to grow, it will become an oak. Even if someone didn't believe it to be an acorn, it doesn't matter. Inside the little acorn is the potentiality of a tree. It just needs time, nourishment and a chance to grow. Just like a baby.... My problem with the pro-death crowd, is that they scream about "women's choice to do with her body as she wishes" and I say, what about the "baby woman" inside? Why doesn't *she* get the same chance to choose?

    Posted on Jan 22nd, 2013 at 10:10 AM by Donna L.

  • Jeanne- Are you asking what in general, we are afraid of, or what we are afraid of about fighting abortion?

    Posted on Jan 22nd, 2013 at 10:14 AM by MMH

  • Question: I am going to be the godmother of a friend's child, and I was wondering if you all had recommendations for a great baptismal gift I could give the baby (he's a boy). My budget is somewhere around $30. Thanks!

    Posted on Jan 22nd, 2013 at 10:17 AM by unknown

  • @Donna- I am going to fine that answers/questions book right now! @ baptism gift- I love the rosary my child's godmom gave her best of all; or a pretty pic frame -specific to baptism - for a keepsake photo; or the book "the littlest angel" is sooo sweet...

    Posted on Jan 22nd, 2013 at 1:14 PM by carrie k

  • Donna L., thanks for the suggestions. I do think the socratic approach is a good one as long as we know what questions to ask. And you did. Thanks be to God! I am weary of using the acorn analogy. A danger in these types of discussion is allowing the other side to use our own logic against us. An acorn is truly not a tree but a fetus is a baby.

    Posted on Jan 22nd, 2013 at 1:29 PM by unknown

  • good stuff:

    Posted on Jan 22nd, 2013 at 1:36 PM by unknown

  • I started tracking my temperature a few months ago, and this month I've noticed that it's very constant - the thermometer will give the same exact reading several days in a row. I saw a shift, but pre-shift it was 97.3 for 5 days straight, and it's now been 98.1 for the past 4 days. Is this normal? Could it mean I need to replace my battery, or that I might otherwise have cause to doubt the accuracy of the readings?

    Posted on Jan 22nd, 2013 at 1:44 PM by Kathleen

  • I quickly searched for the actual book I liked {as we had checked it out from our church library} and the correct title is :"Pro-life answers to pro-choice arguments"--I'm sorry I typed one word incorrectly. Randy Alcorn is the author--it gave 4-8 responses for regular questions, as well as further ideas and questions to ask. I really like this book! As for the acorn and baby analogy--I can understand why you may be weary, as environmentalists believe trees and animals more important than people. I'm sorry you have had so many difficult conversation with those who turned and argued with you. *I* chose that because my stepdad fancies himself a scientist of sorts, as well as a tree-hugging enviro-nut. He equates "small" with "worthless". I was simply trying to explain that a "blob of cells" is not the same thing AT ALL as a tiny being {fetus or even a zygote} or, a tiny tree {acorn}. It is extraordinarily frustrating to try to explain the truth in a loving way to people who are ferociously opposed to hearing that truth--{like my stepdad is}. I pray we will keep trying, and perhaps, someone will finally listen...a person's a person, no matter how small.

    Posted on Jan 22nd, 2013 at 3:20 PM by Donna L.

  • To Kathleen --- I wouldn't worry about it, especially because it did change with your cycle. The same thing has happened to me some months (with the same accompanying worries). Try taking your temperature some other time during the day with the same thermometer and see if it reads a different temperature. That may give you an answer. I've been using the same digital basal thermometer for ten years and have only had to change the batteries once, so unless it is pretty old, your thermometer probably isn't a problem. Be glad your temps are so reliable!!

    Posted on Jan 23rd, 2013 at 7:47 AM by Andrea

  • Pro-Lifers, This is the thought I have every January: These 39 years, if all the millions of people that have taken part in the annual march spent the time and the money they've used to travel and visit DC to help their local crisis pregnancy centers and the like, and actually attempt to address the issue of abortion on a personal level, there probably wouldn't have to be an event this year... I certainly have no problem with the gathering of course, but for MOST (and not all) of the folks that go it is a colossal cop out. The yearly quota for "making a difference." Taking a chartered bus, praying some rosaries with their buddies on the way, listening to some dynamic speakers, and blindly believing that anyone working for the government acknowledges their presence as anything more than extra traffic to avoid (let alone magically fix a complicated social problem) is the only thing they do each year for their BIG POLARIZING ISSUE!! Hooray. They won't vote for someone that doesn't say they're going to actively do something to end abortion, but don't actually try themselves... God bless America. Submitted for your own personal thought and not to jump down my throat. Hopefully you feel a little convicted.

    Posted on Jan 23rd, 2013 at 12:32 PM by dan

  • Dan, you're the one who should feel convicted, of writing an ignorant comment. The people who march for life are the same people who work at crisis pregnancy centers and prayerfully and peacefully witness in front of abortion clinics. The assumptions you make are way out of line.

    Posted on Jan 23rd, 2013 at 2:50 PM by Claire S

  • Well dan, I contribute financially and with service hours and donations of goods to my local crisis pregnancy center, I pray daily for an end to abortion (not just on a bus headed to a March), I speak out (i hope intelligently and with conviction) when I encounter pro-abortion folks, and I witness a pro-life lifestyle by raising my children in a God centered home. I can't attend the March this year, but I have done so many times in the past. I don't think it is a cop-out, I think it is an opportunity to show the rest of the world (yes world, the US media doesn't give it much attention, true, but the UK media do as well as other foreign press), that Pro-life people come from all walks of life, are all ages, all races, and relevant to today's US reality. I am sorry you have such a negative view of this inspiring event, perhaps you should show up at one and see what you think then.

    Posted on Jan 23rd, 2013 at 3:56 PM by Danielle M.

  • I think Dan makes a point, though. We SHOULD be doing *both* & if we aren't... well, hopefully we will. (And I do say IF.) Reminds me of people "liking" God online. I hope they go to Church regularly, too. Its easy to "like" God on facebook and much harder (and worth a whooooooooole lot more) to "like" him by following the Church! :)

    Posted on Jan 23rd, 2013 at 7:38 PM by unknown

  • Yes, we should be doing both. But his blanket assumption that people who go to the march aren't doing both, and that this is a copout and they're "yearly quota", is ignorant and uncalled for.

    Posted on Jan 23rd, 2013 at 11:28 PM by Claire S

  • On the question of how valuable the march for life is, here's a vatican official saying the March has a global impact -- another perspective.

    Posted on Jan 25th, 2013 at 7:43 AM by Rebecca Teti

  • why is abortion bad?

    Posted on Dec 13th, 2013 at 1:03 PM by unknown

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