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US: ‘Crisis pregnancy centers’ caught lying for Jesus

August 10, 2013

NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia has put together a year-long investigative report about what’s really going on in the anti-choice pressure centers that call themselves “crisis pregnancy centers”…

The woman working at the center tries to convince the client not to use any kind of contraception whatsoever. She starts slow, claiming that hormonal contraception will make your hair fall out. Then she gets really excited, stating that she’s not interested in judging, but, “First of all, if you’re not married, why are you having sex?” and proceeds to make the following claims:

“Condoms are naturally porous,” so don’t protect against STIs.

“Within a marriage, sexual relations are procreative.” Also, you don’t need to use contraception in marriage because you can just avoid sex “two or three days a month” to prevent pregnancy. (In reality, the numbers range from 8 days to 11 days, depending on the source.)

Taking the birth control pill is like putting a small child on steroids.

On IUDs: “Sometimes it grows into the tissue of the uterus,” she says, though that’s not a known risk of the IUD. Perforations do happen, but they’re rare and usually happen during insertion.

Slate

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18 Comments
  1. Francis Philip permalink

    Then, Jon, go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Amen.

  2. Jon permalink

    Francis, your peace might be a little easier to maintain if you base it on facts and evidence rather than hope and wishful thinking. I don’t have any trouble maintaining mine. But if you want details about the number of lapsed Catholics in the US, here it is:

    http://www.catholicculture.org/news/features/index.cfm?recnum=56894

    This is what evidence looks like.

  3. Francis Philip permalink

    Jon – don’t flatter yourself. I leave you to fend for yourself since you are not willing to be reasonable and not really interested in believing without some sort of payment or sign or other form of testing God. I think you’re in trouble, and I know that you will not listen, and God teaches me to, in cases like yours, to let you be and let my peace return to me. You (and, as you claim, the 20 Million) are on your own because you have free will and have chosen to be on your own. You have time to change your mind, but you are currently on your own. May God help you and the 20 Million who you claim (but do not know) are leaving.

  4. Jon permalink

    I had a similar but more prolonged debate back in 2012 — you can find it here: https://religiousatrocities.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/us-new-money-vs-old-dogma/

    Interestingly, the point that put an end to that one was also the mention of the millions and millions of people who used to be practicing Catholics and are no longer. I’m not quite sure why that should be the one argument that put me beyond the pale as far as attempting to make me see the light is concerned — any suggestions from other readers?

    Is it like Basil Fawlty and his determination not to mention the War? “Shh! Don’t mention the apostates!”

  5. Francis Philip permalink

    Yes, I am Catholic. You’re on your own now.

  6. Jon permalink

    Francis,

    Your main task, as it seems to me, is to explain why finding out about God should be so different to finding out about anything else. If I want to find out about geology, say, I begin with the obvious, visible, globally-accepted evidence of the things it can do, and link those up logically with the information that is available. With God it appears the other way around; I have to begin by believing in him, then read lots of books, and wait for something to happen in my soul. But of course Islamists say exactly the same thing about Allah, and Buddhists say the same thing about Buddha, and so on — so why should I believe you rather than them? I believe that you’re sincere — at least I’m not calling you a liar — but it seems to me that it’s you who haven’t thought things through.

    I assume that you’re Catholic, but whatever your religion, you must be aware that a much larger number of people across the world don’t believe in it than do. Are they all liars too? If it’s really so easy to come to knowledge of God, why hasn’t it happened to the Hindus and the Jainists and the Mormons? It’s pretty clear to me that people choose to believe what they want to, influenced by the environment they grew up in and the folk around them: Divine revelation is an excuse tacked on after the event.

    A figure of twenty million has been quoted for the number of lapsed Catholics in the US alone. Yet presumably at one time all these people had ‘thought it through’ — in your terms — and accepted what you claim to be the truth. What went wrong? If your alleged knowledge of God is so compelling, why didn’t it stick?

    To put it simply: if your God is so convincing, why are increasing numbers of people in the West unconvinced?

    But in detail:

    “1. But if a man speaks based upon obedience to the One who can be trusted, then you may trust this man in that regard.”

    But how do I know who is the One who can be trusted? You’re the only one telling me that right now, and you’ve told me not to trust you. How do I know that Allah or Buddha is not the One who can be trusted?

    “2. Then you have not thought it through”

    I’ve been blogging about atheism for nearly five years now. If that doesn’t count as ‘thinking it through’ then I think you have set your standards impossibly high.

    “3. This is another example of what leads me to think that you are being untruthful…by denying that what is obviously good is not good and by your denial that I can truthfully speak for a “We” instead of just an “I”. This is a denial of basic reason.”

    I don’t see how life in general is ‘obviously good’; on the contrary, it’s obviously not good for all too many people. But where it is good I don’t see any sign of God getting involved.

    “4. If you deny the basic reasoning for an uncaused Origin of the universe, then your error just continues here as well. This is another example of being untruthful, but it is not as egregious because it stems from your primary error.”

    What’s your ‘basic reasoning’? How do you know universes don’t come about spontaneously? Where’s your evidence?

    “5. Animals do as they are designed to do; this leads back to a Creator. Mankind, made in the Image of God, naturally does not behead it’s mate after sexual intercourse. Insects do all sorts of things which do not pertain to us…like rolling dung into balls (Dung Beetles). Earth is not Paradise and is not meant to be.”

    But why are they designed that way? Does God not love male praying mantises? Why not? Some of ‘mankind, made in the image of God’ does commit rape, theft, and murder — I don’t see that there’s a big difference there.

    “6. No, God gave man (and angels) free will in order that man could love and be happy.”

    Then he hasn’t given me enough. If I had the free will to fly I would be much happier than I am already. Where do I fill in the form to ask for more free will?

    “7. This is another example of your untruthfulness. We do have independent confirmation. If you really wanted to know, you would know (at least, you would do the research).”

    Then why are so many people unconvinced? That’s the awkward thing about evidence, you see; it makes you believe even when you don’t really want to.

    “8. You are not being reasonable in this statement; you do show, however, an ability to have faith and to use that faith for good. You use the word “only.””

    But what’s the payoff? What will my ‘ability’ get me? Stuff that you can actually show, not speculations.

    “9. “But no conclusive ones.” This is another untruthful statement. Good grief. In your personal omniscience (apparently unstudied). Why would God favor the proud and arrogant who are set against Him? How would they learn what life is like without Him? Many atheists would likely not accept the miracles anyway. There is biblical proof for God’s attitude in this regard. But you are apparently not aware of this.”

    I would accept a mountain arising overnight in the desert, signed ‘God did this’. So would pretty much all of the atheists I know. And it would settle the question once and for all. I’m not suggesting God should ‘favour the proud and arrogant’ — just that he should do what any ant, or rock, or piece of fluff, or amoeba does all the time, every day, and conclusively demonstrate his existence. If that’s beyond his powers then he’s pretty useless, it seems to me.

    “10. Not awkward for me. It is bad for you since it demonstrates your apparent hate for God. If you desired to love God, you would read about what He has done. If you hate God, then you do what you can to deny God, even to the point of refusing to learn about God.”

    I don’t ‘hate God’ any more than you hate Harry Potter. I just don’t see any reason to believe in him. But there are roughly 30,000 Christian sects and probably an equal number of non-Christian ones. They all have their recommended readings. I don’t have time to go through them all. Once again, what’s so special about yours? What can you show me in advance that will indicate that your scriptures are the truth rather than, say, the Bhagavad Gita?

    I also suspect that if I did read your scriptures — as many atheists have done — and came back to you unconverted, you would simply have another hoop ready for me to jump through. Is that not the case?

  7. Francis Philip permalink

    In my opinion you are not disposed to settling on the truth; this means that you are not being truthful. Yes, it is a serious claim; you need to accept what is true and good instead of denying it – before healing can commence. You have a spirit of fear; I’m sorry.

    1. But if a man speaks based upon obedience to the One who can be trusted, then you may trust this man in that regard. This requires you to use reason however.

    2. Then you have not thought it through. This leads me to think that you are simply being untruthful since the logic I have given is undeniable…unless you have faith.

    3. This is another example of what leads me to think that you are being untruthful…by denying that what is obviously good is not good and by your denial that I can truthfully speak for a “We” instead of just an “I”. This is a denial of basic reason.

    4. If you deny the basic reasoning for an uncaused Origin of the universe, then your error just continues here as well. This is another example of being untruthful, but it is not as egregious because it stems from your primary error.

    5. Animals do as they are designed to do; this leads back to a Creator. Mankind, made in the Image of God, naturally does not behead it’s mate after sexual intercourse. Insects do all sorts of things which do not pertain to us…like rolling dung into balls (Dung Beetles). Earth is not Paradise and is not meant to be.

    6. No, God gave man (and angels) free will in order that man could love and be happy. If we only instinctively loved (e.g., with that instinct, for example, which moves a type of bird to build the same kind of nest or to do the same kind of mating dance generation after generation), then would that be love? No. Love is a choice. It is not an instinct. We hae a choice to obey or disobey. God directs us to obey for our own good – in order that we may be truly happy. Basic reasoning is required to understand this – but you must choose to reason instead of deny for the sake of denying.

    7. This is another example of your untruthfulness. We do have independent confirmation. If you really wanted to know, you would know (at least, you would do the research).

    8. You are not being reasonable in this statement; you do show, however, an ability to have faith and to use that faith for good. You use the word “only.”

    9. “But no conclusive ones.” This is another untruthful statement. Good grief. In your personal omniscience (apparently unstudied). Why would God favor the proud and arrogant who are set against Him? How would they learn what life is like without Him? Many atheists would likely not accept the miracles anyway. There is biblical proof for God’s attitude in this regard. But you are apparently not aware of this.

    10. Not awkward for me. It is bad for you since it demonstrates your apparent hate for God. If you desired to love God, you would read about what He has done. If you hate God, then you do what you can to deny God, even to the point of refusing to learn about God.

    Hell (eternal life without God) exists for those who choose hell. It’s your choice. God does not send you there; but you can send you there by your own choice to deny, deny, deny and to hate God. This is truth. God allows you to choose. Do you deny your own free will? Do you deny that you have a choice? Do you also deny that you exist?

  8. Jon permalink

    Francis, I am only doing exactly what I would do in any situation where somebody made a claim which was highly implausible and open to serious doubt. If your claims about God require different treatment than the claims of the man who sells Ginsu knives on TV, you’ll have to explain why. But I don’t see any reason on the face of it why the claims of religion shouldn’t be subject to the same methods of enquiry as any other dubious assertions.

    Let me add, by the way, that it’s a very serious and actionable claim to accuse someone of lying, no matter what your motivation is. If the only way that your religion can support its claims is by calling everyone who contests them liars, then the sooner it shuts up shop for good, the better.

  9. Francis Philip permalink

    Well, Jon, then you are missing something which only God can give to you. You need to speak to God about this. Something in your soul moves you to only doubt. This is unnatural. If you won’t listen to me – or if you will only play games – then I needn’t waste my time here. God knows who you are and what you are doing, and there is a reason for how you are acting. You’re not being truthful.

  10. Jon permalink

    Hi Francis — thanks for taking the time on this. Let me try and take your points one at a time:

    1. ‘Trust no man’. Presumably you include yourself in that, so it’s not a terribly auspicious start, is it? If I don’t trust you I can simply dismiss anything you have to say as mere propaganda. It’s also a recipe for bleak despair if applied to someone’s whole life. I’m going to assume that you mean in the area of religious beliefs only. But if that’s the case then you have to explain why religious beliefs should be treated differently to any other area of knowledge.

    2. Can I reason that there must be a God, a Creator of all things? No I can’t. I don’t have any trouble imagining a universe that goes on for ever, and I don’t have any trouble imagining a universe that comes out of nothing. Both of these options seem a lot more plausible to me than any supernatural Sky Fairy magicking it all into existence.

    3. “We know our lives on earth to be basically good (with the exception of evil forces which seem to enter in from time to time to make a wreck of our peace).” I’m sorry, I don’t know any such thing. Some people have good lives, mainly because that’s the goal of most of the work that we do here. Some people have bad lives for no reason. All of our lives could be much, much better.

    In fact the one thing that really, really pisses me off about religious apologists is their misuse of pronouns. Your posts are absolutely studded with ‘we’s and ‘us’s and ‘our’s, and for just about every one of them simply doesn’t apply to me. Your bland confident statements about how ‘we’ believe this and ‘we’ know that.. just who is ‘we’ supposed to be, exactly? Because it certainly doesn’t include me. When you have the confidence to recast your argument in terms of ‘I believe’ and ‘I know’ then I will find you a lot more credible.

    4. “We look around us and we know that the Creator is Good because He made His creation to be Good.”

    No, I look around and see that many people have good lives because they and their ancestors put a hell of a lot of work into achieving that very thing. I don’t see any evidence of God helping at all.

    5. “Next, we consider humanity and the animal kingdom and we see a pattern of male and female coming together in a most amiable way and procreating.”

    Do you understand the process of evolution? Does it make sense to you that the kind of creatures which could survive for many generations on earth would be the ones who are good at ‘coming together in an amiable way and procreating’? Because it makes perfect sense to me. Again, no need for any Divine intervention there. But how does the praying mantis fit into your story of happy amiability, where the female bites the male’s head off after sex?

    6. “He did not Create an evil system such that life was meant to be abused and hated. This comes as a corruption which has entered Creation. Christians and Jews attribute the corruption to “Original Sin” of our First Parents, Adam and Eve.”

    And who — according to you — made Adam and Eve? Who knew exactly what they would think and say and do even before he brought them into being? God can’t dodge his responsibility that easily. If God created everything, then he created evil. If he did it knowingly then he’s not all-good. If he did it unknowingly then he’s not all-knowing. Which is it to be?

    7. “the Bible provides us with ample, written proofs of the intervention of the Creator in our lives”

    But I’ve already indicated that I don’t believe the Bible, any more than I believe the Epic of Gilgamesh or the Arabian Nights stories, and for the same reason; we have no independent confirmation that the stories it contains are true.

    8. “But, he respects our free will”

    Hasn’t it ever occurred to you to wonder why God ‘respects our free will’ only so far as allowing us to do exactly what we could do if he didn’t exist, and no further? If God really respected my free will then he should respect my free will decision to fly, and allow me to soar like a bird, or my free will decision to transfer everyone else’s funds into my bank account. But somehow his respect just doesn’t go that far. It stops short at the boundaries of physics and law. Doesn’t that seem even a little strange to you?

    9. “many thousands of miracles”

    But no conclusive ones. Somehow the miracles always seem to take place a long way away, in front of the devout. Why are there no miracles at atheist conventions? — that’s where they’re most needed, surely? Why does the Christian God not reveal himself in Mecca or Medina, and put an end to the strife between Islam and Christianity? If God is, as you believe, powerful, benevolent and wise, then why doesn’t he ever do something powerful, benevolent and wise — raise mountains in the desert to induce rain, perhaps, or magically double the agricultural production of the Third World? Why are his ‘miracles’ always so local, so transient and so invariably directed at people who are already credulous? Why do they always look so much like parlour tricks?

    10. “Start with the Scriptures, read history, study philosophy with theology.”

    But why? Why should learning whether God exists involve reading books, when any other entity can be demonstrated by actual results in the real world? If I want to know whether the pyramids exist, someone can show me pictures and video or the pyramids themselves. It’s only God whom we allegedly have to approach through the convoluted process of reading about him. Obviously it’s a useful barrier — it weeds out people like me who don’t have the time or interest; but it does leave you in the awkward position of having to explain why out of all the entities believed to exist in the Universe, it’s only God that we have to learn about by reading, because nobody can actually demonstrate that he’s really there. That certainly sounds like special pleading to me.

  11. Francis Philip permalink

    Well Jon, you ask me a very, very good question. I think that you should start here: trust no man. No man is a god; no man is free from the potential to do wrong (either objectively or subjectively). [Note that we Christians believe that Jesus Christ has both humanity and divinity together – he does not fall just in the category of “man”].

    Secondly, can you reason that there must be a God, a Creator of all things? I’m under the impression that our basic reasoning forbids us NOT to believe this. It is unfathomable to think that there is no Origin of all things – an Origin with is outside of and not part of all of creation which came from this Origin – an Origin which can have no other Origin (there can not be an infinite “do loop” of Origins – just can not happen. We must respect this one Origin. We call this respect “worship.” This is where our religion begins.

    We know our lives on earth to be basically good (with the exception of evil forces which seem to enter in from time to time to make a wreck of our peace). But on average, peace and prosperity tend to prevail world-wide and we find everything that we need to live, thrive and prosper. It is up to us to choose to do good instead of bad. But without our personal human choices, we look around us and we know that the Creator is Good because He made His creation to be Good.

    Next, we consider humanity and the animal kingdom and we see a pattern of male and female coming together in a most amiable way and procreating. Male and female help each other and care for their offspring. This is the design which is from our Creator. Humans did not design this; we know it to be very good – that according to the Creator’s design, male and female come together and are designed to stay together for the purpose of nurturing and caring for offspring. This is a great Good from God and reflects something about God Himself.

    Now, this stated, some are repulsed by this thought because their parents may have abused them or bad things happened to the family and so forth. This is very unfortunate. But these evil things do not come from our Creator. He did not Create an evil system such that life was meant to be abused and hated. This comes as a corruption which has entered Creation. Christians and Jews attribute the corruption to “Original Sin” of our First Parents, Adam and Eve.

    Because we understand our Creator and His Creation to be Good and intended to be good as created, and because we understand that only humanity has the gift of Free Will (a part of that Image of God in humanity), we know that humanity caused this evil or deformation in the world; we also know that there could be other spiritual beings (e.g., angels) who also have free will and could have participated in this tragedy.

    These represent a basis for our Christian belief an heritage; the Bible provides us with ample, written proofs of the intervention of the Creator in our lives – in humanity – to redeem us from the evil with Adam and Eve, through their mutual error, set into motion. He comes to redeem us because He loves us – He created us for the purpose of love – He created us to be happy.

    But, he respects our free will, and because of our free will, many – most of humanity do not acknowledge, listen or respond to their Creator. What can He do? He does not force us. He asks us. He gives us the choice – love demands that we choose right or wrong. He wants us to choose right. We are given the option. We are responsible for choosing right.

    Look, the evidence is available to you in the Holy Bible, Catholic Tradition/History, many thousands of miracles – some recorded – many not recorded, and so on. I can not possibly teach you these things here. Miracles are constantly happening which confirm our faith in our Creator who is obvious Good. We have been given the power to know good and bad in our hearts. This power must be nurtured with instruction in matters of truth.

    Start with the Scriptures, read history, study philosophy with theology.

  12. Jon permalink

    But Francis, none of this answers my question: why should I believe your diagnosis and recommended treatment rather than, say, this fellow, who wants me to clear my chakras:

    http://www.2012-spiritual-growth-prophecies.com/seven-chakras.html

    Or this one, who believes I can treat my soul with aromatherapy:

    http://aromatherapy4soul.com/remedy.htm

    You certainly sound sincere, but so do they, and so does the man who pops up on the Shopping Channel trying to sell me a matched set of carving knives. So why should I believe you, and not them? Quoting from the Bible isn’t going to help you, because I don’t believe the Bible is an infallible source of truth.

    The only evidence you have given is this: “You will notice people who are living very sinful lives will tend to be very sick (physically or even mentally).” But I haven’t noticed this at all. I’ve seen very good people die at ridiculously early ages, and I’ve observed people like Hugh Hefner — whom you would presumably regard as chock-full of sin — living to a ripe old age. So you’ll have to do better than that.

    Do you understand my question? Here it is again as simply as possible — “Why should I believe YOU?” And not any other believer or priest or Imam or Lama or guru or homeopath who also assures me they know what’s best for my soul? What can you show me that they can’t?

  13. Francis Philip permalink

    Jon – you do not need your body to pray, believe, hope or love. You do not need your body to reason, exert free will, think, understand, form concepts. These things can happen in your soul and your soul does not need your body to do these things. Yes, your soul is designed to be one with your body – to form a human person – but the soul can function and live without your body. Your emotions/passions are part of or dependent upon your body, but your intellectual / will operations / faculties are not. Your soul, which exists, can therefore live without your body. Your soul can also become unhealthy and needs healing. Your soul, because it is your person’s “life principle,” when it is wounded, it also wounds your body – makes you sick in some ways. So, when the soul is healthy, those aspects of the body made unhealthy by a wounded soul can now be healthy again. You will notice people who are living very sinful lives will tend to be very sick (physically or even mentally). This sickness begins in the soul.

    So use your soul to believe and pray to God to help you. What harm will ever come to you by allowing your soul to function by believing? Believing opens your soul to God’s helpful grace; God whose essence is pure Spirit – compatible in many ways with your soul.

    But you are like one of Christ’s Apostles, St. Thomas who would not believe unless he touched the wounds of Jesus Christ [Gospel of John, 20:24-29, RSV Holy Bible]:

    [24]: Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came.
    [25]: So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
    [26]: Eight days later, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, “Peace be with you.”
    [27]: Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing.”
    [28]: Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
    [29]: Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

    That’s okay. St. Thomas was meant by God to be an example of hope for folks who struggle with relying on other than bodily, sense perceptions. That’s okay!

    St. Thomas Aquinas’ “Summa Theologica,” The First Part, Questions 75-102 on Man will be very helpful in learning about the soul. A very good book which provides a summary of the Summa is Msgr Paul J. Glenn’s “A Tour of the Summa” (Rockford, IL: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc, 1978).

    God grants us spiritual talents – special graces – which we are to use for His Glory. We each are given these “charisms” by His Holy Spirit so that we can help each other along.

  14. Jon permalink

    Francis, if you think someone has lung disease that’s easily tested; they can go to a doctor and get an X-Ray. Where can I go to get some objective confirmation about your conclusions on the alleged state of my soul? Who counts as a reliable authority on soul conditions and why?

    To put it another way, if you think I have a soul in peril and I don’t think I have one at all, which of us is to be trusted on the matter? As far as I know you’ve never even met me; what reason do I have to think your diagnosis of the state of my soul is more accurate than mine? How can we check your claims?

  15. Francis Philip permalink

    Jon – your judgments can not carry weight because your soul is too wounded. You need to open your heart to God – just say a little prayer to Him for help – that’s easy enough to do – just open up a little bit. Yes, you have a soul, and so long as you do not seek healing, it is in peril. Analogously, I would say the same about the man with lung disease who refuses to stop smoking cigarettes…his lung disease will advance and he will not achieve in life what he could have achieved.

  16. Jon permalink

    Francis, if you have any evidence that I have a soul to be hurt by ‘sin’ or anything else then let’s hear it. Otherwise I will continue with my ‘rash judgment’, which sounds very much like a convenient label devised by the churches to slap on anyone who inquires too closely into their iniquities.

    Yes, sheepskin condoms are porous, and so are chicken-wire umbrellas, but since no contraception clinic in the 21st Century is advising the use of either of these, your point is irrelevant. And since the article in question is not suggesting that the people who visited the clinic were or claimed to be allergic to latex, that’s not an issue either.

    But tell me, do you really think the woman quoted in the article believed what she was saying to be true? If she didn’t, then it would seem that she’s the one whose soul is at peril — and if she did, then she has no business working in a center that claims to provide accurate and objective advice. Either she or her employers must have known she was purveying untruths.

  17. Francis Philip permalink

    I don’t think the crisis pregnancy centers are lying. I think that they really care about people for the right reasons. In your searching for atrocities, you can easily become part of the atrocity of “rash judgment,” a deeply-sinful act which hurts your soul. This is not a lie.

    Also, I recommend that, in order not to become part of another’s sin, that you research the article before you repost. For example, it is true that sheepskin condoms are porous and do not block STDs such as HIV and herpes; polyurethane condoms have similar risks as well; some are allergic to latex condoms (which are most effective) and can not use them. I just researched this on WebMD…You say it’s a lie and you take part in a lie and lead others to sin and hurt themselves.

    Please pray about this and seek help for healing. God is always waiting help you; all you need to do is ask.

  18. When people has to tell lies to defend their position, you know something stinks.

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