Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More About Me

Some interesting questions have been raised, as well as implied, in the course of discussions with others on political blogs and I would like to take the time to answer these questions as well as provide an opportunity for you, my readers, to get to know me better.

Question: You've mentioned that you have been a peer counselor for 10 years. Did you have any sort of training? When and where does your experience come from?

In the spring of 1999, I began peer ministry through a local church's highschool youth group, which ended the following summer. In peer ministry, we trained to be peer counselors through role-playing, a work book, discussions, and peer evaluation. Some vital key points we learned were: reflective and active listening, how to provide non-judgemental responses and advice, guidance through basic problem solving, with an emphasis on confidentiality unless the person was in danger of harm or death & refer to a professional if issue is severe. Issues we learned about included: unplanned pregnancy, illegal drug use, underage drinking, and depression/suicide.

From 2002 until January 2004, I maintained a now defunct website (seen here), with a section of information on unplanned pregnancy and provided an e-mail where men and women could contact me for advice and support. Basically I would guide and support them through the decision-making process using active and reflective listening and basic problem solving skills and connected them with resources in their communities to further meet their needs. I received and answered up to 5 e-mails a week.

May 17, 2003, I completed and received a certificate for 6 contact hours of Infant Adoption Awareness Adoption Liason training  (Provided by the National Council for Adoption, through a grant from the state of Indiana. Training personnel provided by Bethany Christian Services)

In 2003, I created a Yahoo! Group Pregnant_Teen_Support, a peer support group for teens (12-20yrs) who are facing an unplanned, unexpected, or unwanted pregnancy, with an emphasis on politically neutrality and non-judgementalism. Today, the group has over 400 members and I have stepped down to co-moderator due to pressing issues in my personal life.

Also, I have become an accepted member at the following online unplanned pregnancy/abortion recovery support communities starting in 2004: Yahoo! Groups: I Might Be Pregnant, IVIllage Abortion Support Board, and the PASS Support Boards.

Question: What are your spiritual/philosophical beliefs?

Answer: I consider myself an agnostic theist. I was born and raised a Catholic, but in my college years I choose to leave the Catholic Church and started attending my husband's church, a small congregation (less than 100 members) which at the time was afffiliated with the United Methodist church. My parents jokingly call me a "Matholic" a combination of Catholic and Methodist :P At that time that I felt very much at home in a United Methodist church because of their scripturally based beliefs (sola scriptura), emphasis on mission work, traditional services, very similiar to the Catholic mass, traditional music, and more conservative stance on political issues. However as time went on, a series of life events led me to start doubting my faith and the existance of a Christian god or higher power(s). I no longer found comfort in or the answers I was seeking in the Christian faith, nor did I idenify with any of the world religions, which led me to identify myself as agnostic two years ago in 2008. I do not believe in multiple gods/godesses, but I am undecided about whether or not one omnipresent, benevolent god/godess exists. My spouse is a practicing Christian and does not agree with my decision and so I do attend church from time to time with my husband to maintain relationship harmony.

Question: What are your political beliefs?

Answer: I would consider myself a moderate, voting democratically on some issues and republican on others. My politically beliefs on the various issues are described here.

Question: But don't you oppose abortion and contraception based on moralistic, bible-based thinking? Didn't we even see a blog entry where you clearly made biblical references in oppositon to abortion?

From when I began to write this blog in 2004 until about mid 2008, I did indeed write a couple of spirituality based entries, at a time when I still believed in the Christian god, but was starting to doubt my faith. These entries can be found under my Religion and Spirituality post tag. There is one entry, written in late 2004, entitled Political Corruption in the Church, in which I took the United Methodist Church and other Christian denominations to task for taking a pro-choice stance based on false and loose interpretations of the Christian faith. You will find this is the only entry on my blog where I make biblical references in oppositon to abortion, which at the time 5 years ago, was made when I still believed in the Christian Faith. However  my beliefs have changed over the years and these days my primary reasons for opposing abortion are based on social, ethical, and medical reasons, and thus these are the basis of my writings on abortion from mid 2005 on. I do not believe in making abortion illegal. Rather I believe we would benefit from: more medical regulation of abortion practices, changing hearts and minds with education and knowledge, reducing the need for abortion through a focus on preventing unplanned pregnancy with availability of contraception and sex education, a better support system for pregnant and parenting women who are working or continuing their education, and addressing the societal pressures which lead women to abortion.

No comments:

Post a Comment