Halting the schism

Conservatives have two stark choices right now:  they can self-destruct or they can create a workable paradigm for moving forward. The self-destruction possibility is playing out before our eyes.  Kathleen Parker fired the opening salvo with her screed about the evil oogedy-boogedy Christians that are tainting conservatism.  Charles Johnson is also taking potshots at Bobby Jindal’s fascination with creationism and exorcism.

I’d like to remind everyone once again that the President, thank goodness, is not God’s agent in the White House, at least so far as the Constitution is concerned.  Bobby Jindal, if he became President, could not mandate that creationism be taught in schools, and nobody is going to be conducting exorcisms on the White House lawn (although it would certainly be fascinating, wouldn’t it?).

Once again, people are forgetting that there is a difference between using political office to impose a state religion on Americans (barred by the Constitution) and being a religious person whose religion informs his ultimate values (typical of the Founders and completely acceptable under the Constitution).  As long as Jindal., or any other conservative Christian (or Orthodox Jew or whatever) in high public office keeps those lines straight in his head, and isn’t demanding that we all worship at the alters of creationism and exorcism, or whatever other doctrine characterizes his religion, I don’t care that he holds those views — just as more than half of Americans didn’t care that Obama, through his associations, made it plain that he believes that Communism is not really a bad thing.

Indeed, considering that I can easily prove that Communism killed more than 100 million people in the 20th Century alone, it strikes me that Obama’s belief system is a whole lot more suspect than Jindal’s, which is laboriously proved by theory and inference, not by objective fact.  And the real fact is that, whether one believes in Darwinism (as I do) or creationism (as others do), those conflicting beliefs haven’t been in the business of killing people lately.

All of which gets me back to my current fixation with true (that is, not Ron Paulian) libertarianism.  If we recognize the appropriate limits for government (strong national security, decent home security, a solid transportation and energy infrastructure, lots of local control, a free market in both the economy and education, etc.), we really don’t need to touch upon a candidate’s religious beliefs.  If the President truly believes in local control over schools and in vouchers (which give parents a great choice in choosing educational systems that will most benefit the kids), the President’s views on creationism become fairly irrelevant.  They’re a curiosity, just as Obama’s trust in Communists and terrorists is a curiosity.  They may be off-putting, but they shouldn’t disqualify someone who is otherwise perfectly capable of handling the reins of power.

By the way, I strongly recommend that, if you haven’t already done so, you read Randall Hoven’s argument that true libertarianism can coexist with, and even function extremely well in, a socially conservative world.  He is not arguing for a New Testament Theocracy.  Instead, he notes that, if the federal government would let go of things such as drug laws, abortion, gun control, etc., we’d find social conservatism anyway, without any Biblical foundation.

This social conservatism would arise because local people would control these issues and they would tend to hew conservative.  Indeed, even in my ultra liberal community, I’d be willing to bet that a whole bunch of the parents who would willingly approve of federal laws allowing unlimited abortion would then make an entirely different call if their own daughter’s health and life were at stake.  It’s easy to be liberal if you deal with remote abstracts; less so if all the issues strike closer to home.

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Comments

  1. geoffreybritain says

    Creationism and Darwinism are not necessarily… mutually exclusive.

    At least not in their basic premises.

    Creatonism’s most basic tenant is that a “creator” is responsible for the existence of the universe and its operational laws.

    Darwin’s theory of evolution is that life evolves according to the relevant operational laws of the universe. That some evolutionists believe the selective mechanisms for the evolvement of life to be ‘unplanned’, ‘random’ or ‘non-directed’ is a secondary tenant, one not intrinsic to the theory’s basic viability.

    Many Christians, even some ‘fundamentalist’ Christians, believe that evolution is a ‘tool’ that the creator, ‘God’, uses in the ongoing creation of life. Some even believe that evolution is the tool God has used to evolve or ‘perfect’ life on earth in preparation for the introduction of his greatest creation, a life form in ‘his’ own image; i.e. mankind.

    Whether this is actually so is irrelevant, as it is an explanation that negates neither isms basic tenants.

  2. Charles Martel says

    geoffrey, good point.

    Jews and Christians implicitly believe in the orderliness of creation and God’s fidelity to it in the sense that he will not suddenly change the laws of nature — except in the case of miracles, I guess, which seem to me are more temporary small-scale interferences than wholesale usurpations.

    (That’s one of the reasons why discussions about the nature of God with Muslims can be so damned frustrating. Allah is total will, caprice and whim, unconnected to man or creation except in terms of what his cannot-be-questioned-nor-understood desire of the moment is. Such a deity does not stoop to create laws or processes that he is willing to bind himself to. That’s why I laugh when I hear leftists refer to Muslim science. Who studies science when Allah can add an extra electron to the hydrogen atom just because he wants to?)

    But even if a conservative believes in a six-day creation, I see no more reason to drum him out of the movement than an atheist. It’s the basic principles of limited government, economic freedom and fundamental rights (free speech, religion, arms, property) that motivate us across a broad spectrum.

    Now, if the creationist or atheist were to insist that ONLY his worldview were to guide our movement, I’d gladly show him the door and direct him to the Democrats. They are much better practitioners than we of “my way or the highway.”

  3. Oldflyer says

    Charles you are right on point. Except for two factors, abortion and homosexuality. That is the element of Christian orthodoxy that drives Atheists mad, and which they must resist at all costs. I used the term Christian deliberately, because Atheists seldom rail against Judaeism, Islam, or any of the myriad other religions. In fact, Islam’s outright abuse of homosexuals does not seem to bother them, while simple Christian disapproval infuriates.

    There just don’t seem to be any other issues that rise to the same level, because Christians have caved on all else. As a minor example; when I moved to Virginia some 30 years ago, Blue Laws were in effect. You could buy nothing on Sunday other than the most essential necessities. Now anything goes. Of course prayer in school, religious symbols on public buildings, etc. long gone.

    I may not understand Libertarianism sufficently, but I see no reason why it should conflict with social Conservatism.

    I still feel that the current labels have lost relevancy. The original meaning of Liberal and Conservative has long been obscured. Progressive is just a made-up construct to avoid using the L word. I see the world in terms of the Federalist-Individualist vs the Centrist-Statist. I personally favor pushing government decisions to the lowest feasible level, and elevating the individual over the interest group or the state –except when issues of security clearly dictate otherwise. I expect that in a generation or two Americans will look back and think that was a really quaint notion.

  4. colorless.blue.ideas says

    What bothers me the most about Ms. Parker and Mr. Johnson is their seemingly uncritical acceptance of the credo, “the personal is political”–viz. that a person engaged in politics will ipso facto attempt to impose one’s own religion (and ideologies) on others. I think that the Founding Fathers were aware of this tendency (after all, it tended to be the situation where there was a strong state church), which is one reason that they insisted that no religious test be required for public office. Ms. Parker and Mr. Johnson encourage the current leftist narrative which promotes the above credo, and counters a constitutional form of government.

    As much as I have historically benefitted fromreading Little Green Footballs, his lack of understanding of “Intelligent Design” hypotheses makes his other statements suspect. I am not by any means convinced that any “Intelligent Design” hypotheses hold, but to conflate them with a young-earth creationism, as Mr. Johnson does, merely shows that he doesn’t understand the concept against which he continually preaches.

    In short, the creation of the “workable paradigm” you suggest absolutely requires the rejection of the leftist narrative concerning religion and related issues. Until that is done, there can be no workable paradigm. And, let me be clear: those of a religious bent must also reject that same narrative as it applies to themselves.

  5. Danny Lemieux says

    And, as exhibit number one, we have Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Roman Catholic. The Roman Catholic Church and most other mainline churches have no problem with Darwinian Evolution theory and sees it as the “how” of God’s works. This is the underpinning of Intelligent Design theory.

    The strict Darwinists generally believe that life is the result of an accidentally mating of molecular reactions, no matter how ridiculous the odds of that coincidence. Now THAT takes a leap of faith divorced from the Laws of Nature. The strength of this Darwinist leap-of-faith comes to the fore when otherwise very intelligent Darwinists are reduced to speculating that the origins of life on earth must have been… “extraterrestial aliens” (http://news.aol.com/newsbloggers/2008/04/18/ben-stein-exposes-richard-dawkins/).

    “When Man stops believing in God, it is not that he stops believing in anything, it is that he will believe anything”. To that, I would add…”and will do everything in their power to destroy other people’s faith in God”.

  6. Ymarsakar says

    I’m a believer in intelligent design, Book. But the question of what this “intelligence” is, however, remains unclear. If it is God, then what is God as applied to the universe? Not in generalities but in specifics. No true scientist would ever refuse an opportunity to study how God has created the universe. No true scientist would refuse such an opportunity even if they did not believe in God: the universe still remains to be discovered and the methods by which the universe functions are concrete and not dependent upon one’s theology.

    People are afraid that religion will create extremism and unrealistic policies/expectations. People are afraid of the Islamic jihad and see them as the perfect example. Since people can’t fight the Islamics because that would be unPC, they must direct their hate, fear, and angst towards acceptable targets. The 2 minute Hate is with us once more. Don’t hate the State, cause the State will crush you. Instead, hate what the State tells you to hate. Much safer, so des neh.

    When folks hear about “intelligent design”, they picture religious fanatics not open to other venues of thought or policy. The Wahhabism, for example.

    The reality, however, (the one I perceive), is that the Left is more fanatical in all such matters inside the uS than any other organization. In international affairs, of course, Islam takes the cake, bbut in the Western world, the Left has long been the dominant example of religious extremism, fanaticism, and rigid and reactionary policy making.

  7. Ymarsakar says

    So you will understand when Leftists talk about religion being extreme, I don’t really pay much attention to them. THe same applies to “moderates” such as Oz. Anyone that thinks they are in the middle between the Right’s religious fervency and the Left has just put themselves between Charybdis and Scylla.

  8. Tiresias says

    I confess (leaving all religion out of it for the moment) to being amused by all of the current speculation about “what went wrong” in which people such as Parker, Johnson, Mort Kondracke, et al are deeply engaged. It seems as though the conservative message is being largely and widely blamed for not working for the majority of the electorate.

    Fellas – you had your perfect candidate with Captain Maverick. He was your expressed ideal. He was your dream boy: clearly not conservative; (clearly not always able to bring himself to even go so far as to be republican); clearly not a bible-belter; the author of immigrant amnesty; the author of campaign finance “reform;” and more willing to work with the other side (to the detriment of us all) than Barack Obama ever thought of being.

    Parker, Johnson, Knodracke: you’re all writing and complaining about a candidate who wasn’t in the recent election. This ultra-conservative bogeyman against whom you’re railing – who would that have been? You’re all analyzing the wrong-headedness of an alternative view that wasn’t represented. You had your guy – and he lost.

    As far as the religious views of a candidate, you’re right, Bookworm: they’re entirely irrelevant once office is achieved. The President does not establish a national religion, nor does that office have anything to say about it.

    How this becomes an issue worth expending energy talking about baffles me.

  9. George Bruce says

    Excellent post. As an atheist, creationism and anti-abortionism have little appeal to me. Much less am I drawn to pseudo religions or cults like multiculturalism, socialism or global warming. I do not endorse Jindal at this point, nor do I know if he is running. If he is the RP’s nominee, I expect I will find that his irrationalities are BY FAR the lessor of the evils from which to chose. Given his obvious intelligence and managerial competence, and his laudable positions on government spending and taxation, Jindal could be an excellent president. However, he and all potential RP candidates will be sure losers if the RP chooses to self destruct.

    I don’t know how to explain to CJ and his type that 48 divided by 2 never equals 51. If the obvious is not obvious to him, then there is little more to be said. It is saddening and maddening to see parts of the conservative movement figuratively beating themselves in the head with a hammer.

  10. Mike Devx says

    Neither McCain nor Bush can be called conservative; at best they can be labelled “pragmatists”. This has led them to be “men of their times”, and when the times called for big-government solutions, they fell right into line.

    You can be a pragmatist and still be strong on defense and on the War in Iraq. Both mouthed the words about a conservative approach to governance, including apparently valuing tradition and fiscal responsibility, but when push came to shove, there was little to nothing behind their words.

    We haven’t run a real conservative for President since Reagan. Bush Senior, Bob Dole, Bush Junior, McCain… all centrist pragmatists.

    As you can see, I am most definitely NOT a fan of “Pragmatism” as it is defined in politics.

  11. Ymarsakar says

    I cannot disagree with how you classify the moderates in the GOP, Mike. The Dems like to accuse us of going for theocracy and religious extremism and how the “people’s voice” have rejected such. The people have done no such thing.

  12. BrianE says

    “I confess (leaving all religion out of it for the moment) to being amused by all of the current speculation about “what went wrong” in which people such as Parker, Johnson, Mort Kondracke, et al are deeply engaged. It seems as though the conservative message is being largely and widely blamed for not working for the majority of the electorate.”- Tiresias

    I supported John McCain as much out of loyalty as anything else. I thought his steadfastness on Iraq would, in the end, resonate with voters. But other events took center state and in the end the democrats, with the assistance of the media, crafted a better message. They complained that GW had got us into an awful mess– Iraq, reckless spending, voodoo economics and in the end conservatives were forced to play a bluffing hand. If Iraq cost $1 trillion dollars, the deficit increased by $6 trillion dollars. GW had spent recklessly, but I believe he was outspent every budget cycle by congress, who were busy outbidding each other as to who could buy the voters. Economic policy stuffed with social do-goodism diverted investment dollars toward “low risk” investments offering high returns– always a sure sign that someone is cheating, or lying, or both but this was counted against Bush, even though the fingerprints of democrats were plain to see.

    I’ve said before, McCain picked Palin because he likes being a maverick, and that was a maverick thing to do. He thought her energy credentials, when gas was $4 a gallon would resonate with voters, and it was working, before the economic equivalent of an EMF bomb destroyed his candidacy.

    Had Palin been slightly less pro-life (rape, etc) would that have been enough? And then there was Trig. Has the nation become more pro-abortion in the last eight years? Probably. Had she had 4 or 8 years successfully running Alaska, would that have helped her case? Most certainly.

    But I don’t think that made the difference. Obama ran a better campaign. They displayed a discipline that was remarkable. The fact that few questioned any of the decisions the campaign made didn’t hurt, and an extra $300 million dollars didn’t hurt either, but McCain’s campaign was all over the issues. His trip to Washington was an apt metaphor to his campaign. His instincts to make something of it were sound, but in the end, his presence made no difference. McCain had no exit strategy, the first rule of combat.

    The fact that nearly every news story containing a reference to Palin began with– “Governor Palin levels a new vicious attack against Obama today” didn’t help. I thought they gave up on the energy story too early, but I suppose it had been tried out on a focus group somewhere.

    Evolution won’t stick against Christians, since a majority of Americans don’t believe it explains origins, so I don’t think that will be a factor for a few more years.

    It remains to be seen what the backlash to homosexuals activism may be if Prop 8 is overturned, since most Americans know that as California goes, so goes the nation. So I don’t think that would work against Christians.

    I think Christians can certainly get along with Libertarians, though they are often an unruly bunch, but it’s more likely they will disdain believers.

    I’m not suggesting that a candidate must profess Christ to be acceptable to Christians, but there must be a sense that the candidate holds some principals deeply.

  13. Ellie2 says

    Oldflyer has it right: abortion and homosexuality are what is driving the “right” — for lack of a better word — to schism.

    Although I understand the “there is no other hand” (h/t Tevya in “Fiddler on the Roof”) moral conviction on both of these issues, the fact is that a large majority of Americans are OK with abortions in some circumstances and are basically neutral on Gay rights. (And yes, I can hear my late mother’s voice in my ear: if all of your friends were jumping off the cliff, would you go with them?”)

    I myself fall into the “it’s not for me, but I’m OK with it” majority. I have never supported the single/married distinctions in law, the tax code, pension benefits, etc. Therefore I have no problem returning the sacrament of Marriage to the sole jurisdiction of Religious, rather than secular, law.

    For as long as perhaps as many as 20% of the political “right” will never vote for a Pro-Choice candidate and/or who will insist on alienating “right”-leaning gays with their bigotry, the “right” will be left with the least offensive (or least honest) choice. And unless the opponent is dreadful (a la Carter) the “right” will lose.

    As I wrote over at AT: we might be eliminating candidates who could change the world.

    The Founders were very flawed men: we have a notorious womanizer as the first President and leader of the army; a widowed man who freed his slaves in his Will but while he lived, partook of full carnal knowledge of his female house slave. This man wrote the Declaration.

    Now if I were living in Nazi Germany, would I be signing up with D. Bonhoeffer? Yes I would. In Biblical times or now, would I be in the mob stoning a sinner? No, I’d take a pass on that.

    To quote my guy Rudy: Look. A guy who agrees with me 80% of the time is not my enemy. A guy who agrees with me 80% of the time is my friend!

    This is what the left has over the right: it has consolidated its base over what they agree on. And that is what it takes to win.

  14. Ymarsakar says

    THe Left has consolidated their base on looting America, which is something many demographics can agree on as it satisfies profit and selfish motives. Their coalition has internal problems, however, but that is not usually known due to the MSM.

    Blacks hating gays, for example, is not ever news worthy to the MSM.

    The most recent blowup in the GOP didn’t have to do with abortion or homosexuals, but with class and intelligence over Sarah Palin. That was what caused so many to split, effectively, between Obama and McCain.

    Any minor differences over abortion and homosexuals weren’t very large compared to that incident.

  15. Charles Martel says

    I don’t expect to see Roe v. Wade overturned in my lifetime (I’m 60), though I think it would be a wonderful development. The moral issues of abortion aside, the decision was such a slap at federalism that it set in motion a cancer that’s still eating at our country — usurpation of the legislative process by some of the dimmest black-robed dimwits in the republic’s history.

    That doesn’t mean that the pro-life movement — and conservatives — can’t push back the boundaries of the horror here and there. Members of my son’s generation walk around knowing that about one third of them are missing, thanks to “choice.”

    Even with the obsessive Hefner-esque sexuality that surrounds them, a majority of kids in their teens and twenties are wary of abortion. So, they are open to arguments against partial-birth abortion and Obama-style infanticide. I think that working with them we can eat away at the Culture of Death.

    The increasing approval of homosexuality is mostly a case of “I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine — I won’t protest your previously abhorrent sexual practices if you won’t protest my previously abhorrent sexual practices.”

    But I think that homosexuality takes care of itself in a way. Opportunistic diseases will continue to plague people who indulge in buggery, no matter how much its proponents insist that their acts are normal or benign. And nature’s revenge against the distaff side of gaydom appears to be “lesbian bed death,” which I take as one proof that sampling your mirror image is ever so much less exciting than delving lustily into the opposite sex.

    As for marriage, gosh, I hate to say it, but most male homosexuals aren’t interested in it and never will be (except for the tax and financial goodies that come with it). Or else they’ll insist on an Andrew Sullivan-type of “marriage” where one may sodomize others at will, as long as one’s spouse remains primus inter buggerer pares.

    I guess the body politic can survive a few thousand couples walking around with both members pretending to be June brides. You can dress a bunch of chimps up in tuxes, but that still doesn’t make it a dinner party.

  16. Charles Martel says

    Ellie2,

    Nobody is talking about despising anybody. Some of the people I have loved the most in my life have been homosexual. It was the debased thing they engaged in that caused my distress.

    The same with abortion. I have known and loved as friends women who have had them. That doesn’t stop me from abhorring the terrible thing they did.

    So I can fight tooth-and-nail against the legalizing of private murder or the sanctifying and glorifying of repellent behaviors without hating the people who engage in them.

  17. BrianE says

    Ellie2,
    I read the Paglia article and didn’t get the sense that she thought it was all about abortion. She thought it had to do as much with some eastern-bred snobbery and pseudo-intellectualizing. More to do with Y’s point. Reading the comments is an eye-opener of the ignorance of liberals.
    Most of these folks that denigrate her accomplishments couldn’t be elected dogcatcher. It’s amazing that folks who most often have done nothing are the first to criticize those that actually do things.
    But I digress.
    And I agree with Charles that no one is talking about despising anyone. But that shouldn’t be an excuse to force acceptance of a fundamental change to the institution of marriage, which has been in place for millennia reserved for a man and a woman.
    When my wife’s cousin broke up with a partner of 20 years the pain and the confusion were genuine and we offered the support we could. What made matters even harder was the fact they were also business partners.
    But the sympathy we had for what Sandy was feeling, doesn’t mean the condition he found himself in would have been any less painful or easier if he had had a piece of paper saying they had a legal relationship.
    Marriage serves an institutional purpose in society. If we continue to abandon it, we do so at societies peril.

  18. Ellie2 says

    “I read the Paglia article” — true this doesn’t really reveal Dr Paglia’s point (this is all about abortion). I learned this mostly from frequent interviews on WABC in New York.

    That being said, I cannot belong to a position that condemns abortions or gays.

    I can’t. I won’t.

  19. Charles Martel says

    “Nobody is talking about despising anybody.” Really?

    Wow, Ellie, what a finely reasoned rejoinder. I guess I’ll have to rethink my entire approach to abortion and sodomy.

  20. Ymarsakar says

    “Nobody is talking about despising anybody.” Really?

    Gays despise and hate on each other far more than any one of Christian persuasion. Look at former corporal Matt Sanchez as one example.

  21. Ymarsakar says

    PS: Under Jewish law if the embryo is “an enemy of the mother” an abortion is allowed.

    And thus, if the embryo is not an enemy of the mother, but the mother is the enemy of the embryo, abortion is not allowed.
    That being said, I cannot belong to a position that condemns abortions or gays.

    So given that, it wouldn’t work for you.

    Works for me.

    So no, in the entirety, it does not work for you for it condemns abortions when the mother is an enemy of the embryo when the embryo is not an enemy of the mother.

  22. Ymarsakar says

    Marriage serves an institutional purpose in society. If we continue to abandon it, we do so at societies peril.

    People should test out their social engineering projects on other nations and see what happens before they test on themselves or their neighbors. Do drug companies test drugs on humans first thing? No. Why? Cause.

  23. Charles Martel says

    “PS: Under Jewish law if the embryo is ‘an enemy of the mother’ an abortion is allowed. Works for me.”

    Ellie, let’s do a thought experiment:

    Do you think any of the following qualify under a.) Jewish law as something that makes an embryo an “enemy of the mother or b.) qualify as a legitmate reason in your view to kill a fetus:

    —”Having a baby will interrupt my education/career.”

    —”My parents will kill me if they learn I’m pregnant.”

    —”I have two children already. A third would be too many.”

    —”My boyfriend will leave me if I carry through with this pregnancy.”

    —”The world is a terrible place to bring a new life into.”

    —”My friends and neighbors would not understand how I can deplete the world’s resources with a new mouth to feed.”

    —”The fetus is deformed. I will be doing it a favor by aborting it.”

    —”I could not stand carrying this baby through to term and then giving it away. I’d rather kill it.”

    I hope you’ll answer. It will help me better understand your reasoning.

  24. rockdalian says

    Jonah Goldberg,

    And that should serve as a warning to those, on the right and left, who would like to see the GOP defenestrate millions of actual, living, breathing members of the party — e.g., social conservatives — in order to woo millions of largely nonexistent jackalopes. The GOP would simply cease to exist as a viable party without the support of social and religious conservatives. But not so the other way around. We’ve seen what happens in this country when the passionately religious abandon love for limited government and instead embrace social liberalism and government activism. The results have been good, as in the abolition movement. And the results have been more mixed, like during Prohibition and the Progressive Movement.

    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MjRlMDEyZDcyYTNlODliYmRhZWRkNjc2OGE2YjViOWI=

    Work for me.

  25. Ellie2 says

    I can’t. I won’t. Bye.

    PS: Happy Thanksgiving

    But before I go –

    “And thus, if the embryo is not an enemy of the mother, but the mother is the enemy of the embryo, abortion is not allowed.”

    Define enemy.

  26. Charles Martel says

    Ellie, LOL!

    Of course you can’t or won’t. After all, it’s easier to love abortion in the abstract than in the particular.

    (Wonder where I got that idea?)

    Also, I see that you may cite something that uses the word enemy, and all here are supposed to now what it means. But if Ymarsakar uses the word, you demand an definition.

    Curiouser and curiouser.

    Happy T-day to you, too.

  27. Ellie2 says

    I learned the idea of the ‘fetus being the enemy of the mother’ from Rabbi Joseph Potasnik. Only Rabbi’s can say what they mean.

    As for “it’s easier to love abortion in the abstract” — well that’s just disgusting.

    “That being said, I cannot belong to a position that condemns abortions or gays.” And if BW Room or the Republican Party becomes that, I will move on.

  28. Ymarsakar says

    Define enemy.

    Since you brought it up first, I am using it in the same sense that you mean it. I cannot define it because my definition is a direct result of the context in which you used it. If you change the context in which you use the word, the definition changes for me as well.

  29. Mike Devx says

    >> I learned the idea of the ‘fetus being the enemy of the mother’ from Rabbi Joseph Potasnik. Only Rabbi’s can say what they mean. >>

    Well, it perhaps does have a specific meaning within Rabbinical tradition. But I think I know what it means as well: That the fetus poses a direct threat to the life of the mother. And in such a case, the mother’s survival is the higher right, and hence the abortion is considered moral.

    That the fetus might pose mere inconveniences or difficulties to the mother is not considered to be a part of this definition of “enemy”, and these do not lead to the abortion being considered a moral outcome.

  30. Charles Martel says

    Ellie2:

    >>As for “it’s easier to love abortion in the abstract” — well that’s just disgusting.<<

    Who are you now, the Church Lady?

    You defend abortion. When somebody gives you specific examples of the reasons most often offered for having an abortion and asks you to state why you would or would not agree with them, it is hardly an unfair or unfit question.

    That you won’t answer it seems to me to make you a supporter of abortion in the abstract because you certainly refuse to deal with it the concrete. It’s like when I ask my wife what happens when a woman exercises her “other choice” — she gets squeamish at having to describe the dismemberment of a living human being by its own mother.

    I certainly can see why you shy away from any real defense of your position. There simply isn’t one that sooner or later doesn’t force you to confront either supreme selfishness or supreme horror.

    With regard to gays, condemning their behaviors is hardly the same as condemning them. It’s like when you have a child who does something bad. You hate the deed, not her. Or a friend who smokes. You can hate the smoking but love the friend.

    Gays do some pretty debased things to one another. There’s just no way around it — you can’t pile whipped cream on a cow pattie and call it a pie. So I’ll continue to express my disgust at certain acts, and my intention to resist having them beatifed as these wonderful expressions of “gay” love. But I’ll continue loving the gays who are in my life.

    Heck, you might even try that approach with a conservative. You know, hate her pro-life, pro-traditional marriage stances, but love the stupid, pathetic, deluded person anyway.

  31. Mike Devx says

    Charles (#34)
    >> I certainly can see why you shy away from any real defense of your position. There simply isn’t one that sooner or later doesn’t force you to confront either supreme selfishness or supreme horror. >>

    Is it just me, or is the debate between you and Ellie2 escalating? Beginning to sound intransigent and angry on both sides.

    The idea that abortion represents “supreme selfishness or supreme horror” is definitely the impression of abortion on your side of the argument, Charles – and I do in general share it. But I’ve found that for those who are pro-abortion, at least to the point in keeping it legal, simply don’t view it that way. If they did, they would be strongly anti-abortion, wouldn’t they? I suspect that using the phrase “supreme selfishness or supreme horror” won’t be a very convincing argument, either.

    As an aside, away from the Ellie-Charles debate itself:
    Also I find a rape that results in a pregnancy to be a worse horror – to me – than the abortion resulting from such a rape-pregnancy. As I’ve said, there are many different positions on abortion. In addition for me: Whenever I try to envision even the concept of more than one million abortions per year… just try! ONE MILLION abortions per year… I develop that sense of “supreme horror” that you have mentioned. I disdain pragmatism, yet I find my position on abortion – due to rape and incest and drugs such as RU-486 which attack the newly conceived egg/sperm blastula, and which I find acceptable – I therefore find my abortion position to have elements of pragmatism and even expediency, which makes me uncomfortable.

    But I have to agree with you

  32. Charles Martel says

    Mike:

    The escalation is from irritation on my part. I just wanted to know why it is so difficult to say yes or no to specific arguments that have been advanced over the years as reasons to have an abortion, and to explain why.

    Surely one arrives at a pro-choice (or pro-life) position based on a thorough examination of one’s own morality — and conscience. I’m always willing to defend the basis of my belief, so I reasonably expect people who defend abortion to be willing to do the same.

    But Ellie’s assertions — and I’m not aiming at Ellie in particular so much as Ellies in general — are not explained or examined. We hear about “choice” or “the mother’s health” from abortion supporters but are never told what they are or why they are so important in a proponent’s own words. The rest of us are to take them at face value and not say, “Yes, but…” or “What if?” And we are told that if we do, that if Bookwormroom and the Republicans advocate against abortion, the correspondent will leave the room.

    Telling people what they must not think or say as the condition for participating in a forum seems odd to me. Helen would probably call it something clever, like whitemail.

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