When One Issue Isn’t One Issue

Publicity has been given recently to prominent Evangelicals who reject the perceived partisan politics of abortion and homosexuality for the broader, nonpartisan politics of global warming and the environment, poverty, homelessness, and governmental intervention in more problems.  Evangelicals have been criticized in the past for “one-issue” voting, usually abortion.  They have now, according to many commentators, taken the criticism to heart and have focused their attention on social issues more broadly defined.

The problem is, the criticism fails when it comes to most thinking voters.  The fact that I will not vote for a given politician because he or she is in favor of continuing the unlimited abortion license does not mean that my vote fails to take into account the many other good things such a politician might do.  So, for instance, a self-identified religious conservative might vote for Barack Obama because he has all sorts of things going for him (I say that simply for the sake of argument), regardless of where he stands on the abortion issue.  I suppose I could theoretically conceive of a politician who was wrong about abortion, but right about all sorts of other social issues, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one in actual practice.

Abortion is not an isolated issue, unrelated to everything else.  In fact, I am 95 percent convinced that if someone is wrong about abortion, that person is likely to be wrong about much else as well.  If the question of when humans come to possess human rights is above a politician’s pay grade, it seems to me that the presidency is above his pay grade as well.  If you don’t know when humans have human rights, how can you work to protect those rights?  Further, if you don’t know when humans have human rights, why would it be okay to allow the killing of those humans, whom, admittedly, may or may not have human rights?  Which puts a lot more than the abortion license in question.

Being wrong about abortion also likely means that one is wrong about the family.  The premise of the “right” to murder one’s own child is that a woman has a “right” to do whatever she wants with “her” “own” “body.”  But this affects also the rights and responsibilities of fathers, which means it affects the marriage relationship itself.  If Paul is correct that the wife’s body is the husband’s and the husband’s body is the wife’s, then it makes no moral sense to say that the husband has nothing to say about what happens to the wife’s body, let alone the body of their unborn child.  I’d also be willing to bet that such a politician, instead of helping single mothers stay home and take care of their children (far better than daycare), would pay for daycare so the mother can work.  I’d also be willing to bet that that politician would be in favor of giving your money and mine to Planned Parenthood, which carries out the most abortions each year, supported by our tax dollars.

As a side note, it’s interesting that politicians who want as much government influence (or interference) as possible think that the government should stay out of abortion “politics.”

Those who vote or don’t vote for a politician based on his/her views on abortion should not be cowed into silence or working to end global warming as a response to the criticism that they are one-issue voters.  It’s not that simple.

Timotheos

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57 thoughts on “When One Issue Isn’t One Issue

  1. I think you’re going about this the wrong way. Describing abortion as murder simply alienates the sensible people you should be trying to persuade. It makes you look like some kind of loony, frankly.

  2. Sensible people realize that abortion is the taking of a human life. The only question is whether taking a human life is morally acceptable in this case. I submit that it is not. If taking a human life is not morally acceptable, the only thing to do is to call it what it is: murder. Not sure what’s loony about that.

    Tim

  3. Tony,
    Try to be at least a LITTLE sensible.
    To undo Roe vs Wade would mean the American Government, which allowed for this atrocity, would have to admit it assisted in the murder of over 50 million babies. It would make what the Nazis did to the Jews and others look pretty tame.
    Try convincing a government of that. It’s no longer a matter of just right and wrong, but a geopolitical outlook that has governed the way Americans view life for over 30 years.

  4. Have you noticed that lots of other countries have legal abortion, in many cases dating from acts in the legislature going back before Roe v. Wade in the US, and enjoying strong public support?

  5. I mentioned the other countries because the circumstances there seem to contradict the implication that it’s all a horrible ghastly genocidal error in the US that nobody dares own up to.

  6. Other countries’ genocides contradict nothing. That’s like saying that because Stalin and Hitler killed millions, Pol Pot could not have.

    I take it you don’t think that abortion is the willful taking of a human life?

    Tim

  7. The primary purpose of the American government according to the Constitution and the Founders has always been to secure and defend our rights (not give them to us, as is the case in European democracies… we acknowledge that we are endowed with our rights naturally, and inalienably).

    Given this fact, when a politician fails to work towards defending and securing the life and liberty of all persons (which he or she is sworn to do according o the 14th Amendment), he is not capable of performing his office in accordance with the ideals of liberty… so I will not vote for him.

    As for other nations, we must remember that at one time virtually all nations publicly acknowledged slavery to be a natural condition. People all over the world recognized this and fully supported it… only a small percentage of people believed it to be wrong. Did that make it right? As it seems to make abortion right?

    Karl

  8. If these other countries reversed their genocidal legislation, they would ALSO have to own up to their (pre-Roe v Wade) death camps known as abortion clinics.
    The Europeans are guilty of the same thing no matter what the legislation is called. Unless of course, conventional wisdom now says “Two wrongs make a right”.

    Brandt

  9. Here is a new pro-life slogan: “Unborn children should have the right to keep and bear arms – and legs and ears and eyes etc.!” BTW, if you want to see the end result of one of the “rights” Obama approves of, Google “Obama Supports Public Depravity.” Believe it or not, this continuing depravity has been taking place in Nancy Pelosi’s district, and the SF cops have been ordered by the SF mayor to refrain from arresting those who practice (on public streets where children are!) the kind of “rights” supported by Obama!
    The big question isn’t IF a big quake will hit San Francisco but WHEN it will hit!
    Norman

  10. It’s funny that Karl brought up a parallel with slavery. I have long felt that as whenever a woman doesn’t have the final say over the contents of her womb she cannot be said truthfully to own even her own body.

    Without that right, which men take for granted, she is literally a slave.

    Obviously it’s a very different way of looking at the issue, and one I don’t expect Karl to agree with. I think it’s more in keping with the sentiment of Roe v. Wade, however.

    The right to abortion as upheld in Roe v. Wade is supported, over some decades now, by a nearly 2:1 ratio of American people when they are polled. Approximately 1 American woman in 3 will have an abortion during her lifetime.

  11. “It’s funny that Karl brought up a parallel with slavery. I have long felt that as whenever a woman doesn’t have the final say over the contents of her womb she cannot be said truthfully to own even her own body.

    Without that right, which men take for granted, she is literally a slave.”

    Although not as “literally” as the baby in her womb, according to your logic.

    “The right to abortion as upheld in Roe v. Wade is supported, over some decades now, by a nearly 2:1 ratio of American people when they are polled.”

    It all depends on how the question is asked. If it is asked whether Roe v. Wade should be overturned, you may be correct. However, if it is asked if abortion should be severely limited to the exceptions of a mother’s health, incest, or rape, then the percentages go the other way.

    “Approximately 1 American woman in 3 will have an abortion during her lifetime.”

    Another random statistic that determines nothing one way or the other.

    Tim

  12. Well I’m getting to the point, really.

    You’ve compared abortion to the Holocaust. You don’t give any reason to suppose that this point of view is worthy of consideration, you merely assert it.

    I have given statistics to show that your opinion is so far from being mainstream that tens of milions of people in your own country act contrary to it.

    So if you want to convince all those people that they are wrong and you are right, you need to make your case. You haven’t done so really.

    Your implication that most people would agree to have abortion limited to incest and rape is incorrect.

  13. “You’ve compared abortion to the Holocaust. You don’t give any reason to suppose that this point of view is worthy of consideration, you merely assert it.”

    By pure numbers, it’s not even a question.

    Here’s a poll that’s far from “2-1”: http://www.pollingreport.com/abortion.htm

    Here’s another that shows that a majority of Americans support some restrictions: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1576/Abortion.aspx

    Here’s one more, just for the heck of it: http://www.zogby.com/soundbites/readclips.dbm?ID=6982

    Where is your data?

  14. One of the major problems I have with your conclusions, Tony, is that you seem to be basing your entire defense on the idea that everyone approves of it. One of the purposes I had in bringing up slavery was that at one time the majority of people also approved of that. If a majority approved of segregating schools, would that make it right? If a majority believed it necessary to sacrifice the Jewish population for the betterment of society, would that make it right?

    History is full of “majority” opinions on matters of liberty, and in all cases, the majority will decide to deprive the minority of their rights to secure their own selfish ambitions. The case is the same in abortion: the minority of the unborn are unable to help themselves, so those in power have determined they may exercise their rights over them.

    Karl

  15. My response to Timotheos

    Thre pionts, each matching your corresponding citations:

    Firstly if you’ve read the first page you cited than you know that what I said is true. You say “Here’s a poll that’s far from “2-1″” but that page is full of polls by multiple organizations that support Roe v. Wade by nearly 2:1 over a considerable period. Just as I claimed.

    The second page you cited is entirely and completely compatible with the strong public support for Roe v. Wade. It is possible that somebody has sold Roe v. Wade to you as a blanket support for abortion on demand up to and beyond the third trimester (it is very far from that, you only have to read the words) and that you therefore regard anything other than abortion on demand as incompatible with Roe v. Wade.

    The third page you cited is an editorial by the founder of the anti-abortion website Life News in which he falsely claims that over 50 per cent of the population regard abortion as manslaughter. This was based on a poll in which the subject is given a choice of two statements: “abortion destroys a human life and is manslaughter” and “abortion does not destroy a human life and is not manslaughter”. That is not a fair question. Of course abortion destroys a human life (the embryo or fetus has developed from a human zygote and will develop into a human if permitted to do so (this is the most obvious reason for terminating the pregnancy!). To describe that as manslaughter, however, is another question. That was a push-poll and I’m surprised that a reputable polling organization permitted the poll to go out in ite name.

  16. Karl, well I’m not just saying that “everybody approves of it.”

    Don’t avoid my point.

    Suppose you are female and are raped and impregnated.

    It’s day four and everybody is convinced that you were impregnated against your will. The embryo has probably already implanted.

    Should you be permitted a say on the contents of your womb?

    Exactly who owns your body?

  17. Morality by numbers is a dangerous game to play, Tony.
    As Karl asserted, at one time, a majority of people held that slavery is right. That did not make it right.
    As for a woman being “a slave” if she has no control over her body… well that seems just ironic given that the vast majority of pregnancies are by consent. So by your (irrational) logic, Tony, you are asserting that the vast majority of women are slaves by their own will.
    The only person who is being treated as a slave (ala ZERO rights) is the one who was placed in the woman’s womb.
    Imagine if we were able to indiscriminately kill other people if they were an inconvenience to us.
    Perhaps a woman is a slave in a certain sense. Perhaps she is a slave to her own immoral or at least unwise sexual practices. Of course, that type of slavery is applauded by our media and branded as “freedom”.

  18. Tony:

    You bring up a question that is really important, and no doubt has caused many to question their own stance on abortion. The choice of solutions that you provide, however, are just as biased as “is abortion manslaughter or not”. You follow up your example with the question: “Should you be permitted a say on the contents of your womb?”

    Certainly a woman is entitled to decisions regarding her own body. The problem is that when a woman becomes pregnant, her own body is not the only factor any longer. There is now another human life involved. You admitted this yourself, when you said, “Of course abortion destroys a human life.” She has no more rights over her pre-born child as she does over her post-born child. Once we give the liberty of one person to deprive another of his/her liberty, we destroy the very concept of liberty itself.

    Should the rapist in the case be locked away for life? Yes. Should the baby be destroyed on account of his father’s crime? No. Should the mother receive counseling? Most certainly yes. A situation of rape is serious, and those involved deserve our help. If the child is an unwanted reminder of the crime, then the child should be put up for adoption. There are 1.6 million parents who wish to adopt every year in the US, but the number of children available are much smaller [around 50,000] (which is why it is so difficult to adopt children here in the US).

    When a society allows the pre-born to be disposed of, because they are an inconvenience, it is not long before others become disposable as well. If you think that’s just a paranoid thought, look at The Netherlands. Doctors can choose to terminate the life of a disabled child up to age 12 against the consent of his or her parents! The elderly are also considered inconvenient and at the mercy of their families and government.

    Karl

  19. B. Hoffmann. I’m sorry if you see my stance as anything resembling “morality by numbers”. I think it is worth stating that the viewpoints expressed by Timotheos (in the post he describes abortion as murder) are extreme and unacceptable to most people.

    To persuade and convince, to make all of us who disagree with that extreme viewpoint,, one must actually make a case that, extreme or no, it is correct.

    You say that the logic of my argument fails because “the vast majority of pregnancies are by consent.” Not so. For my argument to prevail, I only have to show you that treating a woman who has raped and seeks an abortion as a murderer is unreasonable.

    That’s very easy to show. Clearly a woman who can be made pregnant by rape and must then spend the next nine months bringimg the fetus into the world is no more than a public incubator for use by any man.

    If she does not own her body she is a slave.

    Karl. Roe v. Wade says that up to the point of viability the pregnant woman’s right to privacy takes precedence. This seems to me like an equitable solution to the conundrum you describe. I support it because it respects the pregnant woman’s right to own her own body.

    The last paragraph of your response contains an attempt to construct a “slippery slope” argument. However it appears to be based on fiction. It’s merely a scare story.

  20. Tony:

    Roe v. Wade was a piece of “legislation” passed by the Supreme Court in 1973. Since 1973, we have come to understand the science of pregnancy to a far greater degree. While it may have been uncertain 30 years ago whether an embryo was a human being, what we know now is certain that from the moment of conception a child has human DNA distinct from his/her mother and father. We can use DNA to convict or acquit a criminal, but we cannot use it to save a life?

    Scientifically and Constitutionally speaking, Roe v. Wade is outdated and unConstitutional. It was a defense of a law which did not exist, and it purports to defend the 14th Amendment which states, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Since we now know that pre-born children are human beings, they are therefore individual persons who are entitled to protection under the law… however, this Amendment has been perverted to defend the practice of eliminating persons, in much the same way that property laws were used to defend slavery.

    As for my previous last paragraph on The Netherlands, I did mistype some of my information, I apologize for that (and will be sure to proofread this time!)… but, one can be euthanized without their own consent (or their parents) after age 16 (see: Medische Beslissingen Roknd Het Levenseinde: Rapport van de Commissie Onderzoek Medische Praktijk inzake Euthanasie (Medical Decisions About the End of Life: Report of the Committee to Investigate the Medical Practice Concerning Euthanasia) The Hague, 1991 and 1993 World Almanac and Book of Facts, New York, 1992). HALF of the 11,800 euthanized deaths in 1990 were done WITHOUT consent.

    My questions for you, Tony are these: what are the qualifications of a human being to be a person guaranteed protection of the law for their life? When is killing another human being wrong? And why? You acknowledge that abortion kills another human being… so when does that become morally wrong? And who has the authority to determine who should be killed and who should not?

    Karl

  21. Karl, you’ve got a few facts wrong. Roe v. Wade was a supreme court decision.

    Yu say that science has shown us something that we didn’t know in 1973. While this is true, the facts you cite were known long, long before 1973. The situation has not changed in that regard.

    The question of whether a fetus can be described as a person in law from conception (or from implantation, or from some other point in pregnancy) is a legal one and is within the competence of the Supreme Court, subject to Congress.

    As for your questions, my answer is that I am happy to leave these matters up to the governments of this world which over the past few decades have shown eminent commonsense and pragmatism in advancing the rights of women, in almost every case, over the heads who would have them left in eternal slavery.

  22. Tony:

    I did say that Roe v. Wade was from the Supreme Court (I used the word legislation in quotations, because it is in a sense legislation, since there was no existing federal law concerning abortion, and when the Supreme Court ruled on it, it violated the 10th Amendment, which gives priority on such matters to the States, not the Federal Government). Even the most ardent abortion-supporter cannot deny the unConstitutionality of Roe v. Wade… it is the Supreme Court overstepping its bounds (since the Constitution does not give it the authority to strike down State or even Federal laws).

    We both agree that a pre-born child is a human being. Where we disagree, and where I don’t believe we will agree (at this point), is whether he or she is entitled to protection under the law. I believe we should error on the side of liberty and human rights, whereas, you, and many others, believe the rights of the ones in power outweigh the rights of the weak. It is an old argument which governments have used for centuries to keep one part of society in power, and one in submission. It is the great irony that those who support abortion look to the same government that for centuries denied them the right to vote and participate in public life… and now they use that government to deny the same for future men and women yet unborn.

    You claim to speak up for women’s rights, but what you fail to see is that half of the humans being exterminated in abortion are female. I suppose that the “eminent commonsense and pragmatism” displayed by the government in advancing women’s rights doesn’t apply in this case.

    Karl

  23. Tony,
    I believe you should concede that a woman’s right to govern her body ends when it comes at the cost of taking the life of another person.
    The child that grows in a woman is NOT her body. Rather it is the body of the person growing inside her regardless of how it got there.

    You want proof that it is a human? Check the DNA. It is impossible to mistake the DNA for something non-human as well as it is impossible to say the DNA is the same as the mother.

    It’s barbaric to think any other way.

    As for your false claim of “slippery slope” I would review the definition of that buzz word if I were you. When I said
    “Perhaps she is a slave to her own immoral or at least unwise sexual practices. Of course, that type of slavery is applauded by our media and branded as “freedom”.”

    This is not a slippery slope. I was not marking a direction, but rather stating a simple fact. I also use the terms “immoral” and “unwise” (whichever a person prefers) in order to avoid a subjective argument on morality. Unwise is a fair term if her actions led to an unwanted pregnancy causing undue distress.

    As for rape and the “unfairness” issue… tell that to people who were victims of any crime. How fair is it that “Jane” loses her arm because a drunk driver crashed into her? How fair is it that a patient was exposed to the HIV virus during a tonsillectomy? (prior to 1984)
    Now ask yourself: “How fair is it that a little baby has to be murdered because she was conceived in an immoral (if we can call rape immoral) way?”

    People live and suffer every day. The answer to it should not be to compound it by adding the suffering and murder of the defenseless to the list of unfair crimes.

    BH

  24. You’ve said “Even the most ardent abortion-supporter cannot deny the unConstitutionality of Roe v. Wade.” That is wishful thinking.

    There are pro- and anti-abortion critics of Roe v. Wade, but there is no consensus that it is unconstitutional.

    The right of privacy under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment was first invoked in the case Griswold v. Connecticut. This line of reasoning is not without substantial criticism in the field of constitutional law, but it has held all the same.

  25. Tony:

    People will argue over the Constitutionality of privacy just like they did with slavery. It didn’t make slavery right, and it doesn’t make abortion right.

    I believe we are at an impasse. Abortion supporters, like yourself, refuse to address issues of life, civil liberty and personhood for children, and retreat to vague descriptions of privacy (which is not mentioned in the Constitution). The fact that abortionists use the Constitution to deny life and liberty to unborn boys and girls is a travesty both morally and legally. To hide behind a misguided notion of “women’s rights” in order to deny the rights of others is reprehensible and just a repetition of how those in power have always sought to maintain their power through the submission of the weak.

    You have already stated you believe that the unborn are human beings. What you have failed to answer is why those human beings should not be protected by the law.

    Karl

  26. Contrary to your claim, Roe v. Wade extends human rights to the fetus at the point of viability. This seems reasonable.

    You have made two statementss that are considered highly contentious:

    Firstly, that there is no right of privacy under the constitution (I cited Griswold v. Connecticut., 1965)

    and secondly, that “the Constitution does not give [the Supreme Court] the authority to strike down State or even Federal laws (Brown v. Board of Education, 1954, is an example of the former, while the court’s ultimate authority over interpretation of the federal constitution goes back at least as far as Marbury v. Madison, 1803).

  27. Marbury v. Madison was a travesty of Constitutional law when John Marshall injected a notion of “judicial review” into American law, when it wasn’t there. And even if there was judicial review according to the Constitution, Roe v. Wade did not strike down any federal laws… it created one out of it’s decision… that’s the problem. If one wants to argue that the Supreme Court has the Constitutional authority to overturn federal laws, then explain the fact that the Constitution allows Congress to limit the jurisdiction of the Courts, and can remove issues from being reviewed by the Courts (Article III, Section 2).

    As for Brown v. Board of Education. How many schools did that Court decision desegregate? Zero. The Supreme Court has no authority of enforcement. It’s up to the Executive branch to enforce it… if the President chooses not to enforce it, then the Court’s decision is worthless. Contrary to what some people believe, the Supreme Court is not the supreme power in the US. It is actually the weakest of the three branches.

    And if we’re going to just cite Supreme Court decisions and treat them as Gospel, then what about Dred Scott v. Sanford? The Supreme Court ruled in 1857 that slaves and their descendants, even if they were free, could never be citizens. The Supreme Court was certainly biased against freedom and wrong then… and they can be wrong again. Governments have always denied rights to a segment of society, why pretend that now they are all of a sudden perfect?

    What determines viability? With the technology available today, the concept of viability is far earlier concerning the baby than it was 30 years ago. Yet, women are having abortions into the third trimester.

    The bottom line is that women’s rights are being violated on a far greater scale through abortion. Think of the millions of women aborted every year in places like China, because families want their only child to be a boy. This is an abomination, and to say “well, it’s a woman’s right” is contrary to the very idea of civil liberty.

    Abortion is as much about a woman’s right to privacy as slavery was about property rights. Hopefully people will soon realize that it’s about the human rights of all those involved. If we’re only going to protect the “viable”, then what about the mentally or physically handicapped? How long until we can determine they are no longer “viable”?

  28. “To undo Roe vs Wade would mean the American Government, which allowed for this atrocity, would have to admit it assisted in the murder of over 50 million babies.”

    The American people (starting with pro-life Christians) will need work for electing pro-life political leaders, overturning the traitorous Roe v. Wade decision and murder-by-abortion legislation, and demanding a Nuremberg-type prosecution, trial, and punishment for the thousands of major abortion politicians, judges, and enablers who are responsible for many of the 50 million genocidal murders by abortion in this country. Unless justice is demanded and carried out on behalf of those murdered by abortionists, the argument of pro-life supporters reduces to little more than a strong preference on what color of socks one should wear.

  29. Karl, you appear to have problems with American law going back some two centuries. I wish you the best of luck remedying those alleged “travesties” that have influenced US jurisprudence for most of its history!

    As for Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857), the court noted in the Slaughter-House Cases, 1873, that this had been overruled by the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments in the preceding decade.

    You’re correct to state that the Supreme Court is the least powerful arm of US government. However its interpretation of the constitution is sovereign.

  30. My point of bringing up Dred Scott and even Brown v Board of Education is that the Supreme Court’s interpretation is not sovereign! Unless the federal government chooses to enforce their ruling, the ruling is worth nothing. And just because the Supreme Court rules on a particular case does not mean it protects the rights of individuals (Dred Scott is case in point… since the Court never overturned it, Congress and the State Legislatures did with the 13th Amendment).

    If the Supreme Court were to rule that the 13th Amendment is no longer valid, and reintroduced slavery, would it be right, just because it said so? (I know this is a very ludicrous example, but if you truly believe in the supposed sovereign powers of the Court, then this power is certainly within its abilities).

    Remember, the Supreme Court that so loves “women’s rights” is the same court that loved slavery, refuses to address domestic spying issues, and ruled that eminent domain means corporations can bulldoze homes to make strip malls.

    Regardless of all this legal stuff however… the issue remains that abortion takes a human life. And all the courts in the world can rule that it’s legal, but that doesn’t make it right, and anyone willing to acknowledge that the unborn are human beings and yet supports abortion does not truly value life or liberty.

    How does abortion advance women’s rights when the exercising of abortion eliminates almost 28 million women every year (assuming women make up about 50% of the 55 million babies aborted every year in the world).

  31. Part of the above comment is simply misinterpretation of my statements. The Court’s interpretation of the Constitution is sovereign, but this does not mean that it is at liberty to construct its own amendments or to remove amendments not to its liking.

    And yes, of course, Congress can amend the Constitution with the result that previous interpretations are overturned. So what?

    On Brown v. Board of Education, your statement seems to be simply that the Court is not the Executive.

    The anti-abortion argument therefore, setting aside your constitutional nitpicking, simply comes down to “How does abortion advance women’s rights when the exercising of abortion eliminates almost 28 million women every year,”

    It’s the same argument that is so richly, funnily lampooned by Monty Python in “Every Sperm Is Sacred.

    In short, it isn’t going to fly.

  32. Tony:

    The point I was making was that the Court’s interpretation of the Constitution is not sovereign because it can simply be ignored. No one is obligated to obey a Supreme Court decision by itself. Without the enforcement of the Executive the Court’s decision holds no power… hence, it is not sovereign, but rather dependent upon the authority given to the executive branch via the Constitution (the Constitution is supposed to be the only sovereign authority within American Law)… a perfect example of this is Worcester v. Georgia.

    And as for your other argument: you obviously do not truly value life or liberty. You referenced a Monty Python skit because to come face-to-face with the fact that abortion kills children would mean you support murder, and so you brush it off by skirting the issue altogether. Abortion-supporters are no different than those who supported slavery… the humanity of the victims must be denied in order to satiate your own selfish desire to maintain control over others.

    I am not interested in attempting to convert you to the pro-life cause, but please do not pretend to be an advocate for women’s (or men’s) rights when you purposely exclude those who are an inconvenience to some. In short, it isn’t going to fly.

  33. Your argument on sovereignty is, as I indicated earlier, a quibble at best. It doesn’t advance any argument.

    Your particular anti-abortion argument is so extreme that it is unlikely to convince many people (and indeed has failed to convince more than a small minority for over 35 years now). It is not a serious argument, and is indeed only worthy of parody.

  34. Tony, what is extreme is suggesting that women should be able to kill their unborn children if they wish. With what we know about fetal development and the advances in viability, there is no sensible argument that can be made other than to pit the “right” of the mother against the non-right (in your view) of the baby. And since you have decided that the woman’s right outweighs the child’s, you are in the dangerous position (yes, the Supreme Court was in the dangerous position) of deciding that one individual’s rights outweigh another’s. I think we all know where that sort of thinking leads.

    The only question is who gets to decide when one’s right to comfort outweigh’s one’s right to life. I can see no situation where life should be taken arbitrarily so that someone else can live the way she chooses. That’s extremism.

    Don’t give me a bunch of nonsense about rape and incest. Those cases are few and far between and they really have nothing to do with the majority of abortions. It is absolutely irrelevant whether our position can convince people or whether we are a minority or not. That has nothing whatsoever to do with whether abortion is the intentional murder of a human being. Why don’t you get on the point?

    Tim

  35. It’s interesting that my argument is “extreme” because it advocates equal liberty for all. You sound just like every slave-owner who claimed it was so extreme to believe blacks could be considered equal with whites… which was an opinion of a majority of people for a long time (which I suppose made it right, according to your logic).

    And the fact that you refuse to even address the issues of humanity and liberty proves my very point. There’s a reason that the Nazis criminalized abortions for Aryan Germans while encouraging them for “undesirables”.

  36. I have one more question that I forgot to put in my previous post:

    Tony, you called my position extreme. Why is my position extreme? Even you acknowledge that preborn children are human beings… why is it extreme to believe they are entitled to rights like you and me (after all, we were once in the same biological stage).

  37. “Karl, your position is extreme because it seeks to extend human rights to the point of conception.” You forgot to add “to the point of conception of a human being.” Again, there’s only one extremist who has commented on this board.

    Tim

  38. My consistent support for Roe v. Wade, which regularly commands nearly 2:1 support in opinions polls by different organizations over some decades now, is not extremism.

    It is the anti-abortionists who are increasingly out of step.

  39. Tony, I believe your position is extreme. Why? To use your logic, because it’s extreme to not extend rights to the point of conception.

    You provide no scientific, moral or even philosophical proof of your argument. You find my argument unacceptable only because it differs with yours. Yours is intolerance at its finest.

  40. Again, you cite only opinion polls… polls which offer only one of two choices… and again, you believe that a tyranny of the majority is always right. A majority of Americans (and Europeans) believed slavery was either a necessary evil or a justifiable institution for three centuries. That didn’t make it right.

    Those who opposed slavery then were “increasingly out of step”… as are those who are opposed to abortion today.

  41. Very thoughtful article, Tim.
    I never thought about it quite like you stated, but I think you’re correct.
    I used to think like Sideway when I was a leftie and nominally Christian.

    The Creator’s position on abortion is very clear, it’s murder.
    It’s not Christians making that pronouncement, it’s God.
    God trumps civil authorities , secular concensus judgements, and polls.

    A candidate’s pro-choice stance on abortion is an opportunity to see how superficial he is wearing his ‘cloak of Chrisitianity’ and how deeply he repects Divine Law. This position bleeds over into other areas like what is private property: Thou Shalt Not Steal OR redistribution of wealth.

  42. Tony,
    You wrote:

    “My consistent support for Roe v. Wade, which regularly commands nearly 2:1 support in opinions polls by different organizations over some decades now, is not extremism.”

    Earlier you said you weren’t about being “morality by numbers”. Yet, you continue to cite popularity polls to defend your anti-life morality. When a majority agrees on something, that alone does not create morality. It only shows that a majority of people are immoral. It seems NAMBLA might like to have you lobby more support for them. By your thinking, it is all about numbers to make their views moral and correct. All they need is a “2:1 support” to make an immoral act (if we can call pedophilia immoral) a moral one. 😦

    –BH

  43. No. I don’t claim that majority support makes right.

    I do, however, correctly use majority support to defend against charges of extremism.

    You can be extreme and right, and mainstream and wrong.

    It is of course the task of those who want to change the mainstream view to put convincing arguments. It isn’t the task of those in the mainstream to try to dissuade the minority from their (possibly legitimate, then again possibly not) dissenting view.

    In 35 years, that hasn’t happened.

  44. “I do, however, correctly use majority support to defend against charges of extremism.”

    If that’s the standard, then your position was extreme for over 200 years in America. It’s just a stupid way of deciding what is extreme and what is not. Extremism in this case should be decided by the consequences of a particular position (in the case of abortion, the intentional taking of millions of human lives), not by whether many people support or do not support it.

    Tim

  45. Yes,it’s possible that at other times in history my opinion hasn’t been regarded as extreme.

    If you want to adopt another definition of the term “extreme” that’s fine. We can use another word: unpopular.

    Your view is unpopular. If you want to convince others to change their minds, fine.

    I don’t think you’ll do so by use of hyperbolae. Indeed your use of extreme language is another reason to describe you as–but never mind.

  46. Tony,

    There you go again. By your own admission, “unpopular” = “extreme”. You are stuck in a morality-by-numbers loop.
    That is basically, a lynch mob mentality.

    BH

  47. Please reread what I said.

    I’ll repeat: let’s drop the word “extreme” altogether and say simply that you opinion is unpopular.

    In order to convince the rest of us that we need to do something, you have to make your case.

    However, as I pointed out, you do engage in hyperbolae, which is intrinsically extreme. Not in the sense of unpopularity, but in the sense of equating, in your post, abortion with “murder[ing] one’s own child”. This is an object lesson in how not to convince. You cannot convince us to outlaw abortion by falsely describing one third of all women as murderers.

  48. “but in the sense of equating, in your post, abortion with ‘murder[ing] one’s own child’. This is an object lesson in how not to convince. You cannot convince us to outlaw abortion by falsely describing one third of all women as murderers.”

    Tony, you are either ignorant of biology or you do not believe that killing children is murder. Which is it?

  49. Call it what it is: according to you, the killing of children (if they are not children, you have to say what they are) is not murder. You’ll have to justify that one yourself. And that’s about as far as this discussion can go.

    Tim

  50. You have to understand that I’m not interested in defending the majority position. I’m simply telling you that you won’t successfully assail it by calling one-third of all women murderers.

  51. Fine. Which is why I think Roe should be overturned on its bad legal grounding and its deciding on non-existent Constitutional grounds. It should be open to the states to decide how and how much to limit abortion. I doubt that abortion will ever be illegal, despite the shrill cries of Big Abortion, but it certainly should have severe limits. All of which can be made with serious argument. One of those arguments is that, like other killing of innocents, this murder, too, should be illegal.

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