Gosnell and the Hypocrisy of Everything

[This appeared first at The Jagged Word on October 26.]

Halloween is almost upon us, and some people like to watch scary movies. But don’t see the new Halloween or Predator or The Nun. If you want a real horror show—because it’s true—go see Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer.

I saw it a couple Fridays ago and, while it’s not going to win any acting or cinematography awards, none of the cinematic shortcomings distract significantly from the story being told. This is one case where the story is so unbelievable, so horrific, so heart-rending, that everything else comes in second.

That’s not to say the acting is bad. Some scenes might seem more television’s Law and Order than award-winning film, but there are definite highlights. In particular, Sarah Jane Morris (as ADA Lexy McGuire) and Earl Billings (as Kermit Gosnell) are compelling and believable. Billings, especially, is convincing in his half-naive, half-psychopath portrayal. Nick Searcy does his thing (one of my favorites in every scene of Justified in which he appeared), though he goes a little over-the-top, big-time defense attorney at moments. But the best actors in this film are those who play the employees and patients of Gosnell’s clinic. These women are impressive in every sense. If they gave out awards for such short appearances on screen, they would deserve to win.

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A Series of Unfortunate Events

I believe Jesus is Lord.  He is the only Man who keeps His promises.  That’s not in dispute.  I do not despair, no matter what happens in any given country, because my hope is not in this world or its rulers or its laws.


As far as the secular realm goes, this is not a good day.  This is not about Mitt Romney.  I have no idea how a Romney Administration would have turned out, and we will never know.  This is about the policies of the current Administration, as well as the arguments that this President and his Administration have made in the public square.  In the Hosanna-Tabor case before the Supreme Court, the Obama Administration argued that there is no “ministerial exception,” which, if that argument had succeeded (and with 2 or 3 new Justices in the next four years, it may yet), would mean that neither the Roman Catholic Church nor the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod would be able to limit its ministerium to men.  You can bet that both churches’ Biblical and traditional arguments would have been challenged in court, if the Administration had won that argument.

More recently, the Administration has argued that religious freedom (i.e., “Congress shall make no law…prohibiting the free exercise [of religion]”; and, further, the freedom of speech and the freedom of assembly) does not extend to business owners such as the owners of Hobby Lobby.  If you think this is going to stop with contraception and places that are not explicitly “houses of worship,” you are fooling yourself.  Who really believes that the pushers of the absolute secularization of the public square are going to let churches get away with flouting the new progressive order?  (“First they came for the Roman Catholics…”)  For a litany of other attacks on religious freedom in the United States, see here, including

In our universities, those citadels of toleration, we find that toleration can be sharply limited. At the Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, the student chapter of the Christian Legal Society was denied any status on the campus because it would not abandon its requirement that members commit themselves to traditional Christian norms regarding sexual morality. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling in 2010, held that the student group’s rights were not violated by a “take all comers” policy. Following this lead, Vanderbilt University has rewritten its student organizations policy and effectively chased every traditionally Christian student group off campus, denying them regular access to campus facilities. And at the University of Illinois, an adjunct professor of religion, hired to teach a course on Catholicism, was let go because a student complained about his patient explanation of the Catholic Church’s natural law teachings on human sexuality. (He was later restored to his teaching duties, but at the expense of the Newman Center, not on the state payroll.)

In our states and localities, we see other kinds of pressures. Authorities in Washington state and Illinois have attempted to force pharmacists, against their conscience, to dispense “morning after” pills when other pharmacists short distances away make these abortifacients available. New York City has barred church congregations—and them alone—from using public school buildings outside school hours. In New Mexico, a Christian wedding photographer was fined for violation of a state “human rights act” because she refused to take the business of a same-sex couple who claimed to want her services at their civil union ceremony. And in Massachusetts, Illinois, San Francisco, and the District of Columbia, the adoption and fostering agencies of Catholic Charities have been shuttered because they will not place children with same-sex couples, as the local authorities demand.

So welcome to the continuation and expansion of the Brave New World, where the unborn are problems, diseases, and accidents; where fighting against a “war on women” is a euphemism for fighting against the birth of human beings (including, obviously, unborn women); where there may not be any limit whatsoever on the “right” of a woman to kill her own child, as long as it’s still inside her womb; where we have a subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) policy of Lebensunwertes Leben, whether the youngest, the oldest, or the most handicapped.  (It is not a coincidence that somewhere between 80-90% of those diagnosed with Down Syndrome–whether diagnosed correctly or not–are aborted.)  Welcome to a world where the most pro-abortion President in history (Cecile Richards’ fawning is evidence of this) now does not have to worry about being re-elected, and so has more freedom to push the extreme edges of his agenda.  Welcome to a world where you have the freedom to worship, but that’s it, and when your religion’s convictions come into conflict with the State, the State wins, simply by virtue of being the State.  I would take a civil-religion, one-nation-under-whatever-god, syncretism over this anti-religion any day.  If the State is the overarching authority, that means that it must and should overrule family, community, religion–anything that opposes its all-consuming agenda.  We will soon discover if this is an overreaction.  But the Obama Administration has given us no hints of any moderation on this or any other issue.  They know what is right and good, and if you oppose them, you are wrong and evil.  There is very little gray area for the defenders of such statism.

If these things are true, the next four years are going to be very bad, and successes on the part of the Administration will mean a lot of this will be very hard to repair.  The damage will already have been done.


The Church will continue to do what the true Church always does: preach Law and Gospel to sinners; pray for and obey the properly constituted authorities up until the point when the State interferes with the Church’s proper sphere (and the HHS contraception mandate clearly crosses that line).  Then we must always obey God rather than men.  But what am I going to do today?  The same thing I do every day, Pinky, try to take over the w–, oh, um–I mean, prepare my sermon, visit my people, pray, and confess.  We’re not in control, anyway.  God works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes in Christ.  Will this country progress (regress) to the point where it is illegal to call sin sin?  Will churches lose their tax-exempt status?  Will churches be sued for refusing to violate their collective conscience?  Perhaps, and we should fight against such things for the sake of our neighbors.  But, ultimately, the Church may lose those battles.  No matter.  Trust the promise of the Promised One.  Though all men are liars, He is the Truth.

“O Thou, whose coming is with dread/To judge the living and the dead,/Preserve us from the ancient foe/While we dwell on earth below” (LSB 351:5).

And, “Preserve Your Word, O Savior,/To us this latter day,/…O keep our faith from failing;/Keep hope’s bright star aglow./Let nothing from truth turn us/While living here below. … Preserve, O Lord, Your honor,/The bold blasphemer smite;/Convince, convert, enlighten/The souls in error’s night. … Preserve, O Lord, Your Zion,/Bought dearly with Your blood;/Protect what You have chosen/Against the hellish flood./Be always our defender/When dangers gather round;/When all the earth is crumbling,/Safe may Your Church be found” (LSB 658:1, 2, 3).


Abolitionism and the Presidential Election

I am an abolitionist.  I want all induced abortion abolished.  I do not think there should be “exceptions” for rape or incest, as if we could “except” those little humans’ lives because they were conceived in a horrible situation.  Punish the rapist, punish the child molester, but don’t punish the child.  That makes no logical sense.  In the limited number of cases where the death of the child results from trying to save the life of the mother (e.g., tubal pregnancy), I pray Kyrie eleison.  The parents have a heart-rending decision to make, and they need God’s mercy in Jesus Christ, especially if they feel guilty about the choice they make.  That’s where I stand, because I believe the Son of God entered His mother’s womb as a fertilized egg, a zygote, an embryo, a fetus.  What He assumed, He has redeemed.  And our callous disregard of human life, our discussion of it as “the rule” and “the exceptions,” is foolish and destructive.  It becomes even more ridiculous when those (especially politicians) who claim to be pro-life are subjected to continual questioning about what “exceptions” they would allow to their positions, when the pro-abortion lobby wants no exceptions whatsoever to its unlimited abortion license, and is never questioned by the media about this hypocrisy.  When was the last time President Obama was asked whether he believed there should be any exceptions to his parroting of Cecile Richards’ position that abortion is a fundamental human right?

So I want abortion abolished.  Even the difficult decision that has to be made when the doctor says it’s your life or the baby’s is a result of sin corrupting and poisoning God’s good creation.  One day, this will happen, when all things are made new, when every tear shed for lost children will be wiped away by the finger of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  But this is not that day, and I highly doubt that the day will will come in these United States when abortion will once again be either illegal or socially condemned (although I will vote and pray and work within my vocation for that day).  The fact is, if pro-life candidates for the presidency do not play the silly little exception game, and if they do not say they will allow, at least, exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother (as the litany goes), they will not be elected.  Politics, for better or worse, is compromise.  No compromise, nothing gets done.  A truly pro-life candidate being elected president is about as likely as a pro-life Democrat securing his or her party’s nomination.

So what’s an abolitionist to do?  There are essentially two positions (especially as I survey my pro-life friends’ Facebook posts): 1) make the best of a bad situation and vote for the candidate who will defeat the most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history; or 2) vote for a third-party candidate who is truly pro-life.  At this point I am in the first group.  I do not trust Gov. Romney to do much substantial work in turning back the culture of death, but I also do not think he will hasten it on.  If this were a truly open election, and the Constitution Party (read their excellent platform here) had even a slim chance of having its candidates elected, I would vote Goode.  But since that’s not going to happen, I can’t help but think that those who vote for a third-party candidate are simply trying to salve their own consciences.  They can say, no matter who is elected, especially if things get worse, I had no hand in that.  But if they take their votes from the support of the less immoral (and politics always has a twinge of the immoral about it) position to support what they view as a wholly moral position, they do, in fact, end up supporting the status quo.  I know the electoral college enters in here, but if enough people vote one way, the electors almost always vote the way the people of that state vote.  So votes do matter practically, even if they wouldn’t have to theoretically.  And that means that practically those who vote for a conservative third-party candidate are essentially voting for the liberal or progressive main party candidate (usually the Democrat).  And those who vote for a liberal or progressive third-party candidate are essentially voting for the conservative main party candidate (usually the Republican).  If you want to deceive yourself that your vote is clean because you didn’t vote for the “lesser of two evils,” go ahead, but I’m not convinced.  This is the system we have, good or bad, and we really only have a single choice when it comes to the presidential election.  When it comes to local elections, we have much more control, and we are also much more likely to have truly pro-life candidates to support.  In NW Minnesota, we even have a pro-life Democrat!

I’m an abolitionist, but this year I’m forced to vote for a presidential candidate who is not.  Because I will take a little promised progress (and maybe even a surprise SCOTUS nomination!) over a guarantee of Planned Parenthood’s political arm running the country.  And I take solace in the fact that Cecile Richards and her NARAL and NOW counterparts are scared witless by the thought of a Romney/Ryan Executive Branch.  No compromise on my abolitionist principles; compromise to gain any available political advances.  That’s the way it goes in the civic realm.  But also no compromise within the Church’s proclamation of the Law of God against taking blameless human life, along with the Gospel of God in Christ that all sin is forgiven and there is mercy for all at the font and altar.  Politics are one thing; the Gospel is another.  They intersect, but they are not the same, and they are not run the same way.  Vote for Romney/Ryan, and don’t give the enemies of life and religious freedom another four years to carry out their designs–all the while recognizing that politicians will never accomplish all (or even the majority) of their promises.  (Of course I’m hedging my bets; how could I not?  Trust not in princes.)  I’m voting for the devil I may not see, against the devil I can clearly see.  I welcome your attempts to convince me otherwise.


Pelosi On Contraception & Faith: “I Do My Religion On Sundays, In Church”

Pelosi On Contraception & Faith: “I Do My Religion On Sundays, In Church”.

Because it’s “private,” obviously.  It has nothing whatsoever to do with how she goes about her job.  But, really, then: why bother?  If what you believe and what you do have nothing to do with each other, one of them is a sham.  At least since the first Roman Catholic was elected as president, this issue has been at the center of politics.  If you look at how thoroughly what Washington and Lincoln, even Jefferson, believed suffused the way they governed, it is a serious deficit when people think that what they believe does not affect how they go about their vocations.  This is not necessarily about Christianity.  I expect atheists to govern as if there is no higher authority to which they owe obedience; therefore, the State or the good of the nation (however that might be defined by an atheist) will determine what he does.  (However, the work of the atheist politician may still, by his recognizing of some order in nature, align with what the Christian thinks the government should do.)   Likewise, if I serve in the government, and I believe human life is not mine to give, take, or manipulate–even for what I think are good ends–then I will work for laws that support that.  If I believe that it is necessary to, first of all, protect all human life by virtue of its being human, then all other goods will be ordered by the standard of that good, whether that be foreign policy, health care, the economy, etc.  What comes first in the order of goods determines how other goods will be ordered.

The fact is, Nancy Pelosi does govern by what she believes (it is literally impossible not to do so), but what she believes is not the same as what the Roman Catholic Church teaches.  She is, in fact, not separating out her Sundays and the days when she is at the Capitol; she just hasn’t recognized the conflict between what she really believes and what her Church teaches.  Actually, she probably does recognize the conflict, but she thinks her Church is wrong.  That’s why she wouldn’t answer the question about the teaching of the RCC on contraception.  She knows she’s on the wrong side of the Church on that question.  Further, her highest good must be something other than a Creator of human life, if she can, in any way, support the intentional taking of that life.  I don’t know what she would say is her highest good, but it’s clearly something different than the highest good of what she does on Sundays, in church.  In other words, she is deceiving either herself or her constituents about what she really believes.

How much simpler it would be if politicians would simply state their highest Good, so we could evaluate how that Good might work itself out in their particular policy decisions.  They all have one, and it unites their political positions into a whole (although, I admit, politicians may still hold contradictory positions because they haven’t thoroughly worked through what their primary goods mean for what they want to do).  For those, like Pelosi, who support the unlimited abortion license, their highest Good clearly is not the same as those whose religion on Sunday proclaims a Redeemer who was conceived, born, lived, died, and resurrected for every member of the human race.


The Museum of Effective Propaganda

Listen, if you want to know how to do propaganda right, you should visit the Museum of Tolerance next time you’re in L.A.  My aunt and uncle took me, and we spent most of our time in the Holocaust exhibit, which, except for a few minor annoyances, was a good cursory introduction to the Holocaust.  There were some arresting photographs and personal stories (the most horrifying of which was a story about Nazi soldiers tossing living babies into a truck from an upper floor of a hospital).  I have, as I said, minor complaints about the way things moved and the superficial way in which some events were covered, but overall, not bad.

On the other hand, “tolerance” is apparently like obscenity: you know it when you see it.  It was not defined, which made me wonder by what standard we should “tolerate” the victims of the Holocaust, and not the Nazis.  (I have a standard by which the Nazis were evil; do you?)  The exhibits were anything but tolerant toward the Nazis and Hitler, calling them monsters and speaking incredulously of the very possibility of the Holocaust.  But here’s the issue: if the problem with the Nazis was that they treated their victims as sub-human and not worthy of life, what does it accomplish to make the Nazis sub-human in their actions?  The Jews, the gypsies, the homosexuals, and the rest should never have been dehumanized in order to facilitate their deaths.  But if we concede that, and emphasize it by drawing attention to the inhumanity of the Nazis, what have we done but the same thing in reverse?  And from there it is only a short step to being unable to believe that we ourselves are capable of such atrocities.  No, the Nazis were not monsters; they were depraved human beings who did what depraved human beings with unchecked power do: destroy those they do not like, or those who oppose them,  or those who believe in a God higher than the State.  (Frankly, we are all currently sub-human compared with the Son of Man.)

But the Holocaust exhibit was really only the beginning.  It was really only preparation for what, it seems, the museum’s designers really want you to take from it.  And don’t they need a greater point?  Because while there are still neo-Nazis (some of them actually dangerous), and there is anti-Semitism around the world (France seems poised to drown in it), there are very few places–certainly not in L.A.–where such prejudice is socially and openly acceptable.  We have all been taught that the Holocaust was a Very Bad Thing, and whenever someone would like to take up the Nazi mantle, he or she is roundly and publicly denounced, whatever might be said behind closed doors.

No, the punchline doesn’t come until you enter the “modern” part of the museum, where it is not hard for elementary school to connect the dots: Holocaust: Very Bad = All Negative Statements About Anyone: Just As Bad.  So you travel from the fruit of extremism during the ’30s and ’40s to modern day, where crazy religious extremists and misogynists and just all-around haters combine to make our modern world not too different from Hitler and Nazism.  So on a video screen images of the planes flying into the Twin Towers are juxtaposed with the “God hates fags” folks and some pastor who said that Muhammad was a pedophile (how old does your wife have to be before you are not a pedophile?)  Along with timelines and videos of women marching for the vote, and the formation of the National Organization for Women (obviously definitive of tolerance for women–except for the unborn ones), desegregation, etc., we are reminded that “Words Have Consequences.”

See, children: Nazis, racists, religious fanatics, and those who want to keep women from voting are all the same, and anytime you hear someone saying negative things, we are only steps from another Holocaust if we let such people have any political power.  Forget nuance and distinction; they do not exist where tolerance rules.  The key to propaganda is to narrow the vision so that the viewer or hearer never sees anything but what the producer of the propaganda wants you to see.  (Quick, move along from those pictures of Jewish corpses to the story of Matthew Shepard, before anyone sees those burned and dismembered fetuses.)

And yet…  The tolerant mind can only go so far.  We were reminded numerous times that when we make people into objects (a strange picture of a Hustler cover, where they promise not to treat women like meat anymore–did someone tell Larry Flynt?), when we treat them as less than human, we are on the inevitable path to murder and genocide.  Which, in itself, is true.  But the logic never goes all the way: there was a surreal moment when a staff person said something to the effect that there is still genocide around the world, and even in the United States–from which she immediately backpedaled and said, well, not literally.  Really?  There is no example of people treating millions of other people like objects and less than human and a problem to be taken care of?  No example of the taking of life considered unworthy of life, or, sadly, better off dead?  No example of progressive thinking that progressively defines people out of the human race, all the easier to dispose of them in mass graves (or dumpsters, as the case may be)?  Hm.  Nope, nothing comes to mind.

That’s the problem with a general “tolerance.”  It is always circumstantial and perspectival.  You cannot be tolerant of everything and everyone, or you will be incoherent.  The Nazis were tolerant–as long as you fit their narrative.  As long as you didn’t try to interfere with their program.  As long as you had the right genes.  As long as you didn’t worship anything greater than National Socialism.

And you think you would nevertolerate a repeat of the Holocaust?  Never tolerate the taking of millions of lives because they didn’t fit your personal or national narratives?  Never tolerate the disposal of human beings because their genes weren’t perfect?  Never tolerate the State as the Most High God?

Yeah, me neither.


P.S.  I cannot wait for the first commenter who will be exempli gratia for Tolerance.


Watching the testimony on religious liberty yesterday in the House Oversight Committee (I especially appreciated the testimony of my Synod’s President), and following Planned Parenthood’s Twitter feed at the same time, I have some questions.  I don’t need anecdotes or uninformed opinions–so keep them.   The only thing that I want to see is hard evidence one way or the other.

  • What percentage of women use some form of contraception primarily for reasons other than preventing pregnancy?  And what forms of birth control are they?
  • How much, on average, does the Pill cost with and without insurance?
  • How many insurance plans currently do not include coverage for the Pill?  How many include coverage for other forms of contraception?  What forms?  Update: Here are the Guttmacher (research arm of PP, let it be said) numbers for insurance claims (as well as a distilled version of the below CDC report).
  • How many people–actually–would the HHS Mandate affect?  In other words, how necessary does the Administration really think this is?  Update: Here’s a link to the CDC report that is often being cited or alluded to without attribution, which gives many of the statistics.  According to Table 15, only around 3% stopped using contraception because of the cost, around 2% stopped because insurance did not cover it, and around 2% because it was too difficult to obtain.  Also, notice that under Table 1ff., “contraception” includes NFP and other non-medicinal methods, and I think that’s been missed by the media citing a “99% of women and 98% of Roman Catholics use contraception” figure.  Further, if I read Table 4 correctly, the number of women using contraception currently is around 62%, while the other numbers are for those who have ever used any form of contraception.  That 62% is even itself misleading when nearly 25% of that is male or female sterilization.  So the media numbers appear to me to be highly misleading.


  • Who let Planned Parenthood and NARAL define contraception as “basic preventive health care”?
  • And what ever happened to self-control?  (That might take a dissertation.)

That’s probably a good start.  Even if the answers are unobjectionable, you might want to read this before you take contraception.  Further, none of this addresses the deeper point of religious freedom: even if most non-Roman Catholics do not find contraception to be a problem, do we really think that the intrusion into the fundamental religious beliefs of the largest church body in the country will end with them?  Do we really think that contraception is the issue here, or that the government will not continue its massive growth and its interference with what churches and religious organizations do and how they do it?  (By the way, I’ve got a couple nice bridges on the plains to sell, if anyone’s looking.)  But I would like these questions answered, so we can machete the undergrowth enough to see the trees.

One thing that should be mentioned is the difference in how PP and its ilk define “abortion” from how sane people do.  I saw more than once that the “morning after” pill does not induce abortions.  I assume that PP says that because the fertilized egg has not yet attached to the uterine wall.  But those who understand that once an egg is fertilized, a separate, unique human being has been formed, to which nothing will be added throughout the next nine months (the time in the womb will only develop what is already there), it is irrelevant whether or not that fertilized egg attaches: if a person does something (like take the morning after pill or other contraception) which can cause the lining of the uterus to thicken with the purpose of preventing pregnancy, a human life has been taken.  If that contraception had not been taken, the fertilized egg would (all else being equal) attach to the uterus and the baby would develop normally.  On this point, as on so many others, PP is simply being deceptive in its definitions.

But they are clear about one thing:

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) adopted recommendations for women’s preventive health care issued by the Institute of Medicine. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, drawing on these recommendations, requires new private health plans written on or after August 1, 2012 to cover contraceptive counseling and services and all FDA-approved methods without out-of-pocket costs to patients. However, existing plans are exempt from the requirement so long as no significant negative changes, such as cutting benefits or raising cost-sharing, are made to them; DHHS has said that most of these plans will likely lose this protected status within a few years. The agency has also proposed an exemption for some religious employers, similar to the exemption included in several state laws.

Additionally, federal law requires insurance coverage of contraceptives for federal employees and their dependents; it includes a limited but seldom used exception for religious insurers. In December 2000, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission made it clear that an employer’s failure to provide coverage of contraception, when it covers other prescription drugs and preventive care, is a violation of protections against sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act; those protections for employees’ benefits include no exemption for religious employers.

Can anyone point me to the facts on those questions [obviously, I’ve found some of them]?  Without the answers, numbers and generalizations and “personal stories” are just being thrown around trying to sway the uninformed.


Words, Words, Words

Do you ever get the feeling that people think they can use words however they want?  I fully understand the plasticity of words: they change; languages are not static, etc.  But in order for meanings of words to shift, they have to actually mean something in the first place.  Otherwise, it’s not a shift, but a bare, neological assertion, and who’s to say that one meaning should be privileged over another?

Take this, for example.

Can we have the term “pro-life” back, if everyone else is just going to misuse it?

I’m pro-life because I value all human life. I value the lives of every person living in my country. I value the lives of children living in poverty, and victims of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in the Third World. I value the lives of criminals on death row, homeless living in the streets, and soldiers serving our country abroad.

I also value the nascent human life of the unborn.

In this case, it’s not an assertion that “pro-life” means nothing, but that it means everything.  The author’s title is “I’m pro-life and I support Planned Parenthood.”  Which apparently is supposed to follow from his claims about contraception.  He seems to believe, along with many (most?) Americans that Planned Parenthood [sic] is basically a “women’s health” organization that mostly educates and distributes contraception to poor women who couldn’t otherwise get such “basic health care.”  Sure, it does a few abortions, but that’s a necessary evil, considering all the “good” they do.  (It would take hours to detail how wrong that is.  But if you’re interested, you might visit here.)  Even if he did buy this line of reasoning–that contraception and sex ed. are unqualified goods, and that PP does everyone a service by providing them–he could still support contraception and even sex ed., and still not support Planned Parenthood.  But PP has done a great job of convincing nearly everyone that it alone can make sure that every woman has a “right to choose.”  Only PP can give out contraception.  Only PP can educate your children (if I ever hear that PP is involved in “educating” my children, my house will be turned into a home-school so fast…).  Why, then, does PP support no restriction–not a single one–on abortion?  You want to make abortion rare?  The last organization that would have an interest in doing that would be one that makes millions of dollars from abortion.  And, whose abortion numbers have increased by over 67,000 in the last five years.  And, who does 340 abortions for every one adoption referral.  Yeah, I’m sure they want to see those numbers go way, way down.

But back to the Salon piece.  Sorry, but if you put “nascent” in front of “human life of the unborn,” I automatically do not trust you.  There is nothing “nascent” about unborn human life.  It is fully human life, and there is simply no disagreement on this point.  It never was, is not, and never will be anything but human life.  It’s legal to kill it, and you can pretend that it doesn’t matter because it’s small, or because it’s still inside the mother’s womb, but don’t be an idiot.

So why aren’t I trying to defund Planned Parenthood, calling abortion doctors “murderers,” and petitioning the federal government to overturn Roe vs. Wade?

For that matter, why haven’t I emptied my bank account – and demanded that the government do the same – to send meals and vaccines to every person on the planet? Why don’t I spring for motel rooms for every homeless person I meet, unlock the cells in every prison, and demand our country surrender every war?

These would be ridiculous actions because they completely miss the point. They substitute ideologies for solutions, and favor short-term irrational emotion rather than long-term pragmatic decisions.

Sound familiar?

Huh?  All you have to do is apply these “arguments” to Nazi Germany, and you’ll see how stupid they are.  I can’t even count the non sequiturs in that excerpt.  There may be some pro-lifers who want all or nothing: illegal to have an abortion, or nothing at all.  I’ve never personally met any.  I am fully in favor of abolishing human abortion but that doesn’t mean that I’m not for “long-term pragmatic decisions.”  I want waiting periods; I want declarations that extend human rights to babies from conception; I want full information given to women considering abortion; I want sonograms.  What are those?  “Short-term irrational emotion”?  Hardly.  But if you can consider abortion with open eyes and you never have a little “short-term irrational [or rational] emotion,” you are not pro-life, you are a heartless ba…well, let’s just leave it there.

But how, again, does homelessness = prisoners = war = abortion?  Besides, that’s not the problem at all.  It is not the case that no one cares for or helps or gives to put an end to homelessness, hunger, crime, and war.  But there are those who think that abortion is not only not a problem, but a good–and a necessary one at that.  When was the last time you saw Planned Parenthood fighting for more homelessness, more hunger, more crime, more war?  Ah, but they do and will fight–tooth, claw, and legislative action–for more abortion.  Planned Parenthood will happily use Mr. Saveland’s piece to promote themselves; but they do not want fewer abortions, and they certainly do not want abortion numbers to plummet. They would go out of business.

That seems like a very pragmatic solution to the evil of abortion.  But Saveland doesn’t want to defund Planned Parenthood because he’s bought their ideology.  This is a very common problem, as illustrated by the Komen fiasco: those who support Planned Parenthood are not driven by ideology or politics, but those who oppose them are ideological zealots and political wing-nuts.  That could be true only if all you’ve done is listen to Cecile Richards, and never actually looked at Planned Parenthood’s website and their policies.

He closes with a one-liner he was clearly longing to use:

If the only thing that matters is righteous ideology without concern for results, then we want the term “pro-life” back. You’re using it wrong.

I’m not particularly interested in defending the term, but, if it means anything, “pro-life” must mean not supporting Planned Parenthood.  If there’s any group with “a righteous ideology without concern for results,” it’s Planned Parenthood.  Their zealotry on behalf of the unlimited abortion license knows no bounds.  And if you try to convince me that supporting Planned Parenthood and not wanting to end abortion on demand makes you pro-life, I simply cannot believe you.  If you think abortion in the United States is simply a “problem” to be “lessened,” you are ignorant of the facts, or you simply don’t want to face what legal abortion has meant for my generation–both in terms of lives taken and the moral, emotional, physical, and psychological toll it has taken on so many mothers and fathers.

I simply do not want Planned Parenthood’s foxes guarding the hen-house of “women’s health care.”  Call it what you want, but if that’s using “pro-life” “wrong,” I don’t want to be right.


Wow, You Got Me There

I got this message through Facebook, presumably after seeing a comment I made on the Susan G. Komen FB page:

Why be pro-life? I mean, do you know what hyperemesis gravidarum, pre-eclampsia, and ectopic pregnancies are? Do you know how physically hellish pregnancy can be for a woman? Do you know all of the different ways that pregnancy can cause mental and emotional distress to a woman? Do you know how emotionally scarring it can be to give a child up for adoption? Or do you just not care about any of that, which proves that your views on this issue are incredibly hateful?

Pregnancy is hell.  Obviously, that necessitates organizations such as Planned Parenthood.  Why not just kill the little buggers before they take nine months of your life and rip it to shreds with their demonic, parasitic little lives.  I mean, do you know what pregnancy is like for women?  Clearly, if I were a woman, I would take abortion over pregnancy in an instant, without a second thought.  We use drugs and surgery to get rid of pregnancy; hence, it’s a disease to be cured.

This is what I wrote in response:

Well, I have four children, so I have been with my wife through four pregnancies. Do you know about the depression, suicidal thoughts, hate, despair, mental, emotional, and physical problems that abortion causes? Or do you just not care about any of that?  [And] You might want to check this site.

I should add that the vast majority of abortions are done for reasons of elective convenience, not for danger to the woman’s health. Let’s talk about what generally happens, not some marginal extremes.

I suppose we could take a sort of macabre comfort in the fact that people such as this woman are unlikely to pass these lovely sentiments down to their daughters, since they wouldn’t want to go through such a hellish, emotionally and mentally distressful time such as pregnancy.  But that’s just me being hateful.


Does Planned Parenthood Do More Good Than Harm?

That seems to be the argument by seemingly otherwise pro-life people when discussions such as this come up.  It is irrelevant to me what the rabid abortion lobby thinks about this, since they are apparently unaware of any sort of rational discourse on the subject of abortion.  (E.g., simply scroll through some of the ad hominems and absolutely ridiculous claims by PP supporters on the Susan G. Komen Facebook page–click “Everyone (Most Recent)” at the top right of the Wall–my favorite is that “Planned Parenthood doesn’t preform [sic] abortions”).

The important question is how people who are against abortion can think that Planned Parenthood is not all about abortion?  Do they do some things that are not abortion-related?  Sure.  But who is naive enough to think that money that goes to an organization, even if those specific dollars are not used for abortion, does not allow that organization to do the thing for which it primarily exists: abortions and pro-abortion propaganda?  Say I have some money in an account that I use for microbrew, and I am spending the money in that account only on microbrew; if I run short in my microbrew fund, I might use some money from my book fund instead.  Well, if the federal government decides to subsidize my book fund, but not my microbrew fund, then if I stop using book money for microbrew, then technically I can say that I have not spent any federal money on microbrew.  Now stay with me, this might get complicated: if people give me money and they say use it for either books or microbrew, but the federal government is already subsidizing my book fund, then I can use all of that money on microbrew.  It hardly matters that I haven’t spent earmarked book money on microbrew: I still have more microbrew money.  Really, it’s not that hard to figure out.  So when Susan G. Komen decides not to give money to Planned Parenthood (which, for the fiftieth time, does NOT do mammograms), sure, they can say that the money does not go to abortions, but all that means is that more of their other money can.

Think I’m exaggerating Planned Parenthood’s emphasis on abortion?  Take a look at their webpage.  All you really have to do is plug in “abortion” for the euphemism “reproductive rights” and I think you’ll get a sense of it.  PP is not in favor of a single restriction on abortion.  Not one.  Not parental notification, not a waiting period, not full information, nothing.

Nevertheless, maybe you’re convinced that while abortion is wrong, Planned Parenthood does a lot of good in low-income areas.  Maybe you think they’re primarily there to provide “health care.”  Why, then, are African-Americans and other minorities the ones who have the highest abortion rates?  Why are there more abortions than births among African-Americans in New York City?  How many of those were done by Planned Parenthood affiliates?  I would like at least a few people to verifiably point out a single low-income area in the United States where Planned Parenthood is the only provider of basic women’s health care.

I don’t really care if Planned Parenthood has ever done some good for some people.  That sort of argument is like saying that Hitler was pro-family (which he was, as long as you were “Aryan”–not to be confused with “Arians”).  And maybe the similarities don’t end there.

You can decide for yourself if PP’s good outweighs its bad, but you actually have to examine the evidence, not just accept their talking-points and hysterics.  And you should watch this movie.


No Country for Old Men (or Women)

Here a year or two back me and Loretta went to a conference in Corpus Christi and I got set next to this woman, she was the wife of somebody or other.  And she kept talkin about the right wing this and the right wing that.  I aint even sure what she meant by it.  The people I know are mostly just common people.  Common as dirt, as the sayin goes.  I told her that and she looked at me funny.  She thought I was sayin somethin bad about em, but of course that’s a high compliment in my part of the world.  She kept on, kept on.  Finally told me, said, I dont like the way this country is headed.  I want my granddaughter to be able to have an abortion.  And I said well mam I dont think you got any worries about the way this country is headed.  The way I see it goin I dont have much doubt but what she’ll be able to have an abortion.  I’m goin to say that not only will she be able to have an abortion, she’ll be able to have you put to sleep.  Which pretty much ended the conversation.  [Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, No Country for Old Men, 196-197]