Sunday, January 23, 2011

Evil words

President Obama on Roe V. Wade:

Today marks the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that protects women's health and reproductive freedom, and affirms a fundamental principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters.

I am committed to protecting this constitutional right. I also remain committed to policies, initiatives, and programs that help prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant women and mothers, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption.

And on this anniversary, I hope that we will recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights, the same freedoms, and the same opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.

Source.

Think about this for a moment. We live in a nation where government will interfere in a hurry--as they should--if children are being abused, harmed, or neglected by their parents. But in this same nation if parents decide to kill those children before they are born, that is a "private family matter."

Kill your pre-born baby--the president and his blood-drenched cohorts from Planned Parenthood will celebrate your freedom. Harm your baby after birth--go directly to jail.

Oh, and that last paragraph, with the line "...I hope that we will recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights, the same freedoms, and the same opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams...."? You realize that the president is saying that unless our daughters have the right to pay someone to cut the arms, legs, and heads off of any unborn babies they may someday carry and then suction these tiny bloody body parts out of them in the most vile act of butchery imaginable they are not really equal to our sons? These evil words reveal one of the ugliest truths about the pro-abortion crowd: they think that a woman's ability to become pregnant and bear children is not an innate part of her human female nature, and a great blessing and gift to her and to the lucky father of her children; rather, they think that a woman's ability to become pregnant and bear children is an unfortunate mistake of nature which keeps her from being able to become the CEO of a Fortune 500 company as easily as a man or as one of those women fortuitous enough to be born sterile, or clear-minded enough to seek surgical sterility as soon as they realize what an advantage childlessness will be to their careers.

We ought to remember the warning of Christ in the Gospel: "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, 'Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.' At that time people will say to the mountains, 'Fall upon us!' and to the hills, 'Cover us!' for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?" (Luke 23: 29-31)

The days of the dry wood are coming. The hatred of Satan for humanity, and especially for innocent human beings still in their mothers' wombs, knows no bounds. The evil words we hear, the evil deeds of darkness dragged with all their filth out into the light, are merely the warning trumpets of what will lie ahead.

37 comments:

KC said...

The next thing on the agenda is women in combat. Look at that last line about sons and daughters in that context.

Red Cardigan said...

KC, that's a very scary thought.

melanie said...

Well, I haven't spoken up before about this but both what you said (unintentionally?) AND what Obama said reveal a deep fallacy in the way we think about abortion. Babies are a woman's problem.

It takes two people to make a child, and until in this country, we hold men just as accountable for the children they father, as their " baby killing mothers", abortion will never end. What Obama said essentially " until our daughters are just as able to walk away from their babies as our sons..." really gets at the heart of the problem as I see it and no matter how much blame you want to put upon women for "Getting themselves into this mess in the first place", it still takes two to make a baby, and trust me, God won't forget that.

L. said...

"...or clear-minded enough to seek surgical sterility as soon as they realize what an advantage childlessness will be to their careers."

If this were true, then why do so many of us "pro-abort" feminists actually choose to (gasp!) breed? Often multiple times? I mean, we don't have to, but for some reason, we do it again and again and again.

Have you ever heard the phrase, "Know thine enemy?" The rhetoric in the post above is articulate, but it seems to be personally zeroing in on an extreme example of the kind of hard-core careerist who rarely exists in real life.

Bathilda said...

Red has the rhetoric, all right. It's easier to go with the extremes and black and whites. How much time, Red,do you spend in the trenches and not typing away at your rants? Have you adopted or fostered children who were born unwanted but not aborted? I was reminded of you and your orthodox cohorts at Mass this week...praying for Christian unity. You are so busy being Catholic, with your snarling tirades, you are forgetting to be Christian.

MommaLlama said...

Bathilda,

My husband and I adopted three sons who were unwanted, abused and neglected... and I'm pretty sure that they are happy they were born and have the opportunity to know, love, and serve the Lord! Sure they each have a unique cross to carry, but don't we all!?! Don't we are all have a past that was less than perfect?

And to go a step further, I am happy they were born... no, it breaks my heart what each went through in the beginning of their time on earth, but they are HERE and we love what our Lord created!

It's a sad world we live in when KILLING is considered the right answer to the so called problem of a life (be it in the womb or nearing the tomb).

Magister Christianus said...

Yes, Red is using some tough language, but consider the following phrases: "slaughter of the innocents," "a war of the powerful against the weak" and "unspeakable crimes." These were spoken of abortion by none other than one of the most irenic Christian leaders, Pope John Paul II. See today's post at Insight Scoop: http://insightscoop.typepad.com/2004/.

Dr. William Brennan in that piece goes on to say, "A major mistake to avoid is to be taken in by pro-choice semantic gymnastics. Whenever abortion, euthanasia, and assisted suicide proponents claim they are simply pro-choice, they should be challenged to specify, 'The right to choose to do what to whom?' Such rhetoric needs to be confronted for what it is—an arrogant assumption of the deeply discriminatory power to destroy those who cannot defend themselves. This is not the freedom of choice, but death at someone else's choice."

Calling things out for what they are is certainly being Christian. If the language is difficult and challenging, so is the issue at hand. As we read in John 6, many left Jesus precisely because of the challenging, and I am sure to them, offensive things that He said.

It is a flawed argument to suggest that a pro-life person must be in the adoption business to have seat at the table of discussion. I am opposed to the selling of drugs, which many urban and rural poor do in order to make ends meet. This in no way implies a necessity on my part to give them money to pay their bills. I may well be led to assist them in their poverty through the call of Christian charity, but my opposition to their selling of drugs is not a logically necessary cause of my doing so.

Red Cardigan said...

A few things:

First, I do think that strong language has its place, but that place isn't in front of a clinic--because it's not effective. On the other hand, standing outside a clinic saying "Jesus loves you!" isn't effective, either. What works is to focus on the woman, on whether or not this is what she really wants (because a surprising percent of the time, she's being dragged to that clinic by a boyfriend or a parent) and on whether or not she's aware that there is help available for her and for her baby.

But on a blog, especially this one, I'm not talking to people who are in emotionally delicate situations and have thin skins and fragile egos, for the most part. (I have a feeling casual readers meeting that description flee in horror within five minutes of reading my stuff, anyway). And, to be blunt, while there is a place for the rhetoric designed to soften hearts, most of my self-designated "pro-choice" readers have hearts of stone on this issue, and cheerfully admit that they approve of killing babies in so many words. Why, then, should I pull my punches when dealing with people who give all the appearance of being spiritually dead on the abortion issue?

Second, I'm not going to list my pro-life credentials exhaustively, but I have taken part in various pro-life activities and hope to do more when I can. I'd love to adopt a child; it's not financially possible, and when I say that I don't mean that we selfishly don't want to spend any money but that we actually don't have enough money to get through the process and be approved. Since my dear husband is approaching 50 we're already disqualified from many adoptive situations--which, to be honest, is as it should be, especially with special-needs babies and children. Some of these dear little ones will need care into their adult years and beyond, so it makes sense that the caring agencies facilitating these adoptions would not want people older than a certain age to take on this responsibility.

Third, to address Melanie's point: I think we're already there. People *do* think of children as a woman's problem. There are young men out there who admit that the reason they don't want to get married is because they don't want kids--and they don't want the child support that comes with the inevitable divorce, when they get bored with the woman and want to move one.

This could have potentially serious consequences for women. See here, for example:

http://www.elle.com/Life-Love/Society-Career-Power/The-Parent-Trap-Paternal-Rights-and-Abortion

c matt said...

What Obama said essentially " until our daughters are just as able to walk away from their babies as our sons..." really gets at the heart of the problem

Yes, it does - NO ONE should be able to walk away from their baby - mother or father. It is an attitude straight from the demonic.

Anonymous said...

As always this is a good discussion on a contentious matter fraught with the issues concerning the definition of 'life' and living tissue.

When I first started reading Red's blog a couple years ago, I was definitely against others interfering with the individual's right to their own body, but my stance has been tempered somewhat with an idea that the point of conception, whether divine or not, allows or requires consideration of a new entity's living tissue.

Still, in my mind, it is not cut and dried. When the Scriptures read, "I knew you before you were born", that means to me, the life of something humanly meaningful.

Life is not life unless it can thrive, not just grow and necessarily be dependent, to be totally supported to live. I've seen the diagnosis of 'failure to thrive' more than once in my life and work. In assigning sin, as a fetus it is not the fault of the fetus for its failure or not to thrive.

Furthermore, while the words of our President contain no evil, interpretation based on a person's fears and prejudices color them with putrefaction.

I simply cannot see where if all abortion is illegal, how that will better mankind. We living our lives as if every living being is precious in the sight of God is more doable than ensuring all products of conception are ensured and allowed a similar measure of care in a country that cannot even provide adequate care for those who live now and deserve better treatment.

Many other factors in society will have to change to give the concept that all abortion should be illegal any credence e.g. greatly increased numbers of state orphanages including picking up the care of those born disabled if the mother and/or father doesn't want to assume the care and responsibility of care for the disabled (USSR banned abortion for a short while during Stalinist years according to one bloggist--at the same time, Stalin's young wife underwent reportedly abortion after abortion--and was this society able to care for the infants born when abortion was illegal?), increased agency for adoptive arrangements (my friend is > 55 and she and her husband are in the process of adopting another child, but where will the little one be when mummy or daddy begin to have geriatric illnesses, besides many fatherless families are at present being taken care of by grannies, and also not that many years ago it was acceptable for rich families or relatives to 'adopt' a less wealthy family member's child e.g. indentured servants and all that, adequate prenatal care, (see WHO and March of Dimes website for this basic information about measures of childbearing female health issues), sufficient inducement for men to undergo voluntary sterility procedures before resorting to rape when angered or mandatory sterilization post-incest, and economic systems that allow all children an equal opportunity to thrive and contribute.

We don't live in utopia, and banning all abortion in an effort to achieve utopia on earth is unrealistic. Killing newborn children is not an option either.

Somewhere between the two extremes is an answer we can all live with. And, our President's words seem to suggest this is possible, not the quick trip to damnation that is suggested.

Zircon

bathilda said...

I don't think anyone who is pro-life is only credible if they have adopted a crack baby...quit putting words into my post.

L. said...

"Why, then, should I pull my punches when dealing with people who give all the appearance of being spiritually dead on the abortion issue?"

So, if someone appears spiritually dead to you, your reaction is to...punch them?

If people have "hearts of stone on this issue, and cheerfully admit that they approve of killing babies in so many words," isn't hurling strong rhetoric at them kind of pointless, like throwing a rock at a wall? Doesn't it just bounce off? Either that, or they catch it, and throw it back, and now you have a rock fight going.

I agree with Zircon, that "the words of our President contain no evil," and "interpretation based on a person's fears and prejudices color them with putrefaction." I could not say that better.

Red Cardigan said...

L., if you are heading to an area where the road is damaged and you are going to drive off of a cliff because you insist that the precipice simply doesn't exist, and anyway God doesn't punish bad drivers by letting them get hurt, do I show more love by shrugging and pretending to agree, or by ignoring you, or by standing by the road with plans for a soft-voiced and eloquent conversation--or by shouting and waving my arms and standing in the road, if necessary?

For those who are merely wondering about the cliff, softer strategies may suffice. But for people heading full-speed ahead to destruction, I tend to shout.

Anonymous said...

Our adoptions cost exactly $0. If you are genuinely interested we'd love to have you over for dinner.
-Mr Llama

Red Cardigan said...

L., I've deleted your latest; if you want to have a personal conversation with me about the way I conduct myself in my personal life, my email address is available on the blog.

Mr. L--I am intrigued, but can you send me an email? I have a couple of questions that pertain to our particular situation, and so would rather not ask them here. Thanks!

Barbara C. said...

First of all Zircon, you don't seem to understand the difference between something that "fails to thrive" in the case of a miscarriage and something that could continue to grow and thrive if it wasn't thwarted.

In fact "failure to thrive" is often used to describe born babies that are not able to survive on breast milk alone. So, should we have the right to kill them, too?

As for the presidents words they display the same sort of ignorance as do talks of "school reform". They are based on a faulty premise. In the case of preventing unintended pregnancies, most of the programs that Obama supports usually unintentionally increase unintended pregnancies by feeding all kids all sorts of horrible misinformation about sex and contraception.

And do our daughters really not have the same rights, the same freedoms, and the same opportunities to fulfill their dreams in this country? Why is abortion necessary for that unless a woman's ability to reproduce is seen as a defect?

How you treat life in the womb is linked to how you treat life in all stages. If you can kill an unborn baby because it's not perfectly formed than why can't we kill born people who become defective? Where do you draw the line?

The Cottage Child said...

"How you treat life in the womb is linked to how you treat life in all stages." Barbara C, beautifully stated.

and even better:

"If you can kill an unborn baby because it's not perfectly formed than why can't we kill born people who become defective?"

The only thing I would change is the circumstantial qualifier of your last phrase ...it's not "born people who become defective", rather "born people, individuals, each defective on some level"...

"Where do you draw the line?" Isn't that the evil in the matter, that some deem the line movable? Only in the recognition of the absolute value of life will the rights be realized. Sad, and kind of pathetically ironic, how backwards the pro death cult has gotten it.

scotch meg said...

Just FYI, the March for Life was its usual wonderful self this year, complete with an abundance of young people and an abundance of groups wearing brightly colored (sometimes insanely colored) matching hats/scarves so as to stay together more easily. Singers sang, the usual enthusiasts talked, and then the politicians talked endlessly, and then... we marched. It was colder than last year.

The welcome was a little colder than last year, too. For some reason, about half the Mall was fenced off "for grass replacement". We couldn't figure out what they would be doing with grass seed or whatever in JANUARY, but, hey, it didn't stop anyone, even if it felt a little... targeted.

And the press coverage was about the same as usual. Nobody much around other than EWTN. I'd love to hear that others saw features on the several hundred thousand people who marched in DC today. But I don't expect I will.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

You might expect that I would applaud President Obama's words. I do.

It seems to me that almost everybody in this debate indulges in verbal gymnastics. The appropriate answer to Dr. William Brennan is this:

Choice is a question as to who or what decides: the person most intimately involved, or The State? That says nothing about what decision is the right decision, it only concerns the deployment of police power.

Instances of "pro-choice" people seeking to make THEIR PREFERRED choice something close to mandatory are not lacking. That is just as fallacious as sending women to prison for terminating their pregnancy.

I do have one problem with President Obama's words. It is really no business of the President of the United States to weigh in on this subject, pro or con. Roe v. Wade expounded well established constitutional law, which is the province of the Supreme Court. The constitution restrains both the executive and legislative branch from intervening in matters reserved to the people, or to each private individual to decide for themselves. It doesn't matter what the president thinks about it.

L. said...

"If you can kill an unborn baby because it's not perfectly formed than why can't we kill born people who become defective? Where do you draw the line?"

--> Most people -- including many people who aren't even pro-life -- draw a line at viability.

Magister Christianus said...

Red, I thought this post had probably exhausted all comments, but I had to add this that I just read today. It is from Peter Wehner, former Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives, who is now a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. His comments here, http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/wehner/387792, highlight the absurdity of President Obama's argument that abortion falls into the category of "private family matters" as you cite in your post.

Barbara C. said...

L. wrote: --> Most people -- including many people who aren't even pro-life -- draw a line at viability.

But when is viability?? That is based on subjective opinion at this point. Some people say a baby is viable at birth. Some say after the second trimester.

Every day the science is catching up where babies that are born more and more premature are surviving. These babies sometimes have significant health problems, but they are growing and living outside the womb. There are many babies aborted because they are suspected of having damage that has nothing to do with viability (such as Downs Syndrome).

Furthermore, there are many "non-viable" babies that have a better quality of life inside the woman than some born people do outside the womb. (Even though their bodies could not live outside the womb without mechanical help they can respond to sound, light, and movement unlike some comatose patients.) So, if we can kill a non-viable unborn person, then we should be able to kill born people who become non-viable. And born people should be able and encouraged to kill themselves before they become unable to work, function, or develop adequately on their own (the definition of viability). Oh, what a tangled web of death...

L. said...

"But when is viability?? That is based on subjective opinion at this point." --> No, it's based on gestational development, and most states recognize it, and at least restrict abortion past a particular point. And surveys have shown that most people who call themselves "pro-choice" approve of these restrictions, with some medical exceptions.

"So, if we can kill a non-viable unborn person, then we should be able to kill born people who become non-viable." --> People who become non-viable are by definition not able to live, so killing them would be pointless. I think you mean, should we be able to kill anyone outside the womb, which is a different issue from abortion (though related, for those who oppose both).

John Thayer Jensen said...

@L:

People who become non-viable are by definition not able to live

Viability is always conditional. I am viable only if I have appropriate oxygen, water to drink, food to eat, shelter. A single-cell newly-fertilised zygote is viable under the same circumstances - oxygen, water, food, shelter. We are both viable - 'able to live' in "L's" definition - given the appropriate conditions; neither of us is, absent those conditions.

The difference, of course, is that the womb of the mother is required.

Two cases:

1) the mother engaged in the activity at her own will that resulted in the pregnancy;

2) the mother is pregnant from rape or other forced circumstances.

If I get drunk and drive and cause an accident, I am liable for the consequences of my behaviour, even though I didn't want them to happen. That is case 1). The mother has no right to kill (or to agree to allow the death of) the child she, through her own actions, caused to come into existence.

If a drunk comes and falls asleep on my front porch, I may evict him - but not at the cost of his life, or even of his general well-being - cannot push him out into a snowstorm. That is case 2).

if we can kill a non-viable unborn person, then we should be able to kill born people who become non-viable

Since viability is always conditional, and since the only possible justification for killing the unborn is that the mother whose body is thus inconvenienced should have the right to kill the baby, then society should have the right to decide that all of us are inconvenienced by the continued existence of, for instance, me when I have Alzheimer's and my viability depends on a feeding tube.

Society has already thus decided. My mother-in-law was starved and dehydrated to death, long before the Terry Schiavo case.

Who says A says B. Ideas have consequences.

jj

melanie said...

I had an ultrasound today. (I have early ultrasounds for due date accuracy reasons-big babies) I practice NFP (meaning I keep pretty close track of my cycles) so I am probably between 6 and 8 weeks pregnant even though my ultrasound puts me at 9 1/2 weeks... My baby has little tiny wiggly arms and legs. I could see his or her heart pounding, I could see a face forming, the brain is already becoming well formed and he or she is already quite recognizably a tiny little human life....when I showed the picture to my other kids, they could see right away, legs, feet, arms, hands and left and right brain.
Maybe this is over-sharing. But....

It's just denial to say it's not a life. Denial.

Red Cardigan said...

Oh, Melanie, congratulations!! How exciting to see your newest baby so early on. :) Prayers for a safe and happy pregnancy! :)

melanie said...

Thank you so very much! Your prayers are deeply appreciated!

c matt said...

If life weren't viable outside the womb from conception, then in vitro fertilization would be impossible. As would be implantation. Yet, it exists. "Viability" is a completely subjective concept and therefore totally useless for determing humanity or personhood.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Congratulations, Melanie. Long life and health to you and your baby.

Jensen and cmatt, how you conjure up absurdities. Viability is not abstract or infinitely malleable, and its certainly not subjective. Trying to "think" something nonviable into viability is like chanting "No rain" at Woodstock. (Yeah, I'm old enough to have seen the movie in a movie theater, admission seventy-five cents).

At the present time, an in vitro embryo cannot grow into a baby in vitro. It was a big technical advance -- whether good or evil is another question -- to be able to fertilize an egg in vitro at all. But we can't grow it all the way to babyhood in the test tube.

Remember the late 60s song "In the year 2525"? There was a vers about a millenium when "you'll pick your son, pick you daughter too, from the bottom of a long glass tube." I'm not sure that would be a good idea. In fact, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be.

At any rate, with today's technology, the embryo has to be implanted in a womb before it can grow into a fetus, then into a baby. If it is never implanted, it never will. All the other sort of "conditional" instances Jensen plays with are temporary lapses in a well established qualitative state.

I continue to be amazed at the way pro-life people play with rationales for euthanasia in order to prop up an argument for putting women and doctors in prison over abortions. But I am open to supporting a ban on in vitro fertilization. I can understand the church's logic in that position. Further, there are, e.g., a higher rate of birth defects, which may reflect that the natural process weeds out many, though not all, of the sperm and ova carrying broken genes.

John Thayer Jensen said...

@Siarlys:

At the present time, an in vitro embryo cannot grow into a baby in vitro

Are you suggesting that viability must mean 'able to continue to live in the same environment it started in?' If so, no one could ever be born and still be said to be viable.

'Viability' means 'able to live'. Ability to live always implies the required environment. The environment changes as the viable thing develops.

jj

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Let's try this John: Leave the embryo in the little glass vial, and forget about it.

I suspect that doesn't appeal to you. In fact, nothing will happen, or more likely, it will eventually cease to have any active biological function. It will, if you prefer, die.

If fertilization occurs in the womb, then unless some active intervention prevents it, the product of that conception WILL result in a baby. (Accident could also remove it FROM the womb, e.g., a zygote may miss implantation and be naturally flushed from the womb, in which case it WILL NOT result in a baby, no matter how warm and filled with nutrients the sewer into which it is swept.)

If fertilization occurs in vitro, then an active agency is required to ALLOW it to ever grow into a baby, e.g., it must be implanted into the womb.

Viability, as I've said before, is a condition where, in the absence of some active agent preventing it, and without needing to be hooked up to another body or a mechanical substitute, the being can live on its own. Then there is mentation. We've discussed that before -- I consider it essential to personhood, you don't.

John Thayer Jensen said...

@Siarlys:

Viability, as I've said before, is a condition where, in the absence of some active agent preventing it, and without needing to be hooked up to another body or a mechanical substitute, the being can live on its own.

Naturally, if you define viability as needing to be 'hooked up' to something, then, of course, viability means needing to be hooked up to something. However, viability simply means 'able to live.' Straight English. I quite understand that those with a political agenda adopt your special definition, but this is an attempt to define the issue out of existence, is it not?

jj

Anonymous said...

John, with all due respect to wisdom of someone living longer in this world...life presumably does not mean 'living tissue'. I have no political agenda. I am Catholic like you. I work in a hospital, and have 'worked' in healthcare since the 70's, which of course makes me no wiser than any other observant and knowledgeble human being.

Siarlys, L., Susan, Red and the others comments are true to their beliefs. Red is very articulate, concientious, and probing to the nth, as well as holds beliefs of one who's reflected and pondered these things in their heart. One would not ask anyone to change their belief system.

It's a matter of personal integrity with me to believe that God gives life (and purpose) when He gives it, not just at the unity of sperm & egg, but at a point more distant than when there are angels dancing on the head of a pin.

When talking about justice, then, there is more than one 'life' involved, including the mother and the human support-system for a baby.

Every born child deserves a chance in this world. Late-term abortion of a viable fetus disallows birth of a child who can know, love and serve our creator.

John Thayer Jensen said...

@Anonymous (January 29, 2011 10:44 PM):

One would not ask anyone to change their belief system.

I'm not sure why you would say that - it seems that every form of argument must be an attempt to get someone to change his belief system, or what's the point of argument?

But in the case of 'viability' I was not trying to get anyone to change his belief system - only to stop being dishonest about the meaning of the word 'viable' - which means 'able to live.' It is the poor suffering English language that I am trying to defend there.

I presume from what you said:

It's a matter of personal integrity with me to believe that God gives life (and purpose) when He gives it, not just at the unity of sperm & egg, but at a point more distant

You may believe that - though I am not sure you could have much basis for that belief other than a gut-level conviction - but what I am objecting to is trying to re-define words so that we can appear to have won an argument by saying that we agree about something that we do not.

Clearly I have no business defending the protection of something non-viable - a stone, for instance. If something is viable - and is a human life - if a zygote is not a human life, I don't know what it could be - then it seems to me I have a duty to defend it. It is certainly viable, unless I remove it from the environment it requires for its viability. The same is true of me. Put me in outer space without a spacesuit and you will kill me. Take a zygote, or foetus, from its mother's womb and you kill it.

This is just a matter of language. If we are going to argue about something - if, in fact, we are going to try to change one another's belief systems - let us, for God's sake, be honest about it. Let us not say in some mealy-mouthed fashion, "well, my definition of viability is different from yours, so ha ha, just stop trying to change my belief system."

I am glad to hear arguments; I get rather annoyed at dishonest use of language.

jj

Siarlys Jenkins said...

John, you have, inadvertently I believe, created a straw man to shoot down. I did not say that being "hooked up to something" is part of the definition of viability. I said, being able to grow to maturity WITHOUT being hooked up to something, is a sina qua non of viability.

But going back to the original post, which was about President Obama's statement on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I would have preferred that he say something more like this:

"Today marks the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that applies the Fourteenth Amendment and portions of the Bill of Rights to forbid state intervention in a woman's individual decision about whether to carry a pregnancy to term.

"This decision, and the constitutional provisions which it expounded, act as a restraint on the authority of both the executive and legislative branches of both state and federal governments. Our constitution is a jurisdictional document. It does not prescribe what would be good or bad policies. It defines the limited, delegated powers of the federal government, and restrains both state and federal infringement on the rights of the people.

"Accordingly, it is not my place in our constitutional government, a government of limited and divided powers, to weigh in on this decision. It is my duty to abide by it, and to see that the decision of the court is obeyed."

John Thayer Jensen said...

@Siarlys:

being able to grow to maturity WITHOUT being hooked up to something, is a sine qua non of viability

Afraid I don't see how something is a sine qua non of something - that without which the something is not - can fail to be part of its definition.

And that is my point. The term 'viability' is being hijacked here by adding things like the above to what it means.

Regarding what President Obama might have said at any time I have no opinion and I have little interest in the matter, actually. I think the battle against abortion can only be won by educating people as to the fact that living human beings - whether they still need to be in a womb or an artificial womb or not - should not be killed or unnecessarily allowed to die.

And as a once-lecturer in linguistics, I detest seeing language being used to bring darkness instead of light.

jj

Siarlys Jenkins said...

I think the battle against abortion can only be won by educating people as to the fact that living human beings - whether they still need to be in a womb or an artificial womb or not - should not be killed or unnecessarily allowed to die.

We agree John. Gerard Nadal once posted a question, "What if they opened an abortion clinic, and nobody came?" Have at it. My pro-choice position is that the constitution properly reserves the decision to the pregnant woman concerned. That is a jurisdictional matter, nor a moral one.

If you can educate people to accept that what you present as fact is indeed truth, they have every right to make their choice based on that conclusion.