Daily dose of blasphemy

September 3, 2012 § 18 Comments

I hereby suggest that there is such a thing as “legitimate rape”, and that under pressure from feminism the definition of “rape” has been expanding over the years to include acts which are not in fact legitimate rape.   I further suggest that stress, including doubtless the stress from being legitimately raped, may have an impact on the likelihood of a woman conceiving.

Supporting an act of ripping a baby to shreds in the womb does not become acceptable based on the circumstances of that child’s conception.

That is all.   Now that the Heretic has been Burned, you may return to preparations for liberalism’s High Mass.

§ 18 Responses to Daily dose of blasphemy

  • Scott W. says:

    Now that the Heretic has been Burned, you may return to preparations for liberalism’s High Mass.

    Wait, I only count two candles on the voting booth.

  • Chris says:

    I neither worship Baal nor Molech.
    I despise those who do.

    And if they call me traitor and heretic to my face, it is a blessing.

  • johnmcg says:

    Might it not be more prudent to simply proclaim the second paragraph?

    It seems to me the stuff in the first paragraph undermines our confidence in the second. Abortion in the case of rape is wrong, but don’t worry, it probably won’t happen anyway…

    It would certainly be convenient if that were the case, but I’m not certain it is, and as long as we’re not advancing it seems to get us into a lot of trouble.

  • johnmcg:
    It seems to me the stuff in the first paragraph undermines our confidence in the second.

    But is it true? Why would the stuff in the first paragraph undermine our confidence in the second? And presuming that it does, doesn’t that show that we ought to work on ourselves so that it doesn’t?

    I’m reminded of the “see, torture works” claim. It is perfectly believable that sometimes torture works (that is, yields actual materially useful life-saving information). But it is still always wrong; and if I don’t send that message, I’m not sending the message I need to send.

  • johnmcg says:

    Why would the stuff in the first paragraph undermine our confidence in the second?

    Because it seems like we’re building an escape hatch for ourselves. It feels like we’re saying, “Yes, abortion must be opposed even in these difficult cases, but these difficult cases aren’t likely to come up, so there’s no use worrying about it.”

    It’s also less than honest because it suggests that if it were otherwise, our position might be different, when it shouldn’t be. If it turned out that rape was no less likely, or even more likely (because rapists likely choose fertile victims) to result in conception, our position on abortion for conceptions from rape should not change.

    It feels like we’re trying to have it both ways — we’re taking a tough moral stand, but claiming that it doesn’t really cost us anything, which will bite us if reality intrudes. I don’t think that’s a matter of working on ourselves, it’s a matter of prudence.

    But is it true?

    As I’ve said in other discussions, truth is not the only consideration in the prudence of making a statement.

    The first paragraph can be (somewhat uncharitably) summarized as, “A woman claiming to need an abortion because of rape is likely lying.” This is the type of thing that will quickly make people stop listening, for a variety of reasons, not all of them bad.

    And I agree that false claims of rape are a reality (and establishing rights for rape victims will increase their incidence) and the definition of rape has been expansion, I’m not sure the cause of life is enhanced by us casting ourselves as defenders of the type of sexual encounters that lead to these accusations.

    Men speculating about how the female body reacts to the stress of rape has bad optics, which we should recognize, and aren’t going to be changed by us repeating that speculation, regardless of how true we believe it to be.


    I’m reminded of the “see, torture works” claim. It is perfectly believable that sometimes torture works (that is, yields actual materially useful life-saving information). But it is still always wrong; and if I don’t send that message, I’m not sending the message I need to send.

    That is, essentially my point as well. If in opposing torture, we cling to the claim that torture never works, we are defeated by the first counterexample. If we base our opposition to embryonic research on the claim that adult stem cell research is more promising, then we are defeated by the first demonstration this isn’t so. And if we base our opposition to abortion in the case of rape on the assumption that pregnancy from rape is impossible or improbable, we are undone by an instance of the same. The same goes for links between abortion and breast cancer.

    Not only that, we are exposed as willing to accept any “facts” that support our cause, making us seem like credulous dupes rather than principled advocates with our eyes open.

    In my judgement, it is much better that we ground our advocacy in the dignity of all human life, and not shrink from the reality that living true to it can have real costs.

  • The more I think about it, the more I think the opposite. As you say, the prudence of speaking depends on context. The context of this discussion involves one person on Earth making the assertions in the first paragraph; two if you count my qualified second. People need to hear the truth in order to think correctly about a subject. The universal condemnation of and distancing from Akin’s statement represents a symptom of politically correct modernity’s dysfunctional relationship with the truth. That politically correct dysfunctional relationship with the truth also provides air cover for abortion, torture, and all the rest.

    Hiding the truth under a basket for the sake of “optics” isn’t what I do here. If people want that, there are plenty of places to find it. But all twelve of my readers know that even when I’m wrong I’m not hiding the ball, pussyfooting around, or mouthing half-truths. I call them like I see them, whether what I see is comfortable or uncomfortable.

    Intuitively I expect that torture as a security strategy is approximately as effective as rape as a reproductive strategy. Neither works especially well in general, each may work in a particular case, and both produce and/or are the product of a vicious kind of society that we ought to resist becoming with all our might. I think the point is worth making, “optics” be damned.

  • johnmcg says:

    That the definition of rape has expanded is true.

    That the female body responds to the stress of a forcible rape in a manner that makes conception unlikely may be true, but is a weak claim.

    The implied conclusion that a woman seeking to abort a pregnancy resulting from rape may be assumed to be lying is false. http://washingtonexaminer.com/carney-when-a-horrific-rape-leads-to-an-innocent-life/article/2505680

    Implying this conclusion in the context of a pro-life argument hurts by associating the pro-life movement with false claims.

    This hurts both in the macro sense of moving toward legal protection for the unborn, and the micro sense of individual babies in danger of being ripped out of their mother’s wombs. Why should women listen to people who are calling them liars. It makes us less effective witnesses in all dimensions.

    I’ll take Jennie Maas as a pro-life witness over Todd Akin. And I’m afraid we can’t have both/and, because according to Akin, either Maas doesn’t exist or her mother is a liar.

  • The implied conclusion that a woman seeking to abort a pregnancy resulting from rape may be assumed to be lying is false.

    Maybe you should cite where somebody actually said that. I don’t see that implied at all: unless I missed something, you are just slandering Akin. I think Akin was just saying that the number of pregnancies from legitimate rape (as opposed to drunken fornication later regretted) is very, very small.

  • johnmcg says:

    I’m pretty sure the meaning of “implied” is that it wasn’t actually said.

    The statement Rep. Akin made was that, in the case of a legitimate rape, the female body has ways of shutting down the mechanisms of conception. I don’t think it is wild to infer from that the contention that a woman claiming to be impregnated by rape is likely lying, that the rape she is claiming is not legitimate.

    The truth is that this is what a significant number of people heard from Rep. Akin’s statements. You can try to escape that truth by calling it a slander, or by saying that hearing that is symptomatic of a culture poisoned by feminism, but neither will change that reality. I accept Rep. Akin’s statement that this is not what was in his heart, but a misstatement.

    Nevertheless, I think it is both possible and preferable to assert the universal dignity of unborn life in ways that people don’t hear as calling rape victims liars. And the unborn deserve advocates who can do that.

    There are a number of landmines one can encounter in witnessing on behalf of the unborn. Many of them are unfair, and we should work to remove them. Nevertheless, we can’t proceed as if they’re not there, and we should advance witnesses who are skillful at avoiding them without compromising their values.

    That, unfortunately is not Rep. Akin.

  • John:

    My suggestion is that you quote Akin’s actual words, in full. Then construct syllogisms, making your own assumptions explicit, showing that his words imply what you say they imply. Because falsely attributing things to someone is a matter of intrinsic morality, not “optics”.

  • William Luse says:

    I guess Mr. Akin can’t get no forgiveness, even though we all know what he meant to say, and even though he believes at the core what I believe about the value of innocent life. Meanwhile, the leader of his party puts on the enemy’s armor and joins them in vilifying Akin. I’m no extremist, he says: children conceived consequent to rape can be killed. It’s an interesting spectacle: Romney and Obama speaking with one voice, the former holding hands for one strategic moment with a man who endorses the most barbaric methods of child murder ever invented. I feel all better now that Mr. Akin has been cast into outer darkness with all the other demons, and utterly abandoned. No one came to his defense. The voices of reason and light have prevailed.

  • Paul J Cella says:

    Don’t look now but it’s still a dead heat in MO. Akin may pull it out after all.

  • […] as far as the high church of liberalism is concerned, the answer is yes. You see, I take these two passages seriously. John 10:1-18 1“Very truly, I tell you, anyone […]

  • johnmcg says:

    Zippy,

    Has every politician or pundit you have accused of expressing enthusiasm for cannibalism or ripping babies apart actually done so?

    No, they haven’t. But you cut through the “woman’s reproductive choice” euphemisms they employ to the truth of the matter. When a politician says “choice,” you hear “ripping babies apart.” If a supporter of those politicians challenged you to say exactly when they expressed enthusiasm for ripping babies apart, you would come up empty.

    This is similar. When a politician talks about “legitimate rape,” it does imply that that a non-negligible portion of what is considered rape is illegitimate. When he says that the body can shut down conception in that case, it implies that conception demonstrates that a rape was not legitimate. Someone claiming something is legitimate that is illegitimate is a liar.

    Again, you can try to escape this by insisting that paraphrasing a politician’s claims in a way that is not a direct deduction from his literal words is a moral failing and slander, but that is not the standard we have been operating under, and does not change the fact that this is what a significant number of people heard.

    Someone wishing to be a prominent witness for the unborn should know this. That Rep. Akin didn’t doesn’t make him a terrible person, but it does make him a less than ideal witness for the unborn.

    I think we can do better/

  • John,

    When you characterize what I say and have said, it is best to quote me. I’m actually rather careful about attribution. I’m also careful about making my premises explicit. So when I said (for example) that John McCain supports medical cannibalism, I supported that by showing that (1) he supports embryonic stem cell research and (2) that embryonic stem cell research is in fact a form of medical cannibalism, the consumption of murdered human flesh for the sustenance of others.

    You refuse to go through the exercise with Akin, and instead both equivocally support what he said and mischaracterize it, to wit:

    When a politician talks about “legitimate rape,” it does imply that that a non-negligible portion of what is considered rape is illegitimate.

    Well, you did that yourself when you said “And I agree that false claims of rape are a reality (and establishing rights for rape victims will increase their incidence) and the definition of rape has been expansion …”

    Basically your objection here seems to be that Akin spoke some hatefacts, even though you speak the same hatefacts.

    And we have:

    The first paragraph can be (somewhat uncharitably) summarized as, “A woman claiming to need an abortion because of rape is likely lying.”

    That is just a flat out falsehood. I will charitably attribute it to the likelihood that you don’t know how statistics work and what they do and do not show about particular cases. As a hint, I offer that “blacks are statistically seven times more likely per capita than whites to commit violent crime” – a fact – cannot be summarized as “given a black guy, he is probably a violent crook”.

  • johnmcg says:

    FIne. You’ve gotten me to shut up. Good luck with the millions of others offended by Akin’s comments.

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