Respect for murderesses Sunday

October 2, 2016 § 42 Comments

Today is Respect for Life Sunday. Most people assume that this implies an anti-abortion theme, which will be reflected in parish activities and also in the homily at Mass. That assumption probably rests on the naive idea that the mainstream pro life movement is actually anti-abortion as opposed to pro choice.

Since we live in the land of lies where every day is opposite day, the homily I heard today was not really about respecting the lost lives of unborn children murdered by their mothers. Very little was actually said about the victims, and nothing at all about the terrible injustice perpetrated against them by their own mothers and their mothers’ co-conspirators. Rather, the entire presentation was designed to generate sympathy for the murderesses as opposed to their victims.

The first half was all about domestic ‘abuse’, in all of its motte-and-bailey indefiniteness. There was an obligatory ‘if you are a woman or a man who is abused’ nod to egalitarianism, but we all know who are the main abusers.

The second half was about how choosing to murder a child is its own sort of victimhood. It was even stated that harm to the mother and harm to the child are inseparable.  This is true, of course: the very concept of a murder victim makes no sense without a murderer.

We were assured that the murderess is always harmed by her choice to murder, despite all the denial of this by many secular voices.  This of course is also true: murderers like all sinners can find forgiveness in Christ and the Sacraments, but they do terrible and irrevocable things to themselves when they commit murder.

We were treated to a scenario wherein an older woman is depressed and ashamed because she participated in the murder of her own child when she was a young teen, at the behest and encouragement of her parents.  This seems perfectly natural to me.  People with diminished capacity who are roped into a conspiracy to commit murder by stronger personalities are victims, of a sort.  Of course they are also murderers, if they freely chose to carry out the act or to co-conspire in carrying it out.

Perhaps we ought to suggest a homily on how rapists are victims too, at some point in the future.  Perhaps we could establish a Respect Chastity Sunday, wherein we will be treated to sympathetic stories about rapists.  Men are born with a natural propensity to violence in order to protect their families, and with an intensity of sex drive that women cannot fathom.  The rapist is a victim too, and deserves ‘mercy‘: that is, reassurance that it isn’t really his fault that he chose to rape.

Deception paints its cubist distortions of reality from a palate of truths.

So what did you hear on respect for murderesses Sunday?

Pro choice, not pro abortion

April 25, 2016 § 155 Comments

It has been pointed out to me that in characterizing the public position of the mainstream pro-life movement as pro abortion, I am being unfair.  Some go so far as to suggest, while bravely facing the applause, that this is outright calumny and rash judgment. The dispute is not over the moral status of abortion: it is over the legal status of abortion. The mainstream pro-life movement abhors abortion morally and wants to see the number of abortions dramatically reduced.

Pro-lifers are even willing to do whatever it takes legally to mete out punishment for all of the abortions caused by men who manipulate poor helpless women.

So lets define “pro choice” as the position that a woman ought to be able to choose abortion without any legal consequences to herself.

The mainstream pro-life movement’s position, then, is not pro abortion.  It is pro choice.

 

How to end political conflict over abortion

April 15, 2016 § 41 Comments

Ending political conflict over abortion admits of a simple technical solution.  All we need to do is develop and enhance techniques which empower women to carry out abortion themselves, without the assistance of an abortionist.  If necessary we can develop technology which has ‘acceptable’ uses – which is to say, non-criminal uses – for other things besides self-abortion, to avoid any objection to the effect that the providers of the technology can be criminally charged.  After all, guns don’t kill people: people kill people.

That way – under the principles expounded by all respectable people, including pro-lifers – the law has nobody to charge with a crime.  Political conflict over abortion should come to an end.

Unless we listen to the fruitcakes and nutcases who think there should be legal sanctions against women who procure abortion, that is.

But they aren’t True Pro Lifers[tm] or True Conservatives[tm] anyway, so why should we listen to them?

UPDATE:

Reader GJ in the comments below provides data to the effect that 20% of all abortions in 2011 were self-administered by the mother taking an abortion-inducing pill.  In 2008 approximately 30% of the abortions in Planned Parenthood facilities were performed by the mother herself (taking a pill).

Life under the Big Top

April 15, 2016 § 40 Comments

Someone is pro abortion if he asserts – for whatever reason or set of reasons – that no woman should face any kind of legal sanction or punishment for deliberately choosing to have her unborn child murdered.

It is a pretty big tent. I used to think that many of the folks who literally march under the pro-life banner were well meaning but suffered from a kind of stockholm syndrome. Recent events show that I was giving them too much credit.  It turns out that they are just pro abortion after all, and have been so all along.

Magistrates managing the madness of murderous murderess mothers

April 13, 2016 § 60 Comments

Conservative writers continue to confirm that the mainstream pro-life movement views (and has for some time viewed) women who procure abortion as, categorically, innocent victims.  Mother Theresa observed that a murderess murders her conscience in addition to her victim, and the pro-life movement has perverted this act of conscience-killing into exoneration. This is a narrative you may recognize: sure the behavior she chose was objectively abhorrent, but through the magic of inscrutable subjectivity we can presume her subjective victimhood.  Because we can’t know anything about whether she is subjectively guilty or innocent in the invisible Cartesian theater of the mind we are justified in concluding that she is an innocent victim in the invisible Cartesian theater of the mind.  Christ’s admonishment not to judge the inner state of her soul translates into  a license to declare that the inner state of her soul trumps her chosen behavior.  Judging the inner states of souls is actually just fine — as long as the conclusion is that a woman who procures abortion is subjectively innocent.

Dump trucks filled with exceptional cases where murder goes unpunished are rhetorically deployed to turn special pleading into a general principle.  (Obviously, just to take one example, if abortion were treated legally like a kind of murder that would not alter the double-jeopardy exception: someone who had been tried and found innocent could not be re-tried even in the face of new evidence).

Beneath it all is – precisely as I have suggested – a belief (or, equivalently from my standpoint, actions and words perfectly consistent with the belief) that women are not fully adult and responsible moral agents when it comes to abortion.

we will treat women who go outside the law to end their pregnancies the same way we treat people who attempt to commit suicide. We might mandate that they get help, in the form of counseling — instead of leaving them to face the crushing guilt without support

One flaw in the suicide analogy is that attempted homicide is not the same as a successfully completed homicide.  But I can work with that, I suppose.

Therefore I suggest a compromise: the pro-life movement can reach consensus to treat women who procure abortion the same way we treat other severely mentally ill people who have successfully carried out homicide and remain a permanent danger to themselves and to others. Instead of life in prison, life in an asylum.

If you aren’t dead, you aren’t the murder victim

April 8, 2016 § 45 Comments

A commenter writes:

Men pay for the abortions, and I don’t mean tax dollars. Men are hiring the hit men, particularly in the case of the unmarried women who make up a majority of abortion-seekers.

It’s an old trope for a reason. Women have moral culpability for getting up on that table, but they all too often aren’t the ones putting the money into the abortionist’s hand. That’s usually a man, baby.

Nobody has suggested that co-conspirators in murder should not be punished. Quite the contrary. All co-conspirators in and accessories to murder should be normatively subject to some sort of sanction or punishment. Exceptions are people who literally lack agency: who are physically forced, who are severely mentally ill and need to be under constant supervision for that reason, etc.

Leniency is possible and sometimes warranted; but true leniency is leniency precisely because the person deserves to be punished. As Dalrock points out, being under pressure or ignorant isn’t even exculpatory in the case of a parking ticket, let alone murder.

What is ludicrous and irrational is the simultaneous contention that abortion is murder and that women who deliberately procure abortion are categorically innocent victims, not perpetrators of murder (along with the abortionist and any other co-conspirators).  To consider innocent victimhood the normative case for women who procure abortions is to assert that – as the normative case – women lack moral agency.  It is to assume that women in general lack the capacity to be responsible for the behaviors they choose unless proven otherwise in a particular case.

I’m sure your wife deserved the beatings

April 7, 2016 § 3 Comments

Presenting reasons why you believe that women lack moral agency is not the same as disputing that you believe that women lack moral agency.

Not guilty by reason of life is hard

April 6, 2016 § 12 Comments

One of the interesting things about the intramural dynamic between left and right liberals is that it is sometimes the ‘conservatives’ or right-liberals who craft the newest, latest, most progressive innovations in the ways in which liberalism attacks and destroys the natural moral order. In order to stay respectable conservatives sometimes have to out-progress the progressives.

Back in the day the insanity defense provided a kind of compromise or unprincipled exception as a way of saving liberalism from itself.  Liberalism requires public-square neutrality, so the liberal ruling class must prescind from making moral judgments. Disease is unlike moral failure inasmuch as moral agents are culpable for their moral failures but are not (necessarily) morally culpable for contracting a disease or having some sort of defect.  Under the insanity defense heinous criminals could be defined as ‘sick’, thus avoiding making substantive moral judgments while at the same time still asserting a form of politically correct authority.

However, even this vestigial politically correct pseudoauthority is intolerable to mainstream pro-life conservatives or right-liberals when it comes to women who choose a particular kind of murder. Female emancipation means that when a woman chooses abortion she must face no consequences whatsoever.

An argument that the pro-life movement does not consider women to be moral agents

April 4, 2016 § 129 Comments

Consider the following premises:

  1. Women are moral agents.
  2. Abortion is a kind of murder.
  3. Murder either committed or procured by a moral agent should be subject to some kind of punishment.

Pro-lifers profess to believe (2).

(3) is self-evident.

The recent Donald Trump abortion kerfuffle clearly showed that the pro-life movement does not believe that women should be subject to any kind of punishment for procuring an abortion.

Therefore, the pro-life movement rejects (1).

Justice Anthony Kennedy is right

February 4, 2016 § 33 Comments

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy famously wrote, in his opinion on Planned Parenthood vs Casey:

At the heart of [political] liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.

This statement is correct.

I have explained in many different ways how and why liberalism simultaneously

  1. Is rationally incoherent, and therefore logically implies everything and its opposite all at once; but in a way which is not immediately transparent.
  2. Affirms individuals in their expectations and exalts what individuals happen to desire or will over reality: cafeteria realism.

One of the interesting functions of the Supreme Court in the American political system is that it gives conservatives a strange attractor for hope and blame: a political sink to absorb their resentments, hopes, and fears while stopping short of repudiating liberalism. Authentic political freedom and republican democracy would work if only those tyrants in the Supreme Court would stop legislating from the bench. Certainly (goes the argument) it is unfair to blame democracy and liberalism – authentic classical liberalism – for the tyrannies of the Court.

The Supreme Court keeps everyone on the reservation by playing the roles of referee and tyrant. Part of the problem with populism is that sometimes people decide that liberalism isn’t what they really want: subsidiary authorities and electoral majorities will sometimes violate liberal principles if someone doesn’t keep the electorate and subordinate government bodies in line. So social conservatives end up simultaneously excoriating the Court and hoping to gain control of it, so that their truly authentic vision of freedom and equal rights can be achieved.

Meanwhile, even when the judges are appointed by conservatives – Anthony Kennedy was appointed by Ronald Reagan – those judges inevitably find (shocking, I know) that liberal principles imply substantively liberal outcomes for disputes in law.

When Kurt Gödel was applying for US citizenship he almost got his citizenship denied, because he would argue that theoretically the US could vote itself in a king or strongman dictator. His friend Albert Einstein calmed him down and reassured him that this theoretical possibility was not really a practical possibility: whatever the formal structures may theoretically allow, the United States was incorrigibly committed to freedom and equality as bedrock political principles.

I’ll just suggest that conservatives who think that liberal democracy could work out great, if only it weren’t for the tyrannical Supreme Court, are no Einsteins.

 

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