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writing for godot

Aborting America - “Pro Life” shows its pro-death face

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Written by Zepp Jamieson   
Wednesday, 15 May 2019 18:24

May 15th 2019

 

Imagine if some religious cult sprang up that declared that cancer was God’s way of calling his children home, and thus it was a sin to do anything to treat cancer. Thus anyone trying to eliminate cancer, including the removal of tumors, should be punished, up to 99 years in prison.

If that sounds pretty whack-a-doodle, reflect on the strange things the mainstream religions in America teach. Bible literalists have to believe such utter nonsense as the talking snake story in Genesis, the Ark story, and the sun holding still in the sky for three days. Non-literalists have to accept such oddities as virgin births, miracles, and power of prayer as being a real thing.

So having a group rising up and declaring that blastomas are an expression of God’s love and must be protected at all costs really isn’t all that far fetched.

That there is no biblical basis for such a belief is pretty irrelevant. After all, ‘God’s Will’ has been used to justify most wars, even against other Christian enemies, an unending bitter strife over mostly worthless land in the middle east, slaughter of indigenous tribes in Africa and the Americas, and even the massacre of cats in Europe (led to the plagues, that, as the rodent population exploded). Jewish and Islamic countries have (and still have) similar atrocities stemming from similar beliefs. Indeed, many of the worst elements of religious savagery in all three main faiths stem from the same source—the Mosaic Law of what Christians call the Old Testament.

But religious-based lunacy can exist independently of weird texts translated hundreds of different times that were originally written by people who didn’t know the Earth was a globe or that lobsters weren’t fish.

This leads to the abortion movement. In America, the Catholic Church always opposed abortion on grounds similar to my hypothetical pro-cancer faith; they thought all human seed was sacred, an expression of divine love, and thus it was a sin to waste seed. At various times and in various places, the church punished and even executed men for the ‘sin’ of masturbation.

When fundamentalists glommed on to the notion of stopping abortion in the wake of Roe v Wade, they brought their own brand of fundamentalist lunacy to the table. Every zygote possessed a soul and was an expression of God’s will.

Years ago, I came across a ‘public service announcement’ put out by some of the religious lunatics that featured an animation of a full-term baby being aborted, and as she (curly blonde hair and pink bow in her hair, the way most female babies are born) is dying, she’s screaming “Mommy! Mommy! Why are you doing this to me? Don’t you LOVE me?”

I laughed at the sheer absurdity of that cartoon, but here we are, 30 years later, and millions of Americans believe a truly savage blood libel spread by Republicans and Fox News that babies—real, actual babies—are being aborted after they are born because that is what Roe v Wade demands.

John Oliver had a clip of some intellectual abortion standing in the Alabama Legislature, droning on about “Baby Fetus” and even providing supposed quotes from this etymological absurdity. Two days later, Alabama passed a draconian law banning all abortion and providing life sentences to anyone performing or getting an abortion.

There’s an old saying: “People who can be persuaded to believe absurdities can be led to commit atrocities.”

It’s not even Biblical. The Bible doesn’t mention abortion, although it does condone ripping babies from the wombs of the women of vanquished foes and dashing their brains out against a rock. The New Testament has nothing to say about abortion, even though Nazareth had no shortage of midwifes who had abortifacient herbs and crude tools to physically induce abortion. Further, in many levels of society in that time and place, it wasn’t uncommon for female babies to be drowned or used to break rocks because female children were expensive and of limited use. For some reason, Jesus never did have an opinion on that.

Dressed up as a religious and moral crusade, the anti-abortion movement is neither. It doesn’t really care about “the life of a child,” as witness the fact that few if any of the people running the movement have any provisions whatsoever for the care and feeding of these involuntary children, or helping the mothers in any significant way, or otherwise assuming any responsibility.

It is, instead, a naked authoritarian power grab. It places a large segment of the female population in a precarious role where they can be effectively enslaved, either by pregnancy or the mere fear of pregnancy. If Alabama’s law is allowed to stand, the move will be on to ban birth control of all kinds. In the name of God, of course.

It’s a political movement, as well. The brownshirts of the GOP have long used the religiously insane as a handy bludgeon to enforce their more authoritarian dictates, such as enforced worship of the police and military, and to justify discrimination and segregation.

And if you take a look at the states joining the rush to knock down Roe v. Wade, with the exception of Ohio, all are in southern states with long histories of repressive authoritarians backed by the iron dictates of corrupt pastors.

It’s time to recognize the ‘pro-life’ for what it is: it’s not pro-anything. It’s anti-women, anti-choice, anti-individual, and anti-freedom. It opposes everything America stands for, including the right for every person not to have someone else’s religious dictates imposed upon them. No woman should be enslaved by some politician lying about God’s will. Nobody should have to follow the religious taboos of some church if they don’t want.

They are anti-America, and should be treated, not as voices of some god, but as enemies to American rights and freedoms.

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