The know-nothings of the pro-life movement
Pro-lifers are celebrating their success in getting abortion funding excluded from the House version of the health care bill. Kim Trobee of CitizenLink, part of Focus on the Family, writes:
Now, attention turns to the Senate, where lawmakers soon will consider their version of health-care reform. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said his bill will “look markedly different” from the House offering.The article also says:
Ashley Horne, federal policy analyst for Focus on the Family Action, said there were numerous troubling aspects of the bill in addition to the life concerns.To which Terry Morris replies at Webster’s Blogspot:
Huh?! Educate thyself! Or otherwise get the hell out of the business of attempting to do that which you’re ill-equipped and ill-prepared to do in the first place….I agree with Terry Morris’s tough words. Indeed, based on the pro-lifers’ reasoning, we can fairly say that if a bill were proposed in Congress that would nationalize all industry in the United States, make all American adults slaves of the government, and outlaw the institution of marriage except for marriages between persons of the same sex, but the bill also contained a plank to fund abortion, and if the pro-life movement then succeeded in getting the Congress to remove the abortion funding from the bill, the pro-life people would declare victory while adding that that they were “neutral” on the bill as a whole.
It was the same with Bristol Palin last year. The fact that Bristol had not had an abortion became the sole issue for the pro-lifers, leading them into gushing approval an out-of-wedlock pregnancy. By doing so they essentially destroyed whatever was left of the social conservative, pro-family movement. Who cares about marriage and the family?, they were really saying. All that matters is that people not have abortions.
How can we explain this disastrous loss of any larger moral and political perspective, of any conservative perspective, on the part of the pro-life movement? Life in advanced modern society has become increasingly “complicated,” and it’s hard to know what’s right and what’s wrong. The pro-life people look at abortion and say, “Here is something that we KNOW is wrong, without any ambiguity, without need for further thought. In this world full of uncertainties, we will commit ourselves to the anti-abortion cause and fight for it with all our might, and ignore everything else.” Their devotion to opposing abortion takes place in a context in which they have given up knowing or caring about right and wrong generally. Which means that they are nihilists, with the sole exception of abortion.
I might have titled this entry: The Nihilism of Single-Issue Politics.
Speaking of single issue politics, see the op-ed by Kate Michelman, former president of the pro-abortion organization NARAL, and Frances Kissling, former president of Catholics for Choice, in the November 11 New York Times. For Michelman and Kissling, the right to abortion transcends all other issues, and they are so outraged at the House Democrats for removing abortion funding from the health care bill that they threaten to drive the Democrats from power as punishment for their betrayal:
This, then, is where we stand as party leaders celebrate passage of the House bill. When it comes to abortion, they seem to think all positions are of equal value so long as the party maintains a majority. But the party will eventually reap what it has sown. If Democrats do not commit themselves to defeating the amendment, then they will face an uncompromising effort by Democratic women to defeat them, regardless of the cost to the party’s precious majority.It would appear that the pro-choice true believers are as little committed to leftism as the pro-life true believers are to conservatism.
Tim W. writes:
I agree with your criticism of the single-issue pro-lifers and the health care bill. I just thought I’d add a little detail on why the organized pro-life movement is so single-minded on this issue.LA replies:
Very interesting background.Gintas writes:
The leftist regime is more and more a monolithic juggernaut bearing down remorselessly and soullessly on any and all opposition. I can’t see how someone could be pro-life and not oppose it lock, stock, and barrel. Can a man be anti-Gulag yet still be neutral about Stalin? Dobson should pray he dies before he suffers the the utter humiliation of a show trial where he sings the praises of the full cultural Marxist program and professes his love for Big Brother.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 15, 2009 02:45 PM | Send