Monday, November 30, 2015

If it quacks like a duck..

Last week in Colorado Springs, USA there was a shooting at a planned parenthood clinic in which three people lost their lives. The murderer was arrested at the scene and is now in police custody, initial reports suggest that Robert Lewis Dear fits the stereotypical profile of a mentally deranged loner living "off the grid" on a trailer park, seemingly rambling and incoherent at the point of his arrest, hopefully the authorities can get to the bottom of his motive and help bring some closure to the victims.

It's a rather odd phenomenon that in the USA, Christians (of all manner of flavours) seem to have a disproportionately unreasonable reaction to legal abortion. In most European countries (except Ireland) abortion is a medical procedure that, although very serious for the participants, is technically fairly routine, but it has never achieved the same levels of acceptance in the USA. For example, since 1977 there have been 8 murders, 17 attempted murders, 42 bombings and 186 arsons in and around clinics like this in the USA; someone, somewhere is trying to make a point about something, but the rest of us are not entirely clear what that point is.

It's strange because more often than not the same Republican (they're mostly right-wingers) Christian voices are first in line to promote the freedom of access to lethal weapons for school children, bombing other people's children they disagree with and are also first to advocate denial of publicly funded social care services to the most needy in their society (like children!), a somewhat dissonant set of ideas? It's like they're arguing that unborn foetuses should be protected at all costs until they are born, sentient and able to suffer, then it's OK to hurt or kill them so long as God is on your side; particularly if the parents don't conform to a rather parochial mid-western view of how a "good" life should be lived. Christians like this are quite common in the middle of America (less common around the edges) I've met a good number of them and if the conversation should stumble into this topic area I always ask, "would abortion be OK if the foetus is going to grow up socialist, gay and atheist"? It's fun to watch the blood vessels in their temples pulse whilst perusing this question.

Christians everywhere seem to be distancing themselves from this event; many pro-abortion activists and supporters on social media have been asking where the moderate Christian voices are on this and the response from what I've seen so far has been along the lines of condemnation of the act but denial of any linkage to the broad set of Christian dogma at the centre of this dispute. I find this position slightly disingenuous, it seems to me that if you belong to a club that openly promotes the doctrine that abortion is murder and murder carries the death penalty (as it does in most of the states in question) then you bear some responsibility when one of the members of your club (albeit a mentally deranged member) goes out and murders a doctor. The reaction of most Christians I've seen is that this guy wasn't a "real" Christian (no true Scotsman?) , maybe he wasn't, but in that case I would question where he got the idea that killing doctors is sanctioned by something or someone from in the first place, wouldn't it be most likely from pro-life Christian propaganda? I would also ask how the following message from Joshua Feuerstein (a hugely popular Christian vlogger) would sound to a mentally deranged follower, is this tantamount to incitement, listen carefully, I think it's pretty close.

Many Christians don't seem to want to ask hard questions about the authenticity of people claiming to be Christian when it comes to census results and disputes about wearing crucifix shaped nose rings to work, but when the boot is on the other foot, I must say they seem rather quick to do an "apostle Peter" and deny, deny, deny.


A Heron's View said...

True no abortion in Ireland; there is though an operation called a womb evacuation - a term used by Irish surgeons and nurses which amounts to the same thing in my opinion.

Steve Borthwick said...

HV, I think you're talking about D&E (dilation and evacuation) which is nothing like an abortion; it's a procedure to prevent infection after a miscarriage, it's universal, not an Irish thing?

It baffles me why the Irish Government treats Women like breeding vessels with no minds or lives of their own; are they not man enough to stand up to the Catholic Church or don't they believe Women have the right to control what happens to their own bodies?