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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Groundhog Day            Sunday, February 2 2003 

Jon Kennedy, webmasterLast words on a hard topic (#1)

To bring anyone who's been missing this week's posts up to speed, we're in the midst of a debate between yours truly and David Caldwell, whose article last Sunday, "Thinking differently," proposed some ideas that he described as minority views. Most of them I disagreed with, though normally I wouldn't consider it necessary to bring my differences to this forum (having declined to do so on several previous occasions). This time, however, perhaps thinking I'd been challenged, I thought it might be good to air our differences in a more open-forum manner, so my Monday and Wednesday Jonals took up my points contra David's.

Then I received a written reply from David that occupied most of my Friday Jonal, and in light of this he invited me to take this space (normally his) for my next rebuttal. I agreed to do so but may not have thought that through as much as I should have, because I had just recently cut a four-day-a-week round of Jonals to three days in order to ease a schedule that had become burdensome after my return to fulltime employment. For that reason, I'm going to break this single retort into at least two, and maybe more, segments to fulfill my weekly quota of Postcards to the list, plus this fourth one, and try not to be too long-winded in any one of them. If David feels I'm breaching the implied understanding that this would be the last word in our debate, I won't hold him to his offer not to rebut again. And here we are halfway through a "normal" Jonal page and not even into the subject at hand!

Today I'll take up just the "pro-abortion/pro-life" questions David raised. He wrote in the post published on Friday:

...For two successive posts you have labeled me as "pro-abortion." I believe you have shot from the hip without thoroughly reading my article on Sunday. For my family, and me, abortion would never be an option. As I wrote Sunday, "If I had ever had to make a decision on whether to abort a fetus, I could not have done it." I didn't expand on the comment at the time but like you, I believe in God the creator of life and the sanctity of that life. I find the label "pro-abortion" offensive. Although, I also find the label "pro-life/anti-abortion" equally if not more offensive because of the heavy-handed, holier-than-thou tactics that group employs. Those tactics is where we disagree.

I don't disbelieve your sincerity, David, but neither did I miss what you said earlier, seeing a seeming contradition. In Thinking differently, you wrote concerning the decision of the McCaugheys to keep all seven of their fertility-drug assisted pregnancies:

I believed at the time and still believe that their decision to allow the pregnancy with 7 fetuses to continue was a very irresponsible choice. They decided against aborting the fetuses on religious grounds. They didn't believe they and their doctors had the right to take a human life. If one uses that rationale, what gave them and their doctors the right to use fertility drugs to create more fetuses than God intended?

If this doesn't constitute being "for" (or "pro") abortion for the McCaugheys, I missed something. Pro-lifers occasionally remark about such distinctions, often heard from "pro-choice" politicians, that such a double standard (saying it's not right for "me," but taking a more "advocacy" stance regarding abortion for others) may even indicate some racism or at least "class-ism" among that kind of "pro-choicers" (a charge that is suggested by the fact that the number of abortions is disproportionately higher among racial minorities and poorer classes in our society).

To say something is wrong for yourself, on moral grounds, while saying the same behavior may be acceptable for others is—is it not—the exact opposite of the "Golden Rule": "do unto others as you would have others do to you"? If respect for life is a good choice for you, why not everyone else? Should we not hope and look for and encourage the "best" choices for all our neighbors? I know the pro-democracy humanist in all of us wants to respond to that by saying, "I know what's best for myself, but it's beyond my competency to know or propose what's best for anyone else." But in this case, you know (you say, and say again) what's best for the McCaugheys, their seven babies, and society because they chose life instead of abortion, even though clearly it was their choice. I don't believe, David, that you are racist or class-ist, but perhaps such pro-abortion double standards have won you over.

As for your statement, "I find the label 'pro-abortion' offensive," I made the decision years ago that using euphemisms for something as offensive to humanity as abortion is itself offensive, even obscene. Using euphemisms for the taking of innocent life, or in any condoning (being "pro-") of that practice by standing aside while it becomes more and more "legal," contributes to the problem. When such speech is used, it makes people think it's something innocuous, or so far from their everyday reality as to not affect them (it is, after all, a problem mainly affecting minority groups and the poor). It should affect us all (and I don't mean, primarily, in our pocketbooks).

I hope to take up more of David's points in tomorrow's postcard.

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

 Scrabble

GEORGE BUSH:
When you rearrange the letters: HE BUGS GORE

DORMITORY:
When you rearrange the letters: DIRTY ROOM

PRESBYTERIAN:
When you rearrange the letters: BEST IN PRAYER

THE MORSE CODE:
When you rearrange the letters: HERE COME DOTS

SLOT MACHINES:
When you rearrange the letters: CASH LOST IN ME .

—Sent by Mike Harrison

Thought for the day

In Christ we have everything. Do you wish to love your God? You have Him in Christ....do you wish to love your neighbor? You have him in Christ.

—St. Augustine; cited by Anthony M. Coniaris,
Daily Vitamins for Spiritual Growth

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