December 22, 2009

Obamacare Kills the Baby Jesus

Like, if an all-knowing and all-powerful god manages to get himself aborted, it isn't his own damn fault?

Or, is that actually the point? Is abortion the new crucifixion? The fetus paraphernalia popping up everywhere says "YES" . . . it's becoming as fetishized as the cross.

According to the logic of the of the anti-abortionist, abortion is actually worse than crucifixion, since the dead babies are completely innocent, and even the Lord Jesus talked sass to some pharisees, killed a fig tree in the desert, and kicked some moneylender ass in the temple.

Actually, someone can clear this up for me: a child is born into original sin, but has the stain of sin removed by baptism, right? So, it stands to reason that the unborn child, having begun his/her life at conception, was actually stained by sin at that very point. The unborn child is not innocent. I have heard the concept, rarely articulated, that there are unborn babies stacking up in purgatory . . .

See here, too, the stain of life . . . Christianity as the anti-human. Anyway, back to the topic . . .

Of course, like most religion, this discussion of original sin is convoluted and ridiculous, mixing seeds of ideas, facts, and concepts with distortion and nonsense. And so, Chuck Norris:

[ . . . ]

I'm not going to quote him. He's a fucking idiot.

The general idea is that baby Jesus, returning to today's America complete with Obamacare, would be aborted before he had a chance to save the world.

Uh, let's see . . .

First, that assumes that Jesus would return to America, and not to his old haunts in the holy land. Of course, any American Christian knows that God will come to the new holy land, America, not Israel, where all those non-believing Jews and Muslims hang out (I'm not kidding, or even exaggerating, about this - go ahead and google it). All those retorts about Israel's healthcare system being more socialist than ours (isn't everybody's?) are beside the point, because he ain't showing up there, he's showing up here.

Second, there's the thing about responsibility. I'm expected by Christians to know that a life of sin will lead me to hell, but all I have on this is their word. Jesus, on the other hand, gets his ass aborted, and we're not blaming him? Sorry, I don't mean to dwell on this.

Let's say that the modern day VM doesn't have quite the emotional support network she needs, but she does have the Chuck Norris-approved pre-Obamacare capitalist healthcare network. So, without Obamacare, there's less of an incentive to abort, right? Well, I'm not sure about that, given the fact that an abortion paid for completely out-of-pocket is still much cheaper than a pregnancy with normal insurance. Add to that the fact that normal insurance doesn't cover any type of counseling that might build our putative VM's confidence to the point that she would have the esteem and support to bring her child to term.

And there's this thing about abortion being fueled by shame. Looks like I gotta go to Chuck after all:

What if that young, poor and uninsured teenage woman had been provided the federal funds (via Obamacare) and facilities (via Planned Parenthood, etc.) to avoid the ridicule, ostracizing, persecution and possible stoning because of her out-of-wedlock pregnancy?

"Ridicule, ostracizing, persecution"? Just where in the HELL do you think this comes from? I don't see the pinko commie hippies out on the street dissing pregnant women (okay, maybe a few Maoists). The revulsion toward out-of-wedlock pregnancy in this culture is DIRECTLY attributable to the religious cultural establishment and their horror triggered by anything sexual. I let that Nietzsche reference hang earlier, but the mainstream of Christianity seems, to me, anti-human. Not anti-humanist (as in, against the idea that humanity is the center of the universe), but anti-human (as in, against the human, life-denying). Though every fiber of my upbringing has resisted it, I have come to the conclusion that Christianity is about the flagellation of the self and others. Christianity is about destruction. Not all Christianity . . . but the positive has yet to triumph over the negative. It's a lot closer than the average cocktail-party liberal will admit, but the negative is still in the ascendancy.

It's tempting to try to refute this in healthcare terms but, again, this isn't about healthcare. It's about a bunch of idiots and their relationship to culture, which they define in completely defective terms. I tried to swear off this kind of false discourse earlier, but it seems that I've been sucked back in (Norris = Palin). I apologize, and I promise to do better in the future. But, at the core of all this, is one final point:

There is a logical and reasonable point of view that claims abortion is the destruction of life. It is not a view which can be called either liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat. The reason the debate is faulty is that we let people like Chuck Norris and Sarah Palin stand in for the anti-abortion argument, and we let it get accelerated into a cultural discussion in the basest of terms. There are "liberals", "progressives", and even "feminists" who are anti-abortion, and even more who believe that abortion is wrong but should not be subject to the laws of the federal government. These are the true lost souls of this increasingly meaningless debate.

And here we are, with Chuck Norris and Obamacare. Once again, I feel the need to simultaneously apologize and point out that it's not my fault. But, we know it is. Sorry about that. I'll do better next time.


Matt said...

I must do full disclosure and admit I still practice a Christian religion (though there are many who call themselves Quaker who'd be better off admitting that they are Wiccans or something).

I had to move away from the religion of our upbringing for many reasons. A huge one is that a huge chunk of it appears to have no basis in reality. Trying to explain to someone about Catholicism began to sound like summarizing a "Lord of the Rings" book.

Even more importantly, it seemed to at worst disregard completely and at best down play the role of a person's experience in their relationship to the sacred, or even the mysteries of life.

Most fundementalist religions have the same two problems to the nth degree. Because of that, they must create issues to try and seem relevant. They will fail ultimately. maybe not in our lifetime or even our grandkids' lifetimes, but they will fail.

josh said...

According to the logic of the of the anti-abortionist, abortion is actually worse than crucifixion...

Have you actually heard/seen this view articulated by an anti-abortionist? I only ask because I find it hard to believe a Christian would argue that Christ was sinful in anyway whatsoever. Catholics and Lutherans maintain that Mary was also free from sin precisely so that no one could say Jesus inherited original sin.

Speaking of which, there isn't a consistent doctrine of "original sin" across all Christian sects. Most (though, not all) agree that all persons inherit the sin of Adam at conception, but there are a number of interpretations of what original sin implies. As you may know, Catholic theologians have speculated there is a place known as "Limbo" which is specifically for persons who died without being baptized in Christ. Limbo is not the same as Purgatory. Purgatory is where all souls destined for Heaven go to be purged of sin before entering Heaven. Limbo is for those who are worthy of being in Heaven but can't get in because they either died before Christ died on the cross or they died without being baptized. I think persons like Moses are believed to have been taken out of limbus patrem (limbo of the fathers) and into Heaven by Christ in the time between His death and resurrection. Unbaptized infants (and presumably fetuses), unfortunately, are left to spend eternity in limbus infantium (limbo of the infants). None of this is dogma, but neither is it heresy. Increasingly, I think the Church wants to believe that unbaptized infants eventually get into Heaven. But there are still those theologians who maintain baptism is a pre-requisite for entrance into Heaven.

Anyway, I agree that the abortion "debate" is meaningless at the moment. Anti-abortionists believe abortion is wrong because 1) a fetus is a person and 2) taking the life of another person is a sin. This is an ethical position based on the principle that killing a person is wrong. Of course, as soon as the conversation turns to war and capital punishment these same folks generally become consequentialists with regard to killing a person. The pro-abortion side generally hedges its bets. They argue that 1) a fetus is not a person, 2) even if it is, the mother is sovereign of her own body and 3) the world doesn't need more children born into poverty, etc anyway, right? Argument 1 is an attempt to simply end the debate by defining it out of existence. If a fetus isn't a person, abortion isn't murder, ergo this discussion is over. Of course, this argument doesn't address what a fetus is. I suspect because doing so would ultimately result in a fetus having at least as much right to live as a puppy and the pro-abortionist doesn't want to go there. Argument 2 asserts that a woman's right to determine what happens to her body trumps any rights the fetus might have. This isn't a terrible argument if it's applied consistently; but, why isn't Hillary Clinton, for example, defending the principle of self-determination with regards to prostitution, the use of narcotics, the selling of body parts, and the inevitable killings which result from war? Argument 3 is the most crass and strictly consequentialist argument sometimes put forth by pro-abortionists and its flaws should be obvious. I've only heard someone resort to this argument after I've successfully undermined arguments 1 & 2.

IMO, the pro-life argument is a good one as long as you consistently apply the principle that it's wrong to take the life of another person. As soon as you make exceptions for war and capital punishment, it becomes consequentialism. The pro-choice argument isn't as strong because of the premise that a fetus isn't deserving of the right to self-determination. There might be a case to be made for this, but I haven't heard it. And again, the argument based on the right to self-determination falls apart if you don't apply it to prostitution, etc.

josh said...

Sorry to highjack the comments but there's a character limit per comment and I'm not done pontificating, yet.

There are "liberals", "progressives", and even "feminists" who are anti-abortion, and even more who believe that abortion is wrong but should not be subject to the laws of the federal government. These are the true lost souls of this increasingly meaningless debate.

What do you mean about these being the "lost souls" of the debate? The persons you refer to in the part I put in bold seem make a terrible argument. I have a friend (who's also a Catholic priest) who once expressed a similar sentiment. The problem with this position is that it basically allows abortion to be the sole legal form of murder. Legalized murder? That sounds kinda crazy to me. My priest-friend argued that since the question of when life begins is ultimately a question of faith, abortion shouldn't be criminalized in a country where we respect a strict separation of church and state. I don't buy it, but I'd like to hear your take on it if you think the "murder is wrong, but shouldn't be illegal" argument is valid.

Bill Zink said...

Yeah, Josh, I guess I wasn't expecting to be taken seriously on all that. That part of my rant is no better than Chuck Norris's bullshit, and that was kinda the point . . . though I can see why that point is lost

The idea of original sin is something I want to look at some time. When I do, that sounds like a good project for us to collaborate on.

josh said...

Hey Bill, sorry if I was taking you too seriously. Subtlety is often lost in print. I'm also too accustomed to reading caricatures that are serious that my parody-detector doesn't work very well anymore.

Bill Zink said...

I tell you what, my parody detector is completely offline at this point. I mean, Chuck Norris may have made those comments solely to tweak "liberals", and if that's the case, I don't really have a problem with them. There is apparently a small group of conservatives that believe The Colbert Report only pretends to be comedy to get by "the censors", and that Colbert actually means what he says. Yikes! I really find it impossible to figure out who is serious anymore. Logic has been abdicated.

The "true lost souls" of the debate are anyone who refuses to join into their coded slots as defined by the current corrupt American political system, such as the female member of Right to Life who campaigned for Barack Obama because she believed his platform to be more pro-life than McCain's, or the libertarian Republican who rejects restrictive Republican "morality" as surely as he rejects Democratic social determinism.

Legalized abortion is not the sole legal form of murder even if abortion can be considered murder. There is capital punishment, self-defense, and justifiable homicide, for starters. As you have pointed out, there is no absolute ban on murder. My point would be simply that law has nothing to do with right or wrong - law is meant to allow people to live together, to facilitate human interaction. That is why, for instance, I will listen to opponents of abortion (on the premise that, if they are right, we are killing thousands of people every year), but have no patience whatsoever for the opponents of gay marriage (really, besides some tender moral sensibilities, what would be hurt?). If we oppose abortion, we need to stop abortion, not outlaw it . . . there is a logical, if not totally practical, difference.

By the way, you've cast the debate very well. It was more than my sideways rant deserved.