Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Why your vote matters today

UPDATE: I've taken down the image of the aborted baby -- see discussion in the combox. --MrsDarwin


Think the candidates are the same? Think it doesn't matter if you sit this one out because you're too principled to vote for the lesser of two evils? Think again.

48 million children slaughtered since 1973.


I will take this image down tomorrow. I can't look at it long. But everyone should look at it once, to understand what it is we're fighting against.

29 comments:

Rick Lugari said...

Horrifying. But that's what it is. Expect a lot of complaints because it makes people very uncomfortable. This is the horror of abortion. It is reality. It's happening in numerous places across the country (and globe) right now as I type.

43 million since 1973 - 1.3 million times a year - in this country alone. Those words don't do justice. As Stalin so cavalierly observed, "A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic." It's true for many. Only if you look at the above poor child, an innocent and defenseless little soul, tortured and executed for no other purpose than he existed, and then contemplate that happening multiple times at every moment of the day - every few moments in our country - can you only touch on the real horror of abortion. It's a grace from God that we can even go on while knowing this is happening, it's an abuse of grace to forget or accept.

j. christian said...

I understand your choice to use this image; nothing else quite drives home the reality of abortion. Sometimes it's necessary to see the horror for what it is.

I don't think you can take it down fast enough, though. There's a reason the Church refers to the dignity of the human person, and broadcasting the image of a dead person to make a point seems to violate that dignity. You're merely the messenger in this instance, but it reminds me of those images of terrorists desecrating the bodies of dead soldiers.

Therein lies an unexplored goldmine of argumentation for the pro-life cause. The desecration of the dead rightly revolts us. Is that because we still see them as "person," possessing some dignity even in death? The pro-abort cause would have you believe that, because an embryo is a clump of cells with no nervous system or ability to feel anything, that it cannot be called a person. Clearly, though, when we look at a dead body, we know that the nervous system is not functioning, there is no sensation or consciousness anymore...and yet we still recoil at the idea of desecration. I think we instinctively know that a "person" is there whether or not some biological definition of "life" is met.

Just a tangent, I know, but something I haven't seen much in the pro-life arguments.

mrsdarwin said...

J. Christian,

You are right about the dignity of the dead, so I've removed the image. (The post is mine, though I accidentally posted under Darwin's name; this is the occasional difficultly with sharing a computer.)

Though, I think of photographs of battlefields from WWII or the Civil War, in which the enormity of the carnage can be seen from the vast amounts of dead men strewn across the field. The difference here, perhaps, is the up-close-and-personal image of one person, and a baby at that, horribly mutilated. It's sickening -- I couldn't even visit my own blog all morning because I didn't want to see what I myself had posted. But it does cut through a lot of scholastic argument.

The Deuce said...

I disagree that the image violates the dignity of the human person. No, it merely shows you the desecration committed by someone else, and forces you to think about it.

It's quite in line with the pictures of the horrors at Auschwitz and other concentration camps. Should we just not show those images under the theory that showing them violates people's dignity? No, quite the contrary. Those pictures protect people's dignity. By showing the violation of dignity perpetrated by others, it motivates people to stand on guard against such violations in the future.

I think that pro-lifers need to show the revolting visual results of abortion far more often in fact. People's faces need to be rubbed in it, just like the German citizens were forced, after the war, to see first-hand what they had been supporting.

Far too many people are allowed to get away with thinking of a human fetus as some sort of abstraction that just evaporates away or disappears somehow during an abortion, and making them see it is the only way to change that.

j. christian said...

Isn't it using a person as a means to an end? Would you want the picture of one of your loved ones used in such a way?

There was a case recently where a teenager took her father's car, drove it 100mph, and wrapped it around a concrete pillar. A highway patrol staffer leaked photos of her nearly-decapitated body on the Internet. Was that appropriate because it serves as a cautionary tale about reckless driving, or was it a violation of her inherent dignity to splash it everywhere for public viewing?

Anonymous said...

Abortion is completely irrelevant in national elections. Completely. Irrelevant.

What will happen if Roe v. Wade falls? Why, let me tell you. The legislatures of 47 or 48 states will move with lightning speed to legalize abortion in their own jurisdictions. The exceptions will be Alabama (maybe), Mississippi (maybe), and Utah (definitely).

The day after the Utah ban passes a real estate developer in the little town of West Wendover, NV (Utah state line, closest out-of-state point to Salt Lake City) will announce the construction of an abortion clinic. The day it opens the parking fills with cars with Utah plates. The clinic stays busy, the developer makes even more profits than projected, and after a couple years he sends a thank-you note to the Utah legislature.

Bottom line: abortion is here to stay, regardless of who the president is. We don’t have to like it, but everyone will be better off if we at least accept it, particular since doing so enables us to focus on other issues in which the selection of president might actually matter.

Joel

crankycon said...

abortion is here to stay

Only if monsters like you continue to bury your head in the sand and allow it. I am so thoroughly sick and tired of the moral cowards who don't want to do the heavy lifting that will ensure that the moral scourge of abortion is ended. That means both voting for candidates that oppose abortion, AND spreading a culture of life through our won interactions and our continued insistence on fighting for the rights of the most innocent victims in our world.

So go ahead, Joel, and continue to bury your head in the sand. Ignore abortion so we can face the "important" issues like a ridiculous economic stimulus package that will do nothing to help the economy but will bankrupt us further, or addressing the pressing concern that is free speech being expressed on the radio. Yeah, let's just concentrate on the "important" issues.

Anonymous said...

crankycon, Down's Syndrome pregnancies are aborted either 87% or 91% or 93% of the time, depending which studies you believe. This means that 13% (at most) of the population is anti-abortion, regardless of what they may tell pollsters.

Abortion is evil. It is also here to stay. Deal with it, don't deny it.

crankycon said...

That is the most idiotic logic I have ever encountered, and I've seen a lot of that today.

Even if that number is true . . . so what? Do we do nothing to fight evil? You probably consider yourself a Catholic, but you're not. You're a phony, monstrous pro-abort that is part of the reason we're stuck in the situation we're in. You probably would have just let the south secede had you been alive during the 19th cnetury - "Eh, let them have their slaves, who are we to stop them?"

Moral cowards like you are almost more disgusting than the Planned Parenthood types.

Sickening.

mrsdarwin said...

This means that 13% (at most) of the population is anti-abortion, regardless of what they may tell pollsters.

Actually, it would mean that 13% of Down's Syndrome mothers are anti-abortion, and that's a small subset of the population.

Still, I don't see why we need to be content with just dealing with it. If we really believe that abortion is evil, why shouldn't we work to defeat it on all levels?

mrsdarwin said...

Cranky, I realize you're disappointed, but you're taking the wrong tone here. Also, I don't think that Joel is Catholic, though he can correct me if I'm wrong.

crankycon said...

Mrs. Darwin:

I apologize. You are correct. It's been a long day. It's incredibly frustrating dealing with people so contented to accommodate evil, but that's no excuse.

mrsdarwin said...

I feel dispirited too. I'm finding good meditational fodder in the verse "Put not your trust in princes..." :)

Hope your day gets better.

crankycon said...

Feeling better. Took some advil.

The Deuce said...

Isn't it using a person as a means to an end? Would you want the picture of one of your loved ones used in such a way?

No, it isn't, and yes I would. If, say, I had a loved one who was one of the victims of the Holocaust horrors, I would have no problem with their pictures being shown, as they are in the Holocaust museums or at Auschwitz today. I would want people to see firsthand what was done to them, so they would have the will to stand up and stop it from being done to anybody else.

There was a case recently where a teenager took her father's car, drove it 100mph, and wrapped it around a concrete pillar. A highway patrol staffer leaked photos of her nearly-decapitated body on the Internet. Was that appropriate because it serves as a cautionary tale about reckless driving, or was it a violation of her inherent dignity to splash it everywhere for public viewing?

That's different. She was the victim of an accident, not deliberate evil perpetrated by another. The purpose of showing people such pictures is to confront them directly with the effects of the evil they are supporting, so that they are forced to face it and can't deny it, and so that they will be emboldened to resist that evil in the future.

Anonymous said...

cranky, I wrote: "Abortion is evil. It is also here to stay." Both thoroughly defensible statements, though not pleasant ones. (I usually don't try to be pleasant. I try to be accurate.)

You responded by calling me "phony, monstrous, pro-abort" and "moral coward." Could you do me a favor in the future? Take your Advil *before* posting here.

Anonymous said...

mrs. Darwin wrote: "Actually, it would mean that 13% of Down's Syndrome mothers are anti-abortion, and that's a small subset of the population."

Good point. Down's Syndrome mothers tend to be older than average mothers. (DS occurs less than 0.1% of the time among teenage mothers, but more than 5% of the time among 45-year-old mothers.) Most non-DS abortion "patients" are women in their teens and early 20's who got pregnant accidentally and chose to abort because they didn't want children yet. The subset of DS abortions, on the other hand, are disproportionately women who *wanted* to get pregnant, but chose to abort after finding that they were carrying a DS child. Which probably means that the 13% figure is high overall.

Tom Simon said...

Anonymous:

The problem is not that you said that abortion is here to stay, but that you seem to regard that as a reason not to fight against it. (People were saying the same thing about slavery in 1850.) It will certainly be here to stay forever if no one has the courage to oppose it.

Anonymous said...

In a democratic society, I am not going to wage a political fight against 87% of the population.

People who opposed slavery in the 19th century made a difference. People who opposed it in the 1st century did not. We all pray that people will someday realize what abortion really is. But 35 years of effort has resulted in a society that is more strongly pro-abortion than it was when we started. I'm going to focus my energies in other areas.

Anonymous said...

One more point, and then I'll be quiet. I live in California, and yesterday I voted Yes on Proposition 4, to require parental consent for minor abortions. The proposition failed. This happened in the same state, on the same day, that a gay-marriage ban passed. And of course this is a state where, like everywhere else, minors can't get cavities filled without parental consent.

Darwin said...

Anon (Joel?)

This means that 13% (at most) of the population is anti-abortion, regardless of what they may tell pollsters.

Abortion is evil. It is also here to stay. Deal with it, don't deny it.


No, not really. And the difference, I think, is key to why banning abortion is something we should strive for.

If you _ask_ people if they think it is right to abort a baby because of serious genetic disease, 50-60% of people say yes. The difference is temptation and opportunity. If you ran into someone who was incredibly scared of another person, would you hand that person a gun and say, "You don't have to shoot him, but if you do no one will ever blame you"? Of course not. And yet that's exactly what is done with pre-natal diagnosis of Down Syndrome. Doctors, insurance companies, and society as a whole dangles the abortion option out there and on the other hand hold up often exaggerated estimates of how bad things will be if people don't abort. (Of those who do not bow to pressure, an overwhelming majority say they were overly pressured to abort and that the information they were presented with by doctors and insurance was exaggerated 'worst case scenario' information.)

If is exactly because of this that we should strive to limit the availability of abortion, not grab the 14% figure as a reason to stop caring.

And frankly, as a progressive, most of your agenda has been rejected repeatedly by voters over the years as well. Why do you try on any of it?

People who opposed slavery in the 19th century made a difference. People who opposed it in the 1st century did not. We all pray that people will someday realize what abortion really is. But 35 years of effort has resulted in a society that is more strongly pro-abortion than it was when we started. I'm going to focus my energies in other areas.

First off, in the interests of history: slavery virtually disappeared in the West from the 5th century to the 16th.

And how exactly is anything ever supposed to be overcome if people who supposedly care about it don't think it's even worth a vote to fight against it?

I live in California, and yesterday I voted Yes on Proposition 4, to require parental consent for minor abortions. The proposition failed. This happened in the same state, on the same day, that a gay-marriage ban passed. And of course this is a state where, like everywhere else, minors can't get cavities filled without parental consent.

You don't need to convince me that California is screwed up -- that's why I left after living there for 25 years.

But again, the idiocy of such a vote simply underlines the degree to which the pro-aborts need to be fought. It's not an argument that we should vote for such despicable people.

I'm sorry, but I'd much rather vote for the losing party than endorse such a revolting moral evil.

CMinor said...

Well, I thought I'd posted yesterday, but it seems to have vaporized.

I'm with the Deuce on this one, MrsD, though I understand how disturbing such images can be. When Flannery O'Connor was questioned about the brutality level in her stories, she replied something to the effect of, "When you describe evil, you need to write in large letters."

If there were no pictures of the Holocaust or the aftermath of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, would we react to those events as we do?

Anonymous said...

darwin wrote: "And frankly, as a progressive, most of your agenda has been rejected repeatedly by voters over the years as well. Why do you try on any of it?"

You are making the silly mistake that is unfortunately common among Republicans nowadays - assuming that anyone who disagrees with you on any subject must be liberal (though you do at least use the nicer word "progressive). But you are wrong. I am conservative.

If I had been around in the 50's and 60's I would have supported the R party, because the party back then stood for competence: they gave us leaders who thought before they spoke, consulted experts before making decisions, made sure that the people working for them actually knew what they were doing, and generally ran the country as well as was humanly possible. Compare that to the R party of today (Palin, for crying out loud) and you can see why I am now at odds with them. I agree with Chris Buckley: I didn't leave the party, it left me.

crankycon said...

One more point, and then I'll be quiet

Don't you just love it when people say things like this and then continue to write posts further down thread?

crankycon said...

I am conservative.

I have a hard time believing you when you write things like this.

In a democratic society, I am not going to wage a political fight against 87% of the population.

Conservatives simply don't wave their hands in the air and simply give up when a majority opposes their viewpoints. Aside from the ludicrous assumption that 87% of the people are pro-abortion, (despite the fact that ballot initiatives in SD and CA failed, they did get a bit more than 13% of the vote, n'est-ce pas?) a true conservative doesn't simply go with the flow of the popular culture.

What's interesting is that while you have no stomach for engaging the majority on a question of such moral importance, you yet long for a return for the GO to the days when it was at its least popular and most ineffectual - a period in time when less than a quarter of the population belonged to the party and it was losing election after election. I'd rather not return to those "glory" days.

Darwin said...

You are making the silly mistake that is unfortunately common among Republicans nowadays - assuming that anyone who disagrees with you on any subject must be liberal (though you do at least use the nicer word "progressive). But you are wrong. I am conservative.

Well, my mistake. Sorry about that. Taking you to be the Joel I had in mind, I thought I recalled you making some comments that appeared to come from a principled progressive stance over at the blog of Opinionated Homeschooler (herself a principled progressive).

If I had been around in the 50's and 60's I would have supported the R party, because the party back then stood for competence: they gave us leaders who thought before they spoke, consulted experts before making decisions, made sure that the people working for them actually knew what they were doing, and generally ran the country as well as was humanly possible. Compare that to the R party of today (Palin, for crying out loud) and you can see why I am now at odds with them. I agree with Chris Buckley: I didn't leave the party, it left me.

I'm a little perplexed at the idea that one should value someone who will competantly act directly contrary to your desire over someone who will incompetantly act in basic accordance with one's desires.

Certainly, I would rather have competant and thoughtful leaders who agree with me. But the deeply nonsensical thing about Christopher Buckley's manifesto was his claim that he opposed nearly everything Obama stood for, yet he was supporting him because he thought Obama would do things well.

Talk about style over substance...

Anonymous said...

darwin wrote: "I'm a little perplexed at the idea that one should value someone who will competantly act directly contrary to your desire over someone who will incompetantly act in basic accordance with one's desires."

Well, I think we've found it: the basic disagreement between your viewpoint and mine. I value competence above all else in political leaders. I would rather have a competent liberal than an incompetent conservative, which in my view is exactly what this election boiled down to. Clearly you disagree. At least we know what it's about now.

(And yes, I am Joel, and I have posted occasionally at Homie's place, though I doubt that I have ever presented myself as a principled progressive.)

Darwin said...

(And yes, I am Joel, and I have posted occasionally at Homie's place, though I doubt that I have ever presented myself as a principled progressive.)

My mistake, I guess. Sorry about that. I guess online context is hard to gauge.

Well, I think we've found it: the basic disagreement between your viewpoint and mine. I value competence above all else in political leaders. I would rather have a competent liberal than an incompetent conservative, which in my view is exactly what this election boiled down to.

I see your point to an extent -- and given a sufficiently narrow political spectrum I can certainly see voting contrary to one's preferences to get someone who is competent. (Thus, in a Republican primary I will generally support the person I consider most competent, unless I see him as having some completely unacceptable political position.) However it seems to me that beyond a certain point there's really no virtue to competence. The old claim (true or not) that Mussolini made the trains run on time springs to mind.

In the case of Obama, it strikes me as rather more conflicted even than that. Thus far, we really only know that Obama is good at marketing/campaigning -- he's never really done anything else other than get through Harvard Law with relative facility. Frankly, I rather hope he's not competent, since if he manages to get his whole agenda through I think he'll do a great deal of damage to the country.

And no, I'm afraid I can't really see how competence on the part of someone I oppose on nearly every political issue would make me want to see him win. At most, incompetence on the part of my own candidate would make me less enthusiastic for him, but given how wide the gap between Republicans and Democrats has become in our country over the last forty years, I can't see the point in supporting them regardless of how competent they may or may not be. (And with the record of LBJ, Carter, Clinton and the present newbie, it's not like they have a strong record for competence lately either.)

Kyle R. Cupp said...

I’m not too principled, but I chose not to vote for either McCain or Obama because I found both intolerable and could not, in good conscience, support either. Moreover, I do think it matters that I chose not to vote for either. I chose not to support the man who opposed Barack Obama’s abortion agenda. That matters. I didn’t make the choice lightly. For me, it was choosing the least of three evils.