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Christian Reconstructionism and that Georgia anti-miscarriage bill

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by Ragusa, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    [​IMG]

    Georgia State Rep. Bobby Franklin (R-Marietta) recently introduced bill HB 1 [PDF], that would make abortion the legal equivalent of murder and require miscarriages to be investigated by authorities.
    The bill asserts in a preamble: "The State of Georgia has the duty to protect all innocent life from the moment of conception until natural death. We know that life begins at conception." The preamble is the justification for making what Franklin labels "pre-natal murder" illegal. (Georgia isn't the only state taking up new and controversial bills on abortion.)

    Franklin also introduced a bill [PDF] mandating that not only victims of rape be re-classified as "accusers," but victims of stalking, harassment, and family violence should as well. In plainer English that bill says 'We don't believe you and what you say, and you are not a victim until somebody has been sentenced'. Charming.

    Now two such outrageously nutty bills from one guy? So nutty that even FOX condemns them as nutty? How come? Is he insane? Stupid? A guy with a plan? What plan? Well, let's hear more of that guy:
    More on Christian Reconstructionism:
    And likewise, what I find interesting about this is not that the bills are so obviously outrageous and nutty, no dispute there, but the remarkably narrow, and if I may add, quite radical, view on government powers on the one hand (and in my observation, such views are an undercurrent in the tea party movement), and the excessive overreach when it comes to social issues like abortion or rape.

    It does indeed raise the question to which extent small government ideology in America is rooted in religion, since overreach on social issues like abortion or rape certainly is.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011
  2. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Well, at least it's still a bill - not a law. Let's hope it stays that way. It's Georgia and all, but there have to be sensible people there too... Right?
     
  3. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Ragusa - do you ever post about the wack stuff that goes on in Germany? Just out of curiosity, really. Your fascination with American foreign policy is understandable, but I'm not sure I understand why a backwards-thinking American law in a backwards-thinking American state would be of any interest to a German lawyer.

    :2c:
     
  4. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    DR,
    there is nothing comparable here.

    Also, whys and hows are something that get lost in the 24 h news cycle in the US. That's what interests me here. It is clear that the law is silly and the guy is a nut. If one left it at that the discussion would be over with that.

    For me it only starts there: What are the the roots of the ideas expressed in the bill, what are the political goals pursued with the bill. And then, he is getting re-elected, apparently because there is enough political support for his views.

    I am with Sarah Posner: It's hardly inconsequential. It is such an essential piece of the religious right that you could not seriously be a student of American politics without recognizing its role and reach.
     
  5. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    DR - It must be scary for the rest of the world that a super power, with all this military hardware, that bascially just floats and flies around doing nothing, is being taken over by nut jobs in postitions of power. And to think that we worry about what might happen in places like Iran and Pakistan...being taken over by "religious nuts."
     
  6. Rotku

    Rotku I believe I can fly Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I was under the impression that the Religion Right and the Tea Party movement were two different factions in the GOP, aiming to two different groups of voters, even if a lot of the politicians do fit into both categories. Have I understood wrong, and there is more cross over than I imagined?
     
  7. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Apparently there is. One of the issues where their views co-align would be iirc sympathy for the gold standard (or equivalent fixed unit for currency).

    I always find it striking when pols like Michelle Bachmann or Jim DeMint blow their dog whistle. When they say that America is a Christian Nation, they are up to something, either because they believe it themselves (doubtful), or because they try to pander to a certain base. The 'America is a Christian Nation' meme is not mere empty rhetoric. It is directed at people who believe that.

    Just think of that silliness of having the ten commandments in front of public or court buildings that just doesn't want to go away - the Supreme Court has just refused an appeal about Ten Commandments displays. The Supreme Court had previously struck down earlier Ten Commandments displays at the same Kentucky courthouses in 2005. The displays were altered, but a federal judge issued a permanent injunction against them. Why would people try it and lose - to learn nothing and try again? Simple answer: Activism.

    If you look at it from a Christian Reconstructionism point of view it makes perfect sense. The claim implicit in such a display - that civil rulers derive their authority from God and are obligated to follow biblical law (keyword: Theonomy) - is the raison d'etre of the movement. What could better express that than ten commandments in front of a courthouse?
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011
  8. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    Well Georgia is known for having some of the craziest members of Congress. As crazy as this guy is, at least he is trying to follow his own moral compass.

    Now if Ragusa wanted to post something really crazy he should have posted about the guy who was quizzing an admiral about the population of Guam as he was concerned it would flip over and kill everyone. Of course he is a Democrat, so that probably won't happen :facepalm:
     
  9. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Ragusa and others in Europe have every reason to be concerned about what goes on with the social conservative right-wing in this country:

    ...and Canada:

    Does anyone really believe America would keep its vast amount of social-consevative wingnuts to itself?

    http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=tomorrow_the_world
     
  10. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    I'm not actually sure this guy has actually read the Bible. In the New Testament, Jesus says decidedly little about government. There's the whole 'render unto Caesar' bit, but that's about it. And if he's talking about the Old Testament, while abortions would indeed be murder, farmers (and thus all major aggro corporations) are required to leave the edges of their fields unpicked so the poor can pick them. And that's just the beginning. I doubt he really wants it. There are kings, and you don't get to vote for them.

    This, though, is a bit of a stretch. Essential? Not to a lot of Christian conservatives, it's not. Especially the bit about Calvanism. And postmillinialism. A lot of us aren't so up on those things. Theonomy also has some sizable holes in it. Like when Paul tells us to obey legitimate authorities, even if they aren't Christians, and even if we don't like what they're doing (i.e. they aren't bound to enforce God's law). The author is seriously reaching with this.

    The first law isn't too bad in my view. I do consider intentional abortions murder. There may be a bit of a constitutional issue, you know, with that whole Supreme Court and all, but I don't object on a moral ground (thought miscarriages deserve no more investigation than an 'accidental' death).

    The second law, in a purely philosophical sense, I see the sense of. Though it should apply to all crimes if any. Well, maybe not murder. It's tought to call a corpse an 'accuser'. On an emotional level... why?

    Mmm, yes and no. They're different groups, but there's also overlap. As much of the religious right represented the powers that be, err, were, there's also a lot of animosity and separation.

    Actually, no. Apparently you didn't read the article you linked to. The Supreme Court is in the middle of a long process of deciding exactly where the dividing line between historical display and religious display is. This was an attempt to find that line (and possibly influence where it may finally land). It was a test case, designed as such.

    That's not nearly as worrying as it is hilarious.
     
  11. Rawgrim Gems: 21/31
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    There should be a law against letting religious freaks have an ounce of political power.
     
  12. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    It's an inherent problem in democracy that the people who can get to power aren't necessarily the people you want in power. Then again, it's also a problem for any political system that I can think of.

    @ NOG: regarding abortions, I'm quite against extending rights to fetuses - this could cause a litigation nightmare if we go all the way. Treating miscarriages as "accidental" deaths is just one example of how this could happen. Miscarriage tends to be a fairly traumatic moment as far as I know (one cousin of mine and his wife went through one on their first try to have a child), and I think couples that went through that really don't need any investigations into the hows and whys, as well with the accusation that goes with any "accidental death" investigation. In fact, that's one of the reasons I dislike giving fetuses rights - because you could have any half-interested party rile up a process about a miscarriage in the pretenses of "caring about the death of the poor unborn child."


    This just feels wrong to me. You would need to cause further sorrow to a lot of already grieving couples, just in the name of uncovering a few cases of a crime that many (myself included) do not consider a crime in the first place.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011
  13. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    And how do you define 'religious freak'? Is it the guy that worships his turnip in the garage? The guy who says we shoud kill for his god? The woman who's willing to give all her wealth to charity? Simply anyone who believes in any supernatural? And how do you make sure that your beliefs aren't considered 'freakish' by someone else, and thus banned?

    I understand the sentiment, but it's a very slippery slope. Usually, just trusting the people is enough. Remember, this guy may have gotten elected, and even re-elected, but he's only one of a whole assembly.

    Perhaps you misunderstand, or perhaps I'm assuming some wrong things with 'accidental' deaths or miscarriages. I'm figuring the regular checkup after a miscarriage to make sure nothing is still seriously wrong with the mother (do they do this?) would find any obvious signs of a forced miscarriage. If they are found, there's every reason for an investigation. If not, there's no more reason for one than for an investigation into how exactly that amateur roofer slipped and fell off his roof, breaking his neck. Sure, it could be murder, but probably not. Most often, the 'accidental' deaths actually are accidental, and only when there are serious questions raised should there be an investigation. The same should be true for miscarriages. I don't think any 'half-interested party' could 'rile up a process' about an ordinary accidental death, could they?
     
  14. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    I thought that the quotation marks around "accidental" imply that you meant it is usually (or often) not really accidental, that is why reacted a bit harder.


    As for your question, I think there are people who could litigate over anything, although in that case it mostly depends on what the mother was doing at the time. Consider a jogger who keeps up with her regimen during, say, the fourth month of pregnancy. She slips, falls hard, and loses the fetus . Should she be held responsible for neglecting the safety of her child? I wouldn't be surprised if someone somewhere is willing to claim that in court. Also, what about pregnant women who smoke, drink alcohol, keep diets, or simply consume food someone deems to be unhealthy for the fetus? As it is, I think it's currently not forbidden to, say, have a beer while pregnant - strongly discouraged, sure, but not technically illegal.
     
  15. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Is Roe v. Wade not applicable in Georgia? Doesn't this law fly in the face of that court decision. There's no exception in the first trimester that I see...
     
  16. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    He wants Roe v. Wade overturned, and this is as good a start as any other.
     
  17. Rotku

    Rotku I believe I can fly Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Constitutionally enshrine separation of church and state. Require laws to have a logical reason, not a biblical one.
     
  18. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Um.... isn't it in there already? I'm pretty sure the first amendment contained in the Bill of Rights starts "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."

    So while it doesn't say no separation of church and state, that's the way that's been legally interpreted for... well pretty much forever ... or at least for the 200+ years the US has been around. The "separation of church and state" actually comes from Thomas Jefferson, who wrote of a metaphorical wall of separation between the two.

    To interpret the phrase any other way requires one to disregard many cases of the Supreme Court.

    More info and court cases involving separation of church and state.
     
  19. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Precisely.

    And that is why these folks are not interested in writing a 'good bill' (in the sense that it respects the law of the land, including Roe v. Wade, but a 'bad bill' as they wished the law ought to be, in order to get it into the courts, in hope it makes it to the Supreme Court. The large number of such 'bad bills' on abortion are part of a saturation strategy. Only one needs to get through.

    There may well be the day they may well be sorely disappointed if for instance the conservative judges they expect to strike down Roe v. Wade uphold it. Because I can't quite see the Supreme court impose such a ruling on the entire country, not even with hacks like Alito, Scalia and especially Thomas, but then, who can be sure, as this proverb puts it so well: On the high seas and in court you're in God's hand.
     
  20. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    Just for clarification, if Roe v. Wade is overturned that doesn't make abortion illegal. All it does it push it back to the individual states to make their own decisions and laws about it. True there will be plenty of states that will make it illegal, there will be others that will not.
     
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