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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. 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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    Snook - right, but he wants it illegal in Georgia, so he needs to get rid of Roe v. Wade first before Georgia can say it's illegal to do an abortion (otherwise, the law gets struck down on the first Constitutional challenge).
     
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    Exactly, for all we know Georgia already has a law on the books making abortion illegal. It just currently isn't enforceable.
     
  3. NOG (No Other Gods)

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

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    No, I just meant that, on occasion, things are moved out of the "accidental" category, so not all of them are actually accidental.

    Consider an equivalent situation where the victim is born, instead of unborn. If the jogger slipped, fell, and somehow killed an 80-year-old, could a random neighbor stir up any serious trouble?

    And you can't find a logical reason to ban the legal killing of a human fetus? I'm not saying you have to find it more compelling than the reasons not to, but you must admit there is logic to justify the idea.

    And I will again point out that similar strategies (though they didn't involve the writing of laws) overturned Supreme Court decisions institutionalizing slavery, segragation, and other horrors of American history. You may not like it, but this is how things are done in the US.
     
  4. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Until the fetus is given rights and the parents given benefits after a certain point (whatever it may be) in gestation, the politicians need to just keep their damn noses out of this.

    I don't trust the government in this area AT ALL.
     
  5. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Ragusa does have a general point. In most other countries that I am familiar with, the nutty religious fringe does not have much of a voice or legislative power. In the USA, you seem to be powerless to stop these loons from enforcing their wacky voodoo in everyone else.
     
  6. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    They tried almost the same thing in Wyoming and got a suprise from the Republican women, who seemed to voice T2's comments:

    The women legislators got pissed:

    Why yes, they do believe women are "livestock." I've been saying that very thing for years. But it turned out well:

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_ne...mall-government-republicans-win-a-culture-war
     
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    No, I think we just report on our wackiness more than others.
     
  8. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    You are also a vastly bigger country than most others with more room for wackiness. I am a European, Berlusconi is a European but I feel no responsibility or kinship with him even if he is among the wackiest politicians in the world today making many right-wing nutters in the US appear sane and rational.
     
  9. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Snook, it isn't just emphasis on reporting.

    Size definitely matters. America has ftsoa 300 million citizens. Germany has ftsoa 80 million citizens. Let's assume an arbitrary whack-job quota of 5% (I'm probably low-balling here) for all populations. That still makes for a far higher total number of whack-jobs in the US as compared to Europe.

    That said, numbers alone don't account for it, since Christian Reconstructionism as theology in the form encountered today in the US is a distinctly American theology that doesn't exist in that form elsewhere.

    It is estimated that there are at least a couple million Christian Reconstructionists in the US. These folks are activist (if these bills {or the ten commandment cases} are any indication), which means they are keen to make an impact (and grab headlines). Unlike the tinfoil hat brigade or the 'radical left', these people have managed to get their guys elected into state and federal houses, and to keep them there. If you want that civil rulers derive their authority from God and are obligated to follow biblical law, having leaders doing the 'march through the institutions' is a consequent way to go.

    I mean, just listen to Glenn Beck's frequent guest David Barton, who routinely rewrites history spreading Christian Reconstructionist themes. In the reconstructionist narrative the US always was a Christian Nation (after all, as Barton {preposterously} claims, all founding fathers were deists), and it has been perverted by the sinister forces of secular humanism and has to be taken back, and restored to these (mythical) roots. There isn't much room for compromise with people of other views in that narrative.

    To see such a narrative on FOX means it has gone mainstream.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011
  10. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I think this is the key ingredient for banning abortion. Currently, a fetus is not a US citizen, and is thus not protected by the Constitution. Certainly, a fetus becomes a citizen when it is born. However, there does seem to be some rights to fetuses, as late term abortions are pretty much illegal everywhere. So it would appear that once you reach the point of viability outside the womb (even if you aren't born yet), you do get some rights.
     
  11. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The "nutty religious fringe" is a pretty big voting block. I think the ARP and two minority groups are larger, but not many more are. People seem to forget the US was settled by puritans and those influences have not gone away. The idea that "God's will is the right way" is pretty big in many areas of the US (and the definition of "God's will" depends on the area you're in).

    Aldeth, all of those laws have exceptions where the mother's health (mental and physical) completely trumps the fetus -- that's not much of a right. IMO, the issue is far too complex to be covered by simple laws and handled by a government agency.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011
  12. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Yes - that's why I said "pretty much illegal". Dr. Tiller was an example of a doctor who would perform late term abortions. But we saw how that turned out...
     
  13. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Agreed, on the other side we have Dr Kermit Gosnell (who will hopefully receive the death penalty).
     
  14. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Dr. Gosnell was just a miserable and ruthless, malpracticing quack who fortunately has been put out of business.

    It is exceedingly unfair to refer to that guy as a counterpoint to Dr. Tiller, who, discounting anti-abortion hyperbole, performed quality medical services, legally, and was referred to by some his patients as an angel.
     
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    If that is true, then isn't it also proper to say that it is unfair to paint religious and Pro-Life people with the brush of extremists?
     
  16. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Pro-life people are usually religious. Pro-life extremists are usually religious. While only a fraction of the religious people are pro life extremists, religious people as a whole tend to be pro life.

    The difference between the two groups is merely the extent to which their religious beliefs justify violence. They don't read a different bible. They just read their bible differently.

    And then there are the bigots, who call abortion doctors murderers and perhaps give them merry nicknames like 'Tiller the baby Killer', and then are shocked, shocked, I tell you, that somebody, anybody - who is then inevitably an extremist and a lone wolf and clearly a criminal - grabs a gun and shoots, say, one Dr. Tiller.

    And as far as Scott Roeder is concerned, in his eyes he is exacting punishment under biblical law for what he sees as murder but that worldly law fails to punish (closing in a sense the circle to Christian Reconstructionism).
     
  17. NOG (No Other Gods)

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

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    And this is what bugs me so much about the pro-choice crowd claiming the pro-life crowd sees women as 'cattle'. It's a complete reversal of what actually has happened. If anything, it's the pro-choicers who treat human beings as mindless animals, culling based most often on minority or poverty statistics, and out-and-out claiming that certain human beings aren't really people and denying them basic human rights.

    Actually, the first statement there has been changing for some time in the US. The pro-life crowd is drawing in more and more of a secular demographic who are convinced by scientific arguments or general moral reasoning rather than religious arguments.

    This almost sounds like criticism from you. Tell me it isn't so. Tell me you actually see that as a big, significant difference; like the difference between someone who sees a car they want and decides to save up money to buy one like it and someone who decides to murder the car's owner and steal it?

    This is true. While I do consider abortion murder, I would caveat every sermon on such a note with heavy tones of forgiveness and a reminder that the man Jesus forgave on the Cross was almost certainly a murderer.

    And here you go off the deep end again, not only claiming to be able to read the mind of a person half a world away, but also just with the general point. Changing the law isn't punishing people under biblical law when worldly law fails do to so. That would me going out and murdering the people, which Roeder hasn't done. Thanks for the false dramatics, but let's stick to logic and facts here. He's trying to persuade the people of his state to agree with him on a change in law. That's how changes in law happen. That's how bad laws are repealed or changed in the US (as opposed to Supreme Court rulings that have to be over-ruled by another ruling).

    Your argument is like condemning Iraq for setting up a new government that makes murder illegal, just because the people doing so are Muslims. That's not forcing Sharia law on the people, that's just passing a law that the people agree is good, regardless of their reasons for believing so.
     
  18. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    What I aimed on with the 'the extent to which they condemn violence' is that in many comments from the pro-lifers the condemnation was not for the death of Tiller but that Roeder was stupid to break the law, because it hurts the cause. That Tiller had been murdered was not the problem - because in their eyes he is a mass murderer who got what he deserved - the negative PR was. It is purely utilitarian.

    Now I don't say you think so, or that all pro lifers think so, but to me it was quite striking how prevalent that sentiment was. So prevalent actually, that you now have bills in South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa under which Scott Roeder would go free for his deed, because it redefines murder of abortion doctors into 'justifiable homicide'.

    When asked in 2008 by NBC's Brian Williams whether "an abortion clinic bomber [is] a terrorist, under this definition." Sarah Palin said no. While denouncing such violence as "unacceptable," Palin instead argued, "I don't know if you're going to use the word terrorist there." That's hardly a forceful condemnation of criminal acts. That's just one quote, but I could easily find many more by many others, and so can you. You can't just dismiss that as shrill voices and exceptions, or as me generalising. It is there and it is a persistent current. That is all I said and all I say now.
    I certainly don't need to read Roeder's mind because he was kind enough to share his thoughts. He told the jury that he shot Tiller to, I quote, uphold "God's law". Roeder was very clearly motivated by religion. Probably not as you understand it, but how it is understood by many others.

    And as for Franklin:
    Franklin proposed to enact a law that is in rank contradiction to the law of the land i.e. it is unconstitutional and illegal (measured by that standard, Franklin is a horribly inept lawmaker). Call it 'persuasion' all you want, the guy is perpetually witnessing with his bills, that's it. Now what that law does is to bring secular law in line with God's Law. His bill proposes as punishment the death penalty for abortions ('what he deserves' under Biblical law).

    So you can expect Franklin to have cheered the death of Dr. Tiller. Tiller's death is a result he wanted as well. Now I haven't looked into his head to get that idea. I also think I don't have to.

    Roeder murdered Tiller because he saw him getting acquitted of criminal charges not as signs that Tiller was innocent (as a sane reading of the law suggests) but as Tiller getting away from what he deserved under Biblical law. To Roeder, the secular law was wrong. To Franklin, too, the secular law was wrong. That's why he wants to see it changed. That Franklin would have put Tiller to trial before putting him to death doesn't make that great a difference in face of the shared end goal with Roeder - upholding biblical law. The desired end result was never in dispute.

    And Franklin is serious about upholding biblical law. He says that in the Bible homosexuality a capital offence, ergo .... He only implies what the punishment for it should be (Stoning perhaps? You may call it extreme, to others it is only consequent.)

    As opposed to Roeder's direct action, Franklin and the 'justifiable homicide' crowd approach it indirectly - by making sure that either Biblical law is reflected in criminal law, or that a person who kills an abortion doctor goes free because, after all, he exacted deserved punishment under Biblical law. After all, the hangman also isn't am murderer - he is a tool of justice. They try to fix the system to suit their beliefs by legislative action. Because if they don't God will get real mad with America.

    It is the problematic nature of these beliefs that makes me put a very low emphasis on the means chosen to achieve it, be it the odd murder, or the far more prevalent legislative action.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
  19. NOG (No Other Gods)

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

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    You realize, of course, that those were the main comments to make the news for a reason?

    From your own article, Rags:
    The law allows a justifiable homicide defense when acting to defend the life of an unborn. Now, I'm not sure about the law, but I think justifiable homicide requires an imminent threat. I.e. someone thinking about planning to someday do something just doesn't qualify. You'd have to stop them in the act. While that could, hypothetically, cover abortion doctors, it'd only apply if they were killed in immediate preparation for the procedure.

    While I'm not sure I agree with her, I understand her reasoning. And you obviously don't, or possibly don't care to. A horrendous crime isn't necessarily terrorism. To be terrorism, it must have the primary aim of effecting change through inducing terror. If someone bombed the abortionist's home, that would be terrorism, no doubt. Killing the doctor or destroying his facilities is an attempt to stop him from acting. Not justifiable, in fact, deplorable, and Palin obviously agrees, but by that logic, not terrorism. Now I'm not sure I agree, because the terror is also a key component of the action. But really you'd have to take it on a case-by-case basis. Otherwise, by the logic that claims this is terrorism, you could also say any drug provider that kills someone who crosses him is also a terrorist, because the terror he enduces in others is a component of the crime.

    Oh, sorry, I confused names. My fault. Somehow I thought you were talking about the author of this bill there. No, I agree with you as far as Roeder goes.

    And you still don't get this. Do you want segregation to come back, Ragusa? Because that's effectively what you're arguing.

    No, of course you don't think you have to. You can 'see it from all the way across the Atlantic'. To you, the mere fact that he's a Christian is enough reasoning to condemn him, isn't it?

    And to Rosa Parks, the law was wrong. And to Martin Luther King, Jr. And to a whole slew of women's sufferage activists. The fact that the means employed doens't seem to make any difference to you is appauling. It heavily suggests that you believe the ends justify the means.

    Ok, I'm not sure what Franklin has to do with the articel you linked, or if you just made up his comments on homosexuality (I haven't found anything like that), but I would like to point something out from your article:
    Now, for you, who seem to consider Falwell a fringe kook already, I would expect this to re-inforce for you the idea that this is a freak-fringe element. This is like Weather Underground. Except that I've heard of Weather Underground before. I've never heard of Rushdoony.
     
  20. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Here's the thing though - while there is about a 50-50 divide between people in the US who are pro-life and pro-choice, most people who are pro-life don't want to see abortion banned. It's not unlike the event we see going on in Wisconsin - most people don't support the union members, yet most people support the right to form a union. There's a distinction between being against something, and wanting to legislate against it.

    And I think that's where Ragusa was going in some of his posts, and even why he posted the original article. Simply being pro-life may win you a lot of votes, but you're only going to get the vote of the whack-a-doodle fringe when you start doing things to try to ban it.
     
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