Mars Hill Elder Gary Shavey wrote a letter to the Seattle Times. It’s chock full of nuts, so I thought I’d share with the congregation. It’s especially horrible that it’s making me defend Nicole Brodeur!*
To the Seattle Times:
This letter is in response to the column written by Nicole Brodeur titled, “Having to make this Choice.” Nicole Brodeur’s column was on the recent Supreme Court decision on “partial-birth” abortion. Although I am aware, and she is quite clear, on her stance on abortion this column seemed to sicken me with the logical outworking of what she was promoting through an emotional argument that takes anyone down the slippery slope of abhorrence at the reality that may come. I think that the column is pretty clear that she is not really promoting anything purposely but as a columnist she is leading people, who read her column, through persuasion.
Isn’t the point of writing a column to promote something purposely? And, “seemed to sicken me”? You would think you would know if you were sickened or not.
If anyone were to recall this column, Nicole uses a couple that had a planned pregnancy. This couple, then 22 weeks into the pregnancy, found out about a malformation in the brain of their baby. Then here is the crux of the column, does a couple end the life of an unborn child in the womb rather than agonize over the struggle of life for the child outside the womb? The linkage between a diagnosis of brain malfunction of an unborn child to that of a child born critically ill is clear. Then in this column we see that abortion is the better choice. Why would parents go through the agony of seeing their child struggle through “heroic measures” to attain life then ultimately die?
Look, if the family wants to keep the child that’s their decision. And the state should be doing everything that it can for any children that are born. But ultimately this decision is incredibly difficult for any family to make. And seriously, fuck you for thinking that you can make it for them.
Pause for a minute here. What has just happened? There is a major shift taking place here. We would rather kill the unborn child than give the opportunity of life and letting nature take its course? The link was already made, that the option was, “if death was soon after birth what difference would it make if death happened in the womb?” The couple in the column grieves their child even though they made the decision to extinguish life in the womb. Where do we go next with this type of thinking? Do we start jumping on the bandwagon of Dr. Singer (professor at Princeton) that promotes the option of killing babies after they are born (infanticide) because they will die anyway or they are a major inconvenience to the parents and society? This all seems like a decision of convenience for the parents apart from the thought of sanctity of life. It seems that the slippery slope is that if parents are able to end life of a child in the womb because of the possibility of a critically ill life, then there is nothing stopping parents from killing their child outside the womb anywhere up to 9 months after birth because of a critical illness that may pervade a child.
I know, and the only proper infanticide is biblically approved infanticide. Like when a child who, “curses his father or mother must be put to death. He has cursed his father or mother and deserves to die.” It sounds harsh, but if the B-I-B-L-E The Book for me says it, it must be moral.
Seriously, according to Broderur’s column, the family already has one child. Should we subject that child to poverty as well as the parents so as not to offend the delicate sensibilities of a few out of the mainstream Christians?
And what the fuck kind of slippery slope is that? Birth is a much more clear line than the consequentialist notions of Dr. Singer or the life magically becomes worth saving at some point in the womb approach of the Christianist faction. It is the clearest line in the sand. But please, go on and tell us how giving women choices over their own bodies is a step on the road to fascism.
Close friends of mine in California had just delivered their third child in late 2000. Little did they know that their daughter would have a rare skin disorder called Epidermolysis Bullosa, which basically means the skin does not adhere to the body along with other major complications internally. The mortality rate the first year is 87%. Besides the agony of losing their child along with the million dollar medical bill why didn’t they just extinguish life rather than live with the burden and loss of their little one? This is the option being promoted. Fortunately they did not and she is still alive to this day. She will never have a life normal to that of the average American girl but the parents and community are glad to be blessed that she is still around. There is something about the society promoted by Dr. Singer and even suggested by Nicole Brodeur that is very saddening. The ramifications of enabling choices to preserve convenience and the pre-emptive strike of avoiding agony of lost loved ones may be extremely damaging to our society, if not already. The thought that my friend’s little girl along with countless others would not have made it past their first birthdays, is astonishing. May we think past the pragmatics of today to the peaceful world we are suppose to drive towards. Where would we draw the line? When does the topic shift to euthanasia of burdened elderly people or to that of any handicap that puts a burden on society? This sounds all to similar to the paradigm that drove the fascist regimes of World War II.
Brodeur isn’t suggesting anything beyond that people should be able to abort if they chose. Even late term. For whatever reason they chose. She isn’t advocating infanticide, hell she isn’t advocating people make the same choice, and the line she has is clear as day. Christ.
Nobody is saying your friend has to or should have had an abortion. What we are saying is that what was the right decision for them might be the wrong position for other people.
* Having to defend her isn’t actually so horrible. I may not be her biggest fan but I did meet her once and she was perfectly delightful. And this column was spot on.