Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Compare and contrast: reason and zealotry.

It's not every day that you get a chance to observe up close the clumsy cogs of the fundamentalist religious zealot "thinking" grind and slip.

This offers an excellent opportunity to do so.

Blob Blogging Wingnut attempts to deconstruct and refute Jacob M. Appel's arguments. It would be comical, were it not more of the same-old same-old witless wombie zombie dissembling. Appel writes about Stephanie Gray - yes, that Canadian fetus fetishizing propaganda queen who claimed there there was an "open season on prolifers" shortly after an Operation Rescue acolyte publicly executed Dr Tiller in his church.

The reality is that few (if any) sane people, however strong their views regarding the morality of abortion, sincerely believe that abortion clinics are like death camps. They just say they are, because it's easier - and far more dramatic - than explaining what they really mean. I have witnessed surgical terminations. I have also seen the mounds of human hair and baby shoes at the Holocaust Museum in Washington. Most strikingly, I have heard first-hand horror narratives of deportation and starvation from elderly survivors, stories that my own relatives never survived to share. Any reasonable person who has any knowledge of the Nazi death machine should find the comparison of Planned Parenthood to Auschwitz-Birkenau an unacceptable affront to common decency. This is not to say that the legacy of the Holocaust needs to be preserved as "unique": To my thinking, those who try to finesse the argument that the slaughter of Europe's Jews was somehow morally distinct from the Cambodian or Armenian genocides, for example, have lost the forest for the trees. But that does not mean that any perceived moral wrong can reasonably be described in such terms. ...

I do not mean to suggest that abortion opponents have no legal right to use such incendiary analogies. But if these activists want to be taken seriously, and if they wish for a meaningful place in the public discourse, then they should eschew them. Ms. Gray has questioned why many reproductive rights supporters refuse to debate her. I assure her that it is not because we fear her ideas or public engagement -- but because some forms of argument are too repugnant to be indulged. Nobody questions Gray's entitlement to believe that abortion should be illegal or to further her case in the marketplace of ideas. As far as I'm concerned, she can believe that the earth is flat and roam the streets preaching platygaeanism. The hallmark of an enlightened society, after all, is agreeing to disagree.

Go read all of Appel's thoughtful, lucid, fact-based and empathetic opinion piece. It helped flush from my brain the ludicrous twists and snarls SHE posted.

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