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Klavan On The Culture

Death Versus Life

May 11th, 2014 - 2:47 pm

Happy Mother’s Day!

Even when I was an abortion supporter, it always seemed odd to me that abortion should be such a sacrament to the left, so central to its agenda. I understand why a person of good will might argue in favor of legalized abortion. You might say it was a tragic necessity; you might say it was a small tragedy needed to avoid a bigger tragedy; you might even say that, up to a certain point, it isn’t really a moral issue at all. Whatever. But to say that it’s a good thing? A positive thing? I don’t get it.

Yet whenever I hear a leftist saying abortion should be “safe, legal and rare,” I suspect her position is like Obama’s “evolving” position on gay marriage: a convenient lie, a delaying tactic meant to bring a reluctant public along, a political deception.

In fact, many on the left, especially the feminist left, seem actually to prefer the idea of abortion to the idea of giving birth. Witness this terribly sad (to me) mother’s day post from Slate writer Rebecca Helm, “The Worst Thing You Ever Did to Your Mother”:

This Mother’s Day I’d like to apologize for what is probably the worst thing I’ve ever done to my mother. And you did it to your mother, too. Dear Mom: I’d like to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry for manipulating you, stealing from you, taking control of your blood supply, and consuming part of your body. I, like everyone else alive today, did all this before I was even born…

Really? Wow. You’re apologizing for being conceived? For being born? You think your mother wants that apology? You think she wants you to feel guilty that she gave you life?

Or take the equally pathetic Emily Letts, who videotaped herself having an abortion as if it were a live birth. She said it was “as birth-like as it could be,” “a special memory,” and that she loves “how positive it is.” Of course, the miserable thing about this is that you can bet cash money that within a few years she’ll be writing her memoir about how awful it was, and how she fooled herself and then came to her senses and realized blah, blah, blah. But by then, of course, she’ll have already inspired others with her self-deception.

In a brilliantly insightful post, the Catholic blogger Elizabeth Scalia, The Anchoress at Patheos, screen captured a picture of Letts’ face as she sang abortion’s praises a month after the procedure.  ”If you let yourself become distracted by what is coming from her mouth,” Elizabeth writes, “you miss all that is revealed in her face, which tells the whole, and very different story.”

Well, right.

You know, it’s almost as if, having lost the doctrine of original sin and Christian forgiveness, these poor women are left with nothing but the free-floating, universalized guilt that makes them hate themselves and life. Maybe that’s unfair. I don’t know these ladies. But life hatred — humanity hatred, self-hatred and ultimately God hatred — seem to permeate so much of radical leftism. Feminism and Marxism with their revulsion at human nature, environmentalism with its elevation of greenery over humankind, radical groups like PETA that put the love of animals before the love of neighbor, the sweaty insistence on self-esteem and feeling good about yourself, giving praise, praise, praise for nothing, nothing, nothing, the ceaseless need to define your opposition as hateful…  and abortion as a positive. It all smacks of self-hatred, doesn’t it? The love of death over life.

C.S. Lewis once said that in the modern age, before you could deliver the good news of Christ, you had to deliver the bad news of original sin. But frankly, I think we carry the bad news inside us. Life itself poses the terrible question. If you’re not going to become mired in self-hatred and death love, you have to go looking for the answer. Indeed, maybe you were born to make that journey.

Happy Mother’s Day.

 

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Top Rated Comments   
Seriously, if she honestly felt guilty about being alive, she'd have ended herself.

The fact that she's still alive proves that the whole thing is BS.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dear Rebecca, You feel sorry for me that I gave birth to you? Here's a razor blade, go slit your wrists. Love Mom
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
That photograph says it all, doesn't it? I listened to a clip of her voice on the radio and her voice was so full of anguish it brought tears to my eyes. The left is filled with self-loathing and the only way to make themselves feel better is to bring everyone to the same level of misery. We're heading to church in a few minutes, where mothers are celebrated and loved and cherished. I feel so sorry for those on the left, who are blind and do not see.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (72)
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Emily Letts is an actress. She's on IMDB. I think that video is probably authentic, but keep in mind that it could be an inspired bit of acting.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
I know some rabid feminists who have had abortions and, while they swear they have no regrets and they totally support "abortion rights," they do weird things like "celebrating" the original due date of the baby they killed, including the aborted baby in a family tree (they give it a branch with a question mark instead of a name), and talk to their living children about the brother or sister they might have had, without making it clear that they chose to kill their sib.

This says to me that these women aren't as blase with their choice, and, in fact, regret that choice. They pretend to be totally in favor of abortion, but I suspect that is more a way to justify in their own minds that they didn't do anything wrong. As long as abortion is legal, they can pretend to be guiltless. But it is clear that they are NOT guiltless, and that they DO know that what they did was wrong and they regret it.

As for people like Whoopie Goldberg who BRAG about having multiple abortions, I can only believe that she has no soul.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Emily Letts face is heartbreaking. Some young women, in their quest to live as carefree as men in the sexual arena, don't seem to realize that we women don't have that luxury. Because we carry the life within us it is impossible to divorce ourselves from that life. No matter how much leftist ideology tries to convince women that it's just a clump of cells.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
You know, Klavan, I rode pretty much the same boat as you, going full circle.
You're a kid and abortion is unthinkable. You are young 'enlightened' adult and abortion is a procedure that, unfortunately, is part of living in an enlightened society. Then you really grow up, preferring the truth to bromides. Maybe your back is to the wall and you choose, finally, to see things as they are, not how someone says they are. When we embrace reality we drop pretense.
We start to become something authentic.

As far as what is emblematic of this girl/woman who felt the need to share the destruction of her child with everyone, I think she has achieved a level of non-meaningfulness which will haunt her days. Munchausen and Munchausen By Proxy rolled into a single entity who is reifying the meaninglessness of her own life. What courage, right? "Behold, I am as a god offering my child for the forgiveness of all whom the patriarchy call sinners."
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
If what "Rebecca" writes is not parody, you can see what the modern university & modern feminism have done to the human mind.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well said Mr Klavan.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Yet whenever I hear a leftist saying abortion should be “safe, legal and rare...”

"Safe, legal and rare" is the knee jerk abortion mantra on the left. This robotic mantra doesn't change one bit if you mention huge statistical numbers since Roe v. Wade, 1973.

(To know anything at all on the Left, you only have to adopt the applicable knee jerk mantra in a long list of knee jerk mantras. This is called "thinking".)

The real goal of today's Leftist is to curtail your freedom and make you as miserable as they are. Then, they will be "happy".
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
I thank you for this article. There is a saying: Who says A, must say B ... and I would add also C, D, etc. Cut it any way one wants, abortion entails the intentional taking of an innocent human's life. If the said person were already born, that would be classified as murder (except in the case of the ethics of Peter Singer who allows for post partem abortion). Your article has outlined in a compositionally excellent form, how A (needed negativity) is metamorphizing into B (a joyous positivity) and C (the unborn baby is a leach, a abuser of the mother's body). What will be D? Decades ago George Bernard Shaw asserted (and the assertion can be found in internet) that those who consume more calories than they produce should be eliminated as leaches. A possible E might be: everyone's breath is a contaminant (CO²) and, given too many people, forced reduction of population is necessary (and anti-climate warmers have said that). Ah, the Chinese model as E.

I have a possible whooper for Z. This morning on German tv I saw a show on the lifecyle of sand (life?). You know, sand starts out as pepples that falll into rviulets experiencing a grinding down as carried alone until then they enter a river and become smaller and more solidary (= a mass of sand is produced--sort of sandy society), eventually reaching their natural habitat of the ocean. But, mankind does not leave them alone, rather turns sand into cement and other products. I am not sure if the show was a sligh parody or naively serious. I do not want to have to start lighting a votive candle befoer the cement walls of my apartment begging forgiveness from the incorporated sand for kiilliing it. I must admit that everytime Germans flip out for "(now aborting) mother nature, I tremble. Priorities seem confused to me.

Thanks again for your ideas and your form of expression.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
50 million abortions in the US since legalization. Means there are at least 25 million walking around who need our help spiritually. Their anxiety might lead to some of the more eccentric behavior we see on the political left -- Code Pink and PETA come to mind. But I am sure that it comes out in a million non political ways as well. Collectively stuffing such emotions has a negative affect on the entire country. Beautiful article by Klaven.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
GK Chesterton": Certain new theologians dispute original sin, which is the only part of Christian theology which can really be proved…which they can see in the street.”
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Howdy SunsetDistrictInc
I do not accept the idea that we are all born with the sin of Adam and Eve on our souls. We did not commit that sin and no other sin is considered hereditary.
A tendency to take what we want is born into us. I don't know everyone and I don't have a close knowledge of everyone I do know, but I do know that everyone I know well enough to classify has done what he or she knew was wrong to get something he or she wanted. And the first "he or she" in that list is me. So sin may be universal among those of us who can sin, but I do not and cannot believe that God painted that sin on us from birth.
It is never described in those terms in the Old Testament, nor can I recall it in the New Testament.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Realization of Original Sin has helped me a lot. Before it frustrated me that people could be so messed up. Now, like Chesterton I understand. They are all like me. Fallen sinners.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Prior to the fall Adam and Eve were in a state of Original Justice. They had no disordered desires and were in harmony with God. They fell from Original Justice into a state of Original Sin. Before the fall their lower desires (sex, food, drink) were in harmony with both God and reason. After the fall they were broken. We inherit their fallen nature. I was in the confession line and it was moving too slow. I wanted to punch the priest for taking too much time helping my fellow Catholics. That is how messed up I am.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Psalm51-7: True, I was born guilty, a sinner, even as my mother conceived me.
Romans5-12: Therefore just as through one person sin entered the world, and through sin, death, and thus death came to us all, insasmuch as all sinned.
Check it out.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you take a child and let that child follow every instinct without correction it would take a miracle for that child to wind up an adult capable of caring for others.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
You misunderstand. Original sin is not a sin we commit, nor is it something 'painted...on us from birth'; it's never been defined that way. It's a damage to our human nature, a defect incurred voluntarily by the first sin of mankind, which we inherit simply by inheriting that human nature. It's the 'tendency' you refer to - that IS original sin, and as you say, it is born into us.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Howdy scragsma
I deny that I'm misinterpreting "original sin." For one thing, I was raised a Catholic and I assure you that it's presented in Catholic tradition just about as I said. I have read enough about other denominations to say that original sin is understood in about the same terms. I don't know that higher levels of theology see it that way but that's how the people in the pews have been taught.
Your description of it as damage to the soul, inherited by inheriting human nature, seems to me to be simply a different way of saying that God painted our souls with original sin.
A "tendency" is not itself a sin, dear friend; a sin is an act of commission or omission that one knows is wrong.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Personal Sin is a voluntary act by an individual. It is not transmitted through the generations. Original sin is our fallen nature. It has been passed onto us. Catholics and Protestants disagree on the exact degree of our fallen nature, but both agree in original sin.
I love this stuff, thanks for the joust.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
What up MT,
Section 404 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly states that Adam and Eve passed on original sin to the rest of us. "By yielding to the tempter, Adam and Eve committed a personal sin, but this sin would affect the human nature that they would then transmit in a fallen state." According the to the Catechism the fallen nature is indeed a sin.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
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