The land they love to hate 40

Soon after Independence Day two years ago, in a post titled What Americans should be taught about America, July 15, 2011, we wrote:

American children must be taught the values America traditionally stands for, and why they are the highest and the best. They must be taught that the United States of America was founded as a realization of the idea of liberty. They must be taught that only in freedom are individuals able to achieve the best they are capable of. They must be taught that the conditions necessary for a good life – prosperity, physical and mental well-being, the pursuit of individual aims – exist reliably only in a free society. They must be taught that only the rule of law, not rule by a person or group of potentates, assures liberty. Generations of American children have not been taught any of this. It is no exaggeration to say that for decades now the schools and academies have been teaching Americans to be ashamed of themselves. So millions of Americans believe that they are justly hated by other nations, and their country should change to become more like other countries.

And we quoted this, by Walter Williams:

The ignorance about our country is staggering. According to one survey, only 28 percent of students could identify the Constitution as the supreme law of the land. Only 26 percent of students knew that the first 10 amendments to the Constitution are called the Bill of Rights. Fewer than one-quarter of students knew that George Washington was the first president of the United States. … Ignorance and possibly contempt for American values, civics and history might help explain how someone like Barack Obama could become president of the United States. At no other time in our history could a person with longtime associations with people who hate our country become president. Obama spent 20 years attending the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s hate-filled sermons, which preached that “white folks’ greed runs a world in need,” called our country the “US of KKK-A” and asked [his] God to “damn America”.  Obama’s other America-hating associates include Weather Underground Pentagon bomber William Ayers and Ayers’ wife, Bernardine Dohrn.

We – and others – make the same complaint this year.

This is from an article by Arnold Ahlert at Front Page:

The Fourth of July is over, and despite most of America taking great joy in celebrating our independence and freedom, many members of the American Left are glad that what they consider to be an unseemly spasm of over-hyped jingoism is finally over. For these oh-so-enlightened and morally superior souls, a racist and irredeemably imperialist America is something to be mourned, not celebrated. Independence Day is thus a time for commemorating their hatred of the country and waving it for all to see.

The late leftist historian Howard Zinn’s work was given a platform by The Progressive magazine in 2010, when they trotted out his 2006 screed, “Put Away the Flags”.  Zinn wrote, “Is not nationalism – that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder – one of the great evils of our time …?”

Progressive editor Matthew Rothschild wrote an equally obnoxious “me too” piece that same year, “Why I Don’t Celebrate July 4.” “You can call me unpatriotic if you’d like, but really I’m anti-patriotic,” he whines. He continues:

I’ve been studying fascism lately, and there is one inescapable fact about it: Nationalism is the egg that hatches fascism. And patriotism is but the father of nationalism. Patriotism is not something to play with. It’s highly toxic. When ingested, it corrodes the rational faculties. … We’ve got to get over patriotism, and we’ve got to cure the American superiority complex.

That American superiority complex, better known as American exceptionalism, has made this nation a beacon of liberty throughout the world. It is America’s patriots, many of whom have sacrificed their lives, who have preserved that liberty. That would be the same liberty that allows terminally ungrateful people like the late Zinn and Rothschild to spew their noxious nonsense without fear of imprisonment, or the kind of “reeducation” that occurs in genuinely fascistic societies. …

Many American leftists are a joyless bunch, terminally uncomfortable with anything resembling gratitude or balance. … The Fourth of July will forever be anathema to them. For that, they are to be pitied – and then ignored.

There’s a kind of America-hater who believes that America is no better and probably worse than most or even all of the others and should be humble, and at the same time believes that America (albeit in a blue beret) should be the policeman, doctor, nurse, savior and sugar-daddy to most or even all of them.

Of course only unintelligent persons could be of this self-contradictory opinion, and they should be – well no, not pitied, but yes – ignored.

When, however, one of them is nominated to be the US ambassador to the UN, she is no longer ignorable. She will be in a position to do much harm. 

Samantha Power is of that opinion and has been so nominated by President Obama.

Frank Gaffney writes at the Center for Security Policy:

Should her nomination be confirmed, a clue to her likely approach in her new role at the UN can be found in the following quote from an article called “Full Force”, which appeared in the March 2003 issue of the New Republic. In the article, Power wrote:

Foreign policy is an explicitly amoral enterprise. . . . Embedding U.S. power in an international system and demonstrating humility would be painful, unnatural steps for any empire, never mind the most potent empire in the history of mankind. But more pain now will mean far less pain later.

Her view of the US as an “empire” is in itself disturbing and offensive. Her opinion that foreign policy is “amoral” and that “humility” is an appropriate quality for a world leader to project, shows her comprehensive ignorance of the dynamics of international diplomacy, and ignores the cultural differences between people that define effective cross cultural communication. Her lack of sensitivity to these issues alone makes her a poor candidate for the position.

The term “humanitarian interventionism”, as applied by Power, reveals a deep naiveté about the way the world really works. Embedded in the concept is a strong tendency to oversimplify the complexities involved in halting historically ingrained ethnic and religious conflicts. Included among the most serious of these issues is the apparent willingness to minimize or completely overlook the challenges of ending the conflict, and the unique requirements of post-conflict reconstruction in each inherently different situation. It disregards the real and perceived roadblocks imposed by international politics, public opinion, and local culture.

When President Obama led the United States into a coalition of forces against Libya, the person behind that decision was understood to be Samantha Power. The decision was strongly influenced by her doctrine of “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) that purported to guide the American government on how to prevent genocide. The concept is being promoted to create a new international model based on “moral” criteria, that can be employed in situations where the safety of civilians is at risk.

Yet, on the very first night of the coalition’s enforcement of a “no-fly zone” over Libya, US forces rained 1,100 missiles down on Tripoli. It brought death and destruction to an unprecedented level for a “humanitarian” effort, in a nation in which the US had no strategic interest. …

It was Power’s concept of R2P and not any concern for our national security that influenced the decision. In other words, it was an experiment in “humanitarian interventionism” and not national concerns for America’s welfare.

It should be noted that this intervention was in response to Libyan leader Muammar Ghadaffi’s threat of revenge against dissidents. Although there was certainly fighting on the ground in Benghazi and other places, there was no wholesale genocide taking place in Libya at the time the decision to engage was taken. …

It led to the overthrow of Ghadaffi (less of a threat to the rest of the world since he had given up trying to make Libya a nuclear power), followed by anarchy in Libya, and so to the atrocity of Benghazi, when US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were murdered.

In April 2002, Samantha suggested [in an interview with Henry Kissinger] that “external intervention” may be necessary to foster Middle Eastern peace. …

[She said] her advice to the President would be to “alienate” the American Jewish community, and indeed all Americans who support the state of Israel … because Israeli leaders are fully capable of “destroying the lives of their own people.” She would also advise the President to pour billions of dollars of American taxpayers’ money into “the new state of Palestine” and to stage what would amount to an American invasion of Israel and the Palestinian territories.

The implications of her off-the-cuff remarks suggest that she believes 1) that either side was capable of genocide, 2) that there was a clear moral equivalence between the two leaders, 3) that US support for a Palestinian state should include massive US funding for a defense force, at the expense of funds now going to Israel for its own defense, and 4) that Israel was incapable of handling its own affairs vis à vis the Palestinians, and that the only solution, therefore, was international [but she implies American]intervention in the affairs of a sovereign state. … Altogether, Power’s statement was rambling, incoherent, and ignorant. That she should compare Israel’s well-ordered democratic state to the tribal chaos that existed in Rwanda during the time of the massacre is shocking. It demonstrated either a total lack of knowledge about Israel, or a total disregard for the truth, driven by an interventionist agenda that is willing to sacrifice truth for a perceived principle. (In either case, it should give the Senate serious pause as they consider her appointment.)

… because she is ignorant, sentimental, unintelligent – and hysterical:

 Humbly proffering her apologies to 40 “Jewish leaders” convened to give her a hearing –

[Power] suddenly became deeply emotional and struggled to complete her presentation as she expressed how deeply such accusations had affected her. Tears streamed down her cheeks and I think it fair to say that there was no one in the room who wasn’t deeply moved by this incredible display of pain and emotion.”

And the gallant or gullible “Jewish leaders” forgave her!

Feeling sorry for people – including herself – seems to substitute for thinking in her case.

The UN is her palace on the hill. Representing the United States among its swirling mists of lies is likely to be the pinnacle of her ambition. No doubt she sees the UN as an embryo world government, as Obama does.

Which prompts us to quote from another of our posts, titled World government – the ultimate nightmare, August 2, 2009:

Barack Obama declared himself, in Berlin, to be a “citizen of the world”. It was not a mere rhetorical flourish. He has a globalist agenda under which the US will enter into a series of treaties that would subject America to foreign rule over its wealth (redistributing it world-wide), its trade, its laws, its use of energy, and even its defense.

The United Nations, that ghastly powerhouse of corruption, hypocrisy, and injustice, is envisaged as the nascent institution of world government.

Liberal left opinion tends to be against the nation state. It is the opinion of approximately half the voters in the Western world. Half the people of the free West apparently want to destroy their nations, and are literally doing so. They may explain their hatred of the nation state by reference to “colonialism”, as if in many cases colonies were not more prosperous, just, and free than the independent tyrannies they have become. Or they may say that the wars and massacres in the last century resulted from “nationalism” so the nation must go; but their thinking would not be right, because the wars and massacres were the work of dictators, not democratic states of which the strongest opposed and defeated the aggressors.

Whatever their explanations, they have launched a movement for the suicide of Western nations.

All over the Western world men and women in national and international assemblies, ministries, academies, councils and committees devote themselves to the business of putting an end to their national identities. Patriotism to them is utterly absurd. Any manifestation of pride in their nation’s history, culture, traditions, institutions, even law, embarrasses if it doesn’t outrage them. In all the countries of Europe, and now under Obama’s leadership in the United States, they work towards their goal.

The very idea of the nation state they consider to be an anachronism; a nasty thing of the past much to be regretted. The more powerful and glorious the past, the more regretful they are. Filled with remorse for what their forefathers achieved, they will apologize to any foreigner who’ll listen to them. However hard their independence as a nation was won, their system of government developed, their individual freedom wrested from the fist of tyranny, they count it all worth nothing. Obama, whose ignorance of history should but doesn’t embarrass him, routinely apologizes for America to appalling little despotisms, and to countries who have survived as comparatively free nations only because America saved them from conquest by tyrannical powers.

The rest of the article is a paean of praise to the (free) nation-state, and a eulogy to patriotism.

  • liz

    Not only should these toxic idiots not be pitied – now that they are in power, they can no longer be ignored.
    If we don’t DO SOMETHING NOW, we will never be able to ignore them because they will remain in power forever, forcing ever more of this toxic waste down our throats.

    • Frank

      They will remain in power for a long time because the Republican Party in now under the complete control of the bibleborg. Their number one objective is to turn America into a Christian theocracy. They have been and will remain unelectable.

      • Jillian Becker

        What do you think of Ted Cruz, Frank?

        We are impressed with him. We like what he says and how he says it. He seems to be strong. And we haven’t heard him saying anything about religion (though that doesn’t mean he isn’t religious, of course).

        • Frank

          He is part of the Texas Republican gang. That’s all I need to know to be opposed to him.

          Here’s why the Republicans lost the last election and it’s not because of ignoring the Tea Party. Women voters are the reason they lost the last election. There are more women voters than male voters. They voted for Obama by about a 60 – 40 margin. Yet the idiots still haven’t figured it out. And they will lose the 2016 election for the same reason – they disrespect and discount women.

          • Jillian Becker

            Frank – a majority of women voted for Obama. Do they deserve respect for that?

            I too am fed up with the GOP at present. But
            what does the GOP do that “disrespects and discounts” women?

            • Frank

              You asked what does the GOP do that “disrespects and discounts” women?

              For starters, attempting to pass legislation at the Federal, State, and local levels to:
              1) Close down abortion providers.
              2) Enforce unnecessary medical procedures before allowing an abortion.
              3) Defund Planned Parenthood which provides a myriad of health care services for women.
              4) Allow employers to refuse to cover birth control pills for women but continue to cover erectile dysfunction pills for men.

              They constantly demonstrate their total disregard for a woman’s right to control her own body. There are some who even believe a woman should be forced to see her pregnancy through to full term even when that pregnancy is the result of incest or rape.

            • liz

              The fact that you have to resort to defending leftist Planned Parenthood, and regurgitate leftist mantras like “a woman’s right to control her own body”, proves that there’s not much to accuse the GOP of in disrespecting women. Contrary to leftist propaganda, they just happen to value human life, whether male or female, more than leftists do.

            • Frank

              Liz,
              We usually agree on most issues but this is one where we’ll just have to agree to disagree. But the fact remains it was women voters who elected Obama in the last election. I would be interested in hearing your reasons why you think that happened.

            • liz

              Because despite all the advances into “equality”, etc., too many women are still just bimbos, who are easy targets for the same old propaganda that the left has been repackaging and reselling for decades.
              I’m always proud of exceptions to the rule, like Margaret Thatcher, Jillian, etc., but I don’t mind admitting – they are exceptions.

            • Frank

              Liz,
              Thanks for replying. Apparently the people now running the GOP agree with your assessment of most women. That message comes through loud and clear. And as long as they continue to think like that they will continue to lose elections.

            • Jillian Becker

              Frank – what is it with you and abortion? On every other issue you are on the side of conservatism, freedom, rationality, life. On abortion you seem to be far left. Anti-life. Anti-individualist. Please tell us why.

            • Frank

              Why is it that as soon as I say I am Pro-Choice that most conservatives hear pro-abortion or anti-life? I support a woman’s right to have complete control over her own body. What she decides regarding a pregnancy is none of my business or anyone else’s for that matter. She has the right to make a choice based on her own circumstances in consultation with her doctor. Please explain to me what right anyone else has to force their personal beliefs on someone else. If you don’t think abortion is OK then don’t have one. I support your right to make that choice too. And quite frankly (pun intended) I’m getting really fed up with being criticized because I won’t goose-step with most conservatives on this issue.
              //end rant

            • Jillian Becker

              You started the debate, Frank. You raised the issue.

              If a woman doesn’t want to have another being taking up space in her body, she knows how that being gets to be there so she knows what to do so it won’t get to be there. She has her time of choice. Unless she is raped. Rape is a fair reason to abort.

              It is your passion over this issue which is so intriguing. I thought there must be a story behind it. But of course if you’d rather not tell it, our curiosity must simply go unsatisfied.

            • Frank

              Jillian,
              There is no “story behind it” to tell. I am a fiscal conservative and a social liberal.

              In a previous post you wrote, “On abortion you seem to be far left. Anti-life. Anti-individualist.”

              Why are you for individual rights in every other case except on abortion? Why are you for smaller, less intrusive government in every other case except on abortion? On abortion you walk in lock step with the Religious Right. I find your passion over this issue very intriguing. Is there a story behind it?

            • Jillian Becker

              No inconsistency on my part, Frank. I am an individualist. Each human being is a world. Murder is wrong. Killing is justified when it is a matter of self-defense or the execution of a murderer found guilty by due process. (And sometimes perhaps as “mercy-killing”.) I do not believe in a god, so I do not believe that “God’s will” is being thwarted when a conceived child is killed as the religious do: I just think a conceived child should not be killed. The proper business of government is protection. It should do no more than protect the individual (and his property – and see that the nation as a whole is strongly defended). So the law has to come into the abortion question to protect the unborn child. I am not wholly against abortion. There are reasonable grounds for it. But it should be rare and the earlier the better.

              Another consideration. Aborting a child is not good for a woman. Pregnancy brings about hormonal change. Birth and abortion bring about more hormonal change. The experience of such changes is not trivial. To lose a child is not a physical and emotional experience quickly over and easily forgotten like a sneeze. In the last few decades, it is true, abortion has become much less of an intense, prolonged, painful, debilitating (and dangerous) experience than it was in former times. So women who have one abortion are no longer afraid to have another as our mothers and grandmothers were, which is not inarguably a good thing.

              It is not your view of this issue but your emotion which is surprising. I would have thought that abortion itself was more likely to arouse emotion than opposition to it. Were you not horrified by the revelations of the Gosnell trial?

            • Frank

              Jillian,
              Thank you for demonstrating how much you really are in lock step with the religious on this issue. You wrote, “Murder is wrong.” That is exactly the position of the Religious right. Fortunately the courts have ruled against both of you. A fetus is not a person. Eighty-eight percent of all abortions occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. At most a 12-week-old fetus is approximately 3 to 3.5 inches long and weighs about 1 oz.

              Also, it is very disingenuous for you to accuse me of making an emotional argument rather than an intellectual one. I could make the same observation about you.

              Your reference to the Gosnell case is not relevant to this discussion. That was a case of a doctor performing a procedure he was not qualified to do. And he was also violating the law by performing late term abortions which are illegal. And just to be clear I am not in favor of late term abortions.

              By now it should be obvious that we could go back and forth on this issue till the cows come home. You have your opinion and I have mine. I understand your opinion; I just don’t agree with it. However I don’t demand that my friends agree with me on every single issue. I hope you feel the same way. I like and appreciate the work you do with this website. And I will continue to read it and make comments.

            • Andrew

              The abortion debate has made me think more than any other singular issue, because I am nearly equally compelled by both arguments. A zero-sum game between two human beings – what a thorny moral question!

              A growing amount of science suggests that the life of an individual does, in fact, begin at conception. Our very future depends on the sound development of such a fragile structure. What else could possibly deserve as great a moral investment as the survival of our species, our legacy, and the opportunity for it to rejuvenate itself by discarding deep-seated falsehoods we never bothered to question? No material good could possibly outvalue the well-being of our children.

              Just a few months ago, a story emerged of a fetus person clinging to life after a mere 21 weeks of gestation, aided not by archaic religion into existence, but by modern science.

              This humbling perspective of our place in the universe does not require that an incompetent celestial dictator inject a “soul”, whatever that is, into every ovum right when it gets fertilized. Aside from the cynicism of demanding perfection out of flawed beings on pain of eternal torture, this is a sadistically wasteful practice. Most of our brothers and sisters ended their existence in a bloody miscarriage. If the religious “pro-life” movement is right about their Christianity, then God is far more craven an abortionist that the quack Gosnell could be in his wildest dreams. They will never admit that, because they don’t know how to use logic when it comes to verifying the truth of their dogmata (do any of us?). I think theology needlessly complicates this very simple and profound condition of human existence.

              That being said, there are obviously very legitimate reasons why a mother would choose to abort a child. Her life could be at risk from pregnancy complications, and the value of being alive to mother more children is worth the painful sacrifice of one. She could have been raped and not wish for her child to inherit the amoral or immoral proclivities of her father (as far as the inclination to rape is a genetic one). Or she might discover that her child will inherit a rare and incurable condition which will almost surely result in a short life, very painful death, or <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6OzyXB24gc&quot;severe developmental abnormalities (warning: graphic video of Lesch-Nyhan syndrome victims harming themselves) which will require constant, lifelong support. And at what gain? The child will probably require assistance throughout her entire life and never be able to contribute as much as she received. While I am not fully swayed by all of these arguments in isolation except perhaps the one about rape, I could see them as compounding factors into supporting a mutual decision with my beloved to abandon a pregnancy. For healthy children, adoption nevertheless remains a viable option and I would absolutely consider this the best outcome possible.

              As much as I dislike abortion and find the actions of its loudest proponents morally atrocious – need I mention the racist eugenicist Margaret Sanger? – I also find many reasons to regard the modern pro-life movement risible. I’ve touched on the relevant parts of their religion, but it is their incorrigibility which I find most obnoxious. Living in the modern age, we have access to cheap and effective means of contraception to make this question moot. A simple condom or diaphragm can prevent the union of sperm from ovum. Hopefully, we can all agree that losing a few of the female and especially male products of meiosis is of little consequence (although Yahweh did apparently murder a man for spilling his seed). So why does the pro-life movement find the old sheepskin so objectionable? It is clear that they have invested very little thought into this issue and do not know how to consider the principle of harm reduction. The resulting shallowness of their arguments does immense damage to those of us who actually did put a lot of thought into their beliefs.

              So, I got my hopes up on the issue of contraception. Perhaps we might all agree, instead, that the major allowance of when abortion is permissible is any time before the fetus is capable of feeling pain? I personally think this should be the gold standard. It is certainly not desirable that fetuses end up aborted instead of becoming scientists and engineers, but if they do so painlessly, it is hard to make a secular case against forbidding it. While the scientific dust settles on when exactly this is, I consider the greater moral outrage to be the the federal and social encumbrance of utilizing those blastocysts in stem-cell research, potentially healing many of our most sick and ailing family members and allowing them to live productive, perhaps even enjoyable lives – and, ironically, perhaps reducing the draw of aborting previously unviable pregnancies by actually making them viable.

              Answers and agreement on this issue are certainly not forthcoming, but I remain hopeful that scientific developments and breakthroughs will increasingly make abortion a less attractive option and more pregnancies will be able to result in great new additions to the human family.

            • liz

              Well said, Andrew.
              I agree with you on all of it, except with the idea that the agreed on term for allowing abortion should be before the fetus can feel pain.
              In those cases you mention such as rape, yes. But for fetuses conceived normally, no, because to me, the issue is that every human being has a RIGHT to life, which no one else should have the right to arbitrarily decide to terminate.
              The forced abortions in China would still not be right, even if they performed them before the fetus could feel pain, because they are FORCED. This violate the rights of the parents as well as the children.
              In our country, at least at this point, abortions are not forced on anyone by the government, but, from the perspective of those who recognize the fetus as a human being, they are still being forced on the fetus by the parents.
              It is a difficult issue – appreciate all the thought you’ve put into it.

            • Kerry

              Greetings Jillian, I am a first-timer on your blog. I am also a relative new free thinker…after 50 years of ultra fundamental conservative churchianity. My family did not drink, smoke, play cards, go to movies, swear…well you get the idea.

              To the original point of the blog, I was launched on my journey by reading one of the books David Barton wrote that I knew was inaccurate…to be nice. I am a great lover of American colonial history, and knew that what he had written was either woefully researched or calculated in pushing a particular narrative. Of course it is the latter. That begin the questions for me as to what else I believed all my life that might not be accurate. What did I believe simply based on faith. It took me three years of intense study by reading Hitchens, Dawkins, Krauss, Ingersoll, Shermer, Hume, and many others.

              One of my shifts in thinking has been on the abortion subject. I do believe they should be rare, safe, and accessible…kind of a Clinton statement. I want to ask if you are familiar with Libby Anne from the following blog:

              http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/10/how-i-lost-faith-in-the-pro-life-movement.html

              This is a powerful piece in my estimation. The information is of course nothing I had ever heard and I knew the information from the pro-life side quite well. I would be pleased if you could comment.

              I have not done all of the research I need to do on your site yet, but it looks promising. I am pretty close to Sen. Rand’s position on many issues having come from the Reagan days. Having said that, I do not think he would get the nominations of the party these days.

              Looking forward to the dialogue.

            • Frank

              Kerry,
              Thanks for posting the link. And even though I don’t agree with everything she wrote she made some very good points.

            • Kerry

              Nor do I agree with everything. I have loved in Asia for many years now after having lived on the continent of Africa for 8 years, and I can tell you my thinking on this issues has been challenged in both cases: 1, because the RCC in Africa has created quite an impossible situation, and 2, in China, the one child policy has been not only horrific, but unworkable in every practical way.

            • Jillian Becker

              The RCC in Africa? Is that a church?

              I agree about the one child policy in China!

            • Kerry

              Sorry, Roman Catholic Church.

              As for China, they aborted many, or most of the female babies, thus today there are too few available ladies for the marrying aged men! They are reaching out to Vietnam and Laos to find wives. Furthermore, with so many only-child homes, there appears to be some disconnect relative to the kind of personality that many non-sibling children have. On the other side of the coin is the better material advantage most will have.

              It is also true that many found ways around these rules through bribes or other considerations. Sometimes the couples would go to fertility clinics in the hopes of having twins or triplets, because that type of pregnancy was also exempt.

            • Jillian Becker

              I meant that I agree with you about the one-child policy in China, of course.

              What will so many men do without wives?

              The obvious answer is form an enormous army.

            • Kerry

              Well…I can think of several options for the men…there is homosexuality which is probably not the best choice there, or there is ultimate reality gaming which is where most have found a home.

              The army they have already 🙂

              I myself found a wife in Taiwan, so I have helped exacerbate the situation further.

            • Jillian Becker

              First of all, welcome to our website, Kerry. We are truly pleased that you have joined us, and we hope you will stay with us and give us the benefit of your thoughts in comments.

              I personally shudder at the puritanism in your background, and greet your emancipation from it with a cheer.

              Thank you also for the link. I have just skimmed the very long article. A detailed exegesis would be a minor Herculean labour, so I’ll just give a very general answer.

              As I have never been under a church yoke, or had any part in the “pro-life movement”, I accept what the writer says about the values they propound, and her description of the issues from their point of view, and sympathize with her rejection of their case on the grounds she explains. If any point of mine is the same as theirs – and my understanding that in general to destroy a child in the womb is murder, is superficially (it seems) the same – it is not because I have been influenced by them. “God’s will” does not come into my thinking at all. I have never entered into the discussion of zygotes, which seems to be a very intricate one, full of unresolved and possibly unresolvable issues over which Science and Judgment glare at each other.

              Of course – as she says – if a woman doesn’t want to have a child her best course is not to conceive one. How she works this is up to her. And of course if a person or a couple cannot afford to raise a child it is better not to have one. And if course there are circumstances in which it is reasonable that a termination of a pregnancy should take place – and then the earlier the better, and the more sanitary the better.

              Argument over the value of human life as such is nugatory. If there were no human life there would be no such thing as “value”. How valuable any one life might turn out to be, even perhaps to humanity as a whole (I think of Socrates, Newton, Shakespeare, Mozart but everyone has his own list) cannot be foretold, and the possibility that the zygote/baby in the womb might be a genius is far less than the probability that he or she will be merely the struggling mixture of sufferer and inflictor of suffering that we all are. He or she might simply be a fool. But in my long experience even the fool can make a contribution, if only as a stark example of foolishness.

              Gosh, the subject does lead one into prolixity! Better not to tempt each other to go on. Abortion is one of those subjects that have been so well hashed there cannot be anything new to say about it, while side issues can extend it forever like coral.

              But debate is necessary and very pleasurable, and I don’t want to discourage discussion of this or any other subject. Quite the opposite – the more reason is put to work, the better.

            • Kerry

              Thank you for this concise and arguably one of the most sincere resposes I have read. I find it quite humorous today when I discuss my evolving belief on abortion with other atheists. Many find me not pure enough as they desire abortion anytime, anywhere, for any reason. I just cannot allow myself to go there. I was strongly anti-abortion while in the Christian camp, and while I now support abortion, my view of life has changed. If this is all we get, then should I not seek to give everyone a shot at this…whatever this is! I believe science has come a long way in demonstrating to us that this fetus, or mass of cells, is indeed a life. At the point of sustainability, I would have a very difficult time snuffing it out…and it has absolutely nothing to do with a soul. It has to do with life!

            • liz

              Kerry – welcome!
              I read the article you provided the link to, and agree with the view that birth control should be the key to preventing unwanted pregnancies. It is really a shame that the religious pro-lifers are against birth control – this serves to illustrate how religion interferes with rational thinking.
              But I disagree with the bloggers conclusion that more government control is the answer to the problem. More birth control, yes, but not as a handout from the “benevolent” government provider.
              Also, I think it is disingenuous to argue that since so many “zygotes” die, pro-lifers are hypocrites for not rallying to save them as we would someone with a potentially curable disease. To go so far as to attempt to prevent the occurrence of naturally expelled zygotes would compare more accurately to taking extreme measures to prevent someone from dying of old age. Do we rally and start support foundations to stop death from old age? Of course not, but we do try to preserve life as long as we reasonably can. Why should life not be seen in the same light at its beginning?

            • Kerry

              Liz….you took the thoughts out of my head. There is much good information on her site, but I took think she is guilty of the same “statistical gymnastics” they accuse the other side of engaging in; that so many zygotes die. To me this is disingenuous as you said. Might as well try to save every single sperm produced because each might possibly, conceivably, be a life one day.

              I also do not support the government handouts for contraceptives as does our Dear Leader, however, I do think the government could play a role in creating policies and procedures for safe abortions, just like is done for any medical procedure.

            • liz

              I really can’t see how being anti-abortion would qualify the GOP, or anyone else, as seeing women as bimbos. It has nothing to do with the woman – it has all to do with the human being which, through no fault of its own, happens to form in her womb.
              And, referring to your remark below, how does viewing murder as wrong put one “in lockstep with the religious right”? Murder has been considered wrong by every civilization in history, whether religious or not.

            • Frank

              Liz,
              Legal abortion is not murder no matter how often or how loud the Religious Right claims that it is.

            • liz

              Just because the Supreme Court forced the ruling that abortion is legal doesn’t make it not murder. Does the ruling that Obamacare is constitutional MAKE it constitutional? Only in their opinion.
              You don’t have to be religious to recognize the fact that life begins at conception, that killing it is murder, and that murder is wrong.

            • Frank

              Liz,
              That is just your opinion. And fortunately for the rest of us the only opinion that matters is the Supreme Court’s – their opinion is law. And as a good conservative you should be glad that our nation is a nation of laws not of personal opinions.

            • liz

              As “a good conservative” I’m appalled at the corruption of our justice system in what SHOULD be – but no longer is – a nation of laws.
              The abortion issue should have been left to each state to decide, not imposed on it from the Supreme court, which has become corrupted, like everything else, by leftist activists, who are anything but impartial.

            • Frank

              Liz,
              Please read the following short article.

              Were Republican-appointed Justices who favored Roe in 1973 “liberal”?

              http://vox-nova.com/2008/05/22/were-republican-appointed-justices-who-favored-roe-in-1973-liberal/

            • liz

              Frank,
              Interesting. But all it proves is that no-one, even Supreme Court justices, always neatly fit into categories labeled “conservative” or “liberal”.
              People can be conservative in some areas and liberal in others, as you’ve said of yourself.
              And not everything in the realm of “conservative opinion” is always right, either, as the religious right proves by being against contraception.

            • Frank

              Liz,
              You wrote, “And not everything in the realm of “conservative opinion” is always right, either, as the religious right proves by being against contraception.”

              That’s another of the many things we agree on. 🙂

            • Jillian Becker

              And you, liz – also an exception.

          • liz

            You don’t call what the Democrats did to Sarah Palin “disrespecting” women? Too bad it never works the other way around, for some reason.

      • liz

        Are you sure? As far as I can tell, that’s why Republicans lost the last election – because they rejected the (mostly) Christian Tea Party. Apparently a lot of conservatives didn’t vote because Romney wasn’t conservative ENOUGH. (although I still think it was voter fraud.)
        Anyway, seeing as how we are headed toward an Islamic theocracy anyway, a Christian one doesn’t look too bad at this point.