Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The Political Christmas Card

You thought you felt the pressure sweating out the 2000 election ... I had to dump $100 on this professional picture for the X-mas card prior to knowing the outcome of the election, and all the while I thought I was cursing our chances.

Sure, I know what you are thinking - exploiting my kids for political purposes. But it wasn't like that, I swear. The twins, who were 13 months old at the time, came up with the idea themselves. Sure, having very little in the way of motor skills at the time, let alone speaking or non-verbal communication skills (beyond screaming that is), there was a great deal of very sophisticated interpretation on my part to understand their vision; but hey, Jane Goodall speaks with apes, and liberals love her - so don't doubt the story.

The flags in mouths was totally unplanned - but the kids were clearly tense about the election as well. Of course, four years later, they've taken a turn for the worse, having light sabered my Bush Cheney 2004 sign to oblivion. But once upon a time, they were solid red-staters.


Blogger Professor Vic said...

I would report this obvious case of child abuse to social services, but they didn't do anything about in back in 2000 when I last reported it, so why do I think it would do any good now.

Rather than taking legal action, I have resigned myself to merely sending subconscious messages to the twins so that one day they will grow up to be an Earth First activist and a personal injury lawyer.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Incredible Dirigible said...

Nice picture, Hatcher.

(Off-topic) So Hatch, it looks like Scott Peterson will be sentenced to fry like a Chicken McNugget, for the murder of his wife Lacy & for 'exercising his constitutional right to an abortion'. Do you think the anti-death penalty crowd will rush to his defense as they did for Mumia Abu Jamal? Calling Ed Asner! I wonder if Katie Couric will air an address where people can send contributions for the Scott Peterson defense fund, as she did for child killer Andrea Yates.

(P.S. my remark about abortion was meant with no disrespect to the soul of Conor Peterson or his mother; rather, it was directed at those who inconsistently value the lives of unborn babies.)

11:33 AM  
Blogger Professor Vic said...

If the anti death-penalty people believe, like some do with Mumia Abu-Jamal, that Peterson did not receive a fair trial either through incompetent defense, racial discrimination, or withheld evidence, then they have every reason to protest his sentence as vigorously as Abu-Jamal's.

As for the inconsistency with regard to abortion, I'm not sure that a serious inconsistency exists. Basically, to put it somewhat crassly but accurately, the law states that in the first two trimesters the mother has largely free choice about what to do with this fetus (including to kill it). It would be nice if the father could share in the decisions, but unfortunately pregnancy is not one of those things that a compromise can be worked out if the mother and father disagree on a course of action, so the law assigns 100% control to the mother.

So, should a person who kills a fetus be punished? The law says only the mother has that choice, so a mother can do so, but another cannot without the consent of the mother. Basically, if a person wants to cut off their hand, they can do it. If someone else cuts off my hand, that is a crime. Now I know that none of us believe a hand is a person, and many do believe that a fetus is a person from the moment of conception, but if one believes, like I do, that a single-celled organism is not a person (yet!) then this is completely consistent.

By the way, the Bible very specifically states that abortion is not murder. In the Old Testement, a person who kills another is to be put to death while a person who strikes a pregnant women causing a miscarriage faces a lesser punishment. Funny how pro-life fundamentalists pick and choose what parts of the Bible to believe.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Incredible Dirigible said...

The Bile very specifically states that abortion is not murder? Stop the presses! Could you give me the book & the verse, followed by the Pope's phone number so I can call him & clue him in? Boy is he in for a surprise (as will be a lot of others). Maybe he will take a red pen & cross out that part of the Gospel that stated that the unborn John the Baptist leapt with joy in Elizabeth's womb when she heard that her cousin Mary was expecting.

You stated that pro-life fundamentalists pick & choose what aspects of the bible they wish to believe. I think it is fair to say that MOST people "pick & choose" what they want to believe, or at least, acknowledge what is & what is not to be taken literally. If I don't believe that Noah really brought 2 of every animal onto the Ark, must I reject the entire bible?

I will tell you this, Professor Vic: I do at least appreciate your forthcomingness about your reasons for supporting abortion. During the presidential election, John Kerry stated that he believes that life begins at conception & then went on to say why he thought it was still ok to kill it. I would have respected him a Little bit more if he had said what you said: that he simply did not believe that life begins at conception, & that there's no way to prove when a soul enters.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Professor Vic said...

Exodus 21:12 states, "Whoever strikes a man so that he dies shall be put to death." So this establishes that the penalty for murder is death.

Exodus 21:22 then follows with, ""When men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no harm follows, the one who hurt her shall be fined, according as the woman's husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine." The term "yet no harm follows" refers to further harm to the woman.

This establishes that killing an unborn child against the wishes of the mother is bad, but the punishment for killing a fetus is less than that of killing a man. This pretty much follows my logic.

Certainly, John the Baptist leapt in the womb, but that doesn't necessarily imply personhood any more than my hand shaking against my will in the presence of God implies that my hand has a soul. It's a nice passage, however.

In other Catholic teachings by Thomas Aquinas he talks about "quickening," that is the imbuing of a fetus with a soul, occuring well after conception.

Here's another interesting passage in Job 10:18, Job cries, "Why didst thou bring me forth from the womb? Would that I had died before any eye had seen me, and were as though I had not been, carried from the womb to the grave." Job here implies that if he dies before he is born, it is as if he were never a person.

I guess my main point is that things are not always black and white. The Bible is certainly not black and white on abortion as much as one might claim it to be.

So here is a question back you. If life begins at conception, and therefore abortion is murder, does every couple who has ever used an IUD, a birth control device that prevents fertilized eggs from becoming implanted in the uterus, deserve to be executed? A sexually active woman who uses one of these may have murdered literally dozens of children over the course of her life. Mass murder = execution, right? What about fertility doctors who dispose of fertilized eggs? Killers? If you don't want to execute these guys, you must think that when life begins is not so black and white as you claim, because I would sure advocate execution for an OB/GYN who simply "disposed" of a dozen healthy, full-term babies.

12:26 PM  

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