Saturday, January 22, 2011

Social conservatives

Dear Socons,

Two news events this week have once again brought social conservative issues to the forefront. The brutal murders of children born alive during an abortion procedure and 2nd graders getting naked and having oral sex in the classroom - apparently with the teacher's approval.

Let me deal with the 'easy' one first. Teaching sex in school is just plain stupid. And I am talking about 'sex education' as hygiene. Children learn hygiene at home, or they don't - in either case, the school is not the place to deal with the issue. Every child is different, every home has it's own methods. Some religions require certain protocols, others have different ones. Students will have the ability to deal with issues of personal nature at different times - conformity by time (as is often the case) is too soon for some, too late for others. The teacher should be fired, but probably won't be because of union rules. The parents of the children should sue the school district, school and teacher - but probably won't get far. If they were smart, every parent in the school would remove every child for a week - give the administration time to TEACH the teachers appropriate lesson plans. The only question I have is, apparently the nakedness was the 2nd time it happened...aren't parents talking to their kids about what happened in school today?

Now, the really easy one. The murder of children born alive should carry the death penalty - too bad he can't die 8 times. Of course, many socons are noting that the doctor has murdered hundreds more by performing exactly the same 'procedure' just within the womb. That the doctor in question (and I question that he is a doctor also) has performed many late term abortions in violation of the PA laws. As I said on Tweeter, once we have convictions of the doctor, we need convictions of the 'gov' workers charged with overseeing his clinic and practices and I would prefer to see accessory to murder among the charges. If the reports are correct, this guy was a back alley butcher with government granted approval.

See...that was easy. Except we are not done. A book was recently released by a woman that formally ran a Planned Parenthood facility and how upon seeing her first abortion while on sonogram was horrified. She subsequently quit and joined the anti-abortion movement. I thought about her description and her horror and find myself equally disturbed. (Let me make a comment that is NOT intended as a moral equivalent - I find myself disturbed watching piercings and tattoos to.)

I have always felt abortion to be wrong. One of the many reasons I oppose abortions is I find it unfair to the child. But there are things that society does that makes options to the mother harder. 1) all anti-pregnancy systems (except contraceptives) are medically regulated - you need a doctor to write a prescription. While abstinence is the only guaranteed way to prevent pregnancy, reducing the cost (and therefore making it more accessible) of anti-pregnancy methods would lower unwanted pregnancies. 2) RU-486 was violently opposed - the pure stupidity of such a position is incomprehensible. If an unwanted pregnancy can be terminated within hours of conception, isn't this better than waiting months for the child to form AND THEN terminating her/him? Even if it only reduced abortions by 5%, that is thousands fewer abortions.

Twice in the last couple years, I have gone grocery shopping and left the store with merchandise unpaid for on the bottom of the cart. Both times, I went back in and paid for the items. Both times I could have been arrested for shoplifting - despite no intention of doing so. Could I have been more careful? Sure. I made a mistake and corrected it. Are these situations comparable? The anti-abortionist will quickly claim they are not - because we are talking about a life. No, we are not. We are talking about the beginning of a potential life.

I have two problems with the anti-abortion positions: once conceived, and NO ONE knows when exactly that is, the anti-abortionist holds the child has all the rights of anyone else walking around and if the mother will not take responsibility, well, the government will FORCE her to do so; second, any measure that could reduce (but not eliminate) abortions is to be fought against and denigrated - either all abortions are to be stopped, or none will be. If we could reduce abortions by 90%, anti-abortionists seem incapable of agreeing to it because it leaves 10% still occurring.

On the rights issue: 'among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness'. Among, not first among, not foremost among. But even the idea that life is first I question. What kind of life are we sanctioning if the child is born into servitude? Or born into such poverty that the odds of survival are 100s or thousands to one? What horrors are we willing to perpetrate on the child - horrors we have no will to stop or prevent - to assuage a philosophical position? Anti-abortionists are way to willing to allow a child to be born into this world addicted to drugs and a permanent ward of the state - state raised children, see how that is working with 2nd graders above...

I am all for getting the abortion issue back to the states - I am even supportive of banning third trimester abortions. (go ahead with a life of the mother exception - but it is bullshit as you are stating the mother's life is more important). I am willing to limit abortions to the first 16 weeks. But to anti-abortionists, not good enough so no deals.

The doctor in PA murdered children. Eight. Maybe lots more. But to the anti-abortionist, every abortion was murder....except the mother, not only a willing participant but initiator, did not commit murder. Why? If abortion is murder, then the mother is the proximate cause. Accuse the mother of murder also and I might buy your position that it is murder.

The social conservative wants to use government to change people's behavior. That is my problem with socons. Abortion is wrong, teach your children it is wrong. Teach your children to be responsible adults. Perfection is not possible. Sarah Palin's teenage daughter got pregnant. Does anyone think that the Palins were lax or poor parents? Neither Sarah (with a down's syndrome child) nor her daughter had an abortion despite both having common reasons to do so. Abortion is a choice, make it a bad choice, not an illegal one. Because we can ban all abortions in the United States and three things will happen: abortions, thousands of children born into abject poverty and social hell, children and mothers will die in larger numbers.

Two news stories will give socons more ammunition to call for more social engineering by government - given both stories show the terrible consequences of giving government that kind of power, their calls should be ignored. Too bad, because we could have a chance at addressing the issues but demagoguery will kill all chances of it being fruitful.