Thursday, June 04, 2009

First Amendment 2.0

Feminist columnist Bonnie Erbe has written a column under the helpful headline, “Tiller Murder Is Terrorism, and All Pro-Life Extremists Are to Blame,” in which she sets forth what she believes ought to be the legal limits of speech for those non-extremists who “object” to abortion:
I am careful to note I am referring here to EXTREMIST pro-life advocates, people who refer to abortion as "baby-killing" and other inflammatory rhetoric. I am explicitly not referring to mainstreamers who object to abortion due to religious beliefs, but who refrain from using inflammatory speech.
So, you can be a mainstream opponent of abortion, and not an extremist, provided your opposition is “due to religious belief” and if you “refrain from using inflammatory speech.” Specifically, don’t refer to abortion as “baby-killing.”

Erbe is quite clear that she defines an extremist pro-life advocate as one who refers “to abortion as 'baby-killing' and other inflammatory rhetoric.” She says that Randall Terry’s statement, “Abortion is still murder. And we still must call abortion by its proper name; murder,” should be banned:
This type of speech ought to be against the law and anyone who issues it ought to be prosecuted as an accessory to murder, as well as for partaking in domestic terrorism.
But don't get Erbe wrong. As long as you're a mainstream objector to abortion, for religious reasons, we can tolerate that. Provided you never, ever step over the line and say that abortion is baby-killing.

Conversations about abortion would sound like this:
Feminist 1: I'm so glad abortion is still legal, I could just give the president a bl*****!

Mainstream Objector: I don't really approve of abortion.

Feminist 2: What?

MO: My religion doesn't allow us to do that.

Feminist 1: Why not?

MO: It's just part of the whole thing. We also can't drink coffee or fly over the Great Divide within 3 days of a New Moon.

Feminist 2: That is so cool. My sister does Feng Shui.

Feminist 1: I'm not religious, but I'm very spiritual.
Erbe can tolerate religious objectors because the prevalent conviction among the elites for whom she writes is that all religion is anti-science, and that by definition a "religious" belief is one based upon an arbitrary, primitive fable. For instance, the Cherokee believe the Earth is borne on a turtle's back, animists believe that spirits of the departed inhabit the objects around them, and some less-enlightened sects of Christians think babies grow in the wombs of pregnant women. Diversity commands benevolence towards "faith traditions" because they're vestiges of otherwise pretty cool ethnic heritages, (as long as they're not European). But no one confuses them with reality. No one abstains from shellfish or smokes ganja because of science.

But once you start talking about what happens during an abortion -- even if it's got nothing to do with religion, but everything to do with science, or ethics, or civil rights, or commons sense, you better not be saying anything extreme. You better not say there's any baby involved, and you better not say anything about killing.

And this lady writes for something called the “Thomas Jefferson Street blog”?


csjd said...

I read Bonnie Erbe's column the other day with utter horror. This is the state of not only the First Amendment today, but of feminism. Her point was that if you are vociferous about your opposition to abortion, you are fair game for rape or other violence that anyone may choose to inflict on you. Yet an actual murderer such as Dr. George Tiller, the greatest mass-murderer on the planet, will be nominated for sainthood for killing 60,000 fully-developed, viable babies awaiting their birth. I'm not sure the English language contains a word that adequately describes the disgust and outrage generated by the likes of Erbe and others steeped in the use of First Amendment 2.0.

Anonymous said...

Very good post. Your writing skills and witty political satire are much needed and appreciated.