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Dec 05 2012

‘Pro-life’ = ‘Anti-gay’?

Peter Baklinski, writing at LifeSiteNews, tries to explain why so many people who are anti-choice on abortion are also virulently anti-gay. He makes a rather silly and tortured argument that they go together because it has something to do with a “culture of life.”

People often wonder why many people involved in the pro-life movement are also interested in homosexuality-related issues. They especially wonder if defending traditional marriage really has anything to do with being pro-life.

The answer to this is simple: Being pro-life is much more than saving babies. It’s also about fighting for the flourishing of the human person every step of the way, from conception, through birth, through childhood, through adulthood, till natural death. It’s about promoting a “Culture of Life.”

That’s why many pro-lifers aren’t just concerned about abortion: they also tackle euthanasia, cloning, homosexuality, and other life and family issues, which, after a second glance, are found to be all interconnected.

Let me suggest a couple of other explanations. First, the obvious one: The same people are involved because both of those issues involving the authoritarian imposition of their religious beliefs on others. They are both motivated by the zeal to control. Now, the less obvious one: They’re against gay rights and women’s rights because they view them as essentially the same. Their problem with gay people is that they think they act “like women,” which they regard as a bad thing. Gays are not “real men,” you see, they’re more like women — so therefore they must be discriminated against and punished as God demands.

The destroyers of the family began by splitting husbands apart from wives. They did this by introducing contraception into the sexual act under the guise of ‘sexual freedom’. With contraception, spouses took each other’s intimate treasure of fertility and sacrificed it on the altar of sexual freedom so as to increase their sexual availability with ‘no consequences.’

Uh, what? Is there any evidence at all that married couples who use contraception are more likely to divorce than those who don’t? Hard to get a good sample on that because almost everyone uses some form of birth control, including 98% of Catholics, the church that is most opposed to the use of contraception.

Widespread use of contraception led to the need for legalized abortion as a solution to failed contraception.

Uh, no. Widespread use of contraception prevents abortions. But thank you for admitting that the real goal of the anti-abortion group is contraception and the liberty to control one’s own reproduction in any way. That’s what I’ve been saying for years.

32 comments

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  1. 1
    raven

    something to do with a “culture of life.”

    Naw.

    These are the same people that hate most of the world’s population. Forced birthers, female slavers, fetus worshippers, human haters. After you are born, you are worthless. They also are the main sponsor of xian terrorism in the USA.

    It has more to do with being a right wing christofascists. They are female slavers, global warming deniers, hate science, hate evolution, hate gays, think Obama is a Kenyan born, Moslem terrorist, hate the educated, Moslems, atheists, etc..

    It all comes in a package promoted by Fox News and fundie churches.

    Fundie xianity is hollow. It’s just a shell for right wing extremist politics with a few crosses stuck on for show. A dead religion living on as a Tea Party Zombie.

  2. 2
    brianthomas

    Being pro-life is much more than saving babies. It’s also about fighting for the flourishing of the human person every step of the way, from conception, through birth, through childhood, through adulthood, till natural death.

    I about threw up at this point. This describes NONE of the “pro-lifers” I’ve ever met. Seems almost all of them could give a shit after baby is born. Also seems that they just LOOOOOOVE it when we’re bombing the hell out of foreigners (bombs don’t kill babies, I guess??), slashing the social safety net, slashing education funding, incarcerating as many people as possible, and frying as many as we can in the electric chair.

    “Fluorishing of people” my ass…only if those people think, look and act the same as they…and then MAYBE.

  3. 3
    composer99

    It’s also about fighting for the flourishing of the human person every step of the way, from conception, through birth, through childhood, through adulthood, till natural death. It’s about promoting a “Culture of Life.”

    Given the same movement’s socioeconomic goals, this statement by Baklinski is a lie straight from the pit of Hell.

    (Hey, what a useful turn of phrase.)

  4. 4
    andrewjohnston

    It’s an easy moral stance. Most pro-life types are straight men who will never need an abortion or want to marry another man. Pro-life women, also heterosexual, assume they’ll never need an abortion (or that it will be “different” for them). As a result, taking these stances does not affect pro-lifers at all.

    It’s an easy way to feel righteous without having to actually change their lives. Following Biblical precepts on, say, the use and misuse of money would require them to change their lifestyle. Religious conservatives like feeling superior, but they like their personal stuff more.

  5. 5
    theschwa

    Hopefully they will tackle the multitudes of lesbian couples that go thru artificial insemination/sperm donors to get pregnant just so they can get abortions!

  6. 6
    busterggi

    These same ‘culture of life’ folks also support the death penalty and pre-emptive wars – and they see no inconsistancy about it.

  7. 7
    raven

    Pro-life women, also heterosexual, assume they’ll never need an abortion (or that it will be “different” for them).

    Graduates of religious secondary schools are more likely than the general population to have abortions. It’s just typical hypocrisy.

    The only exception for abortions they favor, is not rape, incest, or maternal death, it is their abortion.

    Rick, Dark Age Pope wannabe, Santorum’s wife had a medically necessary abortion. He has been lying about it ever since.

  8. 8
    andrewjohnston

    This describes NONE of the “pro-lifers” I’ve ever met. Seems almost all of them could give a shit after baby is born.

    It’s all part of this “human dignity” concept of theirs, a series of restraints on science and socioeconomic policies. No, it’s not terribly consistent. war, torture, and the death penalty are all okay, presumably because they’re all done to “bad people.” Allowing people to suffer for lack of resources is also acceptable (because of the “dignity of work” and all). However, certain life-improving medical procedures are unacceptable violations of that dignity. Euthanasia is also rejected, because there’s nothing more dignified than taking away a person’s control over his or her own destiny.

    Basically, “human dignity” means that we have an obligation to stop some forms of suffering; other forms of suffering are part of the “natural order” and “God’s plan,” so we can’t try to alleviate them. It’s a fuzzy line that moves a lot, from person to person and across time.

  9. 9
    thalwen

    Abortion, gay relationships, birth control – all undermine their obsession with strictly controlled and defined gender roles. They get their panties all in a bunch trying to determine who wears the pants in a gay relationship and think the idea of a straight couple living with equal responsibilities and respect to be unnatural.
    So yeah, they’re natural allies. Not for the reason he claims. The idea of pro-lifers caring about anyone alive post-birth and pre-coma is laughable.

  10. 10
    LeftSidePositive

    These people should seriously read up about the conditions of obtaining an abortion in the 19th Century, and how common it was…These people should also consider that availability of birth control has at best a *tiny* impact on how much sex people have…most people throughout all of human history have just had sex anyway (because sex is fun!). Furthermore they should consider that people who have consistent access to birth control have abortions dramatically less often than those who don’t.

  11. 11
    steve84

    Most “pro-life” people don’t give a shit about babies after they are born

    He hit a hugely important point though:
    The morbid need for “consequences” for everything. It’s really a recurring theme. They see pregnancy not as a way to have children, but as a punishment for women who enjoy sex. They just can’t stand that someone doesn’t share their beliefs and has more fun than them.

  12. 12
    baal

    “Gays are not “real men,” you see, they’re more like women —”

    Because the gender-binary is the only way to understand the people(their idiotic assertion not Ed’s).

    —-
    The religi-loonies used to regularly tout the ‘culture of gay’ as synonymous with a ‘culture of death’. They’d point to the AIDS rates in cheery picked gay communities and at the suicide rate for LGBT and then say that it was being and doing gay that lead to dying. Oddly, they included anal sex as a pro-death activity 1) for not creating life 2) so many life threatening illnesses arise from anal sex! (ignoring that more anal sex acts are done by hets (population numbers and all)). It wasn’t a big step to then say that being gay is not pro-life.

    I haven’t heard them make these points quite as much in the last 5 years or so. It used to be common in the 90′s.

  13. 13
    andrewjohnston

    @baal: True. Contemporary, “sophisticated” anti-gay types focus most of their bile these days at IVF, of all things. It lets them make some really awful “think of the children” arguments that are deeply offensive to me personally.

  14. 14
    raven

    They see pregnancy not as a way to have children, but as a punishment for women who enjoy sex.

    True.

    And babies are just punishment and torture devices.

    Oddly enough, some liberals and atheists consider babies to be humans and future adults.

  15. 15
    Dr X

    In addition, I think there is also ambivalence about sex for pleasure. A great deal of denied guilt and shame is frequently tied to the pleasure-seeking intensity of sexual urges. JPII’s Culture of Life is an elaborate rationalization for the Catholic hierarchic obsession with control of both penis and vagina as sinful vessels of uncontrollable urges toward pleasure. Special levels of distress accrue to scary vagina temptress. She can ruin a man countless ways.

    I do think that guilt about sex might be a highly modifiable, selected feature in human beings. The reasons I think that might be the case is a whole ‘nother long discussion, but that’s why I see changing popular attitudes as essential to reducing the social encouragement of guilt about sex.

  16. 16
    steve84

    The sex/guilt thing really started very early with Paul and St. Augustine who were both sexually dysfunctional and self-loathing. They both blamed women for their own lust. Especially Augustine, who also came up with the Original Sin crap that just blames women for everything.

    So that’s really at the very core of Catholicism. But I think along the way they realized that sex is an awesome way to control people. Nearly everyone has sexual urges and it’s extremely difficult to suppress them. So they tell people that they are sinful for just being alive and then offer a “cure” (going to church, praying, confession, etc.), but knew with absolute certainty that people will “sin” again and be back for more.

  17. 17
    crowepps

    If you really want to make an America First Pro-Lifer’s head explode, point out to them that at any point in time, there are one million innocent fetuses existing in the bellies of those Iranian women they are so eager to bomb.

  18. 18
    John Hinkle

    The destroyers of the family began by splitting husbands apart from wives. They did this by introducing contraception…

    Wow, fat fucking citation needed.

    andrewjohnston says:

    This describes NONE of the “pro-lifers” I’ve ever met. Seems almost all of them could give a shit after baby is born.

    It’s all part of this “human dignity” concept of theirs…

    And when they say “human dignity,” of course they mean your human dignity, not their own.

  19. 19
    Ray Ingles

    “almost everyone uses some form of birth control, including 98% of Catholics”

    Minor note; that figure is almost certainly too high. The study it’s based on was designed to “include only women for whom a pregnancy would be unintended and who are ‘at risk’ of becoming pregnant.” That excludes the celibate, those trying to become pregnant, etc.

    That said… there’s no evidence that Catholics are significantly less likely to use contraception than others. The rates are about the same for them as any other group, so there’s no shortage of hypocrisy there.

  20. 20
    Sastra

    The destroyers of the family began by splitting husbands apart from wives. They did this by introducing contraception…

    This is stupid on many levels, yes. But the first one I thought of for some reason was the way it used to be assumed that most married men would of course either have mistresses or go to brothels … because if the wife could not or did not want to have any children, the only reliable option was abstinence. No birth control, no marital sex. Men were usually mentally excused from seeking their “release” elsewhere, given that it was discrete.

    When birth control slowly began to be introduced into the mainstream — the 1920′s, I think — it was touted as a way to finally bring couples back together in intimacy.

  21. 21
    slc1

    Re theschwa @ #5

    Gee, I wasn’t aware that Mary Cheney had any abortions.

  22. 22
    lofgren

    The only exception for abortions they favor, is not rape, incest, or maternal death, it is their abortion.

    I think this comes back to the idea of babies as punishment, combined with the typical human tendency to perceive failure as the fault of others.

    You can’t have an abortion, because you’re a greedy slut.

    My situation is different, though, because Johnny and I were really in love and he promised to pull out but then he just got a little carried away and anyway I didn’t think you could get pregnant until you did it at least 25 times plus I can’t afford it right now because that jerk manager at Chick Fil A won’t give me a raise like I deserve unless I stop taking a smoke break every thirty minutes, but, like, how else am I supposed to put up with those obnoxious customers?

    So really it’s not my fault, just like those girls who got raped (legitimate rape – not like that slut who went out with Johnny for a week just because he is first QB and then threw a hissy when he dumped her for me because she couldn’t take care of his needs properly).

  23. 23
    Rob F

    You would think that if abortion was truly, truly killing someone, they’d be all for same-sex adoption. How the hell could being raised by a same-sex couple possibly be worse than being killed?

    And if they truly believed that being raised by a same-sex couple was worse than being killed, why do so many of them support the death penalty? If we grant for the sake of argument that the death penalty is a deterrent, than if the death penalty is killing someone and is deterring people for that reason, then since being raised by a same-sex couple is worse than being killed, then being raised by a same-sex couple would be an even more effective deterrent. From this it follows that we should never use the death penalty but should rather sentence capital criminals to live with same-sex couples.

    PS: I don’t really expect wingnuts to be consistent.

  24. 24
    John Hinkle

    Rob F says:

    And if they truly believed that being raised by a same-sex couple was worse than being killed, why do so many of them support the death penalty? If we grant for the sake of argument… From this it follows that we should never use the death penalty but should rather sentence capital criminals to live with same-sex couples.

    I agree. But if living with same-sex couples doesn’t deter them from future capital crimes, then I say we float them in a pond to see if they weigh more than a duck.

  25. 25
    geocatherder

    I used to accept that the “pro-life” stance on sex — that it should have consequences — meant that they saw babies as punishment. But I’ve since concluded that it’s more subtle than that. They see the natural role of women as being baby-makers, with (if only necessary) badly paying jobs that set them off from men. Having sex means you should lose your ability to do any work that requires creativity and dedication; those jobs should be reserved for men. So it’s not that sex should be punished by babies; it’s that sex should be punished by being made to toe the line of a second-class citizen. Of course these same “pro-lifers” teach their own daughters the joys of being a second-class citizen from birth. It’s all about keeping women in their subhuman place.

  26. 26
    nimuae

    The consequences, of course, are to be handled by the women(sluts). These same people don’t want the men staying home to care for the babies. They also don’t seem to be fervently in favor of better enforcement for child support.

    I suppose they’d be anti-adoption, too. After all, giving the baby away to another couple would be… avoiding consequences.

  27. 27
    d.c.wilson

    George Carlin made the observation over 30 years ago that anti-abortion types should see gays are natural allies because what group has fewer abortions than gay men?

  28. 28
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    It’s all about fucking like rabbits?

  29. 29
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Steve84 wrote:

    … I think along the way they realized that sex is an awesome way to control people. Nearly everyone has sexual urges and it’s extremely difficult to suppress them. So they tell people that they are sinful for just being alive and then offer a “cure” (going to church, praying, confession, etc.), but knew with absolute certainty that people will “sin” again and be back for more.

    That’s why I say that the Church has the longest-running and most effective Gypsy Curse Scam ever: “There’s a curse on your family jewels! Pay, pray, and obey, and we will lift the curse!”

  30. 30
    lofgren

    I suppose they’d be anti-adoption, too. After all, giving the baby away to another couple would be… avoiding consequences.

    The only reason they’re not is that they also think your baby would be better off being raised by some nice white fundies in the suburbs.

    Don’t worry, they’ll be happy to shame you mercilessly for it.

  31. 31
    chrisdevries

    When will these “traditional values” authoritarian extremists wake up and realise that they are not, and have never been (in recent times anyway) anywhere near a majority of the US population. Yes, there are what I’d call moderate traditional values people – those who don’t really realise the implications of the positions they take – who are often lumped into the same category as the extremists. These individuals may honestly view a fetus as if it was as important as an adult, with the same rights as an adult, and that abortion is therefore infringing on the fetus’s right to life. They’re not in it to persecute anyone, at least not consciously. But most of the moderates get their information about the massive decline of “traditional values” from the more extreme part of that crowd; they’re sheep, following because it’s the way they were brought up, or all that they’ve really been exposed to in their little insular communities.

    The reason why a majority of Americans now support equal rights (including marriage rights) for homosexuals is because the LGBT community has changed the paradigm. They bravely ripped down the walls of the metaphorical ideological fortress in which reside those who believe in “traditional values”, taken the abuse, been persistent, and not compromised. And with time, more of the xenophobic moderates started to realise that gays are people too, that they can live perfectly moral lives while in a loving relationship with someone of the same gender. By being persistent and getting their message out, and by trying to create positive, mutually beneficial relationships with moderates, the LGBT community has, in some cases, convinced moderates that they were wrong. In other cases (maybe the majority of them), however, the growth of tolerance and respect for homosexuals was probably achieved through decades-old behavioral conditioning techniques. Either way, the tide has turned.

    I think the reason there are still 25-30% of people in the USA who take authoritarian positions which would enforce a traditional values system (as defined by the right-wing) is because as society changes, they become more and more fearful of what that change means and how it will affect their lives. So they dig in their heels and pretend that they speak for the entire conservative crowd. Also, because most of them are actual authoritarians, they start to project their own goals onto the left; because they want to force their beliefs on everyone else, they assume that the Democrats and those individuals who fall even further left are trying to do the same thing.

    It is very hard to chip away at the hardcore authoritarians; you cannot change people’s perspective on an issue if you have no access to their minds. Also, the severely underfunded, understaffed public school system in many states simply doesn’t have the resources or ability to turn children of authoritarians into critical thinkers who derive their values and accrue knowledge from evidence, rather than from authority. I suspect behavioral conditioning from passive, positive experiences can and does turn hardcore authoritarians into liberal progressives on individual issues but they are used to storing contradictory values and opinions in their memory and inevitably smooth any hypocrisy over with a huge helping of faith.

    Whether this group can be marginalised by a progressive majority or not depends on a)how much success schools have in teaching their students how to think critically and (b), whether the size and quality of life of the middle class grows. When people feel economically secure, their values can become more mutable; as a social species, most people (who are not sociopaths) actually want to better their communities; they can learn empathy for others and become more altruistic, more willing to improve the quality of life of anonymous others. They can learn to be open-minded and tolerant of those who are different from them. They will start supporting legislators who believe in addressing the root causes of societal problems, such as crime, to make their communities safer, rather than endorsing policies of retribution (three strikes laws, death penalty, SuperMax private prisons, etc.) which tend to dehumanise criminals without lowering crime rates.

    The old guard of bigots is a dying breed; as demographics change, as children for whom homosexuality is not reviled grow up and have children of their own, the culture will shift. It is a glacially slow process but even now, some “traditional values” held in 1950s – and later – America (such as virulent opposition to mixed-race marriage/relationships) have become fairly rare (or at least impolitic to share with others). There are still millions of Americans who hold such dying values of course, and tens of millions more who fight us on modern issues where there is a difference in values, but even as these numbers decrease, we must remember that authoritarian thinking is our main enemy. And while such a philosophy can be fought and marginalised, it cannot be eradicated. In the short term, we can win over the moderates and really decimate the right-wing authoritarian community; in the long-term, if we plan wisely, the authoritarian base can also be significantly shrunken. But it is likely we will be fighting a similar fight 50 years from now, with progressive, critical thinkers on one side and authoritarians on the other. Who knows what the specific issue will be, but there is no question that it will be a matter of “traditional values” just as it is today.

    For more info on this demographic, see:

    http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

    It is a free book and well worth the read (if you haven’t read it already).

  32. 32
    Valde

    @chrisdevries

    great post, especially this part:

    “But most of the moderates get their information about the massive decline of “traditional values” from the more extreme part of that crowd; they’re sheep, following because it’s the way they were brought up, or all that they’ve really been exposed to in their little insular communities.”

    What you have said, seems very apt, esp. in relation to whats going on over here:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/12/06/a-metaobservation-on-misogyny/comment-page-1/#comment-506836

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