The sleep of reason

One of the things “faith” is good at doing – giving people a feeling of righteousness about doing something poisonous and horrible. Like the woman whose daughter

who suffers from bipolar disorder and limited cognitive abilities, went missing last Monday.  For more than 48 hours, we had no idea where she was.  Without all the gruesome details, after she was found, it came to light that she’d been brutally and repeatedly sexually assaulted.

A nurse gave the mother Plan B and told her she had 24 hours to use it.

But no. The woman decided not to give it to her daughter.

If the being that had done this to my daughter had been in front of me at that moment, I likely would have killed the bastard.

But Plan B is a whole other thing, isn’t it?  It’s about taking the life of an innocent child.

My daughter, though, you see, is adopted.  For all I know, she herself is the product of rape.  Her birth [mother] was known to prostitute herself, and for women in that life, rape is common.

And even if this wasn’t the case, what child deserves to die due to a parent’s sins and brutality?  Taking an innocent life is wrong – I know it, and every genuinely honest person on the face of the earth knows it.

She’s in a glow of righteousness, because she’s pretending to think a few cells are “a child.”  She’s in a glow of righteousness because she’s more concerned about the non-existent child than she is about her real, existing daughter…Or because she’s not but she’s forcing herself to sacrifice her daughter’s interests for the sake of the non-existent child anyway.

“Faith” can do this and I’m not sure anything else can. Ideology can beget monsters but not of quite this kind.


  1. daveau says

    I have an issue with the post being all invisible-like, beginning at the 3rd blockquote.

    But, to the point, faith is useless as a system of morality. In fact, it can often be used to predict immorality.

  2. says

    I wonder if she would feel the same way if her daughter was not adopted. I rather think not. She is actually disvaluing her child because she is. What a callous, unfeeling, self-righteous witch! This is not the sleep of reason; it is the absence of it; and the absence of humanity, love and care — which are closely allied.

  3. Desert Son, OM says

    Ok, I’m done with the internet for today. This post tipped me past my limit and now I just have rage and sadness in a neck-and-neck race for total emotional occlusion. I’ll try again tomorrow, but now I have to go away and try to stop trembling.

    daveau, good to see you, hope you and yours are well, and if you’re still in the greater Chicago area, please enjoy a slice of pizza for me when you get a chance.

    Still learning,


  4. says

    Poisonous and horrible, and yet she feels like bragging about it. Interesting how someone can be so sick as to take one of the worst situations imaginable, make it somewhat worse with their religious nonsense… and then turn all of it into a celebration of how awesome they are. The amount of narcissism is frankly the most striking thing about this whole situation, even above and beyond her sociopathic “piety”.

  5. Brian M says

    Well, actually and sadly, ideology CAN lead to this kind of thinking and policies.

    The Romanian state forbade abortions and even where it could had mandatory preganacy testing to prevent back alley abortions. All in the name of “nationalism”.

    Of course, I doubt that you have this degree of smug self righteoussness.

    What a horrible, horrible story. 🙁

  6. daveau says

    Robert, good to see you too. How are you? Off in Texas, or somwhere equally inbred, as I remember. I said “Wow, Desert Son”, even before I read your comment.

    Thin crust or pan? I still have that unopened Talisker 175th anniversary; maybe one day. Ophelia knows how to reach me if you ever need to. Or use my full gravatar info which you can find on WEIT, often enough. Don’t know why FTB locks it down; didn’t use to.

    Teh interwebs ensadden us all upon occasion.

  7. GordonWillis says

    Or because she’s not but she’s forcing herself to sacrifice her daughter’s interests for the sake of the non-existent child anyway.

    I think that that’s where the problem lies. She believes that the meeting of sperm and ovum equals a child, so to abort that child would be murder. It’s not just a question of her daughter’s interests, it’s the moral question of committing murder for the sake of anyone at all. If you believe that the instant of conception equals a complete human being, or even that a potential human being is equivalent to a complete one, you will naturally believe that to administer an abortifacient is to commit murder.
    I understand what Joe says, that this woman is bragging, and that she is an emotional opportunist using her daughter’s plight to gain personal recognition in an odiously self-congratulatory fashion. That doesn’t alter the moral dilemma she is outlining. It speaks to real gut-level emotion, and we have to understand this.

  8. says

    Twisted. She’s putting her abstract moralism ahead of her daughter’s well-being. This is BEYOND selfish — it’s callous.

  9. Francisco Bacopa says

    Let’s just hope she doesn’t end up pregnant. If there ever was a time for Plan B, this is it.

    Bipolar disorder can be quite serious, I called the cops on myself just to get out of my bipolar ex-gf’s home. She had hit me and tore one of my books in half along the spine. I was about ready to kill her at that point. So I decided to leave. I was blocked from leaving in a way that I could not have left without resorting to a level of force I was not comfortable with. So I called the cops. They were quite professional and took separate interviews. Classic Prisoner’s Dilemma situation. We both declined to press charges.

    But WTF was this mom thinking? If her beloved daughter came into this world in such a way and she loves her daughter, why risk another child who might not be so lucky?

  10. Dunc says

    But Plan B is a whole other thing, isn’t it? It’s about taking the life of an innocent child.


    If you believe that the instant of conception equals a complete human being, or even that a potential human being is equivalent to a complete one, you will naturally believe that to administer an abortifacient is to commit murder.


    Sorry for shouting.

    Plan B is not an “abortifacient”. It works in exactly the same way as the regular birth control pill, by suppressing ovulation – so (if you’re in time) egg and sperm never meet in the first place.

  11. rjw says

    I got an obnoxious popup when clicking on the link to the article. My perception was that it was from Free thought blogs, which is pretty disturbing…

  12. sabiolantz says

    Indeed, horrible.
    I had a very close High School friend — here father was a preacher/doctor who ran a home-church. I visited a few times — a lively group of Charismatics.
    My friend married another preacher and they set up a church in the inner city.
    Someone broke into their house and raped my friend. She became pregnant but refused an abortion as here religion demanded. One month later she committed suicide.

  13. daveau says


    That is a sad story. Because of religion’s inflexibility, your friend’s life was lost. And an embryo, which is obviously much more important. Did they also condemn her for committing suicide?

  14. sabiolantz says

    Yes, that rocked my world, when I was in my 20s and was a Christian at that time too.
    I don’t know what they thought about the suicide though — I am sure all of this set them into deep cognitive dissonance.

    Heidi, her name, was a top grade student, incredibly popular and a great joy to the community. It was a huge loss — but unbelievable loss to the family, of course. I don’t know how it affected them — I wasn’t close to the family, just Heidi (we were a bit rebellious together).

  15. says

    I’m not sure we’re coming at this the correct way. Maybe instead of questioning whether or not this woman sees an embryo as a person, we should wonder if she’s capable of seeing her daughter as a person, or anyone else for that matter.

    This just popped into my head literally five minutes ago when I read Gordon’s comment, so I’m still working out the details and hoping for a bit of input. I’m a fan of the video games, predominantly third-person action and first-person shooters. There are three necessary components: you the player, your in-game avatar, and the non-player characters (NPCs) that you interact with (and optionally, other players and their avatars for competitive or co-operative play). The NPCs are scripted characters that have no autonomy and exist for the purpose of advancing the story of the player and his avatar. NPCs can be killed or protected based solely on the arbitrary rules of the game, and following the rules exactly usually leads to successful completion of the game.

    I’m beginning to wonder if people like this woman see themselves as God’s avatar on Earth, and view everyone else as NPCs. Some NPCs can be shoved around and even killed for the sake of the game. Other NPCs have to be protected no matter what. In no case does the player or their avatar actually care about the NPCs, except in how they help advance the game from A to B.

  16. daveau says

    Improbale Joe-

    That’s exactly the kind of stuff we used to ponder in college at 2:00am on a Saturday. I would still relish those conversations if I stayed up that late. Compliment, not criticism.

  17. Ken Pidcock says

    That doesn’t alter the moral dilemma she is outlining.

    What does alter the moral dilemma she is outlining is recognizing that it is not a moral dilemma at all. What coherent moral code would allow her daughter’s life to be so disrupted in order to keep alive a mass of undifferentiated cells? This biological fetish doesn’t emerge from any sense of empathy for our fellow human beings, but only from a bizarre commitment to “natural law.” From my moral sense, what this woman is doing is objectively wrong, and the moral dilemma she is outlining is whether she does what is right – protecting her daughter – or what she thinks will impress her fellow believers.

  18. says

    LOL@ daveau

    Not so much, but I know what you mean. “Dude… what if God is a player, and like is a game?” Usually after smoking pot and watching an old VHS of TRON. In this case, more of an analogy to get at what feels like a complete lack of empathy, compassion, and recognition of the reality of other people.

    For instance, the author of the linked piece, Elise Hilton, is the Media Logistics Coordinator for the Acton Institute. Acton’s goal is “Integrating Judeo-Christian Truths with Free Market Principles” and in that capacity they oppose any and all government programs that assist poor people, who are disproportionately women and children. If they don’t actually care about women and children as human beings, why would anyone think that they care about a fetus? They don’t want it aborted, but they don’t want to pay a red cent to make sure its mother has food or medicine, or that the potential child has food, medicine, or an education once it is born.

    It isn’t that they treat an embryo or fetus like a human being, as much as they don’t really treat people like human beings as we understand the term to mean.

  19. Bill Yeager says

    Oh and I just fucking *love* some of the comments on that link, congratulating the women for showing just how much she loves her daughter and Jeebus and blastocytes.

    The fact that the mother got her facts wrong about how Plan B works doesn’t matter does it? That she made a stand for what is right, by her insane religious ideology of course, is what’s most important here.

    Even the ‘fully-fledged’ atheists agree with her decision too apparently (no I don’t know what a ‘fully-fledged’ atheist is either):

    I am also very sorry that some people feel the need to fight and argue with your facts, and belittle you and your ability to make a decision for your daughter when you’ve just been through such a traumatic event.

    I am not a believer, I am a full-fledged atheist. But if there is a god, I hope that he rewards someone like you, who is willing to do what they believe is right, no matter how personally difficult, and no matter how some people will react to what you do.

    Cuz it’s just so important to show that even the godless agree with her fundie xtian values.

  20. says

    God, that’s such bullshit. What if what you “believe is right” is iron control of all female humans from birth on, meaning no education, no leaving the house, no choice in whether to marry and whom to marry, and death for any infraction? What if what you “believe is right” is persecution of Jews? What if what you “believe is right” is death for gays (not to mention any other kind of sexual nonconformity)? What if what you “believe is right” is slavery?

    Hilton has no right to “believe” that day 1 of a possible pregnancy=a child. (By “right” here I mean cognitively.) A process isn’t a person.

    Dave R, there wasn’t any invisible post or 3d blockquote, just a big space for both that I didn’t see before I logged off. You didn’t miss nuffink.

  21. Doubting Thomas says

    A ‘fully-fledged’ atheist is obviously one that has all of its adult feathers. Still waiting for mine. 😉 Sorry, but even us not so feathered ones find this woman’s thinking process faulty. Feather brained you might say.

  22. interrobang says

    Since when does your moral sense and your belief in what is right give you the right to inflict your moral sense on an unconsenting person? To me, this is every bit as heinous and ethically wrong as the inevitable religious nuts who let their kids die because they’d rather use faith healing than medicine. And should probably be prosecuted as such. (Isn’t it a crime to steal someone’s legally-prescribed drugs anyway?)

    Live your whackaloon religion, but don’t drag other people into it, especially not your mentally challenged adult children. This is abuse of the handicapped, nothing more.

  23. says

    I hadn’t thought of that. Interesting point. Legally, it probably wouldn’t be considered comparable to witholding medically necessary treatment. I’m guessing though. Maybe it would be – maybe pregnancy would be seen as extra trauma (which of course it would be, at least physically).

    Then again who knows, maybe the daughter herself might see it as salvaging something from the trauma. But she wasn’t asked.

  24. Svlad Cjelli says


    But neither PCs nor NPCs are necessary components.

    And on that note, NPC can follow grammar with greater ease in swedish, as ISK is less obviously an acronym.

  25. Julia F says

    The only hopeful note I can raise here is that this story may not be entirely true. I first encountered it on one of the feminist blogs and several people raised questions about the details. One woman who is an ER nurse said that assault victims are not taken to Women’s Centers and that such centers do not do rape kits for the police.

    It seemed unlikely to this nurse that there is any community where this is not so. Similarly, it is unlikely that any medical personnel would have had this conversation with the mother as the patient is evidently of legal age according to another source. Furthermore, how likely is it that the mother would have been handed medication by the nurse, particularly after being instructed to take the patient to an ER?

    I am not saying this young woman wasn’t raped or that the points raised in various comments here aren’t good ones. I wish only to suggest that this woman is a vulgar attention whore who has distorted and exploited her daughter’s misfortune to aggrandize herself and to advance a religious agenda.

    I agree with Eric on the daughter’s adoptive status. The author’s contempt for her daughter’s biological mother as a prostitute in a world where ‘rape is commonplace’ is revolting. Thanks for sharing, Mom.

  26. Lori says

    Disgusting. To put some potential person above her real, actual child, with the cognitive abilities of an 8-10 year old, that has been brutalized, is beyond my comprehension. Sorry I have brain lock and can’t do much else besides sputter.

  27. GordonWillis says


    No, but try telling believers. I think that believers just like to keep things simple. That’s why they get confused (Why are there still monkeys, when they are supposed to have “evolved”? Scripture is true so science can’t be: of course planes fly, because that’s what they do; what has science got to do with it? If it’s a learnt part of the world, then it’s natural, and no clever scientist is going to say otherwise. Science is just a load of theories, but we know, because the Bible/Koran/Daily Mail horoscope tells us).
    Joe, I think that people like this horrible woman do indeed see themselves as having a mission to determine the lives of all god’s “creatures”. Why else should she drag a deeply personal situation into print? It’s opportunism, having a role in the public eye, being able to influence and confirm the feeble ill-thought-out knee-jerks of “believers”. Even the girl she claims to cherish is just another opportunity for a public stance.
    My problem is that, given that she is exploiting a real concern, how do we address that concern? If believers, and perhaps many others, feel so strongly that the potential or the merely possible has ipso facto personal rights, then all that appalling bullshit about women as repositories of sperm and having native responsibility for the continuation of the human race becomes real to them, and the rights of women to be considered as autonomous thinking feeling beings are annihilated. Somehow, we have to get a clear message through the obfuscation and obscurantism and into the sluggish brains of the lazy world-rejecting comfort-seeking knee-jerks. If we don’t, real warm living breathing walking-about women are never going to be free of the male concern for paternity and the view of women as objects. Women will remain things to be used, defined equally by duties and by lust.

  28. Anonymous Atheist says

    Julia wrote: “… the patient is evidently of legal age …”

    But since the daughter is of “limited cognitive abilities”, the mother probably has ‘adult guardianship’ or ‘power of attorney’ to control the daughter’s medical, legal, and financial affairs.

  29. Desert Son, OM says


    Sorry for the late reply. Thanks for your reply. Still in Texas, still struggling with grad school. Make mine thin crust, please, and I’ve got my Talisker 175th, as well (still a good few drams worth). Will let you know when next I make it back to Chicago. Meantime, best to you and yours.

    Still learning,



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