The corruption is next door. Wake up!


Conservatives are desperately trying to change the subject. They want to avoid talking about their potential success in banning abortion and instead whine about those naughty leakers who exposed an imminent Supreme Court decision, or point fingers at protesters who stand peacefully outside the homes of Supreme Court justices, shaming them. They’d rather not discuss their actions to criminalize women’s health, something they’d been working towards for decades.

The ADF (Alliance Defending Freedom, an evangelical Christian organization, and today’s grand misnomer) was crowing about getting here four years ago. They figured that the election of Donald Trump had opened the gates and they were going to get everything they wanted. They were right.

“We have a plan to make Roe irrelevant or completely reverse it,” said Kevin Theriot, vice president of ADF’s Center for Life. Denise Burke, senior counsel at ADF, said that she is “really excited” about the strides that are being made to “eradicate Roe.”

“We have a strategic plan, that is a comprehensive, start-to-finish, from when we’re considering legislation all the way up to the Supreme Court, to challenge Roe,” said Burke. Among the reasons for ADF’s optimism is the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and so many Trump nominees to the federal appeals courts, which ADF believes will lead to courts granting approval to state laws further restricting access to and ultimately banning abortion.

This isn’t a one-off surprise at all. It’s everything they aspire to. Listen to Jerry Falwell brag that he’d been working on revoking women’s rights for 35 years.

They (I’ll get to who “they” are in a moment) aren’t done yet. Miscarriage shall be a crime.

On a humid morning in early October, Brittney Poolaw sat in an Oklahoma courtroom waiting on a verdict. Instead of the jail uniform she’d donned over the past 18 months, she wore a yellow and white blouse. After less than three hours of deliberation, the jury returned with their decision: Poolaw was guilty of first-degree manslaughter. She was sentenced to four years behind bars.

But Poolaw, a 20-year-old and a member of the Wichita Tribe, had not driven recklessly or shot a gun. She’d had a miscarriage.

At least one in four pregnancies end in a miscarriage — it may be as high as one in two. You probably know women who have had miscarriages while trying to have a baby (I know of several, personally). Now imagine them thrown in jail for it. Imagine them being accused of manslaughter. This is what they want, and it’s just the start.

They want to ban contraception.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) on Sunday refused to rule out the possibility that his state would ban certain forms of contraception, sidestepping questions about what would happen next if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

They’ve already started. A Louisiana law bans IUDs and IVF, and calls these acts of, not manslaughter, but homicide.

You really have to look at that law’s provisions to lock this act into existence, without any possibility of ever being overturned. It’d be hilarious if it weren’t so evil.

Any federal statute, regulation, treaty, executive order, or court ruling that purports to supdersede, stay, or overrule this Section shall be in violation of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Louisiana and is therefore void.

Pursuant to the powers granted to the Legislature by Article X, Part III, of the Constitution of Louisiana, any judge of this state who purports to enjoin, stay, overrule, or void any provision of this section shall be subject to impeachment or removal.

They are like children, and they have even grander plans.

The governor of Texas want to stop educating kids.

Gov. Greg Abbott wants Texas to challenge a 1982 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that requires states to offer free public education to all children, including those lacking legal immigration status.

That ruling, known as Plyler v. Doe, struck down a Texas law that had denied state funding to educate children who had not been “legally admitted” to the United States.

We’ve been averting our eyes and lying to ourselves for decades. They couldn’t possibly be this bad, could they? It’s just a few people posturing for their constituents or their congregation, they couldn’t possibly succeed, and you’re probably looking at the ominous possibilities that those danged liberals bring up, saying “Nah, they can’t ban contraception, they can’t destroy the public school system, they can’t take over the government, they can’t establish a theocratic state, it’ll never happen,” and like always, it’s always easier to reassure ourselves that it can’t happen here than to act to prevent it from happening.

The problem is that they have an uncompromising philosophy that requires them to do everything possible to control your life.

…as Dana Sussman, deputy executive director of the National Advocates for Pregnant Women, says: “Not only did Roe vs. Wade establish that there’s a constitutional right to abortion, it also rejected the idea that fetuses are people under the Constitution.” The draft opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, is steeped in language that paints fetuses—no matter what stage of development—as people. And when we lend credence to the idea of fetal personhood, it creates “a situation in which, when there is perceived harm to a fetus, it can be a victim of a crime. You can’t add fetuses to the community of individuals who are entitled to constitutional rights without diminishing the rights of the person carrying that fetus,” Sussman says.

That evil idea is nonsense, unsupported by science. A person does not magically appear at the instant of conception; it’s not black or white, no baby, then <blink> baby. Fetal development is a progressive process that takes a single cell with all the autonomy of a shed speck of dander to a squirming infant over the course of months, and at the expense of the mother’s body and work…and that only begins years of responsibility to make it an independent person. They’ve absorbed this lie that full human beings are created at conception and that a fetus therefore has all the rights that its mother has.

Where does this foolishness come from? Here’s a clue.

The issue has also prompted Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, the House’s lone antiabortion Democrat, to clarify his position.

“My faith will not allow me to support a ruling that would criminalize teenage victims of rape and incest,” Cuellar said in a recent statement. “That same faith will not allow me to support a ruling that would make a mother choose between her life and her child’s.”

It’s their faith, their religion. Ironically, the Christian Bible doesn’t even take the absolutist position they do — these beliefs don’t come from a god, but from generation after generation of male prophets and preachers interpreting their holy book to say what they desire it to say, and endorse their possession and control of women.

And that tells you who they are. They are not The Other, they are not outsiders, they are not freakish cultists. They live among us. They are your aunts and uncles, parents and cousins. They’re your neighbors. Look around your community — it’s guaranteed to be pockmarked with a diverse assortment of churches, protected to an excessive degree by the law, given freedom from taxation or any kind of regulation, thriving like unchecked cancers in every town. Some of them are filled with decent people who care about civil rights for everyone, but in others…right now, at this instant, they are celebrating a new era of oppression, and are planning to elect more town council members, more school board members, more representatives and senators, more people who will tell everyone else that they must obey, they must follow, they must do as they’re told. Women will serve, gay people will be punished, miscegenation must be eradicated, children will be indoctrinated, everyone must accept that their beliefs, no matter how ridiculous, are Truth.

They are us. These oppressive laws are not built on a secular or rational foundation, they are entirely the product of peculiar religious beliefs of a minority that we’ve encouraged to flex and grow.

This insanity is going to continue on. We can fight back and elect better representatives, kick out some incompetent judges, pass laws that, for instance, end those screaming masses outside women’s health care clinics, but ultimately the solution has to be … tax the churches. End the special privileges given to religion. Stop the politicization of the pulpit. You want to endorse politicians, lobby for more restrictive laws, campaign against the heathen? You aren’t a church, you’re a Political Action Group, and should be regulated in the same way.

Bring back separation of church and state. Acknowledge that freedom of religion is one thing, a good thing, but that abuses of that freedom are the root cause of our current damnation. Educate our children about reality as we can see it, not blind mythology.

Comments

  1. Derek Vandivere says

    I think the use of the word ‘person’ in Alito is describing the legal concept and not a developmental stage – as in, corporations are legally persons. And that’s actually the key question in the whole debate, I think – at what stage does the zygote/embryo/fetus/baby a person with rights?

  2. Akira MacKenzie says

    A person does not magically appear at the instant of conception…

    It all boils down to substance dualism with these clods. Upon fertilization, the magical ghost that lives inside us all of our lives in put in there by Gawd, so at that point it becomes the most special thing in the world rather than just another animal. What’s the evidence that a soul exists? Rainbows, smiles, kittens, and lollipops, that what!

    They are not The Other, they are not outsiders, they are not freakish cultists.

    I say that in online political discussions all the time only to be told by other Leftists (the portion that wasn’t paying attention to Uncle Karl’s “opiate of the masses” line) that I’m being just as intolerant and strident as the Bible-fuckers are. No, the Christian Right aren’t real Christians. Jesus would want national health care, and women’s rights, and gun control, and to give everyone a pony… Point out to them at Jesus was likely an literate mentally ill cult-leader who didn’t know what germs were and thought the world was going to end any second does little to persuade them.

    It’s as if they think the last 2000 years of superstition-fueled tyranny and bigotry was something that didn’t happen or that throwing an occasional crust of bread to the impoverished person makes up for Crusades, the Inquisition, etc,.

    They are your aunts and uncles, parents and cousins.

    Which is why I avoid family get-togethers at all costs.

    They’re your neighbors.

    Tell me about it. Every other house I pass is flying a Trump flag and/or has a “Back The Badge” yard sign. So much for Wisconsin’s proud progressive past.

  3. raven says

    Listen to Jerry Falwell brag that he’d been working on revoking women’s rights for 35 years.

    So what?
    I’ve been fighting the battle for human rights since I was a teenager in the 1960’s. I along with all the Boomers even remember when Roe versus Wade didn’t even exist. It was ruled on in 1973.

    We won a huge amount and now are losing a lot of progress.
    I don’t have words for how disappointing and appalling this all is.

  4. Susan Montgomery says

    @5. How did we lose so much so fast? One four-year span and we’re back to 1965.

  5. raven says

    Texans who get abortions could face death penalty if .. https://www.texastribune.org › 2021/03/09 › texas-legis…

    Mar 9, 2021 — A Texas lawmaker has filed a bill that would abolish and criminalize abortions, leaving women and physicians who perform the procedure to face …

    There is a bill in Texas to make abortion a death penalty offense.
    It makes sense (to them anyway). If a blastocyst, embryo, or fetus is a legal person, than abortion is first degree murder.

    Similar bills have been proposed in Louisiana and Idaho.
    It won’t be long until all the Red states have such bills enacted into law.

    There is a race among the fundie xians as to who can be the most extreme and most horrible people. Part of it is just sadism.

    Mostly it is about power!!!
    Nothing shows how jesus loves you much power you have like executing women for getting abortions.
    Going to be a lot of women dead and/or in prison in Texas soon. The number of abortions in Texas runs around 54,000 a year.

  6. divineconspiracy667 says

    Susan @5: I’d consider it fatigue on the left, coupled with a 50-year long, well-funded, constant grinding of the right-wing machine.
    They’ve been gerrymandering and obstructing their way into entrenched, minority power for decades and have been slowly pushing themselves to ever more extreme beliefs over that same time.
    At some point, that has to come to a head. That’s what we’re seeing now.

  7. Doc Bill says

    I had to push myself to read the Alito opinion because it struck me as one line of garbage after another. I suppose if the same opinion was written about a land dispute then harking back to the 13th century or earlier for references to common law about land ownership wouldn’t be so bad.

    But, as a scientist, reading Alito’s tedious, irrelevant and incorrect dreck was a difficult slog. Slog you must, though. You have to read it to truly understand how utterly evil it is. You might wonder, as did I, could such callowness exist. Then, the Covid Years brings it into focus. Yes, Americans can look upon a million deaths and even more misery with total indifference and even contribute to it by refusing to abide by simple public health measures because they are “inconvenient.” Apparently, we are a horrible people and as one GOP representative articulated, “If you don’t like it, go live somewhere else.”

  8. William George says

    The bit about judges is them trying to prevent everyone else from using the same methods they did to do a run around democracy. They’ve siezed control of the machine and their coup is in its final stages.

    Stopping them will require the same methods that our grandfathers used to stop the previous batch of fascists in the 1940s. Nothing less.

  9. Chabneruk says

    As a German, watching the US drift deeper and deeper into conservative fanaticism is terrifying. I can but hope that somehow the democratic forces prevail – which seems unlikely, since right-wing ideologues like Trump have successfully manipulated outdated parts of your system of government, such as the Supreme Court.

    For me, it all seems to come back to the underlying assumption that the US are, as a country, somehow special and superior, an assumption which (as a post-1945-German) scares me, because – just like the religious ideas embedded into your society – it can be so easily abused. Probably preaching to the choir here in PZ’s community, but the system is broken. Most democratic societies are imperfect, yet they can strife to improve. But if a constitution is revered as much as the US constitution, it doesn’t get questioned to the necessary degree.

    I have no answers, but I feel with anyone devastated by these current events. No thoughts and prayers from me (another terrible phrase sprung from a terrible mindset), but an honest question: What can we – in other countries – do to help?

  10. raven says

    FWIW, we’ve seen this movie before.
    Spoiler alert. It doesn’t have a happy ending.

    An estimated 100,000 Romanian children were in orphanages at the end of 1989, when communism ended. The high number is linked to the pro-family policies pursued by former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. In 1966, the regime banned abortions and contraceptives to keep the population from shrinking after World War II.Dec 28, 2015

    Half a million kids survived Romania’s ‘slaughterhouses of …

    Romania’s Ceausescu decided he needed more Romanians. He outlawed abortion and contraception.

    It was a disaster.
    People had children they didn’t want and couldn’t afford and turned them over to the state.
    The Romanian government couldn’t take care of them either.

    The numbers are large, about 1/2 million orphans in total.
    Some of those children just died. They grew up in deprived conditions and most didn’t do well as adults.
    There was very little followup but AFAICT, most of those children had short and unhappy lives and just died young.

    Well the ending to the end was sort of happy.
    The people of Romania rose up in revolt and Ceausescu and his wife were shot by his own people.

    Prohibition doesn’t work. We’ve seen it with alcohol, Cannabis, and abortion.
    The birth rate in Romania went up and then…came right back down as people found ways to obtain contraceptives and abortions.
    We are about to see it in the USA with abortion, again.

  11. KG says

    And that’s actually the key question in the whole debate, I think – at what stage does the zygote/embryo/fetus/baby a person with rights? – Derek Vandivere@1

    No, it most certainly isn’t. Even if we conceded that a zygote is a person, it would not give it the right to impose on another person the burden and dangers that pregnancy imposes, and more than someone who needs your kidney or stem cells in order to l;ive has the right to force you to donate them.

  12. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 6

    How did we lose so much so fast? One four-year span and we’re back to 1965.

    What passes for a left in America got complacent and never . They thought that the GOP’s efforts to overturn Roe were all just performative political posturing by politicians for the votes of Bible-beating bubbas, but they didn’t really want to ban abortion. They’d lose a wedge issue if they did! Besides, the courts and the constitution will protect us!

    But the Republican party is no longer run by cynical politicos who use “culture war” drama to rile up the base. The Jesus-freak, gun-nut base now run the party, and they’ve been organizing and evangelizing for decades. They were no longer going to play the be rules and the “norms” Democrat’s expected them to play by. They wiggled through every constitutional loophole until they one. As usual, the process didn’t save us.

  13. Akira MacKenzie says

    EDIT:

    What passes for a left in America got complacent and never took the Christian Right as a serious threat.

  14. Akira MacKenzie says

    That, and let’s face it. Outside of some “safe” blue states, Democratic politicians would love nothing more than to see legal abortion go away. Either because they’re terrified of running as someone who supports “Baby murder” or they actually sympathize with the fetish fetishists themselves.

    The Dems lack the dedication to their supposed causes that the Republicans have.

  15. jenorafeuer says

    Akira MacKenzie@14:

    But the Republican party is no longer run by cynical politicos who use “culture war” drama to rile up the base. The Jesus-freak, gun-nut base now run the party, and they’ve been organizing and evangelizing for decades.

    I’ve been saying that for years. It’s been a generational shift inside the Republican Party: the people who knew it was all a grift to rile up the rubes have been supplanted by rubes they’ve riled up and who are tired of not getting what they clamoured for these last decades. They took all the excuses of the previous generation for why things didn’t happen (for sound, procedural and wider democratic reasons) and decided that the rules were actually the problem and the enemy, and thus they have to destroy the mechanisms of democracy in order to get what they have been promised.

    And always remember that it was all started on a lie. It was never originally about Roe v. Wade. (When Roe v. Wade was originally decided, the general reaction from the Evangelicals was ‘abortion is a Catholic issue, not ours’. The mythologizing started a few years later.) The original rallying point of the grifters that drove the ‘Moral Majority’ was Brown v.Board of Education, and specifically Bob Jones University v. United States. They just used Roe v. Wade as the rallying cry they sold to the rubes

    Not that it really matters anymore. There’s a significant chunk of the country that has been actively raised for the last couple of generations to believe that democracy and the rules created to have a functioning heterogeneous society are the problem, as are anybody who tries to argue for rationality.

    At this point, cult deprogramming on a national scale is required.

  16. says

    ” Ironically, the Christian Bible doesn’t even take the absolutist position they do. . .” Actually, the Christian Bible doesn’t take any position on abortion, it is never mentioned in the New Testament. The only, single, solitary, lonely mention of abortion in the Tanakh is in Numbers 5, which prescribes a ceremony for the purpose of inducing abortion in the case of an unfaithful wife. That is why they never actual quote any Bible verses.

  17. JM says

    @6 The right got very lucky in that Trump got to appoint 3 Supreme Court Justices. Trump being entirely uncaring of such things let the right select 3 radical judges. This flipped the court to hard right and let the right go on an all out legal offense.

  18. lotharloo says

    It’s very easy to say how left has lost so much: a lot of people in the left have focused on the form (e.g., Obama’s desire to appear “bipartisan”, some people’s desire to promote “diversity” at the expense of substance, or people not voting for Clinton because she was not Bernie and so on) whereas in the right, the anti-choice people were laser focused on getting rid of Roe. I knew a guy who hated Donald Trump, knew he was corrupt, knew he wasn’t really religious or smart but he voted for Trump anyways because he knew that was the pathway.

  19. Akira MacKenzie says

    It’s been a generational shift inside the Republican Party: the people who knew it was all a grift to rile up the rubes have been supplanted by rubes they’ve riled up and who are tired of not getting what they clamoured for these last decades.

    Hey! Leftists, take note! If the Bible-humpers can wrest their party from the grifters, we can do the same to grab the Democratic party from its centrist, corporate masters.

  20. Susan Montgomery says

    @Akira. Yeah, that seems about right. We were doing our victory laps a bit too soon.

    @17. Pity we can’t get rid of the DINO dinosaurs like Feinstein and Pelosi and who knows who else. We can’t wait for Father Time to get the job done.

  21. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 20

    I knew a guy who hated Donald Trump, knew he was corrupt, knew he wasn’t really religious or smart but he voted for Trump anyways because he knew that was the pathway.

    The left has a lot of issues on their plate they have: Class inequality. Pollution and climate change. National health care. Social Justice, etc. They can’t pick and chose or else someone is going to get hurt, it’s an all or nothing proposition. The right doesn’t have that problem, The abysmal state of economic and culture affairs are just fine by them. Health Care? If you can’t afford it, TOUGH! The environment? Global warming is a communist hoax! Racism? Doesn’t exist anymore and minorities are just being ungrateful! Therefore, they can afford to focus their time and money on advancing culture war issues, and since America is inherently a racist, sexist, homophobic, nation of religious capitalists (yes, even the “liberals”), they are often successful.

    It’s easier to fight against progress than for it.

  22. lotharloo says

    @20
    You can pick and choose in the primaries. While I sympathize with people who are frustrated with corporate Dems and while it is possible to justify not voting for them on the matter of principle, if want to be result-oriented, you’ve got to vote Democrat once the primaries are over.

  23. birgerjohansson says

    Nancy Pelosi tries to weasel her way out of failing on abortion rights.
    https://youtu.be/hpChuNLtq_M
    I agree- the corporate Democrats have not fought enough during the nearly two decades Pelosi has had influence in the senate.

  24. says

    People had children they didn’t want and couldn’t afford and turned them over to the state.

    Don’t Alito and the forced-birthers recommend exactly the same “remedy?”

  25. whheydt says

    Re; birgerjohansson @ #25…
    Pelosi has–effectively–no influence in the Senate. She’s Speaker of the House. It’s Feinstein (a corporate Democrat if ever there was one) who is in the Senate.

    As for other comments…I’ve been voting against Feinstein for some time now. However, in a general election, at this point, I flatly refuse to vote for a Republican even it it’s against an odious Democrat. Fortunately these days in California, it’s not especially unusual to see two Democrats face of in the general election in a state-wide race.

  26. Matthew Currie says

    I hope enough people realize the huge and important gap between banning abortion and banning certain forms of contraception. I am not at all in favor of banning abortion, nor even a little bit in favor of declaring a zygote a human being with rights, but I would contend that even if you do approve of those things, even if you are a fierce and doctrinaire enemy of all sorts of abortion, and even if that includes granting right to life to a zygote upon the moment of conception – even then, banning any kind of contraception is a far far step beyond. It grants to the zygote not only the right not to be killed, but the right to implant, and in the case of contraception it grants that right ex post facto. It demands that any potential mother may not undergo a treatment on her own uterus, in deference to a being which does not, at that time, exist at all.

    A person gets an IUD when she is not pregnant. A person could get an IUD and die a virgin. It renders the uterus unwilling to accept the implantation of a zygote. To outlaw this procedure unequivocally, absolutely, and literally, declares that a woman, alone and with no current fetal passengers to consider, does not own her own reproductive apparatus. It is not figuratively, but literally, declaring that a woman’s body is the property of the government, and once this is the case, there is no reason the government cannot order how it is used, when, and by whom.

    In case it’s not obvious, I think the move we’re seeing now to follow the death of Roe with an attack on Griswold, is odious in the extreme. Unspeakably stupid.

  27. birgerjohansson says

    whheydt @ 27. My bad- I keep confusing the two houses of the US Congress.
    .
    There is evil, there is cartoonish evil and there is this. Next step would be Mitch McConnell and Trump.
    https://youtu.be/30WjxhLASCU

  28. nomdeplume says

    Last two paragraphs – all good solutions, but the right wing media, and Republicans, will never permit any of them to happen. A population of poorly educated religious people is an obedient population who will reliably support authoritarian politicians.

  29. unclefrogy says

    question I keep hearing in my mind is . How does the increasing change in religious belief in the US population relate to these cultural war issues?
    Is the increasing politicization of religion having an negative effect on religious belief or is the it a response to the reduction of religions importance to a larger proportion of the population?

  30. raven says

    People had children they didn’t want and couldn’t afford and turned them over to the state.

    Don’t Alito and the forced-birthers recommend exactly the same “remedy?”

    Yes, they do.

    With their own version of the Romanian orphanages.
    Theirs will be fundie xian run orphanages and adoption services. Like the Canadians did with their Native American children and the Catholic church or the Irish with their Catholic run orphanages. And how did that work out?

    Canada’s Residential Schools Were a Horror – Scientific …https://www.scientificamerican.com › article › canadas-r…

    Aug 1, 2021 — The recent discoveries of more than 1,300 unmarked graves at the sites of four former residential schools in western Canada have shocked and …

    We all know that the fundie xians don’t really care at all about real, living people.
    I’ll point out here that the main victims of these anti-abortion laws will be poor, young, and nonwhite. A lot of these unwanted children produced by female slavery will grow up mentally, morally, and physically stunted.

  31. willj says

    The right will fight for your right to be born. I’m not sure what that means, and I don’t think they do either. But if you come out the wrong color, they’ll hate you for the rest your life.

  32. evanolcott says

    I always yearn for the idea of churches paying taxes, it sounds like the perfect idea until I remember that what that affords them is a seat at the table, where their voices will be able to be EXPLICITY involved.

    Taxation/representation and all that.

  33. John Morales says

    evanolcott:

    I always yearn for the idea of churches paying taxes, it sounds like the perfect idea until I remember that what that affords them is a seat at the table, where their voices will be able to be EXPLICITY involved.

    So you’re saying they already have a seat at the table and their voices are already being heard.

    Only difference is they’re not being taxed.

    (It’s an appropriate yearning, no real downside, good upside. Take their money!)

  34. StevoR says

    @33. willj : Or if you come out non-heteronormative or trans or many other things too..

  35. tuatara says

    People had children they didn’t want and couldn’t afford and turned them over to the state.

    Don’t Alito and the forced-birthers recommend exactly the same “remedy?”

    Usually it is called prison. It is the only social safety-net they are willing to pay for.

  36. IX-103, the ■■■■ing idiot says

    @3: The Bible doesn’t say anything about fertilization (except for maybe one verse about how God knew somebody before he was born, which doesn’t really say anything if God exists outside of time…). In the Bible, it’s all about quickening: different fines for causing miscarriage before and after, “breath of God” causing quickening, “the quick and the dead”, etc.

  37. acroyear says

    “You aren’t a church, you’re a Political Action Group, and should be regulated in the same way.”

    Except Citizens United pretty much ended that regulation, too.

  38. acroyear says

    Cervanted @18 – there is a line in Jerimiah 1:5 “when you were in the womb, I knew thee”. THAT is the basis for the religious argument. Just that one phrase, directed only at Jerimiah personally. That’s it.

    (mind you, the REST of that passage is the bulk of the justification for the entire prosperity gospel and the Calvanist philosophy that inspired it…and it is one of those where Hebrew scholars insist the Christian churches have interpreted it wrongly for centuries)

  39. whheydt says

    Re: Matthew Currie @ #28…
    Working backwards (by when SCOTUS recognized certain rights): Obergefell v. Hodges (same sex marriage), Lawrence v. Texas (legalized consensual sex regardless of gender of parties), Loving v. Virginia (barred anti-miscegenation laws), Griswold (right of adults to get contraceptives), Brown v. Board of Education (barred “separate, but equal” schools).

    All of those are within my lifetime, and I was 18 when Loving v. Virginia was decided, so and adult by current standards (but not by the then prevailing ones).

  40. birgerjohansson says

    Jeez, both Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi are 80. They are never going to change their minds. The same goes for wossname the loser in charge of the Senate, even if he is marginally less antiquated.

    NB I am aware there are many brilliant octagenarians out there with flexible minds, Bernie Sanders being one of them. But they rarely float to the top, the surface is usually covered with scum.

  41. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 37

    Usually it is called prison. It is the only social safety-net they are willing to pay for.

    American prisons are not so much a “safety-net” as they are concentration camps. Americans LOVE prison to be a hellish place where convicts are abused, murdered, raped, and worked to death for pennies-per-hour (if they pay prison laborers at all)). We consider it “justice.”

  42. jodyleek says

    If abortion is “murder”, then consider what the theocracy-wishing idiots will do next. Murder does not, as far as I know, have a statute of limitations in any of these 50 states. Right to privacy is out the window, so how long before the RWNJs start prosecuting prior-to-the-revocation abortion receivers?

  43. Kagehi says

    Had a terrible, and scary, thought… Lets say they somehow managed to a) ban contraception, b) actually make, as the one state proposal would do, make miscarriages the same as abortion and abortion equal to murder. Now.. How do you enforce this? You need to know who is pregnant, right? So.. what’s next? Perhaps something like:

    A state/national (depending on how far it spreads) database of confirmed pregnancies.
    Since you don’t want anyone slipping through the cracks, and since, being a nut job you also don’t give a crap about women’s freedoms or those of children – Anyone capable of menstruation, as of their first cycle, has to have weekly pregnancy tests (and, heck, since these nuts are also still wall war on drugs, have weekly public school drug tests lumped in with them, so the boys don’t feel left out).
    Require “any” positive (after all, so called false positives are a liberal lie) be registered as pregnant in said database.
    Deem any later test, which shows the “woman” is no longer pregnant, as a miscarriage, i.e., and abortion, i.e. a murder.
    Make doctors that fail to report positives felons, as well as any whose prior report of a positive result later turns out to test negative, if they fail to report the patient to the authorities.
    Fine, monthly, the women, or parent/guardian $5,000 per each week that a test result isn’t filed.

    I mean, given the science/medical denial/ignorance, insanity, shear evil, etc. already shown by these lunatics, why wouldn’t the above be the “next step”?

  44. unclefrogy says

    @48
    it would cost too much money to fund directly so if we take texas as inspiration and indicator it could be outsourced to vigilantly outside organizations and individuals not really better and way easier to corrupt

  45. Kagehi says

    Because Republicans are so “small government” that they will never, ever, spend vast amount of money on “anything”? They still support the “war on drugs”, despite that level of utter failure, so.. them spending billions on a program that would let them control women, and tacking on, to pay for it, some sort of, say, asset forfeiture, or forced prison labor program, etc…

    Not sure the “cost” would matter to them at all. They only give a damn when money is being spent on things that do not benefit them, or which can’t be spun to claim it “helps protect” the fools that elect them.

  46. Matthew Currie says

    Of course in reckoning the cost of all this stuff, and the willingness to pay for it, we must remember that the inability to enforce a law with equity or fairness is, for many, no bar at all – not a bug but a feature. Aside from the threat of the law and its damping effect on behavior, it can always be selectively applied against enemies of the leadership or groups not in favor, just as so many laws now are. Even frivolous charges that are later dismissed can do their work if they get people fired, deported, impoverished, or just disreputable. A ban on abortion or even the appearance of it can be wielded to wreak havoc on the poor while being hardly a bump in the road for rich white dudes who want to disencumber their mistresses. On the whole, tyranny is cheap.

  47. Kagehi says

    @52 Yep. You say it much, much, better than I could.

    Case in point, the existing “war on crack”, while rich white dudes (and probably congressmen) snorted cocaine with barely a slap on the wrist, if actually caught.

  48. elspeth says

    Late to the party and in strong agreement with most of the original post and comments. I’m posting because there is one misconception repeated here that I think it’s important to correct: IUDs (and, as far as I can tell, implants) do not interfere with implantation of a fertilized egg or its consequents UNLESS the IUD is inserted while the fertlized whatsis [1] is in play, and maybe for a short time after implantation. Not mentioned but also important to know is that Plan B has no negative effect on the fertilized whatsis (although the way it works, essentially “faking” ovulation with a progestin surge, seems like it might make conditions for implantation MORE favorable. I can’t find research looking into this though.)
    I expect we’re all on the same page in knowing that you can’t “abort” until you’re pregnant, and that most or all of us don’t believe the chance to try to implant is morally relevant. But I’m very strongly in favor of informed choice based on the best information available. Misrepresenting how IUDs and levonorgesterol emergency contraceptives work doesn’t just inspire forced-birthers to try to regulate or outlaw their use, it also misinforms people who do not want to interfere with the post-fertilization whatsis. They have the right to choose which contraception they’re comfortable with, just as they have a right to choose whether to contracept and whether to terminate or continue a pregnancy.

    [1] footnote: The “all precious unborn life is A BABY!” idiots have one real advantage here. It’s a zygote once the egg is fertilized, I have no idea if it gets a special name at the 2-, 4, 8, etc. -cell stages, it’s a morula when it has a benchmark number of cells, I forget when it’s a blastocyst though I think that’s post-morula, it’s an embryo when it gastrulates…
    IS there a single term to encompass everything from zygote to fetus?? Because we really kind of need one.

  49. StevoR says

    @ ^ elspeth : Do we tho’?

    FWIW Ithink having the exact medical terms for the exact stages and using those works pretty weell -if only more people consistently would – and reserve ‘baby’ for post birth.

    It’s a zygote once the egg is fertilized, I have no idea if it gets a special name at the 2-, 4, 8, etc. -cell stages, it’s a morula when it has a benchmark number of cells, I forget when it’s a blastocyst though I think that’s post-morula, it’s an embryo when it gastrulates…

    Morula? Hadn’t herad that term before. Wikichecks :

    A morula (Latin, morus: mulberry) is an early-stage embryo consisting of 16 cells (called blastomeres) in a solid ball contained within the zona pellucida.[1][2]

    A morula is distinct from a blastocyst in that a morula (3–4 days after fertilization) is a mass of 16 totipotent cells in a spherical shape whereas a blastocyst (4–5 days after fertilization) has a cavity inside the zona pellucida along with an inner cell mass. A morula, if untouched and allowed to remain implanted, will eventually develop into a blastocyst.

    FWIW. I presume that’s accurate?

  50. John Morales says

    StevoR,
    You’re on this blog, but unaware of its embryonic stage.

    “the pharyngula stage follows the blastula, gastrula and neurula stages”

  51. StevoR says

    @ ^ John Morales : Ah, ok, thanks. I did know it was an early embryonic stage of some sort..

  52. John Morales says

    Kinda self-referential, no?

    “According to Alexa Internet, Pharyngula.org was started on June 19, 2002. It started out as an experiment in writing instruction for a class. Students were required to submit mini-essays to be published online. After the project was finished, Myers still had the web-publishing software, and started to use it personally. The blog is named after his favourite stage in embryonic development, the pharyngula stage. Pharyngula moved to hosting at ScienceBlogs in 2005.”

    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharyngula_(blog))

    What with his recent lecture videos, PZ is in a sense recapitulating the blog’s evolution.

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