An old buddy of mine from California sent me this, and I thought it was just too good to keep to myself. Enjoy!
First the background to this little tale: last weekend tragedy struck a friend. Samuel, the 16-year-old older brother of one of Hannah's classmates, died suddenly. Cause; brain swelling due to head injury. Samuel's head got hit, he seemed OK, two days later he died. Horror, grief and misery.
Sherri, upon hearing this, was badly upset, but has cried it out. Life goes on. We'll attend funeral, as no doubt will much of Hannah's school.
(note: Sherri is Nathaniel's wife; Hannah is their little daughter)
I maintained a more stable facade, but (how like a man) I needed to argue furiously with someone in order to feel better. I was pissed off at the world and I needed to win an argument.
Well what do you know, there in a walkway at the College of San Mateo were two anti-abortionists. An older man and an older woman, both white-haired, at a table full of pamphlets and obstetric models. No bloody fetus photos, fortunately. These were gentle folk; they're for life, don't you know.
Normally I'd have shrugged it off, but like I said, I needed to argue with someone. It had nothing to do with them, or their issue, but they voluntarily put themselves in the argument zone, so I availed myself of that service.
I met them several times, breaking for class and lunch, so the following is a condensation of several confrontations.
I asked them if they were against abortion in the case of rape or incest. They hemmed and hawed, they evaded and equivocated. I pressed the issue, she avoided my eyes, he met my eyes (his were blue) and he said yes, they're against abortion for incest or rape. I pressed further; should the government _forbid_ abortion for rape or incest? He, seeing that this was a pissing match, doubled down. Yes, the government should outlaw abortion in the case of incest or rape. "You are extremists", I said, and I pressed further. It turned out that they were for the use of tax-paid government coercion to compel a woman to bear her rapist's child, against her will. (I refrained from calling that 'the second rape'; a minor missed opportunity in an otherwise enjoyable rant.)
Oh, but you see it's all about life. Oh really? I asked if they were against the death penalty, or warfare, or self-defense. They were for self-defense; I replied, "then you're not pro-life." I explained that I objected to their tendentious abuse of language. If they called themselves anti-abortion, then that would be accurate; but they called themselves pro-life, when in fact on several key issues they aren't, and that's hypocrisy.
Ooo, they didn't like that! These quiet elderly gentlefolk didn't like what they saw in the mirror I held up to them. That they of all people should be hypocritical and callous; how could this be? That's totally inconsistent with their self-image! Normally I wouldn't bother to impose so violent a revelation upon such lambs, but like I said, they volunteered to lose an argument, and I needed to win one.
To his credit he gave as good as he got; he called me closed-minded. I retorted that I would love to hear his opinion, if only he would give it rather than evade. For instance, what about saving the life of the woman? Again they equivocated, again I close-mindedly insisted on a yes or no answer. At one point I ranted, "More evasion! If you were outright fascist then at least we could argue it, but this business of thinking one thing but not being able to say it - that's not respectable!"
Finally, holy moley, the man doubled down. Yes, if the doctors could save the baby then the woman must go through with it, whether she wants to or not. (At this point a young woman, who had been reading one of the pamphlets at the table, set it down and left.)
I called that a religious view, contradicted by other religious views, and as such not enforceable under the First Amendment. He said that the First Amendment is about no established churches, like C of E; I answered that it's also about not enforcing religious laws. He then said that some atheists came up to him and thanked him, and therefore this was not a religious issue, at all, it's about Life. Well, what about self-defense, war and the death penalty? Round and round we went!
Again I homed in. "Suppose a woman were raped; and she could not survive labor, Should the government use its full force of coercion to forbid the abortion, or not?" "That's a hypothetical question," he weaseled. I denied that flat out. I pressed on. "Suppose she has the abortion anyhow. What sanctions do you recommend? Fines?" They gave no answer. "Imprisonment?" They did not meet my eyes. "Oh, I know!" I crowed. "How about the death penalty? That way she dies either way!"
Four blue eyes stared at me. I smiled. I waited for an answer. None came. I waved my hand. "You're not serious," I said, and I left. It felt good.
I came back later for more, and it went the same. Again I pressed, they evaded, they objected to my vehemence, I quivered with excitement. And again I asked, what sanctions for the raped woman who aborts? Fines, imprisonment, death? And again, no answer.
And that, Leslie, is how to shut up "pro-lifers".