The Raving Theist

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AAAbortion

January 29, 2006 | 6 Comments

A pro-choice advocacy website explains the reasons for opposing the latest SCOTUS nomination:

Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito has emerged from an intense round of questioning from Democrats — and gushing praise from Republicans — during his time in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Opponents of Judge Alito tried to paint him as an ideologue well out of the American mainstream.

* * *

On the more contentious issue of abortion rights, though, Alito “felt less need to reassure his opponents” observed an editorialist with the Los Angeles Times. “There was plenty of lip service to the importance of ‘settled law,’ but it was easily inferred from the judge’s evasiveness that he does not consider ROE v. WADE to be as settled as other landmark Supreme Court precedents,” noted the Times.

* * *

With the likely approval of Mr. Alito, the high court looses a unique, moderating voice in the person of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Wednesday is the final day the court hears arguments for this month, and O’Connor, 75, is likely to retire if Alito is confirmed by the full Senate. Much has been written how O’Connor served as a temperate voice of moderation on the bench. That balance changes precipitously with the Alito appointment.

Actually, this is the position paper of American Atheists in support of its Stop Alito campaign. Although just last November the organization’s own blogger said that “American Atheists has no official position on abortion,” it’s hard to distinguish their rhetoric from that appearing on NARAL Pro-Choice’s site. Both appeal to the “mainstream” and call for the canonization of Mother Sandra Day, who unlike the extremists on either side of her, knows that the truth always lies exactly in the middle. Or sometimes a little beyond the middle, perhaps nearer the six month point.

Obviously, I’m in no position to complain of abortion propagandizing on an atheist website. But it’s strange to see AA prioritize that issue over church/state separation, which they don’t reach until near the end of their discussion of the confirmation hearings. You’d think it would be first on the list of an organization purporting to be the official voice of the irreligious. And given that theyre talking about abortion at all, the could at least explain why the issue should be dismissed as a purely religious one, or where precisely on the pro-choice/pro-life spectrum rational atheists should stand.

Maybe it’s that AA has changed formats and is now a humor site. How else to explain the embrace of “mainstream” opinion by a group that’s trying to purge God from the Pledge of a Allegiance? That effort is opposed by something like 106% of all Americans (although the figure was less before math was purged from the public school curriculum).

The O.Connor-worship is also a laff-riot. To be fair, Supreme Court jurisprudence on religion has ever made much sense, but I can’t say Alito would be so much worse than O’Connor on the issue. She believes religious beliefs so special that those who profess them are entitled to special exemptions from laws applicable to everyone else. In other words, churches can ignore zoning laws, Native Americans can take peyote, and Christian Scientists can deprive their children of medical care. Why shouldn’t atheists be allowed to build front yard outhouses, get high, and murder their kids too?

Comments

6 Responses to “AAAbortion”

  1. Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator
    January 29th, 2006 @ 11:32 pm

    Senate Democrats in discord as some push for Alito filibuster

    WASHINGTON — Democratic dissension flared Friday as liberals sought support for a last-minute

  2. benjamin
    January 30th, 2006 @ 12:15 pm

    3(|VM ^ 3O`d

  3. Gathercole
    January 30th, 2006 @ 2:32 pm

    It’s true that atheism doesn’t entail a specific stance on abortion. Neither does it entail a specific stance on pastry preference, car repair, or fashion. None of these things has anything to do with atheism, and that’s why they shouldn’t be discussed at length on a blog supposedly dedicated to issues relating to atheism.

  4. SmartBlkWoman
    January 30th, 2006 @ 5:23 pm

    I don’t understand why the pro-abortion crowd is so damn stuck on the thought that Alito is going to overturn roe v wade. Even if Alito gets on the court ( which he 9 times out of 10 will) then there are still 5 justices on the court that support roe.

    They ( the atheists in the article) are not taking the supposed atheist stance, they are taking a liberal stance. Liberals don’t want a conservative on the bench.

  5. Mister Swill
    January 30th, 2006 @ 7:32 pm

    Yeah, why should American Atheists dismiss the anti-abortion stance as a purely religious one? Might it perhaps have something to do with the ridiculously polarized nature of this debate?

    I have been puzzled for a long time by the weird chasm of public opinion that dominates this issue. People line up behind “Right to Life” or “Right to Choose” with nary a blink of an eye. People shout down the zealots on the other side while aligning themselves with the zealots on their own side. It’s as if anyone who decides to become vocal about this issue is presented with a ballot and asked to check one of two boxes: “Slaughter the Children” or “Chain Up the Women.”

    The more I learn about the history of this debate, though, the more I understand the reason it stands where it does. The abortion debate grew out of a larger debate, starting early in the previous century, over whether women should be allowed to decide when and if they wanted to become pregnant and have children. In the first half of the twentieth century, the debate was about birth control and birth control information. Today, pretty much every reasonable person is in favor of contraception, but abortion remains the last tug-o-war within the larger issue of women’s reproductive rights. The organizations currently leading the fight against abortion have the unfortunate tendency to oppose birth control and support shoddy, uninformative abstinence-only sex education (to which, yes, I was subjected in eighth grade). And those leading the fight for reproductive rights all too often embrace abortion as a hard-won right in which any woman should feel proud to partake.

    Where are the reasonable voices?

    Where are the pro-lifers who say “Of course I support birth control. If we want abortion to go away, then making contraception available to everyone and educating everyone on its proper use is [almost as important as / as important as / even more important than] passing laws against abortion?”

    Where are the pro-choicers who say “Of course I want there to be fewer abortions. It’s a choice I wish nobody ever had to make. But let’s be realistic: we can never reduce the number to zero, not through comprehensive sex education and contraception, and not through passing anti-abortion laws. So those inevitable abortions that do happen must happen in the safety of a hospital rather than the dangers of a back-alley.” Oh, wait. Here they are. I just wish their messages weren’t so mixed.

  6. Viole
    January 30th, 2006 @ 10:25 pm

    Two things:

    First, I agree with Swill. How about making birth control free or cheap? No unwanted pregnancies means no need for an abortion.

    Second, on Alito, his stance on abortion is surely one of the least offensive. It’s this unified executive thing which bothers me. The presidency has plenty of power as it is; if anything, the court should be telling them to back off. Alito, it appears, is all for executive power.

    That scares me.

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