Monday, November 06, 2006


“We are deceivers, yet true” (II Corinthians 6:8)

I was at a conference this weekend, and driving to and from there, I got to see the "real" FL. And part of seeing the real Florida is seeing the sorts of billboards people post: funny ... if people are already so "Christian" in the "Bible Belt", how come they need to advertise it so much? Do these people really read Bruce Barton? But what was the worst were the deceptive "pro-life" billboards.

I guess, c.f. the title of the post, it's in fact not un-Christian to be deceptive (but these people claim to be the guardians of our morality?) ... still, you'd think if the "pro-life" crowd had such a good case, they'd be at least a bit more honest.

E.g. they have some billboard showing an embryo at about Carnegie stage 24 (end of first trimester / beginning of second trimester) or so with a caption (no indication of at what stage the embryo is) something to the effect of "a baby's heart begins to beat at 18 days". First, I do believe the figure is more like 22 days, so unless I am remembering either the billboard wrong (although I see the 18 days figure all across the internets on pro-life sites, and even some responses as to why they are not being deceptive in using that figure) or embyogenisis wrong, the billboard doesn't even have the right number. Second, and more importantly, how come they don't show a picture of a 22 or so day old embryo? Well, the answer to that question is, um, obvious. They could at least have had a picture of an embryo still in the first trimester, though: e.g., at this stage, they have a sort of E.T. like cuteness to them. So it isn't even about killing something cute -- they have to act as if first trimester abortions are killing something that looks like a(n emaciated) baby.

The other poster that caught my eye was one that said something to the effect of "Babies are God's gift". Fair enough. But (1) feti (is that the plural) are not babies (yet) and embryos certainly are not. Does "Babies are God's gift" imply that my sperm are also not to be killed, even though my body will kill the sperm I don't waste? Oh, wait a minute ... I needn't answer that question. Although in fairness to the Catholics, at least they are consistent about things (although where was their opposition to the death penalty when Jews were being put to death for the "crime" of being Jewish? and, being OT, which, since it's my post, I can be as much as I want, eh? -- how about the timing of that Saddam Hussein verdict -- I can't bear to watch the MSM right now: how much are they spinning this in the GOP's favor? I bet they have "political analysts" saying "the Bush admin must love this" with the subtext being -- "if you hate Saddam Hussein, you should vote GOP" but with enough snark so reactionaries can still have "evidence" with which to complain about the "liberal media"): I bet most of the people behind this billboard have wives that are asking "how are we different than [the Catholics]: we've have two kids and we've had sex twice", etc.

Anyway, that's not the worst part. The worst part is that these babies were healthy, cute and (with a token exception) as white as I am. If they really believe what they are saying is true of all babies, they should have some crack babies, some fetal alcohol babies, etc. And I wonder why they don't? Or maybe not ... still, I say their tactics are awfully deceptive.


Another thing which bugs me about the "pro-life" movement: where is the commitment to dealing with unwanted babies and, especially, babies born with severe birth defects? How many "pro-lifers" have adopted "difficult" babies? Do they contribute or even propose the set up of a taxpayer funded, fund to ensure every woman has adaquate pre/post-natal care, even, e.g. illegal immigrants (I seem to remember someone they consider to be the Son of God being quoted as saying something to the effect of "that which you do to the least of them, you also do to me": would these fundies deny Jesus citizenship? I guess I know the answer to that question ...) and every child has adaquate food, medical care, etc.? I know this is a standard point, but I think it's an important one. You cannot say "abortion should be illegal" without proposing alternatives, nu?

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