Repost: victims, and other categories

Because the message doesn’t seem to have gotten through.  (Original)

One of the things I really like about being an obscure anonymous blogger and speaking for no one but myself is that I don’t have to sugar-coat things to make me or some organization sound nice.  For example, I don’t have to repeat that nonsense we always hear from the pro-life movement and the Catholic Church about women who have abortions being “victims” who “deserved better” then and deserve our sympathy now.  Of course, any particular woman may have been a victim of some wrong in the past or may be a victim of some wrong in the future, but for the murder in question, she’s that other thing–you know, the person in a crime who’s not the victim but is the one who causes the crime.  I remember now!  The perpetrator!  Yes, that’s what she is.

I don’t oppose abortion because women who have them might be sad later in life.  I don’t oppose it because it just might infinitesimally increase a woman’s chances of getting breast cancer.  (Really, what doesn’t increase one’s chances of getting cancer?)  I oppose it because I want to stop prenatal children from being murdered.

But isn’t the woman a victim in a spiritual sense?  Doesn’t having an abortion wound her soul, and shouldn’t we pity her for that?  Sure, but that’s true of any sin.  One might as well say that rapists are the real victims of rape, because of the harm they do to their souls.  You might even be able to prove that rapists often get depressed after their crimes, the poor dears.  In some ultimate sense it is true that the sinner is the worst victim of his sin.  But in our normal way of speaking, no, a rapist is not a victim.  The woman he attacks is.  And it’s the murdered baby who is the victim of abortion.

But surely, Bonald, you at least agree that if abortions are going to happen, they should be safe (for the perpetrator)?  Why in the world should I want that?  Suppose one were to pass a law giving out armor and machine guns to aspiring muggers because, although one may not approve of mugging, one should at least agree that muggers shouldn’t get hurt.  But that’s obviously crazy.  Why take away one of the best deterrents?  One could argue that the world would be a better place if abortions were so unsafe that a woman who procured one could be certain that she would die within the hour.  Of course, we shouldn’t kill them ourselves, but neither should we as a society endorse their evil acts for the purpose of making them safer.

17 Responses

  1. […] Repost: victims, and other categories […]

  2. Couldn’t agree more.

  3. “Of course, we shouldn’t kill them ourselves…” unless we happen to be the executioner for a relevant authority who commands the death penalty. Death is, I believe, the traditional punishment for hiring assassins.

  4. Sorry to tick you off on your own blog (something I seldom allow commenters to do on my blog!) – but I hope you will bear with me in light of the previous post.

    *This* is what I mean by Bellocian (which is perhaps why you posted it?) – I mean you are here arguing a doctrine which is basically good, but are doing so in a manner so hard-line, so legalistically, with such an apparent relish in expression of contempt – that the overall impression that comes across is of a motivation by hatred rather than love.

    In other words, what comes across is hatred for abortionists, rather than love for aborted babies.

    What also comes across is obedient and unconstrained application of the letter of the law (as you understand it) rather than the Christian reason for that particular law (which is, like any law, a partial and distorted summary of something ultimately inexpressible).

    All of which makes this piece *apparently* non-Christian (insofar as the piece strikes other people that way).

    There is a way in which Chrstians can hide-behind rigorous implementation of doctrine, which resembles that of a bureaucrat of an organization. It resembles an abrogation of personal responisbility, a hiding behind the rules.

    It strikes me as extremely un-Christ-like.

    If there is an inflexible rule, it is this: that which is not motivated by love is un-Christian; or: where love is not, Christ is not.

  5. Sadly, Trump taking pro-lifers’ BS seriously may be the first real tactical miscalculation of his campaign.

  6. Bruce Charlton:

    In other words, what comes across is hatred for abortionists, rather than love for aborted babies.

    Love of God above all things entails hatred of sin, because sin first and foremost offends against God. There is of course a crucial distinction between hating sin and hating sinners; but failing to hate sin is anti-Christian.

    I am not sure I buy into reducing things to a single inflexible rule in the first place, but as a start I’d modify your proposal like this:

    If there is an inflexible rule, it is this: that which is not motivated by love [of God above all things] is un-Christian; or: where love [of God above all things] is not, Christ is not.

  7. “All of which makes this piece *apparently* non-Christian (insofar as the piece strikes other people that way).”

    It didn’t strike me that way. It’s always rather humorous when a non-Christian tries to lecture Christians on our own religion.

  8. Christianity is not a style; its a religion.

  9. Hi Bruce,

    Actually, the provocation that led me to repost this comes from American politics, where comments by one presidential candidate have led to pro-life advocates desperately assuring everyone that they don’t want to punish women who procure abortions.

    I admit that I am not motivated by love, but only by truth (and, no doubt, various egotistical motives that I don’t admit to myself). Most people who claim to love strangers are lying, to others or (even worse) to themselves. Insisting on framing one’s positions in terms of compassion toward Left-approved objects of compassion is usually dishonest. We don’t really oppose abortion because it’s bad for the mother, and we know damned well she isn’t a “victim”, so we shouldn’t say otherwise. We don’t oppose gay marriage because it leads gays into sin, and we’re so lovingly concerned about gays’ souls. We’re doing it to protect an institution, and that primarily for the spiritual good of heterosexuals. I don’t feel any hostility toward gays (whose sexual sins are no more serious than what most heterosexuals are guilty of) and would be glad if they all make it to heaven, but I’m not going to lie patronizingly and unconvincingly to say that their good is my motivation.

  10. AR,

    From a Catholic perspective, aren’t LDS heretics (like Protestants) and not apostates? Wouldn’t this make them Christian?

  11. Bruce B,

    No. They deny the Trinity, and even more importantly deny monotheism. That makes them pagans, and those of them who had previously been Christian, apostates.

  12. I actually oppose homosexuality out of concern for gays. It is transparently terrible for you psychologically and physically as well as spiritually. As a high school teacher, I see kids self- consciously modeling these behaviors as a kind of badge of honor and moralistic aggression. These are kid, o can’t help but see them as victims. A girl I taught when she was 14, now pretends to be a boy. It was always clear that his girl had psychological problems. Now everyone pretends she doesn’t and, i Take absolutely know joy in typing this, but there is a very good chance this girl will attempt suicide. She is a victim.

  13. Some time ago Tom Simon over at Bondwine quoted Thomas Sowell saying: “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.”

    Along similar lines, to admonish the sinner and instruct the ignorant are both works of mercy, despite that the recipient of either often finds it unpleasant. And at any rate, if someone perceives hatred of an abominable sin to be “non-Christian,” then I think problem is more likely in the perception than the hatred.

  14. “One could argue that the world would be a better place if abortions were so unsafe that a woman who procured one could be certain that she would die within the hour.”

    Well, of course. This was the state of affairs prior to the 1900s for the most part. Nature does not like to be screwed with, and nothing is more screwy than trying to kill your own kids.

  15. Should we encourage rapists to not use condoms, since birth control is a sin?

  16. […] Bonald clears the air of cant regarding the pro-life/pro-woman train wreck with a repost of Victims, and Other Categories: […]

  17. “(Really, what doesn’t increase one’s chances of getting cancer?)”

    After and exhaustive search, I think I’ve found something that meets this criterion: being St. Agatha.

    Now, I’m not saying she couldn’t get breast cancer (because, as we all know from the American Cancer Society’s hyper-vigilant information on the topic) even men can get breast cancer; it’s not simply the female secondary sexual organs that can become cancerous. I am, however, fairly sure that reducing the amount of tissue in which breast cancer can occur will not, taken as a whole, increase the chance.

    Probably.

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