Tagged: religion

Marriage equality and the “protecting existing religious freedoms” derail

Louisa Wall’s Private Member’s Bill on marriage equality is now out – huzzah!  Check out the link to NRT for the pdf.

However, before it came out, I was a little concerned about this statement, also reported at NRT, from David Cunliffe:

… Louisa Wall is arranging a Marriage Equality member’s bill which progresses human rights while protecting existing religious freedoms.

Emphasis my own.  NRT provided some legal smackdown of this [happily uneventuated] idea – whatever form it may have taken – but even though we now know we’re in the clear for the time being, I wanted to address this whole embarrassing derail on its own.

First up:  it’s a seriously embarrassing derailLike I’ve covered, marriage-as-recognised-by-the-state has sweet fuck all to do with religion, except in its origins.  Marriages don’t have to take place in a religious site.  Marriages don’t have to have the authorised representative of any particular sky-father or earth-mother present.  Marriage does not have to involve any acknowledgement of any supernatural, spiritual or non-legal ritual concepts whatsoever.

Marriage, as far as our Department of Internal Affairs is concerned, involves two people of different sexes, plus state-recognised celebrant, plus witnesses, plus paperwork, saying:

“I AB take you, CD, to be my legal wife/husband” or words to similar effect.

That’s basically it.

So when two angry internet atheists who devote half their free time to creating hilarious Flying Spaghetti Monster macros and filing injunctions against the teaching of creationism decide to get state recognition of their rutting, guess whose religious freedoms are imposed upon?  Oh right, no one’s.  Because no one is forced to officiate anyone’s marriage.  No church or temple is forced to let them make a booking.  No synagogue kitchen is forced to let their caterers prepare pig on a spit.

So what fucking difference is it going to make if those two atheists are both men, or both women, or both genderqueer?

Oh right, it’s not.

It’s the second thing:  giving bigots legislative excuses for their bigotry.

As Idiot/Savant has stated, you know what?  Marriage celebrants who hate The Gays will probably make it abundantly clear and thus not be put in any position where they are compelled to perform the marriage.  Just like how racist fuckheads who are currently marriage celebrants can currently turn away interracial couples – and even though said action might be entirely illegal because of that pesky Bill of Rights we have, I think we all know how easily that gets circumvented.  Maybe the celebrant is just “too busy”, or “they’re taking a break” or they happen to innocuously have a White Pride flag on the roof of their car.

The point is, we don’t have marriage legislation saying “You are allowed to turn away interracial couples if being a racist asshat is so important to you.”

And we shouldn’t have it when we grant marriage equality to people in non-binary-conforming relationships.

Because it has only two purposes:

1)  Make religious people – predominantly the vocal fundy Christian minority who like to put themselves centre-stage on every issue – feel like they’re super-important, the foundation of our society, far more influential than they have any right to be;

2)  Protect them from the consequences of their bigotry.  It’d be like appending “and also no one can call out your bullshit if you’re Paul Henry” to the right to freedom of speech.

If you want to be a kyriarchal douchebag, and that just isn’t so acceptable in our culture any more, and someone says “Wow, you won’t marry a same-sex couples?  What a douche” then you can take it like a fucking adult.  I mean, you’re the one with all the certainty, the one who knows that what you’re doing is good and correct and God’s work, right?  So what does it matter to you if people think you’re a dick?

Why, basically, do you need a bit of paper from the state – the state which clearly doesn’t give a toss about your views on what constitutes marriage and hasn’t for years – so you can wave it in people’s faces and say “SHUT UP, MY BIGOTRY IS OKAY, THE LAW SAYS SO!”

I mean, you’ve already got freedom of religion.  And some of us quite like how that gives us freedom from religion.  Which is why the state doesn’t limit marriage to only the people the Pope or whoever says are proper married.

Oh look, we’ve come full circle.

Now, we were discussing this on Twitter and the point was made by Lew that hey, if the Bill is 99% good we can probably handle the 1% bad, and would this kind of provision protecting religious bigots really have much effect on non-het marriages?  Like I said above, it’s not like non-het couples will have difficulty identifying the bigoted celebrants.

And I can kind of get behind that.  But my immediate concern – and maybe I’ve just been watching too much West Wing recently – is that religious fundies are not a group known for their ability to compromise.  I’m sure they’ll happily take a little favour, a little cushion to cover their asses while spreading the hate love of Jesus around the world, but please, David C, anyone else out there, let’s not pretend for a fucking second that these people are going to offer you any other kind of support, votes or otherwise, until the next time they want to wrangle another concession out of you.

It’s not actually anything to do with the social good of promoting freedom of religion, and it’s not actually anything to do with making our sloooooooow transformation into a truly openminded, progressive country any easier on the resistant throwbacks.  It’s about undermining progress at every step, leaving loopholes and back doors for them to slip more regressive, life-destroying crap into our cultural consciousness any chance they get.

Don’t give into their crap now – and like I’ve just explained above, it is crap – in the hopes they’ll give up anything they didn’t already know they were going to.

~

NB:  I am in full agreement with the ever-so-clever Amanda on using the phrase “marriage equality” instead of “gay marriage” and will be using such in future.

The Salvation Army: are they really the allies queer people need?

Via Gay Express:

The Salvation Army and Rainbow Wellington have reached a rapprochement 26 years after The Salvation Army had a hand in the (ultimately unsuccessful) to homosexual law reform.

Now, I am not a member of Rainbow Wellington (for obvious reasons).  I don’t know what their discussions were going into this.  I don’t know their reasoning for seeking or negotiating this exchange of statements – unfortunately there’s nothing on Scoop or their website to give further detail.  In addition, much of the Salvation Army’s statement on the matter seems directly plucked from a 2006 statement, republished in 2008 on their website.

But being the cynical picky person I am, I just feel compelled to point out that none of these phrases belong anywhere near a genuine, heartfelt apology:

judgemental and prejudiced words were spoken on both sides

many Salvationists were deeply opposed to, and embarrassed by, the intemperate manner in which views were expressed during the debate

We now understand that The Salvation Army’s official opposition to the Reform Bill was deeply hurtful to many, and are distressed that ill-feeling still troubles our relationship with some members of the glbti community.

We regret and apologise for any hurt that may remain

Just to recap, that’s one order of “everyone was equally bad” served with a side of tone argument, a cranberry-and-“get over it” jus, and a glass of chilled “sorry if you were offended.”

It concludes,

We may not agree in the future on all issues, but we can respect and care for one another despite this

Isn’t that sweet?  The Salvation Army still care!  Why, in 2010 Major Campbell Roberts was even quoted as saying,

“I would be keen to learn further from the gay community on ways in which you feel we can further build bridges of understanding and respect to gay people”.

I have an idea!  You could revisit this nice little section of your website, which clearly states that the Sallies believe marriage is a strict cis-man cis-woman arrangement and thus implies that same-sex couples (and hetero couples Living In Sin) can’t really enjoy the

profound feelings of love, mutual respect, inter-dependence and belonging

which hetero marital cock-in-vag sex provides.

You might ask, “does this really affect how the Salvation Army treats gay people in need of help?  Does this really mean they have to be our enemies in the struggle for marriage equality?”

Well, how about this:

The Salvation Army is firmly convinced that the support and encouragement of the institution of marriage is vitally important to the maintenance of secure family life, and that this, in turn, is crucial to stability in society as a whole.

The Sallies believe thatpreserving marriage for hetero cis folk is essential to our society.  You bet they’re our fucking enemies in the struggle for marriage equality.

That being said, the NZ Salvation Army site is strangely remiss in not clearly spelling out how they feel about queer people.  But handily, they link to sister sites, like the UK Salvation Army who manage to hold this awesome piece of cognitive dissonance together in their heads:

Human sexuality is part of God’s creation and as such it is good and to be celebrated … Sexual identity is widely accepted to be unchosen by the individual … The Salvation Army teaches that sexual acts should take place only in a monogamous heterosexual marriage

Sex is lovely!  And sexual feelings aren’t conscious decisions!  But don’t do it except in this very limited patriarchally-endorsed way!  I suppose it is just a variation on the classic “just because God gave you certain feelings and made you a certain way, it doesn’t mean he wanted you to act on those feelings, because he is a massive douchebag.”

Australian Salvation Army get right down to it:

It is The Salvation Army’s belief that, whilst recognising the possibility of such [homosexual] orientation, (the origins of which are uncertain), the Bible expressly opposes homosexual practice, seeing such activity as rebellion against God’s plan for the created order.

We firmly believe that obedience to God together with the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, make it possible for all to live a lifestyle pleasing to Him. This may include celibacy or self restraint for those who will not or cannot marry.

And by “cannot” marry they of course mean “because you want to marry someone with matching junk, which is badwrong”. It’s okay, though, they go on to explain that as long as you follow the rules – i.e. never act on your basic God-given emotional and sexual feelings – you can totally be almost as good a Christian as they are.

I’m interested to see if Rainbow Wellington comment any further on this.  I know I’m a tad unbending when it comes to dealing with douchefucks who use the words and teachings of Jesus – who didn’t have a hell of a lot to say about The Gays, strangely enough, and whose entire spin-off faith was kinda focused on creating a new covenant between God and the people to replace the old covenant (he mumbled something about retaining all the old laws, sure, but that’s what you do when you don’t want to get turned over to the Romans by your own people) – to justify their patriarchal bullshit.

It’s practically the original patriarchal bullshit, because in the world described by these “beliefs”, women are duty-bound to find a husband and pump out his babies.  There’s literally no other options, because they explicitly state that that’s what God intended and that’s the only way human beings can ever be whole.

Of course, they’d argue that men are just as duty-bound to marry women and fill them full of babies, but let’s be honest, one partner in this relationship gets to carry just the tiniest bit more of the risk and damage and life-long effects of reproduction, one partner in this relationship is held to slightly higher sanctions if she “strays”, and one partner in this relationship has traditionally been treated as the property of the other.

So maybe they aren’t that radical.  Maybe they won’t be that activist if Louisa Wall’s marriage equality bill gets drawn from the ballot.  Maybe it makes sense to Rainbow Wellington to shake hands and draw a line under the 1986 issue so they can focus their energies on more important fights.

At the end of the day?  They still think that acknowledging any relationship beyond a monogamous hetero cis Christian marriage is a threat to the fabric of society.  We’ll have to fight them eventually.

The religious fundy’s basic lack of empathy

A few people pointed me at this wonderfully abysmal “comment” on the Hunger Games books, which I have not read myself but have on the book-buying list.

The author gets fairly preachy about the terrible violence being done and how there should be another way and, despite allegedly being an editor of a reading-related website, doesn’t understand the entire point of dystopic fiction.

Where it gets interesting is where Bob McCoskrie reposts the article, without comment, on the Patriarchy First website.  One can only assume from this that Bob agrees with the arguments of the author, those arguments roughly being:

  • Who cares about the stated facts of the setting, Violence Should Never Be The Answer
  • Who cares about the stated facts of the setting, Killing Is Always Wrong
  • Who cares about the stated facts of the setting, What About The Children
  • Who cares about the stated facts of the setting, The Protagonist Is Just Making Excuses
  • Who cares about the usefulness of dramatic graphic description in conveying emotion and tension and conflict, Blood Is Icky

And you know what, I can slightly sympathize.  Well, no, not really.  But as an avowed fan of gratuitous gore and bleak futuristic settings, I totally understand there are people out there who just don’t like violence in their media, don’t like dark character development, etc etc.

Those people probably shouldn’t be reading The Hunger Games.

But we’re not talking about a review saying “Wasn’t my cup of tea, will appeal more to people who like X Y and Z”.  The reviewer herself claims she’s not against violence or moral ambivalence.

But I sadly do not believe her.

Because what we have is a sanctimonious whinge by someone whose chief displeasure is that a dystopic novel about children killing each other for food contained, you know .. bad stuff.  Contained conflict.  Contained a main character forced into a shitty situation, submitting herself to humiliation and danger for the good of her whole society, and yeah, above all, justifying it to herself instead of, presumably, the preferable option of an eternity of self-flagellation over acts necessary to her survival.  (And it was all so well-written and compelling that, you know, she enjoyed reading it.)

Oh shit.  There it is.

Modern Christian fundamentalism in a nutshell.  Judge other people according to an absolutely rigid, unforgiving (irony!) “morality” which allows no room for the basic facts of human existence, for individual circumstances; and refuse to acknowledge that when all your options are shit, and you pick the least stinky one, you’ve got every fucking right to come to terms with that instead of beating yourself up over some mythical Perfect Option.

And when they do allow that you might pick something non-perfect, you better not feel okay about it.  You better not acknowledge your situation and accept you had no better alternative.  You better sit the fuck down and hate yourself for not being Gandhi.  Apparently.

And it all makes perfect sense to me.  Because that’s exactly how fundies act about issues like abortion (bit of a swerve there, sorry).  They firstly lack the ability to understand that people can get into shitty situations, that people’s circumstances can be so severe that none of their choices are good, that they can only do the best they can given a crap set of options.

They secondly lack the basic empathy for other human beings to let someone who has made a shitty choice come to terms with it.

They basically refuse to put themselves into another person’s shoes and go, “Well shit.  I’m Katniss Everdeen and my options are (a) let my people starve horribly or (b) do my best to help them, even though I know the people I’m going to kill are in exactly the same spot as me, because if I refuse to go along with the regime I’ll be dead AND my people will starve horribly.  That’s crap, but I’m not going to add to my distress and trauma by hating myself for things outside my control.”

Gods forbid that a person in that situation make a decision, acknowledge it’s not perfect, and live with it.

Christianity: it’s the forgiving religion.  Unless you’re a controlling fundy wanker, then that becomes a little inconvenient.

Rape Crisis Annual Appeal

Via LudditoJourno, Wellington Rape Crisis is holding its annual appeal on 13 April this year.

It’s one day of the year when I am guaranteed to give money to a street collector.

It’s also one day of the year I debate with myself if I’ve overcome my ingrained good manners around strangers enough to tell any Salvation Army collectors I spy to go fuck themselves.

Protip, alleged Christians:  shitting all over the little guy (where guy = women victims of sexual assault) when you collect $800k annually?  Probably not something Jesus was down with.

Down Under Feminists’ Carnival XL: bigger, better, more punnage

Welcome to the 40th Down Under Feminists’ Carnival.  I am your stunning hostess, Queen of Thorns, “QoT” to my friends and “single-handed destroyer of progressive NZ politics” to my trolls.

I’m entirely enamoured of the fact that 40 in Roman numerals is XL, so I’m putting our plus-size Antipodean bloggers up first:

New study shows correlation between fatness and selling one’s soul to Satan

Definatalie writes about re-learning her love of cycling.  sleepydumpling at Fat Heffalump talks about Why I Don’t Diet and Fixing the Relationship with Food.  Bri at Fat Lot of Good sees that fat-shaming is now getting aimed at four-year-olds to the extent some are developing a fear of food.

sleepydumpling is on a crusade, people.  A crusade for all super-fatties, deathfats, people who just cannot find clothes in their size for love nor money.  Warning: utter fuckwittery in the comments.  Remember, fatshion is activism.  And no, fat acceptance will not in fact kill you.

There’s been discussion lately about the role of the fatosphere on people’s perceptions and lives.  Dr Samantha Thomas has done a for-real ivory-tower-shaking academic paper on how the fatosphere proactively challenges fat stigma, and sleepydumpling covers the same topic in Breaking Down Fat Stigma: Shame.  Sonya at Lipmag was one of the interviewees for Dr Thomas’ paper.

The body plays a huge (BOOM BOOM!) role in a lot of feminist discussion, and things always get good and heated around one fact in particular: pregnancy and how you are probably Doing It Rong right this minute.

You read a book while pregnant?  You’re gonna DIE!!!

Feminethicist posts a quick note about double standards around scars – especially stretch marks.  Aussie MP Andrew Laming fights the good fight for homebirths.  Bluebec confronts the notion that any particular way of having babies is “unnatural”.

Pregnancy isn’t always wanted or continued, of course, and that’s why apparently I have to keep explaining that the “right to life” movement are a bunch of wanks with the intellectual honesty of a guppy.

And of course once Junior makes it out into the world it’s all downhill for progressive parents, who simply cannot win.  Ever.

Buy this Mozart CD or your baby will sprout wings!

Blue milk continues to post on her presentation on feminist parenting.  Part 4 covers “what is feminist parenting?” and Part 5 looks at the difficulties with being a feminist parent.  She also talks about the idea that some parents are too sexy to breastfeed – and provides a challenge with a follow-up post on glamorous images of breastfeeding.  Another post discusses pro-feminist fathers.

Breastfeeding also shows up as a really nifty shorthand for “crazy woman” in the Game of Thrones series, as discussed at Hoyden About Town.

Bee of a Certain Age talks about learning to love after having her children.

Our kids just aren’t getting a break:  Lessons to be Learned covers the Toddlers and Tiaras phenomenon and blue milk looks at high fashion’s role in sexualising girls.  Feminethicist has been having some fun challenging the heteronormativity when people play joke-matchmaker with babies.

Unsurprisingly, I did not take kindly to Family First’s insinuations that some families are just “obviously” worse than others.

For further reading, Mindy at Hoyden About Town has reviewed The 21st Century Motherhood Movement.

Where does a lot of this crap come from? Our wonderful media, of course.

This just in: reading mainstream media could be the reason you’re really angry all the time

Feminethicist is just thrilled by a camera app that makes your romantic partner look tolerable again. I have a slight issue with bra companies’ media releases being treated as scientific fact, with a sprinkling of obesity panic on top.

Rachel at Musings of an Inappropriate Woman takes on the latest theories of Bettina Arndt and the treatment of women who are famous for being pretty and throwing together a good outfit.

LudditeJourno, posting at The Hand Mirror, covers Michael bloody Lhaws’ preference for referring to poor brown people as “feral” and coleytangerina at The Lady Garden gets freaked out by news of a “cougar attack” … then a tad depressed.

Emma at Lip asks where the strong women are in literature.  Kate Barker discusses anti-feminist imagery.  Cara at Life is a feminist issue talks about our media ban on reporting suicide, and whether that’s really looking all that effective.

MJ at Kiwiana (inked) tells Stuff where they can shove their scare quotes when reporting on domestic violence.

Time for something a bit more positive:

Retrospective:  awesome women being awesome

Penguin Unearthed talks about Gudridur Thorbjarnardottir as part of her Travelling Feminist posts – here’s another on Norway.  The Hoydens share the news that Sensei Keiko Fukuda has become the only woman ever granted the 10th degree black belt in judo.  Double Antandre talks about Nancy Wake.

Another big issue of the past month has been identity, especially given Google’s being douchebags about what’s considered a “real” name (all the more aggravating because it’s based on needing “real” demographics to sell to shitbox marketers).

I shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine

Chally talks about the kinds of history that go into building identity.  blue milk passes on information on the My Name is Me project created in response to Google+ being douches.  Giovanni talks about Google+, identity and cyberpunk.

Where does a lot of identity come from?  Our “race”, social construct that it is, and religion, and culture, and all other kinds of pretty touchy issues.

Nothing witty to put here

Mindmadeup asks if Australia is a racist nation.  Chally confronts racism at the bus stop.  stargazer discusses how the “default is male” concept extends to commentary about Muslims.  stargazer also posted about the start of Ramadan.

Chally challenges the notion that feminism and religion are mutually exclusive.  Bluebec talks about gender exclusion in the Freemasons.  Gladly the Cross-Eyed Bear covers freedom from religion.

Queen Emily at Questioning Transphobia asks “When am I trans?” and when trans people are “real”.

Love and Marriage

In happier news, Rachel is getting hitched!  Of course, planning a wedding doesn’t get any easier when you’re a feminist so she’s provided a handy Guide to Feminist Wedding Planning.  News With Nipples covers some tragi-comic anti-marriage-equality protests.  Hayley at Equal Love Equal Rights posts on marriage equality.

Mr Wainscotting is pleased to announce the launch of Legalise Love, a group looking to get some actual marriage equality happening in NZ.  Idiot/Savant has been taking an interest in our MPs’ views on the subject:  here he is on Hone Harawira and David Parker (and it’s not good news).

As Chally notes, though, we shouldn’t devalue single women.

Then there’s some perennial issues for feminist bloggers:

Poverty

stargazer helped produce a session on poverty at the Human Rights Commission’s diversity forum and also blogged her speech from the forum on needing an action plan on human rights.  Maia at The Hand Mirror dissects a “game” where privileged people get to pretend to be poor for a while and probably learn some Important Moral Lesson.

Deborah Russell discusses welfare in the Dominion Post.

Rape culture / violence

Blue milk on some truly grotesque rape-as-comic-device bullshit.  Deborah discusses the ridiculous “guidance” given to women around “keeping themselves safe”.

The Naked Philologist deals in two parts with the subject of teaching problematic material – Can you teach Chrétien without talking about rape? and You might be able to teach Chrétien without talking about rape, but I shan’t.

LudditeJourno posts about the Wellington Sexual Abuse Network and preventing sexual violence.  Idiot/Savant notes that domestic violence still gets excused if you’re rich and powerful enough.

Disability

A guest poster at Hoyden About Town talks about being a “border gimp”.  Joanna at The View From Down Here talks about building community.

Pay gap

Deborah talks about the gender pay gap and another Deborah’s predictable privileged attitude towards it.  Idiot/Savant covers the Greens’ and CTU’s calling of National’s bluff: if people can just ask labour inspectors to check there’s pay parity in their workplace, maybe we should just start doing that all the time.

And finally, a little collection of random items to fill out your reading.

We can’t stop here, this is bat country!

Blue milk on potentially-problematic vulva-themed art.  Geek Feminism on social media protest action.  Bluebec on trusting people to make their own decisions.  Maia at The Hand Mirror on the cost of being a woman in public.  Chally’s thoughts on being “born this way”.  A guest post on Geek Feminism about encouraging women’s participation in geekiness.  Blogger at the Cast Iron Balcony on how to help the Sylvia Creek anti-logging protesters.  Bluebec on polyamory and doing it right. Feminaust posts on listening to sex workers.

That’s all she wrote

Thanks to our lovely submitters, especially Chally and Rebecca who made my job a heck of a lot easier!

The 41st edition of the DUFC will be hosted at A Touch of The Crazy.  As we still seem to be having issues with blogcarnival, send your submissions directly to stef_thomp [at] hotmail [dot] com.  We’re four years in and going strong but we need your help to keep it awesome!

The list of DUFC contributors is woefully out of date, but feel free to peruse it in the meantime while I get some well-earned coffee.

Fuck you, Sisters of Compassion marketing department

[Trigger warning for suicide and emotionally-blackmailing religious proselytizing]

You know what’s not fucking compassionate?

Leaving anonymous, unbranded envelopes in people’s mailboxes which read only:

“You will never know what it meant to me to be able to come and see you at the lowest time in my life… you stopped me from doing something I would have regretted forever.”

And then contains a fucking marketing letter signed by the Sisters of Compassion Congregational Leader Sister Margaret Anne Mills, full of “here’s all the good work we do” and “we’re praying for Christchurch” and oh, “please give us money and remember us in your will”.

Sorry, Sisters of Compassion.  I’m not in much of a fucking giving mood towards religious organisations which indulge in cheap emotional blackmail and don’t give a fuck about considering that in a country with a massive youth suicide rate, people may be a wee bit fucking sensitive to being reminded of the people who have done something which we get to regret forever, the people we couldn’t fucking help, the times in our lives when we ourselves have had to reach out to people who we don’t even know how to thank.

(And don’t fucking start me on how, given the fucking tragic proportion of gay, lesbian, bi, trans and other queer youth making up those aforementioned suicide statistics, the lack of fucking compassion they’ve received from the fucking Catholic Church makes this beyond ironic.)

Yeah, we totes call it the m-word these days because the feminists have won

The “New Zealand Christian Network” thinks basically everything wrong with our society is down to filthy, filthy solo parents* and not enough respect for marriage.**

Why, when you see that solo parent families are more likely to be below the poverty line, marriage is obviously the answer and lack of respect for marriage obviously the cause.  I mean, lack of childcare options or flexible working hours or even the ability to live well on a single income are just piffling side issues.

Because it’s obvious, my friends.

Marriage is just not respected, and anecdotal evidence shows that some teachers don’t talk about it in sex ed.

And the New Zealand Christian Network thinks teenagers have the right to make informed choices.

After all, if their teachers and the Ministry of Education don’t step in, how will they ever learn that heterosexual Christian weddings exist?

~

*And I think we all know what gender those parents are generally assumed to be, y/y?

**Love the attempt to pretend that “marriage” has been relegated to the status of a “naughty” word

Well maybe God should pay child support

Well this nearly made me throw the computer out the window.  Couldn’t quite figure out why at first.  Was it the incredibly fake “appreciation” expressed toward kickass activist veteran Dr Dame Margaret Sparrow?*  Was it the gobsmacking pretence that antichoicers and prochoicers just disagree in principle?**

Nah, it was almost certainly this sentence:

The commitment of this Society is founded on a deep respect for the inherent dignity of women who are invited by our Creator to share with him in bringing new life into the world.

GO.

FUCK.

YOURSELVES.

But also, grazie, for really just illustrating how little you fucking care for women.  They’re not mistresses of their own destiny, even when they plan and initiate and undergo pregnancy, they’re just helping God out with his greater plan for the species.

The rest is the usual utter pack of fucking lies.  Women never really want to terminate pregnancies!  (Oops.)  Implication that prochoicers don’t care about coerced abortion!  (Oops.)  Baldfaced twisting of Dr Sparrow’s words to pretend that even the standing-down President of ALRANZ secretly agrees with them!  Our laws were totally passed by people who cared about women and weren’t just throwing them a heavily-qualified bone to shut the bitches up!***

All definite signs of a movement driven by sincere ethical concerns, wouldn’t you agree?

~

*And how much do you reckon it pisses the antichoicers off that we’ve got a freaking Dame onside?

**Hint: one side is known for hacking websites, calling the other murderers, and killing their opponents.  Probably not just an objective difference of opinion going on.

***Which is of course why our current fairly-accessible system is only working because of doctors willing to bend the letter of the law, of course.  Which Right to Foetus Life want to stop.

Letters from a New Zealand basement: opposing opposition to opposers

Bob McCoskrie needs to give fellow basement-dweller Ken Orr some lessons in media release structure.  But his latest one is such a perfect example of antichoice bullshit it’s hard to pass up (even if it gets downright offensive at the end).

Right to Life supports legislation that recognises the humanity and personhood of the unborn child as a member of the human family that is endowed with an inalienable right to life and is deserving of respect and protection.

Firstly, dude, employ some fucking commas.  Is the unborn babby the thing which is endowed (phwoar) or the “human family”, whatever the fuck that means?

Second, foetus =/= person.*  And even if it were, no person has the right to occupy another’s body and live off their organs.**  No actual “right to life” codified in any law I know of actually permits enslaving other people via biological hookup.

Right to Life believes that the majority of New Zealanders support protecting the right to life of unborn children.

I believe in fairies.

The killing of unborn children the weakest and most defenceless members of the human family in the womb, is a violation of the human rights of unborn children.

That would be those rights we’ve established no human, born or undead unborn, have, right?  But let’s never let the facts get in the way of trying to play people’s emotions with a string of irrelevant adjectives – after all, if you have to remind people that ickle babby feeetusses are Vulnerable and Weak and Helpless, you may have just acknowledged you’re on the losing side of this battle.

It is also a violation of the human rights of women who deserve respect and protection for their child in the womb.

Let’s take this to its logical conclusion, folks:  women deserve respect so much that we have to take away their ability to choose to undergo a medical procedure.  And Right to Life Ken Orr and his boner respect women so much they think stubby-limbed fish-beings pweshus babbies take precedence over those women’s lives and desires and bodies.

The” right to choose” is a cruel lie,there is no human right that permits us to choose to kill another human being.

Except … that pregnancy can and does kill women.  Pregnancy is in fact nine times more likely to kill a woman in New Zealand than an abortion.  But because Ken respects incubators women so much he thinks they should die in order that stubby fish-beings might live.

So … Ken thinks “unborn children” do have a right to life which necessitates killing living, breathing, thinking human people.  I mean, ambulatory uteri.

You might think that’s a bit extreme, surely the antichoice movement understands that sometimes pregnancy can be really dangerous to women’s health, even fatal.   Surely they’re reasonable enough to allow that some abortions are necessary to save women’s lives.

Oops, no.  Mind you, that was a Catholic case, they’re a totes minor voice in the antichoice movement.

ALRANZ, the spokesman for a culture of death, with a national membership of less than 200, does not represent the views of women and ordinary New Zealanders, its proposal to decriminalise abortion is a threat to the wellbeing of women.

Lessons learnt:

  1. ALRANZ is a person (specifically, a man)*** with a really cool single name, like Cher or Prince
  2. Ken Orr can’t convince anyone to come down to his basement to proofread his press releases
  3. “Women” and “ordinary New Zealanders” are distinct, separate groups in Right to Life’s world.

ALRANZ knows that before we can decriminalise abortion we must first deny the humanity of unborn children.

Wait for it …

The decriminalising of abortion would be a denial of the humanity and personhood of the unborn child.

Wait for it ….

The denial of the humanity of Negroes gave us slavery.

That’s just the appetizer …

The denial of the humanity of Jews gave us the Holocaust.

BOOM!  Godwinned it!

Yep, the all-time classic Abortion Is Just Like The Holocaust argument.  Which for a start ignores some pretty complex political and social considerations around the situation in 1930s Germany/Western Europe (hint: Hitler was not the only person who wasn’t too keen on Semitic folk) but also just reveals the basic weakness of the antichoice side:  they have to resort to absurd emotive “arguments” designed to make people flinch and say “oh no that’s terrible!” instead of actually relying on fact, or logic, or, well, anything.

It’s also kind of hilariously ironic that Judaism is pretty down with the abortion rights, given that whole “first breath” test for personhood.  Hilarious that is if Right to Bonerlife weren’t exploiting genocide to shock people into not thinking.

See, when you have to actually rely on the horrors of the Holocaust to win people over, because the actual reality of abortion isn’t good enough … you and your boner are pretty screwed, right?

Let’s not forget the slippery slope argument for good measure:

If today we allow the denial of the human rights of unborn children by the decriminalisation of abortion, which vulnerable section of our community will be next?

I’m thinking hipsters, or maybe people who still subscribe to the Sunday Star-Times.  Oh, wait, except they’re all born, autonomous beings who aren’t using a woman’s breath, blood and organs to survive.  Damn.

~

*It’s a guppy!

*Any antichoicers who want to prove this is all about controlling women by commenting about how “women bring it on themselves when they have sex” should feel absolutely welcome to do so.

**And doesn’t that just tell you plenty about Right to Bodysnatch’s worldview?

Pope edges towards acknowledging reality … but not really

Tigtog has pretty much nailed the facts around the Pope’s slight mutterings about maybe not entirely condemning condom use by specific types of people for specific reasons.  Possibly.

Still, the optimists may like to see any kind of consideration for condom use not being invariably a one-way ticket of hell as progress.

All this never-Catholic-enough-to-even-be-called-a-lapsed-Catholic has to ponder is the extreme convenience of a religion which builds fervor on a solid foundation of guilt and self-criticism, declaring natural human urges and behaviour (along with any practical steps taken to make that behaviour have fewer negative consequences in this world) to be naughty.