Those goofy bastards in Georgia have painted themselves into a lot of corners by declaring, through legislative fiat, that a very young fetus is actually a person who’s due all the same rights as any American.
Does this mean 6-week-old Georgian fetuses are actually citizens and can’t be deported?
Must incarcerated pregnant women be released from prison until the fetuses they carry receive due process?
Since women who are six weeks pregnant often don’t know they’re expecting, do census workers now have to go door to door with portable ultrasounds and examine every woman they interview? If not, the count will be way off.
Well, it gets a lot worse than that.
Because if you’re a fundamentalist, hell-believing Christian, the only good and moral choice you can make is to abort every fetus. Unless you’re a horrible, cruel, and callous person, that is.
Here’s what I mean, because I can tell you think I’m nuts. (But I’m not. Dozens and dozens of psychiatrists will tell you the same thing. Mainly because they don’t use that word … but I digress.)
Here’s my argument:
- Christians believe in hell, and they believe the only way to avoid it is to accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior. The way this is expressed varies somewhat among denominations, but it’s pretty fundamental to Christian belief. If you don’t follow Christ, you’re doomed, dude.
- Hell means different things to different people, but it’s definitely not a place/state of being you want to endure for long. If it were, religious and political leaders throughout the millennia wouldn’t have used it as a convenient bludgeon and means of social control. Hell is bad, and it’s to be avoided at all costs. It’s hard to argue with that one.
- So what happens to aborted or miscarried fetuses? Well, if you’re okay with believing the God of the universe is a colossal dick, you might think they go to hell for eternity. They haven’t received the grace of Christ, after all. And if you are one of those people, you can stop right here and toddle on off to Breitbart.com. You win. Abortion is bad, God is a dick, and all is “right” with the world. Of course, it then becomes a particular challenge to explain why something like 30 percent of fertilized eggs (i.e., people) die prematurely as a result of natural miscarriages. Or maybe it’s not that hard to explain. If you fall in this camp, you’re 100 percent okay with God being a dick, and this is just further confirmation of his ineffable dickishness. Innocent people who have done nothing at all — much less anything wrong — are sent to hell before they even know what the fuck is happening. Needless to say, if this is your worldview, you’re a horrible, awful pustulant boil of a person, and you can, well, go to hell. But even right-wing Christians don’t generally think this way, and … well … that’s why they’re fucked, philosophically speaking.
- So if you don’t think God is a colossal dick, what are you left with? You have to believe that God either sends miscarried and aborted fetuses to heaven or to limbo or to some other place/state of being that isn’t hell. Maybe it’s not the eternal beatific vision, but hey, it’s not hell, is it? I mean, these are innocent souls. You can’t punish them because they didn’t properly implant in the uterine wall. That’s absurd.
- So here are your choices if you’re an expecting fundamentalist Christian: 1) God is a horrible, horrible asshole. Why are you worshipping this prick? That makes you a piece of shit, too. 2) You believe God is all-loving, and by ending your pregnancy, you can assure your child will immediately go to live with Jesus, or will be welcomed into limbo — a place/state of natural happiness. At the very least he or she will avoid suffering horrifically for a pitiless eternity in hell.
- If you don’t end the pregnancy, you’re putting your child — a child you’re supposed to love unconditionally — in harm’s way. And, no, you’re not leaving him or her in a hot car for a few minutes while you pick up some smokes. It’s far, far worse than that. You’re perfectly happy to roll the dice when it comes to this kid’s eternal soul. And look at the statistics. People are leaving Christianity in droves. The latest Pew Research poll found that 22.8 percent of Americans now have no religious affiliation, which by definition means they’re not Christian. Needless to say, that’s a huge chance you’re taking — if you’re a Bible-believing Christian — every time you take a pregnancy to term. I don’t have statistics handy on how many Christians eventually leave the religion of their upbringing to become atheists or to explore some other religious tradition, but it’s a huge number. If it were only one person, it would be an immense tragedy — that is, if fundie Christians are to be believed. But the fact is, the chance that a Christian married couple will give birth to a child who eventually loses his or her faith and — at least according to their theology — is consigned to hell is extremely high.
Okay, you may be saying, “Well, that’s a pretty frivolous argument. Basically what you’re saying is that every child should be aborted, just to be safe.” Yes, that is what I’m saying — but only if conservative Christians are right about the afterlife (which they aren’t, of course).
But if they are, they’ve painted themselves into a philosophical corner they can’t get out of.
Either they’re awful people who are just fine creating children who face a high likelihood of enduring indescribable, off-the-charts eternal suffering, or somewhere deep down they know that their theology is mush. There’s really no getting around it.
How many couples, when faced with the possibility that their biological children will inherit a disease like Huntington’s chorea or cystic fibrosis, forgo having their own children … just to be “safe”? And living with a debilitating genetic condition for 60 or 70 years is like a stubbed toe compared to eternal hell.
So, to sum up, Brian Kemp and the Georgia Legislature are full of shit. And so is every other forced-birther who wails to the heavens about the rights of fetuses.
But you knew that already, didn’t you?
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