Thursday, November 11, 2004

"Murder of man the trenches"

Dad's response to "(Wo)man the trenches":

I’m puzzled how the pharmacist, Karen Brauer, relates to either a Taliban person or a soldier fighting against the Taliban.

This pharmacist clearly values innocent human life. Some people in the Taliban do not. But it brings up a reasonable question of “Rule of Law” and value of life.

We are a nation of laws, like most nations in the world these days. I like that. It keeps us organized in our behavior and, as important, organized in our thinking.

Among the laws are laws that protect the sanctity of innocent life. We have laws in our books against murder of innocent people, and in the same book laws that ask for deliberate killing of non-innocent people who are guilty of killing others.

After I checked out the USAToday website, and read the article to the end, I think the drug she’s talking about is the “X-Pill,” intended for abortions. At the end we see the issue with which this pharmacist struggles: killing human fetuses, not contraception.

Suicide is another matter, I feel. I struggle with the legal issues of suicide, because it involves the personal choice of the “victim” themselves, not another person. The victim and killer are the same person. I can’t decide if that’s a crime or not. That’s not the issue here.

But I think it’s clear that the victim of murder is not the killer; the murderer is the criminal who killed an innocent human. Let’s assume Ms. Brauer is talking about that issue, murder: one person taking the life of another innocent person.

It seems to me this pharmacist is trying to reconcile how we can allow killing of innocent humans: living fetuses in their mothers’ wombs. In the same regard we need to ask, “Is killing innocent human fetuses the same as murder?” Why do we punish the murder of innocent adult humans — and then expect to glorify the killing of innocent human babies?

That’s the essence of the right-to-life movement:

A. “Is it my free choice to kill a human being?”
B. “Is that free choice the same as murder?”
C. “Is there a time when killing a human being is not murder?” And, “What in the law defines that time?”

There’s a great and disturbing inconsistency of the arguments of those who say, “Keep your hands off me! It’s a personal choice.” What’s the difference among these personal choices?—

1. “It’s my personal choice to kill my human fetus. It’s my baby! I can choose to kill it!”
2. “It’s my personal choice to kill my wife, my husband, my 2-year-old daughter, my 22-year-old son, my uncle, my grandfather!”
3. “It’s my personal choice to kill my classmate, friend, my 7-11 clerk, my bank teller, my drug dealer, my prison guard, a stranger, a random person on the street!”

The same books of law guide us in “lawful killing”— an awful concept that we must have in our law books, because humans can be such awful creatures at times:

a. We deal out the death penalty for criminals convicted of murdering innocent people. We execute murders in the “First Degree:” “deliberate, purposeful killers of other humans.”

b. We kill the enemy in times of war, as fast as we can in order to finish the battle and ultimately to resolve the war. We kill enemy soldiers, whether they are guilty or innocent of civil crimes, because they have been sent out to kill us and others in war.

c. In the same way, we capture alive all the enemy soldiers we can, and we don’t execute enemy soldiers whom we capture, unless we know they committed acts of killing innocent civilians — guilty of “civil murder” — in which case we are supposed to try them in “courts martial,” the same wartime court of law in which we try our own soldiers for unlawful acts in war.

I realize that over time there have been many times when we have broken our own laws in these 3 areas — executing innocent people, killing enemy prisoners, etc. We abhor those times of broken law because, once again, they take innocent life…contrary to law. These breaches truly break the law, and there’s no excusing them: “Well, it was in a time of war, in the heat of battle!” No, they’re still breaking the law, and justice under law must prevail. We can’t use that as a diversion from the rule of law — either way in this argument.

But do we abhor those breaches of law more than, say, killing fetuses and other relatives, bank tellers and 7-11 clerks? Aren’t they all broken laws — laws intended to protect the sanctity of life?

The difficulty is to keep law straight. Do we keep it, or ignore it? Do we keep it all, or ignore a few parts? Do we make exceptions for people who kill in order to become richer? To make their life more comfortable? To preserve peace in the family? To enable them to keep working, so they don’t have to care for another living person? To avoid inconvenience in my life? To advance science? To preserve the lives of sick adults? All these reasons are popular excuses given today for killing human beings — human fetuses.

Do we know the law, understand it, and respect its underlying principles? Or do we carelessly ignore parts of it, and then wonder what’s so wrong about breaking it?

Of course, it’s an open question in a nation of open law — subject to change by the will of the people. We can change our basic law. But we do so at our own peril. And the peril in changing laws regarding human life is twofold:

Human life loses its sanctity, a subject that recognizes a Power higher than ourselves.
We engage the state in “whose life we value, and whose we don’t?” The 20th Century was a mess of nations who got into that — Nazis, Soviets, Cambodia, China, others. Do we want to follow them?

5 comments:

Mercifurious said...

Jen's response:

We engage the state in “whose life we value, and whose we don’t?” The 20th Century was a mess of nations who got into that — Nazis, Soviets, Cambodia, China, others. Do we want to follow them?

We already have followed them. See Robert McNamara in the Errol Morris documentary "Fog of War." See what we are doing in Iraq right now. Troops have firebombed hospitals in Falluja. How many times have troops hit a wedding? What about the hundreds of thousands of innocents in Panama we slaughtered while training natives and Manuel Noriega to become killing machines? See the documentary "Hidden in Plain Sight" or the "Panama Deception."

Is it right that a woman gets brutally raped, and is forced to have that child to remind her of that tragedy, every single day? What if the woman has HIV? Should she be forced to have that child who must suffer during its short life? As a woman, yes, it is my choice.

Stem cell research DOES NOT involve human fetuses!! When are pro-lifers going to get this through their thick heads? These are cells that are created in labs. They do not involve a woman's uterus.

Mercifurious said...

Amy's response:

Hmmm... I agree with a lot of the arguments put forth here. Who it is
okay to
kill and when and why is a an issue that will never be resolved. And
maybe
some of these pharmasists are referring to the morning after pill or
this "X"
pill (I myself have never heard that term and the pill that induces a
medical
abortion is given in a doctor's office, not by a pharmacist), but some
of them
ARE referring to contraception. I think the main issue is, we have a
real
problem on our hands when folks decide to go into the
medical/pharmaceutical
professions and then refuse to provide the services that they are hired
to
provide on moral/ethical/religous grounds. What about a pharmacist who
believes that depression can and should be cured by reading the bible
and
praying, and so refused to fill a suicidal person's prescription for
Prozac?
Or a doctor who refuses to perform an abortion on a woman who then went
home
and performed an abortion on herself, killing not only her fetus but
herself as
well? Is that somehow more "moral?"

I do understand why people oppose abortion on moral grounds, but we
have to draw
a line here somewhere, or where will it end?

And I can't let the "glorify the killing of innocent human babies"
comment go...
this is one of my favorite lines of the anti-choice movement! NO ONE
glorifies
abortion. No one thinks it is a happy beautiful thing that everyone
should do,
and to imply that is outrageously insulting to any woman who has ever
had to
make this horribly difficult decision.

And while the pharmasists themselves may not be directly comparable to
the
Taliban, I agree with what Nate is speaking to - that we do indeed live
in a
country where our freedoms are being more restricted by the minute, in
the name
of "morals" and religion.

Mercifurious said...

Jen's response II:

Also, why is it that the Pro-Lifers see contraception as a method of
killing? It is a preventitive pill - meaning nothing will grow, or
become to live. There is no death involved here. The pill prevents that
life, which is the choice of the woman and her partner. Pro-Life should
mean "already existing" life, not one that may or may not happen. That
is ridiculous.
Sex should be a positive thing, yet we are still living in the dark
ages
where its considered a sin to have pleasure. Should a couple, who is
married and faithful, be forced to get pregnant just when they want
pleasure? No. Sometime the pill is used to regulate abnormal
menstruation patterns - some women bleed all the time. The pill can
help solve that problem and has nothing to do with pro-creation.

Mercifurious said...

First off, I seriously support, and applaud, all Pro-Life individuals who donate $$ & time to Adoption centers, Crisis Preg. ctrs and the like, or even adopts children themselves. This is a progressive approach to the problem. This is also an approach the can be embraced by all sides. This is also an approach will significantly reduce the amount of abortions overall and across the board - a value that all of us share.

That said, the whole divide between Pro-Life and Pro-Choice centers on "THE GOVERNMENT'S ROLE". The Federal Government - and any government for that matter - has the unique distinction that makes it different from any other entity: Use of Force. A corporation can subject you to persuasive advertising, but can never put a gun to your head and force you to buy. A church can raise a persuasive theological argument, but cannot dunk you under the water to force you to believe (they USED to have this power, but thank God we ripped that away from them).

But the government has this unique distinction - they CAN and DO use the physical force. According to John Locke - the Karl Marx of the US constitution - this distinction was brought into being in lieu of each of us maintaining our OWN security (ie sitting on the porch with a shotgun). Therefore, "a government that governs least governs best" & "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely".

What have we learned from this? Dont feed the bear! Any time you give the government more power - even if this power is based on your beliefs - you are necessarily giving the government the ability to coercively control ALL OF US. This means that the INSTANT you beg big daddy government to INTERVENE in your private squabble, you can be GUARANTEED that their solution will SUCK! This is why I base any legal decision on this test: "Would I trust this power in the hands of my worst enemy"... if I cant, then its out!

Inside the Pro-Life Community, there exists a RAINBOW of beliefs: Fetal viability begins at a certain point and must be protected; Life begins at a certain point and must be protected; Life begins at conception and must be protected; and of course, "EVERY SPERM IS SACRED" . Add into this the cases of Rape, incest, and life of the mother. So even if a "Pro-Life" Point of view was put into law and enforced, there would be large disagreements on the boundary. Ask yourself this: Would you want these Anti-contraception idiots enforcing their beliefs on your body? (and this would affect you too, boys)

But for sake of argument, lets assume that they all fall under the unified blanket of: "Life begins at conception". Now everyone has the right to this belief, and has the right to uphold this belief on their own "Life, Liberty, and Property" (Locke). But this stops at the doorstep. If this belief is actually put into law, HOW DO YOU ENFORCE IT? This is the great unanswered question... Pro-Lifers who believe Roe-v-Wade should be overturned have no answer to this.

Dad, in your next email to us, YOU MUST ANSWER THIS QUESTION... otherwise forgive us if we consider your view NULL and VOID.

Should the Federal Government now have the right to go through your private medical records? (note: Ashcroft already tried to this)... Do you hire fertility police that stop by your house every month (or so)? Do you force women who miss their periods into a clinic? Are women FORCED to keep a child to term even if they are raped?
OR, in place of these obviously unacceptable, obtrusive, and overeaching uses of Government force, IS a woman's fertility put into the hands of her HUSBAND? ie, does a woman's body (once again) become the property of someone else?

Dont believe this can happen? Neither did the German people when they gave their government more control. Neither did the Russian people when they gave their government more control. The fundamental problem in both cases was not an anti-life people, or an anti-life culture, but a well-intentioned peopler who believed it was in their collective best interest to give the government more & more power "for the betterment of society". To believe that America is the exception to this rule is to be stupid.

The Pendulum swings BOTH ways, and the road to hell is paved with good intentions

You want to give the government this much power? Fine... suit yourself. But consider me a defender of the Constitution. A word of warning for your future morality enforcement officers: I will be upholding my 2nd Amendment Rights - waiting well-armed on the otherside of my door. And I will vocally encourage any woman that believes in individual freedom to do the same: shoot-on-sight, and aim for the head. In the words of George W Bush - "Bring them on".

Obviously this is not the best outcome.

To summarize, I have no problem with anyone holding a Pro-Life position. What I do have a problem with putting it into law and enforcing it. The Government solution will always be stupid, regressive, and will inevidably hurt us all equally (imagine Feds searching your house for bibles). Lets join hands and work on progressive solutions that benefit everyone. But this legal baseline must be kept: SAFE, LEGAL, and RARE

~N

jeremiah jb blankenship said...

in the words of the immortal G.G. Allin:

"Fuck the war machine, Fuck the war machine, fuck the war machine aaaaah, kill kill kill kill kill their motherfucking ass."