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Happiness is never having to be punished with a baby (especially if you’re the federal government)

January 27, 2009

Ok , I don’t want to stop. I just need to be free of the burden of thinking I have to post.

Donald Sensing notes (again) in You are the problem (redux) that the Government – Democratic or Republican by the way – tends to see the American people as a problem to be fixed, a people to be managed. He references a quote from Nancy Pelosi I heard yesterday defending massive spending on contraceptives in the stimulus legislation no being considered:

“Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children’s health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those – one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.”

There’s something about the way Pelosi says reduce cost that gives me chills, much like the time when Barack Obama said he didn’t want his daughters “punished with a baby”. The intent is good I suppose; to keep unwanted pregnancies at bay. That’s the charitable way to read it. At the same time, one has to admit that this kind of language, in a subtle yet corrosive way, has allowed into “decent’ speech the idea that people are reducible to dollars and sense. Another item on the budget line.

This sentiment needs to be resisted and countered in every instance. It is the beginning of (or continuation of) the eugenic impulse in American politics. Pelosi skates very gracefully around what she really means by reduce cost, but I think its quite clear this is where she’s headed.

The thing is as Sensing points out, long term population growth has always led to economic growth, and the revere is also true: dwindling populations mean economic shrinkage.


I’ve been think a lot about abortion and contraception as relates to faith and politcs lately. The wrongness of abortion, more and more, seems utterly wrong to me. To destroy innocent and defenseless life is such an act of fear and faithlessness. Understandable, as most of these things are, but ultimately indefensible from a Christian point of view, and increasingly as any kind of person of science. We’ve all seen ultrasounds, heard the tiny heartbeats. Some of us have hoped for and even named and eagerly anticipated the new life some would cast away. Anyone who is a parent, or has hoped to be a parent and lost a pregnancy, knows this to be the case.

What occurred to me for the first time recently, and this is incredible to me that it had not earlier because it is so elementary, is that God must eagerly await the birth of each of those lives as well.  We cannot, must not resign ourselves to the idea that stopping abortion is a lost cause. However, Pelosi’s matter of fact delivery of “reducing cost” reveals the depth of the acceptance of the idea that some lives are less troublesome than others.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Timmy C. permalink
    January 28, 2009 9:02 am

    Two questions:

    I saw this describing the Dem view as the American people “as a problem to be fixed, a people to be managed.”

    The crux of that criticism seems to be that dems more than Republicans distrust the American people to do the right thing and want to somehow force them to.

    or is it they just are acting all elite-y and trying to look down their nose at the dirty unwashed and lead the way to their self-righteous path? And thus it’s all about attitude?

    Or is the argument something else?

    Also: don’t think i followed this argument:

    “However, Pelosi’s matter of fact delivery of “reducing cost” reveals the depth of the acceptance of the idea that some lives are less troublesome than others.”

    How does saying that preventing unwanted pregnancies makes good fiscal sense reflect that idea?

  2. Tom permalink
    January 31, 2009 11:28 am

    I’m just a fool looking for answers.
    In your opinion, what is the best way to insure that unwanted pregnancies don’t lead to the loss of a life?

    After the birth – then what?

    How much personal effort should be dedicated to fighting against legislation that allows people to choose what they feel is best when faced with an unwanted pregnancy vs. efforts dedicated to fighting for a good quality of life for anyone? Say… one of the 8 children born in to a unwed family of now 14? Or what of any of the more than 70,000 kids placed in to the Los Angeles County Department of Children’s Services due to abuse, neglect, abandonment and exploitation?

  3. February 4, 2009 5:08 pm

    Hey fool- I think you may actually have a lot of answers yourself. Enlighten me.

    The idea that human life is expendable because it is unwanted is the root of a lot of evil in our society. That was supposed to be my meager point. I think a society that values life in the womb will value life out of the womb as well. At least that’s how it’s supposed to work.

    You’re right in pointing out that it doesn’t work all that well.

    The connection between human life and “cost” to the government is an ever increasing one. One of the reasons Pelosi- and I susupect you and Tim as well- want to keep abortion as an option to “reducing cost” – beyond saving face to your elite liberal friends – is that the solution to a poor quality of life is always more government spending and responsibility. I would like you to question that assumption.

    Now I don’t think the government has no responsibility any more than you might think the government has all the responsibility in terms of spending and programs to “give people a better life”. But I am certain that I view the government’s responsibility as considerably less than you. Where that line is… hard to say without specifics.

    I will say a government that encourages abortion will have a hard time convincing people that they need to accept the consequences of their actions, including the care of life.

    It wasn’t so long ago people were advocating the neutering of the poor. I think that’s where this line of reasoning is going to go again eventually. After all, it would work and no one gets hurt right? Where’s the downside?

  4. Tom permalink
    February 5, 2009 5:31 pm

    Well… Not sure if I have answers, but I have God giving feelings.

    I completely agree that life is precious and should not be destroyed. As a person who is adopted, I am thankful for the decision my birth parents made. I take it personally when people treat life so cavalier. Be it ending anothers life, or expecting legislation to take care of things. What I do know is this… it wasn’t someone wanting a law or political party to be one way or another that has made any difference in my life. The reality is, even if my birth parents decided otherwise, I would never have known the difference. But thankfully they made the choice they did, and I do know the difference.

    The difference was made by those who were willing to break bread with me, to give to me and accept my safe shelter, or to listen and share. The difference is with those who know me as Tom and not some elite liberal. I try very hard and hope I never see people that way.

    As far as a government “encouraging” abortions, I don’t understand what you mean? I’m sure you can find something somewhere that supports the idea that the Government of the United States of America “encourages” people (vs. allows) to kill their unborn babies.
    I do understand that my birth mother, was forced to move away from her family, and her church, out of fear of being ostracized for the carrying a bastard child.

    Believe me you; I don’t like the fact that pregnancy is treated like a condition. The point I’m trying to make is, until we the people are willing get out of the political arena and in to the lives of living breathing people, we will loose ground.

    Is it hard to understand that people become confused when they see someone actively addressing the senseless loss of life through abortion, yet, does nothing to condemn the shameful loss of lives due to a very poorly managed invasion of a country? I’m NOT saying weather the war was right or wrong. I just wonder how anyone can outwardly voice an opposition to abortion and say nothing about the loss of innocent lives through other means. I could applaud the Right wing, anti abortion activist who also outwardly disdains, or even questions, the loss of innocent lives because the leader of their chosen party appears incompetent. I just don’t know of that many.

    Drum circle sometime?

  5. February 10, 2009 7:01 pm

    Thanks for this comment. This is one of the best comments I’ve had in a while, and probably the best from you- at least in terms of what it does for me. It’s the most human in its tone… for me at least.

    The loss of innocent life in Iraq has been an awful thing to behold. That mistakes were made, resulting in those tragic deaths, has also been a truly awful consequence.

    Yet those deaths did not come in a moral vacuum. They were not intentional; they were not always avoidable; they often occurred because of the evil choices of others who chose to attack innocent civilians on purpose. The occurred because the Geneva conventions were blatantly ignored by the other side. All this in a context of a history of a bloodthirsty Sadaam, with psychotic sons who were even worse set to succeed him and UN sanctions that were also protested by the “peace” crowd because they were resulting in the deaths of innocent children by the millions. And retreat and withdrawl was only going to make the situation worse with even more bloodshed.

    I’ve never been so much pro-war as anti-losing. I don’t know why that’s so hard to understand.

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