March 23, 2017

June 21, 2014


The utilitarian unity of burning at the stake and abortion

Chelsea Clinton whips up a crowd with the somewhat strange complaint that her great grandmother didn’t have access to abortionists.  Allrighty, then.  And hat tip to SF reader Seanny Rotten for the link to this story.

One of those things that popped into my mind in the past week is how abortion is advocated on grounds that were used to justify burning people at the stake.  Both are extolled as necessary, utilitarian practices for the good of the individual and the society.

A Roman Catholic network posted a rather audacious commentary on burning at the stake (it’s since been taken down but was saved by folks at another site.)  While giving the required “of course we shouldn’t burn heretics now and freedom of religion is good” caveats, the author defends the motives of those who lit the pyres:

Does it seem logical that heretics were burned alive, with their mental faculties intact, to give them one last chance to repent before being sent into the “eternal fire”? Could it be that burning an individual at the stake was seen as a merciful death, as a means of giving that person one last chance to save his or her soul before final damnation??? I have read that “burning at the stake was believed by some medieval authorities and scholars to liberate the sinner from his or her formerly damned state and offer some hope of salvation to the now ‘cleansed’ soul”.

It was actually for the individual’s own good. 

Compare this pro-abortion argument from a UK site:

In one study, unwanted children were found less likely to have had a secure family life. As adults they were more likely to engage in criminal behavior, be on welfare, and receive psychiatric services. Another found that children who were unintended by their mothers had lower self-esteem than their intended peers 23 years later.

It’s for the individual’s own good.

The Church thought it was sparing heretics eternal torment by burning them at the stake.  Abortionists tell us they are sparing people from miserable earthly lives.  Both ways, “It’s for their own good.”  And of course the community is spared from falsehood and demonic power when heretics are burned, and from all kinds of social problems and expenses when “unwanted” children are aborted.

Abortionists will object to this comparison.  After all, they are part of modern justice, science and reason, tolerance, sunshine and lollipops.  They would never do stupid things like those old school Christians.  To which Jesus says,

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’”  (Matthew 23:29-30 ESV)

There’s that Santayana chestnut about those who forget the past being doomed to repeat it.  But some know the past and repeat its evils just the same.


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15 comments

Yes…I think that there are many of us who share Chelsea’s wish!  /eyeroll.

[1] Posted by Nikolaus on 6-21-2014 at 10:26 AM · [top]

Years ago, on the Freakonomics blog, the freakonomist (Stephen J. Dubner) and his overly enthusiastic scribe (Steven D. Levitt) began the theory that the decline in crime was because of the passage of Roe v Wade. They kept the hackneyed theory and published it in their book in ‘05.

See according to Freakonomics, killing potential criminals in the womb was the reason we’ve seen a decline in crime from the mid 90’s until now.

Big problem, their methodology and statistical analysis was wrong! Two different people who are WAY smarter than I am proved this in two different ways.

You have Steve Sailer’s refutation: http://www.isteve.com/abortion.htm

And then John R. Lott’s answer: http://www.foxnews.com/story/2008/06/10/john-lott-big-picture-behind-abortion/ & http://www.foxnews.com/story/2008/07/07/myth-about-abortion-and-crime/

[2] Posted by Seanny Rotten on 6-21-2014 at 12:26 PM · [top]

Depending on where she lived,  Chelsea ’ s great-granny likely did have access to an abortion,  since we know now that the dreaded back-alley abortionist was often a local doctor or midwife willing to do the deed, and with a vested interest in being careful.

[3] Posted by Words Matter on 6-21-2014 at 12:57 PM · [top]

#2 Seanny absolutely.  I remember when Freakonomics (the book) was out and about, all the people claiming how that closed the debate on abortion, forever and ever Amen.  It was preventing all the social problems caused by the presence of… people.

#3 Words Matter - yep… she was referring specifically to Planned Parenthood and its mission for “women’s health.”  Because the prior abortionists just couldn’t serve all the demand, given all the demand.  And as the feminists will tell you with fingers wagging in your face, MILLIONS of women died from not having access to the high access, high quality abortion facilities of PP.

[4] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 6-21-2014 at 03:13 PM · [top]

Disgusting.  All there is to it.  A country that refuses to protect the most innocent is headed on a “highway to hell”.

[5] Posted by B. Hunter on 6-22-2014 at 08:46 AM · [top]

“A country that refuses to protect the most innocent is headed on a “highway to hell”.”

Right, #5 B Hunter. 

Western nations are experiencing the influx of Islam and evil leaders as a consequence.

See Leviticus 26:17, indeed all of Leviticus 26.

[6] Posted by St. Nikao on 6-22-2014 at 09:18 AM · [top]

[7] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 6-22-2014 at 09:52 AM · [top]

#7 excellent share.  Thank you!

[8] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 6-22-2014 at 04:03 PM · [top]

This modest proposal (do deregulate paid infant adoptions) http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/cato-journal/1995/5/cj15n1-7.pdf is far more practical.

I don’t see how it’s prohibited scripturally. I’m open to entertaining any and all honest debate.

Seriously who would abort/kill anywhere from $10,000 - $30,000 potentially?

[9] Posted by Seanny Rotten on 6-22-2014 at 05:20 PM · [top]

#8 Thank you Father Tim - there is an element of gallows humor about it all.

[10] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 6-22-2014 at 05:20 PM · [top]

Duh! Did it occur to Chelsea that if her great-grandmother had had access to abortion, and had used it, she (Chelsea) wouldn’t be here to complain?

[11] Posted by Nellie on 6-27-2014 at 11:18 PM · [top]

Just as I often compare the mass slaughter of legalized abortion to slavery and the Holocaust because it involves making a category of people sub-human and thus allowed to be killed, I can see a comparison of abortion to burning people at the stake “for their own good.” A very basic moral blindness is involved in all cases.

[12] Posted by KarenR on 6-30-2014 at 10:30 PM · [top]

[13] Posted by Temple1 on 7-12-2014 at 10:18 AM · [top]

Carey is another proof that ties to Canterbury are as foolish and futile as Israel trying since, even giving up 77% of the land allotted to the Jews by the League of Nations to form a Jewish Homeland in order to try to make peace with Islamists. 

Currently Palestine is in violation of 11 or 15 of their treaties - just as TEC and Canterbury are in violation of Scripture and good faith with orthodox Anglicans.

History has shown that it is impossible to expect Islamists and leftists to behave in a civilized manner.

Mohammedans and Marxists and sexual libertines cause misery and chaos wherever they are allowed to fester and infect nations and churches.

[14] Posted by St. Nikao on 7-12-2014 at 10:52 AM · [top]

There is one evergreen shrub that is circumpolar in the northern hemisphere, it is the common juniper.  In europe it was known as “bastard killer” because of its use in aborting unwanted babies.  It grows all over our twenty acres.  I am quite sure Chelsea’s great grandmother had access to it…maybe just didn’t know it was available…or she may have actually wanted her children.

[15] Posted by Frances S Scott on 7-20-2014 at 06:33 PM · [top]

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