Saturday, February 9, 2008

Mike Adams asks Feminists to Convert to Christianity: this is NOT Satire

Yet again we get from the Christian Right another argument that reads like satire. Mike Adams thinks feminists should convert to Christianity. His reasons are, well, amusing, to say the least.

"There was a time when the important question of “when life begins” was in dispute. Now that films like “In the Womb” have become widely available to the public, visual evidence forces reasonable people to answer that question by moving further and further back towards the moment of conception. I believe that since conception is the moment when one’s genetic endowment is established, that is when one’s life begins.

OK Mike, it's fine and dandy that you believe that. But you see, your choice of the genetic endowment line as the moment (which really isn't a "moment" at all) when life begins is completely arbitrary, and thoughtful people might disagree. Many of us, for example, have decided that genetics is not enough. Sure a zygote potentially could become a walking, talking person, but then again so could a hair follicle. And since few would argue for rights for a "person" with no brain, and thus no desires, and no ability to feel pain, many of us are pretty comfortable with the idea that life begins when one's brain forms.

But, of course, for feminists, the debate on abortion involves more than just the question of when life begins. It also involves the question of whether there is a right to life once it begins. Fortunately, our Founding Fathers settled that issue long ago by stating the following:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Um, no Mike, aside from psychopaths there is no discussion of whether there is a right to life once it begins. I know it would be the death of you to actually accurately represent your opponents' position, but you could at least humour us once in a while.

That this view of the sanctity of life was inspired by the Bible is now lost among many self-proclaimed liberals.

It's lost on us because it obviously isn't true. There is little sanctity of life to be found in the Bible. Moses and his merry band roamed murderously for 40 years with Yahweh's blessing, nay orders for same. God asked Abraham to murder his own son. The old testament lists quite a few crimes for which the punishment was death. Further, when life is mentioned in the old testament, it is associated with the taking of the first breath. It says nothing whatever about the moment of conception. Nada.

Much of that has to do with the work of propagandists like Christopher Hitchens – a man who asserts falsely that Christians supported slavery until it became unprofitable. He ignores (intentionally, I believe) the contributions of Christians like William Wilberforce and John Wesley. Without them slavery’s demise would have been long delayed.

OK, time to brush up on our logic. The statement "Some X are A" is not refuted by a member of X that is not A. Of course Christians supported slavery, since nothing in the Bible opposes it. It doesn't come right out and say slavery is great, but there are Biblical rules governing disputes with slaves that assign a lesser punishment for crimes against them than against free people. Why does this have anything to do with feminists converting anyway? Because Adams is going to pull a favorite trick of Christian apologetics: anything good that Christianity touches is credited to Christianity:

"The Apostle Paul wrote in Galations 3:28 that “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” This is a quote that planted a seed of sedition in Western culture, which makes it so easy to understand why Wilberforce did what he did. It also makes it difficult to understand the fierce anti-Christian rhetoric and actions of those who claim to be “liberals” and “human rights activists.”

A seed of sedition? Planted prior to about 1800 years of slavery? You've got to be joking. There is nothing in there about a right of liberty or happiness or property, just typically vague religious happy-talk. If anything, the phrase condones slavery, since it recognizes the distinction between free person and slave the same way it recognizes the difference between man and woman. They might be one in Christ, but here on earth they are not one at all.

"Before the Bible was written, women were deemed inferior to men throughout the world – just as they are today throughout the Islamic World. But the early Christian church stood up for women as no other institution had before. The church denounced divorce, incest, adultery, and polygamy. Christian men were expected to be devoted to one woman within the framework of lifelong marriage."

Sure, as long as the men were the head of the family, the women learned "in all silence and submission, Eve being deceived" and all that. Let's also not forget women could not and still cannot hold the highest offices in that church. And what is so great about denouncing divorce and denying a woman's ability to exit an abusive marriage? Adams is truly blinkered here.

"But, nowhere was the defense of women greater than in the early Christian opposition to abortion and infanticide. In the Roman Empire – not to mention China and India – female babies were sacrificed while the lives of male babies (seen as future warriors) were preserved. "

Let us remind Adams that the Bible promotes punishments for disobedient children of stoning and being deafened by having one's ear punctured with an awl. Christianity is hardly the place to look for enlightened views of childrearing.

Adams then reels off several non sequitors comparing feminist comments with supposed efforts of Christians in noble causes, as if that means anything. His completely lack of logic is best illustrated by this comment:

"While NC State’s Deb Luckadoo fights hard to impede the spread of Christianity, she simultaneously fights to promote homosexuality in a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Center. Meanwhile, many Christians – not just famous ones like Franklin Graham and George W. Bush – dedicate valuable time and resources to the global fight against AIDS, particularly in Africa."

Let us remind Adams that it is unprotected sex, not homosexuality, that helps spread AIDS. You know, its the same unprotected sex insisted on by Christian churches who fight against distributing condoms to those at risk for AIDS, thus exacerbating the problem. Let us also remind Adams that lesbians have the LOWEST rate of AIDS transmission of any group, so how can helping lesbians get comfortable with who they are conflict with the fight against AIDS? It doesn't, it's just another leap of illogic from the Religious Wrong.

Once again we see that these apoligists for Christianity are simply out of touch with reality. I await Adam's commentary on how blacks would be well served to join the KKK, and how vegetarians should frequent more steak restaurants, any day now.

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