Friday, September 28, 2007

Pro-Life Phonies: Larry Perrault and Laurence White

SARAH AND FRIENDS: Since you're an honest elected official in Alaska -- a rare breed indeed -- you're welcome to use one of my many Irish jokes. Anyway, John O'Leary and Paddy Murphy had spent some extra time in the pub one Friday, and were staggering along when they came upon the Dublin Cemetery. John read the words on one large headstone: "Here lies the body of an Irish Senator . . . and an honest man." Paddy turned to him and said, "Imagine that, two men buried in the same grave!"

Sarah Again, Under the heading "More Popular Than Kittens": Sarah Palin Alaska Governess Sarah Palin’s approval numbers are still to die for ... of the following. If you have no opinion of the person, just say so. “Sarah Palin.”Favorable - 88.7% Unfavorable - 4.3% No opinion - 6%
Never heard of - 1%

{Steve's note: I believe the 4.3% unfavorable comes mainly from Republican officials whom she has accused -- correctly -- of ethics violations. The 1% consisted of a guy who sees more polar bear than people.)

I mostly say nice things about Mike Huckabee, but that may end tomorrow morning. :-(

If you're betting on the Republican race in NJ, put your money on Rudy. Latest NJ poll from Fairleigh Dickinson University: GOP New Jersey Primary Rudy Giuliani 48% Fred Thompson 12% Mitt Romney 8% John McCain 7% Hillary Clinton 4% Barack Obama 4% Don’t Know 14% Among those with a preference Rudy Giuliani 56% Fred Thompson 14% Mitt Romney 9% John McCain 8% Hillary Clinton 5% Barack Obama 5%. Survey of registered Republican voters.

(Silly me, I didn't even know Barack and Hillary were Republicans.)

One of Mike Huckabee's most quoted comments is the following: "Life begins at conception, but it doesn't end at birth." In that statement, Mike is making an important point: that some supposedly pro-life people seem to care a lot about embryos but not much about children.

How do you determine if individuals are pro-life phonies, that is people like blogger Larry Perrault and Lutheran pastor Laurence White? You make that assessment based on the number of practical suggestions they make for REDUCING ABORTIONS and INCREASING ADOPTIONS. If they pursue a purely rhetorical approach to abortion, then they are frauds.

Such individuals focus on condemning America for its supposed moral and social depravity. Basically, they accuse the nation -- aside from people like themselves -- of countenancing mass murder (of embryos). However, they make no practical proposals to deal with what they see as a horrifying situation.

In reducing abortion, it's essential to know WHO is having them -- and WHY. Unfortunately, the Perraults and Whites of the world seem to have little or no interest in such important questions, and so they never go beyond condemnation.

In the U.S. (and other Western nations), abortion tends to be "ethnically-driven." Specifically, abortions are much more common among minority women. In the U.S. In 2000-2001, the rates among Black and Hispanic women were 49 per 1,000 and 33 per 1,000, respectively, versus 13 per 1,000 among non-Hispanic white women.

Someone like Pastor White might look at such statistics and presumably determine that Black women are three-and-a-half times more depraved than their Caucasian counterparts -- and Hispanic women two-and-a-half times as depraved.

Clearly, economic circumstances -- poverty -- play an important role in the number of abortions that occur. My solution to this problem is to pay women money NOT to have an abortion. In short, if they have abortions mainly because they're poor, make them LESS POOR.

A critical factor in reducing abortions is to understand the cultural and economic conditions that breed abortions. Women without hope are not enthusiastic about bringing children into the world.

What does it feel like to live in a culture of hopelessness? To identify such a situation, I've relied on a few segments of Elizabeth George's novel What Came Before He Shot Her. The setting is an impoverished section of London, England, but it could just as well be about poor people in America.

(Multiracial Dix D'Court, a kind and loving man, to his multiracial girlfriend Kendra, who lives in depressed area of London with three children basically dropped off at her doorstep): "You ever think about how God works?"

Her response: "Man, I tell you: No God I'm familiar with has ever lived in this part of town."


[God supposedly does live in Rev. White's section of Houston, and that's why he will never understand Kendra, her children, or her circumstances. ]

At one point in the novel Kendra talks about her niece, "Ness," to a rather stiff white woman from Social Services. The white lady is talking about the need to get to the root-cause of Ness's problems (truancy, drug overuse, constant indulgence in sex. and an attempted mugging -- all at age 15).

Here's what Kendra, who deserves an award as surrogate mother of the year, is thinking: " . . . She asked Fabia Bender [the social worker] a logical question. How much more than a dead father and an institutionalized mother was necessary to the understanding of Ness's fury? And what did an understanding her fury have to do with keeping her from ruining her life? Because, Kendra Campbell told the social worker, some serious life-ruining was what Ness Campbell had in mind. She saw her existence as destroyed already, so she'd decided to go along for the ride."


[I submit that people like Laurence White have probably never once listened carefully to person like Kendra Campbell or Ness. By the way, Jesus apparently communicated regularly with such people.]

The answer to a social problem like abortions is not to sit back and feel superior to -- and contemptuous of -- people who have them. Rather, it's to understand the problem and then go about fixing it.

Basically, I want to fix it. In contrast, people like Perrault and White want to complain about it.

Stephen R. Maloney

NOTE: FOR PEOPLE INTERESTED IN HOW CHANGING CULTURAL/SOCIAL CONDITIONS, I RECOMMEND MALCOLM GLADWELL'S THE TIPPING POINT. PART OF THE BOOKS DEMONSTRATES HOW MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI SHARPLY REDUCE THE CRIME/MURDER RATES IN NEW YORK. HE DID SO BY ATTACKING 'MINOR" THINGS LIKE PUBLIC DRUNKENNESS AND GRAFFITI "TAGGING" THAT CREATE THE CLIMATE FOR CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR. .




3 comments:

Christopher said...

Again you are defining the line between those of us who want to stop as many abortions as possible and those who have a commited finicial issue in making sure there is always a "culture war". God teaches us that we are not morally superior to anyone, a lesson needed to be said to certain people out there.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Christopher, sometimes it's a financial interest, sometimes a political interest (getting elected), and sometime it's just a smugness that allows someone to feel superior to others. The same situation holds true with so-called "gay marriage." It doesn't harm my life one iota (and might even make it better in some ways) if gay people join together in civil unions or even, as in MA, in marriages. Why should I care if they do? How does it detract from my own relationship or marriage? Might not such marriages, unions lead to greater social stability? If I go to Leviticus, I find that homosexuality appears to be an abomination. I also find in Lev. that shrimp and pork are abominations. Somehow it seems that yesterday's abominations can be today's delicacies. Right now on TV they're showing stills of a little girl (4-5) who's being abused by a man in his 20s. Are we supposed to say hurrah that the evildoer is at least not gay? He's not gay; he's not straight; he's just plain evil. As I understand the Bible (the letter of James is good on this), it's all about love and respect for other people, at least the ones who are not harming others. Gay people getting united do no harm to anyone. However, using them as a scapegoats can sometimes benefit others, and they're the ones we should identify and challenge them.

steve maloney

Christopher said...

Steve,

Sometimes I hate how right you are. Realize that if I repeat some things on my blog that you've said, it's just because I've thought the exact same thing. According to Leviticus, I sinned last week when I got my hair cut.