After the House passed the appalling Stupak-Pitts amendment, President Obama was quick to explain that it's OK for people of good will to disagree about stuff.
Saying the bill cannot change the status quo regarding the ban on federally funded abortions, the president said, "There are strong feelings on both sides" about an amendment passed Saturday and added to the legislation, "and what that tells me is that there needs to be some more work before we get to the point where we're not changing the status quo."What intolerable fucking claptrap this is. There were strong feelings on both sides about slavery and segregation. There are strong feelings on both sides about global warming. There are strong feelings on both sides about the validity of Obama's goddamn birth certificate and his status as an Islamo-Marxist radical. At best, expressing strong feelings demonstrates only that one has strong feelings; often, it doesn't even demonstrate that. The fact that many politicians find it pleasing or profitable to hail themselves as God-appointed womb sheriffs doesn't make them worthy of respect; it makes them worthy of as many kicks in the balls as it takes to rid them of their creepy delusions.
Granted, this outlook can't easily be reconciled with "the art of the possible." But neither can kicking women in the teeth, yet again, in the name of a status quo that marginalizes and brutalizes them.
The idea that a woman must play second fiddle to a fetus, on the grounds that some enterprising sperm cell planted a man's flag inside her -- as though it were a submarine claiming drilling rights in the Arctic Circle -- is scientifically illiterate, theologically dubious, ethically unworkable, and morally incoherent. And I'm sick unto death of the idea that the ever-so-precious tax dollars of these oh-so-sensitive control addicts mustn't be spent on abortion. Especially since my equally strong feelings don't entitle me to opt out of funding two grotesque wars, or detention centers and border fences for immigrants, or the state oppression of women and gays; or paying the salary of a reactionary fuckhead like Bart Stupak; or providing high-quality healthcare to politicians who refuse it to others.
Anyway, getting back to this business of "strong feelings," you will have heard that Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 people at Ft. Hood recently. Our President disapproves of this, as well he should. Harken unto him, my brethren and cistern:
One by one, President Barack Obama spoke the names and told the stories Tuesday of the 13 people slain in the Fort Hood shooting rampage, honoring their memories as he denounced the "twisted logic" that led to their deaths.It's obvious that forcing women to procure illicit abortions will kill more than 13 people. It's obvious that refusing to give all Americans the healthcare they need, when they need it, will kill more people than a thousand Hasans could've. And above all, it's obvious that we're occupying two countries whose men, women, and children we routinely blast into bloody fragments, often for no greater crime than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"No faith justifies these murderous and craven acts; no just and loving God looks upon them with favor," Obama told the crowd on a steamy Texas afternoon.
But a faith justifies all of this, it seems, and a just and loving God looks upon it with favor.
Those who feel differently are free to say so, of course, as long as they respect the status quo as defined and maintained by those who don't, and are careful not to confuse a "strong opinion" with "twisted logic," no matter how many people it kills.
(Photo via The Situationist.)