Denizens of the Daily Kos were delighted Monday by a more-than-6,300-word rant by an abortionist from Texas bylined "Beket." The headline was "Extreme Religion Stops a Thinking Brain -- and Kills Women and Teenage Girls." Naturally, it was "One of the best diaries I have read on DKos," wrote one thrilled commenter. "Well-written. Well-thought out."
Dr. "Beket" began: "I am a proud, even defiant, abortion provider...First, let me assure you that it is not that I love embryos and fetuses less, but that I love women and teenage girls more – although I must confess that I really have no love, nor any feeling at all, for insentient embryos and fetuses in the wombs of women and teenage girls who do not want them there." The people who call themselves "pro-life," he insisted, were "religious extremists" and deluded, psychotic torturers and murderers:
These belief-driven, thoroughly propagandized religious extremists who call themselves "pro-life," possessing little if any more compassion for real living, breathing, thinking, feeling women and real living, breathing, thinking, feeling teenage girls living their real lives than was expressed by the Roman Catholic inquisitors of long ago who regularly, proudly, piously, and publicly tortured and hanged or burned alive real living, breathing, thinking, feeling women and real living, breathing, thinking, feeling teenage girls (and men and boys) living their real lives for such "sins" or "crimes against God" of "witchcraft" and "heresy,"are succeeding in their zealous efforts to recriminalize abortion care.
"Rigidly legalistic religious belief systems" are "flooding" the halls of government and the media:
Far too many, still, in the 21st century, hold to the facetious maxim, "ignorance is bliss," (though often believing they not only are not ignorant, but know it all) and persist in plunging through their lives uninformed or misinformed, proud of it, and even aggressively defending and championing their ignorance and prejudice, oblivious to the swaths of pain and suffering and destruction they create in their wakes and feeling righteous about it.
I'm talking about the pain and suffering and destruction of, for example, a conscious, feeling woman or teenage girl stricken with an unwanted pregnancy, which is often to her not a "precious gift from God" or a "divine miracle," but a stressful catastrophe of a devastating and incapacitating magnitude. Embryos and fetuses don't suffer or feel pain or anything else. We know that they do not have sufficient brain development for conscious sensation until late in the 3rd trimester. I see nothing compelling to distinguish them from the uncountable billions of early embryos lost on used tampons and pads as the results of early spontaneous abortions ("miscarriages"). But the women and teenage girls are a different story. They are our daughters, our sisters, our mothers, our lovers. They think and feel. And we should think highly of them and feel for them.
Someone rightly said, "A woman does not want an abortion like she wants an ice cream cone, a new dress, or a Porsche; she wants an abortion like an animal caught in a trap wants to gnaw off its own leg to escape."
"Beket" likes that quote so much it's repeated later in the rant. Notice that the doctor stridently sticks to the dogmatic assumption that fetuses do not suffer pain, even when premature babies of the same age certainly do. Is this the triumph of "science" or ideology? The doctor also avoids the scientific evidence of humanity as seen in a sonogram, that anyone could be moved that this is more than an insensate glob of disposable tissue.
The abortionist recounted a story (real or imagined) of a pro-life college activist who came in for an abortion, and he was angered that she might return to her ignorance, but also pitied her:
I pitied her for having spent her young life smothered under the crushing weight of the dogma of her religion, as so much of her human potential - so much of her peace of mind, her self-esteem, her common sense, her ability to experience her natural (God-given?") sensuality unencumbered by shame and guilt and fear, her capacity for free critical thinking, her basic honesty and acceptance of reality, and her rationality and understanding - was cold-pressed out of her and replaced by dogmatic superstitious beliefs that abducted and buried her mind under shame, guilt, anxiety, false certainty, and fear of everlasting punishment, and desiccated and twisted her life experience, transforming her into a judgmental mannequin of self-righteous hypocrisy.
Some might call an abortionist calling someone else a murderer and torturer a "judgmental mannequin of self-righteous hypocrisy." Before this tale, "Beket" unleashed this atheist screed:
And the vast majority of humans unknowingly suffer to at least some significant degree from a learned and conditioned thought disorder that causes them to fail to recognize and acknowledge the huge difference between knowing and merely believing. For a great many, probably most, believing without evidence to support and confirm the belief is exalted and given dominance over knowing and understanding factual reality. Many people, although plenty smart, relegate their potential intelligence to a position subservient to indoctrinated, unfounded belief and thus render themselves, in varying degrees, quite ignorant in terms of knowledge and understanding provided by honest appraisal of factual reality, thus sometimes in some ways appearing to be quite "stupid" or even "crazy." And in many, no matter how intelligent and educated they are, this thought disorder is of sufficient force and intransigence to qualify them as psychotic - the psychiatric word for insane.
No matter how fervently - even defiantly - even ragefully - one believes that he or she knows what he or she merely believes, he or she merely believes it, and he or she might be wrong - very wrong.)
In general, thinkers do not believe, and believers do not think.
Regarding ardent religious believers of all religions, I question and impugn neither the passionate sincerity nor the noble and good intentions of many of them, and it is likely that most of my friends and colleagues in abortion care are religious believers. However, I can find no credible reason to accept their often strong and fiercely obstinate beliefs as having any basis in reality whatsoever. I think they have been hoodwinked and led astray into thinking in the irrational ways that are catapulting us into worldwide calamity, not by what they don't know, but by what they so strongly believe they know for sure that, as far as we can know, just ain't so. As is allegorized by their frequent referral to themselves as "sheep" and their rigidly authoritarian and ideological priests, pastors, imams, etc., as "shepherds," they strongly tend to believe, without question or critical thought, whatever they are told to believe and to slavishly follow orders, or pretend to, however disconnected from anything real their chosen "authorities" often are.
To this Kosmonaut, abortion is a virtue. Saying there were too many abortions is objectionable:
I often hear some version of "All of us can agree that there are too many abortions in the United States today." Oh? What is this - Goldilocks and the Three Bears? If there are "too many abortions in the United States today" what number would be too few? How many would be just right? Are there too few safe, legal abortions in the world, since tens of thousands of desperate women and teenage girls every year suffer and die from unsafe illegal ones? Aren't the approximately 70,000 living, breathing human females who die every year in this world from unsafe illegal abortions approximately 70,000 "too many?" My just right number of safe legal abortions is just enough for all the women and girls who need and choose them. Enough is ideal, but too many, whatever that means, is infinitely better than not enough when referring to the lives and health of women and teenage girls.
The abortionist singled out the Catholic Church for its “vigorous support and reinforcement” of Third World women dying from abortion, infant mortality, HIV transmission, and deadly overpopulation, and then added:
And let's not forget the women brutalized and incarcerated by law enforcement in those countries in which the powerful Roman Catholic Church has pushed for and won the criminalization of abortion and achieved that cruel piece of "God's will on Earth be done." In countries such as Mexico, Chile and El Salvador women having not only induced abortions, but spontaneous abortions ("miscarriages"), are routinely subjected to police investigations and interrogation, arrested, and incarcerated. Many women having natural spontaneous miscarriages are so afraid of such persecution and prosecution that they avoid seeking medical care in such situations, and some (many I would think) die.
These terrible atrocities are completely and easily preventable and treatable by modern medical science. However, the implementation of modern medical science is blocked by the ardent extremists of the so-called "pro-life" movement, predominantly in the western world by religious fanatics and their supporters in the name of God and Jesus.
Those atrocities are what so-called "pro-life" citizens and politicians stand for.
Finally, there had to be a comparison between religious pro-lifers and the 9/11 terrorists:
Even so, tragically, there are today droves of willfully ignorant and misguided persons and their narrow and uncompromising political, legal, and religious organizations in this country who are zealously struggling to throw history into reverse and turn back the clock to those hideous times before Roe v. Wade. They strive to recreate the blood bath and the derailed and wrecked lives that existed prior to Roe vs. Wade as one especially pernicious and merciless plank in their ardent campaign to transform our free society into a religious tyranny motivated by much the same sort of fervent and uncompromising beliefs that moved other crazed religious fanatics of a different religious persuasion to guide large airliners full of innocent people into large buildings full of innocent people in that infamous "faith-based initiative" on September 11, 2001. (I'm merely connecting the dots.) The irrational roots of religious beliefs nourish intolerance to the point of murder and genocide. And war.