Former novelist Erica Jong has a piece in today’s Sydney Morning Herald on the threat allegedly posed by the “Christian right.” It is a good example of how some fevered leftists talk when they are addressing a mostly non-American audience. Here are some excerpts:
“One of these days, young women in the United States are going to wake up from watching so-called ‘reality TV’ and discover that they have lost the right to both abortion and contraception.
“The contempt for women and for medicine that underlies the Christian right’s attack on choice is as shocking as it is invisible. The right has been absolutely brilliant in cloaking an indifference to women’s health in language that seems to affirm life.
“The idea that a woman is less an individual than a body containing a womb has an ancient history. In Greek and Roman times it was the father, not the mother, who could decide whether an infant would be allowed to live. And mothers had more to fear than childbirth in antiquity, since girls were often abandoned to the elements at the behest of the father. It sometimes seems that the Christian right is nostalgic for these paternalistic powers.”
Yes, those nasty Christians are always taking baby girls and abandoning them to the elements.
“In 18th-century England female felons condemned to be hanged could save themselves, at least for nine months, by becoming pregnant. It was considered wrong to kill a child for the sins of the mother. Modern American law has made it clear that a pregnant woman has a similar right to health and life if the developing foetus threatens it.”
This one totally eludes me. In 18th century England, they made a point of not killing innocent babies. Therefore…what?
“The partial-birth abortion ban strips away this right and returns us to the antique notion of woman as womb. If a woman is defined basically as her reproductive organs, her right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is secondary to the rights of her foetus. It is this principle that the partial birth abortion ban seeks to establish. If it is ever entrenched as law, every ovum and sperm cell will eventually be defined as ‘pre-born’. The result will be a ban on contraception and male masturbation as well as abortion.”
Yes, Tom DeLay has the anti-masturbation bill ready to introduce next session. But what I really like here is how Ms. Jong is true to her own weird logic: it is only male masturbation that the Christian right wants to make illegal. Who said we were insensitive to the rights of women?
As long as a writer is attacking the demonic Christian right, there seems to be no limit to the level of stupidity that is indulged.
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill
“Proclaim Liberty throughout All the land unto All the Inhabitants Thereof.” Inscription on the Liberty Bell