Wednesday, 20 June 2007

the upper hand

Another one of those coincidences happened today. On my way home from work I came upon this passage in John Irving's memoir My Movie Business. It stems from a discussion on the novel and screenplay for The Cider House Rules and thus on abortion, but the point is, I think, well made:

Let doctors practice medicine. Let religious zealots practice their religion, but let them keep their religion to themselves. Religious freedom should work two ways: we should be free to practice the religion of our choice, but we must also be free from having someone else's religion practiced on us.

Then after I returned home I found this post, Bishop Harry Jackson Takes Out Anti-Matthew Shepard Act Ads, on Joe. My. God.. In a column Jackson describes how a childhood friend of his stopped a guy beating him up by shouting at him, daring him to let him up. Then he goes on to say:

Instead of amending the hate crimes legislation that protects churches in a substantive way, they [gay activists, SK] are simply crying out in a louder, more threatening manner. Gay advocates are not looking for fairness; they are looking for an upper hand.

Doesn't that mean he's saying the gay activists are like his friend and churches are the larger, ferocious bully who had him in a choke hold?

If you have embiggened (phrase borrowed from Joe. My. God. I may or may not return it), you may have noted the phrase "misguided compassion". What would Jesus think?
EDIT: I added a bigger version of the poster. Click to read.

If the loopholes in this legislation are not closed, Christians and Bible-teaching churches could become victims of a strange brand of reverse discrimination. These actions are tantamount to the gay community saying, ”Freedom for me, but bondage for you.” This attitude is just not consistent with America’s ideals.

Which apparently say "Freedom for me, but bondage for you." Calling it reverse discrimination is of course an admission that he supports discrimination of gays. One of my favourite poems springs to mind (I bolded the most interesting - in this context - lines).

The Justice of the Peace

Distinguish carefully between these two,
This thing is yours, that other thing is mine.
You have a shirt, a brimless hat, a shoe
And half a coat. I am the Lord benign
Of fifty hundred acres of fat land
To which I have a right. You understand?

I have a right because I have, because,
Because I have -- because I have a right.
Now be quite calm and good, obey the laws,
Remember your low station, do not fight
Against the goad, because, you know, it pricks
Whenever the uncleanly demos kicks.

I do not envy you your hat, your shoe.
Why should you envy me my small estate?
It's fearfully illogical in you
To fight with economic force and fate.
Moreover, I have got the upper hand,
And mean to keep it. Do you understand?

-- Hilaire Belloc

The memoir was a spur of the moment buy at the American Book Center Yard Sale a couple of weeks ago. I don't regret it, as it has made me realise I have sorely neglected his body of work. Hopefully I shall start reading more soon.

By the way, did you know (this also from John Irving) that:
From colonial times, abortion had always been permitted until the fetus was 'quick'; in other words, until the fetus was advanced enough to make movement of its own that could be differentiated from the mother's movement. Thus, in the first trimester of pregnancy, abortion was legal in the United States, even in the time of the Puritans. Notwithstanding the punitive beliefs of America's deeply religious founding fathers, abortion was nobody's business but the woman's herself.

1 comment:

Big Ass Belle said...

this whole issue makes me crazy. and i find it particularly maddening when the folks bitching about abortion are male. i know that's not fair because it takes two to make a baby. but if it's growing in my body and dependent upon me, it is MY choice and no other. and these asshats in that poster ~ insufferable.