Episode 156 of the Tim Corrimal Show is now up. Tim’s guests this week are Andy Wienick (@awienick on Twitter), who has a new blog called Andy’s Bloviations, along with first timers Bryan (@FoldsOfFlab on Twitter) and Ben (@officiallyben on Twitter).
We began the show discussing the GOP’s new bread and circuses agenda, which focuses almost entirely on divisive social issues like revoking equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians, attacking abortion rights, defunding Planned Parenthood and National Public Radio, and undermining unions and collective bargaining rights – all red-meat issues for the far right – as a means of distracting the public’s attention from the GOP’s inability to solve our ongoing economic crisis and create jobs. Among other clips, Tim played the stirring audio of 19 year old University of Iowa student Zach Wahls testifying before an Iowa House committee about his lesbian parents and the remarkable normalcy of his family – you can watch the entire video here – and the equally moving comments of Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) on the floor of the House of Representatives, in which she discusses the agonizing decision she made to have an abortion in the midst of a troubled pregnancy where her health was in serious jeopardy.
And it was that latter clip that led me to do something I’d sworn to myself I would not do, which is to comment at length about the issue of abortion in a public context. For those of you who don’t know this is the third blog I’ve had over the years, and in both this and the previous iterations of my blogging existence I’ve scrupulously avoided the topic, not because I don’t have strong opinions about it but because I have many close friends and relatives with wildly divergent views on the subject and I’ve simply never wanted to offend any of them. The truth is, as strongly as I feel about abortion, personally, it’s one of the few issues where I feel like I really get where the other side is coming from. As quaint as it may sound, I really do respect the views of both sides of the abortion debate, and I respect how passionately both sides cleave to their respective positions. So while I do, in fact, take sides, I don’t want to demonize (or, maybe more importantly, antagonize) people who feel differently than I do.
But, anyway, now that the cat’s out of the proverbial bag, I suppose I’d better try to clarify the points I made rather clumsily on the show. My two biggest problems with the “pro-life” view (and don’t take the quotation marks to be sarcastic; I just don’t think that label is very accurate) are these: First, that most conservative Christians who oppose abortion rights frame their position as an absolute religious imperative, even though the traditional biblical law really doesn’t support that position; and, second, that basing one’s objections to abortion on the notion that life begins at conception or that a developing fetus is “human” in precisely the same sense that you and I are human is an extremist view that is both unnecessary to support the anti-abortion view and leads to completely untenable results.
In any event, on a less controversial note, we then turned our attention to the protests in Wisconsin and Fox News’ attempts to demonize union workers who are simply seeking to protect their existing legal and contractual rights. I previously explained my view of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and my support for the protesters here, here, here, and here (the last two with appropriate music, to boot!) … so, I think I’ve said enough about that subject for now.
Anyway, enjoy the show!
© 2011 David P. von Ebers. All rights reserved.