Reflections On Life, Literacy, and Legality

I just read the following headline from MSNBC: “Justice Sotomayor, the conscious of the supreme court.” If Sotomayor represents judicial “consciousness,” then perhaps a full supply of sleeping pills for judges everywhere would go a long way to answering all the world’s problems. Millions of tiny humans would surely appreciate a little less judicial consciousness, on this standard. 

The error is repeated in the blurb accompanying the video story under that headline. General illiteracy, combined with politically correct hiring standards — and of course university journalism degrees — have killed any remnants of basic professionalism or craftsmanship in “the news media.” Ernest Hemingway began his writing career in that field. Now we have a major news network with millions of viewers and subscribers publishing sub-linguistic inanities that any sixth-grade proofreader from Hemingway’s day would have caught, and for the commission of which any headline writer or editor of that era would have been fired in ten seconds.

Speaking of millions of tiny humans, I see another headline, from a leftist “writer” at Mediaite: “STUNNING POLL: Almost HALF of Americans Agree ‘Abortion Is The Same As Murdering A Child’.” This is not merely stunning, but STUNNING, to progressive media types like “writer” Tommy Christopher (not his real name, apparently, because it’s so cool to have a fake name I suppose) who live in a bubble of echoing leftist talking points and self-righteous certainties. No such certainties resound as loudly (LOUDLY?) in the progressive mind as those derived from feminist propaganda, which insists, among other equally peculiar things, that a woman’s right to her body properly entails a direct cancelling or overriding of an unborn human’s right to its life.

According to the STUNNING POLL, when asked whether they agreed with the statement that “Abortion is the same as murdering a child,” 31% said they “strongly agree,” while a further 14% claimed to “somewhat agree.” Yes, that is almost HALF.

Gee, who could have guessed that more than, say, a couple of thousand radical Catholics were seriously against women’s equality, hated women, and wanted women to live as oppressed second-class citizens who do not own their own bodies? It’s a mad, mad world! This must be because of Trumpism, racism, or something.

Progressives need to get out more. Maybe if they did, they would start to appreciate how the whole concept of “getting out” has broad value and deep significance, even in the fluttering hearts of those aforementioned millions of tiny humans. Oh, I forgot, soon no one will be allowed to “get out” anymore without a vaccine passport — soon to be renamed a carbon passport, a wellness passport, a good citizenship passport, a compliance passport, and eventually, at least in colloquial parlance, a cyber-yoke.

For what it is worth, I would not necessarily align myself with the precise view of the “almost HALF” of Americans who regard abortion as strongly or somewhat “the same as murder.” As I have explained before, murder is a term of art, and specifically the lawmaker’s art. The proper description for abortion, under current social conditions, would be “killing,” and specifically the killing of a human being. Whether it ought to be reconceived, in law, as a form of murder, is a different (and legitimate) question — a theoretical question and perhaps a public policy question. 

But abortion cannot, at this moment, be simply equated with murder, partly for the reason that this would make millions of women (and doctors) murderers retroactively, and thus in principle subject to criminal prosecution and possible life imprisonment. This would be a grave injustice and a tyrannical abuse of the concepts of criminal law and punishment.

Abortion is killing. The victim of the killing is an innocent human being. That is a factual matter, based on nature, science, and reasoning. Murder is a different kind of classification, and one that cannot fairly be applied to the practical reality of abortion, given current social conditions and recent historical precedent. There might come a day when the tide will turn in a way that would make such a legal reclassification viable and just. But for now, it is neither, in my opinion.

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