I wanted to write a quick something about the Kevin Williamson uproar, and then, Lord willing, write something later about the complicated nature of abortion laws and penology. Maybe Monday for that. When I write on Monday, I will be standing there, as per usual, my little tin bucket filled to overflowing with qualification and nuance, while at the same time exhibiting a rock-ribbed allegiance to the absolutes of biblical law. This is not an easy task because it can sometimes be slippery standing in the slop of all that nuance.
But in the meantime, a couple things about the Affair Williamson just can’t wait, and there is not really that much nuance involved in this part.
For those just joining us, Williamson is a conservative writer who landed a gig at The Atlantic Monthy, from which location he was promptly frog-marched after it was discovered that he had once talked approvingly on a podcast about the death penalty for women who procure abortions.
The only thing I want to say at this point concerns the Outrage Machine that the Left has run so effectively for decades (although there are signs it needs some maintenance). What they want to do is make Williamson out to be some kind of moral monster because he actually believes what all pro-lifers say abortion is. It is the unlawful taking of a human life, which is to say, murder. And if you have a murder, at some point you need to acknowledge that there is a murderer involved somewhere. You can’t use the rhetoric of murder for fund-raising purposes and not have to face the implications of what you have been saying at some point.
But the Outrage Machine wants to make such statements about some scared and vulnerable high school senior, pressured by her boyfriend and parents, believing what she was told about “a cluster of cells,” and Williamson the Evil One wants to execute her. But it is more like what would happen after we were invaded and overthrown by a nation far more righteous than we are, and they then decided to hold the equivalent of the Nuremberg trials. They naturally would arrest Cecile Richards, and put her on trial for her life. Would that be just? Of course it would be. But there are still lots of additional qualifications to make, and so I will have to ask the hotheads to wait until Monday.
But in the meantime, this is what I have to say about the faux-outrage from the liberals about Williamson. Take the most extreme example you can cook up, the most difficult hypothetical scenario you can manage to invent. Say the pregnant girl is 17, she is the captain of the cheerleading squad, she is faithfully involved in her youth group at church, and she is as cute as a button. Williamson, they seethe, is a vile human being. And why? Because he wants to give this girl a fair trial in order to determine whether or not she is guilty of a capital crime, and once that happens he then acknowledges the possibility of execution. The fumes of volcanic outrage spray upward.
And why? Because they, the liberal ones, would only support killing such a girl if she hadn’t done anything, if she had been given no trial, if she were eighteen years younger, if there were millions of her, and if there were some prospects for making a profit by selling the livers.
Frankly, this manufactured outrage is not only grossly hypocritical, it is more than a little bit creepy. Excuse us if we would rather not hear any indignant moralizing from you guys.
If you want to do some background reading in preparation for Monday’s post, there is this from the folks at CrossPolitic. And for an example of how not to do it, there is this post from Thabiti—he is not talking about the abortion issue, but he is using the rhetoric of murder in a grossly irresponsible way. He is not preaching the law in order to get to the gospel, but is rather trafficking in more than a little bit of evangeliguilt.
Stay tuned. And if in the meantime you want to hear what I think about Planned Parenthood, you can click here or on the picture of the cover.