Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"Hide Your Beads And Babies!"

Megan feels the need to explain herself, and (as usual) chaos follows. There are so many unsupported assumptions in the piece that it's almost impossible to rebut, you can only marvel at the shallowness of Megan's thought process.

The religion thread, predictably, has brought out people who seem convinced
that the opinion that life begins at conception is definitionally illegitimate
because many of the people who hold it are religious. This seems flatly
ridiculous to me.

I'd have to read the comments to see if that's true. No thanks.

The question of personhood is not definitionally religious, even if the only
people interested in expanding society's definition of personhood are

I don't know about "only," and neither does Megan. Cite?

Blacks are people, and those of us without any particular religious
convictions are able to apprehend this, even if 150 years ago the only people
much interested in prosecuting their claim to personhood were ministers and
their flocks.

A very tacky thing to say. And, cite for her statement that only the religious cared about ending slavery?

It is certainly possible to believe that life begins at conception without
reference to God. And once a question is legitimately in the political
sphere--in a way that, I would argue, the divinity of Christ or the Mohammedan
succession is not--it's not really particularly reasonable to declare that
people may not have reference to their own faith in deciding what they

Who is doing this? Your commenters? Who cares?

Few people on the left seem worried by the fact that the
anti-death-penalty movement gets much of its energy from left-wing churches, nor
that those same churches have organized substantial opposition to the Iraq

True, although churches didn't commit "substantial" opposition. The opposition had no effect at all, and some people said that it would be funny and predictable if the oppostion was hit in the head with 2x4s for protesting.

Indeed, though I myself am pro-choice and mostly irreligious, it
seems more likely to me that the main effect of faith is to spur people to
embrace causes that are personally and socially inconvenient.

Do you have a cite for this besides your gut feeling?

Slaveowners didn't need religion to motivate them to defend slavery; they
had a powerful financial interest in doing so. Similarly, the pro-choice
movement, at least in my experience, gets most of its activist energy from
reproductive-aged women who have a strong interest in being able to terminate an
unwanted pregnancy. By contrast, what self-interest was served by the
abolitionist movement then, or the pro-life movement now?

What self-interest is served by the pro-life movement? Political power, which is why Republicans have been doing a fan dance for the religious right for over a decade now. Unfulfilled promises to install Christionist ideals in government are traded for donations and votes. Where the hell has Megan been for the last two decade, and how does she dare discuss politics or religion?

There's a legend among many pro-choicers that everyone in the pro-life movement
is a patriarchal, selfish man who wants to force women to have babies in order
to control them. In fact, women and men are roughly equally likely to be

Prove it. Cite?

The best that pro-lifers get out of their movement is--having to carry
their own unwanted pregnancies to term.

Unless they don't. You see, sometimes people are h-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e-s.

Absent self-interest, you need some other motive, and Christianity provides
a good one; the New Testament doesn't have much sympathy for the notion that
you're too busy or too embarrassed to follow your convictions.

Heaven. Hell. Remember those rewards and punishments promised to Christians for obeying God?

Obviously, there's also the social
clustering of belief
--Quakers tend to be environmentalists not necessarily
because Jesus said so, but because the kind of people who are attracted to
Quakerism are also attracted to left-wing causes.

Cite? And are there even many Quaker converts?

Likewise, Southern Baptists tend to vote Republicans for a number of
reasons, of which religion may be the least.

Bull. I live surrounded by Southern Baptists and religion is number 1. Cite?

I presume that no one, not even religion's most dogmatic opponents,
believes that encouraging people to do what they think is right is a pernicious
aspect of religion.

I do, since I don't trust Christians to do the Christian thing. Plenty of them persecute gays for religious reasons. And what about those religious guys in the Middle East--they are doing what they think is right. See, thinking something is right isn't the same as doing the right thing. Even if you back up your thoughts with what you think God is telling you to do.

Since observationally, almost none of them seem to think so when the
religious person in question agrees with them, this seems like just another
disingenuous way to attempt to shut down debate.Now, that doesn't mean that
religious arguments have a place in the public square. Opponents of gay
marriage need a better reason than "God said no" to appeal to those of us who
are skeptical that this God exists, or those who think that God said something
else entirely. But it's not possible to remove religious motivations from
politics, and it's far from clear to me that the country would be a better place
if we had.

So people who take their religious beliefs into account when make decisions should be allowed to do so. Great. So what about Andrew Sullivan's point that decisions regarding government should be based on secular laws? This post is a waste of electrons; it avoids the debate because Megan is incapable of understanding the Founding Fathers' desire for secular government. Her thinking is too ignorant, unformed and immature to examine the issue.

I need to find a new hobby. Megan's a waste of brain cells.


Anonymous said...

Okay, most of Megan's post is shallow, incoherent babble that just mumbles in circles, but "disingenuous" means insincere. There's no way, in any context, no matter what the argument, that the sentence "this seems like just another
disingenuous way to attempt to shut down debate" makes a lick of sense.

Susan of Texas said...

It's all pretty random, isn't it? And "definitionally" makes my brain hurt.

Anonymous said...

How about "mostly irreligious"? Is that like being "mostly gay" or "half pregnant" or what? You're either religious or you're not. Some more so than others, but you can't be "part religious."

Susan of Texas said...

Maybe she believes, but maybe she doesn't! Or she's not sure if she believes, but she's sure she doesn't entirely disbelieve.

Or she's just full of it.

Anonymous said...

I'll put my money on being full of it. I suppose it depends on who she's trying to pander to on any given day or the beliefs of the rump she's currently puckering up to. Calling herself something like an "agnotheist" is stupid. It's wanting to be viewed as having some amount of spiritual depth while not having to actually adhere to the rigor of a religion. That's not to judge people who don't, but at least they've made up their bloody minds.

Adam Eli Clem said...

Since restricting myself to roughly 1.5 McArdle dive-bombing attacks per month, my outlook, temperament and hygiene have markedly improved. You might try cutting down your intake rather than abandoning her altogether.

Susan of Texas said...

She wears on the nerves. I think you're right; the stupid will still be there later.

After one more post---.