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How I Lost Faith in the “Pro-Life” Movement

How I Lost Faith in the “Pro-Life” Movement
UPDATE: Welcome readers from facebook and elsewhere! Please subscribe through the buttons at the right if you enjoy this post. The spring of my sophomore year of college I was president of my university’s Students for Life chapter. The fall of my junior year of college I cut my ties with the pro-life movement. Five years later I have lost the last shred of faith I had in that movement. I was raised in the sort of evangelical family where abortion is the number one political issue. My views on fetal personhood and women’s bodily autonomy have shifted since that day, but when I first started blogging a year and a half ago I was nevertheless very insistent that the pro-life movement should be taken at its word when it came to rhetoric about saving “unborn babies” from being “murdered.” I have come to the conclusion that I was wrong. As a child, teen, and college student, I sincerely believed that personhood, life, rights, and the soul all began at fertilization. What about the Zygote?

On Resistance Several weeks after the demonstrations in Washington, I am still trying to sort out my impressions of a week whose quality is difficult to capture or express. Perhaps some personal reflections may be useful to others who share my instinctive distaste for activism, but who find themselves edging toward an unwanted but almost inevitable crisis. For many of the participants, the Washington demonstrations symbolized the transition "from dissent to resistance." I will return to this slogan and its meaning, but I want to make clear at the outset that I do feel it to be not only accurate with respect to the mood of the demonstrations, but, properly interpreted, appropriate to the present state of protest against the war. On October 16th on the Boston Common I listened as Howard Zinn explained why he felt ashamed to be an American. The weekend of the Peace Demonstrations in Washington left impressions that are vivid and intense, but unclear to me in their implications. What comes next?

16 Moving Images From Trayvon Martin Rallies Across The Country By Igor Volsky "16 Moving Images From Trayvon Martin Rallies Across The Country" Thousands of Americans across the country protested the George Zimmerman verdict on Sunday, “chanting, praying and even fighting tears” after the jury acquitted the neighborhood watchman of all criminal charges for killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Though some pundits predicted race riots in the aftermath of a not guilty verdict, the rallies proved overwhelmingly peaceful and deeply moving: NYC, NY via AP NYC, NY via @shokufeyesib NYC, NY via @IrvingDeJohn Miami, FL via AP Oakland, CA via @shadirahimi Milwaukee, WI via AP Newark, NJ via AP Atlanta, GA via AP Detroit, MI via AP Seattle, WA via Milwaukee, WI via @ShantTHEGREAT Jacksonville, FL via AP Chicago, IL via ‏@soit_goes

We've Been Arguing About Irony vs. Sincerity for Millennia - R. Jay Magill Jr. Forget that recent, naive New York Times column. Proto-hipsters were around before Christ. Two-hundred-something years ago, after the earnestly murderous trials of the French Revolution, irony appeared on the cobblestoned streets of Paris. Young aristocratic men called Incroyables took to dressing in a fashion not at all unlike today's hipsters: tight pants, thick glasses, bright green coats with exaggeratedly high collars, and huge, brightly colored ties. Royalists, anti-Jacobin and anti-Girondist, these youths sought to parody fashion and politics, to arouse laughter and shock in their onlookers. Christy Wampole's "How To Live Without Irony," published in the New York Times on November 17, 2012, pinpoints the newest version of this ironic interrogation. A follow-up article that week, on this very Atlantic website, by Jonathan D. If you go too far with irony, you get the radically superficial society of late 18th-century France. Thankfully, none of this came to pass.

Why are Millennials so ironic? Because we know we’re being screwed. | Radical Social Entrepreneurs The New York Times recently published an article called “How to Live without Irony“. The (slightly cranky) piece diagnoses hipster culture as the malaise of spoiled and superficial Millennials. They (as a Millennial I should say ‘we’) can commit to nothing. We are meticulous planners of our image. We use irony to deflect anything that might betray genuine emotion or seriousness. Ironic living, writes the author, “is the most self-defensive mode, as it allows a person to dodge responsibility for his or her choices, aesthetic and otherwise.” Unfortunately, the author suggests Millennials should fix themselves by using fewer inside jokes and having less eccentric wardrobes. She just doesn’t get it. Why do we get all our news from Jon Stewart and the Onion? Even if we don’t understand all the gory details, Millennials are aware that American society is not healthy. We jail more people than anywhere else in the world, mostly for a War on Drugs that Millennials do not believe in.

How to Live Without Irony Leif Parsons The Stone is a forum for contemporary philosophers and other thinkers on issues both timely and timeless. If irony is the ethos of our age — and it is — then the hipster is our archetype of ironic living. The hipster haunts every city street and university town. Manifesting a nostalgia for times he never lived himself, this contemporary urban harlequin appropriates outmoded fashions (the mustache, the tiny shorts), mechanisms (fixed-gear bicycles, portable record players) and hobbies (home brewing, playing trombone). He is an easy target for mockery. How did this happen? Life in the Internet age has undoubtedly helped a certain ironic sensibility to flourish. Furthermore, the nostalgia cycles have become so short that we even try to inject the present moment with sentimentality, for example, by using certain digital filters to “pre-wash” photos with an aura of historicity. But Y2K came and went without disaster. I, too, exhibit ironic tendencies.

Why is Boston 'terrorism' but not Aurora, Sandy Hook, Tucson and Columbine | Glenn Greenwald (updated below - Update II) Two very disparate commentators, Ali Abunimah and Alan Dershowitz, both raised serious questions over the weekend about a claim that has been made over and over about the bombing of the Boston Marathon: namely, that this was an act of terrorism. Dershowitz was on BBC Radio on Saturday and, citing the lack of knowledge about motive, said (at the 3:15 mark): "It's not even clear under the federal terrorist statutes that it qualifies as an act of terrorism." Abunimah wrote a superb analysis of whether the bombing fits the US government's definition of "terrorism", noting that "absolutely no evidence has emerged that the Boston bombing suspects acted 'in furtherance of political or social objectives'" or that their alleged act was 'intended to influence or instigate a course of action that furthers a political or social goal.'" In the Boston case, however, exactly the opposite dynamic prevails. This is far more than a semantic question.

No One in America Should Have to Wait 7 Hours to Vote - Andrew Cohen What's happening at polling stations in Ohio and Florida isn't some fluke of nature or breakdown in equipment. It's all part of a partisan design. No matter who wins the presidential race, no matter which party controls Congress, can we at least agree as reasonable adults that when it comes to voting itself the election of 2012 is a national disgrace? We ask our sons and daughters, our husbands and wives, to give their lives abroad for noble concepts like "freedom" and "democracy." And yet we are content as a nation, and as a people, to tolerate another cycle of election rules that require our fellow citizens to sacrifice a measure of basic human dignity simply to exercise their right to vote. For example, what happened this weekend in Florida is simply unacceptable. This is happening not because of a natural disaster or breakdown in machinery. When the remaining restrictions were challenged in federal court, a George W. These are just two recent examples. But let us begin.

A Rejoinder to Noam Chomsky The two related questions before the house are these. Can the attacks of September 11 be compared to an earlier outrage committed by Americans? And should they be so compared? About the Author Christopher Hitchens Christopher Hitchens, longtime contributor to The Nation, wrote a wide-ranging, biweekly column for the magazine... Also by the Author A new memoir by Robert Hughes reveals the idiosyncratic sensibility of a celebrated art critic. The election season is always hellish for people who fancy that they live by political principles, because at such a time "politics" becomes, even more than usually, a matter of show business and Noam Chomsky does not rise much above the level of half-truth in his comparison of the September 11 atrocities to Clinton's rocketing of Sudan. Thus I think I am indeed "unaware," with or without Chomsky's lofty permission, of my propensity for racist contempt. How exact is this comparison? But this by no means exhausts my disagreement with Chomsky.

What Is Classical Liberalism? | Publications | National Center for Policy Analysis View in PDF Prior to the 20th century, classical liberalism was the dominant political philosophy in the United States. It was the political philosophy of Thomas Jefferson and the signers of the Declaration of Independence and it permeates the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Federalist Papers and many other documents produced by the people who created the American system of government. Many of the emancipationists who opposed slavery were essentially classical liberals, as were the suffragettes, who fought for equal rights for women. Basically, classical liberalism is the belief in liberty. People who call themselves classical liberals today tend to have the basic view of rights and role of government that Jefferson and his contemporaries had. On the left of the political spectrum, things are more complicated. At the same time, 20th century liberals continued to be influenced by the 19th century liberalism's belief in and respect for civil liberties.

Spiral of silence The spiral of silence is a political science and mass communication theory propounded by the German political scientist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann. Spiral of silence theory describes the process by which one opinion becomes dominant as those who perceive their opinion to be in the minority do not speak up because society threatens individuals with fear of isolation. The assessment of one's social environment may not always be correct with reality. Background[edit] Introduced in 1974, the Spiral of Silence Theory […] explores hypotheses to determine why some groups remain silent while others are more vocal in forums of public disclosure. It explains the formation of social norms at both the micro and macro level. What is public opinion[edit] The term public opinion first emerged in France during the eighteenth century. In contradiction to that quote, the term public opinion seemed to not cease. "It is cheap" was how American sociologist Edward Ross described public opinion in 1898.

Can Georgia Do Right? By David Morse Printer Friendly Version Can Georgia Do Right? By David Morse 26 October, Is the legal system of the state of Georgia up to the task – when the task is to rectify the flawed trial of a black man accused of killing a white police officer? The world is waiting to see if justice can prevail. Fortunately, on Friday, October 24, the U.S. This is the third stay of execution in a case that has attracted worldwide interest. Circumstances surrounding officer MacPhail’s death are murky. That “someone,” according to the lawyer prosecuting the case, was Troy Davis. In the absence of solid physical evidence, including a murder weapon (the gun was supposedly never found) witness testimony is especially crucial. Witnesses were coerced. Key testimony came from a woman standing 160 feet away, looking at four black men scrambling about in a fracas that was “over before it began.” “She was a single mother of four,” observes attorney Deirdre O’Connor, director of Innocence Matters.

Gamergate and the politicization of absolutely everything 1. If you want to understand why Gamergate has blown up, you could start with a recent study by Stanford University's Shanto Iyengar and Sean J. Westwood. They handed 1,000 people some sample student resumes and asked them to decide which deserved a scholarship. 2. at least under certain conditions, our political identities now trump our racial identities 3. 4. 5. Michael Tesler/Monkey Cage 6. Michael Tesler/The Monkey Cage 7. Political identities aren't about tax cuts. 8. 9. This is a world in which it was only a matter of time until video games were politicized 10. 11. 12. 13. Gamergate has become a political conflict. 14. 15. Within Gamergate, there's a deep sense of conspiracy 16. 17. 18. 19. It's easy to mock video gamers as dorky loners in yellowing underpants. They're for equal pay and they voted for Barack Obama, so why are they being made the enemy? 20. 21. 22. Ruling beliefs culturally repugnant is a game that the left is better at playing these days 23. 24. 25.