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The Bathos of Recent Baby-Killing Rhetoric

Pathos arouses emotions of sympathy, tenderness, and pity. Bathos, on the other hand, brings to mind ludicrous sentimentality and melodrama. Contemporary baby-killing rhetoric has descended to the latter.

Examples of this bathos are spread across the popular and political press. A Nation editorial pleads against handing over the "rights to my body to any state," but does not flinch in the same essay to demand the subjugation of other individuals' rights in order to provide "health care, housing, day care, a decent income, all the rest."

A subsequent Nation issue claims that early human life is not worthy of protection since its DNA does not determine a "prepackaged human being" but is dependent on several later interactions of cells. The freshman's reductio is simply to grant the premise and note that there are other stages of life after the womb which would fail to meet the criterion of "full human potential." Shall we slaughter infants as well? Why not be rid of irksome pubescents?

Mother Jones magazine notes with the grace of an S.S. officer that, "theoretically both vacuum aspiration and menstrual extraction could be adapted for home use." Such relief! We no longer have to worry about exterminating groups of humans in messy back alleys.

The Humanist offers one of its typically naive "separation of church and state" arguments. Murder is now somehow purely a "religious" matter and therefore protected by the Constitution's "restraint" on religion. Wow, the First amendment is tougher than we thought.

The New Republic attempts to reduce Pro-Life arguments to absurdity by threatening that if we grant protection to human life before birth, we would truly wrangle our tax and bureaucratic system. That reductio would be a pleasure to swallow. We could protect human life and, at the same time, reduce a burgeoning regulatory system.

If baby-killing advocates truly cared for women, then they would want to protect them from a male dominated abortion industry which thrives on pregnant women.

The base issue is not reason or concern for women but rebellion against the Creator. In the near future, we should expect to hear fewer arguments from the defenders of baby-killing and see more exertions of raw power.

Copyright © by Covenant Community Church of Orange County 1990
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