Abortion And Testicular Values

“The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.

~Dante Alighieri

The Joplin Globe, published here in the heart of hard-headed Republican America, naturally prints some god-awful opinions authored by right-wingers from time to time, but most of them don’t come with the description “Pulitzer Prize-winning” attached to the author’s name, as Sunday’s column (“A moment of clarity, thanks to Race for the Cure“) by Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Greenberg did.

Mr. Greenberg—a Southern gentleman, don’t you know—attacked Susan G. Komen for the Cure for its yo-yo-ish relationship with Planned Parenthood. You see, Mr. Greenberg doesn’t much like Planned Parenthood and thus the Komen foundation’s association with it makes Komen a ripe target for the Arkansan’s moralizing.

He wrote,

What a mess…It’s not easy trying to stay neutral between right and wrong. No wonder Dante gave those who manage to bring it off their own special circle in hell or vicinity thereof.

You know a guy ain’t messing around when he brings in Dante to close out the contest. Nothing quite says “game over” like being dispatched to an imaginary hell made famous by a 750-year-old Italian poet.

In any case, during the course of his column, we soon find out specifically why the ireful writer felt the need to reach so far back in the bullpen of history for a flame-throwing closer:

The same phenomenon can be observed in the kind of people who wind up either ignoring moral questions or trying to minimize them. Hey, abortion is only a small percentage of Planned Parenthood’s total activities, even if it represents a lot of the organization’s income…

Now we’re told that destroying the most innocent and vulnerable, the least of these, shouldn’t be cause for such concern. How many babies in total does Planned Parenthood do away with every year anyway — a few hundred thousand? Big deal.

It does so year in, year out, with the generous help of outfits like the Komen foundation and the federal government. Why make a fuss about it? Abortions are only a sideline at Planned Parenthood anyway, except maybe when it comes to its bottom line. Nine out of 10 pregnant women who enter a Planned Parenthood clinic get an abortion, according to its annual report for 2010. So what? Couldn’t we all just look the other way?

Ah, there it is. The A word.  Abortion. An issue near and dear to the uterus-challenged class. That is why the moralizing columnist is tossing folks in the fictional Inferno. He’s upset that womenfolk who don’t share his manly understanding of gestation’s mysteries are “ignoring” or “trying to minimize” the moral questions and looking “the other way.”

By God if these featherheaded dames would only face up to the morality of abortion the way Paul Greenberg has, they would surely discard their devilish delusions and come to embrace the testicular values of a Pulitzer-winning columnist and his trusty testicle-totin’ muse from the Middle Ages.

It’s just that simple, ain’t it?


  1. ansonburlingame

     /  February 13, 2012

    Actually, Duane, it is not that simple,

    Abortion is a huge moral issue for some people. Based on their own sense of morality, they consider it very wrong in almost all circumstances. Others believe freedom of choice at the the individual level should dominate.

    I know you disagree with such sentiments (Pro-Life) and I also see that you call organizations and some public figures all sorts of names for holding them. Iron Age Church comes to mind. And now you demean the genitellia of, yes, a Pultizer Prize Winning author, for expressing his own sense of morality on the subject.

    I of course read his column with a different perspective. I ignored his stance on abortion because I disagree with his moral views. I am decidedly Pro-Choice, meaning of course more freedom to make difficult moral decisions without government interference, at the individual level.

    However I do agree with his criticism of the Komen Foundation’s “flip-flop” publicily. As Greeberg rather decisivly pointed out, the decision by Komen ultimately came down to a stark “business” decision of how the money would affect that organization. Does $450,0000 sound a little HIGH for the CEO of a charitable organization? It sure does to me.

    Money not morality evidently drove their decision and Greenberg let them have it. In my view they deserve crticism for being so “greedy”.

    There is little room for half way positions on abortion, at least until medical science determines how to make women “only a little bit pregnant”!



    • 1.) Whether Komen deserves Greenberg’s ire I don’t address.  And I think most of us would agree that nearly a half-million bucks for the CEO of a charity is ridiculous. But that, of course, wasn’t the real point of his column. He wanted to attack Planned Parenthood, which is the last resort for most women seeking reproductive health these days.

      2.) Using the term “Iron Age” to describe the Catholic Church (or any church with roots in the first century) is not necessarily a term of derision but a descriptive term. It is a fact. Now, I admit that I am disparaging those who would act like this is still the Iron Age, like we haven’t learned a damn thing in the last two thousand years, but any rational person should do the same in my view.

      3.) I didn’t “demean the genitellia”[sic]of Paul Greenberg for God’s sake. The point was that men without uteruses and thus without the capacity to get pregnant sure have a keen sense of morality on the subject of abortion, which strikes me as more than a little arrogant.

      His assumption in his column that women are hiding from the morality of abortion is totally without merit. Just because some women don’t come down on the same side of the issue as he does doesn’t mean they have not considered the morality of it. Male arrogance is how it appears to me, thus the many references to his manly parts. Just because you have a penis and testicles doesn’t mean you have the absolute moral authority to make reproductive judgments for the other sex.

      4.) While there may not be a half-way position on the act of abortion (you either have one or you don’t) there are all sorts of gradations on the morality of the act, which is why I, like you, prefer to leave it up to the conscience of the woman involved, except in the later stages (when science should have a say in the outcome).



  2. I however agree with Duane that it is that simple. Abortion is a Theocratic issue and therefore is not amenable to rational debate.

    I also agree with Anson about Komen’s “greed”. Unfortunately, Komen evolved as do virtually all large charities into a large money machine which enriches its top managers. Charity is big business, a subject on which I have previously blogged at length.


    • Jim,

      Your point here and in your excellent look at Smile Train is why it is more than problematic that we turn the bulk of the burden of helping folks over to charitable groups (which some extreme conservatives and libertarians would have us do).

      I see inefficiencies everywhere, in the private sphere and in the public sphere, as the one common element seems to be human beings, who often, being human beings, value other things (like money or free time) over efficiency. But in the case of Komen, to have a CEO making roughly what the leader of the free world makes every year seems a little, well, a little out of balance. My guess is that organization is in for big changes.



  3. Jane Reaction

     /  February 13, 2012

    Anson apparently is driven to comment on everything, even in this case when he is “pro-choice”.

    Abortion is an issue for the few. In practice, only 2% of Catholics side with the pope on birth control.

    This is simple, The so-called Christians apparently cannot read their own book. If so, they would have to go no further than the Book of Genesis, chapter 2:7: God proceeded to….blow into his nostrils the breath of life. In 7:22 all creatures have “the force of life… was active in its nostrils”.

    In Isaiah 42:5 Jehovah is “the One giving breath to the people”.

    Only those breathing count as far as God is concerned.


  1. Life Begins At . . . ? | Still Skeptical After All These Years
%d bloggers like this: