The New Fanatics

The most common definition of “fanatic” is: “a person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal, especially for an extreme religious or political cause.”

The far right in the United States clearly meets this definition, especially with regard to abortion.

They’ve harassed and murdered doctors for conducting legal abortions, not to mention wide-scale harassment of women seeking legal abortions. They’ve attempted and often succeeded in banning and limiting a range of effective birth-control medications, including medications not limited to birth, thereby threatening the health of women requiring such medication to treat other medical problems.

In practice, banning all forms of abortion would kill thousands if not millions of women – or turn them into criminals for not wanting to bear children they don’t want and often can’t support. The fanatics who propose such laws have demonstrated that they have no interest in supporting and educating these unwanted children, even when the mothers cannot. That’s hardly “pro-life,” not when they’re willing to require a living woman to die.

These same fanatics also want to ban the majority of contraceptives, the result being that men can have sex without being effectively required to deal with the consequences, while effectively shoving the entire responsibility for having sex upon women and denying them the means for avoiding unwanted pregnancies in the first place, and likely increasing the amount of domestic violence (which almost invariably turns out poorly for the woman).

As I’ve noted earlier, the Republican political establishment largely backs or does not oppose these measures despite the fact that the majority of Americans don’t support the fanatics’ agenda.

Notwithstanding the flawed and often deliberately misleading legal rhetoric of today’s far right, the Founding Fathers made it clear in the Constitution that they did not want government to impose religious standards on the people.

But fanatics don’t really care about what the Constitution really stated, or about having a government for and by the people; they want a government that imposes their standards on everyone, even when the majority doesn’t approve. It’s ironic that so many of them have spoken against the imposition of Islamic “Sharia” law when they’re effectively proposing a “Christian” law that treats women in the same fashion and would effectively create a semi-theocratic state.

9 thoughts on “The New Fanatics”

  1. Grey says:

    Yes, if they were truly pro life, the easiest path would be mandatory vasectomies for all men as that is almost always a reversible process now. And if it turns out not to be, then I guess that is god’s will. But really, it is about misogyny and control of women, or more broadly as the saying goes, for the law to protect, but not bind, white conservative males, and bind but not protect anyone else.

    1. R. Hamilton says:

      Some tubal ligation techniques, although less trivial to do, are AFAIK far more reversible than vasectomy, which takes microsurgery. That may vary somewhat if vasectomy techniques are used that are intended to be more likely to be reversible; but the last advice I recall seeing was not to get it done if you thought you’d eventually want it reversed. (indeed, that’s true for all methods of sterilization for both males and females, since the reversibility can’t be guaranteed)

      Some IUDs are 99% effective and the insertion is not nearly as bad as an operation, reversibility is near 100%, and side-effects are usually minor.

      Properly used, condoms are highly effective at preventing both pregnancy and disease, even if they’re reportedly not quite as much fun for the guy, but if he ought to be more responsible, he’d better be prepared to give up something.

      None of those are free, but they’re all cheaper than properly raising a child.

      Male birth control pills or patches are still being researched, but it’s a very difficult problem.

      Both parties should ideally be equally responsible…which for maximum responsibility means don’t boink if you’re not married or can’t afford kids. IMO that’s the ancient answer, hold people accountable for avoiding actions rather than letting them try to escape consequences; not that they should be denied knowledge (I had a relative that used to say “if you can’t be good, at least don’t be stupid”, but I never entirely saw how being not good could ever be other than stupid in the long run), but that availability of mitigations (none other than self-restraint being 100% effective) should not become an excuse to indulge one’s proclivities.

      1. Wren Jackson says:

        None of which address the original poster’s point that people aren’t pro life because they actually care, they’re pro life because they want to control women.

        As for the derailments you posted. You recommend a more complicated and dangerous procedure because it’s a bit easier to reverse, putting more responsibility on the woman.

        You say male birth control is “difficult” when the reality is we had 96% effective male birth control testing in 2016 but stopped because the poor men had “mood swings” and “depression” Never mind that those are common in female birth control and no one bats an eye or thinks women should stop taking the pill.

        So again, responsibility on the women, women need to deal with mood swings, depression and other side effects because the poor fragile men don’t want to.

        What was that about equal responsibility? Gonna be honest, the man saying there should be equal responsibility while continually pushing narratives where the woman should handle everything seems… What’s the word?

    2. R. Hamilton says:

      In most situations, the one with more options should yield to the one with less options, e.g. powered aircraft or even gliders yield to balloons.

      OTOH, there’s self-interest: a pedestrian might not want to stand on their rights when there’s a truck coming.

      So whether privileged or burdened, one ought to be putting in their own 100% of the responsibility; the former because they can, the latter because they’ll be even more burdened if they don’t, regardless of imaginary fairness as an ideal (as contrasted with the reality of splat under that truck).

      But I’d favor vehicular homicide charges with maximum penalty if there was solid reason to suppose the driver was voluntarily impaired or grossly negligent; extend the analogy.

  2. Martin Sinclair says:

    Some years ago, I happened to watch one of Louis Theroux’s documentary pieces on “fundamentalists”. In it, he covered quite a range of beliefs, all of whose adherents seemed to be disturbingly self-confident of the own righteousness. I recall one of the segments where a small rural mid-West community stated that, should a non-Christian religion happen to want to establish their own place of worship, they would simply be refused permission. The greatest danger to your country comes from this bone-deep belief that they know what God wants and that anyone who believes/does otherwise deserves everything that happens to them

  3. R. Hamilton says:

    Nobody (at least in this country) has proposed to ban abortion needed to keep a woman alive; and many states seeking to restrict it would allow some additional exceptions (health risk significantly higher than normal pregnancy, rape, incest).

    If a blob even MIGHT be a life, all other abortions are problematic. There’s one definite life (the woman) that can speak for herself, and one maybe or at some point (viability? moving target) definitely life that cannot. At a minimum, the one that cannot speak for itself needs an advocate. And if the man involved wasn’t hit and run but is willing to participate in the responsibilities, he has some nonzero interest in the outcome too, even if most of the burden won’t fall on him as directly. Equalizing outcomes is NOT fairness. If people want different outcomes, they need to act differently or refrain from certain actions.

    There are nuts who go too far on both sides of that (and other) causes. And there are those who cover for them. The FBI of late has gone after pro-life people who did nothing illegal, and has been very slow to investigate those apparently of the pro-choice side engaged in property destruction. But of course since those stories are rarely in the MSM, they’re doubtless discounted as propaganda; after all, the MSM tells us what fair is, so they couldn’t be leaving out what contradicted their narrative, could they?

    1. Postagoras says:

      You are lying. When abortion providers are driven out of a state or region, a woman with a medical emergency such as an ectopic pregnancy will die because she cannot get to the doctor she needs.

    2. Mayhem says:

      As usual you’re blending false info and talking points.

      At the end of the day there’s one life involved – the mother.

      The developing one doesn’t develop non-autonomic processes until late in the second trimester – at that point it can be considered a potential life. Even in the most liberal locations, less than 1% of abortions happen after 21 weeks, which is before that point, and they almost always happen due to risk to the mother or fundamental development defects. If the woman has been pregnant that long, they wanted the baby. Removing it is not a happy choice.

      Abortion within the first fifteen weeks is simply disposing of developing cells, and surprisingly often happens naturally anyway – the whole pregnancy process has a lot of ways it can go wrong and the body is designed to deal with many of them.

      Abortion is certainly not considered by the women as the safe and easy method of birth control the right paints it as, it’s very much a least preferred option. I personally know two women who had abortions for very different reasons and both were emotionally scarred by the process, but both would do at again for exactly the same reasons.

      And the earlier the better, which is why restricting sales of the morning after pills is so insidious, whether by pushing the price out of reach in poor areas or by allowing pharmacies to refuse to sell them as an act of “conscience”, it once again shifts the burden onto the woman and away from the man.

  4. Darcherd says:

    The best definition of “fanatic” I’ve ever seen is, “Someone who can’t change their mind and won’t change the subject.”

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