Secular Pro-Life condemns Daily Show Comment on Abortion and Sharia Law
Secular Pro-Life condemns a recent comment by comedian John Oliver, who is currently standing in for Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. Oliver implied that abortion restrictions are motivated solely by religion and not by secular concern for the human right to life.
Let me just understand this: you’re adding abortion restrictions to legislation banning the making of laws based upon religious belief. That’s like passing a bill banning high-fructose corn syrup, and adding a provision naming the state animal the gummy bear!
In reality, a commitment to church-state separation is not at all incompatible with support for abortion regulations. Between fifteen and nineteen percent of non-religious Americans identify themselves as pro-life. And among those who identify as pro-choice, abortion restrictions short of a ban enjoy majority support.
“I myself am a fan of The Daily Show,” said Secular Pro-Life president Kelsey Hazzard. “Its humor is often very insightful. But this time around, The Daily Show chose humor based on blunt stereotyping. I’m disappointed.”
“We understand that The Daily Show is, first and foremost, a comedy program,” Hazzard added. “But a large percentage of young people get their news from commentators like Jon Stewart and John Oliver, and they have a responsibility as journalists. There’s no shortage of real political hypocrisy to skewer; The Daily Show writers shouldn’t have to resort to misleading the audience.”
If you are non-religious and support legal limits on abortion, Secular Pro-Life encourages you to respectfully share your disappointment with The Daily Show by posting a comment on its facebook page.
The last paragraph confuses me. Do you reject support from religious supporters of legal limits on abortion?
Do you really believe the NC legislators had any of your secular motives? Or can you be honest and admit that, whatever your reasons for being anti-choice, the majority of anti-choice advocates are religiously motivated?
Gordon, if they are religiously motivated or not is besides the point. The argument he made was that support for abortion restrictions – any restrictions – is an inherently religious position.
That is factually incorrect, and as a show that prides itself for writing factually correct jokes it's very surprising.
My guess is the writers made an error and Oliver, motivated by his deeply held pro-choice beliefs, didn't care.
Gordon Duffy, as someone who is very active in the pro-life movement, my experience is that most people who are pro-life are so because they are pro-woman not because of their religious beliefs. And most pro-lifers aren't anti-choice, just anti-abortion. Why is it that so many who are pro-abortion are anti-choice?
There's a difference between "laws based upon religious belief" and "religiously motivated". The first implies a personal religious decision on the level of choosing whether to go to church or whether to eat pork – things that shouldn't be imposed on anything else. The second can include well-thought out positions that people can subscribe to regardless of their religious beliefs, although sometimes the motivation for the level of importance can include religion. If someone is "religiously motivated" to care for the poor or the environment, and it leads them to support laws in favor of the poor or the environment, is that also equivalent to sharia law?
I'm sorry he did that. How frustrating!
I'm not convinced a mistake was made. He refered to religiously inspired law as religiously inspired. That's called accuracy.
nobody who is pro-choice is pro-forcing-women-to-have-abortions. As for your side being pro-woman… I'm just glad I wasn't drinking while I read that. I might have choked.
So pro-woman that you have to take women's rights away. War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery.
That's funny, because I've been called all sorts of vile things by "Pro-Choice" people because I was apparently "too stupid" to abort my daughter when I was pregnant with her and I "ruined [my] life" (even though it was always HER life I was primarily concerned with…you guys don't seem to comprehend having compassion for others even at your detriment).
We're not "taking women's rights away"-no parent should have a right to kill their child. That is not a valid right. We do, however, want to grant every woman (and man, for that matter), the right to be born.
Or, maybe he just recognized that the basis for opposing abortion is primarily religious…and that the handful of individuals claiming secular justifications simply don't have a good case.
Since when is millions of people a "handful"?
Since when are there millions of secular individuals using secular reasons to oppose abortion?
So… by your own admission you are taking a right away, because you don't see it as a valid right.
Compassion for others has never been something for anti-choice to practice rather than preach. Pro-choice is the compassionate position.
Still conradicting yourself within the same sentence is impressive.
Would "tiny minority" suit you better?
Do the math. 15-19% times, what is it now, 38 million non-religious Americans?
Please bring that argument if you ever follow through on your agreement to debate me…instead of sending someone else.
I didn't realize you were still interested in debating me personally. Send me an email: email@example.com.
Stop wrapping yourself in the cloak of false compassion and casting aspersions on prolifers with the non sequitur that they have no compassion. The bottom line reality of pro abortion is those men who refuse to take responsibility for their sexual acts and those women who feel they have no recourse except the killing of the unborn because YOU do not want to provide support, encouragement, recognition of the humanity of the unborn, the disabled. Who is lacking in compassion for women? The easy, throw-away solution only works for you because you refuse to look at the results of what you would have as a "choice", the ground-up, dismembered, beheaded bodies you refuse to acknowledge. Women's health and well being are not served by abortion.
Nonsense. The abortion procedure itself is dangerous, more damaging than pregnancy which actually presents health benefits for women despite all the scare tactics employed by the pro abortion monolith. Your pragmatism is a thin disguise for the unwillingness to value women's sexuality in any way that interferes with convenience, even if the means of maintaining your "freedom to choose" (and you will never have to make that abortion choice for your body) is violence and the killing of a child. Population control and convenience is your mantra.
You are such a dunderhead, but an arrogant and dangerous one. There is no right to kill. Find a better solution. Creating a right to kill is the negation of the right to live for everyone, not just those who are conveniently hidden from view in the womb.
You're right about it being taking a right away. The end of apartheid was all about taking white people's rights away. I'm certain most white Southern Africans aren't bad people, yet I'm certain most white Southern Africans did not like the "losing our rights" part of it.
I think pro-lifers should take all accusations that they are not compassionate enough seriously, and if those are true, do everything they can to improve. You know Faye is talking about something which happens a lot, women being judged for not aborting. If you are compassionate enough to never act like people who do that, you could also take this accusation about pro-choisers seriously and try to find out if anything can be done to improve it.
I think an honest reading of the paragraph in question will show that they want the non-religious people to do it to actually give a visual representation of the non-religious people who support these legal limits. Asking the religious people to go do it would just be to support Oliver's bad argument.
I must say, your first sentence made me chuckle heavily. Gordon is just a troll, and we really shouldn't feed them. 🙂
I blew my top!
If the anti-abortion movement were not hypocrites, then they would embrace contraceptives instead of trying to regulate those as well. The whole anti-abortion movement is not about saving "babies." It's about making women into 2nd class citizens and taking their rights away from them. If it were about preventing abortions then it would be pro-sex-education and pro-contraceptives. You anti abortionists need to take a good long look in the mirrors and figure out your own hypocrisy before condemning comedy central's comedians. They nailed this one.
Do your research: SPL supports contraception.
So disagreeing with you on the facts in measured language is trolling now?
I have compassion for people.
No. The fact that you're not interested in reasonable discourse makes you a troll.
I'm interested, I'm just not being offered it.
And that statement proves your trollishness. You are being offered reasonable discourse.
Take this statement that you made, for example:
"So… by your own admission you are taking a right away, because you don't see it as a valid right."
You completely misrepresented (most likely misunderstood) what she was trying to say. She was saying that a right to abortion doesn't exist in the first place. That's not taking a right away, anymore than my claiming that you don't have a right to rape is taking your right to rape away from you. If there is no right in the first place, then being forbidden something is not having a right taken away from you.
That was my point. I was using that to illustrate the fatuousness of the "argument".
At present women have a legal right to an abortion. You anti-choicers want to say that they don't have that right because you don't think it is a right and therefore you are not taking rights away.
But you are. There is a right women have now that you would remove.
Another example of your trollishness: "anti-choicer." Don't call me anti-choice, and I won't call you anti-life. I'm not anti-choice, I just believe that some choices are wrong. I'm assuming you're anti-choice about rape and torturing children for fun.
If that was your point, then it fails because you completely misrepresented her argument, which is not what an intellectually honest person does. The argument is only fatuous in the way that you represented it. Of course it would be wrong to take a genuine right away. But if the right doesn't exist in the first place, then to claim that we're trying to take away rights from people is nothing more than a strawman.
Women may have a *legal* right to an abortion, but they don't have a natural right to an abortion. People once had a *legal* right to slavery, also, but I'm sure you wouldn't agree that it was right to bestow that "right" upon people. Legal rights are different than natural rights (in fact, I recently posted an article discussing rights on this blog, which I think it would benefit you to peruse). So in that case, you're also equivocating on the word "right." The pro-life position is that there is no natural right to abortion. Abortion kills an innocent human person, and no one has that right. The government allowing women to abort, just like the government allowing whites to own slaves, doesn't mean that right actually exists.
So, you at least agree that you want to take away a legal right from women, because you don't approve.
Sure, if you want to frame it that way. But that's like saying that the government took a legal right away from white plantation owners when they made slavery illegal. There's nothing wrong with taking legal rights away if there's no grounding for the legal right in the first place.
This is an appeal to hypocrisy fallacy, and as Kelsey said, some/many politically anti-abortion people do support sex ed and contraception.
Actually, I don't think that the secular anti-abortion case is that weak, and I actually think that the pro-choice argument of absolute bodily autonomy is not a very good one.
Now that's a comparison we can legitimately disagree on. I think forced pregnancy is a far more valid slavery analogue.
"maybe he just recognized… that the handful of individuals claiming secular justifications simply don't have a good case." Impossible. He might -believe- that to be the case based on ignorance like you do Mr Dillahunty, but it's simply untrue.
Selective compassion for people but a complete absence of compassion for some humans
"Or can you be honest and admit that, whatever your reasons for being anti-choice, the majority of anti-choice advocates are religiously motivated?" I honestly believe the majority are motivated by BOTH secular and religious principles.
your compassion is such that you believe in a license to kill-
War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery. -indeed
Just like the right to beat women and children was taken away from fathers and husbands – taking away a right because of moral disapproval is not nec a bad thing
forced pregnancy is inaccurate because we're not advocating rape
there's a difference between prohibiting termination of something and forcing something to happen
No- he's saying either that there's ONLY religious motivation or else that when there are MULTIPLE motives and one is religious it invalidates the law
the first is false
the second would apply to most every law
i have compassion for humans
PS: the question is whether to accept a right to kill pre-personhood human beings in order to allow women to end a pregnancy
2 different rights for 2 different types of humans are inexorably in conflict
we favor the right not to be killed over a right bodily autonomy which allows killing
you favor the right of a mature person over a right of a pre-personhood human being
either a right to live trumps a right to kill
rights aren't legitimate until there's a person
we disagree about what is morally relevant, which isn't unusual for major ethical disagreement
what IS unusual is a large scale attempt to discredit one view as inherently religious
it's as if dog fighting or bull fighting advocates claimed you needed to be a closet hindu to disagree with them
i don't recall kelsey sending anyone. i believe kristine wanted to debate you and kelsey was ok with it. i don't see the point in these things anyway. it was a standard prochoice view against a fairly standard prolife view with no religious allusions or justifications. no minds were changed. what was the point?
Unlike with slavery, women who get pregnant had a chance to avoid this outcome in the overwhelming majority of cases.
Also, slaves did not do anything to their owners/masters to justify forcing them to work on behalf of their owners/masters (and under atrocious working conditions and without pay, to boot). In contrast, one cannot say the same thing about the overwhelming majority of pregnancies.
except if they are pregnant and do not want to be.
Have you ever listened to yourself?
what happen to rare and legal?
I said ANTI ABORTION MOVEMENT. Not SPL.
Well, then you'd better get those loud mouthed republican buddies of yours to shut up. They're contradicting your assertion.
compassion for them too- as long as they don't want to extricate themselves from the situation by killing
if it's a choice between one side with unctuous views about sex ed and another that's supporting taking over a million innocent human lives / year it's not a hard choice
give me dems willing to overturn RvW and I'll support them over the GOP in a heartbeat
then go pester the ANTI ABORTION MOVEMENT Not SPL.
I think I recognize you from your writing style. Is this DG? 🙂
your contention about what is a better slavery analogue is pretty dubious, the slavery we're talking about in the antebellum south was chattel slavery.
in other words it wasn't merely compelling someone to do work they didn't wish to. it was claiming they had no rights at all. it was deeming them nothing more than property that the slaveholder could use or dispose of as he saw fit. that's like the situation for the prenatal human, but not at all like the situation of a woman with an unwanted pregnancy.
she is for the most part free and the partial loss of freedom is for less than a year. her situation is more analogous to a military draftee, although I'd argue that draftees have less freedom than she.
BTW- You're completely missing the point IMO. whether some individuals are in part or even wholly motivated by religion isn't important. What is important is whether a LAW is based on religion. For example, catholic theology opposes abortion but also capital punishment . 7've never heard anyone say that opposing the death penalty carries a religious stigma.
There are fundamentalist churches advocating for environmental laws and citizenship for illegal aliens based on interpretation of scripture. In the VP debate, Biden mentioned how his views about economic policy were inspired by Catholic social teachings. The civil rights movement began in black churches. Abolitionism began with Quakers and evangelicals.
The U.S. is a country where most people link morality and god. Therefore every social policy with an ethical conflict will have people on both sides (like Joe Biden) who are at least partially motivated by religion. I don't care about an individual's motives. That's a freedom of conscience issue and it's freedom of conscience which protects my atheism in a society where the culture was practically marinated in the Abrahamic traditions.
What IS objectionable is if the law or policy itself is religious. That's what John Oliver was implying about restricting abortion and it's not true. The New England blue laws were inherently religious. There was no secular justification for them. Most sharia law is the same. Opposition to abortion is not inherently religious and the laws we're pursuing aren't either. Ultimately that is all that matters in terms of the separation of church and state. .
PS: If I could be convinced that the prolife position is inherently religious, I'd switch sides. I've never even heard a serious argument to that effect. What's more, from my POV, the prolife position fits with a materialistic or physicalist worldview better than the prochoice view.
Personhood views say that the essential nature of humanity is something which is acquired as we develop. Essence is an abstract object like universals which cannot be accounted for in a purely materialistic metaphysics. (Plus it violates Ockham's parsimony principle of ontology.)
Organismal views don't distance humans from the rest of the animal kingdom with metaphysical hocus pocus. We're organisms with special abilities (or capacities when we're early in development). We aren't different at some fundamental level. We're part of a spectrum of species. Insisting upon an essence or different fundamental nature is a modern version of the Scholastic era's theological hierarchy of perfections which set man apart from animals because of the rational capacity that his soul provided.
I'm an organism and always have been. Life began for me as it does for nonhuman mammals. Trying to redefine when life begins just for a single species is antiscientific. My species evolved to have the attributes associated with personhood and I'm a person now, but I haven't always been. The life of a butterfly doesn't begin when it can fly. Our lives began before we were persons.
Excess use of CAPITALIZATION automatically makes your points true. It's a FACT.
Yes, this is DG, if DG stands for what I think it does. Very nice analysis on your part. 🙂
I was the one who previously PM'd with you about personhood. I haven't been on Facebook much over the summer, but hopefully I will go on Facebook more in the near future. I don't want to get too addicted to it. 😉
Speaking of which, I think that I might need to formulate a new response to your points about personhood. I still lean politically anti-abortion, but I think that my previous response to your PMs might need to be changed in some places due to some changes in my thinking and analysis about this issue.
They're not my buddies, and they are not contradicting my assertion. I have not met any anti-abortion person yet who is against the use of condoms, for instance. I wonder if any polls have been done about this–I know that the overwhelming majority of Catholic women use contraception (if my memory is correct), so I wonder what the results for anti-abortion people would be.
I agree with you that many Republican politicians pursue a boneheaded strategy and approach when it comes to the abortion issue, though.
I agree with you that an anti-Roe v. Wade Democratic Party (even if they are pro-choice on the state level) would be *much* more appealing for me to vote for on the national level. Democrats have many good ideas, but their support for Roe v. Wade really turns me off and causes me to flirt with the GOP.
I agree with you that saving prenatal lives should be the main goal. That said, I would be more likely to vote for anti-Roe v. Wade Republicans who could be more flexible on things such as contraception (perhaps Romney, Huntsman, Christie, and/or someone else along these lines) and bi-partisan cooperation.
Yep, ockraz has a point in his position, considering the zygotes, embryos, and fetuses are human beings as well.
Human being = A whole individual/entity/organism at any stage of human development.
Let's see here–the woman is unable to exercise her right to bodily autonomy for nine months, and in the overwhelming majority of cases, this is due to a decision which she willingly made (having consensual sex with a fertile male instead of masturbating, using sex toys/sex dolls, having consensual sex with another female, abstaining from sex, and/or having consensual sex with an infertile male). In contrast, if the fetus (who did not willingly do anything which created this conflict-of-rights situation) is aborted, it/he/she loses on average several decades of its/his/her life. Several decades of life is a much greater loss than nine months of bodily autonomy.
I strongly agree with you here; For instance, I support giving government assistance to pregnant women if they need it.
This might be an appeal to motive fallacy. Just because someone's motives for promoting a particular political position are bad does not necessarily make this position itself bad and does not necessarily mean that there are no good arguments in favour of this political position.
That's a good point about the states. If RvW were gone and it wasn't a national issue anymore, I'd feel free to vote DEM at the federal level because of their populist economic policies. Frankly, what I'd really prefer is directly electing judges. The days of apolitical appointment are gone. With lifetime tenure, being unelected makes the judiciary antiidemocratic and I despise activism from the right & left – although I give the right credit for at least making an effort to avoid it. If we elected judges, I'd vote for DEM senators, but we don't 🙁
I recently heard a podcast episode (Philosophy Bites from the UK Institute of Philosophy) which walked through the steps: identity theory + ethical theory -> abortion position. Of course, like +90% philosophy professors the guest was prochoice, but it was still interesting — if only because it shows where the differences are. I disagree with his first step (consciousness based identity which is a weaker standard than personhood) and his second (moral rights lying on a sliding scale of importance depending upon whom they belong to) so it makes sense that we'd disagree about what conclusion to draw. If you're interested, I'll find the link and pass it on 🙂
Exactly – the loss of autonomy is partial. I've known quite a few women who've continued working pretty much up until they gave birth. And, as you said, the ratio of loss is huge. As I see it, it's approximately 100 to 1 assuming a normal life span of around 72-78 yrs.
I think you're right about accepting risk/responsibility. When I drive, if I cause an accident, I'm responsible even if I didn't do anything criminally negligent. It's a trade off: a small chance of becoming responsible for something I don't want in exchange for greater personal freedom to live as I choose.
Directly electing judges might be a good idea.
Also, I think that regardless of whether or not judges are elected, their terms should not be lifetime terms, but rather for 10/15/20/25 years.
If you agree with them, and they're on your side of the abortion issue, then, like I said, you'd better get busy shutting them up. They're making you all look like asses. The pro-life movement looks like a bunch of pro-rape-culture, anti-woman, misogynists.
"As I see it, it's approximately 100 to 1 assuming a normal life span of around 72-78 yrs."
I think that it might be somewhat less than this, on average, since some pregnant women naturally miscarry. It would probably still be 50-60 years, though, or somewhere around there.
Yeah, in regards to responsibility, there are many alternatives to sex available right now. I masturbate a lot right now, and I never have sex right now since I don't want to risk paying child support right now. Frankly, I am somewhat surprised that many pro-choicers are so horrified at a ban on most abortions (even if contraception was easily available to everyone). Males are already currently unable to have risk-free sex, and yet we deal with it, no matter how hard it may be. Thus, the end of risk-free sex for females won't be the end of the world (at least not for the overwhelming majority of them–females who have abusive families and/or spouses should be additionally helped out).
"If you agree with them, and they're on your side of the abortion issue,
then, like I said, you'd better get busy shutting them up."
Again, they do not reflect all anti-abortion people.
"They're making you all look like asses. The pro-life movement looks like a bunch of pro-rape-culture, anti-woman, misogynists."
This might be an example of the guilt by association fallacy and an example of the hasty generalization fallacy. If someone is too stupid to realize that not all anti-abortion people agree with everything that certain anti-abortion politicians do or say, then I feel sorry for such individuals. As for the anti-abortion movement (or rather, some/many anti-abortion people being misogynistic), one can likewise say that the pro-choice movement, or at least some/many members of this movement are misandrous and anti-male.
I also want to add that a repeal of Roe v. Wade would probably (at least initially) mean that there would probably be less than half a million additional prenatal lives saved, since many U.S. states will still keep abortion level even if Roe is ever repealed and since many people in U.S. states with abortion bans will travel to U.S. states where abortions are legal (or heck, even to Canada and Mexico) to get abortions. I think that many/most of the prenatal lives which will initially be saved will be the prenatal offspring/children of poor(er) women, which worries me because if politicians are unable to help out these poor(er) women and children during and after pregnancy, then this could lead to greater support for abortion re-legalization in many/most/all of the U.S. states where it would became banned in the event that Roe v. Wade is ever repealed.
Since always. Not to mention all the religious people who use secular reasons to oppose abortion.
I agree with your view but draw the opposite conclusion. Life itself is nothing sacred, merely the mindless division and reproduction of DNA-strands set in system. As such, a fetus have the same inherit right to life as a skin cell, or a cancer cell which is able to live on in perpetuity and is by most definitions a separate organism growing inside your body.
it is the persons, not the species, that should be protected. Organisms of the species Homo sapiens do not have an inherit worth greater than any other life form, but is our ability for rational thought, emmotional responses and self awareness that can be used to set us aside (if you wish) from other species in terms of "personhood". A fetus have no such abilites, and it is irrational to grant any organism rights based on potential. Indeed, with to days technology, every egg-cell is a potential new human if harvested and fertilized, every sperm cell can be saved and used for impregnation, yet these cells are not granted the same rights as a person either. Every time you ejaculate, thousands of potential humans are destroyed, but no one bemoans their fate.
A zygote or even a fetus is mearly a collection of cells that share our species, much like a benign tumor (which is a seperate, independently growing organism of the species Homo sapiens). One day it could become a thinking, self aware being with the capacity of emotions, suffering, hopes and dreams, but it is not that yet. Indeed, most zygotes, by a slight alteration in the developmental genes, has the potential to become something completely different. This is one of the primary roads of mutational evolutionary leaps….
In short, I cannot be "pro-life" when the arguments for taking the control of a woman's body away from her is either relgiously based, based on specist ideas of why human life is somehow precious just because it is life of a species I am a member of, or involves allowing for a concept of rights for "potentials" that is both ethically unsound and irrational.
Human life is precious, of course, but not because it is human or life, both concepts devoid of value in and of themselves.
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I just have to correct your language. RvW doesn't need to be repealed because it isn't a law, it's a court interpretation. The court just needs to overturn it.
Does morality come from a diety, or is it innate in every person of reason? If everyone has a basic morality then wouldn't it stand to reason that whether you are religious or not, that a person's pro-life stance comes from the same inherent morality but that some people choose to ascribe it to their religious beliefs rather than to common morality. Do you think that it is written anywhere in the Bible, Torah, Koran or any other religious document that religious adherents should or must stop abortions? they do say that murder is wrong, but I am fairly confident that even you can't find an argument against that. I know pointing that out must really stick in your craw. It really seems to me that you are really less of a pro-choice person than an anti religion person. And yes, the vast majority of pro-life people are also pro contraceptives. Don't believe me? The latest polling shows that women far outnumber men in being pro-life. Who is it that you think is using all those contraceptives?
Just to blow your mind. Did you know that until the Renaissance abortion was not considered a sin by the Catholic Church if it occurred prior to 40 days into the pregnancy for male babies and 60 for female? This is because that is when the soul was believed to enter the body. Muslims held similar views as does The Russian Orthodox Church has similar views, except they believe the soul enters with the first breath. Even the very athiest majority still believes this as part of their common culture. So, you see there