Jesurgislac’s Journal

June 3, 2009

Moral Courage

A former pro-lifer who has moral courage: a current pro-lifer without it.

An evangelical Christian with both moral courage and kindness; an evangelical Christian who has neither.

The sad thing is: you could go on forever on the one side, finding examples of pro-lifers and evangelical Christians with neither moral courage nor kindness in them.

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6 Comments »

  1. But there’s only one Fred.

    Comment by Personal Failure — June 3, 2009 @ 7:12 pm | Reply

  2. Jesurgislac, I want to thank you for the comment that you posted. It really means a lot to me. It seems callous and more than a bit narcissistic to talk about my own feelings in the wake of Dr. Tiller’s death, but I’m working through quite a bit of guilt about my past involvement with the campaign against him, no matter how peripheral.

    I’m glad that my attempt to articulate the nuances of it meant something, and I hope that it might cause some other members of the pro-life movement to think, soberly, about the meaning of their rhetoric and its consequences. Both in others’ lives, and in their own hearts.

    Comment by Jeff Eaton — June 3, 2009 @ 9:53 pm | Reply

  3. It is convenient for you to say that somebody lacks moral courage because he or she disagrees with you. I find it a bit superioristic and unfair for you to take that approach. I could simply turn it around on you.

    I think it is a lot more courageous to have a baby and care for it than to “get rid of it.” I think it is a lot more courageous to face the illness of one’s child than to have a doctor puncture it in the skull in order to remove it more easily with forceps.

    In extreme examples, women have risked their own lives to carry their babies to term. Now that is courage! I’m not saying that all women must make that choice; it’s excruciatingly difficult. I am saying that women who have done so are saintly in my book.

    Comment by renaissanceguy — June 4, 2009 @ 1:31 am | Reply

  4. It is convenient for you to say that somebody lacks moral courage because he or she disagrees with you.

    That’s not why I say that.

    I say you lack moral courage because of your denial of responsibility. You, and others worse than you, used hate speech about Doctor George Tiller, calling him a killer of babies. As others have done before him – Paul J. Hill, the pro-lifer who murdered Doctor John Bayard Britton and Britton’s escort, James H. Barrett – and wounded June Barrett – Roedor took this rhetoric seriously. He thought you people meant it. He thought he really was taking down the murderer of hundreds of babies, because that’s what you and others like you told him he was doing. Over, and over, and over again.

    I think it is a lot more courageous to have a baby and care for it than to “get rid of it.”

    I think you have no notion of what you’re talking about. I know you have no empathy and no kindness in you for people you don’t know, and I suppose you could read any number of the experiences of women who discovered staying pregnant meant – at best – delivery of a baby who would live only a brief and horribly painful life. I think that because at no point have you yourself illustrated your experience of your wife going through an equivalent decision: you are not speaking out of personal experience, but only out of a heartless and unempathetic sense of “morality”, that condemns others for a choice you yourself have never had to make.

    In extreme examples, women have risked their own lives to carry their babies to term. Now that is courage! I’m not saying that all women must make that choice; it’s excruciatingly difficult. I am saying that women who have done so are saintly in my book.

    And yet, you support the pro-life movement that wants to take that choice away from them: instead of these women making the decision to risk their own lives to carry their babies to term, you want abortion to be illegal so that these women are forced by the state to risk their lives. I’m unimpressed by the faked admiration you profess for women whose choice you do not respect and want to take away from them.

    Comment by Jesurgislac — June 4, 2009 @ 8:32 am | Reply

  5. Jeff – Seriously, I thank you for writing that post. It was extraordinary to read.

    Comment by Jesurgislac — June 4, 2009 @ 8:34 am | Reply

  6. Thanks for the follow up on RG’s blog. I didn’t mean to ignore you, but it took so long to get that second comment out (I couldn’t find that second video, ARG!) that I didn’t see that you’d posted in between and thus couldn’t respond there.

    Kudos on keeping up with him.

    Comment by Spherical Time — June 6, 2009 @ 7:31 am | Reply


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