Sunday, February 15, 2009
Our friend and former colleague Eduardo -- who has, to my great regret, decided to give dotCommonweal a monopoly on his blogging time -- has, several times over the years, suggested that the failure of pro-lifers to call for civil war calls into question the sincerity of their claims to regard abortion as a great moral evil. And, as Michael P. notes, he has made the argument again, in this post, in response to Richard Stith's. (Here, just for variety, is a post on this same question, by Will Baude.)
Because Eduardo and I have both posted many times on this question -- i.e., "if you say you think abortion is homicide, are you therefore required to punish women who procure abortions in the same way you punish murderers; if you think abortion is a monstrous moral evil, and that Roe is as wrong and illegitimate as any decision in history, are you therefore committed to violent civil war? -- and because I cannot seem to find the old posts, I'll just say, "no, you are not." And, with all respect to Eduardo, I really don't understand why he would think otherwise.
To be clear -- I don't know near as much about the Spanish Civil War as Eduardo does, and so am not speaking to the Stith-Penalver debate. And, I'm pretty sure that among my many faults is not a proclivity for what Eduardo calls "unhinged . . . rhetoric." I'm confused, though, by Eduardo's discomfort -- indeed, his insistence that those of us who say it can't really mean what we are saying -- with the observations that to the extent our current legal regime makes it impossible to regulate meaningfully what is a great moral wrong that regime is deeply flawed and that to the extent this feature of our legal regime reflects our culture's moral premises and priorities, our culture is deeply flawed, too.
Maybe Eduardo will rethink his ship-jumping to that other site, and come back home. =-) Clearly, I'm trying to goad him into doing just that.