What I’m Reading Wednesday

The author of this piece about Christmas carols argues that we love them because they represent the cultural continuity we post-post-moderns crave, although his definition of “carol” is pretty darn broad and includes stuff most people would never include (Santa Baby is a Christmas carol? Really!?). So just think “Christmas song” as you read it and it makes a bit more sense.

It’s stupid that a post like this would be controversial, but thanks to a lot of really dumb (but well-intentioned) teaching in the church since… well, since forever, or at least since Augustine, it’s bound to be. Basically, says the author, attraction is fundamental to a good relationship, but it’s also complicated and a bit mysterious, and you shouldn’t be so wedded to your preferences that you overlook character.

My friend the lovely and enviably eloquent Fiona, wrote this pithy comeback to Christian yoga naysayers and practitioners alike. Smart stuff here, as ever.

Holy Toledo, you guys. Ever thought you’d read a lucid defense of eliminating abortions beyond a certain gestational age written by a pro-choice activist? Well, here you go. Finally, people are starting to see the lunacy of the argument that says, If it’s a woman’s choice at 12 weeks, it’s a woman’s choice at 24 weeks and 34 weeks too. This extended quote is worth reproducing here in full.

But in what [Furedi, the author’s debate opponent] has said and written about human life in the womb…, we have a chilling portrait of subjectivism run amok. No stage of fetal development is meaningful in a way that merits interference in the right to abortion. Spinal cord formation? That’s subjective. Brain construction? Subjective. Coordinated movement? Subjective. Distinctive response to the mother’s voice? Subjective. Pain perception? Spontaneous cortical activity? Viable lungs? It’s all subjective.

If, as Furedi says, viability makes no particular difference, then why stop at birth? In our debate, I pointed out that the neural development trajectory […] doesn’t end at birth. It runs through the first three years of life. If a child’s ability to survive on its own makes no difference, and if neural development adds no binding significance to the fetus’s original dispensability, then who are you to impose your values on Susan Smith, Andrea Yates, or Marilyn Lemak? If a woman feels that eight, 18, or 28 weeks after birth isn’t too late for her, shouldn’t we trust her judgment?

This is the madness pro-lifers warned us about. If you don’t draw a line at conception, they argue, there’s no stopping point.

Read the whole article.


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