Beating a Dead Douthat

Because I come from people who believe that a righteous grudge is a resource to be cherished, I cannot resist buttressing my opposition to Ross Douthat’s attempt to justify the commodification of human infants with the words of my blogospheric betters. Also, they make important points that should not be overlooked, because even people who will never appear in the NYTimes ‘Style’ section are capable of suffering quite as much as those elite citizens for whom fungible healthy newborns are “so desperately sought after, so hungrily desired” as to touch Douthat’s tender sensibilities.

Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon explains “Why being anti-choice is misogynist, period“:

… There’s a lot of human rights violations that Douthat glossed over in his chillingly inhumane euphemistic phrasing “this gap used to be bridged by adoption”. By “bridged by adoption”, what he means is young white women (and some young black women, though there was less demand for their babies, and subsequently less forcing them into maternity homes) who turned up pregnant were forced to give birth to babies and forced into maternity homes where they were restrained and often subject to torturous behavior so they couldn’t resist when their babies were snatched from them against their wills. He’s right that Roe v. Wade had a lot to do with turning this around, and it’s not just because women had an option to abort instead. It’s also because once it was enshrined in law that even pregnant women have rights, it became harder to justify the existence of maternity homes and coercing women to give up babies…
__
[T]he fact that, as Douthat notes, the percentage of babies born that are given up for adoption immediately went into freefall after coercion stopped means that the coercion really was pretty fucking coercive. That he glibly offers to deprive unmarried women of their human rights in order to sop up the pain of infertility of women he deems more worthy because they did a better job at taming their sexuality with the approved channels of marriage is misogyny, pure and simple. And it’s the misogyny that lies underneath all anti-choice arguments, which forever go back to coercion.

__

And Ken Houghton at Angry Bear discusses “The Economics of History, Douthat-Style“:

… [I]f I’m reading Douthat’s prose correctly, there’s a far greater structural problem. Concentrating only on “white” babies— that is, conceding that Douthat is considering a bare majority, if that, of the country—we see that the system he fondly remembers produced a 20% surplus of children born out of wedlock for whom the state or its equivalents needed to care.
__
Even ignoring the conditions under which many of those births occurred, that basically means that for one in every five children born out of wedlock, no more than four were successfully adopted…. [T]he best-case scenario is that, for each one of us who was adopted, there was a minimum of 1/4 of a person who wasn’t—and probably closer to a 1:1 ratio…
__
From an economic analysis, the pre-1973 situation was one of significant excess supply, and the current 1% adoption rate is beneficial to the chances of a potential adoptee being adopted, while the “would-be adoptive parents [who] face a waiting list” have both an abundant opportunity to provide a relatively better lifestyle for children born in developing economies and to take interim steps such as fostering to ensure that they really want to change their lifestyle enough to raise children.
__
No economist in his right mind would consider the pre-1973 environment romanced by Douthat to be more optimal than the current one, unless he really loves human suffering and wasting human capital.






78 replies
  1. 1
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Douthat is a shitstain. Period. End of discussion.

  2. 2

    When Douthat and his wife adopt a special needs non-white 9 year old, I’ll take him seriously. Until then, Ross who?

  3. 3
    beltane says:

    No economist in his right mind would consider the pre-1973 environment romanced by Douthat to be more optimal than the current one, unless he really loves human suffering and wasting human capital.

    I would only change that to read: “No human in his or her right mind…”

    Ross Douthat wants to be able to easily buy a purebred baby the way he can buy a purebred puppy. Puppy mills, baby mills, it’s all the same thing. This is a man who should never, ever have children, either his own or someone else’s.

  4. 4
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum: I’ll even make it simpler: He should adopt 3 teenagers, then I’ll listen.

  5. 5
    ThresherK says:

    Douthat has no ability to put himself in another’s shoes (stirrups?). If I didn’t know the first thing about him, I’d figure him to be exactly what he is: A privileged straight white man who has no idea what privilege is.

  6. 6
    shortstop says:

    That he glibly offers to deprive unmarried women of their human rights in order to sop up the pain of infertility of women he deems more worthy because they did a better job at taming their sexuality with the approved channels of marriage is misogyny, pure and simple.

    His misogyny includes these “more worthy” women, at whom he can’t resist taking a shot by noting that their infertility is a direct result of selfish and self-centered Pill gobbling during all those prime childbearing years. The only women who might escape Douthat’s sexual disapproval are young marrieds who reproduce in their 20s and 30s as nature surely intended.

    The continuation of the human race would be so much smoother if we just didn’t have to rely on women, who are always mucking up the plan.

  7. 7

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Three teenagers? So you’re not holding your breath waiting I take it.

  8. 8

    There is nothing in that first paragraph of yours that I don’t love enough to take it out to dinner.

    From I come from people who believe that a righteous grudge is a resource to be cherished through the commodification of human infants to fungible healthy newborns.

    Also: This! What you and all those people you quote say. Times about 1000.

    + what @The Grand Panjandrum: and @Belafon (formerly anonevent): said, also, too.

  9. 9
    JAHILL10 says:

    Does anyone besides me find this extra disturbing in light of “Justice” Scalia’s recent pronouncements re: the 14th Amendment to the Constitution not applying to women? Part of me is hoping this junk is the final over reach of a failed and failing political and social philosophy and the other part is creeped out by this charge back to the 18th century mentality.

  10. 10
    JAHILL10 says:

    As for Douthat this latest regurgitation is part and parcel of his “all good things come from the Catholic Church” mania. Remember how the economic collapse in Ireland was because Irish women had turned their back on Catholic Church and started taking birth control? God forbid that they should stop pumping out babies that infallible priests could bugger with impunity.

  11. 11
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    I have to remind myself that not all white men are Douthat or Scalia.

    How do we keep producing these (neo to not-quite) Confederate fucks, anyway?

  12. 12
    4jkb4ia says:

    Also, Sully’s readers are absolutely pwning him/this discussion by simply talking about personal experiences.

    To make up for earlier glib comment, I googled “Jewish open adoption”. The first two pages were essentially of the nature of gulping, although no one was discouraged from trying this. It is mysterious enough to keep your child on the derech when it is biologically yours. This joins some of the difficulties of interfaith marriages to this already existing difficulty. But as far as I know, Melanie Thernstrom is not Jewish.

  13. 13
    Jay C says:

    No[body] in [their] right mind would consider the pre-1973 environment romanced by Douthat to be more optimal than the current one, unless he really loves human suffering and wasting human capital.

    Well, when it comes to right-wing obsessive abortion politics (which, AFAICT, is all Douthat’s “adoption” gibberish is really all about), concerns about “suffering” and “wasting” tend to get focused exclusively on the “baby” – be it only so much as a split ovum – the concerns and priorities of the actual, live human women who are affected by unwanted pregnancy always come second: where they are considered at all.

    At least Douchehat professes to express some consideration for the actual infants once they are born. But, as is typical of today’s self-proclaimed Intellectual Right, he just can’t seem to help framing an argument on supposedly “moral” grounds (“we need to keep [white] babies from being aborted“) in terms of a mainly “economic” solution:, i.e., “make it easier for rich [white] people to buy them“.

    Assh*le.

  14. 14
    Alwhite says:

    I can think of no better description of Mr. Doughhat’s personal philosophy than

    . . . he really loves human suffering and wasting human capital.

    As long as it is not his he really seems to think it should be a requirement.

  15. 15
    beltane says:

    @JAHILL10: Douthat, Scalia, and the RC hierarchy are all in agreement on this subject. During the middle ages, theologians debated whether or not women had souls. While they may have concluded that women do have souls, inferior as these souls may be, the conservative Catholic view has always been that women exist merely to serve as a life-support system for a uterus and vagina. If Ross Douthat were to learn that he could reproduce successfully with a goat, he would be the happiest man alive, liberated from the constant stress of moral conflict and temptation.

  16. 16
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    What it boils down to, ultimately, is that these white sluts are not being punished for their wantonness by bringing the infants to term, and then having them brutally taken away from them before they can pollute the innocents with their wantonness.

    That’s what it’s about, really. Punishing the sluts.

  17. 17
    fourmorewars says:

    Really enjoyed reading each and every comment on the Gen. Lee thread. Unfortunately, refreshed the page and now this thread’s comments are all galloping off the page to the right into the distance. Shame.

    Has someone come up with the figures on how much of a ‘holocaust’ has been perpetrated at fertility clinics as opposed to straight-up abortions? I’ve always meant to stop at a curbside outside a clinic and throw some numbers at those people and ask them why they’re not picketing outside a place where it’s apparently ok to discard fertilized eggs by the dozens/hundreds at a time.

  18. 18
    El Cid says:

    Maybe when we outlaw abortion or make it pretty much impossible for poorer women to obtain, we can follow the classic French method of infants dropped off at convents, eventually via a revolving door.

    It’s certainly necessary in so many locations, but is normally thought of as a desperate measure to prevent infant deaths. Perhaps we could upgrade it to a standard anti-abortion procedure..

    VANCOUVER, May 3, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver today launched a newborn drop-off facility called Angel’s Cradle that will provide a place for mothers to abandon their babies anonymously and safely.
    __
    The door to the Angel’s Cradle, set in a private alcove near the hospital’s emergency entrance, is set up to automatically trigger an alarm 30 seconds after a baby is placed inside.
    __
    After the alarm has alerted nurses to the presence of the child, doctors at the hospital will assess the baby’s health and provide any necessary medical treatment, then put the child in the care of the Ministry of Children and Family Development…
    __
    …”While there are adoption options for a woman in the Lower Mainland who is unable to care for her newborn baby, women in crisis are sometimes hesitant to access these resources because they want to remain anonymous. Angel’s cradle is a way for a woman to give up her newborn safely and remain anonymous,” said the hospital…
    __
    “Already in medieval times in one of the sisters’ convents in Rome the congregation opened their gate for such unloved, unneeded children. It was possible to leave the child there and have hope that it would be treated pretty well and later maybe adopted,” said Dominican Fr. Krzysztof M’del at the recent inauguration of a “Window of Life” in the convent of the Sisters of the Congregation of Servants of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God in Czestochowa, Poland.
    __
    Many European cities had “foundling homes” established by church agencies. The home’s door usually had a small opening containing a trough. The baby was placed in the container, a string was pulled to move the container inside and a bell rang to summon someone to retrieve the infant.

    See? No abortion, and the infant goes to a deserving Ministry and perhaps adoption later.

  19. 19
    The Dangerman says:

    This is O/T, and may have been dealt with previously in another thread, but over my first cup of coffee this AM, the TV Ticker said Dick Cheney is considering a heart transplant.

    What the motherfucking fuck?

    Shouldn’t hearts go to the young and people that still have a life to live? If Cheney were a decade or 2 younger, I’d say sure, with my Blessings, but now? Fuck him.

    Although, I can see a deal, perfect for Pay Per View TV; Cheney on the hot seat, a healthy beating heart as the prize. He comes clean, he wins the heart. That I would pay to see…

  20. 20
    shortstop says:

    But the thing about guys like this is that they don’t love human suffering and wasting human capital. They’re entirely indifferent to it. They’re intellectually, emotionally and socially stunted, plodding through life glassy-eyed, zombie-like, with tunnel vision pinned on their particular extreme world view: absolute adherence to Roman Catholic teachings, pure libertarianism, a wholly unregulated free market, etc. Anything that exists outside of that belief system is only half-real to them…on the rare occasions that you can get them to even acknowledge experiences they haven’t personally had.

    They don’t wish for the horror that is the inevitable consequences of their philosophies; they never even think about it, because the suffering is never theirs. Ever. There is always an (shrug shoulders sadly) unfortunate price to be paid for godliness, freedom, etc., and it’s always someone else paying it.

  21. 21
    KG says:

    I was raised Catholic. The entire theology comes down to this: you should suffer now, in this life, so you can enjoy the grace of God after you die.

  22. 22
    ruemara says:

    You know, if only this post’s title were a descriptor…

  23. 23
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum: Thinking about it some more, I’d even listen if he were to adopt just one teenager, after he listens to what the first 12+ years of the child’s life was like, bouncing from foster home to foster home, sleeping in CPS offices – sometimes that happens here in Texas – finding out just how much they are wanted.

  24. 24
    fourmorewars says:

    Sent my comment in, and the page returned to word wrap, yay! @beltane #15: that middle ages women/souls debate thing, had never heard of it. Assuming it’s true, that’s the single best bit of snark ammunition I’ve run across in quite some time. Can’t wait to deploy it. Also intend to ask some right wing xtian women if they’re down with O’Reilly, who in attacking Dr. Tiller trotted out his belief that women who bring a pregnancy through eight and a half months often decide at the last minute they want abortions because their big toe aches or something like that.

  25. 25
    Violet says:

    Ross and his wife have been married just over three years. They do not have children so far. Ross’s current interest in adoption and how difficult it is couldn’t be personal, could it?

    A good Catholic like Douthat could not possibly take advantage of advanced fertility options. It’s not allowed to let the little swimmers go anywhere other than directly into his wife’s vag1na and certainly not placed into a cup to be cleaned in a centrifuge and sent to work in a vial.

  26. 26
    sukabi says:

    Ross Douchehat wasn’t even born in the era he longs for… he was born November 28, 1979… why anyone would take this guy seriously, let alone publish his dribblings shows how far this country’s discourse has fallen.

    and any guy that writes about their college “girl fumblings” in the way that he wrote about his is a seriously bent and malformed human.

  27. 27
    Amir_Khalid says:

    @The Dangerman: A story like that sets off my bullshit radar. Dick Cheney has survived all these years without a functioning heart. Why would he suddenly need one now?

  28. 28
    aimai says:

    @El Cid:

    These laws are a perennial fantasy on the religious/right–that there exist a huge number of teenagers who need to drop their babies off in the middle of the night, anonymously or else they will kill them. A couple of years ago there was a huge push for these sorts of “hospital sanctuary” laws after some teenage mom killed her baby. This is done in place of good sex education, good job training, and free abortion on demand.

    IIRC no one ever uses the law except in the case of Nebraska someplace like that where desperate families of disabled teens and adults tried to use the law as a way of leaving their needy family members in the hands of hospitals when they could no longer care for them.

    The fact that there are fewer abandoned children, and fewer children up for adoption, should rejoice us not cause the Douthat’s of the world to moan. The fact that there remain children living in poverty with their parents, or forced into the foster system because their parents aren’t prepared or able to parent them, is where we should be focusing our energy and our money as a society.

    aimai

  29. 29
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Ross Douchhat is an irrefutable argument for legalizing retroactive abortion.

  30. 30

    Taking a step back, Douchehat is just expressing the general neo-con attitude towards everything: It doesn’t matter how much the poor suffer, but the rich must never be inconvenienced. Suffering of the poor which directly contributes to enhancing the lives of the rich must be encouraged.

    It was possible to leave the child there and have hope that it would be treated pretty well and later maybe adopted,”

    What an utterly depressing sentence. “Sure the mother can hope her baby won’t be subjected to years of abuse, but I can’t make any promises, ‘cos these things just happen, you know?”

  31. 31
    sukabi says:

    @The Dangerman: yeah, there was a fluffer piece in the NYT yesterday swooning over how much out of his regular shell Cheney’s come since his pump placement in July… and how now he’ll have to make a choice very soon whether he wants to go with a transplant… because he may only have months left… brought a tear to my eye.

  32. 32
    Rosalita says:

    @The Dangerman:

    where’s a death panel when you need one?

  33. 33
    some other guy says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Shouldn’t hearts go to the young and people that still have a life to live?

    He may not have much life left to live, but I have a feeling that Cheney still has so many lives left to take. Iran and North Korea remain uninvaded, after all, and even a charismatic President Palin can’t dupe the country into yet another quagmire all on her own.

  34. 34
    daveNYC says:

    If I didn’t know the first thing about him, I’d figure him to be exactly what he is: A privileged straight white man who has no idea what privilege is.

    Ah, but he’s so much more messed up than that. If he was just some guy that didn’t get the humor of the Louis CK skit, then there wouldn’t be all this focus on the role of religeon, and the Catholic Church in particular, in all these things.

  35. 35
    Sue says:

    @The Dangerman:
    I wonder, can I change my donor card to read “anyone but Dick Cheney”?

  36. 36
    Ash Can says:

    @El Cid: Actually, the “unloved, unneeded” bullshit aside, this kind of safe haven idea has proven to be an effective alternative to newborns turning up in dumpsters. Here in Chicago, police and fire stations, as well as hospitals, accept newborns no-questions-asked, and this is the case in many other areas around the country.

    Of course, the real solution is cheap/free, safe, and effective birth control measures, but that would make too many RW heads go asplodey, and we can’t have that.

  37. 37
    Violet says:

    @some other guy:

    He may not have much life left to live, but I have a feeling that Cheney still has so many lives left to take. Iran and North Korea remain uninvaded, after all, and even a charismatic President Palin can’t dupe the country into yet another quagmire all on her own.

    Iran and North Korea are so yesterday. Mexico is the new target for invasion.

  38. 38
    daveNYC says:

    Ross Douchhat is an irrefutable argument for legalizing retroactive abortionSkynet.

    Fixed.

  39. 39
    Shock Trooper in the War on Christmas says:

    @fourmorewars:

    @beltane #15: that middle ages women/souls debate thing, had never heard of it. Assuming it’s true, that’s the single best bit of snark ammunition I’ve run across in quite some time.

    It’s not, especially if “soul” (which was a rather complex concept in the Middle Ages) is understood as the thing that eventually goes to heaven/hell.

  40. 40
    shortstop says:

    @Violet:

    Ross and his wife have been married just over three years. They do not have children so far. Ross’s current interest in adoption and how difficult it is couldn’t be personal, could it?

    Well, what do you want them to do? Consider adopting a five-year-old? A child with a physical or developmental issue? A black kid?

  41. 41
    some other guy says:

    @Violet:

    Indeed. Once those million or so retired Americans who live in Mexico declare their condo associations an “independent” state, the US can annex them and then defend them from the Mexican army. It’ll be Texas 2, Electric Scooter Boogaloo.

  42. 42
    Xenos says:

    @Violet: Mexico’s oil is mostly tapped out. Venezuela.

  43. 43
    4jkb4ia says:

    @beltane:
    Wait, Jesus came to annul Leviticus 18:23?

    Don’t ask why I have the latest catechism, but it says–
    “According to faith the disorder [in marriages] we notice so painfully does not stem from the nature of man and woman, nor from the nature of their relations, but from sin.” Then we have a note that the first sin caused strain and disorder in the first marriage, changing their mutual attraction to “domination and lust”.

    “After the fall, marriage helps to overcome self-absorption, egoism, pursuit of one’s own pleasure, and to open oneself to the other, to mutual aid and to be self-giving.”

  44. 44
    Uloborus says:

    I believe that @shortstop has nailed it here. Indeed, this article shines a great deal of light on the phenomenon of anti-abortion and generally misogynistic laws period.

    They’ve always been very curious to me, because while these people are vulnerable to hate explanations that they wanted to punish women or control them seemed unconvincing. Their arguments usually lack the passion of hate, or focus it on the aspects least having to do with the mother. And yet their actual arguments themselves are obviously false, because they don’t give a flying fig about the baby afterward.

    And now Dufushat has tied it all up neatly. It’s not about hate, it’s about indifference. Actual women and children are simply less important to him than an ideal. It doesn’t even have to be a major, central, important ideal. It’s easy to dismiss a woman as being too slutty not because he’s filled with hate or sluttiness is important, but because women are that unimportant.

    Then you add one more layer on top of that, and this one is also important: Since women and children aren’t really people in his head, their most important purpose is to be whatever is convenient to him. In this case, a source of easily obtained babies for the segment of humanity whose needs he is capable of understanding as real.

  45. 45
    Uloborus says:

    @Ash Can:
    Concurred. I worked in medicine, and most of my family is in medicine. Whether or not the panic to make these laws is justified, most medical people think they’re a damn fine thing. Unwanted pregnancies can be pure Hell for the mother, and death or a life of horror for the baby. If a way to give the baby up without facing whatever dangers are involved in public revelation can be provided, let it save a few poor people.

  46. 46
    beltane says:

    @shortstop: Well, if Ross Douthat were a truly sincere Cathlolic, he could accept the barrenness of his marriage with fortitude and grace, and choose to devote his life to chastity and good works instead of pursuing a life of worldly vanity as a NYT columnist. As someone who seeks to satisfy his desire for an infant through the use of human trafficking and baby-theft, Douthat reveals himself to be a wicked sinner, condemned in the eyes of God and men.

  47. 47

    @The Dangerman: A distant cousin of mine has done all the slicing and dicing on Cheney’s heart.

    FYWP!

    And it’s given me hope knowing the X-VP is flesh and blood and will die sometime

  48. 48
    Tom Levenson says:

    Great stuff. I should just leave the Douthat/baby beat to you.

    But I didn’t. Sorry.

  49. 49
    shortstop says:

    @beltane: You’ll never get anywhere thinking like Jesus likely would have, silly.

    Look, in the eyes of the Vatican, being a vain NYT columnist and wanting to adopt an unmarried woman’s baby if you can’t conceive and carry one to term are not no-nos. Douthat’s world view is perfectly in line with what his church tells him.

  50. 50
    beltane says:

    @4jkb4ia: That’s what they say now. In the early middle ages, marriage wasn’t looked upon with such approval by church authorities. It might have been “better to marry than burn” but it wasn’t a whole lot better. Remember, the First Estate in pre-reformation Europe was devoted to celibacy, which was considered far, far superior to marriage, an institution the Church still curls up its nose at to a great extent. Women are icky, and only lesser men not called to the priesthood will have anything to do with these icky creatures.

  51. 51
    kay says:

    I just don’t have any respect for conservatives, at all, on anything.

    The same laws that protect a single mother’s fundamental right to retain and raise her child protect everyone’s right to retain and raise their children. While I recognize that these pesky “rules” slow up adoption, I would think the morons could extend that thought an inch or two.

    The numbskulls don’t think that far out. Everything they say contradicts everything else they say, and fast.

  52. 52
    Karbuncle says:

    So, a wingnut is complaining about the state no longer forcing behavior on someone? Imagine that, f-ing nutters are for the state intruding in peoples lives when it benefits them. whocouldanode?

  53. 53
    El Cid says:

    @Ash Can: The point, as I tried to emphasize, isn’t whether or not such services are needed — they are, and according to the doctor quoted they receive one or two infants a month — but that it could be used to justify anti-abortionist arguments that abortions aren’t necessary for women who do not wish, oops, are not ready yet, for a child or another child.

    It isn’t the program as much as it’s an example of how nearly any such necessary backstop could be used to oppose abortion.

  54. 54
    geg6 says:

    I truly love you, Anne Laurie. And most especially for highlighting Amanda’s awesome post on this matter. As a victim of the RC church’s baby mills in the mid-70s, I found myself in tears reliving the nightmare that was for me as a girl (and rape victim) of 16 who was forced into one if those homes by my mother, a true believer in the criminal conspiracy known as the Catholic Church. They not only imprisoned me there and forced me to give birth and coerced me into giving the child up on their terms, but they also forced me to sign up for welfare, the payments of which I never saw but which went directly to the baby mill and the nuns and diocese that ran it.

    And to all the male Catholic Juicers who love to defend your “church,” kiss my atheist ass. You have and will never have to experience the evil that you so passionately defend here every day, victims of the perverts they call priests excepted.

    I don’t talk about this much any more because it was almost forty years ago and my life has changed and I’ve moved on, but this whole Douthat idiocy has brought it back with a vengeance. Despite the pain it brings back to me, it’s good to be reminded why I consider the church and, by extension, religion are among the greatest evils on this earth.

  55. 55
    shortstop says:

    @kay: It’s because they truly can’t conceive (heh!) of a change in the course of events that would make the laws, policies and practices they’d like to impose on the less powerful/privileged suddenly apply to them. The narrowness of vision is mind-blowing. (You never want to be sharing a road with them, either, because the six-second rule is way beyond their grasp.)

  56. 56
    El Cid says:

    @El Cid: And, of course, to explain a presumed absence of adoptions for the good upper middle class families who need such children.

  57. 57
    kay says:

    @shortstop:

    I follow this in the state legislature because it’s my area.

    I don’t know how conservatives are going to square the whole “parental rights” Christian conservative thing with the whole “hand over the baby, now, sinner!” thing.

    They’re headed for another logic crash here.

  58. 58
    Uloborus says:

    @geg6:
    Well. That explains a lot. Whatever else we disagree on, reading that fills me with sadness and compassion for you. I’m sorry that you had to go through that. I’m more sorry that you’re far from alone. In fact, there’s a big protestant movement to do exactly the same thing. They have their own Christian-oriented family planning organizations whose entire purpose is to lure in young women who are troubled by their pregnancy, convince them to carry the baby, then take the baby so that it can be raised by a good, Christian family – and immediately abandon the mother like the sinner that she is.

    Like most cases where a simple ideal is held up to be more important than people the result is misery and trauma, and it’s disgusting.

  59. 59
    shortstop says:

    @kay: Well, I think they deal with that the same way they approach similar logic trainwrecks: by arguing for a distinction between the “deserving” and the “undeserving.” Since most of them lie awake nights fretting that an Undeserving Individual somewhere is a) getting something good or b) going all unpunished for something, they’ll have plenty of time for reconciling this apparent contradiction in their little heads.

  60. 60
    kay says:

    @shortstop:

    Maybe, but I think they’re screwed. Even they can’t make parental rights applicable only to them.

    It’s like when they completely gutted truancy laws in pursuit of homeschooling rights, and then bitched incessantly because there were kids on the street. “Slap on the hand! Liberal judges!”.

    I’m sure the Great Legal Thinkers on the Right are grappling with this as we speak.

  61. 61
    shortstop says:

    @kay: Oh, I’m not suggesting they’ll prevail in a court of law. Just predicting what we’re going to have to listen to.

  62. 62
    Jay C says:

    @kay:

    Even they can’t make parental rights applicable only to them.

    But they can (and most likely WILL) do their damndest to try.

  63. 63
    Stillwater says:

    @kay: They’re headed for another logic crash here.

    But the whole ideology is a logic crash. What matters to them is whether the emotional values being espoused are consistent. And the empirical test for that (for a conservative) consists in scanning their emotions and judging whether each one, taken in isolation, feels right.

    An empirically based, rational argument will have no effect on these people.

  64. 64
    matoko_chan says:

    Look.
    Douthat is desperate to stave off white high IQ youth flight.
    the TP/GOP is doomed.
    More white babies doesnt help when only the stupid ones stay republican.
    Douthat KNOWS this– he wrote about it in Grand New Party.
    Salam-Douthat stratitification on cognitive ability, page 154.
    He writes about it A LOT.
    Look at the midterm results Anne Laurie.
    Elite students shunned the GOP in midterms.

    Again, the results are surprisingly similar: A 50 point swing in favor of Democrats, even as both the state of Indiana and in particular neighboring counties have trended Republican – though Indiana students probably have been somewhat more likely to vote Republican throughout. I’ve looked more cursorily at other counties with good universities that comprise a large share of the population. They all seem to confirm the trend, in all parts of the country. I’ve also looked at some large universities that are not as recognized for their academic excellence. Here, the trends are less dramatic, especially in the south.

    In a democratic meritocracy, anti-meritocratic candidates are less and less electable.
    see, Palin, COD.
    so Douthat is desperately seeking some OTHER meritocratic values that conservatives can compete at.
    and failing.

  65. 65
    Svensker says:

    @beltane:

    If Ross Douthat were to learn that he could reproduce successfully with a goat,

    Hold on! The goat would have to look like a slim Reese Witherspoon.

  66. 66
    Violet says:

    @Stillwater:

    But the whole ideology is a logic crash. What matters to them is whether the emotional values being espoused are consistent.

    Yep. A la Stephen Colbert, they’re going to feel the law at you, not rationally interpret the law.

    @geg6:
    I am so sorry you had to go through that. What a horrific experience.

  67. 67
    Ash Can says:

    @geg6: That’s godawful. It’s dreadful that you and (way too many) others were abused like this. Thanks for having the courage to share your story.

  68. 68
    Svensker says:

    @geg6:

    No words. Hugs.

  69. 69
    Exurban Mom says:

    @geg6: So very sorry for your horrific experience. I am also an ex-Catholic, 12 years of parochial schooling and all, precisely because of stories like yours. My only satisfaction: my own child will never be brainwashed into this terrible organization.

  70. 70
    suzanne says:

    @geg6: Hugs. And my sincere promise to do whatever I can to keep that horror from happening to someone else.

  71. 71
    eemom says:

    @geg6

    Your story is as powerful as it is appalling. Thanks for sharing. I didn’t even know places like that existed in the US.

    I’m not an atheist but I absolutely agree that the CC is hideously evil institution.

    I hope your story gives some pause to the folks who complain when the Church is criticized. It’s one thing to defend your religion and another to come face to face with a victim of what is, after all, a human entity that has perpetrated despicable crimes.

  72. 72
    geg6 says:

    Thanks for all the support, all. I really have moved on but will never forgive the church (my mom and I had a bad relationship for years, but worked it out well before she died).

    I have experienced both a forced birth and an abortion. There is no question in my mind as to which damages a person more. When I finally got into therapy, my abortion was only mentioned once in passing. The forced birth was pretty much the issue that led to all the other issues that led me to seek counseling in the first place.

  73. 73
    les says:

    @aimai:

    Omaha; Kansas City, as well. Not widely spread, but around a few places.

  74. 74
    aimai says:

    @geg6:

    geg6, thanks for telling your story. It was a couragous thing to do and , more than that, it was necessary. I think people still need to hear these stories–young men and women are so protected from the reality that was sex, pregnancy, and authoritarian/paternalism before Roe v. Wade (and after!). When I was teaching I once used the example of a woman having to get permission from her husband for a medical procedure, something that was perfectly common even when I was a young girl, and my students didn’t believe me. They needed to see it in a “made for TV movie” before they believed it (!) Yes, this stuff happened to young women quite frequently and the higher up you were in the male hierarchy the more likely you were to benefit from it by either being able to deep six embarrasment, or privately adopt a desired child.

    aimai

  75. 75
    JohnR says:

    “..unless he really loves human suffering and wasting human capital.”

    To repeat what has undoubtedly been oversaid already, shouldn’t that read “unless he is a Republican.”?
    I’m not sure what the mental requirements are for membership in the GOP anymore, but wild-eyed Ivory-tower ideological justifications for extraordinary selfishness and an almost sociopathic lack of empathy have to make the short list.

  76. 76

    @geg6: I am so sorry you had to go through that. Thank you for sharing it, though. Stories like yours need to be heard. Hugs to you.

    @shortstop: I think you hit the nail on the head with your analysis of Douthat. In a way, that’s why he enrages me so much. To him, the hoi polloi are all beneath him and not something about which he worries. It’s like Barbara Bush and her beautiful mind comment. Douthat doesn’t care to think about the icky details like forced births and what pregnancy actually does to a body. Why should he?

    Here’s my take on Douthat’s idiocy and Amanda’s rebuttal.

  77. 77

    […] not going to repeat what others have said better.  Read our own Anne Laurie’s take (and her next verbal RPG); check out Amanda Marcotte, who ropes, ties, brands and clips young Ross in a thousand words or […]

  78. 78
    matoko_chan says:

    @Svensker:

    The goat would have to look like a slim Reese Witherspoon.

    and not use any birth control.

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