Friday, March 13, 2009

Grammar Police

Even more offensive than the content of this letter (from the Daily Herald) is the grammar. Check it:

Why did we elect a pro-abortion president and his pro-abortion Democratic leadership for Congress who are taking aim at unborn children, with their radical pro-abortion agenda including: re-enacting the Freedom of Choice Act, requiring taxpayers to fund abortion for any reason; forcing hospitals and health-care professionals to provide abortions; funding organizations that perform and promote abortions; forcing employee health insurance plans to cover abortions; enacting a bill that would invalidate virtually all state and federal laws limiting abortions, including parental notification laws; make partial birth abortions legal again.

Wow. OK, so before we get to the content, let's talk about the fact that this GIGANTIC sentence is supposed to be a question, but doesn't end in a question mark. Actually, you should all just read this paragraph-sized sentence out loud, preferably as quickly as possible, as that is clearly the way it was meant to be read. And maybe add some 'like's in for good measure. Jeeze, woman, there's this thing called punctuation. They have it in the Bible, too, you know. Perhaps you should try it out some time.

The punctuation improves as the letter goes on, but alas, the content does not:

Why did we elect President Obama and his pro-abortion allies for Congress? We are going to be sorry that we did - God help us! Why? Because God's Word (the Bible) tells us in the Book of Psalms, Chapter 139, verses 1, 13 and 14, "Oh Lord thou hast searched me and know me, Verse 13, For thou did form my inward parts, thou didst weave me in my mother's womb, verse 14, I will give thanks to thee, for I am wonderfully made, wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well." Also in the Book of Deuteronomy chapter 30, verse 19: "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today ... that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live."

I can't think of a better reason for America to abolish abortion, now, especially because we are a Christian nation. Abortion is murder.

Listen, Ruth, I almost feel bad picking on you, since it's clear that you are not that smart, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to take umbrage with your letter. Clearly you are grossly uneducated (for which I'm sure you're not totally to blame). Not only do you not understand the basics of the English language, but you do not understand the basics of American politics. Let me enlighten you.

The first ammendment to the United States Constitution says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

So no, Ruth, America is not a Christian nation. In fact a new poll (which I'm sure escaped your notice but hasn't escaped everyone's) indicates that the United States is less Christian than ever. Sure, most Americans still identify as Christian, but not all Christians share your views on the Bible and abortion. Abortion is murder to you. Abortion is not murder to everyone. Often times, abortion is quite necessary.

From a Harper's article on the partial-birth abortion (which is a political term, not a medical one) ban:

The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban does not prohibit what most people think it prohibits. It is not a late-abortion law. Apart from a single quoted remark in its “findings” section, which is a kind of declaratory preface, the ban contains no mention at all of third-trimester abortion, or of any gestational point in pregnancy. It criminalizes only by method, outlawing some actions during a pregnancy termination but not others, meaning that as practical legislation—isolated from its mission, that is, and considered solely as a directive on what physicians may and may not do in a procedure room—it makes clear ethical sense only to people who don't spend much time thinking about abortion. Defending the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban in court, as teams of Justice Department lawyers were dispatched this spring and summer to do, requires arguing to judges that pulling a fetus from a woman's body in dismembered pieces is legal, medically acceptable, and safe; but that pulling a fetus out intact, so that if the woman wishes the fetus can be wrapped in a blanket and handed to her, is appropriately punishable by a fine, or up to two years' imprisonment, or both.
I also feel compelled to add that very, very few people are "pro-abortion." Believing in a woman's right to choose does not mean believing that abortion is great and we should all do it. Abortion, whether or not a person believes it to be murder, is rarely an easy thing for a woman to go through. It is not a decision to be made lightly. It is, ultimately, a last resort (whether for personal or medical reasons).

Furthermore, it seems clear to me that you do not understand what, exactly, the Freedom of Choice Act means. As summarized by congress, the FOCA:
Declares that it is the policy of the United States that every woman has the fundamental right to choose to: (1) bear a child; (2) terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability; (3) terminate a pregnancy after fetal viability when necessary to protect her life or her health.

Prohibits a federal, state, or local governmental entity from: (1) denying or interfering with a woman's right to exercise such choices; or (2) discriminating against the exercise of those rights in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information. Provides that such prohibition shall apply retroactively.
So what does that mean exactly? It means that abortion is a medical procedure and should be treated as such in the eyes of the law. That said, it doesn't say anything about the government funding abortions. Also, FOCA does not make any mention of requiring hospitals to perform abortions. It only says that government bodies can't prohibit abortion.

If you're going to have opinions like these, Ruth, you need to be able to defend them. You need to have more than regurgitated propaganda to throw at people. Do you even understand why you are opposed to abortion? Or are you just opposed to it because your church told you to be?

The fact is that the Bible is pretty ambiguous on the topic of abortion. None of the verses you mentioned provide particular clarity on the issue. Just as there are verses saying that live begins in the womb, there are verses saying life begins with the first breath. Genesis 2:7 says:
the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
The Bible doesn't make a great case either for or against abortion. It is, ultimately, a matter of personal morality, and therefore should not be against the law. It is perfectly fine for you to believe that abortion is murder, but there is no basis, either Biblically or otherwise, to say that the law needs to recognize it as murder.

So, in conclusion, Ruth. You're wrong about pretty much everything, and you have no idea what a sentence is. WTFWJD?


Anonymous said...

Exodus 21: 22"If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman's husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide. 23"But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, 24eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

If eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life is referring to the woman, the whole giving birth prematurely seems irrelevant, which implies it is talking about the child (and the child's LIFE).

Just saying.

Jocelyn said...

We covered that one already:

Hannah said...

I am opposed to abortion, I wish no one ever had to have one. I don't know if it is murder but I am convinced that it is not a very good thing, I became convinced of that when I was carrying my own child. I firmly believe that the way to prevent abortion is prevent unwanted pregnancies through education and more open access to birth control. That said, I would never presume to dictate to another woman what to do with her own body and neither should the law. Yep, I am anti-abortion and pro-choice.

I am decidedly opposed to run-on sentences and misused punctuation.

Hannah said...

...the way to prevent abortion is to prevent unwanted pregnancies...

Sheesh! I proofread that, too!

LiturgyGeek said...

You. are. awesome. But I think I tell you that every week.

I will also remind Hannah that ONE way to prevent abortion is to prevent unwanted or unplanned pregnancies. Education, access to birth control, more educational opportunities, and better-paying jobs for women in general are great ways to reduce unintended pregnancies.

But, there are other reasons why a woman may choose abortion, so the above strategies won't eliminate the "problem" of abortion altogether.

Jocelyn said...

Haha- Hannah, I wish you could have seen how many grammar errors there were in this post before I proofread it. Much worse than my average. It would have been a lovely piece of irony if I had left them in. But alas, I have too much pride.

And thanks, LiturgyGeek!

I can't tell you how awesome I think it is that you are a minister and have not yet (as far as I know) been horrendously offended by my blog. I mention that to my mother a lot, actually, when she asks me why it still says "fucknuts" on the side.

Hannah said...

Liturgy Geek, you caught me in a situation of commenting on a blog while at work trying not to get busted. You and I are saying the same thing, but I should have chosen the word "reduce" instead of "prevent". I concede that point but I feel like you are judging my post unfairly, possibly because of the phrase "I am opposed to abortion". I'm opposed to mullets too but I don't think they should be illegal.

Anonymous said...

I totally love you and your blog. I agree with virtually all of your positions, and I'm a grammar-nazi, to boot. I do want to point out that if you're going to correct someone else's grammar (especially a dimwitted person's), it's best to proofread your own blog entries before publishing them. AMENDMENT has only two Ms, and they aren't next to each other.

Just sayin'.

Jocelyn said...

Dammit. Spell check has failed me again.

LiturgyGeek said...

Hannah, I figured this was what you were saying, but just wanted to clarify the point I hoped you were making. Rereading it, it does sound harsher than I meant it to be. I am sorry that I came off brusque or judgmental - I didn't intend it that way. We are definitely on the same "side" here. And, for the record, I am also opposed to mullets.

Jocelyn, you will have to work SO MUCH HARDER if you want to offend me here. I use lots of "coarse language" everywhere except the pulpit (but there was this one time when I said B*^#S@* in a sermon); you're kind of my shero because you are calling Christians out on their BS, and we need more faithful people to do that.

nicole said...

I love you, dude. enough said.

nicole said...

that was eve, by the way

Jocelyn said...

LiturgyGeek, I promise to one day offend you. Don't worry.

And Hi, Eve.

LiturgyGeek said...

And on that day, I will know we are truly friends. :)

Design by Dzelque Blogger Templates 2008

WTF WOULD JESUS DO? - Design by Dzelque Blogger Templates 2008