Thursday, February 16, 2006

enough with semantics!

How often have you heard the expression "I'm pro-choice, not pro-abortion!"? How few of the "pro-choice" people would actually declare themselves "pro-abortion"? Very few, I imagine, and in fact I believe there is a very visible war of semantics going on in which pro-lifers insist on referring to the other side as "pro-abortion", whilst that side insists on merely being "pro-choice" -- similarly, although more pathetically, the pro-abortion crowd has begun to refer to the pro-lifers as "anti-choice", although this canard falls flat on the ears of any people whose opinion they might hope to sway. But I digress. My thesis, upon which I shall elaborate, is this: "pro-choice" IS "pro-abortion", so admit it, or change your opinion.

Why? Well us look at the rationale of many of these adherents. First: "I would never choose to have an abortion myself, but I support a woman's right to choose". Therefore, said individual is declared to be "pro-choice" and somehow, amazingly, "pro-life" (or at least "not pro-abortion"), at the same time. Let us look, then, at the semantics of virtually every other other contentious issue in the modern world, and the appellations their adherents take upon themselves. I pick four examples, two from typically conservative positions, and two from typically liberal positions, to illustrate:

1) Death Penalty. The adherents of this philosophy declare themselves "Pro-death-penalty". Does this mean to say that they, themselves, want to be the ones flipping the switch or injecting the syringe on the convicted felon? Of course not. Rather, they support the right of the state to choose whether or not they want to execute their most violent offenders. Then why do they not insist on being called "pro-penalty-choice" in this instance? Perhaps they should merely be supporters of the state's "de-productive freedom"? I pun, and I am sorry. But my point is made.

2) Gay Marriage. Many, many supporters of the "gay marriage" issue openly declare themselves to be "pro-gay-marriage," while being flaming heterosexuals. Therefore, they do NOT want to go out and get married to someone who is of the same gender. However, again, they support the right of an individual to marry someone of the same gender. And again, they do not refer to themselves as "pro-marriage-choice" or any other similar dissimulation, and their stand on the issue is clear.

3) Gun Control. Gun control advoates go out of their way to scoff at their opponents who declare "They (gun control advocates) want to take our guns away!" Of course the advocates themselves do not imply that they want to go door-to-door and confiscate every American's entire collection of hunting rifles; rather, they support the right of the government to limit its citizens' ability to possess firearms. And, again, they are declared "pro-gun-control", NOT "pro-firearm-restriction-choice" (sorry, had a hard time coming up with one there -- you see how absurd this is!).

4) School Prayer. Perhaps not as much in the public eye, but supporters of school prayer would gladly label themselves as "pro-school-prayer", I believe. Do they want to force every single person in school to say a prayer each day to (typically) the Christian God? Of course not. They merely want everyone to have the right to choose whether or not they want to pray to the deity of their choice, or not, inside of school grounds, at an established time. And yet, these people would not start calling themselves "pro-religious-choice", now would they? Silly, just silly.

And yet, the "pro-choice" movement insists that they "are not pro-abortion". Sorry, but you must face it: if you are pro-choice, you are pro-abortion. If your position is such a just and righteous position, why do you dissimulate? (yes, I used this word twice. I was so proud of myself for knowing what it meant!). One of my personal tenets is this: if the objective truth upsets you, you must be doing something wrong. A corollary to this might be "if you feel compelled to lie about or dissimulate (three times, baby! Who needs a thesaurus?) your position, that position must be wrong.

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