By Dave Andrusko
We talked at some length Thursday about Amanda Marcotte, specifically Part One of Two spellbindingly offensive, obscenity-ridden columns in which she unloads on babies (born and unborn), adoption, and pro-lifers. (See “One pro-abortion mind at work: contempt for babies, children, and pro-lifers”).
But her first post—March 14—didn’t begin to curb the itch. She needed another vigorous scratching—March 17—to feel better about herself and the general superiority of pro-abortionists who (in her mind) are everything pro-lifers are not, beginning with an affection for “freewheeling, rational discourse.”
That her own mind is locked in place and adheres to an orthodoxy that is utterly inflexible gets conveniently overlooked. She is too busy pointing her rhetorical guns at us to see the inconsistency.
As we alluded to yesterday, there isn’t a lot any pro-lifer could do that would not drive Marcotte off the deep end. But when a secular pro-lifer wants to be part of the discussion—or, worse (from Marcotte’s perspective) a pro-life atheist—then if you can’t challenge her atheist credentials you’re left with mocking, deriding, ridiculing, and caricaturing her arguments.
The point of which being? That they are no different from pro-lifers of faith. What they offer is a “scam” and “shouldn’t be entertained as a legitimate argument in skeptic spaces.”
The bulk of her follow up post is to argue that if you do not subscribe to the larger political agenda of pro-abortionists, you don’t have a leg to stand on. To take the time to debunk that would be to fall into the trap pro-abortionists always set: to turn the discussion to something—anything—other than tearing unborn babies limb from limb.
Click here to read the February/March issue of
National Right to Life News,
the “pro-life newspaper of record.”
Two quick points. First, Marcotte is utterly convinced of her position (which is her right) and even more sure we are wrong (which, again, is her right). But the rhetorical sleight of hand she plays is by assuming the superiority of her argument, it allows her to insist that since we can’t be persuaded by her supposedly unassailable logic, she has proven what she has assumed–that we are inflexible—and, of course, stupid.
Second, Marcotte’s purpose (obviously) is to consign to oblivion any secularist or even (especially) any atheist who takes a pro-life position. How? By maintaining that there aren’t that many of them; by insisting their arguments are just as slipshod as those of the pro-lifer motivated by faith; and by issuing a fiat—that this is not about abortion (what a surprise) but “gender roles.”
What does that mean? Marcotte tells us that “atheists who benefit from adhering to traditional gender roles that value men over women are going to find arguments, no matter how sloppy, that reinforce women’s second class status to be appealing.”
Of course, Marcotte hasn’t a clue whether some/many/none of secular pro-life women (the group she is really talking about) “adher[e] to traditional gender roles.” It’s just a club she employs to beat these women out of joining the club she intends to keep exclusive.
Take a moment to read what I wrote yesterday and you may draw the same conclusion I have. Marcotte is frightened silly by the thought of a genuine free exchange of ideas, the very fault she attributes to pro-lifers.