Monday, March 31, 2008

Anti-God, anti-baby, pro-Obama?

When he started ranting about atheism, it was inevitable he'd get here:
The basic point, i.e. “teen pregnancy is bad so let’s do what we can to avoid it,” is unobjectionable but this is at least worth a question at the next debate about whether he’d describe unwanted pregnancies among adults the same way. My hunch is people will be willing to cut him some slack because he’s talking about teens: Pregnancy’s more disruptive to a kid than to an adult, and we do after all presume as a matter of law that minors are too immature to make important decisions, so the idea of being “punished” by one’s own ignorance isn’t out of left field.
Where to start?
  • "Teen pregnancy is bad" -- And yet, teenagers have been having babies throughout human history. Ever hear of Loretta Lynn, who was a mother of four before she turned 18? How about Margaret Beaufort, who was 13 when she gave birth to Henry Tudor, later King Henry VII? Having destigmatized bastardy, American society now reserves its scorn exclusively for teenagers. Why is pregancy bad at 19, but not at 20? (Maggie Gallagher's "The Age of Unwed Mothers" is the best study of this I've seen.)
  • "[U]nwanted pregnancies among adults" -- Sex causes pregnancy. From a Darwinian perspective, sex has now other function except the reproduction of the species. So why do people have sex and then act so horrified when the result is pregnancy? "Oh, my God, this is so unwanted!"
  • "Pregnancy’s more disruptive to a kid than to an adult" -- How so? And again, why is the 19-year-old a "kid," but the 20-year-old is an adult? Heck, there are 18-year-old Marines patrolling Baghdad. Why is that Marine's 18-year-old wife a "kid"?
  • "Being 'punished' by one's own ignorance" -- Why are people so eager to believe that the teenager who becomes pregnant does so out of "ignorance"? Long before I became a teenager, I understood that sex causes pregnancy, and I suppose that this sort of basic reproductive knowledge is still quite widespread among teens. And the same is true, I suppose, for STDs (the other example Obama used).
I absolutely agree with Allahpundit that this quote alone is not going to wreck Obama's campaign. But Allahpundit's discussion of the subject reflects the same Planned Parenthood-approved cultural assumptions that informed Obama's gaffe.

What I can't get about Allahpundit is that, on the one hand, he seems to share Mark Steyn's concern about the demographic decline of the West, and yet on the other hand, he appears indifferent to the cultural causes of that decline. A culture where it is acceptable to tell a pregnant teenager that she is being "punished with a baby" ... well, it's a Culture of Death.

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