The Real Deception is Using God for Oppression- A Response to Anti-Choice Christians (part 1)
by Annie Bennett
The arguments used by those who proclaim themselves “pro-life” are misguided attempts at disrupting the separation between church and state. Whether you like it or not, the United States makes a clear divide in this regard, via the Establishment Clause in the Bill of Rights. If your only argument for regulating others’ bodies is scripture, you’re out of luck, because that cannot be defended in a court of law and directly violates the Constitution, which conservatives claim to love so much.
Regardless, let’s clarify that the word “abortion” occurs in the Bible zero times. In fact, in Exodus 21: 22–25, there is a clear distinction between the murder of a human woman and hurting a fetus so that “her fruit depart from her.” This is not even to mention the various deaths that are done “in the name of God” throughout the Bible, including in 2 Kings 2:23–24 where forty-two boys are killed. The contradictions are incontrovertible. For example, if a fetus absorbs their twin in utero, are we going to charge them with murder? Bodily autonomy is a right guaranteed in the Bible and many Christians (including myself) agree that it is against God’s word to take away free will.
There’s an important reason that the Establishment Clause was, well, established. America is secular by design because religion, at its very nature, is full of hypocrisy; and I say that as a religious person! For every verse of scripture an anti-abortion voter cites, the pro-choice advocates can recall one that says otherwise, or similarly contradicts itself. Meaning, one does not get to pick and choose which Bible verses to listen to.
In fact, within the wide range of religions across the country, each one takes its own stance on abortion. Even among the various branches of Christianity, opinions differ. I implore you to consider those running crisis pregnancy centers or yelling at patients outside of an abortion clinic. Is this what God would want? Deception, treachery, hatred, violence?? While there is a plethora of Bible verses one can interpret in every which way, the two that reign true over all are “love thy neighbor,” and of course, the Golden Rule. Anti-choice arguments, specifically those based in Christianity, are thin at best. We can do better as a society and as a people by recognizing bodily autonomy. If you are still adamantly against abortion, I have an easy solution for you. Don’t get an abortion.
The Role of Language in Social Justice Movements and Their Opposition (part 2)
by Annie Bennett
Now that I’ve worked in a number of nonprofit communications positions, I have realized the power that language has in conversations of injustice. I attended a conference for journalists last year where they dedicated a whole panel to the very subject. Words such as “riot” and “protest” hold different implications and the writers get to determine (to an extent) the perception of the material by their readers.
When I read the recent letter in the “Carroll County Times,” I was reminded of this reality. “Deceptive word phrases” as the author puts it, are everywhere. Contrary to what each side will have you believe, they are continuously used by both liberals and conservatives. However, that doesn’t mean that you are necessarily being lied to or deceived. Each side of a political debate will tailor the diction to appeal to their messaging. This is because language is inherently subjective.
Communication manipulation will always be used by both sides of an issue, because what is seen as an emphasis on political correctness by some will often be seen as an agenda-pushing term by others, such as saying “undocumented immigrants” rather than “illegal aliens.” For example, Pro-Choice people reject calling their opponents “Pro-Life,” believing that “Anti-Choice” is a more truthful assessment. Pro-Life people insist that a fetus is an “unborn child,” always stating that a clump of cells must be as personified as soon as possible. In fact, those against abortion use the term “pre-born humans,” a clear piece of jargon that propels the anti-choice agenda.
Similarly, the definition of a baby is “a very young child, especially one newly or recently born.” Despite this, “pro-life” organizations use the word “baby” nonstop. Many openly describe themselves as being based off of biblical values. The word baby is scientifically inaccurate when describing a fetus, and yet anti-choice people continue to use language such as this in an effort to paint clumps of cells as people, all while disregarding the humanity of those carrying them. Similarly, “late-term abortion” is also not a medical term. Later abortion is exceptionally rare and are put in place most often to protect the life of the pregnant person or because the fetus has no real chance at a prosperous life.
Meaning, what is important to note here is that while both sides of the abortion movement appeal to speech as a way to push an agenda, those who are fighting against bodily autonomy are often manipulating our society’s lexicon to deceive its readers. Meaning, the real deception happens when science is being purposefully avoided as a method of convincing followers that religion is fact, whereas any level-headed Christian will tell you that interpretations are plentiful.
Both liberals and conservatives humanize those who they are trying to defend, so trying to attack one for doing so is fruitless and inherently hypocritical. However, the main difference between what could be deemed as “deception” is that one is based in science and fact, while the other is based in an over-translated book that in itself is full of contradictions.