All Life Is Sacred — Except Yours


At this juncture in American political history, it’s ubiquitous: Republican hypocrisy is reflexive, axiomatic, and virulent. Nevertheless, a powerful voting bloc’s misrepresentation of the truth, attempts to obfuscate, and overwhelming moral incompetency bears not just being addressed, but soundly thrown back in its collective face. Were I remotely electable (I’m not, believe me, there is no procedure—surgical, pharmacological, epistemological or otherwise—that can effect that aim) my first and only act would be to broker a public exchange between myself and whichever old, white, Republican dinosaur is behind this recent travesty perpetrated in Alabama, and soon elsewhere. For what it’s worth, my experience with dinosaurs—well, alligators and OWRDs—has been they won’t endure even five minutes of what is a fairly relentless logic before collapsing into gibberish or snapping at baited hooks. If you’d like, please feel free to take whatever you will from the following (imaginary) dialogue.

 Me: Good morning, sir. Do you stand behind your recent statement, “All life is sacred”?

 OWRD: I do! I’m a Christian man, God said it, and that’s good enough for me.

 Me: Leaving aside questions of whether the Christian god—known for bloodthirsty commandments to murder any who dare not believe in him, as well to kill hosts of otherwise innocent victims to satisfy godly notions of self-importance—has codified his proclamation regarding the sanctity of human life in any historical document of record, I submit to you, sir, your own record regarding same is at odds with your god’s position as you’ve just stated it.

 OWRD: Huh?

 Me: In that you have repeatedly voted to uphold the death penalty, not to mention endorsing material support of Saudi Arabia’s bombing and starvation of innocent Yemeni children in their thousands, I ask you, sir, is all life indeed sacred, or are some lives more sacred than others?

 OWRD: Look, we got laws, all right? You break ‘em, you gotta pay. And them Yemeni kids, it’s a shame, but their parents shoulda got on the right side of the fight from the get-go.

 Me: I see. And is it also correct you voted for enactment of the so-called “Stand Your Ground” law in Alabama?

 OWRD: Damn straight. A man’s home is his castle. Can’t have nobody violating laws against that. I believe in the Second Amendment, we got the God-given right to bear arms. A man oughta be allowed to shoot any robbing son-of-a-bitch he has to in the defense of his own home. Only crooks and wooly-headed liberals think different.

 Me: Indeed. Allow me, then, to pose a question.

 OWRD: Uh, shore.

 Me: If you were to make your house as impregnable as is possible—walls, dead-bolts, armed guards, attack-dogs, surveillance helicopters, what-have-you—and nevertheless an intruder enters your home, am I correct in assuming you would then shoot them out of hand?

 OWRD: Well…I might warn ‘em first, but if they don’t git, hell yeah. They’re toast.

 Me: Would you not first ascertain whether they might not have entered your home in error?

 OWRD: That’s why we got the law. I don’t got to ask! What if there ain’t time anyways? What if he’s writing on my walls like them Satanists in California? Robbing me of my propitty, maybe looking to rape my wife? What if he’s got a gun his own-self, huh? Hell, he’s done broke into my home, it’s on him!

 Me: Would you extend the same right of legal, lethal defense to all property owners, even women?

 OWRD: Yes ma’am, I’m proud to say I would.

 Me: So in your estimation, an intruder who somehow gets past all one’s myriad defenses is not entitled to a presumption of innocence. His very presence constitutes a danger, a possible threat to one’s life, even if his motivations for entering the home—to escape a tornado, to evade a serial killer, to seek shelter from a Sno-pocalypse—are to save his own life.

 OWRD: Yep, people got to learn the law’s the law—if he shouldn’t oughta be there, I got the right to protect my home and family.

 Me: Thank you for that clarification. To re-cap, then, it’s apparent from your answers that in fact your true belief is all life is not sacred, only the lives you elect to defend.

 OWRD: That’s not what I said, dad-gummit—I’m up here defending innocent lives, ever last one of ‘em!

 Me: Unless that innocent life has the misfortune to find itself in Yemen or enters your home uninvited, you mean. Moving on, though, it’s fair to say even deadly cancers are innocent, as are viruses and bacteria. What if, sir, one of those otherwise innocent beings should invade your body and thereby threaten your life? All post-Medieval property law derives from the presumption human beings have an unalienable, inherent right to defend the integrity of their corporeal selves. I ask you, sir, would you submit to such an invasion and refrain from defending yourself? Would you not attack such an invader with every means at your disposal—chemotherapy, antibiotics, surgical procedures, and the like? Would you deny those defenses to others who likewise have the right to defend their lives from any perceived threat?

 OWRD: Look, if this is you trying to get tricky on this here abortion-thing, you’re barking up the wrong tree. It ain’t no cancer, it’s a baby! Look, these women choose to have sex, they got to accept the consequences—

 Me: Just like men choose to have sex, while largely escaping its consequences? Just like your right to allow whomever you wish inside your house, but visit consequences on those who enter uninvited? You’ve already stipulated every property owner has the right to defend their homes regardless of extenuating circumstances. According to your own argument, since women are owners of the property in question—i.e. their bodies—they have the inalienable right to defend where they live from any and all invaders, innocent or otherwise, until such time as they choose to allow entry, much less a co-habitant. Any other construction of this forced-birth law is deliberately mendacious, and moreover a vicious maneuver to strip the most fundamental right of all free people, that of ownership, from half of humanity residing in Alabama. In summation, sir, you have revealed yourself as a godless communist. Thank you for your time.

As I said earlier, it’s highly unlikely I’ll ever be elected to do anything but cook dinner, but those of you who are elected to represent American citizens or decide to run for elected office should read up on property rights and arguments for legalized lethal defense of same before fighting the good fight, waging the abortion-wars in red states.

It’s important.

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  1. The Tiger has spoken … wonderful post, even Iowa has been infected by the 6 week interval … and according to the flat laws in Alabama, little 9-10 year old girls could possibly be forced to carry their rapist’s baby full term, what a bunch of lizards in Alabama, I don’t see myself wanting to go there for ANY reason now!

    I suggest a cap on any goods made in Alabama or promotions for their biggest thing SPORTS, until this travesty has been repaired …

    • You’ve nailed it, my friend. I can’t agree more. There is an evil law and with the potential for abuse that you mention here, there is no effing way that it can be argued as a good, pro-child law, aimed at protecting the innocent. It is an anti-life law, aimed at destroying more lives than it would save.

      I don’t know how we can boycott a state, (other than the obvious, tourism) but we should think about it. This is a dark day in Alabama’s history.

    • HA! Very astute. Very astute indeed. Yes, ALL reproductive capacity should be employed, all the time. No man should be able to ejaculate, except if he’s going to impregnate a woman, and no woman should be allowed a menstrual period. All pregnancy, all the time.

      This is starting to sound like the plot for a deranged science fiction story. “Breeding Planet” where that’s all that goes on 24/7, 365 days a year. I haven’t read a story by that name, I just thought of it. Maybe I’ll try to write it, and send it to the people of Alabama! “Here, folks, the logical extension of your fine jurisprudence of late.”

      • Fair is fair. Makes about as much sense. I am furious. I am in the club, I was 43 years old. WAY TOO F%CKING OLD TO HAVE A BABY! This is all so enraging, I tried to watch the Handmaids Tale, I couldn’t do it. I have the book, I read it when it was first published, we are almost there, NEVER did I think such a thing could be possible, NEVER. The women voting for this s#It are scumsucking traitors. The men voting for this shit are controlling, misogynist, insecure freaks.
        Just think of all the women who fought tooth and nail for this, what must they be thinking right now. Just heinous and abhorrent.

    • Actually that is in the Bible. Something about not “Spilling you seed on the ground.” I’ve read it but don’t remember where it is except in the Christian portion of the Old Testament. Note the Christian portion changes from time to time depending on which part “proves” the argument. I get kickback everytime I tell my friends that the Old Testament is not part of the Christian Bible but alas, logic is not one of their strong points. Christians need to be flexible about which part of the immutable word of God they believe I guess.

      • It’s the story of Onan—the origin of the word onanism, a synonym for masturbation—who “spilled his seed on the ground” instead of having Biblically-mandated sex with his dead brother’s wife, and was epicallypunished by Yahweh for his sin of impiety.
        Yet another example of a vengeful desert sky-god blowing the play.

  2. Regardless of species biological reproduction is inefficient to say the least. Between miscarriages (most happen before women know they are pregnant, fertilized eggs that pass right out without ever implanting in the uterine wall in the first place and so on I’ve seen estimates that leaving abortion out of the equation that fifty percent of fertilized eggs/embryos never gestate to a point of viability outside the womb. Now, to folks like the not so good ole boy in your example I’m sure that when it comes to miscarriages he’d cite “god’s will” so apparently all human life isn’t so sacred to his god after all. In fact, when you take into account the other factors I started out with god is the biggest abortionist of all!

    • In the course of human history, there’s been one constant, and that’s the incontrovertible fact life has never been sacred–unless it’s your life, and then it’s only as sacred as your ability to defend it. That’s why I use the “Stand Your Ground” laws to demonstrate the inherent logical fallacy at the heart of Christian Dominionist, Republican bullshit.
      If, though, those OWRDs were amenable to logic and rational thought, we wouldn’t be here in the first place. Fight on!

      • We could have a never ending discussion that crossed into the metaphysical regarding your premise over only a human being’s own life being (maybe) sacred to themselves. Sacred. How does one define it? For me it’s a willingness not to in theory risk one’s own life (or have someone else/others do the same for us) but actually have been in situations where that was required. Many people have been in such positions (and in my case not just during my time in the Marines) and done so, even losing their own life in the process.

        I’d argue that your premise would be more accurately stated if it was that throughout history human beings have always been selective about who’s life is sacred – or not.

        As for the “stand your ground” bullshit laws, while you write about some good examples the reality in many states has become far worse. It used to be there was a legal principle called “Castle Doctrine” that covered self defense in one’s home. What you wrote certainly applies to that old school concept. In fact, among the hard core types of people you speak of there developed a sick, grim “joke” that if you killed someone in the yard/on the porch you thought was breaking in then it was best to drag their body inside the house before the cops showed up to make sure one’s butt was legally covered by Castle Doctrine.

        As I see it the whole Stand Your Ground movement is so horrendous because it extends Castle Doctrine to wherever you happen to be. Simply “perceiving” a “threat” in many states now allows someone to whip out their gun and execute someone on the spot – including in a public setting with other people close by who could just as easily get shot and killed by the panicky goober who decides to “shoot first & kill em & let god sort it out” and these new Stand Your Ground Laws make it damn near impossible to even charge, much less convict some wannabe Rambo asshole. It takes frighteningly little in some places for these damned laws to be a literal license to kill.

        I do love what you had to say, and am heartened (as I hope Ursula is) that you too are tying to add to this site by posting pieces in the community section. My hope is that we will be joined by others and develop into a crowd. I know I’ll want to read what you write here and help keep comment threads going to encourage others to join us by putting up their own work.

  3. Hi Holly, I found you op-ed! I enjoyed the read, and recognized the OWRD in it. Sadly, all too well. It represents much of my family.
    Will be recommending, now that I have a link.


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