Tuesday, 10 June 2008

marching on

whether we want to or not, it looks like abortion is going to be raised as an issue this year. and already it's a one sided debate. i say this because the scoop website has six press releases supporting the judgement by the high court, casting doubt on the lawfulness of most abortions. there is not one press release, at the time of writing, criticising the decision.

the christian political parties are out in force. for them (particularly gordon copeland, the family party and the kiwi party), this is an issue that will give them the kind of publicity they need, without having to pay for it. but i don't doubt that they honestly believe in the justness of their cause.

and therein lies the danger. this level of fervour, the deep-seated conviction that is backed by a regular source of tithing income, is indeed a difficult thing to fight. i note from the comments in response to the ex-expat's post earlier today that many are not keen on taking this up as an issue in election year. many of us don't want to get into the ugliness that the debate will cause.

but i'm very sure that our hesitancy is not matched by those who support the outcome of today's judgement. they won't hesitate for a moment, they are not uncertain or afraid of anything.

that's the scariest thing about religious fanaticism, and i've seen plenty of it in my time. there is no point in using logic, emotion or experience with people caught up in it. they aren't listening. they are so absolutely sure of their own position that they're not interested in anything you have to say. to any argument you present to them, they will simply say "but the [insert scripture of choice] tells us it is so, God has spoken, and His word is the Truth".

it's nice to live in such a black and white world, where there is no room for shades of grey, no chance of varied and nuanced interpretations of the said scripture, no room for any alternative except the one they believe in. makes for a less stressful life, that's for sure. no problems with self-doubt, internal conflicts and the like.

so while we hesitate, they're organised and they are marching on. i think we have no choice but to respond.


Anonymous said...

To be fair, the High Courts job is to interpret the law and point out things like contradictions. Or in this case, where there is a gap between what the law says and what actually happens in NZ.

While the Famliy First crowd see their ruling as against abortion I think most of us see it as indicating an out of date law. One which really needs changing. Lets just hope it changes for the better.

Julie said...

I agree with you about the wide-eyed fervour Anjum, certainly we've all encountered a fair bit of it online in the last few days. To me it just underscores the importance of collective action on this - we will need to support each other to avoid getting bogged down and dispirited.