Skip to comments.Washington Post Columnist: Dismemberment Of Humans Is ‘Banal’
Posted on 08/31/2020 8:49:52 AM PDT by Kaslin
Abby Johnsons language at the RNC might have been unnerving. But in a society that cant make up its mind about what lives matter, what else can she do?
Washington Post gender columnist Monica Hesse, in her Aug. 26 criticism of pro-life activist Abby Johnsons recent speech at the Republican National Convention, chose a curious word in her description of abortion. Johnson had to describe abortion as a horror show because the alternative would have been too banal to achieve the effect she desired, Hesse wrote. Abortions, Hesse says, are categorically banal.
Banality, Merriam-Webster tells us, is something that lacks originality, freshness, or novelty. The word also has connotations to a notorious book penned by the German-Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt, based on her observations of the 1961 Israeli trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, entitled “Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil.”
In that essay, for which Arendt was unfairly maligned, she explains her arresting experience watching Eichmann, an S.S. officer responsible for coordinating the transportation of millions of people to European death camps. Eichmann, much to her surprise, was no horrific monster or sadistic genius. He was a competent, if unremarkable, bureaucrat who spoke in simplistic clichés.
This realization elicited a different kind of terror from Arendt. Eichmann was a joiner, a person unable to think for himself, who saddled up with organizations that could give his life meaning. He wasnt mentally ill, nor did he suffer from some personality disorder. He was a more-or-less regular person, possessing an average intellect, who simply went with the flow.
That meant, Arendt observed, that great evil could be, and often was, perpetrated by average people, who meant well, and sought to apply certain widely accepted moral premises. In Eichmanns case, this was Immanuel Kants categorical imperative: Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.
Consider Hesses remarks in light of Arendts analysis. An abortion in which a living being, who owes its origin to two other human beings, is eliminated is banal.
According to current medical science, a human embryo at five weeks old is already developing a brain and spinal cord. At six weeks, a beating heart can be detected, and eyes are starting to emerge. In week seven, the heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, and intestines are already forming. Abortions are currently legal in the United States at these early stages. Most happen in these first 12-14 weeks, the first trimester of pregnancy.
Hesse acknowledges, [A]s a reporter covering womens health care, Ive witnessed at least 20 [abortions]. Dont worry, Hesse says, responding to Johnsons description of doctors piecing together the post-abortion fetal remains to make sure the procedure is complete. Thats true. But its not some ghoulish jigsaw puzzle done on a lark. Its because an incomplete abortion could be dangerous to a patients health, and abortion doctors care about womens lives. Hesse apparently expects this to comfort the reader.
No wonder Johnson and other pro-life advocates employ dramatic, disgusting language. Can you imagine being the medical practitioner piecing together the tiny parts of a human fetus you just aborted? Can you imagine being the mother watching such a thing? Can you imagine being the father of that once-living being? What has happened to the American conscience that such descriptions do not elicit horror?
This is precisely what Arendt was talking about. Political realities, whether dressed up in language such as the final solution or reproductive rights, makes stomach-churning monstrosities into mere functions of state, committed, as one pro-life writer notes, without passion, without malice, [but] with indifference. Eichmann himself testified that he truly believed he was working for a greater good. That sounds eerily similar to how pro-abortion advocates talk about how that act is inextricably linked to womens rights and well-being.
Johnsons language is thus a disturbing if necessary wake-up call to an American electorate who have become far too accepting of a taxpayer-funded political project that has destroyed the lives of more than 60 million Americans since Roe v. Wade in 1973. Students of history will know that many people were incredulous at early reports of the Holocaust. This is one reason Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered that photographs be taken of the death camps his forces encountered in central Europe. Hesse accuses Johnson of perpetrating a horror show, but to a deadened American people, thats what is required.
In his masterful book “After Virtue,” philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre observes how Western public discourse has devolved into irreconcilable ethical debates, including over abortion. He notes that some in the West say a woman’s right to her own body extends to the embryo in her womb and that such a mother thus has a right to do as she pleases to that living, growing being, including depriving it of access to her lifesaving biological nourishment. Others label abortion as the taking of innocent life, a form of murder, and condemn it.
In a society in which both these worldviews are affirmed as normal and thus inform the law, what does one do? The underlying premises of these two views directly contradict one another.
Even more confusing, many Americans foster cognitive dissonance with regard to personal freedom. Hesse certainly does. She accuses Johnson of trying “to police other peoples lives and call it freedom. Yet elsewhere she expresses wholehearted support for other forms of government policing of people’s lives, including enforcing various coronavirus-related restrictions and gun control. In other words, individual liberty is paramount, except when lives are at stake well, some lives.
Both Hesse and Johnson say they stand firmly in favor of freedom Hesse, for the freedom of women and their bodies, and Johnson, for the freedom of all humans, whether outside the womb or in utero. That millions of Americans line up on both sides reveals a deep irrationality in contemporary political debates, one that defies reason, given the extensive scientific and philosophical evidence demonstrating human embryos are undeniably human.
Johnsons language at the RNC might have been arresting and unnerving. But in a society that cant make up its mind about what lives matter, what else can she do?
Excellent. The she will not mind us practicing on her following CW-II?
“Washington Post gender columnist Monica Hesse ...”
Burning down cities because some likes matter is OK these days.
Expressing your political views strongly at a political convention -- just because you think all lives matter -- is going too far for the tolerant Left. They won't tolerate your extremism and are willing to burn your house down if someone will help them find your address.
Well played, sir.
The despotic Left does not tolerate dissent.
1497 has returned
I hope and expect someday to see abortionists and their political enablers drawn and quartered.
We are going to need a bigger harpoon.
Or a bigger train - To send all of DC to their own camps?
You can put lipstick on a pig.........
Merriam-Webster Definition of banal: So lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring.
The statement that "Abortions are categorically banal" is probably true under the following conditions:
So, yes. For those people, it is indeed "banal".
You should have put 'people' in quotes as they are NOT people, they are MONSTERS!
This is the Left. They had a video recently online about BLM protesters killing a raccoon that had the misfortune to wander through their protest.
They ran over it and crippled it, then ran over it again and looked like they broke its back, but it was still trying to escape, and some BLM guy came up with a baseball bat to try for about half a minute to finish it off.
But that isn’t the part that bothered me. It was the lusty cheering, applause, and enjoyment of the slaughter. It was disgusting.
Now, I know that raccoons can cause damage and are considered pests and vermin by some, and for good reason. But with few exceptions, I believe that if you have to take life, there is usually no reason to take enjoyment in it. I love a good steak, but I am not going to cheer enthusiastically as the steer is killed.
But to listen to them cheer this on, it was both disgusting and revealing.
It is no surprise at all that they view the murder of an infant as “banal”.
And that isn’t when they are celebrating the slaughter of a human joyfully, as they have indeed done when taking pride in their abortions.
That is the Left.
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