Sometimes, I’m almost tempted to believe there’s a special, special place in hell for people like US Republican State Delegate Bob Marshall of Manassas who says:
Disabled children are God’s punishment to women who have aborted their first pregnancy.
Yes, I’ll play that again.
Disabled children are God’s punishment to women who have aborted their first pregnancy.
Whatever happened to the “gift from God” inspirational-crip rhetoric?
And he didn’t shut up there. There’s more.
The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children.
He and others at the meeting suggest that Planned Parenthood should be renamed “Planned Barrenhood” or “Klan Parenthood”.
I do believe we have a perfect trifecta of menacing misogyny, violent disability hate, and misappropriating the civil rights movement for your bigoted cause. With a side serve of colossal, irredeemable scientific ignorance. And fail sauce.
Categories: culture wars
If there was a god, she would strike rat bags like that down. (As in zap and delete with lightning)
As a citizen of the United States, I apologize. Every time I think the Republicans can’t sink lower, they somehow do. As soon as October hits, I am going to hit the Peace Corps or talk to my pal in Sweden about getting married. I have officially given up hope in my country.
Don’t know about him, but with hate speech like that I’m starting to think that I’m in a special kind of hell…
…I just can’t think of anything that can be said about that level of ignorance, hatred and bigotry. Nothing.
( I am often tempted but I’ve never posted here. However, this GASP involuntarily escaped me and barrelled straight over to the Post Comment before I could contain myself. )
That’s a breathtaker, isn’t it?
Surely there is some ground between “Supercrip” and T4 where we can just be allowed to live in peace.
To paraphrase TigTog’s homeopath piss take, “Does Nature have a memory? I sure as hell hope not!”
I think that with such cognitive and emotional deficits on display, according to his own twisted logic, he must be an eldest child and critical of his mother’s choices about her earlier pregnancies.
And “Marshall” – I might have expected a more “stein” or “berg”-ish name for someone who has a sky-friend so unmercifully Old Testament… for there is certainly no evidence of New Testament gospels in that rant.
And, no surprises, signing along with Falwell and Robertson.
He’d probably call our own Mad Monk a godless communist.
.-= Dave Bath´s last blog ..Fear the god-fearing society… tax churches punitively =-.
He’s a bigot, a god-botherer, and a hateful, hateful man. Unfortunately, he is playing to his election base – the republicans in the US have ceded the center entirely to the Democrats (it seems) and embraced the most hateful right-wingers of their party. Sadly, the Dems keep shifting right, too. I used to think this was a great country to live in (I came to the US from the UK), and in many ways, it’s still great, but the politics scare me. My reproductive rights may be beyond their reach (I’ve been “fixed”, and I’m 40 with no kids), but I can’t stop fighting for ALL the women threatened by this violent rhetoric.
It’s come to pass that the Rs are no longer using anything resembling truth to inform their statements – as long as it fits their worldview, they’ll spout it, no matter how false it is. Hence “death panels”, “Obama=Fascist”, and the whole teabagger movement. They’re liars when it suits them, which right now is all the time.
With lilacsigil there. The Tintin comic has many problems, but there are times I wish I had Captain Haddock’s flair for insults.
attack_laurel: It strikes me as at the very least a misfire for his base, many of whom love to pretend that PWD, or at least teeny cute babies with disabilities (which should conveniently disappear once they’re too old for the purpose, are Gawd’s Super Inspirational Gifts Sent To Teach Us All A Beautiful Lesson.
Many of them might not actually _believe_ that, just as many “progressives” don’t really believe that PWD are people; but they like to pretend that they do, and shattering the illusion doesn’t sit comfortably.
Press release from my spouse (a Democrat!) who shares several thousand constituents with Del. Marshall:
“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Stevens Miller (D-Dulles), 703-405-6882, email@example.com
Supervisor Stevens Miller’s Response to Bob Marshall’s Insults to Women and Their Children with Special Needs
Loudoun, VA USA – February 23, 2010
I condemn and reject as inhumane, inaccurate, and inappropriate the remarks attributed in the press recently to Delegate Bob Marshall (R-13). According to NBC , Marshall said this:
“The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children.”
“In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There’s a special punishment Christians would suggest.”
The cruelty to parents of children with special needs—as well as to those children themselves—of such remarks is shocking. Further, it suggests a dangerous willingness to use legislative power to enact Mr. Marshall’s personal views of the meaning of the Christian Bible. That’s because he made his outrageous remarks at a press conference opposing state funding for Planned Parenthood, which Marshall falsely states receives half-a-million dollars from Virginia. The actual amount, in the form of Medicaid reimbursements, is $35,000.
All of this arises now because the legislature is considering allocating voluntarily paid monies used to purchase license tags that will say, “Trust Women, Respect Choice,” to support Planned Parenthood’s health-care mission. Virginia already allocates the voluntarily paid money for “Choose Life” license plates to anti-choice advocates, so this would only balance the options for Virginians to express themselves and support their own positions.
I support the right of every Virginian to practice religion or not, as they each see fit. I also support the right of every woman to make her own choices about reproduction, health-care, and her own body. I will never support any elected official in an attempt to use the power of legislation to enact religious law. This is an alarming trend in the Commonwealth, and must be confronted as what it is: an unconstitutional effort to make selected divine scriptures into Virginia state law.
I will have more to say on this issue soon. Because Del. Marshall and I share several thousand constituents, however, I wanted to make my feelings and views known, so that our citizens will know that not all of their elected officials believe God is punishing them for acting on their rights.”
@Dave Bath: “And “Marshall” – I might have expected a more “stein” or “berg”-ish name for someone who has a sky-friend so unmercifully Old Testament… for there is certainly no evidence of New Testament gospels in that rant.”
Can you leave out the anti-Semitism, please? Jewish beliefs on abortion are generally more woman-friendly than Christian beliefs, and Jewish theology on disability is that God “has fashioned people in various forms” and that disability is *not* a punishment either of the individual or of their family.
As someone with a Jewish background, I find your remarks highly offensive, and suggest that before making generalisations you actually make the effort to find out what the people you’re generalising about believe, instead of making it up.
good catch on the anti-Semitic stereotypes, and sorry that I missed those and didn’t call them out myself.
By all means take into account that it’s a committed atheist writing this, but I find modern Jews understand the subtleties of the Old Testament very well, and they don’t subscribe to the rigid Sadducee interpretations that the New Testament most roundly condemns. It’s Christians who don’t understand the New Testament properly who make an even greater hash of the Old Testament when they try and interpret it.
Rebekka and TigTog: There was no antisemitic intent at all.
There are progressive and regressives in all faiths, and I’ve been exposed, having lived in South Caulfield, to both kinds of followers of the Judaic faith. The progressives are great (there’ is/was female Rabbi in S Caulfield who is very switched-on), the regressive sects are pretty awful, and have the same inhumanity (including extreme sexism) and self-serving choice of bits of scripture as evidenced by Marshall. The comment was more towards his Xtianity which has taken not one bit of notice of the gospels (I bet he loves some of Paul). Marshall claims to be a Xtian, so he has no excuse to ignore some key themes of the 4 core books of his faith – including the bits where Jesus explicitly criticises harsh legal interpretations of scripture (such as sabbath rules).
And, just so you know, by some interpretations, my daughter and grandson could be considered Jewish. My ex-mother-in-law (we got along ok even living under the same roof for a few months) was raised in a /very/ orthodox household.
Whether it was your intent or no, what you said was anti-Semitic. Your explanations amount to “some of my best friends are Jewish, so I can’t be an anti-Semite”. I’m sure you’re not, but what you said was. An apology always works better than “it wasn’t my intention”.
For the record, tigtog, I’m also a committed atheist, but my background is Jewish on one side, Catholic on the other.
@ Dave, well Marshall calls himself a Christian, but I think it’s debatable. But then I’m an atheist too, so maybe that what Christianity is these days. But I don’t really think it is.
I do /not/ think “that[‘s] what Christianity is these days”, at least among many who (a) are literate in their own theology AND (b) aren’t on the right wing of church power structures. (So, Archbishop Rowan Williams and Father Bob are ok, Cardinal George Pell isn’t). I don’t think even Pell would use Marshall’s “argument” in an anti-choice debate. Perhaps not even Senator Fielding. Sure, the latter two are anti-choice, but they’d never stoop so low as to use Marshall’s “logic”.
What will be interesting will be state voter reaction to Marshall’s inhumanity and illiteracy, and although a quarter of the population are “Southern Baptists”, Va is considered one of the better educated states of the US. I suppose the lack of compulsory voting is in part to blame for Marshall being elected.
Being driven more by the Bronze Age elements of scripture, thinking it may have anything definitive and final to guide modern conduct, without taking into account the extra advances in civilized theology in the last few thousand years, is inexcusable, especially in one who claims to have as a key figure someone born a mere two millenia ago, at a peak before the Dark Ages, and who railed against the way the Bronze Age ideas were used.
Marshall’s selective use of scripture would put him on the side of those who wanted to stone Mary Magdalene to death.
The sad thing is that by merely labelling himself Xtian, more sophisticated Xtians don’t pull him apart, exposing his theological illiteracy and shaming him in the eyes of the entire Xtian community. Those more moderate Xtians, particularly those in the public domain, who do nothing to defend the gospels against the near-heresies of Marshall, should also be ashamed of themselves.
So, yes, while a committed anti-theist, I actually think education about religions in state schools, preferably comparative, as a part of social studies, is a good thing. Even if, in places like the US, where you might only be able to wangle Xtian instruction, a half-way decent grounding that forced kids to /think/ through their religion properly, rather than merely parrot selected bits of scripture, would undermine the ability of the likes of Marshall to utter such idiocies in public political debate.
@Dave Bath (edging into off-topic territory here, but it’s still fascinating if we’re talking about scriptural interpretations generally)
That would be “the woman taken in adultery” whom, later Church teachings notwithstanding, is never actually identified in scripture as the same person as Mary Magdalene. The Magdalene is only ever identified as “a sinner”.
While most of the plot elements that Dan Brown lifted from the Holy Blood. Holy Grail book are very long bows indeed, the one thing they did get right is that the Early Roman Church went out of their way to attempt to discredit the Magdalene as a legitimate disciple of Jesus. Painting her as an adulteress/prostitute was a very effective way of burying the teachings attributed to her as part of their general suppression of the Gnostic Church.
Dave Bath: Your comment very clearly had anti-Semitic effect, and was read unambiguously so by multiple commenters including at least two moderators: I strong suggest you considered apologising rather than knee-jerking and changing the subject.
Very sorry I didn’t pick up on it earlier, folks; my eyes glossed over that comment when answering attack_laurel’s.
Ah… query? Why is it anti-Semitic to observe that the ‘vengeful god’ model is more typically associated with Judaism? Rebekka has kindly pointed out that Jewish attitudes to disability are quite contrary to those expressed by Marshall, but genuine theological ignorance on Dave’s part isn’t the same as ill-will.
Because it’s not at all associated with any modern forms of Judaism. Judaism has been about far more than just the Torah for many, many centuries. Indeed, the emphasis on debating the Talmud and centuries of rabbinical exegesis as the sine qua non of Jewish piety means that simplistic reference to the Old Testament is far LESS likely to be experienced in Jewish circles. So it’s not just a negative stereotype, it’s a factually incorrect negative stereotype.
Nobody has accused Dave of ill-will. His INTENT is irrelevant. The language he used has the EFFECT of stereotyping/marginalising Jews, no matter what his intent was.
I am so sick of people who see a challenge about the use of harmful words trying to make a defence all about intent/ignorance. If I tread on your foot, does me not meaning to do it make the pain any less for you?
I understand why one wants to say “I didn’t mean to”, but that’s just four words and the relevant equivalent to “sorry that I trod on your foot” should always come first.
Dave, just as it’s anti-Semitic to make a blanket mis-statement of Judaic beliefs, it’s rather insulting and offensive to imply that most Southern Baptists are uneducated.
I also suspect that there are a lot of moderate Christians out there who are doing precisely what Lauredhel has done on this blog. I suspect there are many moderate Christians who do NOT just vote for “the Christian candidate”, and who think he’s as wrong as we do.
I’m also an atheist. FWIW. I also agree that Marshall’s statement was a grand display of inhumanity. However, it is possible to criticise him without insulting, oh, everyone.
It’s also much easier to make a strong critique of religion if you stay away from stereotypes.
First: *gasp* followed by “this guy has got it really really really wrong. And should never be allowed to speak again.”
And then a question about tigtog’s response:
“… I find modern Jews understand the subtleties of the Old Testament very well, and they don’t subscribe to the rigid Sadducee interpretations that the New Testament most roundly condemns. It’s Christians who don’t understand the New Testament properly who make an even greater hash of the Old Testament when they try and interpret it.”
Did you mean Pharisees? Sadducees held only to the Torah as part of their understanding of Judaism as a temple-ritual-based religion. They are criticised specifically for their disbelief in the general resurrection, (Matthew 22:23) and about a dozen times alongside the Pharisees for their teaching. The Pharisees are criticized many more times than that for other behaviours such as love of money, arrogance, pride, neglect of justice and insistence of their own oral tradition over the Law (= Torah) which was frequently more burdensome that of the Old Testament (eg Matthew 23:23)
You are right, of course, in saying that a proper understanding of the New Testament leads to understanding of the Old. (I’m assuming that you’re not suggesting that all Christians misunderstand the NT, but only that there are some who misunderstand?) I would add that the reverse – understanding of the OT leads to understanding of the NT – also applies.
But (apologies) this is a little off topic. I have been looking for words to adequately express my disgust at Marshall’s ignorance and nastiness, but can’t. So I’ll leave it at that.
Nope. I meant Sadducees. IMO (based on the scholarship of others) the NT criticisms of Pharisees are blatant polemical hits based on ideological conflicts between groups of diaspora Jews after the destruction of Jerusalem in ~70CE. Before the diaspora Sadducees had all the power in Jerusalem, Pharisees much less so. After the diaspora Pharisees were a competing non-temple based movement who had a very different idea compared to the ideas of the Followers of the Way of how Jews should redeem themselves in the eyes of the Lord (after all, He must be really angry to have allowed the destruction of the Temple and his City) . Thus the Pharisees were maligned by the writers of the books that became the Christian Bible.
Also, by your own description, Pharisees believed in other traditions than just the Law, and the Law is where a concept of Jehovah as Wrath and Vengeance resides. So why would I be referring to them when I talk of Jews who were strict sticklers for the Torah? Pharisees are the forerunners of the Judaic rabbinical tradition, and those biblical stereotypes have been used to marginalise and persecute Jews ever since Christians got their hands on the levers of temporal power.
But anti-Semitism is precisely ABOUT negative intent. It is supposed mean a negative prejudice against Jews. Stereotyping can be used to express anti-Semitism but isn’t in itself anti-Semitic, otherwise you’d consider statements like “to be a REALLY funny comic, you need to be Jewish” to be anti-Semitic. Which is nuts. Stereotypes and generalisations are one of the main tools of comedy so I’m wondering if this issue is the source of the claim that feminists have no sense of humour.
It is perfectly possible to unthinkingly reference stereotypes that derive from negative prejudice. Those prejudiced stereotypes remain prejudiced even if the person repeating them has no negative intent themselves.
That’s a very separate thing from saying that ALL stereotypes of a group are negative, such as your comedy example. That’s fairly neutral (although there’s a possible subtext of “can we ever take Jews seriously?”).
Stereotypes about Jews being mercilessly Old Testament? That’s pretty fucking negative.
DeusExMachina: No. The standard by which a statement or an action is judged to be bigoted is “Does this harm disadvantaged people by referencing and reinforcing the structural assumptions and inequities which have worked to their disadvantage? (And to the advantage of the privileged.)” It’s not the actor’s intent. It’s not whether the statement or action makes mention of a group of disadvantaged people. It’s always about harm.
Speaking of, the stereotype that feminists and womanists and social justice activists have no sense of humor is harmful. We can’t take a joke, right? We can; it’s just that most jokes are harmful in some way.
.-= kaninchenzero´s last blog ..Re: Trust Me =-.
Tigtog … my apologies … I thought you were suggesting that the Sadducees interpreted the Old Testament (as a whole). Hence my question, and comment that only the Pharisees attempted to interpret the entire OT, the result being their large body of oral tradition (for example the rules defining “work” so that Jews could properly obey the command to keep the Sabbath).
Thanks for clearing that one up.
@Sheryl, in an attempt to not derail the discussion too much with actual biblical exegesis I was originally too brief for clarity. Sorry about the confusion.