In a recent interview, South Bend, Indiana mayor and 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg argued that a proper interpretation of Christianity would “point you in a progressive direction.” The implication, obviously, is non-progressives are bad Christians. But there’s more to it. Buttigieg explained, “there’s a lot of parts of the Bible that talk about how life begins with breath.”
For Buttigieg, a beating heart isn’t enough. “The most important thing,” he went on, “is the person who should be drawing the line is the woman making the decision.” That would be the decision to terminate the child in the womb. Those pondering that choice might consider arguments that have nothing to do with the Bible, faith, or theology of any kind.
The offspring of human beings is human because it can’t be anything else. Any attempt to dehumanize pre-born humans as “fetal tissue” and such runs up against that reality. The dehumanizers also clash with the possibilities of surgery on the pre-born, and the ability to see them in the womb with increasing clarity. And as mothers and fathers know, human beings like to get their kicks long before they see the light of day.
This is a simple reality, not religious dogma of any kind.
Like other Democrats, Pete Buttigieg shows no curiosity about how many presidents, Supreme Court justices, and Nobel laureates perished before their first breath in the millions of abortions since the “landmark” ruling of 1973.
Women faced with the decision, as candidate Buttigieg put it, should also consider the reality that life begins at conception, which was the view of the late atheist journalist Christopher Hitchens. Like all orthodox atheists, Hitchens had no use for concepts such as “ensoulment,” taking place at some point after conception and before birth when a person becomes fully human. For Hitchens, life begins at conception simply because there is no other place it can begin. That reality has nothing to do with any religion.
Women facing the decision might also consider that, as the late Nat Hentoff observed, a change of address does not make you a human being. For example, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was born on March 15, 1933. Hitchens believed that her life began at conception and Hentoff believed she was equally a human being on March 1, 1933 as she was a little more than a fortnight after.
Among Democrats, Buttigieg’s view that life begins with breath is something of a middle ground. The abortion industry doesn’t think so, with its advocacy of “partial birth” abortion. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, known for appearances in blackface, wants to keep newborn babies comfortable while the mother makes the decision whether to end the baby’s life. According to nurse Jill Stanek, when babies survive abortion, the compassionate staff at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois, send the infants to a “comfort room” to die in peace.
In this crowd, even newborn, breathing human beings have no right to live apart from someone else’s wishes for them. Those faced with the decision might also recall that abortion godmother Margaret Sanger colluded with Ku Kluckers and saw abortion as a way reduce the number of brown and yellow people. In a similar style, for Justice Ginsberg the court’s decision in Roe v. Wade was about “growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”
The concept that babies are not human until they breathe, and have no right to live even after they are born, are dogmas of a death cult. The dogma lives loudly within Pete Buttigieg, who attempts to graft this deadly doctrine onto the Christian faith. And as it happens, Buttigieg is not the first to argue for his notion that a “proper” interpretation of Christianity points you in a “progressive” direction.
During the Stalin era, the Reverend Hewlett Johnson saw the kingdom of God in the Soviet Union. More recently, “public theologian” and former Obama White House advisor Jim Wallis of Sojourners magazine, wrote that refugees from Communist Vietnam were “fleeing to support their consumer habit in other lands.”
Those are tough acts to follow, but Mayor Pete the public theologian may have pulled it off.
Leave aside those we don’t want to have too many of. Like other Democrats, Pete Buttigieg shows no curiosity about how many presidents, Supreme Court justices, and Nobel laureates perished before their first breath in the millions of abortions since the “landmark” ruling of 1973.