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Saturday, 5 March 2016

Playboy Magazine and the Episcopalian Priest Who's a Big Fan of Abortion

What? you ask....
I read a little blurb about a woman who was ordained in the Episcopal church and believes God is "on the side" of those who favor a woman's right to dismember her unborn child, and filed an Amicus brief with the Supremes regarding the Texas law placing more stringent requirements on "health" facilities where unborn children are done away with.
Her letter of recommendation, (that killing an unborn child be considered hunky-dory and should therefore be expedited,) begins on pg 27 of the PDF.

Killing her child effected the usual Good Things. It kept it from being impossible to finish Divinity School, which carrying the child a few more months and giving him up for adoption would have put the kibosh on.
Not sure why - shopping for maternity clothes and a few days in the hospital and a few more recuperating would have put her that far behind in her studies? or Divinity schools in those days frowned on public immorality and might have suspected her guilty of fornication, or adultery or some such?

Probably not the latter, as the pregnancy was "accidental", (as in, slipping on a banana peel and landing on some guys gamete.)

Anyway, thanks to discarding her child she was able to lead Three Capital Campaigns (!!!) engage in various forms of activism, and, (this was the phrase that struck me, "help the enormous number of people whose lives she has touched."
One Little Life  vs. An Enormous Number of People.
Off one person who you don't really know, to contribute to the happiness of a whole bunch you do know, yourself first of all.

Sound familiar?
Of course it does!
Cameron Diaz and Frank Langella were in a movie a few years back, there was a Twilight Zone episode on tv, apparently a radio play (who knew there were radio plays in the 1970s?) and the germ of the idea actually traces back to Chateaubriand, (not the steak. What would Jesus eat?)

But Richard Matheson's short story is probably most responsible for the resonance the plot has today.

You know it, even if you think you don't - a couple, or family, or divinity student in dire straits. A sinister stranger offers the way out of all difficulties.
Only one thing is needful.
See this button? Push it, and all your worries will magically disappear!
The catch?
Someone will die.
Don't worry, someone you don't even know.
A stranger.
A "Chinaman" thousands of miles away.
A baby in your womb.
Does it really matter who?

Push the button.

The Matheson story dates from 1970.
It was a gentler, less inclined to look favorably on the convenient murder of the inconvenient or inconsequential, and I doubt anyone read it without thinking the person who made the offer was the Devil, and taking the deal was to do evil.
In 1970, I'll bet even the readers and editors of Playboy, which first published the story, thought so.

Yeah. Playboy.

Think about that. The vanguard of the Consequence-free Sex Movement, "An Ye Harm None Have Fun, Do What Ye Will."

Even Playboy knew that not knowing the innocent person you would kill to make your own life easier didn't make a heinous act somehow all right.

Don't tell me you don't see the irony in that....
Image result for langella the box
"Com'on, Hugh, push the button. You'll be famous, have a mansion, beautiful women will pretend to love you, you'll be wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice. Just push the button.... oh, don't worry, Anne, I have a button for you, too. YOU, my dear, will be able to become a priest and  'help' people, like Mrs Jellyby did...."

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