Nancy Pelosi should leave the church

Not that I can tell her what to do.

I’ve been thinking about abortion. I always feel like a dupe when I think about abortion, because it’s such a silly topic. Not that the process of aborting a pregnancy is silly, or that the threat of losing the right to choose to proceed with an abortion is silly — those things aren’t silly, those things are very serious — but the weight this issue has in our collective political lexicon is so disproportionate. It’s like if the conversation around the increasingly inevitable dissolution of the human race due to self-inflicted climate ruination centered wholly around, like, lawns. Some people have lawns. Others don’t. Some feel passionately about lawn care. Others don’t think of it at all. The planet is really big. What’s a lawn?

And yet, Republicans have managed to set this at the center of the table of the political conversation for the last half century. It is inescapable. I’ve never successfully had a conversation about abortion where all parties involved simply agreed not to care; invariably someone winds up soliloquizing on what life would be like without their sister. The hair-trigger attached to this issue manages to make sure that it can never be looked at directly, without being obscured by some tender appeal. In this way it is like the sun, only it emits your own emotions.

For Republicans, it could be argued that abortion is the lynchpin to their entire existence. Republican support of abortion evinces several crucial premises of their party:
-being morally decent
-being Christian
-being responsible
-being uncorrupted
-being fair

At least, that’s their view of the thing. Republicans label themselves as “pro-life” on this issue, as a way to imply the opposition is “anti-life,” or something. However, Republicans only earn the “pro-life” label for their abortion stance when compared to every other view Republicans have, as they are also pro-gun, pro-death-penalty, pro-jail, pro-cops, pro-war, anti-healthcare, anti-poor, anti-homeless, anti-Black, anti-Mexican, anti-education… the list ends when they do. Every view they have makes life harder or less livable for someone. Here, Republicans see themselves lifting up unborn embryos and say, “I support life!” If Republicans forget to argue against abortion, they literally have no area where they can reasonably assert they make life better for people, aside from the very rich.

The Christian underpinnings of this argument are very popular; but the Christian demographic is actually a lot more divided than Republicans would lead you to believe.

Pew Research data from 2022

As you can see, even Catholics now side more with pro-choice interests than so-called pro-life interests. And the biggest outlier is the White Evangelical Protestant group, the group against abortion rights, which varies from the average more than any other category (political conservatives, the second most anti-abortion-rights group, rated at 27% pro-choice).

On the spectrum of Christianity, being pro-choice is more normal than being anti-abortion-rights.

Republicans also tie in their purported value of individual responsibility here, figuring that those who don’t want children should avoid having unprotected sex. And being incorrupt. And fair. It’s all bullshit.

The morality case is a façade. They convince unthinking people to take up this fight, because they could convince unthinking people to take up any fight. If abortion is murder, then the cops murdering someone would also be murder, or destroying the planet would also be murder, or hunting for sport would also be murder. Republicans love all those things.

The Christianity component is more than just false; it’s a rallying cry that curries support (by roping in unthinking Christians) and subverts the purpose of Christianity. If Jesus came back today, he wouldn’t know what an abortion is, someone would have to explain it to him. He wouldn’t know what conception is, someone would have to explain that, too. The idea that he is staunchly anti-abortion-rights is actually comical. Jesus doesn’t care about abortion. Why do you? Jesus really cared about taking care of people who are already born. Children, poor people, sinners, transients, sick people. Those were the subjects to whom Jesus most often preached in the Bible. That’s Christianity. All healthcare services should be free of charge, homeless people should be able to stay wherever they like up to and including in your house, and there should be no consequences for doing bad things, if we are to live as Jesus told us we would. (Or at least, if we were to take a principle exhibited in the Bible and extrapolate it into the laws of our modern society, as is being attempted with abortion.)

Republicans live in this false world governed by principles, which if adhered to would yield a completely perfect life. They acknowledge their own humanity and propensity to sin, or violate those principles, and thus aren’t expecting everything to be perfect. However, they do believe in raw-dog consequences for sex. AIDS? Who cares? You had sex. Pregnancy? Too bad, you had sex. It’s perhaps part jealousy of the sex-havers they want to themselves be, and part belief in their own sexual patterns. While I don’t believe Republicans are incurring unwanted pregnancies at any lesser rate than non-Republicans, I am convinced they believe in an ideal sex life that is monogamous and doesn’t allow for unwanted pregnancy.

Anyway, I’m tired of thinking about abortion. But all this to say, if the Catholic church wants to refuse Nancy Pelosi communion, she should do what any thoughtful, self-respecting, journeying, growing human would do in the wake of such a public repudiation. She should come to a spiritual impasse and explore other denominations within the faith. The abortion conversation isn’t serious. It’s complete posturing. Democrats on every level should refuse to pretend they’re being engaged in good faith.

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