Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Some Arguments Just Cannot Be Won

As the debate on health care reform rages, plenty of self-anointed Christians leaders are trying to convince their flock to oppose reform on the grounds that it would provide that public funds can be used to support access to abortions.

Take for instance our old, easy target: Douglas Groothuis. In a recent post entitled Reform That Should Revolt You, Groothuis tries to scare his Christian readers into mobilizing against reform:

Charles Colson writes a powerful piece today about the health care "reform" bill that would undermine religious liberty, individual liberty, endanger hospitals and doctors who do not perform abortions, and would require your tax dollars to support abortion on demand. This is now illegal under the Hyde Amendment. (Emphasis added.)

Facts are rarely a hindrance to Dr. Groothuis when he concocts his feverish and apocalyptic fantasies of what liberals are up to destroy the lives of the unborn (and, by the extension, to speed the downward spiral of our society). So when one of his readers commented that "[n]either House nor Senate versions of the healthcare legislation contains any requirement that federal funding be made available for abortions," and that, as a result, "[c]laims that tax dollars will be used for abortions, as a television ad from the Family Research Council contends, are premature and somewhat misleading," what did the biased and incorrigibly misleading professor respond? Here's what:

"I find it hard to believe that the most pro-abortion president ever and the most pro-abortion party ever would not find a way to use tax dollars to support abortion once they get control of 1/6 of the economy. Abortion may not be there in red letters now, but it would end up there."

In that short paragraph, we see Groothuis's standard modus operandi at work. First he arbitrarily sets up President Obama as the most pro-abortion president ever (a statement he has made repeatedly on his blog and backed up with no statistical data). Then he attributes the label of most pro-abortion party ever to the Democratic party. (Yes, compared to the Whigs and the Republican party, the statement is probably true, but what does it mean in practice? A few Democratic senators have already expressed their opposition to the repeal or modification of the Hyde Amendement, which bans the use of federal funds to finance most abortions.) The last ingredient necessary to complete the fallacy is the statement "I find it hard to believe", which is in essence Groothuis's version of "abracadabra."

Say the magic words, mix these fantastic assumptions together with your unshakable, faith-based personal conviction, and you too, like Douglas Groothuis, will be able to convince yourself, and maybe a few gullible others, that it does not matter if "n]either House nor Senate versions of the healthcare legislation contains any requirement that federal funding be made available for abortions." Your fantasy-fueled powers of interpretation will always allow you to believe that what is absent from something will actually appear in it, given enough time and faith. Bad faith, that is. With it, you will train yourself to believe that President Obama's end game is not to gain control of 1/6th of the economy to improve coverage for people whose lives are devastated by the absence of affordable and comprehensive access to health care, but to seize control of it so that one day he will be able to sign legislation aimed at killing as many babies as possible, so as to earn the medal of most pro-abortion president ever that you have already assigned to him in your fevered mind.

That, in a nutshell, is the extent of Douglas Groothuis's self-delusion and of his furor to deceive. In his visceral hatred of everything that is liberal, no fantasy cannot be dressed up as reality. When even the absence of the word abortion from thousand of pages of proposed legislation cannot convince him to stick to the facts and tone down the rhetoric, what evidence could one possibly offer to Groothuis, or to his believers, that could make him change--if not his mind--at least his hateful attitude?

1 comment:

Doug Groothuis said...

It is not arbitrary. Obama wants to pass the Freedom of Choice Act. He said so on the campaign trail. This would abolish every restriction on abortion in the country. Look it up, Sir Fab.

Obama is the most pro-abortion president ever. He even opposes banning partial birth abortions. I said all of this in the campaign.

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