Friday, July 1, 2022

Outrage and Fighting for Life: Insights from Brad Wilcox to Abortion, via Ukraine


    When the war in the Ukraine started it was mere weeks after Brad Wilcox gave a controversial speech. I noted with irony and anger that many commentors wrote more often and more passionately about the supposed racism and sexism of Brad Wilcox than the actual deaths in Ukraine. Here you see at least five articles, from February 8th to the 15th, attacking Wilcox in strong terms. Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24th, and you see two tepid articles about the war in Ukraine. Both are rather generic that talk about food storage and the impact on missionaries, and another that reposted the church’s statement on peace followed by some grousing about the church’s position. Eventually, they talked about refugees, and the church in a time of troubles. Even over a longer time frame they produced fewer articles with none of the emotion that Wilcox inspired.

    I sardonically noted at the time, maybe if Putin gave a speech about "the blacks" and "the gays" then American liberals and isolationists will start to give a damn about his slaughtering innocents. In a moment of dark humor, after I noticed the inconsistent pattern to Wheat and Tare bloggers they posted a three part series about the dangers faced by homosexuals in Eastern Europe!!!!!

    Fast forward a few months and no one really cares about Ukraine anymore. Even though this week the Russians targeted a shopping mall filled with innocent people we already read many that question the need for continued aid.  The controversy of the day is the abortion ruling, but I have a long memory and can compare different reactions. With the tepid fight for Ukrainian life in my mind I read with interest this person's thoughts who seems ready to join the defend abortion.

    The author of the article tried to summon their inner Churchill and used the word "fight" a zillion times in addition to rather vivid imagery about battle wounds. The use of the word “fight” is odd coming from the same crowd that calls excommunication spiritual violence and barbaric. Putting aside the hypocritical use of violent rhetoric when it suits them, we should consider the ends that rhetoric is used for.

    Looking at their history on the blog, the author of fighting for abortion had nothing to say about the slaughter of innocents in Ukraine. Just a couple weeks after the war started, she did a three-part post on domestic violence. That is important, but I think the wide scale violence of war might be worth mentioning too. The author did say that "silence is violence" regarding LGBT issues. Overall, they have lots of passion and "fight" for the right to slaughter babies but very little fight against the wide scale suffering in Ukraine.

    To summarize from what I’ve learned in the Brad Wilcox fiasco through the Russian invasion of Ukraine and overturning of Roe v. Wade: gay people, “the blacks,” domestic violence, and the right to kill babies: Those are fighting words, except when fighting words are used to excommunicate liberals. The actual slaughter of innocent men, women, and children, including babies in the womb: shrug. Lets talk about the impact on missionaries in Eastern Europe or my pet passion for gay people.

    Lives are important. (You might even say all lives matter if that hadn’t been cancelled.) And when people being slaughtered through war or slaughtered as a means of convenience to a better life and back up birth control, it is wrong. (You’ll notice I left out cases of rape, incest, or life of the mother. As a military ethicist I recognize that while killing is wrong, sometimes, while still regrettable[Alma 48:23], it is necessary and just.)  

    The outrage that people show reveals their true intentions. Brad Wilcox inspired outrage because he touched upon items that are vitally important to some groups. Even though Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was the most aggressive military action I’ve seen since World War II, very few felt passionate about it, and fewer had those feelings long term. Though as I pointed out at the time, the problems that led to war don't vanish in a just a few weeks because there is something new and shiny to argue about. The potential conflict requires more than your standard talking points but thoughtful and sustained study that challenges your assumptions and demands your time even if it’s not click bait in your news feed. The recent supreme court decision has become the new shiny thing. But we must maintain moral perspective for all life and recognize that some people have skewed priorities that make them care about a poor speech from a church and killing babies more than truly Hitler like invasion and slaughter.

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