nil nisi bonum

By Diogenes (articles ) | May 10, 2006

Like its "wedding" announcements, the New York Times obituaries are often exercises in ideological indoctrination. Go ahead. See if you can guess whether Lawrence Lader is meant to be a good guy or a bad guy.

Lawrence Lader, a writer who so successfully marshaled his literary and political efforts in support of abortion rights that Betty Friedan, the feminist author, called him the father of the movement, died on Sunday at his home in Manhattan. He was 86.

Fatherhood is an ironic accolade in this context, but I think Betty intended it to be a compliment. The Times, with an almost audible chuckle, also takes note of Lader's "sharply worded arguments."

"Basically, the opposition really hates women, which I think comes out of a woman's sexuality," he said in an interview with The Body Politic magazine in 1991. "They fear women's independence -- women no longer chained to the home waiting for the man with a rose in their teeth."

If Pat Buchanan had used the same line when speaking of, I don't know, the Log Cabin Republicans' attitude toward Phyllis Schlafly, do you think the NYT would have smilingly called it an "argument"? Well, to the saints all things are lawful, and Lader's canonization -- at least in the eyes of the editors -- is assured by his choice of enemy:

In 1976, he left the abortion rights league, in part because he believed it was becoming too establishmentarian. He founded a new group, Abortion Rights Mobilization, that aggressively fought his battles against the Catholic Church and for RU-486.

A warrior for justice -- fighting, note, not against "the predominantly Catholic-led anti-abortion forces," but against the Catholic Church. No wonder he got such a send-off. An Abraham-in-reverse, he was hostile, and it was credited unto him as righteousness.

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  • Posted by: - May. 11, 2006 8:49 AM ET USA

    I wonder if heaven "aborted" Mr Lader?!

  • Posted by: Fatimabeliever - May. 10, 2006 6:22 PM ET USA

    Eleazar: It would be great if the NYT even considered your last beautifully put words and take some time to consider how a higher authority judges which brings me to something I've often wondered. That is, why don't they even consider what God will say or how He will judge them and all who allow abortion, gay rights, prayer being taken out of school and the avoidence of the ten commandments which are the rules to true happiness because then our Country and the World will be blessed by God!

  • Posted by: - May. 10, 2006 9:47 AM ET USA

    Out of curiosity, how is the NYT renewal rate these days? What with MSM subscribers aborting their renewal notices I do fear for the Grey Lady and her brood of suffering childmen.

  • Posted by: Eleazar - May. 10, 2006 7:21 AM ET USA

    "An Abraham-in-reverse, he disbelieved, and it was credited unto him as righteousness." By the New York Times, maybe...too bad the Times won't get the opportunity to report how a higher authority judges it.