from one extreme to.... where?

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jan 19, 2007

Columnist Ellen Goodman goes searching for "Abortion's Elusive Middle Ground," and finds-- now get ready for a shock-- that the "moderate" position is the one she occupies.

On one side, to her right, you'll find the "extremists" who oppose abortion. And on the other side? Well now here's the funny thing: Goodman doesn't identify the other extreme position. You might be tempted to think that she can't find anyone far to her left because the territory to the left of her is so very sparsely occupied. But that can't possibly be right, can it, because she's in the middle; she's just told us that. All very confusing.

But now Ellen Goodman has something important to tell you, so pay attention. She's worried that some pro-lifers are so extreme that they'll even oppose public programs that promote birth control. Imagine that! Let's see: Is there an institution in American known for its opposition to birth control?

While you're pondering that subtle message, our heroine is off to tell a story about a newly appointed federal official who actually believes that promiscuity is bad for teenagers. Dr. Eric Keroack believes that there's even a scientific reason for opposing promiscuity, involving oxytocin. To be honest I don't know what oxytocin is, but I guess Ellen Goodman does, because she flourishes her scientific credentials and pronounces the theory nonsensical.

More sex leads to less bonding? This ranks with old-time warnings that you-know-what leads to warts.

So there you have it. The notion that promiscuity degrades the value of sexual fidelity is absurd. A man who tries to dissuade young people from extra-marital sexual adventures is an extremist.

What do "moderate" Americans believe about this whole matter?

The point on which most Americans agree is reducing unplanned pregnancies.

Some people believe that you can reduce unplanned pregnancies by reducing "unplanned" sexual intercourse. These people are dangerous extremists; we know that now, thanks to Goodman. Now if only someone would explain to us what the other people believe...

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  • Posted by: - Jan. 25, 2007 2:15 PM ET USA

    Very simply, it takes more than 500 characters to expose the nonsense in the idea that morality is established by consensus, even worse by a democratic consensus. The article reminds me of a fellow I knew who upon listening to a proposal would repl: "Sounds beautiful." But when it came time to participate in the plan he would invariably refuse to go along with it. There is little truth to the article but many consequences.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 22, 2007 6:31 PM ET USA

    Jacard, we MUST devote the time and attention to authors like this. Why? Because if we don't, if we don't take the time to intelligently and thoroughly refute them, others will be sucked in. Where were the Catholic apologists in the early-mid 20th century when kooks like Margaret Sanger and Allen Ginsberg were prattling in Greenwich Village? By and large, they were regarded with amused indifference. We now see that we were asleep at the wheel there.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 20, 2007 11:32 AM ET USA

    Isn't it sad to think about how much time we give to authors like thie? If we spend more time reading from the articles and letters about the good and moral things in life that God has given us then we would be more apt to abide by his law--"thy will be done".

  • Posted by: - Jan. 20, 2007 9:39 AM ET USA

    As to what Catholic liberals will support, as a matter of definition they will support the Democratic platform.

  • Posted by: NonSumDignus - Jan. 20, 2007 7:03 AM ET USA

    Hammer of Heretics: I believe that the "you know what" Ms. Goodman refers to is what we once upon a time delicately called "the lone sin."

  • Posted by: unum - Jan. 19, 2007 9:55 PM ET USA

    Ellen's column sounds like the initial phase of a campaign by the Democrats to convince voters that their candidates are moderate and moral. She often uses their talking points. I wonder how many Catholic liberals will buy what they are selling?

  • Posted by: - Jan. 19, 2007 8:49 PM ET USA

    The underlying fallacy behind Goodman's theory is that truth can be found in consensus. Frankly, I find these "middle-of-the-road" folks to be more disingenuous than the raving pro-aborts. At least the latter has his/her own "principles" (as such). The "middie" has none of his/her own. Rather he/she is guided by the principles of others, and continually shifts with the wind. It is the "middie" who would make the perfect sheep - or maybe Nazi.

  • Posted by: depeccatoradvitam - Jan. 19, 2007 3:40 PM ET USA

    Is it permissive or dismissive. I contend that it is dismissive of any value of moral relevance. Anything goes. Cast thyself, dead branches, into the fire.

  • Posted by: depeccatoradvitam - Jan. 19, 2007 3:36 PM ET USA

    Self-control is called for so that we may be chaste in our state of life. Yet, this buffonery clamours for the "need" to NOT be under self control. Is this anarchy of self? If the self, the individual, cannot be in control of themselves, and furthermore must not be externally controlled, then that person is incapable of community with others, and they cannot be giving of self to a community nor accepting of input from the society itself and, closed to God's call to communion. Lonely indeed.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 19, 2007 3:22 PM ET USA

    --------------------------------------------------- /| | The mid-point

  • Posted by: - Jan. 19, 2007 2:33 PM ET USA

    WOO-HOO!!! My Faith in Jesus Christ the Lord and the Catholic Church as the One, True Church has made me a dangerous extremist! Exciting times, these are.

  • Posted by: sparch - Jan. 19, 2007 2:22 PM ET USA

    I laughed out loud when I reached the end of the essay. When the logic of this stance is played out to the end, it is so absurd. Yet, the fact is, pro abortionists still want everyone to particpate in out of marraige sex, no matter what their age, gender or marital status. This is their understanding of the Natural Law.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 19, 2007 12:53 PM ET USA

    Oxytocin and its role in male/female "bonding" is actually approaching a state of scientific acceptance. I'm sure that Ms. Goodman relates more to Dr. Kevorkian than she does Dr. Keroack, but the latter seems to have solid science to butress his moral views than the former ever did. Once again, Ms. Goodman demonstrates that ridicule is the preferred response to a concept she doesn't understand.

  • Posted by: Hammer of Heretics - Jan. 19, 2007 11:45 AM ET USA

    Funny thing. Human Papiloma Virus, the virus that leads to genital warts, is sexually transmitted. Therefore, "you know what" can, indeed, lead to warts.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 19, 2007 10:35 AM ET USA

    What kind of trash talk is "finding a middle-ground on abortion" ? Mrs Clinton came-up with that remark one day and now I hear it from Goodman! In my opinion,this shows that they are both permissive and totally insane. Anyone that could come up with such a stupid idea, as far as I am concerned, is clinically insane and should not be a columnist or in public office.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 19, 2007 10:18 AM ET USA

    I am sure Ms. Goodman must be appalled at those "extremist" pro-lifers who opposed the Holocaust, those irrational fools who took issue with slavery, those backward parents who seek to keep their children whole, holy, and well through adolescence and without venereal disease, and those crazies among us who wonder where she was during the genocidal tsunamis in Cambodia, Rwanda, Sudan, the Balkans, and the late great USSR?

  • Posted by: - Jan. 19, 2007 9:19 AM ET USA

    If Ellen says it in print, it's gotta be true!?! Here's another "true" statement, this time from our own Bishop Gumbleton (homily of 1/18/07 per NCR): "Yes, Jesus came as a Jew. He lived as a Jew. He died as a Jew -- never having set up a Church -- only calling together." If you can swallow Gumbleton's "truth," you can swallow abortion "rights." Of course, the real truth is preached by the Church established by Jesus: "on this rock I shall build my church."