LifeSiteNews.com | Tim Waggoner | Sept. 12, 2008
In an article focusing on newly appointed vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, prominent feminist Camille Paglia admits that, much like Gov. Palin, she also believes abortion involves the murder of an innocent life – but unlike Palin, Paglia says she is a “firm supporter” of abortion.
Paglia’s piece, which appears on Salon.com, is the latest indication that “utilitarian” philosophies that no longer recognize the “right to life” as being the most foundational human right are gaining ground in some liberal circles. Under these philosophies even murder can be advocated as long as it protects what is deemed to be an even more important “right” – in Paglia’s case the sacrosanct “right to abortion.”
Paglia, the University Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, is well-known for her non-conformist approach as a lesbian social critic and as a popular journalist and author. Her latest article, “Fresh blood for the vampire”, largely addresses the Republican’s surge in the polls after choosing Palin as VP-nominee, but also touches on abortion.
“Let’s take the issue of abortion rights, of which I am a firm supporter. As an atheist and libertarian, I believe that government must stay completely out of the sphere of personal choice. Every individual has an absolute right to control his or her body,” said Paglia, voicing the commonest argument put forward by feminist supporters of abortion.
Unlike her fellow pro-abortion colleagues, however, Paglia continued on to – as she termed it – “face the ethical consequences” of embracing abortion. “I have always frankly admitted that abortion is murder, the extermination of the powerless by the powerful,” she said.
Paglia then admitted that in order to rationalize and accept abortion, one would have to not only accept, but logically condone other atrocities against life – that is, one would have to accept murder for the sake of protecting a particular, more important “right”, as she does. The author criticizes those on the social left who parrot the scientifically untenable position that the fetus is just a “lump of tissue”, saying that those who do so are simply afraid to face the consequences of their pro-abortion position.
“Liberals for the most part have shrunk from facing the ethical consequences of their embrace of abortion, which results in the annihilation of concrete individuals and not just clumps of insensate tissue,” explained Paglia. “The gigantic, instantaneous coast-to-coast rage directed at Sarah Palin when she was identified as pro-life was, I submit, a psychological response by loyal liberals who on some level do not want to open themselves to deep questioning about abortion and its human consequences.”
Paglia also criticized some on the social left for their logical inconsistency in condoning the killing of the innocent, but not of the guilty. “I have never understood the standard Democratic combo of support for abortion and yet opposition to the death penalty. Surely it is the guilty rather than the innocent who deserve execution?” she said.
“What I am getting at here is that not until the Democratic Party stringently reexamines its own implicit assumptions and rhetorical formulas will it be able to deal effectively with the enduring and now escalating challenge from the pro-life right wing.”
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