Texas recently passed a draconian anti-abortion bill, seeking to sabotage a woman’s right to choose. I’m always amazed at the hypocrisy of pro-lifters who won’t lift a finger in protest when deranged gunslingers execute our children in places like Parkland and Sandy Hook, or San Jose, and Colorado Springs, or the Indianapolis FedEx shooting, or the Santa Fe shooting, and the Bolder shooting, and the Muskogee shooting, or the spa shootings in Atlanta. And don’t forget the Emanuel African American Methodist Church shooting, or the Pinelake nursing home shooting. It goes on and on, the body counts climbing as gun manufacturers soak gun magazines in steroids. Where were the pro-lifers then, when children, when our fellow citizens, were being gunned down?
Where was their moral outrage when we bombed innocent women and children in places like Iraq, Vietnam, Afghanistan?
Never saw them on the picket lines. Where was their outrage? Where were the protests, as we offered up our kids to be slaughtered, sacrificial lambs, as the pro-lifters cowardly stood silent to the evil propaganda that spewed forth from the NRA?
Pro-life? No, this is pro-fascism, an ism our former President has been reigniting these last 5 years.
But what about the men? Did this new Texas law address the culpability of men in abortions? Where was the men’s punishment in this bill, given the fact that men are co-conspirators in pregnancies? Make no mistake about what this battle is really about: power, patriarchal thugs planting their flag, asserting their power over women, in perhaps their most vulnerable state.
If you can control the body, you can control the mind.
One of the more disturbing aspects of the new law is granting citizens the power, anonymously, yes, anonymously, to turn people in to authorities who get an abortion. And there is a $10,000 bounty for their efforts. The law also applies to anyone who aids and abets an abortion, say the Uber driver who drives a woman to an abortion clinic out of state.
This fascist doctrine has precedent: East Germany’s reign of terror was sustained through a network of citizens spying on citizens during the Cold War era and extending into the 80s. At one point in East Germany, there were 173,081 citizens spies, a vital instrument in maintaining fascism.
Hitler’s ascension to power was fueled by citizens spies who turned in Jews who were hiding from the SS, Jews who were subsequently executed or cremated in the concentration camps. Citizen spying is a vital element in the longevity of fascism.
This is the pedigree of the new Texas law. It makes you wonder: did they study the Third Reich playbook in writing this law?
Ya gotta wonder????
But this assault on a woman’s rights has deeper roots. A woman taking control of her body is an assault on the patriarchal infrastructure that has been raging against women for centuries. Evangelicals have traditionally been on the forefront in subverting women’s rights, sabotaging a woman’s right to choose, frequently galvanized by the misinterpretation of scripture. A few quotes from Kristin Kobes Du Mez’s book: Jesus and John Wayne:
“Christian homeschooling remained an effective mechanism for instilling and reinforcing biblical patriarchy.” Page 189
Megachurch pastor Jack Hyles: he commanded women to “be in complete and total submission to their husbands and to male leadership.” Whereas boys must be trained to be leaders, girls should be trained to submit.” Page 33
Marabel Morgan “The Total Woman” page 61 “The Biblical remedy for marital conflict was the submission of wives to husbands.”
“Only in time, as abortion became more closely linked to feminism and the sexual revolution, did evangelicals begin to frame it not as a difficult moral choice, but rather as an assault on women’s God-given role, on the family, and on Christian America itself.” Page 69
“For the LaHays, women’s subordination was theological, social, and sexual: “The very nature of the act of marriage involves feminine surrender.”
There is no other word for this than fascism—the tyrannical control of another human being, emanating from fear and insecurity. This anti-abortion law reeks with the stench of patriarchalism, misogamy, and Texas has been simmering in this rot for more than a century, a deliberate misreading of scriptures fueling the tyranny. White power patriarchalism depends on the subjugating of others. They live in fear of a level playing field and their disinformation fueled psychosis extends beyond women: Afro-Americans, Muslims, LGBTH, Hispanics. Doug Wilson, another prominent Evangelical said this out loud in his book Southern Slavery: As it Was.
“He questioned the supposed “brutalities, immoralities, and cruelties of slavery. The slave trade might have been unbiblical, he allowed, but slavery most certainly was not. To the contrary, the radical abolitionists were the ones “driven by a zealous hatred of the Word of God.” Horrific descriptions of slavery were nothing more than abolitionist propaganda. The life of a slave had been a life of plenty, of ample food, good medical care, and simple pleasures, marked by “a degree of mutual affection between the races” that could never be achieved by coercive federal legislation.”
A ”life of plenty”????
Critical race theory ain’t gonna have an easy time in Texas.
The same forces, the same dynamics, that seek to control a woman’s body seek to control and oppress ‘others’. Racism is a form of fascism. It is undergirded by fear, and it uses the same fascist playbook. This Texas anti-abortion law is just another step in the fight to install fascism in this country. Trump primed the pump and the Texas anti-abortion law emerged from the slime. Trump didn’t come up with the idea of an anti-abortion law; he emboldened the agents of suppression by priming the pump with hatred and scapegoats. Trump has been seeking to install fascism for the last five years. Let’s count the ways:
- Moved to isolate the U.S. from other democratic nations—CHECK
- Sought to cancel treaties and agreements that promoted harmony with democratic nations—CHECK
- Expressed deep respect for totalitarian leaders and their methods of governance. Dare I say Vladimir Putin, Kim Jung-un—CHECK
- Moved to forge alliances with totalitarian dictatorships—CHECK
- Attacked the media as enemy of the people—DOUBLE CHECK
- Sought support from white nationalists, white supremacists, by targeting racial, religious, and ethnic minorities in incendiary speeches and oppressive policies—CHECK
- Urged police to assault peaceful protesters—CHECK
- Attacked labor unions and sought to enrich far-right billionaires, including himself—CHECK
- Postured as military strongmen while ordering arms build-ups that served no defensive purpose—CHECK
- Purged government officials and whistleblowers who attempted to expose the corruption—CHECK
- And then there is January 6th—TRIPLE CHECK
Our country is soaking in disinformation, fertilizing the Delta variant of misogyny, racism, watering fields producing hatred, generated by fear. Trump was a master at this, tossing the raw meat of people of color to the white hoards seeking explanations to their misery.
Democracy is on the brink. The Texas anti-abortion law is a symptom of a larger cancer that is percolating through the bloodstream of our Republic. We need to confront and eradicate this legacy of hate.
As Charlton recognized, “submission theology protects the privileges of the Powerful.” Page 281 Kristin Kobes Du Mez
Doug Wilson, a prominent evangelical in the 90s wrote “immodest women were responsible for men’s actions.” …women who refused masculine protection were “really women who tacitly agree on the propriety of rape.”
“Agree on the propriety of rape?” … well, we got work to do as this cruel, hateful, misogynist disinformation is carousing through Republican blood. It is part of their DNA, always has been, keeping women under their boot.