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September 19, 2015


14 Year Old Child Bride Facing Death Penalty for Murdering Husband -

Saturday, November 29, 2014

BREAKING: New Coal Disaster In West Virginia -

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

U.S. Hostage Freed by Colombia’s FARC Rebels (Video) -

Monday, October 28, 2013

Here’s Why The Zimmerman Verdict Matters -

Sunday, July 14, 2013

BREAKING! UK Government Spied On Allies At TWO G20 Summits (Video) -

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Swiss Support Tougher Asylum Legislation as Refugee Numbers Spike -

Monday, June 10, 2013

American Woman Killed in Syria Fighting for Terrorists, Syrian TV Claims (Video) -

Friday, May 31, 2013

CO2 in the Air Reached its Highest Level in Human History -

Friday, May 10, 2013

Terms of the New Abortion Bill Agreed by Irish Cabinet -

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Boston In Lockdown As Manhunt Intensifies -

Friday, April 19, 2013

2 Dead, Dozens Injured After Boston Marathon Bombing -

Monday, April 15, 2013

Fast Food Workers in New York Stage Surprise Strike -

Saturday, April 6, 2013

N. Korean Rhetoric Provokes Missile Shield Deployment -

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Eyewitness Accounts from Meiktila Massacre -

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sudan to Free All Political Prisoners -

Monday, April 1, 2013

A New Free Press In Burma Juxtaposed With Genocide: The World Will Be Watching -

Friday, March 29, 2013

Pressure Builds to End Ethnic Violence in Myanmar -

Friday, March 29, 2013

Activists Demand Action As Further Genocide Looms -

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cyprus Reaches Last-Minute Bailout Deal With EU -

Monday, March 25, 2013

Myanmar Muslims Brace for Possible Genocide -

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Unborn: Sunday Semantics Showcase


If you are easily offended, you may want to skip this. In fact, you probably should.

We here at The Progressive Press like to talk about Semantics. In fact, I’ve often addressed the importance of Semantics in our culture, politics and daily life. Words matter. And once a word (or phrase) is hammered into the stream of public discourse, it’s pretty hard to shake it. Words are imagery. And they have shaped – are shaping – some of the most important issues of our time. Pro-Choice v. Pro-Life, Entitlements v. Earned Benefits, Gun Control v. Public Safety, and so on. I’m not wading into this again today. A colleague addressed these specifics recently in his op/ed “The Language War” if you care to read more broadly about it.

Today, I’m tackling just one of these. I call them la-la-la-la-la-la-la words. Words used in a heated cultural or political debate for the sole intention of eliciting a particular and often grotesque image designed to “stick”, i.e:  (hands over ears) “la-la-la-la-la-la-la, can’t get it out of my head!”  Like a holiday jingle.  Or a tune by fun.

So let’s play a little word association. Tell me, what is the first thing that comes to mind when I say these words: “the unborn“.

For me, I just get red-faced angry. Then, I imagine Rick Grimes blowing the skullcap off a pint-sized flesh-eater. The Walking Dead. That’s what “the unborn” does for me. There is no term in abortion lexicon that is (a) as offensive; or (b) as effective. The Unborn.

Yesterday, I read a piece by Laurie Goodstein of The New York Times about how Catholic leaders, Bishops, priests, Vatican officials even, are upset with conservatives and Right-to-Life groups for their shameful hypocrisy. These religious zealots, “Christians” they like to call themselves (doing a grave disservice to actual Christians), have categorically derided President Obama’s new gun legislation proposals while simultaneously clutching their big, bright “life” placards. Goodstein’s article quotes John Gehring, Catholic program director at Faith in Public Life, who says that bishops demanding their Catholic legislators vote against abortion rights should also have the gravitas to vote for gun violence prevention. If you’re “for” life, you’re for life, right? Gehring went on:

“Catholic lawmakers who call themselves pro-life and are pretty cozy with the N.R.A. shouldn’t be getting a free pass.”

Well, amen to that. I’m looking at you, Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and you Joe Donnelly (D-IN), ditto you Joe Manchin (D-WV), same goes for you, sir, Mark Begich (D-AK).

Also within Goodstein’s column, there is a quote so odious that it served as the impetus for my writing this today. It brought me out of my seat. Let’s test it on you readers.

In speaking to being called out by Catholic leaders on her organization’s hypocrisy on gun violence, the president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund (organizers of this week’s March For Life in D.C.), Jeanne Monahan, said that as a Catholic in the anti-abortion movement, she “absolutely” supports the concept of pro-life as “conception to natural death”. (I suppose “pro-life” ends at being gunned down, seeing as how that is not a “natural” death).  Ok, fine. I strongly – very, very strongly – disagree. I believe what leaders of the Church meant when they began to decree that “life begins at conception” is that life begins to form at conception. I do not think they intended for sperm and zygotes to have the same rights as you and me (see, Personhood).  And then…….Monahan said this:

“Really, the difference between the little ones in Connecticut, which is so heartbreaking, and the little ones in the womb is their size and their age.”

Okay.  One, Mississippi……two, Mississippi……reset.

There are not enough profanities in the English language to begin to tear at this ignorant, hateful, highly insulting and insipid statement. The only “difference” between the unborn and the Sandy Hook children is size and age?  Bless their little hearts?  I’d pay to see you tell that to Veronique Pozner. Please. By all means, have your “beliefs” but don’t shove them on the world and don’t you dare equate a just-formed zygote or a fetus with a live, walking-around, sentient being who has breathed air through his lungs on this planet for six years and is capable of rational thought and laughter and pain and suffering. “Just conceived” is not an age. This is a barbaric, extreme and dangerous way to characterize our children. Our children. Not what may one day be a child.

Veronique Pozner leaves the funeral of her son, Noah.

Veronique Pozner leaves the funeral of her son, Noah.

Organizations like Ms. Monahan’s, like the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family (rest assured, if the word “family” is in their title, they are probably a hate group) and cantankerous individuals such as Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee and yes, Sarah Palin, propagate these words in very public forums. This is not only dangerous, it is morally irresponsible. Talk about mainlining manipulation.

If you think we haven’t regressed in the 40 years since Roe v. Wade became our nation’s precedent, just watch Walter Cronkite’s broadcast from January 22, 1973 as the decision came down. You will be shocked to see how it’s been chipped away at. Watch the entire broadcast. Nothing more need be said.

[feature photo credit: orbiscatholicussecundus]

[other photo credit:]

KL Johnson (31 Posts)

KL Johnson is a Los Angeles based writer/blogger/journalist and a native of Rayne, Louisiana. She is a graduate of McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana (B.A., Mass Communications/Broadcast Journalism) – go Pokes! – and is very fond of sharks, basketball and boxing. In her spare time, she runs a small civil rights legal practice with her longtime partner, Karen, and brings to the table 12+ years of looking at current events through the prism of her writing and legal background. In 1992, she voted for Ross Perot. It is still her most curious act. Twitter: @KLnotrhetorical