In Idaho last week, Representative Christy Perry defended a bill to defend faith-healing parents.
Bias alert: I am entirely opposed to forcing a parent's faith on children in every way, shape and form. In most instances, I don't think it should be illegal--but in cases where the child could die because of the parents' belief system? Absolutely not.
So that is my bias.
But I would expect Representative Perry to have a similar take, although for different reasons. You see, Perry is pro-life. That means she doesn't believe in abortion, and believes that every life is precious--sacred, even. So obviously, she would support efforts to protect children from harmful believes that actually kill children. For no good reason.
But no. I would be wrong to expect that.
Perry said this about those opposing the bill according to Al-Jazeera America:
“Children do die,” Perry said. “And I’m not trying to sound callous, but [people calling for reform] want to act as if death is an anomaly. But it’s not. It’s a way of life.”
Rachel Ford, writing for The Friendly Atheist, apparently had the same thought I had when reading these decidedly un-pro-lifey comments:
But, you see, when it comes to being “pro-life,” you really need to read the terms and conditions, because limitations certainly apply. If you’re a zygote, embryo, or fetus, the pro-life community has got your back. But if you’re, say, a pregnant woman who will die without an abortion? Sorry, lady, we’re too “pro-life” for that. And what about kids dying from treatable ailments? Death just becomes “a way of life.”
But to me, the worst came after. The most glaring statement in Perry's defense:
“They are comforted by the fact that they know their child is in heaven,” Perry said. “If I want to let my child be with God, why is that wrong?”
I just...how does she get around the cognitive dissonance of these stances? How do you say, "Abortion is wrong because life is sacred and you don't have the right to end it," while simultaneously believing that it is perfectly okay for parents to decide to have a child--and THEN decide to let it die? Because God? What kind of God wants that?
Ed Brayton over at Dispatches from the Culture Wars also made this point:
Are you fucking kidding me? By that “reasoning” a parent could kill their child outright because they want to “let their child be with God” so “why is that wrong?” And can you imagine that this idiot’s response would be if a woman seeking an abortion made that argument? It doesn’t apply to fetuses, only to actual children.
Of course, what do I know? You see, Perry has already seen through all of us reformers pushing for children to have long, healthy lives...she said:
“Is it really because these children are dying more so than other children? Or is this really about an attack on a religion you don’t agree with?”
Yup. It's totally an attack on religion and not about children needlessly dying. Silly me.
What the actual fuck, people.