From Jesse Taylor at Pandagon, we learn that conservative Christian blogger LaShawn Barber (pictured at right) is making sure that everybody acts as the no-insult-Barber police:
LaShawn Barber has a set of rules for tracking back to her site that have me giggling a little bit. Here are the good ones:4) Trackbacks leading to offensive, ad hominem-laced, and/or libelous posts where I’m the subject will be deleted. Habitual offenders will be permanently banned.
5) If a trackback leads to a non-offensive post, but you allow commenters to libel me, the trackback will be deleted and habitual offenders permanently banned.
Permanent banning from having LaShawn Barber readers attack other blogs for her being wrong? Glory be, what’s this world coming to?…
You’ve also got to love the fact that a site owner, in Barber’s eyes, is now responsible for other people not hurting her feelings in their comments. (And yes, that’s ultimately what this is all about – preventing conservative bloggers from ever having to hear anything about their positions other than the degree of agreement between you and the linker.)
Maybe LaShawn is feeling a little tentative about venturing outside the echo chamber because of what happened a few days ago. She asked an opened-question to "All Abortion-Supporting Liberals and Homosexuals that went like this:
As you may know, technology has advanced to such a degree that parents may choose to kill — pardon me, “sex-select” — their babies if they have sex-related diseases such as hemophilia. The latest topic of discussion in Britain is whether sex selection should be allowed for family planning purposes.
Not mentioned in the article, but an obvious cause of controversy, is that “undesirable” human beings will be killed. My questions to liberal homosexual and non-homosexual abortion supporters are these:
If a significant number of women begin choosing to abort their babies because doctors discovered a “gay gene,” would your stance on the “right to choose” change or shift in any way? Would the number of women killing these “defective” babies make a difference? Is one potentially gay dead baby one too many?
Please disseminate this post far and wide. No doubt it will attract trolls, but I’m dead serious. Pardon the pun.
Apparently, LaShawn and her readers thought they had us pro-choice liberals in a trap. As one commenter wrote:
You really put these Leftists on the spot with your question.
[Y]our questions emanate’s [sic] as a paradox wrapped in a quandry concealed behind an enigma.
With that said, how could a liberal or a homosexual give a concise and meaningful answer?
I will give the answer I posted in a moment. But my point is that in her mind, as well as those of her readers, this was a tough question. However, if they only bothered to educate themselves about liberals’ views, they would easily see how it is not a difficult question.
It is one thing to disagree with someone else’s viewpoint. It is another thing to complete avoid listening to someone else’s viewpoint, and think you know what it is. LaShawn and her readers fall into this latter category, and her new trackback policy merely insures that they stay warm and cozy in their world of ignorance. After all, how can you control the message when there are competing views?
Anyway, my answer — again, a no-brainer — was this:
“If a significant number of women begin choosing to abort their babies because doctors discovered a ‘gay gene’, would your stance on the ‘right to choose’ change or shift in any way?”
Of course not.
Ethically, I would have a problem with women who choose to have abortions for that reason, but I don’t get to make that decision. Please understand: the right to choose necessarily means the right to make bad and unpopular choices. Even choices that are bad and unpopular to pro-gay-rights liberals like me.
To take away the “right to choose” simply because we may not like the choices some women make, is like taking away the “right to free speech” simply because we don’t like the racist or sexist speech that some people utter.
That’s why “pro-choice” and “anti-abortion” are not necessarily contradictory (like pro-democracy and anti-liberal aren’t contradictory). I sometimes wonder why so many people on the right can’t grasp that. But I digress (a little).
“Would the number of women killing these ‘defective’ babies make a difference?”
No. Nor would I take away women’s voting rights if a number of them made (in my view) the wrong choice. See above.
“Is one potentially gay dead baby one too many?”
I hope you are not under the impression that liberals want to populate the world with gay people. You seem too intelligent to believe that rhetoric.
That said, your last question is loaded. Obviously, we pro-choicers wouldn’t consider the abortion to result in a “dead baby” since (a) to become dead, you have to be a life first, and we don’t necessarily ascribe to your rules as to when life begins (although, being pro-choice, some of us might); and (b) “baby” implies a living human being which again, is a subjective determination.
But I think you can glean my answer from the previous two responses.
Hope this helps!
LaShawn closed down the comments on that post shortly after mine appeared. I guess the trap she laid wasn’t quite the mindfield she thought is was.