18 Feb Incremental and Insidious
You’ve all heard the story of how to cook a frog? First you put the frog in a pot of room temperature water, then you slowly, slowly turn up the heat, and before the frog figures it out and can jump out, he’s cooked.
Do you remember the uproar years and years ago when Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) said the ‘damn’ word at the end of the movie? The public was outraged. This was in 1939. Now we would love to have the movie in which the only objectional word was ‘damn.’
Let’s review some history on the subjects of abortion, homosexuality, divorce, and euthanasia.
When Roe v. Wade became law in 1973, the abortion fight began in earnest in the U.S. At that time, abortion was only allowable in the first trimester. Even as citizens who valued the life of the unborn fought valiantly to overturn Roe, the Supreme Court ruled on another case and abortion then became legal, in effect, through the entire nine months of pregnancy. Not even the horrific procedure known as “partial birth” abortion (killing the baby as it is being born) is illegal in most states. Abortion has become so common and accepted that many women use it as a form of birth control. Incremental and Insidious.
Homosexuality has probably always existed to some degree. In our modern times, however, it has evolved from something that occurred among a small, discreet, minority of the population to a behavior that is increasing accepted, normalized, validated and even given the stamp of approval by those who wish to alter the definition of marriage to include homosexual relationships. Those who participate in the behavior have commandeered the word “gay” (instead of the word “queer”) to describe their “lifestyle.” Now the “gay” lifestyle is glamorized and promoted by TV shows, movies, and media with prominent Hollywood types, musicians, politicians and business rallying to the cause of “gay rights.” While NAMBLA (North America Man/Boy Love Association) along with those who promote all types of “inter-generational sex” continue to gain respectability and endorsement inside the ivy halls of high-end academic institution. Incremental and Insidious.
Divorce began to be more common than ever around World War ll, but that was just the beginning. There had to be some serious accusations against a spouse to have a divorce granted. The Catholic Church was openly against divorce and forbade it. Many couples stayed together until the children were raised only then would they divorce. But then came the push for divorce Laws to be relaxed with the legal world claiming that strict divorce laws served no purpose. In 1970, California instituted ‘No Fault Divorce’ and by 1973 most states had followed suit. This ushered in “unilateral divorce” where one party in the marriage (against the wishes of the other spouse) can ask for a divorce – no questions asked. This opened the flood gate for disposable marriages. You “fall out of love” you get a divorce – no matter what is does to your children or to the still-committed spouse. No-Fault divorce makes it clear that adults needs supersede the needs of children. Some 40 years later, the havoc that this has wreaked on society is still being analyzed and calculated, but one thing is clear – no one came out further ahead. Incremental and Insidious.
In all of these topics, would any of us who have seen the progression of these movements have realized how far it would go? In fact, if someone would have told us where it was going, we would not have believed them and considered them to be an alarmist.
INCREMENTAL – gradual, phased, piecemeal, step-by-step
INSIDIOUS – 1- awaiting a chance to entrap- treacherous 2- harmful but enticing 3- having a gradual and cumulative effect – subtle 4- developing so gradually as to be well established before becoming apparent
Now, euthanasia is more and more raising its ‘ugly’ head along with its many euphemisms: quality of life, compassion, death with dignity, right to die, choice. All of this is based, of course, on the premise that it is the patient’s wish. At what point, however, will it cross over into being against the patient’s wish?
In Compassion in Dying v. State of Washington (decided Mar 6, 1996) the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in a decision written by Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt:
“Known as a slippery slope argument or what one commentator has called the ‘thin edge of the wedge’ argument, the opponents of assisted-suicide conjure up a parade of horribles and insist that the only way to halt the downward spiral is to stop it before it starts . . .
The same nihilistic argument can be offered against any constitutionally-projected right or interest. Both before and after women were found to have a right to have an abortion, critics contended than legalizing that medical procedure would lead to its widespread use as a substitute for other forms of birth control or as a means of racial genocide [blacks have more abortions than any other group]. Inflammatory contentions regarding ways in which the recognition of the right would lead to the ruination of the country did not, however, deter the Supreme Court from first recognizing and then two decades later reaffirming a constitutionally-protected liberty interest in terminating an unwanted pregnancy. In fact, the Court has never refused to recognize a substantive due process liberty right or interest merely because there were difficulties in determining when and how to limit its exercise or because others might someday attempt to use it improperly.
Recognition of any right creates the possibility of abuse. The slippery slope fears of Roe’s (Roe v Wade) opponents have, of course, not materialized. The legalization of abortion has not undermined our commitment to life generally; nor, as some predicted, has it led to widespread infanticide. Similarly, there is no reason to believe that legalizing assisted suicide will lead to the horrific consequences its opponents suggest.”
INCREMENTAL AND INSIDIOUS