Deserving

This quote from Dalrock’s fits perfectly with a radio ad I heard last night and was thinking of writing about:

I’ve asked alleged “conservatives” from time to time what exactly is “conservative” about paying women to have babies outside of marriage.

So last night on the radio I heard an ad for a local non-abortion pregnancy counseling center.  The lady who runs the place was talking about a girl who came in, and they helped her find a new place to stay and gave her other help with medical bills and such.  She said at one point the girl started crying, and said, “I don’t deserve this.”  The lady responded with, “But you do, you do deserve it.”

That’s the problem right there.  Now, I happen to know this lady, and she’s the sweetest person you could ask to meet.  Her heart aches for these girls and their babies, and she’s dedicated her life to helping them.  She just beams when she gets to talk about how they saved a baby from abortion last year.  She’s truly doing God’s work.

And yet.  Does someone who irresponsibly gets pregant out of wedlock with no ability to fund the pregnancy really “deserve” charity?  In fact, isn’t part of the definition of charity that the recipient doesn’t deserve it but is getting it anyway?

The honest answer would be, “No, you don’t deserve it, but your baby doesn’t deserve to die because of your sinful choices, so we’re going to help you anyway.”  But of course, you can’t say that, because then she might go have an abortion.  This place usually gets one shot at a girl, after she’s already scared and desperate, and she’s expecting them to “judge” her and put her down, so she’s ready to run any second.  You have to sweet-talk her and pat her on the head and tell her she’s wonderful, so she’ll let you keep her baby alive.  Anything that could offend her has to be avoided.

So that’s part of it: abortion is the worst possible outcome, so anything else is better, even using tax money to raise the kid for the next 20+ years while she sits around.

And I think, in a way, this lady does think these particular girls are special and deserving, precisely because they did come in to a place where they’re afraid they’ll be judged, when so many girls don’t.  All the other girls just get the abortion, but this girl made the extra effort to find help for her baby, so she’s special.  Better.  Deserving.

But for most conservatives, it’s not just about abortion.  It goes to their overwrought notion of chivalry, where women really can do no wrong.  If a woman is a single mother and can’t feed the kids, it can’t possibly be her fault.  Sure, she slept with a guy who obviously wasn’t good father material — and then a second one for the second kid — but that’s not really her fault.  They seduced her. Society didn’t teach her any better. Sure, she spends hundreds of dollars a month — enough to feed her kids — on smokes, her smart phone, and lottery tickets.  But that’s not really her fault because bad education again, and she’s allowed to have some enjoyment in life, right?

If you believe that nothing can ever really, ultimately be a woman’s fault, then it’s only natural that you have to pass the responsibility to someone else.

It’s especially difficult for conservatives who like to trumpet their racial color blindness, because everyone knows illegitimacy and welfare are a much bigger problem among certain minority groups, but because of race, they can’t even blame the fathers there.  If you can’t blame the mother or the father, who’s left to blame and be handed the bill?

 

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12 thoughts on “Deserving

  1. To some extent, it’s tough for tradcons. If they say “you aren’t deserving but we’ll help you anyway”, then people howl about you’re just like all those holier-than-thou Christians; you’re judgy and cruel and nasty and mean spirited and heartless. You can’t say things anymore that purport to assign value or value judgments to people or their conduct, because if you do, you’re “judging” them, and you can’t do that because you have no right to judge anyone, you hypocrite!

    So, they try to be good people, and they don’t “judge”, and don’t say things that are “judgy”, because especially with evangelicals whose mission it is to “spread the Gospel”, you can’t do anything to drive people away, because then you fail in your “mission”. You’re “ineffective” and “irrelevant” and what you say doesn’t have meaning or purpose in others’ lives.

    It all comes back to the fact that modern day Western Christians are really just anti-abortion feminists and cultural Marxists. And they really do believe women don’t do wrong; they are ‘more moral” and “more spiritual” and “better at family stuff” and “more intuitive” than men are; and so women are “more deserving” of God’s love and charity.

  2. Your Trad Con sounds to me more like a bleeding-heart liberal. Were she really conservative she would be more Malthusan about it.

  3. Opus, I guess that’s kinda the point: take away abortion, and it’s hard to tell a tradcon from a liberal these days. I don’t know that a conservative should necessarily be Malthusian, though. Whether you think the earth is overpopulated seems to be separate from ideology, and these days seems more common on the left.

  4. But surely in many cases it’s less an issue of pedestal-isation and more the consequence of fear of abortion. I mean thanks to legalized abortion these pregnant single mothers in essence all have knives held at the throats of defenseless infants. Confronting someone in that situation naturally your not going to explain to start condemning their life choices regardless of how terrible those life choices are, your just going to speak as calmly and soothingly as possible until they put the knife down. This sort of hostage negotiating paradigm that legal abortion engenders is why its so hard for so-cons to condemn fornication in any sustained way.

  5. Umbool, yes, I think it depends on the person. For some people, like the lady I described, the threat of abortion means they’ll kiss up to these girls and praise them to the heavens if that’s what it takes to keep them from the abortionist.

    But we see plenty of the same kind of pampering and refusal to criticize any female behavior, in other contexts where there’s no baby at risk, to know that there’s more to it than that, at least for most people.

  6. This is why you hear the word charity less and less. It’s social justice now. Charity is undeserved but everyone deserves “justice”. The word also implies that someone has harmed you and your situation is not your fault.

  7. She said at one point the girl started crying, and said, “I don’t deserve this.” The lady responded with, “But you do, you do deserve it.”

    And a moment of grace, which could have turned to gratitude and repentance, is turned into an affirmation of entitlement.

    That’s one of the real tragedies here.

    peace,
    Zach

  8. If I have to lie to keep her from murdering her kid, then it’s on her.
    All it does is take a whore, and make her doubly sure that she is in the right.

    But her tradcon enablers are making her twice the child of hell.

  9. Zach Frey (@znfrey) says:
    October 22, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Social justice indeed.

    It is unpalatable enough that so-called conservatives totally ignore the mandate to provide fraternal correction. They also fail to internalize this failure by co-opting Uncle Sugar to pay for all of this insanity.

  10. One could re-phrase the conversation to allow the truth while retaining politeness and the encouragement to not kill her child. It seems this is a mostly lost art form of conversation. For instance:

    “I don’t deserve this.”

    “Your child deserves to be taken care of and you need help to do that.”

    Even a simply, “It’s okay, dear, we’re trying to give you the help your child and you need.”

    In that way, you’re affirming why the young woman is receiving the help without affirming her sin. It seems one should always refer to the child whenever referencing the woman, and putting the child first in any reference. There are better ways to do these things; one hopes your friend was just tongue-tied.

  11. “The honest answer would be, ‘No, you don’t deserve it, but your baby doesn’t deserve to die because of your sinful choices, so we’re going to help you anyway.’ But of course, you can’t say that, because then she might go have an abortion. This place usually gets one shot at a girl, after she’s already scared and desperate, and she’s expecting them to ‘judge’ her and put her down, so she’s ready to run any second. You have to sweet-talk her and pat her on the head and tell her she’s wonderful, so she’ll let you keep her baby alive. Anything that could offend her has to be avoided.”

    This is mistaken. The extent of this mistake has become grave.

    Rightful judgement is exactly what she needs and in fact seeks. We’d best learn to do it well, and quickly. Denying it denies the possibility of Mercy.

  12. I recently heard a man describing his (Reformed, Calvinist) faith; and according to that faith no one is responsible for their choices. (and most Christians in thtis country have beliefs that descend from John Calvin.)

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