Posted by: HAT | December 17, 2009

Today’s Outrage

Received a link to something called The Manhattan Declaration from someone who used to attend my church, which probably explains why she sent it to the church mailing list. One of the talking points in the forward was that it was signed by celebrity figures like Al Mohler. As an alum of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, who lived in the Louisville area during the SBC takeover of the seminary across the street, from which my truly dear departed great-uncle graduated (see and the Yurica Report on the SBC takeover of Southern specifically), this is not much of a recommendation in my book.

The declaration defends marriage in an unabashedly patriarchal way. No surprises there.

But I wonder particularly about the choice to defend “the sanctity of human life” these days, in light of Agamben’s analysis of the sources of the sacer-ity of homo and its relationship to the bio-state. But then, the German-Christian-movement mentality that engineered the takeover of the SBC has no reticence whatsoever about destroying the autonomy of the church by re-forging its bonds with the state, perhaps especially as bio-state. Which no doubt has everything to do with the agenda of identifying abortion as a matter of a vital Christian defense of “the least” and “the most vulnerable,” turning what is Biblically an economic category into a biopolitical one.

It would be at least equally possible, reasonable, and even — arguably — Christian to treat abortion, and access to it, as inseparable from a woman-as-subject’s inalienable and decisive relationship to her own embodied poietic praxis. That is, in other words, as inseparable from a woman-as-subject’s authority in her own creative work of pregnancy, which is more all-involving than the passive standing-by-as-empty-container than the current terms of the debate would have us think role implied by the current terms of the debate. But then, Al Mohler wouldn’t sign the declaration. Which, come to think of it, might be something to recommend it, at least to me.

UNBELIEVABLE — well, OK, not unbelievable, just outrageous — that today’s news includes the announcement that the health care bill may well be scuttled for the sake of continuing to deny our daughters their subjectivity, or some shard of unpunished sexuality.


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