Sex: the Drug that the Temperance Movement is Still Fighting

I had this thought today reflecting on the pro-life march that happened earlier: that the pro-life movement is connected or at least similar to the temperance movement in American history and that it is part of an outgrowth of the progressives and their ideals of the early 20th century.

Let me explain a little.

First, I have to say that I see a fundamental link between the social issues regarding abortion, contraception, sex-ed, same-sex marriage, transgender rights, and to a lesser degree pornography. There seems to be a similar intellectual connection as well as a connection between different groups holding these issues together. Yes, one can be pro-life and be for same-sex marriage, but that doesn't change the fact the pro-life movement bases its reasoning on theology; specifically theology relating to reproduction.

The way that this overall anti-sex-for-fun mentality is splintered does seem to be a major difference to the Temperance movement, but on the face of it there seems to be some similarities.

1) Both are rooted in religion.

2) Both try to control the behavior of the population by forcing them to act in a way that the proponents consider to be more moral.

3) Both grew from seeing problems in society and wanting to fix them.

4) Both led to political polarization and litmus tests for candidates for office.

5) Both are seeking to outlaw or ban actions that are not the root cause of the problems that they wish to fix.

I'm curious to know what you all think. Am I reaching for straws here or are there real parallels? I'm still doing some reading on the subject, but I think there's an argument to be made here.

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According to the First Amendment, ideas of governance and ideas of religion are supposed to be keep separate from each others influence.  But believers seem to be unable to grasp that concept.

According to the Laws of the Land when child is BORN in America then that child is an American Citizen with all the Rights contained within.

Before a fetus is born it does not have Citizen status.

Therein lies the Rub.

The fetus prior to existing the birth canal is just a part of a woman's physical body and not property of the State.  The woman has Proprietary Rights to all parts of her body including UN-birthed fetuses.  Removing a fetus is no different then removing a tumor.

A fetus does not have Rights a woman does.

I agree as to the legal status, but, I am open to discussion as to the morality itself.

Essentially, at some point, killing a developing person becomes murder, and, I think we agree that, after birth, that development point is reached...but, many of us disagree as to how far BEFORE that moment the critter breaches, it might still be murder to kill it.

As in, he the kid's head is stocking out, is he done being born enough yet?

What about if you can see the top of his head in the canal, but, no part has left the mom yet?

What if he's a premie?

Is he then born when due, or, born when removed mechanically?

What if he was never born, as he was removed surgically/C-section?

What if baby #1 is removed surgically, and put into an incubator, and, baby #2 was removed surgically, and put into a dumpster?

What if baby #3 was killed first, and then removed surgically, and, baby #4 was removed alive, and then killed?

And so forth.

Some parties that claim to be anti-abortion are fine with very very later term in waiting for the fetus to finish medical school, start a practice, be picketed for performing abortions, and THEN aborted.

And so forth.

Some parties claim the sperm and the egg are alive, and can be a potential person, and not letting them meet each other is murder.

Everyone else is typically in the middle, and trying to decide how developed the fetus needs to be, to be "a person"...outside of the established legal definitions, etc.

If one believes that after it would be viable outside of the mom, such as some premies, a "person", that will run into trouble as in vitro kids hit the streets, as the zygote is then the viability litmus.

So, a fetus might be aware of its environment after a certain point...but, then, so a is a chicken, and, we're OK killing chickens...and a human and chicken embryo look similar to start with in early development, etc.

So, where's the "line"?

How developed IS the little guy to be "who he would be if he grew up", or, "a person"....etc?

I see abortion, for all intents and purposes, as killing someone because they might ruin your life/you can't/don't want to care for them.

When is that justified in other scenarios?

Self defense?

Not taking in a sick relative?


So, you get raped, and, you don't want to raise your rapist's kid. I think that's a very reasonable reason for getting rid of the kid.

Its also punishing the child for the wrong done by his father.

What if the mom TRIES to raise the rapist's kid, and realizes its impossible, she is enraged everytime she sees the 'lil tike?

Was it MORE wrong to kill the tike in the womb, assuming you could not raise him, or to kill him when he was 3 years old, and you were SURE you could not raise him?

I could not ASK a woman to even TRY, personally, it just seems too unfair.

Then again, I would not condone rape in the first place, as that is ALSO unfair.

So, it keeps coming back to WHEN is too late to "do it" as far as abortion...not IF abortion should be OK to do.

Preventing conception seems a good idea, and NOT wrong. Waiting until the kid is breathing air seems a bit late, and wrong.

My gut instinct is that the level of cell differentiation is involved in the answer, and perhaps level of awareness...but what level that would be is where the conversation probably needs to be.

Does that make sense to anyone else?

"Preventing conception seems a good idea, and NOT wrong. Waiting until the kid is breathing air seems a bit late, and wrong."

And that is exactly what got me thinking about the topic. It seems that the pro-life movement is in some ways inextricably linked to being opposed to contraception and I've always wondered why. The only reason that makes any sense to me is that they want us to have sex the way that they deem is "right" and not in ways that we wish to engage in it.

Case in point:

Preventing contraception seems a good idea and not wrong? Why is that?

Conception not contraception.

Bloody hell, I need more coffee!!!

I like it when people say "bloody hell".  It sounds so British.  I think I'll start doing that.

I don't use those words for the fetus líke tike, kid, someone, and other words you're using.

As for cell differentiation, there is a point in development (around 14 days iirc) when it's possible for the zygote to split into two zygotes, creating twins. One (who is especially spiritual) could logically assume that this period is when "soul(s)" enter.

I forgot what that point in development is called, but it's a point where scientists (and some country's laws) generally agree to not allow to be reached during in vitro research. This is unfortunate for research, because this is also right before some cells start differentiating in terms of their fate, although they could still theoretically be artificially split between/into two *or more* embryos. (Wow, another way to play God.)

Meanwhile, the irony in all this is that medicine's been playing God for many years (if not centuries) now, intervening in natural processes of sickness and health.

I think you are missing my point a little bit here. I was talking more about the underlying, although sometimes spoken, reason that some people push for banning abortion: they think that if you have sex, then you should have a baby. This assumes that all sex should be for procreative purposes, which is where the connection against contraception and same-sex marriage come in. They are trying, as I see it, to force people to have sex as they think we should much like the temperance movement was forcing people to partake (or not partake) in alcohol in the way that the movement thought they should.

I suspect the reason people don't get your point is because sexual behavior is so deeply, subliminally rooted to begin with. Any further discussion of it strongly tends to be colored by personal feelings, and traditionally exercised cultural values.

Since Trump and other busybodies are now imposing their own (moral) feelings and "traditional" values on the entire country, you got me wondering if one, constitutional way to fight back on this issue may be to join or create a religion that defines these issues, liturgically, in the many and various ways that "Our Creator" has so generously granted to us.

I know that sounds tongue in cheek, but it would still be just as valid as any other "religion", even based on our so-sacred constitution.
I've started researching history and precedents wrt interpretations of "establishment of" and "exercise of" religion per the constitution. Since it could't be written to detail all possible interpretations, considerations of (say) cults or secularism/atheism must be left up to each state, short of drafting a new, more detailed ammendment.

I like your interpretation... why didn't I think of that! But it doesn't inform many moral discussions (except our a-moral views!)
I agrre, but can't help but describe our prescriptions and proscriptions as originating from underlying emotional drives vs regulation of social behavior. It's an animal thing, but with humans culturally evolving to invent myths and institutions to "explain" all mysteries, and endow leaders and institutions with authority over society.

Sex-for-fun used to have real social consequences, in addition to animal/genetic level consequences. Religion was a product of culture, before it heavily influenced culture and institutionalized.

So moral codes have useful purpose, but have been mythologized and accepted "true" as written then published widely in sciptures. Scriptures became the first universally available source of explanations for all mysteries in life, coincidentally centered around the divinity of a single God for all mankind. Leaders could then gain societal "authorty" by divine proxy.

I think your assessment is valid. I'm just emphasizing that religion was a product of culture before it became a driver of culture, and then cultures and religious texts built on each other and expanded by printing presses in their mythical glories.

If TJ's example is helpful, I would just add my personal intuition that right-to-life in law would make more sense if based on state laws that already exist defining brain death. Brain "birth" and viable consciousness can be seen similarly to definitions of brain life vs brain death. The rest is just personal opinion about state power, or purporting "what a divine authority" wants.


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