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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

 
The Call to conservatism

by digby

When I was researching those pretty young female Santorum fans, I came across quite a bit of talk about this. Just as Roger Ailes recognized that the wingnuts needed good looking women to front their retrograde, throwback ideology, the anti-abortion crusade has made a change:

I'm happy to report that the new face of the anti-abortion movement is much less unpleasant looking. In fact, it's downright photogenic, pleasant, and rock concerty — which makes it even scarier.

Dallas Observer staff writer Anna Merlan attended a 3,000-lady-strong rally called The Esther Call, a revival-style gathering for young women who believe that God is the sort of dude who unleashes tornadoes that destroy entire towns as a kind of cute way to say "wassup" to people at pro life rock concert/church services. Led by a charismatic, tight tee shirt-wearing, guitar strumming dude named Lou Engle, the anti-abortion protest/church service looked a lot like a new breed of anti-abortion rally, characterized by concert-style lighting in a feminine pink, speaking in tongues, crying in the mosh pit, and proclamations that the wrath of a vengeful God is going to rain down on America because abortions. But first, before you're cast into hell, Lou Engle and the gang are going to pray for you in a fun, free-form concert-style setting with cool youthy music. It's like Coachella, if the point of Coachella was to take away women's access to both abortion and legalized birth control. Coochella.


Lou Engle is a familiar religious right huckster, who has modeled "The Esther Call" on his simpler, universal "The Call". It's smart marketing:



Here's the pitch:

Back to Life is a young women’s movement fashioned to awaken America’s conscience to the injustices of abortion by amplifying the female voice. Growing at unprecedented levels, the abortion industry has a longstanding, twisted pattern of wounding millions of women. Abortion has killed 54,000,000 fellow Americans, and this issue must be called to national accountability. No longer leaving things to politicians, lawyers or previous generations, our vision as young women is to carry the part of this battle which is ours.

Preemptive Strategy
"As young women, we will carry the part of this battle which is ours."
In response to this corruption, a select group of young women from all over America will undoubtedly capture the nation’s attention as they send a message of sacrifice and commitment to assure the abortion industry and it’s supporters that there are still young women in this nation who believe in the right to life. We believe that the Lord has given us a preemptive strategy on the cusp of a milestone in American history––the 40th anniversary of Roe v Wade––as we engage in a purposeful and sacrificial pilgrimage between two key national abortion landmarks across Texas, focusing on a time when our country once protected life.

The Fight For Life
The fight for life in America has existed longer than these young women's lives. It’s fueled legislation, roused heated debates, and continues to divide our country. Rather than be overwhelmed against the mammoth injustice of abortion, Back to Life creates opportunities for the voices of these young women to be heard. They are lodged in the middle of a tug of war; 58% of total abortions in our nation are from the demographic of 20-something women; the abortion industry is specifically targeting them, and they are responding by sending a message of life in their generation.

Note how they switch back and forth between the voice of authority and the voices of the "young women" themselves. They didn't even notice.

So, what does this mean? Who knows? There has been a strong youth component to the forced childbirth movement for a long time. You have seen this many times, I'm sure:



And this bloggingheads featuring Sarah Posner and Matt Anderson author of the book Earthen Vessels (which he describes as a theology of the body for evangelicals) explains why it's a problem:



All the outreach in the world isn't going to bring young evangelicals into the Democratic Party as long as it's committed to protecting a woman's right to abortion. This issue is ground zero for evangelicals, especially the young and idealistic ones.

I wish I could say that this would stop the Democrats from trying to find the illusory "common ground" but it won't. In fact, I have little doubt that many in the leadership would be more than happy to completely cave on the issue at the earliest possible moment --- and are waiting patiently for the day when the country is sufficiently worn down and indoctrinated that they are able to do it without too much resistance. I sense that plenty of liberals are already tired of hearing about this.(Don't think it can't happen --- I watched liberals cave on the death penalty and gun control.)

If I had to game this out, I'd see a gradual capitulation on abortion rights in trade offs to protect birth control. Two front wars are always tough to fight.


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