Friday, October 14, 2016

An open note to my friend Bobbie Coray, ardent Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter©

Dear Bobbie,
Recently I posted on my FaceBook page a short clip of four of Hillary’s statements about abortion. In one of them she said that “religious beliefs.... have to be changed.” You challenged that one saying she was referring to mutilation of female genitalia, not to abortion. Twice in our exchanges you assured me of that. On other occasions when I have posted things like this you have castigated me for not adhering to rigorous scholarly standards.  In other words, I should have looked into it and I would realize she was not talking about abortion.

Today I took your advice. I could not easily find a transcript of her speech, but I found it on YouTube. So I listened to it and then transcribed the relevant portion, both what preceded and what followed her comments about changing religious beliefs.  Here they are:
[Continuing remarks about change women have brought about since the 1995 Beijing conference on women.] Yes, we’ve increased the number of countries prohibiting domestic violence, but still more than half the nations in the world have no such laws on the books, and an estimated one in three women still experience violence. Yes, we’ve cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health care and safe child birth. 
All the laws we pass don’t count for much if they are not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will.  And deep seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.  (Applause.)  
As I have said, and as I believe, the advancement of the full participation of women and girls in every aspect of their society is the great unfinished business of the 21st century.(1)
You will note that she does not mention either mutilation or abortion prior to this statement, nor does she mention those subjects in this talk. Her comments about the need for change on behalf of women are sweeping. They are apparently not limited to one specific subject. For Hillary, “religious beliefs ...have to be changed” in order to benefit women and girls. There are many “religious beliefs” about women, indeed many of them are very hard on women, but she doesn’t specify which ones she thinks should be changed.  So based on the talk itself, your insistence that she is talking about female genital mutilation is no more accurate than the video clip which attached the statement to abortion.(2)  Following these comments she moves on to talk about work yet to do, largely the economic advancement of women in America.

But wait!  She does speak of "reproductive health care," which others have noted is her code word for abortion.  So, maybe the evidence is on the side of abortion after all, and not on female mutilation.

Apparently for Hillary, religious beliefs are like any other beliefs such as cultural codes and structural biases, whatever they are. She gives no consideration to the fact that religious beliefs may have their origin in revealed religion from God. She is a leftist socialist activist; for her government and law are the solution to societal problems. It isn’t a very big step then, for her to conclude that Government can and should play a role in changing religious beliefs she finds inimical to women.  Her strong advocacy of Roe v. Wade as “established law” and her promise to nominate only those who would uphold it to the Supreme Court shows that what I am arguing is exactly right. As I said in my FaceBook post, I prefer not to have her tampering with my religious beliefs or my religious rights, which she clearly sees as subservient to individual and especially individual women’s beliefs and rights.

With admiration,

Danel W. Bachman


1.  Transcription by Danel W. Bachman of a portion of a speech by Hillary Clinton to the Women in the World Summit, April 2015.  Video available here:

2.  For whatever it is worth I did look to see if she had further elaborated on this statement at a later time, but the search failed to turn up anything obvious.

No comments:

Post a Comment