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Posts tagged Macomb County

Old Time Religion

The latest news from the Traditional Values front comes to us from Roseville, Michigan, where we find that the defenders of public decency are marshalling their forces to preserve our precious culture and heritage–by launching a legal assault against a local artist for his reproduction of part of Michelangelo Buonarroti’s ceiling for the Sistine Chapel:

In Ed (Gonzo) Stross’ eyes, his variation on Michelangelo’s Creation of Man mural is art.

In 39A District Judge Marco Santia’s eyes, it’s a crime.

Santia ordered jail time, a fine and probation — a sentence that sounds a little harsh to a state senator, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and fellow artists.

Santia ordered Stross, 43, to serve 30 days in jail, do two years’ probation and pay a $500 fine for violating a city sign ordinance. Roseville officials said letters were prohibited on the mural and Eve’s exposed chest is indecent.

Besides jail time and the fee, Stross is to tastefully cover Eve’s breasts before reporting to the Macomb County Jail on Monday morning, and to paint over love by May 1.

— Detroit Free Press 2005-02-18: Muralist’s vision has jail staring him in face

(Link thanks to Copyfight 2005-02-23 and No Treason 2005-02-22.)

Of course, a bare-breasted Eve wasn’t too much for Pope Julius II; he not only approved of its public display, but was glad to have it on the ceiling of the most important church in all of Western Christendom. You might have thought that some of our traditional values include glorifying God and Creation through beautiful art, or at least respect for the achievements of our forebearers. But when it comes to the community standards of our day–which are, after all, mostly set by reference to the sensitivities of the most obnoxiously vocal and litigious segments of the Religious Right–it appears that all of these pale in comparison to the importance of ensuring that no child see boobies, ever. Anyway, since when have traditional values had anything to do with history?

This, it seems, is the modern Religious Right: a horde of know-nothing busybodies, apparently hell-bent on making Mencken’s definition of puritanism look plausible, and going to the mat to enforce the values of a past that–fortunately for the achievements of Western civilization–never existed.

Further reading

Culture of Life

Just a reminder: all that sound and fury from the anti-abortion movement on behalf of Unborn Victims of Violence; all that sentimental law-making allegedly in the name of Laci Peterson and her yet-to-be-born son Connor; all that’s not really about protecting pregnant women from domestic violence. It’s not about punishing men who batter pregnant women, and it’s not about protecting children, either.

What it’s about is laying legal groundwork for punishing young women who seek abortions.

Test case: in Macomb County Michigan, prosecutors are now researching whether they can charge a 16 year old girl and her boyfriend with manslaughter for a desperate home-made abortion when she was four months pregnant:

(Link nabbed from excellent commentaries at Mouse Words 2004/11/17 and Pink Feminist Hellcat 2004/11/18.)

Investigators said a pregnant 16-year-old girl allowed her boyfriend to beat her with a miniature baseball bat to cause a miscarriage, which may lead to criminal charges against the teens and one of their parents.

The girl estimated she was four months pregnant, said Macomb County Prosecutor-elect Eric Smith. Police said the boy’s mother helped transport the fetus to her home and bury it in the backyard.

Smith said the beatings were done over a period of three weeks. It was done in an effort to terminate the pregnancy.

How dare they! Don’t they know that abortion is illegal in this country?

This is not a black and white area of the law. It is a gray area, added Smith. It is shocking the lengths these two teens went to terminate the pregnancy.

I am shocked! shocked! to find that a desperate 16 year old would go to such lengths to have an abortion outside of official state-approved channels. Why in God’s name would she do that?

Under Michigan law, people under 18 need one parent’s permission to obtain a legal abortion.


Neither family knew about the pregnancy before it was terminated, Smith said.


A first-trimester abortion without complications costs about $300, Warren said.


If 16-year-olds feel that this is there only option, than we have really missed the boat on educating them about sexual health, Warren said.


This is a culture of life we’re building here, folks. And that means doing everything we can with pro-life laws to stop young women from getting abortions from a safe, medical provider. And throwing them in a pro-life prison when they finally make a desparate attempt to end the pregnancy at home without the aid of a doctor.

Or taking a pro-life gun and shooting them in the neck with a pro-life bullet if they do make it to the clinic:

INDIO, Calif. A California teenager has been convicted of attempted murder for shooting his pregnant girlfriend inside a Riverside County abortion clinic.

The shooting left the 16 year-old victim a quadriplegic.

She testified during the trial that 17-year-old Jeffrey Fitzhenry told her before the shooting that she was depriving him of his unborn child.

The prosecutor told jurors he also threatened, If you take something of mine, I’ll take something of yours.

As Sheelzebub puts it at Pinko Feminist Hellcat:

Apparently, he didn’t like the idea of her getting an abortion. Or rather, he was an abusive sociopath. He reportedly told her: If you take something of mine, I’ll take something of yours.

Except the fetus was in her body not his, and she’d be the one to deal with the health risks and potential complications, not him.

Now, you might think that it’s unfair of me to sit here pinning the actions of one abusive boyfriend on the anti-abortion movement as a whole–but how are Jeffrey Fitzhenry’s actions different in any salient respect from the legal action that pro-life laws are pushing pro-life prosecutors to take in Macomb County? Enforcing laws that stop young women from obtaining medical abortions means stationing armed men who are ready to shoot you in the neck to keep you from getting an abortion. Enforcing laws that punish women for getting an unauthorized abortion means using violence against young women who try to get one through other means. The fact that the abusive sociopath wears a suit and works in Congress does not make it any different. The fact that the shooting is done by men with badges does not make it any different. The fact that any complaints against the men who shoot you will be dismissed by men in black robes does not make it any different. The only difference is that Jeffrey Fitzhenry is only one sociopath, with only one woman as his target. The pro-life state would be a sociopath with armies at its disposal, with all young women as its targets. (For more on the same topic, see GT 2004-03-08: April March.)

Jeffrey Fitzhenry didn’t care about life; he shot his ex-girlfriend in the neck because he wanted control over her body, and he wanted to take revenge when she didn’t comply. He is not pro-life; he is an abusive sociopath. And nothing less is true of the legislators, presidents, or prosecutors who use deceptive bills to enforcing a culture of life at the barrel of a gun.

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