The religion of abortion
The lie of Swedish atheism is exposed when someone dares to challenge the sacrosanct elements of modern religion.
This article is also available in Swedish.
Sweden is sometimes referred to as the most secular country in the world, and although this is not entirely true (e.g. communist China has a higher proportion of self-proclaimed “non-believers” and the highest proportion of atheists is found in Israel, the UK, the Netherlands and Hong Kong), it says a lot about the Swedish self-image.
“Here we don’t believe in hocus-pocus or an old man in the clouds; here we have reason and science!” laughs the modern Swede in unbecoming smugness. We are not only the humanitarian and moral superpower with fantastic values but also more intelligent than all those religious fools worldwide.
Well, that a people finds one or more substitutes when it loses a previous religion has been noted by many before. The aforementioned core values, for example, have an almost religious tinge to them. Swedish taxpayers spend billions yearly to spread the gospel of core values worldwide so that the Truth can reach more people. We believe in the fuzzy “equal value of all people” and make the Convention on the Rights of the Child our constitution.
These things are simply sacrosanct, holy and inviolable.
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Not “reason” that characterizes the abortion issue
If there is one place where this almost religious frenzy becomes particularly clear, it is when it comes to the issue of abortion. If we were having a genuinely scientific and “reasonable” discussion, there would be no problem discussing the moral dilemmas of taking a life at whatever stage it is. Nor would it be strange to discuss the reasonableness of classifying it as “care” or to have a serious discussion about the fact that the fetus develops nervous systems to feel pain as early as ten weeks.
But of course, you can’t discuss the issue in Sweden because “free abortion” is sacrosanct in the Swedish religion of values. That in itself is enough to prove that it is not a matter of “enlightenment” or “reason”, as alleged Swedish atheists would like to claim, but what can only be described as a religious belief. A belief that could perhaps be formulated as follows:
"It is my conviction that it is the woman's right to terminate the child's life up to week 24 if she so wishes."
The State gives us our rights, guides us, protects us from evil and is the only way to salvation (or at least the poor house and retirement home with staff who don’t know your language). But right according to what and towards whom? Is it the State that gives the woman this right, and is it to this omnipotent entity that she responds? Are not only God or gods exchanged for the State in this religion?
This religion of abortion came to mind when I saw the reactions to conservative commentator Ivar Arpi’s post on Twitter the other day.
“A woman receives a maximum of three fertility treatments from the State in Sweden. This is in addition to all the other requirements, such as maximum age and so on, that must be met in order to get help to conceive a child.
But all abortions are free of charge.”
Religiously offended abortion advocates
The reactions are reminiscent of religiously offended people, the stage before they start rioting as the Muslims did over a Quran burning last year.
Lisbeth Larsson, head of communications at WWF, writes that she is “physically uncomfortable with this post”. The signature “TK70” gets really pissed off:
I usually agree with you in most things Arpi, but what the hell do you want to say here? Do you want to imply that you want to review the view on abortion and women's unconditional right to decide for themselves? Clarify that this is not the case.
Note the “unconditional right” and the demand that Arpi clarifies that he is in no way challenging the holy nature of the religion of abortion.
The not-at-all-appropriate signature “Rim och reson” (Rhyme and Reason) continues on the religious theme:
Good heavens, you're really evil.
There are plenty of examples, but it is not worthwhile to list them all here. However, a tip for those who want to understand the hysteria is to read the answers Arpi has received. Now they are not all hostile towards him; some Christians and conservatives are giving him a hard time too, but it would be strange otherwise.
Abortion and the pill have been instrumental in destroying the family as the foundation of society, with disastrous consequences on many levels. Dr F. Roger Devlin writes about this in his essay collection, The Sexual Utopia in Power.
But the fact that Swedes have been able to adopt a new religion so quickly after abandoning Christianity is also something we can view positively. It means they can switch again if a worldview and religion (even if it does not present itself as such) offer a sufficiently attractive alternative.
The cynical might argue that it is impossible to compete with neoliberalism's self-centred decadence and laissez-faire morality. Still, if there is one thing we should learn from history, it is that the pendulum can swing when it is far enough out in one direction.
Are we at the end of that edge yet, and is the pendulum ready to move back with force? It’s impossible to know when we’re in the middle of it, but future historians will most likely be able to pinpoint an almost exact date when everything turned.
But since we do not have access to the history books of the future, we can only reason as Martin Luther did in Worms in 1521:
Here I stand and can do nothing else, God help me, amen!