Bob Marshall Shoots the Messenger, But His Meaning Remains Crystal Clear

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bob Marshall can lash out all he wants against the Capital News Service and call it "slanderous" 'til the cows come home, but that doesn't change the clear meaning of what he said last Thursday. Here are his words, also recorded on video; judge for yourself.
The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children. In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There's a special punishment Christians would suggest.
OK, so how did the Capital News Service take anything "out of context" when it reported, "State Delegate Bob Marshall of Manassas says disabled children are God's punishment to women who have aborted their first pregnancy?" The fact is, Bob Marshall clearly said that, in the Bible, "the first born" is "dedicated to the Lord." Thus, in Marshall's theology, aborting that first born is taking away a child that was "dedicated to the Lord," an obvious offense against God the way Marshall sees it. Thus, the need for "special punishment," which naturally flows from the offense to God. And what is that "punishment?" According to Marshall, it is that "nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children" by increasing the rate of birth defects in later children by the woman who aborted "the first born."

What could be clearer than that? Also, how is it not totally "in context" of Marshall's (fundamentalist) belief system, not to mention of the anti-Planned Parenthood press conference at which he was speaking? Answer: it isn't "out of context" at all, it's very obvious what Marshall is talking about, and the fact that Capital News Service reported that accurately should be cause for praise of Capital News Service, not attack. As far as I'm concerned, Marshall now owes Capital News Service an apology for accusing them of "slandering" him. That is completely false, based on a fair reading of what he said in the context he said it.

By the way, in the video posted above, Marshall refers to excerpts from "peer-reviewed studies" that he posted on his website. You can read those here, but I'm not sure how this is going to help Marshall. For starters, it's very poorly written. For instance, Marshall writes, "If you disagree with abortion safety orthodoxy, well, it won’t get you burned at the steak". Yes, he wrote "steak" not "stake." And check this out, including the multiple typos:
For exaple, if you positively conclude that not only is abortion not safer than chiodbirth, but even more dangerous you are subject to vilification in official US Government publications as at best, anti abortion zealots who are woefully ignorant of medical facts, or dubbed as cunning Elmer Gantry type liars who use abstinence programs as a lure for federal money, but slyly seeking to bring unmarried pregnant teens to Jesus even if the methods involve skirting the moral law!
Other than the typos, all I have to say about this is, "huh?" Why is Marshall referencing Elmer Gantry, the "young, narcissistic, womanizing college athlete who abandons his early ambition to become a lawyer" and becomes "a notorious and cynical alcoholic" who "contributes to the downfall, physical injury, and even death of key people around him, including a genuine minister?" Is Marshall seriously claiming that the basis for his crusade against abortion is not based on his fundamentalist religious beliefs (including the "special punishment" part of his theology)?

If not, then what is motivating Marshall in his tireless efforts aimed at restricting womens' reproductive rights? What has motivated Marshall over the years to make other outrageous statements, no doubt "taken out of context" (yeah, right!), for instance that "sometimes incest is voluntary" and "We have no business passing this garbage [the "morning-after" pill] out and making these co-eds chemical Love Canals for these frat house playboys in Virginia?" Who in his right mind would ever say stuff like this? And why would we not take Marshall's latest, despicable remarks in the context of his many offensive statements over the years? Sorry, Bob, but there's no reason to give you any benefit of the doubt -- your words, meaning, and context are absolutely crystal clear. Nice try at distracting people's attention by shooting the messenger, though!

P.S. If you believe that Bob Marshall is an embarrassment, not just for his latest lunacy but for his entire career of crazy remarks and even crazier legislation, sign the petition and demand that he resign. Thanks.