that means “our own law”

I would strongly urge you to have a look at this post by Stormcoming on Daily Kos. The beginning of the article makes a number of references to the fight that developed among lefty bloggers after Kos featured an ad that portrayed women in a demeaning light. If you want more information on all that noise, you can go over here.

But do go read Stormcoming’s article. It’s one of the best pieces of writing about abortion I’ve seen in a good long while. I don’t share all her views. I have my own issues and conflicts around abortion. However: I love and cherish her notion of an autonomist understanding of freedom. My America is the culture that flows from such an understanding. And she’s right to identify autonomist culture as what’s really at stake in the Abortion Wars. And the culture of autonomous liberty, as much maligned as it is today, is the foundation of an America that values things like privacy, pluralism, secular government, civil liberties and human rights.

Autonomism, as she terms it, is the pearl of great price out of the storehouse of our cultural heritage. Despite their traditionalist rhetoric, the religious right is pushing something very different…something totally new. And I for one am not interested in discovering what America looks like when freedom means “slavery to Christ”. Paul Tillich had a name for cultures where the supposed “will of God” was forced on societies by threat of violence: heteronomous. That means “other’s law”. Autonomous means our own law, and the last time I checked, that was the only kind of law we recognize. That is what makes us Americans.


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