This “Hanging Out The Walsh” series will be an ongoing critique of Matt Walsh’s blog posts and podcast in an effort to highlight misinformation, blatant lies, and misapplication of religious ideas to the real world.
Mr. Walsh published an article decrying the political persecution of David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress due to charges being brought against them for having misrepresented themselves, filmed discussions without consent and heavily edited them before release in order to present an argument that Planned Parenthood murders as many babies as they can in order to sell fetal tissue to research companies and, I suppose, make a bajillion dollars in order to fund their Satanic cult.
I understand why Walsh is worked up over this. He’s firmly pro-life (actually, a better term for these people is “pro-gestation” since they don’t give a crap about other people’s children once they’re born) and identifies strongly with the arguments being made by the Center for Medical Progress. That doesn’t mean he’s right. Here are his claims:
CMP is being politically persecuted
This is a Christian argument to its core. Any time a Christian or Christian organization is scrutinized, contradicted, or litigated the immediate reaction is to cry, “Persecution!” Given that the Bible tells believers that they will be persecuted for their faith it’s not difficult to see why this happens. If your faith is true, then you’ll be persecuted. If you feel persecuted, then your faith is true. We call this “self-fulfilling prophecy.”
The problem is that nobody is being persecuted here. The charges against the CMP stem from their illegal activity and their own poor judgment in publishing the results of this activity. If you break the law it shouldn’t surprise you when the legal system comes after you. You can be angry about it – nobody enjoys confrontations with the legal system – but you can’t really claim surprise. If these people hadn’t misrepresented themselves and, in heavily editing their videos, misrepresented Planned Parenthood then we wouldn’t be hearing about this.
Far from political persecution, what we’re seeing here is justice.
Planned Parenthood sells dead babies
CMP’s videos sparked outrage among Conservatives and spawned several investigations, nationwide. All of these investigations came up empty and it’s become clear (to rational adults) that Planned Parenthood is not guilty of the crimes of which it’s been accused. Further, the fetal tissue donation program in question isn’t a revenue-generating business model. In order for fetal tissue to be used for scientific research it must be collected, preserved, transported, and stored. All of these steps cost money, and the ultimate recipients of this tissue pay these costs, which does not amount to “paying for dead babies.” The research supported by these donations could be saving lives, but Conservatives aren’t able to see past “baby murder” in order to reach that conclusion.
Obviously, Planned Parenthood performs abortions. In most cases they’re necessary and life-saving. If I’m being honest, I’ll admit that some abortions are requested and performed for less-than-noble reasons. This doesn’t, however, negate the importance of keeping these services legal and safe for all women of all economic and social standings. Once we acknowledge that, we have to acknowledge that if this is happening it’s better to produce a positive outcome than not. Allowing donations of fetal tissue for scientific research is the right thing to do. Reimbursing Planned Parenthood for their costs doesn’t equal “valuable consideration.” There’s no law being broken here.
Liberals are stifling freedom of speech
I’ll grant that the Left has gotten out of hand and that recent clashes have demonstrated a growing oversensitivity to opposing viewpoints. I don’t think it can be said, however, that liberals are opposed to the First Amendment or the basic concept of freedom of speech. That isn’t even what’s being litigated here. As previously mentioned, the problem is the illegal activities undertaken by CMP and the subsequent editing and publishing of illegally obtained video. If the legal component didn’t exist – and if CMP had honestly presented the unedited video in good faith – then it would be a different conversation altogether.
Because CMP isn’t an honest media outlet, didn’t conduct these interviews in good faith, lied about their identities, and edited the video before publishing it they weren’t just practicing free speech; they were practicing deceit and incitement. Look at the Conservatives’ reaction to this video. This wasn’t just a documentary, it was an outright propaganda campaign. CMP was pushing their agenda in the most inflammatory way possible, and it backfired on them. If anything, the First Amendment has guaranteed that voices opposing this type of dishonest tactic are heard and that they carry the weight of truth and justice.
Walsh has approached this from a typical Christian persecution complex point-of-view and it’s not surprising at all. This is what he does. Luckily, he keeps writing articles so that I have material for my site.
Abortion information (PPFA)
Image Source: Associated Press