Bring the Bastard Children Home
Even conceived in rape, life is precious.
Greetings and thanks to all my subscribers new and old. If you’re a paid subscriber, then you’ve been waiting very patiently for me to start your year with some exclusive content. Please accept my humble apologies for the long delay. My excuse is that I’ve been traveling, and when I haven’t been traveling, I’ve been sick. Fortunately, both of these things are coming to an end as January winds down. Our normal writing schedule will resume accordingly. Meanwhile, this month’s free column on Francis Collins was written from the road, went unexpectedly viral, and has brought in a lot of new readers. If that’s you, welcome! I hope you like what you read.
There’s a meme from the Disney movie Tangled that regularly makes its way around socials. The hero, Flynn, has found himself at the point of multiple swords, but he crosses his arms and appears unbothered. People share the meme and ask, “What unpopular opinion will have you like this?”
My friend Ben Sixsmith, always one to poke fun at this sort of stuff, volunteered his own unpopular opinion: that whenever this meme gets people posting, most of these “unpopular opinions” aren’t actually that unpopular. I said this definitely couldn’t apply to me. Ben acknowledged that this was true. He thought he knew what mine was, or at least one of them, but in mysterious fashion didn’t specify which of the many possibilities he had in mind.
One day last month, I saw a tweet from an Israeli businessman who heard that the best friend of a friend had been raped in the October 7 terror attacks. She was rescued, but in his words, she “had to undergo an abortion” and was being treated in a mental health facility.
My heart went out to this poor woman. But my heart also broke for her child—this tiny person whose unique human existence hadn’t even been named or acknowledged in this story, except in the oblique phrase that this mother “had to” get an abortion.
“Had to?” I quote-tweeted. “Mercy.”
That day, I checked my DMs and found a note from Ben. This, he said, pointing to my tweet, was my most unpopular view, and it wasn’t even close.