By Jonathon Van Maren
As a rule, I don’t like it when pro-lifers immediately compare any current tragedy to abortion, simply because I think that there are many different types of injustice and people are obviously going to have different emotional reactions to different tragedies, depending on a wide variety of factors. I work in the pro-life movement full-time, but if someone shot and killed someone I love in a school massacre, I’d be pretty furious if someone tried to say to me, as I grieved: “Look, I know that this was horrible—but are you consistent enough to also be angry about this issue that is equally horrifying?” That strikes me as an extremely ineffective way to reach people.
That being said, what just happened in California does not fall into that category and is disgraceful to boot. From FOX News:
California high school history teacher Julianne Benzel was put on paid leave after questioning in front of her students whether school administrations would let a group of students protesting abortion walk out of class in the middle of the school day like they did with students who did so on Wednesday in protests over school shootings.
“I opened up the discussion for if schools … are going to allow one group of students to get up during class and walk out to protest on one issue, would they still give the same courtesy to another group of students who wanted to get up and walk out in protest. And I used the example of abortion,” Rocklin High School teacher Benzel said on Fox News Friday morning.
Benzel said two students and one parent took issue with her comment and complained to the administration who then placed her on leave for two days. The California teacher said she was trying to a start a class discussion ahead of National Walkout Day on whether the situation would be treated the same way if a school walkout was organized from the other side of the political aisle.
What Benzel was trying to accomplish was, I think, entirely justified: She was pointing out that our culture has become incredibly selective in regards to which dead children they become outraged about. Planned Parenthood can get caught selling baby arms, but a certain segment of society will not get up in arms until the discussion involves the right to bear arms. The Left consistently accuses the NRA of “owning” the Republican Party, when their radical adherent to Planned Parenthood’s policy of abortion on demand throughout all nine months of pregnancy (which is wildly out of step with public opinion) proves that it is the Democrats who have been bought off by an organization with a kill count—over 300,000 a year, to be exact.
But of course, Benzel made the mistake of thinking that she was supposed to make her students think. That is not, in the opinion of the public-school system, what she is there for. She is supposed to teach them what to think—nothing more, nothing less.
For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.