An urban legend, urban myth, urban tale, or contemporary legend, is a form of modern folklore consisting of stories that may or may not have been believed by their tellers to be true. As with all folklore and mythology, the designation suggests nothing about the story’s veracity, but merely that it is in circulation, exhibits variation over time, and carries some significance that motivates the community in preserving and propagating it.
Did you hear the one about the former radical Christian who turned into a gay-loving, atheist abortion doctor? Not if you aren’t capable of stifling the natural biological gag reflex that prevents the human animal from swallowing turd-piles. You’d have to accomplish this remarkable feat for a long enough time to read Frank Bruni’s latest contribution to journalistic integrity over at the New York Times.
Well imagine the coincidence! This former right-wing troglodyte of all backwardation took time out of his busy day snuffing inconvenient human lives at his abortuary to thank Frank Bruni and to ask his forgiveness. The poor guy couldn’t help it. He grew up in the South…
During our recent correspondence, he said he was sorry for any impression he might have given me in college that he wasn’t open to the candid discussions we have now. I corrected him: I owed the apology — for misjudging him. He grew up in the South, in a setting so homogeneous and a family so untroubled that, he said, he had no cause to question his parents’ religious convictions, which became his. He said that college gave him cause, starting with me. Sometime during freshman year, he figured out that I was gay, and yet I didn’t conform to his prior belief that homosexuals were “deserving of pity for their mental illness.”
And do you know what? The most phenomenally coincidental thing happened…It Really did! Nobody at the NYT ever lies!
He shared a story about one of the loudest abortion foes he ever encountered, a woman who stood year in and year out on a ladder, so that her head would be above other protesters’ as she shouted “murderer” at him and other doctors and “whore” at every woman who walked into the clinic. One day she was missing. “I thought, ‘I hope she’s O.K.,’ ” he recalled. He walked into an examining room to find her there. She needed an abortion and had come to him because, she explained, he was a familiar face. After the procedure, she assured him she wasn’t like all those other women: loose, unprincipled. She told him: “I don’t have the money for a baby right now. And my relationship isn’t where it should be.” “Nothing like life,” he responded, “to teach you a little more.”
How precious! There is nothing quite like being snuffed like a cockroach to prevent any of these teachable moments from occurring. If you’re going to exterminate innocent human life to help solve somebody’s economic and life-coping problems, it refreshes if you remain strictly non-judgemental about why.
Of course, there’s just one wee problem with Bruni’s secular parable. Actually, one of Bruni’s fellow leftists at Gawker shows enough intellectual integrity to point out several. I’ll stick to the most salient of John Cook’s detailed list. It’s a story that has been mysteriously repeated at least six different times.
Cook cites the following list of these “amazing coincidences”.
1) Operation Rescue a Failure. Boca Raton Times 26 April 1989.
2) Abortion’s Silenced Legacy
3) The George Tiller I Remember (I have yet to find its companion piece “The Pinochet I Knew and Loved” anywhere on the Internet. Shux!)
4) The Only Moral Abortion Is My Abortion (The other 50 million or so since Roe v. Wade are all Evil…)
5) Here’s an open thread discussion on abortion where “Mirabile Dictu” it happens again.
6) And just to completely demonstrate the ubiquitous nature of this here we go with another example at enotalone.
I’m glad smart, compassionate people like Frank Bruni read Erasmus and don’t believe in mythology like Jonah being caught by a fish. If we all are just condescending, oops, I mean patient enough, the Neanderthals will all learn. I mean they come from the South after all. John Cook at Gawker is absolutely right to laugh Frank Bruni out of respectable debate. Given my personal ‘druthers’ among crazy things to believe in, I’ll be choosing Christ every time.
I’ve learned enough about Erasmus to know well that he would puke if he ever saw what was being justified in his name by monsters such as Dr. Kermit Gosnell. Erasmus once wrote “Anyone who looks closely at the inward nature and essence will find that nobody is further from true wisdom than those people with their grand titles, learned bonnets, splendid sashes and bejeweled rings, who profess to be wisdom’s peak”. He would nod in chortling contempt and feel vindicated after reading Frank Bruni, Thomas Friedman, Paul Krugman or Maureen Dowd at the New York Times.