Abortion doughnuts?

Two words: Abortion doughnuts.

Two more: Mmm … doughnuts.

This might require some explanation, of course. And if you think it is somehow a bad joke, well, yeah I can see how you might. But, no. This would appear to be real.

The next time you stare down a conveyor belt of slow-moving, hot, sugary glazed donuts at your local Krispy Kreme you just might be supporting President-elect Barack Obama’s radical support for abortion on demand – including his sweeping promise to sign the Freedom of Choice Act as soon as he steps in the Oval Office, Jan. 20.

The doughnut giant released the following statement yesterday:

    Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. (NYSE: KKD) is honoring American’s sense of pride and freedom of choice on Inauguration Day, by offering a free doughnut of choice to every customer on this historic day, Jan. 20. By doing so, participating Krispy Kreme stores nationwide are making an oath to tasty goodies — just another reminder of how oh-so-sweet “free” can be.

Just an unfortunate choice of words? For the sake of our Wednesday morning doughnut runs, we hope so. The unfortunate reality of a post Roe v. Wade America is that “choice” is synonymous with abortion access and celebration of ‘freedom of choice’ is a tacit endorsement of abortion rights on demand.

President-elect Barack Obama promises to be the most virulently pro-abortion president in history. Millions more children will be endangered by his radical abortion agenda.

Celebrating his inauguration with “Freedom of Choice” doughnuts – only two days before the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision to decriminalize abortion – is not only extremely tacky, it’s disrespectful and insensitive and makes a mockery of a national tragedy.

Yeah. Abortion doughnuts.

There is an argumentative phenomenon that seems to actually disrupt people’s lives. I call it, quite simply, letting your opponent define the terms. I suppose, in a way, there is a “porch monkey” joke to be had here, since these words can, much like Randall intended in Clerks 2, be “taken back”. But in life, it’s not quite comedic fodder. Unless, of course, you live on a steady diet of irony and sardonica.

The idea is that one becomes so fixated on a word or phrase used by one’s political opponents that the idea no longer has any other effective meaning. In this case, the phrase “freedom of choice”. We have the freedom to choose this church, that church, or no church. Chocolate, vanilla, or nothing at all. Smoke pot, get drunk, stay sober. On and on and on. And no, choices do not always come in threes. Take the ice cream example. Heavens, imagine those poor Catholics from the American Life League trapped in a Baskin-Robbins. God help them! All the … choices!

In other words, we cannot necessarily presume that these people are such cheap hucksters as to invent this argument for political convenience. It is, indeed, quite possible that the phrase “freedom of choice” can only refer to abortion.

The folks at ALL aren’t alone in this. Plenty of people do this. Atheist activists in the United States, because they’ve struggled so long against assertions of Christianity, cannot perceive the word “God” in any other context. And, hell, don’t ask them to explore Sufi philosophies, or you’re likely to hear about suicide bombers. Even though one does not trust the opposition, one is perfectly willing to let the other define the terms.

It’s not quite employment security, but something similar. Allowing the opponent to define the terms empowers one’s inner quest to fight against whatever perceived injustice or evil their conscience instructs. And it often causes people to embarrass themselves, much like the folks over at ALL.

Back to the story. The Krispy Kreme press release in question is available online. But perhaps more interesting than the January 14 press release about free doughnuts or ALL’s January 15 challenge to Krispy Kreme is what happened next.

Three days later, ALL released another press release thanking Krispy Kreme for correcting their press release:

We are grateful to Krispy Kreme executives who realized the inappropriate use of the phrase “freedom of choice” and have changed their announcement, available on their web site.

Barack Obama is one of the most radical pro-abortion politicians ever elected president. Even though Obama claims he is not pro-abortion, but rather “pro-choice,” his record speaks for itself. Obama received millions of dollars from the “freedom-of-choice” abortion industry because he swore that as one of his first acts as president, he would sign the Freedom of Choice Act, a legislative proposal that would wipe out a litany of incrementalist pro-life legislation with one stroke of his pen.

The use of the phrase “freedom of choice” by any corporation, particularly when used to coincide with President-elect Obama’s inauguration, is offensive and demeaning to the millions who have suffered either directly or indirectly through abortion. Abortion is a tragedy for everyone involved in it. Thus we felt obligated to issue our original statement and subsequently communicate with Krispy Kreme Inc.

For the record, as of this writing, the press release has not been changed (see above), and there are no subsequent press releases on the subject at Krispy Kreme’s website.

But we see the determination of the ALL to operate by a narrow definition of “freedom of choice”, one used in a specific context in which the organization claims a stake. It is the definition of ALL’s chosen enemies. And in doing so, they denounce the phrase and contend that any corporation using it for any reason is insulting millions of people.

I wonder how they feel about Chinese family policies? I mean, when the freedom of choice to be fought for is a woman’s right to choose to carry a pregnancy to term and delivery?

This is the problem of letting one’s opponents define the terms. Or, rather, of obsessing over that definition. In the end, one shoots oneself in the foot. And if that foot is jammed firmly in one’s mouth at the time, things could get pretty messy.

Still, though, let’s think about this for a moment. Did Krispy Kreme actually retract or correct their statement? Not in the press release. Perhaps there was another page, or an announcement on the front page, that was revised to accommodate ALL. If so, that would be tragic, and more of a reason to boycott Krispy Kreme than the use of the phrase “freedom of choice”. And, no, I’m not calling for a boycott. I could, I suppose, claim that I daily exercise my freedom of choice to avoid Krispy Kreme, but in truth I’m just not that much of a doughnut consumer. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t wave one away when offered, but neither do I go out of my way to find a Krispy Kreme. Or a Winchell’s. Or a Dunkin’ Donuts.

But this is one of those bizarre, extreme situations. In my youth I learned that it is nigh impossible to boycott China, for instance.

And while I do support boycotts as a general principle, I haven’t participated in many. I once boycotted Gillette for its animal-testing policies, but by the time I gave that up, it didn’t really matter; I’ve used another brand for years, and it turns out they test on animals, too. (I don’t object to serious scientific research involving animals as test subjects, but it really is stupid to torture a rabbit or whatever to find out if the latest product is going to burn my face off.) There are legitimate boycotts to be had, but ALL’s objection to Krispy Kreme, and the implication that the company staved off a boycott (“Their corporate decision was not only wise but will result, we are certain, with an increased number of customers not only on January 20th but for years to come”) reminds me of Wildmon’s call to boycott Disney because he thought he saw the letters “S-E-X” in the dust as two lions wrestled about in The Lion King. It’s stupid. Moronic. An utter embarrassment that only reinforces the presumption that Christian faith really is, as Aquinas suggested, a sacrifice of the intellect.

You know, I went to a Jesuit school. And I got along very well with the Catholics in the student body, and also those of the faculty; indeed, it was some of the Protesants on the faculty that caused me grief—maybe they felt intimidated and thought they had something to prove to their coworkers. But the thing is thing is that even the stereotypical, naughty “Catholic school girls” (they didn’t wear those charming uniforms) weren’t so stupid as this tantrum from the ALL. Maybe I got lucky. Who knows?

Let’s try to remember that not all Catholics are so ridiculous.

Anyway, try the phrase on for size one more time: Abortion doughnuts.

Really, this is what it’s coming to? We ought to resent the ALL for presuming the rest of us are as idiotic as they are.

(A tip of the hat to David Schmader at The Stranger.)

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