Tuesday, March 31, 2020

"Christians Poisoned the Wells!" -- Katherine Stewart, New York Times

A week ago, the New York Times warned against encouraging hatred towards one group of Americans by associating them with the dreaded Covid-19:

"As bigots blame them for the coronavirus and President Trump labels it the 'Chinese virus,' many Chinese-Americans say they are terrified of what could come next."

See the source imageThen last Friday, America's "paper of record" changed its mind about scapegoating groups of people over pandemics.  In a piece originally entitled "The Road to Hell was paved by Evangelicals," (the title has now been toned down) Katherine Stewart tried to exploit the present crisis to stir up more proper hatreds: 

"Donald Trump rose to power with the determined assistance of a movement that denies science, bashes government and prioritized loyalty over professional expertise. In the current crisis, we are all reaping what that movement has sown."

The hypocrisy, of course, is rich, as Michael Brown among others have noted.

But calling someone a hypocrite does not prove his or her claim false.  The New York Times may be all kinds of hypocrite (granted) and their hate speech all kinds of dangerous (blaming whole groups of people for diseases never hurt anyone, did it?), yet their claims may still find a basis in reality.  

It is a medical fact, after all, that wrong as racism is, this particular virus did originate in China, among Chinese.  Furthermore, Chinese cuisine may have played a role in that transmission, along with the Culture of Cover-up in a China ruled by the communist party.

But Stewart appeals to "science" and "reason," as we will see.  So let us analyze her argument as a claim or claims supported (or not) by evidence, a line of reasoning purportedly backed up by logic and facts.   

The subtitle of the piece implies six claims: 

1. Evangelicals were "determined" to help Donald Trump become president.  
2. They "deny" science, in some sense no doubt to be explained. 
3. They "bash" government, again in some sense yet to be developed.  (Keeping in mind that this piece itself is about to bash American government, which is led by Donald Trump, in SOME sense.)
4. Evangelicals care more about how loyal folks are than how qualified they are.   
5. A recent spike of deaths in such liberal enclaves as New York and Seattle, and after the neo-pagan festival of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, somehow flows causally from the work of evangelicals.  
6. And therefore evangelical Christians should be blamed for economic and personal woes caused by the spread of Covid-19, which have impacted "all" of us.  

This seems quite a lot to prove in one article.  Let's see how Ms. Stewart makes out.  No doubt we'll learn something, if not about American evangelicals, at least about Ms. Stewart, the New York Times, and the nature of scapegoating. 

I'll take Stewart's claims bite by bite.  

"At least since the 19th century, when the pro-slavery theologian Robert Lewis Dabney attacked the physical sciences as 'theories of unbelief,' hostility to science has characterized the more extreme forms of religious nationalism in the United States."

What relationship does one racist theologian (a "mainline Presbyterian," at that) in the Old South bear to an argument about reason, science, modern evangelicals, and a 21st Century pandemic?  Is this supposed to support the claim that "extreme forms of religious nationalism," whatever that means, have long been "hostile to science?" 

Hard to say, because that's all Stewart says about 19th Century American Christianity.  She does not mention the fact that the abolitionist movement was largely led by zealous believers, as sociologist Rodney Stark and others have shown.  She also does not mention the evangelical ant-slavery tract, Uncle Tom's Cabin, which had an enormous influence on liberating slaves.  She seems to bring in the Rev. Dabney at best to make a feint at adding historical depth to her thesis, more likely to cite irrelevant calumny to predispose her readers against American Christians of all sorts - like mentioning the Merchant of Venice in an article about Jews poisoning wells.  (A rhetorical act which itself is called "poisoning the well.")

"Today, the hard core of climate deniers is concentrated among people who identify as religiously conservative Republicans.  And some leaders of the Christian nationalist movement, like those allied with the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, which has denounced environmental science as a 'Cult of the Green Dragon,' cast environmentalism as an alternative — and false — theology."

Here's another well-poisoning term: "climate denier."  Who on Earth denies climate?  I would not deny that wild accusations against tens of millions of Americans in leading newspapers might potentially create a "climate" of hysteria or hatred.  So I guess I'm not a "climate denier?"

Taken literally, a "climate denier" might seem to be someone who does not believe that the Amazon basin contains a tropical rainforest, or that Greenland is subject to regular snow falls in winter.   

Don't be thick, you tell me.  Stewart simply means that some people disagree with her theories about climate change, not that they deny climates even exist.  Yes, but shouldn't she say what she means?  Again, I suspect she is simply lying when she claims that Cornwall Alliance has ever "denounced environmental science."  Disagreeing about a claim within a discipline is not the same as declaring the whole discipline anathema.  

Cornwall Alliance, run by Calvin Beisner (whom I tagged, and who pointed out his own article responding to Stewart and the hornets nest of haters she stirred up), does indeed argue against some elements of the Anthropogenic Global Warming consensus.  They describe their position as follows: 

"The Cornwall Alliance is a network of evangelical Christian scholars–mostly natural scientists, economists, policy experts, theologians, philosophers, and religious leaders–dedicated to educating the public and policymakers about Biblical earth stewardship (men and women working together to enhance the fruitfulness, beauty, and safety of the earth, to the glory of God and the benefit of our neighbors), economic development for the poor (through private property rights, entrepreneurship, free trade, limited government, the rule of law, and access to abundant, affordable, reliable energy), and the gospel of forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God by grace through faith in the atoning death and vindicating resurrection of Jesus Christ."

I don't see anything here about denying environments, or even denying that environments can change.  

Stewart goes on:

"This denial of science and critical thinking among religious ultraconservatives . . . "

Now disagreement over the cause of atmospheric warming has evolved into not just a denunciation of environmental science and a denial of climatology, but denial of all science AND of critical thinking.     

"Float like a hummingbird."

How does a woman making such a flimsy argument, more like a bird darting from branch to branch than a sturdy bridge across a canyon, dare to mention critical thinking?  

No evidence has yet been offered that anyone "denies" any part of science, let alone all of it.  We have jumped from one bigoted Calvinist in the Old South (whom it might be anachronistic to call "evangelical") to an organization worried about the poor in modern America, somehow joined by their alleged "denial" of some undefined aspect of rationality -- without a single clear example, let alone a survey of who is guilty, or evidence that the larger group to which they allegedly belong is guilty at all. 

Genuine critical thinking would be welcome.  Stewart does, at least, begin to focus on response to Covid-19 now: 

"(This denial) . . .  now haunts the American response to the coronavirus crisis. On March 15, Guillermo Maldonado, who calls himself an 'apostle' and hosted Mr. Trump earlier this year at a campaign event at his Miami megachurch, urged his congregants to show up for worship services in person. 'Do you believe God would bring his people to his house to be contagious with the virus? Of course not,' he said."

Finally, a drop of evidence relevant to Stewart's point!  Although the website for the church she mentions now says:

"As we continue to monitor news of COVID-19, we want to assure you that your safety is our number one priority. For that reason, our ministry will follow the requests made by the CDC and has decided that all Supernatural Encounters events from now until July will be postponed."
"Rodney Howard-Browne of The River at Tampa Bay Church in Florida mocked people concerned about the disease as 'pansies' and insisted he would only shutter the doors to his packed church 'when the rapture is taking place.'  In a sermon that was live-streamed on Facebook, Tony Spell, a pastor in Louisiana, said, 'We’re also going to pass out anointed handkerchiefs to people who may have a fear, who may have a sickness and we believe that when those anointed handkerchiefs go, that healing virtue is going to go on them as well.'”

For all I know, the Apostle Maldonado and Rev. Howard-Browne may have waited too long to shut down their operations.   Disney World didn't close until March 15th.  American has over 300,000 churches.  It would be a miracle indeed, if none of them were headed by presumptuous fools.  

Did such meetings actually foment the spread of Covid-19?  Stewart offers no evidence that they did.  But of course disease no doubt does spread in churches, as in any other public forum where sick and healthy people meet.

Two weeks ago, I described nine factors which may contribute to quick spread of the Wuhan virus (Note: that post has been updated a few times: the number of factors discussed is now fourteen.)  

One of the causes I mentioned was "bad faith:"  The examples I gave were the "New Heaven and Earth Church of Jesus" cult in Daegu, Korea, and Shiite Muslims in Iran who kissed a shrine in defiance of disease.  (Others were added later -- DM.)  I compared the attitude of such "believers" to Satan's temptation of Jesus: 

"If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: "'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'"

Such "bad faith" could indeed be a contributing factor to the spread of Covid-19 in America, along with Mardi Gras, old folks' homes, New York subways, Amazon warehouses, doctors' offices, and Satanic covens.  But Stewart makes no attempt to show that evangelical worship services actually have played a major role in transmission of the disease.  Continued failure to back up one's slurs with serious, systematic evidence seems itself to reflect "bad faith."  

"By all accounts, President Trump’s tendency to trust his gut over the experts on issues like vaccines and climate change does not come from any deep-seated religious conviction."

Now that's a problematic admission for her thesis . . . But Stewart is arguing, so far, mostly from her own gut, or spleen.  

"But he is perfectly in tune with the religious nationalists who form the core of his base. In his daily briefings from the White House, Mr. Trump actively disdains and contradicts the messages coming from his own experts and touts as yet unproven cures."

Stewart's new claims here, rather than supporting her old ones (she has already admitted that Trump is probably NOT motivated by evangelical faith), raise new questions:  

1. Are "religious nationalists" really the "core" of Trump's base?  
2. Does Trump routinely "disdain and contradict" his own experts?  Dr. Anthony Fauci denies this, saying Trump listens carefully and accepts his claims, complaining (in his mild way) that the press is trying to pick a fight.
3. Is it really a service to the country for the left-wing press to try to turn Trump against government experts at a time like this?)   
4. By "tout unproven cures," I assume Stewart refers to Trump's hopeful but much-scorned words about chloroquine.  Trump expressed optimism that that and other drugs would prove effective.  Indeed, numerous doctors around the world have been using it for some time, not because they all dial up Donald Trump when they plan a treatment, but because they've seen the same "unproven" but suggestive evidence.
5. Anyway, if Donald Trump is dismissive of science (despite Dr .Fauci's claims), wouldn't that undermine Stewart's thesis, by reminding us that evangelical faith is not, in fact, a necessary cause of such an error?  

Is that Stewart's evidence that Trump is "denying science?"  Telling the American people that scientists and doctors have found drugs that might prove useful in combating a deadly epidemic, which doctors in fact are widely using, then saying "I feel good about this," followed by "We'll see?"  

Good heavens. 

"Not every pastor is behaving recklessly, of course, and not every churchgoer in these uncertain times is showing up for services out of disregard for the scientific evidence. Far from it."

Far indeed.   Citing three reckless pastors is pathetic support for the notion that evangelical faith is to blame for the spread of a disease out of communist China.  Good to see this curt nod to reality.  

"Yet none of the benign uses of religion in this time of crisis have anything to do with Mr. Trump’s expressed hope that the country would be 'opened up and just raring to go by Easter.'  He could, of course, have said, 'by mid-April.'  But Mr. Trump did not invoke Easter by accident, and many of his evangelical allies were pleased by his vision of 'packed churches all over our country.'”

Though I am not sure I would call myself an evangelical or a Trump supporter, I plead guilty to this alleged "anti-science" crime.  I would have much liked to have seen the virus die down enough to celebrate Easter this year.  I would have loved to go into a packed church and sing out loud, "Christ the Lord is risen today!"

I'd also like to eat in restaurants again, go to work without fear, and freely visit the home of friends.  

For these anti-science thought-crimes, of which Trump is the Felon-in-Chief, forgive us, New York Times.  (Of course Trump regretfully admitted this opening up unlikely to happen so early.  I am sorry, too.)  

“I think it would be a beautiful time,” the president said."


"Religious nationalism has brought to American politics the conviction that our political differences are a battle between absolute evil and absolute good."

While editorials in the New York Times blaming Christians for gifting the country with a plague tend to bring America together in sweet harmony.  

Stewart's lack of self-awareness is astounding.   

"When you’re engaged in a struggle between the “party of life” and the “party of death,” as some religious nationalists now frame our political divisions, you don’t need to worry about crafting careful policy based on expert opinion and analysis. Only a heroic leader, free from the scruples of political correctness, can save the righteous from the damned.  Fealty to the cause is everything; fidelity to the facts means nothing.  Perhaps this is why many Christian nationalist leaders greeted the news of the coronavirus as an insult to their chosen leader."

While "many" left-wing politicians greeted the attempt to protect us from it as racist xenophobia, if you want to put it that way. 

See the source imageSome people on both sides unfairly demonize opponents.  Indeed, Stewart is engaged in just such an act of demonization in this piece.  Her complaint about extreme rhetoric is like the Walrus complaining that the Carpenter has unfairly dined upon naive young oysters. 

But what is one to say when Democrats vote overwhelmingly against a bill requiring doctors to give medical care to infants who are born alive during abortions?  Or against laws against partial birth abortion?  Though we're wandering far afield now from Stewart's original claims.    

"In an interview on March 13 on 'Fox & Friends,' Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University, called the response to Coronavirus 'hype' and 'overreacting.' 'You know, impeachment didn’t work, and the Mueller report didn’t work, and Article 25 didn’t work, and so maybe now this is their next, ah, their next attempt to get Trump,' he said."

I don't know if Falwell is being accurately represented or not, but frankly, I have never been fond of the man.  What was far more dangerous, though, was the mayor of New York City telling people on February 13th:

"Unfortunately many businesses and restaurants in Chinatown, Flushing, and Sunset Park are suffering because some customers are afraid of the coronavirus. But those fears are not based on facts and science. The risk of infection to New Yorkers is low.  There is no need to avoid public spaces.  I urge everyone to dine and shop as usual.”

But no need to mention Mayor De Blasio, because he is a "spiritual but not religious" former campaign worker for Hillary Clinton.   He was telling people to go out and party on behalf of politically CORRECT causes.  And he is mayor of the city that is getting hammered right now.  (Note: and from which city the same New York Times notes that Covid-19 spread around the United States.)
"When Rev. Spell in Louisiana defied an order from Gov. John Bel Edwards and hosted in-person services for over 1,000 congregants, he asserted the ban was 'politically motivated.'  Figures like the anti-L.G.B.T. activist Steve Hotze added to the chorus, denouncing the concern as — you guessed it — “fake news.”

So now we have examples of dumb pastors in Virginia, Florida, and Louisiana, plus (a sign that Stewart is running short of relevant examples) a doctor who is pushing vitamins (not Jesus) to boost one's immunity against the disease.  Such is the evidential base upon which our apostle of critical thinking builds the foundation for her condemnation of tens of millions of Americans.

The Trump Cabinet

Four pastors and an Old South racist theologian -- now two Trump officials. 

"One of the first casualties of fact-free hyper-partisanship is competence in government. The incompetence of the Trump administration in grappling with this crisis is by now well known, at least among those who receive actual news. February 2020 will go down in history as the month in which the United States, in painful contrast with countries like South Korea and Germany, failed to develop the mass testing capability that might have saved many lives. Less well known is the contribution of the Christian nationalist movement in ensuring that our government is in the hands of people who appear to be incapable of running it well."

Democrats have not yet been able to find a clear link between Donald Trump and the CDC's terrible blunder.  Others have pointed out a damaging pattern of bureaucracy and reliance on regulations which predated Trump, and which Trump and other Republicans have fought against.  But don't worry, when that link between Trump and slow testing is established, you'll hear about it right away.  Only now we have to find some Christians in the administration to blame, too.  Otherwise we're off on another free-association tangential rant against Republicans, rather than the purported target of this piece. 

"Consider the case of Alex Azar, who as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services has had a prominent role in mismanaging the crisis. It seems likely at this point that Mr. Azar’s signature achievement will have been to rebrand his department as the 'Department of Life.'  Or maybe he will be remembered for establishing a division of Conscience and Religious Freedom, designed to permit health care providers to deny legal and often medically indicated health care services to certain patients as a matter of religious conscience."

May God abundantly bless Azar if he manages to protect believing doctors from tyrants who wish to force them to kill the unborn against their consciences and the life-affirming civilization which the Gospel created in the ruins of Roman cruelty.  

But sadly for Stewart's increasingly desperate thesis, Mr. Azar is an Eastern Orthodox Christian, not an evangelical. 

"Mr. Azar, a 'cabinet sponsor' of Capitol Ministries, the Bible study group attended by multiple members of Mr. Trump’s cabinet . . . "

A smoking gun!  This man apparently believes in the Bible!  Which many historians of science credit for helping to inspire the birth of modern science . . . 

" . . . Brought with him to Health and Human Services an immovable conviction in the righteousness of the pharmaceutical industry (presumably formed during his five-year stint as an executive and lobbyist in the business), a willingness to speak in the most servile way about “the courage” and “openness to change” of Mr. Trump, and a commitment to anti-abortion politicsabstinence education and other causes of the religious right. What he did not bring, evidently, was any notable ability to manage a pandemic. Who would have guessed that a man skilled at praising Mr. Trump would not be the top choice for organizing the development of a virus testing program, the delivery of urgently needed protective gear to health care workers or a plan for augmenting hospital capabilities"

Stewart is, yet again, meandering in search of relevant evidence and a coherent argument.  Must be under one of these rocks!

Her thesis is supposed to be that evangelicals (not Eastern Orthodox Christians) are being hired despite lack of qualifications, and botching things due to their incompetence and ideology.  (She seems to assume, BTW, that in a free country, a pandemic can be "managed" quite easily, despite the examples of Western Europe and Brazil.)

No qualifications?  Here, according to Wikipedia, are some of Azar's relevant credentials:  

"On August 3, 2001, Azar was confirmed as General Counsel of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. George W. Bush's first HHS Secretary, Tommy Thompson, said Azar played an important role in responding to the 2001 anthrax attacks, ensuring there was a vaccine ready for smallpox, and dealing with outbreaks of SARS and influenza.[6] On July 22, 2005, Azar was confirmed as the Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services.[16][17] He was twice confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate.

"Working under Secretary Mike Leavitt, Deputy Azar supervised the operation of HHS, which would grow to annual budget of over $1 trillion by 2017 when he was appointed Secretary. Azar led the development and approval of HHS regulations, led U.S. government efforts to encourage worldwide pharmaceutical and medical device innovation, and was in charge of the HHS response to an initiative implemented by President George W. Bush to improve government performance."
Apparently, the notion that Azar is unqualified did not occur to anyone in the US Senate.  No doubt that body also uniformly consists of evangelical Bible-thumpers.  
Why mention the fact that an eastern orthodox Christian with such a richly relevant CV says nice things about his boss in a piece purported to prove that evangelicals are to blame for a pandemic which began in China and has peaked so far in southern Europe and Iran?  And this, in the name of critical reasoning, fairness, and science?    
OK.  We're just a few fact-free panegyrics from the finish line.  
"Or consider Ben Carson, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and another 'cabinet sponsor' of Capitol Ministries. As a former pediatric neurosurgeon, Mr. Carson brought more knowledge about medicine to his post than knowledge about housing issues. But that medical knowledge didn’t stop him from asserting on March 8 that for the 'healthy individual' thinking of attending one of Mr. Trump’s then-ongoing large-scale campaign rallies, 'there’s no reason that you shouldn’t go.'”

So Christianity is also somehow to blame for the fact that a cabinet official, like the irreligious mayor of New York, the Democratic mayor of New Orleans, and lots of other people on both sides of the political spectrum, still thought three weeks ago that public meetings were OK.  (Though probably not in New York City!  Context might be relevant.) 
"It is fair to point out that the failings of the Trump administration in the current pandemic are at least as attributable to its economic ideology as they are to its religious inclinations. When the so-called private sector is supposed to have the answer to every problem, it’s hard to deal effectively with the very public problem of a pandemic and its economic consequences."

Ma'am, wasn't your last point that in fact, the federal bureaucracy screwed up?  (Which it has, again and again, due to over-reliance on regulations which Donald Trump has tried to simplify?)  

"But if you examine the political roots of the life-threatening belief in the privatization of everything, you’ll see that Christian nationalism played a major role in creating and promoting the economic foundations of America’s incompetent response to the pandemic."

Stewart now has the gall to tell us what we will find if we do her research for her, which she clearly has not bothered to do, and dig up the evidence she has failed to give to support her arguments.     

These comments also contain even more new and sensational claims, in lieu of evidence for those already on the table.   Christians favor "privatization of everything!"  (Including the White House?  Yosemite?  The USS Gerald Ford?)  The US did worse in handling this pandemic than European countries!  (By what metric?)  

Stewart is also contradicting herself again.  Christians are to blame both for incompetence in federal office (because the Democrats have done so well!), and for worrying about trusting too much in the competence of government!  

Yet when Trump stopped Chinese from entering the US, Joe Biden warned against his "hysterical xenophobia."  The Democratic House even wrote a bill to prevent Trump from banning flights. 

Bernie Sanders, an evangelical socialist, not a Christian, also took advantage of Trump's actions to accuse him of vile motives: 

Bret Baier: "If you had to, would you close down the borders?"
Bernie Sanders: "No. What you don’t want to do right now when you have a president who has propagated xenophobic, anti-immigrant sentiment from before he was elected. What we need to do is have the scientists take a hard look at what we need to do. There are communities where the virus is spreading. What does that mean? It may mean self-quarantine, maybe not having public assemblies.
"But let’s not go back to the same old thing. Isn’t it interesting that a president who has been demagoguing and demonizing immigrants, the first thing that he can think about is closing down the border . . . "
Those remarks have not aged well.  But Stewart cherry-picks stupid comments only from people she desires to demonize, ignoring those by her own allies, even when they are far stupider and of more import.  

"For decades, Christian nationalist leaders have lined up with the anti-government, anti-tax agenda not just as a matter of politics but also as a matter of theology. Ken Blackwell of the Family Research Council, one of the Christian right’s major activist groups, has gone so far as to cast food stamps and other forms of government assistance for essential services as contrary to the 'biblical model.'  Limited government, according to this line of thinking, is 'godly government.'”
The alternative being . . . unlimited government?  

"When a strong centralized response is needed from the federal government, it doesn’t help to have an administration that has never believed in a federal government serving the public good.  Ordinarily, the consequences of this kind of behavior don’t show up for some time.  In the case of a pandemic, the consequences are too obvious to ignore."

Now we are asked to believe that the Trump administration "has never believed in federal government serving the public good?"  

Good heavens.  Stewart's rhetoric becomes more reckless and unsupported by evidence as she goes on.    

I teach 16 year old Chinese students how to argue rationally.  I would be ashamed if one of them turned in such a mass of anecdotal, self-contradictory, meandering, lily-pad hopping, question-begging, vitriolic, hypocritical, inflammatory, and utterly uncritical effusions.  

Here again were Stewart's original implied claims: 

1. Evangelicals were "determined" to help Donald Trump become president.  
2. They "deny" science, in some sense as yet unspecified. 
3. They "bash" government, again in some sense unspecified. 
4. They care more about how loyal folks are than how qualified they are.  (More, one assumes, than politicians have generally valued loyalty since the first chief of the first tribe gathered his warriors to attack an enemy tribe or hunt a mastodon.)  
5. A recent spike of deaths in such liberal enclaves as New York, Seattle and a Michigan run by a Democrat who despises Donald Trump and who still lags Minnesota in testing, is somehow causally down-stream from the efforts of a coterie of Bible-readers in the White House.  (Update: two months later, the vast majority of Covid-19 deaths are still in Democratic districts.  This is not necessarily to blame Democrats, but to demonstrate the absurdity of Stewart's argument.)  
6. Also the shutting down of the government and the spread of Covid-19.

In support of these claims, Stewart cites a bigot who lived in the Old South 170 years ago, a few dumb but obscure preachers, one evangelical and one Eastern Orthodox cabinet member whom she vaguely accuses of some common or unspoken error, and tangents about abortion, global warming, and whatever else her audience wants to hear.  She conflates conservative governing ideology with libertarianism, conflates AGW skepticism with denial of climate or loathing towards environmental science, and in general, can't keep to any of her points for five minutes, let alone back them up with pertinent still less systematic evidence.  And she keeps a blind eye to parallel, even greater sins of her own crew. 

All the while touting the value of critical reasoning!   

It hardly need be said that as arguments, still less as exemplars of the goodhearted spirit the New York Times says we should seek in these times, these assertions remain "naked as a monkey's butt," as the Dai people in southern China describe a mountain bereft of any trees.   

1 comment:

alfonso said...

When a liberal spoke some jeremiada about Science i answer this two links : The Scandalous Academy: Social Science in Service of Identity Politics vía @PublicDiscourse FEATURES: Retraction: why you can’t believe all ‘the science’ on abortion