Jewish World Review May 2, 2011 / 29 Nissan, 5771
By Paul Greenberg
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Dear Grandma,
It was wholly a pleasure to get your reaction to my obituary tribute to the late
It was good of you to share the story of your own journey along the same road to
"I remember when I was 18 or 19 and saw a sign someone had put on a tree saying 'Abortion is Murder' and thinking, 'What a crackpot.' I went to a Christian university and I remember in genetics class talking about how someday we would be able to choose the sex we wanted for our child and thinking what an amazing thing that would be.
"I remember my professor very unjudgmentally saying that it might not be a good thing to abort a child for that reason. Then, when I was 27, married and pregnant, my OB-GYN asked if I would like to hear the baby's heartbeat. What!? I was not quite to my second trimester and I could not believe it. But I heard that little heartbeat and it changed everything. I knew that this was my child -- not that it would be my child someday. I had not really tried to find the truth until it was beating inside of me. I might add that that little heartbeat is now 32 years old with two little heartbeats of his own!"
Mazel tov! Congratulations, Grandma! Keep enjoying 'em all.
It was good of you to share your (very) personal story. Sometimes the laws of Nature and of Nature's God are so clear -- like the undeniable sound of that little heart beating -- that they speak more directly to us than all the polemicizing in the world, like a still small voice.
It was wholly a pleasure to get your suggestion that my next column be a debate with my old self -- the young editorial writer who was defending Roe v. Wade when it was first handed down.
My big mistake back in 1973 was to believe the justices' assurances that they were not issuing a blanket license for any and all abortions -- that Roe would apply only in exceptional cases. ("Plainly, the court today rejects any claim that the Constitution requires abortion on demand." --Chief Justice
And yet that has been its general effect. Judges may be the poorest judges of the effect of their decisions. They only decide cases, then release their opinions on the public. Like a tiger.
Now that the public has been given access to the papers of the associate justice who wrote the majority opinion in Roe, The Hon.
Yet that has been the effect of his decision. The toll now stands at something like 50 million perfectly legal abortions since Roe v. Wade, which has become the most controversial ruling since
Back in the 1970s, I couldn't believe that so many mothers would willingly destroy their unborn children, and that so many "physicians" would enable them to. Or so many of us would approve.
God forgive us all.
Dear Old Timer,
It was wholly a pleasure to be reminded of that old radio show, "Fibber McGee and Molly." If memory serves, which mine doesn't always, the happy couple lived at 79 Wistful Vista, Middle America.
Remarkable how wisps of boyhood radio will stay with you.
Who knew the McGees would someday be cited as authorities on grammar? Specifically, in the dispute/debate/discussion/general ramble about whether "Where's it at?" is superior to the more correct-sounding, "Where is it?" Which may sound simpler and better but, I would submit, isn't.
As a partisan of the Where's It At? school, and a fervent dissenter from the Never End a Sentence With a Preposition rule, I can use all the ammunition I can get, and am indebted to you for noting that Fibber was on my side.
As you recall the episode, "McGee asked Molly if she knew where his hip boots were at. Her reply was that his question was very poor grammar. He should have said, 'Where are my hip boots?' "
Never at a loss, Fibber came back with, "If I had asked, 'Where are my hip boots?' you could have answered, 'They are in the attic.' But if I say, 'Where are my hip boots at,' your proper answer would be, 'They are in the attic, in the corner behind that big picture.' "
The at makes a pointed question out of just a general one. ("Where's it at?") The short sound at the end invites a specific answer, not a general one.
At the risk of sounding more than a little hoity-toity, like old Fibber McGee himself, or maybe the McGees' pompous next-door neighbor, The Hon.
Nobody with half an ear would prefer the awkward, "That's where it's."
Old Time Radio Fan
It was wholly a pleasure to get your precise, concise critique of my wordy prose, to wit:
"With all due respect, Mr. Greenberg, your writing is getting a bit sloppy. You need to stay focused, say what you have to say in as few words as possible. People have so much to read, and so little time."
Roger. Wilco. Out.
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