Everyone knows the story of the vagrant who asks a housewife to help him with a bite to eat, and when he is refused with the excuse that she has no food, offers to teach her how to make stone soup from just water and a rock. As she agrees they set about boiling the rock and he mentions how it smells fine but would be better with a carrot, and the woman miraculous remembers she has a carrot. This continues through other ingredients, one at a time, until in the end, the woman has made a full stew and the rock is discarded.
The underlying message is that we can get anything we want by just asking for a little bit at a time. At the end of the story everyone is happy. In real life, the person who ends up giving more than they wanted to feels used and abused.
Few things make me more upset than when people use this to get what they want from me, especially knowing that I am a disastrously nice guy most of the time. A recent example is the baby brother’s wedding. I decided that my family and I would not be attending. It was just not practical to take a family of five to Vegas. Then my mother-in-law offered to take my daughter and wife so my daughter could be a flower girl, and along the way they’d go to Disneyland. How can a father say that his daughter cannot take a free trip to Disneyland? It didn’t stop there, though, several more ingredients later and my whole family ends up in Vegas. Damned Stone Soup.
Young people, dating, use stone soup all the time. “Could we just kiss?” gets more girls pregnant…
And this leads us to Anti-Abortion laws. Recently Arizona passed a law that forbids the practice of abortion where the goal is to select the gender or race of the fetus. The law only pertains to doctors performing the procedure and not the women having the procedure done for these reasons.
On the surface it seems a good law preventing a morally abhorrent practice – interfering with natural selection. Taken to extremes we end up with the story “Gattaca” where most people are genetically designed by their parents and people who are not are second class citizens.
Or maybe the practice of selective abortion is abhorrent because it is gender or race biased. As Americans we’re very much ideologically against race bias and, on-paper-but-not-in-practice, against gender bias. Yes I could talk for hours on that. Let’s just sum that up in this question: If men had to carry the babies, give up alcohol for 9 months, golf for four months, and lose 6 to 12 weeks of income, would abortion even be a moral issue? It’s a totally silly question since the whole reason women are the less dominant, protected gender throughout history is because they carry the babies.
But preventing gender and race bias is not the real purpose of passing that very specific anti-abortion law; It’s Stone Soup. It’s getting a little bit of restriction on abortion to be okay before they ask for the next little bit. Eventually, every little reason will be outlawed and abortion will be abolished. Note: I am not stating my stance on the subject of abortion. I am merely stating my opposition to the Stone Soup methodology.
Abortion Rights Laws are only the most controversial laws where politicians are degrading our rights through Stone Soup methods. A hammer and chisel, given enough time, can do the same damage as a case of dynamite. The difference is how much notice the methods get.
Keep an eye on your politicians. Don’t judge their decision based on the tiny change it makes, but on the possible end result if they continue the trend. If you’re in favor of the end result support it. Even if you support the tiny change, if you’re against the possible finished stew, be sure to let them know where to stop.
To compromise once is amiable. To compromise until you’ve attained the other side’s original goal may seem amiable but it’s just you getting…um…finish this sentence as you would, but my kids read this.