Comparing The Pro-life Movement to Handmaids Tale

Several people have compared Amy Barrett, her prayer group, her Catholic faith and the pro-life movement to The Handmaids Tale…

Its offensive and quite frankly shows people’s ignorance of Christianity particularly Catholicism.

The group Amy Barrett was or is a part of has other women as accountability partners in essence they have what Catholics would call Spiritual Directors.

They help each other be better wives and mother’s hardly anything reminiscing The Handmaids Tale in which women are not allowed to work, read scripture, speak publicly, have an opinion, or hold any office of power.

I watched most of the series of The Handmaids Tale it’s not even up for comparison.

The Gilead group is more like the Westboro Baptist Church meets the Fundamental Latter Day Saint Church group seen in Escaping Polygamy.

There’s nothing wrong or extreme with holding to traditional gender roles and marriage roles and it can even be done so in a marriage between two working spouses.

There’s nothing extreme or contrary to upholding traditional marriage.

How people extrapolate that with The Handmaids Tale is just beyond me and really rooted in a hatred of God and a desire to twist Scripture through relativistic thinking as we see with some denominations that condone homosexual unions and abortion.

You either except God and the Truth of God revealed through Sacred Scripture or you don’t religion shouldn’t be some Country Club that you join to make yourself feel better.

The Church is True and is the only gate to salvation to which was entrusted to St Peter and his successors which outside the Church there is no salvation.

Not even Pope Francis can change the deposits of faith no matter what he says or may be mistranslated to have said in an interview he doesn’t have that power.

Our faith is rooted in Christ who is the Living Word of God who is the same today, yesterday, and tomorrow.

The Church acknowledges that homosexuality is of a psychological origin unknown and is intrinsically disordered.

The Church in her wisdom and orthodoxy calls those that are same sex attracted and homosexual to live a chaste and holy life of celibacy.

We don’t think being gay in of itself is a sin as the passions are controlled by the subconscious mind.

We don’t hold to any of the Gilead ideologies and neither does the pro-life movement or Amy Barrett.

I watched the stupid show just to see what the criticism of Amy Barrett was about and it’s an unfair comparison.

9 Likes

That is a rather offensive comparison. Anyone who does so obviously lacks any tolerance for those of different religions. Bigotry is still bigotry.

3 Likes

Yes and I would elaborate that if you hold to the view that homosexual unions are gravely sinful and unnatural or you believe in being open to life and hold a pro-life stance many people label that bigotry.

Those same people are ironically okay with Jews and Muslims which they identify as minorities.

Yet in their holy books the Old Testament which Christians share and the Koran all teach either the same or in the case of Islam similar doctrines on these matters.

But like I said there are groups that deviate from those doctrines even though they are held in Scripture or even the Koran.

It just goes to show people don’t actually tolerate religion they only tolerate it if it agrees with their sensibilities.

1 Corinthians 1:22-24

Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition

22 For both the Jews require signs, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews indeed a stumblingblock, and unto the Gentiles foolishness:

24 But unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

1 Like

Whenever I see this on Twitter, I call it out as anti-Catholic bigotry right away. I do not ignore that bigotry, I call it out immediately.

2 Likes

It is such a stupid comparison by liberals. Sadly I read the book (Wish I had not) before I realized what it was all about. They give this woman no credit and they assume she has no mind of her own or that because of her being confirmed this country would turn into that type of civilization. How utterly stupid. I’m MUCH more concerned of what our country would be like under a Biden/Harris Pres./Vice Pres.

I honestly think many liberals have lost touch with reality. Seriously they truly are “out there”.

7 Likes

Because it’s POPULAR.

3 Likes

The group Amy was in used to use the word “Handmaids” for its female members/ leaders, taken from Mary’s statement in Scripture that is translated in English as “I am the handmaid of the Lord”. The group also restricted women from being in some leadership positions.

Nowadays there is a negative connotation of describing women as “handmaids” even before “The Handmaid’s Tale” came out. I would also note that “The Handmaid’s Tale” book has been around for decades (published in 1985) and was made into a movie in 1990, but a whole lot of people never heard of it until the 2017 TV series came out. (Which I find rather annoying that so many people would be completely ignorant of the past history of a work, but that’s another topic for another thread, also I have to remind myself that a lot of the viewing audience weren’t yet born in 1985.)

So, bottom line is people who aren’t famliar with Scripture never heard the word “handmaid” except in the context of this dystopian fantasy book with a negative view of organized religion, which I’d point out is not even that original for the era when it was written. You had other dystopian works in the 70s and 80s like “A Boy and his Dog” and “Children of the Corn” presenting Christian fundamentalism as a murderous, oppressive cult.

As Adam said, “Handmaid’s Tale” is popular the last few years, people equate it with “Trump’s America” even though it’s 35 years old. Those who cite that and relate it to Amy Coney Barrett are simply showing their ignorance and are unlikely to be talked out of it. If you want to keep calling it out when you see it, fine; I don’t waste my time on blatant ignorance/ stupidity and would be more likely to just say, “Jesus loves you!” and move on.

The group Amy was in stopped using the term some time ago because of the current cultural negative connotation and now they use the term “Women Leaders” instead.

4 Likes

I do know it is a book and film I looked into before watching it with my wife.

Once you get passed season one it’s not as gratuitous…

I was miffed about a certain thread and that would have been my reply… :unamused:

Governator, I give a a year’s worth of “Likes” to your thread and OP!

I agree, the comparison is so offensive.

Many of the women who are making that comparison have probably never come near accomplishing as much in their work lives as Amy Coney Barrett has–for goodness’ sake, she is a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America! How cool is that?! How can that even be compared with “being an actress” or “singing a hit song?”

And even though she didn’t get a single Democratic vote (the fools!), in past times, she would have been elected almost unanimously, as were almost all of the justices nominated by the Presidents. It’s just these insane times, when Democrats and Republicans have locked horns and seemingly have no dealings with each other anymore. It’s a terrible situation, and one that in other countries would probably lead to a take-over by a dictator so that governning can get done in a timely fashion instead of being constantly stymied.

Again, great post and I hope that you are writing a letter to your local newspaper and/or to your local television station (is there a local “Our Viewers Speak Out” in your area?). This needs to be proclaimed to the entire country, not just to CAF.

4 Likes

Thanks my reply is mostly to people on the internet and gonzo news outlets…

Yes, you can always chalk a lot of it up to pure jealousy and cattiness whether women admit it or not.

2 Likes

Why do you write about it in past tense? She continues her membership even now.

Something else you should know is that The Handmaid’s Tale involves routine, ritualized rape. To accuse Joe and Jane Pro-Life America of such dealings callously trivializes the trauma of actual rape survivors.

7 Likes

“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you." John 15:18-19

2 Likes

IIRC, Atwood wrote the book after seeing Iran go from a Westernized nation, to a theocracy after the Ayatollah took power and engaged in a “what if this happened here “ scenario.

I read it years ago. I liked it.
TBF, there were inconsistencies all over the place and a ton of illogic, but she has an interesting way with words and…it’s just fiction.

4 Likes

As a non Christian, when I read the book and saw the TV series, Catholicism never entered my mind. Fundamentalists Baptist’s, maybe. Westbrook, more likely. But never Catholics! And this was long befor I was a member here where I’ve gained even more understanding of Catholic positions!

7 Likes

In today’s media, you make an assertion first, and worry about it’s veracity second. The handmaid’s Tale smear was taken back by Newsweek if I remember. Of course that doesn’t matter. The smear is what it is and you can’t “take it back”.

1 Like

If people have grown up around Catholicism, especially in a country like USA where many Catholic women have been assertive and independent going back to the 1800s, they usually don’t conflate Catholicism with religious fundamentalism. However, if a person has not had specific experience with the difference between religious fundamentalism and Catholicism/ Mainline Protestantism, they may well conflate all Christian faiths together in their mind. One of the most virulent atheists I know came out of some southern evangelical/ fundamentalist background and I doubt he knows anything about Catholics other than the clergy sex abuse scandals. He doesn’t see it as being different, and the fact that he hangs around with ex-Catholics who similarly rejected and even hate their faith just makes it worse. Fortunately, most people seem to understand that not all religious Christians are like the ones in the film.

2 Likes

So this is a bit confusing, but until the University of Toronto archive that holds Atwoods research notes for The Handmaid’s Tale reopens it’s somewhat unclear. She has stated that there were research clippings on a group called ‘People Of Praise’, but has given contradictory statements as to whether she means the group Amy Coney Barrett is a member of, or if it was a Baptist group of the same name. I presume it’s possible that both are involved.

For what it’s worth though, Amy Coney Barrett would be in my opinion an Aunt, not a Handmaid in the hierarchy of the novel.

If someone watches the mainstream media only, all they get is these apocalyptic predictions presented as news.

So tonight I had to endure people saying that Trump would create some sort of situation which he would then take advantage of… like if people protested because he seemed to be winning, he would have some people go and make it violent (like the left hasn’t been doing that all on its own since June) and then he would do some unspecified thing… and “there are people in the administration worried about this”… so after hearing this sort of lie for weeks and the outrageous “spinning” of the truth for 4 years, 1) the handmaid stuff is all they could come up with against ACB, and 2) not at all surprised at anything they do to freak their listeners out.

It is just crazy what is happening.

3 Likes
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.