People have been known to turn to religion to support their position on abortion, so it doesn’t come completely as a surprise that the irreverent Sarah Silverman would turn to Jesus for backing in the fight for women’s reproductive rights.
The Jewish Silverman is shown hanging out with the Christian savior in a new video for Lady Parts Justice, a group organizing a “V to Shining V” national day of pride for women. The event will take place on September 28, 2014, in advance of Americans’ going to polls in November. The goal is to “toss out politicians who think the problems in our home states are what we do with our vaginas.”
In what appears to be the third coming, Jesus suddenly shows up unannounced in Silverman’s kitchen late one night. He tells her that he wants to her spread his message so that people will make their own choice. (In case this isn’t obvious: this Jesus is clearly pro-choice.)
Jesus decides to stay a while, plant himself on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and watch an NCIS marathon with Silverman. The conversation between the two of them just happens to veer in to the territory of questioning when life begins.
“Fertilized eggs aren’t people. People are people,” Jesus declares. “But people who believe fertilized eggs are people are people, too. You have to love them. You’re not better than them,” he warns.
For the rest of the video, Silverman rails in her amusing way against recent retreats from the separation from church and state that have impinged on women’s access to reproductive healthcare and their right to choose.
She brings up the “fun fact” that scientists have discovered that sperm has smell, and that they consequently are living. This, of course, means that “we’ve got to legislate that shit,” she says sarcastically.
Referencing a Texas law that requires women to undergo an intra-vaginal ultrasound before undergoing an abortion, Silverman suggests that men, of course, would not be interested in policies that would require a probe being put up their urethras all the way to their testicles so that they would be forced to see their sperm before ejaculating.
Silverman’s sister Rabbi Susan Silverman lives in Jerusalem and is known for her own feminist activism. She posted the video on her Facebook page with the complimentary introduction: “Sarah is so Sarah. She gets to the heart of all matters through the craziest routes.”
In the commentary that ensued, the rabbi chose not to wonder what Jesus would do, but rather to look to this week’s Torah portion (Mishpatim) to back up her sister’s pro-choice position.
“If two men are fighting, and one accidentally hits a pregnant woman and causes an abortion, the aggressor has to pay for loss of property. If he kills the woman, it’s murder. It’s in this week’s parasha! Fetus does not equal person,” she wrote.
She also defended the comedian’s being “visited” by Jesus.
“Using religious symbols — one’s own or another’s — is not by definition demeaning. It depends on lots of factors…including (but not limited to) context, power dynamics and tone,” wrote the rabbi.
In other words, sometimes it’s okay for an American Jewish girl wearing a “feminist” t-shirt to call on a Jewish boy from Nazareth with exceptional talent for getting his message out there to help get her get hers across, too.