From the Mailbag:

Dear Mr. Erickson:
How irresponsible and stupid for you and other right-wing media types and tea party Congress members to be calling for another government shutdown over Parent Parenthood — you drama queen will try to shut down the government over anything — the last government shutdown orchestrated by [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] cost taxpayers $24 billion — once again, it would be a Republican shutdown and you would be one the people to blame — if you want a shutdown Mr. Erickson, pay for it out of your own pocket.
John J. Mesh
Enid, Okla.

Dear John,

Is it cool if I call you “John”? I mean, this is not the first time you’ve emailed us, so I feel like we have a special relationship now. It was wise of you to not use your work email like last time, but as a former (and sometimes still practicing) journalist myself, I do hope your employer is okay with you sending insulting emails to other media outlets (especially ones with a national audience that could really embarrass you and your employer) (especially when you are a copy editor and make silly mistakes).

However, it’s not your tone or the fact that you may be poorly representing your employer to which I am responding. It is to ask you something that you may not be comfortable answering publicly, privately in a follow-up email to us, or even something you are not comfortable answering to yourself. However, since I know you read our site frequently, here’s hoping something here might stick:

When you saw the videos or the images from the videos released by the the Center for Medical Progress, were you not horrified by what you saw? When you heard what the officials with Planned Parenthood said or saw their quotes, did you not feel a sense of revulsion? Did you see the human children, picked apart in pie dishes and sold for parts, like one would an old, beat up car or truck?

Perhaps you may not have seen them. I would recommend you do so. It is vital for you to understand this next point.

As human beings, we have a sense of right and wrong. We have an innate sense of what is good and what is evil. And, sometimes, you see something that sends such a strong warning to your heart and to your head that you are willing to go to what might otherwise be considered extreme lengths to stop this evil. There is a moment in a person’s life where they feel strongly about something, and they pick up the courage to act on it.

To shut down the government over this might certainly be considered extreme to some. However, Planned Parenthood’s practices are seen as extreme by many, many people around the United States. And, when there is an extreme evil, we must have the courage to stand up and fight for it.

Do you have the courage to look at these Planned Parenthood videos, John? Do you have the courage to admit to yourself that this is an evil we must act upon?

There is no need to write back. This is a decision you must come to on your own, just as others around the United States must come to the decision on their own. Shutting down the government in order to defund an organization that is abusing taxpayer money for something inexplicably evil is a necessary act. If the Democrats wish to avoid a shutdown, they are more than welcome to bring forward a women’s health service that performs all manner of services except for abortion. That’s it.

Take some time for self-reflection, John. Are saving the lives of innocent children and preventing them from being sold as scrap worth $24 billion? I would argue that you can’t put a price on human life.

Of course, Planned Parenthood would disagree.