Editorials

Editorial: Memo to Rep. Mike Moon — beheading a chicken on camera won’t stop abortions

Anti-abortion lawmaker cuts off chicken's head, announces bill to stop abortions

Rep. Mike Moon, an Ash Grove Republican in Missouri, posted a video to Facebook in which he beheads a chicken while announcing he'll file a bill to stop abortions in the state. (Warning: graphic content)
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Rep. Mike Moon, an Ash Grove Republican in Missouri, posted a video to Facebook in which he beheads a chicken while announcing he'll file a bill to stop abortions in the state. (Warning: graphic content)

Missouri state Rep. Mike Moon may soon retire the trophy as the strangest lawmaker in state history.

Moon, a Republican from Ash Grove, has compared legal abortion with the Holocaust, and he has proposed an abortion museum for the state Capitol.

He wanted the state’s congressional delegation to resist Obamacare with “manly firmness.”

He asked for a special session to block resettlement of Syrian refugees and to “stop the potential Islamization of Missouri.”

In a hearing to discuss changes in the state’s marriage laws, he said he had met a happily married couple who became husband and wife at age 12. “It’s something to ponder,” he said.

So perhaps no one should be surprised by a video that popped up on Moon’s Facebook page this week, showing the Republican lawmaker slicing the throat of a live chicken, then disemboweling the bird as he calmly discussed the General Assembly’s current special session.

“Like any good career politician, when I get the call, I’m going back to work,” Moon says, as the doomed bird flops violently.

Some saw the video as an anti-abortion metaphor.

“I think we need to get to the heart of the matter here,” Moon says, as he yanks the chicken’s internal organs out of its body. “So today, I’m filing a bill that will lead to the stopping of abortion in Missouri.”

But Moon, a farmer, said the video wasn’t really about abortion. It was aimed at Gov. Eric Greitens, who refers to part-time legislators like him as career politicians.

“It was literally taking a jab at the governor,” Moon told The Star Thursday.

The abortion reference, he said, came as he pulled the heart from the chicken. The governor, Moon said, doesn’t understand “the heart of the matter” in the abortion debate.

We like to give politicians wide latitude to make a point — we’re big fans of the First Amendment. But Moon’s video has offended almost everyone, from animal-rights activists who say the chicken was tortured to abortion-rights activists who called him a “scoundrel.”

Even those who support more restrictions on abortions in Missouri should be appalled by Moon’s video. His nonsensical analogy cheapens the discussion of the issue and undercuts his aim.

How inflicting a gruesome death on an unsuspecting bird bolsters Moon’s call to support life remains a mystery. Thursday, Moon said he did not regret posting the video.

No one should tell the people in and around Ash Grove how they should vote. But constituents there might want to think hard before casting their ballots in 2018.

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