January 19th, 2011

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Blog for Choice 2011, Here we are again.

I’m sick of writing about Choice in a country that guarantees it’s citizens the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. You’d think that by this point in the 21st century, people would understand what that means, but they don’t because we are becoming the most ignorant developed nation in the world.

A little education would go a long, long way in this culture. There is ZERO scriptural basis to oppose abortion. In the Old Testament, the death of a baby over one month old was worth 5 shekels for a boy, 3 for a girl. Abortion and infanticide were common. And then we have passages in the bible like Psalm 137 where people wax rhapsodic about dashing the babies of their enemies against the stones. That “god” was never concerned with the disposition of fetuses, except when encouraging genocide.

Moving forward, Jesus, if he ever lived, never said a word about abortion. He talked about slavery and war and giving your wealth to the poor and caring for the sick, but not one word attributed to him was about abortion. Such glaring omission leads me to believe he wasn’t overly concerned with it.

The Christian hierarchy changed their minds about abortion every hundred years or so, and their lurid imaginations varied from group to group,  but when you get right down to it, the opposition to abortion on religious grounds is a fiction perpetuated by priests who know full well that there’s power and profit in numbers. Zero. religious. grounds.

Until it has a fully functioning brain, in about the 5th month of gestation, a fetus is only potential life. It may theoretically become a living being, but it isn’t one yet. That’s why you get a birth certificate when you are born – that’s when you become an actual person.

Now, a young, fertile, sexually active woman is ACTUAL life. She’s a person. She has dreams and memories, feelings and ideas, and a kind of value that is not limited to the function of her genitalia. She lives, she breathes, she probably works and owns things, she might even practice a religion, or none, as she so chooses.

Now here’s where we run into that disconnect created by the sorry state of sex education in this country. ACTUAL life trumps theoretical life. An adult woman with a functioning brain and uterus has 100% discretion as to what she does and does not do with her own fucking uterus. She may choose to lend it to the cause of creating life, or she may not. That’s her choice because that’s her uterus. We call that “autonomy” and adult humans everywhere are assumed to have a right to it.

Now, sometimes, things around a birth go wrong. That’s Nature, and destiny and it’s sad and tragic, but should terminating a pregnancy be required to sustain that woman’s ACTUAL life, that is NOT a choice, because as human beings, we have a social contract to keep each other alive if we can. Survival is not a choice. It’s a given.

I know I’m being exceptionally nasty in my tone, because I have this image in my mind that won’t go away. It’s a photograph of a nude woman who bled to death after a botched abortion in unsafe conditions, and you know what? I want us to raise generation after generation of free, autonomous daughters who never have to see that horrific image again, and it is completely possible for us to do it.

You can believe ANYTHING you want and I’ll defend your right to do it. You have NO RIGHT, however, to make law based on anything but reason, compassion and common sense because that’s the way the United States of America is deliberately, thoughtfully, designed.  You believe what you want, I’ll believe what I want, and we’ll make sound medical decisions and personal life choices privately and according to our own consciences, just as free, autonomous adults in an industrialized nation do.

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Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

White boys and guns

Psalm 137

7 Remember , OLORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said , Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.

8 O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed ; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.

9 Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

ENTITLEMENT.

At the basis of Western culture is the biblical concept that it is alright to destroy other civilizations to take their gold and silver. One group after another took upon itself the right to destroy the “infidel” and enjoy the spoils of war. Which came first, the religion that legitimizes the government, or the government that enforces the religion and wages the wars that in turn enrich the priests? No one probably knows.

What we do know is that wars on a massive scale were unknown before 4,000 b.c.e. Up until then, religion was a way of life centered on the Great Goddess, women, and birth.  Suddenly, probably as a result of an earthquake, flood or famine, somebody decided that instead of all starving together, the strongest tribe would take what they wanted from their neighbors and leave the rest to die. This was the advent of patriarchy and it sprouted up at about the same time a fanatical group of people who worshiped a minor Semitic war deity decided they needed a patrilineal system of inheritance. You can’t, after all, have a patriarchy if you don’t know who the daddies are. So now, it became essential to control women, who’d been free, respected and prosperous in the old days. Suddenly physical proof of virginity became a commodity and men started to treat their women as chattel to be bought and traded.

These warrior groups moved through the Middle East, up through Europe, into Scandinavia and back in waves of invaders willing to steal, rape and commit genocide on other civilizations in order to enrich themselves. They mixed their blood, their new father centered religions, and their cultures and gradually consolidated into a few large powerful countries with armies instead of many little peaceful ones that didn’t wage war. Goddesses were debased, or became gods. The gods of old religions became the devils of the new. There were Crusades, and Inquisitions and Reformations, to name a few waves of greed, piety and cruelty, and a few major players remained when the dust began to settle just a bit. The Abrahamites had split into Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Mormons, each newer group formed as they accepted the teachings of a new prophet, but they all continued to agree on their one father god, though people seem to forget that. (The Goddess worshipers were still around, driven off into the wilderness, but never completely gone. More about them another time.)

As the groups moved gradually north and west through Europe, the people, and their new religion, became whiter, more homogenized, but splintered into many smaller groups that agreed on the high points of the one story. Eventually, some of the whitest, most pious, and genocidal people Europe ever produced colonized and appropriated an entire new continent, killing the vast majority of the people already living here with war, starvation and disease.

Through all this time, and all this movement, and cultural mixing, the original Entitlement these people felt moved forward with them. The richest of the countries gradually became more cooperative and civilized through a progression of various revolutions and uprisings, and they became rich enough to care about things like civil rights, privacy, unreasonable searches and quartering troops, and now the whitest, most entitled country of them all, the United States of America, has more guns and more gun murders and more wars than almost anybody because at the foundation of this country is that idea that America, or an individual American, assumes the right to kill anyone with whom they do not agree.

Nobody, but nobody, nurtures that white boy sense of entitlement that says “I’m a white man in America, with my god, and my guns, and I’ll kill you if I damned well please” like America does. If you’re of African descent, if you’re gay, if you’re Jewish, non-Christian, poor, an immigrant, but most of all, if you’re female, I’ll kill you if I damned well please. It’s not my fault – “god” wants it this way, or I wouldn’t have been born here! I’m an American!

Until we get deep down under that sense of entitlement and tear it out by the roots, an occasional disturbed white man/boy will buy one of those guns we love so much (or call up the most powerful army in history) and kill women and old people and children because he believes that everything in Western culture has conspired to give him that divine right to kill.

We’re fighting at least two wars right now – Michael Moore says it’s more like six and I believe him – for no discernible reason except profit.

We do not have the right to kill.

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