Heretic in the House

joanstilkestake

Remember, Val, that only 60 years ago, that same argument would have been used to shut YOU up? Because what you believe now is mainstream, but would have been heresy to the mainstream back then.

The above is a quoted from a comment I received recently on another post I wrote. I had to sit back and consider the context, the person and the content of my post. I will grant the commenter is very much on the other side of the political aisle from me on nearly all subjects. I had to wonder though, did they listen to the video or simply take for granted there was nothing fundamentally wrong only that I disagreed with it and thus it was fine except it represented ideals I disagreed with.

So then I thought about my political positions, my social positions and wondered am I really that radical are my positions which are more accepted today than 60 years ago, would they have been heresy 60 years ago as my commenter suggests. I wondered about this the entire day, thought I would take some of my more ‘radical’ positions, compare them to 60 years ago, and see.


tumblr_mj4iy9ckaL1rpj3m6o1_500Civil Rightsyes, I believe strongly every single citizen of the United States of America should enjoy the same exact rights. This includes access to jobs, education, voting, housing and all the other ‘rights’ and ‘privileges’ of being a citizen. I believe strongly there should be no impediments to these rights. I include in these rights the freedom to marry, which I believe is a civil right and requires only recognition by the state and federal government, the issue of Church is not relevant and is independent of Civil Rights.

I suppose there might be some legitimacy to the argument of my heresy. Certainly, I do not support the suppression of any person or group of people and sixty years ago, it was the norm to do so.  Hell, today it is the norm to continue to do so. Pile on the kindling and get the stake ready, there might be a bonfire in my future.

Women’s Rights – this is likely part of the Civil Rights issue, but yes, I am a supporter of Women and their rights. I am a feminist, I believe women should be able to work and be paid equally to men. I believe women should be able to choose Suffragette Float, New York 1913 Courtesy Wikipediawhether to marry, where and how to work and even more importantly that we should be equally represented. Today, we are not it is my hope someday we are since we are slightly more than 50% of the population.

Well there is another one where I am a heretic and would have been 60 years ago too. In fact, I have been a feminist since my early teen years.

Pro-Choice – I am and don’t equivocate about it. No woman should ever be forced, as I was to have an abortion. No woman should ever be forced to carry a pregnancy to term. I am not Pro-Abortion; I think most women approach this choice as a last resort and with heartbreak. Nevertheless, it is no other persons business. It is the pregnant woman and her medical provider, sometimes it is also her partner but most of the time it is her and her alone that images (3)must make this choice. You, me, the state and certainly the church going throng of ijits attempting to shove their ‘beliefs’ down her throat and up her uterus; they have no place in her decision. Beyond the issue of abortion is the very real issue of women and their ability to access preventive care, this is also necessary and constantly at risk. I am a proponent of birth control, a proponent of women and men receiving education and the means to prevent pregnancy and I am perfectly willing to have my tax dollars pay for it.

Alrighty then, another heretical soapbox I stand on. I stand firmly on this one too. Boy oh boy, that kindling is getting piled higher the bonfire is going to burn bright soon.

Freedom of and from Religion – big one here but my belief that I should be free from religion within my government is supported by the US Constitution. The very first amendment of the US Constitution, the very first sentence: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; could it be any clearer than this. We are not now nor have we ever been a theocracy. We are not now, nor have we ever been a Christian Nation. What we are now and have always been a nation with a population of primarily Christians of different denomination who are unable to agree even among themselves. The founding fathers of this nation understood the problems of nations ruled by the Church, whether it be the Catholic Church or the Church of England, they built into our Constitution protections to prevent this from happening here. This nation was intended to be a Democratic Republic, without Church interference; one that allowed representation of all people whether Christian or other. It was not until the 1950’s that God was inserted into our Pledge and onto our currency, previous to this God was not there we stayed true to our founding principles.

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In truth, my views are not so different from others of 60 years ago and even further back. They saw this coming; they saw the problems of allowing the Christian crazies get hold of the government. So no I don’t think I will get any additional kindling for my views on this one. Get your church out of the government. The churches already receive tax exemptions, I already pay for your views to be heard I should not also have live with your views through legislation in my bedroom and elsewhere in my life.

Guns and Violenceobviously I am not mainstream on this one and never will be. I believe strongly I and my children, my grandchildren and all the generations to come should be safe from violence in the streets. I believe guns do not make us safe but instead create a society where we are more prone to violence not less so. The Constitution does not promote individual ownership of arsenals; it promotes a well-regulated militia, which has only recently been interpreted to mean children-guns-nraindividual ownership. Historically, it was much different. That this nation turns its back on the death and mayhem created by guns and gun ownership simply saddens me.

Interestingly through the first part of the 20th century, most of the legislation passed regarding guns and gun control fell firmly in what I would consider my camp. In fact, all of it, at both the federal and state level placed restrictions on the types of guns that could be sold, who could sell and transport them and who could own them and for what purpose. It wasn’t until the rise of the Right-Wing Anti-Government lunatic fringe and the true shift of the NRA in the mid 1990’s things changed dramatically. Ruby Ridge and Waco are the two defining moments that brought the fringe to the front. Since the mid 90’s the swing to the Right on the issue of guns has been dramatic and with horrifying results.

Call me a heretic, call my views heresy I am good with that. When any of you lay in the street with three bullets in you and wonder if you will survive, talk to me about how good guns are. When any of you bury a child due to violence, please give me a call and let’s discuss the need for more guns on the street I will be happy to debate this with you. Pile up the kindling boys and girls I am ready for the fire. On this one though, I was aligned with those in positions of authority, hell me and the NRA agreed 60 years ago now that is damned frightening.

Linda1I just picked a few of the key issue; I could likely do this for many other key issues of the day. Tell you what though, ask me anything and let’s see if I am truly a heretic. I am guessing I am only a heretic if you compare me to the other side of the aisle, not necessarily to 60 years ago. I will do my best to answer in context of both today and the 60-year mark though.

Comments

  1. Without much analysis, I choose to separate government and state. It MUST be separate, not in led by one or the other. I Believe State comes first and religion next to keep the inhabitants on track. ❤ ❤ ❤

    • That is what I believe, faith is personal / religion something other than faith. State (e.g. Government) an organization operated by and for the people and at their will. We have screwed it up Tess, here and everywhere else.

  2. I so so Hope we have moved on from 60 yrs ago… And thankfully we are breaking such limited thinking of people.. We are making strides for equality, for Women’s rights, Free Speech..etc…
    Great post and always lovely to read your thoughts which to me offer Common Sense!!!

    BIG Hugs xxx Sue

    • In some ways perhaps we have moved forward, others Sue I think not so much. It is frightening to me that we haven’t moved much past the strange thinking of our parents in some of the fundamentals.

      Hugs right back

      • Yes I so understand and know what you mean.. I only said to some one the other day.. we have moved forward in leaps and bounds Technologically.. But have in some ways taken a step backwards when it comes to our Spirituality and how we treat each other .. xxx

  3. Then so be it then, right?! I suppose you’ve always been ahead of, as well as progressive in thought for, your time. You’re in great company!

    • I think it might have been my upbringing, encouraged by my father to remember I have a brain and to use it. Though he didn’t always appreciate the outcome, he nonetheless drove me to think.

  4. There is so much to discuss and I have a feeling this will become part of a well-written series for you, Val. I am thanking you for always standing up for what you believe. As a feminist, I am so glad we are not back 60 years ago but I do look forward to more changes to come. Hugs!

  5. Sixty years ago, being a teenager (giving my age away), I knew absolutely NOTHING about politics – wasn’t familiar with the word, except maybe for my boring (boring instructor) civics class in high school. As I am aging (chronologically only), I find myself intensely involved in all the s**t that is going on in the halls of government. Is that what it is called now – government? I totally agree with your (to me) logic. Makes the most sense. Of course, our politicians, for the most part, depend upon their high-paying contributors to help them with their ideologies.

    I appreciate your research into the “yesteryears.” You are informing me about that which I missed in civics class! Your comparisons are terrific.

    Most important to me, is the intrusion of religion into our recent laws. The separation of church and state was originally deemed part of the federal government. Now, the individual states are doing their best to “un-separate” the two. We are in a mess. So glad that activists, some big businesses and vocal protestors are making their voices heard to try to stem the tide of discrimination that could run rampant.

    Great post, Valentine.

    • I was ‘engaged’ from a very young age, for as long as I can remember in fact. We talked politics at the dinner table, in fact we debated at the dinner from the time I was old enough to have a voice. My first arrest was at 11 years old, my first sit in 1968.

      I have always been firmly entrenched on the left.

  6. If you’re a heretic, Val, then so am I! Let us rejoice in our collective insubordination over the constraints of extremist, right-wing ideologies!

  7. I love that Sinclair Lewis quote. Actually, I love all the quotes you posted here, Val. You and I are on the same page politically. If you plan to visit NYC anytime from July-on, try to get tickets to Hamilton, a brilliant hip hop musical about Alexander Hamilton and the birth of this nation written, starring and directed by Lin Manuel-Miranda. It’s transferring from the Public theater to Broadway. Almost everyone in the cast is black or Hispanic. Lin is a New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent. That casting was such a deft touch. I was so blown away by this show, when it was over I had a lump in my throat. Milton wept openly three times, but before it started he was grousing about it because he HATES hip hop. Not this time. People from all sides of the political aisle are flocking to see it. Even Dick Cheney and the Clintons showed up. But probably not for the same performance. http://nyti.ms/1FqmjVI

  8. Well done, Val. And you know, if you put your views up with those of most people in America today, they will stand with you on these issues. Politicians? Not so much, which is where the feeding frenzy comes from.

    • I suspect this will need a part II and maybe even a part III.

      I found the comment so strange, I had to think about it and then I had to really do some searching to compare my views to 60 years ago. Yes, some are off the grid, but not all of them. Strange, isn’t it.

      • Very. We should be different than folks were 60 years ago — we should have evolved. Of course, maybe the whole reason some folks don’t believe I. Evolution is because they themselves haven’t.

  9. Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

  10. Good for you!!

    What’s more, I truly believe that you reflect where most Americans are in their thinking. MOST would never be for interfering with someone’s rights to fair play in this society and they hate injustice. Most believe in a woman’s right to access medical care including abortion. Personally, I find it hard to believe that any woman makes this decision cavalierly. Law makers need to leave these tough decisions to the women and their doctors, otherwise there needs to be legislated vasectomies. As for guns, even the majority of NRA members believe there needs to be sensible gun control. A lot of harm in the world has been done in the name of religion and we have enough problems. Church and state being separate was the intention of those who signed our constitution. Women receiving equal pay is not just a woman’s issue but a family issue. Consequently, most men want this.

    This is why it is so frustrating for me to see our legislators not representing the beliefs of most Americans but the small percentage of folks they feel beholden to and/ or the special interests who pay a fortune to have their way. Somehow, this needs to change.

    • Oddly, yes I am simply saying this is what I believe and trying to track back to 60 years ago to determine whether I am really that far off of Americans then. In some cases, I am but not in all cases.

      I am going to likely do parts II and III to continue looking at some of the other ‘beliefs’ I hold and compare them.

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