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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

Pro Ugly

soapboxpileThe announcement by Chelsea Clinton of her impending motherhood later this year brought out the hate, we should have known it would. As I read some of the twits tweeting, I thought to myself, is there nothing, nothing at all off-limits or out of bounds. My other thought was, ‘God people are mean-spirited and ugly’.

How did we get this way?

The argument surrounding abortion is a nasty one. Full of spite, religious rhetoric, name-calling, slut shaming and vitriol.  There is no one, not a single person I know who is Pro-Abortion, only those who are pro-choice; thinking human beings, mature adults who have found the wherewithal to understand there are reasons, sometimes emotional and other times physical a woman may choose to end a pregnancy.

I told my own very personal abortion story in three parts:

Part I is No Bastards No Choice

Part II is Never Again, I Will Hate You

Part III is History isn’t Mutable, But We Are

It isn’t a pretty story, no hearts and flowers there is no happy ending. My personal story doesn’t put a positive spin on choice. It does however; reinforce the need for choice to exist for every woman in this nation, no matter her age, socio-economic or marital status.

This fight, it truly isn’t over ‘babies’, were it over ‘babies’ we would not see children living on the streets, living in cars without enough to eat, without enough to wear in the winter, without clean water. Were this truly about the ‘babies’ we would not be fighting to keep intact programs to provide for born children, for healthcare, education and their overall welfare and well-being.

No this is not about ‘babies’ or children. This fight is about slut shaming and it is about religious imposition. This fight is about smashing a great big red A or S depending on which you prefer on the breast of every woman who demands a life of her own, including the freedom to choose how, when and with whom she will have sex.

A and S extended

The fight over abortion has been ugly; it is about more than abortion though and none of us should ever forget this salient truth. It is about access to healthcare for women and children, as well as, access to birth control for all women and young men too. This fight has extended well beyond the fight over access to safe abortion, it is about whether women have the right to control their lives, not just their reproductive lives, their entire lives including economic, educational and even whom they choose as partners. This fight is about our future as women in this nation, thus it is also about the future of men.

I will not get into the science of when a pregnancy represents a viable human life, we honestly could argue this issue day in and day out and it would break down into name calling and ideology within no more than five comments. I tend to believe what those who have studied human development, embryology and medical science tell me, for a view of the entire process I quite like Visible Embryo I think this site does a superior job of showing and telling the story.

We use conventions to identify the sides of this battle over women, their bodies and their choices. Naming the one side Pro Life is inaccurate and poorly defines them. I do not want to spend time defining the contradiction of the Pro-Life platform with some of their other ideologies, suffice to say it is impossible to align them, at least for me.

This isn’t to say all those who are ‘Pro-Life’ fall into the vehement and ugly ideologies some are truly well meaning with sincerely held beliefs. Arguing with these folks regarding ensoulment is a waste of breath. My preference is simply to accept their beliefs and explain gently I have a different belief and am entitled to it, Constitutionally. I then ask, if you are truly Pro-Life do you support the following and if so how do you align that support:

  • Reduction of SNAP
  • Reduction of Education programs, for adults and children
  • Reduction in funding for after school programs and Head Start
  • Reduction in funding for Free Lunch programs
  • Reduction in WIC
  • Reduction to programs to help disadvantaged neighborhoods and youth
  • Reduction to Planned Parenthood funding, which is sometimes the only source of healthcare for women
  • Reduced access to Birth Control for women
  • Abstinence only education

I have likely missed several programs; these were the ones I could think of off the top of my head that directly affected women and children already born, in this world and needing our help every day.

Getting back to what spurred this entire rant though, poor Chelsea. She no sooner announces the happy and momentous news that she will be delivering her first child later this year the ugly begins. What is it with the The Ninth Annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards - Inside Arrivalsopposition; nothing can simply be a happy announcement of a new stage of a young woman’s life. This nation is all turned in and upside down when Kim Kardashian delivers a child or when the royal family has another prince. For these events, we spend hours of bandwidth. But for the daughter of a President, we have nothing but scorn?

All I can say at this point, there is no one I know who is Pro-Abortion. Many I know who are Pro-Choice, without qualification or question. Should there be limitations in the later stages of pregnancy, yes of course, however these are well known and accepted by all right thinking human beings. The ugliness of this argument and how it leaks into everything, even the happy announcement of a young women who is not in the public eye except infrequently is simply another indication of how very ugly this nation has become. It makes me sad.

A good read (short).

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-aaron-alexander/stop-calling-it-a-pro-life-movement_b_3577440.html

%d bloggers like this: