Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Imagine This World

I realize we've gotten really political lately. I promise, very soon, funny, mindless entertaining blogs will return.

One of our friends recently posted this in a blog of her own:

Im totally against abortion the word make's me cry and weep.It's so evil its like what if your parents didnt wanna have you.Its murder cause your killing a innocent human being.If you dont wanna have a baby and you have one anyways than use birth control or just dont spread your legs and have sex if you know what will happen.Even if the person was raped they should still have the baby no matter what.I was raped when I was 17 and if I had a baby by the guy I would still have it.You can always give it up for abotion no need to have a abortion.Im totally you abortion is a crime.Its evil and its like saying I hate my own child.I think people who have abortion's should go to jail and be on death row.

This is our response:


XXXXX, you have a right to your opinion. Let us say that first. We respect your opinion.

But you are quite young still, and although abortion is a very painful subject, it is not as cut-and-dried as you would make it, and we think it's important to look at this from a wider perspective than that of just one 21-year-old woman.

A large part of the reason you have this thought, and this strength in your opinion is that you do have a choice. You say that even if you got pregnant by a rapist, you would still have the baby. And as a rape victim, you have the right to say that-- because you have the choice.

Now imagine a girl less balanced and stable. A girl whose rape was so horrible that she still four years later finds it impossible to be sexually intimate with anyone. A girl who still cries daily over her victimization. A girl who still has injuries and scars from the attack itself. And now imagine that same pained girl, having to look at, raise, be responsible for, and try-- try-- to love and care for a living, breathing reminder of all her pain?

The system doesn't protect rape victims. You may have gotten lucky, and your attacker my have seen justice, but odds are, he probably didn't. Every rape is different. Every woman in different. And it is for that very reason that freedom of reproductive choice exists. Women of our generation-- your mother's generation-- fought for choice, and can remember that world where women did die in back-alley abortions. Like being raped all over again. The comments by your friend at the top of this page sadden us terribly. How anyone could say a woman-- a living breathing woman with a life in progress, and a whole world of people whose lives she impacts-- is less valuable than an embryo that's not even fully formed-- is beyond our comprehension. Your own statement about sending women who have abortions to death row shows, frankly, an immature, uninformed opinion that lacks a full understanding of the situation and preaches that "death is wrong" while actually condemning people to death because they don't agree with you. How is that right?

Choice has always been a part of your life. You were born a decade and more after Roe vs. Wade. As a young woman of this generation, you take for granted this choice. You've always had it. And you may very well choose never to even consider an abortion. And that is your choice. But recognize that if you had no choice, you might very well feel different.

Imagine a society where no choice exists. Hundreds of thousands more children growing up without parents in a state-run orphanage system because not enough adoptive parents exist to take care of them. Hundreds of thousands more will be neglected and abused by mothers that never really wanted them. Forced to grow up in an environment where they will be subject to inhumane conditions. Homeless women, drug addicts, eleven-year-olds, prostitutes, college students and women in abusive relationships now forced to add motherhood to their list of trials.

And now, the children themselves. They will grow up without love, without proper guidance, and without the necessary resources to enable them a fair shot at a good life. And that's assuming they're normal. Your worldview would also populate the country with mentally retarded, developmentally dependent and physically handicapped children. Who will raise these children? You? Have you adopted a retarded child yet? You should. There aren't even enough adoptive parents to take care of the unwanted children we have, much less the hundreds of thousands more that would exist were it not for the woman's right to determine her own reproductive freedom. The next thing would probably be forcing people to adopt the unwanted kids.

Your stance on this issue is like so many that come from the conservative wing of this country... full of emotion, and more than willing to impose your will on other people's lives. "Abortion is immoral! Kill the people who have abortions!" It's just one step removed from any other emotional, morally based political opinion: "Homosexuality is wrong! Kill all the gays!" Or, "Illegal immigrants should die!" Or, "Round up the Muslims and the Jews and all who don't believe in Jesus, and kill them!"

Of course, that sounds extreme. But it's really not. It happens all over the world. It could happen here. And the first step is intolerance. Intolerance of another's behavior because you perceive it as immoral. When fed, when nourished with hateful speech, intolerance grows into frenzy, and pretty soon, it's 1940 in Germany, and Jews are being rounded up and put into camps. Or it's modern-day Iran, and women are treated like property with no access to justice, birth control, or even their own personal freedom of expression. Or it's modern-day Darfur, and immigrants are being killed in a mass genocide. Or it's Laramie, Wyoming just eight years ago, when two men who didn't like fags cracked open Matthew Shepard's skull with a gun and left him to die, tied to a rough-hewn fencepost.

Imagine that. Imagine that world. Imagine that America. God forbid. Imagine that America where it could happen, and did. Imagine an America where a twelve-year-old victim of a father's cruel incest is forced to carry a child to term-- a child who likely will wind up abused by the same man. Imagine an America where a beautiful, vibrant, straight-A college student hemorrhages in her sorority house and dies because of a botched illegal back-alley abortion. Imagine her mother. That's the world you say you want. A world without choice. Now really think about it.

It is a shame that some women use abortion as birth control. It is a shame that women feel they can be promiscuous and not use protection because "I can always get abortion" is running in the back of their minds. It is a shame that some women-- and men-- can be so irresponsible and callous about the sanctity of life. But their abortion really doesn't affect you, except enough for you to say, "Isn't it a shame." It doesn't impact your life. That's what choice is all about. That's what America is all about. You live in a world where you have the right to make the bad choice. And that is, despite how heinous the outcome might be to others, a precious, precious gift that many in this world don't have.

We hope you can see our point. We hope you can respect our opinion. We do respect yours. We just shudder to think... the death of all that makes America great starts with opinions of intolerance.


Okay, so it was heavy. Sorry. See you soon at the Lip! And go vote!



Sunday, November 05, 2006

You Can Stop This

America is currently in the middle of a much-commented "War on Terror."

But terror, in its truest forms, will not be made a docile object of war. In fact, terror is winning, no matter if more of "them" have died than "us." Terror is easily the favorite for victory in this conflict, and will continue to be if we don't stem the tide against the very important advances it has made. These advances came not through the organized efforts of terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah, but by the fear, arrogance, disinterest and self-righteousness of the American people, and the corruption, manipulation and abject idiocy of the leadership they have put into place.

Terror wins when Americans are forced to give up their civil liberties and the freedoms on which this country was founded in the name of government control. Habeas corpus is suspended. The rock-solid Constitution that protects our liberty and freedom is now a pliable, bending document.

This is a very dark time in America. Just ten days after the 9/11/2001 attacks, Amnesty International sent a letter to President Bush asking him to exercise "principled leadership" in the wake of that national tragedy. Their plea fell on deaf ears. The organization has determined that in the last five years, the United States government has engaged in major human rights violations, including secret, arbitrary, and prolonged incommunicado detention; enforced disappearance; denial and restriction of habeas corpus; indefinite detention without charge or trial; humiliating outrages upon personal dignity and unfair trial procedures, and torture.

It starts in Abu Ghraib. It may soon come to a neighborhood near you. The Military Commissions Act of 2006 turns bad policy into worse law, and makes it possible for the President, or any of his agents to have anyone-- including citizens of the United States-- declared "enemy combattants" and subject to the same treatments. So don't be surprised when they come to round up you or someone you love. We let it happen.

A madman is in control of the Department of Defense. A fascist sits as our Attorney General, and the President of the United States is a dim-witted bully.

Americans elected this team of bigoted, self-serving hypocrites to lead our nation, and now it is reaping the whirlwind. Even as our men and women in the military are dying by the scores in an unjust war, we have politicians campaigning on a platform of "Staying The Course" in Iraq. Our president thinks bandying about the notions of going to war with Iran, or Syria, or North Korea as old-boy, back-slapping fun in the Oval Office. I would say firmly to the President: "This is not a game, Mr. Bush. This is not Risk. This is human lives being lost in the vainglorious name of your legacy. This is hysteria that has cost the lives of thousands for your edification. This is the destruction of a country's very core values while you and your cronies ironically moralize and preach about the sanctity of those values. You, Mr. Bush, should feel the deepest shame for what you have done, and I will never forgive you, or your agents, for the irreparable harm you have done to America. I, for one, will neither forgive nor forget."

This administration is made up of the most intolerant, shortsighted and hateful people ever to be at the helm of an American government. Ronald Reagan's "shining city on a hill" is now a decrepit slum and the bane of the world neighborhood. And my friends, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

In November of 2000, improprieties in elections in Florida and other states awarded George W. Bush the White House. Since his installation as our leader, he has preached hatred against gays and lesbians. He has ignored the very real health care crisis in this country. He has involved us in an unjustified war by means of deceit and manipulation. He has frighteningly bungled a great natural disaster in the wakes of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. He has moved the United States economy from a record surplus to a staggering deficit with no end in sight. He has increased the scale and scope of government in our lives. He has driven political wedges between Americans while smiling and claiming to be a "uniter, not a divider." He is the worst kind of hypocrite, and we are paying the price for our disinterest and fear, literally, with human blood in Iraq, and human spirit back at home.

This Tuesday, November 7th, you can send a clear message to Washington: "We value the America we once knew, and we are not going to allow the Bush Administration to defile it any further." In the name of all that truly is sacred about America, we must vote in an opposition Congress. The Democrats have an opportunity to gain control the House and Senate, and thwart the Administration's efforts to wreak havoc on our nation's fundamental principles. We must, in the name of all that is good and decent in this world, allow them that chance.

The greatest terror, and the ultimate price America will pay, will be the destruction of what it is that made it great in the first place. Stop it. Vote Tuesday.