Friday, July 22, 2005

More thoughts on abortion.

With the imminent replacement of O'Connor on the Supreme Court just around the corner, the big topic is abortion. I have spent the last several days deeply contemplating this issue and trying to understand everything surrounding it. I, too would like to see less abortions, but less abortions using what method?

There is so much at stake here. To what end does this lead by denying a woman the right to choose to terminate a pregnancy? Taking away this right takes control over her own body out of her hands.

To state that abortion should be made illegal except in instances of rape and incest makes no sense. If abortion is deemed as murder, then it is murder under any circumstance.

Why does the "baby" of a rape victim not have the right to live?

And how does one enforce these "exceptions"? Should a woman come into a clinic and claim she was raped, will she have to prove it? Will the law state that in order for a woman who was raped to have an abortion she must come forward within 24 hours and prove she was raped? Will she have to file charges against the man who raped her in order to have the abortion? What if he threatened to harm her family if she comes forward and therefore she doesn't want to turn him in? Will that deny her the right to terminate a pregnancy from this event?

Why do people have issue with a woman terminating a pregancy? I don't believe that it has anything to do with the life inside of her. If the issue really was about "life", then these people who are "pro-life" would be doing so much more than just fighting abortion. They would be fighting to make it much easier to adopt. They would be fighting to make orphanages better places. They would be fighting to make sure that men were equally held responsible for pre-natal care. They would be investing their time in creating and enhancing alternatives. Instead they are self-righteous, zealous, bullies imposing their will on others.

I believe the root of "pro-life" is about control, not about life nor the quality of life. On what grounds does a woman not have the right to decide whether nor not to host a life in her body?

Friday, July 15, 2005

More on my views of Bush and the Religious Right

As a declared atheist I guess that one would reasonably assume that when I speak out against our President's support of the Religious Right that I am doing so rebelliously. I know that most perceive atheists as being angry and "against" the religion. With me, this not the case.

First of all, I understand the importance that religion plays in our social structure. People need to believe in something greater than themselves. Life is not easy and many people are not really up to the task of living it. Trying to go through life without believing in a Supreme Being leaves one to figure a lot of things out on one's own. We have to define and understand our own moral codes. The advantage of being a religious person is that many of those moral codes are already designed and distributed. People are not able to live up to most of them but the codes are there.

My issue regarding the Religious Right has more to do with it's short sightedness. It seems to me that the only thing they want is to have Roe vs. Wade reversed. That's it. They want a President to do whatever he can to reverse it. I haven't heard them speak out about anything else. They are simply obsessed with Roe vs. Wade. To me that is the equivalent of being obsessed with making sure that unwanted children are brought into this world. How can anyone be so shortsighted? How can this be a good thing? And then let's couple this with making the only available birth control for young people be "abstinence". Is anyone getting this and how tragic this is, or is it just me?

Honestly, I thought Bush understood this. Really, I did. For some reason, I saw him as one who understood the big picture in this regard. But somewhere, something clicked, and I see him as one who wants to do more to appease the RR. And since he has been so consistant and loyal regarding his stands on principle, I can only assume that he is going to stay true to his own personal convictions regarding abortion and will hand to the RR the Supreme Court Justice that will give them what they want.

Now, all that being said, I have to give him some credit on what I understand the new strategy to be and that is, he is letting the Senate present the nominee(s). Now that's a smart thing and I do like that idea.

I think I just want him to firmly draw a line that basically tells the RR that "this is where their job ends and his begins" and somehow, I think that line just doesn't exist.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Not going to extremes

I had lunch with some friends this Sunday and as is the normal course we discussed politics. I expressed my frustrations with Bush and my friend, who is not a Bush supporter, encouraged me not to go from the extreme of being an avid supporter to being an avid anti-Bush person. Interesting.

I thought about why I supported him so strongly, especially during his first term. I think the answer to that is that he was under constant attack during his first term. Since the election was so close, the Democrats never let up. They kept the pressure on him during his entire term in an effort to upset the elections in 2004 and claim a much wanted victory. Once the election was over and Bush won, the Democrats got quiet. They aren't as vocal against him these days. The resist supporting his proposals, but they aren't doing these blanket criticisms as they did during he last term. So the duty to "protect" him from these crticisms isn't there. Now I can just kick back and enjoy having him as President.

Except I'm not really enjoying him as President.

I agree that we need a leader that has strength and resolve. I agree that we need someone who says it the way he sees it. I agree that Bush isn't perfect and no one is going to be perfect, either. I'm angry with his feeding and support of the Religious Right. When abortion was a part of the equation for stem cell research, I agreed that it needed to stop. Now abortion is no longer a part of that equation. We can obtain these cells without tapping into abortion clinics for them. Bush's personal religious convictions are standing in the way. This display of establishing policy based on one's personal religious convictions is sending the wrong signals. Our military now believes it is ok to impose religious views onto their soldiers and officers. Religion has never supported man's progress but has always stood in its way. Why is he giving them so much power?

And there is something else that is bothering me. I feel like his religious views and support is handing the 2008 election over to the Democrats. I feel like he is giving it to them and that Hillary is going to clean up in 2008. If Giuliani runs there is strong possibility he could take it.

I don't know, I guess I had higher expectations of him. Maybe these expectations are not realistic and that rather than be angry at the President, I have to revisit them. And accept that he is neither a major disappointment nor is he superman.

He is just a man who happens to be our President.