Monday, April 26, 2004

Abortion speaks

I fall into the pro-life camp. I have friends that do not - they support a woman's right to opt for an abortion. I don't ostracize them. We all have a right to individual opinions. My opinion is based upon two experiences. First, when my wife was pregnant with Andrew, our first child, we saw him in utereo at just several weeks old. He was active and bouncing around and so very lively. We both knew that we had created life. We both knew that we could never end that process. The second experience is my on-going study of the Bible. Psalm 139:13 (NIV) - For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I see God's hand in creation. This is important to me. It is not for me to interrupt His work. I stumble into that enough without trying ...

Please don't think of Roe v. Wade as an abortion case, giving a woman the right to choose. Roe was and is a privacy case. It recognized the right to privacy as one that is as fundamental as if it was written in the Bill of Rights; it recognized that the right was personal, rather than dependent upon the place that the person was when invoking it. The right to an abortion that arose from Roe was an application of this newly recognized fundamental and personal right.

So I have a right to feel as I do, and others have a right to feel as they do. We can co-exist. In our representative democracy, I will vote for politicians that feel as I feel, and another will do the same. In the collective nature of our society, a consensus will develop.

But a distinction arises along the way. My children will know what I feel and why. But the children of other people will not know how I feel. I do not wear my personal beliefs on my sleeve for all to see. Seems rather crude and presumptive to me.

That brings us to Washington, DC, this past weekend. National Review Online describes the event. The most commonly heard word was spelled out at the beginning of Country Joe's famous rendition of his Vietnam song at Woodstock. It was moronic then and is moronic now. (btw - Joe McDonald lives in Berkeley now and is quite the Florence Nightingale expert.)

Some quotes from the rally are instructive:

"At a pre-march rally on Saturday night at the D.C. Armory by RFK Stadium, California congresswoman Maxine Waters told George W. Bush to 'go to hell.' Going to hell with him, said Waters, should be John Ashcroft, Don Rumsfeld, and Condi Rice." (What does Condi have to do with abortion rights?)

"Pro-life is to Christianity as al Qaeda is to Islam." (Really? But from the sounds of the rally, I can't seem to find many Christians ... is this just a cute turn of words?)

"I wish Barbara Bush had had choice available to her." (Trust me, Barbara isn't the aborting type.)

"Get Bush Off My Bush" (Cute!! But what is W doing in your yard?)

The mood at the gathering was "crass, angry." I'll share something - I don't know people that act like this. I have met them, of course, but I avoided getting involved on any kind of level.

I used to party in my youth. But I avoided people who didn't know when to stop, who got loud or messy when under the influence. I rounded my mileage up instead of down when filing expense reports, but I never entered trips I never took - as I saw others do.

In one formulation, there are two types of people in the world - those who hold their opinion, and those that wave them like a flag for all to see. Unfortunately, the latter usually do so in an unintelligent, unconvincing manner. They gather like-minded people, but rarely convert anyone.

I have made a personal choice. It is only felt deeper and with more conviction when someone else says my president should burn in the eternal fires of Hell because he thinks in the same manner that I do.

Which leads me to wonder what was accomplished by the rally. Nothing, I think, absolutely nothing. All that energy, all of those heart-felt feelings, for nothing. What a shame.

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