Posts in category Religion
Here's an old school response to sexism that unfortunately is still relevant today.
"A lost D.H. Lawrence essay in which the famed author issued a major takedown to a misogynistic contemporary has been found in a library in New Zealand."
Lawrence was the author of classic novels such as Lady Chatterley's Lover and Women in Love. Regarding the newly-discovered essay:
"Lawrence wrote the piece some time in late 1923 or early 1924 in response to an essay published in Adelphi, a literary magazine ... That essay, which ran under the byline 'JHR,' was a viciously misogynistic treatise called 'The Ugliness of Women.' Its author argued that 'in every woman born there is a seed of terrible, unmentionable evil: evil such as man — a simple creature for all his passions and lusts — could never dream of in the most horrible of nightmares, could never conceive in imagination. ... No doubt, the evil growth is derived from Eve, who certainly did or thought something wicked beyond words.'"
Here's an excerpt of Lawrence's enlightened response:
The Christian Science Monitor looks beyond the "pro-life" rhetoric to the actual financial impact on women and children due to efforts to end abortion:
"Members of the pro-life movement spend countless dollars and hours on rallies and lobbying without providing adequate financial and emotional support for women to actually maintain pregnancies. And the majority of women who have abortions cite not being able to afford a child as one of the main reasons for their decision. ...
"So while pro-life Americans spend millions of dollars on events geared toward making abortion illegal, there were 1.16 million women who came to the conclusion in 2009 ... that they could not carry their child to term – many of them because of money. ...
"The Guttmacher Institute’s statistics show that abortion rates are higher in countries where it is illegal and procedures are often unsafe. Even more disheartening are statistics ... which showed that women who sought abortions and were turned away (because they had passed their state's gestational limits) were three times more likely to fall into poverty than women who obtained an abortion. ...
"A woman’s decision to have an abortion often stems from a very real and legitimate fear that she will not be able to care for a child. Pro-life supporters and activists spend incredibly large sums to take away that decision, but do not provide the equivalent practical support women need to have a baby. Is that really a fight for life? Or just a fight for a long sought-after political goal? It’s time the pro-life movement focuses its resources more on helping women and babies, not gaining legislative power that ultimately will do little to protect the unborn."
There are 400,000 children in the U.S. foster care system, 115,000-130,000 of whom are eligible to be adopted. With all the "pro-life" rhetoric we hear, where's the moral outrage about their lives? Many of these children aren't the "popular" kinds to adopt (i.e., healthy, white infants), but instead are older kids, or racial minorities, or they have disabilities or were victims of abuse.
Instead of protesting a woman's right to make decisions about her own body & her own life, instead of protesting outside of abortion clinics & treating women's personal healthcare decisions as if they're fair game for public scrutiny ... why don't those who claim to be "pro-life" direct all this energy onto making sure children who are already born get loving families? Why don't they adopt or foster children themselves (especially the harder-to-place kids)? Why don't they advocate for gay adoption? Why don't they stop supporting abstinence-only sex education (which has been proven to be highly ineffective) & minimize the number of unwanted children in the first place? Why don't they protest against legislation that cuts funding for food & services for poor children?
Because if you ignore all of the above & merely want to outlaw abortion, you're really not "pro-life" -- you're just pro-birth.Sources:
"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world." -- Mr. Rogers
So sad about the tragedy in Connecticut. There are many social & psychological factors that may have led up to this horrific event -- proliferation of guns, a culture that glamorizes violence, mental illness, & people who are just evil bastards. But simply speaking -- it's heartbreaking. Here's a little something to consider today.
Yesterday, Jane and Pete-e were the first same-sex couple to receive a marriage license in the state of Washington. They've been together for 35 years! During that time, they've most certainly been plotting how best to ruin the institution of marriage for straight people, promote their nefarious gay agenda, & other vague-and-meaningless-but-
If a religion offers justifications for sexism, racism, or homophobia, then maybe that belief system isn't so moral after all.
The majority should not get to decide whether the minority can enjoy the same rights that they get to take for granted. This should be common sense.
Exactly! Just say something nice and respond in kind. It's the intention behind the greeting that counts. The passive aggressive declarations about keeping the "Christ" in Christmas and being bothered that the cashier said "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" -- this isn't about sharing the joy of the season. It's about being a bit of a Scrooge.
Contrary to what many conservatives would have us believe, affordable access to birth control isn't about making taxpayers pay for slutty women to have sex. Birth control is an economic issue and a basic human right:
Read more at Buzzfeed.
"Access to contraception isn't just a privilege, it's a basic human right, the United Nations says in its Population Fund's annual report, which came out on Wednesday. Lack of access to contraception, the report finds, is an economic barrier that can hinder economic opportunity and growth."
This is what can happen when a country (Ireland, in this case) allows the religious beliefs of some to trump a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy: Savita Halappanavar, 31, was a dentist and was 17 weeks pregnant. She was miscarrying, but was refused an abortion even after her health started to fail. Ultimately, the fetus died inside her, and then she died shortly after from blood poisoning. It's simply disgusting how self-righteous ideology caused this woman's death:
"Savita was really in agony. She was very upset, but she accepted she was losing the baby. ... When the consultant came on the ward rounds on Monday morning, Savita asked if they could not save the baby, could they induce to end the pregnancy? The consultant said: `As long as there is a fetal heartbeat, we can't do anything.' Again on Tuesday morning ... the consultant said it was the law, that this is a Catholic country."
Read more at Huffington Post.
When our rights are attacked; when we're treated with condescension and our morals, maturity, and ability to make decisions about our own bodies and lives are questioned; when the definition of rape is twisted to benefit the rapist and punish women -- well, damn right we're going to take it personally! We're going to defend ourselves against insulting, selfish, and paternalistic attacks against our humanity. We're going to stand up against sanctimonious bullies who use religion and legal maneuvers to chip away at our civil rights. We're going to vote for the people who actually respect our constitutional and moral rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And we're going to question the integrity of those who are so willing to throw our rights under the bus. How dare you speak about freedom when you are so intent on attacking ours.
In this election, we had more on the line than you did. We had more to lose. And guess what? YOU built that. So hell yeah -- of course we're going to celebrate and we're going to do a bit of gloating about how we prevailed.
We won. You lost. Deal with it.
Over the last several months, I've noticed that lots of women have been smiling at me on the street, in restaurants, in stores, etc. I'm not used to this, partly because I can be a little shy & I avoid eye contact with passing strangers, but partly because of a sad habit shared by many of us -- that we view other women as threats.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu further explains the concept:
"[The African tribal philosophy of] Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can't exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can't be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity. ... A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed."
There's been a lot of talk recently about religion in politics. From employers seeking religious exemptions for contraceptive coverage in health insurance premiums to pharmacists denying women emergency contraception because it violates their religious beliefs -- it appears that there's an increasingly blurry line separating church and state. And those who try to point out the importance of that line are accused of starting a "War on Religion".
For an increasing number of Americans, this blurring of the lines may very well be giving religion a bad name, making it seem less about loving thy neighbor and more about oppressing them.
One in five Americans report that they don't belong to any religion, according to data from the Pew Research Center. While 79% still identify as religious, those without religious affiliation has risen from 8% to 20% in the past two decades. In the same time, there's been an increasing association between religious beliefs and political affiliation, with white evangelical Christians comprising a large part of the Republican Party and 68% of those with no religious affiliation identifying as Democrats. According to the Washington Post:
Congregations used to be a blend of political affiliations, but that’s generally not the case anymore. Sociologists have shown that Americans are more likely to pick their place of worship by their politics, not vice versa. ...
'We think it’s mostly a reaction to the religious right,' said Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam, who has written at length about the decline in religious affiliation. 'The best predictor of which people have moved into this category over the last 20 years is how they feel about religion and politics' aligning, particularly conservative politics and opposition to gay civil rights.
America was founded on the concept of religious freedom. But what some people fail to understand is that this doesn't include the freedom to impose their personal religious beliefs on others. Jezebel writer Lindy West sums it up well:
I am not religious, but I certainly don't care if other people want to be. The only sticking point emerges when people want to use those religious beliefs ... to encroach upon people's legal rights. When religious conservatives attempt to dismantle the separation of church and state (making women's healthcare into a moral issue, for example; or denying gay couples the same legal rights that straight couples enjoy ...), that's when I take issue with religion. When we start getting into conversations like this:
'Wait, why don't I get equal rights?' 'Because the Bible says so.' 'But I don't believe in the Bible.' 'Well, I do. So tough shit.'
... that's when we have a problem."
Amen to that.