Monday, September 01, 2008

Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Presidents

I have always wondered why abortion became a political issue, rather than a personal issue. It seems to me that politicians should be defined by their policies regarding national and international issues. Not so much these types of things.

To my mind, it's like defining all politicians according to who is favorable toward sex before marriage and who is not, and then fighting huge political battles over that for decades. I mean sure, there may be moral implications there, and so it has more of a sense of what is 'right' and what is 'wrong' to it than say a preference for certain musical choices, but it just doesn't seem to me like it ought to be the kind of issue that defines a major political battleground for election platforms for presidential candidates.

In the media, they seem to be using it to actually DEFINE who the candidates ARE. They are often defined as a "Pro-Life President" or a "Pro-Choice President". As if this is THE most important policy of a president for example. I have to say, the most important policies of a president probably should be things like economic policies and defense policies, and healthcare policies, and education, and immigration, etc.. Things that affect the fundamental health and survival of our country in the world. But Presidents should not be defined or decided on by this. I'm not saying it's completely trivial, but it just shouldn't be as relevent as those other issues as far as the president's role goes. He might be better defined as a "Pro-Free-Trade President", or as a "Pro-Immigration President", or possibly a "Pro-Military President", or "Pro-Diplomacy President", "Pro-Alternative Energy", "Pro Labor", "Pro Business", "Pro Healthcare", etc.. Aren't these things a little more relevent?

As far as the issue itself goes, somehow it seems bizarre to let one religious group define the national policies on this aspect of healthcare, and make the decision for the entire population of women, as if they cannot be trusted to have the morals or common sense to make the right decision themselves.

We also have Muslims here in America. Should we let them decide the alcohol policy for the entire country? No one can drink any kind of alcohol anymore? Or maybe they should set our national dress code policy and force all women to wear veils and headscarves and cover their entire body head to toe? They also feel that these issues are too important to be left to individual choice. And what about Jews? There are lots of Jewish people in this country. Should they get to decide the national policy on food, and take away all pork products from the national marketplace? Or what about Jehova's Witnesss? If I recall correctly, they don't allow blood transfusions. Should we allow that group to dictate THAT aspect of our national healthcare policy? Or maybe we should allow the Church of Scientology people to dismantle and outlaw our mental health professionals and facilities. They don't believe in that branch of medicine, so perhaps it should be taken away from the rest of the people in the country. Or, for that matter, why not respect the Amish doctrines and simply dismantle and remove all technologies and inventions that have been created since the discovery of electricity? We could all just go back to living the way people did in the 1700's.

Where does it end? Do we set our national policies of governance respecting all religions equally? Or do we set national policies based on religious doctrine according to the number of people in that religion within the country? Or do we set the laws depending on the regions of the country based on the percentage of people in each religion within that region? So we would allow legal polygamy in Utah where we have a higher percentage of Mormons, but it's illegal and immoral everywhere else? And we make all pork products illegal in the northeast corner of the country where there are more Jews, but make it perfectly legal in the rest of the country?

The U.S. constitution allows for religious freedom in this country and that is a good and noble thing. Everyone gets to decide whether or not they want to belong to a religion, and which one they choose, if they do. It's a personal choice. But if we are going to allow religious freedom, then we have to ensure a complete separation of church and state. This is exactly WHY that aspect of the constitution is so important! These religions all have different laws and beliefs, and some of them might be contradictory. We simply cannot allow the various religions to dictate the national policies that EVERYONE has to live by.

But hey - that's just my opinion. It's good that this country allows us to have one.


At 11/22/2009 1:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've only just discovered your blog - I was googling Scientology as I'm still trying to understand a brother who is an ex-member (treated horribly) but still a true believer. I agree wholeheartedly with this post. My family is Catholic, my friends from high school are Mormon, and I mentioned my brother. Our founding fathers had very good reasons why they explicitly wanted church and state separated, yet a minority of very organized fundamentalist Christians are dictating an awful lot of important policy issues - and yes - hijacking what is after all still a LEGAL option - abortion - yet hardly an easily obtained one because of the terrorists who evidently believe a baby is a baby UNTIL it's born. Then they're fair game for assassination. And this distracts roughly 45% of our voting public, who as Lakoff comments, routinely vote against their own economic self interest because their 'moral values' are being compromised. One last thing: ever notice that so many of these citizens who say it's immoral to have an abortion also oppose social welfare systems that help feed and educate the children of the poor? So, again, a baby is a baby until it's born. Then, suckah, you're on your own!


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