I’m writing this post because I just cannot NOT do it. I generally keep this blog lighthearted and not serious but this subject is literally close to home. If religion and religious beliefs and choices topics bother you then don’t read any farther because I don’t want the comment section to turn into a battle ground. If you can discuss this topic open mindedly then feel free to read on and comment.
Religion and Abortions
As you have probably seen in the local and national news, Dr. George Tiller was murdered at his church on Sunday, May 31, 2009 in Wichita KS.
Info from Wikipedia.com:
George Richard Tiller, MD (August 8, 1941 – May 31, 2009) was a physician from Wichita, Kansas. He was the medical director of a clinic in Wichita, Women’s Health Care Services, one of only three nationwide which self-identified as providing abortions after the 21st week of pregnancy (known as late-term abortion).
I will state up front that I am pro-choice though I do not believe that abortions should be an acceptable form of birth control and I do not advocate them. If you are going to be a sexually active adult then you should use birth control practices to avoid unwanted pregnancies or abstain from sex. I believe that if you have an “ooops” pregnancy you should have the child and either raise it or give it up for adoption. But, having said that, I believe strongly that there are reasons for abortions such as in the cases of incest, rape, severe birth defects etc. that warrant the freedom of choosing what to do in these situations.
I was once in the position (due to abuse) to have worry about whether or not I was going to have to make this decision and it is not any easy one on any level but I would not have wanted someone to be able to decide this issue for me. I luckily was spared having to make this choice.
I have one statement about abortions. If you don’t believe in them as being morally or religiously acceptable then don’t have one. No one knows why any woman chooses to have an abortion but it is her business, her choice and her problem concerning religious matters.
I have personally dealt with groups like “Operation Rescue” and their obnoxious practices in protesting Women’s health clinics since I once lived a block away from one. The members of this group literally attacked people walking down the street by shoving their graphic protest signs of fetuses in your face and vilifying you for not joining them or demanding to know if you were going into the clinic. These clinics provide all sorts of women’s healthcare services besides abortions. These clinics are heavily used by women without a lot of financial means. Dr. Tiller did provide abortions, but these are legal in Kansas.
Dr. Tiller has had his clinics bombed and he was shot once in 1993 during the “Summer of Rescue” which was perpetrated by “Operation Rescue” but he survived these attacks. This “rescue” effected more than Dr. Tiller as this religious group was a band of rabid beasts that turned Wichita into a total mess for the entire summer. Living by the clinic was horrible. You could not escape these people who I could only describe as overly conservative, manic religious wingnuts that seemed to believe that if you didn’t agree with them then you were going to hell and were fair game.
Dr. Tiller’s clinic is now closed as just announced on the local news today. Protesters are happy and an unfortunately large number of anti-abortionists are hailing his killer as a “hero” and an obvious martyr for the cause. How can we deal with people who think that the death of Dr. Tiller is acceptable from a moral, religious standard? How could anyone be proud of this action?
Any religious group that goes to any extreme, be they a Christian, Jewish, Islamic or whatever religion is dangerous because they believe that God is on their side and they can do no wrong. How else can you explain the actions of supposedly religious individuals deciding it is OK to shoot Dr. Tiller – in his own church on a Sunday – as being justifiable because he was a “baby killer” and needed to be stopped? Was it OK for anti-abortion groups to have a protest nationwide scheduled on the day of Dr. Tiller’s funeral?
Again from Wikipedia:
Southern Baptist minister and radio host Wiley Drake said, “I am glad that he is dead.” Reason columnist Jacob Sullum wrote, “if you honestly believe abortion is the murder of helpless children, it’s hard to see why using deadly force against those who carry it out is immoral, especially since the government refuses to act.[47
Supposedly, upstanding, religious people who say murder is wrong yet it is OK to murder anyone you think you should because you don’t believe in what they do even if it is legal? These groups are now protesting against the birth control pills stating that “the Pill – Kills” so are they going to target any woman that uses birth control pills and kill them?
Are we living in the 21st century or another era where women were supposed to stay home and have as many children as “God” chooses to give her? This is no longer just an issue of just abortions; this is becoming an issue of whether or not women are allowed to choose whether to have children when and if they want them and is and should be a fundamental right of all women and not something decided by religious zealots.
Religion, Gays and Tattoos – Oh My!
Kansas is unfortunately the home to one of the worst religious wingnut groups out there, the followers of Fred Phelps, pastor of the “Westboro Baptist Church” from Topeka, KS
Thanks again Wikipedia:
Fred Waldron Phelps, Sr. (born November 13, 1929) is an American pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), an independent Baptist church based in Topeka, Kansas. His church is monitored as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center. He is a disbarred lawyer, founder of the Phelps Chartered law firm and previous candidate for political office and was a civil rights activist in Kansas. He and his daughter, Shirley Phelps-Roper, are banned from entering the United Kingdom. He and his family are currently notorious for their anti-gay protests, claiming that most natural disasters and terrorist attacks are God‘s punishment for a society that tolerates homosexuality.
He is known for the slogans that he and his ministry use against people he deems sinful, including “God Hates Fags“, “Thank God for Dead Soldiers”, “America Is Doomed” and “Priests Rape Boys.” He claims that God will punish homosexuals as well as various public figures such as Bill O’Reilly, Coretta Scott King, Ronald Reagan, Howard Dean, and anyone else whom his church considers “fag-enablers”.
Phelps and his group have been at many, many public events here in the Wichita area and their protest signs are some of the vilest, poisonous and hate filled messages I have ever seen in my life. They come down and stand on main traffic street corners showering people with their hate.
This is a church group for goodness sakes that protests military funerals while the grief stricken families try and say goodbye to their loved ones and this group has no real evidence that the deceased were gay or not, not that it should matter. The sheer fact that they spew this filth and hatred at the funerals is an obscenity and should be a criminal action.
This is just one of the religious nutcase groups that are out there and they truly believe that this type of behavior is legitimate and worthy because they are “Christians” and I guess, morally superior to others. I know many people that I consider true Christians and these groups of individuals aren’t one of them.
I am a woman with tattoos and I have had “Christians” tell me that I will go to hell for having them especially since I am a woman. How stupid is this? God doesn’t care if I have tattoos. Why should he? My tats don’t make me any different then when I didn’t have them and I wasn’t tattooed as a kid. I got my first tattoo at age 50 and now at 54 I have three and I am now a very vocal advocate for people with tattoos rights. You may not like tattoos but I’m not forcing them on you as some “Christians” force their beliefs on me. I am personally tired of religious tirades against those of us that don’t fit into their very narrow limits of acceptability.
I use Christians and “Christians” because there is a difference:
A Christian has their religious beliefs and also believes in not shoving them down everyone’s throats and don’t promote hate or discrimination against anyone be they gay, straight, male, female, Christian or non-Christian.
“Christians” believe that only they know what is acceptable and demand everyone else conforms to their ways or they damn you for it.
Which would you rather know? Which one are you?
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