As a teacher, as a public speaker, as a debate coach, and as a blogger, I have made it a rule to always avoid two topics...religion and abortion. They are both very sensitive and very personal issues, and if one addresses them personally than they are not really debatable. My belief (or lack of belief) in a God (or multiple gods) should not matter to anyone else. Most importantly, my beliefs should never be pushed on anyone else as the only valid belief.
My friends encompassed many religions and nationalities during my college days, and our conversations about religion were lively and always fascinating. We visited each other’s places of worship and found many more similarities than differences. As a seeker of knowledge in all areas, I read excerpts of various religious books and came to believe that whether one accepts the reality of God or not, most people find comfort in the practice and traditions of religion.
My issue is with the minority of people who wield religion as a weapon. The people who announce that God will smite those who do not live under said people’s interpretation of their own Bible, seem to be missing the very point of religion. Loving your neighbors doesn’t interpret into “love thy neighbor once you make them into a carbon copy of yourself.” The one thing that I will share about my personal beliefs is that I believe if there truly is a greater being who contributed to the creation of man/woman, than this greater being intended all to have an equal opportunity to live his/her life to the fullest. To spread hatred and attempt to control others under the guise of religion seems to be the biggest sin of all.
Which brings me to my second generally avoided topic...abortion. I usually avoid this topic because I honestly don’t know what to say about it. I truly see both sides of this issue and can’t imagine being faced with the termination of a pregnancy, however, it should be neither a political nor a religious issue. The conflict lies in the fact that a woman must give up her body for the better part of a year in order for the miracle of life to occur. If men could share that burden it might be different. Actually, if men had the possibility of carrying an unplanned pregnancy for nine months I would imagine most of these new laws being put into effect would never see the light of day. In fact, if the man involved in an unplanned pregnancy agreed to raise the child as an unwed dad, it might ease the burden women carry. Perhaps they can enact that law.
It is much easier for someone to sign a bill or vote for a law that protects an embryo or fetus when he never has to bear the burden of that vote. I honestly don’t know where the answer to this issue lies, but I don’t believe it should be thrown around like a political hot potato that is being used to garner votes for one side or the other. The states that recently passed laws that they admit were done to get a chance at overthrowing Roe-vs-Wade will endanger the lives of thousands of women to prove their political prowess.
Somewhere in a room without religion or political gain there is a compromise that both sides can live with, and we better get there soon, because too many women and babies will suffer before reason prevails.
Between the book I read this week, Jane's Baby by Chris Bauer, and the states that are manipulating the Roe-vs-Wade ruling, I guess I felt compelled to throw my two cents where I usually don’t go. It is sad to see so many people battling in a country that always symbolized a peaceful and safe harbor in a storm.
As always a complete review of this book follows my blog.