This is why, ultimately, I have to be pro-choice. When we look at the anti-abortion hardline position of zero abortions, anywhere, we lose out on those performed to save the life of the mother. We also potentially criminalize miscarriages, which has happened already in jurisdictions with strict anti-abortion laws on the books.
So, no, I’m opposed to strict anti-abortion measures. I’m also more inclined to align with the pro-choice group on issues of better access to prenatal care, better postnatal health care for both mother and children, and better financial assistance programs overall – and those measures remove demand for abortions through improving the lives of both the parents and the children. Pro-choice groups also tend to be pro-teacher and pro-universal child care, which a nation without abortions would need lots more of.
My church’s position is clear: it is opposed to abortion, except in the cases where the life of the mother is endangered, rape, incest, or when postnatal survival is in serious doubt. But not even those exceptions are permitted in a hardline anti-abortion position, so I must align with the pro-choice people. Not allowing those exceptions is tyranny: not advocating for better health care, education, and child care is unchristian cruelty.
In my faith, there is a scripture that outlines what we see as the correct relationship balance with human free will, government authority, and church authority. I have linked that scripture, below and following my remarks.
In reading it today, I was impressed upon by the words “equity and justice” in verse 3. Being also constrained to “judge righteous judgment” elsewhere in the scriptures, and being admonished to not blithely say “all is well in Zion”, I take those words as a solemn enjoinder to take seriously and with great weight the cries of those who claim oppression and persecution, remembering in their cries those of my own ancestors.
Even those uttering cries of oppression and persecution condemn those who turn to rioting and violence: therefore, let not my consideration of those cries be tainted with associating them with lawlessness. Millions continue to speak lawfully and peacefully, and their cries are justified.
A necessary first step in equity and justice is in hearing honestly reports of the plight of the oppressed. The necessary second step is to be so moved as to no longer accept things as they are, but to strive for the changes in laws necessary so as to establish equity and justice.
I had a discussion in which someone brought up a concern of about 6000-8000 deceased voters having voted in the last 2 elections. These numbers came from a report from the Public Interest Legal Foundation. The PILF is a Republican-backed group that goes around suing states and counties to force them to purge voter databases that result in hundreds of thousands to millions of minority voters losing their votes. Talk about straining at a gnat and swallowing a mule… worse, the PILF has been sued itself multiple times – and lost – for failing to produce substantive evidence for its own suits, as well as for violating the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and – brace yourselves – the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871.
That’s right. The Republicans back a group that violates the KKK Act. Go look it up, it’s interesting. You learn something every day, and I bet you didn’t bank on learning about the KKK Act.
The more people try to convince me that the Republicans aren’t shot through with substantial numbers of racists, the more I come across information like this that I wasn’t previously aware of that actually shows that I had previously underestimated the rampant racism in that political organization.
And the more I find gems like the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 and the group that goes around violating it, all in the name of law and order and keeping our voter records white and shiny.
A riot is the language of the unheard. It is as necessary to condemn the conditions which cause persons to feel that they must engage in riots as it is to condemn the riots. Riots do not develop out of thin air.
Give the unheard a voice – give them the vote. When we hear of plans to “clean up” voter databases and how they unfairly target minorities, year in, year out, we are hearing plans to set our cities on fire as well as plans to bear down unjustly upon people because of racial discrimination. If you condemn riots, then condemn as well the political practices that lead to those riots.
49 of 50 state Republican Parties, with the blessing and guidance of the national Republican Party, engage in voter suppression measures that target minorities. If you do not want riots, do not support the politicians that sow the seeds of rioting in their white supremacist-derived policies. In Dr. King’s day, it was much less clear on how to determine which politicians would support equality and which ones would support racial discrimination. Party lines and regional lines did not entirely line up with one side or the other. Today, it is much clearer: The Democratic Party moves to end racial discrimination and the Republican Party moves to preserve it. Look at the legislative record, it tells a truth that is stark and plain.
I have been told in no uncertain terms by my faith leaders to be active in working to end racial discrimination. I cannot be true to that charge and cast a vote for a Republican politician at the same time. I must choose, and I choose to end racial discrimination.
Twice in two days (and possibly more, as I still need to watch other Saturday sessions of General Conference), a member of the Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been unequivocal in stating that if we, the followers of Jesus Christ, are to do the will of God, it is to do so by including all our brothers and sisters and rejecting doctrines and practices of racism and racial discrimination.
He did not call us to support the Second Amendment. He did not call upon us to overturn Roe v Wade. He called us to work to end racism.
To me, it was clear that President Oaks spoke the words of a servant of God – he promoted peace, understanding, and striving towards eliminating the evils in our laws. He did not plaster over the problems of racism, including those in the USA’s history and laws. While he spoke against violence, he absolutely did not speak against protest.
He clearly condemned those who would favor a violent solution. He did not equivocate or wink to one side or another. The man ready to grab a rifle to support one ideology or another is in danger of doing the work of the Destroyer, not of God.
President Oaks also made comments that, at their heart, agreed with the protests against racism and racial discrimination in law enforcement as well as law – and that such racism and racial discrimination requires of us, followers of Jesus Christ, to do more to root out and remove from our nation’s governance. We cannot assume that because we live in the USA and that there was a Civil War and that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream that we live in a racially just society and that those who speak of oppression and discrimination are being disingenuous, somehow seeking an unfair advantage. No, the cries of oppression and discrimination that we hear are real, and it is incumbent upon us, as followers of Jesus Christ, to move to end such things.
President Oaks did not underline any other issue in his comments – and I would remark that Mormon’s comments in 4 Nephi underlined the same issue, and no other, as being the undoing of the peace and happiness of the people made as one under Christ.