12 January 2006

Philosophizing

I was reading another blog yesterday, by interweb friend Julia which really cracked me up. She was writing about the difficulty of finding and maintaining friends as an adult. We all have friends that we've known since we were 4 or thereabouts, but how many friends have YOU made since you left college? Me; maybe 3. And that's IF you count those casual acquaintances that you occasionally exchange e-mails with or if you run into them in a bar you'd stop to say, "What's up". Julia's a great writer, check her out. She always makes me laugh with her lightning wit. This post, though, was really timely b/c my best friend from high school and I had just been discussing this. What's a girl to do? Work really really hard at it, is all I’ve been able to figure out.

I was getting philosophical because I read Julia's posts all the time about her infertility, and I had another note from Rachel at NARAL.org where she was saying that 7 out of 10 hits she gets when she searches for NARAL lead her to sites that say anyone with any affiliation to NARAL are baby-killing whores. Egad. But then anyone who randomly reads my stuff and does not know me IRL might wonder why on earth I'd be interested in someone's infertility woes. So I thought I'd clear up my whole point of view on the abortion battle and where I stand politically.

Simply stated, I'm a liberal who believes in the death penalty, but nothing's ever simple, is it? OK, take it a step down from there. I detest our current president for many many many reasons, but the first one on the list is that the man can't SPEAK PROPER ENGLISH. I don't even have to post any "bushisms", I know you can think of at least half a dozen without my help where he has mangled the English language. He is at least smart enough to surround himself with very smart people, but I can't say that I see eye to eye with many of them either. Condee Rice, for a prime example, irritates me beyond words. Donald Rumsfeld, when he tells reporters at the Pentagon, "That's a stupid question." makes my blood boil. Next high on my list of reasons to dislike "W" is his faith-based initiatives. Hasn't he ever heard of separation of church and state??!?!? The country was FOUNDED on that principle. I never discuss my own faith...but a look at my links and you'll figure out where I fall on the religion thermometer. I was raised Catholic, and married in the Catholic Church. I don’t agree with very much of the Church’s teachings, such as a woman’s proper place, the inability of priests to marry, the fact that women can’t preach, their stance on abortion, palliative care, or right to die cases like Terry Schivo’s, but for better or worse, that’s my church. I’ve never found another faith that I feel as “at home” in, and believe me, I’ve looked. Ahem. I digress. My next item up for bid on the “Bad W” scale is his lack of regard for the federal park system. He’s eroded lots of protections that Clinton put in place for federally protected lands. Don’t get me wrong; I think Bill Clinton behaved reprehensibly while in office. I liked what he did as president, but hated the scandals. Then there’s the whole war in Iraq, which I don’t agree with either. You might think that would be first on my list, but it isn’t. I should perhaps have my own squad of the grammar police, because that’s more bothersome, somehow, than his propensity to declare war on small countries. (I never said I was completely sane…)

When September 11th happened, I called my family in Sweden to let them know I was OK. Yes, I live in Ohio, and none of the attacks happened here, but I don’t talk to them very often on the phone, and for all they know, I could be moving about the country at any time, or be anywhere. So I called to say, hey, I’m OK, and of course to sob to them what a horrible tragedy it was, because you’d have to be an idiot to have NOT been impacted by the attacks. I will never forget what my host mother said to me. “Do you think it will come to war”, she asked, so hesitantly. “Yes”, I told her, “I’m sure it will.” “But it won’t solve anything. It won’t bring them back. They’ll still be dead. Dropping bombs won’t change that.” She sounded so sad. You have to understand that the Swedes have neutrality in their very veins. Fighting, as far as they’re concerned, is NEVER the answer. And she is so right. All those very young US soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, all that’s done is brought more sorrow. It hasn’t made the world a safer place for Americans…on the contrary, the last time I was in Europe in 2003, I hesitated when someone would ask me about my accent (cause they know that I ain’t a Swede from the first words I speak, but they don’t know exactly what I is, either. My accent’s kinda f-ed up.:-) {grammatical errors intentional} to identify myself as coming from the US. If I thought that they’d get mouthy with me, I told them that I was Canadian. Add the fact that most of Europe is anti-Bush, anti-war, to the tidbit that my darling husband is a raging conservative and we NEVER speak politics except to disagree, and you have a fine recipe for a shouting match. Something to be avoided while I’m trying to visit my second homeland, cause I don’t get there too often.

I didn’t like when W started talking regime change, because that’s such a slippery slope. Do I think the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power? Yep. But do I think that we ought to go about changing regimes all over the world that we don’t like? No. Let’s say that he next decides that he isn’t crazy about the German Chancellor. Or the president of Fiji. Who gets to decide when “regime change” is appropriate?

And then there’s the fact that he’s said he wants people on the federal bench who share his religious right leanings. The first time I got into an argument about abortion, I was 10. Someone I was in the 5th grade with thought that even in cases of rape or incest that abortion was still wrong. Don’t get me started about THAT one. But I have always thought that it is such a personal decision, that YOU can’t choose for ME. Faced with an unwanted pregnancy, I just don’t know what I would do. In my early 20s, well, I wasn’t sure then either. But now, I’m over 30, married, have a stable job, he does too, and I’d be less likely to NOT want a child. I just want to make the choice myself. There are so many children that I see through my work who are abused, or unwanted, that I think the decision to bring a child into the world should be a deliberate, conscious thought out procedure. In a perfect world. Hahaha. I think that there ought to be a test, that you should be able to care for a plant, then a pet, then maybe a baby. That you ought to have to take parenting classes. That you should at least get some instruction before you’re responsible for another human being. And if you give birth to your 6th baby that is addicted to cocaine, well, maybe you shouldn’t be allowed to have any more. The reason that I like to read about Julia’s infertility is that I know she’s a great mommy, and when I have bad work days, it is nice to see that there are still folks out there in the wider world who desperately would love to have a child, healthy or not. When I was 19, many moons ago, I had an OB/GYN tell me that I have endometriosis, and that I might not ever be able to conceive. If I do, by some miracle, it would be unlikely that I would be able to carry the child to term. At 19, that didn’t bother me much. It still doesn’t; after all, I’ve had 12 years to get used to the idea. And if I someday decide to stop ignoring the loud ticking of the biological clock, I may face some of the same ordeals that Julia has. That voice of experience counts for a lot. Plus, she’s really funny. And her super-precocious kiddo is a hoot to read about. I see no psychosis whatsoever in believing in abortion rights and hoping that someone I’ve never met succeeds this time in trying for another pregnancy.

A little bit like how I’m a liberal who believes in the death penalty. But that’s a story for another day. Cheers!

1 comment:

becca said...

condee rice....aka...condasleeza...
hehehe.