I’m just blowing off steam. I can’t remember a time when I felt so hopeless about the vast majority of humanity. No matter who says what, there are legions of people who are at the ready to deliberately be cruel and completely disinterested in the “idea” that those who believe as they do are just as passionate- and free to do so- as I am with my beliefs. There is absolutely no reason or justification for name calling, belittlement, shaming, or anything else that just makes them sound ‘holier than thou’ and pathetic (whether or not they believe an God- or anything higher than themselves). And yeah, I’m guilty. I’m writing this from a place of pain- sometimes that comes across as anger – but mostly it just hurts. The people I grew up with, especially from church, are no longer people I relate with in many areas, and that saddens me deeply. I know that God knows my heart, and that I’d never opt to go against His will. I do question what humans have done to make Christianity so legalistic.
There is also hypocrisy about many of the ‘hot button’ issues. In this post, I’m focusing on abortion- and being a Christian. I can’t stand the idea of terminating a pregnancy. BUT, I understand why a woman would consider it, after being pregnant as a result of being raped in 1987. I was very naive for a 23 year old and nearly immobilized by the options I had, for the situation I was in. I couldn’t go the abortion route. I just couldn’t do it, because my own values. I never told my mom about the pregnancy- the first question my mom asked me after I called to tell them about the rape was “Are you pregnant?”… like 6 hours after getting out of the ER, and 2 hours after leaving the police department, where I talked with the Sex Crimes detectives, in a hospital gown and gnarly raincoat from the hospital lost and found box. Later, the dementia made it inappropriate to discuss it with my mom. It would have confused her. She had already told people I was moving back to my home to be a truck driver, because all she remembered about my moving back was that I was driving a U-Haul truck.
Adoption was a touchy subject as a viable option (though probably would have been the outcome had things not turned out as they did). I’m an adoptee, and while I landed in a great home, there were always the questions about ‘why’ (I had some idea- young mom, couldn’t keep me… my birth mom and I have a great relationship now), and the sense of “something” missing. And what would I tell a kid later on in life, should he/she come looking for me, about the circumstances of their conception? There is no way to make it sound like they were nothing more than a horrific, felonious mistake. How does someone bring that into the world? I realize that God can do a lot to help someone get through things (believe me, I prayed a LOT during the rape, and it was a huge source of comfort). But what if the kid was not a person of faith, and had no belief system to get through something like that? I would have done all I could to ease the blow- but I would not have lied. Lies don’t ultimately soothe catastrophic pain.
I certainly didn’t want the kid, because of the ‘how do I explain the conception?’ issue, “who is my father?”, and never wanting to have a negative bias towards the child in how I raised and treated it. I didn’t want the reminders of that disgusting day every time I saw the kid’s face, though the child was never at fault. I was frozen in terms of making decisions, but mercifully, God took care of it one morning, with some nasty cramping, and an unceremonious expulsion into the toilet. I saw the placental side, freaked, and hit the flush handle. I was about 12 weeks along. When I told my dad about the pregnancy after I moved back to my hometown (16 years after the rape), he told me he would have sent me the money for an abortion… and he was a member of an evangelical church for about 60 years. He understood the torment of that decision.
I find using abortion as birth control out of laziness or not wanting to be inconvenienced by a child appalling and inexcusable (call that judgement if you want to- I call trivially expelling a pregnancy out of simple personal convenience horribly irresponsible). There are plenty of good sources of birth control- the most reliable requiring a prescription (which makes Panned Parenthood a good source of medical care EXcluding abortions; they have doctors who will see a woman to do a physical exam, do a PAP and screen for STDs, take her medical history, and recommend the safest options to prevent pregnancy- you know… ‘planned’ ). There are inexpensive prescription birth control pills out there, but they require a physician. For those without a family doc, PP is a very good option. I doubt that many right wing Christians will ever believe that (including family and longtime friends) and that’s fine. Maybe some of them will open their homes and pay the medical bills for a woman facing an unplanned /unwanted pregnancy, and help place her child for adoption- maybe keep it until the adoption agency and adoptive parents are sorted out. That’d be great. Unless someone will step up when they remove options, and offer their own solution on an active, personal level, I don’t think that they should have much say in what someone else does.
Condoms are good for a lot of ‘safe sex’ reasons… but they’re not %100 for birth control… still better than nothing- and anybody who has ‘frivolous sex’ with either multiple partners, or one with a known STD, is irresponsible if they don’t keep a stash of more than they think they’ll ever need… At. All. Times. They are very good at preventing many STDs (sexually transmitted diseases- some of which can be fatal, in a prolonged and nasty death, i.e. syphilis is easily treated early on, but can lead to dementia after decades with the untreated disease).
The “morning after pill” is often misunderstood – sometimes for deliberate political purposes, to stoke the fires of misinformation. The morning after pill DOES NOT TERMINATE pregnancy. It prevents implantation. There is no pregnancy without implantation. There is no life without implantation. Many women “miscarry” these unattached zygotes throughout their life, and never know that fertilization ever happened. A fertilized zygote (with the potential to become a baby) is essentially nothing without implantation.
Bottom line: Women are responsible for what goes on in/with/to their bodies when it comes to sexual activity and pregnancy. Don’t do the “well, he should have brought the rubbers”. Nonsense !! If you’re having sex, you are the one who needs to be responsible for the consequences.
About late term abortions… I think this is often misunderstood as well. There are times when ‘pre-term delivery’ (what it is called medically) to end the pregnancy is the only way to save the mother. With neonatal intensive care being what it is now, there are maximum efforts to resuscitate the baby and care for it with the hope that it will survive, and hopefully thrive. Babies as early as 23 weeks are successfully cared for in NICUs. (I’ve heard of a few at 22 weeks, and seen 24 weekers with my own eyes) That’s before the third trimester ! Pre-term deliveries are ONLY for medical emergencies. They are not abortions. (Could there be heinous individuals out there that do them? Yeah- there are heinous individuals who do just about anything… but pre-term deliveries aren’t the same as abortions. Period.). Look at the Duggars and their little Josie… they’re about as conservative as folks come- and they “got it” about the reasons for doing the pre-term delivery because of Mrs. Duggar having eclampsia, which is fatal if the pregnancy is not ended. Pre-term delivery IS the cure. There was never any thought of Josie not getting care. But the ‘far right’ loves to use inflammatory terms to garner support for candidates. Unfortunately, inaccuracies abound, and that just fans the fire. Those that say that the mother dying is “God’s will”, when there is a way to save, her baffle me… to me that is deliberately letting the mother die. God doesn’t give us ways to take care of emergencies and then not expect/allow us to use them. Why lose two lives when you can save one pretty much for sure (nothing is every %100 in medicine), and probably both?
But bottom line about abortion, in my eyes? It’s not my decision to make for someone else. Legislating morality is muddling the religion and state line. We are not a “Christian” country. Many of the founding fathers did have a Christian background, but they were very careful to design our country to separate church and state to avoid legislating morality. We are a country of freedom OF religion. Once we impose Christian values into law, we open the doors to have parts of Sharia law, or Buddhist values, or whatever, into laws for everybody. Laws don’t stop abortion. And just because something is legal doesn’t mean I have to participate! The government isn’t responsible for determining my decisions. I have to answer for my own choices- NOBODY else’s. Again- I don’t like the idea of termination a pregnancy at all. But I’m not going to focus on people I can’t control at the expense of ignoring things that could make a positive difference for more people (cue the “but the baby is a person” folks… yeah, I do believe that there is a blooming human in the uterus- and that’s why I wouldn’t choose to have an abortion myself). What is the benefit of being judgmental over an issue that is between the woman, HER conscience, and God? I can’t live her life. But, I’m also going to extend to her an ear to listen to her fears and conflicts- and gently talk to her about other options, helping in ways that I can. And prayer is always going to be heard… God can direct the outcome.
So where do I find hypocrisy? The same folks who are furiously self-righteous about being pro-life couldn’t care less about the health care availability for the “post-born”. Jesus was ‘into’ taking care of folks medical issues. You know- that whole “Great Physician” term? He didn’t ask if people had a good job with adequate coverage to reimburse Him. He didn’t ask if they were purposely out of work just so they could stay home with bills piling up and no hope of a better life. He didn’t ask if their medical needs were the reason they couldn’t find suitable work. He didn’t deny ‘medicine’ because someone’s prescription drug plan didn’t cover His ‘medicine’. He just healed them out of compassion. Everybody remember that? I know. It’s not talked about much anymore. Compassion isn’t a great political word, so it gets lost.
Matthew 25: 41-46 41“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44“Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45“Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46“These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Yes- those verses talk about visiting the sick, and not healing… check this out:
Ezekiel 34: 11-16. 11“ ‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 13I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. 14I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. 16I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.” It’s all about care, compassion, and bringing the ‘sheep’ together. This is talking specifically about Israel- but I can’t imaging God not wanting those who love His Son to be treated differently. And He will strengthen the weak ! He’ll help the injured. Because of love for His people. In the Old Testament that was directed at the Jewish people. In the New Testament, and after someone makes the choice to believe that Jesus is their Lord and Savior, He extends that to us as Christians as well.
There are SO many other things that are saddening me these days- but this is one of the things that separates me from the people I grew up with. That’s hard, but I’m not going to simply follow the herd when I have strong feelings and thoughts of my own, based in compassion. I became a nurse to help people. I miss that. It’s hard to feel like an outcast- and I don’t anticipate anybody being willing to have a discussion – not to change minds, but simply be heard and maybe even understand a little of where I’m coming from. But I know God does. People who aren’t part of the community I grew up with (at church) understand… but within that church group, I feel like something they’d just as soon throw out with the trash. And that hurts. Lots of talk. No action.
But, whatever. I’m rapidly losing interest with humans in general. It’s “safer” to write here, or just keep the front door locked, and screen calls. But I won’t lie. I’d love to hear someone with the same spiritual background tell me that they ‘get it’. That they understand. And that I’m not “bad”. I realize that in the grand scheme of things, the opinion of a human is pretty meaningless. But it would still be nice to be understood. I do find intense comfort in knowing that God hears my cries, and knows my heart. ❤