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Related thoughts

The comments and discussion in yesterday's entry were so stimulating and encouraging to me. Thanks to all. Since I so rarely open those topics here, it can be refreshing and tiring all at once. I'm thankful for friends and readers who are so thoughtful and articulate.

Thinking about all that brought two related thoughts to mind. Since they're in the same vein, I've LJ-cut them so others can take a look if they wish:

One of the things I sometimes hear in talking about abortion is that opponents of its legality shouldn't be more concerned with the lives of the unborn than with lives in, say, Iraq. I'm not sure I agree 100%, but even if I did, I don't think it's wrong or inaccurate to characterize some actions as worse than others, nor does it necessarily mean one life is more valuable than another.

To illustrate, I made an analogy, removed killing from the picture and replacing it with "punching." Killing is worse, no doubt, but sometimes we've developed such strong opinions about current events that we've lost sight of the principles involved. Like all analogies, it only goes so far before failing. It's not intended as a complete analysis; it's an emotional gut check:
I punch another man. He punches me back, and we keep going at it for a couple of years. He and I have threatened each other over and over. We've fought before, too. Pretty much everyone knows he's a bully; lots of people think I am, too. I said I thought he was going to hurt me or someone else, but there's no proof and some people don't believe me. I also said he was helping his friends who jumped me a couple of years ago, but there's no proof and some people don't believe me. I hit him first. It looks like this fight is going to take a long time, and some people question whether I should be in it at all.

I punch a baby. The mother asked me to. After the punch, the mother will never see the baby again, which is why she asked me to punch it. I've been punching babies for 30 years, usually for the same reason. Some say mothers used to have their babies punched in unsafe conditions before me. Almost no one likes that babies are punched, but lots of people believe the freedom for me to do so is very important. I never punch a baby without a mother asking me to, though they are sometimes pressured to and sometimes regret it later.
Did one hit you harder than the other? For me, the answer is a resounding "yes," and that affects my political decisions. If I didn't believe the unborn were actual babies, my position might be different. But seriously, if they weren't lives, no one would have abortions, because there'd be no "problem" to "solve" (avoid/terminate).


Another thing I sometimes hear really ticks me off, and gets close to the heart of the internal conflict of our nation. My summary: "I'm so tired of people who vote based on abortion (or anything I disagree with them on)."

Bite me. Welcome to democracy.

If the union is to survive, we have to remain agreed on the process, even if we disagree on everything else. I may tire of someone's ideas, but I don't tire of their place in the process because of that. I'm not that self-centered. One of the great things about the process is that we can continue to disagree and still vote our consciences. I'm not going to get tired of another person exercising their right to do so.

More and more, I don't think we want democracy so much as we want what we want. We want Burger King, where we can order it off the menu, change what we don't like, and have it in our hands within the next five minutes, unaffected by anyone else and able to send it back if we decide we don't like it. That's what most of us are used to in the rest of our lives, and when democracy doesn't work that way, we stomp and howl and throw a fit. "This isn't the burger I ordered!" "He's not my president!"

Society doesn't work that way, and it makes no sense for us to grow more and more bitter with one another because of it. We can even change the process if we like; that's allowed and often needed. But it will never be a fast-food menu. We're a nation, a community. We vote, and if we aren't in the majority, so be it. Not every policy or candidate is subject to my personal review and approval. Maybe the rest of my daily life has made me come to expect that, but come election time, it's time to get over myself.

Thank God there are still plenty of reminders that I need to do that.

Comments

banzai, why don't we live close to each other?
Because you have to finish seminary before you move to Seattle.
I guess in both of your examples you are in control of who you punch. I'm not sure that is the case in the presidential election.

In my experience, the president, as one person, in one office, as the commander-in-chief, has more control over what bullies we punch than what babies we punch.



Yes, yes....he may appoint justices to the supreme court, but I've heard that for years, and I think that it is going to take a change of the moral fiber of our country....a change in the way we as an entire society *look* at abortion before that change is going to happen. Until the vast majority of US citizens agree with the fact that abortion ends a life that has no voice, there is not going to be a change on the legality of performing abortions.


Abortion laws to some extent are in the hands of the state legislators. This issue is very important to me when I vote for these leaders. Not as important when I'm voting for the commander of our military forces.




Also, I think it's good that you vote the way you feel led to. More people should do it that way.
You're really, really amazing. Seriously.
I agree.
Darn it, I already voted Kerry. :)

*scattered thoughts follow*

Seriously, I hear where you're coming from. However, I look at the quality of a child's life once it is born. Does she have access to the type of health care and education we take for granted? Do her parents have a chance with a job that pays enough to provide for her? If she joines the military, will they be trained and equipped properly as they go to war? Is the water and food she eats safe to drink/eat? Matthew 25. Isaiah 58.

I can't ever imagine any circumstance deciding to have an abortion myself. (well probably rape) I have too many friends and family who have been unable to have children. I tell myself that if a friend were pregnant, I would take her in and help.

But I'm confused by the Christians who will literally go to the ends of the earth to adopt a child while bypassing the needy children here in America.

Then again, I don't know if I want to have children myself.

However, I look at the quality of a child's life once it is born.

Is it our duty to second guess the life that God created?
Excellent.

>Bite me. Welcome to democracy.

LOL! So good and yet hilarious. :-D

Your commentary on life, politics and the spriritual realm never cease to amaze me.
thank you.
"I don't think we want democracy so much as we want what we want."

Hah, I have realized that. It takes a conscious effort to be a good neighbor/citizen/whatever and to submit to the process. If the outcome of this election is something I don't like, well then, I'd better start learning to live with it, and soon!!

A benevolent dictatorship would be nice. :-D
This is why I treasure you.


Vote for Pedro

EXCELLENT ANALOGY! Thanks main.

Re: Vote for Pedro

Have you been to flippinsweettees.com? We need "Vote for Pedro" shirts.
I sat and thought about ways to say how much I agree with this and how profound and really well put it was... but I don't think I can say it any better than I just did.

Thank you for this.
Brilliant entry. How I wish I had written this.