Don’t call yourself pro-life (updated)

I originally wrote this post on October 2, 2017, more than a year ago. It was the day after the tragic Las Vegas shootings.   I really can’t believe that happened over a year ago.  It seems like it was yesterday, but now that we’re living in Trump time, time itself has a way of seeming frighteningly slowed down or speeded up.   In fact, everything seems pretty strange and definitely not normal.   In the two years since Trump was elected, I feel like I’ve aged about ten.

So, here is that post again, with some additions, since so much has happened in a year (way too much to keep up with!).

george-carlin-abortion

Don’t even think about calling yourself pro-life if…

  • You support taking health insurance away from low income, sick, and disabled people.
  • You support abolishing or cutting Medicaid (which covers HALF of all pregnant women and 45 million children).
  • You  support privatizing or cutting Medicare and Social Security.
  • You want to abolish Planned Parenthood, which is NOT an abortion clinic (only 2% of their services are abortion-related) but provides healthcare (including pregnancy care) and birth control information to low income women.
  • You’re OK with a president who allowed CHIP (a health insurance program for low income children who do not qualify for Medicaid) to expire, leaving millions of children uninsured.
  • You support dismantling public schools.
  • You support removing laws that protect college women from on-campus rapists and give more rights to the rapists.
  • You think programs like Meals on Wheels and school lunches are a waste of taxpayer money.
  • You think climate change is a hoax.
  • You support fracking, drilling, and mining on our public lands.
  • You believe in removing laws that protect our air and water against pollution.
  • You think laws that protect consumers from dangerous products and predatory  practices is interfering with free enterprise.
  • You support the death penalty.
  • You support the idea of using torture on suspected terrorists.
  • You believe in detaining documented immigrants, even when it means separating parents from their children.
  • You support deporting refugee mothers and their children, even when it means they could die horribly in their countries of origin.
  • You support deporting productive young people who came here as children with their parents, even when it means sending them back to countries they can’t remember and know nothing about.
  • You think Puerto Ricans who have been devastated by a Category 5 hurricane and have no food, electricity, or drinking water “aren’t doing enough for themselves.”
  • You demand “respect for the flag and the Anthem” but don’t respect people’s right to exercise their First Amendment rights.
  • You’re okay with a president who plays nuclear chicken on Twitter with an unstable rogue nation dictator because his ego is hurt.
  • You think we should “completely destroy” North Korea, even its innocent civilians, women, and children.
  • You’re okay with a president who in all likelihood sold our democracy out to a hostile foreign power.
  • You’re okay with police brutality, especially against people of color.
  • You admire dictators and bullies.
  • You think white supremacy, Naziism, and racism are okay.
  • You’re okay with a president who treats women with disrespect and brags about grabbing their private parts.
  • You don’t see anything wrong with a president who plays golf and complains about NFL players exercising their First Amendment rights when people are dying of thirst and starvation in Puerto Rico.
  • You agree with Trump lifting gun checks on people with mental illness (Las Vegas shooting is a tragic consequence of that).
  • If, even after the Parkland school shooting (and many other school shootings this year), you still don’t believe there should be any age restrictions or background checks for buying guns, and/or you don’t think assault weapons (AR-15s) and bump stocks should be banned.
  • You approve of the Trump policy of separating toddlers and babies from their mothers, and breaking up families as a “deterrent” to other migrants thinking of coming here.
  • You think it’s okay to lock migrants in cages or rip them from their parents or children, even the ones who have come here legally and are only seeking asylum from a much worse situation in their home countries, where their own or their childrens’ lives are in danger.
  • You support the Trump policy of putting migrant children in cages.
  • You believe (as one very sick Republican politician said the other day) a woman who has an abortion should receive the death penalty.
  • You think confirming an alleged sexual predator and rapist who also has an obvious anger management and drinking issues to a SCOTUS seat is acceptable.
  • You always believe a male abuser over a female victim, and think what happened to her is somehow her own fault — or that she is lying.
  • You support a president who looks up to, admires, has secret meetings with, or “falls in love with” brutal dictators of oppressive, authoritarian regimes.
  • You support a president who refuses to put sanctions on or criticize brutal regimes that murder and dismember American residents because he makes a profit from that regime.

I could go on for pages, but I think I made my point.   If you oppose abortion but support any of the things above, you aren’t pro-life.  All you are is a  hypocrite.  Outside of the abortion issue, the Trump regime is the most anti-life group of miscreants, sociopaths, abusers, serial liars, malignant narcissists, traitors, grifters, and criminals I’ve ever seen.

No one has selective empathy only for the unborn.   That makes no sense.  No, the people running this country right now have no empathy.  They are a sociopathic regime headed by a malignant narcissist who uses the abortion issue to pander to his largely right wing evangelical base and keep the support of his dominionist donors.   The only reason this regime wants to overturn Roe v. Wade is to control women (Kavanaugh thinks even birth control should be illegal), NOT to protect the unborn.  They don’t care about the unborn, or anyone else.  All they care about is wealth and power.

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If Doug Jones does this, he will win Alabama.

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I’ve been very worried about the far-right religious demagogue and pedophile Roy Moore winning Alabama.   He and his Democratic opposition, Doug Jones, have been running neck and neck, and even after 9 women spoke up about Moore molesting them (in one case the woman was 14 years old when she was assaulted) and other complaints that Moore stalked teenagers at the mall, Roy Moore still has a better than good chance of winning in his state.  The reason he may still win, even though he is a horrible human being who preys on children, is because of where Roy Moore stands on abortion.

Even though I don’t live in Alabama (thank God), I’m worried about Moore winning because that will mean he’ll be in the Senate, and have greater influence and power.  We do not need religious extremists and unrepentant sexual predators (please don’t bring up Al Franken, because at least he apologized and took responsibility for his actions) like Moore in the US Senate or anywhere close to the federal government.

So I had a kind of brainstorm this morning.    Because so many Alabamans care so much about abortion, and vote on that one issue (even over homosexuality), Doug Jones needs to run on the abortion issue, and it doesn’t matter that he happens to be pro-choice.     He can make an excellent case why he’d be the better pro-life candidate (and why the Democratic Party is also the more pro-life party at the end of the day).

As it stands now, religious Alabamans will vote for Roy Moore because they believe Doug Jones is soft on abortion and therefore against God.  It doesn’t matter to them that Moore is himself an immoral man who preys on children and blasphemes Jesus when he justifies his molestation of a 14 year old by saying that Mary was only 14 when she was impregnated by Joseph (whatever happened to their belief in the Virgin Birth?).  No, they will still vote for Moore because of his anti-choice stance.

But here’s something to ponder.  It is a statistical fact that 50% — HALF! — of all births in America are paid for by Medicaid, which also covers children’s healthcare after they are born.  That’s a lot of babies that might have been aborted without Medicaid (and other support programs for mothers and their children).   Republicans like Roy Moore want to cut Medicaid or eliminate it altogether, as well as cut or eliminate other services that make it possible for poor women to have and raise their children.

If a poor woman loses or cannot access Medicaid, food stamps, and other services that help her and her unborn baby, both during pregnancy and after, do you think she is going to have the baby anyway without medical and other support?  No!  She is most likely going to choose abortion.  Most abortions in the US are done for financial reasons. Most women having abortions aren’t married middle or upper class women — they’re usually poor or very young women who have no health coverage and no support system in which they can raise their child.   If you refuse her Medicaid and support services, is she just going to say, “Hey, well, ok, I guess I’ll just give birth at home in my bathtub!”   Of course not.  This isn’t 1700.

Sure, there are a few women who can afford a child and have abortions because they just don’t want another child (or any at all), but they are in the minority. Even if abortion was outlawed, rich women would “take a trip to Europe” just like they did in the 1950s.

Facing an unplanned pregnancy is scary enough as it is.  If you have no money to afford prenatal care, labor and delivery, and medical care for the baby, and there is no support system that can help you, that’s even more terrifying.  Again, half of all births are funded by Medicaid. So if that is taken away or cut, most if not all of those poor women are NOT going to decide to have their babies in the bathtub.  It’s a lot easier to come up with $600 or $800 or so for an abortion than find the money for hospital care.  Even the poorest woman can usually get that kind of money in a pinch, even if she has to borrow it or use a payday lender.

Abortion rates have ALWAYS gone up during GOP administrations, when services like food stamps, Medicaid and family planning are cut.   Most women, when faced with other alternatives to abortion and given support, will choose to have their baby.  Cut off their support system and access to healthcare, more abortions.   It makes perfect sense.

Even though most Democrats are “pro-choice,” there are fewer abortions under Democratic administrations when access to family planning and healthcare and other services are more available.  This has been proven statistically.  Railing on about abortion being evil and then offering no alternatives to a desperate pregnant woman, especially if she’s poor, does absolutely nothing except shame and traumatize her.

Even if abortion were outlawed, desperate pregnant women who can’t afford a sudden “European vacation” would go to back alley butchers just like they did in the 1950s.  Illegal abortionists would pop up like mushrooms after a storm.   Women who are desperate are still going to get abortions even if they’re illegal, if no other support is given.

I really think if Doug Jones runs on this platform, and stresses the fact that abortions increase under GOP policies and decrease under Democratic policies, I think he could win over some if not most of the pro-life Christians.  Let’s face it.   Doug Jones seems like a good man and a nice person and unlike Roy Moore, I believe he actually cares about the people of Alabama, and he cares about women and children.    If pro-life Christians, many who vote on the abortion issue alone, could realize that Jones is actually the much more pro-life candidate at the end of the day, I definitely think they would vote for him  over an extremist, dishonest sexual predator like Roy Moore.

I’m actually going to send the link to this article to Doug Jones and urge him to address this issue in his campaign, because I think he’d win.  It’s important he wins so we don’t get someone like Roy Moore in the Senate.

Don’t call yourself pro-life…

george-carlin-abortion

Don’t even think about calling yourself pro-life if…

  • You support taking health insurance away from low income, sick, and disabled people.
  • You support abolishing or cutting Medicaid (which covers HALF of all pregnant women and 45 million children).
  • You  support privatizing or cutting Medicare and Social Security.
  • You want to abolish Planned Parenthood, which is NOT an abortion clinic (only 2% of their services are abortion-related) but provides healthcare (including pregnancy care) and birth control information to low income women.
  • You’re OK with a president who allowed CHIP (a health insurance program for low income children who do not qualify for Medicaid) to expire, leaving millions of children uninsured.
  • You support dismantling public schools.
  • You support removing laws that protect college women from on-campus rapists and give more rights to the rapists.
  • You think programs like Meals on Wheels and school lunches are a waste of taxpayer money.
  • You think climate change is a hoax.
  • You support fracking, drilling, and mining on our public lands.
  • You believe in removing laws that protect our air and water against pollution.
  • You think laws that protect consumers from dangerous products and predatory  practices is interfering with free enterprise.
  • You support the death penalty.
  • You support the idea of using torture on suspected terrorists.
  • You believe in detaining documented immigrants, even when it means separating parents from their children.
  • You support deporting refugee mothers and their children, even when it means they could die horribly in their countries of origin.
  • You support deporting productive young people who came here as children with their parents, even when it means sending them back to countries they can’t remember and know nothing about.
  • You think Puerto Ricans who have been devastated by a Category 5 hurricane and have no food, electricity, or drinking water “aren’t doing enough for themselves.”
  • You demand “respect for the flag and the Anthem” but don’t respect people’s right to exercise their First Amendment rights.
  • You’re okay with a president who plays nuclear chicken on Twitter with an unstable rogue nation dictator because his ego is hurt.
  • You think we should “completely destroy” North Korea, even its innocent civilians, women, and children.
  • You’re okay with a president who in all likelihood sold our democracy out to a hostile foreign power.
  • You’re okay with police brutality, especially against people of color.
  • You admire dictators and bullies.
  • You think white supremacy, Naziism, and racism are okay.
  • You’re okay with a president who treats women with disrespect and brags about grabbing their private parts.
  • You don’t see anything wrong with a president who plays golf and complains about NFL players exercising their First Amendment rights when people are dying of thirst and starvation in Puerto Rico.

If you oppose abortion but support the things above, you aren’t pro-life.  All you are is a  hypocrite.

ETA: Since last night’s tragic Las Vegas shooting, I would like to add one more:   Don’t call yourself pro-life if you agree with Trump lifting gun checks on people with mental illness.

Fake Christianity.

I have a problem.  I’m ashamed to admit I’m a Christian.    That’s because these days, open-minded, compassionate, tolerant people with a conscience give you side-eye if you tell them you’re a Christian.   They assume you embrace the far right values that many (if not most) churches today are teaching — values that embrace hatred, fear, paranoia, intolerance, xenophobia, homophobia, sexism, racism, authoritarianism, nationalism (as opposed to true patriotism) and — incredibly — greed (according to many Calvinist teachings, God rewards those who “live good lives” — the select He has already chosen — financially and materially).   According to many fundamentalist and charismatic churches (especially of the Dominionist or prosperity-gospel type), if you’re poor or sick or aren’t “blessed” in this life, then you are not favored by God and will suffer eternal torment in Hell after living a life of hell.     It’s unbelievable they can worship a God who is that cruel.

I’ve doubted for a long time that the far right “Christians” who run the nation are actually Christian at all, because their values seem to be in direct opposition to anything Jesus taught.    They follow Ayn Rand’s teachings more closely than those of Christ.  The reality is that it’s simply not possible to embrace Ayn Rand’s philosophy of selfishness and also be a Christian.  They are diametrically opposed.

Last night my doubts turned to certainty, after I watched in horrified astonishment as the GOP held a party at the  White House’s Rose Garden to celebrate their “victory” — a victory that, if it passes Senate — will destroy the lives or bankrupt tens of millions of average Americans and kill many, including innocent children and people with pre-existing conditions.    I don’t have to go into everything that is wrong with this bill, because it would fill an entire page.  That information is readily available elsewhere.   But the spectacle of watching these rich white thugs drinking beer and partying after such a devastating bill passed the House, convinced me once and for all that these monsters are not only not Christian, they are absolutely, unapologetically evil.     They may quote from the Bible and go to church and bloviate on about abortion and homosexuality, but they worship the god of Mammon.   They have sold out the American people they are supposed to serve in exchange for even more tax breaks for themselves and those just like them.  They are relentless in their cruelty and their greed is never satiated.  No matter how wealthy they become, they want more and more and more.   Last night I sat, horrified, watching these — beings (I hesitate to call them human) — toast each other and laugh about how they had stuck it to the rest of us who don’t have a prayer of ever having their kind of power and material wealth.    They were celebrating the fact that they were placing real lives at risk.  I turned off the TV, sickened and enraged and terrified by what I had seen.

No matter what they say, these are not good people or Christian people.  They walk on the side of darkness and their hearts are black and empty.   You can see it in their cold, dead eyes and their cruel, twisted smiles.    They use Christianity as a way to cloak how dark their souls really are — and as a way to get even more power.  Over a period of several decades starting in the 1970s, they have systematically co-opted Christianity as a means to win gullible and less-educated people (mostly in red states) over to their side.  They have persuaded them their way is the only moral way, the only American way, the only Christian way.  But it’s all lies.  Using Christianity as a selling point is a brilliant tactic to gain even more money and power because it works like a charm.   Using Christianity this way, these conscienceless criminals and power brokers have been able to hijack a nation and now have complete control of every branch of government.   But still, it’s not enough.  They want more, and more, and more.

Now their real work begins:  dismantling everything good this nation ever stood for — discouraging and suppressing and ultimately destroying our freedoms and our  opportunities and our rights and our safety nets.    Their real goal is to create misery, chaos, despair, hopelessness, illness and suffering (both mental and physical — with no means to alleviate it), ignorance, poverty, strife, cruelty, slavery, and death.  Lots and lots of death.   It’s become increasingly obvious to me that their real agenda is to thin the herd.   They used to try to hide this ugly reality, but they don’t even try very hard anymore.   It’s all but out in the open for anyone who opens their eyes and ears.   Their excuses for the horrible things they do are transparent to all but the most obtuse (or brainwashed) person.  With every decision they have made, every executive order signed, every bill rammed through without ever asking once how the people feel about it, every lie they tell, they show their contempt for humanity, especially those who tell the truth or who are vulnerable and defenseless.

But it’s much more than just a show of contempt. They really are trying to kill off or silence the most vulnerable Americans — the poor (this includes the middle class and so their decimation will take a bit longer), the sick, the unwanted, the elderly, the disabled, the mentally ill (mental illness won’t be covered under this new bill but now the mentally ill can go out and buy guns — hmm, I wonder what message they are being sent?), immigrants, women, children, the unconventional, the artists, the dreamers, the truth-tellers, the whistle-blowers, and all the people who believe in justice and fairness and kindness and compassion and inclusion and opportunity and clean air and water and safe and healthy food.   They want us all gone, and as soon as possible.  Their “healthcare” bill is nothing less than slow mass genocide of those who aren’t useful to them.   They have even said so much.  If you protest against this mistreatment and yes, abuse — they scream about socialism and how the “liberal media” is destroying America.  Again, lies.   Under our new president, the lying and gaslighting has become so bad that lies are now facts, and facts are ‘fake news.’   Twisting the language and spinning lies into some kind of alternate reality is the way dictators gain their power — and it’s evil.  There’s nothing remotely Christian about what they do.

I saw this comment today under an article about the the cruel GOP healthcare bill that explains the fake “Christianity” behind such a move:

God sent Joshua to kill every man, woman, and child to take the land of the Canaanites.  The Bible is clear that sometimes God requires His people to commit genocide.

 

That’s the mentality we’re up against.  No mention of how Jesus healed the sick (without demanding payment or refusing due to inability to pay),  was friends with the downtrodden,  loved the poor and the disabled and the old and the ill, and warned about greed and what happens to those who worship money and power.    No, because all those things are “socialism” and to them, socialism is the greatest evil.     To them, socialism is “theft” from those who “earned” their riches — often through no effort of their own.

It wasn’t always this way.   There was once a time when Christianity leaned more to the left.   This used to be called the “social gospel,” something you rarely hear about anymore, though very recently there’s been a resurgence of left wing Christianity among those who can see through the false Christianity that’s pushed down our throats by the far right.  Peaceful Christian groups like the Quakers and Sojourners ministered to the poor, sick and others  in need — expecting nothing in return.  Mainstream Christian churches such as the Methodist or Episcopalian church held similar values.  Sure, things like abortion, homosexuality, and sex outside marriage were frowned upon or even forbidden, but the overall message of Christianity was one of love, compassion, and caring for those less fortunate.  Some Christians — and some (mostly mainstream) churches – still embrace this message, but the ones that were able to influence our current leaders are those that do not — and instead preach the prosperity gospel and a theology of exclusion (you’re going to hell if you are not “predestined” or chosen by God), fear (of hell and punishment on earth) and hatred (of anyone whose beliefs differ).

Starting in the late 1970s, a group called the Moral Majority began to change the political landscape, which until that time worked for the most part.   They funneled money to the GOP and the GOP knew a good deal when they saw it.  They realized they had to use Christianity to win over more supporters and soon, politicians were spouting Bible verses and talking about how schools should stop teaching evolution (or any science at all) and railing about abortion, and later, blaming those afflicted by poverty or disease for their “bad choices” or immoral behavior that led to their problems.   They preached about America being a Christian nation — when it was becoming anything but.     At the same time, the churches that had influenced the GOP were now telling their members that if they didn’t vote for so-and-so GOP politician, they were going to hell.    I have no doubt that fear of eternal damnation being constantly drummed into their minds and hearts by their pastors had a lot to do with why so many religious red staters switched from Democrat to Republican, since most would never benefit from the policies they were voting for.

Make no mistake — although they may talk endlessly about their Christianity and be able to spout Bible verses, these compassionless rulers aren’t pro-life and they don’t care about family values.    Railing on about how horrible abortion is, but denying healthcare to low and middle income pregnant women (by making pregnancy a pre-existing condition and putting pregnant women in a “high risk pool” where premiums will be astronomical) is going to make it financially impossible for many women to afford prenatal care.   For many of these women, abortion (which is far less expensive than prenatal care and labor and delivery) may seem like their only choice, so the number of abortions will skyrocket.   For those who courageously opt to have their child without the benefit of healthcare,  they will run the risk of themselves or their babies dying in childbirth — it might as well be 1917, not 2017.

Their anti-life stance goes way beyond the abortion issue.   Many of the newly uninsured will include families with children.     Last week, Jimmy Kimmel gave an emotional speech about his newborn son who had a serious heart problem.   In his moving plea, he talked about the fact that, while he is wealthy enough to have afforded healthcare for his son, even under the GOP plan, taking away healthcare from average and poor families will cause many children and babies who are sick to die.   Any bill that will force a parent of average or low income to have to face their own child’s preventable death just because they can no longer afford healthcare is both cruel and evil.

Pro-life isn’t just about babies and children.   Pro-life means preserving and enhancing lives no matter what your age or income.   Forcing older people, the unemployed, the disabled, the poor, and the sick off healthcare is sentencing them to possible preventable illness, pain, and death.   The powerful “Christians” in charge of things now think nothing about bombing other countries regardless of whether innocent civilians — including women and children — are killed or maimed.  Free public education, organizations like the EPA that protect our air and water, arts and humanities programs, federal grant programs that help kids afford college, access to scientific information about our climate and environment, organizations that help families and children thrive, and numerous other organizations that preserve and promote quality of life are all being threatened.   Their deliberate destruction is nothing short of abuse, as is the suppression of freedom of speech and truth in reporting.    To be pro-life, you must care about all human life.  To care only about the unborn and then callously offer no support or help to the already born — or rip away what support systems they have — isn’t pro-life, it’s pro-birth and anti-life.    Unfortunately, many people who are less educated or lack critical thinking skills are one-issue voters, and always vote for the anti-abortion candidate no matter what their stance on other issues — even though the pro-choice candidate may actually be the more pro-life one when you step back and view the big picture.

We live in dark times, and whistleblowers and truth tellers are increasingly in danger because they threaten to expose the real agenda of the sociopaths and abusers who have hijacked our country and hold it hostage.    Lying is their specialty.  Why would they make an exception and tell the truth about Christianity?   Look at their actions, not their words. These are fake Christians who only worship money and power.  If it’s the Enemy who’s behind far right “Christianity,” then he’s giving it a very bad reputation, and that’s precisely his intention — and to create shame in the act of calling yourself a Christian, which is what I’m struggling with these days.

***

I want to share this article someone just shared with me.   It was written by a therapist who has many patients traumatized by this president. She uses DBT principles to help them cope.   I think people may find this article as helpful as I did.

How to Stay Sane if Trump is Driving You Insane.

The hypocrisy of the “pro-life” stance.

Catholic nun Sister Joan Chittister is making a lot of sense here, and I couldn’t agree more. It’s fine to be pro-life, but if you are, then for God’s sake, care about the children who don’t get to choose whether they are born or not, and all too often are abused because their parents lack the emotional and financial resources to be able to care for them properly.

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