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Life Arts    H2'ed 7/7/11

Abortion: Sacred Sanity and a Long Journey

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The
bankrupting of a burgeoning American progressive movement did not only
occur because of its necessarily intense focus on ending a vicious, even
predatory war. Moral bankruptcy occurred when many women participants
found themselves treated as useless unless they were sexually
attractive, cooperative, and when they demanded male responsibility in
sexual matters, cruelty and irresponsibility forced them into their own
movement. Tragically, this women's movement all too often harbored women
who warred on others using ideological excuses to mask the fact that
power was simply too tempting, perhaps too easy amid groups of young
people living emotionally if not geographically far from family without
any real stability in their lives Certainly a society in Constitutional
crisis, if not on the verge of civil war, could provide none.

There
was a tragically mistaken belief within both movements and certainly
society at large, promoted and profited by corporate pimps and whores,
that sex and morality could be separated, making sex a fairly
meaningless encounter in a spiritual sense since morality had usually
been conveyed from one generation to another in religious terms. And
religion seemed to be a poor spokes"man" for morality while relatively
few clergy in authoritative positions dissented from the United States
threatening nuclear war against Russia and dropping napalm on
Vietnamese.

Where
were progressive spiritual leaders when this was going on? Was it
harder to say no to sexual license and exploitation than to the Vietnam
War?

This
abrogation of moral ground by silence at the destruction of America's
frail sexual morality created a vacuum. Perhaps that destruction of our
society's sexual sanity, what little there was, was inevitable when
fear, not love, was often its raison d'etre: fear of ridicule and
ostracism if a woman became pregnant outside marriage, fear of what was
then called venereal disease and a belief that sex outside a sacramental
commitment was wrong and one might be damned for it, or at least
socially ostracized. Religious people who used fear, not love, to impose
a kind of sexual order bear a very heavy burden of responsibility for
the plagues that followed the bursting of repression.

In any case, a vacuum was created. And even political nature cannot tolerate a vacuum for long.

The
vacuum consisted first of a deliberate ignorance of consequence so
pleasure would not be interfered with, pretending consequences could be
controlled by pills and an attitude of "I'm asserting my freedom; so are
you; don't come crying now that you're "liberated'; after all, we're
supposed to be equal, aren't we? So be like me and walk away!"

The
frequently devastating results came walking back, of course, along with
the inevitable societal re-examination once it became clear few seemed
left to catch the kids' kids. Parentless children, divorces and sexually
transmitted diseases began to be a financial and social burden for a
nation feeling for perhaps the first time the limitations of its power
to sustain its sexual greed, even its procreativity; its environmental
abuse in the name of another kind of greed; its ability to conquer its
enemies, even to protect itself and its leaders from the violence which
sometimes seems America's most consistently worshiped religion.

As
in Germany after World War One, we have experienced a humiliating defeat in war
and a vacuum of sexual and financial morality. Our warriors' children
confront smaller financial expectations than their parents and
grandparents. Escalating difficulty in surviving physically amid
violence and surviving financially amid unimaginable price escalation of
basic needs has helped create an atmosphere where the search for a
scapegoat is directed toward those most vulnerable, who are
simultaneously accused of possessing powers of evil far more present in
the accusers. So Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson could accuse feminists
of being responsible for the terrorists' massacre of thousands on
September 11, 2001.

Our
silence, our acquiscense in a sexual war "of each against all", our
lack of empathy for those who might have loved us and whose desire for
closeness we exploited... all this has helped create a vacuum for
cynical men, for I don't believe for a moment that Robertson or Falwell
care about anything but the acquisition of power while pretending to be
saviors. Yet, their exploitation of fear has helped us to the precipice
where abortion, freedom of choice to end a pregnancy, has been
successfully used as a unifier of women who envy other womens' freedom
not to be mothers and perceive "freer" women as a sexual threat; of men
who perceive any form of contraception as a sort of castration; of
racialist men and women who consider abortion an invitation to racial
extinction at a time when Hispanic Americans, not Caucasians, are
approaching majority status. Adaptation of the marital commitment by
gays and Lesbians is seen as an attack on marriage rather than an
affirmation of marriage's ability to strengthen character and courage,
again because of exploited prejudices and fears. How easy it is amid
such fears for hierarchies threatened by the exposure of their own
priests' and advocates' sexual atrocities to turn the spotlight
elsewhere rather than on their own degraded colleagues in the Catholic
and evangelical communities.

Yes,
those who would exploit such fears care only for personal power. This
is proven by their, along with their political representatives'
willingness to sacrifice human lives to unnecessary wars... again. And
again.

What can we do?

First,
we need to admit that not only can a vicious theocracy happen here; it
is already happening and over the next four years, the hold -- on the
Supreme Court and the minds of the fearful -- will likely grow.

In
the face of burgeoning theocracy, with its implications of the
destruction of our freedoms and the inevitable consequences of
deportation, incarceration, torture and death, we must begin by
asserting our moral equality with those who would kill our freedoms. Let
us say that those moralistic haters who speak in the name of the
Abrahamist God are really far removed from that God's love, which has
endowed us with conscience, intelligence and the ability to rely on our
empathy to overcome our shame at what we have both done and tolerated
silently, and the hate that is a defense against such shame.

We
can return to the example of the sixties and build non governmental
progressive institutions which employ at just wages; loan money at just
interest rates to home builders and home owners who wish to nurture what
is left of our physical environment; we can build and nurture
already-existing health care and educational and spiritual entities
which serve with both compassion and ability.

We
can ask those we consider "on the other side" to acknowledge with us
our common sins and ask for forgiveness together. We can ask all
belligerents to identify with those most vulnerable to physical force,
sexual intimidation and sheer unavailability of protection -- in every
sense, from available medical care to an inheritance of parental and
marital brokenness.

These
are the people most likely to abort. They are the most vulnerable to
violence, sexually transmitted diseases, and God help us, the people
most likely to be someone's one-night stand or trick -- including the
educated, the religious, the progressive men (and sometimes women) who
seem to give so much, while taking so much more.

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Kari Ann Owen Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I am a produced playwright,published essayist and doctoral level scholar in religion and literature, living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am also the widow of Silas S. Warner, creator of the original "Castle Wolfenstein".
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