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July 7, 2011

Abortion: Sacred Sanity and a Long Journey

By Kari Ann Owen

This article unites theological and personal reflections in a cry for mercy for all persons challenged by this immense dilemma, to which there are no easy answers.

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When I became pregnant accidentally in 1989, I was told that the medication I had to take for a chronic and lifelong illness was contraindicated for pregnancy. The state in which I was living paid for a therapeutic abortion and then a tubal ligation, which I had because I would never be able to have a safe and uncompromised pregnancy.

Both were necessary for the following reasons:

    The man with whom I had sex was not only irresponsible about birth control but did not have enough weighing in his favor to be a lifetime partner. In fact, after that last act of intercourse, he disappeared,  appearing one more time and never again.

    My birthfamily had a history of sudden and frequently fatal heart attacks, with and without pre-determining factors like smoking and obesity. This history of myocardial infarction and angina goes back many generations. My sister and I had been at one end of the telephone at ages sixteen and ten respectively when slender Uncle Mac died at the other end of the telephone wire. He was in his fifties, as was my equally slender and tenderly optimistic Cousin Frances when she also was struck down permanently by myocardial infarctions. I resolved to deny even the possibility of this traumatizing terror infecting yet one more generation.

    The birthfamily with whom I spent the first fifteen years of my life contains three people who were sexually abusive to me while I was a minor. I am the fourth. Violent behavior and emotional abuse are identifiable in two of four grandparents, both parents and my only sibling, an older sister. It was time also to end this history.

    I could not financially support a child, abled or disabled, and had I elected to go through with the pregnancy, not only would the fetus, had it survived the nine months, been physically compromised but would have been born into poverty, resentment of the poverty and the possible presence of an irresponsible father whose own father had been an alcoholic. It would also have been a welfare case, and I did not and do not believe in foisting my avoidable mistakes onto society.

These are overwhelming reasons for both my abortion and tubal ligation.

I have never been entirely satisfied with them.

For I feel guilty about "taking a life", even if the "life" was hardly a developed human being, photographically resembling a red amoeba covering half a dinner plate. Yet, I have always in some sense believed I killed someone, because the fetus was a human being in potentia, a living being however small.

Should  I feel guilty? No. A tiny group of cells is not a fully developed human being.

But all my life I have regarded myself as monstrous and criminal, not for having performed any criminal act or had any criminal tendencies, but simply for having existed as a rejected being. I was neither wanted nor loved in my family, and my presence itself seemed a drain and a literal lightning rod for a hate I can, even at age fifty five, barely begin to grasp. This hate, sometimes physical, always verbal and emotional, sometimes sexual is something I used to blame on myself until I recognized the root of my own irrational shame: I believed that my so-called obesity was an incitement to incest, that when my father forced his way into the bathroom when I was seven to look at me naked against my will, it was my fault because fat girls were supposed "early developers", and so of course I was generically sluttish, Jezebelian, evil (as in Eve? Is that what I learned in Jewish Sunday school, where we should have been taught a positive faith?). Perhaps I believed at the same time that if it were my fault, my fat's fault, then I could control my father's sexual sadism by becoming thin, which was supposed to be within my power. (It never was, and my obesity became morbid and ended with a gastric bypass operation in 2000, and not until then.)

Believing I could control anyone's behavior, especially a powerful and violent parent, makes about as much sense as my Catholic friend's mother implying I was not a virgin because horseback riding may have broken my hymen.

No one ever told me as a child that my so-called obesity was hardly as extreme as the way I was treated by family and peers and some "adults". There was slenderness and there was social death, nothing else. No one told me or my parents or teachers or camp counselors or "peers" that fat storage was how my body reacted to an infantile bout with celiac disease and resulting nutritional deprivation, which often results in caloric conservatism. In other words, my body permanently panicked and made every calorie count, possibly several times over.

I recognize this now, although I still feel in some part of my mind guilty and stupid and sluttish for having been fat at all, and once pregnant. Pregnancy outside marriage was supposed to be my fault, any girl's or woman's fault, making me, any female stupid and sexually aggressive at the same time. Like fatness, unmarried and unintended pregnancy meant the greatest of all American sins: revealed lack of self-control over pleasure-giving impulses, particularly in females, who were expected to give eternally, never wanting anything but to serve someone else's emotional, sexual, financial prosperity. And to always maintain a controlled exterior, so the truth of our sexual and emotional realities would never threaten anyone by asserting our equality as living persons in all spheres of life.

At age fifty-five, I am capable of recognizing that no one is born to serve and no one is born a "slut". And just what is a slut? An adult woman who has a need to be touched in deep places, not only emotionally but physically, and refuses to wait for a satisfaction which may never come, in a society where divorce and domestic violence seem more likely than lasting love? An adult who refuses to wait for a fantasy to materialize can map a responsible and ethical route, I hope, although I doubt that genuinely responsible intimacy can occur outside a spiritually affirmed commitment.

Whatever my or anyone's doubts or opinions, adults can and must have the right to decide what private and consensual behavior is right, or wrong. But a child cannot with full awareness consent to sex. Therefore no child should be judged sexually, either as slut or sexual reject. No person should.

Why does our society allege itself to be a moral model for the rest of the world -- decent, democratic, welcoming all races, religions, all who are needy, the scourge of dictators and protector of the needy -- while sexualizing its own children (as well as adults) by using  the cruelest possible corporate marketing convenience: the threat of social rejection if one isn't perceived as sexually enticing, meaning acceptable?  Who, once exposed, could not, would not internalize this perversity, particularly a vulnerable and rejected child? And if that child is convinced that she is both slut and reject, how will she behave when the opportunity to be sexual presents itself, and how will others behave toward her, recognizing her weakness?  

I know, now. And I hope someday I can forgive myself. A mistake is not a sin, and I had no intentions of hurting or using anyone. And the therapeutic abortion and tubal ligation were ethically and medically correct, given the impossible conditions of my pregnancy, some of which were created by my own choices of desperation.

Before I met and experienced mutual love and the deepest intellectual and emotional understanding with Silas, whom I married in 1996 after a ten month engagement, I was desperate for more than what I found and helped create in my marriage. I was trapped in poverty which, as a mentally disabled person, I could not break even with years of effort. And I ran to many cruel places, including some claiming they were safe, healthy, spiritual. In Alanon, Overeaters Anonymous, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, in allegedly progressive political groups, the often dominant relationship pattern was the demonstration of personal "power" via emotional and verbal abuse, including derogatory ideological measurement of "weaker" persons by some self-appointed authority who "knew" they were right. Always. In the self-help groups, they claimed to be "keeping order" in a meeting or practicing "tough love" -- justifications reminiscent of my father's claiming his medical status justified incest.

To escape people like my father I ran to people like my father. As an adult. Men with violent backgrounds I met when riding my own motorcycle in communities of bikers who, like me, had often been incarcerated, for I equated my mental hospital/"sick" school incarceration (my family had me incarcerated after the final molest at age 15) with San Quentin and Angola, just as I equated with my own pathetic adolescent efforts at self-defense with adult criminal violence. Men who, in my anger, I wanted to be like, and imitated to the point of wearing black leather and knives and using obscene language and riding my motorcycle to the meetings where I had been hurt by people who had the verbal quickness to wound souls, having learned, apparently, little else from their expensive educations.

I did not fully or even partly understand what I was doing.

Nor did the men with whom I acted irresponsibly, particularly in 1989 when my then-"boyfriend"  insisted coitus interruptus would work and I felt too afraid while naked to put my clothes back on and say no to the entire experience. I remember folding into depression, my usual response to feeling overwhelmed. Since I was an adult and present, am I not responsible for the consequences of my actions, which included a pregnancy? What if I were only a physical adult and psychologically a cowering sexual abuse victim, a paralyzed child?

I still don't know the precise dimensions of my responsibility, given my internal weakness and terror.

But I recognized then as now my responsibility for change, for seeing that nothing like this series of mistakes and misjudgements and misplacements of trust could ever happen again. I took those steps with the abortion and tubal ligation and 1989, and continued a psychological and physical struggle against self-destruction which has been extraordinarily successful.

In 1995, I became engaged to Silas. Our marriage was loving and positive, continually filled with challenges of all kind met together, and lasted until Silas' death of kidney failure in 2004.

My beloved husband has been dead for eight months now, and when people ask if we had any children, the answer "no" still seems a tragic one. Early in our marriage, Silas and I confronted with great sadness the fact that I could never become pregnant, and we researched adoption in every possible sphere, from international adoption to domestic agencies to our local county.

Silas began dreaming about a child named Gracie with long dark hair like mine, and buttery skin. He was not a fantasist. I had dreamed of parenthood since age 23, having become very close to a New York professional family I identified with and remain close to today.

We did research. We didn't surf the Internet; we dove into it like Jacques Cousteau. We subscribed to newsletters.

And we learned that international adoption was unaffordable for us; that domestic adoption through our county was such a stressful process that provably loving and capable parents were put through bureaucratic frustrations that would compromise Silas' already-high blood pressure. Our family physician did not believe it would be a positive experience, and we had to give up lest Silas have a stroke, and me a depressive relapse.

Had we successfully adopted, the child would have lost a father after a few short years, less than a decade. Given Silas'  health, adoption may have been a selfish act, one that should not have occurred, and didn't.

It would have been so easy to get pregnant by somebody in my twenties, when I really wanted a child and was not on antidepressant medication (it hadn't been discovered or developed at that time). It would have been easy to lie to myself and pretend it was all right... so what if I'm not mature enough for marriage? I can just have the baby and go on welfare. But I could not breach that internal honesty, nor, after having seen so many unloved children even in upper middle class settings as well as the hospital and "school" where I had been held as an adolescent, could I condemn a child to a lifelong emptiness of wondering where and who Daddy was. Irresponsible pregnancy was a fantasy of a kid in her twenties who wanted to prove herself a woman, having been told most of her life she was a monster. How does a female rejected by females prove herself female -- find that critical piece of identity?

I found that having female and male friends and female therapists was the best and most fulfilling answer, especially in the context of good work in the theatre and in teaching. And a joyous marriage to a loving man filled much of the emptiness that remained. Even with Silas' death, I retain the more profound and positive valuing of myself, my bodily and spiritual integrity and psychological welfare, that will hopefully prevent sexually wasteful and futile acts which would dishonor my husband's memory and the love we shared, will share forever.

And I have found other ways to express my maternal instincts. I teach horseback riding to handicapped children, and abled children, and watch them blossom as students and loved beings. I am a better teacher than most of my former teachers, having stronger abilities to both motivate and praise, making corrections in a positive and not demeaning way. In the vulnerability and beauty of my handicapped students, I see that I was not responsible for my own abuse, and that in a sane person, vulnerability invites protectiveness, not persecution.

Now I am beginning to believe that the termination of my one pregnancy is spiritually outweighed by the gift I am passing on to so many children, coupled with my long-overdue self-acceptance.

Who could have predicted these redemptions? Who but The Creator is truly equipped to judge the value of one person's love, and the growth of that love amidst inconceivable pressures, obstacles and mistakes?

Theological Reflections

Let us begin with acknowledging the common bases of the three Abrahamist faiths -- Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The Jewish prophet Micah believed that all of the Jewish faith could be summarized as "doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly before God".

Jesus believed in mercy as the center of justice: "A brother should be forgiven seven times seventy."

In Islam, the central prayer liturgy, repeated five times a day, begins with, "In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful..."

The common intent of the prophets of each derivation of the Abrahamist faith, which acknowledges a single Creator whose most prominent aspect is mercy, is clearly this: specific situations in a mysteriously evolving world must be confronted with the first Abrahamist generality, which is mercy. Justice, an expression of state power or the will of a partly-informed, sometimes hateful human group, is not as important a virtue or spiritual objective.

What can this mean in a world when a pregnancy considered by the mother to be an impossible burden occurs in a world where population exceeds food, water and other resources necessary for survival, or at least the political will to share those resources? What does this mean where there has been no renunciation of violence in the exercise of state power, and I am speaking directly of the United States under George Bush II and John Ashcroft, a country where one recently elected senator, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, believes in the death penalty for doctors who perform abortions?

To what deity do all the angry parties claim fealty? Is it the same as
the deity known as Yahweh, Allah, God? This god is said in Genesis, first text of Abrahamism, to have created the human being in his own image. Presumably, that includes the ability to reason as well as procreate, and the ability to unselfishly decide that under particular conditions a pregnancy brought to term would be torture for fetus, mother and society. Does that mean abortion is always, as Bush and company seem to believe (prove me wrong, please), a rude and unholy intervention in the will of The Creator to make images of himself? Does Bush and company's interpretation of God portray a deity without knowledge of too many people starving for too little food, shelter, protection, love, who will use vulnerable human beings to narcissistically replicate himself? Whose image is really portrayed in their interpretation?

Or is God the ultimate ethicist, who can mercifully know when it is unsafe and cruel to force a pregnancy either by theological or any other form of coercion, and wishes us to mirror His mercy?

Where and what and who is the ultimate source of divine identity? Justifications for everything from feeding hungry children to raping vulnerable women can be found in the same texts because of words ascribed to this deity and His prophets with no truly verifiable accuracy.
Amid this confusion, when we confront the question of ending a potential human life, where do we turn for enough certainty to either make the decision ourselves or be a friend to the person who must make this ultimate decision?

Any implication of destruction is terrifying in this current climate, for destruction seems to overwhelm us when we look outward. It is now possible to end the human race with one atomic blow, or the release of contaminants of other kinds. It is also possible, even common, for individuals to justify violence of all kinds, from sexual selfishness to murder, via corporate media images which inform, seduce, excite many more people faster than the anonymous authors or recorders of the prophetic texts could have begun to imagine. The results we know: we have been cowering under the threat of global annihilation since 1945. And our corporate-supported sexual profligacy, certainly in the United States, has engendered a huge divorce rate; sexually transmitted diseases compromising physical and psychological potency and fertility; children lacking time with parents and bringing their loneliness and anger into communities lacking what only parents can give. And the ultimate result is a destruction of the spirit,  disillusionment with even the hope of love.

Amid this wilderness, individual women can prevent conception, even abort conception... if they have access to the kind of medical care which offers such choices. Many do not. And women who do are considered, by vocal reactionaries, more terrifying and evil than those who drop bombs or behead helpless hostages at a time when, frequently without a loving partner or any other kind of support, these women are striving for a responsible and ethical choice.

What is the place of God in a world like this, and what can theology (theories of God) say about abortion and our present political condition, which pursues war abroad and stigmatization of emerging rights for women, gays and Lesbians, the handicapped at home? At worst, our condition may verge on the destruction of our Constitution's freedoms and of citizens whose beliefs are objectionable to religious fanatics.

Fundamentalists have begun speaking of Jesus as angrily destructive and his rejection of violence and hatred as "wimpy". These people have helped elect a President -- or puppet?

Yet, the core of the Abrahamist faith rejects both the roles of puppet and puppet master.

In the Abrahamist evolution of belief, the ethically informed conscience is a spiritual attribute, not an insult to God. Islam, possibly the most conservative of the three Abrahamist derivatives in so many ways unusual to Western eyes and experience -- modest dress and behavior for both sexes, drug/alcohol/gambling sobriety and the strictest obligations upon both men and women of marital loyalty both physically and emotionally -- states through the Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him) in verse 256 of Surah Al-Baqara:

         "Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from error:  whoever rejects Tagut and believes in Allah hath grasped the most  trustworthy hand-hold, That never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things."

So Allah, God, trusts us with the ability to seek the truth and find it, to determine right action.

This merciful trust in the dissenting and compassionate conscience is clearly manifest in the biography of Jesus, who warred with religious authorities over narrow interpretations of religious law while hungry people needed feeding. The conscience of the prophet Christians claim to worship stood physically in the way of those who would punish a woman's sexual behavior.

And it is also manifest in the struggle of contemporary Judaism to find a merciful theological and religious approach to the ending of injurious (in whatever sense) pregnancies, either by miscarriage or abortion. Author Daniel B. Sinclair states in the journal Criminal Justice Ethics, "The non-personhood of the fetus in the criminal law provides a firm basis for therapeutic abortion. According to the Mishnah (rabbinic commentaries on the Torah composed during the fifth century B.C.E.), the mother's life takes precedence over that of her fetus until birth." Rabbi Shira Stern's opposition to abortion restriction is partly based on her own and her husband's painful decision to abort an anencephalic fetus. Rabbi Lynne F. Landsberg, executive director of the Union of American Hebrew Congregation's Mid-Atlantic Council, has stated, "The issue of abortion is profoundly religious and profoundly religious people are overwhelmingly pro-choice."

So we can conclude that the question of individual conscience and its supreme testing grounds -- war, human relations between persons and societies -- has for many centuries been a matter of dialogues of disagreement, not absolute and incontrovertible revelation.

Those seeking a workable compromise among differing beliefs, not dominance through religious intrusion into the body politic, might consider these theological reflections:

We can believe with all our hearts in our version of The Creator, but no one really knows His or Her true face. All three Abrahamist derivations demand humility, from the Book of Job, where God confronts his accuser with his ignorance, inspiring out Job's humility. Jesus' life, from birth until (and perhaps beyond) death exemplifies an impossible humility under frequently lonely and ultimately terrifying circumstances. According to modern Islamic scholar Asghar Ali, "The true servant of Allah has a sense of  utter humility and believes that only Allah is the Greatest - 'Allahu Akbar.'This is very basic formula of Islamic worship. Anyone who is  arrogant and has a feeling of powerful cannot be true worshipper of Allah. A true worshipper of Allah is one who has no trace of arrogance, of 'ananiyyah' or egotism. This has another important implication. It negates the very concept of one being ruler over the other and thus creates democratic ethos and human dignity."

No one really knows when personhood begins. When does an embryo become a fetus, a fetus become a baby? When and how do uncountable environmental factors, from a punch in the stomach to classical music, influence what an almost-person might become when they emerge fully formed? How much of what we think we know is theoretical, and how much of it will be seen eventually as primitive knowledge, even as simply wrong?

Can we really find in sacred texts incontrovertible answers about any aspects of sexuality that don't involve criminal violence? Dare we base civil law in a nation of differences on one text interpreted by fallible angry men who were stupid and cruel enough to blame the deaths of thousands of victims of terrorism on supporters of the right to terminate a pregnancy?

The United States, with its crucifying differences and a Constitution that allows for those differences, is faced with a partially successful bid for political dominance by people who believe themselves religious. This brand of fascism unites corporate profits with its war aims while uniting religious absolutism with a political war at home on those who see deity and the function of deity in the most private and difficult of situations with different eyes, different minds.

What will draw us back from this precipice, where all three branches of government are now in the hands of a major political party which has allowed itself to be taken over and spoken for by religious absolutists?

While we still have a working Constitution with guarantees of freedom of speech, freedom of worship, we can take a common theological journey that would first ask all concerned to look into our own hates, and silences in the face of hate, and especially personal failings when our partners' safety, both physically and psychologically, demanded responsibility and a consideration of consequences for them as well as ourselves.

Let us begin by reflecting how we got here.

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.

Have progressive religious and political people failed? Yes. Does that make an authoritarian America inevitable? No. Let us speak the truth of our empathy and create and nurture institutions which defend it, and us. Let us allow the love of the Abrahamist god and whatever positive  concerns we have to infuse the national debate, withdrawing from war as a tool of political control, including war on each other and on the most private of freedoms and the most vulnerable to the withdrawal of that freedom.



Authors Website: www.kariananowen.com

Authors Bio:
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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