There is a need to get the whole story about the religious right-wing in their position on abortion and the pro-life stance. The focus of their emphasis on the pro-life position is a very narrow view. The far-reaching implications in their stance, is what they do not openly discuss, is their total belief about human life. When one looks at the whole picture, there are contradictions, absurdities, irrationalities and insensitivities toward the human condition. What appears to be a caring, compassionate attitude of the right-wing conservative is in actuality support for a delayed abortion that can take place after birth. It is just a matter of time and place when the process of life is extinguished. What has gone on in the name of right-wing religions, of all brands, (of which the dynamics are similar) is a mark of shame on the history of humankind. Religions of all brands are known for killing people in the name of God, if someone opposes their belief. There are many ways to kill. One can kill the spirit of a person, or they can kill the opportunity of a person, or they can kill the right of independent, autonomous choice. But worst of all, when and if all these fail to get conformity, they can kill the physical life of a person. Then those who remain alive will be frightened into submission. Remember. The witch hunts at Salem, the French Huguenots, and the inquisition. It is only a matter of degree.
I. An Overview of The Right-wing Position on Abortion.
The simplistic deduction is: that at the moment of conception, when the ovum is fertilized by the sperm, that a viable, complete human being comes into existence, as a living organism with the inherent right to live. And that the essence and potential for being are the same as it will be at birth and later on throughout the existence of that organism so long as the organism experiences biological life. The regulation for the rights of the organism belongs first to the parents to a point, then to society to a point, then to government, and then ultimately, to religion. (Caution: be sure you get the right religion because religion can be harmful to your mental and physical health, consult the record of those who have gone through religious persecution from all brands of religions.) What follows are issues that are never mentioned in the discussion of abortion.
The religious right-wing considers that the essence of the nature of the fetus is evil and sinful, and deserves punishment in Hell for eternity. Many right-wing conservatives would declare that all who are not born-again will suffer the final abortion in Hell. Other variations of the religious right-wing would offer infant baptism, the faith of the parents on behalf of the child, etc., as a means for bypassing the final abortion: Hell.
Under the rules of exception, there is hope for the destiny and future of the fetus. Many right-wing contenders, hold to the position that if a fetus or infant dies before the age of accountability, that all of those fetuses and infants will go to Heaven. So that means that all aborted fetuses of all ages are in Heaven! Miscarriages are a natural, spontaneous form of abortion. Some considerations about the destiny of miscarriage fetuses need to be provided. Since miscarriaged fetuses are not accountable, they too, will go to Heaven.
II. An Overview of The Right-wing Position on Abortion After Birth.
Euthanasia is an interesting subject to consider since it deals with the right of a person to have the power of choice over the duration and the existence of his own life. For many right-wing believers, suicide is considered to be a mortal sin, for which one will go to Hell. For others, it is a right of choice, that the individual is considered not to possess. "Only God can take a life since only God gives life." Again, we are back to the issue, who has the power of choice over an individual's life: Oneself? Parents, society, the government, or the ultimate authority - religion? Which religion, or branch of that religion, will make a big difference as to what the answer will be. But, remember, religions have strong opinions on things like medical assistance. Some religions would limit medical treatment to prayer only. Others would refuse blood transfusions. And others would resort to rituals, etc. One sure thing, the lack of reasonable medical care can kill you. And too, one needs to look hard at the placebo effect that is a peculiar and powerful mechanism of the mind. Spontaneous remission that some have experienced who had terminal diseases is well known to exist. Little credit is given to the natural resources that are intrinsic to human beings as an essential characteristic of their essence. The power that humans possess for survival is far greater than is recognized by individuals independently, and society, collectively.
The whole matter for consideration about choice versus fate plays into the world view about these issues. Is life a random process of arbitrary chance in which the odds are unpredictable? Is it simply a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time when something catastrophic happens to a person? Is the same true when something positive happens to a person? It is just a matter of being in the right place at the right time? Do we have any control or choice over our personal destiny, or is it pure randomness? What about fate? Is there a supreme being sitting up in heaven with a big chessboard? Are we captives of his sovereignty where he moves us as pawns on the chessboard, controlling our destiny of which we have no autonomous choice? These questions and the answers that we manufacture for them affect our perceptual world view of what we understand, believe to be what is as to the way the process of things to be. A belief is only an explanatory representation of the process. It is not the process. Many beliefs are held to be factual when all the while the beliefs are wholly incongruent with the process. Superstition is an illustration of the above. Superstitious beliefs are created based upon emotional feelings and assessment of life experiences, without regard for objective, intuitive, observable evidence to substantiate its foundation.
Where were the religious right-wing followers when the Viet NAM war was going on? During the Viet NAM war, 55,000 men were aborted, most of them in the prime of their lives. This was an undeclared war. That we did not win, and furthermore, the war was not intended to be won. Do not those who died in the Viet NAM war have the same value upon their lives since they were born as when they were just fetuses?
For most right-wing followers, the Bible or some other religious book, is the moral foundation upon which they place their proof for their pro-life position. And yet, many right-wing followers oppose capital punishment. It is simply a fact that the Bible and many other religions teach capital punishment. To get around this, the right wing follower must do a lot of rationalization and take a position that goes against the very God whom they say they serve. There is a place in the Bible where it is recorded that God ordered Israel to go to war against another nation who did not embrace the teaching of Judaism. They were to kill everyone - men, women, and children. This is the same source used to prove pro-life. One cannot have it both ways. One cannot be pro-life for the fetus, and be pro-life for the murderer. The irony of it all is to use the same religious book for both when even the book takes a different position.
The tobacco industry is a great financial supporter for both political parties - the Republicans and the Democrats, as well as many other organizations and individuals, which include many who take a stance for pro-life. Does smoking and chewing tobacco cause cancer, heart trouble, kidney disorders, and lung disease, etc.? Are medical doctors in error telling their patients to quit smoking after they have been diagnosed with cancer, heart trouble, etc.? And the warning on tobacco products' package, "The Surgeon General says: that smoking can be harmful to your health.", is invalid? Whom does the Surgeon General think he or she is? When the whole of the tobacco industry and many politicians and even scientists say that it is not harmful and addictive. Where are the right-wing proponents for pro-life in their stand on tobacco? Where are the politicians who stand so strong on pro-life on abortion? Why are they so silent on the tobacco issue, and even receive money to support their election campaigns?
The issue of birth-control and sex education is an area of major contradiction for pro-life people. The greatest shame upon our humanity is the utter irresponsibility in the use of birth-control. Is the potential value of the worth of a fetus minimized by the lack of being responsible for the possibility of conception of a human life? Would a valid pro-life position include being responsible for the use of birth control? However, many religious groups are opposed to the use of birth control as a sin, while at the same time, they take a strong, rigid position on being pro-life. How many fetuses were conceived because of irresponsibility in the use of birth control, or as a result of not using birth control because their religion was against it. The fetus progressed to full term, and was born, only to become a burden, and object of resentment. Oh, the hell that awaits that fetus when it arrives on this planet - pro-life before birth, pro-death after birth. Many pro-lifers are against sex education. Ignorance is the mother of irresponsibility. Pro-lifers believe that sex education leads to experimentation. Human beings have been experimenting with sex for thousands of years, with disastrous results because of ignorance. It is a contradiction for a person who holds to a pro-life position would be opposing birth control and sex education. Sex education is pro-life. The life process itself, if recognized and experienced responsibly can lead to a high level of experience of the quality of life. Religious and moral philosophers confuse the issue of sexual expression as means to an end to be reproduction. Sexuality and reproduction are two separate functions, only interacting coincidently. You can have the one without the other. Each function serves as an end in itself. If this is not so then those who are sterile or beyond the so-called child bearing age should stop participation in sex. Ignorance about sex education, not only leads to the irresponsibility about birth control, but the irresponsibility about the awareness of one's own sexuality, as well as the sexuality of the opposite sex. Ignorance is the handmaiden of taboo, inhibitions, defective perception about sex and the sex act. Sex is a pro-choice for life. Caveat: according to the Bible: the first civilization were nudists, and they practiced incest to procreate the human race.
In many counties of the world, particularly, third world countries, the cycle of poverty goes on like it has been for hundreds of years. The religions and cultures of those countries maintain and encourage poverty as a way of life. Because of this situation, there is a total lack of value placed upon human life. Adults are producing children whom they cannot feed, even when they cannot feed themselves. This doesn't matter to them. It has been going on for a long time. They will not change. Into this situation, comes the right-wing religious group to help feed the hungry children. They make appeals on television with sad pictures of dirty, distraught children. What they don't tell the public is that to feed the children is to support the cycle of poverty in that country.
Because the children will grow to become adults, who in turn, will produce more hungry children. Never once is consideration given to the idea to send birth control means to these people. If the culture and religions of the country reject the offer of birth control, then the poverty, hungry, and death will continue. Feeding the children will only encourage the system. It is like giving money to an alcoholic who will buy more alcohol to support his alcoholism. If anything can be done, it will be to confront the core-beliefs of the culture and religions of the country. Change the root cause for the children being hungry, by inviting the country to change its belief system about the value of human beings and the responsibility for birth control as the only viable solution to the problem. Otherwise, nothing can be done about it. China, came to face the problem of overpopulation, at a time, when they had no other choice since the supply of food stuff was running out.
Built into the natural provision of innate human resources for the ability like sex and reproduction is responsibility. When responsibility is replaced with primitive thinking and myth (both in culture and religion), then the masses suffer the consequences. Right-wing intervention is compounding the problem, not solving it.
Jesus said that the poor will always be with us. Pro-lifers will help to see that will always be true. The politicians argue continually over the entitlement programs for the poor. Each party offers solutions to how to help the poor. What the politicians and many pro-life people want to offer is a relief from the symptoms of poverty, rather than poverty itself. Take notice, that most pro-lifers are from the middle and upper classes of America. Here is the dilemma that we are in. The greatest amount of wealth in our nation is in the hands of 20% of the population. Poverty is created by the few taking moneys from the majority. All the noise about a balanced budget and lowering the deficit is a smoke screen to keep the poor in their social, financial position. What is needed is a balanced social economy where the distribution of wealth is more evenly distributed. I am not speaking about Communism. Russia, China, or Cuba, never had communism (Marx would not recognize what they have). What Russia, China, and Cuba have or had, is totalitarianism - a dictatory wealthy elite who ruled the country while the masses sat in economic deprivation. In Russia, the people were so hypnotized by the government process that they remained paralyzed in that state of a trance until recently. Russia still has a long way to go. China and Cuba stills remain in the throes of mind control by the elite few.
But thank God, we have a representative democracy. Those who are the governed elect those who are to do the governing. And unlike Russia, China, and Cuba, our politicians are mandated to go the city halls, state houses, and Washington, D.C. to represent each and every one of us. Every politician understands that he or she is a representative of the people. This is where the process breaks down. Early on, after our congressmen get to Washington, for some it is long before they get to Washington, they learn that the only real representation they stand for, is themselves. I heard a story that spells it out succinctly. The representative of the congressman said: "Mr. X has three goals while he is in office: 1. Get reelected 2. Get reelected 3. Get reelected." Most politicians are middle class or upperclass when they enter politics. Before they retire, they become very wealthy at the expense of the middle class and the poor. They learn well how to throw morsels to the masses to get their vote. And the poor remain poor.
Look at the opportunity politicians have. They vote for themselves their own salary, health and retirement program. They constantly have access to information they can use to make themselves money. They are the darlings of the lobbyists who constantly are giving gifts, freebies, etc. They are excellent role models for the young people of America. They excel in the use of deception, manipulation, lying, double talk, all in the name of honesty, integrity and loyalty. Our form of capitalism breeds greed and the inordinate seeking for power for power's sake. Take the money factor out of politics, and people would lose interest in it. Pro-lifers are caught up in this as much as anyone. What about a pro-life choice for a quality of life economically? We are governed by the few who hold the greatest of the wealth, and they plan to keep it that way. What pro-life person would dare to propose a more even distribution of wealth? What about the elimination of the entitlement program of welfare to the rich, and more evenly pass that money to eliminate the poor as a class in our society? Let's take the money making opportunity away from the politicians.
The History of Family Values
Pro-life people, and others as well, are placing a great emphasis upon the family as a social institution. Most of the ills of society are blamed upon the breakdown of traditional family values. The cry is to return to the position of traditional family values which is supposed to cure all of the ills of society and save the nation. What is gravely misunderstood is that the structure and the substance of traditional family values are what got us into trouble from the beginning.
The dynamics of the dysfunctional family has its roots in thousands of years of "traditional family values." In some cultures of the world, the manifestation of the dysfunctional family is more obvious. In America, it is more masked. But then, there is not a family that has not been touched by it. In the family of "traditional family values," the male rules supreme, and the value of males vs. females is obviously demonstrated in a society where there is so much denial about women's rights. In some cultures, the birth of a female child is looked upon as a curse. Our culture has toned it down, but it is still there, for the father to brag on the fact that he has produced a male child, which bolsters his ego.
Furthermore, "traditional family values," promote the father and mother roles as gods. "Just because I said so," among many, is more of a statement of omnipotence and omniscience -all powerful and all knowing. The children have no rights, or equity. They are property to be used. The subtleties of the power structure in "traditional family values," are devastating to the child's conditioned view of himself and the world at large.
Also, in the structure of the family in the "traditional family values" system, the family as a collective unit, is everything and the individual is nothing. The survival of the family unit is more important than the survival of the individual. The natural symbiosis (commonly called "bonding") is cultivated into a neurotic symbiosis of dependency. The natural process intends for the child throughout the growth process, to be weaned from dependency, in every phasic of his or her life. This is sadly, not the case. In fact, co-dependency is very much considered to be the norm. It is covert, powerful and destructive to the individual, as well as, the dynamics of process in marriage, family, society, etc. Most people never get free from the entrapment of neurotic dependency. The structure of "traditional family values," permeates society, all the way from the so-called "family of origin," to religion, education, business, community, and the government. "We are just one big family," is said with pride and a false sense of confidence, not knowing the terrible price, that is being paid by the individual, in the denial of his own humanity and personal identity.
In "traditional family values," the power conflict is predicated upon competition, where the dynamics of the design of the family unit is pyramidal. There is always to one degree or another, someone at the top (usually a male), who is the dictator, in control of the wills of all who are below, who owe allegiance, without question, to him who controls everything, "for their own good," even though it is at the expense of their personal autonomy.
What this all boils down to is the issue: just when is the abortion going to take place?
I am my mother's egg
My father's sperm
At the moment of conception
Then the crisis begins
The issue -survival.
By natural means
Or steel instruments
The duration nine months.
I emerge from the canal
Suddenly I realize
The issue is the same -survival
I face my executors
They want to abort
I suffer the cruelest
Abortion of all
The death of my spirit
Now I am not.
What has a fetus, who might survive the abortion in the womb, got to look forward to? He can most certainly look forward to the possibility that sometime, somewhere, on the highway of life, he will face that most feared enemy again - abortion. This time, it will be after his birth. Sadly, it may come from those who made the greatest claims for pro-life, and the value of his existence. The process of social abortion is subtle, woven into the fabric of society, that he will hardly notice when the axe falls. What are the instruments of social abortion? The instruments are: another undeclared economic war, racial discrimination, poverty, deprivation of personal choice, control by the power brokers, excommunication from the societal process, and worse of all - mindlessness - the perception of the true believer.*
*See book by Eric Hoffler: The True Believer.
Fred Fariss maintains the Knowing and Being Web Page and the Selfness Home Page.