The Pro-Life Paradox

Yesterday marked the annual “March for Life” in Washington D.C. Pro-Life proponents were thrilled that the current administration’s vice president came out in support of the march for the first time in its history. While they have every right to march (thanks, 1st amendment!), and their message is received, their argument is half-baked. Signs at the march showed demonstrators were there to “speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves” and they believe the unborn is a “child not a choice”. These sound like decent arguments, however; who will be the voice for these unborn while they are gestating and ultimately, born?

Pregnancy. I am a mother of two – I hated pregnancy. I had relatively uncomplicated pregnancies and still, I’m firmly in the “love my kids, hated being pregnant” camp. Some women love it, the good Lord bless their hearts. That being said, I planned my pregnancies, wanted to be pregnant and still hated it. Take a woman who doesn’t want to be pregnant, did not plan on becoming pregnant, and give them no option other than to carry that child. If you think these women are going to see the proverbial light and eat properly, seek proper medical care, take prenatal vitamins, and properly care for that unplanned/unwanted child, you are deluding yourself. I’m sure that can and does happen, but for many women, that is not a reality. Complicate the matter with poverty, substance abuse/addictions, abusive relationships, etc., and you have a recipe for disaster. Forcing a woman into pregnancy by “speaking for those who don’t have a voice” is destructive in the long run. Will you be their “voice” when they are born premature, addicted to drugs, sick, with birth defects, and/or into poverty? Will you be their “voice” if they are sent to abusive foster care homes? And yes, I fully realize adoption is always an option, but again, you may be forcing women who cannot take care of themselves to take care of themselves plus a gestating child. Unrealistic.

Mothers. Assuming the mother has an easy, breezy pregnancy, there will still be the matter of giving birth. How will these women be expected to pay their bills when they give birth and have to miss work since paid maternity leave isn’t a reality for many? If the pregnancy becomes complicated or high risk, who will speak for the mothers who are now sick or bedridden with this child? And be certain, those are best-case scenarios for some. Who will speak for the unborn terminated by way of home abortion or forced miscarriage if women lose access to safe abortions? Will you speak for the pain and misery suffered by the unborn in those scenarios? Will you be there to care for and comfort the mothers who maim themselves, or for families who lose a loved one from a home abortion gone wrong? Would you show sympathy and empathy for that strong woman who didn’t abort that child you marched to save?

Some pro-life supporters argue “just practice abstinence if you can’t support a child or don’t want to be pregnant!”. By that logic, “just put down that cupcake and you won’t need to lose 5 pounds”, or “just put down that cigarette and you won’t need to worry about being addicted”. That logic isn’t going to work, and it has been proven. The pro-life argument is understandable, and it does show great compassion for unborn children who had no choice in being conceived and have no say in whether they are to be born or not. It’s heart-wrenching. Unfortunately, life is not that simple. People need education, access to health care, and contraceptives. You can’t make a sweep of everything you don’t like and expect everyone to fall in line with your beliefs. That has never worked in society and it never will. Just ask Texas how that is working out for them.

Just as many pro-life supporters declared that the women in last weekend’s march “didn’t speak for them”, don’t speak for all women and for the unborn. Speak for humanity. “Your voice” is worthless and useless to a child born into a situation where they cannot be supported financially, emotionally, or humanely. You are narrow-minded and self-important if you think saving an unborn from abortion is heroic. Unless you plan on spending a lot more in taxes to fund good foster programs, good adoption programs, social food and welfare programs, and education reform, you need to sit down and re-evaluate.

Thoughts from a Former Republican

I grew up in a conservative Republican household. When I was old enough to vote, I eagerly and proudly registered as a Republican. I watched Fox News (admittedly when most other peers my age were watching MTV…if that gives you any indication of my personality). I graduated with a degree in Political Science with a concentration in Political Economy and a minor in History. I bought and devoured Sean Hannity’s books. When real life came knocking and I needed a job, I strayed from politics and headed down a completely different path. Now age, life experiences, and most significantly, this election, have all changed my perspective drastically. I have watched an entire political party fall to pieces and form a divide. I am now a “blank”; I belong to no party. The party system has clearly led us down a divisive and destructive path and I cannot align myself one way or another. So, to that end I offer you some thoughts from a former conservative Republican:

Be better. Stop calling protesters, Democrats, Liberals, and Trump detractors names such as “snowflakes” and “whiny babies”. It’s not constructive and it’s below how you want to be represented. Just as some Republicans supported those who formed the Tea Party and protested, just as some supported those who protested and marched against Obama, these people demonstrating now want to be heard. Calling people names, telling them to “deal with” the fact Donald Trump is their president, and not listening or showing empathy makes you no better than those you dislike. Similarly, it’s completely unhelpful to mock or put down Trump dissenters and protesters as being “dramatic”, or say you don’t understand why they and/or their kids are scared. Turn your thinking around; why AREN’T you? Do you feel comfortable with the President’s stances on immigration, the economy, abortion, etc.? If so, great, but not all do. Put yourself in the shoes of a Muslim or immigrant family. Put yourself in the shoes of a gay or transgender person. You may not personally align with one’s religion or sexual orientation, but that doesn’t give you the distinct privilege to judge and decide their lives and feelings don’t count. We live in the “land of the free”, afford them that right.

Step outside the comfort zone of your political beliefs. Listen to other viewpoints with an open mind. Go ahead and read Breitbart and watch Fox News, but also read the New York Times or Washington Post, and watch CNN or a network nightly world news program. It’s hard. It’s annoying. It makes your blood pressure rise. I get it. The problem is, looking down on others based on sound bites and pundit commentary courtesy of your political safe space helps nobody. Perpetuating one-sided stories fuels divides and leaves people missing important pieces of information.

When Trump detractors call Trump voters ignorant, uneducated, racist, xenophobic, etc., anger is justified, but take the sting of the insults and reflect; why did many Republicans vote for and support Trump? Support arguments with facts – prove you are not uneducated and that you voted with confidence. Many people loathed Hillary Clinton but I personally heard very few reasonable explanations supporting their disdain. Unsupported facts, half-truths, conspiracy theories, and name-calling (“Killary”) will get people nowhere and ultimately proves nothing. PLEASE don’t believe one-sided news sources simply because it makes you feel better about supporting Trump; believe them because you researched, read, and educated yourself and proved the articles, commentaries, etc., to be true. Oh, and if it sounds outlandish (pizza parlor child trafficking, anyone?), Snopes that stuff (at the very least).

When Kellyanne Conway goes on multiple talk shows and complains about Republicans blocking cabinet picks, remember the past 8 years – with clarity. Merrick Garland, anyone? Eight years of stalled legislation. Eight years of threatened and actual governmental shutdowns. If you are going to complain, admit Republicans have done the same and provide solid reasons as to why Congress should move ahead with Republican picks now. Don’t ask Democrats and detractors to just suddenly “be better” because Republicans are in office now.

Be honest. What if Obama or Hillary were saying and doing what Trump is/has done? How would Republicans react if Hillary won the election and our intelligence agencies presented Russian meddling evidence? Or if Obama spoke about groping women as Trump did? Just because you are a Republican doesn’t mean you need to agree with everything their elected officials say and do. Blindly supporting a leader is flat-out dangerous.

To my fellow Christians (since many conservatives are) – practice what you preach. Look in your heart and be honest with yourself; does Donald Trump encompass what you truly believe as a Christian? Love, kindness, accepting and welcoming immigrants, financial accountability, personal accountability, good character – do any of these fall into the Trump category? If you still choose to support him, absolutely fine, but do not try to portray him as a wholesome religious man. Nobody is perfect but do not paint Donald Trump with a shiny wholesome veneer when he himself has portrayed himself as anything but.

Finally, just as Republicans fiercely protect and fight for the second amendment, I sincerely hope they fight for the rest of our rights and the rest of those amendments. Freedom of the Press seems a good place to start right now.

Obviously not all of my points apply to all Republicans (it would be wrong to over-generalize, clearly), but these are some of the common themes I’ve read over and over the past few months. So I say, be smart. Be educated. Be kind. Be empathetic. Be honest. If we continue down this path of selfish, ignorant destruction, we are in so much trouble. Do not blindly support a candidate because you are so afraid of leaving your political and social comfort zone that you will defend blatant lies, sexual misconduct, questionable financial dealings, disregard for our constitution, etc. Demand better. Listen, empathize, read, and think – honestly. Doing this led me to realize I am not affiliated with a political party because my views are not contained in a box; I have viewpoints that align with Democrats, Republicans, and even Libertarians. I will not sacrifice decency, knowledge, and basic human kindness to align with a political party or its candidate. It’s absolutely fine if you do, but please, do it for the right reasons. Don’t let the wrong reasons define you and your character – or the direction of this country.

Scared Of Kids? Become a Teacher.

Monsters Inc

 

Maria Waltherr-Willard was a high school French and Spanish teacher in Cincinnati for approximately 35 years. In 2009 her school district eliminated the French program, so Waltherr-Willard was transferred to their middle school to teach Spanish. All would be well if Waltherr-Willard didn’t have a phobia of young children.  Now that she was dealing with middle school children rather than high school children, her anxiety caused her blood pressure to soar, and she was forced to retire early for health reasons. Waltherr-Willard now has a lawsuit in the works for discrimination based on age, sex, and her disability.

I don’t know where to begin, but let’s start with the obvious: why was this woman a teacher if she had a paralyzing fear of young children? If she had such a passion to teach but couldn’t be around children, why not teach college level students or adult education classes? I would guess it’s because she wanted the salary of a state-employed public school teacher, the benefits of a state-employed public school teacher, and oh yeah, that retirement state-employed public school teachers receive, which she is currently collecting. And before anyone argues “teachers are underpaid”, this article stated her annual salary was about $80k/year.

I also want Waltherr-Willard to explain her definition of “young” children to me, because I feel as if I am missing a piece to this puzzle. She suffered little or no anxiety teaching 9th grade (high school) students, but teaching 8th grade (middle school) students put her health in danger? Aren’t 9th graders simply children who were 8th graders three months earlier?

People argued against the school, citing age discrimination. Waltherr-Willard’s case stated the school eliminated her high school program in order to “squeeze her out of her job”.  I don’t know whether this is true, but I do know they offered her another job in her field. I don’t know if this woman has ever encountered a job outside of the education system, but here is how it typically works: “your position has been eliminated, you’re getting laid off, here’s the number for the unemployment office”. And here is a newsflash for Waltherr-Willard: states are cutting education funds like crazy. Be glad you were offered another job, you spoiled, out-of-touch fool.

This story is unsettling mainly due to the fact it’s another wasteful litigious avenue for people to take when things don’t go their way. Classify her phobia under the Americans with Disabilities Act, wait for the employer to take one step out of bounds, and then sue the living hell out of them. The ADA should be protecting people, not helping people to collect $100k lawsuits because they didn’t “like” the job offered to them when the employer had to, in effect, downsize. Where is this woman’s sense of personal responsibility? Where was her common sense when she decided to work with children?

Now that I think of it, since this woman’s litigious stupidity makes MY blood pressure rise to astronomical levels, can I sue Waltherr-Willard for threatening my well-being? Better yet, I should sue her for the carpal tunnel syndrome I am undoubtedly going to suffer after repeatedly typing “Waltherr-Willard “.

The Elegant Alec Baldwin

It is well known by now that Alec Baldwin had a meltdown on an American Airlines flight, and was removed from the plane after his behavior forced the aircraft to return to the gate.

Baldwin decided to address the incident in his Huffington Post blog, where he started with an apology to his fellow passengers. Just when it looked like Baldwin was going to act as a responsible adult, he reverted to his typical arrogant behavior and spewed a load of written vomit, blaming the FAA and airlines for making traveling inelegant. If there is anyone who knows about elegance, it’s without a doubt the man who told his 11-year-old daughter she was a “rude, thoughtless little pig” via voicemail.

Baldwin continued down the path of stupidity when he went on SNL to poke fun at the incident. There are times where you have to laugh at your mistakes and move on – I believe this was not one of those instances. Baldwin didn’t have a disagreement, he threw a full-blown tantrum, which included storming off to the bathroom and slamming the door so hard the pilots became alarmed. Storming off and slamming doors when you didn’t get your way…I’m sorry I got off track, am I writing a parenting column about unruly young children?

And I have to say, I truly appreciate Baldwin’s argument for continuing to use his phone after being asked to put it away: “I pulled out my phone again, while others did the same”. Baldwin’s blog post opens with “my confusion began when…” Well, here’s my confusion, Alec; you don’t want to be singled out by the airline attendant, yet you want special treatment to break the rules to use your phone when such activity is prohibited. My apologies, other people were using their phones? Clearly Baldwin needs to be reasoned with on a childhood level, as he simply cannot comprehend the adult version; if all those people jumped off a bridge, would you do the same, Alec?

If you are so important you can’t shut off your phone for a few hours – don’t fly.  When you sit down on an aircraft, you are well aware of the regulations.  If you can’t handle the rules, use an alternate form of transportation.  (Although Greyhound buses are out of the question too, according to Baldwin, as this also made the “inelegant” list.)

Let’s be fair though, Alec did bring up a good point when he stated, “many people have a lot of important work to do, by phone, and would like to do so till the last possible minute”. Yes, Hollywood would never be the same if he didn’t play that triple word with the “Z” tile.

(Photo: Universal Pictures)