Values are under assault from all directions
It seems some members of the community are not happy with the abortion laws in the majority of the developed world. Somehow they find it necessary to shove their political opinions and values down our throats.
My value system is being trodden upon by those who hold certain religious and political ideals differing from my own. I can remember 10 years ago, rushing to Walgreens to spend $30 on a Plan B pill. I can remember eight years ago when my period came late and I was desperate for a negative pregnancy test. Even now, as a married woman, I refuse to birth a child.
Should I not have sex with my husband for fear of an unwanted pregnancy? Abstinence is, after all, the only surely effective method. I am not physically, mentally or financially prepared to raise a child from birth.
Consider the life of a child in a home that knows they cannot support them. Consider a woman forced into pregnancy by an abusive partner, or a teenager who hasn’t had comprehensive sex education, or a couple who’s been told they can’t have children so they don’t bother with birth control. Should every incidence of sexual activity be expected to result in pregnancy?
My values say that no one can force you into an abortion if you don’t want one, and no one can force you into a pregnancy if you don’t want one. You are welcome to live by whatever values you choose, but your rights end when they interfere with those of a living, breathing human being.
Today, my values are under assault from all directions, but particularly from those who claim to be walking in the footsteps of their holy icons. Where is the church when the homeless are freezing in the cold winter? Hosting a canned food drive to pass out food they have no means of cooking?
Where are they when a full month’s work isn’t enough to pay rent, much less save for a down payment on a mortgage? Or when we only see a doctor for the most life-threatening conditions because we can’t afford it?
It seems to me that many Christian values align with leftist politics, yet most Christians I know are devoutly right-leaning.
The European countries, particularly the Nordic countries, consistently rate higher on scales of personal contentment and happiness than the USA. Comparing our state to our friends across the ocean is a high compliment. We must continue to stand up and fight for values that are based in caring for those around us. Ironically, by doing so, we will teach our children the greatest commandment of a Christian: love.
Leave oppression of people in the past
I grew up in Valencia County, in Belen. I remember running around the Valencia County Fair, the amber waves and the late-summer, early-fall ochres filling the depths of my soul with peace.
I was 13 years old when I first realized the older man talking to me wasn’t asking me “where my dad is” out of concern for me; his leery, predatory eyes looking my prepubescent body up and down, and checking side to side to see if anyone was watching him.
I don’t remember what I said, but I mumbled something, and slipped back into the crowd, circling all the way around the fairgrounds in order to avoid him.
Then, I was a little older hearing the young cowboys talk about the girls that were only a couple years older than I sitting around the rodeo grounds or practice arena. They would brag about sleeping with one girl too drunk to talk and then laugh and say they ditched her for some other b*tch. Bragging about asking a girl over and over and over for a (sex act) until she finally said yes.
With the overturning of Roe v Wade and the previous letters to the editor, I felt a key piece of the perspective is missing. Where are all of these people who are so concerned with life when predators search our children for sexual satisfaction?
At the events of my childhood it was a given. Where were all of these people to guide our young men to a better path when they’re joking about treating women like sex objects? Those boys were just as likely to become teenage fathers as the girls they bragged about as conquests were to become teenage mothers.
Where is the admonishment, the ask for these boys to do better? After all, 100 percent of unwanted pregnancies are caused by irresponsible ejaculations from men.
Some people lament the loss of their “way of life” but to me it seems that “way of life” includes an entitlement to women and their bodies as well as being able to bully and ostracize gay and trans people with impunity. People are actively learning better and doing better, treating people like people so that “way of life” is dying. And I say good riddance. No one who lived this “way of life” protected me or other women and girls in any meaningful way.
We can still have our beautiful, late-summer amber rays of fall where the children can run and laugh at the fair. It is possible to keep the things that make Valencia County truly special and leave the things like oppression of women and queer people in the past. It is our future. We only have to claim it.
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