Now that I’m 9 months and 4 days pregnant (according to a due date calculator I found on the internet), I thought I’d try to tackle a more serious subject. I know Andriana gave everyone a chance to publish their opinions of abortion on her blog a while back, but as usual I lost track of time (I’m so busy these days) and the topic closed before I got around to answering. It doesn’t seem likely that I’ll have anything new to say about abortion, but I have a deep-seated belief that people want to hear what I think about everything. This is what makes me a writer.
Before I begin, I’d like to say that I don’t consider myself to have been prejudiced about abortion because of my pregnancy. Everything I plan to say is based on beliefs I’ve figured out for myself and held for a very long time. I don’t doubt at all that I’m prejudiced by my religion, although my religion, too, is based on things I’ve been figuring out for myself since my sister showed me that the church we grew up in is made up of other humans and in no way infallible. If you’re one of the 2-3 people who read this blog and you think I’m wrong, or stupid, or misinformed, please feel free to post a hateful comment. Now let’s get on with the show.
Abortion is something I can’t condone for any reason–whether a girl thinks it’s the wrong time for her to have a baby, she’s been raped, or even if there’s a chance that having this baby would cause her medical problems or death. I loved Obama and held out great hope for him through most of the campaign, but couldn’t force myself to vote for him after hearing him say that abortion was in many cases “the responsible choice.” There is no situation where abortion is the responsible choice.
I imagine you’re already probably pretty ticked, but don’t give up yet. I’m about to state my reasons for what I just said.
At the absolute center of all my beliefs I’m a compassionist. That’s a word I made up today to describe what I think every religion should strive to be. Compassion (I think) is a consciousness of other people’s situations, coupled with the desire to understand, and ultimately, help them. Doesn’t sound like I’m making a good case, yet, huh? My very base belief is that compassion is love and that every living thing is deserving of this love. So, if you have compassion for another living being, you will do everything in your power to keep from harming them–even to the point of letting yourself be harmed instead. To have true compassion for another being you have to do one of the most unnatural things in human nature: stop thinking about what’s best for you. Because, let’s face it, how can you focus on anyone else when you’re worried about yourself?
A question Joshua likes to debate with people is: If you had a gun and someone attacked you with a knife, would you shoot them?
According to any scientist all organisms, even single-cells, are living things. Babies, then, are living things from conception (before developing any sensory or major organs). Like certain tribes of American Indians (the Lakota specifically), I believe that all living things are connected and that harming one harms them all. Ending any life scars not only that life, but also the person who made the decision, the person who carried out the act, the people who assisted in carrying out the act, and all the people who were affected or would have been affected by that life. Everyone considered, that’s a fairly large scar on humanity.
I haven’t yet mentioned Christianity, which on official forms I mark as my principal religion. I believe that to be Christian means to strive to be like Christ, who throughout his life taught his followers selflessness so that they might have compassion or love for the rest of the world. (Speaking of dying so others can live…) I couldn’t consider myself a Christian if I condoned harming another living being.
Lots of people will say, “But Christians believe in violence! Think of all the wars they’ve started in the name of God!” It’s true, I do believe in war (or violence), but never as a means for personal gain as is so often the case. The only time I condone violence (interchangeable in my opinion with “war”), and the only time I believe God condones violence (or war), is the taking of the aforementioned scar upon yourself for the sake and salvation of another living being.
This doesn’t, however, excuse the people who would harm an abortion-performing doctor or say sickening things to a girl who’s decided to have an abortion. A Christian who would do something like that has strayed pretty far from the path. First off, they’re forgetting to love everyone as Christ loved them, and second, they’re forgetting that no one person is worse in God’s sight than any other.
Well, I feel like I’ve come to the conclusion of an essay. The only thing that’s left is actually concluding. How to do that? I guess I just state that I disagree with abortion as a concept, decision, or action, and that I disagree with anyone who would try to physically or emotionally harm anyone involved with abortion. As Big Kenny would say, “Love Everybody.”
That’s a pretty lame ending, but it’s over nonetheless. Feel free to post hateful or angry comments now.
Surprisingly, I get asked this a lot in different forms. “Occupation?” a paper-pusher at the hospital asks me when I’m pre-registering for the Big Day. “So, do you have a job?” an old friend asks me when we’re catching up on each other’s lives over facebook (Yes, I rejoined). Or, my favorite, “What do you do all day?” my sister asks me, suddenly more interested in my life now that I’m barefoot and pregnant than when I was clawing my way through a really awful version of Survivor in Brooklyn. (“Barefoot” being a word chosen for the sake of the saying. Unless I’m walking on a sandy beach at the height of summer and the sun’s beating down on me like someone’s holding a giant magnifying glass over my head, there isn’t much chance I’m anywhere near warm enough to be barefoot.)
No one in their right mind actually reads this crap, but I figured it’s as good a place as any to tell people what exactly it is I do. I am a writer/homemaker. That’s how I fill out or answer people who are filling out official forms and no one yet has called me on the big, fat rip in reality I’m trying to sell them when I say that. Maybe it’s because people who fill out forms for a living or read forms for a living don’t know any better. Maybe they don’t want to know any better. They want to believe a woman can stay at home all day cleaning house, taking care of children, getting supper ready for their man, and still hit it big writing books. Maybe that actually happens once every fifty-thousand stay-at-home writers.
More likely, I think no one has called “bull” on me yet because they don’t know any writers. (I’m about to generalize egregiously about writers even though the only experience I have with writers at home and out of school is myself.) Most of the time, writers don’t give a second thought to scrubbing the shower or picking up their dirty clothes. For all I care, people can come in and see that “Good Lord, she left her underwear and socks inside the pants she wore yesterday and the whole mess on the floor and she knew we were coming over!” It’s a cold day in hell when I look at the kitchen sink and think to myself, “I’ll just do those dishes before they pile up.”
It’s not that I hate to do the laundry or sweep the kitchen or wash the dishes…I do hate to wash the dishes, but it’s not that, not all the time. It’s because those things–those incredibly mundane things–don’t make sense to me the way that a person who’s been cursed into the body of a wolf or a country where everyone sleeps during the day and goes about their lives at night makes sense to me. Those stories occupy my thoughts more realistically than that dirty pan that’s blocking me from getting a glass of water from the sink.
To some extent, I’m trying to romanticize the fact that I am lazy and a person who almost procrastinated herself out of a high school graduation at which she was giving a speech. I find things that keep me busy all day long (typing a blog, for example) so that I never have to think about why there aren’t any glasses to drink out of. Joshua understands me. He says he loves me for being so far out of orbit that I can’t even see the Great Wall, but I know for a fact he still thinks every now and then, “Sure, she’s a writer, but would it kill her to wash a freaking plate?”
No, it wouldn’t. It might even be good for me. I know it would be good for our kitchen.
Even so, what I do all day is this: Not much. Once Enis comes, I’ll be a writer/stay-at-home-mom, which I assume entails a lot of things. For now, though, I’m just a stay-at-home-eden (writer is included in this particular job description), which doesn’t entail much at all.