Thursday, March 16, 2006

When priests and politicians speak at the same time...

As this little Singaporean mind that never needed to think before she votes (one party), before she reads the paper (one newspaper agency), before she goes for a demonstration (not allowed, considered illegal gathering in Singapore), her tiny brain became quickly overwhelmed in this epicentre of political debate. Coming from a place that hangs you if you traffick more than fifteen grams of heroine, her myopic political perspective, which seems to be the yardstick of her morality, suddenly becomes the topic of her contention.

As her brain gets increasing caught between the president of the Pro-Life society and the Pro-Choice advocate, the anti-capital punishment speaker and the southern conservative, the orthodox protestant priest and her lesbian friend, the Republican and the Democrat, she teeters between the theology of a practicing Christian and a practical global citizen. And it troubles her that she doesn't know the answer. It troubles her that she has no principles worth fighting for.

Yet with my mediocre moderate views which I seem to understand, these are just some worth talking about as of 16th March 2006, 8:40pm. I believe that life starts as the fetus, and unless under dire circumstances, I would not advice my friends to go for an abortion.

Yet this is what I am against. I am against that part-time dishwasher working in the sleazy diner across the street, who earns $20 a day, having to take up three jobs so that her kid can grow up to be yet another single mother. Uneducated to the laws of contraception, her one night of passion with the man she thought would leave her if she did not sleep with him, turned out into a lifetime of single motherhood and the perpetuation of the cycle of poverty. I am against that drugged up girl who sleeps in the corner of the church with her cardboard boxes and shredded blanket, having to go the back alley, pay that sleazy mechanic $200 to rape her and then use a clothes-hanger to slowly tweak out her baby. According to sources, "Women who are separated from their husbands and poor women are more likely to choose abortion than other women." and "Black women are 3 times more likely to have an abortion than white women while Hispanic women are 2.5 times more likely to have an abortion than white women."

I wish we did not need to deal with the issue of abortion. I wish reckless rich couples would not just say "Ooh i forgot to bring contraception...oh well lets just screw and I'll just get an abortion." Sure there are those, but behind every swinger, there is also that 16 year old girl who couldn't afford a baby and had no idea she had other options. I am not pro-choice. I am not pro-life. I am just against poverty exploitation. And that the government and the well off in America are spending time and money debating about whether we should all be pro-life or pro-choice when what needs to be discussed is increasing the minimum wage, breaking wage slavery and making sure everyone can get healthcare when they need it. Oh yah, it doesn't make good election material because poor people can't fund campaigns.

There is a group of people who deserve to be pro-life. Those are the people in the schools ten blocks west of me, teaching young people about abusive behaviour, self-respect, chasity or contraception (depending on which religious viewpoint you want to apply). They are the people who provide nursing homes for homeless pregnant teenagers, pay for their delivery at a safe hospital, help hook them up with reliable adoption agencies, open orphanages for children that have been abandoned and help singlemothers with childcare, education and job opportunities. Most importantly, the availability of these services have to be made known to the population. I not saying that these charity organisations do not exist. I am just asking if the majority of people in these organisations are die-hard pro-life advocates. Without all that in place and just laws banning abortion, the real victims are the poor, the uneducated, the disabled and the ones trapped in that cycle of poverty. Sure we can sit around and pray, and fast, and sing hymns, and write letters to congress, and maybe one day a miracle will happen. I am not saying miracles don't happen. Many do. But many others don't. Because there are still homeless Katrina victims, and fatherless kids in West Philly. If God wanted all of us to just pray, why do we need missionaries? Prayer and faith has to go hand-in-hand with rebuilding the home of that one victim, and giving that one kid an education. Without that, how are we Christians any different from the Pharisee that stole from the poor, or the priest that walked over the dying man?

We live in a fallen world where poor people will exist with or without the ban, poor women will still get banged up with or without the ban, and back alley abortions are still going to exist. This is not about women's rights. This is not about the theology behind when a life is considered a life. This is about what is best for that cashier working her second shift in Wawa, whose life is as important as her unborn baby, or any unborn babies for that matter.

And now as I have offended as many people as I possibly could "Oh look another apathetic singaporean trying to sound as if she knows about american politics....BOOO!!", I rest my case and go back to my simple world of deciding which pink nail polish is the pinkiest.

5 comments:

Nina said...

hey charissa....you might want to check out this organization called "Feminists for Life" ...they are all about eliminating the obstacles that face women who are young, poor, and pregnant while still emphasizing the importance of protecting life. Also, Penn for Life is starting up a College Parents Fund for pregnant and parenting college students...if you or someone you know is interested in donating, write out a check to "College Parents Fund," and we'll deposit the money in the account and distribute it to young mothers once we have collected a sufficient amount..

best,
nina

Nina said...

whoops, i forgot to give you Fems for Life website...it's http://www.feministsforlife.org/

-nina

cherry said...

That's awesome Nina! I was looking through the website...I'm so glad such an organisation exist! It has been on my mind for the last few weeks..

On a totally irrelevant note: It's all about the Bulgarians!

Anonymous said...

amen, sister.
now this is from another singaporean who knows exactly what you mean...
back to my nail polish

- june

Anonymous said...

i'm glad you found the fems for life webpage enlightening....i def. think it's a breath of fresh air.

keep your eyes peeled for respect life week 2006, starting on april 3rd...e-mail me for more details! :)

--nina

p.s. it is indeed all about the bulgarians!