Religion; Hatred; Tolerance; Part 1

All the recent debating and yelling about Muslims, homosexuals, assisted suicide, abortion, and the transgender community, have really been rubbing me the wrong way. I find that I have run out of patience for small-minded, hate-filled people. And it bothers me that so many people are spewing this hatred in the name of the god I follow when I firmly believe he is a god of love, tolerance, and acceptance.

So here it is, issue by issue, my stance on the controversies of the day, why I don’t understand the big deal people are making, and why tolerance does not mean participation or even approval.

Abortion and Birth Control

Abortion is against the Christian faiths. It is commonly believed within the Christian community that life starts at conception, that every person has a soul at the moment of conception. The only accepted form of birth control is abstinence (completely before marriage or during marriage when pregnancy is possible but not desired).  Abstinence can be paired with “family planning” which involves counting out safe days based on the reproductive cycle. This leaves the matter of pregnancy in god’s hands, since apparently god can work around the female reproductive cycle but not condoms or the pill.

I am Catholic. I know what the official stance on birth control is as far as the Catholic Church is concerned. I think the Catholic Church is welcome to its opinion but quite frankly I believe that god gave us science for a reason – to improve our lives and our health. We accept that women now go to hospitals or see midwives, they don’t have their babies alone in their homes. We wash our hands because we accept that there are germs. We love science! But not when it comes to birth control. I don’t understand why. Giving women the power to control their own bodies, to improve their health and well-being, is important.

My personal choices concerning whether or not I have or will use birth control are just that – mine and personal. If you use birth control that’s your choice, pure and simple, and none of my business.

I could never have an abortion. I’ve been through a teenage pregnancy scare that ended in a false alarm. But I was told by two people that I had the choice, I didn’t have to be pregnant. My answer was “I did this, I made this choice, if this choice got me pregnant then I will deal with it.” Honestly, I was so attached to the idea of a baby inside me that I knew I couldn’t kill it, if it was even there.

Abortion is a woman’s choice to make. Every time a woman gets pregnant she consciously, or unconsciously, makes the choice to keep it or not. Making abortions legal keeps women safe because legal or not there are women who will choose it. The church is against it, I could never do it, and that still doesn’t change that every pregnant woman has the choice. Just because you don’t like the choice she MIGHT make doesn’t give you the right to take her choice away.

Because her right to choose wasn’t given to her by you. Or by the state. Or by the church. It was given to her by god. That’s what Christians believe. And if she’s a mature woman, old enough to vote, she’s old enough to decide what to do with her own body.

And you have the right to do what you want with yours.

I’m pro-choice, and my choice is never to have an abortion because I feel it is wrong to kill a child because I made a bad decision.

I’m pro-choice, and my choice is that two children is enough for me. I cannot handle any more, emotionally or physically. So I am taking measures to not have anymore children.

I’m pro-choice, and my choice is to keep my nose out of your choice. If you ask me for an opinion, or for information, I will gladly share with you what I have learned and experienced. But in the end you are free to make your own choice.

Because just because I believe something – just because Christians believe something – doesn’t mean everyone else believes it. Not everyone is Christian, after all.

 

This is part 1 of a longer series dealing with several controversial issues.

I would love to hear your opinions on abortion and birth control.

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