Disclaimer: If you are a member of the religious right pretend it's opposite day, just like in junior high and you might enjoy reading this post.
OK, so I just got done reading some emails and reading a bit of the New York Times and Slate.com websites and I have to say, I'm afraid...very afraid. This fear began to creep into my soul in 2000, strangely enough, just after the presidential election. It really wasn't a very big fear at this time, I still felt very secure and actually pretty patriotic, culminating in representing the U.S. in an international sports competition. However, this feeling of fear grew, slowly but steadily through Bush's first term, through the bogus quagmire some like to call a war and kind of spiked during the bogus quagmire some call a re-election. Having lived in liberal bastions in seas of conservatism my whole life, I was naively confident that the American people would make the right decision and vote how I voted. Boy, was I wrong!
Anyway, skip back to present day and I don't know if it's just that I'm more informed than I had been in the past or if it really has gotten worse for those of us who are liberal leaning but 2 out of 3 pieces of news I read make me physically ill and kinda like I'm in the twilight zone. For example;
- I received 3 emails from separate entities that told me that the House of Representatives is leaning toward major cuts for PBS and NPR(IMHO: untainted sources of information for thinking Americans, as well as educational programming for children and adults)
- At the end of one of my favorite columns: Savage Love the columnist notes the Pope's announcements from last week. While it's no surprise it still makes me angry to see it. Apparently he condemned divorce, masturbation, birth control, in vitro fertilization, living together before marriage, and same-sex marriage as anarchic freedom. I guess all I can do is hope that this dude's influence continues to decline and hope that Santorum isn't able to complete his crusade of making all of this religious ranting into American law.
- In my search for more information about the pope's statements I find some news about a referendum in Italy that took place this week. Apparently two years ago the Italian government passed some laws including restriction of in vitro fertilization(IVF) to married couples, banning the use of donated eggs or sperm the use of a surrogate mother, and Italian women are banned from fertilizing more than three eggs at a time, but they have to implant all of the resulting embryos simultaneously(regardless of genetic diseases, etc.). A doctor who violates any part of the law can be jailed for up to three years. This recent referendum was intended to overturn these laws but voter turnout was abysmal so the laws stay and Italians who want to have a baby must be married, women must be able to carry their own pregnancy and even if an embryo is found to have a genetic disease it must be implanted. Oh yeah, and after the eggs have been fertilized the law says the woman has no choice, they must be implanted, even if she has changed her mind. These laws stem from the idea of trying to make IVF as much like in utero fertilization as well as the phenomenon of giving embryos the rights and status as a person. Now, I know that the Italians had their chance to vote so hopefully they don't care too much about their reproductive rights but hmmm, giving rights to embryos sounds awful familiar...oh yeah! that's right! our government wants to do that!!
- as it turns out, Terri Schiavo, according to her autopsy, was going to be a vegetable for the rest of her un-natural life, and her husband never abused her. Thanks Dr. Frist for your invaluable services. Schiavo's brain had shrunk to half the size, there was no chance of recovery yet these people wanted to keep her "alive?" For whose wellbeing would that have been?
On a somewhat good note, while he still vehemently opposes gay marriage, Rev. Rob Schenk a leader in the religious right has agreed that homosexuality is not a choice and he's planning on sharing this view. A step is a step.
Sorry about the negative post, I'll try to dig up some good news for my next post.