Now, for those of you who are still reading this, please keep an open mind.
I mean it. OPEN YOUR MIND.
I am a Liberal. I am also a Born-Again Christian.
Yes, they can co-exist, but I also believe that my kind is the quiet minority who are afraid of speaking up because we will be drowned by the majority of non-religious Liberals or the majority of Conservative Christians. We keep our mouths shut, we plod along, we try to do what's right when the circumstances call for it, but we don't do it loudly out of fear that we will be squashed by both sides that we represent.
It's darn scary to be someone that is hated by both sides. Doesn't matter that I'm a white female, because I enjoy rights and also have inherited the problems that all females endure. Being raised a Christian means that women are to be seen and not heard, are baby-factories who cannot think for themselves, who should not be educated, who cannot be feminist, should stay at home to raise children and cook dinners for husbands. I was raised by a mother who worked, but then was able to raise her children from home. She didn't have many hobbies of her own, her whole life revolved around being a wife to her husband and a mother to her children. That was how she was raised and that was how she lived her life. (Don't get the wrong impression, I was told that I could be anything and do anything that I wanted, so I wasn't raised as conservatively as I could have.)
I will not say that is a bad thing, because it's not. It's sort of the "American Dream of Woman" that came to be after World War II when the men came home from the war. The women had been busting their butts working in industry so that their husbands could go and fight in Europe. They scrounged, they saved, they did what they could to keep the country afloat. When their husbands returned, I'm pretty sure they all wanted to just relax and go back home and allow their husbands to make money and take care of things. Every person, man or woman, after working for many years and having it rough would want this at some point. Sure, they might get bored of it after awhile, but I'm pretty sure as the men needed something to do after the war, they probably said, "Nope, it's our job to take care of things now, you just stay home and we'll do the heavy lifting."
Sure, those women who marched for suffrage, those women who worked hard at the factories and in the war, I'm sure they didn't want to be shut down, but I have a feeling the vast majority of the country probably said, "Oh well, let's just give ourselves a break."
Now, I didn't live in those times, but you can see a direct shift in the 1950's and 1960's when this mindset occurred, and then Vietnam happened (and hippies) and there was another shift to the idea of women staying at home having babies when we returned to the 1970's and 1980's. I was raised in that time period and know for certain that was the mindset of the American Conservative Male in that time period.
We are not here to complain about the "American Dream of Woman". I had it too when I was growing up because no one told me that I could go into engineering, no one told me that technical school could have been an option, no one told me that women could work in the computer field. We could 'do whatever we wanted,' but we were not told about everything there was we could be. Women in the work force were nurses and teachers. I didn't want to be either one of those, I wanted to be a writer and I wanted to be a historian. I actually really wanted to be a Paleontologist, but the guidance counselor I was issued didn't know that was the study of dinosaurs. She never investigated Science, she just simply followed her path. Either you go into nursing or teaching, get married and quit - or you keep on doing those things and never get married. Whatever, that's how it was meant to be.
We are also not here to complain about women having children. I think my distance from children really came simply from not being around them as much as my mother and many of my friends were. I didn't get into a serious relationship with a man until well into my 20's and didn't get married until I was almost 30, so by that time I accepted that children might not be something in my future. I only babysat for one child because the neighborhood I grew up had all children my age and then all that was left were the older generation. I simply didn't know enough about children to actively aspire to be a parent. But I know that there are many young and older women who want children but cannot have them are out there and also many young and older women who simply do not wish to have children. It really shouldn't be an issue.
What we ARE here to talk about is that it still IS an issue because recently it overshadowed a very important event that happened this last weekend (I'm speaking of the women's marches that happened all over the world).
Abortion. Or rather, the choice to have or not to have children.
It seems simple enough, so let's look at the sides:
Christians follow one simple philosophy: Go forth and multiply.
(King James version of Genesis 9:7 "And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.")
Okay, so we're talking, we need to have children and we need to spread over the Earth. Okay, that makes sense even to the non-Christian counterparts in the world. By even an historical standpoint, when this was written there could be a plague to wipe out a quarter or even a half of the population at a time. Whole cities could be killed off by a single disease. This makes sense whether you are talking about God or if you don't believe in a deity at all. Let's continue the human race because you never know when some war, plague, etc, could happen.
Springing forward to 2,000+ years later however, and we have medicines, we have hygiene, we are spread over the world to every corner, even parts that our ancestors would never have imagined. And many humans are predicting we may need to expand outside of every corner of our world into others.
My question today is, so why is it that we still believe we must continue to multiply? Is it because of our intimate fear of being wiped out as a species? Or is it a fear of our blood lines being ended by one infertile child? If these new DNA testing methods show us, our blood lines are so intermingled now that you can find every single race spread throughout the planet (except, perhaps, for a few small tribes out there). So is it instead about the fear of our ancestors still spreading down through us that our species must continue on? Or is it instead the fear that we will displease God if we don't continue multiplying until the Earth can't support us any longer?
Why would God choose to do that to us? Why would God tell us to keep having children until the planet He created for us couldn't support us any more? Is that truly something a loving God would do?
Okay, so now you're starting to wonder, "What's your point? Are you a Pro-Choicer?"
But not for me. I'm Christian, after all, and if I became pregnant or would become pregnant in the near future, I'd keep the child. But I'm not going to tell someone else that they can't make the decision for themselves. That wouldn't be fair to them.
And for the record, Liberals don't call for Abortion.
We call for CHOICE.
So stop acting like every single Democratic Liberal is out there picketing hospitals telling pregnant women to have an abortion because IT DOES NOT HAPPEN.
And if you've read this far, you should probably continue on reading because I'm about to make a really MIND-BLOWING point here.
It is FREAKIN' EXPENSIVE to have children.
Liberals see this, we're educated in this and understand, so let me drive it home to you as well.
If you, who read this, are a die-hard Christian who believes that God wants everyone to have children, and they voted for Trump because he's a Republican and he's going to stop all of this money from the government from paying for abortions, please hear me out.
Why are you telling women 1) you can't have birth control and 2) you can't have abortions?
Because they are "killing babies" right? Both kill babies. Am I right?
However, if you've raised a baby, you know how expensive raising a child can be right? Maybe you're wealthy and you never had trouble with feeding a child or sending it to a private school. Or maybe you've always wanted a child but can't have one and there's not enough babies in the adoption system so you can have one of your own. Or maybe you did have children when all you could feed them was Kraft Mac & Cheese and you barely ate anything but it was worth it because someday those children will grow up to take care of you someday.
But isn't that selfish?
Okay, I've been called selfish for not wanting children. "You're being selfish, because you could give your love, attention and money to a little child instead of keeping it all for yourself." Yes, sure, maybe it is. But am I also selfish for not wanting to bring it into a hatred filled America where people can't decide on what's wrong and write and the education system is declining into oblivion and the prison system is filled with people and jobs barely pay for food and shelter because no one understands building, farming and basic need-fulfillment anymore? And an American where we're about to have another economic collapse at any moment?
If you have a baby this year, you will spend between $3,000 and $30,000 on medical and hospital bills if you have insurance. You'll probably spend a few more thousand dollars are feeding and caring for that baby. You'll spend nearly a quarter million dollars to raise that child until it is of the age to go to college. (I can't even imagine how expensive it would be to go to college in 18 years so I'm not even going to guess at that right now.)
Minimum wage is $8.15 where I live. IF you were able to actually make that full time you'd make $16,000 or so a year before taxes. (NO, I'm not going to talk about taxes being lowered so stop - America is already where it is because of the tax situation.) An inexpensive apartment in a decent size city might cost $400-$600 a month to rent - let's say with utilities and insurance that's rounded up to $1,000. That would leave someone with $4,000 to pay for food, autos/transportation, clothes and other necessities. Where would a minimum wage person get the money to pay for that kid after all that?
I'm not talking about raising minimum wage either, so stop whining.
I'm talking about women living under these conditions and getting by without a child to worry about. Maybe they try to find someone else to live with so they can share that burden together. Maybe they make a mistake in that man they find and they have sex and she becomes pregnant and he leaves her. First these Conservatives say she can't have birth control (or should avoid sex all together) but they also say, but that's your duty as a woman to have children - so now she's pregnant and now she's facing this burden of that child and the money it will cost.
These Christians won't pay for this woman's medical costs, will they? Maybe if the woman is lucky she will find someone who wants to adopt and will help her out, but I'm pretty sure that mostly happens in the movies. I don't have actual numbers on that one, but I feel it's probably pretty rare. But also, now that it's happened, why can't she abort it?
An abortion costs less than $1,000. It's usually a pill and it's done.
I'm not condoning abortion - so STOP YELLING AT ME.
I'm just saying, if you were in this situation, you know you'll never find someone who will help you pay for all of the medical costs associated with having a baby, you don't want to be in debt with the hospital for the foreseeable future, and you still have time to take a pill and be in debt for a shorter amount of time, would you really go through and have the baby if those were your choices?
Oh, and Planned Parenthood is out of the picture because the government wants to stop them from helping women actually plan to be parents, because they're too afraid these places are abortion factories. FALSE. These places actually give formula, birth control, and advice to women no matter what side of the issue they are on. They help women get through having children as well as helping them prevent, but no matter, that won't be around much longer if the Republicans have their way.
So, again, remember, I'm a Liberal Christian. I feel like I can believe the way I believe but also believe that everyone else has their right to believe the way they want to believe. I'm quiet because I know that being vocal would mean someone is going to think I'm trying to impose my belief upon them and that's not how the world should work. But Christians also believe on spreading their belief to others.
Where should I draw that line? I believe that women should have the choice whether they can afford to have children. I believe a man should not be the one who dictates this. I also believe that another woman should not be the one who dictates this. And if one of them feels they should, then maybe they should put their money where their mouth is and help said women have said child and if they can't afford it either, they should probably shut their traps and let the woman do whatever she feels is best in her situation!
Wouldn't that be much easier than spreading hate and anger? Wouldn't that be the Christian thing to do? Wouldn't that be like Jesus wanted in loving thy neighbor? How about the story of the Good Samaritan? Have us as Christians gone backwards so far that we're willing to ignore all of the Bible's teachings just to focus on one thing: multiplying? Or maybe the other focus, "Thou shall not kill."
That's the brunt of it, isn't it? Murder?
I won't argue that stopping the life of a child from being born is a questionable topic. It could mean murder. Maybe it doesn't. I'm not sure. I won't know for sure until after I'm dead and I can ask God directly what His thoughts are on the subject. Doesn't say in the Bible anywhere because they didn't have abortion back then. It does, however, say that life begins with the first breath, (Genesis 2:7) which could be interpreted as soon as a baby is actually born.
I'm not going to argue though. Look it up for yourself and decide. If you've read this far than I'm sure you're intelligent enough to make decisions on the topic for yourself.
However, keep in mind that what is happening in the United States right now is scary for some people. They are worried about the future of women and their rights. We have made many strides forward to getting women equal rights. We have called out the fact that women make less in every field than men do. But more women are starting to get into the fields that were typically for 'men only'. But chefs in restaurants were always men once and now women are there. So eventually women may get into scientific and engineering fields that men have dominated and we can make the pay they do and the playing field will level out. Men are already starting to get into the jobs that were once dominated by women - teaching and nursing - so maybe it will. But should we really take a step back now that we're getting this much closer to equality?
Wouldn't God want us all to be on equal footing? He made man and woman.
So, in these times as I watch so much hate on all sides, I have sit back and cried. I know something bigger is going on in this world and something is about to change. I'm not sure if it's for the better. We already had one recession in the past ten years, and they're calling for another. I can feel it happening already as people march on Washington, D.C. and around the world. As everyone is focusing on Donald Trump becoming president - they are so focused on what he's doing, they either focus on the good or bad to the extent they aren't seeing what's really happening. Trump, perhaps, is taking our focus off what's really going on in the U.S.A. right now. Maybe the whole election between him and Hillary Clinton was to stir up Americans to the point of riots (which happened) and point their focus away from what's really going on.
After all, the subject of abortion has been a hot-topic for over 60 years. It hasn't gone either way yet, so what's going to say that something will change in four? But maybe putting that topic at the forefront will stop us from looking at what's really going on.
Even ignoring the wars and terrorism that are running rampant through an over-populated planet, let's go back to the heart of American Capitalism for just a second. (And then I'll be done with this rant for today, I promise, just bear with me a bit longer).
Capitalism, which is what Americans focused on after World War II, making America work for itself again, bringing industry and advancing our country, that's really the focus that Trump made in running for office, right?
So, if that's his real focus, why have so many business started folding in this new year? What's really going on then?
The balance of money has started to tip too far to recover without consequence.
It's the reason these poor women can't afford to have these babies, after all. The 1% may soon become the .5%.
When that happens, when the monopolies have taken over, we will see a huge falling-off that we didn't see in the past recession. The lower-middle class suffered during the last recession. Now the upper-middle class/lower upper class will suffer even more. We're already seeing this in the closures of stores across the country. Those who have the money are putting the squeeze on companies to pull back the reins. I've seen this already in two companies in Ohio: The Andersons and Bob Evans. In the case of The Andersons, the retail side of the business was suffering so they pulled back to focus on production. Same for Bob Evans, however, they're managing to sell off their retail restaurants as opposed to closing them. Both of them had investors who wanted to go another direction. Maybe this is part of the Trump plan, get people back to production - but where does that leave those who have come to rely on retail as a means of supporting ourselves? (Those wait-staff and cashiers whose livelihoods exist only because of jobs since spending money was always the focus?)
Well. I'm not sure. I do feel, however, that this is not the end. More businesses will shift their focus, many will shutter doors and shut off the flow of jobs. Maybe new businesses and jobs will arrive as these businesses change focus, but will it be fast enough? Only time will tell. But it's majorly scary for someone who has worked in retail her entire life. I like selling things. But I also like making things, so perhaps things will start to shift for that again, who knows?
All I can say for a fact, is that Americans, whether Liberal or Conservative, Christian or Atheist (or Muslim or whatever religion or not) need to come together and help one another. We need to look out for one another. We need to stop criticizing one another. We certainly need to stop bending the details to our side and start focusing on the truths. We need to start helping to build up one another so we can withstand this storm that's coming.
Americans will be nothing if we cannot start helping each other and stop hating one another. We need to focus on healthcare, education and rebuilding our infrastructure. We need to buckle down, every single one of us, to build a garden, create a business, work on rebuilding and teaching those children that we do have how to take care of themselves when things get bad.... and they WILL get bad, and soon, unless we stop focusing on these petty differences that haven't been solved in 60+ years and start focusing on things we can make a difference.
Feel free to comment below if you've actually read this far. And if you DID read this far, I really appreciate you as a human being, because now you know a bit more about me than you probably knew before. Thanks for being cool. ^_^ Here's an adorable picture of a cat:
tl;dr: Women's rights and abortion issues are hiding bigger problems that are growing in our Capitalistic society.