First, I am enraged that Sinead O'Connor had the audacity to destroy a picture of the Pope in the name of entertainment. Although she has the right of free expression, can you imagine the outrage if someone performed the same stunt with a picture of Jesse Jackson?
Secondly, if Mr. McKissic wants to live in the era of the Inquisition, that's fine. But if he prefers to live in the present, maybe he should look at the complete list of 33 basic human rights enumerated by Pope Paul VI in his 1979 address to the United Nations. Maybe he should look at the church's many family-support, post-abortion counseling and adoption services. Maybe he should look at the church's adopt-a-grandparent, housing assistance and tutoring programs.
It's a shame Mr. McKissic would rather mouth the rhetoric of the past
rather than acknowledging the significant role the Catholic Church currently
plays in helping all members of society, including the unborn. Better yet,
maybe Mr. McKissic and Sinead O'Connor should start working to eliminate evil
in the world, rather than merely placing blame on an institution that does.
Carolyn C. Gargaro
The responses to your Dec. 21, editorial prove my point made in my 12/12 letter that there can be no common ground between those who are pro-choice and those who would deny the right of others to make a choice different from their own. Anyone who doesn't agree with the religiously correct is demonized.
You appropriately quote the First Amendment. I am afraid that the meaning of that amendment is lost on the letter-writers of that day. This issue is really more about religious intolerance than it is about life. Hitler, incidentally, was both anti-feminist and anti-abortion. He, too, was no supporter of First Amendment rights.
However, it looks as though this issue is about to destroy any remaining pretense that the Republican Party is an inclusive "big tent" as the Republican National Committee (RNC) is considering establishing an abortion litmus test for RNC money. At least, if the influence of the Christian far right on that party turns into obvious control, voters will have a real choice - between an admittedly less than perfect government or a real-life enactment of The Handmaiden's Tale, where women's uteruses were considered public property by a controlling religious elite.
My Response - printed in the South Jersey Courier Post 1/14/98
Re: "Consider Our Rights," (letter, 1/9/98)
Audrey Burns proves once again that pro-choicers are apparently unable to argue their side of the issue without distorting facts.
While Ms. Burns' letter was full of inaccuracies, none were quite as glaring as her assertion that "Hitler was anti-abortion." Ms. Burns conveniently left out the fact that Hitler was only against perfect, Aryan women having abortions. Hitler was well-known for forced abortions and sterilizations for non-Aryan women - a policy which began in 1934.
Ms. Burns also didn't mention that the saline abortion, a procedure still used today which is agonizingly painful to the unborn and emotionally traumatizing to the woman, was originally developed in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany.
What defined Nazi Germany was it's total disregard for human life, just as a disregard for human life defines the pro-choice justification for denying the unborn his/her constitutional right to life.
Ms. Burns was correct though, when she stated that Hitler was "anti-feminist." Ms. Burns of course doesn't point out how legalized abortion is also anti-feminist - our feminist foremothers such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Alice Paul all opposed abortion because they saw abortion as an oppression against someone less powerful - the same type of oppression that feminists fought against. The "right" for women to destroy their own offspring is not a "right" - no one has the right to destroy another human being.
If pro-choicers are so adamant about their beliefs, then why must they resort to such distortions? Why are they so afraid of the truth?
* ``Yet human beings do think their lives are special. That is why the law is largely based on notions of identity and rights.'' There will undoubtedly be many debates over the ``identity of a clone.'' Meanwhile, a totally ``new'' human being, unlike any other previously born, can be aborted with no regard to the notion of his or her identity and rights.
* ``Many people worry (and who can blame them?) that in attempting to make clones we usurp the role of the creator.'' Aborting an unborn child isn't ``playing God''?
The editorial expresses concern over the possibility that ``hundreds, maybe thousands, of human eggs'' may be trashed. Yet every year more than a million unborn children are ``trashed'' by abortions. Is an egg of more concern than an unborn child - especially a fully formed viable child?
A final quote: ``We protect people's intellectual property with copyright laws; won't our physical being deserve even greater protection?'' How strange that a person's DNA may deserve protection under law, but an unborn child doesn't.
President Clinton has said human cloning ``raises deep concerns, given our cherished concepts of faith and humanity.'' What do these concerns include? Should we consider the right to choose? What about the right of a woman to control her own body? Is the right to privacy a concern? And then there's the question of ``reproductive freedom.'' If a woman has the right to choose abortion, why doesn't she have the right to bear a clone of herself?
Nineteen European countries recently signed a treaty to ban human cloning,
saying it was ``contrary to human dignity and thus constitutes a misuse of
biology and science.'' Before we worry about a few clones, maybe it's time to
end a gross misuse of biology and science - abortion, a procedure that's
resulted in the deaths of more than 30 million unborn children in our country
in the last 25 years.
E-mail mom here :)