Monday, September 1, 2008

Bristol's Pregnant

Okay, what's the big deal?

She's 17 ... five months pregnant ... and going to marry the father.

So, life isn't much different for an uptight, rigid-thinking, right-wing Bible-thumpin' Repub. And whatever happened to abstinence? Apparently both mother and daughter have been unable to practice this essential tenant of GOP social strategy.

Life is filled with millions of choices and decisions, few of which are clean and easy. Hats off to them for standing with their daughter - see Juno.

Anyway, hope everyone can leave Bristol alone ... and let's hope the Repubs don't use this "hockey mom" and her family to obscure how they stand on the issues, and hopefully the Dems won't lose sight of the real craziness of right-wing thinkers like Palin.

But let's cut to a chase here.

I have been pro-choice for years, and I hope that Bristol was given a choice, or will the Repubs use her to prove their point? The religious right, as the TV grandchild of backwoods fundamentalism, has to have the better idea, trading in success stories and "before-and-after" conversion melodrama.

The simple reality: life bears no resemblance to the the kind of life promised by silver-tongued preachers, but the pressure within their ranks is incredible, so that folks begin to act as if it were all true, encouraging one another, and warning one another to prevent defections - a lockstep religion, in other words, hyper-fearful of freedom.

For millions of families, without the resources of care, an unwanted pregnancy is a disaster and abortion, always a tragedy, is the only way out for many. Palin's daughter will be surrounded with all the care needed and then some. But such is not the case for so many living in poverty-inducing Bush policies.

I'm not a dreamer, and because I believe fervently in God, I know God works in and through the hardships of life, including those decisions to end a pregnancy.

In an ideal world, out-of-wedlock pregnancy wouldn't occur, but in our world, it does, and thus it's important that we maintain the right of the mother to make decisions. A democracy can do no other.

There are those, of course, who would dismantle our democracy and replace it with a theocracy, a system harsh and unyielding, subject to the interpretation of folks like James Dobson and the now deceased D. James Kennedy, men who are right at home with religious fanatics who think beheading is a good thing (see Chris Hedges, American Fascists).

The Christian Right, armed with the Bible, the gun and in bed with the neo-cons, are a clear and present danger to the well-being of the Republic. In the twi-light years of the Bush disaster, their influence has wained, but there are millions of unthinking Americans who have linked their faith with this kind of religion. Full of easy answers and spiritual assurance, this kind of religion is attractive and binds its adherents into an unthinking group.

Palin's Bible Church is a part of this dangerous movement.

My greatest fear: this young girl will be put on a stage to give her testimony. Wait and see. I hope not, but in a time when the fundamentalist world needs a celebrity, she could well be the one they've been praying for.

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