It is a little nerve wracking to yet again put my political/philosophical musings out on a public venue (feel free to stop reading now if you don't appreciate these kinds of posts). But it feels empowering and healthy to voice my opinions. I am thankful to have what I could call an opinion of my own on most issues. Granted, my opinions morph over time, as I continually seek to learn and grow in understanding.
As I have followed the latest Prop 8 proceedings, it appears to look more and more like this:
Obviously agreement will never happen when both groups begin a debate on entirely different trajectories. One steps out boldly waging a battle for “rights” and the other begins a path crusading for “what is right.” One is a matter of justice; the other, a matter of morality. Is it any wonder we have failure to find common ground?
It reminds me of the Prolife/Prochoice camps duking out the abortion issue. While prolifers may make reference to the rights of an unborn child, the true heart of their dilemma is morality vs. immorality—the “sacredness” of life. In other words, it is a moral, faith-based philosophy that triggers their passion. Is that how prochoicers see it? They reason from an entirely different philosophy, touting the rights of women to have control over their bodies, which is not comparable to the debate over life and death inherent in the prolife view. Furthermore, most in the prolife community would agree that a woman’s body is not her own to begin with—but rather, all people’s bodies are gifts from God and He expects them to be a gift well-used. Thus, there is not a common denominator between the two groups, even from step one.
In what might seem a tangent, may I also take this moment to encourage prolife activists to focus their efforts on positive reinforcement, rather than punitive discipline. Parents often find simply telling children “No—stop that!” is an ineffective route to change. Instead, most parents would agree that giving a child a positive alternative to the negative action tends to produce more prompt and lasting change. For instance, if a child is hitting a peer, rather than saying merely, “No! Stop hitting,” a parent would do well to follow up with: “Hitting is wrong because hands are for helping. What good things can we do with hands? We can build a tower using blocks, and we can stroke each others’ hair.”
So consider saying less statements like “Halt Abortions,” and instead more often promoting, “Place for Adoption.” Currently in the US, the vast majority of media and popular culture present two options for a single woman who finds herself pregnant: abort or raise the child on your own. The right to abort a child may always exist, and indeed I do not have hope of that right ever being overturned. But I do have hope that the United State’s culture will one day be more adoption friendly. All of us can begin now to battle the negatives surrounding adoption. Start by correcting the language you use. For example, instead of saying “giving up” a child for adoption, say, “place” a child for adoption. There are more examples of language correction found here. And if you want to educate yourself, or know someone who could use the resource, here is the best adoption site ever: the newly revamped LDS Family Services site.