ACORNS AND OAK TREES
The hurricane's name was Gustav. It will be followed by Hanna, and possibly after that, Ike will come storming along. You will notice that the Weather Service takes turns in selecting names, choosing one that is female, the next one male. Years ago, this did not happen. All hurricanes, no matter how weak or how strong, were female. Evidently howling winds, furious and angry, blowing off roofs and screaming in fury, reminded the Weather Service of women. It took many complaints from insulted women to change that practice. It is little wonder we could not elect a female president in the United States, when it even took years to make sure hurricane names were evenly divided between the names of both genders.
Recently Sarah Palin, the Vice Presidential nominee for the Republican Party, announced that her seventeen year old daughter is five months along in a pregnancy. Her daughter, it was announced, will marry the father of her baby. I only hope this girl really wants to marry the father of her baby and is not forced to do so in the name of Conservative propriety. The Republicans, who would lace an average young girl with scorn for indulging in sex without the benefit of matrimony, are heaping praise on Mrs. Palin for facing her problem with courage and choosing a Pro Life stance. However, it is not exactly the Abstinence stance so touted by Republicans and connected to the life-saving AIDS medication provided by our country for those suffering from the disease in Africa. It is like saying, "We will cure you, if you promise to practice Abstinence. Otherwise, you die!" I don't know if we should consider this charitable or not!
Wouldn't it have been better for all concerned if the Palin girl had been educated in methods of birth control? Would it not have spared her the curiosity of reporters and the public eye that is going to be fixed on her throughout her pregnancy? I just don't understand this so- called Pro Life group! They support this senseless War in Iraq with its millions of deaths and injuries, and want to continue their march to Israel, leaving death and chaos in their wake, but cheer a young girl who is marrying a boy she may or may not love and act as though this is a clear demonstration of how wonderful it is to give birth, like it or not.
I have talked about this situation with many Pro Lifers and I still can't understand it. They always act as though women wake up in the morning, stretch, and say, "Well, I guess I'll have an abortion today!" Abortions are not like clipping the fingernails. They are decisions that concern much anguish and soul-searching, women whose lives would be torn apart by an unwanted pregnancy, women who pray for help in a situation that is beyond their control.
It seems to me that the responsibility for unwanted pregnancies should fall on the shoulders of the men involved. It seems to me that, if every man made sure that he did not have unprotected sex with a woman who did not want a baby, the problem would be solved. Why has the world always blamed the woman and laid the responsibility solely upon her? Why don't they blame the man, who can walk away from these situations without a care in the world? Somehow, it seems to me that we are not teaching our boys to be responsible about sex. Women are often considered targets, notches on the belt, and our young males neither wonder nor care about the consequences. Perhaps it is time we changed things and equal responsibility is given to the men. Why should Palin's daughter be thrust into the limelight, while the Alaskan male who impregnated her remains in unnamed, peaceful anonymity, at least until some reporter sniffs him out?
What about this Palin woman? If John McCain, this 72 year old politician, wins the presidency, if some lurking disease or condition takes him to his eternal rest, we will have Sarah Palin as President of the United States, possibly still breast-feeding her months old infant. She also has four other children, one of them pregnant, and some kind of an investigation into her actions taking place in Alaska. Evidently she fired a manager who refused to fire her ex-brother-in-law, a state trooper, who had already been cleared in some kind of a court action. Family feuds can get terribly heated and can end in vendettas that get uglier as time goes by. I am not sure this woman is qualified to be the president of our country. I am not even sure she is qualified to be Governor of Alaska, but that's not for me to decide.
Because she is very Conservative and very Pro Life, the Evangelicals have embraced her. Outside the building where the Convention is being held, Amy Goodman was arrested and taken to jail. Amy Goodman, of Democrats Now, has fought long and hard for an end to the Iraq War. You might call her a real Pro Lifer! After all, a soldier killed in battle has lost his life, and in the case of Iraq, it is needless. Let's face it, our country was not in immediate peril from Saddam Hussein, despite the dire warnings given by Bush, Cheney, Rice and Rumsfeld!
Instead of wrapping their arms around Sarah Palin and praising her stance on her seventeen year old daughter's pregnancy, these people should wrap their arms around Amy Goodman, who wants to save the lives of young soldiers and many Iraqi. We seem to have lost our perspective on just when life is worth saving. To save an oak tree, you can't just gather up acorns. You must make sure the ax doesn't fell the tree. Any way you look at it, an acorn is not an oak tree, and a blob of sperm when it first meets a female egg is not yet a baby. The best way to halt a pregnancy is to prevent it from happening. Education on birth control is more important than patting yourself on the back for being "Pro Life!"
Certain churches, like the Catholic Church, also call themselves "Pro Life!" However, their behavior when faced with many, many pedophile priests prove they aren't so solicitous about children already born. Huge payouts and cover-ups instead of swift removal of these priests left the children battling their traumatic memories without justice. If any group or any organization in this world calls itself Pro Life, they should have as much or more concern for the living human being as for an undifferentiated cell! It is a pitiable world when the acorns laying on the ground are of more importance than the sturdy oaks already spreading their leaf-covered limbs to the sun!