Voter ID

The cartoon strip "Doonesbury" has taken an interesting topic this past week. Now, I normally enjoy reading "Doonesbury" because of its political jokes, even though the swipe is usually pointed at the right. Because, hey, politics is messy and pretty ridiculous. I enjoy laughing at what I...well, enjoy. (Plus, the illustrations of Donald Trump crack me up.) But I really, truly, do not understand all the fuss over voter ID laws. They are being called anti-American and a tactic used by the right to prevent minorities from going to the polls. Huh?

Okay, first, what's anti-American about being required to have an ID? A political cartoon in my obviously left-tilted local newspaper this morning had a picture of a Nazi labeled "photo ID" welcoming a voter to the land of the free, and asking to see his papers. Making sure you are an American citizen before you vote is not being a Nazi, and it's not infringing on freedom. If you're an illegal immigrant/not a citizen of the US of A, you aren't allowed to vote. Sorry. And you're not allowed to vote twice, whether you're a citizen or not. That's cheating. IDs are ways of the government keeping track of the people. I don't mean in a creepy "Shadow Children" way--I mean in a make-sure-you-follow-basic-rules-of-the-republic way. It's like the census; we need the census to calculate how many representatives each state is allowed to have, how to distribute funds, etc. Is it annoying? Sure. But it's a necessary annoying.

I recently wrote a blog post on racism hype. This is a perfect example of why I'm so exasperated. Me? Racist? Because I want people to follow the rules? It's the left that's being racist. Aren't they insinuating that minorities aren't smart enough to get their own IDs? Getting an ID is not hard. You show up and fill out an application and present proof of your age and identity. This can be: a birth certificate. Your social security card. School documents. Marriage certificate. U.S. government documents. In North Carolina, the fee is $10. That is not a lot of money. If you are living in poverty, of course, then it can be. But most people can afford $10. Most people 'in poverty' have Cable TV, a car, air conditioning, and other modern luxuries, for crying out loud! My family for years could not afford Cable, and there was a point in time where we lived on oatmeal, beans, and the kind of popcorn that you get in a plastic bag and pop yourself on your stove. And yet, had it been necessary, we could have afforded the $10 dollar photo ID fee. I'm not trying to be insensitive to people who really do have money problems--even if they have luxury items. I just want to point out that most do not have a reason they can't get an ID.

It's true that I don't want illegal minorities to vote. But that's not because they're one of the groups most likely to vote for President Obama. It's because they're illegal. I want people to follow the rules. Is that too much to ask?

All images found via Google Images. No copyright infringement intended.

Defining Person (Part 3)

Many people place the definition of "person" on whatever the mother/woman decides. Planned Parenthood and abortion clinics use this tactic all the time. It's a no-no to call the woman's pregnancy a "baby" if she's going to abort--or if she isn't sure. Use "pregnancy". "Fetus". "Products of conception". But not "baby". Only use "baby" if the mother is accepting of her pregnancy and entirely sure she wants to keep it.

It's this way with our culture. We have Facebook pages for unborn babies, complete with ultrasound pictures and development timelines. We have baby showers. We talk all about the baby. Have you ever heard anyone say, "How's the fetus doing?" to a pregnant woman? Yet we don't make a peep (if we're good little politically correct citizens) if a baby--sorry, fetus--is quietly aborted.

Yet when you think about it, this is quite the bizarre mentality. What if a woman aborts, but regrets her decision later (as many do), and wish she had kept her fetus? Does that mean that it's a baby now, but wasn't when it was aborted? Is the woman delusional? Are all pregnant women delusional when they call their pregnancy a "baby"? Can you turn personhood on and off like a switch?

"Maybe not," some may say, "but when a woman faces an unplanned pregnancy, she hasn't accepted responsibility for it." Oh? So personhood relies on dependence? If nobody wants to take care of you, you're now disposable? Sometimes you automatically have responsibility, whether you have "accepted" it or not. What happens if a woman decides to keep her baby, but then later changes her mind and decides she wants to abort him? Is it too late, since she had already accepted responsibility for him earlier? If there's nothing wrong with that, why do we have abortions at all? Let's let all the women carry their fetuses to term, and then simply kill them after their born. It's safer for the woman. Or why stop there? There's no reason she can't order the death of the fetus when it's, say, seventeen, or as long as it's dependant on her.

I suppose maybe this scenario is a little unfair. A seventeen-year-old can take care of himself if he has to. The fetus--and children up to a certain age--certainly can not take care of themselves. The fetus is the most helpless--if it's taken out of its mother's womb before 23 weeks, it'll most likely die.

But wait a minute. Since when does "helpless" make us care less for individuals? Which scnario gives you the strongest feeling of revulsion: a man raping a 30-year-old woman, or a man raping a 3-year-old girl? Both crimes are terrible, but there's more outrage over the 3-year-old girl, because she could not defend herself. The woman could have been threatened with a gun; she could have been killed. But she still had the chance to run away. The 3-year-old physically had no possibility of escape by herself. The child's helplessness makes us more determined to make the criminal take responsibility for his actions--and possibly greater responsibility. The same goes for the elderly and the handicapped.

The weaker someone is, the more we are obligated to take care of them. If a twenty-one-year-old barges into his mother's home and demands that she make him lunch, she can refuse him if she wants. She can even turn him out of the house. However, if a two-year-old askes his mother for food and she refuses him, she will be accused of child abuse. We automatically strive to protect those who are weaker than ourselves. Only with abortion is this supposed to not be the case.

*Images found via Google Images. No copyright infringement intended.

Extreme Bigot...Yup, That's Me

I believe in (mostly) black and white. There's quite a bit of grey area, and there are some places where something could very well be "right" for one person, and "wrong" for someone else. But there's a whole lot of black and white. And I see more and more black and white as I get older and learn more about the world. It's most inconvenient.

Recently, I've been thinking a lot about contraception, primarily because of the HHS mandate. I've been fairly ignorant about it though, since I'm a virgin and, thus, have never used it. Until recently, I've had a fairly "moderate" view of contraception. I come from a large family and I currently have seven siblings (yes, that number will likely go up). We're not Catholic or Mormon. We're just Christians who know that children are a blessing and who don't use contraception. Simple as that.


Contraception = Evil?
However, I hadn't ever really considered contraception wrong. I don't plan to use it, because...well, I'm not scared of having a family, I guess. I viewed contraception like a lot of people view abortion: "I don't like it, but you can use it if you want." Or perhaps like drinking a lot of beer or smoking: it isn't a good idea and is bad for your health, but it isn't "wrong".

I still have no problem with the idea behind contraception: preventing conception. You can avoid children if you want. It's none of my business. But, I have now discovered the fine print of contraception, and my nice little un-bigoted viewpoint kind of just exploded. Basically, I can no longer call myself pro-life and support most contraceptives. Because of abortion.

Yes, abortion. The vast majority of the time (ninety-something percent, generally), contraceptives prevent conception. But if you read the fine print on the back of the pill bottle or other packaging, the secondary method is to prevent the embryo from implanting in the uterus. Thus, a very early abortion. This goes for the very common contraceptions, such as IUDs and the Pill, as well as the vast majority of other contraceptives.

This view probably appears extreme, even to other pro-lifers. But, frankly, putting a stop to the loss of human life is never extreme, or bigoted.
"If to be feelingly alive to the sufferings of my fellow creatures
 is to be a fanatic, I am one of the most incurable fanatics
ever permitted to be at large." ~ William Wilburforce

Some people protest this view because contraceptive pills are sometimes used for health purposes, not to prevent conception. This is regrettable, but also kind of silly. Contraceptive pills treat the symptoms of these diseases; they don't treat the disease itself. For example: ovarian cysts are (appropriately) painful cysts that form as a result of ovulation (when a woman's ovaries releases an egg for possible fertilization and pregnancy). Birth control usually prevents ovulation and, thus, prevents ovarian cysts; however, it does not cure the disease. The birth control serves as an extreme kind of pain-killer.

So, unfortunately, a practice that our culture has deemed normal and harmless, is anything but. It's always uncomfortable when we realize we've been wrong. It certainly isn't fun for me (my thought upon discovering this was 'Shoot, another thing I have to oppose.'), but to oppose abortion and not oppose chemicals that cause abortions would simply be hypocritical.

*Images found via Google Images. No copyright infringement intended.