Ok, now if the post about gay marriage didn’t separate myself from my family on social issues, then this will.
The 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision was today. I saw posts all over Twitter talking about how the case was either really good or really bad. I was both praised and criticized for my views that I expressed over social media, and I think that this is a subject that is worth posting about for sure because it strikes at the very core of an idea that I believe is pivotal to the way we should start to govern our country.
For those of you who don’t know, the Roe v. Wade decision has to do with abortion. In short, the decision held that abortion was legal in the United States and states could therefore not outlaw it like they had in the past. I should probably start off by saying that I would never advocate for someone to get an abortion. I personally believe that it is wrong and that life begins at conception. Those beliefs are my own and I put them into practice in my own life. However, everyone who lives in the United States does not share those same beliefs.
Thomas Jefferson, my all time favorite historical figure, preached the separation of church and state. When listening to the arguments against the legalization of abortion, all I hear is religious rants about morality. Then I realize that that these are the same people that often use the phrase “you cannot legislate morality” when talking about gun control. So if you cannot legislate morality, then how do you think it’s going to “fix” this abortion problem that you think exists? It’s the same thing as gun control. Women with unwanted children (whether it is because they were raped, had an incestuous encounter, or another reason of their own) will find away to get an abortion if they really don’t want the baby, just like a criminal will find a gun regardless of a ban if they really want one. I would rather have the abortion be legal and have a woman be able to go and have it done at a doctor’s office than in an alleyway.
So onto my larger point. The abortion issue is just a microcosm of the problems that our government is having regarding religious influence in political matters. The oh-so-wise Republican Party is the worst perpetrator of this, referencing God whenever they can (especially during campaign season) to try over their constituents and to speak to the pathos of the regular church-goer. Religious fundamentalists are part of what is screwing over the Republican Party and barring them from making any sort of progress because their views are so polarized by religion. Private and public need to stay separate if our representatives in Washington are going to be able to make rational decisions about where the country really needs to go.