Thursday, December 4, 2014

Troubled Times

These are troubled times.
We foolishly elect politicians,
supposedly sane people,
     who refuse to ban any weapons,
     even military style rifles that 
     crazy people use to shoot many,
     many innocent people who die.
And we ask, why?

In these troubled times,
unthinking people want a religious state,
but only a Christian state,
     where symbols offensive to many are flaunted,
     where women are denied reproductive rights,
     where marriage rights are restricted, and
     where a bible story can be taught as science.
And we ask, why?

In these troubled times,
selfish people want everything privatized,
who want little government,
     except to fight wars,
     except to legislate for big business,
     except to weaken programs for the sick and elderly, and
     except for everything that makes the rich richer.
And we ask, why?

In these troubled times,
myopic people worship Old Glory,
forgetting that we are citizens of the planet,
     who would flex more military might,
     who would oppose climate change,
     who would build higher fences, and
     who would send Mexicans home.
And we ask, why?

In these troubled times,
misguided people wage war on women,
and children too,
     who oppose affordable health care,
     who oppose reproductive science,
     who legislate against safe abortion, and
     who deny sick children medical marijuana.
And again we ask, why?

I think I know why.
Actually, I'm certain I know why,
so I am saying it here.
     We have not fully recovered from 9/11.
     We are afraid and want things to be the way they were,
          and can never be again.
     We want to be controlled by religious, political and social ideology
          to manage our fear.
     We need to be controlled to avoid thinking and being genuinely free.
We live in the land of the free, but are we really free?

These are indeed troubled times.
Sadly, it will get worse before it gets better.
Planes flew into our buildings,
     and the bad guys are winning,
     not because of what they did,
     but because of what we are letting them do,
     changing our collective soul.
No, we are not yet free.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

An Unknowing Love

You asked me to share one of my many fantasies about you.  What follows is about you – and about me.  It contains some truths, some untruths and some memories.  It is wistful, fanciful, lustful and loving.  And it is about a special connection, one which neither of us fully understand.  

As you know, I self-identify as polyamorous.  In the poly community, it is generally agreed that folks are either poly by nature or by choice, and I wholeheartedly agree with this.  I have also studied evolutionary psychology and believe strongly that monogamy differs in that it can only be practiced by choice, never by nature; it is not and has never been core to our sexual makeup.  In other words, we can by nature desire to love one or more than one, but our desire to be sexual with more than one is deeply ingrained in all of us.  We can repress the desire and not act on it, but it will always remain a part of who we are. 

I am poly by nature.  I know this by my feelings and by a review of my history, which shows that in spite of my best efforts and good intentions, I have never been able to sustain monogamy for an extended period of time.  Some people believe I am actively polyamorous now due to the fact I enjoy two long-standing, simultaneous relationships: a  loving twenty year marriage and a close six year intimate friendship.  But, I know this not to be true, due to the longing in my heart and my ongoing search for another beloved to fill the void.  I hope to find her soon.  Could it be you someday? 

And what about you?   Are you poly?  Monogamous?  Conflicted?  If you permit me to express a wild-ass guess, I would say all of the above.  You are poly by nature, monogamous by choice and conflicted.  By poly, you are polysexual for sure, and probably, polyamorous.  You neither confirm nor deny, but my guess is that you live life mostly monogamously, and more strictly so while pregnant and while trying to get pregnant.  Certainly, during this period you have expressed no sexual interest in me; although, I can’t speak to any other relationships you might have.  I can say that you appear overall happy with life, love your husband and child deeply and are proud as a peacock with your new expanded family.  Yet, without judgment, I sometimes wonder if your authentic self can fully manifest before drowning in a sea of normality.  Time will tell. 

We discuss these things over breakfast at our old stomping ground, a restaurant where  we used to meet and solve world problems.  Remember?  The grandparents are visiting and allowing you a much needed reprieve from childcare for an entire day.  As we converse, I take frequent peeks at your semi-exposed breasts.  You dress to tease, wearing a low cut top and leaning over the table as we talk.  I pretend not to notice.  But, of course, I do and you know I do.  God, I love those tits!  Even more so, I love that you like to torture me in this way.  I would love to fondle and suckle them once again, but realize those days may be behind us.  This saddens me. 

We talk about the authentic self and the importance of being true to one’s nature and the potential for agonizing confliction resulting from the failure to honor core truth.  The backdrop of our conversation is an unspoken truth: I know that you know how badly I desire you and long for a relationship that is both intimately romantic and intensely physical; you know that I know this is not possible because of the normative nature of your primary relationship; and we both know, that while hope runs eternal, there are real life limits.

A myriad of interesting topics are covered during our conversation.  You tell me about your littles group and your latest child play activities.  We talk about Frolicon and your husband’s initiation into the fetish world.  We discuss the Oneness of the Universe and how everything is fully connected by energy.  We take delight in the energy connection between us and amusement by how both of us are often sexually aroused at the same time, even when separated by distance.  It seems as if it is our way of making love.  We talk about the Disciples of Christ Church, the place where my wife and I were married and where you adjust your mindset to more normative religious belief.  Will your child be raised to become a DC disciple?       
In our sexual past, the most important limit to you, and certainly the most frustrating to me, was cock-in-pussy fucking (known in polite society as PIV intercourse).  Today, I don’t know our sexual limits, or in general, even the exact nature of our relationship.   And, fortunately, I don’t waste time or energy trying to figure it out.  I do know I am enjoying the present moment, right now, right here at this place with you.  A part of me wants to create more of these moments, and another part of me wants to just be fully present and do nothing beyond soaking up as much of your feminine energy as possible. 

From time to time, we exchange I love you’s.  This is something else I do not try to analyze or fully comprehend.  The word love is used so broadly it can mean anything from a deep emotional bond to loving potato chips for a midnight snack.  Tragically, love is greatly misunderstood in our society, perpetuated by a sex-negative culture that tells us that if we love one person, there is less love available for another or others.  Society teaches that love is an economy of scarcity; those of us wise enough to know better understand that love is an economy of abundance.  I have unlimited love to give and you are part of my circle of love.

Our conversation has been wonderful, but very serious, and we both sense it is time to lighten up.  We now only discuss mundane matters and continue to do so until long after breakfast is over.  Sadly, it is soon time to leave.  After walking you to your car, we exchange a big hug and a friendly kiss.  (This is expected; what happens next is not expected.)  You return your lips to my mouth for a more intimate kiss.  We hold the kiss and your lips part, slightly at first, but more fully as the kiss unfolds.  In time, our mouths open fully and our tongues meet in the ancient dance of lust and desire.  I feel your body melt into mine, your ample breasts pressing against my chest, and the touching of our bellies and thighs.  I feel, and I know you feel, my growing hard-on poking into your gut.  I never wanted anyone more and was thrilled when you whispered the magic word in my ear: motel?

We check into our room, close the blinds and transition easily into D/s (Dominate/submissive) mode.  I  tersely order you to strip naked and lie face up on the bed, and without hesitation or protest, you obey.  I place a towel on a chair (consistent with nudist protocol), position the chair directly at the foot of the bed and disrobe.  I sit quietly and intently worship your naked body, lying still before me on the altar of lust.  After long minutes of silence, seeming like hours to you, but only seconds to me, I command you to touch your body from toe to head, lightly and sensually.  After a slow journey up your body and over the mountains of soft curves, your hands reach your face.  I tell you to slowly and tenderly caress your face, eyes, ears, nose, chin and mouth like a lover’s touch during foreplay.  And you do as you are told, while I observe lustfully from the foot of the altar.

Next, I command that your forefinger be my prick and that you lick it erotically, starting at the base and slowly working up to the crown.  After many thrilling caresses with your tongue on the tip and around the head of my now needy cock, I tell you to put your finger in your mouth and move it in and out.  “Give me your best blowjob!  Make me come!  Oh, my god, that feels so good.  Don‘t stop until you fill your mouth with my come.”  And you obey.  Slowly at first, and then faster and faster, my finger cock is expertly stimulated under your administrations.  I am now so turned on that my cock, the one attached to my body, can no longer wait.  I jack off at a pace matching the finger cock in your mouth.  This continues until you feel spurts of real come landing on your calf and foot, and inexplicably, you even sense your finger shooting hard against the back of your throat.  You swallow and seductively lick your lips.

“Bend your knees and spread them wide,” I order.  “I want to worship your pussy.”   You protest and I demand your obedience.  You feel helpless and humiliated, yet comply, knowing I will be disappointed in you, even punish you, if you fail to obey.  “Now, play with your clit.  I want to see you come.  Don’t stop and don’t fake it.  I want to witness a real, honest to god orgasm.”  You touch your pussy in a way only a woman knows how, with just the right pressure and speed, changing constantly as your physical and emotional needs demand.  I watch you breathe and notice your breath hasten in perfect tune with your body’s state of arousal.  And best of all, I see, hear and live vicariously your blissful climax.  It is just so perfectly done that soon a big, all knowing smile crosses your face, telling me what I already know: it feels damn good to come for your Master. 

“Now, play with your tits.  I want them hard and firm and needy.  Work them until you need my mouth on your nipples, sucking without mercy.  We both know one orgasm will never suffice.”  And you work them seductively, kneading them like dough that will ultimately leave the oven warm and delicious.  I know how good they taste from past experience, when I have caressed, kissed, licked and sucked your beautiful boobs.   And I need to do it once again.  “Fuck to hell real life limits!  Those boobs are mine, if only for today,” I tell myself.

I transition my thoughts from tits to pussy and fixate on the way your pussy becomes wet so freely and so generously.  I think back to the only previous time I tasted your come.  It was incredibly delicious, an experience I know must be repeated.  I slip on a condom and mount you, while carefully avoiding penetration.  Our naked bodies fuse into one, as I slide up and down your body with a sensual body-to-body massage.  My mouth lands on first one, then the other nipple, sucking you hard until you get close to having a titty-gasm.  My intimate friend can come this way, so I know how much fun it can be facilitating a boob release; but I decide to back off, and instead, gently slide down your body, leaving behind a trail of tender, loving kisses. 

At journey’s end, I slowly and gently part your lips and shower your most intimate parts with light wet kisses.  More firmly, I circle your outer lips and then your inner lips with my moist tongue before finding your love button.  I circle your clit faster and faster until I feel it firm and eager under my administrations.  I move down and tongue fuck your pussy.  You gush and I savor the deliciousness of your juices.  “God, you taste good!”  And before long, you come again; this time, much harder than before. 

You say, “That was the best ever.”  And that makes ME proud as a peacock, so I silently thank you for feeding my ego.

Once again, I mount you, our bodies fully connecting without penetration.  You say, “We fucked during my b2b massage.  We weren’t supposed to do that, but I have to admit, it felt good.”

“Bullshit, we did not fuck.”

“Yes, we did.  The tip of your dick touched my pussy hole.”

“That is not fucking.”

“Yes, it is!”

“No, it isn’t!”

“Yes, it is!”

“No, it isn’t!”

Rather than argue about this for what could potentially be years to come, I decide to end the debate.  Without warning, I suddenly plunge my cock deep into your cunt.  Your eyes pop wide open with surprise.  We lie still while I dissect the startled look on your face.  I wonder, “Are you okay?  Glad it finally happened?  In Shock?  Royally pissed?”  Still, your face keeps your secrets and provides me no clue.  Do you get retribution by  refusing to reveal yourself?

After an overly long and uncomfortable pause, it becomes clear that I will not receive the benefit of feedback.  I begin to slowly undulate my hips in the hope you will follow suit.  Initially, there is no reaction, but soon, a sly smile crosses your lips and your hips dance slowly in harmony with mine.  For now, we are one, physically, and I pray, emotionally.  In a mutual, unspoken desire to prolong our dance, we move slow and easy, gradually increasing pace only as our bodies demand.  Then, driven by intense passion and lust, we ravish each other as our pleasure mounts and our orgasms reach that long, slow, wonderful period of inevitability, followed by the full manifestation of our feelings for each other. 

Afterwards, lying contentedly in each others' arms, we remain silent and deep in thought.  Did we fuck or make love?  Or both?  When will it happen again?  When will we even see each other again?  Neither of us know the answers.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I Have a Dream

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. -- Martin Luther King

Fifty years ago today, we became a far greater nation.  Here in Atlanta, we have permanent reminders, such as the King Center, and we can observe much celebration this week surrounding the March and the Dream.  But is the significance fully understood in rural Nebraska?  Small Town, Kansas?  Or, for that matter, anywhere in Texas?  Just wondering - I really don't know.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Jealousy and the Soul

A jealous person is often reacting to the soul’s awareness that bonding with your beloved is incomplete. Ego may not be conscious of this gap but the soul always knows the truth. The soul has no secrets from itself. And no judgments either.
When the soul sees that the beloved is not open to union, whatever he or she may say to the contrary, fear threatens to overwhelm the ego. “All is lost,” wails the ego. When the soul sees that you yourself resist the call to union, whatever the official status of your relationship, the soul knows you’re on shaky ground.
If, on the other hand, you are solidly grounded in the knowledge of your unconditional love for one another, any stirring of jealousy quickly dissolves in the light of the eternal bond between you. Nothing can shake a bond like this. Not death, not separation, and certainly not another human’s genitals.
If jealousy instructs you to go deeper, simply do so. If you encounter resistance, meet it with clear sight instead of striking out blindly in jealous rage.  

By Deborah Taj Anapol, Ph.D.
Excerpt from:
Meditations on Using Jealousy
As a Path to Unconditional Love

Friday, August 2, 2013

Live Like You are Dying

When asked what surprised him most about humanity, the Dalai Lama answered, “Man.  Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.  Then, he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.  And then, he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

Thursday, August 1, 2013

More Carlin Quotes

The quotes shown on the previous post where also posted on my family blog.  The following could not be posted there for obvious reasons:

"I don’t have pet peeves — I have major psychotic fucking hatreds!"

"Have you ever noticed that their stuff is shit and your shit is stuff?"

"I used to be Irish Catholic. Now I’m an American — you know, you grow."

"You can’t fight City Hall, but you can goddamn sure blow it up."

"Religion has convinced people that there’s an invisible man…living in the sky, who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer and burn and scream until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you and he needs money."

"If it requires a uniform, it’s a worthless endeavor."

"You know the good part about all those executions in Texas? Fewer Texans."

"Reminds me of something my third-grade teacher said to us. She said, “You show me a tropical fruit and I’ll show you a cocksucker from Guatemala."

"I knew a transsexual guy whose only ambition is to eat, drink, and be Mary."

"You can prick your finger — just don’t finger your prick."

"When you’re born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America, you get a front-row seat."

"I never fucked a ten, but one night, I fucked five twos."

"I would never want to be a member of a group whose symbol was a man nailed to two pieces of wood."

"Have you noticed that most of the women who are against abortion are women you wouldn’t want to fuck in the first place? There’s such balance in nature."

"So I say, 'Live and let live.' That’s my motto. 'Live and let live.' Anyone who can’t go along with that, take him outside and shoot the motherfucker. It’s a simple philosophy, but it’s always worked in our family."

"Catholic — which I was until I reached the age of reason."

"Have you ever wondered why Republicans are so interested in encouraging people to volunteer in their communities? It’s because volunteers work for no pay. Republicans have been trying to get people to work for no pay for a long time."

"Once you leave the womb, conservatives don’t care about you until you reach military age. Then you’re just what they’re looking for. Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers."

"The planet is fine. The people are fucked."

"I think everyone should treat one another in a Christian manner. I will not, however, be responsible for the consequences."

"Atheism is a non-prophet organization."

"You can’t argue with a good blowjob."

"Instead of warning pregnant women not to drink, I think female alcoholics ought to be told not to fuck."

"I have as much authority as the Pope. I just don’t have as many people who believe it."

Clean Carlin Quotes

George Carlin was one of my heroes, both for his hilarious comedy and his on-point social commentary.  He offended many with his liberal use of profanity and his biting social criticism, but his message resonated with me.  Finding Carlin quotes that are neither profane nor generally offensive to somebody was not easy, but I searched the internet and came up with a few good ones:

"Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that."

"If the Cincinnati Reds were really the first major league baseball team, who did they play?"

"If it’s true that our species is alone in the universe, then I’d have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little."

"The reason I talk to myself is because I’m the only one whose answers I accept."

"Just when I discovered the meaning of life, they changed it."

"Weather forecast for tonight: Dark. Continued dark overnight, with widely scattered light by morning."

"The IQ and the life expectancy of the average American recently passed each other in opposite directions."

"The future will soon be a thing of the past."

"I’m always relieved when someone is delivering a eulogy and I realize I’m listening to it."

"Most people with low self-esteem have earned it."

"Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit."

"'No comment' is a comment."

"If a man smiles all the time, he’s probably selling something that doesn’t work."

"So far, this is the oldest I’ve been."

"I think I am, therefore, I am. I think."

"It isn’t fair: the caterpillar does all the work, and the butterfly gets all the glory."

Monday, July 15, 2013

Just Sayin'

Over the years, I have often feared for my life.  I fear crossing a busy street on foot; I fear driving up a mountain pass lacking a guardrail;  I fear riding my motorcycle through a busy intersection or around a blind curve.  But I have never killed an unarmed kid because I was afraid.  Never.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Marriage Equality

I'm not qualified to comment in depth about the recent Supreme Court rulings affecting Marriage Equality, but the news is certainly positive, even if the opinions could have been broader in scope.  By overturning the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Court granted federal recognition of same-sex marriages in states where same-sex marriage is legal, currently around twelve states.  All married couples, both same and opposite sex, in these states are now granted equal access to federal programs and benefits.  The Court ruled that DOMA violated the Fifth Amendment's equal protection provision. 

By declining to rule on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, the Court let stand a lower court ruling overturning Proposition 8, thus legalizing (once again) same-sex marriage in California.  Interestingly, Prop 8 was not defended by the state of California, but rather by proponents of Prop 8.  The Court determined that these proponents were not harmed, thus they lacked standing and the case was dismissed.

While the Court rulings continue to allow states to decide the legality of same-sex marriage (for now), the rulings are, nonetheless, far reaching.  Popular opinion now favors Marriage Equality, which has undoubtedly influenced the Court.  I believe it is inevitable that same-sex marriage will eventually be legal in all states, if for no other reason than it is the right thing to do.  Religious and social bias will not go away easily, but right usually wins in the end.  And sooner is better than later.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


She is young, only in her mid-thirties, but she has lived a lot of life.  She has a husband and two teen daughters, both of whom align in age with Connie and my daughters.  In addition to raising her family, she works full time, performs volunteer work for the Girl Scouts, and after years of hard work, earned her college undergraduate degree.  This coming fall, she will attend grad school, and after receiving her Masters in accounting, will go to work for a CPA firm.  

I greatly admire her accomplishments, but respect her even more for being a genuinely nice person.  And she really, really is nice; she has certainly been very kind and helpful to me over the years, and most likely, to everyone else she comes in contact with.     

She is also a smoking hot woman!  In my dreams, we have made love many times, in many positions and in many places; but in this reality, we are only friends.  We did enjoy three or four lunch dates together a couple of years ago, but I suspect either she or her husband became uncomfortable and we suspended our dates.  Too bad.

Our younger daughters are friends, so I dropped my daughter off at her home yesterday to spend the night.  She was outside and walked toward my car to chat, so I extended my hand out the window, making a high five gesture.  Instead of giving me a high five, she gently placed her hand against mine and we instinctively interlaced fingers.  Briefly, we held hands; to me, it was loving, but to her, it likely held much less significance.

There are too many strikes against me, for it has been my experience that young women are seldom attracted to men older than their fathers.  And she is culture-normative, while I am alternative in many ways.  I doubt she knows much, if anything, about polyamory, but I would love a secondary partnership with her.  I can always dream. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

God, Guns, Country

Walking ....
I rode, not drove
To a quiet place for peace
So elusive lately
Three miles around a lake
To think
To wonder why.

God made this day ....
Blue sky, warm sun and pine trees
Not a cloud in sight
No people either, just me
Mother Nature fooled the calendar
As She often does
In Georgia, in December.

God looks down ....
And sheds a tear for us
Guns everywhere to blame
But it cuts much deeper to our souls
It's a culture of violence
It's all we have ever known
We must face our violent truth.

We hated the Brits ....
And a nation was formed
Born in violence and nothing has changed
We elect a conservative president
Who appoints conservative judges
Who love powerful guns
And children die.

We hate weed ....
And fill our jails with young, black men
We hate health care
And fail to see a moral imperative
Preachers hate queers
Preachers hate women
Do preachers hate God too?

But We Love War ....
It's the worst kind of violence
We do it too often, too easily, too recklessly
We hate a bad guy
And destroy the lives of countless innocents
I didn't know then
And I don't know now.

Abraham, Martin and John ....
We wanted more land and killed the Indians
We wanted cheap labor and enslaved a people
We killed each other to right a wrong
We killed a great president
A great man of peaceful change
Another president and a brother
Listen to the music.

I Swear to God .... 
It's true 
People buy it for $3.99 on eBay
And put it on bumpers and windows 
Says GGC in bold print 
It's sick, it's us
I want to cry 
And the children die.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Remember When?

I sent her a text message a few days ago, acknowledging the one year anniversary of our first date when, like teenagers, we made out on the shores of the Hooch.  I asked her if she remembers when and she responded, "Of course, I remember when."  I would have been hurt if she had forgotten so soon.

We chit-chatted for a time before the conversation turned serious when I asked why we stopped dating.  She told me it became too much for her to handle.  When she said this, it was like a weight lifted; it gave me some closure that has long been missing.  Before, I only got excuses for missed opportunities.

Her answer doesn't explain everything, but it is good enough for now.  I suspected emotional overload, but it meant so much to hear her actually say it.  So, in a follow-up email the next morning, I thanked her.  I told her the women in my past remain dear, and if at anytime, she wants a beer, a roll in the hay or a male friend just to talk to, I'll be there.  She only needs to call on me.

Sadly, I know she won't.

Marijuana Kudos

Kudos to the good folks of Washington State and Colorado for voting in favor of common sense.  It is now legal in both states to possess personal use amounts of cannabis in private.
Why is this important?  To answer this question factually
(I'm trusting), I turned to the NORML website and copied the following nearly verbatim (the non-italicized comments are mine):

1.) Marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug in America, behind only alcohol and tobacco, and has been used by nearly 100 million Americans;

2.) Marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco.  Around 50,000 people die each year from alcohol poisoning.  Similarly, more than 400,000 deaths each year are attributed to tobacco smoking.  By comparison, marijuana is nontoxic and cannot cause death by overdose.  (I assume this ignores the carcinogenic effects of smoke intake.); 

3.) Enforcing marijuana prohibition costs taxpayers an estimated $10 billion annually and results in the arrest of more than 750,000 individuals per year (a disproportionate number of whom are young, black males) - far more than the total number of arrested individuals for all violent crimes combined, including murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault;

4.) Driven by the Drug War, the U.S. prison population is six to ten times as high as most Western European nations. The United States is a close second only to Russia in its rate of incarceration; 

5.) Of all the negative consequences of marijuana prohibition, none is as tragic as the denial of medicinal cannabis to the tens of thousands of patients who could benefit from its therapeutic use.

Of course, cannabis is still illegal at the federal level and currently in all but two states. Undoubtedly, other states will follow suit now that Washington State and Colorado have paved the way (except here in the Southeast where social change is always slow to come).  A great deal of work remains with the two states in developing implementation legislation and at the federal level reconciling the federal and state legal differences. When asked about going after weed users in legal states, President Obama is on record saying, "We've got bigger fish to fry." 

As noted in the previous post, prohibition can be a very bad idea, whether applicable to alcohol, abortion or marijuana.  After years of following a terribly failed prohibitionist policy for which we are paying a huge price, both in human and monetary terms, the time for change is now.  Two states have stepped up to the plate and, hopefully, others will soon follow their lead.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tiny White Crosses

On the front lawn of the Catholic church my family and I attend, 50 tiny white crosses sprout like flowers from the ground.  A sign proclaims the crosses representative of the fifty million infants aborted since 1973, the year of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.  Not surprisingly, there is no mention of the number of infants aborted before 1973, the implication, of course, being that Roe v. Wade kills infants.

The use of the incendiary word infant is no accident.  Pro-life folks, including church clergy, have long sensationalized through the misuse of words such as infants, babies, and murder in the condemnation of abortion.  In the interest of truth, Roe v. Wade has nothing to do with infanticide, the practice of which is highly illegal and certainly not prevalent in the U.S.

Nonetheless, all of this got me thinking:  How old do you have to be to remember life before Roe v. Wade and to objectively weigh (assuming objectivity is possible) the pros and cons of legalized abortion?  Well, in 1973, I was 28 years old and a news junkie; back then, I made a habit of reading the daily newspaper front to back.  (Today, I refuse to bombard my psyche with so much negativity.)  So, yes, I remember the many media reports surrounding the abortion issue.  Would I have remembered at 23?  Probably.  At 18?  Probably not.  

Based on this inexact and admittedly convoluted logic, I have concluded that someone born after 1950, meaning someone less than 62 years of age today, has not experienced the world before Roe v. Wade as a mature, thinking person.  This does not mean that the issue can not be studied and comprehended retrospectively; as with any historical period of time, it certainly can and my hat goes off to those who have made the effort.  However, I suspect many young (less than 62) pro-life folks have not done so and are guided far more by emotion than first-hand knowledge or intellect.      

If my suspicion is correct, those (at least those who are young) who advocate for the illegalization of abortion, fail to understand the associated implications: the return of back alley clinics, where women suffer sterility and death from infection; discrimination against the poor, as women who can afford the cost travel to other countries for the procedure; teenage girls unable to escape the wrath of abusive parents; the imprisonment of doctors who, guided by conscience, act on their training and save lives; women who die in hospitals pending an attorney's opinion; and women forced to endure legal battles to prove rape.  These are just some of the negative repercussions reported in the media before 1973; yet, these things, as bad as they are, only scratch the surface with regards to the complexity of the abortion issue.  

In order to objectively weigh the pros and cons, a person must form an intellectual answer to some difficult questions:  At what point, if any, is the life of a pregnant woman less important than the life of the embryo or fetus?  (I'll refrain from using the biologically correct terms of host and parasite.)  Under what circumstances, if any, should an abortion not be an option?  When is the life of the fetus viable?  If a woman decides to abort, does she have a legal and moral right to a medically safe procedure?  Does societal interest supersede the individual right of a woman to exert control over her body?  Whew!  It is little wonder that as a country we are almost equally split along the pro-life, pro-choice great divide.

I recognize the very valid arguments made for both points of view; however, I staunchly oppose the efforts of the pro-life camp to illegalize abortion.  As we learned from the Roaring Twenties, prohibition can be a very bad idea.  The price of illegalization (prohibition), and even highly restricted legalization, from both a societal and individual perspective is simply too great, whether applicable to alcohol or abortion.  Often, even in the face of something distasteful, a pragmatic approach works best.  Unfortunately, the issue is so emotionally charged for many that this perspective is often lost, replaced by well intended, but misguided reasoning.