Thursday, October 16, 2008

on the road again

This has happened to me before. I get out of my routine, spend a little time outside, and have all of these thoughts to share. But by the time I get back to a computer it's too late, and they are mostly gone. So here they are, a few sentences and disjointed thoughts that could have been inspiring, if only I had the time to make them so.

on life -

Brian is a dreamer.

It's one of my favorite things about him, and one of the fundamental reasons I married him. He has an eye for beauty, a palate that never forgets, and he's always dreaming. As we drove down to the beach, I sat beside him and thought, To be here - in the passenger seat, beside him, everything precious to us in the back seat, windows down, music loud - this spot is my truest home.

and politics -

1. And here is where I stir an already churning pot of contention.

We have an acquaintance, the daughter of a friend, who I'm going to call Ann. Ann is 25 years old. She is married and has a daughter that was born the same week as Silas. Ann also has lupus, and her recent pregnancy put such a strain on her body that she is currently undergoing chemotherapy once a month for the next year to try to stop the damage to her kidneys. Her doctor has said that if she gets pregnant again, she probably won't survive. Ann has changed the issue of abortion for me.

Let me be clear. I hate that abortion exists. Any scenario in which losing your baby is the best possible outcome is overwhelming and unimaginable. Even so - what happens if Ann unintentionally gets pregnant again? She would be deciding to orphan her daughter, and possibly another. It's a huge decision that I am thankful I don't have to face. I don't know what Ann will do if the situation arises. I won't presume to make that decision for her, but neither should the government. It is a moral decision, an ethical decision, and also an individual's decision.

As believers, I don't think it should be my goal to change the law. It should be my goal to create a place in which losing a baby is not the best option. If I care so much - and I do - then I need to be involved in adoption and foster care. I need to show young single mothers the respect they deserve for choosing to have their children. I need to support programs that provide the health care, food, and education that child is going to need. If I believe children are always a blessing, my attitude and actions should reflect that. But medical decisions shouldn't be legislated. (By the way, Flotsam wrote an excellent post about this, if anyone is interested).

2. I am disgusted by Sean Hannity. Not for his politics, but for his abuse of power. And it's not just him.

What I mean is this - our society used to give the power to influence and inspire to ministers and teachers. Ministers are rewarded - in that they get to keep their livelihood - when they draw out the best in others. And teachers are rewarded - in much the same way - when they convey accurate information well. For both, the better they are at caring for the greater good, the more they benefit personally.

But there has been a shift of power (I'm not a historian, but didn't it start with the first Gulf war and the onset of 24/7 news cycles?). Ministers and teachers have diminished influence in the face of a growing media, specifically conservative talk radio. The problem is that media is a for-profit business. The greater good is not their motivation; profits are. In other words, they are not rewarded for accurate information or for inspiring others. They are rewarded (monetarily) for having higher ratings than the competition. They are personally better off simply for being louder and more entertaining than the next guy. There is no motivation to consider the greater good. It has put our society in a precarious place.

I could say more about all of them. They each could be their own post, or their own series of posts, if only I had the time I once did to devote to blogging. Alas.

Throw your tomatoes .... now.


Mary said...

"medical decisions should not be legislated."


I thought Obama's sentiments on abortion during this election and during the most recent debate have mirrored mine the best. No one ever EVER wants for an abortion to happen, ever. So, what we should do is focus on the things we can agree on and we should focus on having the least possible unwanted (or life threatening in your friend's case) pregnancies possible Also, we can do everything we can to support young mothers who want to choose life.

But, it shouldn't be legislated and an issue of criminal or non criminal. It's such a painful and personal issue... bringing criminality into it is just obscene. But the social conservative position of overturning Supreme Court decisions is about criminalizing it not making society better.

I'll be on your side if tomatoes are thrown :-)

Liz said...

I keep a tiny notebook in my purse at all times to write down things I want to write and/or blog about. Some of them end up where they are supposed to, but most of them don't. I'm thinking of publishing a book one day called "Could Have Been a Blog: A Book of One-liners." :)

And no tomatoes from my side...

Elizabeth said...

I would never want to throw tomatoes at you. I respect you too much. However...

Obama's word are eloquent, and the sentiment of wanting to reduce the NEED for abortion is valid. But I do not believe his motives are so pure. It wins voters, yes, but to win campaign dollars, he has made promises that are not so pure. Such as the promise to sign the "Freedom of Choice act". The abortion rights lobby insists that this bill would simply codify Roe vs. Wade, but interpretation of the language could and would nullify all types of laws that have been passed to ensure that abortion IS rarer. Examples include parental notification laws (for minors seeking abortion) and informed consent laws. These laws help ensure that abortion is less likely to happen as a knee-jerk reaction to the immediate problem and help prevent women from making an impulse decision that could affect their mental and physical well-being in the future. I don't think any of these laws would apply to the dilemma your friend could face.

As for Hannity and the power of the media, this door swings both ways. I am under no illusions that he and other conservative talk radio hosts are "balanced and fair", but neither is any mainstream media. ABC, NBC, CBS, FOXNews...they all have an agenda, and the more controversy they dream up, the better for their advertising dollars. Right now, some of them seem to have caught the "Obama wave" and are just as unbalanced as Hannity seems on the other side.

Just my opinion. I'm afraid you and I stand on opposite ends of the political spectrum much of the time. And it's not just because of the abortion issue...I fear Obama's platform for many, many reasons. So you can commence throwing tomatoes back if you want. :)

Stephanie said...

Hi Elizabeth,

No tomatoes. I don't think Obama influenced my thinking about the abortion issue. Thanks for the information, though.

And you're right - different networks definitely show different leanings, and they all make their money from drumming up business, so to speak. Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh have unmatched (in my opinion) power, though. No media on the left has as much sway as theirs. Recently McCain and Palin's arguments have been quotes of Sean Hannity's. That's what bothers me.

Thanks for speaking up, even when we disagree. We do seem to be on opposite sides of the spectrum, but I very much appreciate being able to have different opinions without attacking one another.

Carrie B. said...

if you got my email about a recent book recommendation...that's what I would post here. SO, check your email. and then get the book. =) i'd love to know your thoughts.

Madame Rubies said...

"As believers, I don't think it should be my goal to change the law. It should be my goal to create a place in which losing a baby is not the best option."

This is the very belief that garners me dirty looks among conservatives. *shrugs* Why do we want to change the law? So that we can SAY we are morally correct without actually changing out hearts.

Kendra said...

HI- came over from Adrienne's blog. I loved what you wrote here about the serious, heartbreaking issue of abortion. I totally agree. I am a believer, and I believe firmly that children are a gift from God, as the bible says. But at the same time, I vote pro-choice. Always have.
Although I personally don't think I could EVER have one (I couldn't even bring myself to have a D&C after my miscarriage...but instead chose to use medication to have a "natural" one), I am able to recognize that I have never been in the position some women have been.
I feel that abortions ARE going to happen -one way or another- and I would rather there be a safe place for these to happen, where counseling and teaching takes place. As opposed to women doing horrible things to their bodies, or their babies, in an attempt to preform an illegal abortion. This shocks so many of my fellow Christians. I have to constantly explain that just because I am pro-choice does NOT mean I am pro-abortion.
Though I know this is a sensitive issue, it bothers me that simply because the republican party tends to vote pro-life, they seem to have become the "Christian" party. I am a strong Christian, and I am a democrat.
Thanks for letting me rant. =-)
No tomatoes from me.

Kendra said...

Thanks for writing me back! I was wondering if you wouldn't mind emailing me, my address is dkhoffman04 at I saw in your comment to me you had 2 miscarriages, but I see now you have 2 adorable sons...I was just wondering if you wouldn't mind sharing some of your story with me (briefly- when you have time). We lost our first pregnancy in Nov of 2006, and have been trying ever since. I really do trust that the Lord has a plan for us, and that His timing is perfect, but I also find so much comfort in hearing other peoples stories with happy endings! OR perhaps it is all told in your blog already and you could just direct me to some of it?

Mercy's Maid said...

No tomatoes from me either. I think you have a pretty balanced stance on Abortion. In fact, I just wrote a blog post yesterday that addresses Abortion and the "single issue voter."

Blog Link

I'll probably have more than tomatoes thrown at me...I'm middle of the road enough to offend conservatives and liberals. Such is my plight.