Tuesday, January 31, 2012

We Were Wrong

I often find myself trolling around the internet reading contraversial articles and devouring their comboxes. Now before you get all worked up, I rarely comment and when I do they are well thought out responses with correct spelling and grammar and always have my name attached. Honestly though I can only think of one time that I've contributed to the combox madness, promise. With the new HHS mandate about contraceptives running rampant in the news and the recent anniversary of Roe v Wade I've had a lot of trolling to do and this is my reaction.

Dear Pro-Choicer, Non-Catholic, Catholic using contraception, post abortive woman, and whomever else,

We were wrong. I hate admitting this but we were, we still are, and we're probably going to be go a while. No, we're not wrong on the issues. You can choose to disagree, in fact I know you do. This isn't supposed to change your mind. Blog posts aren't so great at doing that, at least not mine.

The point of this is to apologize. We have behaved poorly and when one makes a mistake the right thing to do is to apologize. We have no right to call you or anyone a slut, a whore, an idiot, a heathen, a bitch, a baby killer, or many of the other awful words often used to label you that I should not use for fear of losing some readers.  We are called to be loving and compassionate people and when we use the words I've shown above we're just not living up to the call. We realize that 'why don't you just keep your slutty legs shut.' is not a reasonable solution to lowering the number of abortions. We too cringe when we see 'I hope you're still proud of your birth control and abortions in hell." My blood boils as much as yours does when the words "baby killer" are strung together to describe a woman.

Though through this call to love our brothers and sisters we will not stop defending the truths we believe. I'm not suggesting we should or will cease to do so. I am suggesting, no, I'm imploring that we as Catholics, as Christians, and/or as pro-lifers step up to the plate and act in a way that is in accordance with our faith and respect for the dignity of all human life. Essentially, let's tone it down a bit. To those who have been hurt by the careless words my peers have used, I could never apologize enough. Please know that you are loved and cared for and that all this hate spewing comes from a place of love that has gone horribly astray. We're not much different than you in that regard. We want to help and we're doing what we think is best. So when harsh words and graphic images are used it is done so from a place of love, very, very misguided love. The same kind of love that tells a 14 year old girl that her parents and police don't need to know about her 23 year old boyfriend or the abortion she now needs. We're all just trying to help.

So maybe if we can get a hold of our loud mouth friends, you could do the same. These topics can be heated enough, let alone throwing in the name calling and belittling. My promise to you is if I see these backwards representations online or in person I'll do my best to peacefully refute it. If you all could do the same hopefully the world will never have to see the phrases "baby killer," "pedophile priests," or "bigoted asshole" again.

Sincerely.

Katie

20 comments:

  1. Marvelous. And I (obviously) agree wholeheartedly.

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  2. I agree I have been to planned parenthood for yearly pap smears when my parents couldn't afford insurance and to have the protesters standing out there yelling at me made me feel like crap. I wasn't there to get an abortion I was there to make sure I didn't have cervical cancer. If they really want to make a difference they would fight for clinics to be open in low income areas or for those who can't afford health insurance to have access to yearly pap smears and exams. Those clinics are far and few in between and more needs to be done because for some of us that was our only option to receive yearly womanly care

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    1. I have the same issue with those clinics that protesters will pray outside of. Those clinics do about 100 different things and you really don't know what the people are going in for. Especially since I'm in the same boat and haven't had health insurance in 5 years and may need to one day go to one of those "Said" clinics.

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    2. As an "old" lady of 31, can I recommend that you start going in for them? Even if you aren't sexually active, it's preventative care.

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  3. Beautifully said.

    I have a question for Lexie, and Lexie, I promise with every ounce of me that I am not being mean, snarky, or rude :) - promise, Katie knows me well enough to back me up when I say I wouldn't say something hurtful deliberately :)...OK, so my question is: are there not health departments or community health centers (that do not provide abortions) where you could go for your pap smear/exam as opposed to PP that does provide abortions? I only ask because I too have not had insurance and needed to go for my check-up and was able to go to our local health department? The costs there were on a sliding scale and it cost me $15 for the whole exam (including one year of BCPs).
    I guess I just wonder why it always seems PP is the only option, when in my town it is the complete opposite.
    Again, I promise, only genuine curiosity, nothing else :).

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    1. There was only one in town which in an unsafe area that I wouldn't even get out of in the middle of the day. The conditions and cleanliness were very poor. I had been there once in the past. Thankfully I am now on my parent's insurance. The public funded ones are very run down and usually in unsafe neighborhoods and you can get there at 6 am and not be seen until hours later. I know it's better than nothing, but after my one visit was not a place I would return to and was on the opposite side of town.

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    2. Well, the reason they are run down is because PP gets all the funding. If PP didn't get government funding, it could go to places that actually NEED it.

      I'm sorry the pro-lifers outside the PP you were at were obnoxious. I've prayed outside of several abortion facilities and I have never once seen pro-life prayer warriors acting in such a manner. It's very uncommon.

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  4. Absolutely marvelous, m'dear. I approve of all of it.

    Rebecca, it wholly depends on where you are in the country or even in your state. Some states have programs that will cover mammograms and pap smears for women of certain ages (Montana, for example, does over the age of 55) and some major cities have free clinics. The only problem is that some of those free clinics are in really sketchy areas of town.

    As Beth Anne said, a lot of PP clinics do MANY different things and many PP clinics don't perform abortions. (Again, in Montana, only 3 of the 6-10 PP clinics in the state actually performed the procedure. Others did counseling but mostly did women's health services along with a few services for MEN.)

    I do think that one of the big things we pro-life people need to do is put our money where our mouths are and fund crisis pregnancy centers and community health centers.

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    1. Thanks Jen. I realize I live in a little bit of a bubble here in a small town in WV and it helps to hear what others face.

      And I couldn't agree more - as pro-lifers we need to put our money in CPCs and community health centers. I do see that PP provides many other services, I just hate that they provide abortions...because even if money they get isn't directly for abortions, it frees up money that would go to other services and that money can then go towards abortions. It's kind of like when my parents give us money and tell us it's for car repairs and not for a date. Since then we didn't need to pay for car repairs out of other moneys, we can go on our date. I see the goods that can go on, it just seems (very sadly to me) that so much isn't good :(. Again, zero snark or rudeness here :). (Sorry to keep clarifying, I just worry that I am misunderstood because I don't always get across what is in my head through my fingers very well).

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    2. No worries, Rebecca. The only reason I know about any of this is that I lived in a major city (Columbus, Ohio) and needed care during Summer Greek at my seminary and I worked for a rural health clinic during part of the time I lived in Montana (the reason I know about state programs). With regard to Planned Parenthood, I did some of the youth group work for my husband's parish in Montana and figured that I better arm myself with that information. I actually ended up writing a letter to the editor of the Great Falls Tribune about how to "choose life" (i.e. the options out there across the spectrum) because none of this was dispersed in schools. (There was always one teen that got pregnant and dropped out of high school every year.)

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  5. Kaitlin @ More Like MaryJanuary 31, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    Beautiful!

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  6. So true! Thank you for saying this!

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  7. Thanks for writing this - it's so important that we are not huffily self-righteous about moral issues when our country is so deeply divided. I'm emotionally exhausted from a long Facebook exchange and reading too many op-ed comments about the HHS yesterday. I keep wondering if it was even worth it, since it's not like anyone is going to read my wall and then change their minds. But if I can be one more example of a religious person who tries to be logical, calm, and not a loud-mouth, that can make a tiny difference.

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  8. Love it!
    My favorite of your words: "So maybe if we can get a hold of our loud mouth friends, you could do the same." YES! It is needed for both sides.

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  9. Right. Name calling isn't helpful. Good post.

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  10. My question would be do I get to tell someone "killing your baby was a bad choice even if you don't feel bad about it because truth doesn't dependen on our feelings but...." if I don't call that person baby killer? Because, even though I wouldn't say the later I would say the former. Just curious.

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    1. I think that we should reserve that kind of statement for someone we know very well and have a developed relationship with. Even then I think it should be toned down somewhat to be more compassionate. I do think there is something to bringing up objective truths though. Moral relativity has really been detrimental to our society's values. This is just my opinion but I think the more compassion we should the better even if we err on the side of being "too soft."

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  11. Dear Katie,

    I am a Christian who had an abortion about 8 years ago. I am ashamed of my choice and filled with much pain and regret (that I will live with forever). However, I was always afraid of being hated by the Pro-Life supporters. Your post actually brought tears to my eyes - thank you. I agree that both sides need to tone down the rhetoric and focus on compassion for each other.

    I don't have much to add, I just want you to know how meaningful your post was to me. Thank you for having the courage to write it.

    Blessings to you, your husabnd, and your wonderful pup.

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  12. Great post Katie, so true. As someone coming from a non-practicing Protestant, pro-choice to now converting to Catholicism pro-lifer, I needed to read this.

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Thanks for stopping by! I love comments so if you've got something to add please don't hesitate. Also, I don't require that you agree with me but I would appreciate if you're nice. :)

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