Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Moral? I think not.

Excellent post from:

Moral? I think not.
A guest post by Kelley Bell:

When I read about the moral values debates in our country, I can not help but compare our rhetoric to that of the Islamists.

While reading news articles about U.S.conservatives pushing for Pro- Life and marriage laws, I also read how the Muslims are prohibiting women from swimming at “family beaches.” (A powerful cleric in Somalia said women are welcome to gather jars of ocean water, then take it home and “bathe in it” if they want to enjoy a day at the beach.) Apparently, having the women swim while fully covered in a giant black bag was not moral enough for these folks. It seems, no matter where the line is drawn, someone wants to move it even further.

The problem is not that Muslim and Christian conservatives value morality; rather, it lies in the fact, they both feel they have the duty to impose their version on the populace. Folks, morality can not be compelled. It must be learned, and embraced as a personal choice. If you feel strongly that your particular framework for morality is correct, and then by all means, spread it, by setting a good example for others to follow. But when you cross the line, and demand compliance through force, fear, or rule of law, be aware, the devil is behind your deeds.

It strikes me as ironic, how similar we are to the enemy we fight. Both sides seek a conservative moral world order, deeply rooted in Aberhamic tradition, and both sides focus on sex, and the control of women’s bodies to achieve their aim…Pretty shallow thinking, for a world with scores of bigger problems.

Quite frankly, as a woman, I am offended. I am quite capable of defining my own moral values without the strong arm of the law, thank you very much, and I am deeply saddened when I realize the horrors in Dafur are of less importance to Washington than my sex life.

Ladies, enough is enough; All this ranting and raving needs to come to an end. It is time we use our votes to step in and clean house.

Women represent over 50% of the vote, and account for somewhere near 75% of consumer spending in the United States, yet we comprise less than 25% of policy makers.

If we would stand together, and support each other, we could become the most powerful force in government. We could put an end to the attack ads, and the screaming extremists on the airwaves. We could change the focus of the debate to issues of world hunger, world peace, quality healthcare, and protection of the eco-system for future generations. We could change the model of “superpower” from military might to humanitarian rights.

We could bring the voice of reason into American politics, if we simply stood together and set an example of our own.

Let's shift the moral debate, and move the focus of politics out of the bedroom, and over to issues that really matter. For instance:

* The World Health Organization ranked the United States 37th in health performance. The irony is that the United States spends more per capita for health care than any other nation in the world" (The European Dream, pp.79-80).

* "The U.S.and South Africa are the only two developed countries in the world that do not provide health care for all their citizens" (The European Dream, p.80).

* Lack of health insurance coverage causes 18,000 unnecessary American deaths a year. (That's six times the number of people killed on 9/11.) (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005.)

* Women are 70 percent more likely to die in childbirth in America than in Europe. (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005).

* The United States is 41st in the world in infant mortality. (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005).

(I can not even comprehend how the Pro Life people can claim any moral dignity at all on this issue when they throw millions of dollars at in the political arena while ignoring this statistic. It represents the worst form of hypocrisy imaginable.)

* Three million six hundred thousand Americans ran out of unemployment insurance last year; (NYT, Jan. 9, 2005).

* "U.S.childhood poverty ranks 22nd, or second to last, among the developed nations. (The European Dream, p.81).

* Twelve million American families--more than 10 percent of all U.S. households--"continue to struggle, and not always successfully, to feed themselves." Families that "had members who actually went hungry at some point last year" numbered 3.9 million (NYT, Nov. 22, 2004).

* The leading cause of death of pregnant women in this country is murder (CNN, Dec. 14, 2004).

* Japan, China, Taiwan, and South Korea hold 40 percent of our government debt. "By helping keep mortgage rates from rising, China has come to play an enormous and little-noticed role in sustaining the American housing boom" (NYT, Dec. 4, 2004). “Read that twice. We owe our housing boom to China, because they want us to keep buying all that stuff they manufacture.”

* Bush: 62,027,582 votes. Kerry: 59,026,003 votes. Number of eligible voters who didn't show up: 79,279,000 (NYT, Dec. 26, 2004).

The Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University offers these statistics on women in American politics:

Congress: women hold 15.1%, of the seats in Congress: 14.0%, of the Senate, and 15.4%, in the House.

State Legislature: 22.8%, of state legislators in the United States are women. Women hold 20.8%, of state senate seats and 23.6%, of state house seats.

…And we have never elected a woman president.

Moral? I think not.

Posted by Kelley Bell in A Call to Arms


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