Saturday, August 28, 2010
I am offended by gratuitous vulgarity that is used only for shock effect rather than to make a point. I am offended by most Rap for this reason. I am offended by people who don't know how to behave in public with dignity and kindness. I am offended by badly-timed red lights and stores that run out of the special offers before I get there. I am offended by wife beaters, child abusers, date-rapers, loud car stereos, bullies and door-to-door missionaries. I am offended by Glen Beck, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Richard Riley and Mel Gibson. I am offended by people who use handicapped parking spaces without a tag or mirror hanger. I am offended by political commercials that sling mud. If I tried really hard, I could spend most of my time being offended.
Richard Dawkins, an Atheist activist from the UK, presented a speech at UC at Berkely with this as the theme. He presented it well. There are times, he opined, when it is appropriate to be offended. There are times when something goes against the grain so badly, that so scorches your sensibilities to the core, that taking offense is the only way to respond. He is so right. I am not an atheist but I am an un-churched free-thinker and much of what he has to say appeals to me.
For me, it is the carefully crafted and ongoing efforts of the religious right and the government (on both sides of the aisle) and the adoption industry to turn back the clock and return us to the bad old days of maternity homes, shame and selective social engineering. What is especially offensive is the use of young, bubbly, natural mothers to promote this kind of horrific activity. Their website and facebook page are so saccharine as to nauseate. "Birthmom Buds," "Birthmothers Ministry" and "Ask A Birthmother" are among the greatest offenders.
I have, in the past, referred to these women as "Judas Goats" who cheerfully lead other animals to slaughter. It's really worse than that. They are participating in doing to the nation and to millions of young women what was done to them..brainwashing. The religious zeal that targets abortion rights has been handily incorporated by the adoption industry into a way to continue to promote infant adoption.
That brings me to another thing that I find offensive. Why do the adopters of infants insist on the idea that they are "rescuing" an infant from a fate worse than death? Why do they, in fact, want only the womb-fresh, healthy infants? Why do these self-entitled, Yuppie paragons ignore the multitude of older, special needs children in the foster care system that truly need the comfort of a home and people who care about them?
If what I have seen is any indication, they will have their fresh, warm, still-damp babies. The industry and its spin doctors and the churches and the pundits are carefully grooming a new generation of brood mares for the more entitled and that is what offends me the most...that there are those who believe that they are more entitled to a child than a child's own mother and that a mother-to-be will willingly walk into the beemommy trap believing the same damn thing.
1900 years ago, give or take a few, a cult was given a jump-start by a tax collector turned evangelist and prolific writer who claimed a vision on the road to Damascus, much like Joseph Smith later claimed a vision in the US that led to the LDS church. Both men were of questionable character and I can't see, from the teachings of either, where that was improved by their, so-called, divine messages. If you look at the dogma of most Christian churches, you will find, if your mind is open and you are Bible-literate, that they practice more Paulism than Christianity. Saul/Paul was a misogynist, judgmental and arrogant....all the things that the Jesus who is portrayed in most scriptures was not. The message of love gets lost in the regulation handbook, and religious extremism is spreading like wildfire.
Today, almost two millennia later, this dogma is being used to perpetrate the disregard for the most natural, biological and spiritual bond there is...that of a mother and her child. They have no trouble using God as a wedge to separate infant from mother and they do so with impunity. If nothing else, they use the old hellfire and brimstone fear tactics and lead the mother to believe that she will only be saved if she repents and surrenders her child. SS, DD.
So, yes, I am offended...I am offended by the machinations of an insidious industry that preys on the vulnerable in our society and I am offended that a religion, supposedly based on love, along with our national government, is in collusion with them. This treads badly on the principle of separation of church and state. I am offended by the unnecessary pain of millions of mothers and their surrendered children.
And if that offends YOU, too bad.