Some Thoughts Before The Vote

I’m not the brightest knife in the six-pack. Shut up. (I used to have this friend who always got her clichés wrong. It was hard to beat a dead horse when he was down. Things were slow as vinegar in April) I just have my own way of learning. It must work because last week I was watching this super-neat NOVA program called “The Fabric of the Cosmos” and they were talking about something and I was all Higgs particles! He’s talking about Higgs particles, y’all! And then I went on to discuss the Large Hadron Collider, AS I DO, and Chuck got all glassy-eyed like I do when he’s talking about hunting rifles, and I was all point well taken.

I’m not saying he’s not interested in the Hadron Collider or doesn’t get it, I’m saying he knows having it explained by someone whose only physics classroom time came from half a semester of high school physics taught by the soccer coach makes him assume I’m leaving some important stuff out. And admittedly, describing the Large Hadron Collider as, “This particle accelerator thing where they want to smash atoms together to see what they throw off and do a bunch of science, ” is not the most comprehensive explanation out there.

The other night I was reading something having to do with all of the above and I started thinking about eyes. The human eye is much used by creationists and proponents of intelligent design to discredit evolution. How, they say, could such an intricate thing come about by evolution? Does it not show the force of something greater? Well, no, I don’t think so. If the eye were to have been created as-is by some God-force, why is it so intricate? Why not create something that’s easy for its owner to understand and therefore easy to fix when broken?

The thing about using God as a means to explain science is that there’s a whole lot of And Then A Miracle Happens in the explanation. It’s no different from my boneheaded attempt to explain the workings of the world’s largest particle accelerator. Science and religion can absolutely coexist, but they do not need to be confused with one another.

Mississippi’s personhood vote tomorrow has been making me think a lot about the intersection of science and religion. I haven’t heard anyone make an argument FOR pershonhood that does not have a basis in religious belief. I don’t believe religious people need to leave their beliefs at the door, but I do think that faith must guide secular decisions, not overwhelm them. Personhood is a secular issue.

Personhood says that your rights are no different from the rights of a clump of cells. Personhood says that you, with all your thoughts, your conscience, your consciousness, don’t deserve any more special consideration than the products of conception.

Mississippi, you think you’re sucking from the government teat now? Wait until Personhood is the law of the land. How many more people will it add to your welfare rolls? How many doctors will stop practicing because they can’t get malpractice insurance and because they fear criminal prosecution? How many more police, public defenders, district attorneys, and prisons will you have to add? How many businesses will leave? How many businesses will never open? How much money are you willing to spend? Because if this amendment passes tomorrow, the cash registers of lawyers start heating up. Personhood will immediately go to court and it will stay there for years. And Mississippi, you will pay for it.

It seems that the people behind the personhood initiative have done a good job at making voters think this issue is easy. That it’s black and white. If you’re against abortion, you vote yes. If you’re a godless communist, you vote no. This vote is not about religion. It is about rights. It is about defining man-made law. No one wants to amend religious text with this vote. You are not defying God by opposing this measure.

I know that I’m sort of preaching to the choir with this piece. If you’re reading my blog, chances are it’s because you tend to agree with me. Either that or you just have too much time on your hands. And are a masochist. I guess what I’m asking is that you not go ignorantly to the polls. Read the amendment. Think about what it really means for you and your family. Think about how it’s going to impact your business. If you pray, pray about it. Voting no does not mean you sanction abortion. It means you care about your family and your community. It means you respect the law. It means you understand issues are never just black and white. It means that you are not so gullible as to let a bunch of well-paid lobbyists create a big government theocracy in your backyard.

Click to visit Mississippi Secretary of State website

4 Comments Add yours

  1. debbie says:

    I know this is a few days late, but thanks for this. I will admit to being convinced that this crazy initiative would pass, but wishing like hell that it wouldn’t. If the governor-elect is correct, we have Satan to thank for the outcome. Well then, Hail Satan!

    I came to this blog first because of your essay imploring Mississippi to prove the world wrong with regards to the hate crime that occurred this summer, but I’ve stayed an avid reader because you are funny, creative, and a talented essayist. It’s nice, too, that you are willing to talk back to the social world that tells us being pro-choice is ant-Christian. I left Oxford convinced that I we could fill Ajax with the number of people in Mississippi who felt the way I do. The Personhood campaign only intensified my sense of alienation and cynicism towards my ersatz home.

    Thanks for singing from this member of the chorus who sometimes lost the will to harmonize.

    1. Susan says:

      What kind words. I appreciate it. And you. I know you have put yourself out there right in the way of flying tomatoes and hateful (and hurtful) words and actions to allow women to choose for themselves what their families look like. Those of us who watch from the sidelines appreciate it.

      We believe people because we see them on TV or read them on a blog or newspaper. Well, they MUST be right, why else would they be on TV? But I believe we’ve lost sight of the fact that the people we see in the mainstream media tend to be there because they screech loudest, look great on camera, or know a guy. That’s what’s so great about blogs. Those of us who aren’t ready for primetime and who don’t spit venom have a place. And I believe our job is to say, hey. Hang on. You’re all hat and no cattle. Let’s be fair about this, LISTEN to each other, and see where we end up. It doesn’t mean we’ll end up agreeing, but we’ll end up respecting not only each other’s opinions, but each other as people.

      I have tried several times to get people I know with differing opinions from mine to talk to me for the blog. Usually they don’t want to because they’re afraid I’m going to make them look like idiots. Nope. If I’m asking your opinion, you can be damn sure I don’t think you’re an idiot. What I want is to present two sides, rationally discussing their beliefs. Then I’ve wanted to talk to people who DID agree with me, but several of them have been scared of what {insert authority figure here} would say. That’s why I don’t give a crap if people make up names to use for commenting. I think if they start talking anonymously, ultimately they’ll talk on the record, you know?

      Blah, blah, blah. Point is, rational doesn’t get press. That’s why I try to present the rational from a humorous perspective when I can. It doesn’t get as much attention as mean does, but I think it makes a tiny bit of difference.

  2. immanasee says:

    Thanks for realizing that it could be TN next or AL or Arkansas or __________(insert your state).

  3. Noel Holston says:

    Powerfully argued, but then, I am the second baritone in that choir you mentioined.

Just spit it out, already!

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