When I was a kid, there was a guy on TV that could probably be called a comedian. His name was Rodney Dangerfield and in a trademark act, he would make his eyes all big and bulgy and indignantly utter, "I don't get no respect!" That became a commonly reiterated phrase around our dinner table when my dear father didn't feel his daughters or wife were giving him the respect he deserved for whatever pearl of wisdom he had shared.
By the way, I know I haven't posted in nearly three months, but this post will have nothing to do with spinach. Or Angst. In fact, this will most likely relate to food minimally and second-hand, if at all.
I'm gonna do it. I'm going to say the phrase that probably every generation before mine has said, full of righteous indignation: Kids today have no respect.
That's kind of broad, don't you think? I remember the first time I caught myself making a "Kids today" comment and felt like my parents and their parents before them. I'm sure my grandparents were appalled at the misbehavior and lack of respect their children (my parents) showed them. I know my parents were mortified when my sister and I grew our own personalities and our awareness of the world extended to the knowledge that adults were not necessarily entitled to respect purely because they had lived longer than us. It should not (and does not) then surprise me that I think "kids today" have no respect for the world around them.
Okay. It does, actually.
I saw in my generation a "turning around," if you will. It seems each generation has certain paradigm shifts and cultural revolutions to which they can lay claim, but it really felt like my generation was beginning a paradigm of giving back to the world and caring for those around us. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe I was just blessed to be surrounded by the kind of people who would do that in any generation and age. See this post for more on that.
I'm gonna say something now that will probably make me unpopular. I don't like hipsters. Like the adherents of most "counter culture" cliques, hipsters think they're really deep and thoughtful and love to take a steadfast stand on every issue that sounds remotely controversial... while normally skipping out on any kind of meaningful engagement with that issue. I realize this is not true of every person who identifies themselves with that vapid group of people, but can we all at least agree that it's ironic that a group full of such smart people consistently misuses the word "ironic?"
I had the unfortunate opportunity to remind myself today why I try to limit my interactions with "kids today." A friend posted an article on Facebook about how the government is now conspiring to take away women's hard-earned rights by allowing doctors to calculate the approximate date of conception using the date of her last period.
Apparently this is something new.
Ha ha - just kidding. That's how it's always been done. Unfortunately, a bunch of folks who wanted to make their stand for women's rights very clear took this article as justification for their beliefs that the only issue at stake when discussing feminism and gender equality is abortion. Clearly, if a woman is deprived of the right to mindlessly evacuate a "clump of cells" that has inconsiderately attached itself to her uterine wall, obviously through no actions the woman did or did not take to prevent that from happening, soon women won't be allowed to vote or drive a car or go to work or be viewed as human beings. Clearly, it all hinges on the "right" to make the tiny heart of the parasite inside her body stop beating.
It probably doesn't take too much imagination to figure out where I stand on abortion "rights."
Nevertheless, there are two points I want to make. I actually started to ponder the first point back in December when I was struggling to figure out why my colleagues were trying to rain on my happy parade with their oft-spoken hatred for the Christmas music played in all the stores throughout holiday shopping season. "Kids today" are living in a post-Christian world. "Kids today" were probably not brought up in the Church, or if they were, may have abandoned it once they were out on their own and no one forced them to go. "Kids today" do not, as a general rule, follow a set of ethics that value the sanctity of life and even resent "mindless religion" for forcing people to consider that group of cells which has formed itself into the shape of a human and has a heart beat after only 22 days and a gender at the 8th week a living being. Well, Kids, sorry to rain on your parade, but I cannot see how you can deny that the thing that has taken up unwelcomed residence in some woman's privately-owned uterus is a life, or that that life has value purely for being alive.
But that's just me.
Several comments made by friends of my friend stated, sometimes in very ugly language, that it is better to kill the child before it is born so that it:
- does not interfere any further with the life of the DNA donors
- does not die of some degenerative disease outside the womb
- does not bounce around the child welfare system (which shows nothing more than complete ignorance of how the process of adoption - and even foster care - works)
- does not contribute to the overpopulation of a world that cannot sustain additional life
I have to admit, that last one is my favorite. So that leads to my second point:
Effective immediately, I am against any research into cures for cancer, AIDS, or any other terminal disease.
The more time, effort, and funding we put into finding the cure for cancer (et cetera), the longer people will live when they would otherwise die of some dreadful disease. I'm just trying to prevent overpopulation. The world can't sustain all these people, so something must be done. Just let them die - they've already lived long enough.
It's really no different. Think about it for a minute.
There's really so much more that can be said about that, but that's a whole other post for another time.
There is a man named Bryan Kemper. He used to run an organization called Rock For Life, which was a pro-life organization. He left because he felt it was too focused on the abortion issue. In a great speech my husband was fortunate enough to witness, Bryan explained that abortion is only one issue for someone who is truly pro-life. To truly call yourself "pro-life," you must advocate for the end of all needless suffering and unnecessary death - that means no abortion, no death penalty, no war, no nothing that takes away life.
People like to focus on abortion because it is a polarizing issue and one about which almost everyone has a definite and vehement opinion. The news media and gossip sites alike prefer to focus on how the government is trying to "turn back time" on women's rights by putting restrictions on when in a pregnancy a woman can get an abortion or if there are certain hoops she must jump through first (like the controversial proposed sonograph legislation). Women's rights are far wider than whether or not we have the privilege to kill an inconveniently planted "clump of cells." There continues to be inequality in the work place, there are still misogynistic beliefs about a woman's place and purpose that slip through lips too easily and with far too much chuckling acceptance. I am not denying that we still need to fight to completely reverse the paradigm of our grandparents, and some of our parents, regarding "a woman's place," and what not.
All I'm saying is think first before letting a left-spun (and poorly researched and written) article get you all riled up about that one hot topic. If you care to, I'll also ask you to spare some time to think about how you feel about life - when it begins, when it should end. Then ask yourself why you think that - when and where did you learn it? Who or what taught you?
If you, having taken time to think, wish to leave a respectful and engaging comment, I invite the dialog. If you are unable to be respectful, I will not hesitate to delete your comment.