Stop the War on Women

This is 2012, not the 1950s—and women should be able to live their lives in full control of their bodies.

Across the country, women are being silenced by politicians who are attempting to pass legislation regarding birth control and women’s health. Not one man will face a pregnancy (or the life-threatening issues that come with it), yet only men are being allowed being allowed to speak and debate the issue. How is this freaking possible?

Yesterday the female politicians from my place of birth, St. Louis, attempted to speak about the federal birth control mandate and were either denied the right to speak or were chastised for what they said. One of them spoke out about her experience, and the rest of the representatives from my area made it clear that this is an attack on women, largely by the Republican party.

We cannot allow this to happen. More and more attacks on women are being waged across the entire nation, from personhood bills that allow women to go to jail for miscarriage to mandatory vaginal ultrasounds prior to abortion services that are akin to being raped. Some states are even attempting to outlaw abortion entirely—threatening the lives of thousands of women while violating Roe vs. Wade in the process. This is 2012, not the 1950s—and women should be able to live their lives in full control of their bodies.

Republicans, stop claiming that you want less government control in your lives while you simultaneously use your party to control women (and to deny rights to gays and lesbians). You can’t have it both ways. Admit that the only people you want to be ignored by the government are rich, white, cisgender straight men, and that you use your power as a tool to control every single other person that you possibly can.

Women have died from the denial of birth control and other family planning services by local religion-controlled hospitals—which should be an oxymoron rather than something that actually exist, by the way; why do we even have them?—and I know from experience that even if your life is threatened by pregnancy, they won’t even provide you with a vasectomy or other permanent sterilization, as my husband and I have attempted to procure from our local hospital. We will have to travel much farther if we want these procedures—which would prevent me from developing preeclamsia again and possibly dying, leaving my daughter motherless.

It’s time to stop putting the special privileges of religion ahead of the very safety and lives of women.

 

Growing up Catholic - During the Second Vatican Council

If you grew up Catholic, you know can relate to other people telling their personal stories of what it meant to be Catholic during their childhood. My Catholic journey began when I was born since I was immediately baptized as an infant into the Roman Catholic Church. I was born during the time the Second Vatican Council was taking place in the Church. From what I understand from my parents and grandparents, this was quite a change for the Catholic Church as a whole.

I began Catholic School at age 5 and continued in my Catholic education all the way through high school. In my early years of education, there was much resistance to the Second Vatican Council in many of the local parishes. While most adhered to the changes set out under the new Council, there was still the “feel” of the old that took several years for the Church as a whole to fully release.

 

The main goal of the Second Vatican Council was to have the Church be a part of the community in which it served. Under the First Vatican Council there was a separation of the Church and the community where nuns and many of the priests were secluded from the outside world. Under the new Council this was to change so that there would be a dialogue with the community and the members of the clergy.

 

It was a growing time for the Catholic Church and having been born the very year it was put into effect, I was able to see the changes first hand within my Catholic schools and parishes I attended. Change is always difficult especially when it is steeped in so much tradition as the Catholic Church had been for many years. However, as a result of the changes under the new Council, the Church has been able to help many people that never would have been reached otherwise.

My Conversion Story, Part 1

 

 

The story of my conversion starts years before my baptism.  You see, I wasn’t raised in a religious household.  Even without a religious back round, I have always felt that there were bigger unseen things at work in the world.  Heck, at one point in my life, I went as fars as calling myself a “spiritualist”  (yeah, those college years were pretty confusing!).  The truth of the matter is, I wasn’t raised with a structured Christian back round.  Did my family go to church on Easter?  Yes, of course.  Could I tell you why Easter was celebrated?  Well... all I knew was that Easter was a special time when an egg laying bunny came around and hid all of the eggs I had colored the night before.  I could never figure how he got them, and why mom did start locking the fridge around that time of year.  You would think that after years of this egg thievery, mom would have caught on, and started locking the fridge!  
Fast forwarding to my late 20’s, I met the love of my life, Lisa.  Our relationship was natural, and beautiful, and we both understood that we had met our soul mates.  Our next logical step (if you can call love logical) was to make it official in the eyes of God.  You see, even though I was without religion, Lisa was what we call a “Cradle Catholic”.  In my eyes, this posed no problem, as I had told her that what she sees, is what she gets.  Lisa was OK with this, but I had yet to meet her Dad, who greeted me with a shotgun on our first introduction.  You too will get to meet her dad, in my next blog.  How is that for suspense?