Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:14 PM
SpartanDem (4,444 posts)
Man Bites Dog: A ProChoice Religious Leader on TV
One of the obstacles to effective reporting, scholarship, and political conversation about the Religious Right, is the Manichean false framing of the religious vs. the secular when it comes to matters of separation of church and state, and such issues as LGTB and reproductive rights. This most often takes the form of pitting conservative Christianity vs. non-religion, or even anti-religion. Of course, the framing fails, whether it is used by conservative Christian or non-religious partisans, because most people are neither one of those. And while there are times when such dualism is a useful kind of discussion, it is too often applied to situations where it is not only grossly inadequate, but a distortion of the matters at hand that make honest discussion and evaluation of the facts difficult if not impossible.
That's why I was glad to see MSNBC feature a discussion of abortion and religion with a prochoice minister on the staff of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. It is notable in part because it is so rare, and underscores the cramped and frequently distorted nature of our national conversation.
Here is some of what The Rev. Matthew Westfox, a guest on the Melissa Harris Perry Show, had to say:
As both a person of faith and an advocate for reproductive freedoms, I often find myself talking about the connection between religion, spirituality, and reproductive justice. We talk about religious questions raised by patients and clients, and we talk about how to use religious language in reproductive justice activism. Yet one group seems to be left almost completely out of these conversations--abortion providers: The doctors, nurses, office managers, custodians, counselors and all the others who keep clinics open in the face of harassment and violence.
One doctor started his career as a minister, and sees his work in the clinic today as a way of serving God's people, but he rarely talks about it in those terms. A nurse I spoke to says a prayer for her safety and that of her coworkers every day before leaving for work. An office manager told a colleague of mine that she braces herself every time she checks the mail, wondering how many hate letters she'll come across, and wants a sacred community to turn to for support. One clinic counselor said she misses the rituals and music of her faith community, and often thinks about trying to find a church, but worries about being judged or shunned when small talk leads to questions about where she works.
5 replies, 482 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Man Bites Dog: A ProChoice Religious Leader on TV (Original post)
|Thats my opinion||Feb 2013||#4|
Response to SpartanDem (Original post)
Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:39 PM
DreamGypsy (1,815 posts)
1. A very sensible man...
...who clearly understands that there moral obligations and implications to actions even (or especially) when the actor considers them to be religiously motivated.
Appearances are good, too...my reaction to the opening shot in the video was "Hey, looks like a nice, thoughtful man who would be a good conversationalist."
Thanks for the post, SD.