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annm4peace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 09:01 PM
Original message
..... The murder of Dr. Tiller was an act of terror. Although its immediate victim was a man, it was aimed at women's hearts and minds, designed to shatter our oneness and assert control. And it is part of a larger campaign of terrorif we must throw that word around then let us use it where it truly applies. When the murderer squeezes the trigger, when Bill OReilly thunders on Fox News or Randall Terry pontificates, they are sending the same message to women, Your bodies, your fertility, your sexuality must remain under our control, or you will die, along with anyone who helps you.
On the day Dr. Tiller was murdered, Governer Schwarzenneger cut funding for the Healthy Families Act, a decision which will likely cost more childrens lives than all the abortions Dr. Tiller ever performed. Yet no one is calling him a murderer.
On the day Dr. Tiller was murdered, millions of refugees in Pakistan huddled in fear of American drone bombers. The graves of children in Iraq are still fresh: mothers in Gaza continue to weep over the hundreds of children murdered in the Israeli assault. Yet the right-to-life movement is not agonizing over the blood that covers all our hands.
On the day Dr. Tiller was murdered, uncounted children died from hunger, from lack of access to medical care, from contaminated water. Young boys were dragooned into service as child soldiers; young girls sold into sexual slavery. We could use a true right-to-life movement, one that would champion these children, one that would stand against the greed, the violence, the callousness, the cowardice that murders at a safe distance and kills by hoarding the means of life. ........

And for some positive, practical things you can do:

Call your local clinic and offer support.

Consider making a financial donation in memory of Dr. Tiller to Planned Parenthood, to Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, or else to the clinic of your choice. The former two can be accessed here:
<https://secure.ga0.org/02/pp2009_inhonor <https://secure.ga0.org/02/pp2009_inhonor > >
<http://prch.org/george-r-tiller-md <http://prch.org/george-r-tiller-md > >

CREDO/Working Assets is circulating a petition to hold Fox News responsible for Bill OReillys inflammatory rhetoric. In 28 separate episodes he has targeted Dr. Tiller
<http://tinyurl.com/r96k77 <http://tinyurl.com/r96k77 > >
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il_lilac Donating Member (756 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 09:04 PM
Response to Original message
1. k&r
thanks for posting this powerful insight
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Lisa0825 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 09:15 PM
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2. K&R great post. nt
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OhioBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 09:20 PM
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3. k&r
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 09:24 PM
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4. K&R n/t
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Coexist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 09:24 PM
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5. k&r
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Control-Z Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 12:03 AM
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6. K and R n/t
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Withywindle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 12:14 AM
Response to Original message
7. K&R, thank you for posting this.
Edited on Thu Jun-04-09 12:15 AM by Withywindle
Starhawk is such a powerful writer. She GETS real terrorism, and how acts of hate and callousness weaken and sicken and threaten us all.

She's a neo=Pagan and New-Ager too, unabashedly, and I think even a lot of woo-haters could learn a lot from her writings about how all our actions are interlinked. An act of hate or an act of compassion, even if it's a small one; it's all our choice, it's choices we make every day, and the ripple effects of that choice, which ever it is, are greater than we can ever know. We should ALL, not just those of us in the medical profession, take the part of the Hippocratic Oath: "First, do no harm."
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Ignis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. That's a great point, Withywindle.
Starhawk's research into the dynamics of power over/with/within in groups have been profound, and I think everyone (yes, even the Haters of All Woo) could benefit from reading them.

She's also put her own life/health/safety on the line for more progressive causes than most of us have.

:patriot:
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Withywindle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 11:43 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Thanks! I was thinking of power-over and power-with when I watched Obama's speech today
What a difference it makes, just to talk to people as adults and equals, show a little respect for other cultures, make proposals for working together instead of dominance and dick-waving and "crusader" language. I don't know how much of Bush's mess Obama can clean up, but I think he offered power-with, and that makes people want to help him and work with him.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 12:14 AM
Response to Original message
8. Wonderful post, thank you! Rec'd! Starhawk makes a powerful point:
We could use a true right-to-life movement, one that would champion these children, one that would stand against the greed, the violence, the callousness, the cowardice that murders at a safe distance and kills by hoarding the means of life. ........
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Bryn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 04:58 AM
Response to Original message
9. from Barbara Walker's book, Restoring the Goddess
In patriarchal society, men constantly focus attention - either negative or positive attention - on the physicality of women, but to objectify it that they usually fail to understand even a little of how women feel about their bodies. The female body is every man's first home, to which he yearns to return in some sense, but under patriarchy, he is taught to despise what he desires, and to despise himself for desiring it.

Rather worldly men who took upon themselves the divine right to tell other people what to do, and have profited by it ever since, these men still presume to control women's bodies, dictating what women shall or shall not do with their own sacred capacity of motherhood-which, by natural law, belongs to each female, and no male has the right to interfere with it.

Why not study Nature, and cease to worship a myth which ignorance and superstition have placed behind it?

Mother is the first divinity on whom we depend absolutely in our infant helplessness. Mother is the one we trust. The buried infant brain has never ceased to know this. Patriarchal religion takes that that inner knowing and artificially masculinizes it.

Of course, at the fountainhead of Judeo-Christian myth we find the ultimate absurdity, man giving birth to woman. Fundamentalist theology assiduously conceals the fact that the whole fable of Adam's rib was lifted from earlier Sumerian scriptures referring to the belief that the Goddess Nin-Ti, "Lady of Life" and "Lady of the Rib" gave mothers the power to create their babies' bones from one of their own ribs.

Religion creates misogyny. Religion was and is the primary medium of women's spiritual, political, and social enslavement.

Knowledge of fatherhood, and concomitant "knowledge" of a father god, have existed for only a few thousand years at most. The theologians' god is a Johnny-come-late indeed, compared to the once and future Goddess of thealogy.

During the patriarchal centuries, a majority of Western women certainly accepted the belief systems of theology, because there were no alternatives available to them. Indeed, in some periods of history, not to accept the patriarchal god was a capital crime, to be punished even more severely than murder. Within the system, many women even managed to think themselves emancipated. Nevertheless, any system that views a female as something less than a male; that denigrates her as a source of tempation, sin, or guilt; that denies her full participation in religious leadership; and that postulates a god without a Goddess is not only sexist to the core, it is the core of sexism.

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Bryn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 11:27 AM
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10. Kick
:kick:
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LibertyLover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
11. I don't agree with Starhawk in all things,
At a pagan conference several years ago, she and I had what you could call a spirited exchange of opposing views about my employer, when I did not agree with some information she was using about a project we were involved in, having just read 2 days before an update from our ombudsman. But in this case, she is spot on.
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Raksha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
12. K & R - I'm also on Starhawk's e-mail list and posted this essay on another forum.
Edited on Thu Jun-04-09 12:27 PM by Raksha
This morning I posted the following note underneath it:

Everyone,

Here's another e-mail I received from Rabbi Arthur Waskow at the Shalom Center. I received it on Monday, June 1st, but waited to post it because the link wasn't up at the Shalom Center at that time.

Murder is Murder & ABORTION IS NOT

So another physician has been murdered for making it possible for women to actually use their constitutional right to choose an abortion.

All honor to Dr. Tiller, who joins the list of martyrs for ethical decency and human rights, killed for healing with compassion. - In his case, a religious martyr in the fullest classical sense, killed in his own church as he arrived to worship, killed for acting in accord with his religious commitments and his moral and ethical choices.

And all dishonor to those vicious attackers like Bill O'Reilly who have egged on the kind of violence that finally murdered Dr. Tiller. And who have blasphemously invoked the name of God to justify these incitements to murder.

There are two real-life cases of abortion that have shaped my own judgment on the practice, in addition to the Torah's only comment on abortion - which makes utterly clear that it it is not murder. (The Torah says that if someone causes an abortion but does no other harm to the mother, the agent owes a money recompense to the father for the loss of his potential offspring. And that's all.)

I recognize that some other religious traditions do claim it is murder, but I both disagree with their theology and think they have no right to impose it on mine, by state power or by murder.

One of these real-life cases of abortion that have shaped my views is that my father's mother had already birthed five young boys when she became pregnant again in 1914. She hoped to be able to concentrate her energy on raising those five instead of birthing more. Because abortions were illegal, she had a "back-alley" abortion - and it killed her. So she was unable to raise any of them. Her early death cast a shadow over my father's life till his own dying day.

The second is that one of my friends and teachers, a great and eminent rabbi, was the child of a mother who fled Vienna after Hitler annexed Austria. His mother was pregnant again when the family needed to leave, and they knew that the underground "railroad" to freedom was bound to be too arduous for a pregnant woman. The choices were: staying in Austria, to die together; leaving her behind, to die alone; or aborting the fetus, so that all of the family had a chance to live. She had an abortion. Today my rabbi friend says they thought then and ever since that she had given birth to the whole family.

I wish the President, when he spoke at Notre Dame, had said explicitly what these stories teach me: that women are moral beings, possessed of moral agency and responsibility in this unique situation where their own bodies are intertwined with another's; and that the lives of women would be endangered once again if abortion were criminalized again.

He chose instead to say only that the choices are difficult and that unwanted pregnancies should be minimized.

<snip>

http://www.shalomctr.org/node/1509

When I first read this e-mail, what jumped off the screen at me was not the two heartbreaking personal anecdotes. It was the words Women are moral beings.

You'd think that this would be so self-evident it should go without saying, and I'm sure most men would agree with them in the abstract. But the reason I bolded them is because the inherent assumption, implicit if not explicit, is the exact opposite. The abstract arguments of the vast majority of male theologians are based on the paternalistic assumption that women are not moral beings in the same sense they are, and are therefore incapable of making their own moral decisions, even in situations where their own lives and the lives of the rest of the family are at stake.

This is no less true of Judaism than any other religion. The fact that historically Judaism came to a different conclusion than Christianity--i.e. that abortion is NOT murder--doesn't mean women had any input in reaching that conclusion. It was still the product of an exclusively patriarchal priestly (and later rabbinical) power structure.

Note that in the original biblical basis for that conclusion--the scenario where a man accidentally causes a pregnant woman to miscarry--he is to pay damages to the woman's husband and NOT to the woman herself for the loss of the fetus.

So it bears repeating until it finally sinks in and becomes an intrinsic part of the abortion debate, recognized by all sides: Women are moral beings, possessed of moral agency and responsibility in this unique situation where their own bodies are intertwined with another's.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 02:52 PM
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13. .
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Wednesdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 07:55 PM
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15. K&R
:kick:
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 08:21 PM
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16. K & R
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