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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Forced pregnancy and religious freedom

Over the course of a day last week, I saw this article about a 12 year old forced to carry her rapists' baby to term and a CPC was quoted, it was #ExposeFakeClinic (CPC) week as well, then I saw one about anti-abortionists violating the law to block the door to the only clinic in Kentucky. Either Trump's incompetence is opening the door for religious extremists to bring us closer to state religion or they're able to move us backwards regardless. Some say that after history is made - electing our first African American president - that it's normal to move backwards a bit before continuing forward as with desegregation, among other events. I hope, as the saying goes, that the arc bends toward justice, but it sure does look dismal sometimes.

Alabama lawyers say a 12-year-old rape victim shouldn’t be allowed to have an abortion

From this article about the 12 year old girl:
"Mullins, the executive director of COPE Pregnancy Center in Montgomery, which provides counseling but not abortions, said that the girl likely had trouble deciding what clothes to wear to school, let alone determining whether or not an abortion was appropriate."

What is a CPC?

Keep in mind in this Alabama case- NO ACTUAL COUNSELING WAS INVOLVED- these CPCs peddle lies (abortions cause cancer!) and guilt and prey on women in general.

The girl can't decide what to wear to school, so yeah, the natural conclusion is she should be forced to carry her rapists' baby to term, causing more trauma and disrupting her schooling, thereby limiting her choices further! Brilliant! And by brilliant I mean you cruel lying manipulating authoritarian fundamentalist PsOS.

Your religious freedom allows YOU when you get raped to CHOOSE to carry your sweet precious reminder of that trauma to term, IT DOES NOT let you make that decision for others. That is outside of the bounds of your freedom; you are now infringing on someone else's. Like the misnamed Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Pence's home state and several others

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act Is Used to Discriminate. Let's Fix It.


Here are two more references for those CPCs if you want to know more- one's an older investigative piece and the other is a recent update:

King County's "Crisis Pregnancy Centers" Can No Longer Say They're Health Clinics 7/20/2017

Exposing Fake Women’s Health Clinics: My Visit to a Local Crisis Pregnancy Center from 2009
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Seeing this last story made it a little harder to be optimistic about all the progress being made with regard to race, the glass ceiling, and marriage equality. There was a specific ruling made that you cannot block the door to clinics; women have to be able to walk in free of interference. A sea of people sat down in front as though they were protesting segregation or some real civil rights violation. Instead, they are angry they cannot yet control where you walk and what health decisions you make according to their religious preferences. It's not enough for them to freely practice their religion, they want the right to force you to make choices based on what they believe too.

Judge Says Protestors Can’t Block Door To Kentucky’s Last Abortion Clinic

Friday, July 7, 2017

Antisemitism or media bias?

Antisemitism or media bias?

No, I'm not asking this in general, so please don't take the gloves off yet. Relax. There has been a specific controversy lately and very little pushback on a large scale. There was an excellent discussion on this in the FB group for a podcast I love, Radio Dispatch, they considered the charge and as new facts were brought to light, people didn't double down on the original position or throw around baseless personal attacks, which was refreshing and productive.

NYT smear piece:

Another, rather worse, smear piece I became aware of through a supposedly liberal organization online:

Always a good resource, here's what Mondoweiss had to say on the whole thing:
Anti-Semitism accusations against ‘Dyke March’ prove pro-Israel lobby will torch LGBT rights for marginalized people

This TIME article is particularly bad because it is not only devoid of facts, but also makes wild baseless accusations. First, it asserts that Jews were denied expressing their intersection of religion and sexuality, which is false - others with stars of David on shirts, signs and flags were welcomed and not ejected. Which begs the question, what did these three individuals do differently?

Greenblatt of the ADL in the TIME piece pointed to these things as examples of intolerance

Last summer, a plank in the platform of the Movement for Black Lives bizarrely accused Israel of genocide.
Linda Sarsour, a leader of the women’s rights movement, has lambasted Zionism as incompatible with feminism and advocates for the exclusion of pro-Israel Jews from activist groups. And some in the anti-Israel movement have accused Israel of “pink-washing,” claiming that Israel and its supporters celebrate freedoms enjoyed by the LGBTQ community in Israel to divert attention from Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

Genocide? Bizzare? It's a frequent consideration due to the indiscriminate use of deadly force and talk of "demographic threats." Here's one example of Holocaust survivors' concern for Israel's genocidal tendencies:

The TIME piece ends by saying they, the ADL,". . . demand that our allies observe those fundamental values that we also seek to live by: equality, fairness and respect for all."

This is a noble goal, but when you try and whitewash history and ignore Palestinian suffering at the hands of the oppressed turned oppressor, you are no longer heading in the general direction of these ideals; you're going the opposite direction.

Zionism is to many, by definition, a colonial and genocidal undertaking. Maybe we need to be asking what do YOU mean by Zionism? What do you mean by a Jewish homeland? The right simply to exist in peace with equal representation such that all peoples' rights are protected? Great! Or do you mean the right to exist as a Jewish entity protecting Jewish rights, thereby necessitating the ethnic cleansing of another group, namely Palestinians? The right to continue the Occupation until a (suitable to you) government emerges from the rubble of the starved open air prison you created? When a person objects to Zionism, you cannot charge antisemitism automatically.

A few notes and facts can be found in the links to the official statements of several groups below, facts which are missing in the TIME and NYT articles that only seem to quote one woman who was kicked out and no other witnesses or organizers or Palestinian groups that may have been involved to make this grand pronouncement of antisemitism. From what I gathered, one or all of the three ejected were members (one was a director, possibly?) of A Wider Bridge, a problematic organization in support of various IDF actions against Palestinians that go against the anti-colonial position of the March and violate human rights more broadly. They weren't just there as LGBTQ Jews, they were loudly anti-Palestinian and increasingly belligerent when asked to be respectful of the March's aims and others marching.

Chicago Dyke March Collective's statement:

JVP statement: If Not Now statement:

More on A Wider Bridge and why these individuals as opposed to other Jewish participants were asked to leave:

Among problems with A Wider Bridge are (from EI article above):

+ In 2016

+ "In 2014, A Wider Bridge sponsored rallies addressed by Israeli government officials in support of Israel’s 51-day bombing campaign that devastated the Gaza Strip and left 2,200 Palestinians – more than 550 of them children– dead."

 + And at the March-  "the altering of chants to erase the word “Palestine,”" among other things.

+ In general- "A key goal of Israel and its lobby groups in recent years has been to inoculate Israel against criticism by obscuring the line between anti-Jewish bigotry, on the one hand, and criticism of Israel and its state ideology Zionism, on the other."