Saturday, September 24, 2011

'Voice of Choice"

by Edd Doerr

On her show on MSNBC on Friday evening, Sept 23, Rachel Maddow interviewed Todd Stave, the owner of the building in Germantown, Md, where Dr Leroy Carhart has his clinic, which has been the target of anti-choice demonstrations for some time now. Some of the anti-choicers have been picketing the public school attended by one of Stave's kids .(See Wash Post story, "Anti-abortion protesters target clinic's landlord outside child's Md school", Sept 12). So Stave has been striking back by organizing pro-choicers to contact the anti-choice picketers to politely register a dissenting opinion.

For further into, Google to VOCHOICE.ORG

FYI, in 1992 Maryland voters votes 62% to 38% to lock Roe v Wade into Maryland law. We won in Montgomery County 71% to 29%. I was active in the campaign and published Al Menendez' book with the election results by voting district statewide. (I might note that as a result of my participation in the 1992 campaign anti-choice fanatics shot out windows in my car in my driveway several times.)

Stave's pro-choice activity has not been reported in any of the local papers, so we are thankful to Rachel Maddow for her efforts. Concerned pro-choicers might care to inquire of the local media why they have chosen to ignore this story.

Let me add that one of the main planks in the platforms of the GOP candidates for prez in 2012 is overturning Roe v Wade and denying women freedom of conscience in dealing with problem pregnancies. As broadcaster Ed Schultz says, "Let's get to work".


Don Wharton said...

Edd said, "I might note that as a result of my participation in the 1992 campaign anti-choice fanatics shot out windows in my car in my driveway several times."

It is truly amazing how religion is used to justify insane evil. It is also amazing how much Edd has contributed to the cause of fighting the many aspects of this evil.

We luv ya Edd.

Edd.Doerr said...

Yes, religion can be used to justify all sorts of evil. However, we might note that some atheists have been outspokenly opposed to reproductive choice, women's rights of conscience, and public education, while a large portion of the religious community has been supportive of reproductive choice and other humanistic ideas. Let me just cite the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, which represents Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Unitarian Universalists. The AHA, the American Ethical Union and the UUA were in the Coalition from the start in 1973. I represented the American Humanist Association on the governing body of the Coalition from 1973 until 2003, when the AHA dropped out. The RCRC board (a majority of whose members have always been women) was the most smoothly running board on which I have ever served.
With the mountains of problems facing our country and our planet, I believe that it is supremely important that we Humanists work with progressive elements across the religious spectrum. Where to draw the line? To my mind, it is progressive Humanists, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, UUs and others on one side versus the selfish, shortsighted knuckleheads represented by the religious right, the Tea Partyers, and the extreme rightwingers who have taken over the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Bob Ingersoll and other progressives. The issues before us are church-state separation, protecting public education from the voucher vultures, reproductive choice and women's rights, global warming (along with resource depletion, deforestation, desertification, overpopulation, etc), voting rights, economic fairness, science education, etc.
We have a lot of work to do.

Don Wharton said...

Edd, you are the most elegant spokesperson that we have for the cooperation that you are advocating. You have walked the walk with that cooperation even when it cost you personally.

I saw a group the other day called Atheists and Libertarians. The whole point of becoming secular it to junk mythic nonsense and value the scientific method. The extreme anti-spending position of modern knee-jerk libertarians implies that we cannot be a modern society. We would have no Center for Disease Control, we would have no publicly funded research, we would have no public education to insure that everyone could get an education. Heck, I have even seen libertarian extremists arguing that our military could function on donations. How about that folks, our military as a non-profit charity? Talk about preposterous myths!

lucette said...

Is there anybody who denies that being an atheist means only not believing in the existence of any gods? How could it mean anything else? There are no restrictions on any other positions.
If you think I am wrong, please tell me why. (I am a non-libertarian atheist, BTW)

Don Wharton said...

I am now reading Michael Shermer in his newest book The Believing Brain. On page 165 he quotes a 2007 Pew poll which found that 21% of atheists belive in "some sort of God or universal spirit." It is truly amazing how odd the nooks and crannies of reality can be. Whe do these people think they are atheists?

Don Wharton said...

Oh, and 55% of agnostics in this poll say that they believe in some sort of God or universal spirit.

lucette said...

The reason for this absurdity might be that, if you declare that you don't believe in some sort of god or universal spirit, you might be ostracize. Better safe than sorry.

Gary Berg-Cross said...

Don wrote,"a 2007 Pew poll which found that 21% of atheists belive in "some sort of God or universal spirit."
I guess I can imagine some ways this could happen (aside from an absence of rational thought)such as their interpretation of the concept of atheism. People may believe that none of the known religions are close to correct but leave open the possibility of a "universal spirit" or some transcendence that is not like the concept of God derived from the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Hebrews etc.

Edd.Doerr said...

Several years ago I was a speaker at a Libertarian Party of Md meeting (and what a collection of oddballs it was!). I covered the church-state controversies. The audience broke up into angry factions over the question of abortion rights. It was quite amusing.

lucette said...

@Gary, These atheists who believe in some universal spirit are in fact deists, like the so-called founding fathers. Did the "fathers" declare themselves deists because it was socially impossible to declare oneself an atheist in their social environment? Could a new (or avowed) atheist have had a chance to be recognized as a "father"?

@Edd, There seems to be a Grand Canyon gap between the economic libertarians and the moralistic ones. One can be the first kind without being the second, and vice versa.

Edd.Doerr said...

Lucette: And, sadly, there are atheists who are anti-choice. Two of them are quite prominent writers, but I would prefer not to name them.

lucette said...

@Edd, What is their justification? The absurd, arbitrary, and unscientific assumption that life (or lives) begin(s) at conception? Or is it the fact that the pregnant woman can make a unilateral decision, leaving the father out of the equation?