Thursday, November 13, 2008

Self-Sacrifice of the Conservative Pro-Life Tradition

Michael Barone spoke this week at a meeting of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges. A number of those in attendence walked out when he made an offhand yet politically incorrect comment on the feminist reaction to Sarah Palin:

A roomful of academics erupted in angry boos Tuesday morning after political analyst Michael Barone said journalists trashed Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republicans' vice presidential nominee, because "she did not abort her Down syndrome baby" ....

"They wanted her to kill that child. ... I'm talking about my media colleagues with whom I've worked for 35 years.”

Barone, a popular speaker on the paid lecture circuit, is a senior writer for U.S. News & World Report and principal coauthor of “The Almanac of American Politics."

About 500 people were in the room, and some walked out.
Of course they walked out.

No leftist wants to be confronted by someone who's more than willing to call out extreme left-wing pro-choice fundamentalism and liberal intolerance of difference.

As I was thinking about this, I came across
this article on a series of letters that Camille Paglia's readers sent her about the ideological and spirtual suffocation of modern feminism.

This letter, from Cindi Tanner, is simply inspirational:

I am stunned by your sensitivity to what a conservative pro-life traditional woman feels about old-school feminism and our rude exclusion from it -- until now. Sarah Palin does indeed give women like me a voice at last.

I am a 51-year-old, devout Latter-day Saint. I have been married 32 years and have five children and one grandson with a granddaughter on the way. My two sons are both Eagle Scouts. I am a published fine artist. My work with the Arizona State Game and Fish Department has been distributed to universities, schools and libraries throughout the state for many years. I have been a working mom as well as a stay-at-home mom.

I, like millions of women, have volunteered countless hours to church, school and community service. In addition to that, I have donated my time to many world-relief efforts through the humanitarian service arm of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On a more local level, I have taken meals to the invalid, packed relief boxes, sewed humanitarian kits, tied quilts for Kosovo, and organized collections for local charities, and I babysit for neighbors in a pinch. As an avid animal lover, I am known to rescue dogs and stray birds.

Women who deem themselves "liberated" have always grossly minimized women like me who feel great, genuine joy in being a wife and mother. In the workplace, I was brutally criticized by other women who felt my large family reflected poor planning and a drain on national resources. It didn't matter that my children could cook, sew, excel scholastically at school, perform community service, teach younger siblings music lessons and complete long chore lists while I was at work.

The work ethic of my very functional and social children then prompted my female co-workers to criticize me for being too harsh on them when I brought the Nintendo controllers with me to work (so the boys at home would read a book instead). They said I should let my children "have fun." If I mentioned a fun Sunday school lesson craft we did, I was criticized for being "religious." But later, the office manager asked me to draw visual aides for her church nursery class. She also asked me to teach her how to sew after I gave the office girls homemade Christmas gifts. The liberal women I worked with seemed uncomfortable with someone like me who cheerfully ignored their personal attacks and shared my talents with them when asked. I was never fully accepted. I didn't see them as obstacles to me being me; yet that is how they regarded me.

It seems many feminists talk large about the world family and our accountability to it, yet do little to personally follow through on that ideal. As a conservative woman, and especially as a conservative LDS woman, I invest quite a bit of myself in the world as a lifestyle choice. My family is no different. My oldest daughter spent a semester abroad as a literacy employee of the Mexican government, living at the base of an active volcano in a one dirt-road village. She voluntarily served an 18-month mission to Brazil. Later, she used her Portuguese language skills again in Mozambique, working with families directly affected by TB, malaria and AIDS. My husband and two sons all were volunteer missionaries for two years, serving the people of Japan, Ukraine and Mexico. The missionaries pay their own way and love the people and cultures that they serve for the rest of their lives.

Ours is hardly a myopic, sheltered or uninvolved view of our neighbors, our countrymen, and our world family. Our contribution to the larger society is unsung but quite alive and well. Thank you very much for your remarkable articulation of a force that should have been invited into a more flexible "sisterhood" a long time ago.

Respectfully yours,
Cindi Tanner
Read Paglia's response - she was deeply moved.


Rich Casebolt said...

It seems many feminists talk large about the world family and our accountability to it, yet do little to personally follow through on that ideal.

Not surprising ... after all, such charitable follow-through is seen by these as government's job to do.

Tapline said...

How right he was. this...was great and on target.They do not like the truth do they...stay well...

Magpie said...

"No leftist wants to be confronted by someone who's more than willing to call out extreme left-wing pro-choice fundamentalism and liberal intolerance of difference." ?

There's so much wrong with this hysterical accusation I don't know where to begin.

Pro-choice is not anti-life. It's pro-dignity and pro-freedom.

I'm a liberal and leftist by your definition (pro-choice, not fond of bombing the crap out of anyone just because we can, against religious extremism even if it's Christian.. and so on...), but I don't think anyone is a useless human being. Even Sarah Palin would have some nice qualities, it's just that none of them are good for government.

If you are anti pro-choice however... what does that mean exactly?
You force your 14 year old daughter who's been raped to have the baby..? Is that it?
You by default force scared girls who made a mistake to have a back yard abortion instead, with the real prospect that they might die in horrible agony, as used to happen in a barbarous past you clearly prefer.?

Don't adopt some farce of humanitarian superiority over your own lack of compassion and enlightenment. It's sickeningly hypocritical.

Rich Casebolt said...

hazel ... is taking the life of innocent human beings because they show up at an inconvenient time in one's life, by ex post facto birth control (i.e. the vast majority of abortions) ...

... or for that matter, allowing others like Saddam and al Quada to take the life and liberty of our global neighbors (no we didn't bomb them "just because we can" ... they started this war well before September 2001, let alone March 2003 ... and the VAST MAJORITY of the casualties in Iraq come from the actions of our enemy as they either target innocents or use them as defilade; that is, when they weren't being targeted by Saddam himself while he was in power before 2003) ...

... "dignity"?

Looks to me more like a descent into barbarism that has the potential to ensnare both of us as, in our allegedly golden years, the value of life is so diminished in the eyes of others that they will perform some waaaay ex post facto birth control upon us for the sake of their convenience.

Your "freedom" here desensitizes our society to the value of life and the significance of death, reducing both to something you can pick up at your local 7-11, use, then throw it away in its trash cans ... and the best you can do to justify it is focus on the fringe cases (ignoring both the damage your recommended course of action can do to them, and their ability to overcome the challenges of an unplanned pregnancy, especially with the support that DOES exist out there for them in this regard), but ignore the inconvenient truth of why the vast majority of abortions are performed.

It is y'all who are the faith-based extremists here ... faith in your own allegedly-superior ability to discern truth, even as you devalue life and liberty ... and in your smug assurance that only you know the right path to take, and there is no need to question it.

AmPowerBlog said...

Rich: Hazel's demonstrating pro-choice funamentalism ... not sickening, just sick, period.

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Ever notice that most pro abortionists seem to have very few probs with innocent life being aborted yet enjoy protecting 'rights' of convicted murderers and even al qaeda combatants.


shoprat said...

I don't always agree with Ms. Paglia but I do acknowledge that she is an independent and deep thinker who is not afraid to speak her mind, and just as importantly, she recognizes those traits when they exist in others. Now if only we could get a few more like her in the media.

Magpie said...

The "fringe cases" matter, Rich, although I respect your argument there, it's quite well reasoned.

I'm not a fundamentalist, Donald. It might be satisfying to you to throw those kind of appellations around but it doesn't advance any cause.

Rita Loca said...

Odd, they always use the rape case to support their right to murder. Rape accounts for barely 1% of all abortions. Mother's health accounts for another 7% or so. Obviously, the majority of abortions are merely for the convenience of selfish women.

AmPowerBlog said...

Well said, Jungle Mom!

Magpie said...

Yeah it's all for selfish women...
They shouldn't have any say whatsoever in their reproductive lives. Who said their bodies are their own? Certainly not some righteous war-mongering Right wing lunatic, such as should be running the country.

Let's put a veil over them, deny them education or the right to vote also, to silence them once and for all. Allah wills it, last I heard.