Snap. Crackle. Pop. I’ve Had It.

Snap. Crackle. Pop. I’ve Had It. September 22, 2018
Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Tnarik Innael https://www.flickr.com/photos/tnarik/

 

I may be the only pro life woman in America who has had it with the execrable choices that our movement is serving up to us. If so, then so be it. I will be the only one, and I will be proud of it. 

I didn’t trip and fall into the 17-year anti-God period of my life. I was pushed into it by good Christian folk and their cruelty toward women, in particular rape victims. 

It took an encounter with the real God as opposed to the woman-hating sham god I had heard preached by his clergy, and which I have heard preached again these past two years, to change me. That encounter turned everything upside down. I switched — at considerable professional and personal cost to myself — from a pro choice legislator to someone who fought for the unborn every day of my official life. I felt then, and I feel now that the opportunity to work for the unborn was an unearned measure of forgiveness and a gift from God. I do not regret one pro life thing I have ever done, and I hope to use my talents on behalf of life for as long as I am myself alive. 

But I never, not for one minute, felt any urge to switch away from an equally deep, visceral, commitment to do everything I could to end violence against women. I will not rest until I see the end of rape, sexual assault and child molesting, which, I suppose, means that I will not rest. 

I have never, either when I was in office or out of it, ceased to advocate for women who are victims of violence, and I have a substantial public track record to prove it. I do not apologize for this, and I do not ask permission of anyone to do it. 

I also do not see how anyone who is serious about following Jesus Christ and who sincerely respects the dignity and the sanctity of human life can not oppose violence against women. So far as I’m concerned, if you think rape, sexual assault, incest, and child molesting are nothing much, then you aren’t any kind of Christian at all. If you are willing to vilify and discount women who have the courage to step forward against powerful men in the face of death threats and public excoriation to “out” them as the predators they are, then, your Christian witness is not a witness for Christ. It is a witness for the devil. 

I never expected that I would be forced to choose — over and over again — between backing a sexual predator for a position of enormous power and the unborn. But that is exactly what has happened, and it has happened three times now — bang, bang, bang — in a row. 

First, we had pro life people beating the drum to elect a man to the office of President of United States who is looking more and more like a straight-up traitor to this country and who is certainly a serial sexual predator. Then, we had pro life leadership bamboozling the rest of us to support another man for the United States Senate who had quite a pile of evidence against him testifying that he is a serial child molester. Now, we’re all watching while a female college professor, a woman of substance, endures death threats from right-wing thugs, character assassination from the right-wing press and taunts from our sexual-predator-in-chief for coming forward about an attempted rape by a man those same thugs, predators, and wing-nuts want to put on the Supreme Court.

The answer these predators’ supporters put forward for each and every one of these men is always the same. The self-proclaimed moral party, and a good number of our religious leaders tell us that all of these women are lying. Twenty-five women have come forward against these guys, the sexual-preditor-in-chief bragged on tape about committing sexual assaults, but, according to the Republican Party, the right-wing media, politicized religious leaders and just about every pro life person I know, every. single. one. of these women is lying about these fine Christian men. Anyone who thinks the women just might be telling the truth is also tossed on the pile as not being a good Christian and not really pro life. 

I’ve had people who never lifted their little fingers off their Bibles to help anybody tell me in no uncertain terms that I’m a lousy Catholic, not a Christian and not pro life because I think that these vile excuses for men who are being shoved down our throats should not be in positions of public trust. 

I am certainly not going to argue about my qualities as a Christian. Truth told, I am not God’s best work. If it wasn’t for His mercy, I would have no place at the table. I am very grateful for the sacrament of reconciliation because I often need forgiving. “I’m sorry,” is a phrase that I have to give a regular workout. 

But I will not pretend to believe that all these women are lying. I won’t get down there in the dirt with the people who are willing to allow rape to slide on by and shamelessly attack victims of sexual assault to build my power base. I also have not become so weak and passive that I am willing to accept these terrible  choices we’re being given. 

It appears that I am the only living pro life woman who is willing to step up and say that these men do not belong in positions of power, and that we should not be asked to support putting sexual predators in powerful positions as a test of our pro life loyalty. We absolutely should not be required to attack the victims of sexual predators and pretend to think that they are lying as a qualifier for being “really” pro life. When did supporting rape, child molesting and sexual assault become a pro life loyalty test?

Saying you’re pro life and voting with pro life organizations on specific pieces of legislation or whatnot does not excuse rape, sexual assault and child molesting. I’ll bet every single priest who ever molested a child, and every bishop who excused him was vocally pro life. 

Except they weren’t. They had no respect for human beings and they proved it, just like our president, the Alabama child molester, and all their self-deluding backers have proven it. 

I am tired of being subjected to moral blackmail by way of these terrible men who are being put before us for positions of power in our government. I am all through letting people who say they are acting on behalf of life put their hands on the back of my head and push me face-forward into the trough of depravity that these men represent.

Nobody with a thinking brain believes that all these women are lying. Nobody with any intelligence at all can believe that a woman of substance would subject herself to death threats, the loss of her career and being machine-gunned by a vicious, lying right-wing media for the rest of her life for no reason. Yet that is what people who support these guys claim they believe. What I don’t believe is them when they say that. 

They are like the people who said that they had no idea what was happening in that concentration camp down the road, and like those other people who claimed that lynchings were a form of necessary justice. None of these people believed those things. They just pretended to believe them to keep from admitting that they wanted to support the monsters of this world against their victims and, despite their lies to the contrary, they knew exactly what they were doing. 

That is what is happening now. Nobody is stupid enough to believe that all these women are lying. Nobody. 

You know they are telling the truth.  

You just don’t care. You don’t care about rape. You don’t care about sexual assault. You don’t care about child molesting. Not if caring and being honest enough to say the truth conflicts with you and your idolatrous worship of a political party, not if it would make you have to step up and show just a tiny bit of spine and do the right thing in the face of your buddies who would turn on you. You will cheer and urge on the people who attack these women and make martyrs of them. You will back these sexual predators, child molesters, rapers and liars, right down to hell if need be. But you will never, never force yourself up off your knees to stand beside the victims. 

Me, I’ve got my own sins. But I’m all through allowing myself to be blackmailed and bamboozled. I am tired of seeing the unborn used as a human shield to protect sexual predators. I think we deserve the option to support men and women who are both pro life and decent human beings. 

I got so angry last night, I looked up the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee and sent a donation to the opponents of every one of them who was running for re-election. I’m perfectly willing to travel to another state to help in their campaigns. I may not know much, but I know how to canvass a vote. I don’t know where the people I donated to stand on the issues. What I know is where these Republican men — it turns out they are all men — stand on the question of rape and me, my sister, my granddaughter, you and your daughters. 

Any one of these women who have been disbelieved and vilified could be me. She could, in a few years, be my granddaughter. She could be your wife, daughter, sister, the woman standing in the line at the grocery, or sitting next to you in church. She could even be you. If that happens, do you think your pro life friends will stand up for you in the face of right-wing power? 

I can tell you from hard experience that they will not. They will stand back like the other students at Dr Ford’s school who heard about what happened to her and are now keeping safe, and watch while you get machine-gunned. And they won’t say one word of support as they do it. 

If you ever find the awesome courage of a Dr Christine Ford to stand up and expose the monster of your life, don’t expect your pro life buddies to stand with you against their little g god of political party. Because they won’t. They’ll do to you exactly what they’re doing to her. They’ll pretend to believe that they think you are lying. And they’ll watch what happens to you with the smug satisfaction and cruel pleasure of blood-thirsty crowds throughout history. 

I sent those donations on behalf of Christine Ford. Because I am in awe of her courage. And I am grateful to her for speaking out. 

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42 responses to “Snap. Crackle. Pop. I’ve Had It.”

  1. Wow, Rebecca! Bravo! My sentiments exactly. There is a feeling out there in our church that justifies the disgust you express and so many of us are feeling. Thank you for giving voice to it. Sending this along to Catholic friends who need to hear it.

  2. Terrifically said, Rebecca! I have a member of my family who was raped, more than once (long story) and knowing she never told the authorities due to fear is a personal insight into this. One of the rapes resulted in a pregnancy—she raised the child. How in the 21st century MEN still hold the “power” to make a woman afraid to tell their story is, IMO, outrageous. The folks who continue to wonder why it takes many, many years to finally tell ( if it is ever told) anyone about a rape or molestation or assault don’t understand or realize the effect it has on the victim. The folks who pass it off as “men just being men” or “boys being boys” don’t “get it” at all. The current ridiculousness going on now with the proposed conformation of the candidate for a life long job, is saddening. Pardon the caps, but THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR rape or assault on anyone.

  3. I cannot help comparing the treatment of women victims of sexual harassment and assault, with the strong reaction seen and heard when the victims are boys and young men… And I am probably wrong, but, as a recovering victim myself, I sometimes even get to resent all the attention given to boys victimized by members of the clergy, and the amounts of money often granted in the case of boys and young men, while girls and women most often are mostly left to their own resources and have to struggle with the consequences all their lives. As you are saying so eloquently in another blog, groups that are working at preventing violence against women and to help victims are far too often seeing their financing threatened.

  4. As someone who was once “pro life” and Catholic, much of this deeply resonates with me. I eventually came to the conclusion that most “pro lifers” are primarily interested not in reducing abortion so much as in controlling women: their bodies and their reproduction. They aren’t really interesting in preventing unwanted pregnancies–and thus preventing the need for abortions. If that truly was their primary goal, they would be among the foremost advocates for comprehensive sex education and widespread contraceptive access. Instead, they battle these at every turn.
    I also found it revealing that their much touted belief in “life” seemed to end at birth. I don’t hear them advocating for a strong social safety net, for health care, or social justice. Much the opposite. Once you are born, you are on your own.
    I eventually concluded that the pro life movement is primarily a political movement designed to elect Republicans.
    Frankly, I don’t believe most pro lifers truly respect women and their choices. The primary drivers/funders of the pro life movement (evangelicals and Catholics) bar women from leading their services/Mass and from authority positions. I don’t think this is a coincidence. It is evidence that these churches do not truly value women as full and equal human beings, instead viewing them as second class citizens. In a way, no wonder so many of them tend to disbelieve women when they tell their stories of sexual assault.
    Good for you for voicing your outrage!

  5. It has been the obvious choice for decades that the pro-life movement was loaded with racists and misogynists and they were giddy about empowering them through the years.

    You, supposedly one of the Democrats, clearly were horribly mistaken, deluded by some pro-life gaslighting.

    It’s time to start acknowledging this and attacking those gaslighters.

  6. While I agree with the views you express I’m a little surprised that you think you are the only pro-life woman that holds them or has had enough. I love being Catholic, but I have about had enough of the willingness to accept the rape and sexual assault of men, women, and children by any man that holds up a token pro-life banner.

    If you rape or sexually assault any human being or cover up or condone the same don’t call yourself moral or think you are superior in any way. Many of us have been speaking out for a long time. Maybe we need to join together so that we have a stronger voice that makes it hard not to hear us.

    Women for Life Free of Sexual Violence.

  7. You’ve got to be kidding me? You actually believe Brett Kavanaugh is a sexual predator? So where then is this long list of other women who accuse him of anything improper? Sexual predators don’t stop at one woman and they don’t stop after an incident in high school.

    • How many women does a guy need to attack before it starts to count?

      “It’s okay, dude, sure you pushed a girl into a room, locked the door, turned up the radio, pinned her to the bed, tried to rip her clothes off, and covered her mouth so she couldn’t scream fully intending to rape her. But you only did this once that we know about. No harm, no foul. It’s not like the girl you pinned to the bed is a person or anything.”

      No. Sexual assault is a crime. One sexual assault is a crime.

        • Read his yearbook page. His best friend from HS wrote a book about those years titled “Wasted.” Those are clues.

          And Kavanaugh gives an interview where he tries to convince us he is the reincarnation of Wally Cleaver. He studied, played sports and went to church. That’s it. No 100 Keg Club. No “Renate Alumni.”

          He’s a liar, regardless of what happened with Dr. Ford. He does not have enough integrity to be appointed to the SC.

          Compare that to Beto ORourke, running for Senator in Texas. He has a DWI arrest in his past, which he admits and takes responsibility for. Night and day compared to Kavanaugh.

          It isn’t just what happened 36 years ago. The question is also how does the man today take responsibility for past actions. Kavanaugh failed that test.

    • You’re right. And over the past few days, since you posted this, you’ve been being proven right. We’re at, what, five accusations now, three of which look highly credible? Two of which are pretty dubious, but still.

      Are you believing it now?

  8. Yes!

    We godless heathens have been watching this slow motion train wreck for years. We’ve been screaming “Wake Up! You’re being played!”

    Any politician who mouthed the proper words on abortion and maybe gays was (and still is) guaranteed votes from people who never look past platitudes and ignore anti life positions of health care, guns, clean water and every other issue.

    More than one “pro life family values” politician has been caught arranging an abortion for his mistress, yet pro life family values voters kept believing every politician who said the right words.

    In Colorado, a 5 year program to provide long acting birth control to low income teens dramatically decreased abortion AND saved Colorado several million dollars. It was win win. Republican politicians voted to cancel the program.

    Abortion is reduced by accurate sex ed, access to effective long acting birth control and social safety nets. We should all want these things. (I know catholic teaching opposes birth control, but it must be preferable to abortion especially for non catholics.) Outlawing abortion doesn’t decrease abortion, it just means more women will die.

    We all want the same things. We want women to be safe. We want babies to be born healthy and loved. It’s time to work together.

    • “Any politician who mouthed the proper words on abortion and maybe gays was (and still is) guaranteed votes from people who never look past platitudes and ignore anti life positions of health care, guns, clean water and every other issue.”

      One thing my mom repeats over and over that really does resonate with me is that abortion is a form of social darwinism/genocide of the poor: Make it easier for people in need to just never have babies, thus eliminating undesirables from society over time. Here’s the thing. I just can’t square protecting these potential babies with taking away support structures that could help them thrive. This right here is exactly why I first stopped requiring pro life as a political platform. The way politics are in this country right now, I had to choose between being ok with killing a potential baby before it was able to survive on its own and harming already born children and their families who have the ability to feel pain and hunger RIGHT NOW. I’d rather a baby be aborted than be born to a mother who can’t feed it or can’t access mental health services or any number of horrible situations that result in the born child suffering. Call me callous for having done that calculus, but that’s the choice I’ve been given in my voting.

      Aside from that is this: “Abortion is reduced by accurate sex ed, access to effective long acting birth control and social safety nets.”
      This win win is why I first joined ranks with the “baby murderers.” Enabling people to make their own choices about when they have children so that they can focus on things like building a secure life BEFORE bringing a child into the world is huge.

  9. I agree there is no excuse for rape or assault on anyone! And recognize that not all pro-life people are the same. I know many pro-life Catholics who are pro-woman and anti-Trump. Rebecca, you are not the only one who is disgusted, and I don’t think it is helpful that you portray yourself as the only one.

    • Theresa, I’m glad to hear from you. All I’ve heard from is pro life people who back these guys. It’s great to know there are others out there like me.

      • I follow a number of unusual pro life groups such as Feminists for Life, New Wave Feminists, Secular Pro Life, etc. A frequent complaint of theirs is that all “pro-lifers” are painted with the same brush. In addition, the people that I know in my Catholic parish are “pro-life” in the whole life sense.

      • Here, here! You ladies (and men) are not alone, but I definitely have felt like I am in my beliefs about this (especially in the workplace) until now. Thank you for voicing your opinions, it helps to know the whole world has not gone mad. I especially like what you said Rebecca, “None of these people believed those things. They just pretended to believe them to keep from admitting that they wanted to support the monsters of this world against their victims and, despite their lies to the contrary, they knew exactly what they were doing.” It completely has baffled me for the last two years, that mentality spanning across the masses. I felt the same when they were separating children at the borders and many other un-biblically “Christian” situations. What are the true motivations for this support? People selling their souls to support a political party that has done the same.Thank you Rebecca, and, Theresa, Lark62, TinnyWhistler, Douglas, etc.

  10. Ok, I agree with just about everything you say and it is a breath of fresh air but… for every right wing thug there is a left wing thug also spewing death threats to those they hate, there is the vile Antifa and the Democrat party that uses women’s issues to get votes but in reality couldn’t care less what happens to them. So tell me, how is the other side any better? They manipulated this mess with Kavanaugh and in my opinion are just as disgusting as those who are bashing Ford and denying what happened. It could have been handled far differently and would have had more impact against him. It was a brilliant plan because they knew exactly how everyone would react. The Dem party used Ford as a hand grenade and will have no use for her once it is over. So it comes down to what puppet masters do you choose to support. Thanks for writing this, it needed to be said!!

  11. Thank. You. For. This.

    As a pro-choice Christian, it has been kind of horrifying to watch pro-life Christians just sell their souls, and sell out every other conceivable value, for the sake of electing and appointing pro-life people.

  12. Judge Kavanaugh should get the presumption of innocence. I would give that presumption to the Devil himself. There is no time and no place where it is ever appropriate to disregard Blackstone’s Formulation.

    I believe that Dr. Blasey Ford was sexually assaulted as a teenager. Women are inherently vulnerable to men, being smaller, and having a lower proportion of muscle mass. (This is one reason I think that women benefit more than men from carrying concealed handguns; presenting a firearm will often stop a sexual assault in its tracks, and if it doesn’t, opening fire is the prudent next step.)

    What I am less sure of is that it was by Brett Kavanaugh. Between my reading on the Innocence Project, on false conviction, and on false confession, I cannot help but have doubts. It is disturbingly easy for eyewitness identifications to be led astray, and it wasn’t too long ago that methods for doing so were standard police practice.

    While it is possible for her claims to be true (which is what lawyers mean by “credible”), I doubt we will ever see them have the benefit of the preponderance of the evidence. I do not think it is even possible that they could be substantiated, let alone beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Unless, of course, he breaks down before the Senate Judiciary Committee today and confesses all. But I only expect that in a Perry Mason story.

  13. Rebecca, I am a pro-life Catholic man who was abused, in various ways, as a child, and I’m sure that, psychologically speaking, what I went through, then, gives me a tendency, now, to intuitively believe (other) people who claim to have been abused and violated in various ways. With that said, I have not wanted to rush to judgment on Brett Kavanaugh. When people are falsely accused of being abusers, it can ruin lives, and I don’t take that lightly. At the same time, for over a month now, I have been receiving e-mails (due to my longtime advocacy for the pro-life cause) urging me to “support Brett Kavanaugh”– and I just have not been able to do it. The accusations against him have troubled me too much, if there is even a *chance* that they are true, and this has held me back from voicing support for him.

    After today, and hearing Dr. Christine Ford’s testimony, I am glad that I held back and did not support him. I do not claim absolute certainty about his guilt… but I am deeply, deeply concerned and troubled about the rush among conservatives to confirm him, and I say this as one who leans to the right, politically, in many ways. It would go directly against my pro-life convictions, which are based upon the God-given dignity and sacredness of human life, for me to support Brett Kavanaugh at this time, given the seriousness of the accusations against him, and given what I just heard from Christine Ford. You are not alone in taking the stance that you do.

  14. Given how consistently dishonest and incrementally morally compromised this political pro-life movement has been, what makes you think that even their stated objective of overturning Roe vs. Wade is a viable strategy?

    Because here’s the thing: overturning that decision will not instantly ban abortion across the entire US. What it will do, at a fundamental level, is undermine a woman’s right to choose. That cuts both ways; once you transfer that agency entirely into the hands of the state, what’s to stop the government from forcing women to have abortions?

    Its not like we don’t have a history of governments doing exactly that. The reasons could range from population control to getting rid of “undesirables” of some kind. How far removed is that from forcibly separating children from their parents as a deterrent for immigration? Or used as a response to drummed up “anchor babies” hysteria? Its all a matter of finding the right loopholes, appropriate targets and plausible deniability.

    When I posted something similar elsewhere, I thought I was talking about a possible but unlikely scenario, at least for the immediate future. It turns out, as I learned recently, that Brett Kavanaugh has ruled in favor of caregivers that forced disabled women to have abortions.

    Honestly, I think that overturning Roe vs. Wade will net the pro-life side a pyrrhic victory at best. And with the current administration in charge, the implementation of an abortion ban (or forceful abortion policy) cannot end in anything but disaster. The resulting backlash will make what happened in Ireland seem like a breeze in comparison, and since it will be the only path available after stacking the Supreme Court, we might as well end up with a woman’s right to choose enshrined into a constitutional amendment.

    We might end up converting the political parties on the issue of abortion; just not quite in the way you wanted.

    So, you’ve been around a while, you’ve peeked behind the political curtain (although to be fair, the current administration could be considered an anomaly beyond anything we’ve faced before) and you’ve seen how these things play out. How likely do you think these scenarios are?

  15. Impressively strong words for a catholic blogger on Patheos. Just when I got used to and started expecting more of the whiffle-whaffle on this subject from the likes of Jane the actuary here.

    • Excuse me. Jane the Actuary is a friend of mine, and I’m willing to entertain Rebecca Hamilton’s informed opinion while also trusting that “Jane” is allowed to explore the issue in her own way. Why bring her into it? Why support one woman by raking another through the mud?
      This is why I can’t stand liberal Catholics–they’re frequently no more about the love of Jesus than the conservatives are. They just flip who their wolves and sheep are–not on issues of sin, but just on issues of tribe.
      Stop that. Stop that right now. You can boost Hamilton without slapping Jane. Quit dividing my Church.

      • I apologize Power Girl. I didn’t realize this comment was about another blogger or I wouldn’t have allowed it. Again, sorry.

        • Well, listen. I’m in favor of free speech and the guy wants to voice it. I’m upset by what he said, not that he said it. Your house, your rules, so do as you will. I’d let the comment stand, but I’d also wanted to let him know that he spoke ill of my friend.

          This all reflects on the commenter, not on you, RH.

      • I didn’t go after Jane the Actuary. I only mentioned her as an example. I won’t go into the why since even OP seems to think there is something wrong with me doing that.
        No need for name calling; I’m not a catholic, liberal or otherwise. Nor have I ever been.

    • I’m not sure why my other comment got flagged for moderation. Since in my experience, delayed comments often go down a hole, I’ll just say: Jane is my friend and it’s wholly inappropriate for you to go after her on somebody else’s blog on the same site.

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