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.