Over the weekend, the blogger at Starts With a BANG wrote about acceptance and love. Ethan is a theoretical astrophysics/cosmology physicist who writes about a broad range of topics, but mostly science. I found his post about love almost moving, but his reasoning comes up short. Ethan, I have a challenge for you.
You passionately wrote:
“In my experience as a human being, I’ve seen far too often what evils can come from judging people who are different from you and the groups you identify with.”
“I don’t have the right to speak for anyone other than myself, of course, but I have not only the right but also the responsibility to speak up for others, particularly if they can’t (or aren’t there to) speak up for themselves.”
“But we’re all worthy of love, and we all deserve the same rights and respect just for being human.”
I understand you are talking about these human beings:
“A rush of memories flooded my head. The time I was at the Jacksonville airport, and an openly gay man was accosted by a passerby for no reason. Reading a physics poster at a conference and having the author — a trans woman — converse with me about their work. When a friend of mine confessed their bisexuality to me, asking me to keep it a secret because of fear of judgment. The girl I knew who was born intersex and had surgery performed on her as an infant to assign her a gender, but never felt like a girl on the inside. The young women I knew with hirsutism, who struggled with body issues and acceptance. And the former students I’ve lost track of who’ve thanked me for creating an environment where they felt comfortable being themselves.”
That’s not exactly how I would counsel them, but I believe you speak from a feeling of compassion. What would I counsel? That’s another essay. You eloquently continued:
“I have no right to speak for the trans community, and that’s not what this is about. This is about the fact that we all have a responsibility to speak up and tell this basic truth: that all people — regardless of their race, sex, sexual orientation, and any other physical trait — deserve to be treated with respect by society and our laws, are worthy of love, and should be free to figure out and be exactly who they are.
And you ended with a call against bigotry:
“There may be a whole bunch of things that I wish I’d done better in my life, but this is one that I know I’ve gotten right, and the more of you who stand up against bigoted behavior in all its forms will hasten the coming of a world where everyone can be exactly who they are.”
Here’s my challenge, Ethan. A rush of memories flooded my head too when I read your plea, but they were of a different group of human beings, the smallest and weakest among us. I thought of the little hands, feet, and rib cages I’ve seen ripped apart by a suction machine. I thought of the burned and gray whole bodies of children killed by poison. I thought of the picture of a visibly pregnant, round-bellied woman holding her mobile phone in one hand as she waited outside a late-term abortion clinic one day to get rid of her twin daughters because she no longer wanted them. I thought of the science that tells us that the unborn (a single trait) are human and living. I thought of the mothers who refuse to be silenced and speak up about how they long for the children they will never hold. I thought of the woman who died in grief because she believed abortion was a good choice. I thought of the people who say even born children have no right to life. I thought of the monster named Gosnell whom the media ignores because he exposes the filth and evil of the abortion industry. I thought of the 1.2 million (if that number can be trusted, after all it comes from the very people who profit from the killing) children in our nation who are killed each year for one single reason — they are unwanted.
I assume you are not against abortion, so if I assumed incorrectly, then please accept my apology. But if you do support abortion, then listen up.
When your concern about the “evils” that come from “judging” human beings just for being “different” extends to most helpless, then you’ll be consistent. When you are ready to speak up for all others who can’t “speak up for themselves”, then we can speak together. When you understand that “we’re all worthy of love, and we all deserve the same rights and respect just for being human” and you mean it, then I’ll know you are serious, and not just grand-standing for a political agenda. When you consistently hold this fact as a fact, that ”we all (your emphasis) have a responsibility to speak up and tell this basic truth: that all people — regardless of their race, sex, sexual orientation, and any other physical trait (my emphasis) — deserve to be treated with respect by society and our laws, are worthy of love, and should be free to figure out and be exactly who they are,” then we will have found common ground. When you are ready to end the bigotry of abortion, then I will believe that you are sincere in your quest to “hasten the coming of a world where everyone can be exactly who they are.”
Until you mean it, consistently, and with courageous conviction, without dividing human beings into groups based on traits and picking and choosing which ones matter and which ones don’t, only then will you be able to confront bigotry — for as long as you believe you are the arbiter of who counts and who doesn’t, as long as you are obstinately devoted to your opinions against certain groups, then you are still acting with prejudice and intolerance. A bigot cannot fight bigotry.
Do we have a deal? Or were you just trying to score points with the liberal left?
Catholic Wife and Mother