Thursday, September 4, 2008

I'm Secretly Kind of Glad Bristol Palin is Pregnant.

Let me preface this: I usually shy away from discussing politics. This is actually the first election I've ever watched entire presidential debates and conventions. I don't like to discuss politics, because even though I believe I'm well-informed, I've seen how ugly political disagreements can get. Otherwise cordial and friendly individuals can get feisty and angry. I debated whether I should even post about this. Period. But, that being said - it's my blog and I want to talk through this.

In case you've been hiding under a rock, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's 17-year-old daughter is pregnant.

I'm kind of glad she is.

Maybe that's rude and selfish - but hear me out:

I come from a big family of conservative, pro-life Republicans, I attended Catholic college and currently work at one. When I was little, my parents, okay, my mom - Dad's not into public displays of values - took me to pro-life pickets. I went to the March for Life a few times in Washington D.C. when I was younger.

Suffice it say: I've been around a lot, a LOT of people who are pro-life. (Although that label in itself causes me some struggles - because if you declare yourself "pro-life, it seems you should be for protecting ALL life, not just babies. That means you, Mr. Death Penalty.)

I really, really, realllly dislike abortion. In an ideal world, there would be little to no abortions. But, I'm a firm believer in a comprehensive approach to reducing abortions - NOT just passing legislation to completely reverse Roe V. Wade, but a holistic, preventative approach.

Which brings me to Bristol. Most people I know who are die-hard pro-life are also the ones who are the most judgmental towards unwed mothers.

It frustrates me so. Wait, so you don't want a young woman to abort, but if she decides to keep it, you're going to be cruel, rude, and judgmental because she's young or unmarried?! Who would WANT to keep a baby in those kinds of circumstances?

So, Bristol, dear, consider yourself lucky. Since Republicans want to be supportive of their VP nominee, they aren't going to judge you too harshly. (Just your mother, apparently.)

I just hope that everyone can remember how easy it was to "forgive" her sins and treat other young or unwed mothers with the same graciousness.

15 comments:

  1. This was done tastefully and you made some very great points. I'll give your advice right back to you (since I'm too much of a pansy to take it myself, haha)... don't be afraid to express yourself! You're good at it. :)

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  2. Very important and valid point!

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  3. well done!! And you shouldn't be afraid to write and say what's on your mind - this is your blog remember!!

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  4. Oh my goodness -- I FEEL EXACTLY the same way about that whole topic, ESPECIALLY the pro-lifers who are all for the Death Penalty.

    alfal;kfdjalfkj

    makes me all kinds of irritated.

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  5. Very well-said! I think that Bristol Palin is a pretty fortunate girl, considering that a) she is in a family that is supportive of her pregnancy and ensuing marriage (which is, in itself, a whole other disastrous story), and b) she had the luxury of "choosing" whether or not to go through with the pregnancy. While I am not the biggest fan of her mom, I have to say that I am hoping that she is treated with dignity as long as she is in the public eye.

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  6. I totally agree that I think that this will be a wake-up call for - I hate to even use this term- but Christian fundamentalists who have a hard time balancing grace and belief. Case in point, they don't want her to have an abortion but they don't want to acknowledge her as an unwed mother either just as you said. Dilemma of course. I am glad that the Christians I relate to are far more on the side of grace than judgement though I know we have a VERY long way to go before we restore the faith of those who do not share our beliefs. Obviously history is hard to overcome.

    I think one of my best friends said it best. "I hate abortion, I love children, but I feel like when we allow the government to dictate what we do on all levels (ie personal decisions) we have lost our freedom." I do however, respect those who are adamantly pro-life, for it is their conviction and their belief that every life is precious.

    I myself feel the same way about it you do, I have actually watched one and I would never want to put any child or woman through that -ever. And that is why I feel so passionate about it.

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  7. I give you 4 thumbs up to this post! As a young woman who has been in a similar position as Bristol (unwed, pregnant 18yr old) I could relate to this on many levels. How very frustrating/confusing this contradiction of values can be...

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  8. Leaving aside the topic of this post in general, can I say something?

    I'd like to first say that I am pro-life and also against the death-penalty. I don't think it's justifiable in our country today, where we have the ability to reliably restrain dangerous criminals and keep the public safe from them.

    However. It is not philosophically inconsistent to be anti-abortion and pro-death-penalty. Being pro-life means protecting *innocent life*... i.e. preventing murder.

    That means, in war situations, women and children are innocent and therefore protected, but enemy soldiers are fair game, and soldiers are not guilty of murder if they kill them in battle.

    In the same way, someone who has committed dangerous crimes no longer qualifies as innocent life - by his actions, generally in violation of the innocent lives of others, he has made himself guilty. Other citizens do not hold his life in their hands, but a just government - acting for the good of the people - does, and therefore has the right to punish him capitally if it is necessary for the greater good of society.

    Now, like I said, I don't see capital punishment as justifiable under the current circumstances of our society, and I really dislike the way it's usually seized upon as *revenge* by those who sympathize with the victim.

    However, in the long philosophical tradition of Western civilization, it has been universally recognized that there is a distinct difference between murdering the innocent and killing criminals through capital punishment. It is a very recent, modern idea that "protecting life" means protecting the lives of dangerous criminals equally with the lives of the innocent.

    The idea is philosophically untenable when you look at it closely, and in my opinion it's really nothing more than a diversionary tactic. The conservatives bring up the fact that the liberals are in favor of a "right" for mothers to kill their own unborn children... the liberals respond that the conservatives are hypocrites, because they talk so much about the babies but care nothing for the lives of the poor helpless murderers and rapists.

    Ahem.

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  9. And I have so much to say on the other stuff that I'm just going to email you one of these days, if that's okay! :)

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  10. I don't judge that she's pregnant but I do feel it's somewhat ironic given her mom's stance on abortion. She's accepting responsibility though so that's a mature thing to do, even if she doesn't have a choice.

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  11. Humbly and well said. More please!

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  12. I never really get into politics either. Thanks for speaking your mind though! It's good to hear p.o.v's from people you actually like! :)

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  13. Kudos for standing up for what you believe in and doing it in a non-confrontation way! Yay! I agree -- these contradictions make no sense to me .... against abortion but pro-death penalty and pro-war? Or against abortion and against young girls who decide to keep their babies?

    The thing that really bugs me about the whole Sarah Palin/daughter pregnancy is that Palin voted against sex ed and voted against funding for teen mothers!!! Ohmygosh- how crazy is it now that her own daughter is a teen mother who could have used some sex ed?! Madness.If there's more sex ed in schools maybe there will be less abortions...

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  14. Hey, Ashley, interesting thoughts. I too am loath to jump into politics/ethics (especially online) but I just wanted to say that it was distressing to hear you say that most people you know who are die-hard pro-life are also the ones who are the most judgmental towards unwed mothers. They don't speak for me, or for my family. I am pro-life. My family had to "walk the talk," with my brother. TWICE. Were we upset? Worried about everybody involved? Yeah. Does that make us judgmental? No. But surprisingly, I and my family were judged by a lot of now-former friends, and my ex-boyfriend, so I think I understand what you're talking about.

    The experience aged my parents a bit, but they love being grandparents and we couldn't imagine my niece and nephew not existing. I have a cousin who is adopted, and I have a cousin with Down Syndrome. I can't imagine either of them not existing, as well. It's not always easy, but we all support each other. I'd rather see people get the help they need, and pray and work for conversion of hearts in favor of life, rather than have the need to outlaw things like abortion.

    Aside to Sarah Marie: The more sex ed=fewer abortions wondering? Depends on what they're teaching, I'd guess. Dawn Eden of The Dawn Patrol blog has some interesting posts analyzing things like that.

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  15. I completely agree. Whatever anyone believes, the goal of government should not be to teach religion. If people want to teach abstinence based on their beliefs, I think it is completely fine for them to do within their families, but there are many different beliefs and religions and varying degrees of religion. So Palin wanting to teach abstinence in schools is a little unreasonable, and it has now been shown in her daughter. I totally agree with your post 100%.

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