June 19, 2019

I Am Pro Life – the Life of the Living

Flowers blooming. Photo from Pexels.

I am Pro-Life – the Life of the Living.

In 1976 there was a movie called Network with one of the top 100 quotes I often think about,  “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.” Well that’s how I feel right now, outraged as I listen to the news with reports of one state after another attempting to work its way up to the Supreme Court in the hopes of overturning Roe vs Wade. One can barely distinguish between the religious right and the majority of the judges who sit on the highest court in the land. In fact the majority of the Republican party has passively capitulated to whatever Trump encourages and this was one of the promises he made when he ran for the office of President. Politics and religion seem grotesquely intertwined.

It is a terrifying proposition that we can be controlled by the Christian view of what and when life begins. The same bible that is the foundation of all the Abrahamic traditions is being used to limit and control the rights of all women. What happened to the separation of church and state? Let’s not be blind to the fact that it is religion, the Evangelical Christian view of religion, that is attempting to take the power away from woman, even those whose religious beliefs are in complete contrast to what they espouse. The Jewish belief is that life begins at birth and not conception. So what right do they have to affect my choices, or any woman’s for that matter? Even though the many streams of Judaism view abortion differently, no one movement has the right to control another’s actions. It is also my personal view that their essential belief that ‘Eve,’ the first woman of the Bible, is the cause of all sin, lies deep beneath their actions. It is all about punishing the woman for their view that she is the cause of bringing humanity down low and in need of constant absolution. My bible sees Eve as an Ezer K’negdo, a complementary partner with her opposite, Adam, and both of them choose to disobey G-d.

As a Jew, with the right to live out my own values and beliefs in this country, I call out their manipulation and efforts to control a woman’s body. What is even more infuriating is that the same people who espouse such ardent views to save the life of a fetus refuse to save the life of the living, their children and grandchildren who are innocently gunned down in schools across this country. They are the living. Don’t they deserve to be protected? These holier than thou people are hypocrites. They won’t support legislation for gun safety and the removal of ‘army’ style semi-automatic weapons off the streets and out of the hands of civilians. Do they really care about ‘life?’

It is truly frightening times. We see Anti-Semitism grow exponentially and now we see that our own beliefs and values can be dismissed and ignored when men and women with power are willing to influence and change laws based on their religious beliefs that run counter to ours and in fact are guaranteed by the constitution, “…all people are created equal, are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and Pursuit of happiness…nor shall any State deprive any person of Life, Liberty…” As a woman, as a Jew, as a rabbi, and as an American, I feel compelled to speak up and find a way to join with others to protect and fight for these rights, particularly the right to ‘life.’ I am Pro Life – the life of the living.