Sunday, July 3, 2005

A Woman Stepping Down Requires Women Standing Up

The fifty-percent of the American population that is women is going to have to stand up and be counted in the run-up to two Supreme Court nominations.  One for sure, as the first woman ever to sit on that court, Sandra Day O’Connor, prepares to retire.


There’ll be no sitting this one out to see what the men, in their ultimate wisdom, see fit to require of women.  There are a whole bunch of so-called liberal issues that the religious right hopes to turn the clock back upon through a change in the balance of the court, but women’s right to choose is the one that has them salivating. It took you women all of human history to gain that right and now we’ll see if you’re going to allow the “fear of God” to be put back into your lives.


Our Supreme Court operates most favorably when no one likes it.  When liberals and conservatives find equal cause to complain about its decisions, that’s when it’s hitting on all eight cylinders.  My personal opinion is that it’s pretty much at that point right now, but the bible-thumpers are poised and it’s not liberal Democrats or the moderates in either party that will maintain a balance.  It’s going to have to be the half of our population who stands next to the men as they posture themselves.


Not satisfied with what God has given them in a nation founded on the constitutional separation between church and state, they ask what God would never ask . . . theocracy over democracy.  They will only have it if women let them have it.


There are hardly any women of childbearing age who remember the dark days of no choices, but those were days of dangerous and illegal ‘back-room’ abortions carried out by the greedy, the unlicensed and the incompetent.  If something went wrong, women died and things often went wrong. The rich and the powerful had their abortions abroad in the best hospitals and clinics, but the great majority of American women are neither rich nor powerful.


As a nation, we are battling theocracies in the Middle East and women have not done so well in these countries, but then they are not our theocracies, whatever our may stand for.  We don't stone our women but we huniliate them in other ways.  Our most revered presidents; Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, on into modern times have all come down strongly in favor of every person’s right to his own faith and no person’s right to dictate his faith to others.


Justice O’Connor makes that case eloquently, when she says "Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between church and state must answer a difficult question: why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly?"

Think about her words and become engaged in this issue
of who will sit in judgment over you.  It isn’t the men who will pay the price when zealots rule and women are once again bumped back to the status of second-class citizens.  Nancy Reagan said, “Just say no” and she was talking about drug abuse.  When a presidential nominee to the court sits before the Senate, if his background and ideology are unsympathetic to women’s rights, your rights . . .


. . . just say no and make sure your Senator hears you say it.


See Taking My Country Personally on my personal web site.