Thursday, October 29, 2015

Abortion and Immigration: A Different Quakerly Take

First, look at and reflect on two situations (If you already know a lot about the controversies and dislike poems, skip half way down to the Take):

El Paso

The chubby woman in a blue Pontiac
Jerked up alongside our country's curb
Where members of a silent vigil stepped
Placarding decision avenue.

One protestor crossed our line,
To ask her what she needed.
Bordering near to hysterical, she yelled,
"You're wrong!" her face taut and
Yanked back from the cleft.

With drowning eyes, she shouted,
"I wish I'd never been born."
So much for 'boarders'
And backwards wet with rivers.

Then she jammed her shift into gear
And sped away, not even glancing
At the clambered wall or
At her remaining child
Ensconced next to her,
Missing her seatbelt.

-First pub. in Unlikely Stories


A poem created from New York's news, from the persona of a girl, lost but then...

The Daughter's Return

Behind the Purple People Eater
Down on the Lower East Side
From the Garden, I smoked
And tried to calm myself.

Turning and turning and turning...

A high school female so mature
For my age, I had used a false I.D.
And entered the rock club
With several gal friends.

Turning and turning and turning...

I looked at chipped nail polish
on my thumb and flicked ashes
Down to the icy pavement,
Disappearing into

Turning and turning and turning...

The grimy snow shoved
Against the brick building by some
Janitor. Ice glistened from a blue
Light above the club's alley door.

Turning and turning and turning...

I clenched up--another painful after
Contraction, and hugged my loose skirt,
Aching and still disoriented
From earlier when I had washed

Turning and turning and turning...

Off the blood in the small porcelain
Sink in the empty lady's room,
After disposing of my underwear
And my wet jacket, I had sat on

Turning and turning and turning...

Leaning against the beige stall
Shoving and shoving.
But now I flicked the butt
In the snow and pushed past

Turning and turning and turning...

The squat cook in the tiny kitchenette
And through the girls' door again,
Leaned into the mirror on the wall
And applied heavy shadow

Turning and turning and turning...

Around my wandering eyes,
Straightened my skimpy skirt,
Stared in the mirror for more
Moments, then undid another

Turning and turning and turning...

Button on my navy blue blouse.
I sprayed a dash of Estee Lauder
On my sweated body and shoved
Through the door but thought of--

Turning and turning and turning...

Baby of mine, now hidden,
Stashed in the Giants' jacket
Shoved far down in back
In the trash dumpster.

Turning and turning and turning...

I blinked, clinched my fingers,
But licked my lips and then sauntered
Back into the darkened club
Where gyrating flesh

Turning and turning and turning...

Channeled the crashing drums,
And I scanned the sensed mesh
Of moving flashed skin
Prodding for a night man.

Turning and turning and turning...

That's when I slumped down
Collapsing to the floor
Only to wake later
Turning in...
The Hospice of the Virgin.

-First pub. in Word Riot

Usually, when people discuss or debate the topics of anti-abortion versus pro-abortion and anti-immigration versus pro-immigration, the huge emphasis is on religion, politics, science and economics and the opposition. Which is okay; actually not because it becomes so ideological.

Those long complex contrary explanations and debates are understandable. But given how much insufferable heat and harm they cause, and how little light gets shown (now and in the past), it seems unlikely they have really helped women, infants, poor Americans and immigrants.

Consider a different perspective, A DIFFERENT TAKE:

How about all of us humans look at abortion and anti-immigration from the standpoint of Friendly ethical truths--generosity, empathy, compassion, and non-violence?

Would this not be a discussion changer?

No longer would these two scalding potatoes be divisive, all about “OUR” rights (mothers who want to abort and Americans who want to keep immigrants out) versus the needs of others (unwanted fetuses and illegal immigrants).

Nor would scientific facts or economic factors or theological claims have much of a show.

Let’s skip the much debated argument about whether a human at conception has a “soul.”

Let’s also skip the economic/political belief whether or not an invisible border between countries is real. Often, of course, nationalists make it visible with a high wall or security fence. Check out the U.S. El Paso border with Cuidad Juarez, Mexico or Israel's with Palestine.

How would a generous person, a compassionate person, a non-violent person deal with the unwanted fetus and the suffering mom, the unwanted illegal alien and the suffering out-of-work American who worries others (from elsewhere) will take away his job?

And don’t speak of murdering pre-born infants. Many of the aborted are barely out of the cell stage. According to Planned Parenthood, "64.5 percent take place within the first eight weeks" of pregnancy.

10 weeks

On the other hand, pregnancies aren’t “unwanted tissue” like some pro-abortionists claim. Brain waves start in about the 6th week. By 7 weeks, it will be able to open and close its fist and already can grasp an object! Sucking the thumb has been documented at about 7 weeks, too. She/he will soon be squinting, frowning, and grimacing with his/her face.

Again, think about my central point:

How about we look at abortion by a pregnant woman from the perspective of generosity, empathy, compassion, and non-violence?

How about we stop using pregnancy as a political football and return the controversial topic to the doctor and the pregnant woman?

How about we look at immigration from the standpoint of generosity, empathy, compassion, non-violence?

Would this be a discussion changer?

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

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