A Fragile Freedom

The religious right hate freedom.
In an effort to extol the merits of belief in their god, the religious right(RR) have taken bold steps at influencing the political stage in US governance. We hear about defunding planned Parenthood because they do abortions. What the RR really want is total control over every aspect of all of our lives and they begin with women, a full 50% of the population. Shame and guilt go a long way in the control and manipulation of people in general and the Religious Right have plenty of that to go around. They would see to it that a woman could never fully speak out in a group of other members regarding contraception if such was forbidden. And having anything at all positive to say about abortion would be tantamount to committing social suicide. Her church life would be over and she and her family would be shunned. Now suppose the RR have their way and really do succeed at getting legislation passed criminalizing abortion. Every woman now becomes subject to the law and the churches have won another round at quashing our freedoms. Women who want nothing more than to get along will do just that and not another word will be spoken regarding a woman’s reproductive rights because she doesn’t any longer have any any.

And as if that is just paranoid thinking let’s not forget these two events that took place less than 50 years ago – in many of our lifetimes.

First regarding Planned Parenthood’s real world work .
Chances are you’ve never heard of Estelle Griswold. But she radically changed the lives of women in America. Forty-six years ago today, her courage secured a basic right that many of us take for granted today: the right to use birth control to plan and time our pregnancies and to keep our families healthy.

As the stiff-spined director of Planned Parenthood in Connecticut, Griswold had spent years challenging an archaic state law that barred anyone, including married couples, from using “drugs or instruments” to prevent pregnancy. Decades of protests and legal challenges had hit solid walls of resistance. So in 1961, Griswold and her medical director, Dr. C. Lee Buxton, defiantly opened a birth control clinic in New Haven. Their goal: to get arrested.

The police obliged, raiding the clinic, arresting the operators, and setting in motion a series of convictions and appeals that ultimately led to the United States Supreme Court. On June 7, 1965, the Court settled the matter — declaring the Connecticut law unconstitutional and opening a new era in reproductive rights and social progress.

You can read the rest here

Next, less than 20 years ago the Magdalene Laundries. What do we know about these places? They held women who were considered to be unfit for public society and in fact had been abandoned by society. They were sent to the catholic launderies to work off their crime of having gotten pregnant out of wedlock. Years ago, when I first heard of this,  I thought that the report was of a time in the 19th century when people were still being treated as if they were chattel. Imagine my surprise upon learning that this was going on in 1996.

Here is a clip of the first article on the matter.

The story of the Magdalene women was uncovered in 1993 when a religious order in Dublin cashed in on the booming Irish property market and sold a portion of its land to a developer. The bodies of 155 women who had died in the laundry were exhumed from unmarked graves and the media began to ask questions. The story went made international headlines with the release of Peter Mullan’s 2002 film “The Magdalene Sisters.”

Until recently, the Catholic Church was the ultimate moral authority in Ireland, and it promoted strict rules on sex. In this climate, the shame of giving birth to an illegitimate child was so great that many unmarried mothers were rejected by their families. They were taken out of “decent society” and put into Magdalene laundries by members of the clergy, government institutions and their own families.

The Magdalene laundries were a network of profit-making workhouses run by four religious communities — the Sisters of Mercy, the Sisters of Charity, the Good Shepherd Sisters and the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity. Named after the Bible’s redeemed prostitute Mary Magdalene, they were initially used to reform prostitutes. By the 1940s, however, most of the residents, or “penitents” as they were called, were young women who had sex outside of marriage (in some cases victims of rape), unmarried mothers, women deemed flirtatious and the mentally disabled.

Magdalene women worked long hours, typically seven days a week, without pay. There have been accounts of the harsh conditions the women endured, including allegations of mental, physical and, in some cases, sexual abuse. Many lived and died behind convent walls until the last laundry closed in 1996. Today’s Magdalene women are in their 70s or 80s.

Read the full article here

And one more article on the Magdalene Laundries

1996 and they were still enslaving women. How can anyone have anything but derision for the churches who would do this? I truly believe that the RR are using the third world as testing grounds to determine what they can get away with and how they are going to conquer the US.

I also wonder when we will begin charging them with sedition? They are afterall going to replace our system of self-governance with their king.

Also the pic is titled “Not Yours” by Heather Keith Freeman and can be found here in bigger format to read the background

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6 Responses to A Fragile Freedom

  1. jimmer54 says:

    Needless to say this would be incomplete without a good song.

  2. hogarm says:

    Denying women abortion has never been about the zygote/embryo/fetus; it is about the subjugation of women.
    This is the 21st Century, Tea Party Christians. Women have the right to vote, to have equal pay for equal work, to not be raped, to drive cars, not wear burqas and yes, to have sex if they so desire.
    Can one even imagine, if the Regressive Christians manage to criminalize abortion, the absolute chaos?

  3. karenl53 says:

    Thank you for this post – it is indeed an important one. I knew about the Magdalene Laundries, and about the beginnings of planned parenthood. I’m sure everyone knows that in many Muslim countries women are simply property . The only hopeful thing I can offer….all of history has shown that revolutions only occur when you have two things; an educated youth and the revoking of rights that they grew up with. Drafts help. also- but no longer necessary since it’s the only jobs available in this country.

  4. jimmer54 says:

    Hogarm
    Imagine the absolute chaos.
    Exactly. The real thing though is that affluent xians, rethugs included, will always have access to family planning alternatives that include abortion. I know that for a fact. I’ve seen it happen in the 70′s with so called conservatives and their xian values. They want control of others but freedom to choose for themselves.

  5. Stardust says:

    I don’t know how any woman could be a conservative. The ones who are, are subscribing to positions that condone their own slavery and oppression. I just don’t get it.

  6. jimmer54 says:

    Karen
    I was eading today that women in muslim countries have taken to driving their autos unchaperoned as a protest of their general condition. I can’t imagine what will happen to them when they get home? Beatings? I hope it goes well for them.

    Stardust
    Thanks for monitoring the queu. I too can’t imagine why anyone including women would vote against their own self-interest. Yet they do. They look forward to the day when they will all be ruled by a king. Jesus. I say ahhh?? No Thanks. I’d rather muddle along with science and reason leading the way. Also it occurs to me that we need to let him, Jesus, know that apparently we killed him once so if he dicides to misbehave again we may need to put him away.

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