Thursday, June 4, 2009

Reality v. Magic

George Tiller’s death should not have come as a surprise for anybody who’s taken all the antecedents and provocations into account. He’d been shot before, years ago in both arms, by an anti-abortion protester during Operation Rescue’s Summer of Mercy in Wichita, KS. Operation Rescue has also been linked to Dr. Tiller’s recent prosecution and quick acquittal of abortion law violations. Fox Network’s Bill O’Reilly, among other conservative talking heads, has been relentless in branding Dr. Tiller as a baby killer comparable to a Nazi death camp doctor. The Twitter traffic expressing horror or supporting the killer reached up to one tweet per second in volume for hours following the news item’s first break, significant proportions of it hashtagged to “Top Conservatives on Twitter.” News stories following online releases of the story have been attached with a revealing divide of opinion, both in contempt of the incident and in support of the killer’s motives.

This whole debate is absurd beyond belief. The truth of the matter is that the law of the land grants any woman the right to control her body, largely without restraing, and without having to answer to anybody for exercising this right. It's nobody else's business whatsoever.

Religious zealots strongly disagree with the existence of this law based on their religious viewpoint. Unfortunately for them, the law of the land also prohibits the government use of religious opinion strictly as the basis to change or in any way regulate the establishment or execution of civil law. As far as the law is concerned, specifically religious guidance of morality is contrary to the very essence of the constitutional guarantee of Freedom of Religion and its corollary guarantee of freedom from religion. The law of the land establishes religion as no more than just another opinion, among many, with no more weight than any other opinion. This is also the cornerstone of protection of the few from the tyranny of the masses. The founding fathers guaranteed the citizens and residents of the United States to be free from governance based on religious precepts because of their caprice, arbitrariness and the propensity of the religious to pick-and-choose their morality among a laundry list of archaic, paternalistic, dysfunctional, anachronistic traditions.

The long and the short of it is that abortion is legal and largely unrestricted in America by law. No one is forced to have an abortion who disagrees with its availability and protection under the law. Religious zealots who disagree are trying to circumvent the constitutionally guaranteed freedom FROM religion by codifying into law their various opinions on a woman's right to choose under the guise of morality. Killing a doctor because he practices services guaranteed to be available by the law of the land is murder. Anybody who supports, abets, encourages or otherwise enables even the smallest limitation to liberty, pursuit of happiness, and especially the life of people merely for engaging in protected freedoms is immoral, hypocritical, and Un-American. Forcing anybody to act according to a tenet held by a religion to which s/he does not ascribe is immoral, hypocritical and Un-American. To do so with lethal violence is absolutely no different from any other religious terrorism whether in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Israel, Gaza, Spain, or England.

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