Sunday, August 13, 2006

Rogue Scholars

If you want a laugh, go to Tod Goldberg's blog. He has a fine example of what to do with hate mail.

Just go there. You will laugh.

Medieval Pennsylvania

This is the 21st century, isn't it? Women do have rights, don't they? A doctor in Lebanon Country, Pa, doesn't think so.

A firestorm of controversy has erupted over a young woman who was denied emergency contraception after she said she was raped.

The emergency room doctor in this case said it is against his religious beliefs to give out what has been called the morning after pill, even after a rape. The morning after pill is a high dose of birth control medicine that can prevent pregnancy.

The doctor was quoted as saying:

Dr. Martin Gish, a Mennonite, was quoted in a local newspaper saying, "The dilemma I have is the whole rape issue. Which side are you more concerned with? Are you more concerned about the mother or the life that was possibly created? That's my dilemma."
Reading between the lines, it would seem that the doctor has a problem with rape. I'm not sure what the "dilemma" is.

And obviously, he is more concerned with the possible creation of life that the welfare of the woman. And why would that be? Why is this such a dilemma? Perhaps it is because a woman's life or welfare is less important than her serving her purpose. To procreate.

Or maybe he thinks we live in Afghanistan, where a woman who is raped is accused of adultery.

And I guess is doesn't matter that the "woman" involved is a child. Or that she had forced intercourse. Or that she was brutalized in a way that most rape victims describe as a "little death". That she will never look at the world or people in the same way. That she will never really trust again. If you want to read a first person account of what rape does to a woman, go to BB's blog, The Den of the Biting Beaver. She explains it more elegantly than I ever could.

The concern here is that this doctor is forcing his beliefs on his patients. And while one might question that a patient can go to another doctor, this guy is an emergency room physician. Most people going into an emergency room don't have a choice. That sort of if the definition of an emergency.

My beliefs about abortion have always been if you don't like abortion, don't have one. Personally, I'm not completely comfortable with abortion, but I am less comfortable with anyone dictating what a person should do with her own body. Especially a rape victim.

There is a bill being introduced in the Pennsylvania house to require hospitals to rectify this. Personally, if you're a physician who doesn't like emergency contraceptives, then you shouldn't be working an emergency room.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


I'd always felt that sunflowers had been overdone in the past few years. I mean, after Van Gogh, why bother?

But Mother Nature is the true artist, and here are a few of my sunflowers from my garden.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Jesus hates your thighs

Darling Daughter wanted to go camping with her friends. Camping is something I enjoyed at her age (14), but hate now. I felt guilty depriving her of this experience. So when the opportunity presented itself, I was quite happy.

The downside is that the camp is a church camp. Now we are spiritual people, but not religious. Not for lack of trying, I'm a non-practicing Catholic, Lutheran, Wiccan, and Neo-nonsensical pagan.

The particular church involved in this camp is the Mormon church. Now you may wonder I would allow my daughter to attend a camp that is run by one of the more strict and conservative religious organizations.

Well it wasn't just an opportunity for her to live for a week without a blow dryer and makeup. First reason: The family that runs the camp are very good friends of mine. And they are a nice family. Regardless of what I may think of their religion, they are loving families who take care and nurture one another.

Second reason: I want my kid to be tolerant of others. Tolerance gets a bad rap, but I believe that tolerance is the solution to prejudice. Of course, tolerance is not a blanket to accept any behavior. But even though I think most religious people are full of shit, as long as they don't hurt anyone, or become a pain in the ass about it, or try to make laws so that I have to follow their rules, it's Ok with me if they want to be full of shit. I'll tolerate it.

Now this camp has rules, one of which was a "modesty standard". The girls are not allowed to wear shorts above their knees, only one piece bathing suits, no tank tops or sleeveless shirts and no belly shirts or halters. I thought this would be a deal breaker for my daughter, because, much to my disappointment, she is the fashion goddess. But she surprised me and said it didn't matter, because she really wanted to go to the camp, and didn't care about the clothing.

So off we went to shop for camping supplies and modest clothing. While shopping in Foreman Mills, darling daughter picked up a cute tank and short set. I said, "Put that down, don't you know that Jesus hates your thighs? And your shoulders too." Then she grabbed a halter and said, "Can't buy that, Jesus hates my stomach."

We continued throughout the store, commenting on what Jesus would not approve. I'm not sure what the other shoppers thought of our commentary, but we were cracking each other up.

Blasphemy can be a great topic for mother-daughter bonding.