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Thursday, May 17, 2012

"Morality" vs Ethics

I think I now understand the concept of "activist burnout" that I was warned about.  It's not a desire to no longer be involved, or a lack of ability to help with the issue at hand.  It's more of a creeping depression at the overwhelming amount of work necessary to fix things.  It's a nagging doubt, a bit of hopelessness at the seemingly insurmountable number of assholes out there with one single goal: to fuck over innocent people and/or make money while doing it.

I'm not done.  Not by a long shot.  But the initial thrust of energy I had, powered by sheer anger and outrage, is cooling.  I need to stoke it into a long-burning flame, rather than let it flicker and die.  It's helpful to take note of our victories, even our small ones, to stay encouraged.  I also find it helpful to stay abreast of the news, noting that they are out there, waiting for us to tire and lay down so they can use us as a stair-step to their next heinous abuse of power.  I, for one, will not be letting anyone take away my rights laying down!

I'm sure many of you have seen, or at least heard of, Mississippi State Senator Bubba Carpenter's statement regarding women dying from "coat hanger abortions."  If not, I sadly cannot provide the video here because the Alcorn County GOP has removed it.  My guess is because it was incredibly damning to them and their cause, and it fully illustrates the contempt for women that the anti-choice movement and the GOP in general cultivate.

Here is the transcript of that awful video:



"We have literally stopped abortion in the state of Mississippi. Three blocks from the Capitol sits the only abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi. A bill was drafted. It said, if you would perform an abortion in the state of Mississippi, you must be a certified OB/GYN and you must have admitting privileges to a hospital. Anybody here in the medical field knows how hard it is to get admitting privileges to a hospital...
"It's going to be challenged, of course, in the Supreme Court and all -- but literally, we stopped abortion in the state of Mississippi, legally, without having to--  Roe vs. Wade. So we've done that. I was proud of it. The governor signed it into law. And of course, there you have the other side. They're like, 'Well, the poor pitiful women that can't afford to go out of state are just going to start doing them at home with a coat hanger.' That's what we've heard over and over and over.
"But hey, you have to have moral values. You have to start somewhere, and that’s what we've decided to do. This became law and the governor signed it, and I think for one time, we were first in the nation in the state of Mississippi."
Sadly, there is something lost in reading it his statement.  Bubba's "But hey..." came out with the same shrug and lack of anything resembling emotion with which one might use the phrase "You gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette."  So a few are gonna die painfully, Whoop-dee-doo!  At least we're saving some fetuses that will end up born addicted to drugs and in the foster care system to be abused and become a drain on society!

This man proudly states, "You gotta have morals."  What the hell does he mean by that?  His morals clearly dictate that allowing desperate women to accidentally kill themselves (taking their fetuses down with them, by the way) in shame and fear is clearly the more upstanding route than allowing them to safely and legally rid themselves of an unwanted pregnancy.  This same man must have been directed by his "morals" to vote against a comprehensive high school sex education program intended to prevent  unwanted pregnancies (and therefore, help prevent abortion.)  He also voted against a higher cigarette tax, against an increase in Medicaid funding, against an early parole program for non-violent offenders with good behavior records...but he did vote to legalize deer baiting.  This man has some real "morals!"

This is something my husband and I have often spoken of.  We both hate the word "moral."  Although in Webster's the words ethic and moral are considered interchangeable, I think it's safe to say that "moral" has taken on an unshakeable religious connotation.  I don't use it anymore when I speak of someone's character as an upstanding citizen.  I always say "ethics."  The word "ethics" implies a judgement between that which is right or wrong based on logic, reason, facts, and a general respect for other living beings.  I have a strong ethical character, and that's worth more than the "morals" Bubba gets from some Mississippi baptist hate pulpit.

1 comment:

  1. Oh hell yeah, sister. I hear you loud and clear. Agree with you 100%. Activist burnout setting in for me as well, but I just can't stand on the sidelines. Arizona is crazy. Mississippi is crazy. Georgia, Oklahoma, Virginia, Pennsylvania. We must fight. We have no choice, really. I am here with you in Arizona. You are not alone.

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