CW // reproductive rights, religious cultists, the clusterfuck that is US politics, Trumpers being wretched as per usual, police brutality against BIPOC
I wish I had something more upbeat to write this week, especially after taking last week off — but ofc the American religious right is pretty much stampeding over Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s still-lukewarm body to their attempt to shoehorn a religious wingnut into the country’s highest court.
None of us asked to be born in the bodies we get, and despite my body’s theoretical ability to reproduce, I have zero desire to do so. I’m the end of the line, the last stop on the genetic express. My furbabies are max capacity for me, so there’s no way I’d be able to raise children.
There are many valid reasons I’m meant to be Elegy, last of her name.
The mythology of the United States goes that this country was formed as a secular nation in order to escape religious persecution. That’s the story, right? One nation indivisible. The “under God” bit was added in 1954 as a panic move against Marxist-Leninist atheism (doubly ironic given that Bellamy, the Pledge’s author, was himself a socialist), but the US is not and has never been a religious republic.
The space that religion is supposed to occupy is that of belief — as in, the things that we cannot mutually prove, due to a lack of evidence: you can believe what you want about what comes before or after this corporeal life because it’s literally a discussion of the abstract, the incoporeal. Discussions about those kinds of matters require a leap of faith to even exist.
But we don’t need a leap of faith to find overwhelming evidence of huge societal and economic benefits when women are allowed to have control of our own bodies.
Even writing that sentence makes me feel sick.
Because we are still forced to ask for that which should rightfully be ours.
Science is the study of what we can see, touch, share, quantify. Religion cannot take its place.
It is science that my uterus attempts to shit out an egg once a month. It is also scientifically provable that I would make a godawful parent. But the cult of the Christian right wants to own all of our bodies, openly sneering at science for the sake of grabbing at secular power.
I woke up to find further proof of this in the form of a pathetic gaggle of men near my house trying to muster up noise for Trump and his ilk. The lone woman that finally rolled up to join them was herself a political candidate — one whose husband is currently serving a 7-year jail term for his conviction in the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. She’s candid on social media about how she thinks the country’s problems are in need of a thorough Jesus-ing; from the disruptive amount of honks from passing traffic, I know she’s not alone in wanting to corrupt the political system with religious extremism.
Even a passing police car honked to cheer on the scraggly Trump crowd. The local PD love to parade around wearing rainbow flag patches during the city’s annual Pride celebration — but that kind of public rah-rah-ing makes it abundantly clear that they back the person who's stripping protections away from the LBGTQIA+ community. They've been murdering BIPOC individuals for years with no impunity, and that isn't changing. Not under this sham of a president.
The dissonance of it all can become paralytic. Stone on the outside, raging storm on the inside — torn apart with fury thinking about how un-American it is to impose your personal religious choices on someone else’s destiny.
It keeps people trapped in cycles of generational poverty and psychological pain.
It threatens to send us hurtling backward in time to the era of back alleys, patriarchal oppressors staunchly marching us into a climate-doomed future, Aunt Lydias like Sue DeLemus ushering it along.
It is the opposite of freedom.
They will try, but they cannot, will not, must not succeed.
So even though I knew it probably wouldn’t make a difference, I went out there and sat on the opposite curb with my own sign, one I’ve had for the past few years — because nothing has changed since she died.
“You spelled his name wrong!” one of the guys across the street yelled to me.
I called back that no, I did indeed mean Erica Garner. That the trauma of what happened to her father had no doubt contributed to her own far-too-premature death.
The guy’s eyebrows twitched up and he nodded in the universal expression of well okay then. It’s the tiniest thing, a splinter from the tree of knowledge — a twig, maybe. But I doubt it'll change anything.
Stay safe, my loves. Take care of yourselves, but stay alert.
And for fuck’s sakes, vote.
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