Back in the 60’s we were all about life, we were pro-life. We tried to hold a festival of life in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic Convention, we talked endlessly aout the life force and our drugs were life drugs as opposed to the death downer drugs consumed by our parents.
Now in 2005, it’s the Christian crazy right wing that’s talking about how they stand for a culture of life and that their secular liberal enemies are pro-death. It’s true that I’ve seen a couple of obnoxius die-ins presented at peace marches but besides that, what the hell are the crazies talking about?
When the right wingers proclaim they are pro-life they usually mean that they worship fetuses and oppose aborting them, even if the life of the mother may be at stake, or the poor woman was raped or she just can’t afford to have a kid or she might go nuts if she had one. They figure the woman’s body is Christian State property and who cares what she thinks because “life” comes first. Of late, the right wing version of “life culture” is being pushed around the issue of human beings who through some misfortune live on in a vegetative state. You can’t mercifully pull the plug even if the best scientific evidence indicates that the poor person can’t improve or come remotely close to getting better. What do scientists know anyway? They think Terri Shiavo and Jesus are descended from monkeys.
These same folks used to cheer George Bush when he was governor of Texas and sent living thinking human beings to the execution chamber with as much relish and about as easily as he ate hamburgers. And these same life supporters also rooted for Dubya when he opted for shock, awe and torture in Iraq. So what’s up with the “life can be beautiful,” except if you’re on welfare, born againers? Do they have a rational bone in their head?
But what of the progressives? What’s happened to their festival of life? It seems the liberals have folded their tents and let their worst enemies have their best word. Why has this happened? The right wing put up its pro-life shingle when they came out against legalized abortion and the liberals said, so what, we are pro-choice. I’m sorry liberals but the word life carries a lot more magic than does choice. When I think of choice, I think of consumers and people looking at menus. When I think of life, I think of energy, reflection, activity, love, growth, development, compassion and community. Choice takes me to a shopping mall. I’m not saying that finding a bargain or two isn’t fun but it doesn’t measure up to reflection and love.
What we of the original and most honest pro life movement should be saying to those who have stolen our words, is that we are going to take back the life force. You guys are hypocrites who forget about the care and welfare of human beings once they are born and can actually think and feel and ask questions about the meaning of life. You lose interest in them because they are no longer “pure” and “innocent” but let one of them experience a major trauma to their brain and lose any capacity to think and act. Ah, then the “purity” returns and those who want to end their misery and the artificial maintenance of a breathing brainless heart, become anti-life crucifying mean spirited absolutely evil Nazis. You guys must hate the fact that human beings have free will, that’s why you don’t care about executions, people living out on the streets, napalmed cities and back alley abortions. People with free will might commit sins, so let them live in hell.
Let us progressive, liberals, humanists and reasonable thinkers reclaim the banner of life culture by saying, we are about stopping wars, providing health care, protecting social security, letting women decide about what should happen in and to, their own body, saving the environment, making sure everyone gets three square and nutritionally worthy meals a day and gets to think for themselves and speak for themselves and let people know that maybe they don’t ever want to live on as a brainless vegetable, and let’s reclaim life by making sure every homeless person is offered a home that isn’t a prison..
Its time to take on the hypocrites and their subtle deadly message about how real human beings are worthless sinners who deserve prison, punishment and poverty. That’s what the crazies stand for and it has absolutely nothing to do with life.
STEW ALBERT runs the Yippie Reading Room. His memoir, Who the Hell is STEW ALBERT?, is just out from Red Hen Press. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org