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I am a Third Order Franciscan of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Imposing the faith

Rep. Betty Boyd, D-Lakewood, said Owens imposed his own Catholic faith on women who have been raped when he vetoed House Bill 1042, which would have required hospitals, including Catholic institutions, to inform rape victims they have the right to emergency contraception. source

This is the time when I get on my soap box and rant so you may want to avoid reading this post.

This type of attitude always gets me mad. I certainly don't wish to minimize the horrors of rape, but I don't think that women are better treated if politicians are required to leave their beliefs at home. Does Rep. Boyd never allow her personal beliefs or political views to influence her decisions? Of course not. No politician is ever elected by 100% of the vote, yet we do not ever protest when Republicans or Democrats impose their political views on people who do not agree with them. That is the nature of democracy. Indeed, if politicians were never able to make policy decisions or votes based upon personal beliefs - nothing would ever get done. Politians would fear making law because "I don't want to impose my beliefs on someone who may not agree with me."

What if Rep. Boyd proclaimed to be a Democrat while rejecting major parts of the Democratic party platform? Would the Democratic party not be justified in no longer considering her a true Democrat? So why does she feel it is appropriate to call upon Gov. Owens to renounce his beliefs? Is she not seeking to impose her beliefs on him?

This is especially problematic in the cases given here regarding women who have been raped. They have had someone impose themselves upon them, take away their freedom and their right to make a choice regarding their body. Yet, Rep. Boyd would take away the right of choice from hospital officials and many other people as well. So, yes I feel terribly sorry for women who have been raped but I would feel even greater sorrow if all people - men and women were no longer able to do what their conscience feels is right because of a wrongful belief that to do so would be to "impose" upon someone else. That woman who has been violated is in a much better situation in which people are free to support and defend her - in which she can support and defend herself without being told to stop imposing herself on others. Only in a world in which people are free to act and speak their truths, can her voice be heard.

Therefore, I would feel much better if politicians like Rep. Boyd and Gov. Owens continued to act out of their consciences, out of what they believe to be right. I may not agree with them, but I can respect them.


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