Politics, Religion, Respect for the Rights of Others to Chose

Harriet Mierswithdrew her name as the candidate for the Supreme Court seat to be vacated by Justice O’Conner. Sadly she was denied her chance to speak before a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee . I didn’t really know anything about Ms. Miers before President Bush nominated her for the Supreme Court. When I heard last night that she had withdrawn her name I thought to myself, wow! That was quick.

I decided to do a little research on my own. Surprisingly MSNBChad a very nice write up on Ms. Miers. The article was written by the Washington Post which surprises me even more. Either Ms. Miers is beyond reproach or she’s a closet “commie” or liberal? Everything I have found so far speaks very respectfully of the woman and her ability as a lawyer. Senator John Warner of Virginia was very upset at how his fellow Republicans handled Ms. Miers. I agree with him. She was denied her legitimate chance to present herself to the Senate Judiciary Committee. In my opinion that was political cowardice!

What I find most disturbing about all this is Phyllis Schlafly. As president of Eagle Forum, she was very outspoken in her opposition as were many other conservatives. Ms. Schlafly is said to be the most powerful woman in America for the past century. If you think back you’ll remember that she was the one who waged a single handed campaign to block passage of the ERA. When she began her campaign to prevent the ERA’s passage, thirty of the needed thirty-eight states had already ratified the Amendment. She did this by organizing the previously untapped conservative members of the Religious communities of the different denominations.

Schlaflyorganized vigorously against the amendment, arguing that it could lead to the drafting of women into the military, expansion of federal power, taxpayer-funded abortions, same-sex marriage, and other perceived problems……In a summation during a debate with proponents of the Amendment, Schlafly said, “I like being a woman, and the protections the law now allows”, openly challenging the femininity of feminists.”

I have to take exception here to a point. Before the Feminist Movement, women who worked outside the home, with the rare exception, were destined for Secretarial school, Teaching, Clerical work, home baby sitting and such. Those jobs are all honorable jobs but were and are in lower income brackets. Women were all paid significantly less than men were being paid, even in those jobs. For those women who were fortunate enough to go to college and get a Degree if they were hired in more technical jobs or “white collar” jobs, they were paid lower wages for doing the same work as men. Many jobs were closed completely to women in favor of men.

My job was one of those jobs. Fortunately, in the USMC, I was highly trained in Communications. When I left the service, due to the Feminists Movement, I was able to be hired in my job and was paid the same salary as the men. I did the same work they did. I had the same excellent Health Care and Dental Plan. This allowed me to raise my kids without bleeding every penny my ex husband made just because I could. I was independent, stayed off welfare and food stamps. When I retired with 100% disability, we lived pretty comfortably. I was one of those lucky women. Had the feminist Movement not occurred, our lives would have been much different!

However, what I didn’t mention is that before the Feminist Movement, most women didn’t work outside the home, though the number had increased from the previous ten years. I think the Civil Rights Movement and the Hippie movement changed a lot of attitudes. Before these movements, the husband was the bread winner. The wife stayed at home. The husband made the final decisions in most cases. Most men did not really see housewives as someone who worked.

It wasn’t until the seventies when some women went to work or school and the men stayed home that a more respectful recognition was granted to women in their role as house wives. However, financially the wife was in deep trouble if they divorced. She had nothing unless she found a way to get a good lawyer and then the laws were not in place to always be fair. I agree to a point that it is good to to be able to stay home with the kids until they start school. But, more and more that isn’t possible for many women or families.

Ms. Schlafly also believes that the Judicial Branch is the most powerful branch of the Government. She believes that there are many examples of Judges legislating from the bench:

“Schlafly, a leader of the conservative movement, founder of the pro-family Eagle Forum, and prominent opponent of the Equal Rights Amendment, said that it is wrong for courts to legislate from the bench, offering examples such as recent rulings against reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in schools, displaying the Ten Commandments in government buildings, and requiring government to increase funding for public schools.” In this area I agree with her on many points.

I believe prayer ought to be back in the school. The kids should “all” say the Pledge of Allegiance. They should be taught the importance of the symbolism behind the flag. I want my Nativity back. If Blacks can have Black History Month, Jews can wear those little hats, Muslims can wear those long skirts, I ought to be able to have my Nativity back. If an Atheist doesn’t want to pray, then stand quietly and wait for us Christians to say it. Just like I stand quietly while they observe their “Religion” of atheism.

This country was founded by people who wanted to end religious persecution, imprisonment for stealing a loaf of bread when you’re hungry, and no taxation without representation. I didn’t kill any Indians, have any slaves, sell my own people into slavery, fight against the North, or fight against the South. Granted there are cultural elements of most of these events in all our backgrounds. It is impossible to remove the past. Destroying all the history of one race won’t make up for the history of grievances of another. That’s like saying the Holocaust didn’t happen by taking it out of the History books.

One should never forget or remove all symbols of past history completely else the future generations will not have anything around to learn from and history will be repeated. The Boston witch hunts happened. We must never forget what can happen when one group adheres to such rigid religious standards that they become zealots and persecute others for not following their rigid path. That reminds me a lot of the extremist in the Islamic faith. We must be able to believe in God and worship in our own way but with tolerance for others of another faith.

So what is the point I am trying to make. As we as a nation try to adhere to our Constitution, we must not allow “any” lone group, be it one of the three branches of Federal Government, or a Religion to become more important than the other. Without one we lose them all. We cannot prevent a person from running for President because he or she is a Catholic, Jew, or whatever. Granted those beliefs are an important part of an individual. But isn’t that like saying a Black, white, Indian, Hispanic, or some other ethnic grouping can’t be president because they aren’t the same as me.

To a point we have Social customs that must be maintained. But just as most Americans don’t want me, if I were your President to be overly influenced in my job by the Pope, I don’t want an Evangelical telling me how to live. I’m sure they don’t want me to tell them how to live! As we continuously swing back and forth from left to right there is a strong tendency to force our views on others.

I don’t believe in abortion except in certain extreme cases. THAT is MY view. I do not have the right to tell anyone else they have to believe the same way. If I don’t believe in divorce, again that is my view. Again I do not have the right to force that view on another. If I read the Bible every day at 6:00 o’clock I ought not to expect everyone else to do the same. Just like we are teaching the Iraqi and other Middle Eastern countries that women have rights, let’s not take away any of those rights we enjoy in this country.

There is always some way to compromise on issues of extreme importance. There must be or else we are no different or we will become no different than that which we now fight, extremists who want to force our ways and beliefs on everyone else. So, let’s stop all this partisan and religious extremism and selfishness and start compromising and doing our job in our government, and in our personal lives!


~ by devildog6771 on October 29, 2005.

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