At Forging Futures: Choice and the Goddess

Over at Forging Futures, I’ve written about why I think honoring the feminine divine means that we must trust women to make their own choices about their bodies – especially the choice to have an abortion.

Given the juxtaposition of this piece with the previous one, I want to point out a few things about my political speech, since I am often political.

First of all, what I’m doing is very different from the kind of pulpit politicking that is being pushed by the Religious Right which I so strongly disdain. Yes, I’m ordained as a priestess by a 501(c)3 tax-exempt religious organization. But none of my online speech is as a leader for that organization, nor is it funded with the support of those tax-exempt dollars. These are my personal views and my personal speech. I defend even the most conservative Christian pastor’s identical right to his views and his speech, when he’s not using his tax-exempt organization to push them.

Second, for all that I often discuss how my religion guides my life, my ideas, and my choices – including my political choices – I am also determinedly in support of secular government. Whatever ways of understanding I use to arrive at my conclusions, when I advocate a policy approach that will affect other people, I always, always, always have a purely secular justification for it.

Respecting women’s bodily autonomy and giving them the right to make their own health care decisions should be an obvious conclusion when considering the situation from a secular point of view, and it’s on that basis that I want to see policies enacted. The fact that I also have strong religious reasons for supporting this position is relevant to me, and is something that I discuss as part of exploring how to live out my values in the world, but it is not the defense I offer for putting something into law.

These are the kinds of distinctions that make the difference between religious people who are engaged in politics and would-be theocrats. Respecting them is part of keeping our pluralist democracy functioning.

About Literata

Literata is a Wiccan priestess and writer. She edited Crossing the River: An Anthology in Honor of Sacred Journeys, and her poetry, rituals, and nonfiction have appeared in works such as Mandragora, Unto Herself, and Anointed as well as multiple periodicals. Literata has presented rituals and workshops at Sacred Space conference, Fertile Ground Gathering, and other mid-Atlantic venues. Literata offers healing and divination services as well as customized life-cycle rituals. She is currently completing her doctoral dissertation in history with the support of her husband and four cats.
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5 Responses to At Forging Futures: Choice and the Goddess

  1. Widdershins says:

    Hi there Literata, I read your post on the Wirches and pagans website … very succinct. My Path to Herself grew out of the feminist movement in the 80′s and 90′s and sadly, we were saying similar things then. This crap does spiral around and around doesn’t it? … I do believe however that with each turn more women wake from their patriarchal sleep and do what they can to walk through their lives with a little more consciousness.

    Thank you for being visible.
    Widder

  2. *applause*

    One thing, though. Not all women do know what’s going on in their bodies. Some women have been carefully kept ignorant about their bodies and about reproductive processes. This, too, is a violation of women and of trust in women — we cannot even be trusted to know much about our bodies.

    Coerced ultrasounds, of course, do not actually serve the purpose of educating them, and were not intended to do so, but are tactics of shaming and misinformation and reducing accessibility. But I think we need to acknowledge that not everyone know about their body and its processes, because we need to fix that.

    • Literata says:

      True; I’m sure there are women who are as painfully ignorant as Rep Akin (R – My Uterus). And I seem to remember hearing that one of the populations that really needed second trimester abortions were rape and incest victims, because sometimes they didn’t know what was going on early enough to get evaluated during the first trimester. And yes, that is another grave injustice done to women.

      On the other hand, 60% of abortions in this country are performed on women who already have children. I’m pretty sure they know what’s up. And that’s a sign that we desperately need to increase, not decrease, access to contraception.

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