When I was in my second year of my undergraduate degree, my mom got so angry at me and basically ordered me to change my major because I was taking a course with “evolution” in the title. The course was a mandatory course for the degree; and rightfully so – it was a biology degree.
When I moved out on my own and lived in an apartment with a male roommate, my mom told me that I was never going to find a man who would marry me because I was “damaged” material. This advice was repeated, but exponentially so, when I moved in together with my “newish” boyfriend (who, by the way, is now my husband).
Somewhere along the way, I was told that I was damned for eternity until I accepted Jesus as my personal saviour. And, this comment was said in passing, as a casual one-off, like it was just a known fact and an accepted idea: I was less of a person for not making this proclamation in my life.
During my English degree I took a World Religions course, which of course, didn’t make sense to my mom. Clearly, there is only ONE right religion. A few months after telling her about this course, she called me and asked if she could have my textbook when the course was over. She said she wanted to learn about the other religious views… (wait for it)… so she can figure out where they were all lead astray and teach them the proper way.
Tonight, my mom asked me if I’d seen “the video of the baby dancing at 11 weeks old” on facebook. She was handing me her phone as she said this and I took it from her to start watching it. Here I was assuming it was a live, 3-month old baby dancing. No, it was an unborn fetus at 11 weeks gestation. If you don’t know of this video, you can watch it here. In the first 2 seconds of the video, my mom informed me that it was made to “stop abortion” by making people see that fetuses are real babies and need to be saved. I immediately stopped the video and resisted the urge to hurl the phone back at her head. Hold the Fucking phone… This did not just happen.
With the most disgust and disdain that I could muster into my voice I harshly replied, “THIS fetus is NOT dancing. THIS fetus does not even have appropriate neural connections and it is flailing about as random neurons fire in an attempt to form these connections. There is NOTHING wrong with abortion and women should have the right to access such services.”
Needless to say, my mom did not like this response. She replied with the canned pro-life response: “Abortion is wrong and women just do it because they don’t know any better.” Smoke is now coming out of my ears…
“You are absolutely WRONG. Abortion is NOT wrong and women have every right to make any decision they want for themselves and their body!”
My mom dropped the subject by saying “whatever.” Damned right, Whatever.
Mind your own business. Believe what you want to believe and leave it at that. Let other people believe what they want to believe and leave it at that. Yes, it irks me to no end that my mother holds strong to beliefs that I don’t agree with. However, I know that nothing I say or do will change her opinions. Saying she is wrong, well, maybe that’s not being tolerant. But I hate (read: HATE), when anyone pushes their agenda on other people because their ideas, their values, their beliefs or religion or political position, or whatever, is more right than someone else’s.
Now, I’ve titled this post Tolerance, and it might seem that I’m less than tolerant based on what I’ve written here. However, the exact opposite is true. I am the biggest advocate for tolerance, ever. It comes down to respect. There are many ideologies that I feel are wrong, but I don’t go around telling people that they are wrong and I am right (ok, except maybe in the case of abortion). This is the basis of tolerance.
When it comes to abortion… Well, the choice belongs to the woman: It is a decision that stays between a woman, her body, and her doctor. I may believe that abortion is a right choice or a wrong choice, but no one will ever know that except for me. What I know: That choice is not one that is ever, ever, looked upon easily (and I know this because I’ve had a baby grow inside of me). The important point, however: Abortion is a choice and it should stay that way.
- ‘Incompatible with life’: One mother’s account of her difficult decision to request a rare, late-term abortion (news.nationalpost.com)
- Abortion Advocate: ‘So What If Abortion Ends Life?’ (mikesright.wordpress.com)
- Video: Candlelight Vigil Remembers Mom, Baby that Died From Carhart Abortion (deaconjohnspace.wordpress.com)
- Preaching Tolerance (gentlereformation.org)
- The Tightrope of Tolerance (dinkumtex.wordpress.com)