I am an anti-abortion Christian. My views might lead those who voted to ban nearly all abortions in Alabama, and now Missouri, to think I am cheering on their actions. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, the news coming out of Georgia and Alabama — as well as Ohio and other states — that lawmakers continue to pass increasingly restrictive abortion bans has made me angry in a way I cannot remember being in a long time. These laws, which are aimed at challenging Roe v. Wade, serve as a sickening reminder of the ways much of what I hold most sacred has been weaponized by the forces of the American religious right.
First, the obvious: Laws that restrict access to abortion are not an effective way to end or greatly reduce the number of abortions because people will continue to have abortions regardless of the law. We actually know how to reduce the number of abortions. Most of those ways involve being honest about how and when people have sex and giving people the information they need to have sex responsibly.
Yet most who favor these highly restrictive laws do not seem terribly interested in pursuing policies that would do any of these things. Every state that has passed a restrictive law around abortion in recent weeks requires that sex education “stress” abstinence. Neither Alabama nor Missouri mandates sex education, though when it is taught, both states require that it emphasize the importance of “sex only within marriage.” Georgia, which does mandate sex education, does not require that information about contraception be included.
This simple fact suggests to me, when I am in a less generous mood, that they are not concerned about preventing abortions. They are instead interested in enforcing their own reactionary views with regard to women and sex.
I believe that abortion always ends a unique, irreplaceable human life. I also understand, of course, that there is a multitude of circumstances in which the moral calculus is not easy. But I want a world in which unintended pregnancies are exceedingly rare and in which no one is the victim of rape or incest. Lawmakers in Alabama and Georgia do not seem to want to work toward these goals.
If laws like those recently passed in Alabama and Georgia succeed, they will not bring an end to abortion. Instead, they will punish the most marginalized and the most vulnerable. Low-income people, women of color, and victims of rape and incest are among those most likely to be harmed. These are the very people that my Christian faith demands I protect.
And using abortion policy as a covert means by which to dictate the sexual behavior of another person strikes me as a deeply un-Christian act. Claiming that you are defending the innocent when in fact you are trying to find a way to enforce highly debatable standards of “purity” runs counter to everything I understand about the message of Jesus. At the heart of that message, after all, is the central demand that we love God and others and that we act to protect and serve the most marginalized people in our society. And it is in this that these laws truly fall short.
Draconian bans on abortion — and frankly anything other than liberal access to abortions along with comprehensive sex education and access to contraception — fail to protect human life, both in the womb and outside of it. This, in itself, should be intolerable to any Christian, particularly one who views abortion as morally suspect.
Every human being is made in the image of God. For this reason, I cannot compel the actions of others with respect to their bodies and lives. I cannot tell them when to have sex or when to have children. I cannot tell another woman what to do when she finds herself pregnant after a rape or pregnant with cancer or pregnant without a paycheck.
I can only work to create a world in which people are truly making decisions without fear or coercion. Nothing about these terrible laws does any of that.
That is why, now more than ever, it is imperative that people of faith, particularly those for whom their faith compels them to adopt an anti-abortion position, speak up against these draconian measures. These laws are not a pro-life or Christian response to abortion. They are entirely the opposite.
Katherine Kelaidis is a writer and scholar whose work focuses on the intersection of religion and politics. Find her on Twitter at @katiekelaidis.
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How Self-Hatred Can Insensibly Poison Our Lives
American woman Shelli Wilder Netko wrote a post about what worries all the women in the world — self-hatred, inevitable aging, and the race against time that will definitely be lost. But instead of worrying about these things, we should just focus on loving the people around us. Her post was so moving that we feel for her from the bottom of our hearts.
Here at Bright Side, this post has moved us a step closer to the most sincere love for ourselves. We hope it will do the same for you.
I have never really liked my hands. I have short, calloused fingers, wide palms, and messed up nail beds from a nail-biting stint when I was in grade school. Add to it the effect of knuckle-popping, which I became obsessed with after I saw the cool kid on the block do it in second grade. But nonetheless, I’ve always referred to my hands as looking like “dog paws,” versus the long, graceful hands that my sister has and that I’ve always wanted. I’ve always thought I was in the wrong line when God sprinkled “beautiful hand fairy dust” on the babies.
To add to my hand shame, since my 20s I’ve had the biggest, juiciest veins in my hands and forearms that have always been a phlebotomist’s dream come true, causing my hands to look a bit masculine and old if you ask me. When my kids were young they liked to sit by me during church and “play” with my veins to make the time pass more quickly. They would sometimes ask why my hands were “like that.” The standard mom answer applied here, “They just are, Hun.” But I always liked it — having one of them holding and touching my hands, no matter where or when or why.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve done my part to win the anti-aging race with my body and face. Eating healthy, exercising, and spending far too much money taking care of my skin. And yet, when I look down at my keyboard countless times a day, I still see these hands that look much older than my heart feels, and appear as if they could use a nice rest.
When the photographer stopped me to pose for this photo at my wedding in March to capture my sash and ring on the lace pattern of my dress, I automatically blurted out, “Can you edit the picture? I don’t like my hands.” Everyone has something they don’t fully embrace about themselves, don’t they?
But when the wedding photos came back I saw my hands in a whole new light. This picture is so beautiful, it captures everything. I saw the hands that had baked about 200 Birthday cakes, a truckload of cookies, changed thousands of diapers, wiped away a million crocodile tears, and clapped till they were raw cheering my kids on through every sport.
I saw this picture and I saw a gift. These hands may not be the smoothest, most graceful, longest, most feminine hands, but they are perfectly suited for the work that was laid out for me. These hands have been blessed with holding my newborn babies and grandbabies and holding the father of my children as he took his last breath.
I will find a beautiful frame for this picture to remind myself constantly of the love and purpose and duty I have in this life, and to remind myself that I have my mother’s hands — her gift to me.
What do you think of this story? Is there something about your appearance that you don’t like? Tell us in the comment section below.
A Daughter Wanted to Brag About Her Gorgeous Mom on Twitter and Accidentally Started a Beauty Contest
We’re totally used to social media sites that turn out to be an unpredictable phenomenon today and any post has the potential to go viral. This is what happened to a girl whose screen name is Your boyfriend’s best friend who posted a photo of her 43-year-old mom on Twitter and accidentally started a beauty contest. And even though it was just moms who took part in this sudden marathon, it was a dad who won!
Bright Side couldn’t stand aside and has decided to show you some women who know about the secret of eternal youth. And the winner, of course.
In just one day, a daughter made her mom popular: her post got 23,000 likes and caused a lot of hype in the comments. Twitter users were really interested in her beauty secrets, because this 43-year-old woman looks really magnificent. So some people asked for her cosmetologist’s contact details and others tried to find out the woman’s phone number, promoting themselves as potential suitors.
Some people also wanted to show off their beautiful moms, so they started posting their photos in the comments. As a result, the post turned into a real beauty contest.
The more women who have managed to stop time there were, the more they were suspected in using magic.
Some users even doubted that they were relatives with their moms at all. Let’s agree: when a mother looks better than her daughter, the suspicions about whether they have common genes or not are pretty relevant.
Undoubtedly, all these women are extremely popular with men, even the younger ones.
It’s hard to believe that these hot beauties have 3, 4, or even 5 kids.
The finalists were women who were older than 60. When you look at them, you realize that age is just a number.
But the winner was a dad. Apparently, a user who calls themselves Taste Booster wanted to dilute this beauty flow with a touch of masculinity. All in all, the photo of a man lying down among all the fish he caught, a cat, and a dog hit the jackpot: the picture got 1,700 likes and became more successful than any of the other photos in the comments. The only exception was the photo of the person who started this beauty contest.
Undoubtedly, all the moms who participated in this viral post deserve admiration, but the picture “Dad and some bream” is an amazing sensation. Which one do you like the most?
Costs of raising pets and changing pet market consumer trends
반려동물 1마리 키우는데 드는 비용과 소비 트렌드 변화
In the past couple of decades, it’s become far more common in Korea to own a pet.
Owning a pet, of course, usually costs some money.
In this report, our Hong Yoo looks at how much that might be and how the petcare market is changing.
More than 10 million people living in South Korea have a pet.
That’s one pet for every four households.
According to a pet report by KB Financial Group, raising a dog costs an average of 85 U.S. dollars a month and raising a cat requires an average of 64 dollars a month.
Most of that money goes on food and treats.
The rest of the money is used for medical care and grooming.
But people are happy to treat their pets because these days pet owners think of their pets as a member of their family.
In Korea, these people are called “PetFam”.
The pet food market alone has seen an average of 19 percent annual growth on the back of this trend.
And because people think of their pets as part of their family, they want to take their pets along with them on trips.
So tour companies have started creating “pet tours”.
“Because there are people who want this kind of tour, we saw the potential of such a product in the market and so we came up with our Jeju pet tour. Pets can accompany their family all the time during the tour to Jeju Island including at the restaurant, tour spots, and the hotel because this tour is pet-centered.”
There are even home spa products for pets such as skin moisturizers, scaling products and grooming mists labeled as premium products because they are organic, eco-friendly, and pet-friendly. They can cost up to 40 dollars.
“Before, people used to think about pets as a living thing that you can buy just like a toy. But because people think of their pets as a part of the family, the pet market has become similar to the baby market. So now, owners are turning to premium products for their pets.”
And there are also luxury pet shops which sell premium products that can cost up to a thousand dollars.
That is the cost of a pet bed made out of oak in the style of the bed of King Louis the 16th.
And at this luxury department store, the most popular dog food costs more than 50 dollars for just 1-and-a-half kilograms.
These changing consumer trends in the pet market show how owners are willing to spend a lot on the best quality products for their pets now that they are seen as part of the family.
Hong Yoo, Arirang News.
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