Sunday, February 20, 2011

My Planned Parenthood Story

So, Republicans have voted to de-fund Planned Parenthood. Their specious claim is that they are doing it because they care about black babies and Planned Parenthood is supposedly singling them out for extermination. No, I'm not even kidding. They actually said this stuff.

If it wasn't for Planned Parenthood, I might not have had my baby. When I thought I was pregnant, it was the only place where I could go and see a doctor to find out for sure. They also provided me with my first gynecological exam.

When I told them that I wasn't comfortable with having an abortion, but I didn't know what I was going to do, the nurse there gave me the best "You can do this!" pep speech I have ever received. She told me that if I really wanted to have this baby that I wasn't as hopeless and clueless as I felt. She told me just what to do next to get pre-natal care. I left there with everything I needed to start my pregnancy off right. Thanks to them, I have my wonderful and precious daughter that I dote on every single day--as if you've missed all the bajillion blog posts I've written about how amazing I think she is.

My point is that folks who believe or claim that Planned Parenthood is all about abortions are just plain ignorant. They are truly about empowering women and filling in the gaps that leave many women without health care.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Texas School District Caves in to Demands for Less Well-Rounded Education

Have you heard about the ridiculous hoopla surrounding one Texas school district's plan to add Arabic to the languages that students would have the opportunity to be exposed to? It should be noted that, even as conservative and slow to embrace change we are down here in Louisiana, this has never happened at any of the schools that offer Arabic to students.

English is NOT our country's first language, which is a fact that these Texans would know if they actually had a decent education herself. There are plenty of languages that are much more American than English could ever be. Even Spanish is more American than English and French, but anyone who pointed that out to these rabble-rousers would probably cause their brains to go into grand-mal seizures.

My daughter goes to one of the top high schools in the nation. Her school offers an abundance of languages for the children to choose from. For those languages that don't have an available teacher, but still have many students interested in learning it, there are clubs sponsored by teachers and aided by parents and community members who are willing to teach the kids. My daughter takes Latin (since she learns Arabic at home with me).

We first found out about the school's program years ago when the kids from the school's Arabic program had a booth at our city's International Festival. They were writing people's names in Arabic in exchange for a donation to club. They were really, really good. I spoke to their teacher who amazed me with her dedication to providing the children with a proper education in modern Arabic and a basic education about classic Arabic.

Some of these kids got job offers right out of high school! Several of my daughter's friends have already moved on to Ivy League schools. Language skills ensure that these children won't be hit as hard by recessions and tight job markets like we see today. When you know more than one language, you aren't restricted by what jobs are available in a single place.

Fortunately, people like the complaining parents in this Texas school district are making themselves irrelevant. Those who spurn education will always end up being the underlings of those who embrace it. We see this happening all around America right now. They just ensuring that any kids they have will end up working for the kids from schools like the one my daughter attends.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Gotta Cover Their Tracks, I Guess

What If Cameras Were Banned From the Delivery Room?

This makes me so MAD. To avoid responsibility for their errors, they want to make sure that no proof of it exists. I have a grandmother who can't walk very far. This means that she can't be with the women in our family when we do lots of things together. She gets left out of anything that can't be done at her house. She won't leave my grandfather's side and he's in decline and afraid to be home alone. So, we videotape A LOT. Videotaping and picture-taking are one way that we keep our disabled family members involved in everything that goes on, even if they can't be there.

If I one of my sisters-in-law had another baby and their hospital had this rule, I'd do everything in my power to get them to switch to some place else, because it's a good sign that this hospital doesn't have much confidence in their doctors.

Egypt is an Example for All Believers

Oh, merciful God! I don't know if I can stop myself from crying. I'm not sure if it's because of how atrocious and horrifying it is to see people who have so little respect for God that they would throw rocks at people who are praying or if it's because of how faith-affirming it is to see the taqwa of religious Egyptian Christians and Muslims (who worship the same God) in the midst of all these thugs Mubarak has unleashed on the country.

"A beautiful moment captured by one photographer in Egypt: Christians grabbing hands to form a human shield around Muslim protesters as they take a break to honor the call to prayer."

My American Christian sisters and brothers, this is what true Christianity looks like: standing with the oppressed, even when the stakes couldn't be higher.

"Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
John 5:13

“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He ought to be feared and do not die except as believers. And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah's favour on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, ye became brethren; and ye were on the brink of the pit of Fire, and He saved you from it.”
Surah al 'Imran 102 & 103

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have good understanding. To Him belongs eternal praise."
Psalms 111:10