Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inspiration

So today Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States of America. He is the media's darling, an inspiraton to us all. My school, the University of Virginia, even suspended classes between 11 and 2 so that people could watch the event.

It's a funny feeling, hearing all this commotion about a president I didn't vote for, especially when the commotion is all about how finally after all this time we have a black president. I voted against him because I didn't agree with his ideas, but come to find out, it was the image that mattered more.

No doubt about it, Obama does inspire me. As a story, Obama is amazing. We all need a story to live by, and Obama's story is one that will add to America's already rich narrative about itself.

But the weird thing is, I can't say along with the many rabid fans out there, "Yes, we did!" I'm not on the right side of this great American tale. I'm one of the naysayers, one of those who opposed "Change," because I thought it just might be a bad idea.

The only kind of "change" I opposed was with a capital "C." I didn't vote against Obama on the basis of race, or image, or story. I voted against him on principle. Mostly I think he has completely sold himself to the wrong side of the biggest human rights issue in American politics: abortion.

So where does that put me in the story of America? Wouldn't it be nice if we could simplify everything into good and evil? Wouldn't it be nice if we could just tell a story about how the people who really believed America was a land of opportunity finally achieved that vision in electing Barack Obama, no matter what their backward opponents said? That's the story I'm sure many would like to tell.

I'm 23 years old. I have no memory of segregated schools, or Jim Crow laws, or the March on Washington.

I am, however, acutely aware that I am young enough to have been legally aborted. The pictures of aborted fetuses are vividly etched in my memory forever. The stories of women who regret their abortions, the stories women who feel they have no other options, the stories of men who regret not doing anything about it--these are the stories that move me here and now.

On Thursday I will go to Washington, D.C., not for Obama's inauguration, but for the 36th annual March for Life. That means the 36th anniversary of Roe v Wade. That means 36 years of a legalized practice that very well could've killed me long before I had a voice to oppose it.

There are many stories in America's history. This is the story I want to be a part of--a story of faithful opposition to a practice that devalues human life. It is the modern day abolition movement.

In one thread in America's great story, Obama is at the pinnacle of our success. The first black president represents the victory of Martin Luther King's dream; he embodies the hopes and dreams of millions of Americans.

But in another thread, Obama is just another example of the status quo that has given us no relief from the destruction of human lives. Much as he and others try to spin abortion into a victory for the women's rights movement, the truth, as Feminists for Life can attest, is that abortion does women no good in the grand scheme of things. Hiding our problems behind closed doors is not progress; "choice" is not liberating when it devalues human life.

I want so badly to like Barack Obama. I like the way he talks. I like the way he carries himself. I like the American values he often espouses.

But as long as Obama remains on the wrong side of this critical issue, I will not waver in my opposition to him. Not that I will oppose him in every way; just on the issues that matter most.

Perhaps the day will come when our story--the story of those who remained steadfast in the defense of human life--will be as inspirational as Obama's is today. Yet standing up for what is right is its own reward, whether or not the media throws a party for us.

Today one great American narrative has reached a climax. Mine is just beginning.

8 comments:

  1. This is a REALLY good post, Jamie!!!!!!!!! Seriously! can I plagarize some of it?

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  2. I gave you a funny check, because it was. And a cool check because I'm drowning in Obama-nation-itis at the moment.

    I second the awesome-ness of your post.

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  3. As long as Google doesn't technically own the writing, you can plagiarize as much as you want! :)

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  4. is there an offensive box i can check. because the following seemed so middleclass white bred obliviousness i felt a pain in my side:
    I'm 23 years old. I have no memory of segregated schools, or Jim Crow laws, or the March on Washington.

    I am, however, acutely aware that I am young enough to have been legally aborted.

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  5. You'll have to clarify what you find offensive. Is it that I'm implicitly comparing the pro-life movement to the civil rights movement? Or is it my insinuation that the civil rights movement is over in a way that the pro-life movement has just begun? Something else, perhaps?

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  6. Discounting the struggles of millions of Americans who are still alive, just because you are a 23 year old white kid, is a highly offensive remark. Also suggesting that the pro-life movement is of equal importance of the civil rights movement is straight up silly.

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  7. Also, is there any correlation between me calling you white bred and thirty minutes later a picture of "your bros" showing up? Keep on fighting the good fight for awkward racism, bro.

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  8. "Discounting the struggles of millions of Americans who are still alive, just because you are a 23 year old white kid, is a highly offensive remark."

    I fail to see how I've discounted anyone's struggles.

    "Also suggesting that the pro-life movement is of equal importance of the civil rights movement is straight up silly."

    This can only be said, I think, if one believes the unborn is not human. Is that what you believe?

    "Also, is there any correlation between me calling you white bred and thirty minutes later a picture of "your bros" showing up? Keep on fighting the good fight for awkward racism, bro."

    A highly amusing coincidence, but a coincidence nonetheless.

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