It’s really hard to keep up with whether this is 2012 or the years before the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, the Civil Rights Amendment or Roe v. Wade.
Considering the battles our ancestors fought– the fight for equal rights, equality of opportunity and choice for women should, rightly, be behind us. Viewing and analyzing the news today must thoroughly confuse our young people.
We have spent too many days re-living settled issues. The presidential candidacy of Mitt Romney has totally thrown us for a loop. One day he is on one side of an issue. The next day he has switched positions. Enter other conservative candidates like Representative Todd Akin of Missouri and Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. Even the subject of rape is back on the table! Let’s take Mr. Ryan first.
A few weeks ago, he and Mr. Akin, and many of their colleagues, were trying to limit government involvement in our lives and struggling to re-define rape. By the way, I have not been able to dice it or slice it to figure out the difference between Mr. Ryan’s, Mr. Akin’s or the Republican Party’s position on rape. President Barack Obama had to enter the picture to say, “Rape is rape; we can’t dice it or slice it to minimize the seriousness of the act.”
Mr. Akin has at least confessed that his words were ill-conceived when he said, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” This was news to all the women I know, and his record in Congress confirms that what he said was really what he meant until it caused him a few problems. Now, unsuccessfully, he’s turning to his Christian friends in an effort to change the subject. I suppose that’s because his Republican co-conspirators are not happy with him exposing their true position on rape, with which most women are not amused.
Coincidentally, Mr. Akin tells us that while his party wants to limit the role of government in our lives, he wants to increase religion’s role in government. It seems that he has always been a darling of the conservatives and certain right-wing Christians. Now that he has been thrown under the bus by conservatives—the ones for whom he has carried water for all the years he’s been in Congress—his few remaining friends are certain radically-right Christians. Of course, there is at least one Congressman still supporting him and saying that we “just need to know Mr. Akin” as he does, and “if we did, we would want him in Congress.” That is the position of Representative Trent Franks of Arizona. Not many of Mr. Akin’s colleagues still confess their love for him.
Liberals hate God?
Mr. Akin doesn’t think well of liberals. He thinks we hate God, and that we want government to replace God. That’s news to my church and my Christian friends! If government is to be replaced with God’s representatives, let’s get its mechanics straight.
Would the Catholics run Health and Human Services so their leaders are in control of women’s bodies? Would the Mormons be in charge of IRS to decide who pays what in taxes and who does not have to report theirs to the American people? Would we have the Southern Baptists in charge of civil rights? Would we have the Amish in charge of highways? Would we allow religious corporate heads to run the EPA so they could de-regulate air quality and re-design pollution standards? For the Muslims who get blamed for so much, would we have them in charge of TSA? Would the Pope be appointed as a Congressional leader or our President?
I’m just asking!
Dr. E. Faye Williams is national chair of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc. Contact her via www.nationalcongressbw.org.