Marianne Williamson self-actualizes abortion rights for women at the Planned Parenthood Presidential Candidate Forum
Women at the Planned Parenthood Presidential Form were probably not ready for the spiritual guidance of Marianne Williamson, a self-professed self-help guru.
Kelly Robinson, Planned Parenthood Action Fund executive director, said she was a spiritual person. In the end, she was happy with the self-actualizing spiritual beliefs of Willliamson, mostly because they allow women to get as many abortions as they want, as long as it makes them happy. Women need to live self-actualized lives, even if it means the killing of human life.
Robinson introduced Williamson as the person she is, a spiritual self-help guru, who for decades, has helped people self-actualize themselves, so they can be better people, or women.
“I’m a spiritual person, and I know that you are as well," Robinson. "How to you view the intersection of spirituality and faith? Specifically, how would you insure that a legislators personal or religious beliefs don’t infringe upon the right in this country to safe and legal abortion care?”
This is the key ingredient of Robinson's request: how are you going to make sure that the spirituality of conservative Christians in government, and marginal Christians, like Pres. Trump, are not going to interfere with our abortion rights, our reproductive freedom.
Williamson is known for her books on spirituality and miracles. She wrote and taught extensively in the ‘80s, about her book, "A Course in Miracles."
Her other books include, “A Politics of Love: A Handbook for a New American Revolution,” “A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles,” “A Course In Weight Loss,” and “The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money, and Miracles.”
But Williamson’s spirituality is nothing like that of most non-denominational churches, those who believe in the Bible, and in a sanctity of human life.
Williamson’s spirituality is that one’s own personal desires trumps morality, and what the Bible says about the sanctity of life.
“There is nothing more spiritual than that there is something inside of us that nothing in the world should be able to limit.”
“Let’s not kid ourselves. this is not just about reproductive freedom, it’s not just about health it’s about women and power. That is what is going on. All of this attack. That’s just a battle.
Abortion rights equals women’s empowerment in the 21 century, says Williamson. Limiting abortion rights means limiting planetary power for women.
“There needs to be full unequivocal power for women,” she says. “Period. End of story. And the only way we can have that is if there is nothing blocking us, and particularly, nothing blocking that was a law made by a man.”
The problem with what she is saying is that many of the leading voices against abortion rights are from women, not men.
As Williamson talks about here spirituality and reproductive rights, it gets a little confusing.
“If anyone has a religious belief about anything, I respect that,” she says.
But that’s not the same as the laws of the United States, she says. Then she goes on to quote from one of those laws that refers to the God of the Bible as giving us those rights.
“Our declaration of independence says that all people . . . have inalienable rights, the right to life, and the pursuit of happiness,” she quotes the declaration.
But the rights enumerated are only inalienable if they are given to us by God, by the God of the Bible. Rights declared in the declaration can be taken away from men just as they were declared by men. Rights from God can't be taken away from us because they are inalienable.
“The declaration says that governments are instituted to secure those rights. Government is the one that should be saying to any forces that would limit us, stop right there. Government should not be limiting or thwarting our freedoms, government should be guaranteeing them.”
But the same government does not allow everybody to do anything that they want. Our rights are limited in many cases to keep us from harming each other and ourselves. Certain drugs are illegal. There are limits on the purchase of alcohol for those who are considered minors.
“We cannot have the lives we want, we cannot be the country we want to be, and the world cannot be what it wants to be unless women are full and equal partners and that can only happen if we are able to soar and self-actualize in ways that we simply cannot do if we if we are held back, we simply cannot do if we are discriminated against, we simply cannot do if we have heath issues that shouldn’t even be present.”
Again, the government forms laws to precisely limit freedoms in some very important ways. For example. Should a parent be able to kill their child outside of the women like they are inside the womb. This was common practice during Roman rule.
“Being healthy is necessary for us to pursue happiness. Having reproductive choice is necessary for us to pursue happiness.”
Is that really true? Is perfect health necessary for people to pursue happiness or to live a joyful life? What if they are suffering from a disease? What if they are dying? Happiness can’t be limited by our health. We want to be healthy to live productive lives. The question is where reproductive choice fits into that health equation.
The answer may be that the majority of women who have abortions have pregnancies that are healthy and will result in healthy babies. Most reproductive freedom is not about health, it’s about convenience. This pregnancy inconveniences me, or is unacceptable to my boyfriend or parents, husband or significant other.
A woman told a story related to abortion, which Williamson could not hear. Then she went a little off the rails in explaining why there are opponents to abortion rights.
“The cause is that we have transitioned from a Democracy to an aristocracy,” she said. “We have transitioned to a function government of the people, by the people, for the people, to a government, of a few of the people, by a few of the people, for a few of the people.”
Of course that is incorrect. The reason why we have a Supreme Court justice who may rule against unlimited abortion rights is that a majority of electoral votes and states voted for Pres. Trump. We don’t have an aristocracy. We have a representative democracy.
“If Roe vs. Wade were overturned, rich women would continue to get abortions, “ she said. “They would get safe abortions. and everyone else would be going back to the days of the back alley abortions, where women were harmed and some women died.”
But women are harmed now and die now as a result of the abortion industry and their doctors: they die on the abortion table; they die on the way to emergency rooms; they die once they arrive at emergency rooms. They die as a result of taking abortion pills. They also suffer emotionally, often in silence, because of the shame associated with having an abortion.
“This is the deeper existential question of our time,” she said. “We are being divided by our sex, by our sexuality, by our culture, by our money,” she said. “We need to understand this is an attack on democracy. The government is either for everybody, or it is for few of the people, by, few of the people, etc.”
“If I’m president, I’m going to be very aware that this government is for you,” she said. “And it doesn’t matter your color and it doesn’t matter your socioeconomics. It’s the job of a president not only to fight off any denial of your rights, but to go further. That’s my issue on all my women’s stuff. We need to go further than fighting off an attack on our rights, we need to go into full claiming of our power.
“You mess with her healthcare, you mess with her reproductive freedom, You’re messing with her power as a woman, if sisterhood means anything, it means that if none of us get there unless all of us get there.”
The question for Williamson should be, where do you get the idea of rights from, and who should have rights. They idea of rights is relatively new, just two hundred years old, or so. And yet, many governments in as many years have trampled on those rights.
If Williamson says that these rights are unalienable, then why does she think they are not unalienable for children from the time that they are born prematurely. When is she going to stand for the rights of those humans, many of whom are girls who will grow into women. That would seem to be the appropriate existential question to ask. When do their rights begin and end?
Williamson can talk about self-help and self actualization all she wants. But she is not a moral guide worthy of following or promoting until she has thought through many of these important questions of our time. Is human life a matter of convenience? If that is the case, lots of human life is not only not convenient, it’s actually destructive.
Homeless people are generally not productive and don’t contribute in any meaningful way to society. Lot of people who are ill and without insurance are an inconvenience and contribute nothing to society. How much is their life worth?
It’s clear that she has not thought through the implications of what she says. Allowing people the freedom to kill human life just because it’s inconvenient is not why the constitution was written and was not how this nation was founded. If it were, we would not have fought a Civil War that resulted in the death of half a million men. We are better than that as a nation. We need a leader, a president who is better than Ms. Williamson as well.
© 2019 Larry Ingram
Based in St Louis,
Larry Ingram writes about the news media, movies and culture, as well as topics like race, privilege, Christianity, religious expression and tolerance.
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