Welcome to the Resistance (US)
With the leak of a draft opinion overturning the pivotal Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed all people with uteruses the right to an abortion through the first trimester of pregnancy, shock waves are rippling across the United States.
It won’t stop here. This Court has revealed its radical, reactionary and activist nature. It is highly likely that the right to access contraception, the right to privacy in consenting conduct between adults (which legalized same-sex sexual acts but also has implications for people in alternative relationship configurations like BDSM relationships and polyamory), and even the right to same-sex marriage are on the chopping block.
Unless some unforeseen change like the addition of more Justices to the Court takes place, we are moving into a time when in large swathes of the United States, the values of Christian dominionism are going to become the law of the land.
The horror I feel at typing this cannot be understated. So much pain, so much oppression, so much completely unnecessary suffering is going to come–mostly to marginalized people–as a result of these draconian, patriarchal policies.
We’re Atheopagans. We’re here for the magnificent Earth and to help our societies grow more kind, more inclusive and more sustainable. But for folks who live in the “red” areas where these mean-spirited supposed Christians dominate, I say: welcome to the Resistance.
The Resistance is a noble calling in American history. It was Resistance that smuggled escaped enslaved people to freedom. It was Resistance that organized workers and gained the right to unionize, creating things like the 40-hour work week and the weekend. It was Resistance that spread as a sub rosa culture of LGBTQ folks throughout the country, until the Stonewall riot finally brought it above the surface.
Pretty much every social and civil rights advance in US history has come from the Resistance .
And the watchwords of the Resistance are: Be careful, but REFUSE TO COMPLY. And never forget solidarity.
Even just by being kind, compassionate and inclusive, as the Atheopagan Principles would have us be, can sometimes feel like swimming upstream in many parts of this country. But as atheists? As Pagans? We are definitely forces counter to the Overculture.
We must resist, simply in order to be ourselves.
But these times demand yet more of us: they demand that we help others who need abortion services to reach them. That we actively include and stand with those of marginalized communities. That we refuse to tolerate bigotry. It requires that we share information that the authoritarian right tries to suppress, and understand that people with uteruses are just the leading edge of all the groups of people whose rights will be under assault by this Court.
These rulings will not last. They are morally wrong and most of the public opposes them. That can’t stand.
In the meantime, though, we need to understand that we are the Resistance: the beacon of kind righteousness through dark, dark times.
Courage, friends. And especially, friends who are being targeted by this campaign of cruelty: have strength. We’ve got your back.
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I think this is proof that the world does not always make progress and go towards a better future. It can regress. This is why the struggle for freedom and equality never ends.
I agree with everything you say here, Mark. You have argued the case from a very sound ethical perspective. I have been devastated by this news (though it was not a surprise), which demonstrated the naivete of those who believe that there are no genuine threats to freedoms in our reproductive and life choices. Those threats extend to other freedoms too, which we may have taken for granted. What happens in the US comes to the UK sooner now, rather than later. Several countries in Europe have completely restrictive abortion laws under which women die, even if Ireland has thankfully seen some secular light. It’s hard to hold onto hope in this time, Religion seems to me to be so completely discredited and illogical, yet still it has power over people who can’t tear themselves away from it’s absurd pretense of certainty. And now that power seeks to control the non-religious too. I just can’t understand, while knowing that here is something not amenable to understanding.