Friday, October 22, 2010

Dicey Territory

The boy and I drove into town today to meet hubby for lunch. Traffic was slower than normal for mid day. I expected the rain had we desert dwellers driving more cautiously than usual. I credited the unauthorized vehicles skidded onto the road median as other traffic contributors. Then I noted slowing by the Air Force Academy scenic overlook, as a brightly painted van proclaimed "NO to Abortion! YES to Amendment 62!" Traffic in the name of politics. Hooray.

For Coloradans, it's a bit like Deja vu. In 2008, it was Amendment 48, where we voted whether or not to define a "person" as a "person" from the moment of fertilization. Amendment 48 was defeated decisively.

With Amendment 62, we no longer need to cast our innocent eyes upon the sexually explicit term "fertilization". Now, according to, we get to decide if we want to define a "person" as "every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being." Oh. Okay. Thanks. Because that is WAY different.

Gualberto Garcia Jones, the Colorado Personhood Director, indicated in The Colorado Independent that the change in verbiage from 48 to 62 provides for a more comprehensive definition. Jones stated, "(f)ertilization would not have properly applied to asexually reproduced humans, but even asexually reproduced human beings have a definite biological beginning." Ah! Now I get it! This new amendment would cover the constitutional rights of my spores should I decide I wish to try my hand at sporogenesis. Or maybe binary fission. Gosh, that has ALWAYS looked like a hoot! Why should prokaryotes have all the fun?

Alright, look, I'm not here to try to sway your opinion on any pro-life v. pro-choice issues, or matters of genetic research. Personally, I was raised (yes, even by my shockingly right winged parents) to believe that a woman's body is her own, and any questionable governmental interference there should be avoided, but believe what you will. I'm just hung up on that commute hindering van. Why? On its side, visible to all southbound traffic were the words:

"To kill a child is to kill Christ"

What?! That's a claim and half, made all the more penetrating by the blood-wrought portrait of Jesus, dangling over the words from his crucifix. I found the portrait, the claim, the van, offensive to my senses! It made me want to yell at the top of my lungs, "NO! NO, IT'S NOT!!!"

Putting aside, the key argument (which, fear not, will rear its head again in a moment), I was horrified to see those words. Printed. ANYWHERE, much less roadside, like a flashing marquis advertising $14.99 Snuggies at Walgreens. It was emotion, poisoning philosophical reasoning. I instinctively recoiled.

After the recoil, logic kicked in. IS killing a child like killing Christ? For arguments sake, let's even say a birthed, living, air-breathing, food consuming child. Is killing that child like killing Christ? The murder of Christ was pretty world-altering. Child murder is unspeakably heinous. But... I just can't even bring the two issues side by side.

Why can't I? For me, it comes down to this... I think of Pontius Pilate facing a handful of legally exempt PTO moms, and I think, okay, Pilate has the potential to take some heat. I think of those same PTO moms unleashed on a child murderer and I think, brutal carnal devastation.

So. I see the equation as unequal. Maybe my inner Christian isn't glowing when I say this, but I might see child murder as even a greater offense. Does this prove the Personhood Organization's position that Colorado should pass Amendment 62?

No! Because the question is, what sociological situation dictates that a biological cellular structure or cluster must be removed from the jurisdiction of said cell structure's/cluster's genetic predecessor(s)? when should a 'person' become a viable entity that others can control with more legal power than that 'person's' God-given natural guardian(s)? THAT is the issue at hand... and though I understand there are personal, complex implications for specific religious sects, or for anyone, when it comes to abortion, I just don't see how the definition of a 'person' could imply anyone is presently killing Christ.

It's akin to a comment my sister used to make to me: "Look! Our hair is the same color, because our belly buttons are in the same place!"

Just because a statement appears poignant, it doesn't mean it makes any sense at all, much less has any relevance.


  1. Awesome post, Melissa. Very well said.

  2. Very well written, and fun too. This afternoon I was considering why it is that Noah didn't take any plants on his ark, but your post raises another question. Let's say that to kill a child _is_ to kill Christ. There is an implication that to kill an adult is otherwise, else it would simply say "to kill a person is to kill Christ." Now, when exactly does a child become an adult? Let's say I want to kill some child, but since I don't want to kill Christ, I wait for him to grow up. How can I say with certainty when I may plunge the knife into his chest? This uncertainty just won't do.

  3. Good post. Very well written. When Greg saw the same truck, in the same place, doing the same thing...namely blocking traffic, all he wanted to do was call the police to get them to move. Why should their agenda make him late for work? I couldn't agree more. Plus, I'm tired of voting down the same amendment year after year. When are they going to stop rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic?!