Tag Archives: children

hobby lobby birth control debate, Hobby Lobby building

Hobby Lobby Birth Control

Hobby Lobby Birth Control: The Fear Bring to Life into America

There has been so much talk lately about Hobby Lobby birth control and the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act birth control mandate. There are many ramifications on religious and social freedom and women’s rights. One example is this NBC News article:

Supreme Court On Birth Control: What Hobby Lobby Ruling Means

While these are valid concerns, I think we need to have a frank discussion about how this issue highlights women’s fears as well as women’s rights. Life is one of the greatest fears in the United States.

Too many women fear to bring new life into this dark society.

Hobby Lobby Birth Control and Desperate Poor

Women decide to take birth control for many reasons, and they should have the right to make their own medical decisions. But also, we cannot forget how many women are taking birth control out of fear and desperation. They long for a baby to love and add to their family. But low wages, lack of maternity and child care, and unfriendly government policies toward the poor make child bearing a fearful prospect for working families.

Hobby Lobby birth control decisions affect the struggling working class employees of this “Christian” employer. Is this what Jesus would do? Or would Jesus show compassion and love to these poor women and families?

I think Jesus would negate the need for birth control taken out of fear by providing for the poor working class. Perhaps Hobby Lobby should show this same compassion if they want to be “Christian.”

No Compassion for Working Families

My husband and I would love to have a second child. My heart aches for the possibility of unrealized life. Sadly, we battle a bad economy created by the endless war spending of the neoconservatives combined with housing bubble created the greed of Wall Street, harming almost all Americans.

The struggle of the national economy is personally compounded for us by our tragedy and rejection from our religious community and total support network. All this destruction has made me the primary bread winner of our family. No matter how hard he tries, my husband cannot find work. And if he did find a job, all of his income would be swallowed by child care. Without a second income, we struggle to leave the ranks of the working poor.

Working families in the United States face a lack of protection and compassion. Maternity protection is all but nonexistent. Federal law mandates twelve weeks leave for new mothers, but this is unpaid and only applies to large employers (over fifty employees). I work for a small business, so I could lose my job if I took time off to give birth. My boss is nice enough to probably not do that to me, but even so, I would only be able to take a week off unpaid before we could not pay our bills.

One week for a newborn baby. This is barbaric.

This is far less protection than most other countries offer, developed and developing alike. Check out this Huffington Post article and infograph. Lesotho, Papua New Guinea, and Swaziland are the only countries other than the United States that do not guarantee paid maternity leave.

Think about that for a second. Even failed countries, floundering countries, dictatorships, and occupied countries guarantee maternity pay and support for new families. Somalia, Burma, North Korea, and Iran all have maternity laws.

The problem is compounded by lack of affordable child care in America. Child care  for one preschooler averages $1000 per month here in Minnesota. Toddler and infant care is even higher. No wonder Hobby Lobby birth control coverage worries their employees. Care for just one child could easily take most, if not all, of their pay check.

Clearly, the United States does not value life. At least the life of the poor.

The Christian Right Does Not Truly Value Life

The Christian right proclaims day after day how much they love the unborn, but once that little life takes its first breath, their care and concern ends. This is especially true if the child is born into poverty or a family that practices a non-Christian belief system or lifestyle. The Christian right has tremendous political power in America, but instead of passing legislation to help families with maternity leave and child care, they consistently pass legislation slashing safety nets and harming the poor.

The Christian Right loudly proclaims that only the “responsible” couples with good jobs should have children. Then they picket in support of Hobby Lobby birth control legislation. It makes no sense.

Unless you consider the Christian adoption industry.

It is tragic how so many scared women, even teenagers, still children themselves, knock at the doors of crisis pregnancy centers, only to be condemned for their “moral failings” and pressured into adopting their babies to “good” and wealthy Christian families. They are condemned, and offered no support, financial or moral, if they want to keep and nurture the little life hidden inside, perhaps their only hope in a world of pain. Ironic how this happens so much more often to poor and minority women.

No wonder women are afraid to bring life into the world and need birth control coverage at their jobs. Life is the great American fear. We are truly a nation far from God, who is the author of all life.

empty room, child looking in melancholy

The Empty Room

I just quit my day job at the preschool where I have worked for the last year. The situation became very suffocating, and I have better opportunities ahead of me. Here are my feelings about the empty room I leave behind, the empty space in my heart.

The Empty Room

I look upon the empty room,
A room exhaling silence
             of child voices

The room sees
Eyes pour over lesson plans.
All the educational demands.
A told B and B told C
about the spontaneous ecstasy,
the momentary lessons be
of childhood wonder.

The room measures
Tick-tock hours measured by
laughs and tears and fears and smiles.
Days that measure, dress themselves
in colors of artwork upon the shelves
in water play in yellow sun
in raking red-gold leaves that run
with tiny footprints in the white.

The room sighs
Teachers silenced by harsh demands.
Take the pain upon their hands.
Fix the room, scream the theme
do the project, the curriculum means
but don’t you dare stay on the scene
just a minute late.

The room cries
Children sob the rules they dread.
Don’t make a mess, stay on your bed,
don’t put that bucket on your head,
too much noise behind the door,
be always ready for the Tour.

The room hurts
Teachers broken under stress
contradicting rules, duress.
Mental wounds leak out their bodies
while trying, trying, trying hardly
able to do it all and not get hurt

The room suffocates
I. Can’t. Breathe.

The walls of the room come closing in,
exhaling sickness, a volcano explosion.
Struggling to inhale the stale air,
the room echoes the silent terror.

The room dies
I. Quit.

Two words fill the empty room
I turn my back, I leave alone.
I must hide all the memories saved
to bury them in my mind’s grave.
I leave the room to the hands of God.
And breathe a prayer for my beloved

I think upon the empty preschool room,
A room exhaling silence
             of voices of pain
             spiritual death

empty room, box of childrens chalk
Image credit: [Freeimages] iprole Licensed under Royalty free.