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the fallacy of infallibility and the power of words

Jumbled thoughts I keep coming back to over and over again.

Recently, our homeschool co-op was making their spring schedule. A couple of years ago I was teaching two Spanish classes there, and enjoyed it, but when Jacinda was born it was too much to handle her and trying to teach, so I stopped. I had wanted to do it again, scheduling the class when some of my older kids would be available to be on Jaby Duty, so I let the coordinators know. They said they thought it would be great, but added that there was a new requirement of teachers. A couple of years ago they started implementing a 'Statement of Faith,' a document outlining the co-op's beliefs on various topics. A signature was required of all families taking part in the co-op, though signing only verified you had read and agreed that these were the principles guiding the co-op's activities, not that you personally agreed with the document in its entirety. Now, they said, they wanted teachers to sign that they actually, personally, held those same beliefs. I read the document over again, and found that I could not honestly say that I agreed with it in its entirety.

There were just a couple of issues I had, but they were big enough to keep me from signing. The first was the phrase that the Bible is 'the infallible word of God.' That word infallible just stopped me in my tracks. I don't believe anything man-made can possibly be infallible. Even if the words were received by divine revelation to a prophet of old, and written down - that was thousands of years ago. They have passed through myriad hands, translations, and regroupings, with each person applying their own bias whether conscious of it or not. Even what was decided to be included in today's Holy Bible and what was discarded was based on political and personal motivations. I have seen the danger of believing in infallibility in the LDS church, when people stop thinking for themselves because they choose to believe someone else knows more and knows better.

I had other issues with things like, marriage being the union of one genetic male and one genetic female (the Bible is full of examples of marriage being the union of a man and his wife, and his maidservant, and whomever else he feels like having sex with, even among prophets), that life is sacred (yes, of course) until its "natural end" - now what does that mean? I know they intend for it to mean abortion is wrong and I assume physician-assisted suicide is wrong - but I don't fully agree with that. More on abortion verbiage later, but the physician-assisted death issue came into play when my sister died in October. She was going to die, there was no way around it; the damage to her body was irreparable. Once the decision was made to discontinue the dialysis and other measures that were only prolonging her life but not providing any comfort, the nurses gave her injections of morphine every 15-30 minutes. This is much more often than necessary for pain control, and it kept her unconscious and pain-free for the last twelve hours of her life, but some might argue that it was hastening the 'natural end' of her life. By how much, who knows, but possibly hours or even days. What is the purpose of waiting for the natural inevitable end when we can help end and lessen suffering for our fellow beings? I feel that is the more Christ-like action to take. So, I didn't sign.

It's been sad for me, because I do enjoy teaching, but I also feel good that I am being true to my own values. I am sure I'll have opportunities to do some more teaching sometime in the future.

As to the power of words - the political happenings have made me really think about abortion. No one wants to be pro-abortion, and yet I find myself more firmly pro-choice than ever. The main reason is, when I went into the hospital and took medication to force the delivery of Desmond, that was called abortion. I was billed for an abortion and my medical record shows I had an abortion. When people cite abortion statistics, they make no distinction between an elective abortion of a healthy fetus by a healthy woman in the first trimester, and the required abortion of a dead fetus from a grieving mother in the second or third trimester. Statistically, they are all lumped together. In many cases, legislatively, they are all lumped together as well. Criminalizing abortion means that women like me are forced to carry their deceased children to term, robbing them of the precious hours with their intact, beautiful little babies. Months in the womb after death creates a macabre scene. My mother says that my aunt was forced to do this after her baby had died because abortion - even for a dead fetus - was illegal at the time.

Finally, the term pro-life has come to irk me greatly as well. I think Facebook is mainly to blame for this. It is so easy to be anti-abortion. No one wants to see healthy babies killed, even people who advocate for abortion rights do so with the hope that abortion will be unnecessary. Yet I see many on Facebook and elsewhere petitioning and posting to end abortion, while in their personal lives doing nothing to help those who are not aborted. Or at least, not posting or petitioning about those things. I admit it has caused me to become quite angry and unfriend several people because of their ignorance. I wish I was a better person and could just get over it, but I'm not and I can't. Or I  just don't want to put the energy into it.


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