16 March 2008

A Letter to Dr James...

I am part of another net group and chanced upon a comment by a man who is a theist. He has a website page where he talks about abortion being wrong and ungodly. He has given his views of when an abortion is appropriate and inappropriate. His name is Reverend James McBean, a minister in Florida. Here's a link to his page on How To Deal with Abortion.

I decided to respond to him in the form of a letter.

Now, my letter to Dr James is not to personally attack him because I understand the historical, religious and social dynamics which enable people to feel this way about abortion.

Dear Dr James,

I started writing a response to you but thought I would reply to you on
my blog. I want to share my comments with visitors to my blog as I feel this is
a serious issue.

I will lay my cards on the table:
I am an atheist. That means I don't believe in any form of the
supernatural. I don't believe in god/gods, astrology, witchcraft, voodoo, obeah,
numerology, reincarnation, the rapture, the bible, koran or anything remotely
So, that means that I don't believe in 'souls' either.I believe we
are all animals, mammals, still in the evolutionary process and there is nothing
special about us. When we die we die. Finito.

If a woman finds herself in a position where she is pregnant with an
unwanted child then I will support her in anyway that I can. As there is no such
thing as 'hell', or the devil or divine retribution, in my mind - a woman can do
what she likes and so can everyone else. Saying that, having an abortion can be
a very traumatic time for a woman. Yes, she may grieve and feel distressed about
that decision but her life can move on. Life is just like that.
I want women to feel in control of what happens to their bodies, take control to the point of preventing unwanted pregnancies in the first place, but we are human animals and accidents happen. I'm not going to berate a woman for her difficult choice.

Our collective aims as human beings should be to try and be empathetic to a
persons personal circumstances and respect what they want to do with their
We only have one life. This is it. There is no other regardless of what we have been taught. If you look at the problems in the world today how much, what percentage would you attribute to a belief in the supernatural?

Also, I understand where you are coming from because I have connections
with the country which has the highest number of churches per capita in the
world - Jamaica. How did that happen? The colonial powers that was/is had a grip
so tight that their imposed religion was seen as the only respite during a
barbaric and horrible period. We don't have to live in it anymore. We can free
our minds and our children's minds by questioning the status quo. Parents aren't
always right - in fact with regard to their own faiths they did what they were
told to do - what was socially acceptable but worse...they actually believed it
I am an atheist and I am free. Free to make my own decisions. Free to
decide my life's directions without having some imaginary god watching my every
move, listening to my every thought and deciding when I die whether I will go to
hell or not. I'm so not concerned.

I am concerned about the high level of child abuse (yes, child abuse) we
are visiting on the future generations. It is like a clever, tragic hoax which
has been foisted onto generations for thousands of years and it still continues

We have the power to change things Joe Holman did - he was a minister who changed his life. We should focus on today and only give a fleeting nod to the past, if we have to. Live for now. Live for today. Live in the moment. The bible doesn't help you to do that.

A quote I saw today stopped me in my tracks as I realised the depth and
meaning of it:

"I freed hundreds of slaves. I could have freed hundreds more, if they had only known that they were slaves."

- Harriet Tubman.

Hoping that you view this letter as one which can inspire dialogue and change.



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