Solidarity & Sexual Shalom
THE TALE OF A FEMINIST "FREAK"
I was 21 years old in 1972. By that time, a year before Roe v. Wade, I was aware that practically all my female friends — at least those whom I knew well enough to know intimate details about — had already aborted a first baby. Some, a second.
I had not. But this was not because my sexual behavior was any different or better than theirs: The late 1960s and early 1970s were the heyday of lifestyle experimentation and the sexual revolution, and I was out there skirmishing like much of the rest of my generation. It’s just that I never became pregnant.
I also knew that we were all good women, caring and sensitive, in fact quite biophilic, pacifists or near-pacifists mostly. (“Make Love, Not War.”) We did not act out of malice. And such good women do not commit murder. Therefore abortion could not be murder.
The church of my childhood, the Catholic Church, I had left behind several years before. It seemed to me that the Church had rules for sexuality that bound like iron bands, and rules for war and the military that were more like rubber bands. This apparent inconsistency robbed the Church’s “Sanctity of Life” arguments of moral legitimacy in my eyes. I also sided with the secular feminist movement against my Church on virtually every disputed question.
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Justice is an essential ingredient of love; love is not complete unless — to switch the metaphor — it is built on a foundation for social justice.
The Works of Mercy originated in a hell-fire sermon that Jesus preached as a final summary of his teaching, a sermon reported in the 25th chapter of Matthew.