Friday, March 16, 2012

The Pro-Choice Society

I've been thinking about the who ha at the opera quite a bit. Do we REALLY live in a society that thinks it is okay to expose kids to pornographic images without notifying parents first? Folks, let's call that image what it is: it is pornographic. It is degrading, it is demeaning to women. Some people may call it art, but it is far from art-- it was a realistic portrayal of the opening of a woman's who ha. (I say who ha because while I don't think the V word is an awful word, I'd prefer not to say or write the V word over and over again)

In a world that seemingly pushes choice, the left seems to think that choice only pertains to them. They think they have the right to CHOOSE to kill a baby in the womb. They think they have a right to force the Catholic Church to pay for contraception and abortion drugs against its religious teachings. They think have a right to choose what images children are exposed to-- in the name of art, of course.

Those of us on the right, the Christian right, are made fun of because we'd CHOOSE not to expose our children to images that are degrading to women. We'd CHOOSE not to expose them to disgusting, vile, pornographic art. Let me be VERY clear here, this was not a tastefully done French nude painting. This was an obnoxious, in your face, opening to a woman's who ha. While I am not a big fan of any nude paintings, certainly, there are pieces that are tastefully done AND I have the God-given right to avoid them and to choose whether or not my minor children are allowed to see them.

We are talking about MINORS, not adults. Certainly, adults can discern what they like about the vile piece of art work. Children should not be exposed to what is considered by some to be porn without first notifying parents. Is it really that hard for the pro-choice society to give parents a choice?

I am all for the first amendment. I am all for political statements. Just about every single piece was a political statement from the left (they all had signs with words). I really do not care if Piedmont Opera leans to the left and supports Obama. I don't go there for political reasons, I go there to see Opera. I don't go there to see the art displays, I go there to see Opera. However, that being said, I would expect that the Opera would display some level of decorum. Especially on Student Night (read: lots of minors present). Does the Opera and the artists it commissions lack decency? If you want to enter public discourse with hot-button topics, could you do so without the vulgarity? Really? Has our society come to the point that we can no longer make PUBLIC political statements without vulgar images and language?

Lastly, make fun of me and those of us who teach our children modesty, chastity and purity. I expect it from the left. You see, I am used to the mockery and vulgar words. When my now 18 year old didn't know the C word when he was 16, I was lambasted in a public forum and made fun of. Why does a 16 year old need to know the words that spew forth from Bill Maher's mouth? We want to raise articulate children who are able to get their points across without filth. We want a civil society. The left wants those of us on the right to be tolerant of the choices they make, while at the same time, they (not all) feel they have a right to keep us from practicing what we believe. If a parent wants to expose their children to vulgar art-- that is a choice they make, but it should never be forced upon our families without our consent. I'm not trying to raise the village. I'm just trying to raise my own children. The pro-choice society needs to back off and let me raise my children as I see fit.


Anonymous said...

I'm a person whose beliefs are far to the left of yours. That being said, I respect and admire that you feel strongly enough about your beliefs to state them publicly and to thereby open yourself to ridicule. Here's where I have a problem. You said repeatedly that this was not about politics, but rather about vulgarity and your right to CHOOSE whether or not your children were exposed to what you believe to be vulgar art. But, in every one of your responses to this "Opera Who Ha", you reference politics and your belief that the Catholic Church shouldn't be forced to pay for its employees' birth control. So, in the interest of being honest, you really do need to admit that your problem with this piece of art (or garbage, as you call it) is BOTH about politics AND obscenity and your choice not to have your children exposed to it.

I am glad that you reference choice. (I would label myself as "Pro-Life, not Anti-Choice.") In the interest of consistency on both sides, we should decide whether choice is what is important or whether the government or someone else should decide for us what our children are exposed to, whether we can homeschool our children, or whether we can choose to terminate unwanted pregnancies. If choice is what is important, then you should have the right to a warning indicating that some subject matter might be for mature audiences only so that you can choose whether or not to view it. That warning should be posted everywhere--on every website, book, art gallery, etc., where someone might find the subject matter offensive. So, for me that would include images or words that glorify war--I would need warnings so that I could choose not to expose myself or my children to that subject matter. It would also mean that the individual, and not the government, gets to choose whether or not to terminate a pregnancy. It would mean a person gets to choose whom to marry.

But, if what we decide is important is that our goverment makes the choices for us about what we do, what is moral, and what is right, then the outcome is quite different. The government could then decide that abortion is illegal. The government could mandate that marriage is only between a man and a woman. But, perhaps the goverment also decides that homeschooling is dangerous and all children must attend a public school. Or maybe the government mandates vaccinating all children against HPV. Or maybe the government decides that everyone must give 50% of their income in taxes to support its programs. If we are consistent about no choice, we need to be consistent across the board, right?

All I'm saying, Pattie, is that your CHOICE not to expose your children to this art is no less important than an individual woman's right to CHOOSE what happens to her body. After all, she is the one who has to live with her decision, not you, and not the government. (On a side note, I'm not clear on someone who is so staunchly Pro-Life is not also advocating free birth control FOR EVERYONE so that we drastically reduce unwanted pregnancies and the need for abortion services in the first place.)

As a mother of four, and someone who is offended by the billboard on Business 40 that spells out "CoExist" in pictures of weapons, I decided, rather than to mount a protest against it, or call the gun range to complain, to use it as a teaching moment with my children. I'm not clear on why you couldn't use that Opera Who Ha as a teaching one with your children? To me, it's a slippery slope (and historically speaking one we've dangerously slid down before) to regulating speech as obscenity. What to one is obscene is to another a bold and beautiful political statement. You and I may very well come to very different conclusions about different expressions of speech, and that's the way it should be. Otherwise, literally everything, including your blog and video response would need a disclosure that "some viewers may find some content offensive."

Lisa said...

Amen, sister! You are so articulate! Awesome, awesome, awesome! I couldn't agree with you more! :-)

Stephanie said...

Though I don't necessarily agree with anonymous, I really do appreciate your civil discussion. It is articulate and respectful.

Holly said...

In defense of the author of this blog, i am increasingly being brought back to this debate because it is so essentially timely. It is hard for me to even think about how our liberty is being eroded as we speak, and for what? Obama's mandate isn't about birthcontrol. everyone has a right to whatever bc they desire. it isn't about abortion. right now, it is legal, on demand, at any point in the pregnacy. This is about obama going into a church that has stood for 2000 years providing care for all people regardless of race or religion. in his 45 years, obama thinks he knows better than the church fathers. he thinks he knows better than our founding fathers who wrote the constitution to protect us by seperating the church from the state. yeah, it can keep us coming back to the same place time and again. you see it as a slippery slope. I am glad, at least, we have some agreement there. So do I.

Pattie said...

Dear Anonymous... while I do not agree with the political statements, it was the vulgarity of the art being displayed without parental consent that was the problem. They needed disclaimer for parents who might not want their children being exposed to porn. I do not agree that the V with the political statement fit under the title of the art display "Persecution" THAT is offensive to me, but it was NOT the reason I felt the opera needed to have a disclaimer. Note that I did not request it to be removed-- the artist has every right to voice her opinion -- my ONLY objection to her doing so at the STUDENT night was that parents were not told the V was going to be on display-- Why couldn't she find a way to make her point without the use of porn? All this to say -- you miss my point entirely. It was not the political statement that needed a disclaimer, it was the V itself. Children should never be exposed to such filth, even in the name of art, without the consent of their parents. Kids can't even take sex ed without the consent of the parents!

Pattie said...

PS-- I was not trying to regulate the woman's speech! PARENTS SHOULD BE WARNED and the art left up-- this way if parents CHOOSE to let their children see it, they can... but they also would have been given the choice to avoid it. This is not regulating speech, this is protecting our children from vulgar art work that I actually consider to be pornography.