What I accept/What I abjure

I accept—and respect!— that people have strongly held values and religious beliefs that motivate them.

I abjure any attempt to force such beliefs upon others. I abjure it on principle… but also in practical terms, I am yet to observe that any religious person fully agrees with another religious person on all issues, even those within the same church. (Of course, this is true for all people, regardless of religious belief.)

I accept that many people love babies. I love babies. I want them to be celebrated and cared for and to go on to live long and rewarding lives. I know how hard it is to raise babies—I have some of my own, I was supported in so many ways, and it was still hard. The pregnancies were tough and sometimes scary. I was haunted by the risk of a miscarriage, not to mention the risk of dying and leaving my husband alone with a baby (or possibly with no one).

I abjure any attempt to force pregnancies upon others.

I accept, indeed insist, that you should live your life according to your values, and you can peacefully express your values in hopes of improving the lives of others. This should be an act of kindness on your part, fueled by your generosity and empathy.

I abjure the idea that your values justify attempts to punish or control others for thinking/looking/acting/being different from you. That is the exact opposite of a spiritual or moral stance. I abjure the idea that your values justify violence. I abjure the idea that your values justify tyranny.

I accept that peaceful protests are not violence (and have been a healthy function of U.S. democracy since its inception). Strategic resistance is not violence. And these both seem wholly appropriate right now, in addition to voting to protect the lives put at risk by abortion bans and seeking fresh ways such as ending the electoral college and expanding the courts to protect our democracy from zealots and the con artists who profit from them.

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