Friday, January 15, 2010

Ideology cannot move us

Feeling very tired this evening I watched an episode of All in the Family on TV Land. I had forgotten what a brilliant program this was. Of course, when it was on CBS on Sunday evenings I was quite young. In this episode Gloria finds out she is pregnant and is thinking about having an abortion because Michael does not want to have children. His reason for not wanting children is because the world is a mess and he is worried about overpopulation, or, so he says. Their neighbor, Irene, straightens him out. What really moved me, which almost always happens in All in the Family, is when Edith says something- go to 6:17:

Edith: Mike will be very happy once the baby gets here.

Gloria: Maybe the baby won't get here.

Edith: Well there ain't nothin' you can do to stop that...
(She realizes that Gloria is alluding to having an abortion and says...)
Edith: Gloria no, you wouldn't do a thing like that!

Gloria: That's exactly what I've been here thinking about.

Edith: Oh my, uh if I'd thought like that I'd be sittin' here now talkin' to myself.

Gloria: Well Ma, don't you feel that a woman has a right to do what she wants with her own body?
(Edith looks puzzled)
Gloria: Well?

Edith: When I'm sittin' here watchin' them women about it on t.v., I guess it's yes, but when I'm sittin' here with my own daughter whose carryin' my own grandchild...Oh, Gloria, I'm already in love with that baby.

Now, I realize that every woman considering an abortion does not have the kind of love and support that Gloria has in All in the Family. In fact, many women have abortions at the insistence of their husbands and boyfriends, the fathers of these children. So, what's my point? Ideology cannot move us.


  1. I have thought about this so much since you posted it - well, since I saw it on Sunday.

    I am not sure what to say, I have so many thoughts, all very difficult to share. Just because they are difficult does not mean that they should not be share. At this time I think I lack the vocabulary.

    Ideology cannot move us - that is a place to begin, however.

    Let it suffice to say that I grew up watching this show, I am a few years older than you. I grew up amidst a lot of turmoil in the home and of the times.

    Having left the church at age 14 in 1972, just shy of 15 actually and having not returned until 1990, I had some beliefs around abortion that were not exactly in line with the teaching.

    It has been a very long, slow turn to open my heart and to see through new eyes. I bring this up a lot in comment boxes, because I did have an opening, a possibility to change. And God never gave up on helping me to change.

    No, I never had an abortion so I do not have to deal with my own personal aftermath. However, I do know many women who have and I do not judge them.

    Today I know that all life is sacred and it is not about "my" body. It did take a long time and some may judge me for not seeing this immediately. I can only speak of how this happened for me - it took a long time and for a lot of reasons.

    This is a topic that I would like to explore in my own writing, this long slow journey towards a new heart. This post will help me along the way. I ask for your prayers as well and I thank you for them.

  2. I look forward to your exploration. I believe very strongly that ideology cannot move us, only people can move us, not humanity as a whole, but person in front of me.


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