I used to be proud to be an American.
When I was a child, I did not quite understand what that meant. I loved celebrating Independence Day because we would spend most of the day outside, grilling and playing in the yard. It was a day that my dad had off from work. In the evening, we would go to the fireworks and spend time together as a family.
In my teenage years, I started to question everything. I pushed away from Christianity and started to feel ashamed of being an American. I wanted to leave the country and go elsewhere, and I often refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance in school, mostly because of the phrase “under God.” There were times when I even refused to stand for the National Anthem, my disgust with the country growing.
Then I started to learn about the history of the United States and, more importantly, the United States Constitution. Even in my high school government class, we never discussed the Constitution, just the various branches of government. We touched on it in law class, but the reasons for court decisions were not discussed in-depth, and I had lost interest in school, facing bullies every day and fighting the repetitive structure and intrusion of my free time with extensive homework. It was boring to me, failing to see the importance of random unknown court cases and their decisions in my life.
The Constitution, however, is the key to what makes this country great, and that is what changed my attitude toward the country.
Much of the Constitution seems to be misunderstood. Even among government officials, the same text is interpreted in different ways. I realized long ago that, just as with most arguments, words will be interpreted or skewed to fit the argument of the individual. That is where the United States is failing. Too many people read only what they want to read or interpret text based on their own preconceived notions. This alters their understanding of the text, willing it to fit their opinions, regardless of what is written.
Two issues are perfect examples of questionable interpretations: gun rights and abortion rights.
It makes no sense that those who claim to be “pro-life” are also pro-gun, giving the impression that they intend to control the population by using guns rather than preventing unwanted pregnancies. Their decision is about control, wanting to control the decisions of others and wanting the option to use violence to control a situation. Conversely, many who argue that the Constitution grants rights to women, including the freedom to seek medical care, oppose all guns. The real truth is in the middle, which is where I think a lot of American opinions fall.
I am not anti-gun, I just want safer laws to protect children in schools and to make it safe for everyone to go shopping, go to a movie, go to a nightclub, and so on.
I believe abortion should be between a woman, the father (if he is involved), and the woman’s doctor. This is not for anyone else to decide since it is the woman’s life. It is her rights that matter.
The recent rulings of the Supreme Court contradict each other: defending the rights of gun owners and taking away the rights of women. As long as the fetus is dependent on the mother, it is part of the mother, and thereby not a separate individual. Until the fetus can survive on its own, it is not a child.
As a woman, I feel that I am nothing but a uterus in the United States, except I do not have one. I never thought I would say I was glad I had uterine cancer, but that day has come. I feel anger for the women who will be unjustly persecuted and, in some cases, legally prosecuted for things beyond their control, such as having a miscarriage. I feel sadness for the women who will suffer serious mental and physical health issues from a complicated pregnancy or a stillbirth. I weep for all women who are now second-class citizens, forced to bow to the wishes of conservative men and distorted Christian beliefs.
I am no longer proud again; my country having failed all women and their rights to seek healthcare. We have started down a slippery slope, and I expect it is only going to get worse. I hope that we can repair the damage caused by the decisions and actions of the previous administration and those who are trying to make their opinions and religious beliefs laws. Freedom of religion was one of the focuses of the Founding Fathers, yet we seem to be entering a time when Christian beliefs dictate what the people can and cannot do.
I am an American, not a Christian. I respect the United States Constitution, not the Bible. I do not push my religious beliefs onto others, adhering to the freedom of religion granted by the First Amendment. I abide by the HIPAA law enacted in 1996, respecting the privacy of healthcare patients. A law that the government has decided they do not have to follow. We are going backward, heading toward a future where women must follow behind men and adhere to their wishes.
I refuse to comply, looking to the Amazon warriors of the past for inspiration.
I am not a uterus.
About the Creator
I am a gamer, a geek, a writer, an entrepreneur, and a gardener, among many things. I have a lot of knowledge and opinions to share with the world, along with creations from my chaotic mind.