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Given Order
November 2000

Yahweh, Right Away 

It is no real surprise that talk of God and morality has been as common as it has in this election year.  It is also no surprise that Yalies have completely misunderstood this issue. 

In the September 8th issue of the Yale Herald, Kate Mason wrote a piece entitle “Vote God in 2000,” in which she calls for the removal of religion from political dialogue.  She states, “in America, Christians can look to Jesus for guidance, but when it comes to making laws, they must put their religion aside.” Then on the 22nd, Emily Levine portrays Joe Lieberman as the great pioneer of a non-sectarian “secular spirituality.”  Maybe Lieberman can successfully sequester his religious life to the Sabbath only, but the shallowness of his religious convictions should not be upheld as the standard for which to strive.  Mason’s understanding of the Constitution and the shared understanding of the role of religion are not a question of freedom of religion, it is freedom from the religious. 

Crime in a Bottle 

It’s a classic story of a bureaucratic nightmare: the FDA approves a drug that sends one out of every hundred users to the emergency room. Since the drug is targeted at women, you might expect feminists to protest – and rightly. But instead, the National Organization for Women and Ms .magazine are applauding, because the drug is RU-486. 
The “abortion pill” is effective up through the seventh week of pregnancy, at which point the fetus has brain waves and a heartbeat, as well as fingers, toes, and ears. If it’s used after that time, no one really knows what will happen. The woman’s fertility and her future children may be damaged. 

RU-486 is hailed because it will give women more “independence” and “control” over the abortion procedure. Women seeking abortions often report feeling trapped, feeling like they have no real choice, since they believe no one will help them if they decide not to abort. The promises of independence and control may attract these women to the drug. But what “independent” means in practice is “alone”. A woman takes the drug; waits; takes the second-course drug; perhaps stays in the hospital for a few hours (the regulations have not yet been set); then goes home to face a grim and painful ordeal alone. Now that’s empowering.


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