In Wichita, it's rights vs. self-righteousness


August 19, 1991|By ROGER SIMON

Letters, calls and the roar of the crowd:

F. Paul Galeone, Timonium: I just read your article and I'm upset! You told about the trauma of your friend having the abortion. Why did you not describe what my friend went through?

Yes, how the doctor had to crush the skull and body at 6 months or perhaps he used acid to burn the baby.

Yes, I said my friend, because that baby was my brother or sister and yours, too!

We are all God's children and when He saw this happen, how sad He must have felt. The 5th Commandment is: Thou Shalt Not Kill.

"And on the last day the angels shall separate the good from the wicked and I shall say to them, depart from me into everlasting fire prepared for Satan and his followers:

"For I was hungry and you did not feed me.

"I was thirsty and you gave me no drink.

"I was naked and you did not clothe me.

"I was in prison and you did not visit me.

"I was a baby growing and you killed me.

"And they shall say: When were you hungry or naked or thirsty or in prison or a baby?

"And the Lord shall answer: Whenever you did not do these things to the least of my brethren, you did not do them to me."

And they will be damned to EVERLASTING fire.

For all eternity!

Do you know how long eternity is?

COMMENT: No, but if you're going to be sitting next to me, it's going to seem even longer.

* Name Withheld, Baltimore: This past January my husband and I went through the indescribable anguish of seeing our son stillborn at 8 1/2 months. The doctors are still unable to supply a credible explanation, but we are at the point in our grieving process where the "why" of it all is not as important as it once was. We just miss him desperately, plain and simple.

I am now two months pregnant with our second child. This does not at all change our feelings for the son we lost. The only difference is this time we seem to live in constant fear of going through the nightmare again.

One would think that this experience would color our feelings about those who choose to terminate a pregnancy, but the opposite is true.

I feel more strongly than ever that we should have exclusive domain over our own bodies. And painfully, in the case of your friend, over the bodies of our children until they reach sentience.

I have been following the situation in Wichita as closely as I can. It seems to me that the controversy is not at all about abortion. The issue is whether one person or group of people can harass another out of his or her constitutional rights.

I am so sorry that your friend's agony was intensified by petty politics. I wish her, when she is ready and needs it most, the peace that comes from knowing she did the right thing, and that the totality of her child's time was wrapped in the love and warmth and security of her womb. What a beautiful way to live a life.

I thought the close of your column was particularly appropriate. Hopefully, I will be in the car behind you.

COMMENT: I think you summed it up better than I did: "The issue iswhether one person or group of people can harass another out of his or her constitutional rights."

I can understand, and in the past, have endorsed non-violent civil disobedience. But those were actions by people trying to obtain their rights, not by people trying to deny rights to others.

* Jim Schreiber, Queenstown: Your column today was mean-spirited and lopsided.

As a Christian I empathize with your friend and her family. It must have been an agonizing decision. I honestly pray that the love of Jesus Christ and His Spirit would comfort her and her family.

Abortion is not a matter of choice, but a matter of life and death. As I see it, President Bush is trying to make the best out of an evenly divided country on this issue.

Perhaps when you calm down, you will retract some of the uncharacteristic statements you wrote. This is not like you. It is not insightful nor witty, but mean-spirited.

COMMENT: Thank you for thinking that being mean-spirited is unlike me. I can't imagine where you got that idea, but thank you.

My friend happens to be a Christian, also. She, too, believes in Jesus Christ and she thinks her decision to have an abortion is something that Jesus would not condemn her for.

Condemning others is something that man does so much better, anyway.

* Mary K. Ripple, Baltimore: I sincerely hope and pray your request for no dress code at our new stadium will not be granted.

I commend the powers that be at Comiskey Park for rules etched on their glass walls.

For example, at Memorial Stadium on Opening Day, I had to sit next to a young man who had nothing on but cutoff jeans. His feet were so dirty and he had the gall to prop them up on the back of the seat in front of him. He was so dirty and smelly it was disgraceful.

I think people should not be allowed to come to a ballpark almost naked.

I surely hope they do have some dress codes at the new stadium. And I'll bet everybody at Comiskey Park was glad to see you leave!

COMMENT: Actually, when I take off my shirt at the ballpark and expose the vast expanse of rippling muscles that cover my chest like bronze plate on a gladiator, women swoon and men go green with envy.

But I can understand your point of view. You don't go to the ballpark to see beefcake.

And I did track down the nearly naked smelly person who ruined your day for you. He says he apologizes for taking his shirt off, but says Opening Day was unusually warm this year. He also apologizes for not smelling his best, but says he has forsaken artificial deodorants as part of the save-the-planet movement.

He also promises he will dress more appropriately for the Orioles next Opening Day, but Alan Prell says he'll be damned if he's going to wash his feet to go to a baseball game.

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