In case you hadn’t seen them before, this is a painting of Jesus that is over a century old. It became water damaged and some lady decided to restore it. The result of her efforts can be seen in that last picture there — it’s ruined. I’m sure that the woman who wanted to restore the painting had good intentions, that is evidenced by the fact she turned herself in once she realised (far, far too late) that she wasn’t making the painting better, but the fact is it’s ruined.
This painting was created 102 years ago by a man named Elias Garcia Martinez. It is his art. His creation. And now it’s been destroyed. I find that incredibly sad. The lady who attempted to restore Ecce Homowasn’t working on a reproduction or a copy but on the original painting. The original painting. And it is very likely damaged beyond recovery.
If someone did that to my art, no matter how wonderful their intentions might be, I would be devastated.
For the past couple years I have made a very concerted effort to keep my politics and personal beliefs far away from this blog. It hasn’t been easy, I’m a pretty opinionated woman and I don’t excel at biting my tongue, but I’ve done it. I think that was a mistake. I think it was a mistake because maybe it’s people keeping their opinions to themselves (or in my case, off my blog) that allow horrible laws to be passed. Laws like the one that requires women seeking an abortion to “consent” to a transvaginal ultrasound. Are you kidding me? I don’t want to simply re-iterate what wiser people than I have said about this (people like Jim C Hines and John Scalzi’s guest blogger) but I can’t say nothing at all. In my opinion (oh how it hurt me to write those three words) that is rape. Period.
I am pro-choice but I really, truly, do understand the pro-life position. I do. And I respect that people who are pro-life honestly and truly believe that abortion is murder. I can imagine how difficult it must be for them to accept that there are women out there who are chosing to have them, but abortions are legal medical procedures. It is NOT okay to penalise a woman for having one and, as far as I can tell, that is the primary purpose this required ultrasound serves. At best it’s meant as a deterrent to abortion and frankly, it’s not the government’s place to provide that.
I recently read “The Heretic’s Daughter” and I was talking to Jo about it. I thought it was a wonderful book, but made me tense while I was reading it. Just watching how people could throw logic, common sense and rational thought out the window and be caught up in the whole witch-hunting hysteria was horrifying to me. “Sadly,” Jo said, “we’re not really that far removed from that even now.” Is he right? I don’t know. I am beginning to think maybe he is.
In what reality is it actually okay for a bunch of strangers (mostly male strangers) to mandate whether or not a woman can use birth control, or force her to have something shoved into her vagina? No, really. I want to know.
Nathan Crowder wrote a blog post recently called “Faith: A User’s Guide“. I read it, nodding my head the whole way through. Everyone ought to read it, especially lawmakers. The most important point that Nathan makes is that your personal beliefs are just that, personal.
Until people really and truly get that, we’ll continue to require people like Stacey Newman to keep making the ‘stay out of my uterus’ point. Stacey proposed a new law that would make it illegal for a man to get a vasectomy unless he could prove that it would save him from serious injury or death. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? Well, that’s because it is (which is why she proposed it in the first place). Just like these laws focused on women. The main difference is that the vasectomy law will never come into being. I wonder why?