To The Daily Sun,
In Latin America and the Caribbean region, Chile is one of only five countries where abortion is absolutely prohibited ... even when it could save a woman's life. Over 60 percent of the world's population now live in countries where abortion is generally permitted, and more than 25 countries have liberalized their abortion laws in the past two decades. Chile is not one of them.
There are geographic and political reasons why Chile has such stringent abortion laws, but suffice to say that it is overwhelmingly Catholic. This brings us to another wretched idea that Christianity has spawned i.e. "glorified suffering" (GS).
One of the premises of Christianity is that righteous torture — if it's just the right amount, i.e. intense and prolonged enough — can somehow repair the damage done by evil and sinful behavior. Millions of crucifixes are a testament to this belief. Shia Muslims beat themselves with lashes and chains during Aashura, a form of sanctified suffering. Asceticism and fasting is a part of both Eastern and Western religions because it supposedly induces an "altered state" and brings us closer to divinity. Our ancestors lived in a world where people had very little power to control pain. An aspirin and heating pad would have been a "miracle" to the writers of the holy books.
The best that religion could do was to make some sort of "meaning" of it, such as turning it into a spiritual good. The problem with this is that it has made people more willing to inflict it not only on themselves and their enemies but also those who are helpless including the sick and dying, the children and of course draconian conservative abortion laws.
Michelle Bachelet, the Socialist president of Chile, is attempting to crack the barrier of ignorance in this country isolated by the Andes from many of the social revolutions throughout the world.
- Category: Letters
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