Live and let live is an expression or an idiom that promotes the idea of allowing others to live their lives as they see fit no matter how you may “feel” about it, buy cialis or whether or not it challenges your own personal beliefs of what is right or wrong. Why is it so difficult to allow people to live their lives without imposing upon them belief systems, abortion moral judgments, and ways of being that may be contrary to their own cultural, natural, spiritual, and/or normal ways of being? Wars have been fought over these very things. Peoples have been conquered: their lands, religion and cultural practices taken, denigrated, and all but destroyed in the name of promoting systems of belief and morality throughout history. Why? Why do we continue to push past the boundaries of decency and decorum, into the households and bedrooms of people who are just living their lives, in the name of democracy and freedom or Christian values and morality? Even when there are laws that have been challenged and still remain the law of the land, the choices people make within their legal rights to do so are called “illegal” “immoral” and “murderous” by those whose moral convictions do not agree with either the law of the land or those who practice their right to choose under the law.
In the most extreme cases, these crusaders for “You MUST do what I do & Believe as I Believe” have committed the despicable act of cold-blooded murder while in pursuit of moral justice. The killing of Dr. George Tiller on a Sunday morning while he attended his chosen place of worship is only one example. Dr. Tiller performed safe and legal abortions as only a small part of his medical practice, which was dedicated to providing excellent full-service health care for the women in Wichita, Kansas. Although many anti-abortion activists expressed remorse and sorrow at the murder of Dr. Tiller, many of them did not repudiate the man who killed him as a murderer with the same vehemence they screamed curses and foulness at the women who came to seek help from Dr. Tiller and the services he provided. That, on its face, is absolutely hypocritical. No matter what you believe, we are a nation of laws and we have a system by which those laws are challenged or changed, which does not include murder, intimidation, public shaming or physical and emotional violence. And yet those who would call themselves “Soldiers of The Lord,” continue to push the boundaries of decency and decorum with their hateful rhetoric and all-consuming tactics of fear and intimidation. What about the LOVE of God?
There are those who live daily with the fear of being identified for who and what they are, because who they are may cause them to risk being fired from jobs, lose their houses, friends, family, and even their lives. These people are law abiding, tax paying, community building citizens who do not share equally in the freedoms we all take for granted as American citizens. The LGBT (Q) community lives with this inequity throughout the country in communities large and small, liberal and conservative. Because of personal belief systems and moral codes, both explicit and implicit, there are people who cannot fully live their lives as they want to live. While those who have the privileges of embracing life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness keep on fighting…to keep others from sharing what we take for granted?
Tawnya Pettiford-Wates, Ph.D.
Founder and Artistic Director
The Conciliation Project and
Virginia Commonwealth University
Up Next Week: Open Season on Black Men & Boyz in America