This is actually two posts in one: first my take on what being PRO-Life should mean, followed by the comments on local ABQ issues.
I cringe every time someone posts or replays the sound bite of Carly Fiorina’s gruesome depiction of the aborted fetus. Only a monster could be immune or unaffected by such graphic details. Yet for at least fifty years American pharmaceutical research labs have conducted far more horrifying acts on living beings. Not only in the quest for cures to cancer and other dis-ease, but also so that overweight Americans can pop a statin drug and continue indulging in salty, fatty processed food. Humans and animals have been tortured in the name of progress, for something as vain and petty as make-up or as outlandish as mink coats. The collection of tissue and body parts that has outraged so many is actually one of the more humane ways to conduct research. And, by the way the video has since been called into question, so all this anger at Planned Parenthood is actually misplaced.
The point is ALL lives matter— not just fetuses, but the at-risk mothers forced to endure life threatening pregnancies. Mothers and women matter. Of course Black Lives Matter and good for those creating awareness with the hash tag campaign. But, how about Latinos, Hispanics, indigenous people, refugees, or prisoners? As the Pope pointed out, those lives matter, too. If you’re going to say you are PRO Life, then you must be concerned about ALL life– not just causes you pick and choose. You can’t be for the death penalty and say you believe in the Right to Life.
Christians can not be concerned only with other Christians. Jesus did not discriminate against anyone. We’re told he kissed the feet of whores and lepers, and would compassionately remind us that ALL lives matter. That includes Muslims, Buddhists and atheists. Even though many Christians believe Pro Life only applies to the dominant species, I suggest we take the wider, more compassionate Buddhist view that all lives includes ALL sentient beings. That means not only animals, birds and fish, but bugs and every living creature that has feelings (and they do have feelings!) Ponder that PRO-lifers! All Lives Matter.
Now that you’ve read all that, here’s the post you may have been directed to. How do I feel about MY Community? In a word…
I’ve lived in Albuquerque over thirty years, longer than the place where I was born. So, although not a “true native”, New Mexico is my home. I first felt disappointed while working at the County (back in the 1980s.) Too many local leaders were more concerned about lining their pockets and self promotion than tackling tough community problems. If they had addressed our water issues and sprawl years ago and not been so driven by attracting industry at any cost, we wouldn’t be facing the resource crises we have today. Sadly, they’re still at it creating another unsustainable “land grab” in the form of the problem-riddled Santolina development.
The same goes with the excessive force issues plaguing our police. I can tell horrifying stories of police abuse that date back more than 20 years and have only become worse throughout the years, culminating in cases that have cost local taxpayers millions of dollars.
I realize Albuquerque is not unique in either of these problems– resource management, human or natural. But, local politicians should have listened to savvy elders and creative voices back then and embraced our diversity, not caved in to become “Any Town USA.”
So, yes, I feel sad and disappointed that we might end up like Phoenix, a sprawling dust bowl with no remaining character. Burque should have fought harder to maintain its unique, enchanting identity– the very thing that would have naturally attracted “economic development” without selling out.