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Save the Children!

Every legislator in the country echoes the phrase "Save the children" while they passionately advocate for the prohibition of abortions, gender-affirming care, and gay marriage.

Yet, not a single one of them presents a genuine solution that truly safeguards the well-being of children.

Roe v. Wade has been overturned, coupled with an unprecedented surge of 158 anti-abortion bills adopted between 2021 and 2022. Among these, the most egregious is a "fertilization law," which, in Tennessee, criminalizes physicians with a Class C felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

In Florida, the legislature passed a bill earlier this year that grants the government the authority to legally abduct and traffic children who are "suspected" of being transgender or seeking gender-affirming care, or whose parents "suspect" they are at risk of receiving such care. Under this bill, if parents find themselves in a custody battle, the mere mention of concern about gender-affirming care places the child in jeopardy of being removed from the other parent's custody, and depending on circumstances, often leading to placement in foster care.

In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court voted to allow businesses to deny services to individuals based on who they are, deceitfully disguising this as an exercise of religious freedom. A Colorado web designer, for instance, successfully evaded the responsibility to create a product for a gay couple, with the courts affirming her right to discriminate against those who contradict her religious beliefs. This unsettling decision permits businesses to withhold services or goods from individuals they choose, under the pretext that it infringes upon their belief system to do otherwise.

Ironically, amidst all the political grandstanding, no measures have been taken, no court decisions have been rendered, to safeguard the vulnerable. Victims of coerced pregnancies are left without guaranteed financial coverage for medical care. Programs intended to support impoverished individuals have suffered from relentless trimming and restrictions over the years. The foster care system buckles under an overwhelming burden, leaving countless children languishing within its confines for extended periods. Mental health, often discarded as an afterthought within our healthcare system, receives little attention and resources. The system, as it stands, fails those who are subjected to forced pregnancies.

Alarming statistics indicate that transgender children who do not receive gender-affirming care are 73% more likely to attempt suicide. Yet, as mentioned earlier, our mental health care system remains ill-equipped to address their needs. Conversely, children and teenagers who do receive gender-affirming care exhibit reduced experiences of persistent body dysphoria, which is the distressing feeling that one's body does not align with their true identity.

When it comes to claims of "religious freedom," the government turns a blind eye to actions performed in the name of Christianity (such as Catholicism, Protestantism, Quakerism, Pentecostalism, and others). However, if an individual asserts their religious freedom within the context of any other faith, especially Islam, they are swiftly labeled as terrorists or accused of forcing their beliefs upon others. This glaring double standard reveals a deeply rooted bias that disregards the principle of religious freedom for all.

Terry Pratchett's profound words offer a guiding principle to contemplate the nature of "evil":

"Evil begins when you begin to treat people as things."

Interpreted through this lens, it becomes clear that when individuals are treated no differently than inanimate objects like trucks, coffee tables, or houses, where laws dictate how they can be treated and exploited, we have abandoned goodness and entered the realm of evil.

And what unites all the laws and court decisions mentioned above? They all share a common thread of dehumanization, reducing individuals to mere objects.

Consider the overturning of Roe v. Wade, which reduces individuals with uteruses to mere vessels for carrying babies. This perspective disregards the intricate complexities of reproductive rights and portrays these individuals as mere incubators, devoid of autonomy and agency.

Similarly, in the context of gender-affirming care, we encounter a distressing analogy: trans children, along with their supportive parents, are likened to contagious viruses that must be eradicated. This callous comparison dismisses the inherent humanity and unique experiences of these individuals, fostering an atmosphere of stigmatization and marginalization.

In the realm of religious freedom, a troubling sentiment emerges: the belief that one can deny services to gay or transgender individuals, much like a veterinarian can refuse to serve as one's primary healthcare provider. This parallel not only diminishes the struggles faced by marginalized communities but also undermines the principles of equality and compassion that should guide our society.

In each of these instances, we witness the erosion of empathy and the devaluation of human lives. It is imperative that we confront the consequences of such perspectives, as they perpetuate a culture of dehumanization and exclusion. Let us strive for a society that upholds the inherent dignity and worth of every individual, cherishing their unique experiences and fostering an environment of inclusivity and understanding.

When framed in this manner, the gravity of the situation becomes undeniably ludicrous and absolutely appalling.

As always, stick around. And Stay Spicy.

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