Dear Alabama Senators

Dear Alabama Senators,

What gives you the right to tell me what to do with my body?  To try and take away my right to have an abortion if I’m not ready for the tremendous responsibility of taking care of another human life. Especially when you won’t support measures to make childcare and birth control affordable or provide adequate parental leave. I don’t tell you what to do with your body, even though, trust me, I’d like to.

Just because you’re a “Christian” who believes in the Bible, doesn’t mean that I do. And if I don’t believe in your religious text book, why should I have to follow your rules? I don’t force you to follow the rules by which I live my life. Don’t you see the irony and hypocrisy in this?

When you tell me that God “gives life”, it means absolutely nothing to me. It has no significance or weight; they are empty words since I don’t believe in the truth of the Bible or have faith in your deity. It’s pointless to quote the Bible at me, since it has no bearing on how I live my life.

You talk about the importance of freedom of religion and complain about how you’re losing the right to practice your religion; when what you really mean is that you feel like you’re losing the power to impose your religious rules on other people, and that others have made the decision to step away from the church and its oppression.

You want America to be a theocracy where everyone believes the same tenets and adheres to the same set of guidelines; and why? So that you don’t have to see that there’s another way of living. That not everyone lives in fear of your God, the Devil or hell. Not everyone needs the crutch of religion to happily exist, and you can’t handle that fact; that sliver of doubt. It keeps you up at night, and pries open the dark door of your meticulously constructed box of beliefs; it sheds light on your inner fears that maybe there isn’t life after death. But if you focus your attention and effort on squashing other people’s autonomy and freedom to practice their own version of religion (or even lack thereof) then you don’t have to sit with the questions that are always just there on the outskirts; the whispers that could cause your whole life to fall apart like a house of cards. Because when your faith is wholly dependent on black and white perfection and the 100% truth of the Bible: it’s rigid, it’s tight, it could snap at any time.

Sincerely,

Abigail Gustafson

P.S. Jesus taught us that the most important thing was love. And that’s a movement I can get behind.

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