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As prolife as.... Irish folk music.

We are well into Finals season at Columbia University. I am currently working on my penultimate final for this semester. It is a take home exam. It is due tomorrow.....

....and I am only a quarter finished.

I'm not too worried yet...as I got enough faith to see me through this final, the next final...and a bunch of finals after that.

Given my deadline, I will get straight to the point. While typing up the answers to my exam, one of my favorite songs came up. It is Susan Mckeown's version of "Bonny Greenwoodside." I love this woman's voice and she's got a great collection of music if you're into folk music. Though I was unable to find the exact lyrics to her version of this song...I have found a similar one. Don't worry, the original meaning is still there.

The Greenwood Side
(lyrics from Joan Baez version)

There was a fair maiden lived in the north
Oh, the rose and the linsey, oh
She fell in love with her father's clerk
Down by the Greenwood side, oh

He courted her a year and a day
Oh, the rose and the linsey, oh
Till her, the young man did betray
Down by the Greenwood side, oh

She leaned her back against the thorn
Oh, the rose and the linsey, oh
And there, two bonny boys, she's born
Down by the Greenwood side, oh

She's taken out her little knife
Oh, the rose and the linsey, oh
And she's robbed them of their life
Down by the Greenwood side, oh

There, she walked by her father's wall
Oh, the rose and the linsey, oh
She saw her two bonny boys playing ball
Down by the Greenwood side, oh

Oh, bonny boys, if you were mine,
Oh, the rose and the linsey, oh
I'd dress you up in silk so fine
Down by the Greenwood side, oh

Oh, mother dear, when we were dying,
Oh, the rose and the linsey, oh
You did not treat us then so fine
Down by the Greenwood side, oh

Now, bonny boys, come tell to me
Oh, the rose and the linsey, oh
What sort of life I'll have after dying?
Down by the Greenwood side, oh

Seven years of visions of blood
Oh, the rose and the linsey, oh
And seven years of hurt in the womb
Down by the Greenwood side, oh

Seven years down in the mourning bell
Oh, the rose and the linsey, oh
And seven years in the flames of hell
Down by the Greenwood side, oh

Welcome, welcome, visions of blood
Oh, the rose and the linsey, oh
And welcome, welcome, hurt in the womb
Down by the Greenwood side, oh

Welcome down to the mourning bell
Oh, the rose and the linsey, oh
But, God, save me from the flames of hell
Down by the Greenwood side, oh
Down by the Greenwood side

As gruesome and scary as some of the lyrics sound (ie. killing babies, going to hell), I think this song is pretty great. In a sense, this song is about abortion. The difference between the mother in this song and the mother that gets an abortion, however, is that the mother in this story "chooses" to "abort" these children after they are born. I am sure she had her reasons...but they weren't any less justified than the reasons of a mother who commits an abortion before the child is born.

Talk about a double standard. People are outraged when they hear about women killing their own children...but only after these children are born.We may squirm when we hear about mothers killing their children on the news...but what about all the children that are lost every day to abortion? What about the children who didn't live long enough to pose for the adorable pictures news stations tend to post whenever some poor child is killed? We don't often hear about these children on the news. Whenever the issue of abortion is brought up, what we do hear is words like "choice" thrown around...but we are almost forbidden from considering the unborn as human beings. We are shunned when we refer to them as children by those who prefer to dehumanize them with words such as "foetus," "it," "embryo," or...my least favorite terms of "some clump of cells" or "parasite."

Call me crazy...but I see no difference between the murder of a 5 year old and the murder of an unborn child. In my book, pro-life means from womb to tomb. In my book, each life is just as precious as the other.

Don't speak to me of exceptions.

I know that some "pro-life" politicians and people get a lot of well-deserved smack for making exceptions to this "pro-life" rule. Some may defend the life of the unborn but support assisted suicide or the death penalty. If this is the case, they have no right to call themselves "pro-life," just as abortion clinic bombers have no right to call themselves "pro-life." The difference between being "anti-abortion" and "pro-life" is a HUGE one. Those that are truly pro-life don't just respect the life of the innocent. They acknowledge the dignity of every human being and, as a result, defend it. I can't say that I am particularly fond of every life I defend with my stance (convicted killers, etc)...but I do respect their right to life.

Pax Vobiscum

(UPDATE: I have completed and submitted the penultimate final)

Disclaimer: There's probably all sorts of type-o's contained in this post...but I tend to lose my ability to type and speak coherently when it comes to Finals season.

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