Labor Day dignity is deserved
TBO.comPerhaps it's the name: "Labor Day."
Published: August 31, 2012
Published: August 31, 2012
Ask any woman who has been through it, ask any roofer atop a building in 110 degrees, and one could wonder, "Why celebrate?"
Lance Morrow, essayist for Time magazine, wrote: "When God foreclosed on Eden, he condemned Adam and Eve to go to work. Work has never recovered from that humiliation."
Thus, on the first Monday in September, we enjoy rest "from" labor and mourn the end of summer.
The hardest job for some will be to take their feet out of their mouths. Missouri Republican, Rep. Todd Akin, comes to mind.
As with other kinds of sin, what he said is forgivable. It is not, however, forgettable. Akin demonstrated gross disrespect for more than half the world's population: women.
The question was whether abortion should be allowed in rape cases. Akin's now infamous answer: If the rape is "legitimate," the "female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing (conception) down."
Akin is running for the Senate. Despite the Romney-Ryan ticket immediately distancing from him, Akin refused to withdraw from his race.
His apology is like the Saturday Night Live character's "never mind" after an error that caused others to walk the plank, reminiscent of the old-fashioned, blind Mr. Magoo.
As a college student, I took a required health course that included a segment on sex. The male teacher tossed out: "How many of you boys think you could take on (sexually satisfy) any girl in here?"
Maybe he was nervous. Maybe he was trying to get a laugh. But what he said represented the thinking of too many males.
I was mortified, angry, hurt, but young and afraid of confrontation, afraid of losing my good grade in the class. I regret my silence.
That was then. This is 2012.
Forgiveness granted does not absolve Akin from reaping what he sowed. Whether pro-choice or pro-life, with or without exceptions, Akin's answer is despicable. There is no defense.
Columnist Cal Thomas made a mess of it when he blamed the media for "trapping season," saying the targets are Republicans. That smacks of Hillary Clinton saying on national television that there was a right wing conspiracy against her husband during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
I hope Akin is not elected to the Senate. It is even more noxious that he appealed to God — "by the grace of God, we're going to win this race."
Commemorating Labor Day implies a work ethic of giving all you've got. In Akin's case, that would mean doing your homework. Whether he spoke out of medieval ignorance or twisted belief, much like the aforementioned teacher, Akin's work ethic stinks.
Even biblical history progresses; that is the point. There is the Creation, the Fall, the Law and the Grace.
Choosing to work in the grace of God, rather than remaining in what Morrow called work's "humiliation," does not exempt, but rather desires "restitution of all things" (Acts 3:21). That demands restoring the dignity — of man and woman.
Finding truth requires the right starting point. That is the quest of this column. If we seek simple truth, we can find it together — side by side. Linda M. Downing is a freelance writer. Contact her at www.lindadowning.com.