How do you solve a conflict when both sides are working against each other operating based on fear of the same thing?
Expose the common enemy and unite the two sides.
A , meaning ‘twisted’ or ‘coiled’, is a sea monster referenced in the old testament that will be killed by God, finally, at the end of time.
In Poland now there is a desperate battle taking place – one for democracy, human rights, and the right to spiritual freedom. It is being fought under the banner of abortion by two groups of people that do not realize that they are in fact one.
On one side you have a supposedly democratically-elected government, that has in reality been hijacked by the Catholic church, and its supporters calling for legislation that would ban abortion under any circumstance. On the other hand you have only some of the citizens of Poland who recognize the reality of what a legal move like that would mean.
You can learn more about the reality of life without access to contraception and adequate reproductive medical services by reading our last article .
It is true that the citizens of Poland are divided but mostly so only in terms of which side they ‘support’ or identify with – a decision based, of course, as much on which side they do not want to appear to associate with as their actual feeling on the issue. This paradox is perhaps best highlighted by the statistics that have been published on the subject:
An opinion poll published [in March] in the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper found that 69% of Poles view [abortion] as immoral and unacceptable. At the same time, support for abortion when the woman’s life is in danger was almost universal (87%) and only 14% of respondents were in favour of a complete ban. In the 18-to-24 age group – the same that provided the most enthusiastic support for Law and Justice in the parliamentary elections – 65% of respondents were in favour of a more restrictive law, including a ban.
Ah, young voters. It is not the political candidates to whom we should entrust the responsibility of engaging and introducing young people to politics.
That aside, what these numbers indicate is a population that is siding with the political agenda of the Catholic church despite their personal feelings on this particular matter. Poland already has incredibly restrictive abortion laws, some of the most strict in Europe. To be clear, this is a call to legislate a total ban on abortion, even in the case of ‘the 3 exceptions’ – to protect the life and health of the mother, in the case of a pregnancy resulting from crime such as rape or incest, or if it is found that the fetus has some major developmental problem. Access to abortion in those cases is what will be taken away.
So, in fact, you have the people of Poland who are scared of what the Catholic church is trying to impose on them in their supposedly-democratic, European country and you have the people of Poland who are scared of what the Catholic church is trying to impose on them as fact about God, the afterlife, and the well being of their eternal soul.
In summary, you have an entire country of people who are scared of the Catholic church. Yet, for some reason, they are divided. Why? Fear? Fear of the unknown?
Let us try to shed some light.
The Political Agenda of the Catholic Church
Despite the fact that democratic countries are supposed to ensure a separation of church and state, on Sunday April 3rd, 2016, a letter written by the Conference of the Polish Episcopate was read out in churches across Poland. The letter was a call to the government of Poland to initiate legislation to ban abortion – even in the cases of ‘the 3 exceptions’.
The letter stated:
Catholics’ position on [abortion] is clear, and unchangeable. One needs to protect every person’s life from conception to natural death,” they said. “We ask the lawmakers and the government to initiate the legislation. – (theguardian.com)
On a side note, why can the Catholic church describe a fetus at conception as a person and no one reacts but if ?
But back to the mainstream point.
As a result of the call, women – and some men – walked out of a few churches and have since taken other actions to ensure their human rights are not trampled by the church at the hands of their own government.
As the title of the article cited above suggests, there have been protests in the streets. Another article on theguardian.com, this one titled Street protests over abortion law are latest skirmish in battle for Poland’s soul, described the situation in Poland since the Catholic church-aligned PiS party won a majority in the October 2015 election as follows:
One by one, the judiciary, the internet, the media and the civil service have been “cleansed” and “sanitized” to bring them to heel. The government has stuffed the Constitutional Tribunal, Poland’s highest court, with its supporters to limit its autonomy. The justice ministry has taken control of the attorney general’s office and, with it, all other courts in the land.
Sacked state broadcasting bosses and dozens of civil servants seen as complicit with the previous liberal government have also been replaced by friendly faces. There are new snooping powers for the secret services. A historical witch hunt for “communist agents” has even extended to hero trade union leader Lech Wałęsa.
In Brussels [capital of the European Union], there is growing concern that one of the continent’s biggest countries is pursuing a populist and anti-democratic path at the core of post-communist “new Europe”.
The article goes on to posit a very chilling observation about how the party’s alliances with the church were strengthened:
It is widely speculated that when [PiS party leader] Kaczyński’s twin brother, President Lech Kaczyński, was killed in the Smolensk air crash six years ago … the Law and Justice leader became considerably more devout. The conservative religious broadcasters Radio Maryja and Telewizja Trwam were staunch supporters of Law and Justice’s 2015 campaign.
In case you didn’t hear, the of April 10, 2010, killed all 96 people on board including “the Polish president, Lech Kaczyński, his wife, the country’s central bank chief, several MPs and its most senior military figures”.
Despite the fact that the result of an official government inquiry into the event indicated the cause of the crash was ‘bad weather’ and ‘pilot error’, it is widely held that foul play was involved and the late President Lech “Kaczyński’s 66-year-old twin brother, Jarosław, has never let go of his conviction that the tragedy was the result of Kremlin sabotage. … [I]t came as no surprise that the Law and Justice party he leads – back in power for the first time since the crash – has launched a new inquiry. On the 10th day of every month, friends and family of the Smolensk victims light candles in their memory on the paved forecourt outside the president’s residence in Warsaw”.
It is not simply a matter of the tragedy itself, which was profound, but of the compounding nature this incident exerted over the pain felt from an older wound:
Smolensk is significant in Polish history because it is close to the place where Stalin’s secret police shot some of the 22,000 Polish officers and intellectuals they executed in 1940. The massacre is an enduring symbol of Poland’s suffering at Soviet hands, and Lech Kaczyński had been flying in to commemorate it.
That the Polish suspect the Russians now may be only natural, but we invite them to apply the same curious zeal and logical reasoning to all scenarios that may arise
Airplane crashes, disappearances, hijackings, explosions, etc have been so sensationalized in the news over the past 15 years but one incident involving nearly the whole Polish government still strikes as an awful coincidence – or rather an incredibly fortunate one depending on which perspective you have…
The question must be – and is being! – asked by the Poles: who stood to gain the most, or rather, who has gained the most from that incident?
It seems like the old men in white robes are cleaning up quite nicely.
The Polish Resistance: Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned
The Polish women are not going down without a fight! Brave they are! They should be commended and supported – there are few groups throughout history who have stood up in open defiance and defence against the church and survived.
It can even be said that their defence is quite eloquent, elegant even. Rather than sinking to the level of their enemy, they have used clever wit to socially illustrate the reality of the power balance their government, and thus the church, is seeking to achieve.
Signs at the street protests contained messages such as “My womb, not the fatherland’s” and “Make love not PiS”.
“We have to show up the hypocrisy of the government. We must never allow them to say they are pro-women,” said Nowicka, a former MP and one of the instigators of Ratujmy Kobiety (“Let’s save women”) – a counter-petition calling for expanded abortion rights.
Smart – they are using the opportunity to push for legislation that would advance their cause, capitalizing on the oppositional social momentum that the church’s power play created.
The counter-petition calls for abortion on demand up to 12 weeks. “It is a tactical move,” said Nowacka. “We know we will not succeed but we hope to win the chance of a parliamentary confrontation between our bill and the one calling for a ban.”
Another example of a clever offensive was a social media campaign in which women: “flooded social media with a #TrudnyOkres (“Heavy Period”) [hashtag] … directed at [Prime Minister] Szydło and her government’s desire “to control our uteruses, ovaries, and pregnancies”. Comments include: “Dear Prime Minister Beata, I inform you that my menstrual cycle is going great. I got my period on time (my cycle lasts 31 days).” Another Facebook post reads: “Dear Mrs Prime Minister, my period is late. Maybe the time has come? I don’t have any income and I will be a single mother.””
As usual, the population is divided – those who are un-thinking, unwavering followers of the men who play GOD on Earth and those who desire a certain amount of personal freedom and dignity and expect their elected officials to uphold those values. OK, perhaps that is a biased summation, but we invite you to create your own and leave it in the comment section below. 😉
Polarization is a powerful tool for mobilization and mobilize this issue has. Regardless of a person’s faith or gender, this issue calls into question the national identity of Poland as the place where the collapse of communism started. The betrayal this government is committing – going back on a compromise that was one of the pillars for the foundation of their first democratic government after communism – strike chords that resonate with the sound of the totalitarian oppression that was communism, and Nazi Germany before that.
A note from Ewa Deskur
A reference to communism and Nazi Germany in the same breath as a description of the Catholic church’s latest political power play may seem like an extreme association but the information you find when you look into the #truth on that matter helps to ease the pain by replacing it with a desire to act.
Ewa Deskur satisfied her desire by creating a beautifully articulated, rational, and secularly-minded response to her government’s spiritual inquisition. I mean, uh, imposition.
To illustrate the severity of the situation she and the rest of the Polish nation is facing, she which was shared almost 2000 times within just a few days. The note is in Polish but luckily, here at SexiLeaks, Polish is one of our mother tongues. Please note: this translation was approved by Ewa and is reprinted with her permission.
The post is written from the perspective of someone who has been forced to submit to the total ban on abortion and as such is requiring certain measures to be taken by her government in order to maintain an environment of safety and equality for both sexes – given that the responsibility for creating a life rests equally on the man and woman.
We took the time to translate it and we think you should take the time to read it because these words are not the distant prose of a visionary author who predicts the demise of humanity in some futuristic dystopia, these are real considerations about a life that the people of Poland are being faced with living.
They are fighting for their lives, quite literally. Please help us share and spread these words across the globe as one shares great works of art because they understand the power, value, and beauty of the hidden messages contained within. Ewa writes:
For the sake of conceived life and in connection with the planned introduction of a total ban on abortion and the protection of human life from the moment of connection of the female and male reproductive cells, for which the responsibility rests equally on the woman and the man, I conclude:
1) There must be obligatory sperm testing for all males as they become able to engage in sexual activity. This would allow for a certification system regarding each man’s ability to impregnate a woman and allow for a central DNA database expediting the identification of the father when a pregnancy occurs – which would be necessary in cases when the woman is not able to discern which man is the father or in cases where the man denies the fact.
2) The responsibility of the father begins at conception and failure to support the mother during her pregnancy and for the subsequent 18 years, during the life of the child, financially or otherwise, is punishable by up to 18 years to life in prison during which time the man would be put to work and the remuneration he received for his effort would be transferred directly to the mother for the duration of their joint responsibility for the new life they created. For this purpose, the Catholic church and the state are obliged to arrange jobs for these inmates.
3) In the event of the man’s death, the church and state are to assume responsibility for the woman for the duration of her pregnancy and the 18 years following birth. Catholic Poles may apply directly to the church for financing and women of other or no faith may obtain it from the state.
4) The church and the state must be responsible for providing free health care services and ideal conditions to ensure the protection of the developing fetus during pregnancy. The woman should be protected from everything from catching the flu to doing any work in order to avoid risking the life of the conceived.
5) After birth, the father, under threat of imprisonment, is obliged to work enough to provide such living conditions that the child may grow and live on a worthy level. Failure to provide these conditions is punishable by imprisonment in accordance with paragraph 2.
6) Rape and other offences by which a woman becomes pregnant shall result in automatic prosecution and, upon conviction, the man shall serve 18 years in prison, without the possibility of parole, during which time he will be obliged to work. He will receive his ‘paternal rights’ automatically. He will also be prohibited, as a condition of his release, from entering the same district as the woman he was convicted of raping. For the penalty policy related to this offense, see paragraph 2.
7) A mother whose life is threatened as a result of a pregnancy has the right to a burial at the expense of the Polish state and Catholic church and from the day following her death her dependents are entitled to a survivor’s pension at the rate of an average salary at the time until they reach 18 years of age, or until the end of life if the dependent is disabled.
8) In the case of the birth of a disabled child, the obligation of financing for the maintenance of the child and its family for the rest of its life falls on the Polish state and the Catholic church.
9) If the Polish state and the Catholic church do not provide all that is necessary for the mother to successfully give birth and do not adequately protect her from the dangers causing miscarriage or stillbirth, then they will be deemed complicit in the prenatal assassination.
10) In the case of the inefficiency or inability of the state to collect financing from the father, the state should replace his financial obligation with a working prison term lasting the duration of the time of pregnancy + 18 years.
11) In the case of ectopic pregnancy or still birth or other complications that could be avoided if the proposed ban were not entered into force (which include consequences such as infertility), the Polish state and the Catholic church must pay for certain benefits for the woman to allow her to live a decent life, including providing free psychological help, until the end of her life.
12) The man is equally as responsible for prenatal murder even in the situation where he had no knowledge of the conception. Paternal identification would be facilitated in these cases by the creation of the appropriate databases. Ignorance of the pregnancy is not a defence because the decision to have sex confers the responsibility for the life conceived from the act. It is up to the man to protect against ‘unwanted’ pregnancy.
13) If, despite protective measures (keeping a diary, condoms – although I do not know if they will be available – or pulling out) fertilization occurs, the responsibility for the life of the conceived, if the woman does not consent to becoming pregnant, is charged to the man. If the liability of such a charge seems too high, it would prohibit sex at all except for the purpose of procreation – worth considering. This would also preserve all Poles against the risks and dilemmas associated with a pro-life political position including the death of women due to complications of pregnancy.
14) Introduction of mandatory testing of the fetus and the carrying out of any subsequently required procedures in order to save the life of the unborn, even at the risk of the health or life of the mother.
15) The protective custody of women in special centres where their behaviour can be studied with regards to the proper way of behaving during pregnancy. If necessary, the woman may be bound to the bed to prevent such actions as running or jumping during pregnancy which expose the unborn life to risk.
To conclude and after careful consideration, I believe that during pregnancy, at least until birth, women should be isolated from society in special camps – sorry, I wanted to write centres – where their only right is to pray for health. It is their inalienable right.
Thank you. Ewa Deskur.
When she puts it that way…
She has many more than one good point, and she even highlights one of the most extreme effects felt by people facing these kinds of extreme conditions in ultra-Christian South America: the negative force this kind of policy exerts over citizens’ ability to engage in normal, healthy, freely-chosen sexual relationships.
Our sexuality is the basis of our humanity and it is the one thing we should never accept anybody else’s control over – not the state or the church.
There is no enemy except the one in your own mind
From Europe to South America, the reach of the Catholic church is broad and for those of you who don’t think that these kinds of issues could ever be a problem in North America – specifically the good ol’ U.S. of A., land of the free – we would like to offer you an easy way to check; a simple question you can ask your leadership hopefuls to find out their position on religious power in the political realm. Join us next time when we publish our #question4Trump.
We’ll also have translated remarks from Krzysztof Pieczynski, a very famous Polish actor who has also acted in Hollywood. He has spoken out against the church and would like Poland to rid itself of its tyrannical grip, but first, he advises, the Poles must be saved from the Polish – those who form the mass of a nation who has agreed to be defined by religious doctrine.
Amid a global ‘war on terror’ where the only thing the people really know about who is on which side is that ISIS, ‘muslim terrorists’, is the enemy, it would be naive to assume that the Vatican has not taken a position. Make no mistake, this is global religious war we are facing even though it is hard to recognize the facets that present themselves with a secular face. The separation of church and state must be held as the most sacred and holy of all democratic principles.
Finally, perhaps the time has come when it will not be considered unreasonable to consider the idea that it is not humans who are the victim of religious brainwashing that are the enemy but rather the institutions of religion themselves.
We can change this world but we have to do it together; each person’s own spiritual satisfaction depends on the spiritual satisfaction of all other humans. One person’s love is not enough to save the world, all people need to feel love. Love is the answer, religion is not.
Please help us share this message.
Thank you for reading, much love!