Saturday, October 20, 2012

Gary Cherone: Words & Music

I love it when rock stars go against the status quo.

Cherone
Eddie Vedder, lead singer of Pearl Jam and a personal favorite of mine because of his solo work, is a vocal pro-choice activist. He had this to say about abortion:
"I feel like I know every angle of this issue," said Eddie Vedder. "I know the adoption angle; I know what it's like to be fifteen and be in a situation and have to make a decision. Terminating pregnancy is not an easy thing." —Eddie Vedder, Rolling Stone 11/12/98 #799
I'm a fan of his music, but that's about it. And since I'm not very good with words, it is a great relief that another man of the rock world took a different stand. Gary Cherone, lead singer of the band Extreme of More Than Words fame, wrote two open letters to Vedder. This one below is a reply to Vedder's quote above:

What About the 98.6 Degree Angle?
Another Letter to Eddie Vedder
by Gary Cherone
 
The vast majority of people who support abortion
take that position with the firm conviction
that life does not begin at conception
That being said...

If one personally felt "terminating pregnancy is not an easy thing"
but was the right of the individual to make that "decision"

Is the life within the mother's womb a human person?

If the answer is no, it is not a human person
Why would one feel it "is not an easy thing" to do?

If the answer is yes, it is a human person
Why would one advocate "terminating" it?

If the answer is I don't know, if it is, or isn't a human person
How many more "decision(s)"
would one make in an uncertain "situation"?

If the unborn is not a human person
No justification for abortion is necessary
However...
If the unborn is a human person
No justification for abortion is adequate.

Nearly all arguments for abortion
are based on the faulty premise
that the unborn are not fully human.

Respectfully,
Gary Cherone
(1/22/2001)


 ***

The first open letter also in full below. I really like the way it's written, its rhythm and words, much like good music.

An Open Letter to Eddie Vedder

When is a woman not a woman?

Therein lies the only clear refutation of a woman’s rights.
A woman’s rights —
seems a mere tautology, a redundant catch phrase.
Are not rights self evident?
Intrinsic assumptions of the inalienable?
So, when is a woman not a woman,
a right not a right?

When she doesn’t exist.

When does a woman become a woman?

Is it when
her first ballot has been cast?
Or when
she graduates from her class?

Is it when
she makes a wish on her sweet sixteenth?
Would I be amiss if it were her first kiss?

Is it when
she’s diagnosed by the boy next door?
Or as ambiguous as the cutting of the cord?

Is it the time
it takes to travel the distance through the canal?
Or when
she’s kicking and becomes viable?

Is it when
her sex is discovered by a sonogram?
Or after eight weeks when
the changes in her body will be mainly in dimension?

Is it when
her brain waves are detected after 40 days?
Or is it around three weeks when
her primitive heart beats?

Can there be only one true line of demarcation?
One finite measurable point in time that differentiates
life from non-life?
Womanhood from non-womanhood?
Rights from no right?

Is it the moment of conception —
that point when all of the above is set in motion?
That precise moment when
"a separate human individual, with her own genetic code,
needing only food, water, and oxygen, comes into existence"?

Indeed,
It is at that point,
"like the infant, the child, the adolescent,
that the conceptus is a being who is becoming,
not a becoming striving toward being.

She is not a potential life,
she is a life with great potential".
She is not the mother,
she is an other —
a somebody other than the mother.

A woman,
however beautiful, however complex when fully grown,
begins life as a single cell, a zygote —
that stage in human development through which we all pass.
She fulfills "the four criteria necessary to all life —
metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction.
Her genetic makeup is established at conception,
determining to a great extent
her own individual, physical characteristics":
her eyes, her hair, her skin color, bone structure, her gender.

So let us not be confused,
"she did not come from a zygote — she once was a zygote.
She did not come from an embryo, she once was an embryo.
She did not come from a fetus, she once was a fetus".
She did not come from a little girl — she once was a little girl.

When is a woman not a woman?
The answer is absolute, non-negotiable.
To argue against would be to ignore the innate,
the fact of the matter.
The answer can never be a matter of opinion or choice.
This is not a metaphysical contention.
This is biology 101.
The answer is scientifically self-evident —
as inherent as the inalienable.

Therefore,
the ability to pursue happiness
is contingent upon liberty —
her liberty,
and her freedom is solely dependent upon
the mother of all human rights...

the right of life.

Respectfully,
Gary Cherone
(June 1999)

***

All of this is a result of listening to Extreme's music for a whole week!

Credits to Libertarians for Life and Rock for Life.

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