It was an odd encounter but in Wichita these odd moments are not that unusual. Wichita is a place where people are so adamant that women have babies against their will that conducting business becomes impossible without someone forcing their anti-choice point of view into a transaction. Man, it’s a real turnoff and accomplishes N O T H I N G.
When I am trying to purchase something in a store or do business with a company, I do not expect employees or even the owner to start lecturing me about the evils of abortion. I just want to buy the product or look at the merchandise and leave. I’m not there to hold a debate or even presume to first ask them if they harass Dr. Tiller and the women who seek his medical help.
It’s clear to me that I have incorrectly assumed that decent people will act responsibly in public especially in a work environment, but this is not the case in Wichita. Frankly, I’m tired of being sideswiped by righteous individuals whose views I don’t share in the least.
Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t mind doing business with people who disagree with me if we stick to business and the product I want is something they can offer. However, I certainly want to avoid places that turn their public place into a private zone of moralizing to me. Most of us would never ever force our private views on others in a public place but again, let’s be clear; in Wichita, don’t count on any bubble zone of decency to protect you from these fanatical views. The “Visioneering Committee” might want to think about what a turnoff this is to new citizens of Wichita as well as the natives.
Therefore, it might make sense to propose that the Wichita City Council pass legislation requiring businesses who can’t control their workers or owners from statements that make it clear they are against a woman having the fundamental right to make her own choices about reproduction, to place signs up announcing their opposition. The sign could state: “Pregnant women are required by the Christian Fundamentalists of Wichita and their god to give birth regardless of whether the woman agrees or follows our beliefs. Have a nice day.”
And while the City Council is at, by all means, allow these businesses to put up their crosses, the Ten Commandments, opposition to same sex couples, and pictures of aborted fetuses so that it should be very, very clear we are dealing with people who live in a world that rejects an individual’s personal liberties and would transform our republic into a theocracy in a minute if they could.
A “buyer beware” warning sign should be visible to the consumer since we enter these businesses for no other reason than to make a purchase, and then find ourselves accosted by pronouncements against abortions. I would really appreciate the heads up that the business I am about to encounter is either going to respect me or use the opportunity to get on their soapbox that I’m a baby killer and have no morals compared to their glorious morals.
It must be nice to view life in only black and white terms and to have all the right answers to other people’s lives. I wouldn’t know. I’m just trying to do the best I can and when a young girl or older woman feels that her pregnancy is not a good thing, I’m taking her word for it, and wouldn’t presume to do otherwise.
Vickie Sandell Stangl