Tag Archives: human rights

Pro Life? Pro Choice? (pt. 2)

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Part 2? Where’s the part 1?

It’s been years since I wrote this. Almost half a decade ago, I stated that I support the legalisation of abortion, although I wasn’t sure that I should be categorised as a Pro Choice supporter. Of course since then things have shifted a bit, and now I am a full fledged Pro Choice supporter, and don’t care as much what people would think about me as I was when I was younger.

It is wonderful knowing that in many countries abortion is now legalised. It is wonderful to know that in many parts of the world, women could make decision for themselves, and their own bodies. I know that there are still many oppositions, especially from religious bigots, and so called Pro Life supporter, but at least the government has acknowledge the importance of legalising abortion. That’s halfway done.

Now the fight is for the right for ALL people to have control of their lives. Not only women, but all people, to have a say about what they want to do with their OWN lives? You still don’t know what I am talking about?

Okay. I say it.

Euthanasia.

For some people it is as touchy of a subject as abortion. How do we talk about people helping other people to commit suicide is -for some people – unthinkable. Pro Life supporter, like usual would be against anything ending a life, but it is not their lives they’re talking about, is it? It is someone else’s lives, and… you know what? I don’t think Pro Life supporter actually knows what pro life actually means.

I think Pro Choice supporter is a true pro life. For them, what is important is not about prolonging the life, or keeping people alive. Yes life is important, and you should definitely respect it. But more than that, it is also important to acknowledge the quality of life.

What drives Pro Choice people like me to support both abortion and euthanasia is not hate, nor disrespect of human life. It is mercy, and compassion.

Did you watch “The Wolverine” film (bear with me)? In the first few minutes of the film Wolverine found a heavily wounded – but alive – bear. After being shot by an irresponsible hunter, the bear couldn’t barely move, and was in immense pain — death is imminent, but it would be slow. He did what Wolverine would do, claw and all… end it quickly, and with dignity. That’s mercy, that’s compassion.

If you are a veterinarian, or have a veterinarian friend, you might have seen or hear stories where your friend might have to put a dog to sleep because of an incurable illness. Knowing than keeping the dog alive is a torture, you would have to bear that tough face, and inject that liquid to the dog’s body, and see it slowly drift away in peace. That’s mercy, that’s compassion.

How can you see that in animal and can’t see that in human? That is beyond me.

Animals can’t beg you to get this over with, humans could. And they do.

It is not desperation, nor depression that bring them to do this. Some people do want to have a peaceful, painless, and dignify death. Some people want to die surrounded by people they care about. Some people just don’t want to die in pain, or be remembered in their worst condition. Whatever it is, it is their wish — probably even, their LAST wish.

And how could you say no to that? Because you think keeping them alive is more important than HOW they would live that prolonged one or two years of their lives? And why is that? Is allowing them to choose to die is against YOUR moral belief? Well tough then. It is not what they believe.

That’s why I think Pro Life supporters are not a true pro life. They are not celebrating nor supporting life, they’re a bunch of bigots, wanting to feel good about themselves by playing god with someone else’s lives.

Prost!

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Burkini, Duterte’s Middle Finger, and Indonesia

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The video of the Philippines’s president dropping the F-bomb to the EU has — unsurprisingly — gone viral. I have never noticed this new president until his conversation with Indonesian president — about the Philippine’s citizen who were convicted for smuggling drugs and now in death row in Indonesian’s prison — went viral too few weeks ago.

How refreshing.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t condone what he does. However I do believe that every country has a right, and sovereignty to make their own internal law. In Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, for example, drug smuggling means capital punishment. It is beyond me that so many people couldn’t just let them be.

President Duterte called them a bunch of hypocrites. I can see why he does.

In France you are not allowed to wear burkini in the beach, because French has A LAW against it. When people around the world criticise this law, and condemn this too, one of my French friends would get very offended and tell other non-French people off for failing to understand what this religious symbols mean for the French people.

In America, you can carry guns. When some people got killed, lots of people around the world would criticise their gun laws. But a friend from America said to me once, people who are non-American don’t understand that it is their law, and their rights to carry a gun, and what those rights and law mean for the American people.

Why don’t the same rules applied to third world countries like Indonesia or the Philippines?

Indonesia was under a massive scrutiny when we were about to execute nine Australian drug smugglers. People said that the death penalty for drug smuggler is inhumane and barbaric. Now the Philippines has to endure the same thing, because the president is doing a so called “bloody war against drug” in his country.

People who are not Indonesian and not Filipino don’t understand how drug, and drug cartel has undermined the very core of the country. They deliberately introduced drugs to underages, and school children. And, these people won’t back down just by threats of prison time, unlike most criminals in first world countries like the UK, US, or some European countries.

Drug is different in first world country, and third world country. People in the UK called it recreational drug, but it is no recreation at all in Indonesia. When I showed my objection towards drugs to my ex, he felt heavily offended — as for him recreational drug is a part of… you know, youth freedom, the trial and error of life, hippy kind of thing… For me? Coming from Indonesia, it is the reflection of either rich people gone bad, or poor people trying to run away from life, by ruining it even worse.

Do I know someone who died from drugs? I do. But I am not going to speak for him or his family. I leave it at that.

I just want to tell people who complained about this drug war, and burkini. If you want to go to a beach and wearing burkini, don’t go to Nice. There are plenty other places where you can wear your unique looking – sharia approved – beachwear — try Tunisia, their tourism has been suffering after the gunman attack to British tourists few years ago. If you want to go to the beach, and at the same time wanting to be able to get high on drugs, don’t go to Bali. There are plenty other beaches where you can kill yourself slowly, without the government having to help you with the means of firing squad.

Prost!

When In Rome…

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My friends and I were talking about the woman who got arrested in Belgium for attacking a police officer when she was asked by the officer to take the full face veil off. It was not a recent news, but it was still a good topic for a deep conversation with your fellows. The premise is: Belgium bans any head gear which cover one’s face, and in this case it is called burqa (burka) in public spaces. And, that most of us in the conversation group believe that what Belgium (and France) has done by banning burqa in public space is a good preventative step to protect other citizen.

I said most, because… One of the fellow in the conversation group argues that the banning of burka is against the universal declaration of human rights. He quoted UDHR, articles 18 about the freedom of religion.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

I have to admit that I quite like the fact that he cited the UDHR. I mean, there are a lot of people who would utter their opinion while completely dismissing facts, evidence, or any supporting documents. What this guy did was basically trying to challenge my belief that banning burqa is actually a good thing.

So, is it true then? Is it true that France and Belgium has violate the universal declaration of human rights for banning burqa in public spaces? Because what he said is true, that the government has basically limit someone’s right to practice, and manifest her religion or believe in public. Well… partially true.

There’s one thing about RIGHTS that someone forgets. RIGHTS always come together with RESPONSIBILITIES. There is no such thing as the unlimited rights. It is limited, to a certain degree. And if you go a little bit further, you would be able to see the explanation of UDHR article 18 about the right to freedom of thought and religion:

Article 18
1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.
2. No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.
3. Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
4. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and, when applicable, legal guardians to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions. respect the exclusive character of the responsibilities of the Secretary-General and the staff and not to seek to influence them in the discharge of their responsibilities.

http://www.claiminghumanrights.org/thought_religion_definition.html

There you go. The guy in our discussion group only mentioned the first part of the article. He probably forgot that the third part of the article explained about how the rights could be limited, when it is needed to protect public safety, order, bla bla… and the fundamental rights and freedom of others.

In Belgium in particular, it is necessary for the police officer to ask the said woman to take her face veil off. Brussels had been in so much pressure lately. The city got locked down after the Paris attack, and almost every day you could see on the news that there are more and more radicalised group being arrested for planning terrorism. It is important for people in the country to be able to feel safe, and feel that the government is doing something.

The fact that so many terrorists were identified through CCTV makes it just sensible to ask people to show their face if they’re out in public. Isn’t it?

Isn’t it?

Right. I am not going to make you agreeing with me, because that’s not what I am trying to do in here. I understand that some people has their very idea of what freedom is. I believe that there is no such thing as the unlimited freedom, even when you live alone in the jungle — you are still limited by the space of the jungle. All I say is that if you can’t live by the rule, you still have the freedom to move somewhere else where you can do what you want to do without breaking the law.

Isn’t that what many Indonesian has been doing all these time? Going abroad to get married because in Indonesia inter-religion marriage is not accepted? Isn’t that what many Irish people has been doing all these time? Going to England to get an abortion for the unwanted pregnancies? Isn’t that what many British people has been doing all these time? Going to Switzerland to get an assisted dignified death?

Isn’t it?

Prost.