More Suicide in “Values Voters” States
That’s what you’re called if you vote your principles on gay rights and reproductive rights.
So long as you vote anti-gay and anti-choice, anyway.
Are those the only values? And are they good ones?
- Why is voting to deny gays and lesbians equal rights a value, while voting to defend their rights is not?
- Why is voting against women’s right to control their bodies a value? When girls and women end up dying from illegal abortions?
Are these folks called “values voters” because they vote “morals” over “pocketbooks”?
Yet plenty of wealthy liberals do, too. They vote for higher minimum wages, stronger unions, and they vote to raise their own taxes so that others may have a safety net if they hit hard times, or as they age (medicare, social security).
Why are progressive ethics seemingly invisible?
I got to thinking about this while looking over research that finds teen suicide rates are higher where values voters live.
According to a Columbia University study, suicide attempts by both gay and straight teens are more common in politically conservative areas, even among kids who weren’t bullied or depressed.
The difference in suicide rates might have something to do with differences in conservative and progressive principles.
Conservatives focus on tradition and authority.
Progressives recognize the worth and dignity of each person, whether female or male; rich or poor, black, white, or brown; gay, straight, bi or trans.
No wonder teens are less likely to commit suicide in communities that hold these ideals.
Interestingly, the Bible — a major source of conservative morals — contains a progressive message… or a conservative message, depending on what your read.
True, Leviticus 18:22 says, “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman,” which many interpret as banning homosexuality. (Yet Leviticus 20:13 deems killing the proper punishment. And I don’t know anyone who insists on adhering to both points.)
At the same time, Jesus declared these to be the greatest commandments: Love God and love your neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40).
When it’s all about love and the golden rule — good progressive values — there will surely be less suicide.
I’m on vacation, this is a rerun.
Posted on January 2, 2015, in feminism, LGBT+, psychology, reproductive rights, sexism, women and tagged abortion, feminism, LGBT+, psychology, reproductive rights, sexism, Values voters, women. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.