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« Civil rights | Main | Diner »

Feb 12, 2012

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Andrew Brod

Yep, it was always thus... well, for the last few decades anyway. There's a huge disconnect between Biblical morality (which I understand via the Hebrew Bible, known to many as the Old Testament) and the morality of modern conservatism.

Biblical morality focuses on the poor, the widow, the orphan, the alien. It's the "chosen fast" in the title of Michele's blog. Sexual mores pop up every once in a while, but they're often associated with such issues as idolatry and ethnic purity.

In contrast, the morality of modern conservatism focuses on the crotch: abortion, contraception, homosexuality, premarital sex, and on and on. The disconnect doesn't make the latter wrong, but I wonder how many people are aware of it.

justcorbly

Christianity is not the only religion in which we've seen this fixation on sex. Or, rather, some Christian social segments aren't alone in their fixation.

We also see it in conservative Islam. I suppose it's worth noting that male domination is something shared by both organized conservative Islam and organized Catholicism. (I suspect many conservative Protestants regret that is no longer entirely the case in their universe.) The argument has been made that the puritanism in both faiths results from the desire to sustain male domination.

Maybe evidence exists that our medieval and ancient ancestors were more straightlaced about sex, but I've never seen it. Given the number of papal progeny bouncing around the Middle Ages, even the highest authorities seem to have succumbed.

polifrog

It seems like just yesterday some liberals rose up against a bill or two that could have lead to limitations in one particular avenue of free speech.

But today it is just fine to force the religious to operate against their conscience by limiting their choice. First by forcing all to buy insurance and then second by limiting the options available provided by insurance companies to one, one that is in direct conflict with faith.

But I guess that is OK. The free practice of religion is not the same as the free practice of speech. And they're just Catholics anyway.

sean coon

i was just about to write that i find it difficult to square the far right's concern with the societal morals of the crotch (great term, andrew, thanks) and the complete lack of concern regarding societal provisions to help others from falling flat on their faces. this concept that pure capitalism (not that i agree with the concept, but it's a rather tried and true fiscal conservative stance) should extend beyond the business world into how we look out for one another -- from an individual to an institutional level -- has me shaking my head on the daily.

do good for others as an individual and they shake ayn rand in your face as doctrine of you being mentally ill. social security and welfare is viewed as one step beneath terrorism as a threat to national security.

i'm using the far right as the measuring stick on purpose because i know there are honest-to-goodness conservatives out there who don't necessarily buy into all of these social conservative trappings. while the GOP has run amok with evangelical hatred, bile and hypocrisy, there are millions of americans caught out in the political middle, for lack of a better term, looking for an alternative home or wishing the GOP would come back to them. it's probably why the GOP is such a mess in this POTUS election cycle.

i'd much rather have a conservative-to-centrist leaning GOP in play (think: goldwater or ike) with more than a decent chance to win, than a batshit crazy, agenda driven GOP (newt, santorum) with even the slightest chance to gain office.

but yeah, these old white men sure don't like to give women many options (shout out to bachmann and other female sell outs! i didn't forget you!)

Ged

Funny how conservatives want to reduce the size of government and make it just small enough so it can fit in our bedrooms.

polifrog

The Obama administration issues an order a decision, edict, a decree, via HHS.

Think about that.

Why do we debate this? Is this a decision up for discussion? Is it part of a bill that is working its way through congress and is vulnerable to the support of our representatives and, hence, us? Do we have even indirect influence over this edict?

I suppose we once had influence over this as a bill but we had to pass it to see what was in it.

What was in it? Something decidedly unAmerican. Law by edict. Law by decree. Law that can be changed by the president to "accommodate" the Constitution.

Yet, we get gibberish such as "the morality of modern conservatism focuses on the crotch: abortion, contraception, homosexuality, premarital sex, and on and on. " when they have forced none of this on others.

And this is our future: we will be free to discuss issue after issue just like this one, each a one-size-fits-all solution for our diverse nation of individuals. And we will repeatedly hear the cries of diversity sheered from America as individual liberty is lost. And throughout we will be free to discuss and discuss issue after issue until we feel the placebo of influence on one another. But discussion and influence on one another is not influence over governance and without control, without influence in governance, who gives a rat's ass?

Ed Cone

Agreed, "a one-size-fits-all solution for our diverse nation of individuals" is bad, and individual liberty is worth preserving.

Thus my opposition to outlawing contraceptives.

sean coon

that update link is a doozy, ed. the GOP is hanging itself.

polifrog

Ed:

Thus my opposition to outlawing contraceptives.

Read your links, not the lede:

The Blunt amendment he was specifically referring to would “ensure that health care stakeholders retain the right to provide, purchase, or enroll in health coverage that is consistent with their religious beliefs and moral convictions” under the Affordable Care Act.

If you "agreed, "a one-size-fits-all solution for our diverse nation of individuals" is bad, and individual liberty is worth preserving" then you would not support forcing your morality on Catholics.

The removal or resistance of your forced morality is not the creation of my own and is definitely not an "outlawing of contraceptives" but, rather, the protection of individual choice to partake or not.

sean coon

frog, you actually feel that if insurance companies are mandated to reach out to and directly provide women, working within religious institutions, free access to contraceptive healthcare, an example of anti-freedom of religion and anti-liberty? you're also defending the right of a business owner, secular by definition as a business with no religious affiliation, to force his/her personal religious morality upon his/her employees?

neither position you back is any semblance of a bastion of liberty, unless of course, you care more about the moral *feelings* of a business owner than the actual healthcare of women affected.

regardless of the liberty issue itself, you do understand that female contraception isn't even used 100% of the time to prevent pregnancy -- similar to how anti-seizure drugs have recently become known to work wonders with depression -- right? so where do you draw the line? at what point can women expect full healthcare options to be provided in their insurance policies without the approval of either political panderers or religious zealots and/or harborers of pedophiles?

a national survey has shown that 98% of sexually active catholic women have used birth control in their lives. why are you taking their liberty to *choose* and giving it to the men in their community to *dictate*?

Prell_Shampoo_Fan

Not to get all personal or provide people with nauseating images, but my wife is Catholic and she's been on birth control ever since we got together, more than ten years ago. Condoms are such a drag and we don't want kids because kids are a drag and kinda suck overall. Oh yeah, her three sisters also use birth control. I've never met a Catholic who didn't use bc and didn't enjoy pre-marital sex. Sorry, just felt like annoying/trolling the holier-than-thou folks who frown upon sex for pure pleasure.

polifrog

sean coon:

frog, you actually feel that if insurance companies are mandated to reach out to and directly provide women, working within religious institutions, free access to contraceptive healthcare, an example of anti-freedom of religion and anti-liberty?

Free? What free? There is no free.

What are the costs?

There is the cost of the contraception to the insurance companies themselves, for if it wasn't a cost they would already be offing it. There is the cost to insurance companies that no longer have a choice in offering contraceptives or not. There is the cost to a religious institution that no longer is able to find an insurance company that caters to their specific needs. There is the cost to that religious institution that is forced to pay for "free" contraceptives. There is the cost to individual choice in that they no longer have a choice to say no, no to insurance, no to funding contraception.

There is no free in liberty.

Of course, we could just set liberty aside:

regardless of the liberty issue itself, you do understand...

Ged

So let me get this straight. Viagra for men is supported and covered under standard healthcare, but now the GOP insists that contraception for women be denied? Riiiiiiight.

Ishmael

Again, we have to revisit the notion that this is not about "cost" but about "control".
Men and women enjoy sex. Sex can have consequences. Birth control allows women to not be the only one affected by those consequences (of course, the man may also have a consequence since he may have to pay child support).
Sometimes I just have to shake my head and wonder if some people never got the memo on human nature.

sean coon

frog, you're just plain wrong. insurance companies couldn't offer contraceptives up until now for the very same reason that obama is catching grief -- backwardass GOP obstructionists trying to serve a miniscule and predominantly male base. from everything i've read to date since the compromise the other day, insurance companies are very happy with the announcement, as they'll save money since the "cost" of contraception is far less than the cost of unwanted pregnancies or healthcare surrounding an abortion.

do you not actually read the news? the mandate is that for insurance companies who serve religious institutions, they'll be responsible outside the institution provided plan to provide free access to contraceptives for all employees. they must actually reach out to the employees separately. the only way that provision could be an issue to religious institutions is if they have a power issue... or are part and parcel to a political wedge. not a dime of institutional earnings will go towards this healthcare.

again, you tell me the issue. and spare me the dramatics.

Prell_Shampoo_Fan

sean, I think it's plainly obvious from his rarely visited blog that he does read the "news," but it's news that suits his 1620s world view.

cheripickr

"spare me the dramatics."

Exqueeze me? From Seanie Drama, Dr Emo, the human exclamation point, the Gifter of GFY's, to Mr Cool Cucumber? You couldn't make this up if you wanted to.

sean coon

what's your take on the issue, cheri? do you use the pill before or after finishing your thesis papers?

polifrog

Sean Coon:

insurance companies couldn't offer contraceptives up until now for the very same reason that obama is catching grief...
Yes they could. How do you equate having a choice to offer contraceptives but being rejected by the market to being forced to offer contraceptives?

The Obama contraceptive compromise is a compromise only in the eyes of Obama sycophants.

Allow me to educate you. While the contraceptives may seem free to the employee, they are not mana from heaven. Contraceptives have a cost and those costs hit the insurance company directly. In turn, the costs associated with providing "free" contraception are passed on to an insurance company's customers, many of which will be religious or religious affiliated institutions.

How is this dynamic different before and after the "compromise"? It is not. The same individuals through the same employers cover the costs of providing the same products that their faith rejects. The money flows the same.


I suggest you read more and think critically.

cheripickr

I don't know, Sean. I guess I was too lazy to read the 8 links required to get up to speed on this one. But given the differences in your respective debate styles, the irony in your comment was just too rich to pass on. I can tell you that irony, projection and self-awareness are major elements in my thesis. I cannot leak any more.

polifrog
sean, I think it's plainly obvious from his rarely visited blog that he does read the "news," but it's news that suits his 1620s world view.

I believe it should be noted that I chose the honesty of counting "unique visitors" so that each visitor is counted only once per day rather than choosing the more popular and self serving measure of counting all "page hits". This means that even my high frequency visitors count only once for the day.

That aside, yes, I would like more readers.

Prell_Shampoo_Fan

cheri - Have you heard back from the HPE?

polifrog

I had intended to embed a link from Dave Ribar in the comment above:

I suggest you read more and think critically.

Please excuse the omission.


bubba

"I suggest you read more and think critically."

That's obviously not important to someone who doesn't even understand that contraception does not qualify as a health care insurance item? It's obviously not important to someone who doesn't understand the difference between "assurance" and "insurance"?

sean coon

frog, here's a well referenced report from 2006 saying the exact opposite regarding contraceptive costs for insurance carriers. of course, i'm sure you'll have problems with the report and each reference it provides, and hey, that's your prerogative as part of the loony wing of the GOP.

the reality of the situation is that either insurance company X will factor this variable into their cost analysis and pass on the savings to the consumer, or they won't and attempt to obfuscate well documented data that's been public for years. hey, it's the american way. you wouldn't want it to work otherwise in any other situation, arguing for the invisible hand to be the sole decider regarding how the market shakes an industry out, so you'll get your wish.

polifrog

A report report argues that contraception is cheaper than having a child?

Really?

Perhaps some people just don't go in for soft eugenics.

Roch101

You guys allow frog to leap right over the facts and are too willing to engage him in his fantasies. Back up. He should have been dismissed as hallucinating with his first comment wherein he said that the "religious" are being forced "to operate against their conscience."

Make him tether his presumptions to the facts first instead of taking a merry jaunt with him through unicorn land.

Ed Cone

CP admits she didn't bother with the actual post, just wants to fight with other readers over some obscure grievance she's nursing. If a comment can be both refreshing and depressing, that's it.

Props to Frog for finally allowing a thought to emerge from his brumous prose: contraception is "soft eugenics." Why not save a million pixels and just say it up front?

polifrog

I do not believe contraception to be eugenics anymore than I believe guns to be eugenics, however I believe both can be used as tools of the trade with contraception the more effective.

To be clear, I have no problem with contraception. If an individual has a desire for it, fine; have at it.

However, when government involves itself with human procreation through incentivizing the use of contraception we should ask who is being incentivized to curtail their procreation.

Just as incentivized abortion falls disproportionately on the black community, contraception too may fall disproportionately to certain communities when incentivized via governance.

Should such outcomes not be questioned?

And to further clarify, I am not suggesting the existence of a eugenics program, only that when governance becomes involved with incentivizing activities involving procreation the outcomes of those incentives can parallel those of a hard eugenics program.

And have.

Roch101

"Should such outcomes not be questioned?" - frog

What outcomes? Again, you are inviting us into an imaginary realm of your own creating. Is there anything specifically happening in reality that you want us to question?

polifrog

Roch101

He should have been dismissed as hallucinating with his first comment wherein he said that the "religious" are being forced "to operate against their conscience."

When all are forced to purchase insurance some will be forced to foot the bill for what they find an affront to their beliefs.

Perhaps you would feel differently if we were discussing a presidential edict to fund female circumcision rather than contraception.

bubba

"Make him tether his presumptions to the facts first instead of taking a merry jaunt with him through unicorn land."

Notice the projection here, pf? In all fairness, it's obviously the result of some kind of intellectual/emotional osmosis among Usual Suspects on this blog.

Watch for new and semi-inventive versions of "You Suck", but don't respond in kind. That's a one way street on this blog.

sean coon

i don't even know where to begin (other than i can comment on my own, roch, thxokbye). what's your take on this quote, frog?:

"[...] A 2009 study looked at sexually active American women of modest means, ages 18 to 34, whose economic circumstances had deteriorated. Three-quarters said that they could not afford a baby then. Yet 30 percent had put off a gynecological or family-planning visit to save money. More horrifying, of those using the pill, one-quarter said that they economized by not taking it every day. (My data is from the Guttmacher Institute, a nonpartisan research organization on issues of sexual health.)

One-third of women in another survey said they would switch birth control methods if not for the cost. Nearly half of those women were relying on condoms, and others on nothing more than withdrawal.

The cost of birth control is one reason poor women are more than three times as likely to end up pregnant unintentionally as middle-class women. [...]"

can you clarify your "incentivized" perspective in light of such facts?

Roch101

"When all are forced to purchase insurance some will be forced to foot the bill for what they find an affront to their beliefs." -- pfrog

Oh, I thought you meant that people who didn't want to were going to be forced to take contraceptives. You describe a different problem, one not new to people forced to pay for wars they don't support.

polifrog

Roch:

You describe a different problem, one not new to people forced to pay for wars they don't support.

Broaching one's support and broaching one's liberty, religious liberty as it pertains to this discussion, are two very different things.

However I do sense a theme. While supporting the loss of religious liberty you also lack the will to give the gift of liberty to the suffering.

polifrog

Sean, your link suggests that "free" contraception would have the greatest effect on the poor.

And as we know from our previous thread discussing the issue of requiring an ID to vote, issues that have a direct effect on the poor are really racial issues because, well just because.

So, yeah, I guess you get the soft eugenics thing.

sean coon

haha. whatever, froggie.

Roch101

"However I do sense a theme. While supporting the loss of religious liberty you also lack the will to give the gift of liberty to the suffering." -- JW

Uh-huh. Get back to me again when you're not floating around in your fantastical vagaries.

polifrog

Roch:

Uh-huh. Get back to me again when you're not floating around in your fantastical vagaries.

Vagaries? You clearly value "free stuff" more than the liberty of others, and you clearly value potent political attacks over the liberty of entire nations.

Feigning insulation does not defend your indefensible record in defending the liberty of others.

Roch101

"You clearly value "free stuff" more than the liberty of others, and you clearly value potent political attacks over the liberty of entire nations." -- John Walker

Look, Mr. Walker, those are your characterizations, with which I disagree. If you want to have a discussion with me, do so on the substance. If all you are going to offer is your warped assertions, then I'm going to ask you to buzz off.

sean coon

here's a clue, frog: insurance companies provide "free stuff" to people all the time. it's called coverage. they can do this because in turn for the "free stuff," they receive premium payments by their clients. so if this is how the business works, and insurance companies themselves are fine with such new coverage ("free stuff") due to the cost savings to the rest of their coverage ("free stuff"), then who exactly is at a loss of liberty?

polifrog

Clueless Coon:

here's a clue, frog: insurance companies provide "free stuff" to people all the time.

Uh, no. They provide a product for which there is a cost, a cost that is covered by customers who have no choice but to cover the costs of unconstitutional government mandates.

Where is the liberty in being forced to provide insurance? Where is the liberty in being forced to provide a product one would not otherwise provide? Where is the liberty in being forced to choose from one immoral product?

All of this liberty lost to your desire for what our most awful of presidents calls "free".

This really should be a bill working its way through congress. That it is not, should be freighting to all of us.

cheripickr

Why does Roch get this indignant compulsion to call people a different name than usual but only when he is vein-bulging angry and frothing his trademark insults at them? What does he think he is accomplishing? If he's real mad he'll throw in a "Dr" or "Mr". It's so cute.

polifrog

Roch:

...those are your characterizations, with which I disagree.

If that were the case you would be able to articulate how leaving Iraq in the clutches of a dictator would have furthered liberty.

If that were the case you would be able to articulate how forcing individuals to participate in a scheme increases their liberty.

You don't.

But then, you clearly value "free stuff" more than the liberty of others, and you clearly value potent political attacks over the liberty of entire nations.

Ed Cone

All: Please refer to the guidelines recently posted, and refrain from outing people who choose to use pseudonyms. Thanks.

sean coon

frog, do you think you could get through a day without using the word "liberty?" who knows, it might be liberating.

Roch101

"Why does Roch get this indignant compulsion to call people a different name than usual but only when he is vein-bulging angry" -- Dr. John Hayes

That's a misread, Doc. I'm laughing heartily, not angry. I choose to address people by their real names when they are being silly. I have this hope that they'll be a little more conscientious when they are not hiding behind a pseudonym.

Brian Clarey

This is why I stopped coming by this blog every day. Dummies get equal time.

Ed Cone

Please refer to the guidelines recently posted, and refrain from outing people who choose to use pseudonyms. Thanks.

Roch101

It's not as if these people are engaging in whistle blowing or some other activity that warrants anonymity. I think it's insulting, Ed, to ask your users to participate in a charade that some commenters take advantage of to give cover to idiocy.

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