Christians and Contraceptives: What The Hell is Wrong With You People?
A Fringe Exasperation on the Cheap and the Fundamental
Some Christians believe that sex should only be for making babies. They do not believe in preventing pregnancy or in using drugs which will prevent a baby from being conceived or will prevent a conception from coming to term. Under the new health care law, businesses that provide health insurance must provide this kind of medical care. These Christians (and people of other fundamentalist religions) believe it is a violation of their religious freedom to have to provide this kind of medical care for their employees. They are whining in the press and even taking up court time.
Here are two reasons why I feel they are asking for special treatment, and not religious freedom.
First off, my religion forbids me from making of war on other nations and it forbids me from imprisonment of young black men as a social policy. Yet, my tax dollars go for those activities and other activities I find immoral and repugnant. I pay for a pointless and horrific war on drugs. I pay for anti-American activities like spying on citizens and arming local sheriffs so they constitute a standing, occupying army. There is a long, familiar, depressing list of way tax dollars are spent to make people’s lives worse. I could sue, but I wouldn’t prevail. We pay for things we don’t like.
The second reason is even easier to understand. These religious people fail to understand the essence of freedom of religion: it’s a personal freedom. No one is making these people take contraceptives; they are simply being asked to allow their employees to make their own religious and medical choices about contraception and abortifacients. The freedom not to use the drugs remains for the religious employers; the freedom to use the drug, a personal and religious choice, is left to the employees.
“Religious” employers who refuse to provide contraceptives to their employees are also attempting to control the sexual lives of their employees. Will the employer promise to keep the employee through her pregnancy, and to accept the unplanned child into their homes to care for? Since they are attempting to mediate the reproductive choices of their employees, are they willing to accept the consequences? Seems doubtable.
In a belated effort to catch up to the rest of the developed world in the 21st century, the United States is attempting to provide all residents of the country with adequate health care. Because of our relatively recent fetish for “private enterprise” we are grafting together a Frankenstein’s monster of American style health care instead of simply making the government the single payer for all basic health care. As a result, capitalists are getting what they asked for, corporate health care. In that one issue the holy fathers of the various fundamentalist churches and I agree, employers shouldn’t be providing employees reproductive health care. The government should be paying for contraception and where indicated, abortion.
The religious gibberish and tangled philosophy of 20 centuries ago has confounded a rational, 21st century discussion about reproductive health care and, as is often the case, are simply driving things to get weird. There’s no other way to describe this convoluted definition of religious “freedom”, which is not meant to protect the sensitivities of the fervently superstitious, but to protect others from them.