Monday, September 25, 2006

Tap Tap Tap... Straight Folks? You're Next.

The evangelical wing will never be content demonizing only us urine-drinking, rectum-intromissing sodomites and the wicked, hedonistic liberals who get abortions at every opportunity. Now they're coming after anyone who uses contraception--yep, even the 91 percent of people who believe married folks should be able to decide when or if they're going to have a baby.

The new strategy, as summarized in the Chicago Tribune, was unveiled at an anti-abortion meeting in sunny Rosemont yesterday:
Experts at the gathering assailed contraception on the grounds that it devalues children, harms relationships between men and women, promotes sexual promiscuity and leads to falling birth rates, among social ills.

Oh, but this takes me back to what passed for freshman theology in high school, particularly the semester-long "Reverence for Life" curriculum that left me alternately snoring and indignant. The ability of a man and woman to have sex without fearing an unwanted pregnancy--even if they're married--somehow means they're not selflessly sharing themselves with each other. Sex for pleasure rather than brusque, businesslike reproduction means you're selfishly closing yourselves off from God's gift of life (conveniently left out of this line of reasoning is why God's additional gifts in the nether region department included the clitoris, glans penis, and G-spot).

It's the let-them-eat-cake mentality, the same one we've seen endlessly applied to the poor (you can't afford health insurance? why, go out and get a second--or third--job!), to the hurricane-smacked (you didn't have a car to evacuate with? why, you should have just walked to Texas!), to HIV-infected women in Africa (you didn't want to get sick? why, you should have stopped having sex with your husband!). Now it's being applied to people who want rational family planning (you can't afford a[nother] child? why, just don't fuck!).

Commenters in the Trib article speculate that the no-BC'ers will push not for across-the-board contraception bans, but rather another creepy war of attrition similar to that waged against abortion rights over the past decade:
What's more likely, experts suggest, is an ongoing "chipping away" at access to contraceptive services. This could entail cuts to federal programs that pay for birth control. Likely it also would involve a state-by-state push to allow pharmacists to refuse to fill birth-control prescriptions for reasons of "conscience."

You gotta hand it to these folks. They have been very patient, taking years to groom candidates for entry in local-level public office with designs on hopping up the legislative ladder one level at a time. Now that the groundwork has been laid, with various states enacting the pharmacists' right of refusal laws, how many bible colleges will start adding pharmacy programs? Nothing like a little point-of-sale control to get the practitioners of your ideology firmly entrenched in the front lines.

And if you do not personally subscribe to this particular strain of Christian thinking that teaches birth control is unacceptable under any circumstances because it befouls the couple's relationship with each other and with God? If you perhaps think you should not be subject to religiously derived moral rules about a highly personal matter that do not proceed from your own beliefs? Well, tough shit, pal.

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