Monday, March 5, 2012


The birth control  debate and related issues, spawned by the GOP presidential campaign,  have been on my mind  and heart for decades. So I think I will post my central thoughts here:
All Male GOP Panel Testifies Re Birth Control

The 'medicinal  pill' is used for both birth control and other important medical issues. So it rightfully has been  covered by insurance.  Birth Control has also  been established as a woman-doctor decision not her  employer, government or insurance  company. Cost is obviously  a very important factor, especially for poorer women. (Rush Limbaugh does not seem to know that the medicine is taken no matter how infrequently the responsible  woman plans to have sex. I still have heard no  ranked GOP person  contradict Rush's position, only that he used  a bad choice of words. That is not the crucial issue.) This has been the consensus in the country for decades. Only now with the present GOP candidates is this consensus being again challenged, implying the desire it be re-legislated. Senator Santorum specifically says 'birth control is bad for society'  and the reason he gives is, "it's what the church teaches and I agree with the church.'' (This is no John Kennedy on the subject of church and state.) The others to date  have not been willing to  clearly challenge him. Even Ron Paul considers it an immorality issue(so much for his claim to libertarianism and of government not interfering with private personal lives.) So it  really is a GOP thing at this point.
Georgetown Law Student Testifies Re Birth Control

The debate is showing  there must be a significant number of Americans who have always quietly believed this and would gladly legislate  this established medical need of women be denied and  considered as immoral. This would certainly increase abortions, unplanned and  'illegitimate' births in the country many fold. It would be a social  nightmare. I do not believe this will happen but it is presently the logical conclusion of the GOP candidates.  Most women and men simply do not believe the Catholic Church(and many other churches) is right on this moral and human rights  issue. This is the importance of  America being  a land where Religion and State are separate. This is  why it is important that any leader must respect and defend that central tenant or America loses much of  its human rights potential and influence.

Here is the shadow that most are not willing to acknowledge. The church's history  has always been about the church attempting to control the sexuality of women.(not  nearly so much that of men.)  This is firmly rooted  in the  Old Testament patriarchal sexual regulation of women.  It was essential that the father of every born child  be established. The mother was no matter of public or religious concern. That is why Adultery was defined as a violation of a MAN's rightful  property by another man  and not vise versa.  Thus a man could have as many wives as he could afford  as long as none of them were already another man's property(wife or daughter) This is a dark, often denied, area of our religious cultural history and it is astonishingly  still very much alive.  This present controversy brings back up  these same  very dark desires  against the equality of women before God.  I find it unbelievable that such is being debated in America, but it is.

P.S. I am not  here attacking the important role and need  of the Bible in our culture. The Bible cannot be expected to have the human rights standards that have evolved from those early  religious  codes. Male superiority was simply the established rule in all those  Eastern cultures of that day, including the Hebrew nation. The Bible authors cannot be expected to not be men of their day. They reflect the world views  and values of their day as they tell their religious stories and experiences of God.  Post modern religious people are now called on and obligated  to straightforwardly accept the actual  nature of these ancient Sacred texts. Otherwise they will continue to be used, just as Americans fear is often done with the Quran's content by fundamentalist Muslims,  in dark and  immoral  ways that violate the foundations of  the dignity and rights of marginalized humans, including those of women. Christians, and the church  in many of its forms, are failing to do this hard and humbling work. The present GOP presidential candidates have failed to become aware of this same need in America's political, social and moral leadership.  Jim H.

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