Posts Tagged contraception
In an interview addressing the issue on the war on women that Republicans are accused of having engaged in, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus stated “If the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we’d have problems with caterpillars. It’s a fiction.”
Memo to Republicans and all misogynists - who don’t even have the character to stand by their beliefs – when you are arguing that you and your party are not waging a war on women or else are driven by blind misogyny as you are being accused of, you might not want to compare women to insects.
Mitt Romney, who isn’t even capable of maintaining a coherent stance on an issue in the same sentence, much less during a whole campaign, believes that Democrats have done a good job at mischaracterizing their views.
Hmm…let’s see, how can you mischaracterize misogyny?
Maybe by being callously indifferent to their health and their priorities, as evidenced by an obsession to make sure that women can’t have affordable access to birth control, legislation aimed at humiliating and shaming a woman into carrying to term a pregnancy she doesn’t want to by making her undergo a medically unnecessary and humiliating procedure she is required to pay for out of pocket and of course through the dismissive way the chairman of the RNC referred to those concerns as mere fiction; as a war on caterpillars.
Mischaracterization? I don’t think so. There is no room for grey areas here.
No Going Back For Republicans
For Republicans, especially for Romney, there is no going back. Across the party, women have been so appalled by the policies and outlandish anti-women legislation pushed by Republicans, that some believe that this might place Romney at a huge disadvantage this fall.
Romney himself has paved the path to his own demise by his support for personhood amendments, his bleief that Roe v. Wade is one of the worst decisions ever made by the Supreme Court and that it should be overturned and his support for the Blunt-Rubio Amendments which state that bosses get to decide for their employees what kind of access to health care they can have.
As Gloria Steinem said “when or whether to have children is the single biggest element in whether [women] are healthy or not, whether [they] are educated or not, how long [their] life expectancy is, and whether [they] can be active in the world or not.” By stripping those rights away, Republicans control and diminish those things.
Ultimately, this is about personal liberty. Republicans talk a lot about personal liberty and complain about the Mandate in Obama’s health care legislation – which is aimed at making it possible for Americans to have access to affordable, quality healthcare really – but they themselves are putting mandates on women, in terms of not allowing access to contraception and abortion and engaging in various kinds of behavior that simply reeks of disrespect and disdain for women, their causes and priorities.
It is outrageous that in the 21st century we are still having the kinds of debates we had in the 50s with respect to a woman’s access to contraception and say over her own family planning, which is one of the most fundamental of rights.
No one is mischaracterizing Republicans on the issue. They have characterized themselves and made a mess out of things and now they are sore it backfired, so they resort to the next best action they are capable of: deflect and project to distract. In short, they want to blame democrats for the mess they created.
Every woman – or just every decent human being with integrity – has to ask themselves whether they want someone in the White House who respects and loves women or whether they want someone who thinks that women are second class citizens and human beings to be patronized and condescended to.
As Ohio State Senator Nina Turner said, some of these people apparently have not been “birthed”, they were hatched, because if you hold the kinds of views and notions we have seen Republicans hold, you do not love women. Period. You do not love women and you do not respect them.
I feel sorry for Romney’s daughters and for Santorum’s daughters and for the daughters, mothers, sister and wives of all these legislators that have been pushing for these blunt anti-women laws without shame. I wonder if those women realize the disrespect and disdain their fathers, husbands or sons have for women deep down and in a very fundamental way. I cannot imagine any woman with an ounce of self respect and integrity condoning such policies.
Cialis Ok, Contraception Bad
No one asks any questions when Viagra and Cialis, medications aimed at helping men get hard, are covered by health insurance. But it is a national “issue” when contraceptives are to be covered under the same health insurance plan that covers viagra. Forget the policy outcomes, the fact that this has even been an issue that requires “debates” and “policy decisions” – as if there are legitimate pros and cons to the issue which have to be discussed and evaluated – is what is truly outrageous here. This shouldn’t even be an issue, just like Cialis and Viagra are never, ever an issue.
They want men to get hard but they don’t want the women they get hard for have any say in what is to happen to them and their bodies post coitum.
Rush Limbaugh, the acerbic conservative commentator with an enormous following on the political Right and the true heart and soul of the Republican Party – as well as uneducated, ignorant, religious bigots – took a break from his hate mongering this Saturday and – in a rare but quite familiar half-cocked attempt at sincerity – “apologized“ to Sandra Fluke. As a vocal supporter of access to contraception, Georgetown Law Student Fluke has been at the center of a national firestorm this week for being called a “slut” by Limbaugh who went on to say that since she was at it, she might as well film her incessant sexual activities and post them online for his masturbatory enjoyment.
Note that I am using the term apology quite loosely here as there was nothing apologetic about what Limbaugh was undoubtedly forced to say to save his skin. After a paragraph that felt like a wall of vile, vacuous mind vomit essentially trying to justify his position and rationale for attacking Fluke, his exact apology consisted of the following:
“For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke. [blah blah blah.Lies] My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”
He did not mean it as a personal attack and apologizes for the “insulting word choice”? So basically what he is saying is that he was principally right and stands by what he said, but that it was just unfortunate that he chose the wrong words; as in, he should have used euphemisms instead – not to mention that what he was dispensing could not, by any stretch, be interpreted as “humorous”: it was vilification and it was intended to be cruel and hurtful. He has crossed a line and there is no way he can crawl back.
So call me a cynic for not finding any sincerity behind this “apology”, which seemed more like something he was forced to do as the advertisers were dropping and he was risking losing his show, rather than sincere regret on his part, as evidenced by his refusal to admit that his attacks on her were in any shape insulting and constituted a personal attack
Finally, shame on Premiere Networks, the radio network station that syndicates his show, for not having fired him by now but instead forced him to cook up a luke warm, insincere “apology” to appease the critics.
Yeah, Rush Limbaugh is an unevolved degenerate and his apology is as sincere as John Boehner’s tears.
Everytime I think it is impossible for the Republican Party and their spokes-whores to degrade themselves and those they offend any more, something like this happens, reaffirming my notion that there are no holes deep enough these sanctimonious right wing nut jobs won’t sink into.
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh sunk below the deepest layer of prehistoric frog shit at the bottom of a New Jersey scum swamp when he, on Wednesday, called Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University law student, a “slut” and a “prostitute” for publicly advocating that employers cover contraception in their health plans.
Fluke’s testimony in the hearing was not, as Limbaugh claimed, about the fact that she’s “having so much sex she’s going broke buying contraceptives.” Fluke told the story of her friend who had an ovary removed because the insurance company wouldn’t cover the prescription birth control she needed to stop the growth of ovarian cysts.
Limbaugh concluded his vile rant by insisting that if his tax dollars go to provide health care to citizens, they should be forced to also make sex tapes to provide him with plenty of jerk-off material. I don’t even really want to repeat the despicable words that came out of his mouth, I am sure people can look it up everywhere.
Obama Calls – Republicans Reluctantly Follow Suit
President Obama ended up calling Fluke on Friday, thanking her for speaking out on the issue. Apparently cry baby John Boehner took a brief break from lying and also condemned the remarks. But at this point it seems more like an afterthought, like something he was compelled to do because the Republican PR machine advised him on this strategic move that would make Republicans appear less like barfinating biles of vomitous bigots. It is almost like he is checking off a pesky task from his to-do list so he can move on already and stop being bothered for apologizing for his beliefs. And I have no doubt that Boehner probably has more in common with Limbaugh than with Obama. They are all made of the same canvas.
What I don’t understand is why Obama did not make an official public announcement condemning what that worthless human being said and instead just sort of only called her up. Why not also publicly declare in a press conference that such behavior is unacceptable. I have never understood what virtue is to be found in being a doormat giving credence to hatred and bigtory. What is so heroic and classy about that?
Limbaugh, who has made a career and millions out of insulting people and spreading hatred, defamed this women in the worst possible way and those words of defamation reached all of his 20 million listeners, not to mention that he – together with fascists like Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman – have been the unofficial spokespeople for the Republican party, and in particular the Tea Party, for the past four years, setting the direction and tone of the debates and policies we are having right now.
This man is a driving force behind all the bigotry and hate Republicans have been cultivating like a malignancy and which has ultimately been translating into public policy; he is not some minor player whose words are inconsequential. It’s bad enough that there has not been much Republican criticism and rebuke of this, they have stayed mum on the issue more or less and only “condemned” it as sort of a pesky afterthought, like it was a chore to get over with; but it is just incomprehensible to me why Obama would not take his balls out of his wife’s purse and just make a public announcement already, stating firmly that as the President, he does not condone such behavior.
There is nothing honorable in staying really low-key and silent when you see injustice and hate against another human being. Limbaugh is a contemptible, sorry excuse for a human being and he should be fired for instigating and spewing such despicable hatred. This isn’t even an issue of free speech, this is pure, cold, unadulterated hate-speech and slut-shaming of a person who has had the unmitigated temerity to assert her right to participate in the public sphere.
Remember How We Thought We’d Have Flying Cars by Now?
Who would have thought that in 2012, basic contraception would be the major election issue.
There is a war going on against women and it is happening on all spheres and levels, subtle and overt, small and big, large scale and small scale.
A few days ago, in my review of the Season 2 episode of The Walking Dead, I recited the offensive nature with which women are and have been portrayed throughout the show, such as a bunch of incompetent bimbos and doormats incapable of tying a shoelace apparently without a big strong man around to guide and supervise them through it. In this very last episode, Lori, who I am going to nickname Michelle, based on her role model Michelle Duggar, was giving Andrea shit for basically possessing insufficient skills to be dude property and every woman on the show who has made her own decisions this far has ended up regretting it five minutes later.
A couple of weeks ago, the biggest doormat of them all, Michelle Duggar published her advise list on how to basically be a functioning doormat for your husband (the fact that women themselves advocate misogyny is disturbing and subject for another post).
And just last week the Virginia senate approved the ultra sound abortion bill, setting a precedent for other states to follow by requiring that a woman be probed with an ultra sound prior to getting an abortion, thus not only creating an unnecessary barrier between women and a lawful medical procedure but to also, in the finest tradition of oppression, humiliate a woman by patronizing her into taking a look inside, as if she didn’t know what she was doing and had to be sort of reminded.
Women are being knee-capped everywhere and all this is nothing but an underhanded attempt by men and religious people to shame and humiliate a woman into carrying a pregnancy they chose to abort, to term (remember how Rick shamed Lori into not getting rid of that baby from hell?).
Republicans piss and moan about government invasion into their lives and infringement upon their religious beliefs all the time, but they have no problem shoving their backwards religious beliefs, literally, up my vagina and uterus. It is like the King saying that the demands of his subjects for equity constitute an infringement upon his rights to oppress them.
Truth is that it in fact has been religious people and their beliefs that have been infesting the public sphere and public policy for decades now to unimaginable levels, such as defunding stem cell research that could provide a cure for a myriad of currently incurable diseases, insisting on school prayer and on teaching Creationism and Intelligent Design in public schools, infringing upon a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body and reproductive organs, prohibiting gay people from exercising their civil rights to get married and even going so far as to putting it on a ballot for others to vote on. The recent debates with respect to defunding Planned Parenthood, whose primary role is health promotion and disease prevention, and finding ever newer ways to shame and humiliate women at every turn they can, slowly eroding their rights, are just a couple of examples to the point.
Rick Santorum’s rant on how sex for any purpose other than procreation constitutes some kind of a moral problem in our society and Limbaugh’s recent slut-shaming of Sandra Fluke and calling on her to make a sex video for him already to give him his money’s worth (and Ari Fleischer’s shameless defending of Limbaugh in some sort of a “what’s the big deal?” way) are just the tip of the iceberg with respect to the kind of infestation of public policy we’ve had to endure at the hands of these self-proclaimed pious, god fearing people.
Liberals, atheists, feminists and gays are being constantly held responsible for the moral decay and all the ills of our society, when in fact it has been religious people and their beliefs that have caused a lot of grief for everyone. Until the devil makes himself known, we’re always a handy substitute and there certainly is nothing like an unembarrassed hypocrite from the Right.
I conclude this post by acknowledging that, of course, not all religious people are bigots. But if you are a bigot then chances are you are religious.
A Dallas minister and the members of his religious community were outraged this past week about the national organization of African Americans for Humanism‘s plans to display an atheist message on a prominent billboard in Dallas, Texas. The billboard was proposed by the organization as part of their country-wide Black History Month campaign aimed at encouraging African Americans to look critically at their faith, according to KDAF TV. This, of course, resulted in a deluge of protests by community members who feel threatened by such “ungodly” messages that “[support] gays and lesbians” and else apparently constitute a threat to society and - according to one of the hate emails sent to the organization – “screw up lives”.
The World Through the Eyes of Religious Nut Jobs
I find Pastor Kyev Tatum, who is the head of the Fort Worth chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference who also calls himself ”God’s appointed leader” and who is one of the entities outraged by these ads, and his response quite symptomatic of the disease that is plaguing this nation in particular and the world in general: religion. He said: ”It’s a sad indictment on the state of affairs for us as a community. We got major issues going on within our community that we need to address, and this is an unnecessary debate.” He pointed to things like high incarceration and high teenage pregnancy rates in the black community, issues “that we could be working on that are more critical.” He went on to say that ”When you rely on freethinking, [<--- I really love that] “and you rely on your own individualism to make your decisions, you oftentimes make unrealistic and irrational decisions. It’s irrational, in my thought process, for them to put those kinds of signs up,” when they could be focusing on more pressing social problems.
He has a thought process? Doesn’t look like there is much going on up there.
I must say it is also quite amusing hearing someone like him, who essentially believes in the talking snake, a man walking on water and coming back from the dead, criticize anyone for irrationality. The fact that most people, including his deluded constituents, don’t get that, is disturbing.
Furthermore, what Pastor Tatum doesn’t realize in his deluded wisdom, just like most religious people I guess, is that those problems he recites, such as teen pregnancy, are a problem because of religion and the actions the church endorses. The Planned Parenthood and contraception debates of late are just two examples to the point. In fact, if it wasn’t for religion these teens would get actual, fact-based sex education instead of being taught abstinence, which we all know doesn’t work. It. Just. Does. Not.
Not only does it not work but by not teaching about contraceptives, such a policy often results in teens coming back with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HPV – which can lead to cervical cancer – as well as the very unwanted pregnancies Pastor Tatum complains about.
So, for this man to step out and quite ignorantly state that religion was the cure for the disease it and people like him create is not only ridiculous but, jokes aside, supremely ignorant.
That he finds “freethinking” a problem doesn’t surprise me at all. Religion is anti-intellectualism and independent thought that allows you to discover facts and learn about new ideas are abhorred. But it is always stunning to actually hear someone spew this much unfounded crap in one go. “How dare you do some thinking of your own instead of relying on fairy tales, anecdotes and hocus pocus essentially to guide your decisions“.
Let me just say that if god appoints someone like him as a leader, I am not sure if I would wanna have much faith in that god.
When Religion Becomes Part of the Problem
Reverend Tatum and his kind are part of the problem. This man is essentially endorsing and encouraging ignorance and has turned intellectual curiosity into a liability rather than a strength and an asset.
It also makes you wonder whether these “religious” folks are actually grounded in their beliefs much given how threatened they feel by some words on a sign. In fact, it often seems like religious folks try to convince themselves more than anybody else that they are right and their way the only way.
It is also ironic to see these nut jobs fear that their right to religious freedom is threatened in any shape by these billboards when it is in fact their faith that has been infesting the public sphere and with it public policy for centuries, making everyone’s life miserable. Attacks on Planned Parenthood, women’s reproductive rights in general, defunding stem cell research, prayer in schools, teaching intelligent design, abstinence and a myriad other public policies as a direct result of religious doctrine represent just some of the few issues that us non-religious folks have to endure at the hands of the religious Right or religion, period.
Insecure, evangelical Christians also seem to need constant visual and verbal reminders and validations. After all, that is why we have ”God” on our money and in our pledge and in our schools and public buildings.
It all somehow feels like they are hanging on by a thread, like children trying to keep believing in Santa Clause out of fear that they won’t get presents otherwise.
The same Constitution that guarantees these Churches the right to practice their faiths freely, also guarantees the right of atheists and non-believers to display that Atheist billboard.
The Best Way to Become an Atheist is to Read the Bible
Someone once said that “the best way to become an atheist is to just read the Bible” cover to cover. And it is true. The thing people don’t realize is that atheism, science, evolution or liberals are not the things that give religion a bad name: religious people and religion give religion a bad name.
Studies have shown that people who turn away from religion don’t do so because of atheism or evolution taught in schools, but because at some point they just get fed up with all the backwards, narrow minded crap they read in holy books and their applications in life. They are so appalled by the bigotry, hypocrisy and narrow mindedness of religion and its followers that they turn away. As one reader once wrote me:
“I turned away from religion because I got tired of all the prohibitions and self-censorship involved: don’t think this, don’t read that, don’t go here, don’t talk to those people, etc.
It was like trying to look at the world through just one tiny, limited, mono-colored lens. I knew the world was bigger, more beautiful, more interesting, more dangerous, more ugly and more complex than this little lens would let me see. I just couldn’t sustain the pretense anymore.
It was not until I was much older that I began to really see the dark side of religion and be glad that I left it behind.”
Should We Respect Other Views?
One of the things I often hear from religious people who don’t take kindly to being criticized about their faith is that one should respect other peoples’ faith, as if both views were equally valid and it just so happens that one person believes in Jesus and god while another doesn’t. Or as if this was a matter of taste, like preferring chocolate flavored ice cream over strawberry flavored one, or blonde hair over brown. The difference of course is that preferring one flavor over another doesn’t generally result in detrimental consequences for those who prefer the other flavor.
No one in their right mind should ever have to respect anyone’s fairy tales and backwards beliefs, however, as fact. Especially if those fairy tales and the beliefs that inform them have serious detrimental consequences for society and everyone living in it. And I am not even talking ancient history, such as the Crusades and witch burning. I am talking United States in the twenty-first century. Imagine how many lives could have been saved, for example, if our idiots-in-chief George W. Bush and Reagan before him hadn’t defunded stem cell research based on their….yes, religious beliefs.
Religious people also say that one cannot generalize from a small group of what they call “fanatics” or “extremists” to all religious people. As if their kind of religiosity was rational and made sense as opposed to the “zealots.”
But the truth is that if you are religious there is no grey area: you are automatically disqualified as a rational human being whose views on the subject ought to be respected. I don’t have to respect or accept your faith, I merely tolerate it and that only as long as it does not infringe upon my rights. But alas it does, so I judge you and dismiss you because frankly there is no acceptable level for irrationality, ignorance and bigotry.
Religious people are all insane – there is no difference between the “extremes” and moderates.
Everything about religion is extreme. If you believe in a man walking on water or Noah’s arc and that a woman was made by taking the osteopathic tissue of a man, not to mention the pile of unfounded crap to be found in religious scripture that just reek of bigotry, racism and misogyny, you are fucking insane and that is a non-negotiable. I don’t have to tolerate people believing in fairy tales and bigotry and then imposing it on others and this bad habit of being forced to give credence to peoples’ fantasies that have very real life consequences for the rest of us, is not something to be proud of strive for. It is stupid.
Preaching the Gospel of “I Don’t Know”
Only a fool claims to have all the answers. Religious people are fools.
Atheism is not a “religion” or“faith”; in fact, atheism is irreligion. It simply means that one does not believe in god any more than in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Pink Elephants, Bigfoot or the Healing Power of Crystals. There is no difference in believing in Jesus or in Santa Clause, only that we have been conditioned to believe the former to be true and the latter just a fairy tale. A child born to Catholic parents will grow up Catholic, while that same child, if raised by a Muslim family, would grow up being a Muslim.
Do non-believers have all the answers? No, but that doesn’t mean that the Bible, Koran or Torah are the truth. We may not be able to “prove” that god does not exist, but we don’t need to. The burden of proof is not on the skeptic. It is like saying, ‘there is a pink elephant in the room and if you cannot prove it, then it means it is real.”
The fact that one does not currently know what came before us, if anything, or before the Big Bang or how all the details of evolution work does not mean that one “must” believe in god or Jesus or Mohammed. I, for one, am perfectly willing to accept that I do not know everything and that some things are yet to be discovered by human kind.