Sunday, February 19, 2012

Who are the extremists?

In Part 1, we discussed that objections to the contraception mandate aren't really about money, and in Part 2, I looked at the unreasonableness of religious objections to the proposal. Today, we'll arrive at the true motivation of the opposition, which is opposition to contraception, and more generally, modern sexual norms.

This is not to say that this motivation if every single person who opposes the policy. There are millions who reject the policy out of a true belief that it conflicts with freedom of religion. But as we've shown, to follow the religious freedom argument to its logical conclusion requires complete banning of all contraception; that is, it's no different to limit how one uses their health insurance policy than it is to limit how they spend their paycheck. The continuation of the political attacks on the President's policy requires that people continue to be unable to make this connection. Were the true implications of the line of reasoning behind the "religious freedom" argument laid bare, survey after survey shows that they would be resoundingly defeated.

Perhaps it's cynical to attribute this motivation to opponents of the policy. But the actions and stated intentions of many on the Right betray their true intentions (which, again, aren't necessarily the conscious intentions of every opponent).

Most flagrantly, Foster Friess, the multimillionaire who's by far the main source of funds for Rick Santorum's Super PAC, said that "back in [his] days, they used Bayer aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn't that costly." Friess's comment is of course awful, and it's tempting to dismiss it as simply a bad joke from a loony rich guy. But it's not THAT much more crazy than comments by the Republican Presidential national frontrunner.

Rick Santorum's views on this issue which are undeniably and admittedly extreme. He stated:
One of the things I will talk about that no President has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea. Many in the Christian faith have said, “Well, that’s okay. Contraception’s okay.” It’s not okay because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be. They’re supposed to be within marriage, they are supposed to be for purposes that are, yes, conjugal, but also [inaudible], but also procreative.
This is stunning. It is fine that Rick Santorum is personally opposed to contraception. I could theoretically vote for a Catholic with 12 kids who is personally opposed to abortion. But I cannot respect any political support for a man who would talk about this issue as President using language like this. He says, openly, that he will use the office of the Presidency to push his anti-contraception agenda. It is a terrible reflection of the modern Republican Party that such an extremist is getting such support.

It's possible that Santorum is being taken out of context. Judge for yourself. At the bottom of the article linked above (and here is the entire interview the quote is taken from. The section with the quote is at around 18:00. Prove me wrong, kids. Prove me wrong.

No comments: