Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Catholic roots of Hobby Lobby

From Salon, a history of the Hobby Lobby decision and a description of how its roots lie not in the purported Evangelicals who brought the case, but in the fierce rear-guard actions of the Roman Catholic conference of bishops.

 [The Bishops called] for a broad conscience clause that would allow any employer who had a moral objection to contraception to refuse to provide it. Increasingly it looked as if the fight wasn’t about finding a reasonable compromise that would allow Catholic employers to distance themselves sufficiently from the provision of contraception to satisfy at least the letter of the widely ignored Catholic teaching on contraception. It was an attempt to block the federal enshrinement of contraception as a basic women’s health care right.
Let's be clear about that.  "Religious Freedom" is a canard intended to cover the real effort to make contraception expensive and difficult to get.  Having failed to get their laity to adhere to RC teaching on birth control, they want to get the government to help them.
Women’s health advocates and political pundits expressed amazement that contraception could be so controversial in 2012. But they shouldn’t have been surprised. That’s because the forty-year fight over reproductive rights had never really been about abortion; it had always been about women and sex—specifically, the ability of women to have sex without the consequence of pregnancy. That’s why it was the shot heard ’round the world when in the midst of the flap over the all-male birth control panel radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh called Fluke a “slut” for wanting her insurance to treat birth control like any other prescription medication. Limbaugh had revealed what the right really believed about women and sex: Women who wanted to have sex—especially outside of marriage— and control their fertility were doing something fundamentally illicit and shouldn’t expect anyone else to pay for it. To them, birth control was just a lesser form of abortion.
My emphasis.  That's what it's about: controlling women's sexuality.  This is the old Roman Catholic binary of woman as slut or virgin. It continues to frustrate me that we women are letting them do this.  

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