The Hypocrisy Of This Contraception Debate

by Bill Brenner on March 3, 2012

Updated March 14 with this example of outrage from the Arizona legislature.

I don’t get why the Republican Party is bogging itself down in this contraception debate. In pandering to the religious groups, they’re ignoring the economic woes people care about most. That’s especially silly because the economy if an issue that’s big trouble for President Obama.

Would it not be wise to stick to the issue your opponent is weakest on? That’s my big question. But for me, a devout Catholic who is told every day by my church leaders that contraception is against God’s plan, the debate is more about hypocrisy.

Mood music:

When the right gets into this battle, which always involves a discussion about the lack of God in government affairs, it’s the same to me as the left suggesting government do everything for us. The right scornfully calls this socialist activism, which God supposedly frowns upon. But isn’t it also social activism to tell us whether we should have prayer in school, a law against gay marriage or a ban on contraception?

I always try to hold true to my Catholic beliefs. Among other things, I oppose abortion. But that’s what I choose to believe.

Religious freedom to me doesn’t mean the right for one religious denomination to control what everyone does. It’s really about the right for people to practice their religious beliefs regardless of whether it’s Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism or Atheism without fear of government punishment.

I have the freedom to try to be the best Catholic I can be, but in the end it’s my responsibility, not the government’s. I agree with my friend Lori MacVittie, who said “Never confuse the will of the majority with the will of God.” She’ll probably disagree with much of this post, but that’s fine by me. I like when the truly smart people disagree.

As for contraception, the Catholic Church doesn’t believe in it. But it’s not forbidden in every religion. So why are Republicans going at it as if it were?

This debate has turned mean. I’ve never really cared for Rush Limbaugh. He’s a blowhard who throws bombs because his ratings go up whenever he does. That’s why he called Georgetown Law Student Sandra Fluke a slut for testifying before Congress in favor of birth control as part of health care coverage. Calling someone a slut is ratings gold. Those who advocate a boycott of his sponsors miss the point. The only way to silence this asshat is to get people to stop listening to him. When people stop showing up, that’s when the sponsors walk away.

Rush knows this. He also knows there are enough mean-spirited people in the country to keep his career coasting along.

Where does God stand on the matter? A lot of people think they know the answer, but they don’t, really. They are not God, and neither am I.

All I know is that people are mean in how they choose to stand up for their beliefs. As a Catholic, I fail to see where the Christian love and grace is in that.

This is not a defense of the Obama Administration or the left.

This is simply the lament of a guy who believes in God and in pragmatic government.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

stanchaz March 3, 2012 at 5:57 am

Republi-cants….what a circus. These holier-than-thou clowns just LOVE to tell you what you can’t do. Their campaign slogan should be “No you can’t”. The headlines just keep coming: Republicans condemn condoms! Republicans legislate forced trans-vaginal probes. Republicans tell us to have children of rape …as a gift from God.  Republicans insult women in hateful word and deed ….degrading women who simply want to plan their families, and control their own bodies. What’s next with these guys? Republicans mandating missionary-position only? Procreation, not recreation…or else?  I really really hate to admit it, but Newt was right. ‘Cause Newt and all his Republican friends SHOULD set up a moon colony…. AND GO THERE! Then they could tell each other what to do, and how to live, and who to love…. and who to hate…while leaving the REST of us alone, in peace, back here on Earth. Newt, I always KNEW that you were a problem-solver. Unfortunately, you and your Republican friends ARE the problem. P.S. We may laugh, and smile, and ridicule…but I know that this is not a game. People that are elected DO affect our lives, and the lives of those we love. It does matter.

Lori MacVittie March 3, 2012 at 6:13 am

🙂 Why is the GOP going after this one so hard? Because it isn’t about contraception, it’s about rights of conscience, the First Amendment, and slippery slopes. I’m not a Catholic nor an expert on its doctrine, but when the official word from any church representative is “This forces us to violate our beliefs” then I tend to believe them. They are they experts on whether or not actions violate doctrine, not the government or me.

It’s also a slippery slope. Today it’s birth control (and let’s not ignore the abortifacients included in that coverage which makes it far more detestable to a wider audience, hence the left’s habit of excluded it in its narrative) tomorrow it’s … what? What other doctrine can the government force religious institutions – and individuals – to violate in the future based on allowing *this* violation? It’s called boiling the frog, and liberals are experts in execution on such strategy. Today it’s birth control, tomorrow it’s speaking the name of God in public.

The government (and not just this administration – many, including those controlled by the GOP) has already encroached and downright violated several Amendments (1st, 4th, 2nd…). This is another violation in a long line of violations that, if left unchecked, could dramatically impact future generations. It’s a slippery slope, and it’s about time someone – GOP or DEM – stood up and said “Enough. The Constitution is the law of the land and will not be violated to achieve our ideological goals.”

Now, all that said, I can’t help but think of Christ himself in the time of the Romans when he said “Render under Caesar…” He did not qualify that with “unless Caesar is going to spend those taxes on something that violates Jewish beliefs” because, as most are well aware, Romans most certainly did – from debauchery to paganism to murder… it wasn’t pretty. Christ did not tell them to withhold the government’s due based on agreement, he simply told us to do it. We should certainly speak out against it as we are given opportunity to do – and vote – but if it comes to law, it is the law.

What He also told us to do was live according to God’s law no matter the consequences. The government – and the majority – are welcome to pass any law they wish. But they cannot force ME to violate my faith or conscience without MY permission. How I respond to such an attempt is entirely up to me, and includes an outright refusal – recognizing there may be consequences.

Acts 5:41 “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.”

And that is the essence of Christianity and why it’s survived through 2000 years – because what the government or the society in which a Christian lives is irrelevant; it is how *we* live and act and how *we* choose to hold fast to or abandon our own principles, as you point out in your post with respect to your own life.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: