Thursday, February 9, 2012

No Pill for the Pope

Watch Morning Joe.  Joe is in blowhard mode this morning, babbling about 2,000 years of Roman Catholic teaching against women's birth control.  Really?  The Roman Catholic Church has been teaching that woman shouldn't use the Pill contraceptive for 2,000 years?  

This is what demagoguing looks like.
Of course, Joe is not an active politician, so his role here is a little curious.  Perhaps he's just trying to make some noise because he doesn't like to talk about the war (in Afghanistan) and the primary elections are a yawn-fest, and of course the economy is simply depressing.  So a good Culture War issue is just the type of thing for us couch potatoes to get all worked up about and stay on the channel.

Or maybe Joe just doesn't know that the Pill only became available in 1960.
Of course, Obama and woman's groups have already lost this debate because they have allowed their opponents to frame the issue.  This is not a case of the government interfering in how Roman Catholics practice their religion.  Yet that is how the public discussion has been framed.
Prediction - NY Senator Kirsten Gillebrand could emerge as the voice of reason on this.

This argument should be about religious groups role as employers, being able to impose their doctrine on their American employees.  What happens when Muslims start operating schools and hospitals and nursing homes and want their women employees to have their paychecks go to their husbands?  Or what happens when the Cristian Scientists want their Catholic employees to have a physician-free health plan based on prayer because that is what their church doctrine says?  
Religious freedom and the first amendment are meant to free Americans from religious oppression, not empower churches to impose their doctrine on non-member Americans. 
Here is Monty Python's take on this issue: