Mama’s pleased.

This whole free contraceptive mandate has the First Lady written all over it.

…and maybe we just found out the value of Valeria Jarrett.

Or not, but we know women made it possible for Pres. Obama to stand up.

The bishops’ opposition to contraception is not an argument for a “conscience exemption.” It is a way of imposing Catholic requirements on non-Catholics. This is religious dictatorship, not religious freedom. – Contraception Con Men, by Garry Wills

Nobody starts out looking to get an abortion. But it is legal. It’s a mighty heavy outcome so if we can prevent it we must.

What just occurred has been brewing for a long, long time and is what we’ve been waiting for, which is the end of the most common abortions. The whole delicious design of reproductive goo simply has to merge with contraceptive access, regardless of means.

People have sex.

For pleasure.

Only.

It’s not a coincidence that at a moment of economic breath the free contraceptive mandate would come along. It fits the rhythm.

Sen. Roy Blunt popping up does too. He’s driven by demons to close the dam. It’s so very un-Missourian of him, because like myself, he hails from the state of the mighty Mississippi, the Big Muddy. But Republicans today like to shut off streams and rivers, clog up all natural slopes and fertile ground, swap poison wolves for energy. They’re like adolescent boys of destruction.

Rep. Darrell Issa proved this point and more when he refused witnesses on behalf of women in his all-male hearing titled “Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?”

Religious conservatives believe people don’t have sex.

Certainly not for pleasure.

Ever.

I lived in Los Angeles during the puritanical Reagan era and there were so many underground clubs, cocaine and pills, fast cars and yuppy mafias you couldn’t throw a g-string without hitting one. But Reagan screwed the economic pooch, because it was all built on testosterone.

Then came the Big Dawg. The other side of the track Jack.

The Clinton era was wet and fertile. Even that guy Gingrich who was targeting America’s Bubbah was screwing around, this time on his sick second wife. Everybody was making money, but they were also having lots of sex, too. The kind of sex women like, not just checking off daddy’s list. The poorest still got screwed, because America talks that game better than solves it, but for a while America’s cut overflowed. Even the Big Dawg got off.

Ken Starr wrote bad porn, so the people pilloried the prosecutor.

William F. Buckley said it to Charlie Rose — who else? — once. Conservatives are against things, they oppose, that’s what they do, who they are.

If this contraceptive mandate decision stands, with the White House saying openly they didn’t expect to get all Catholics or the bishops approval, but they’re comfortable with that because this is the right decision, then the moment has finally arrived. The very case I proffered and proved in the chapter “Is Freedom Just for Men?” in The Hillary Effect manifest.

Somewhere between creating it and having the heart to hear the women whispering in your ear you start to know what’s right. You start to learn you won’t get religious conservatives, because they’re against everything, but maybe you don’t need them.

Abigail Adams said that women should not hold ourselves bound to any laws in which we have no voice or representation.

The number of women, regardless of religion, who rely on contraception or birth control is in the 99 percentile.

People have sex.

It’s good for us.

You can’t stop it from happening. But you can come prepared.

Taylor Marsh is the author of the new book, The Hillary Effect – Politics, Sexism and the Destiny of Loss, which is now available in print on Amazon. Marsh is a veteran political analyst and commentator. She has been profiled in the Washington Post, The New Republic, and has been seen on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic, as well as on radio across the dial and on satellite, including the BBC. Marsh lives in the Washington, D.C. area. This column is cross posted from her new media blog.

TAYLOR MARSH, Guest Voice Columnist
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locomotivebreath1901
Guest
4 years 7 months ago
Four flaws: 1)“It is a way of imposing Catholic requirements on non-Catholics.” Conversely, Obama’s mandate is way of imposing secularism on religious conscience. I find that intolerable and in direct violation of the 1st amendment. 2)“You can’t stop (sex) from happening. But you can come prepared.” False & true. Both are voluntary behaviors. One can say ‘yes’ or one can say ‘no.’ But don’t require me to pay for other’s licentious behavior in disregard for my conscience. 3) NOTHING is free. To suggest otherwise is sophistry and poisons the national debate. If one cannot afford a condom, then please make… Read more »
RP
Guest
RP
4 years 7 months ago
America might be a woman, but it is governed by men. If we had women governing, maybe they would fix the problems men have created. For one, they might not be so enthusiatic about sending men off to be killed and wounded in wars of no meaning. Second, they may work to keep government out of cotrolling social behaviors, allowing peoples own moral values to guide their decisions. Third, we all know women are much better at controlling home budgets, so the budgets of this country might be balanced over time. (It can’t happen overnight, it took men about40 years… Read more »
zephyr
Guest
zephyr
4 years 7 months ago

“You start to learn you won’t get religious conservatives, because they’re against everything, but maybe you don’t need them.”

Amen sister!! Those who can’t be part of the solution should have the decency to get out of the way. Some of us actually believe progress is preferable to going back down roads (goat trails) that history has already shown us are dead ends.

Dabb
Guest
Dabb
4 years 7 months ago

What is most important in our Constitution…individual liberties or religious liberties?

I don’t think the President’s mandate imposes secularism on religious conscience. The Catholic Church is free to have it’s beliefs. That did not change. However, as an American woman I have the liberty not to share the beliefs of the Catholic Church. So does the Catholic Church or any church have the liberty to deny me my liberties?

EEllis
Guest
EEllis
4 years 7 months ago
So does the Catholic Church or any church have the liberty to deny me my liberties? All the BS aside how does, say Catholic Charities of America, as your hypothetical employer, not wanting to pay for birth control as a part of their health care coverage deny you any liberties at all? Does them paying a fine and you still not getting the coverage make everything better? It’s no great victory because to those who feel BC coverage should be required you got a tiny, absurdly small, nothing number of people covered, or more likely an equally small amount of… Read more »
zephyr
Guest
zephyr
4 years 7 months ago

“All the BS aside

In that vein, why should reproductive health not be treated with the same degree of respect as any other health? I’ll tell you why, it’s because common sense has been politicized right out of the equation.

EEllis
Guest
EEllis
4 years 7 months ago
In that vein, why should reproductive health not be treated with the same degree of respect as any other health? I’ll tell you why, it’s because common sense has been politicized right out of the equation. I’m sorry but I just don’t see that as the case. While you “responded” to my post you totally ignored the content and seemingly would rather hit your sound bites than have a real conversation but I’ll try. For the vast majority of the users birth control is not reproductive health so drawing a conclusion, based on the resistance of some lawmakers to force… Read more »
zephyr
Guest
zephyr
4 years 7 months ago
Wel E, that strikes me as a rather convoluted justification for your beliefs. “For the vast majority of the users birth control is not reproductive health” Oh please. Of course it is! If they get pregnant you can bet it’s all about health, you can’t separate the two. As for your concerns about people paying for things against their beliefs? We do it all the time. We pay for unecessary wars, the salaries of stupid lawmakers, corporate welfare, pork, etc. How do you feel about your tax dollars killing women and children in the middle east? As taxpayer you have… Read more »
EEllis
Guest
EEllis
4 years 7 months ago
Well E, that strikes me as a rather convoluted justification for your beliefs. Huh? I’ve already said I’m not religious and I’m in no way against anyone using birth control, I just would not require someone to pay for it especially someone who has a religious issue with it. So how am I justifying anything and what belief of mine is at issue? Oh please. Of course it is! Well you told me! Or not. Look maybe we just define words different but there are other ways of preventing pregnancy and at least one is free. As for your concerns… Read more »
JDave
Guest
JDave
4 years 7 months ago

EEllis:

I think we can understand their side of this argument. “It’s my body and I have the freedom to do with it whatever I please.” It’s perfectly rational and reasonable. I agree with it, that much of it anyway.

Anyone who suggests that there is another rational, reasonable side to the argument (that religious liberty is involved too) is usually lumped together with all the Santorum loonies. You are finding that it is next to impossible to even get a calm discussion of the matter.

roro80
Guest
roro80
4 years 7 months ago
I had this on another thread, but I think it fits in with this conversation too: Can Catholic institutions refuse to pay for expenses that are specific to one racial or ethnic group? For example, since Catholics will essentially never have a child with Tay Sachs, can they refuse to cover the associated expenses? How about expenses related to out-of-wedlock STDs? Essentially this law is denying the ability of powerful institutions to discriminate against their employees on the basis of gender; so do those saying the Catholic church should be exempt also think that other institutions should be able to… Read more »
roro80
Guest
roro80
4 years 7 months ago

“You are finding that it is next to impossible to even get a calm discussion of the matter.”

JDave — It’s hard to be calm when a large number of men are arguing that women’s health care isn’t health care at all. It’s pretty straight-up sexism.

I mean, look at this argument from EEllis: “Look maybe we just define words different but there are other ways of preventing pregnancy and at least one is free.”

As you and I have talked about before, close your legs you slut is not, in fact, an acceptable argument, ever.

EEllis
Guest
EEllis
4 years 7 months ago
Can Catholic institutions refuse to pay for expenses that are specific to one racial or ethnic group? For example, since Catholics will essentially never have a child with Tay Sachs, can they refuse to cover the associated expenses? How about expenses related to out-of-wedlock STDs? Essentially this law is denying the ability of powerful institutions to discriminate against their employees on the basis of gender; so do those saying the Catholic church should be exempt also think that other institutions should be able to make similar discriminatory practices based on other church doctrine? One it’s faulty logic. The examples are… Read more »
roro80
Guest
roro80
4 years 7 months ago
“One it’s faulty logic. The examples are not equal and it isn’t necessarily discriminative because they also don’t provide for men. “Oh, but women are different?” So you must treat them different? But wait a minute you were just saying you couldn’t treat them different?” No, it’s not faulty logic, but with you I’ve come to recognize that you’ll say that to anything outside the realm of your experience. Kids have different health care needs than adults, men have different health care needs from women, white people have different health care needs from black people, ethically Jewish people have some… Read more »
roro80
Guest
roro80
4 years 7 months ago

*Ethnically Jewish people, not “ethically” Jewish. Sorry.

roro80
Guest
roro80
4 years 7 months ago

I’d like to point out that there are many people, particularly of Indian decsent, who do not eat meat for religious reasons. People who do not eat meat really don’t ever have heart problems, and very rarely have cholesterol issues. Can an employer who has these belief systems, and who offers health insurance to all employees who do not eat meat, refuse to cover any medications that might prevent heart or cholesterol problems?

roro80
Guest
roro80
4 years 7 months ago
Also: since over 10% of those women who take hormonal birth control pills do so in part or in full because of health issues that are easily controlled by these drugs, would there be some system to allow them to get these drugs? Right now, there’s not. If you have endometriosis and take the pill to prevent the growth of these nodes on the ovaries and falopian tubes, as well as the huge amounts of abdominal pain and eventual infertility they cause, is that an “ok” use of hormonal birth control? Or does having a fairly common, painful disease that… Read more »
JDave
Guest
JDave
4 years 7 months ago
Hi roro, I understand why it’s hard to be calm. As always, I thank you for your efforts. Similarly, it’s hard for me to be calm too when I know that some of my political opponents would like to force me back into the catacombs. There are vile like your opponents who call you a sl*t. (let’s not get into the historical accuracy of catacombs, please) I am short on time and will only briefly comment. We are arguing for conscientious objector status. Go ahead and get your BC, just don’t make me help you do it. You have lots… Read more »
roro80
Guest
roro80
4 years 7 months ago
JDave — Can you see the connection with the vegetarian example I put up a few comments ago? It’s clearly discriminatory against the majority of people who don’t follow that particular doctrine. You can’t just decide to provide all the basic health care your male employees need, while not providing the same sort of basic care that female employees need. And this is, indeed, really a basic need for women. It’s between a patient and doctor to decide what those needs are, not the employer. If the employer can’t legally discriminate who they hire based on gender, that means they… Read more »
roro80
Guest
roro80
4 years 7 months ago

BTW JDave, I’m not sure what you mean by “catacombs”, but it sounds pretty macabre. :)

JDave
Guest
JDave
4 years 7 months ago

I love Obama’s compromise! I think we can both be happy about it.

I did see your example. Later this evening I’ll try to give it the consideration it’s due.

In the legendary version, catacombs were underground hiding places where early Christians were forced to worship because they weren’t PC at the time. Both the real and the legendary were macabre indeed.

roro80
Guest
roro80
4 years 7 months ago
Well, great then, JDave. Since that’s where we’re at at this point, I suppose we’re all reasonably happy. Except for the Catholic leadership. And Republicans. And those of us who are pissed off that it’s brought out so many people willing to say that women’s health care isn’t really health care. (In a different thread a few days ago, one of our esteemed co-commenters indicated it was like forcing insurance companies to cover soap. I kid you not.) Oh, yes, I know what they are historically — I’ve been down to the ones under the cathedral in Lima, Peru, and… Read more »
JDave
Guest
JDave
4 years 7 months ago
1st the catacombs ‘cause that’s easier: most thinking, politically in-tune Christians of the non-Santorum variety (yes, there are more than a few of us) would have understood immediately. I should’ve realized that it wasn’t so obvious to secular sorts. Sorry. Some of our other esteemed co-commenters have said that Christians should have no voice in the public square. They want us silenced. They say we are free to say all want in church, far from them, and behind closed doors. It immediately brings to mind the catacombs. Many Christians say it is the last socially acceptable bigotry.
JDave
Guest
JDave
4 years 7 months ago
Hi again roro, The vegetarian question has many layers and we could easily shoot off in many directions. I can’t give a good answer without laying down some groundwork. Wish I could be pithy… I enthusiastically support legislation that restrains capitalism; without it, all but the most powerful 0.1% of us would “owe our souls to the company store.” The devil’s in the details though. I also think health care is a basic, basic, basic issue of human dignity. (Those bishops we all have great difficulty with say so too, btw.) Any for-profit health care puts human dignity at odds… Read more »
EEllis
Guest
EEllis
4 years 7 months ago
No, it’s not faulty logic, but with you I’ve come to recognize that you’ll say that to anything outside the realm of your experience. Kids have different health care needs than adults, men have different health care needs from women, white people have different health care needs from black people, ethically Jewish people have some specific health needs, vegans have different health needs than those who eat meat. Those with kidney problems have different needs than heart patients. This is a given, and most people who admit that women are people whose health care needs matter understand this. Denying coverage… Read more »
EEllis
Guest
EEllis
4 years 7 months ago
Also: since over 10% of those women who take hormonal birth control pills do so in part or in full because of health issues that are easily controlled by these drugs, would there be some system to allow them to get these drugs? Right now, there’s not. If you have and take the pill to prevent the growth of these nodes on the ovaries and falopian tubes, as well as the huge amounts of abdominal pain and eventual infertility they cause, is that an “ok” use of hormonal birth control? Or does having a fairly common, painful disease that only… Read more »
JDave
Guest
JDave
4 years 7 months ago

“Denying coverage … because it’s specific to women’s health is sexist.”

I agree.

But we’re saying “That’s not the reason at all! We don’t want to participate in something immoral: contraception of any sort for men or women.”

Insisting that our true motivations are different than what we say they are… that would be an extremely weak argument.

roro80
Guest
roro80
4 years 7 months ago
JDave — But men can’t get pregnant. If men sire children, it does not cause any health implications. Saying that you don’t think birth control is ok for men either is a totally empty statement, because birth control for men has no health impacts. For your second comment, I’d like to point out that there’s no such thing as magical intent. As I’ve said before, your true motivations seem to be what you say they are, but if you were to have your way, you would be essentially giving my body to your God, in whom I don’t believe. As… Read more »
roro80
Guest
roro80
4 years 7 months ago

First my comment was rejected due to being spammy, now my second abridged comment is in moderation. Sweet. EEllis — your comments are just plain wrong, and show you to be horribly and offensively ignorant. I’d explain why, but I’ve already tried twice, and I’m bored now.

roro80
Guest
roro80
4 years 7 months ago

JDave — Also, men can’t get ovarian cysts or endometriosis.

JDave
Guest
JDave
4 years 7 months ago

I thought we agreed that we both got our way with the compromise: you can control your body and I can exercise my religion. No conflict.

I’m hitting the moderation thing too. doh.

trying it in pieces

JDave
Guest
JDave
4 years 7 months ago

I don’t know what you mean by magical intent

JDave
Guest
JDave
4 years 7 months ago

“I know you say that, but what you really mean is…” It’s very difficult to make that kind of argument convincingly.

Limbaugh does it all the time and it is maddening.

roro80
Guest
roro80
4 years 7 months ago

Yes, you’re right — we do agree on that.

Magical intent means that your motivations matter, but they’re not the only thing that matters. Even if your intent is totally pure, if the result is that you’re hurting me, your intent isn’t a magic eraser of that hurt. That’s what I meant.

roro80
Guest
roro80
4 years 7 months ago

“It’s very difficult to make that kind of argument convincingly.”

Not really. I understand that I haven’t actually listed the thousand reasons, so I haven’t made that argument convincingly, but doing so is a matter of time and patience, not so much difficulty. One of the thousand things: Catholic leadership and Republican leadership are not satisfied with the compromise.

roro80
Guest
roro80
4 years 7 months ago
More on the magical intent piece, because I think I see why what I said was unclear: I was not paraphrasing my idea of what you “really” meant when I said that you were essentially giving my body to God. I was giving the real-world consequence of your stated opinion, even if your intent was different. Even if your intention is not to take away the bodily autonomy and health care of women, that would be the real-world consequence of the implementation of your opinion on birth control and abortion. You can’t separate the doctrine from the result of that… Read more »
JDave
Guest
JDave
4 years 7 months ago
Got it. Makes sense. “…it’s a totally empty statement…” Perhaps so if health care and your concerns are the only things that matter. If religious freedom matters at all, then it is terribly important. But it isn’t important to me to pull on that thread. I think there’s quite a lot to discuss about health, women’s health, men’s health, rights, common good, what is essential and what is desireable, autonomy, agency, society’s obligations to individuals and to women, free market, constitution, human dignity, and dozens of other intertwined topics. But I think we’ve gotten about as contructive as we can… Read more »
JDave
Guest
JDave
4 years 7 months ago

we cross posted there….

I think we agree on magic intent, consequence, and results.

In the specific case of Catholic leadership, there is so much evidence that I think you can make a good argument. I don’t care to take you up on it. I’m outgunned.

In the general case, I despise arguing over motivations rather than actual words and actions.

roro80
Guest
roro80
4 years 7 months ago

“If religious freedom matters at all, then it is terribly important.”

I disagree with this. You can be all for individual religious freedoms without supporting the idea that religiously-run institutions can refuse to follow laws that protect individual rights. I think that’s where the fulcrum is here.

roro80
Guest
roro80
4 years 7 months ago

“I despise arguing over motivations rather than actual words and actions.”

I generally agree, although it makes it a lot easier to predict future behavior in an acquaintance or friend if you can understand what their motivations are. It usually works with politicians, too, but the motivations are so screwed up due to the over-riding desire for re-election. I do think it’s important to understand the motivations of an organization, though.

JDave
Guest
JDave
4 years 7 months ago
Those institutions are nothing without the people that actually do the work. Those people care very much about their 1st ammendment rights. Secular people of good will should not be quick to dismiss concerns over what is foremost in our constitution. I don’t think I have ever been quick to dismiss your concerns. You and I agree that society should somehow strive to provide health care widely. It is a common good, but you won’t find it mentioned as a right in the constitution. We will disagree on how providing health care may or may not conflict with other common… Read more »
JDave
Guest
JDave
4 years 7 months ago

We agree on the motivation thing too then.

What makes these combox convos so difficult is that you don’t know me from Adam, nor I you from Eve. My atheist friends know me well enough that “sl*t” isn’t part of my reasoning ever, for example, and I know they won’t push me into the catacombs.

It takes much less effort to have a constructive conversation when there is a bit of trust.

roro80
Guest
roro80
4 years 7 months ago
I am sorry if you feel my arguments are dismissive; I had to be brief due to the commenting issue. I do have a different opinion on the meaning of the first amendment, evidently. I know that Citizens United changed this in the eyes of the law in some ways, but I still think that the Bill of Rights applies to people, and not necessarily to organizations or companies or institutions. I don’t think requiring a religiously-run institution (which is separate from a church itself) to follow the same laws as non-relgiously-affiliated companies in similar lines of business is trampling… Read more »
JDave
Guest
JDave
4 years 7 months ago

I understand brief. We’re good.

Citizens United bothers me too.

Requiring Catholic hospitals to play by the same rules as other hospitals does not necessarily trample rights. But, for example, if the rules require devout Catholics in those hospitals to help other people euthanize, abort, or contracept, then the rules would conflict with their 1st ammendment rights. Obama’s compromise avoids that conflict.

BTW, in a letter last Sunday, our bishop expressed only concern over the compromise, not outright opposition.

roro80
Guest
roro80
4 years 7 months ago
“if the rules require devout Catholics in those hospitals to help other people euthanize, abort, or contracept, then the rules would conflict with their 1st ammendment rights.” I would agree with this. I think that since these hospitals do serve the public, it should be part of policy to have someone who is not morally averse to these activities on staff, though, to deal with emergency situations. Luckily, these same institutions can’t discriminate based on religion in their hiring practices, so there’s no reason to think that devout Catholics who will not provide these types of care would be any… Read more »
JDave
Guest
JDave
4 years 7 months ago
Good. I hope EEllis sees that there is hope for people of good will to understand one another even while disagreeing. We did it while being respectful too. I don’t think he’s as bad as you pegged him. My 19 yr old daughter is a nursing student. Of our 4 children, she is probably the most orthodox Catholic. She wants to be a nurse for the same reasons as any other nurse. She’ll likely go her entire career without being forced to help with an abortion or a euthanasia (even if those who would push us back into the catacombs… Read more »
roro80
Guest
roro80
4 years 7 months ago
Oh sure — not that a pro-life person shouldn’t go into any field of medical care, just not the ones where they’ll have choose whether to put their religious beliefs over the safety and needs of their patients. Your sister probably shouldn’t go get a job at Planned Parenthood or a small ER, but there are tons of other places where good nurses are needed that don’t have to deal with any of those situations. That’s all I meant — I do apologize if I implied that pro-life people shouldn’t be allowed to go into health care at all. The… Read more »
JDave
Guest
JDave
4 years 7 months ago

My goodness is there ever broad agreement then.

Catholic teaching allows abortion for saving the life of the mother. I think it was always that way (after being chastened on quickening and one or two other items, I am qualifying my statements more often now)

Too bad about your past rounds.

I appreciate the respect too.

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