Earlier this week, I noted the surprisingly restrained coverage of the Obama Administration’s mandate that religious institutions provide health insurance that includes subsidized contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, even if that coverage would violate their religious beliefs and consciences. Even when Catholic bishops came out en masse against the Health and Human Service’s regulation, the coverage was pretty subdued, if it was even found.
Turns out that the media restraint wasn’t due to lack of interest in abortion or related issues (you probably already knew that). See, on Tuesday, Susan G. Komen for the Cure announced a new policy about which groups it would fund. The prominent breast cancer charity is one of the best funded and most popular charities out there and it has raised and distributed nearly $2 billion in funds for breast cancer research, education, advocacy and health services. [...]
It’s just so interesting to me that when millions of Catholics were read letters from their bishops about the HHS mandate targeting Catholic groups, it took days for a few stories to trickle out. When Susan G. Komen announces that roughly $700,000 in grants will be targeted to groups other than Planned Parenthood next year, it couldn’t be bigger news. There are thousands of stories already written. It says something about what the media prioritizes as well as what it considers sacred. There’s an almost religious fervor at play here. Looking at which stories capture that frenzy and fervor are interesting, no?
And commenter "Matt" at Rod's blog writes:
All groups of people have their churches, and the church of secular liberals is the Planned Parenthood office. Don’t you know — Jesus didn’t heal anyone because he wasn’t “magical,” but Planned Parenthood heals lots of women and men by getting them contraception and by providing abortions.
It’s a fundamental tenet of liberalism today that all people have the right to sex without the consequence of pregnancy. That is a fundamental right. Not just a “negative right” (like the kind in the Bill of Rights) to be free from government interference when it comes to sex (“Congress shall make no law…” or “keep your laws off my body”) but a positive right — *provided* by society — to sex without pregnancy (or, in the case of gay sex, a positive right to demand from the government a solution to HIV — see ACT UP).
Nothing could be more appealing to adolescents than this pitch, and thus liberalism gets a steady influx of new adherents and shock troops every year.
I think "Matt" is on to something, here, especially when he writes: "It’s a fundamental tenet of liberalism today that all people have the right to sex without the consequence of pregnancy. That is a fundamental right." Nothing but such a viewpoint could possibly explain why we've gone from "The government doesn't have the right to outlaw contraception because using it is a private sexual decision made by a man and a woman in their own bedroom," to "The government must force the Catholic Church to pay for birth control pills and devices and surgical sterilizations and abortifacients in the name of freedom," except such an extreme and radical notion that people have some sort of fundamental right to recreational sex.
And to hold that radical notion one must accept as if it were a religious article the idea that there is no purpose to sex other than pleasure. That's all it is, according to the religion of Sex Without Consequences, and all the old moral hangups about a man and a woman needing to make a public commitment to each other and then engage in sex with only that one other person are just silly. As the Planned Parenthood/Girl Scouts sex pamphlet put it, "There is no right or wrong way to have sex. Just have fun, explore and be yourself!”
Now, if a respectable religious group put out a pamphlet for young girls teaching them about abstinence, chastity, modesty, and morality, such a pamphlet would be called "proselytizing." It's about time we admitted that when the religion of Sex Without Consequences teaches young girls (and young boys) to be sexually active and exploratory, and to reject any notion that there's any place for the words "right" or "wrong" when we're talking about sex, that is also a form of proselytizing. The religion of Sex Without Consequences is made up of people who believe earnestly and against biology that sex is for fun, period. That it can also make new people is seen as a regrettable side-effect which ought to be targeted with pills and prophylactics, and slogans about how sterile sex is safe sex (complete with smiley-face balloon/condom animations).
In the church of Sex Without Consequences, children would ideally be grown in laboratories or in the wombs of third-world women who are being paid for their services as human incubators. That way, no pesky limitations of reproduction would ever interfere with the holy and sacred fundamental human right people have to as many orgasms as possible. Until that glorious day of freedom comes, though, the church of Sex Without Consequences demands that its religious beliefs in the primacy of non-reproductive sex be taught in every school and facilitated by every birth control manufacturer and abortion clinic in the nation.
At the present time in America, it would seem that a majority of the population is a de facto member of the church of Sex Without Consequences. Those of us who are dissenters are clearly told that we have no rights: no right to visit doctors who don't abort, no right to buy insurance plans that don't cover Happy Fun Contraceptive Pills (tm), no right to offer to public school children our minority view that there is more to life than sexual pleasure, etc. Of course, the church of Sex Without Consequences gets away with having its views mandated by the federal government by pretending it's not a religion at all, even though it has disciples, adherents, temples of sacrifice, donors, and missionaries, just like any religion. Rather, the church of Sex Without Consequences pretends that it is just common sense to view the activity which evolution designed to bring together a human male and a human female in such a way that a new human being could be created as if the whole "reproductive" aspect was just an unfortunate cosmic mistake when everybody knows the only purpose of this activity is to a) have fun and b) avoid pregnancy and disease while doing "a."
It's not a scientific view of sexual intercourse. It's not a particularly logical view. It's not a humanizing view; it's definitely a reductive view. But its subscribers cling to it with religious fervor; there is probably nothing in their whole, entire lives more important to them than the sacred mystery of being able to have as much sex as possible without ending up parents.