Consider the following argument:
Jill: You have to watch the NCAA tournament with me.
Jack: Not interested. Go watch it yourself.
Jill: Why is it that you you think you can deny me the right to watch the tournament? You must hate me!
Obviously, this is silly. But when we make the argument real and about something far more serious, somehow it is socially permissible to engage in the identical tortured logic:
“You must provide contraception coverage to all your employees.”
“My employees are certainly welcome to use contraception, but I’m morally opposed to funding it.”
“How dare you try to impose your views on others and deny women the right to use contraception. You hate women.”
No one in the country was talking about contraception before the Administration announced their plans to force employers to provide contraceptive coverage, regardless of their religious or ethical beliefs. Yet add in a Presidential candidate who actually believes what his church teaches, a crass joke by one of his supporters, and an idiot radio jock making derogatory comments, and all of the sudden we have a new media story: the “War on Women.”
Maureen Dowd, for instance, claims that “Republican men” are trying to “wrestle American women back into chastity belts.” So now, Republicans not only want to deny the right to contraception, but want to deny women sex all together.
And Hillary Clinton gets into the act by saying that “extremists” (by which she apparently means people who don’t agree with her) “…want to control women. They want to control how we dress. They want to control how we act. They even want to control the decisions we make about our own health and bodies.”
This War on Women nonsense would be the stuff of an over-the-top SNL skit, were it not so pervasive. When supposedly respectable people say the same thing over and over again, it starts to seep into the consciousness of the marginally-informed and becomes a truism that people believe, regardless of how ridiculous it is.
Does liberty stand a chance when faced with this rhetorical assault? It makes me despair.
This is a larger issue than just contraception and insurance. Even though there are federal protections for health care providers regarding freedom of conscience in health care provision, these protections are continuously under attack. The Desert News published today an excellent and even-handed account of the abortion establishment’s attempt to deny freedom of conscience to nurses, physicians and even pharmacists who are morally opposed to participating in abortions. Were it not for the vigilance of groups like the Alliance Defense Fund who have waged legal battles to protect the religious liberty of conscientious objectors, the freedom of conscience would be losing even more ground.
It has been close to two months since the Obama Administration started us down this road. During that time, they have skillfully turned the national story line from one where the Administration attacks religious liberty to one where the GOP is waging war on women. Man, it’s too bad they can’t pull the same type of stunt in the foreign policy arena. If they could, Karzai would be begging our forgiveness for his country’s protection of terrorists rather than trying to kick us out. No such luck, I guess.
And in those same two months, about 100,000 female fetuses (also known as baby girls) have been killed in America.
Talk about your war on women!