Sunday, February 19, 2012

Theocracy means misogyny

Recently, the religious right-wing has used the hot-button issue of abortion and contraception to push forward assorted legislative efforts in several red states (including Oklahoma) designed to prohibit the use of contraception and to make all forms of abortion illegal, down to spontaneous abortions!  This is a move I see as obviously motivated by those who seek to have christian theocracy in the USA.  Somewhat ironically, these "christians" want to emulate the islamic way of reducing women to mere slaves of men, barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, subject to whatever their men choose to inflict on them.

The decades since women's liberation began in the 1920s apparently have been targeted by the theocratic agenda.  The hard-won gains of the women's movement are under attack, and the vehicle - the excuse - for this assault on women is religious dogma.   The religious reich has employed the usual "right to life" argument to push such extreme legislation.  The smokescreen is to limit the discussion by reducing it to the essentially endless "debate" regarding the arbitrary definition of when life begins, even as the real issue at stake here is whether or not women can maintain control over their own bodies.  Should the government even be involved in this?  I think not, but in this apparently "special" case, the religious right-wing is actually seeking government intrusion:  the control of women's bodies.  They seek to make any form of abortion illegal, including many methods of contraception.  This intended government intrusion is another ironic situation, given the right-wing's usual insistence on reducing government control.  Of course, right-wing hypocrisy includes its unswerving support of welfare for the rich, even as it seeks to eliminate welfare for the poor.  It seems this contraception-abortion conflict is in some sense consistent with other forms of right-wing logical chicanery.

I suspect the catholic church has been ecstatic to find an issue (insurance coverage including contraception for employees of catholic businesses) to distract attention from the continuing appalling revelations of child abuse by their "celibate" clergy.  They choose to characterize this contraception issue as "war" on the catholic church to try to galvanize the believers to support the clergy.  Personally, I think there should be a war-like commitment:  to an effort preventing the catholic church from trivializing the awful crimes their priesthood has perpetuated on the children who look to the priesthood for guidance and support, many of whom have gotten instead only molestation and shame in return for their trust.  The priests should be figuring out  how to reestablish trust in a meaningful way before they even consider such things as counseling women how to control their bodies - a task for which a celibate, wholly-male priesthood is pretty poorly-qualified except in theological "theory".  Of course, 90+% of catholic women are already using some form of contraception unapproved by their church.  They've already spoken on behalf of themselves by their actions.  There's a war going on here - it's that being waged by the catholic church against their own women, for the terrible "sin" of seeking to control their own bodies!

It's my sincere hope that the women of America will demonstrate their concerns regarding these issues in November - in the ballot box.  Supporters of religiously-motivated misogynist legislation need to be voted out of office, and not even given the nomination of their party for the November elections.  It's time for women to show their real power and their determination not to surrender the hard-won gains they've achieved so far.  Not all men support the subjugation of women to a "morality" that has lived on from the brutal, primitive age of scriptural times, long after it should have become mere history.  Perhaps together, we can fight for women's rights against the attack by the religious right-wing.

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