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Al Sharpton Schools Morning Joe

The Catholic League, according to CBS, is “poised to go to war with Obama over mandatory birth control payments.” A better stenographer the Catholic League could not have than CBS, with the threat meant to put a political scare into Obama. But this isn’t 1980 and the Catholic League is facing a new generation in a new century where the vast majority of women rely on birth control, regardless of faith, with the economy of birth control very real. If you can’t afford $600/month, you play Russian roulette with your life and your future.

From Marjorie Clifton of GoVote over at Huffington Post:

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 79.5% of people aged 18 to 24 have had sexual intercourse, and, of those, 2.2% become pregnant. While Catholic authorities would say that unmarried young adults should not be sexually active to begin with, this position ignores reality and serves only to isolate young people — dismissing the issue as someone else’s problem.

But Catholic students are no different from the broader population. In 2009, the Boston College Undergraduate Government held a vote on whether the university should offer more sexual health services, including STI testing, condoms, and prescription birth control. The vote saw a record turnout, and an overwhelming 89% of students supported making these services available. The truth is in these numbers.

Al Sharpton won the round yesterday morning in a walk, which also revealed the tired arguments of the elite media, though they represent, as CBS did parroting exactly what the Catholic League wanted, conventional wisdom of a certain set. But the culture war today is about how modern women, who aren’t marrying like generations before, control their lives, their fate and plan their future. It cannot be done without birth control.

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Al Sharpton’s smackdown of the out of touch hosts begins at around 2:30 in the video above, but what’s particularly revealing is the reading of a Peggy Noonan op-ed by Ms. Brzezinski.

“It’s a fight the President can’t win. President Obama just might have lost the election,” opines Peggy Noonan, complete with tired “sleeping giant” awakening cries.

That is religious conservatism on parade, not to be confused with political conservatism, as I wrote about yesterday, by none other than Ronald Reagan’s speechwriter. Noonan represents that moment in time where religious intrusion into the modern political fabric began its crescendo after the era of individual freedom broke out in the 1960s.

The bookend to Noonan is E.J. Dionne representing religious conservatism on the Democratic Party side of things. Part of that group is also Sen. Casey, someone willing to continue the tradition of making a woman’s body subject to government intervention, whether state or federal.

What’s been the problem with women’s autonomy and economic issues like birth control, is Democratic Party leaders have continually ceded ground to religious conservatives and fundamentalist Republicans, because they were afraid to fight on the terms that impact women. Birth control is an economic issue, as can be abortion. But make no mistake about it, when religious conservatives in both parties talk about birth control, they see abortion.

Women, especially poor women, have been made to take a rumble seat on the side car of our national discussion on individual freedoms, because the discussion is forever wound up in abortion rights. Any woman in the throes of such a personal crisis, which I talk about personally in my book through the chapter “Is Freedom Just for Men?”, is thinking about one life she’s trying to save and that’s her own.

Sebelius in USA Today:

Of the 28 states that currently require contraception to be covered by insurance, eight have no religious exemption at all. [...] It’s important to note that our rule has no effect on the longstanding conscience clause protections for providers, which allow a Catholic doctor, for example, to refuse to write a prescription for contraception. Nor does it affect an individual woman’s freedom to decide not to use birth control. And the president and this administration continue to support existing conscience protections. – Secy. Kathleen Sebelius

It’s the most important conversation on women’s health to be launched in recent memory and if the American people are made to engage in it in a substantive way, which remains to be seen, something fundamentally will have been done by Pres. Obama’s decision on contraceptive coverage.

Joe Scarborough and others have said or suggested Pres. Obama’s will backtrack on his decision.

It will be catastrophic for American women and send a dangerous message on privacy if he proves them right. Because this isn’t just about contraception to religious conservatives. It’s about Griswold and the idea that women should enjoy the same privacy and freedoms as men, which no state or federal law or agency, religious institution or employer should have the right to abridge.

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14 Responses to Al Sharpton Schools Morning Joe

  1. Lake Lady February 7, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    Why should women be made to suffer so the likes of Peggy Noonan and E.J. Dionne can continue to believe in a myth? The myth being that the Catholic Bishops have any moral authority whatsoever. They have proved themselves to be just as insular, ambitious,power seeking and arrogant as any politician or political party. When it came to protecting the rights and safety of innocent children, they opted to protect their institution. Not withstanding the good work they do the Catholic Church is just another male dominated institution seeking to limit the freedom of women.

    • Taylor Marsh February 7, 2012 at 10:56 am #

      E.J. Dionne did us all a favor by revealing the religious conservatism that permeates the elite media, as was seen yesterday on Morning Joe, but which is a generation removed from reality.

      You are so right in what you say, LLady.

  2. ladywalker68 February 7, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    This weekend, I got hooked in to watching a 1999 Jane Champion film, “Holy Smoke”. The synopsis of the film can be found here:

    While on a journey of discovery in exotic India, beautiful young Ruth Barron falls under the influence of a charismatic religious guru. Her desperate parents then hire PJ Waters, a macho cult de-programmer who confronts Ruth in a remote desert hideaway. But PJ quickly learns that he’s met his match in the sexy, intelligent and iron-willed Ruth!

    My feelings about this film were quite mixed to say the least. It ranged from laughing until I cried at points to thinking it was a few wasted hours of my life that I will never get back again. A few mini-reviews on Rotten Tomatos:

    Jane Campion is busily dismantling gender myths that few people take seriously any more.

    A profoundly generous treatise on how men and women misunderstand and torment one another.

    My reaction is closer to the second statement. Regarding the first satement, well this film was made in 1999, and while I agree, the issues addressed in this movie about how women are treated by men aren’t given much thought, they should be. In fact, that women sort of let their guard down (or were perhaps too busy trying to do it all) is why we are in retrograde on women’s rights in this country.

    There is one quote in the movie that I will paraphrase because I don’t remember it word for word. The macho de-programmer makes a snark about how women in the Indian culture are treated as second class citizens and I even think he made reference to killing girl children in some cultures, to which the Ruth character replied: “They are just more honest in their hatred of women.”

    I agree 100% with that.



    • Taylor Marsh February 7, 2012 at 10:59 am #

      women sort of let their guard down…

      Women on the left have gotten lazy, while the right keeps on working to dismantle what’s been won in the courts.

      What happened in 2010, which is directly related to Obama & the DNC disarming, unleashed a war on women we haven’t seen since the Reagan era.

      Nothing is more important right now than Pres. Obama standing firm on his decision on free contraceptive coverage, with exclusions for church & the conscience clause.

      • Jane Austen February 7, 2012 at 11:13 am #

        Taylor – when I was actively working in the reproductive health field I wrote to Gloria Feldt who was president of PPFA, warning her that Roe vs Wade was under direct attack.  I had collected literature from some very right-winged conservative groups, much of it put out by the Catholic Church, outlining the attack they were going to make against a woman’s right to choose.  I received a letter telling me that PPFA was doing all it could to protect the right to choose.  The problem is that I have watched over the past 20 years as the right to choose has been marginalized.  If women want to hold on to their right to choose, they must go to the streets and let this country know that it’s their right and then fight to keep it.  If they don’t they will lose it.

  3. Jane Austen February 7, 2012 at 11:07 am #

    This has always been about Griswold.  From the time the SCOTUS ruled that privacy is a right, there have been more than 100 so-called “religious” organizations trying to over turn this decision.  Amazing, isn’t it, that the so-called conservatives want less government intrusion into their lives but feel it’s perfectly ok for the government to intrude into the lives of women and tell them what they can and can’t do with their bodies.  As a former Roman Catholic, I have met many Catholic women today, who have not only availed themselves of contraception, but also used abortion when they felt it was impossible for them to have a child.  It’s a personal decision and no one, and I mean no one, has the right to tell a woman how to make a decision concerning not only her physical health but her mental and emotional health as well.  In other words, government keep out of what is only a woman’s right to choose.

    • Taylor Marsh February 7, 2012 at 11:15 am #

      This has always been about Griswold. 

      Amen, sister.

      As a former Roman Catholic, I have met many Catholic women today, who have not only availed themselves of contraception, but also used abortion when they felt it was impossible for them to have a child.

      Nothing concentrates the mind on the importance of personal freedom like a catastrophe.

  4. secularhumanizinevoluter February 7, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    Noonan  tests my gag reflex every single time I see or hear her. She comes across like a character in a badly written soap opera overacting, delivering idiotic lines in hand wringing, sleepy eyed, sultry voiced drama.

    What is so impossible for these superstition based(and face it folks, this crap is ALL based in religious hostility to women’s autonomy)folks to accept regarding a woman’s right to chose?

    If the Catholic Church doesn’t want to abide by the secular rules of society then FINE, refuse any public moneys…do not engage in commerce with the general public. Confine your activities to your followers and leave the world to the world.

    OTHERWISE, obey the rules…render unto Ceaser and all that.

    • Taylor Marsh February 7, 2012 at 11:17 am #

      The elite media, led by Ms. Noonan, is really being revealed for how retrogade their thinking is on this one, secularh.

  5. Jane Austen February 7, 2012 at 11:29 am #

    What bothers me most about the whole argument about the right to choose is that women in this country are literally being ruled by the Vatican, because that’s where all of this starts.  The Bishops are only the mouth pieces of the Vatican.  So we are being ruled by a foreign power because the Vatican is a sovereign state.

    • Taylor Marsh February 7, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

      No matter the religion, that women choose to be dictated spiritually through the inherent misogyny embedded it organized religion remains a real issue for modern women and the relevancy of the church today.

      • ladywalker68 February 7, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

        No matter the religion, that women choose to be dictated spiritually through the inherent misogyny embedded it organized religion remains a real issue for modern women and the relevancy of the church today.

        Amen to that, Taylor!

      • KathyP February 7, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

        That’s why the Catholic clergy has gone so ballistic over this issue.  Every time there is a mention of the huge percentage of Catholic women who choose to use contraception, it is a slap in the face to the authoritarian misogynists who think they must control women, and that their every “infallible” command must be obeyed.  I love it!  Keep that statistic out there.

        I left the church years ago precisely because of this issue.

    • secularhumanizinevoluter February 7, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

      “So we are being ruled by a foreign power because the Vatican is a sovereign state.”

      They are attempting to dictate to all American Society. They are a minority. When you crunch the numbers only about 20% want abortion outlawed. Now some of those 75% or so may be willing to place various restrictions on availability…but the VAST, vast majority of Americans recognize a woman’s right to have available to her under some or ALL circumstances the right to chose. That is why ALL women should have the RIGHT left up to THEM alone on whether to carry a pregnancy to term.

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong