Okay – I don’t expect the career Republicans in the fray of battle to acknowledge it. I really don’t expect the majority of the Republican base to understand it as most are lemmings looking for a cliff. What I don’t understand is those in the media that do the interviews of the politicians and those thinking independents or core Democrats with a voice and the ability to question and challenge. Not that anyone will change the minds of these people – but there is nothing wrong with making them look like the bigots and jerks they really are. What am I missing in the defense of religious freedom that draws on the First Amendment and takes a position that the government is treading on religious freedom when it addresses issues such as contraception or gay rights that can be viewed from a perspective equally valid in non-religious terms? Why is it that imparting or recognizing rights to those not of any particular religious denomination is any less valid than protecting the rights of those whose religion are central to their existence? How is it that the decision by the Bush debacle to not fund stem cell research (that was based purely on religious beliefs) not seen as an issue by these same people who are having issues with birth control or gay rights? I know the answer as does anyone that thinks and actually can chew gum and walk at the same time.
What is it that makes it so threatening to these on the right that someone is different, has different beliefs or holds other ideals to be more important. I would submit that if you were truly of faith and belief, you felt it to your core and you actually followed the teaching of Jesus, we of little faith wouldn’t be seen as the enemy. You wouldn’t feel the need to have us talk, walk, and look like you.
To be honest, I’m okay with the tax dollars of good catholics not funding birth control or abortion because, of course, no catholics use birth control or have abortions. Equally so, I think, as a long standing atheist, I should have equal say in my Federal tax dollars (now into six figures) not funding anything that smells of organized religion – charities, schools, you name it. Where do I sign up for that? Yes – we can write our Senator and Congressperson but that won’t go anywhere because most of them have no balls. At the end of the day, I would expect that my contribution to the Federal budget wouldn’t be funding the exorbitant medical costs of Rick Santorum’s last child (yes Rick, there is an appropriate time for birth control) – as I would expect given the Santorum’s as the religious poster family, the care is being provided in a Catholic hospital. You see, it goes both ways.
**Update: In the spirit of fairness and in anticipation of how the termination of the Santorum’s pregnancy in 1996 could be positioned, it would appear that the Santorum’s, given their pro-life stance, took a different route to terminating the pregnancy. Rather than a direct abortion, they had the doctor induce the pregnancy using pitocin, which is used to induce labor. They were aware that there was little (and I mean little) chance of survival of the baby at that age and it did die within two hours. I have no doubt that Santorum (and pro-life supporters) will have every explanation of why this was not a “true” abortion but, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.