Tag: Stupak Amendment

Confessions of a Recovering Catholic

We, on the left, often speak about “How it is possible for people like Palin to get over in this country?” We stand appalled and shocked when Democrats like Stupak make sure women’s reproductive health will not be covered. We don’t understand when they want to force us to reproduce, no matter what our situation; then have to PURCHASE insurance for that child when born, having eliminated CHIP. How do we mentally rectify those who scream about “welfare babies” with their same yells about “no sex education, birth control or abortions?”

There can’t possibly be that many fringe lunatics, I think to myself. They must be just LOUDER. I mean, the Polls say that “the number of people who say they are unaffiliated with any particular faith today (16.1%) is more than double the number who say they were not affiliated with any particular religion as children. Among Americans ages 18-29, one-in-four say they are not currently affiliated with any particular religion.

I kind of get it, though. Even when you realize you were totally indoctrinated as a child, there is imagery, memories of innocence that remains warm and fuzzy. The general precepts we were taught as children weren’t all bad, you know. Loving God, wanting to be good, sharing, wanting heaven, all the “little children” type teachings they gave us wasn’t all tribal and separatism. That didn’t come until later.


Who can hate an image like this? Yet, rationally, isn’t it creepy to dress children as little “brides” of Christ, with all that implies? Its no less creepy than all those Daddy/Daughter celibacy promise events.

If the feeling of belonging to a community has a gravitational pull, and good memories an orbit; then the doubt and guilt of rejecting these ideologies can be a black hole. It remains a constant like a physics equation.

Even people like me, people who stand strong for the separation of church and state, people who are agnostic at best, people strongly pro-choice, still harbor feelings about abortion. Scientifically we know all the reasons, but still, it is hard to think of any pregnancy as just flushable meat.

This is what makes them hard to beat. Its not the viability of a fetus, its not the denial of the hardships on the mother or child they cannot see. Its vestiges of guilt and childhood training.

Reasonable demographics based on irrational emotional reactions, even in an evolving society shows that we are up against something ingrained.

The Lysistrata Movement

Ah, Aristophanes! How well you understood the martial excesses of your times, and how delightfully did you sketch the true power that need only assert itself in the face of patriarchal ambitions to grasp its ultimate power in this world.

For twenty-five long years during the last of the fifth century b.c.e. the Athenian democracy fought the Spartan oligarchy over the shape and nature of the ancient world. The endless war sucked away the wealth and strength – and sons – of the city-states and territories and spread civil strife throughout the Aegean region. Originally staged in Athens in 411 b.c.e. – seven years before the end of the war – Aristophanes’ brilliant and funny Lysistrata was so popular it still serves as a humorous reminder nearly 2500 years later that the ultimate power of life and continuance, the power men most fear above all things, belongs to women.

Most of us are familiar with the plot line of Lysistrata, how she rallied the women of Athens to seize the Acropolis and convinced the women of Sparta to join in a Sex Strike to bring an end to the conflict. The sex strike theme has been borrowed here and there, and the play recast in modern, more feminist terms many times during the 20th century, and staged every year since 2003 (beginning with an Iraq peace protest) in the 21st. Yet here we are all these centuries later, suffering a new patriarchal shove-down of women’s rights and power by a fearful warrior class and the government that commands them into endless wars for the profit of soul-less oligarchs.

The Stupak amendment is the final insult for me. I have NO reason to believe the misshapen, grotesquely immoral oligarchs in D.C. when they claim they didn’t ‘mean’ to strip us of a long-enshrined constitutional right to privacy for our own bodies and important health decisions when they voted this abomination into the HCR bill. Thus I have NO reason to believe their lying lips when they claim it will never make it to the final law. I would have to be a much bigger fool than I already am to play along with that sort of pure garbage at this point in time – Congress does nothing by accident.

On Paying For Immoral Things, Or, Is Stupak On To Something?

There has been a great wailing and gnashing of teeth over the past day or so as those who follow the healthcare debate react to the Stupak/Some Creepy Republican Guy Amendment.

The Amendment, which is apparently intended to respond to conservative Democrats’ concerns that too many women were voting for the Party in recent elections, was attached to the House’s version of healthcare reform legislation that was voted out of the House this weekend.

The goal is to limit women’s access to reproductive medicine services, particularly abortions; this based on the concept that citizens of good conscience shouldn’t have their tax dollars used to fund activities they find morally repugnant.

At first blush, I was on the mild end of the wailing and gnashing spectrum myself…but having taken a day to mull the thing over, I’m starting to think that maybe we should take a look at the thinking behind this…and I’m also starting to think that, properly applied, Stupak’s logic deserves a more important place in our own vision of how a progressive government might work.

It’s Political Judo Day today, Gentle Reader, and by the time we’re done here it’s entirely possible that you’ll see Stupak’s logic in a whole new light.