Earlier today, the Obama administration delivered a well-placed left hook to the chins of the Far Right, who have been attempting to make political hay on the Health and Human Service’s decision to require faith-based organizations to provide contraceptive prescriptions free of charge to their employees. After the expected uproar of so many in the religious community, the responsibility of providing free contraceptive services was brilliantly shifted to the health insurance companies, thus sparing churches, hospitals, and other religious outlets the duty of paying for something that may compromise the religious organization’s beliefs and values.
I say “expected” uproar because nothing the Religious Right does surprises me anymore. After all, we are talking about a group of people whose beliefs, moral code, and structure are at least 35-40 years behind the rest of society. With the takeover of the Republican Party by the Christian Right, and the panic that fear of a changing world produces in their followers, it was only a matter of time before the knee-jerk accusations of religious bigotry, hatred of Christ and Christians, and breaching of the First Amendment were going to fly toward the President.
The real acts of bigotry are being carried out as we speak by the falsely so-called Christian Right, who has chosen to stand with those who wish to once again foist their religious views on the masses by any means necessary. The church has once again chosen to stand against those who need help the most. Never mind the fact that nearly 28 states (my home states of Maryland and New York included) already have this requirement in place. Never mind the fact that many women who are self-proclaimed Catholics use birth control regularly; according to the Right, this was more proof and the clearest evidence that Obama was the godless socialist they all knew he was, and why America needs conservatism to purify this unclean country.
There is a much deeper issue here. While the Right has been in the business of regularly displaying hubris by the truckload, what must be understood is the why behind the sheer volume of conservative rancor. The basis for all this is the Right’s obsession with private bedroom activity, and the psychotic desire to demonize, regiment, and regulate ALL types of sexual activity.
Organized religions have sought to do this for centuries. The ethereal, dramatic, near euphoric pleasures of sex have been viewed by many in the religious community as something too good to be enjoyed by those of age. To them, the divine ordinance of sex is something that should be kept from the masses, saved only for those who enter into the covenant of marriage. By putting spiritual restrictions on sex, they achieve the ultimate end of legislating the bedroom.
This explains the push of abstinence in schools across this country, the attempted ban of sex education classes in early grades, and the use of the meme “indoctrination” when referring to anything that has to do with the exposure of children to the existence of homosexual behavior. This also can be clearly observed in the restrictions many churches have placed on their members when it comes to their sexual activity; Slate Magazine just broke a story about Mark Driscoll, the pastor of the Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington. The repressiveness of this church with respect to its members’ sexual behavior is near cult-like in its scope. Ruth Graham wrote this in her report:
“Andrew first told his story in January to prominent Christian blogger Matthew Paul Turner, who posted it in two detailed parts on his website. According to that account, Andrew cheated on his fiancee, engaging in some kind of sexual contact short of intercourse with another woman. Racked with guilt, he quickly confessed to both his fiancee and another member of his small group. About two weeks later, he also admitted to having a premarital sexual relationship with his now ex-fiancee. Andrew told Turner he was forced out of his original small group, which is an important touchstone for most megachurch attendees (and a requirement at Mars Hill). For the next month, Andrew met with—and received texts from—many church representatives. He was given a new contract requiring that he write his “sexual and emotional attachment history with women” and share it with his fiancee; he was also told to give her, and his pastor, a list of his sexual and emotional sins. (Turner posted the document.) Instead of signing the new contract, Andrew announced he was leaving the church.
“In Andrew’s account, Mars Hill responded by posting a three-page letter to the church’s online network the City, which Andrew describes as ‘Facebook for Mars Hill members.’ The letter, posted on Turner’s site, included instructions on how to ostracize Andrew; having a meal or going to a concert with him were deemed ‘not permissible.’ The document included examples of how to decline the ex-member’s attempts to reach out: ‘Andrew, I would enjoy time with you but I can’t because you’re under church discipline. You can join me if we can talk about your refusal to listen to God and the church.’”
The Far Right’s ultimate end in this country is a Christian theocracy, which is not hard to see when looking at how voluminous the reaction to what should be a common sense health issue has been. With abortion as their buzzword, and fueled by their unabated hatred of a brown-skinned President, the Religious Right will stop at nothing to replace the reproductive rights of millions of Americans with a “Christian” mandate, which is why it was a thing of beauty to see President Obama, himself a man of faith, execute the office of his election with the skill he displayed today.
Here’s to the continued resistance of the American public to radical regressivism, and the renewed optimism of our country.