I try not to be too surprised/disappointed by the ridiculous rants which pop up in American politics - history shows us absurdity often holds momentary sway. But I was surprised/disappointed when I began reading the hysterical wails about contraception and if it should be covered by health insurance (conversely, I seldom hear complaints about Viagra being covered by health insurance).
The contraception debate is rather old (Congress passed the Comstock Law in 1873 to criminalize birth control) - it roiled up in the 1960s to hysterical levels too - movies, television, books, news companies all provided endless worrying and satire about The Pill, all while sales and usage skyrocketed. Pill protest rallies, support rallies and more swirled and faded since personal control over whether or not to become pregnant should so obviously remain a personal decision. End of debate ... until recently.
While I began pondering how best to explain this idiocy, the always reliable Southern Beale sums it up really well:
"America’s Goofy Other Party is desperate to attack the Obama Administration on something — anything. With the economy improving and Osama bin Laden at the bottom of the ocean, what have they got? Culture wars, of course."
And after providing information about how Catholics already allow for coverage via insurance for birth control, SB adds:
" ... let’s be honest here: most American Catholics use birth control. Sorry, church leaders can whine about it and complain about it but we all know it’s true. They lost this battle somewhere around 1977 and I’m just not going to get dragged into some church battle that the leadership lost 30 years ago."
And she winds up with:
"What the Catholic bishops are trying to do is get the federal government to enforce the church’s anti-contraception doctrine because they have failed to do so on their own. This isn’t an “assault on religious liberty,” it’s the exact opposite: it’s getting the government to enforce a church rule that no one has followed in decades."
So just read her post, end of debate.