February 02, 2010
What Am I Not Getting?

Markos Moulitsas, as you probably know, has commissioned a poll of the views held by self-identified Republicans on a number of issues. The results are here. In a way they are unsurprising ó 60% think Obama is a socialist, 21% think ACORN stole the election, while 55% arenít quite sure. These things can be put down to a stew of misinformation, ignorance and racism.

But what can explain the 31% who believe contraceptives should be outlawed? They may not know what ACORN does or what socialism is, but theyíre pretty clear about condoms and the pill. Is this a partisan or a religious issue that Iím unaware of? Are they afraid that dusky immigrants are going to outbreed them? What?



Posted by Jerome Doolittle at February 02, 2010 05:54 PM
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Posted by: Mike Goldman on February 2, 2010 7:03 PM

I think this was covered quite well by HL Mencken in his coverage of the Scopes monkey trial. Perhaps revisiting some of his work will acquaint you again with the permanent problem we have in our country. They, or their belief systems. are all descended from the people who lived in Salem who hung the "witches". Martha says I can't say they carry it in their genetic makeup, so they must be the descendants of those nutcases, who incidentally were one of the the main factors in the founding fathers - who hated each other as you now know Jerry- jointly deciding that the state would not have any official religion and therefor introducing the separation of church and our Government as a permanent part of our founding documents. They were quite adamant about that.

As flawed as those documents were, with slavery and the like being allowed, this was the wisest decision that those men put into place in our government. That was one reason, and all the problems that the government of England had suffered from because of religion and the wars it fostered both internally and externally influenced them to decree that the state and the church could never coexist. These types never get that though, the politicians and the think tanks and the religious nutcases and the traditions of the churches are famous at turning what happened into the opposite, so they are convinced we are a "Christian" nation, despite the fact that it isn't true.

But Mencken covered the topic pretty well at the Scopes trial.

Sorry I've been offline. Microsoft software just is terrible at security. My next computer will be running Ubuntu or Apple, in the meantime I'm setting up an old machine to run Smoothwall Express, a free Linux firewall to keep the hackers out.

Posted by: Buck on February 2, 2010 7:42 PM

Maybe mistakenly, Mike, but yes, seriously. I thought about the Catholics, but it didn't seem to me that they would be a significant factor here. Most Catholics nationally, according to the figures I've seen, approach contraception the same way most of the Catholics I've known have done: the Pope no play-a da game, he no make-a da rules. And I'm no expert, but I never heard that the Southern Baptist Conference cared much about the contraception issue (unless you consider Just Saying No a form of contraception). Abortion has been used as a wedge issue by the Fundie right, but contraception? Far as I know it's never been a GOP talking point or a cultural hot button issue like homosexuality. Have conservatives been running for office as anti-birth control champions? I could be wrong on all this; tell me if I am. I am but a simple seeker after truth.

Posted by: Jerry Doolittle on February 2, 2010 10:17 PM

"But what can explain the 31% who believe contraceptives should be outlawed?"

They think of oral contraception as a form of abortion.

"HHS Moves to Define Contraception as Abortion"


Posted by: George on February 2, 2010 11:05 PM

Isn't it all related to "spilling your seed" and that being a bad thing, this being a male dominated society for so long, women who allowed the man's seed to be "spilled" were, as they would say, "an abomination unto the "Lord, or some such nonsense. So I still would say it goes back to the old fundies who Mencken railed about, although the Catholics certainly played a part, at least from Rome, but I suspect Mencken placed all those kinds of fish in the same barrel, pickled of course.

But really, who else would put up a whole website on spilling your seed except the fundies:


What all those verses have to do with the subject I don't know, but the nut jobs can find some kind of crazy way of linking it all together.

Now it also can be interpreted by them to ban masturbation, but google the words: spilling your seed contraception or some variation and you'll find that this meme is prevalent in fundamentalist religions. So that's my story and I'm sticking to it. The Baptists were the mainstream religion down South so I don't think that's a good excuse, it's the fundamentalists and really rural country churches where the wacky stuff goes unquestioned. Usually denominations that have split off from the Baptists over several generations I think.

Why? I don't know, but I don't know why they called people witches at Salem. It's just insane. Believing foolish interpretations of the Bible can make people insane. There's no better explanation for it.

Posted by: Buck on February 2, 2010 11:47 PM

Probably they simply didn't know what contraception *means*, so the question was above their heads.

Posted by: Peter on February 3, 2010 6:12 AM

Thanks for the link, George. I think that explains it. But is the 2008 interpretation from Bush's HHS still operative? That wasn't clear to me from the story.

As for Onan, Buck, that could be another part of the answer and probably is. Which is pathetic. The story of Onan is complicated and hard to follow ó just more savage, primitive Old Testament bullshit. But under no logical interpretation does it amount to a prohibition on masturbation. The only clear lesson to be had from it is that it's a bad idea to screw your son's widow.

Posted by: Jerry Doolittle on February 3, 2010 9:23 AM

What you're missing is this: Sex is the Original Sin. It's always sinful. That's why childbirth is so painful - as punishment for the sin of having had sex.

I'm not making this up. This is what some people really think. Trust me on this - I grew up in Ohio.

Procreation makes sex an unavoidable sin. (God in his infinite wisdom really knows how to stack the deck.) Therefore the only morally defensible sex is that which is done for procreation. Contraception, obviously, means you're just having sex for fun. And we can't have that.

One of the other things we've been missing is the degree to which the debate on abortion is a smokescreen for the real target, sex. While we argue Roe v. Wade, they have their sights on Griswold v.Connecticut.

Posted by: Roddy McCorley on February 3, 2010 12:40 PM

Among life's little oddities is the fact that when George Herbert Walker Bush was a congressman he was known to his colleagues as "Rubbers" because of his passionate support for Planned Parenthood and population control as a whole. Do we discern here a certain remorse over not having used one to prevent the birth of his first son? Probably not.

Posted by: Fast Eddie on February 3, 2010 2:12 PM
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