‘church and state’

Science Shows What Sexual Repression Actually Looks Like

With the recent election still echoing in everyone’s ears, and pundits pundificating about how conservative the country really is, this is a good time to remember the major study done about online pornography subscriptions just 18 months ago. As reported in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, * The rates at which people buy pornography are not wildly different from state to state; * States where people vote for conservative candidates buy more porn than states in which people vote for progressive candidates. And yes, this is after adjusting for factors including broadband access, income, and population. According to credit card…

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Abortion & Birth Control: How Humans Actually Behave

There’s belief and there’s science. When it comes to sexuality, American public policy is terribly prejudiced toward the first, while too often ignoring the second. Election season invariably exaggerates this unfortunate tendency. And so, for example, people actually fear that gay soldiers will be humping while being shot at. Or that they’ll seduce straight soldiers in the shower—who will be powerless to just say no. Love that close-order drill! New data about pregnancy, contraception, and abortion were just released. While I don’t expect this to influence too many decision-makers, when considered together these facts are intriguing: * Reducing the cost…

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Prop 8, Minority Rights, & American Democracy

Democracy does not mean three wolves and a lamb voting on what’s for dinner. And that’s why yesterday’s federal court ruling overturning California’s Proposition 8 is good news for all Americans. Prop 8 did something that should never be done—it put the question of a minority group’s rights up for a vote. America’s courts have two functions, one them far less understood than the over—and just as crucial to our democratic system. Of course, our courts try cases of wrongdoing—someone’s accused of breaking the law, they have their day in court, they’re found innocent or guilty. In addition, however, our…

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Congress Requiring Internet Filtering—Through the Back Door

Last week, the House agreed to a Senate amendment to a bill that funds the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. On the next-to-last page, it casually states: “None of the funds made available in this act may be used to maintain or establish a computer network unless such network blocks the viewing, downloading and exchanging of pornography.” Yes, buried in a bill (HR4899) that allocates $75,000,000,000 for the military, as well as for border security, veterans’ health, state education, and Haiti, Congress is preparing to require that all companies doing business with the federal government require internet filtering software. “Pornography”…

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Innovative Pharmaceutical Abortions in Iowa—And Hypocritical Resistance

If you want to deprive women and men of their right to an abortion, at least be honest about it. In Iowa, Planned Parenthood offers an innovative service to facilitate private pharmaceutical abortion. Since most Iowans live far from the state’s very few abortion providers, Planned Parenthood is offering telemedicine service. The patient goes to a nurse or other non-provider in her home town, who connects with the physician-provider in a Planned Parenthood office, perhaps 100 or more miles away. The doc asks the usual medical questions, the patient answers, and if she qualifies, the doc OKs the nurse to…

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Destroying America to Save It

A group of California attorneys say they are literally on a mission from God to replace four current judges with themselves. They are running for San Diego Superior Court judge on June 8. “We believe our country is under assault and needs Christian values,” said candidate Craig Candelore, who believes “God has called upon us to do this.” The campaign is supported by clergymembers, gun enthusiasts, and opponents of reproductive choice and same-gender marriage. This is simply un-American. It threatens to take us back to the 17th century of the Puritans and the monarchy-centered Europe from which they came. For…

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