‘contraception’

Some gays slow to catch on to religious exceptionalism

In a recent op-ed piece, New York Times writer Frank Bruni says “I’ve been called many unpleasant things in my life…but I chafe at this latest label: A threat to your religious liberty.” Bruni is gay, and he resents people claiming that their religion allows them to discriminate against same-gender couples and individuals in arenas such as marriage, parenting, and employment. Indeed, an increasing number of bakers, photographers and other wedding vendors are claiming the right to not serve gay couples. I totally agree—it’s pathetic that adults hide behind religion to selfishly and piously opt out of our American constitutional…

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Hobby Lobby Decision Puts Government in the Religion Business

The Supreme Court decision allowing a corporation to exempt itself from the law—in this case the Affordable Care Act—does two very bad things at once: * It privileges religious beliefs over other deeply-held beliefs * It puts government in the business of deciding what are legitimate religions and religious beliefs. We can also bemoan the content of this case—contraceptive access, healthcare affordability—but the religious issues actually create larger, longer-range problems for America. The First Amendment, of course, guarantees that “Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise” of religion. But even before that, it says that “Congress shall make…

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National Day of Prayer: Unconstitutional & Anti-Sex

To give America an extra edge during the Cold War against godless Communism, President Harry Truman designated the first Thursday in May as the National Day of Prayer. Every year since, that’s when government officials from city council to president ask citizens to join them in the most blatantly religious activity there is: pleading to a divinity to suspend the laws of the universe, and to bend destiny on behalf of the petitioner. In response to the unconstitutionality (and sheer offensiveness) of such a public ritual, the American Humanist Association created the National Day of Reason in 2003. The National…

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Camille Paglia: Wrong About Sex Ed

We never know which Camille Paglia is going to show up: brilliant intellectual, freelance anti-Christ, or tunnel-visioned provocateur. It was the latter Paglia who wrote a recent piece in Time Magazine cleverly titled “Put the sex back in sex ed.” Of course, we sex educators have been urging this for decades. But that’s not what her article is actually about. She says we should inject gender politics into sex education. As a bonus, she also exposes her ignorance about a number of common sex education issues. Harking back to the world of Leave It To Beaver, Paglia demands that “The…

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Abstinence Sex Ed? “I’m Baaack…”

Like a bad penny—or like an abusive ex-husband, or a public policy cancer—abstinence is back, just when we thought it was gone. Through the 1970s, U.S. policy was to reduce teen pregnancy. In 1981 the goal was changed, to funding programs to reduce teen sexual activity. During the Bush Administration, $1.5 billion was spent trying to get kids to have less sex. These programs failed completely (other than transferring federal case to Bush supporters). In 2009 the federal government ended most funding for abstinence (although states and school districts continued funding abstinence programs locally), and began funding comprehensive sex ed.…

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World Contraception Day Comes and Goes

Today was World Contraception Day. Sponsored by organizations from most parts of the globe, its goal is straightforward: to create a world in which every pregnancy is wanted. So simple. So life-affirming and life-enhancing. Such a dramatic, proven program for reducing poverty and domestic violence. Who could be against such a thing? Unfortunately, way too many people: * Religious adherents who think their god is against it; * People who don’t want women to have more power in their relationships, families, and lives; * People who see children as a source of family labor or national wealth; * People so…

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