Yesterday, sluts of all stripes celebrated the demise of human civilization with massive public orgies, unburdened by the possibility of unplanned pregnancy as President Obama dropped free birth control from Air Force One.
Actually, yesterday marked the implementation of a provision of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) that required private health insurers to fully cover the cost of all FDA-approved birth control, well-woman visits, pap smears, and other reproductive health services. The HHS issued the so-called “birth control mandate” last August. At the time of publication, the law did not inspire any massive public orgies, and the ground failed to open up and plunge the US into eternal hellfire.
But you wouldn’t know it from listening to the following people – the biggest overreactors to affordable birth control coverage.
5. Rick Santorum Tanks His Campaign
Former GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum didn’t have anything new to say about the birth control mandate taking effect, but his stance on birth control became infamous during the Republican primary. Santorum was vocal in supporting both the Catholic bishops who denounced the mandate and the Blunt amendment. The amendment would have given employers the right to deny insurance plans that included birth control coverage on the basis of any moral or religious objections. He also stated that he fully supported the right of states to ban birth control altogether.
Santorum’s colorful opinions on all things reproductive – like when he stated during his 1991 senatorial race that women who were raped never needed abortions because it is physically impossible for women to get pregnant during a rape – were ultimately what sank his bid for the White House (there was also that racially charged comment about Obama, but that’s another story). When questioned about his adamant opinions on the matter, Santorum exploded into extreme overreaction mode, lamenting, “I guess now when you have beliefs that are consistent with the church, somehow, now you’re out of the mainstream, and that to me is a pretty sad situation when you can’t have personal held beliefs.” He went on to say that the government could not ever be allowed to force someone to do something that went against their conscience.
That is so true, Rick. Can any of us really understand what it’s like to have our personal beliefs – say, about birth control 0 rejected by the government? Or to have the government force you to pay for something against your conscience, like a war?
Let’s hope none of us ever have to feel your pain.
4. Rush Limbaugh Flips Out on Fluke
This one is no surprise. Limbaugh has made an entire career about overreacting to just about everything, often doing so with incredible misogyny and racism. But in February of 2012, Limbaugh completely lost it.
After an all-male assortment of religious leaders testified in front of Congress in a so-called “birth control panel,” Georgetown student Sandra Fluke spoke about the necessity of affordable birth control. This was too much for Limbaugh, who spent the next three days slinging vile personal attacks at Fluke. Calling her a “slut” and “prostitute,” Limbaugh proceeded to claim that, “She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex.” (Of course, birth control isn’t taken each time sex takes place, and the taxpayers had nothing to do with the scenario.) It all reached the height of creepy rape culture misogyny when the outraged shock jock then demanded that Fluke tape herself having sex and post it to the internet for all taxpayers to see.
Rush’s tantrum landed him in hot water, and campaigns cropped up all over the internet to pressure sponsors to drop his show. Two radio stations discontinued his show, and dozens of advertisers moved their ads to different programs. Limbaugh eventually issued a half-hearted non-apology, which Fluke summarily rejected. (And rightfully so.)
3. Bishop Leonard Blair Claims Nuns are “Radical Feminists”
This is one overreactor whose name is a lot less familiar than the previous two. Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo was called upon by the Vatican to assess the activities of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, a group that represents 80% of US Catholic nuns. Earlier this month, Blair finished his assessment, and determined that the nun’s organization was promoting “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith,” and recommended a bishop oversee the group’s meetings.
So what did these nuns do to provoke such a reprimand? They abstained from taking a public stand against contraception, abortion, and homosexuality.
That’s right, the nuns literally did not do anything. Sister Pat Farrell, the president of the LCWR responded by saying that the group focused more on less contentious issues of human dignity, such as end of life care and direct work with underprivileged women. Basically, the nuns think that there are bigger fish to fry than birth control.
And that was a big enough threat to the Holy Patriarchy to warrant a smackdown from directly from the Vatican.
Talk about the Holy Mother of Overreaction!
2. Rep. James Sensenbrenner Foresees the End of All Churches
Three weeks ago, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) introduced a bill that would prohibit the federal government from penalizing employers that do not comply with the birth control mandate. Sensenbrenner argued that the fines levied by the federal government would be egregious enough to literally tax the Church out of business. At a press conference, he claimed, “If these taxes are levied and they are enforced, there will be no religious-affiliated institutions left in this country.”
Really? That seems like a bit of a complete overreaction.
Oh, and patently false.
Not only are religious employers with moral qualms exempt from the birth control coverage, there are plenty of religious-affiliated institutions that have nothing to do with the Catholic Church or its views on contraception. Additionally, that would have to be one hell of a fine to bring down the most powerful institution of the last two millenia.
Even if Stensenbrenner’s Blunt Amendment remix passes the House, it won’t pass the Senate or be signed into law by President Obama.
Rep. Stensenbrenner should take comfort in the fact that the Vatican could probably pay for all of those non-existent, Church-crushing fines with the sale of a tiny fraction of its riches.
1. Rep. Mike Kelly Claims Birth Control Coverage is Basically Pearl Harbor
Yes, you read that correctly: Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) said yesterday that requiring health insurance providers to offer reasonable health insurance is as much an attack on America as Pearl Harbor was. In a press conference held by more than a dozen sad Republican representatives, Kelly stated, “I know in your mind, you can think of the times America was attacked. One is December 7th, that’s Pearl Harbor Day. The other is September 11th, and that’s the day the terrorists attacked. I want you to remember August 1st, 2012, the attack on our religious freedom. That is a day that will live in infamy, along with those other dates.”
There has been no confirmation as to how much awkward silence passed as reporters scraped their jaws off the floor.
The most ridiculous part of Kelly’s statement is that attacks on religious freedom have lead to far more deaths than either of the aforementioned attacks, and this is not one of them. The Inquisition? The Holocaust? The persecution of various faiths in 16th century England that lead groups to flee to a different continent? The current genocide in Sudan?
Those are all very real and tragic attacks on religious freedom.
Contraception is not.
Way To Go, Uteruses
So remember tonight, as you wantonly pop your affordable devil pills while wearing mixed fibers and eating shellfish, you have killed religious freedom.
Honestly, you people are no better than all those damn radical feminist nuns.