RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

Wills writes: "Rick Santorum is a nice smiley fanatic. He does not believe in evolution or global warming or women in the workplace. He equates gay sex with bestiality (Rick 'Man on Dog' Santorum). He equates contraception with the guillotine. Only a brain-dead party could think him a worthy presidential candidate."

Rick Santorum is leading the charge in the culture war against contraception. (photo: AP)
Rick Santorum is leading the charge in the culture war against contraception. (photo: AP)

Contraception's Con Men

By Garry Wills, NYR Blog

18 February 12


y a revolting combination of con men and fanatics, the current primary race has become a demonstration that the Republican party does not deserve serious consideration for public office. Take the controversy over contraceptives. American bishops at first opposed having hospitals and schools connected with them pay employee health costs for contraceptives. But when the President backed off from that requirement, saying insurance companies can pay the costs, the bishops doubled down and said no one should have to pay for anything so evil as contraception. Some Republicans are using the bishops’ stupidity to hurt the supposed "moderate" candidate Mitt Romney, giving a temporary leg up to the faux naïf Rick Santorum; others are attacking Barack Obama as an "enemy of religion."

Pusillanimous Catholics - Mark Shields and even, to a degree, the admirable E. J. Dionne - are saying that Catholics understandably resent an attack on "their" doctrine (even though they do not personally believe in it). Omnidirectional bad-faith arguments have clustered around what is falsely presented as a defense of "faith." The layers of ignorance are equaled only by the willingness of people "of all faiths" to use them for their own purposes. Consider just some of the layers:

The Phony Religious Freedom Argument

The bishops’ opposition to contraception is not an argument for a "conscience exemption." It is a way of imposing Catholic requirements on non-Catholics. This is religious dictatorship, not religious freedom.

Contraception is not even a religious matter. Nowhere in Scripture or the Creed is it forbidden. Catholic authorities themselves say it is a matter of "natural law," over which natural reason is the arbiter - and natural reason, even for Catholics, has long rejected the idea that contraception is evil. More of that later; what matters here is that contraception is legal, ordinary, and accepted even by most Catholics. To say that others must accept what Catholics themselves do not is bad enough. To say that President Obama is "trying to destroy the Catholic Church" if he does not accept it is much, much worse.

To disagree with Catholic bishops is called "disrespectful," an offense against religious freedom. That is why there is a kind of taboo against bringing up Romney’s Mormonism. But if Romney sincerely believed in polygamy on religious grounds, as his grandfather did, he would not even be considered for the presidency - any more than a sincere Christian Scientist, who rejects the use of medicine, would be voted for to handle public health care. Yet a man who believes that contraception is evil is an aberrant from the American norm, like the polygamist or the faith healer.

The Phony Contraception Argument

The opposition to contraception has, as I said, no scriptural basis. Pope Pius XI once said that it did, citing in his encyclical Casti Connubii (1930) the condemnation of Onan for "spilling his seed" rather than impregnating a woman (Genesis 38.9). But later popes had to back off from this claim, since everyone agrees now that Onan’s sin was not carrying out his duty to give his brother an heir (Deuteronomy 25.5-6). Then the "natural law" was fallen back on, saying that the natural purpose of sex is procreation, and any use of it for other purposes is "unnatural." But a primary natural purpose does not of necessity exclude ancillary advantages. The purpose of eating is to sustain life, but that does not make all eating that is not necessary to subsistence "unnatural." One can eat, beyond the bare minimum to exist, to express fellowship, as one can have sex, beyond the begetting of a child with each act, to express love.

The Roman authorities would not have fallen for such a silly argument but for a deep historical disrelish for sex itself. Early Fathers and medieval theologians considered sex unworthy when not actually sinful. That is why virgin saints and celibate priests were prized above married couples. Thomas Aquinas said that priests must not be married, since "those in holy orders handle the sacred vessels and the sacrament itself, and therefore it is proper (decens) that they preserve, by abstinences, a body undefiled (munditia corporalis) (Summa Theologiae, Part 3 Supplement, Question 53, article 3, Response). Marriage, you see, makes for defilement (immunditia). The ban on contraception is a hangover from the period when the body itself was considered unclean, as Peter Brown overwhelmingly proved in The Body and Society (1988).

The Phony "Church Teaches" Argument

Catholics who do not accept the phony argument over contraception are said to be "going against the teachings of their church." That is nonsense. They are their church. The Second Vatican Council defines the church as "the people of God." Thinking that the pope is the church is a relic of the days when a monarch was said to be his realm. The king was "Denmark." Catholics have long realized that their own grasp of certain things, especially sex, has a validity that is lost on the celibate male hierarchy. This is particularly true where celibacy is concerned.

There was broad disagreement with Pius XI’s 1930 encyclical on the matter. Pope Paul VI set up a study group of loyal and devout Catholics, lay and clerical, to make recommendations. The group overwhelmingly voted to change the teaching of Pius XI. But cardinals in the Roman Curia convinced Paul that any change would suggest that the church’s teachings are not eternal (though Casti Connubii had not been declared infallible, by the papacy’s own standards).

When Paul reaffirmed the ban on birth control in Humanae Vitae (1968) there was massive rejection of it. Some left the church. Some just ignored it. Paradoxically, the document formed to convey the idea that papal teaching is inerrant just convinced most people that it can be loony. The priest-sociologist Andrew Greeley said that Humanae Vitae did more damage to the papacy than any of the so-called "liberal" movements in Catholicism. When Pius IX condemned democracy and modern science in his Syllabus of Errors (1864), the Catholic historian Lord Acton said that Catholics were too sensible to go crazy every time a pope does. The reaction to Humanae Vitae proves that.

The Phony "Undying Principle" Argument

Rick Santorum is a nice smiley fanatic. He does not believe in evolution or global warming or women in the workplace. He equates gay sex with bestiality (Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum). He equates contraception with the guillotine. Only a brain-dead party could think him a worthy presidential candidate. Yet he is praised by television pundits, night and day, for being "sincere" and "standing by what he believes." He is the principled alternative to the evil Moderation of Mitt Romney and the evil Evil of Newt Gingrich. He is presented as a model Catholic. Torquemada was, in that sense, a model Catholic. Messrs. Boehner and McConnell call him a martyr to religious freedom. A young priest I saw on television, modeling himself on his hero Santorum, said, "I would rather die than give up my church’s principles." What we are seeing is not a defense of undying principle but a stampede toward a temporarily exploitable lunacy. Acton to the rescue! your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+199 # Barbara K 2012-02-18 10:57
The Greedy Old Pigs have lost their way. They have no good candidate to run this country. They do, however, have a host of evil men who want nothing but to control the bodies of women. Women need to speak loud, very loud and clear at the Polls, that we will not take this kind of treatment. We have laws providing for Federal Rights of Health Privacy for one thing, that these geezers are breaking. We need to fight to get the rights to choose what WE want to do with our own bodies. How did the government ever get involved in our personal rights anyway? I don't believe they have the right to make our decisions. It is like they are making Taliban Women out of us. They just want to control us. What next? Burkas? Make sure every woman GETS OUT TO VOTE THESE Control Freaks out of office and replace them with people on our side. Make darn sure that you know what anyone you vote for stands for before you cast that precious vote. That may be the next thing taken away after they finish with Women's rights.


Our civil rights, our SS, Medicare, Medicaid, Union rights, etc. are at stake.
+88 # giraffee2012 2012-02-18 11:33
Right on BarbaraK

Ask all you know who still "think they will vote GOP/TP" what they think will happen to their other rights after these "pigs" take away "women's rights" - some people's voting rights --

Contact your local Democratic Headquarters to help get Dems (anyone) out to vote in 2012 or we'll have another 2010 result.

Where were these "men" when church men (not only Catholics) were raping children? Answer: Buying off those crimes for few "went to jail"
+78 # Barbara K 2012-02-18 12:45
I'm with you, Giraffee, I have voted in every election since I was old enough to vote. I campaigned for Obama last year after Hillary dropped out, and I will campaign for him again. It is a pity that no one touts all he has accomplished in spite of all the opposition he has had. He has had to face down racism, which is something no other president has had to do. We need to give him a Dem congress so he can get us back to the great nation we were. Not to vote will assure that an R may get in, which is definitely what we don't want. They are morally bankrupt and pre-occupied with our bodies so they don't have to do any real governing, and have not earned their handsome salaries. The first thing the baggers in the House did was to vote to work 2 weeks and take off two weeks. If they want to work part-time they should be paid part-time and have no benefits. Yes, I watch the Senate and the House. The Rs have voted NO on everything for the past 2 years, that they couldn't outright stop before the vote.

Don't vote Republican !!
There is too much at stake.
-25 # SOF 2012-02-18 14:40
SOF. Right on Barbara -except about Obama. Maybe the degree of disappointment is relative to the degree of hope. Though the president has done some good despite the opposition, there is no excuse for the betrayal of signing the NDAA. I cannot vote for him. It is most important now to elect a reasonable Congress.
-5 # tomo 2012-02-18 14:53
The tricky thing about voting for Obama is that he too has shown himself a pretty resolute opponent of human rights. His treatment of Bradley Manning provides a lens through which to view him. His decision early in his presidency to keep the videos of CIA interrogations secret is of a piece with his indecent longtime consignment of Manning to solitary confinement. His willingness to continue the confinement of foreigners to indefinite imprisonment without prospect of trial is another. And he is so far from repenting this institutionaliz ation of Bush-Cheney abandonment of the Geneva Accords that he's lately signed into law a bill that extends the authority of the President to do the same with American citizens. In becoming a contented user of the doctrine of the "unitary executive"
(: in time of terror, ALL powers coalesce into the power of the Commander-in-Ch ief), Obama is in the forefront of those working toward the permanent abandonment of our Constitution. While Republicans are in an orgy of wild-and-crazy TALK, Obama is actually DOING something; and what he is doing is bad.
+13 # Observer 47 2012-02-18 12:32
Barbara, if you stake everything on the power of the vote, you are going to be endlessly disappointed. Elections can be bought or fixed at the drop of a hat. I don't know what the immediate answer is, but I know that it ISN'T depending on elections to make things right.
+23 # Barbara K 2012-02-18 13:20
Observer, can you honestly think of anything else we can stake everything on, besides our vote? That is the only power we have, and we need to treat it as something precious, and we need to use that only power we have.
-8 # KittatinyHawk 2012-02-18 16:15
It is not the only power we have, we are just too lazy to protest, petitions, stand up for our rights. So for those who believe voting is the only way, good for you but I believe the majority are going to have to learn to fight back because I do not see good leadership on Democratic side either.

Even Jesus Protested. Jesus spoke out publicly constantly and took on challenges of what was right and wrong.
People who just sit, expect the rest of us to do things for them. We are not going to die for you. Push is coming to shove.
Difference is GOP will kill us. Between their dumping poisons, polluting the air and water, now fracking and a poisonous pipeline, Nuke Power Houses/WMDs, drugs(legal and illegal), disease I see then as everything Evil.

I have been fighting back, learning how to on intelligent note by joining organizations, going to classes. I do not expect everyone to do it for me, it is enough I have children believing going to War is cool.

I worked for OB too, won't see that happen again. Not as long as a Bushite or /clintonite is in a seat anywhere
+16 # Barbara K 2012-02-18 17:17
Kit.: I spend my days fighting for everything from trees to animals to politics to the environment. I sign 100-200 petitions daily from sites I belong to, besides the ones I get from the numerous organizations I belong to. I really do keep busy just trying to make the world a better place, and to save this country from ruination on top of it. While doing all that on the computer, I have the Senate on watching that and switching to the House during Senate quorum calls. So, you see, I really do my share. And yes, I also campaign for Obama and the Dems. It is more imperative than ever to get the Republicans out of our government (as many as we can).
+18 # Billy Bob 2012-02-18 20:40
Barbara, You don't have to account for yourself with her. She has a habit of lecturing the rest of us on this subject. You're obviously doing MORE THAN your share. Keep up the good work. We all have our talents and limitations. Thank you for everything you're doing.

We're in this together!
+5 # Barbara K 2012-02-19 08:08
Thanks, Billy Bob, sometimes we get so wrapped up in what we are doing that we forget that WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!
+7 # Linda 2012-02-19 12:10
Barbara you don't need to explain yourself to KittatinyHawk. Nobody should be keeping any score cards or pinning any medals on their chest .

I only hope KittinyHawk isn't campaigning for Ron Paul because after all he is a Republican and as such will appoint more Republican Supreme Court justices to life appointments assuring us a lifetime of Republican rule ! Not to mention that it will be every man for himself in a Ron Paul world ,that would mean an early death for those who can't work or make enough money to feed their families ! Ever really stop and think what his agenda would look like if encated ? I doubt most people who support him have !
Anyway whether you support Paul or not he is not viable so what anyone voting for Paul or a third party candidate is really doing is taking one more vote away from the Dem column and putting one in the Republican column . If we lose this election it won't be because the Republican's have a good candidate or their ideas are better than the Democrat's ,it will be because people were just too damn stuborn for their own good and the good of this country to not allow this election to be lost because they chose not to vote or voted for someone who could never win and opened that door to the Republican's like they did in 2010 . I wouldn't thank you then for giving us the Tea Party and I certainly will not thank you if the Republican's win this election either.
+1 # Texas Aggie 2012-02-19 17:52
While it is true that the vote is our main source of power, along with public expression, buying patterns, and similar activities, there is also this (a quote from a real Catholic):

Phil Berrigan: "If elections were that effective, they would be illegal."
+11 # Linda 2012-02-19 11:29
I totally agree !
If those Democrats who have their heads up their hind end thinking about casting their votes for a third party candiate who stands no chance of winning these fools just might be handing our lives over to Santorum or one of the other right wing lunitics !

Barbara is totally right we have too much at stake to be jumping ship for a candidate whose not viable and will take votes away from Obama insuring a Republican win .
None of the candidates on the right will help the middle class or the poor,if anything they would distroy the middle class and throw granny and the poor into the streets after they strip them of their only source of survival !
+7 # Texas Aggie 2012-02-19 17:55
In addition to what you say, voting for Obama isn't anywhere near enough. If we can get enough decent people into Congress and the Senate, then they will push Obama in the correct direction. Both of them are necessary, a Democratic president and a progressive legislature. Not having either one or the other is what has brought us to the pass we are at.
+75 # MidwestTom 2012-02-18 10:57
I cannot believe that anybody think this guy is Presidential. Obama will eat him alive in a debate. However, he may actually carry some of the Red states, emphasizing our cultural divide.
+28 # wwway 2012-02-18 12:41
That all depends upon what the voter believes is "presidential." Based on what little respect Republicans have for good presidential examples and what they are proposing as presidential the bar is so low and so barbaric that I'm amused that Americans would ever support them.
+85 # GGmaw 2012-02-18 11:20
The old Catholic coots don't play the game - shouldn't try to make the rules.

Bet if 12 year old boys could get pregnant, they'd change the rules.
+48 # susienoodle 2012-02-18 11:28
The rethugs have drunk the kool-aid and seem to believe this dangerous nonsense. If Europe doesn't implode and Israel doesn't start WWIII, then hopefully Obama will win in a landslide and bring us the house and over 60 senate seats. Eliz Warren needs our help tho. Apparently Koch and Rove $$ is helping Scott Brown.
I find it inconceivable these awful rethugs carry on this way with a straight face. Can you imagine being married to one, being a daughter in one of their families?
Be grateful for what you were spared was an excellent expression my grandmother used to say. Esp true if you were unlucky enuf to be born into a rethug family!!!
+47 # susienoodle 2012-02-18 11:37
if rethugs drift further right, they'll fall off the flat earth. I imagine saying the earth is flat will be one of their future arguments.
+4 # howard1912 2012-02-18 17:58
Hey Susie- The Catholic Church back in the 15th century thought so too. They even went as far as to ex-communicate Galileo because he said the world was flat.They thought that was blasphemy to go against what the Church decreed as true. I wonder if Galileo is in heaven after all?
-18 # BobbyLip 2012-02-18 11:41
So praising someone for standing by his beliefs absolves us of any responsibility to examine those idiotic beliefs. I'd rather vote for Dan Savage's santorum than the one we see on the teevee.
+17 # reiverpacific 2012-02-18 12:28
Quoting BobbyLip:
So praising someone for standing by his beliefs absolves us of any responsibility to examine those idiotic beliefs. I'd rather vote for Dan Savage's santorum than the one we see on the teevee.

+2 # GeeRob 2012-02-18 19:42
I gave you a thumbs up. I think your post has been misunderstood.
0 # Texas Aggie 2012-02-19 17:57
Me, too.
0 # AndreM5 2012-02-24 10:00
Maybe not. It might just be a little too messy for most people to want to think about.
+21 # juliajayne 2012-02-18 11:42
Here is a compendium on Rick Santorum compiled by Will Bunch of the Philadelpha Daily News. Ten things which belie Santorum's religious credibility and show where his true interests are:
+9 # Barbara K 2012-02-18 17:23
Juliajayne, I'm with you. As one who watches the senate (for the past 10 years), I saw Rick Santorum in action. He was the worst Senator to stand in the well of the Senate. He tried to infringe on women's rights then, but there was more opposition to his radicalness then, in the Senate. Guess his constituents didn't like him either, as he lost the election.
+1 # AndreM5 2012-02-24 10:01
By 18%!!! How does any sitting Senator, even such a certifable loon, lose re-election by 18%!?!?!
+88 # Brooklyn Girl 2012-02-18 11:44
If religious institutions want to play in the legislative arena and dictate the socio-political terms, then they should LOSE THEIR TAX EXEMPTION.
+19 # Interested Observer 2012-02-18 11:56
Gary Wills?! Somebody high up in the GOP should be feeling something like LBJ did when Cronkite came out against the war in Vietnam!
+41 # readerz 2012-02-18 11:56
Please don't forget to support Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio. He is fighting a bigger uphill battle than Elizabeth Warren, and the Repos across the country have targeted him.

Also please don't forget the gerrymandering and other games the Repos have played in the states: voter IDs, fewer polling places in populated areas, hassles for college students to vote, and re-districting. I had a Progressive Representative (Betty Sutton, Ohio 13th District), but the District has been taken away, and she is now fighting for her existence against an almost blue-dog Rep. Kaptur. The Repo Primary has been emphasized too much, and many Democrats don't know that they could have progressives pushed out in gerrymandered Primaries.
Please look up local polling places (make sure that they haven't been moved), local politicians and issues, and make sure you know the candidates. And vote, even if it only is to submit your name, because the polling places are distributed according to who goes to the polls in the Primaries. Democrat area and no votes? No polling places in November.
+17 # SOF 2012-02-18 14:56
Thanks Readerz, The lesson of Pres Obama's term so far - The Congress is most important. (Except in matters of war or other recent anti-Consitutio n powers granted the President) Our best hope is to elect a sensible Congress that works for the People.
+3 # howard1912 2012-02-18 18:07
Your last sentence does not sound true. Primaries and general elections are always held. For Primaries in the state of NY, if there is only one party on the ballot (say the Republicans this year because of the presidential elections)only Republicans can vote. It does not mean there won't be a general election in the fall. If there are both GOP and Dems running in primaries, the old machines were switched on the side of the machine for each individual, thus allowing people to vote ONLY for their party. In the general elections, anyone could vote for either party, no restrictions on that.
+4 # Barbara K 2012-02-18 18:46
Howard, as a Michigan resident, I can tell you that we both parties can vote this primary here because of a fluke. Normally it would be only Republicans, but in his haste our Tbagger governor put forth a law regarding the election (he was actually trying to make it hard for the Dems to vote) but thru a twist of fate, he made it possible for both parties to vote this primary. The joke ended up being on him. He is the worst governor in the country. Check into what he has done to Michigan when you get time.
+50 # erogers 2012-02-18 12:10
This is all about ideology and religion. Santorum is being backed by a religious right that; on the one hand, does not want their church properties and church revenues taxed, but on the other hand still want to have their religious ideology rammed down the throats of every American. Santorum wants government out of our lives and yet his campaign against contraception, gay unions, abortion and anything that does not conform to his so-called faith calls for more government enforcement if elected President. What the hell has happened to separation of Church and State. Santorum is without a doubt the scariest person to ever run for President. Santorum's backers want religion made an issue? Then tax all Church property and income. These people cannot have it both ways.
+22 # bonniect 2012-02-18 12:11
These guys need to stop worrying what a woman does with her uterus and start thinking about what they've been doing with their penises!!!....a nd what women will be planning to do to their b***s if this nonesense goes any further!
+10 # kelly 2012-02-18 12:42
People like me with breast cancer can let them fall off because they defund programs that allow for mammograms and screenings. However, we can try and raise kids that may be riddled with the disease...if we have the money or don't die.
+33 # sandyboy 2012-02-18 12:20
GGMaw: Right! And if randy old gay priests got pregnant contraception would be a sacrament! Santorum may well be sincere, but so were Hitler and Stalin - sincerity doesn't make one's beliefs sensible or admirable. Absent ballot shenanigans I cannot see how the Republicans can win this time out with Santorum or any of the other suspects as candidate. Let's pray so anyway. Ahem.
+21 # rhgreen 2012-02-18 12:20
Yet again I am torn between hoping the Repubs nominate Santorum so Obama's odds for winning increase, versus the long shot chance that Santorum might actually become President. Dear God, how can you put forward such wing-nuts who presume to speak in Your name! I guess it's the old theological problem of explaining evil in a world created by an all-wise all-powerful merciful God.
+19 # giraffee2012 2012-02-18 12:32
Quoting rhgreen:
Yet again I am torn between hoping the Repubs nominate Santorum so Obama's odds for winning increase, versus the long shot chance that Santorum might actually become President.

Incredibly this fear is held by many of us! And who will there be to "save us" if inSanitorum gets elected - give the "voter suppression" and other gimmicks the TP/GOP have up their sleeves!
+12 # SOF 2012-02-18 15:05
We need to support campaigns of the good candidates that are running this year. -Dennis Kucinich, Elizabeth Warren, etc. The cost of presidential election alone, guarantees big $$$ influence.
+11 # noitall 2012-02-18 15:54
I agree, our rich guys are much better than their rich guys. If we're REALLY obedient maybe we'll get our rights back. Maybe we'll be able to have collective barganing (and know why it is to our best interest). Maybe we'll get health care and get to hold on to our Social Security. So don't rock the boat, I think OUR rich guy might do some of this in his Next Term (when he doesn't have to worry about losing HIS job). We can ONLY HOPE.
+28 # szq5777 2012-02-18 12:26
Rick Santorum belongs way back in the "Dark Ages". I can just see him in a black robe with a hood ready to burn some unfortunate "sinner" at the stake!
There is no war on religion or Christianity, or Catholicism. It is all a figment of the right-wing propaganda machine. An informed person would have to be insane to fall for any of the garbage that the Repubs spit out!
Just let me say that Iam a Christian and Jesus is my Savior! But I also firmly believe in the seperation of Church and State! The Government has no business in our bedrooms!It seems to me that the Repugs want to control everyones sexuality and sex life! I hope at least all the teaparty idiots will be voted out of office!
+4 # KittatinyHawk 2012-02-18 16:24
Pimps would be the terminology for them but I am sure someone will be upset. I think back to the 60's movies and imagine Ricko in a big ol hat, long fur robe just walkin his b+++ down the street tellin her what to do and how fast to do it. I hope his wife realizes what he makes her look like.
+23 # wwway 2012-02-18 12:32
Republicans don't have to nominate a thinking person when they only have to go through a token process to choose a puppet for the Religious right and 1% leaders who will make all the decisions and write all the legislations.
+20 # susienoodle 2012-02-18 13:04
Grover Norquist said as much recently. They have no shame.
He said it publicly and proudly. He's vile.
+12 # historywriter 2012-02-18 14:49
I hope people will listen to Norquist on this tape. He says out loud that it doesn't matter at all which repug is nominated and elected because all he has to do is sign the bills (with the help of ALEC).
See how easy it is to run a government!
Who is Norquist that he seems able to terrify repug legislators?
+6 # noitall 2012-02-18 15:50
Just goes to show what a precious thing is propaganda and control of what people think and "know". Watch Fox Noise for a year or so and see who you're hating because I know you'll be hating someone.
+6 # Grumbler 2012-02-18 12:36
Goofy Ol' Repulsives is more like it.
+22 # angelfish 2012-02-18 12:46
Rick Santorum is a True Home-grown American Imam! Out Not only is he a sexually repressed and obsessed Loon when it comes to Women's Rights, Sex and Birth Control, he wants to march us ALL back to the Dark Ages when women did what they were told and men RULED with an Iron Fist, literally AND figuratively! Be afraid, Americans, especially American Women, be VERY afraid if this man gets anywhere NEAR the White House! Rent a movie called The Stepford Wives and you'll SEE what Rick has in store for American woman! Perfectly coiffed, with flawless make-up, dressed in basic black with the classic string of pearls, he'd have us all waiting at the door in our aprons with an infant on each hip, for "the MAN of the house" to come home. "Yes, dear" will be the response to EVERY request. Bend over and kiss your independence "good Bye"! This is the fantasy that these (GOP) Grandiose Overbearing Prigs want to fulfill! Mindless, ignorant Naysayers of basic Science, they embrace their ignorance as if it were Manna from Heaven! I hope I'm in the Choir when they have to read their page out of the BOOK. I want to see the look on their faces when they realize they were Suckered by Satan into denying reality! Our Father will be kind and let them down gently, BUT, there WILL be consequences, His to determine, NOT some lame-brained, repressed Religious Fanatic such as Rick Santorum!
+18 # SOF 2012-02-18 15:09
Speaking of books, we, including men, need to reread "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood. -After the government collapses, the narrator loses her job and access to money, as do all women. Life becomes very restricted, people are disappeared. She loses her family, is stripped of name and rights and must serve the religious-based new society, where women's roles are to have emotionless, non-erotic sex with high-powered men in order to provide society with healthy children.
+7 # michelle 2012-02-19 14:51
I fear Santorum and his republican cohorts are so extreme that they will make the Handmaid's Tale look like a romance novel.
+19 # 2012-02-18 12:55
So let me get this right. The Bishops, some, if not guilty of molesting youngsters themselves, were guilty of turning their faces away, allowing priests and their own to continue molesting. This is not to condemn all but isn't one too many? So now these Bishops are indignant in their self righteousness, that contraceptives are evil. How can they have any credibility--bu t then how can these far right fanatic Republicans, who are destroying their party, have any credibility? Beware those who make others the enemy, calling them evil, anti-American, unpatriotic, etc., etc., etc. World Peace begins with each of us on a local level.
-45 # Joeconserve 2012-02-18 13:04
Just our of curiosity, are any of you disappointed that your parents kept you instead of aborting you or preventing you? Just curious...
+19 # angelfish 2012-02-18 13:22
I was an "accident", however, my Mother and Father were DELIGHTED to have me, despite the fact that they had no CHOICE. It wouldn't have bothered me in the least if I had been aborted or miscarried because I would not have known it. What was it Jesus said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me for such is the Kingdom of Heaven" I would have been in VERY good company!
+14 # Barbara K 2012-02-18 13:54
Angelfish, I would think you a Bonus instead of an accident. My daughter came to me one day after Health Class and asked if she was an "accident", because she was told that day that the last child is usually an accident. I told her that though she wasn't planned, I think she is a "bonus". She was always the most delightful and loving child. So be a "Bonus", Angelfish.
+15 # angelfish 2012-02-18 14:20
Thanks Barb, My parents always made me feel like their Golden Child, never-the-less, I DO believe that it is up to the principals on whether or not to bring a child into this World. I have seen so many poor, sad, horrified and abused people in my Psychiatric Nursing Career whose parents didn't have the option and took it out on THEM. Some people are incapable of loving a child they do/did NOT want! I was Lucky.
+3 # Barbara K 2012-02-18 18:11
Angelfish, I have the feeling that your patients are so glad to have you too. Just think of their lives if you had not been there for them. My daughter worked in a Nursing Home before she finished college and went into the Navy. She went thru and hugged every one of her patients when she arrived and before she left every day. They loved her and openly cried when she told them good bye, she came home crying too. It is remarkable how much good one can do for others. I think you are special.
+7 # angelfish 2012-02-18 21:29
Again, I thank you Barbara. I retired in 2008 after 26 years in County Hospital Psychiatric Units . I loved my job but it was hard and painful at times. So many people on the outside don't realize how thin the line is between being able to cope and being Hospitalized. I met some WONDERFUL people in those 26 years and miss them ALL!
+1 # Barbara K 2012-02-19 08:15
Wow, Angelfish, what a wonderful career. Enjoy your retirement and congratulations .
+22 # SOF 2012-02-18 15:29
huh? Then we wouldn't be here to be disappointed. I hope you don't believe that women want to have abortions, more than preventing unplanned pregnancies. Or that they actually want painful and dangerous miscarriages, or life-threatenin g pregnancies, or another innocent angel doomed to genetic diseases or cruel poverty; That they are incapable of knowing when something is very wrong physically, or doubt their ability to love the rapists' seed, or sense the father can't be trusted or bad drugs were involved. Or worry about the pesticides they were breathing during the critical first month. Mr. Joe, as a man, can't you admit you don't know anyything about women or pregnancy or birth, and have to let us make our own determnations.? Everyone deplores the careless use of abortion. I'm supposed to honor soldiers despite the truth of sadistic individuals and underreported rapes to military women. 'Just curious..' ! Bullsh*t.
-7 # noitall 2012-02-18 15:48
At the time it wouldn't have mattered to me but probably would have really mattered to them. Isn't THAT the point? Just curious, ever ask your parents that question?
+4 # reiverpacific 2012-02-18 19:19
Quoting Joeconserve:
Just our of curiosity, are any of you disappointed that your parents kept you instead of aborting you or preventing you? Just curious...

Just when I encounter a blinkered reactionary! -Anybody home in there?
+2 # reiverpacific 2012-02-18 23:51
Quoting reiverpacific:
Quoting Joeconserve:
Just our of curiosity, are any of you disappointed that your parents kept you instead of aborting you or preventing you? Just curious...

Just when I encounter a blinkered reactionary! -Anybody home in there?

I meant this in jest folks! We have to laff at some of these invasive jokers to make any sense.
+14 # Archie1954 2012-02-18 13:11
Unfortunately a brain dead party is exactly what you have in the Republicans and even worst the same goes for all those poor shmucks that vote Republican.
+10 # noitall 2012-02-18 15:46
The difference is subtle, don't you agree? When it comes to the BIG things, all these candidates, from both 'sides' are the same. RICH and wanting to stay that way. Arguing about contraception, abortions, gay marriage, are all smoke and mirrors; smoke screens to keep our attention away from those things that are leading to our ruin. Baaaaaa!
+29 # mjc 2012-02-18 13:18
There are so many women...Catholi cs...who have and always will use contraconceptio n. It's nothing new. Going back about 50 years ago in a small city in upstate New York my Catholic neighbors would tell me that if the Pope would raise the children, they'd not use contracaption, and I'm not talking about the rhythm method. I was a member of the "enlightened" Episcopalians which really rankled them because the so-called teachings and liturgy were similar but had an organization that lacked the confidence of a Pope. In many of the Irish and Italian Catholic families the wife/mother ran the family, directed the finances, guided the children on the path to prosperity. But they were strapped by the "life begins at insemination or conception". These women managed to find ways to avoid pregnancy such that even their husbands were unaware of. It is quite sad that a church whose own clergy has so many other nasty issues with their celibate priesthood preying on young boys can devote so much time to contraconceptio n, especially as our planet has found its worst enemy: mankind. Even more disturbing is well-heeled and powerful men in government determined to enforce birth control bias.
+8 # edwin_ 2012-02-18 15:53
back in the late 60's my brother ( who is now part of the tea party- but that's another story)got a nurse pregent . Abortation was illegal unless you could prove that you could not mentally/emotio nally handle a child. so the women needed a visit with a shrink. A procedure denied to poor women
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-02-18 16:31
many seem to forget the Catholics started Planned Parenthood. Lessons from the over taxation on womans body. Unnecessary need to populate a world when the family were poor.
But Catholics are not the only ones who promoted procreation, perhaps a good read on Religions of the World, Clans/Tribal Beliefs would benefit all
+10 # historywriter 2012-02-18 17:10
Most Catholic women--possibly 98%--use some sort of birth control.
+22 # Dave_s Not Here 2012-02-18 13:32
Santorum is merely and nothing more than just another common, typical and primitive ignorant, mercenary thug. That ANYONE could consider this deluded maniac "Presidential" is flabbergasting. If this doofus becomes President of the United States of America its all over for the "Grand Experiment."
+5 # noitall 2012-02-18 15:41
It seems that the "grand experiment" is how long they can pull the wool over the 99.9%. With that, so far, so good. We're still looking at these types, and only these types, as being "presidential". They're all the same; some have better PR people or luck. When we have to re-write history in order to live with ourselves, that should tell us LOADS.
+16 # sandyboy 2012-02-18 13:50
Joeconserve: ah, you're back. Actually, when I was a teenager I told my parents I didn't ask to be here and wasn't enjoying it, but I'd be more aggrieved if I was suffering some painful disease and they'd had me knowing that upfront. The sane people on RSN may be interested in this re separation of church/state. In UK a local councillor won a court case saying it was wrong to have prayers written into meetings. It didn't stop them, just said religion can't be part of the official agendas - Christians can have them in the room, but only before the meeting so others are not forced to attend. Get this: UK govt just issued a ruling overturning the court decision, saying we mustnt have "intolerant secularism" and "judicial activism"! I hope everyone will be outraged, except Joeconserve, who will be ecstatic and speaking in tongues.
-18 # Joeconserve 2012-02-18 16:33
Another curiosity of mine is that so much attention is paid to the nurture of the human being and very little to the nature of the human person. Why is that? Perhaps the concept of nature vs nurture is too difficult to imagine?
+11 # reiverpacific 2012-02-18 19:25
Quoting Joeconserve:
Another curiosity of mine is that so much attention is paid to the nurture of the human being and very little to the nature of the human person. Why is that? Perhaps the concept of nature vs nurture is too difficult to imagine?

And what the Hell does the word "Nurture" mean to those who by "Nature" (that would be mean-spiritedne ss and greed in such cases) want to cut off the social safety net completely and all aid to the needy? "Are there no prisons, no workhouses"? Another pointless and hubristic statement from a faux mystic as far as I can ascertain.
+5 # noitall 2012-02-18 14:22
Do you think he's too extreme to be a serious candidate and get elected? Watch this. This country has been in such places and committed hideous acts against American People; its all in the perception and like a resume', perception can be manipulated to where it is unrecognizable. This is lengthy, but all Americans should watch this: ticket to this place is the ignorance that comes from NOISE instead of NEWS. PsyWar-Wake up!
+12 # tomo 2012-02-18 14:28
Well done, Garry! When Pope Paul VI rejected the finding of his entire committee on whether the teaching on contraception should be changed, I think his reasoning must have gone like this: "If I change this teaching, it will mean that for some centuries now, the Catholic Church has been misleading the laity with regard to an important aspect of morality. But that would be most injurious to the laity's confidence in the hierarchy. Therefore, I must maintain the teaching unchanged." No doubt he considered this a service to "the Church." But the Church does not exist to be served; it exists to serve God. In making "the teaching authority of the Church" the focal point of his concern, he recapitulated the error of an earlier Pope who sacrificed his friendship with Galileo and his devotion to science on that same idolatrous altar. Did Paul know what he was doing? At some level, he must have had an inkling. Catholic moral theology had never required that couples discontinue sexual activity once the woman was no longer able to have children. Their altogether wholesome defense of such activity was (and is) that, even if it does not contribute to reproducing the species, it can contribute significantly to the maintenance of that mutual love which was there before any children were.
With that insight--well entrenched among all Catholic theologians who had not lost their minds--the hierarchy had long since given its blessing to non-reproductiv e sexual activity.
+5 # suzyskier 2012-02-18 14:40
How many children does Rick Santorum have any ways? I wonder if he is as celebite as he claims to be? Just wondering if he only procreats?
+12 # edwin_ 2012-02-18 15:42
Yes he is the hyprocrte os hyprocrtes.. Even his wife has has a medical procedure to abort her fetus which is a procedure he would not allow other women.

Somebody must have set the time machine to the 1960's
0 # Barbara K 2012-02-27 13:09
Santorum has 7 children.
+2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-02-18 16:33
I guess possessions and money can be a replacement otherwise why be married to him?
+1 # angelfish 2012-02-19 08:01
I think he has 5 or 6. He's a such a RABID Ultra Conservative Catholic, I'm surprised he doesn't have 8 or 10, at the very least!
0 # Barbara K 2012-02-27 13:10
Angelfish, Santorum has 7 children
+2 # angelfish 2012-02-19 08:01
P.S. He doesn't claim to be Celibate, he ABHORS Birth Control!
+18 # Windy126 2012-02-18 15:32
Seems that Joe has issues over his parents having sex. Or perhaps his parents rejected him, or told him he wasn't wanted.
Sorry but I am not so insecure that I would even think about the how or why I was conceived. I am here and I feel my mission in life is to make the lives of others easier and to encourage them. I have no business demanding that they follow what I believe. Neither does anyone else. After spending most of my adult life in the Healthcare field I cannot not forget what Rick Santorum wanted people to do to
Terri Schaivo. He wanted to keep a brain dead woman "alive" because we had the technology. Who was he to tell God that "no he couldn't have Terri"?
+13 # ozken 2012-02-18 16:53
Let's be real. There is no way Ricky boy is getting anywhere near the Presidency of the United States. Even Americans aren't that crazy.

Hang on though - I did say the same thing about George W Bush!!
+4 # Betty Lou 2012-02-18 17:03
There is a story in Greek literature that the women of the times didn't want their husbands to go to war. So they withheld sex from them until they got the picture.
It didn't take long for the place to become peaceful. Why don't you women (I'm 77) just say no to these pigs.
+6 # howard1912 2012-02-18 17:28
So true, I remember this Papal decree, copid it here:
"When Paul reaffirmed the ban on birth control in Humanae Vitae (1968) there was massive rejection of it. Some left the church. Some just ignored it. Paradoxically, the document formed to convey the idea that papal teaching is inerrant just convinced most people that it can be loony...."
-19 # Joeconserve 2012-02-18 18:14
Does anybody out there know the difference between a human being and a human person? Based on the conversation so far, I have to say, "no".
+2 # 2012-02-18 21:02
Heidegger, existential philosopher and author of "Being and Time" said a human being is always in process. Thus, a human
being is a verb. An authentic human being
is in the process of evolving. It might help you to study the Existentialists , Joeconserve. Heidegger, Sartre, Camus and others will broaden your mind. They were not conservative!
+3 # historywriter 2012-02-19 11:12
Try science instead of philosophy. I don't think all these guys can help us much. I do find these imperious comments somewhat silly.
+5 # reiverpacific 2012-02-18 23:46
Quoting Joeconserve:
Does anybody out there know the difference between a human being and a human person? Based on the conversation so far, I have to say, "no".

Oh my! Another pronouncement from on high by his occasional Holiness!
So give us a mini-seminar from your obviously privileged and o'-so-private fund of spiritual wisdom that you assume we all should understand it!
Or belt up!
A reactionary is a reactionary whatever fair-seeming cloak they wear.
+6 # mason 2012-02-18 19:31
Santorum and for that matter Obama on the left are mere red herrings when it comes to whats really going on.

Lobby groups that support parties and most importantly head influential marketing programs and influence the vote are the real power in DC. You only have to look at the model that was exposed by the tobacco industry. They cried jobs, but kept mum about social health cost, but what they really cared about was dividend and share price.

Puritan views have long been part of the American way, they are now being used more and more to mask the mechanics of big business below it. Its a way of ensuring big industries' self serving initiatives are not seen as such and supported by well meaning people.

How to fix it? break the connection between lobby groups and govt
+12 # Sweet Pea 2012-02-18 21:05
Isn't it strange that the same people who do most of the complaining about government funding of contraceptives are the same ones who scream the loudest about "these welfare moms that just want to live off of government child support?
+12 # Geraldine Clarke 2012-02-18 22:19
This issue is ABSOLUTELY one about religious liberty - about the religious liberty of the vast majority of Catholics who approve of and practice contraception and know deeply in their hearts and souls that birth control is often the most moral thing they can do. But the Church has always used the subjugation of women and perverted views of sexuality to keep and extend their power, starting from when the Aramaic word for "girl" was translated as "virgo" in the first Latin version of the Bible, thus starting the insidious virgin/mother myth. (A Jesuit was the first person who told me about that. LOL)

16 years of Catholic education taught me all too well about the Catholic Church's misogynistic practices and history. Catholics need to rise up and DEMAND that the reforms of Vatican2 be respected and extended to their logical conclusions. And the Catholic Church needs to either respect governmental regulations or to no longer take governmental money or else to start paying taxes.

I had ignored Catholic politics for too many years until this issue came up which put me in touch with all the anger still in me from 16 years of misogynistic Catholic abuse. It has been an eye-opening experience.
-1 # PeterSee 2012-02-18 22:22
Such a well-written article, so thoughtful and so well-substantia ted. So how come all of the comments have gone off on weird tangents full of personal bias & rancor, apology any self-reference. What about the points of Mr. Wills?
+3 # reiverpacific 2012-02-18 23:49
Quoting PeterSee:
Such a well-written article, so thoughtful and so well-substantiated. So how come all of the comments have gone off on weird tangents full of personal bias & rancor, apology any self-reference. What about the points of Mr. Wills?

Excellent point!
I guess that myself and others do get our knickers in a tangential twist our of pure outrage at times, so I at least, appreciate this down-to-earth course-correcti on (I'm serious).
+4 # sandyboy 2012-02-19 00:25
Hey howard1912, a heads up: Galileo said the world was round, NOT flat!
+3 # howard1912 2012-02-19 16:16
Yes I do know that - it was a typo - I had meant to say, "he was condemned for saying it was (NOT flat)... after I hit "enter" I realized and it was too late to edit it.
The RC didn't like the idea of free-thinking men of science to prove the church wrong. There were many people condemned by the church as heretics and some burned at the stake for questioning the church's authority.
+3 # sandyboy 2012-02-19 00:41
PS: does ANYONE know what Joeconserve is on about? Nature v nurture obviously just means debate re how much upbringing/envi ronment moulds a person as opposed to were they hard-wired at birth. What's hard to grasp about it? I'd guess Joe was 'nurtured' by his parents into his loony condition, but 'nature' may be responsible for his tendency to express himself in pseudo-profound ways nobody can understand.
+6 # postpen 2012-02-19 04:27
The whole presidential brouhaha around this circus of comic faux Republican candidates is really a red herring to distract us from the election that will really count: Congress. Between redistricting, privately owned voting machines, and the ownership of the media by a few far-right and totally corrupt people, we are in for a very difficult struggle to get sanity and true representation, people who will work for the public good, back into office.
Again: Santorum is just a red herring. Obama will win the presidency; he's the incumbent and there are many more level-minded Dems (and sane Independents) in the country than vitriolic far-haters. What counts is Congress.
So much to lose, then, starting with the Supreme Court and the accountability of really savage big business-- but perhaps most of all, our public education! Beyond that we can hope for the removal of private propaganda as "news" from the air waves.
+4 # sandyboy 2012-02-19 09:16
Sorry, howard1912, we both were wrong. Galileo was put under house arrest by the inquisition for stating that the earth moves round the sun. He wasn't excommunicated as far as I can ascertain and wasn't involved in arguments re whether world was flat or round. My bad! We both need a scientific education, eh?
0 # Andrea Grazzini 2012-02-19 13:57
I suggest prophylactics be put by those who make rhetorical ejaculations on religious liberty. We must protect our country from Bigot's Disease.

While Bono and Bill Gates are busy trying to prevent AIDs in Africa (with help from our Churches). And US Military is busy trying to prevent the spread of Muslim bigotry (with help from our Churches.)

We need Men of Honor here at home to help stop the unprotected spread of anti-other people contagions.

And Women of Honor, too, who won't hesitate to stand up and defend dignified pro-all people discourse.

Andrea Morisette Grazzini
+7 # belcanto 2012-02-19 17:57
The GOP/TP continues to become more and more puritanical, oppressive and devisive in order to distract Americans from the fact that our politicians are quite literally selling our country off bit by bit. They have thrown around words like socialist and communist as if they were four letter smut. The word that has taken so long to enter our current vernacular is FASCIST, which is what our government is quickly approaching. Our government, airwaves and laws are becoming more and more controlled by the corporate interests that have now had themselves declared persons by the Supreme Court.Those of us that are paying attention have got to do what has been recommended over and over in these comments and that is to get out and VOTE. Make using your voice your top priority and then continue to let your representatives know what you think with letters, phone calls and emails and finally, don't be afraid to keep talking and objecting and boycotting. The louder we get the more they will have to listen.
0 # Daisy 2012-02-22 02:13
Couple of things
1. If we agree that a religion is free to follow it's own dictates, in this case, no birth control pills because they are evil; then, we cannot intervne against parents whose religious beliefs do not allow them to get a doctor for their very ill child. And there are times when the local governments have overridden the parent's religious wishes to call in a MD. Shall that be stopped as well?
2. I recall eons ago, when Nixon and Kennedy were matched up. The Catholic heirarchy was all for Nixon because they believed that they could get more of their wishes fulfilled from a Protestant than from a Catholic. Could that also be the problem here? Seems so, beause they got Obama to compromise and are pressing for more.
3. The positiions of the GOP base and, now the presidential contenders, seem to be really more in line with the Taliban than Christian theology. Next, I suppose, women will be taken to the town stadium and have their heads cut off just to keep Rep Issa amused.

And some folks thought Nancy Pelosi was tough. Hah. Cannot hold a candle to this bunch of Inquisitors.

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.