Happy Access to Birth Control Day

Today, June 7, is the 50th anniversary of one of the most important Supreme Court rulings in American history, Griswold v Connecticut. The court ruled 7-2 that states could not forbid the sale of contraception to married couples (it was later extended to non-married individuals as well in Eisendtadt v Baird). Rob Boston has some details on the case:

In the early 1960s, birth control options were growing. Condoms had been around for a long time, but things like contraceptive foams, IUDs and early types of birth-control pills were still relatively new. (The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved the first birth-control pill in 1960.) These forms of contraception existed, but in some parts of the country there was a problem: They could be very hard to get.

Powerful religious lobbies didn’t want couples – even married ones – to have access to birth control. They used their influence to make it next to impossible for people to get birth control in some states.

That changed because of events in one New England state. In Connecticut, an 1879 law banned the sale of contraceptives. (The law had been proposed by state Sen. P.T. Barnum, who had entered politics following his national fame as a circus showman.) Not only did the law ban the sale of birth control, it also prohibited doctors from counseling couples about it. Although only sporadically enforced, the measure was enough of a nuisance that advocates of women’s rights knew that it had to go.

They first tried lobbying the legislature to repeal the antiquated law. But the state’s powerful Catholic hierarchy put the kibosh on those efforts, so Griswold, executive director of the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut, joined forces with Dr. Charles Lee Buxton, chairman of the Obstetrics Department at Yale Medical School, to try a different strategy: They decided to test the law in court.

To create a test case, the two opened a clinic in New Haven to dispense information about birth control. The clinic didn’t handle any actual birth control devices; it merely distributed information about options. Nine days after it opened, police raided the clinic and arrested Griswold and Buxton – which was just what they wanted.

Connecticut courts were not sympathetic to Griswold’s and Buxton’s arguments, but the U.S. Supreme Court felt differently. On June 7, 1965, the high court struck down Connecticut’s anti-birth control statute. Ruling 7-2 in Griswold v. Connecticut, the court majority, led by Justice William O. Douglas, cited a “zone of privacy created by several fundamental constitutional guarantees.”

Douglas went on to write, “Would we allow the police to search the sacred precincts of marital bedrooms for telltale signs of the use of contraceptives? The very idea is repulsive to the notions of privacy surrounding the marriage relationship. We deal with a right of privacy older than the Bill of Rights….”

Conservatives lost their minds over the ruling, of course, unloading all the usual rhetorical guns. The Supreme Court was a bunch of “black-robed tyrants” subverting the “will of the people” and “inventing new rights not found in the Constitution.” My favorite attack on the ruling came from Robert Bork, who initially praised it as correct but later, when he adopted his own twisted version of originalism, started to criticize it with some of the dumbest legal arguments this side of Larry Klayman and Mat Staver. Like this, from a 1971 Indiana Law Journal article about the ruling:

“Every clash between a minority claiming freedom and a majority claiming power to regulate involves a choice between the gratification of the two groups…why is sexual gratification more worthy than moral gratification?…

“No activity that society thinks immoral is victimless. Knowledge that an activity is taking place is a harm to those who find it profoundly immoral.”…

Unless we can distinguish forms of gratification, the only course for a principled court is to let the majority have its way in both cases. It is clear that the court cannot make the necessary distinction. There is no principled way to decide that one man’s gratifications are more deserving of respect than another’s or that one form of gratification is more worthy than another.

This is fragrant bouquet of bullshit. Of course we can distinguish these two “forms of gratification.” One “form of gratification” involves control of one’s own autonomous; the other involves control of someone else’s autonomous choices, removing the autonomy. That difference could hardly be more obvious or relevant, but Bork ignores it completely in order to reach the authoritarian result he wanted.

Anyway, happy 50th anniversary of the Griswold ruling, a huge step forward in personal liberty in this country.

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  • John Pieret

    Knowledge that an activity is taking place is a harm to those who find it profoundly immoral.

    The ultimate argument of those against SSM … just knowing that there are people out there doing what they don’t like is going to “destroy” marriage for everyone else.

  • dingojack

    Knowledge that an activity is taking place is a harm to those who find it profoundly immoral…

    So if I merely know that the American Army is illegally torturing and killing people, or that corporations are exploiting their workers, funnelling money overseas to avoid taxes and committing large-scale fraud (all secure in the knowledge that the government believes ‘they’re too big to fail’ and will use taxpayer’s money to prop-up their greedy, self-indulgent lifestyles), and think this is immoral where do I apply to sue, Bork?

    I don’t think you’ve fully thought this through, have you Bobby?

    Dingo

  • D. C. Sessions

    I remain amazed and to some extent dismayed that the Court didn’t rule on simple First Amendment grounds. To the “obscenity” point, allowing legislatures to bar private discussions of medical facts would be a green light to bar damn near any speech.

  • tbp1

    Bork thought it would hurt some people’s widdle fee-fees, and that was enough justification to ban married couples from using birth control, but thought the the Civil Rights Act was “unsurpassed ugliness.”

    How is it this guy was ever considered some kind of legal genius, let alone was actually a Supreme Court nominee? The mind reels.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Bork represent a legitimate contingent of the population. What, do the grumpy and resentful get no representation now? They were there at the signing of The Constitution, too. They’re there in the painting, behind the others, off in the corner with heavy frowns and arms crossed, knowing how happy everybody else was. Who do you think signed “Fiddlesticks!” and “Balderdash!” on The Constitution?

  • theDukedog7 .

    Next Sunday is Happy Bulimia Day. Same basic idea, applied to nourishment rather than procreation.

    Why do we view one as a mental illness, and the other as a right?

  • garnetstar

    Because, Egnorance, bulimic behavior is, in fact, a right. No one arrests you for it. No one can force you not to do it, the police won’t drag you away and you won’t be put on trial.

    Perhaps you mean that, in your view, choosing to use contraception is a mental illness? Go ahead then, don’t use it. And don’t use the weight of law to force everyone else’s decision.

  • dan4

    @6: “Same basic idea…” I don’t get how the prevention of something (contraception) is equivalent to the removal of something (bulimia). The former involves a “negative” while the latter involves a “positive.”

  • D. C. Sessions

    A show of hands from all who are surprised that our resident authoritarian treats free speech (in a doctor/patient context, no less) as a mental illness.

  • Hoosier X

    Is dukedog a “false flag” conservative?

    Some of the stuff he says is so dumb, not even the stupidest conservative ding-dong would be stupid enough to agree out loud.

    Well, except for Ben Carson. And Sarah Palin. And Ted Cruz. And Mike Huckabee. And Rand Paul. And …

    Ok. Now I see the error in my premise.

  • John Pieret

    Thank you, Egnor, for displaying just how ludicrous the thought processes of those who want to control the lives of others can be.

    Incidentally, doctor, you have four children … can we assume you’ve only has sex with your wife four times?

    If you find that question inappropriate, now you know how the rest of us feel when busybodies like you want to know what goes on in our bedrooms!

  • theguy

    I guess ShitDog didn’t learn anything yesterday. This is my surprised face.

    “Why do we view one as a mental illness, and the other as a right?”

    People need to eat to survive. They do not need to procreate to survive. Are you suggesting that the government should force-feed anybody with bulimia? And here I assumed you were opposed to food stamps!

    From Bork: “Knowledge that an activity is taking place is a harm to those who find it profoundly immoral.”

    Well, I find certain Christian preaching “profoundly immoral” but I can’t demand it to be banned. Bork didn’t really intend that bit of sophistry to be applied both ways.

  • carbonfox

    As somebody who has used contraceptives for nearly a decade — in part to prevent pregnancy, in part to treat a hormonal disorder, but my reason is irrelevant — and who has struggled with bulimia for even longer, I feel quite qualified to address (and laugh at) Doodie’s asinine assertion.

    Contraceptives have been been a boon to my life, allowing me to be intimate (with my spouse, but again, my partner choices are not relevant) without creating children that we could not provide for (assuming, selfishly, that children deserve food, education, entertainment) — while at the same time preventing the development painful ovarian cysts. Meanwhile, bulimia sought to destroy my body (shredded knuckles, throat tears, painful teeth, stomach ulcers, kidney problems), my mind (I considered suicide to escape the disease’s ravages), my relationships, my life (my illness became so severe that I had to withdraw from school for a while)…

    Contraceptives and mental illness are so different that I can’t come up with two things more unrelated. Maybe comparing microchips to liopleurodons?

    (Good news 1: I recovered from bulimia a few years ago. Good news 2: Besides the best efforts of busybody fools like Doodoo, I can still access contraceptives fairly reasonably.)

  • carbonfox

    Besides, nobody with bulimia actually wants to be bulimic. They’re sick.

    Outside of coercion, people using contraceptives want to use them. Duh.

  • llewelly

    “Indeed, a large body of research has linked contraception to American women’s ability to control almost every aspect of their lives. Public health experts — who have designated birth control as one of the most important advances of the 20th century — don’t mince words about the role that contraception has played over the past several decades. It reduces unintended pregnancies, helps women space their childbearing, and leads to healthier babies.

    “Birth control, as a core component of family planning, is one of the most important public health success stories of our generation,” Dr. Georges Benjamin, the executive director of the American Public Health Association, told ThinkProgress. “We politicize it way too much and underemphasize its enormous benefits.””

    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2015/06/07/3666568/griswold-birth-control/

  • smrnda

    ” Same basic idea, applied to nourishment rather than procreation”

    There’s a pretty big difference dogd00d. Bulimia is actually harmful. Doing something to prevent reproduction isn’t. Being pregnant has more health risks than not being pregnant, end of story.

    Perhaps a better comparison would be if you wanted to knock diet soda for having no calories. Or if you were going to attack non-alcoholic beer. Or if you wanted to argue that we shouldn’t use heat or air conditioning, since it’s unnatural.

  • llewelly

    tbp1:

    How is it this guy was ever considered some kind of legal genius, let alone was actually a Supreme Court nominee? The mind reels.

    It takes a fair amount of social and propaganda expertise to make terrible arguments like that stick. That is the kind of genius conservatives want.

  • llewelly

    theDukedog7:

    Next Sunday is Happy Bulimia Day. Same basic idea, applied to nourishment rather than procreation.

    Why do we view one as a mental illness, and the other as a right?

    I tried not to think about how you came to conflate provoking someone’s gag reflex with sex, but I thought about it anyway, and then, I thought:

    How did a purportedly sincere Catholic think like that?

    I think that’s another data point in favor of the false flag theory.

  • Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    I am a fairly knowledgeable lay-person when it comes to US constitutional law. Possibly even a very-knowledgeable lay person. Some people wouldn’t even count me as a layperson, but I’m specifying US constitutional law here, and my law school is Canadian.

    Moreover, to the extent that I have a special interest in US constitutional law, Griswold is at its heart every bit as much as Carolene Products and Korematsu.

    And yet, and yet, and yet.

    I fucking ALWAYS think that Griswold was decided in 1963.

    Why am I always off by 2 years? Why have I been corrected innumerable times and still, if I go a month without referencing the case, my brain sneakily relocates it temporally by 2 years?

    WTF is going on here?????

    Sigh.

    You know what I really need? I need to go research an article that contains a public statement LBJ made about the decision WHILE PRESIDENT. If I can remember that LBJ was president when it was decided, I know it can’t have been decided in June 1963.

    Who knows, maybe that will work. Nothing else has.

    I am a sad, sad constitutional puppy today.

  • JoeBuddha

    Case in point: I consider ritual cannibalism to be abhorrent. However, that doesn’t mean I have the right to forbid the sacrament.

  • Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @llewelly:

    I tried not to think about how you came to conflate provoking someone’s gag reflex with sex,

    What, you really think theocratic catholics haven’t so thoroughly integrated gagging into sex that they become confused about whether or not gagging **is** sex? Hell, that involuntary series of wave-like muscle contractions that is the culmination of sex? For theocratic catholics, it’s never occurred to them that that **isn’t** supposed to be gagging.

    When they think about naughty bits, they gag. When they touch naughty bits, they gag. The moment they think about sex they gag. Hell, when a theocratic catholic thinks about **breasts,** they gag. Now you know why bottle-feeding became so popular in the US.

    This is the source of all the “shove gay [sex, marriage, television shows in which we don’t commit suicide, home-fried potatoes, whatevs] down our throats” comments. They think about your gay, gay home-fries and gag – involuntarily!!!! You’ve given them theocatholiclimax – and they hate you for it.

  • theguy

    @20 – You’re not serious, are you? Cannibalism involves killing another person to obtain food. Even if you’re eating an already-dead person, you may be violating the wishes of their will, and you might contract kuru (according to Wikipedia, kuru is “an incurable degenerative neurological disorder” and “It is now widely accepted that Kuru was transmitted among members of the Fore tribe of Papua New Guinea via funerary cannibalism”)

  • caseloweraz

    Bork: No activity that society thinks immoral is victimless. Knowledge that an activity is taking place is a harm to those who find it profoundly immoral.”…

    This could well be cited to justify the protests against baking cakes for same-sex marriages. Fortunately, its logic leads quickly to untenable conditions. I, for instance, know that many politicians lie, and I find this profoundly immoral; yet I would never claim that the law should bar politicians from lying. There are other remedies, the chief one being the ballot box.

    (The special-interest money which in so many cases induces them to lie is a different matter…)

  • caseloweraz

    TDD7: Next Sunday is Happy Bulimia Day.

    Is that even a thing? I bet he just made it up.

  • caseloweraz

    On the other hand, tomorrow (8 June) really is World Oceans Day. Spare a thought for the seas, please.

  • Akira MacKenzie

    Bork: No activity that society thinks immoral is victimless. Knowledge that an activity is taking place is a harm to those who find it profoundly immoral.”…

    Whatever happened to the right-wing insistence that “you don’t have the right not to be offended?”

  • The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge

    theguy @ 22:

    JoeBuddha was referring to the Catholic Mass. According to them, they’re eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking his blood.

  • D. C. Sessions

    No activity that society thinks immoral is victimless.

    At first I thought, “wanking.” And then I considered Bork’s legal rulings and publications and decided that was a poor example.

  • zenlike

    theguy says

    @20 – You’re not serious, are you? Cannibalism involves killing another person to obtain food. Even if you’re eating an already-dead person, you may be violating the wishes of their will, and you might contract kuru (according to Wikipedia, kuru is “an incurable degenerative neurological disorder” and “It is now widely accepted that Kuru was transmitted among members of the Fore tribe of Papua New Guinea via funerary cannibalism”)

    Even though 20 was talking about the eating of crackers representing the saviours body, I don’t see anything inherently morally wrong with cannibalism.

    As you stated yourself, it doesn’t necessary mean killing someone. And then the killing is already morally wrong. Of course, consent of the deceased is necessary, in that case there is nothing inherently morally wrong with the practice. As you stated yourself, it can be medically unsafe, but that is a separate issue from the moral one.

  • cptdoom

    It’s fascinating to learn that my sister and brother-in-law, who have used birth control throughout their 22+ year marriage, who carefully planned their family to ensure they were out of debt and could afford the expense before having children, and who both took cuts in pay to take jobs that would let them spend more time with their children, are mentally ill. I thought they were pretty much exemplary parents.

    I wonder if my Dad, who got a vasectomy (aka “permanent contraception”) after my Ma nearly died during a spontaneous abortion (her doctors were barred by pre-Roe laws from medically alleviating her suffering) and was told she could never risk another pregnancy was also mentally ill for, you know, wanting his wife alive.

  • whheydt

    As I understand the concept of transubstantiation, the crackers and wine actually *become* the flesh and blood. Now whether it’s cannibalism or theophage depends on just what you think the Nazarene was. So far as I know, under Catholic doctrine, he was both man and god, so it would be both.

    Of course, from where I sit, they’re still crackers and wine. In order to convince me otherwise, I want to see–at the very least–a double-blind test in which a practitioner can consistently tell which crackers have been consecrated and which haven’t. What I’d prefer is a lab test that can tell them apart.

  • Lady Mondegreen

    Powerful religious lobbies didn’t want couples – even married ones – to have access to birth control.

    Rob Boston pulled a punch here. Can we please tell it like it is: these people and others didn’t want women to have access to birth control. Condoms had been available for decades.

    And it wasn’t just religious leaders, or conservatives, who didn’t want women to have access to birth control. Norman Mailer opposed contraception.

  • David C Brayton

    It was interesting to hear about how The Pill was developed. About a year ago, NPR did a long story about it. The thing is, today no one would consider the way the clinical studies were carried out ethical. The rights of the patients were systematically violated because these physicians (mostly men) thought that “they knew best” and the controls on clinical studies were rudimentary at best and often nonexistent.

    The thing that did so much to liberate women from dreadful sexism would not exist today if the researchers were not dreadful sexists.

  • Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @David C Brayton, #33:

    The thing that did so much to liberate women from dreadful sexism would not exist today if the researchers were not dreadful sexists.

    Oh, bullshit.

    The thing that did so much to liberate women from unintended pregnancy

    a) didn’t liberate women from sexism, like, at fucking all, nor was reducing sexism remotely part of the point of the pill (if you invent a pill that reduces sexism, please let us all know)

    and

    b) would still have proven effective and would still have proven “safe” by the FDA standards of the day had the sexist experimenters been less sexist in their attitudes, actions, safeguards, and protocols.

  • Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    JoeBuddha in #20 said:

    Case in point: I consider ritual cannibalism to be abhorrent. However, that doesn’t mean I have the right to forbid the sacrament.

    and so,

    theguy responded in #22:

    You’re not serious, are you? Cannibalism involves killing another person to obtain food. Even if you’re eating an already-dead person, you may be violating the wishes of their will, and you might contract kuru …

    yeah, even if JoeBuddha hadn’t been referring to Christian cracker eating, as I thought he made abundantly clear by the use of “the sacrament,” and which certainly others have made clear since,

    …JoeBuddha is dead right on this one. You don’t seem to notice that among your motivations for banning cannibalism “killing,” “violating the wishes of their will,” and “you might contract kuru,” the legal justification “JoeBuddha finds it abhorrent” does not appear.

    There’s a difference between saying, “My moral abhorrence does not form a legal basis for banning this particular activity” and saying, “there is no legal basis for banning this particular activity”

  • llewelly

    David C Brayton:

    The thing that did so much to liberate women from dreadful sexism would not exist today if the researchers were not dreadful sexists.

    Not true. New contraceptives are still developed today under today’s standards of ethics and informed consent. Those things do make some kinds of science, especially controlled trials, much harder, but they don’t make science in general impossible.

  • llewelly

    D. C. Sessions:

    No activity that society thinks immoral is victimless.

    At first I thought, “wanking.” And then I considered Bork’s legal rulings and publications and decided that was a poor example.

    wanking is only victimless if private or consensual.

  • lofgren

    didn’t liberate women from sexism, like, at fucking all, nor was reducing sexism remotely part of the point of the pill (if you invent a pill that reduces sexism, please let us all know)

    I find this startling because I have long felt that equality between the sexes is impossible without reliable birth control. Without reliable birth control, women accept such a disproportionate risk from sexual contact that parents are quite justified in policing their daughters’ sexuality with extreme prejudice, while sons are left less restricted (abortion and paternity tests help, but preventative birth control is the primary factor that balances the risk). Employers are fully justified in asking probing and invasive questions about a woman’s sex life that they wouldn’t have to ask a man – and fully justified in considering hiring a woman for a position to be a significantly greater risk than hiring a man. Pregnant women are significantly more likely to be a burden on the society as compared to a healthy, non-pregnant women so it’s not unreasonable to use social pressure (e.g. slut shaming) to try to keep women from engaging in voluntary sexual activity. (You might object that this should only apply to PiV sexual activity, but social mores are very rarely so finely expressed.)

    Did the pill instantly liberate women from sexism? No, of course not. But it is the greatest equalizer of sexual risk in the history of humanity, and without that equalizer many of the other strides that women have made would have been significantly more difficult and maybe even impossible. The transformation of our society’s views on sex can be traced almost directly to the advent of safe, affordable, and accessible birth control. Why do you think the religious right is so keen to ban it?

  • narciblog

    Why do we view one as a mental illness, and the other as a right?

    Because one is a mental illness and one is a right. There. That really wasn’t so hard, was it?

  • theguy

    @35 – Okay, I misunderstood JoeBuddha. Sorry to both of you.

    “You don’t seem to notice that among your motivations for banning cannibalism… the legal justification ‘JoeBuddha finds it abhorrent’ does not appear.”

    Well, yeah. I wasn’t sure whether he was serious, and I guess I responded to the wrong idea.

    “There’s a difference between saying,’My moral abhorrence does not form a legal basis for banning this particular activity’ and saying, ‘there is no legal basis for banning this particular activity'”

    In retrospect, I see his point, which is more or less one of my reasons for supporting access to contraception.

  • Anri

    I have to wonder if theDukedog7 is ever gonna get tired of having to bail on thread after thread after thread when his reasoning is shown to be shallow and silly.

    I personally hope he’ll keep plugging away – he’s one of the best living examples of why his side is losing.

  • martinc

    Maybe PT Barnum proposed the law against contraception because he was worried that “There’s a sucker born every minute” might cease to be true.

  • Holms

    #6 the dukedog7

    Next Sunday is Happy Bulimia Day. Same basic idea, applied to nourishment rather than procreation.

    Why do we view one as a mental illness, and the other as a right?

    You seem to be implying that lack of babies is equivalent to lack of nutrition. Why, do you christians eat the babies?

  • igotjesus

    Birth control sucks.

    All people belong to God….He created the whole Earth so he owns it and all the people on it.

    People should try reading up on the Fruit of the Spirit….one of them is self control and self control is a good thing.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if more people weren’t so angry or so manipulative of others and just minded their own business.

    They might just look inside and realize they are connected to God through a personal family tie….a spiritual umbilical cord provided by Jesus.

    God is in control except when people act like the devil and grant the devil control over their lives.

    Doubt there is a devil? Then why are there so many problems…internally and externally?

    It is not material errors…there are too many things unexplained things for it to be all material accidents.

    The media is controlled and who put all the subliminal messaging on the television trying to control human willpower and desire and challenging the individual’s ability to control himself?

    Get Jesus because you are either with him or you are in the enemy’s camp and Jesus’ enemy is no person’s friend.

  • Anna Elizabeth

    @igotjesus – Quote: “Wouldn’t it be nice if more people weren’t so angry or so manipulative of others and just minded their own business.”

    It really would be great if more people minded their own business. My activities with consenting adults are none of your business.

    I don’t need your fairy tails or myths. I was raised Southern Baptist by an abusive cowardly Deacon of that cult, and I’ve left it all behind.

  • raven

    Birth control sucks.

    Naw. You suck. More specifically, you are a dumb and vicious religious kook.

    All people belong to God

    Which god? There are hundreds of gods. Xians only make up 28% of the world’s population. Warped xians like you only make up maybe 1% of the population.

    igotjesus

    No you don’t. You have a sockpuppet god that you made up yourself. That thinks just like you.

    Which is too bad. Your sockpuppet god isn’t very bright, can’t think rationally, and hates everybody and everything.

  • StevoR

    @ 44. igotjesus : Where is your extraordinary evidence for your extraordinary claims here and which god and how do we know your god is the god not another god, goddess or pantheon of gods?

    Birth control has saved many lives and saved many women (& men too) from incredible misery and suffering btw.

    See among plenty of other places :

    http://thegrio.com/2012/07/17/lives-saved-worldwide-with-birth-control/

    Effective use of birth control alone could eliminate the 47,000 maternal deaths caused each year by unsafe abortions, and thereby reduce worldwide maternal mortality rates by 13 percent, according to a series of new research papers published in the Lancet.

    In fact, use of birth control could save the lives of 104,000 women and infants each year overall. Every one percent rise in contraceptive use could mean avoiding 4.3 maternal deaths for each 100,000 live births each year

  • colnago80

    Re igotjesus @ #44

    All people belong to God….He created the whole Earth so he owns it and all the people on it.

    Since according to the born agains like you god is in charge, and life begins at conception, then he is the world’s greatest abortionist because 1/2 of all fertilized eggs fail to implant. Failure to implant is an abortion.

  • raven

    Igotcrazy:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if more people weren’t so angry or so manipulative of others and just minded their own business.

    Sure.

    Xianity isn’t going to help though. Xianity is the disease, not the cure.

    Xians are no better than anyone else. Your fundie perversion of xianity is factually worse. Fundies have higher rates of child sexual abuse, child homicide, and any other social problem you care to name.

    When your religion dies, the world will be a better place. The most religious countries in the world are the most dysfunctional.

  • StevoR

    @ 44. igotjesus :

    God is in control except when people act like the devil and grant the devil control over their lives.

    Doubt there is a devil? Then why are there so many problems…internally and externally?

    A whole lot of reasons depending on what specific problems you mean. Humanity creates plenty of trouble for itself then we have forces of nature hurricanes, floods, storms, droughts heatwaves etc .. (worsened by human emissions of Greenhouse gasses) You don’t need any supernatural element for problems at all.

    Also isn’t your side always telling us its God that creates problems such as plagues, floods (impossibly global!) even wars etc .. for us supposedly disobeying him? Look at what Falwell said about the cause of 9-11 for instance..

    “”I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped this happen.'”[59] Falwell further stated that the attacks were “probably deserved”, a statement which Christopher Hitchens called treasonous.[60]

    Source : Wikipedia Jerry Falwell page. Pat Robertson agreed with him at the time on the program where Falwell said that.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Next Sunday is Happy Bulimia Day. Same basic idea, applied to nourishment rather than procreation. Why do we view one as a mental illness, and the other as a right?

    The guy who said this is a doctor? I fear for his patients.

  • colnago80

    Re Raging Bee @ #51

    Egnorance is a surgeon. All too many surgeons know diddly squat about medicine.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    So far as I can tell, the only evidence we have linking “theDukedog7 .” to Michael Egnor, MD, comes from statements by theDukedog7 ..

    Has anyone seen any confirmation of this from Egnor’s own blog or other public statements?

    And does it depress others as much as it does me to contemplate how a person might exist in such a state that they could consider impersonating Egnor as a step up from their own identity?

  • whheydt

    Re: igotjesus @ #44…

    Oh, look! Another chew toy. Or is it the same chew toy under a different nym?

  • Holms

    #44 igotjesus

    All people belong to God….He created the whole Earth so he owns it and all the people on it.

    Yeah Eru Iluvatar is a pretty cool guy.

    #46 raven

    Which god? There are hundreds of gods. Xians only make up 28% of the world’s population. Warped xians like you only make up maybe 1% of the population.

    Thousands.

  • EnlightenmentLiberal

    No activity that society thinks immoral is victimless. Knowledge that an activity is taking place is a harm to those who find it profoundly immoral.

    The moral, the Aesop, the principle found in several spots in the US constitution and philosophy of the founding fathers is that such concerns are always bullshit and the law and the courts should always rule in favor of self determination over the “harm” caused because some people know that some other people are doing things that they don’t like.

    This is the heart of the free speech protections of the first amendment.

    This is also the entire point of the ninth amendment (IMHO).

    The error seems not sufficiently eradicated, that the operations of the mind, as well as the acts of the body, are subject to the coercion of the laws. But our rulers can have authority over such natural rights only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

    Next Sunday is Happy Bulimia Day. Same basic idea, applied to nourishment rather than procreation.

    Why do we view one as a mental illness, and the other as a right?

    Last I checked, there are no laws criminalizing bulimia. Further, I would be at the front of the fight against laws criminalizing bulimia.

    Having said that, I do think that bulimic people would be happier and otherwise better off if they could work to overcome their problems. However, if someone decided that they want to be bulimic, it is not my place to use the force of law to make them do otherwise.

    That’s the difference between freedom and tyranny. I fight for self determination. You fight for subservience and tyranny.

    As to the particular questions of mental health. Mental health is about qualify of life in this life. There is no evidence that masturbation lowers one’s quality of life in this life, the only life for which we have sufficient evidence for belief. Whereas, there is good evidence that bulimia does drastically impact quality of life, and that’s a big part of the reason why it might be labeled as a mental illness or disorder.

    Read On Liberty by John Stuart Mill for the difference to be explained, at length. The book serves as a good grounding in good liberal thought.

    All people belong to God….He created the whole Earth so he owns it and all the people on it.

    I’m assuming you’re a Christian, Muslim, or Jew.

    As politely as is warranted – fuck you and fuck your god. No one owns me.

    Your god does not exist, but if I’m wrong – if your god does exist – then it would be necessary to destroy it. Nuke god!

    Give me liberty, or give me death!

    Live free or die!

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    All people belong to God….He created the whole Earth so he owns it and all the people on it.

    Actually, huge numbers of Christians agree, explicitly or not, that God knowingly allowed his arch-enemy Satan (whom he also created, BTW, just to add another layer of sheer insanity to all this), and knowingly allowed Satan to pretty much take over the Earth and do whatever he wanted with it. That’s “abandonment,” by any reasonable definition of the word, so no, God no longer owns what he abandoned. Like an absent, negligent parent, God left his kids to fend for ourselves; so like said absent, negligent parent, he gave up all his parenting rights when he shirked his parenting obligations. He can’t just come back from a 2000-year hiatus and expect his kids to call him “daddy” and obey his orders like he never left.

  • Richard Smith

    @Holms (#55):

    #46 raven
    Which god? There are hundreds of gods.

    Thousands.

    Some might even say, legion.