The hypocrisy of “paying for other people”

I am fed up. Truly, deeply fed up. I’m fed up with the arrogance and hypocrisy of the fools who think there’s honestly any reason to oppose women’s free access to birth control other than to eliminate our ability to determine our own destinies. And so I’m about to say something uncharacteristically angry. I don’t apologize for it and I offer no overtures of respect for the Right Wing zealots who think they hold the moral high ground on this issue. Shame on you, America, for your failure to recognize your female population as a group of citizens with the right to self-determination. Shame on you for tolerating blowhards and pompous dictators with crosses on their chests.

I received an ignorant comment just now, and I haven’t posted it because there’s enough vile refuse floating in the public sphere as it is. But suffice to say that it boiled down to this:

“Don’t tell the government to stay out of your reproductive choices and then demand that everyone else pay for you to have sex.”

My commenter is far from alone in this sentiment. In fact, she echoes Rush Limbaugh and all the other drooling windbags who think “taxpayers” are somehow being bled dry for the pleasures of others, of women, as though there is something about “women” that sets them apart from the former category. I have news for you, self-righteous cowards.

Women ARE taxpayers. Women ARE workers. Women EARN their health care every day of the year. If you think for a hot second that a health insurance package is a mere courtesy bestowed on you by a kindly employer, I pity you for sipping the antifreeze so willingly. Do you realize who is really benefiting from that freedom of conscience you so raucously defend? It isn’t you, that’s for sure. You have just given away your rights to decent employment, by framing health insurance as a sort of largess sprinkling down from the corporate king. How easily you sell away your own labors, your own bodies, pretending you haven’t given up your choices because you pay “out of pocket.” Thinking you’re the harder worker because you’ve agreed to accept less than what you’re due. No, I’m afraid that doesn’t make you heroic. It makes you dreadfully, painfully gullible.

Health insurance is part of earned incomeWhen a woman takes a job, she is offered a health insurance package in addition to her paycheck as compensation for her work. Do I hear you saying that’s “entitled”? How droll. A workman is worthy of his hire, isn’t he (1 Timothy 5:18, for those who like references)? Why isn’t a working woman worthy of receiving the fruits of her labor?

When I fill my prescription, I assure you that you aren’t the one paying for it. I am. When I go to the classroom and teach, when I grade papers, when I sit in office hours and coach your children on how to write, I am earning my own birth control. So are you. Whether you pay your own premiums or not, you are exchanging hours of your life for insurance. And if you don’t have insurance – how is that something to be proud of? It means you work for an employer who can’t be bothered to invest in its employees. It means you work for a corporation that finds you disposable, that tells you that you’d be a fool to expect your health to matter. Is that “freedom”? Really? Just because the all-seeing entity that wants to decide your fate doesn’t bear the stamp of the United States government? How utterly naive.

Health insurance is not a courtesy. It’s wages.

Furthermore, you might ask if I support universal health care. Yes, indeed, I do. But halt your crying about the horrible burden of the “taxpayers,” struggling against the weight of my supposed promiscuity (along with most of the women, married or not, in America). Because guess what. I am a taxpayer. You think your taxes are the ones supporting me, supporting the “lifestyle” you so hypocritically disdain. What, then, are my taxes supporting – yours? Shall I stop paying? If it’s you taking care of me one way or another, O mighty “taxpayers”, then perhaps I’ll withdraw my own support from the system since my dollars don’t seem to be doing much good. Good luck to you when you need ventilators, pain relief and open-heart surgery. I’ll be in jail, assuring that you can finally gripe about your taxes supporting me with some feeble shred of honesty.

The truth is, I’m willing to shoulder the burden for the young, the elderly and the disabled because I am a taxpayer who believes in the power of this nation to collectively care for itself. But apparently you aren’t, or at least you demand a paternalistic veto power over the medical decisions of those you claim to support. Again, I have news for you: whether I am receiving universal health care from the government or earning it as part of my own income package, I assure you that you needn’t trouble your heads about my moral choices. Because I don’t rely on your taxes any more than you rely on mine. I am a taxpayer, I am a woman, and I use birth control.

If you consent to let employers of any stripe deny you the insurance that you have worked for, then your blood is on your own hands. I am not so blind as to regard that “freedom” and “personal responsibility” you tout as anything more than corporate robbery. By your own standards, health care is my right. I have earned it. I have paid for it. Although I despise your selfish philosophy and condemn your willingness to see others to their deaths rather than part with a grimy dollar, I assure you that I will not accept your sneers or apologize for the things I do with what I earn. I use birth control. I pay taxes. I earn my health care and I believe in paying it forward to those who can’t yet. And, you arrogant fools, I owe you nothing.

  • Underground Politics (@progressiveup)

    You put into words what millions of women are feeling, including myself. Thank you.

  • Maggy (@Maggyw519)

    Excellent rant! I agree with every word, and YES I am just as fired up as you about this.

  • Nobody

    While I expect to be fired upon and insulted for not completely agreeing with you, I have some honest questions.

    Why is making birth control completely free with insurance an issue that deserves this kind of anger, but making BP or cholesterol or IBS or other meds completely free, not?

    I do consider insurance part of wages. Right now my husband works for a company that has HORRIBLE health care benefits. They are nice people, but it’s a small business and they simply can’t afford the kind of insurance for their employees that we had back when my husband worked for a national corporation. And so my husband is doing what so many people do when they think they’re not being paid enough for the work they do… he’s looking for another job, with the kind of benefits that our family wants and needs. I am baffled by the idea of having the government come in and force this small business to cover this or that, when the fact of the matter is that my husband has the choice as to whether or not to work there, and that there ARE plenty of companies that have the kind of benefits we want. If insurance is simply part of wages (with which I completely agree), how is it reasonable to have the government dictate what kind of wages companies will pay?

    • Sierra

      That first line was unnecessary and inaccurate.

      I’m addressing the national debate about birth control. I do think the government ought to make sure that insurance companies are acting responsibly, so that small businesses can offer reasonable insurance policies. The culprit here isn’t your husband’s employer, it’s the insurance company in bed with larger corporations. I believe in regulation that protects small businesses and helps them compete with larger ones – that’s the sort of thing that protects the free market and discourages monopolies.

      Birth control is the issue du jour because people like Rick Santorum are deliberately trying to make it the issue du jour. It’s not the only issue I care about.

    • Olivia

      The reason BC is different from the other medications you mentioned is that the issue is about covering preventative care. Currently it is standard for most insurance policies to cover all preventative care without co-pays EXCEPT birth control. That is discriminatory to women.

      • Meghan

        Also on that note, it’s an issue because people like Santorum want it out of the picture completely and don’t even want to give us or insurance companies the option of offering it.

      • Hammer time

        Actually blood pressure and cholesterol medications can be considered preventative care. High blood pressure and cholesterol by themselves are generally not pathologic. However, they increase the risk of other problems, such as heart disease or stroke. So by treating high blood pressure and high cholesterol, you “prevent” many cases of these devastating diseases. With Americans already spending significantly more than other countries on healthcare, more requirements will be an even greater stress on the economy.

    • smhll

      You live in a fairly large town where you have choices about where to work?

      In general, all forms of preventive care drive down total healthcare costs. That’s why The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) specified that all *preventive care* should be free with no copayment. The intention is to drive down overall costs (at least slightly) and make insurance a bit more affordable.

      Birth control pills are prescribed by a doctor. Sex is part of most people’s normal lives. (That’s why many insurance plans cover Viagra, at least partially.) People who think contraceptives somehow aren’t medicine are splitting hairs in a strange way.

      If your husband wanted a vasectomy, and your insurance didn’t cover that, I would find that strange. If you had a child coming, they would be on the hook for fairly large expenses.

    • Susie Creamcheese

      Because basically 100% of women are born with a uterus. It isn’t high blood pressure, it isn’t cancer, it isn’t erectile dysfunction, it isn’t cholesterol, it is an issue for every single woman that exists (minus a very small percentage of birth defects, etc.) If you have a uterus, you can become pregnant or have complications from conditions that need this medication in order to be treated (endometriosis, ovarian cysts, PCOS).

      Comparing it with other medications just doesn’t work, this is a quality of life issue for (slightly over) half the population and we pay for it! I go to college that is 60% women and I am required to pay a certain amount per credit hour for the health clinic on campus. So 10% more of the money coming in for healthcare on campus is from the portion of the population that has different specific needs. Birth control is not covered. If men needed a medication just for being a man in order to have the same quality of life, this wouldn’t be an issue.

    • noneoftheabove

      Oh Honey,

      It isn’t about birth control being completely free, any more than it is about any other prescription medication being completely free.

      It is about hormonal female treatments being treated the SAME as any other prescription. It is about not picking out (because of moral reasons) you CAN”T have this drug, or that drug.

      It starts with birth control, where does it end? There are religions that believe you can pray away diabetes. If you die, it’s because you didn’t pray hard enough or believe strong enough. Are they going to demand that their insurance doesn’t cover diabetes drugs for anyone who works for any companies they may work for because they can ‘pray’ it away?

      I feel sorry for your husband. Hopefully, you can get a job with good benefits so your family doesn’t have to be dependent upon these sub-standard benefits. Benefits that are a given in every other 1st world country, that don’t have to be negotiated, that don’t end when you change jobs, that don’t disallow your newborn child for ‘pre-existing’ conditions.

      Bless your heart honey. Your husband can work wherever he wants to work. It should NOT have to mean that you give up your house because your child gets a traumatic brain injury when playing on the playground.

      In a better place (see Canada, which wasn’t part of this recession), everyone gets the same health care, regardless of their employment. They can pay extra for extra coverage (private rooms, etc), which we can do in America. They don’t have to worry that company X has a 20 dollar co pay and company Y has a 2000 deductible. They know what they are getting before they ever look for a job. IT ISN”T tied to your job.

      Government is to take care of the basic needs of the populace – roads, defense, security – and health care is part of that security. We aren’t dogs who eat our young when there isn’t enough food to feed them. We are humans. Humanity means taking care of our ill, our inform, our cold huddled masses yearning to be free.


    • TK

      Because being able to control ones fertility, whatever ones class, has taken humanity out of the dark ages. Look to history or to countries where women don’t have ready or affordable access to birth control and you will also see the poorest countries where women, if considered human, have the fewest rights. Birth control is not some medicine like any other.

  • mysteriousobject015

    It seems to me that people on the Right are trying to say two different things:

    1) “Sexuality is somehow separate from “health” because of the morality they associate with it (sexuality must be restricted to marriage and even then used primarily for the purposes of procreation). Therefore it can’t be part of a legitimate discussion about healthcare.” This is both inaccurate and naive. Any doctor worth his or her salt will tell you that sexuality is intimately related both to physical health and to emotional and psychological well-being. This goes both for people who are sexually active and not sexually active. It’s simply a part of who we are as human beings, even if we choose not to (or can’t) express it with a partner at a given moment. The fact that we are sexual beings means that our sexual organs are always at work even if we are not actively having sex. Therefore, plenty of women take birth control even when they are not sexually active to regulate things like difficult, long, and painful periods, severe acne, potentially life-threatening conditions like ovarian cysts, and hormonally-related mood disorders. These pills make a huge difference in women’s day to day quality of life and their emotional relationships with themselves and other people, even BEFORE they have sex with a male who could possibly impregnate them.

    2) “Providing for women’s sexual health, while a legitimate health issue, is so morally controversial that employers should deprioritize it completely in favor of other services — i.e. it should not be completely covered.” This is also faulty reasoning. It’s true that employers have to make decisions all the time about what they will and will not cover as part of an employee healthcare plan; however, sexual health is so basic a human need that it absolutely needs to be a top priority. Not only would having to pay out of pocket for birth control make it inaccessible to many teenagers and the poor — those whose pregnancies are constantly being bemoaned by the Right as evidence of the collapse of society — but plenty of lower middle class or middle class women may also decide that it’s beyond their budgets to pay for and put themselves at risk for unwanted pregnancies or life-threatening conditions. As Sandra Fluke noted, her friend who went off of contraception which she needed to treat ovarian cysts developed a cyst the size of a tennis ball and had to have her entire uterus removed in a physically traumatic operation.

    As for “paying for other people to have sex,” it falls under both categories. It seeks to separate out sexuality from health AND to paint is as a frivolity which employers shouldn’t pay to condone. I’ve already dealt with both of these arguments. But now I want to point to the hypocrisy of people making this argument. In 2006, research showed that 95% of Americans had had premarital sex ( Assuming that the remaining 5% are members of the Republican Party, that still means that THE VAST MAJORITY OF REPUBLICANS ARE HAVING PREMARITAL SEX. Do all of those people abstain from buying birth control covered by their employers’ insurance? Clearly, no. Once again a case of outright hypocrisy. Not to mention that one of the most prominent mouthpieces on this issue, Rush Limbaugh, has had four marriages and several long-term relationships and has NO CHILDREN. Unless he’s sterile or impotent, he and/or the women he’s been with have been using a heck of lot of birth control. I hope none of his wives took advantage of their insurance plans to buy cheaper or get no-cost birth control, though, because according to him, that would make them prostitutes! And, to use his reasoning, what would that make Rush? Would he be willing to appear in one of the internet sex videos he instructed such women to make?

    We live in a society where the kind of sex condemned by Republican candidates is practiced nearly universally, including by members of their own party. Their moralizing would be hilarious if it wasn’t about to have a dire effect on the lives of millions of adult women whose bodies would have to endure the consequences of their ignorance and misogyny.

    • laughingchickadee

      No no no! Do not suggest that Rush post videos of himself having sex! That megalomaniac will think it’s a good idea and do it! Blech!!!

    • Meghan

      here, here!

  • Lizabeth Farrah Pheters

    :) Enjoyed this :)

  • Cat

    So I’m curious do the extreme right think that married women are being paid to have sex with their husbands when they decide to use birthcontrol?

  • Patricia Burney

    Sierra and mysteriousobject015,

    Thank you for replying to this issue so eloquently and gracefully. I have been so irritated lately I am practically inchoherent. It is refreshing to see my thoughts ordered and clear. (LOL) I hope you don’t mind that I have shared your words as broadly as possible. <3

  • Molly

    Thank you for articulating so perfectly what I would never have been able to say myself. Reading this, seeing the facts presented without insanity, has made me feel a little less helplessly enraged. I came across this on Tumblr, and have posted it to Facebook.:)

  • ygrii blop

    Beautiful! You channeled your rage into a clear, concise, excellent post. Well done.

  • Parodee

    Hush, hush,
    Don’t tell Rush,
    as women, he does seek to crush,
    His bombast streams from Big Sur to Niagra,

    from sea to sea,
    a portrait of misogyny,
    As his insurance covers his Viagra !

  • Puzzled

    People will die if they don’t eat. Is food, lack of which is most certainly life threatening, covered under health care, or are people expected to buy their own food with the money they earn?

    • Snarky Navy Wife

      This derails the argument and doesn’t add to the discussion. Since when does a doctor prescribe “food” from a pharmacist, where the pharmaceutical companies will charge you $100 per meal?

      As stated so well in the original post, prescriptions covered by insurance are a benefit received as compensation for work–with or without a copay, you’re paying for your scrip in full by the hours you give to your job and the service you and your employer pay to the insurance company. A salary is another benefit you get from your employer, and its intent is to cover the cost of food you buy “over the counter” and for way less money.

    • Sean Dickman

      Logical fallacy. Google it.

      And feel free to read the article again. You’ve missed a major point: “Health insurance is part of earned income.”

    • Lostshadows

      There are programs in place to provide food to people who can’t afford it. Why should birth control be any different?

    • Not so puzzled

      I assume no one has addressed this because they find your argument so obviously faulty that they disregard it. However, I can’t help but point out that you use several logical fallacies and fail to make a valid point. Your anology between food and birth control aka MEDICINE is a false analogy. The two are not the same. You then use their vague similarities, such as their benefit to health, to set up a superficial argument, a straw man argument, in which case you attempt to distract the audience by pointing out the ridiculousness of an insurance company covering food and intentionally misrepresent the poster’s original argument in order to try and prove a point. I might also mention that your reply hints at the slippery slope logical fallacy, with you indicating that if bc pills become fully covered, this will somehow lead to some kind of marxist system in which the government or insurance companies are somehow mandated to dispense food and other neccessities…all because the sudden addition of birth control pills to basic health care will call into question whether or not people should pay for their own food.

    • pzbdfm

      You’ve missed the entire point of this post. Women are still paying for their own contraceptives! The only difference is that instead of paying out-of-pocket, we’re covering it with the money already deducted from our pay to cover the benefit package that includes our health insurance. You know, in exactly the same way that Viagra is covered for men? Curious how no one is slut shaming all the men out there with prescriptions for Viagra.

      Please, let me reiterate in layman’s terms: THIS IS NOT A TAXPAYER-FUNDED ISSUE. Your taxes are not going to my contraceptives, MY WAGES are going to my contraceptives. That’s how it works, and because my wages are covering my contraceptives, I don’t see how you or anyone else should have any say.

      As an aside, 98% of American women have used birth control at some point in their lives for both contraception and, more often, regulation of reproductive diseases and disorders – some of which can actually lead to death (like certain hard to diagnose and treat cancers, ie uteran and ovarian cancers). You know what doesn’t lead to death? Erectile dysfunction.

      • Tori

        THIS IS NOT A TAXPAYER-FUNDED ISSUE. Your taxes are not going to my contraceptives, MY WAGES are going to my contraceptives.

        It would be awesome to see this on a t-shirt. :D

        • pzbdfm

          I’m actually in the process of making it into a shirt! :) A couple of my other friends said the same thing. Great minds think alike, eh?

          • Tori

            I would add it to my collection of Shirts Made from Awesome Shit on the Internet. (A collection that is currently a collection of one, having one tank top that says “Obnoxiously Revealing” in reference to a characterization of policing women’s dress via Feministe.) :)

          • pzbdfm

            I need that tank top… it’ll be precious on me because I’m one of them hippie, bra-less ladies. ( I burned a bra once, but it was because the strap was on the stove and I turned on the wrong burner. I still think it counts.)

          • Tori

            I’m trying to find it on CafePress but cannot. Though my order history tells me I purchased it on June 2, so maybe I’ll check out Feministe posts from late May/early June 2011.

    • TK

      Not on food stamps, huh? If only more people supported Planned Parenthood, more low income women could be guaranteed affordable birth control, too.

  • D.

    Linking to this; found via Shakesville.

    Anything else I might say leads to ranting.

  • Tobes

    I had to re-post on my personal facebook page. Thank you so much for writing this. It’s just effing brilliant

  • Lively Granddad

    I loved reading your reasoned approach to this, and still enjoy the red herrings that those who disagree with you throw up w/o really acknowledging the issues. When one cannot respond to logic, point to an irrelevant example that isn’t even tangentially relevant to your concerns.

    Thanks from a 60 year old flaming liberal, who cut his political teeth handing out campaign literature for Goldwater in 1964.

    I am utterly appalled by what used to be the Republican party, and so was Goldwater before he transitioned. Having run out of any real “logic as ammunition” to change minds, the Far Right has resorted to throwing stones and hoping others will throw stones with them at what they don’t like. Thank you very much for putting voice to what many people are thinking.

    As Obi-Wan would have said, “The (Dark Side of the) Force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded.”

  • Lindsay

    Hi, Sierra!

    I found this post through Shakesville’s blogaround, and I very much share your anger. I’ve also been really confused as to why people would think this way … you capture some of that in your post, with the bit about “thinking you’re the harder worker because you’ve agreed to accept less than what you’re due.” I think that probably is most of it, along with anger at people who won’t accept anything less than what they’re due, but it still mystifies me a bit why anyone would make such a disadvantageous bargain.

    One idea I had is that maybe most Americans don’t see themselves really as labor, but as potential employers? There’s an awful lot of rhetoric about how “I don’t wanna have to pay for your [whatever]“, when the person speaking isn’t actually going to be paying for anything.

    Another thought I had was that people’s idea of what money is has been changing; there’s this idea that your money, even when it leaves your hands, should act in accordance with your values. Money isn’t just a means of exchange anymore, it’s also a means of casting moral judgment, voting for or against. So people are concerned about what “their” money is doing even after it’s changed hands a few times, from them to the government to insurance companies, or from their employer to them to insurance companies, or whatever else.

  • Francesca Goldston

    Beautifully said! Shared and I hope this goes viral.

  • RickySchaedeWrites

    Reblogged this on rickyschaedewrites and commented:
    Amen sista!

  • Sara

    i <3 you!!! thanks for saying what needed to be said. thanks for reminding me of my value!

  • Parodee

    Judging by the negative reactions posted, it’s no wonder that so many continue to vote against their own best interests. The sausage-fest that spoke to Congress on the issue was incredulous and the one woman allowed to speak at a separate venue was demonized by the reigning Demon of the Airwaves. To see women speaking against their own reproductive rights is inconceivable (pun intended)!

    …and the demon spoke to them, “Drink the Kool Aid, it’s so refreshing! May you live in the bubble everlasting, Amen”

  • E in MD

    Well said. Well said. We need you in Congress to start slapping some of the ignorant children therein upside their heads with a clue.

  • tracythornton01

    You’re ignoring an important issue… The cost for your various procedures are many times more than what most would consider acceptable. If you don’t realize that every procedure you have raises everyone elses premiums, than you’re the one who’s naive.

    Your contraception, tubal ligations, abortions, etc., need to be elective and paid out of pocket. End of story.

    • Sierra

      So everything pertaining to women’s reproductive health is elective and not worthy of coverage, eh? Your misogyny is showing.

      • HellsCook

        So Tracythornton01, would you say the same thing about substantially MORE expensive procedures, like kidney dialysis? And in that case, what is the point of health insurance?

    • Fraoch

      And the same could easily be said about your Viagra, vasectomy, prostate exams or type 2 diabetes medication.

  • Pingback: Equal Pay for Equal Work « A Bookish Beemer

  • Fluffydragon

    Thank you – I’ve reshared on my FB page. It’s amazing what people (::cough:: old cranky white men) don’t consider basic medical needs.

    • Lively Granddad

      I know it’s horrible to generalize, but just letting you know that a lot of old cranky white guys are cranky for the correct (liberal) reasons and on the lines with those we cherish and are allowed to protect in love. If you’re going to generalize, then generalize it as “old cranky Republican white men” so it doesn’t include us!

      • Sierra

        Knowing that people like you exist is what makes me really love humanity. As much as other people put us into boxes, we are always breaking out of them and burning them up. :)

      • Lively Granddad

        Lol, Interesting you should mention “boxes”! This was my FB post today:

        Why would anyone want to “think outside the box” when they can choose to get OUT of the box altogether? How about “live outside the box” instead? Why? Because that ‘box’ you live in that defines your beliefs is made up of someone else’s limited beliefs and cultural walls that has been created to make THEM comfortable, not to free you to be the best you can be. Just remember, sheep are easier to control when penned up.

  • Kathy

    Well said…and I normally don’t comment.

  • Thankful for living in the bible belt!

    I expect my reply to be inundated by angry mobs of Feminists but frankly I don’t care. I think Feminists such as yourself are tantamount to the multitudes of “African Americans” (is that the current PC term for them?) who DEMAND undue respect and “benefits” because they simply feel they “deserve” them. Healthcare is not wages, it is a BENEFIT. It is people like you and your “followers” who are pulling this country away from it’s Christian foundation. You can babble on endlessly about us “right-wing zealots” and “pompous dictators with crosses on our chests” the fact is that this country was FOUNDED on that cross you so callously mock.

    It’s a sad day when we have TEACHERS spewing trash and name-calling. Shame on you. I’m not only GLAD that my kids have CHRISTIAN teachers, I am PROUD that they do. Our country is spiraling down the commode of feminism and equality thumpers. Those who so forcefully demand their rights to equality and whatever other crap they label under their civil liberties are just putting on a front for their real desires – to overtake the rest of the population. It never has and never will be about equality. It’s about who gets the bragging rights to say “Ha ha we beat you” The blacks, excuse me “African Americans”, did it, now this new wave of femi-nazis is taking over the fight. If gays and lesbians had it there way the majority would probably outlaw heterosexual marriage just because they could.

    When the time comes you will ALL have your equality – you will all be as equally miserable in hell while those of us who live RIGHTEOUSLY according to GOD’s word will reap everlasting life by his side. We will continue to be blessed here on earth.

    It is your right to be able to TAKE birth control – it should NOT be your RIGHT to get it free. On that premise we should just make everything free. Someone, somewhere believes it is their right to have it…whatever “it” may be. So let’s just throw the monetary system out the window and just start handing everything out to everyone.

    Romans 8:38-39
    For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord

    Romans 10:9-10
    That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

    I pray that you will see the error of your ways before it is too late. That you may find salvation through Jesus Christ and come to know life everlasting. Should this day never come you will reap the consequences.

    • Lively Granddad

      My prayers go out to you and for you, that you first learn your American history, and that at some point you open your heart to see Jesus, not what others others have told you to say about him.

      I don’t know who has misled you but you can read the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Nowhere can you find the term “God”, “Christianity”, or “Jesus”.

      The United States was never founded as a Christian Nation, and to say so is to actually create a lie.

      Though perhaps a majority of people might have subscribed to some belief system at the time that would have been considered “Christian”, they believed and put into place a Constitution that makes the greatness of the United States be that it allows for no religion or religious body to dictate the behaviors and beliefs of others yet provides the freedom for even wackos like the Westboro Church to practice their own religion as they see fit. They just can’t decide to make their beliefs the law of the land with the Constitution that we have, and no amount of lying about history can change the truth that the US was not constituted as a Christian Nation.

      I appreciate all that you say you believe, having been there but moved on in my understanding of God, but referring to Bible verses only works for someone who is “inside the story” — it has as much weight as someone quoting verses of the Koran to prove a point. In both cases I and many others are “outside the story” or at least outside the story as you have interpreted it, and raising this as an issue has as much weight as if the Taliban were frothing mad at us for not believing in Allah as they believe we should.

      Please, I ask you to appreciate the freedom to practice our religious beliefs, and our freedom to not practice any religious beliefs, as the only story about religion that is told in the Constitution.

    • Tori

      Thank you for this. I needed a good laugh today. :)

    • Fraoch

      Damn straight I demand equality. I am not less than – and I have read the Bible and found it lacking.

      Perhaps you should read the Bill of Rights again. And then ask an adult to explain what Separation of Church and State means. Then look up the Treaty of Tripoli and Jefferson’s Bible.

      Your religion has no place in my government or my health care.

      And one more thing – this snobby, over-educated slut votes, as is my right.

  • Theresa

    Thank you so much for speaking so eloquently and humanely on this difficult subject, which shouldn’t be difficult or a subject needing discussion at all.

  • boheime

    If a government is going to allow a special interest group into bullying the government until it allows said special interest group to disrciminate (religious, gender, or otherwise), than that government had very well be ready to step up.

    Thank you for a well thought out response to current affairs.

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  • Lemur


    hope you don’t mind that I posted your words to not only my facebook, but sent it to Melissa at Shakesville as well. This is brilliant and eloquent and I’ll be posting this everywhere I possibly can.
    Thanks for brilliant articulation, and everything else remaining unsaid.


    • Sierra

      Thanks! And thanks to the rest of you that shared my writing. I’m really glad so many of you are finding it useful. :)

      • rosemerry

        Thanks so much Sierra. If most self-defined “Christians” were like you there would be no problems. I came here through Qiverfull, and am appalled that the people who control every aspect of their children’s lives as “christian” are so numerous and harmful. The whole selfrighteousness shown by US extremists wanting to police the world is very frightening to an outsider. I am an Australian now living in France, and religion is a private matter not pushed on others. People are generally accepting of others, and as a public schol teacher I was delighted to see the varied opinions expressed by thoughtful students.
        I started on “the pill” in 1962. It is hard to believe the USA can have so many backward “lawmakers” interfering in private lives while enthusiastically supporting weapons and war.

  • Fraoch

    Sierra –

    I just found your blog through a link from a friend. I wanted to thank you for such a logical and thorough argument. You are a great inspiration.

  • mewho

    Thank you. As a woman who has used birth control both to prevent unwanted pregnancy at a time having a baby would have been financially impossible AND a woman who has used it to mitigate health issues, I couldn’t agree more. I pay for my own medicine, and nobody has a right to deny me what I need for my health and life.

  • John Rowe

    You could make the same arguments to have tax payers pay for condoms for every 19 year old drunken frat boy. Total nonsense. I agree that everyone should have ACCESS to birth control, but that does not mean I should not have to pay for it.

    Keep your hands off my wallet. Pay for your own birth control like the rest of us.

    • Sierra

      Reading comprehension: epic fail.

    • Mrs.golfer

      Actually the health insurance I PAY for would be paying for it, not you. Did you actually read the post?? If so, I suggest going back to school and try those reading comprehension tests. I actually don’t mind paying, but let me pay my co-pay of $7 per pack like all of my other generic meds.

  • Claire Kelly

    Amazing! Thank you for this logical, informed, and well thought out article. I have been pulling my hair out in frustration in response to the blatant attempts to ‘put the women folk back in their place’ that’s been going on around here. Never in my life have I been so embarrassed to be a white, heterosexual woman in America. Your article makes me feel so much better, knowing I’m not alone, I’m not crazy and WE aren’t falling for it. Any women sticking up for or agreeing with these idiots are traitors to the rest of us. I couldn’t be more shocked if a Jew espoused the benefits on Nazi-ism, having read some of the comments of women who agree with Rush Limbaugh. The thing is, if ‘they’ really want us to return to The ‘barefoot and pregnant’ era with the women relying on the men in their lives to provide, everyone should remember why we stopped living that way in the first place…it wasn’t because we got birth control. We got birth control because we finally figured out we couldn’t keep relying on the men to handle it.
    Good work lady. Keep it up. ;)
    C. Kelly

  • Janice Dodson

    I thank you for speaking for me so cogently and eloquently.

  • rosemerry

    If the USA, like a civilised nation, had universal health care, none of this disgusting “discussion” would be needed. Roe vs Wade was about women’s privacy. That seems to have gone, like freedom of speech. As for blaming women, because they have the babies, when men are the ones causing the pregnancies!
    The USA already has the highest % of teenage pregnancies in the developed world; are more really needed?

  • an american in ghana

    standing ovation.

    I, too, am sharing on facebook. You’ve got the balance just right between reason and anger, disbelief and fact. Thank you.

  • shadowspring (@shadowspring1)

    The Catholic hospital claiming that they are religiously opposed to birth control coverage are hardly small. Often religiously affiliated hospitals are the only hospital around for hundreds of miles out on the Great Plains. They have regional monopolies on the health care industry. In size, they are far more comparable to your husband’s former employer than his current employer.

    No one opposed birth control coverage on the grounds that it cost too much, so that is a red herring. Birth control is much cheaper than giving birth, as far as medical expenses go But according to the religiously motivated objections, cost is not the issue.

    Also, I do wonder why you (and others) start off an opinion with a statement that you expect other people will behave badly toward you? Is it just a passive-aggressive way of insulting people before they have done anything “wrong”, or are you really that afraid of the rest of humanity? That seriously baffles me, and you are not alone in doing it. How odd..

    • shadowspring (@shadowspring1)

      The above comment should have appeared as a reply to “nobody”. Not sure why/how it got rearranged when I signed in.

  • Louisa

    I just found your blog, and I’m totally thrilled-I’ve never found anything else like this, from the perspective of someone who has left a super conservative religious community(for me, it was baptists. Like, duggar-style)

    I love you. You’re awesome!