It’s the end of the world — chaos, the apocalypse, and well-woman visits

Today, August 1, is either:

A. Cause for celebration for 47 million American women who, as of today, gain “access to eight new prevention-related health care services without paying more out of their own pocket,” according to Health and Human Services; or

B. Cause for calamity, woe, despair for all patriots and Christians who, as of today, witness the death of religious liberty, the death of the Constitution and the End of America, according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

So it seems that HHS and the USCCB have rather different views as to what today signifies. Who should we heed? I’m thinking that maybe the all-male, authoritarian patriarchy commissioned to enforce religious obedience might not be the best source of information on women’s well-being and/or religious liberty. So let’s go with HHS.

Health care law gives women control over their care, offers free preventive services to 47 million women,” says the press release from the agency (via):

Previously some insurance companies did not cover these preventive services for women at all under their health plans, while some women had to pay deductibles or copays for the care they needed to stay healthy. The new rules in the health care law requiring coverage of these services take effect at the next renewal date – on or after Aug. 1, 2012—for most health insurance plans. For the first time ever, women will have access to even more life-saving preventive care free of charge.

According to a new HHS report also released today, approximately 47 million women are in health plans that must cover these new preventive services at no charge.  Women, not insurance companies, can now make health decisions that will keep them healthy, catch potentially serious conditions at an earlier state, and protect them and their families from crushing medical bills.

Specifically, the eight preventive-care provisions that, as of today, will no longer entail any out-of-pocket costs for 47 million American women are:

  • Well-woman visits.
  • Gestational diabetes screening that helps protect pregnant women from one of the most serious pregnancy-related diseases.
  • Domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling.
  • FDA-approved contraceptive methods, and contraceptive education and counseling.
  • Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling.
  • HPV DNA testing, for women 30 or older.
  • Sexually transmitted infections counseling for sexually-active women.
  • HIV screening and counseling for sexually-active women.

In other words, health insurance must cover preventive health care for women.

In other words, the U.S. Catholic bishops and their evangelical “co-belligerents” are anti-preventive health care for women.

Anti-prevention. Anti-health. Anti-care. Anti-women.

Just ponder how many wrong turns a religious leader has to take to wind up so far from love. It’s astonishing.

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  • cjmr

    FDA-approved contraceptive methods, and contraceptive education and counseling.”

    Not quite.  Only PRESCRIPTION FDA-approved contraceptive methods.    And only for NEW insurance contracts.  

    If you can’t use prescription contraception (the pill, IUD, the ring, Norplant, etc.)–you still pay full price for your over the counter method.  

    If your open season is not until December and your new contract year starts January 1, you won’t see a change until then.

  • Jim Roberts

    This varies quite a bit from carrier to carrier and state to state – yours might, but it’s being implemented in various different ways by various different companies. Some even cover the things you list as over the counter as pharmacy.

  • michael mcshea

    Look at all this trouble Eve caused by eating a pomegranate in the Garden of Eden by listening to Jack the Snake.  Little wonder the male bishops and other male overseers don’t know Jack or any other female related things to this day.

  • abobymous

    That’s funny, because Jesus did His own “Well-Woman visit” in John 4, and didn’t think that “religious liberty” or any other nonsense should stop Him from helping out women.

    Maybe all those opposed to women’s health services should read John 4 again.

  • Trynn

    Or they could read the story of how Jesus healed the woman with an issue of blood… Seriously, I hope this affects me. I take bc for health reasons, and it’s expensive.

  • Tonio

    I just had a disturbing mental image – the bishops and evangelicals forcing women to live in Matrix-type life-support pods where they’re human Pez dispensers, re-impregnated as soon as possible after each delivery.

  • Jim Roberts

    They already tried that in Romania. It didn’t end well.

  • ako

    Wouldn’t work.  If all of the women were in pods, the men would have to cook, clean, and raise kids all by themselves.

  • Magic_Cracker

    Silly. That’s what the robots are for.

  • Tonio

    Heh. There seems to be a sexist belief that runs through numerous cultures, which is that each woman has a sole or primary responsibility to society to bear and raise children. At best, such beliefs treat anything else a woman chooses to do with her life as secondary. The idea that this would make sense in societies with high infant morality rates or low fertility rates sounds like a convenient excuse, since the custom really benefits patriarchs in societies where women and children are considered property.

    Aside – I used to think of the “women and children first” practice for marine emergencies as just an Edwardian notion of chivalry. But recently I heard an older relative answer a child’s question about by saying “Because women bear children.” And I’ve read that among some firefighting companies, single or divorced men sometimes marry the widows of their fallen comrades to serve as providers. Maybe the real reason for “women and children first” was to put the newly widowed women back on the market, so single men back on shore could have families simply by marrying.

  • Winter

    It’s been done, and it’s about as disturbing and creepy as you think.

    Spoilers for later Dune novels:

    Axlotl tanks turn out to be something along those lines. Herbert never gives many details, but they’re used to grow clones and genetically engineered humans and, eventually, artificial Spice.

  • Marc Mielke

    Done even creepier by Herbert in an earlier novel, Hellstrom’s Hive. Any useful description would be somewhat triggering, I expect. 

  • Tonio

    I’m glad that Fred is staying away from explicitly stating that contraception has uses other than enabling non-procreative sex. That argument allows opponents to set the terms of the debate, implicitly endorsing their false belief that non-procreative sex is wrong.

  • ako

     It’s one of those frustrating points where they’ve set up their argument so it’s nearly impossible to argue the other side without sounding like you’re implicitly agreeing with at least one of their false premises.  Argue that non-procreative sex isn’t inherently wrong, and they take that as support for their false claim that contraception only exists for people to have sexual pleasure without the ‘consequences’ (for their artificially restrictive definition of the word).  Point out that contraception has other medical uses in addition to preventing conception, and they take it as implicit agreement that people having sex for reasons other than baby-making is inherently bad.  Argue both points, and you can easily end up with a wishy-washy, “That’s not true!  And there wouldn’t be anything wrong with it if it were!”

  • Tonio

     Valid point. Usually I point out the double standard, because they fret only about women having non-procreative sex, and then say that an individual’s reproductive decisions aren’t for others to judge.

  • Albanaeon

     However, interesting things do happen when you come out swinging with “What exactly is wrong with people having recreational sex?”  Most of these people are so used to having the “moral high ground” on that it takes them a few moments to recover.

    Then you’re usually in “Bible says…” territory and you have the same boring old argument.  But that one moment?  Priceless…

  • Kirala


    However, interesting things do happen when you come out swinging with
    “What exactly is wrong with people having recreational sex?”

    Not being Catholic, I don’t run across too many people who have a problem with recreational sex – and I’m in a Southern evangelical church. It’s the sex-outside-heterosexual-monogamous-marriage that’s an issue. (And therefore contraception outside this context. Which is obviously wrong for so many reasons.) But this is what baffles me about the contraception thing: so very few people think contraception is inherently immoral. How does it become such a major issue?!

  • Fusina

     I have come to suspect it is something along the lines of contraceptives allow women to have sex with the same consequences that men generally enjoy. But I could be wrong.

    I am for contraceptives and plan to get them for my daughter in hopes of helping her avoid the potentially terminal endometriosis I suffered from until I finally got the insurance company to cover a hysterectomy. The endometrial tissue had wrapped around my ureters (feels like you have kidney stones, but they don’t find any when they do an ultrasound, just so people know), and was invading the spaces around my small intestine, and if it had continued, I would have died. Or so stated my surgeon after the operation.

  • Fusina

     Err, to clarify, no period, no endometrial tissue sloughing.

  • The_L1985

     Because the official stance of the Vatican is that there is, or should be, no such thing as recreational sex within a marriage.

    According to the Vatican, sex has 2 purposes:  strengthening the marital bond, and making (or trying to make) babies.  Therefore, sex which doesn’t fit both of these criteria, including contraceptive use by faithfully-married couples, is immoral.

    I have actually been taught in CCD that condoms are an affront to God because:
    a) genitals are no longer touching, so it’s somehow less intimate than sex is “supposed” to be, and
    b) it prevents the possibility of conception.

    Naturally, most lay Catholics don’t agree with the Vatican on this issue.

  • Ross Thompson

    I have actually been taught in CCD that condoms are an affront to God because:
    b) it prevents the possibility of conception.

    No it doesn’t. It just reduces it significantly. But apparently Catholics think that a thin layer of rubber is more powerful than any miracle their God could perform (c.f. iron chariots).

    You know what does prevent pregnancy? At least, far more than condoms ever did? Not having sex. Why aren’t the Bishops wagging their fingers at all the married couple who aren’t having sex right now? Don’t they know that they’re preventing a special little snowflake from being made?

  • AnonymousSam

    It has happened. That’s why we have Quiverfulls.

  • Ross Thompson

    Even Quiverfulls have been observed not having sex.

  • AnonymousSam

    I’m pretty sure “as much as humanly possible” is still a valid qualifier, even in the eyes of the church. :p

    Still, “Have as many children as you feel God wants you to” is a common non-answer to this question which implies “as many as you think you can get away with.” A few random searches drew up frequent use of the phrasing “as many children as you can support.” So the idea is still there.

    I do recall seeing a mandate at some point for a Great Britain country’s Christian populace to have as many children as possible in order to combat the rise of their non-white, non-religious populous, but I don’t think it was the Catholic Church making that mandate. Might have been, but I’d think I would have found it while searching…

  • BringTheNoise

     genitals are no longer touching, so it’s somehow less intimate than sex is “supposed” to be

    Further evidence that taking sex advice from old men with vows of chastity is a bad idea…

  • Kirala


    Because the official stance of the Vatican is that there is, or should be, no such thing as recreational sex within a marriage.

    Oh, I totally understand the Catholic stance. I think it’s based on prejudice, misogyny, and bad exegesis, but I get it. What I don’t get is the non-Catholic right-wingers who are backing up the Vatican on this in American politics. There are fundagelical movements of a non-Catholic type that are anti-contraceptive in general, but… so very few. Contraception isn’t nearly as unpopular as abortion. So I’m befuddled by this newly discovered religious right.

  • Dave

     My preferred counter to trick questions of this sort is to address the issue, rather than answer the question. “Contraception is valuable for lots of reasons, such as women’s health and avoiding unwanted pregnancies” or something of the sort.

  • Invisible Neutrino

    I’m very happy to hear that aspects of the ACA are now kicking in! I do fear that insurance companies will refuse to amend insurance agreements signed up for prior to this date, and I hope any regulatory authorities will come down on the side of the women being denied these important options.

  • aunursa

    A very light drizzle on your parade.

  • BringTheNoise

    It’s a temporary injunction until the case is resolved, only enforceable against the plaintiff. It’s a single drop of rain, at least for now.

  • LL

    Silly Fred. Vaginas are icky (we’ll forget the inconvenient fact that Christianity’s Lord and Savior came out of one). Even though it’s the 21st century and it makes us look like a bunch of ignorant 12-year-old boys, we’ll try to throw everything even tangentially related to vaginas (including, of course, the people who have them) into a box marked DO NOT OPEN. 

    It’s what God would want. You just haven’t read the Bible carefully enough to figure this out.

  • Tonio

    I couldn’t find the old entry, but I remember Fred making an excellent point that the “conscience” argument against the contraception mandate distorts the concept of conscience. And he addressed this in a different way in the Once-ler entry. I would be interested in how he sees the stances of a Catholic employer and a Chick-fil-A boycotter as dissimilar. Offhand,one difference as contraception use doesn’t harm others and funding to keep SSM illegal does.

  • Gotchaye

    I worry that that’s too much of a “we’re right and they’re wrong” kind of distinction.  There are certainly times when we have to make that kind of distinction, and we have some reason to say that someone boycotting CFA is doing fine but someone boycotting Amazon (because of Bezos’ promised donation to pro-SSM causes, or pick some uncontroversially left-wing seller) is doing wrong.  But that’s a last line of defense.  It doesn’t actually provide an independent norm to dissuade people who don’t already agree with us on the underlying political issue that their proposed action isn’t permissible, and it’d be a weird thing to argue instead of just arguing about the underlying political issue directly.

  • Tonio

    How does pointing out the harm on one side amount to “we’re right and they’re wrong”? I thought I was providing an independent norm. Your hypothetical Amazon boycott doesn’t get at my point, which is comparing two types of conscience arguments, not two boycotts. 

  • Gotchaye

    I substituted an Amazon boycott to make sure that the only difference between the two  situations was that one agent was causing harm and one wasn’t.  You (we) want to say that the CFA boycott is fine and that what the
    Catholics were (are?) doing is wrong.  You offered a standard that might
    allow us to make that determination.  The CFA boycott is different in many ways from employees of Catholics not getting contraception covered, and I wanted to test the standard you suggested rather than allowing some other factor to make the difference.  It seemed to me that your standard would lead us to say that the hypothetical Amazon boycott is wrong because Bezos isn’t hurting anyone by funding pro-SSM causes.  The problem is that the standard reason to think that it’s wrong to oppose SSM at all is that that’s a form of harm.

    My point was that, if that’s true, you’re not really saying anything interesting about conscience arguments.  Whether and to what extent they are permissible or obligatory is just a function of whether or not the person’s conscience is actually leading them towards the good.  “That’s harmful” is either an argument against particular conscience claims or an argument against the underlying position, but it’s not independently an argument against both.

    That is, you seemed to me to be saying that what makes the Catholic employers wrong is just that it’s not wrong to use contraception, and what makes the CFA boycott permissible or correct is just that it’s wrong to oppose SSM.  So boycotting responsibly requires having the right position on the underlying issue (SSM, here), and that’s all there is to it.

    Put yet another way, can you give an example of a successful conscience argument, according to your standard, on behalf of a position that is itself wrong?  If not, then it doesn’t seem to me that there can be an independent norm there.  It’s entirely possible that you can, and even that you do have one in this case, if you think that SSM opponents are decisively wrong for reasons that don’t have to do with harming others; that’s just how I interpreted you.

  • Tonio

      It seemed to me that your standard would lead us to say that the hypothetical Amazon boycott is wrong because Bezos isn’t hurting anyone by funding pro-SSM causes.

    My point wasn’t about the boycotts themselves but their goals. How would my question look if the CfA opponent took some other action to protest the company’s funding of FRC and Exodus?

    The problem is that the standard reason to think that it’s wrong to oppose SSM at all is that that’s a form of harm.

    Would you explain how that’s a problem?

    Put yet another way, can you give an example of a successful conscience argument in favor of something like a boycott, according to your standard, which is motivated by a position that is itself wrong?

    The premise behind my question is Fred’s contention that the conscience argument doesn’t work in the case of the Catholic employer. It’s one thing to  not want one’s money to support political campaigns to deny gays equality. That’s fair game because it’s about how an entity is treating others. It’s another to not want one’s money to help provide access to contraception, because that’s about how individuals are treating themselves in their personal lives. A conscience argument might work if the employers were actually being forced to use contraception, and as Charity noted above, the stance of the bishops is that being forced to allow contraception coverage is just as bad.

     I want to be able to say that everyone should be able to agree that the Catholic employers are in the wrong, even if we don’t agree about whether or not contraception is moral or not harmful.

    I doubt that one can arrive at the former without a premise that individuals are justified in deciding for themselves whether to use contraception, and that premise would seem to require that contraception use is morally neutral. A stance that its use is morally wrong leads to the conclusion that individuals have no justification in using it.

  • Gotchaye

     So, as far as I can tell, we agree about what you were saying – you weren’t offering an independent norm to judge particular conscience arguments.  The norm basically reduces to “conscience arguments work iff the target of the proposed action is in the wrong”.  And there’s not really any point to arguing about the conscience argument (for the legitimacy of a boycott, for example) instead of about the underlying position (the moral status of SSM, for example) because one’s position on the two is linked in this way, in that what one thinks of the first depends on what one thinks of the second.

  • teflaime

    Just ponder how many wrong turns a religious leader has to take to wind up so far from love.”

    As someone who spends most of his time defending his rights from the predations of the religious right, this statement is upside down to me. To me, it makes perfect sense that religious leaders do act from love. From my vantage, religion and therefore religious leaders are about control, not love. They want to control how we live, control how we love, control who we love, control how we spend our money and vote for our politicians. They want to enslave us to their desires.  I do not find it at all odd that religious leaders are where they are. 

  • Latoya Stewart

    The only thing I can conjecture about the religious authorities’ unwillingness to endorse reproductive health care as a right is they don’t give a damn whether we women die. They know good and well the consequences of denying preventable services and they just don’t care.

    They’d rather have a bunch of dead women since they truly believe that their deaths will be a just punishment for having a sexuality…and being uppity women who think they’re as good as men.

    There is absolutely no reason to give these men any say on my health. You wouldn’t put anti-semites in charge of the Israeli health system. So why the hell do people think it’s reasonable at all to give a bunch of men who want me dead in charge of my health?

  • Latoya Stewart

     Hey, why is this showing under my Facebook?! Aack!

  • Nicolae Carpathia

    I strongly suspect that many Quiverfull-adherent couples secretly use the rhythm method to time their, er, “efforts” to line up with the unfertile days, therefore using the Quiverfull doctrine as an excuse for guilt-free sex with less danger of having more kids to feed.

  • AnonymousSam

    Hello, Antichrist!

    Is the rhythm method covered under “natural family planning”? I saw one Catholic saying that was the method God had provided to let families control their reproduction.

    To quote I Will Fear No Evil though,

    “We have a nasty word for women who use the rhythm method.”

  • Charity Brighton

     How did they know that God did not also provide more effective means of contraception? It kind of seems implausible that an omnipotent deity would be responsible for something that… shoddy. It’s like saying that God invented the Kia but not the Corvette.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    How did they know that God did not also provide more effective means of contraception?

    “I sent three boats and a helicopter!”

  • AnonymousSam

    The logic I have heard behind the arguments for that basically equate to “This is humanity doing Satan’s work.” Otherwise, you could apply the same argument to everything on Earth, good and bad. Which some people also do, come to think of it. We have a word for those people too — jerkasses.

  • Charity Brighton

     OK, but they’re accepting the notion that human beings should have the right to decide — at least on some level — how many children they should have. What they’re quibbling over is different methods on achieving that. If the rhythm method is OK, why not condoms? An IUD?

    If it has to do with relative fallibility (the rhythm method is obviously not the best form of contraception, if you even want to call it that), then couldn’t an enterprising Catholic business unveil a new line of deliberately flawed condoms (special holes drilled into them) that work better than the rhythm method but not as well as ordinary condoms? Drug researchers could probably even find some way to mess with the Pill. Or maybe something like that would be impossible, but it doesn’t sound as if anyone has even tried.

  • Gotchaye

     IANA Catholic, but the church has a long history of making a big distinction between doing on the one hand and allowing or refraining on the other.  Their doctrine used to be wrong by their own standards, but I think they’ve now recognized that double effect justifies using a condom to prevent HIV transmission, and presumably that extends to other non-contraceptive uses of contraception where the non-contraceptive use is the primary intention (basically, you can use contraception for another medical purpose as long as you feel bad about it functioning as a contraceptive and the medical purpose is important enough).

    The problem with a holey condom for holy sex is that someone is still acting to reduce the chances of pregnancy for a particular sex act in order to accomplish same.  The rhythm method gets a pass because there’s no guilty act – not having sex isn’t wrong.  Using a condom in an HIV-discordant relationship gets a pass because the contraceptive effect isn’t intended, in a Catholic-y sense.

  • AnonymousSam

    If I understood their logic, I could potentially agree with it (unlikely since it’s implicitly contingent on belief in a god who cares that much about what we do in bed). I have reached the extent of my ability to project myself into their shoes, so this devil’s advocate rests.

    Chicken or the ovum: Do I not agree with them because I don’t understand their logic, or do I not understand their logic because I don’t agree with them? In religion, this question makes sense!

  • Charity Brighton

     Eh, I think it falls apart either way. Their logic doesn’t make sense because it was constructed to make people feel better about doing something that they think their religion opposes. Most Catholics in the West either use or tolerate contraception, but some of them think that it’s wrong, so some people in the Church came up with this Byzantine framework where the use of contraception is both unacceptable and tolerated. It’s the equivalent of coming up with a strict vegan diet that lets you eat large amount of meat and dairy products.

    And that’s fine with me in this case. I certainly wouldn’t want to live in a world where everyone who self identifies as a Christian has to live up to the strictest interpretation of their faith.

    The problem with a holey condom for holy sex is that someone is still acting to reduce the chances of pregnancy for a particular sex act in order to
    accomplish same.  The rhythm method gets a pass because there’s no
    guilty act – not having sex isn’t wrong.  Using a condom in an
    HIV-discordant relationship gets a pass because the contraceptive effect
    isn’t intended, in a Catholic-y sense.

    I guess that works. It does make the contraception mandate thing seem even sillier now. If it’s more tolerable to allow something (as long as you’re not actively involved in causing it), then why are they so worried about rules that the HHS is imposing on insurance companies? I can understand the distinction between the two, and I can understand why they wouldn’t be happy about it, but their rhetoric actually suggests that being forced to allow contraception coverage is just as bad as being forced to use it. 

    It’s probably just politics; if they applied the same standard to this that they do with condom use, they wouldn’t be able to electioneer quite as vigorously, but I still don’t respect the arbitrary double standard.

  • AnonymousSam

    Considering how old many of the higher ups in the Catholic church are, they probably have fond memories of the church having absolute power. After all, it wasn’t all that long ago that contraception was illegal in the US and other countries. Griswold vs Connecticut was 1965, Roe vs Wade was 1973, and Lawrence vs Texas was 2003. They probably viewed each of these as further evidence that the United States was slipping into depravity and now they’re scrambling to decry it all and reclaim their former glory.

  • PJ Evans

     Ah, they’re playing “Vatican roulette’. It worked so well that one of the Catholic families in my childhood neighborhood had ten kids. (Well, eleven, but the last one died not long after birth.)

  • MaryKaye

    Let’s celebrate.  In the last analysis, the anti-women’s-lives crew had their best shot at this one, and they didn’t stop the ACA.  That will mean fewer unwanted pregnancies, fewer sick and dying women, less HIV transmission, fewer women driven into poverty by their medical needs.  It’s not perfect, it’s not a full solution, but it’s an improvement.  And I always figure, the journey is long and hard, any chance to celebrate along the way is worth taking.

  • Invisible Neutrino

    Hi, all.

    I’d like to just signal boost again if I could – I’ll be in Chicago from the 12th to the 17th. Any Slackti-denizens in the area who care to meet? If so, just comment on my blog – it stores the email address of anon commenters, I believe.

  • Lunch Meat

    To me, it’s very obvious the difference between people complaining about Chick-fil-A’s corporate donations and the Catholic Church complaining about what their employees are able to use their insurance on. Those of us who are against CFA are boycotting it, while the Vatican is lobbying to restrict what insurance covers. Boycotting is acceptable; affecting legislation to restrict what people can do with their compensation is not. If the Catholic Church really wanted to take a principled stand against “their” money being used on immoral things, they would get out of the business of hiring people who don’t share their religious convictions…like we have gotten out of the business of buying from CFA.

  • Gotchaye

    There’s an enforcement problem and, depending on the position, a discrimination problem with that.  I can easily make sure that none of my money goes directly to CFA – I just have to avoid CFA.  It’s much harder for a Catholic employer to be sure that no employees are using contraception; even knowing that they identify as Catholic isn’t much help.  Unless the employee’s job is such that their being Catholic is a requirement for the job, it’s also illegal discrimination.  And I think it /ought/ to be illegal discrimination, whereas I don’t have a problem with the CFA boycott.

    The Catholic Church can’t legally take a principled stand against “their” money being used for things they disagree with unless they pretty much stop employing anyone other than priests and nuns, and even then there’s an enforcement problem.  The analogy only works if the choice was to either continue eating at CFA or not go to any restaurants at all.

    I think the difference in permissibility has to be grounded in the power relations involved.

  • Johnsmithofamerica

    To quote I Will Fear No Evil though,
    “We have a nasty word for women who use the rhythm method.””What?””Pregnant.”

    Not quite.  The first line is off (I don’t think the word nasty should be in there, but I can’t remember exactly what the right quote is), but the word in question was definitely “mothers,” not “pregnant.”

  • AnonymousSam

    Sue me, I read it ten years ago while I was in college. :p

  • VCarlson

    You’re doing better than I. I just remember something along the lines of:
    We have a *name* for people who ise the rhythm method.

    Not book or even author, so you’re way ahead of me. It’s been … a little longer than ten years since I’ve read it, though.

  • Fusina

    Dan Cathy to the world:

    “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,’ and I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is about,”

    So. A quick flip through the bible focussing on the big name people and their “traditional” marriages (mostly this is what I remember from sunday school)…Abraham. Wife Sarah. Concubine, Hagar the Egyptian. Jacob (Abe’s grandson, incidentally) two wives, Leah and Rachel, two concubines, Zilpah and Bilhah. David, wife Michel, wife Abigail, wife Bathsheba, more wives I can’t remember all the names just now, and numerous concubines, unnamed as I recall. Solomon, David’s son, no wives named, just a number. Three hundred wives, seven hundred concubines.

    So, traditional marriage in the bible is, often as not, multiple wives (esp. if you are king), and mistresses as well. I mean, so far as I am aware, David, like Dan Cathy, was still married to his first wife, assuming she didn’t die in childbirth or disease.  So in order to have a “traditional biblical marriage”, Dan Cathy et al are non starters. Course, they are probably referring back to Adam and Eve.

    I do think Cathy is on to something. And I say to him:

    “I think you are inviting God’s judgment on yourself when you shake your fist at Him and say, ‘I know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,’ and I pray God’s mercy on any generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that they have the audacity to define what marriage is about,”