Hobby Lobby takes human biology to court, loses

The Hobby Lobby retail chain continues its court battle to avoid having to provide health insurance for female employees. This, the corporation says, is a matter of corporate religious liberty. Corporations are people, my friend, and corporations have the right to worship their corporate deities as they see fit.

“All they’re asking for is a narrow exemption from the law that says they don’t have to provide drugs they believe cause abortions,” Hobby Lobby attorney Kyle Duncan, a general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, told CNN affiliate KFOR in November. “Our basic point is the government can’t put a corporation in the position of choosing between its faith and following the law.”

This is a weird claim of religious liberty. Duncan carefully says that the company should be exempt from covering medical care “they believe” causes abortion.

Duncan is careful to say that because he is aware that the drugs in question do not, in fact, cause abortion. Emergency contraception is just exactly  that — contraception. It does not end or interfere with an existing pregnancy.

It doesn’t matter if the evangelical gazillionaire owners of Hobby Lobby “believe” that emergency contraception causes abortions. It does not do that.

Nor does it matter if this belief is passionately sincere and sincerely passionate. Sincerity and passion won’t make it any less incorrect.

So Hobby Lobby’s legal claim is that a company has a “religious liberty” right to avoid anything they say causes abortion even if it does nothing of the sort.

If Hobby Lobby were to be granted such an exemption, then, what would prevent any other corporation from claiming that it believes minimum wage laws, OSHA regulations, nuclear safety rules and fire codes are also “abortifacient”?

What Hobby Lobby is seeking isn’t merely some legal permission to be exempt from providing health insurance. The corporation is seeking the “religious liberty” to redefine reality and to rewrite the laws of medicine, human anatomy, biology and chemistry.

I don’t think even the Supreme Court of the United States has the jurisdiction to allow them to do that. I suppose the justices could join Hobby Lobby in pretending that emergency contraception is not contraception, but even a unanimous 9-0 ruling declaring it to have properties it does not, in fact, actually have would not alter the fact that this nonsense about “abortion pills” remains just that: nonsense.

As Ari Kohen writes:

The bottom line is this: If you own a company and don’t understand how women’s bodies work, you might end up having to pay a million dollars a day to remain faithful to your understanding of what contraception means.

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  • The fact many of the people who make this argument also have abhorrent views about women and sex doesn’t have any bearing on my point.

    Total bullshit. The only reason these people are claiming their lies about embryos is because of their abhorrent views about women. And you’re not gonna get anyone to believe otherwise by pretending otherwise. 

  • I’d like to highlight a passage out of that document for you:

    n. In the first study, no pregnancies were observed when ECPs were taken before the day of ovulation (in contrast to the 4 pregnancies that would have been expected without use of ECPs), whereas 3 pregnancies occurred when ECPs were taken after the day of ovulation (versus 3.5 expected pregnancies). In a follow‐up study no pregnancies were observed when ECPs were taken before the day of ovulation (in contrast to the 16 pregnancies that would have been expected without use of ECPs, whereas when ECPs were taken on or after the day of ovulation, 8 pregnancies occurred (versus 8.7 expected
    pregnancies). While some find the existing human and animal studies adequate to conclude that levonorgestrel‐only ECPs have no post‐fertilization effect, others may always feel that this question has not been unequivocally answered.

    I think it’s faily obvious by now that there is no reason for “not considering this question to have been unequivocally answered” other than ideological precommitment.  Some people still aren’t sold on the idea that the earth isn’t 6000 years old, after all.

    So you’re left with only this: conjecture against available evidence that Plan B might reduce the chance of implantaction.  Shall we list a few of the things that are known to reduce the chance of implantation or increase the chance of spontaneous abortion?

    Coffee consumption
    NSAID use
    Unpasteurized milk

    Might I suggest you target your activism at these instead?

  • Carstonio

    None of those involve women having sex without intending to become mothers. Just as children often end up without fathers through their mothers’ widowhood or desertion, but all the lamenting is over women who plan to become mothers on their own (single mothers and lesbian couples).

  • Donalbain

     I would be more than happy to restrain such men in a submission hold
    while a lady of their acquaintance goes to town on them with the Chair Leg of Truth.

    Yes,yes, we get the fucking picture.. you are a super brave hero.

  • Francis Dickinson

    While the drug(s) in question do usually prevent ovulation, it is
    possible that prevention of implantation of an already fertilized egg
    accounts for some of their effectiveness, at least according to this
    article: http://ec.princeton.edu/questi…

    Do you even read your own links?

    The reduced efficacy with a delay in treatment, even when use is adjusted for cycle day of unprotected intercourse,43 suggests that interference with implantation is likely not an inevitable effect of ECPs. If ECPs did prevent all implantations, then delays in use should not reduce their efficacy as long as they are used before implantation.79
    Studies in the rat and the Cebus monkey demonstrate that levonorgestrel administered in doses that inhibit ovulation has no postfertilization effect that impairs fertility.64,80,81″

    Translation: Levonelle/Plan B almost certainly does not prevent implantation and things would behave very differently if it did.

    One study has demonstrated that ulipristal acetate (UPA) can delay ovulation.40 in this study, 34 women were treated when the size of the leading follicle was at least 18 mm. Each woman contributed one cycle treated with placebo and another with UPA. Follicular rupture failed to occur within 5 days following UPA treatment in 20 (59%) subjects while normal ovulation was observed in all women within 5 days after placebo intake. Follicular rupture failed to occur within 5 days after treatment with UPA in all women treated before onset of the LH surge, in 79% of women treated after the onset of the LH surge but before the LH peak, and in 8% of women treated after the LH peak. Another study found that ulipristal acetate altered the endometrium, but whether this change would inhibit implantation is unknown.85

    Translation: There is no evidence that ulipristal acetate/Ella prevents implantation.   And we have looked seriously.

    At the same time, however, all women should be informed that the best available evidence is that the ability of levonorgestrel and ulipristal acetate ECPs to prevent pregnancy can be fully accounted for by mechanisms that do not involve interference with post‐fertilization events.

    Translation: Plan B and Ella have a contraceptive effect that can be entirely accounted for without assuming they prevent implantation.  If we assume they prevent implantation this means that they would probably be responsible for more than the observed effectiveness.

    There is precisely one form of contraception that according to the paper you linked probably does prevent implantation.  Demonstrating how incompetently you have read the article that form is not a drug

    Its very high effectiveness implies that emergency insertion of a copper IUD must be able to prevent pregnancy after fertilization.

    It may be possible that emergency contraceptive drugs prevent implantation.  However the statistical evidence and the best evidence that we have according to the paper you link is that they don’t.  It is also likely that drinking coffee prevents implantation.  As drinking coffee is therefore more likely to prevent implantation than any of the emergency contraceptive drugs are (there not having been research to show it is vanishingly unlikely), go and talk about how that may be an abortifacient.  Because according to the evidence we have it probably is rather than almost certainly isn’t.

  • Francis Dickinson

    Just to follow up with the resident pro-lifer:
    It just concerns me when we act as though medicine and science have or
    will answer our moral questions for us.  Medicine and Science answer
    “is” questions, not “ought” questions. 

    Unfortunately for you whether implantation is prevented by emergency hormonal contraception is an is question not an ought one.  And it doesn’t.  I went through what emergency contraception actually does on my blog recently (complete with a lot of links to PubMed’s repository of academic research papers) – and the is bears no resemblance to what you are talking about.  Medicine and science answer “is” questions – and these often make “ought” questions irrelevant.  As they do with all yours.

  • Jenny Islander

    The rate of teen pregnancy is not conspicuously lower among evangelicals and may be higher (AFAIK there is no way to get clear data on this point however) because of the daintiness about contraceptives.  See, if you’re on the Pill, you’re thinking about having sex, and that makes you a dirty slut.  If you carry condoms around, you are a dirty dirty sinner who wants to besmirch a good Christian virgin, you dirty sinner you.  But unprotected sex (or the withdrawal method, which generally amounts to the same thing) is what happens when you are swept away by your passion, so it wasn’t really anybody’s fault.

  • Ross Thompson

    Well, from personal experience, Hobby Lobby does (or at least did, as of about two years ago when I stopped going there) sell toys, puzzles and candles. (They also sell plastic scale model kits, which is what I went there for; but their prices were getting so ridiculously high and their selection so small that I now go to HobbytownUSA or use the internet to get kits and supplies.)

    This is a different Hobby Lobby. They sell craft materials.

  • Tricksterson

    Checked Wikipedia.  He converted to “Christianity” in 2003 and Catholicism in 2008.   Since their seperated I would guess that from 2003-08 he was a nondenominational Protestant. 

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     You want some more of SciFiWright’s home-brand of Crazy, I recommend this one:  You’ve come a long way down, Baby!.  (Warning: contains misogyny, misanthropy, and anime girls in Nazi uniforms.)

  • fraser

     A number of evangelicals this year pronounced the use of contraception in itself as “irresponsible.” 

  • fraser

     For example, some right-to-lifers don’t think you should be able to take a medical-expense deduction for abortion or use a health savings account to pay for one.

  • fraser

     And while right-wing traditional-values types love to discuss how the woman should stay home and how important two parents is, they don’t get half as upset about the idea of men working 70 hour weeks and never seeing their kids. It’s almost like they don’t think fathers are important except in the abstract.

  • fraser

     Read it. Nothing I haven’t heard before, except Wright waffles on longer.

  • fraser

     To clarify, it’s the same old cliches about how women should submit, feminists primary goal is to get women to abort babies, no Real Woman wants to have sex without marriage, etc. I didn’t mean to imply it wasn’t worthy of note (or revulsion).

  • Lori

    The existence of two totally separate store chains called Hobby Lobby confuses me. I can never keep the two straight in my head or remember which one is run by asshats and which one isn’t. The net effect is that I would never shop at any place called Hobby Lobby, just in case.

  • reynard61

    I’m talking about the Big Box, fundie-owned, craft-materials-selling store (i.e. the one in your link) too. There are five in Indianapolis, where I live. As of two years ago (and probably even now), they sold all of the stuff mentioned in my previous post.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Just to follow up with the resident pro-lifer

    If you’re talking about littlepanchuck, s/he said nothing to suggest that s/he’s a “pro-lifer”. Littlepanchuck’s only personal comment on the morality of abortion was this:

    In fact, I never even objected to abortion.

  • BaseDeltaZero

    Trigger Warning: Rape, Misogyny, John C. Wright.

    Daaaamn, that’s…
    Nope, not doing it.  Tried arguing with him.  Gave up after he claimed Obamacare is illegal search/seizure.   (The article after that claiming that for women, true heroism consisted of being raped) I’m not going back there alone.  

    I like how, despite worshipping at the altar of ‘Women have fewer teeth than men because mares do, and I can’t be arsed to check’ Aristotle, he condemns ‘modern intellectuals’ for endorsing ideas ungrounded in reality.

    Also, you cannot make women more masculine, but you can make men more feminine, somehow.  

    Followed by a complete lack of understanding of the (Greek) Loves… Protip: None of them are supposed to apply to women.

    Oooh, ooh, here’s a nice one:

    Being feminine does not mean being weak. That is a Marxist lie, produced by the morally retarded one-dimensional and therefore stupid idea that all human relationships are mutually hostile power struggles about power.

    This after half a dozen paragraphs explaining why a proper relationship involves a man taking a woman by force.

    No youth who gouges a schoolgirl in the eyes during a Co-Ed wrestling match is dating my teenage daughter, thank you, because such a boy has no character, no backbone, no balls. My daughter is about four foot five and weights about 50 pounds.

    Fifty… pounds? The fuck?  Should we call CPS?

    And… no.  No.  Rejected.  Not staring into the Abyss anymore.

  • Lori

    I like how, despite worshipping at the altar of ‘Women have fewer teeth than men because mares do, and I can’t be arsed to check’ Aristotle, he
    condemns ‘modern intellectuals’ for endorsing ideas ungrounded in reality.  

    This is one of those times when I wish characters from books were real, because I’d send Charlotte, the main character of a book a read a few days ago, to have a word. In the book there’s a crime boss who wants a power that she possesses and he attempts to macho impress her into working for him instead of another guy.

    “See, the problem with Richard is that he doesn’t know howto treat a woman. You have to take care of a woman properly. A woman is like a horse.”

    Dawn Mother, not one of those. “How so?”

    “When you want to tame a horse, you offer her an apple. She has to get used to your sent and your delicious apples before she’ll let you put a bridle on her. Soon, if you ignore her, she’ll follow you for a handout. If you keep bringing her treats eventually she’ll let you ride her.”


    “All I’m saying is that I have plenty of apples. You should give it some thought. You’d like my apples.”

    Charlotte leaned closer to him. “Jason, whoever told you this nonsense isn’t your friend. Women are not horses, or dogs, or cats. We’re human beings, and the sooner you figure that out, the less likely you will wake up with Miko’s knife in your throat.”

    He stared at her.

    “You asked me what I wanted. I want to crush the slave trade. Having a fling with you doesn’t appeal to me. You’re handsome, but you’re too inexperienced and too arrogant to be good in bed. Having ridden many horses doesn’t make you a good rider; it just proves that you can’t recognize a good one or don’t know how to keep her. You’re too young for me, and in ten years, when you improve, I will be too old for you. So let’s not speak of this again.”

  • Demonhype

     My thoughts exactly.  I mean, if that can be said for preventing fertilization and for masturbation, then I’m a serial killer for how many unfertilized eggs I’ve deposited on a sanitary napkin (to DIE!!!1!!!) over the course of my life.  How am I not in jail?

  • Demonhype

     Well, you see, the minute the dirty whore spread her legs she lost her moral relevance and her life became meaningless in the equation,  donchaknow?  And beyond that, every woman is, by the dictate of their view of Gawd, an ambulatory baby-oven who has a duty to breed as many anklebiters as her ovaries and uterus can spit out, so a proper woman would understand the complete and total irrelevance of her life or health or safety in the equation–and if she doesn’t she’s dirty whore and still irrelevant.  That’s pretty much how these people think.

  • The_L1985

    This.  RU-486 is an abortifacient.  Plan B is not.

  • Demonhype

     Except that contraception preventing ovulation also results in a lower number of unimplanted fertilized eggs to begin with–because a significant number of fertilized eggs don’t implant naturally to begin with.  There was an excellent post featured on this very blog this very year that made the case rather better than  I am, but it was written by a former anti-choicer regarding how the reality of science means that there is no honest reason an anti-choicer has to oppose contraception.  It actually results in fewer “dead” fertilized embryos (primarily due to there being drastically fewer eggs to fertilize), so if this is a concern of any anti-choicer, both the science and the numbers show that it shouldn’t be.  And any anti-choicer seeing those facts who clings to this misinformed “belief” is being disingenuous and is really wanting to punish what he considers “whores” for the “crime” of sex.

    Besides which, your sad little fee fees that there might be an infinitesimal chance that a fertilized freaking cell that you believe has this unevidenced magical thing you call a soul might not implant and will, by your unevidenced beliefs, “die”, is not a legitimate reason for you to exert your control over the body of another human being.  You know, those fully-formed post-birth human beings who aren’t just a pair of joined cells.  Saying that your magical beliefs and fee fees about the potential of a pair of joined cells should take precedence over the bodily autonomy of a woman is more about your ability to control and punish others according to your religious dictates than it is about any hypothetical “poor innocent little one-celled babby”.

    I’ve  been everywhere and I can’t seem to find this, but I know Fred featured that excellent former-anti-choicer article here.  Little help, anyone?

  • Demonhype

     No, you misunderstand!  What he’s saying is that even with the prevention of ovulation, there is still some tiny possibility of an egg dropping down anyway, and IF that happens and IF that renegade egg is fertilized and IF the contraception also has any implant-preventing effect, it is effectively an abortion (by their boneheaded I-get-to-make-up-my-own-facts way).

    He’s saying that it’s still right to deny women their bodily autonomy because of the infinitesimal chance that even one egg might still get past the gate and get fertilized.  Essentially, women should have no power over their bodies because every embryo, even hypothetical ones in highly specific circumstances that haven’t a great likelihood of occurring, are more important than a woman–that is, ambulatory incubator.  It’s better to force a billion women to carry pregnancies they don’t want, can’t afford, or will kill them to ensure that these rare “babies” have a chance–because fuck women, and also fuck post-born babies who weren’t wanted and/or are in foster homes and have to live with that, because only embryos concern these monsters.  Typical anti-choice POV.

  • EllieMurasaki
  • Demonhype

    That’s how they create the illusion of scientific relevance and sanity.  Pseudo-science is big with the anti-choice crowd.

  • Demonhype

     What pisses me off the most is that I read that heart cells on their own will beat IN THE ABSENCE OF AN ACTUAL HEART!!!  A heartbeat is no indication of a “life that can be extinguished”.  And even in the case of a late-term pregnancy, if this was any other kind of case where one person was doomed and it’s only possible to save the other, they’d have no problem.  Triage, apparently, ceases to be relevant when one of the lives in question is a fetus, because in that situation only the fetus matters and the woman is just warm meat.

    I can’t begin to describe how much I hate these people.

  • The_L1985

    OK, here’s the thing about prophylactic birth control (the stuff Hobby Lobby doesn’t want its employee insurance to cover).  When your gynecologist prescribes it, the instructions are: “Take the first one on the day you start your next period.”  Why?  Because when you menstruate, your body is flushing out the last unfertilized egg.  The Pill then tricks your body into thinking it’s pregnant, so that you don’t produce another one.  This is basically how birth control pills work.  It’s also why you have to take the pill every day–otherwise, your body doesn’t have the right amounts of pregnancy hormones in it, and your ovaries are no longer fooled and start releasing eggs again.

    But as long as you’re taking the Pill every day, your body can’t ovulate.  No egg = no conception = no possibility of an abortion.  You can’t abort an embryo that isn’t there.

    And before you ask, I have PMDD, and thus have to take birth control pills.  I know that whereof I speak.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Disqus isn’t showing “reply to” (*shakes fist at Disqus*) so I can’t tell who the “you” is here. Or, indeed, the “he” in your next post. Who are you talking to/about?

  • The_L1985

     “70% chance of spree killer” sounds like a weather forecast in Hell.

  • The_L1985

     Probably.  I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people thought that Plan B and RU-486 were the same drug.  I only know they’re not because it was one of the few things NRL actually bothered to tell the truth about.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart


  • Demonhype

     This is a frighteningly common view across the board.  I got in an argument with  a co-worker once, not even about  abortion but about wanted pregnancies!  She was under the impression that if a woman gets pregnant it is not her place to determine her care–that any treatment or test the doctor or the insurance company decree should be forcibly performed on her, without explanation or consent.  Just shut up, strip down, get on the gurney, get those legs in the air, and keep your irrelevant mouth shut, woman, or we’ll ball-gag you.  Where did you get the uppity idea that you should have some informed consent about what needles and probes are being shoved into your flesh, incubator?  Surely the insurance company has your best interests of health at heart!  Surely they wouldn’t choose to do something that has, say, a 5-10% chance of spontaneous abortion just to test for something that has less than a 1-2% chance of occurring, because the risk of them having to cover a disabled child is more important to their bottom line than the chance of you losing a wanted pregnancy.  Insurance companies (and the doctors who, sometimes, are their devoted servants) always have your best interests in mind and never consider their own selfish bottom-line more important than you!

    And then she said, with a smug tone, “good luck getting any insurance with that attitude, they’ll never cover you.”  Translation–if you keep being uppity and actually expecting to be informed about medical practices and have any veto power or control at all, and pretending your body has anything to do with you  at all and that you’re more than just a warm incubation meat, then you’d better be prepared to pay out-of-pocket for everything and go broke, you uppity stupid feminist”.  I never wanted to punch anyone more than I did that moment.

  • Demonhype

     Yet more evidence that anti-choice is really anti-woman and has fuck-all to do with “poor innocent little babbies being murdered!”

  • Demonhype

     Excellent point!  Why isn’t there a massive effort to legislate against my 214 lb ass, as if I conceived  it would result in a reduced chance of implantation?  Why aren’t your moral crusaders fighting to have coffee taken off the shelves and aspirins made a prescription drug (if not outlawed).

    Oh, wait.  Screwing with cigarettes, fattening food, aspirin and caffeine might have the effect of inconveniencing males, and that we cannot have!

  • The_L1985

    National Right to [Fetal] Life.

  • Demonhype

    That’s just their way of saying “I don’t care what science says or how true anything is–if I have a religiously-claimed belief that it’s something different, then all the facts in the world don’t matter!  My unevidenced belief should have the same weight as evidenced scientific fact, so that makes the question a debate-able one!  Shut up, that’s why!” 

  • Demonhype

     I can’t get this through the heads of people who whine about abortion because “if you don’t want to be pregnant, be responsible and use contraception!”  They can’t seem to understand that their best buddies in the anti-choice brigade are fighting just as hard against contraception!

    Not to mention that whole “what I feel is the truth, and if I say up is down then up is down” mentality that Littlepanchuk keeps spouting re: anti-choice ignorance.  If they say that being responsible is irresponsible, then responsible actions are now irresponsible, and who are you to argue?

  • Demonhype

     They don’t want anyone ever to get an abortion.  All this BS about “who pays for what’ is the latest chapter in their efforts to outlaw women’s bodily autonomy, outlawing abortion without making it seem like that’s what they’re doing.  Just make it nearly impossible to access and at some point they’ll just say “well, abortion is nearly impossible to access anyway, why don’t we just outlaw it all together?”  Though I doubt they will.  Republicans have been relying on anti-woman lies for votes, so as long as abortion is technically legal they will still be able to rouse their Fox “News” watching constituency with lies about the “millions of poor innocent murdered babies” at the abortion clinics, even in the even that there are no more abortion clinics and abortion is effectively illegal for being totally inaccessible.  And their idiot voting block will believe it in the face of all evidence, because they’ve drunk too much of the Kool-aid.

  • Demonhype

     However, Littlepanchuk says that while arguing about the validity of anti-reality anti-science views regarding contraceptive, and keeps insisting that they have an excellent point–essentially, it’s the blog comment version of “I have this friend….”.  He sounds a lot like the people who come into Pharyngula sometimes, saying they’re not really religious or that they’re atheists, and then start arguing about how fundies have such good points that we would see if we weren’t so blinded by science and liberal bias and atheism–you know, from an abstract position, and all, devil’s advocate and such, but no, that’s not their view at all.  Or the racists who say “I’m not a racist, but…” and then begin to “wonder” whether the racists have “a good point” and perhaps they’re not just arguing out of bigotry?  No, I don’t believe them either.

  • P J Evans

     And you’ll probably get to experience a mild form of morning sickness for part of every month. Such fun! /s

  • Demonhype

     That is an AWESOME clip, Lori!  Especially that last paragraph!

    Please tell me what book that is?

  • EllieMurasaki

    There’s a name for that phenomenon. ‘Concern troll’.

  • Lori

    It’s called Steel’s Edge by Ilona Andrews (last in a 4 book fantasy series)


    Except that contraception preventing ovulation also results in a lower
    number of unimplanted fertilized eggs to begin with–because a
    significant number of fertilized eggs don’t implant naturally to begin
    with.  There was an excellent post featured on this very blog this very
    year that made the case rather better than  I am, but it was written by a
    former anti-choicer regarding how the reality of science means that
    there is no honest reason an anti-choicer has to oppose contraception. 
    It actually results in fewer “dead” fertilized embryos (primarily due to
    there being drastically fewer eggs to fertilize), so if this is a
    concern of any anti-choicer, both the science and the numbers show that
    it shouldn’t be.  And any anti-choicer seeing those facts who clings to
    this misinformed “belief” is being disingenuous and is really wanting to
    punish what he considers “whores” for the “crime” of sex.

    Even more, hormonal contraception  and barrier methods prevent more failed implantations than Natural Family Planning methods. Because, after user error, the next most common reason for fertilization  to happen when NFP is being used is because of a cycle irregularity — and in the cases where that takes the form of “Ovulation happened a week too early”, there’s a good chance that the uterus won’t be quite ready for implantation at the critical moment.

    (Technically, this is neither here nor there for Catholics, since the Catholic objection to contraception isn’t about the beginnings of life per se but about complicated aristotelian teleology. As you might expect when your sexual rules were written by a bunch of classically educated men who never have sex.)

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I think Littlepanchuk may be a “she”, fwiw.

    Declaring that you know what someone thinks when they haven’t said anything of the sort tends to get stamped on pretty severely here.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    It’s also why so many people get the impression that everyone is an extremist. Try to acknowledge that maybe some people on “the other side” are coming from a position of something other than “let’s oppress women who dare to have sex” (or “let’s murder babies on a whim”; both “sides” engage in this) and you’ll be assigned views you don’t actually hold. People in the middle either stfu if they don’t like being subjected to verbal abuse, or they are redefined as extremists, often by both sides. Pretending moderates don’t exist doesn’t help anyone.

    The “derailing for dummies” post is not as awesome as its fans like to think.

  • The_L1985

    Actually, I’ve lucked out. No side effects at all that I can tell.

  • Lori

    There are few people more enraging than authoritarian followers.