This Satirical Response Is Way Better Than What I Posted Yesterday

This Satirical Response Is Way Better Than What I Posted Yesterday December 2, 2018

Yet again, a reader explains things better than I could.

religious restrictions church state
The Muslim prophet Mohammed reportedly rejected dogs as unclean. So should they be banned everywhere today? (Jonathan Kriz, Flikr, CC BY 2.0)

A commenter with the ironic online handle “Vacuous” was inspired by my post yesterday to explain why any religious restrictions on normal life activities rationally get out of hand quickly.

Yesterday’s post, titled “Majority of Americans Oppose Religious Contraceptive Restrictions,” reported on a Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) survey that showed, surprisingly, that a large majority of Americans in almost every demographic, notably including white Christian evangelicals, strongly oppose religious views effecting restrictions on dispensing of contraceptives to women. But, still, the Trump administration seems hellbent on ignoring that national consensus.

Commenting on my post, Vacuous offered this satirical but sharply serious take on how the Trump administration is not rationally thinking through these restrictive policies’ implications. Here’s what he wrote:

“This is nothing to do with contraception.

“If I happen to get health insurance from a company owned by a Yahzidi, am I not allowed to eat lettuce?

“If I work for a company owned by a Jain am I not allowed to kill mosquitos at work? How about at home or in my back yard?

“If I live in a town where the mayor is a Muslim am I only allowed to keep a dog if it is in field designated as large enough by an Imam and never in my house or under a roof?

“If I live in the same town as some Zoroastrians and I kill an otter in the river, will I be put to death?

“If I go to my Yahzidi neighbor’s wedding and I shave my mustache off the day before, will I be put to death?

“If I get run over by a Number 9 bus and am taken to hospital, do my doctors have to check that no Jehovah’s Witnesses own shares in the holding company of the hospital before I can have a blood transfusion?

“If I want to eat a cheeseburger, so I have to make sure I do it where no Jewish people are in positions of authority regarding food safety?

“If the governor of my state is a Mormon, am I not allowed to take any caffeinated beverage into the DMV?

“If the CEO of the closely held company that I work for is a Shaker, am I disallowed from having children and hence forced to use contraception?

“This entire debate is bullshit. There is nothing special about contraception, it is a normal human activity akin to the examples above.”

For the record, this kind of thinking is the opposite of vacuous, but if Vacuous likes the name, who am I to judge?


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Cover image of “3,001 Arabian Days.”

Now on Amazon!

FYI, my newly published memoir — 3,001 Arabian Days — is now available in paperback and digital formats on Amazon, here. It’s the story of growing up in an American oil camp in the Saudi Arabian desert from 1953-1962. Hope you enjoy my memories of a fascinating and foundational experience.

Reader review:

“Author Snedeker’s wit and insights illuminate the book’s easy narrative. His journalistic style faithfully recreates the people, places and events, and keeps the story crisp and moving from one chapter to the next. More than a coming of age story, 3,001 Arabian Days is a moving tribute to the intricacies of family, a celebration of Saudi Arabian culture, and a glimpse into a time gone by, but whose shadowy specter you can still almost reach out and touch.” — Mark Kennedy

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