Celebrate the Facts!
9/26/2021 1 Comment
When the Supreme Court soon issues its finding on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Christian right-to-life movement will have accomplished its crusade against free access to abortion across much of the United States. The following steps for Christian busybody coalitions will be to restrict access to pornography and birth control for many reasons, none of them good.
Abortion rights, as affirmed in the 1972 ruling in Roe v. Wade, is a walking dead law of the land. The United States Supreme Court will hear the Mississippi abortion case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in December 2021 and later will uphold the Christian-led effort to make constitutional pre-viability prohibitions. Individual states will then define abortion rights, leading to an access map similar to the 2020 Presidential election map, with red states implementing restrictions that essentially eliminate access to abortion.
The loosely aligned Christian coalition, if not principled, is intelligent and adaptable. Understanding a home run of overturning Roe v. Wade was fruitless; they undermined practical access by persistent and widespread political actions in states with large, conservative, old, white Evangelical Christian populations. The pro-life movement has some understandable moral arguments about the termination of pregnancy before birth, but no woman who ever entered an abortion clinic certainly did it with a light and happy heart.
Oddly, those who ascribe to the pro-life movement’s goals undoubtedly also fall into the same political umbrella as anti-government Libertarians, Tea Party members, anti-vaxxers, and conservative Republicans, but the hypocrisy of holding such juxtaposed views about personal choice seems lost on them. When Roe v. Wade is no longer ‘the law of the land,’ it will be time to move on to the following moral crusade, which appears to be pornography and birth control. Christian-run and funded organizations aim to dictate what one looks at, when, how, and with whom one has sex, procreates, and builds a family.
The face of the antipornography movement is the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE). A group of extremist clergymen founded The Morality in Media organization in 1962, formed to combat a wide variety of scourges such as sex toy shops, naughty magazines, and pornography dens. They later rebranded it as the more innocuous-sounding NCOSE, and the organization carries a Nonprofit Tax Code Designation as a 501(c)(3).
The NCOSE has also attempted to enlist a feminist audience by advertising efforts against sex trafficking. To what extent such efforts have helped attract an otherwise feminist supporter cohort are unknown.
The NCOSE is getting momentum, and its contributions are accelerating:
Due to legislation to mitigate clarity in dark money contributions to ostensibly charitable organizations, the funding sources for the NCOSE is challenging to discover. The Coors family, noted right-wing extremist oligarchs, provided funding to the organization. Morality in Media organized a Boston forum in 1985 at which one speaker advocated the use of an old leper colony in Boston Harbor for the quarantine of people with AIDS. Joseph Coors Sr. served on Morality in Media's board of directors at the time of the conference.
NCOSE established a Law Center in 2015 to serve as the legal arm and counsel of the movement opposing sexual activities. Among the cases listed on their website:
NCOSE also sponsors a ‘Research Institute’ to provide ostensible ‘research’ to support its talking points against the sins of pornography. As documented in a previous investigation there is no credible evidence of a causal link between pornography consumption and antisocial behavior or criminal sexual behavior, and there is evidence to the contrary. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5) does not list sex addiction or pornography addiction as disorders. When there is no evidence, NCOSE’s solution appears to be to manufacture it.
Among recent titles of press releases on the NCSOE website:
The modern war on birth control has its roots in Christian thought that ‘life begins at conception.’ The theological reasoning is straightforward – God plans everything, children are his blessing, and interfering with God’s will is a sin. When conception is at the literal union of sperm and egg, any method that mitigates that implantation of the egg into the uterus – abortifacient drugs and intrauterine birth control – are also sins. However, the Christian reasoning against birth control often goes far beyond these restrictions. The Catholic Church says any interference against God’s will, even condoms, and diaphragm birth control, or the more rustic withdrawal of the penis from the vagina before ejaculation are sins. While the Catholic Church also views masturbation as a sin, as it ‘wastes the seed upon the ground’, they have no similar aim to prohibit it, at least legally.
QAnon congressperson and liberal punching bag Marjorie Taylor Greene believes that the Department of Veteran’s affairs should not cover Plan B, the over-the-counter pill that prevents women from becoming pregnant within 72-hours of having intercourse. Greene tweeted videos of herself saying, ‘The Plan B pill kills a baby in the womb once a woman is already pregnant.’ Like birth control pills, Plan B works by temporarily delaying the release of an egg from the ovary, so there’s no egg to meet the sperm.
A liberal interpretation of this gobbledygook is that a post-menopausal Greene has jumbled Plan B with the abortion pills misoprostol and mifepristone. More likely, Greene is attempting to become a leader of an organized assault on birth control. One wonders if Greene would have used such moralistic judgments to inform her actions if an unintended pregnancy had occurred during her alleged extramarital affairs.
Because of the Hyde Amendment, which keeps Medicaid and other government insurance plans from covering abortion., federally funded health care providers cannot, except in rare circumstances, offer abortion coverage. However, Christian zealots understand that if they tie birth control to abortion, then publicly funded insurance might not have to pay for birth control, helping achieve their dreams of restricting the sins of sex.
The 2014 United States Supreme Court Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision allowed some employers to refuse to pay for birth control insurance coverage for their employees due to religious reasons. However, the effort was due more to Republican efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Regardless it pandered to a moralizing Evangelical Christian base and motivated other corrosive actions against birth control.
The evangelical Christian stance on the ACA birth control mandate reflects a broader issue: the increased convergence of Catholics and evangelical Protestants, who were never historical allies, on social issues in the past few decades, as issues like the same-sex marriage debate and abortion have united the two socially conservative groups.
The likely outcome of these cultural divides will be a red-state zone of the United States with forbidden sex and sexual behavior governed, in large part, by their old, white, Christian establishment and a blue state culture with more progressive attitudes. The attendant sociological and population migration effects of such are beyond the scope of this investigation but undoubtedly profound.
Michael Donnelly investigates societal concerns with an untribal approach - to limit the discussion to the facts derived from primary sources so the reader can make more informed decisions.