ENDA and the Hobby Lobby Decision »« Hewett Church/State Case Will Continue

Savage on Right’s War on Contraception

Dan Savage reacted to the same Colorado study I mentioned the other day, which reached the most obvious conclusion in history: Birth control reduces pregnancies and abortions (duh!). His language is perhaps a bit less restrained than mine, but I like this:

The lesson in Colorado for conservatives ought to be this: You can be against abortion or you can be against contraception but you can’t be against abortion and against contraception. Making contraception harder for women to get—looking at you, Hobby Lobbyists—means more unplanned pregnancies and more unplanned pregnancies mean more abortions.

So why are conservatives fighting so hard to make contraception harder for women to obtain? Because they don’t think people—young people, poor people, unmarried people, gay people—should be able to enjoy “consequence-free sex.” Because it’s sex that they hate—it’s sex for pleasure that they hate—and they hate that kind of sex more than they hate abortion, teen moms, and welfare spending combined. Knowing that some people are having sex for pleasure without having their futures disrupted by an unplanned pregnancy or having their health compromised by a sexually transmitted infection or having to run a traumatizing gauntlet of shrieking “sidewalk counselors” to get to an abortion clinic keeps them up at night.

Of course you can be against both contraception and abortion, but only if, as I continually point out, the goal is not to reduce or end abortions but to control women and their sexuality.

Comments

  1. says

    Well, in fairness, Ed, they hate that kind of sex AS MUCH as they hate hate abortion, and welfare spending combined. It’s just that they haven’t figured out a way to package the message that a large chunk of their flock should disown their own daughters and refuse, categorically, to help them.

    They actually don’t mind teen moms so much, they’re a pretty easy target for coercion and conversion.

  2. raven says

    They actually don’t mind teen moms so much, they’re a pretty easy target for coercion and conversion.

    True. Look how they treated Sarah Palin and her now famous teenage daughter, Bristol. Oh look, a cute..baby xian.

    1. They can’t recruit so they have to reproduce. It’s just forced child bearing or coerced child bearing.

  3. raven says

    The fundies War on Birth Control isn’t going to get very far.

    Birth control is part of our modern civilization. It’s right up there with running water, electricity, indoor plumbing, and internal combustion engines.

    And as has been noted before, even the fundie leaders don’t have huge families. It’s all 1-3 or so. They don’t want to reproduce like rabbits. They want someone else to do it. They have better things to do with their time and money.

  4. anat says

    Birth control is part of our modern civilization. It’s right up there with running water, electricity, indoor plumbing, and internal combustion engines.

    The technologies that are necessary to make gender equality a meaningful thing: running water, washing machines, contraception and abortion.

    (Anyone who doubts the first two, think about how much time and effort goes into obtaining water and doing laundry in low-tech societies, and who is doing that work.)

  5. minxatlarge says

    Saying ‘those crazy people just don’t like sex’ doesn’t get deep enough into WHY. But we’ve good some evidence: “Results of both studies were consistent with the theory that opposition to promiscuity arises in circumstances where paternity certainty is particularly important and suggest that such opposition will more likely emerge in environments in which women are more dependent economically on a male mate.”
    http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2014/07/some-people-get-enraged-women-have-sex.html

    Or perhaps this idea also appears in environments where privileged patriarchs would prefer that females are dependent on males who control their sexuality? Chicken/egg. However, this would explain why the slut shaming is always about single women, while 99% of all women use contraception (and roughly 2/3 of them are married).
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/07/08/rush_limbaugh_s_outrage_at_the_contraception_mandate_explained.html

  6. jonathangray says

    raven:

    Birth control is part of our modern civilization. It’s right up there with running water, electricity, indoor plumbing, and internal combustion engines.

    If you want to indulge in the unrestrained sex granted by birth control, you will lose your running water, electricity, indoor plumbing, and internal combustion engines. And of course when that happens, you will lose your unrestrained sex as well.

    Civilisation depends on restraining sexuality (male and female).

  7. raven says

    Barely related but damn interesting, The Birthcontrol of Yesteryear.

    It is interesting. A lot of plants contain sterols, which is what hormonal contraceptives are. They were originally synthesized from plant sterols, IIRC, from wild yams.

    One of the known sources of estrogenic sterols is from the seeds of carrot family plants, which includes fennel. One culture in India uses seeds from some sort of wild carrot for birth control, with some success.

    Birth control itself is thousands of years old at least. The negative type, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, smallpox, black plague, war, starvation. One common method until recently and practiced today even in the USA (rarely) was exposure, just leaving unwanted infants somewhere.

    There were also more benign positive forms of BC, mostly social. Thousands of men became monks, only eldest sons inherited, only landowners were eligible batchelors, etc.

    The Golden Age of Fundie Xianity never existed. Even the Dark Ages were better than their fantasies.

  8. Al Dente says

    Civilisation depends on restraining sexuality (male and female).

    Citation fucking needed. Pun intended.

  9. pocketnerd says

    And note the focus is always on blaming and shaming women: Sluts who have sex for pleasure! Whores who expect taxpayers to subsidize their wanton lifestyle! Feckless teenage girls who get knocked up rather than just keeping their legs together!

    None of this applies to males, of course. “Boys will be boys,” and “sowing your wild oats” before marriage is quietly condoned as long as you’re relatively discreet (and don’t get the wrong man’s daughter knocked up). Male-oriented forms of contraception, like condoms, slip under the radar. And little blue boner pills specifically designed to provide recreational sex if your plumbing has stopped working — of COURSE those are covered by your health insurance, why wouldn’t they be?

  10. busterggi says

    Knowing that some people are having … pleasure without having their futures disrupted

    Consider that sentence fixed.

  11. says

    It’s not that complicated. Sexual repression is feature of most social species. Think about it. Evolution is all about competition and the competition is fiercest within your own species. If you can keep your competitors from having offspring then you can keep your offspring from having competitors.
    When you hear about some preacher railing against fornication in the morning but then getting caught at Ye Olde Stickett Inn in the afternoon, you are seeing hypocrisy yes, but perfectly natural behaviour.

  12. tuibguy says

    Married women can have all the sex they want, with or without contraception *(unless Catholic, then they have to lie to their priest;) because they are honoring the fundamental building block of society. What these people want is for everyone to be married, intergender so that the world makes sense to them again. That fun sex thing between married heteros is all cool with them.

    This sex for fun thing for single people and same-gender people, well, it confuses them because of sin. And the wages of sin is death, or birth. Either will do.

  13. raven says

    Civilisation depends on restraining sexuality (male and female).

    Citation fucking needed. Pun intended.

    No.

    Civilization depends on humans using their brains, behaving responsibly, and keeping the Dark Forces of religion from wrecking everything.

    It’s a lot of work and quite fragile. George Bush without even trying, almost wrecked the USA.

  14. John Pieret says

    Civilisation depends on restraining sexuality (male and female).

    Citation fucking needed. Pun intended.

    Forget a citation (fucking or otherwise), how about just taking a shot at a cogent explanation why that might remotely be true.

  15. jonathangray says

    Al Dente:

    Citation fucking needed.

    Heh.

    raven:

    Civilization depends on humans using their brains, behaving responsibly

    Exactly. Not using their genitalia and behaving irresponsibly. This is basic stuff.

    and keeping the Dark Forces of religion from wrecking everything.

    All great civilisations have assigned religion a privileged position. No culture without cult.

  16. jonathangray says

    John Pieret:

    how about just taking a shot at a cogent explanation why that might remotely be true.

    - Human life is essentially social; man requires a social context in which to flourish.

    - To a certain extent social life requires individuals sacrifice immediate personal gratification for the greater good. Sometimes these sacrifices are particularly onerous – for example in wartime.

    - For this reason, society has a legitimate interest in curbing hedonistic excesses: a widespread obsession with personal gratification imperils the culture of communal self-sacrifice necessary to keep society afloat.

    - Sex brings this tension between gratification and sacrifice into particularly sharp relief: sex is intensely pleasurable yet its consequences – children – demand considerable sacrifices on the part of individuals.

    - Modern man thinks he has resolved this dilemma through contraceptive technology; contraception removes the burdonsome consequences of sex, allowing its pleasurable aspects to be freely indulged.

    - Those who hold the traditional position point out that this “uncoupling” removes a desirable check on socially corrosive hedonism. (The same obviously applies a fortiori to homosexual relations.)

    - Moreover, society has a legitimate interest in privileging the procreative aspect of sex; it supplies the next generation of the community.

  17. raven says

    Ovulation block by Pueraria mirifica: a study of its endocrinological effect in female monkeys.
    Trisomboon H1, Malaivijitnond S, Watanabe G, Taya K.

    Pueraria mirifica (PM), a Thai herb containing phytoestrogens, may act as estrogen and disturb reproduction. To investigate the effect of PM on the menstrual cycle length and related hormones, nine adult female monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) were separated into three groups. Each group (n = 3) was fed with 10, 100, and 1000 mg/d of PM for three menstrual cycles. The menstrual cycle length increased significantly in monkeys treated with PM-10 and PM-100 and disappeared completely in monkeys treated with PM-1000. Serum follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, estradiol, progesterone, and irinhibin were lower during the treatment period in a dose-dependent manner. Changes in menstrual cycle length and the hormonal levels recovered during the post-treatment period only in monkeys treated with PM-10 and PM-100. PM greatly influences menstrual cycles and may suppress ovulation by lowering serum levels of gonadotropins.

    FYI.

    A lot of plants contain phytoestrogens which can act like hormonal BC drugs. Soy, fennel, wild carrots (growing in my yard,) etc.. Some have been used as folk medicine remedies for thousands of years and apparently do have real pharmacological effects.

    Right now this is merely interesting. If the fundies get their way (unlikely), it may be part of a new black market industry.

  18. says

    jonothangray’s is right. Sex is too good to not have consequences. Without consequences, people would have it all the time, and the social act of coitus would break down society. It’s like if chocolate was calorie-free. And you ate it by rubbing up against it. And if “chocolate” was “crotch”.

  19. jonathangray says

    Modusoperandi:

    But don’t forget to have a safe word.

    OK that was pretty good. (Of course civilisation can only take so much flippancy …)

    BTW, just how familiar are you with BDSM culture?

  20. John Pieret says

    jonathangray @ 20:

    I asked for an explanation, not a set of unconnected assertions.

    Humans (not “man”) are social animals and need a society for survival. And, indeed, that requires certain sacrifices, such as paying taxes.

    Now make the connection that society has a legitimate interest in curbing hedonistic excesses. Wouldn’t that mean that we should take away the money of the rich who buy yachts and mansions and thousand dollar bottles of wine, etc? Are you advocating Communism?

    From where do you get the idea that a widespread obsession with personal gratification imperils the culture of communal self-sacrifice or, for that matter, that contraceptives engender a widespread obsession with sex in the first place? We’ve had widespread contraceptives for 75 years, at least, and while you may not like modern society, I seem to still have running water, electricity, indoor plumbing, and a car.

    Those who hold the traditional position point out that this “uncoupling” removes a desirable check on socially corrosive hedonism.

    Too bad they can’t point out any evidence for the desirability of such a check or the corrosive effects of contraception.

    Moreover, society has a legitimate interest in privileging the procreative aspect of sex; it supplies the next generation of the community.

    We do. We give various tax breaks to parents. What’s that got to do with contraception?

  21. says

    jonathangray “BTW, just how familiar are you with BDSM culture?”
    Familiar enough to not take a life vest the next time I get invited for some “watersports”. Talk about embarassing!

     
    John Pieret “…I seem to still have running water, electricity, indoor plumbing, and a car.”
    But for how much longer?!

  22. Nick Gotts says

    Poor jonathangray,

    He just can’t cope with the reality that the societies with the lowest levels of both religion and the consequent sexual repression, such as those of Scandinavia, are also among the happiest, least violent, and most stable, with low levels of most social pathologies. All he can say about this is “just wait” – and he can’t even say how long.

  23. Nick Gotts says

    BTW, jonathangray, wasn’t a jester supposed to be funny? Witty? Clever? Because, just in case you’re under any such delusion, you’re none of those things. Just embarrassingly, toe-curlingly stupid.

  24. says

    colnago80 “Nah, johnny boy is just your common variety phalangist.”
    Really? I didn’t even know he was Lebanese. I remembered him as being from Ireland.

  25. Pen says

    If you want to indulge in the unrestrained sex granted by birth control, you will lose your running water, electricity, indoor plumbing, and internal combustion engines. And of course when that happens, you will lose your unrestrained sex as well.

    Yeah, it’s true. Here I am, with a plumbing catastrophe in the bathroom, the bills unpaid, utilities about to be cancelled and err… well, I don’t even know what’s happened to the car. And all because me and my partner just won’t leave off the unrestrained sex* and go and do a decent day’s work.

    * On the other hand, it keeps us out of the pubs and stops us watching crap on TV. You have to look at both sides of the issue, jonathangray.

  26. Pierce R. Butler says

    jonathangray @ # 20: … society has a legitimate interest in curbing hedonistic excesses…

    Quite so.

    I propose you and your church(es) launch an immediate and all-out crusade against candy, chocolate in particular.

    This civilization-building campaign will surely bring you support and applause from all sectors of society.

    Get back to us on how well y’all succeed in sharing this important insight, okay?

  27. thecalmone says

    Johnathangray #20 – You still haven’t explained how all of this relates to public sanitation, let alone internal combustion engines.

  28. John Pieret says

    Johnathangray @ 25:

    Of course civilisation can only take so much flippancy …

    Yeah, Mark Twain was such a danger to civilization!

  29. spamamander, internet amphibian says

    Completely off topic, but what exactly does Modus DO with all these Internets he gets?

  30. says

    Johnnyfloppyhat:

    I wouldn’t say his to just anybody, dork, but I suspect that your mother DOES suck cocks in hell. There has to be some explanation for why you’re such a douchenozzle and knowing that your mom is pleasuring the legions of SATAN might be just what it takes.

  31. sabrekgb says

    @39 democommie

    your mother DOES suck cocks in hell

    you’re such a douchenozzle

    Like, wow, man…

    Hey, look everybody! democommie is totally not a douchenozzle calling a kettle black here.

    People can be wrong, very wrong, without you needing to do that. Keep calling other people trolls, keep not looking in the mirror.

    *break break*

    Also, sweet, a thread in which i can firmly (heh) side with the majority. Contraception is awesome! jonathan grey seems to be making some unfounded assumptions as well, and i’d be very curious to hear him respond as to how this “uncoupling” (punny…) damages society. Especially a society that has no problems creating enough people.

  32. Quantum Mechanic says

    jonathangray:

    Civilisation depends on restraining sexuality (male and female).

    Who is this clown, again?

    SLC

    johnny boy is just your common variety phalangist.

    He does appear to enjoy toeing the line, doesn’t he?

    spamamander, internet amphibian

    Completely off topic, but what exactly does Modus DO with all these Internets he gets?

    Modus is part of the great lifecycle of the internet. You give Modus internets, Modus uses those internets to create all of those cat videos on YouTube, those cats then haz cheezburger, people without cheezburgers call others Hitler on pointless threads, and then we harvest those threads and collectively weave them into internets*. Thus, the majestic cycle continues.

    *Leading scientists are fairly sure pr0n is involved somehow, but are still waiting on the results of several studies before making any definite claims.

  33. RickR says

    Did we ever determine if jonathangray isn’t famed Pharyngula troll Piltdown Man?

  34. Snoof says

    jonathangray @ 20

    People will be too busy fucking to maintain civilization? People who enjoy fucking will cease to be interested in maintaining civilization?

    I think you’re projecting your own issues on people in general.

  35. Nick Gotts says

    Did we ever determine if jonathangray isn’t famed Pharyngula troll Piltdown Man?

    He is. The identity of style and content is sufficient evidence, but IIRC he sometimes reappeared at Pharyngula post-ban as jonathangray. He justified his repeated post-ban intrusions in terms of his outrage at PZ mistreating a biscuit.

  36. steffp says

    @ Jonathan, #20
    Interesting to see you defend Hebrew sex taboos with a traditional Freudian “sublimation” argument. Culture by renunciation… A position that’s been refuted countless times over the last century.
    Hedonism, over the centuries, wasn’t corrosive to society – it’s usually an indicator of wealth and stability. See Denmark, Sweden, etc…
    And don’t try to argue with Rome in this context, even the most decadent phases were centuries before the fall of the empire
    Your obsession with incest as the ultimate in promiscuity has been noted. It’s more of a confession than an argument.
    And finally
    “All great civilisations have assigned religion a privileged position. No culture without cult.”
    Well, for some people history seems to have ended in the late 16th century. Indeed, most early high cultures were based on religious privilege. That’s one of the reasons why we call them barbaric or primitive.
    You should have a look at your copy of Machiavelli’s “Il principe” about the modern (post 16th century) use of religious superstition. Hint: He advises the ruler to be unbound by religion, but to pretend to believe…

  37. Snoof says

    jonathangray @19

    All great civilisations have assigned religion a privileged position. No culture without cult.

    So did all the awful ones. Your point?

  38. says

    “People can be wrong, very wrong, without you needing to do that. Keep calling other people trolls, keep not looking in the mirror.”

    Every fucking, day, asshole. I look in the mirror and see a guy who’s been reading the nonsense written by assholes like you, Johnnyboy, Endarkled Lameass and a host of other trolls who come to this blog for the purpose of spewing bullshit and trying to spread the disinformation gospel.

    Tone trolling, btw, is still trolling.

    I didn’t, don’t and won’t give a fuck what any of you idiots think, I just don’t have any desire to read or listen to your thoroughly debunked and bankrupt talking points.

    There are dozens of blogs where dickheads like you and Johnnyboy are welcome and your moronic assertions will be seen as intellectual pearls. This ain’t one of those blogs.

    Go fuck yourself.

  39. dingojack says

    steffp – “He [Machiavelli] advises the ruler to be unbound by religion, but to pretend to believe…”

    Nope, it’s even older than little Jon-Jon’s petulant child-god:

    A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side”.

    – Aristotle, Politics.

    Dingo

  40. sundiver says

    If you can’t have culture without a cult, does this mean you can’t have manslaughter without laughter?

  41. jonathangray says

    John Pieret:

    Humans (not “man”)

    Nah. Lacks the requisite patriarchal majesty.

    Now make the connection that society has a legitimate interest in curbing hedonistic excesses. Wouldn’t that mean that we should take away the money of the rich who buy yachts and mansions and thousand dollar bottles of wine, etc? Are you advocating Communism?

    Of course I’m not advocating communism. However, we do classify avarice as a deadly sin. A healthy society would certainly be one in which a rich man felt an obligation to consider both the common good and the state of his own soul, something better achieved by a strong religious culture than by redistributive legislation. But sex is more primal and incendiary than wealth, as it goes to the heart of the family — and it is the family, not the individual, who is the fundamental unit of society, its basic cell.

    From where do you get the idea that a widespread obsession with personal gratification imperils the culture of communal self-sacrifice

    It’s practically a truism. Concern for “personal gratification”, if perhaps not in outright opposition to a spirit of “self-sacrifice”, is at least in tension with it. If concern for personal gratification assumes the status of a “widespread obsession”, it seems reasonable that this would be at the expense of self-sacrifice.

    or, for that matter, that contraceptives engender a widespread obsession with sex in the first place?

    Since contraceptives sever sex from children, they make possible sex’s reconfiguration as recreation rather than creation. Surely that’s not controversial?

    We’ve had widespread contraceptives for 75 years, at least, and while you may not like modern society, I seem to still have running water, electricity, indoor plumbing, and a car.

    You really think 75 years is any time at all? A blink of an eye.

    We give various tax breaks to parents.

    And yet.

  42. jonathangray says

    Nick Gotts:

    He just can’t cope with the reality that the societies with the lowest levels of both religion and the consequent sexual repression, such as those of Scandinavia, are also among the happiest, least violent, and most stable, with low levels of most social pathologies.

    Scandinavia certainly appears to be at the leading edge of progressive insanity. Whatever the cause of their apparent social stability (perhaps tenacious northern bourgeois protestant culture bizarrely assimilating sexual liberalism, making it respectably boring in the process), there are clear signs that their Eloi-like progressivism will spell their doom if there is no widespread Breivik-type reaction. It says something that Danes have increasingly been turning to some of their society’s least progressive elements (biker gangs) for protection against the Morlocks.

    BTW, jonathangray, wasn’t a jester supposed to be funny? Witty? Clever? Because, just in case you’re under any such delusion, you’re none of those things. Just embarrassingly, toe-curlingly stupid.

    I just call it as I see it.

    M.O.:

    “Nah, johnny boy is just your common variety phalangist.”

    
Really? I didn’t even know he was Lebanese. I remembered him as being from Ireland.

    I’m not Lebanese, Irish or a Phalangist. Or even a Falangist. Or a “common variety” anything, come to that.

    Pierce R. Butler:

    I propose you and your church(es) launch an immediate and all-out crusade against candy, chocolate in particular.

    Hey, we’re the ones who called gluttony a deadly sin.

    John Pieret:

    Yeah, Mark Twain was such a danger to civilization!

    Why not? There are few things more powerful than a book.

  43. jonathangray says

    democommie:

    I didn’t, don’t and won’t give a fuck what any of you idiots think, I just don’t have any desire to read or listen to your thoroughly debunked and bankrupt talking points.

    Then why do you do it? (“I look in the mirror and see a guy who’s been reading the nonsense written by assholes like you, Johnnyboy, Endarkled Lameass and a host of other trolls who come to this blog for the purpose of spewing bullshit and trying to spread the disinformation gospel.”)

    If you think I’m a troll, just ignore me.

  44. says

    “I’m not Lebanese, Irish or a Phalangist. Or even a Falangist. Or a “common variety” anything, come to that.”

    Oh, that’s certainly true. In order to get a scumbag as fucked up as you are, they had to break the mold before they made you.

    Fuck off, troll.

  45. drjuliebug says

    ….Those who hold the traditional position point out that this “uncoupling” removes a desirable check on socially corrosive hedonism. (The same obviously applies a fortiori to homosexual relations.)

    I think this does explain a lot of the behavior of the “traditional values” crowd. It’s interesting as well as important to look at the convoluted cause-and-effect aspects of it.

    Consensual recreational sex could be considered “socially corrosive hedonism” if it results in unwanted pregnancies or the spread of dangerous STDs. All contraceptives are designed to prevent unwanted pregnancies, and barrier contraceptives reduce STD transmission. So, some people are railing against the use of drugs and devices that make sex safer, because in their minds, sex is unsafe because of what can happen WITHOUT contraceptives.

    It brings to mind the old justification of anti-LGBT job discrimination on the grounds that LGBT people were subject to blackmail. But the sole reason they could be blackmailed is because they were already targeted for discrimination. So it’s totally circular; it’s impossible to blackmail an out gay person for being gay. (What is a blackmailer going to do — tell someone’s father, who founded the local PFLAG chapter twenty years ago? Tell the boss, when the boss might be an out lesbian?)

    It’s amazing how many of our preconceptions (!) are based on knee-jerk fear.

  46. jonathangray says

    drjuliebug:

    Consensual recreational sex could be considered “socially corrosive hedonism” if it results in unwanted pregnancies or the spread of dangerous STDs. All contraceptives are designed to prevent unwanted pregnancies, and barrier contraceptives reduce STD transmission. So, some people are railing against the use of drugs and devices that make sex safer, because in their minds, sex is unsafe because of what can happen WITHOUT contraceptives.

    No, no, no. Consensual recreational sex is primarily considered socially corrosive because it undermines the family and the orientation toward the long term that sustains (and is sustained by) family life.

    http://henrydampier.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/sex-roles-and-de-civilizing-ratchet/

  47. says

    One problem with this discussion, as with so many discussions, is a heavy use of the fallacy of the excluded middle – of course, our court jester is especially guilty of this.

    I think very few people, especially no one here, disagree that restraining or redirecting our urges, to a certain extent, is crucial to having a decent society in which to live. Sex, being one of our most deep-seated and powerful urges, is certainly included. The crucial question is: To what extent should various urges be restrained, and how should this be accomplished? We’re niggling here over the details of that question, but the discussion almost inevitably gets caricatured as something that looks kind of like: Assertion A) “we must shackle sex like a rabid people-eating alligator!” vs. Assertion B) “we must let sex run free like a galloping wild boar in the forest!”

    I could go on for a long time about Jonathangray’s series of unsupported (and often plainly counterfactual) assertions in support of the idea that a contraceptive-rich society represents a civilization-destroying bridge-too-far. But two things in particular came to mind:

    -To partially repeat what others have pointed out above, the sex-for-procreation-and-only-within-monogamous-marriage model that the fundies claim to support has *never* existed, even before the widespread availability of the effective contraceptive technologies we now have. Look at the trail of out-of-wedlock children (at all levels of society from peasants to popes), adultery, prostitution, sex cults, child rape, sexual slavery, mass rape in war, polygamy, concubinage, etc., that stretches back through our history and literature and art into the misty past (you do know what “the world’s oldest profession” is, don’t you?). And yet somehow civilization sprang up and flourished with astonishing rapidity all the same.

    -If you want to control the negative disruptive potential of sex, the pill and condoms are the most effective way ever invented to stem the two most problematic consequences: unwanted children and STDs. We ARE controlling sex, more effectively and with better results than ever before – just not in the way that the Jgrays of the world want us to. They don’t want to limit the potential negative results of sex – they want them *maintained* so people will have to strictly limit their sexual activity. Which has never worked. But this time it will, promise!

  48. John Pieret says

    A healthy society would certainly be one in which a rich man felt an obligation to consider both the common good and the state of his own soul, something better achieved by a strong religious culture than by redistributive legislation. But sex is more primal and incendiary than wealth, as it goes to the heart of the family — and it is the family, not the individual, who is the fundamental unit of society, its basic cell.

    What utter bullshit! Sex and power have been linked throughout human civilization. Why do you suppose that the great favorite of the Bible, Solomon, had all those wives and concubines? He was hardly alone in the Bible or in other supposed civilizations from the very beginnings of the term. Simply saying ‘we should be better’ is no argument that civilization (and running water, indoor plumbing, electricity and cars) will disappear. Either defend that idea or admit you were simply trolling. I don’t particularly care, since the answer is obvious.

    It’s practically a truism. Concern for “personal gratification”, if perhaps not in outright opposition to a spirit of “self-sacrifice”, is at least in tension with it.

    In other words, you can’t defend the proposition by any logical argument. You can only assert it. In particular, you can’t distinguish it from other forms of “personal gratification” you find acceptable, if not noble, such as avarice. If society is supposed to wipe out sexual gratification, why not avarice, by Communism?

    Since contraceptives sever sex from children, they make possible sex’s reconfiguration as recreation rather than creation. Surely that’s not controversial?

    Really? Are you truly arguing that sex isn’t a recreation? Have you ever had sex? To the more important point: what argument do you have that sex as recreation is harmful to society to the point that running water, indoor plumbing, electricity and cars will disappear?

    You really think 75 years is any time at all? A blink of an eye.

    In other words, you have no evidence to support your contention, just an assertion that <maybe, someday it might happen and, therefore, we should take away the right of women to control whether or not they have babies just because they engage in the “recreation” of sex? (not to mention the non-recreational uses of contraception!)

    I’ve only skimmed your link to the well known issue that highly prosperous nations have lower birth rates than, say, India. I don’t know why you think that is relevant to whether we, in the US, are about to lose running water, indoor plumbing, electricity and cars. A society like India, that largely lacks those things, in no small part because of their failure to make contraception widely available, would, to a rational person, be a counter example.

    Yeah, Mark Twain was such a danger to civilization!

    Why not? There are few things more powerful than a book.

    You’re right! There have been nothing more dangerous to civilization than the Bible (not to mention the Qur’an). But I have read the Bible and Twain and I know who I prefer and trust.

  49. says

    “If you think I’m a troll, just ignore me.”

    Dear Johnny Fuckface:

    Except for the time it takes to insult you, I DO ignore you, you piece of shit, self-important fuckbagtroll.

  50. says

    democommie mentioned:

    Except for the time it takes to insult you, I DO ignore you, you piece of shit, self-important fuckbagtroll.

    To be fair, I think your words are way too kind for Jonathan Grayface. I don’t think I can verbally express the sheer contempt I have for that lump of filth, but you gave it a good go! :D

  51. steffp says

    @ Dingo, #48
    Thanks for the Aristotle citation – indeed, the mentors of the mighty ones seem to say the same stuff for millenia.
    As for yo-yo’s boy god YHV, it seems that the whole “Bible recovery project” took place to give King Josiah exactly that kind of legitimization, which was why suddenly Deuteronomy was “found” in the temple…

    @ countmagnus, #58
    Indeed, fallacy of the excluded middle. Of course, for a devout for whom the whole raison d’etre of sexual activity are the global statistical average 2.36 births per female lifetime, such binary thinking is inevitable. And, as such consistent renunciation is pretty painful. it has to be defended as absolutely necessary. Ergo the stubbornness, as if systemic permanent frustration were the foundation of everything cultural. In the Aristotelian cynical sense it surely is: the sweetest fruits are for the biggest animals, who have their harems or concubines like David etc, while the average proles can’t afford marriage or having sex at all. It’s a proven way to produce martyrs.

    @Jonathan, #51
    “A healthy society would certainly be one in which a rich man felt an obligation to consider both the common good and the state of his own soul, something better achieved by a strong religious culture than by redistributive legislation.”
    As if we didn’t have any first-hand experience with such “strong religious cultures” – medieval Europe, Czarist Russia, today’s Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia… Places with insufficient social systems, famines, high child mortality, low life expectancy, permanent wars, and an inevitably greedy and obscenely rich upper class, whose idea of charity is distributing the remnants of their dinner to the queued-up paupers. If they behave, that is. You can have your illusions, but not your own facts.

  52. dingojack says

    Oh Jon-Jon – is this the best you can do? :(

    However, we do classify avarice as a deadly sin.”
    Do ‘we’ ? That’ll be news to the Raping Children Church for one.

    A healthy society would certainly be one in which a rich man felt an obligation to consider both the common good…”
    Ok so far, but then …
    … and the state of his own soul, something better achieved by a strong religious culture than by redistributive legislation
    Citations required.

    But sex is more primal and incendiary than wealth, as it goes to the heart of the family — and it is the family, not the individual, who is the fundamental unit of society, its basic cell.
    Citations required.

    No wonder that you seem to be attracting so many ‘point and laugh’ responses.

    Dingo

  53. says

    “it is the family, not the individual, who is the fundamental unit of society, its basic cell.”

    To be fair to Jonathangray, I’m pretty sure Einstein proved this. Or was it Watson and Crick and whatsername?

  54. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    johnathangrey:

    If you want to indulge in the unrestrained sex granted by birth control, you will lose your running water, electricity, indoor plumbing, and internal combustion engines. And of course when that happens, you will lose your unrestrained sex as well.

    This was hilarious. “Because whores only work on their backs” is apparently the presumption. But it’s a well known fact that they do the 9 to 5 which keep society properly lubricated as well. Figuratively on that last bit…

  55. says

    If you want to indulge in the unrestrained sex granted by birth control, you will lose your running water, electricity, indoor plumbing, and internal combustion engines.

    Really? So how come the world’s most sexually-repressive societies have the LEAST of all those good things? I don’t see Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia or Nigeria getting any richer after being taken over by sexually-repressive religious bigots. Also, America’s sexual revolution coincided with an INCREASE in overall wealth, opportunity and power; and the Republican rollback of that sexual freedom just happened to coincide with decreases in practically all measures of national wealth.

    The sexually-liberated America was the leader in scientific and technological progress, and benefiting from civil-rights and racial-equality movements that made us the envy of large parts of the world. The America led by right-wing repressive authoritarians is a country going backward in every way we were once going forward.

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