Sunday, February 05, 2012

What Is It With Conservatives and Sex?

This past week’s sexually-related political news has left me, as usual, with my mouth agape and my head spinning.  I am increasingly astonished, appalled and frightened by the sexual Puritanism that increasingly spans the American political landscape.  The Conservative desire to “take their country back,” presumably back to 1952, refuses to acknowledge that 60 years and a sexual revolution have passed.  That’s the fact, Jack, like it or not.

I’m referring specifically to the (thankfully thwarted) politically-motivated decision by the breast cancer charity, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, to withdraw their longstanding support of Planned Parenthood.  They bought into the lie that Planned Parenthood is “the nation’s largest abortion mill.”

Komen didn’t want to jeopardize their mainstream support from abortion opponents who feel about breast cancer the same way they feel about children with cleft lips in poor countries and battered kittens everywhere.  Truth is, only 3% of Planned Parenthood’s activity is performing abortions; the rest is devoted to all other women’s health needs, especially breast health and making contraception readily available.  Their core clientele is poor and working class women.

The other assaults du week on women’s health, freedom and day-to-day survival came, of course, from the Greek Chorus of Republican Presidential contenders, including Mitt Romney’s dismissal of the very poor (predominantly women and children), Newt Gingrich’s assertion that America “has always been a bible-based country,” and Rick Santorum’s assorted invectives against abortion (which he claimed is linked to breast cancer; not true), homosexuality, and contraception, because the last enables sinful activity, also known as sex, by unmarried and married “fornicators.”

The scientific ignorance, prudery, social obliviousness, and presumption that personal sexual activity is of legitimate governmental concern, is frightening – as well as an unconstitutional infringement on personal liberty.  But the media feed into it as if it were nothing more than a Hollywood “scandal” to have a giggle over, and the public…well, the largely-politically-disengaged public either doesn’t know or care that there is a dangerous social movement in our midst.

I understand fiscal conservatism.  I don’t agree with it or think it’s in the nation’s best interest – but it isn’t insane, it’s just a particular belief about how to manage taxpayer funds.  It’s up to taxpayers (citizens!) to tell government through votes, petitions and other recourse, what they do and don’t want their money spent on, and we don’t vote or speak out anywhere near enough.

What I don’t understand is social conservatism, which is deeply rooted in Fundamental Christianity and focuses on the sanctity of The Family and the Evils of Sin (also known as human sexuality).  They believe that the only appropriate sexuality is heterosexuality between monogamous, legally married couples for the sole purpose of reproduction.  All and any other sexual activity on the part of consenting adults is sinful.

If these ideas were simply the moral foundation upon which some people choose to live their lives, there would be no problem.  I’ve often said that the best pro-choice slogan I’ve ever heard is: “If you don’t believe in abortion, don’t have one.”

The problem – and it’s a very big and important problem – is that social conservatives, the same people who say government should stay out of people’s personal lives – want to legislate their definition of morality and outlaw everyone else’s.  And anyone who opposes them is either a fascist or a socialist, but in either case, a degenerate sinner.  Give me a fucking break.  Literally.

Attention liberals, libertarians and all free-thinkers: have sex freakily and frequently.  It’s not just your right – it’s your civic responsibility!

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