There is an asshat on Capitol Hill
Who is a Deadbeat Dad and a Douchebag still
To a panel of holy men in sable robes of doom
Says he, let us now lock up the lady’s room
Birth control has naught to do with women! Chill.
Edward G. Nilges 24 Feb 2012. Moral rights have been asserted so shove it.
With this, my lord, myself have nought to do.
Naught to do with mistress Shore! I tell thee, fellow,
He that doth naught with her, excepting one,
Were best he do it secretly, alone.
What one, my lord?
Her husband, knave: wouldst thou betray me?
Shakespeare, Richard III
The Repub Right is making an issue out of the “religious freedom” of employers to restrict the policies they offer to exclude not only abortion but also contraception: since I can get rubbers off the shelf in the drugstore in Hong Kong in a variety of styles and sizes with a variety of lubricants and flavors…this smacks of utter insanity.
The problem here is that Joe “Deadbeat Dad” Walsh is insisting on a “religious freedom” to be *Ha’rem*, “Quaker”, “trembling” and “pure”, because the employer, who under the law provides coverage that includes coverage for birth control or abortion, doesn’t actually use the birth control or get the abortion. Nor does the employer pay for it. Instead, the insurance company as a corporation (which despite Citizens United is not a moral agent) pays or reimburses for the procedure or birth control.
Obama could have said, screw you, the payment is made by a corporation: corporations were set up as eaters of sins: they are able to stiff creditors while preserving the good name of even their major stockholders: so let them share the blame with the person that uses the rubber or gets the abortion, and the doctor in the latter case. Next question.
But he didn’t, unfortunately.
The only people responsible for the use of the birth control or the abortion are the patient and doctor. But politicians without intelligence thrive on moral panic, and transitivity (the second, third or nth hand presumed responsibility for an immoral act) means that the politician can always create a transitive moral panic. It’s much easier to do so than to say, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.
The problem was noted by Max Weber, I believe. Capitalism links people whether they like it or not through the cash nexus whereas in the Middle Ages of the Christian west, the pious were isolated from taint by remoteness, barter and feudal obligations. They didn’t have “insurance” and didn’t handle money, engage in trade, or borrow or lend in most cases. Indeed, the Jews who lent money, and engaged in long distance trade with Islamic countries thought wicked, were feared and hated because of the taint of the Other they carried with them.
Which is why sects that make a real effort to isolate themselves from intercourse with nonmembers, the Mennonites of Kansas: the Amish of Pennsylvania: the ultra Orthodox Jews (who don’t conform to the somewhat stereotypical characterization above) formerly of Eastern Europe, now of the United States and Israel: and to a small extent even the Quakers: all date back, not to the middle ages but rather to early capitalist Europe.
They became “tremblers”, “those who fear God”, and purifiers because increased intercourse with non-believers made them realize that they could be unwittingly polluted through a transitive relationship with evil: the Trembler gives money to someone who uses it to commit a sin, and this makes him tremble.
He missed the part of the Dies Irae that asks cum vix justus sit securus, that it might not be possible to be “pure”…that Kierkegaard was right.
The transitive game can always be played: we can, especially if we’re “obsessive compulsive”, always feel guilty. Transitively, an American who so much as pays taxes can be responsible for far more evil than a single use of birth control or even an abortion, because his taxes can set cities on fire and kill babies. Unless you join a monastery there’s no escaping this and perhaps not even then.
The common sense view, though rarely stated, is intransitive. We pay our taxes, obey the law, and take responsibility for our families and friends. If a separate moral agent “intervenes” between us and an evil deed we don’t ordinarily blame ourselves for his or her wrong choice. At most, in intimate relations, we blame ourselves as “enablers”.
Therefore it’s a stretch and deeply dishonest for this clown Joe Walsh to claim that an employer should have the “religious freedom” to refuse to buy a policy that includes abortions and contraception. That employer is for one thing his own money laundry: businesses accept money that may be stolen all the time (all the time) and never concern themselves with ensuring that the customer has earned the money he pays. Yet in the transitive view, the business is enjoying the fruits of crime.
Of course, Joe Walsh doesn’t give a good goddamn about religious freedom. For starters, he is, in contravention of the First Amendment, trying to impose religious beliefs on others who might even believe that they have an ethical, or even religio-ethical, responsibility not to bring children into the world when they know they cannot support them. Walsh merely seeks to torpedo health insurance on behalf of the 1% who have it and see no reason why we should. The 99% need to be ha’rem and to tremble…before the real God(s) of today, money and power.
A saint gives money to a beggar without enquiring whether the beggar will spend the money wisely or only on “good” things. An asshat or a douchebag excuses himself from an eleemosynary act based on what is essentially a lower form of morality, or utter hypocrisy.
And, oh yeah, this douchebag is a deadbeat Dad who owes thousands in child support…slow burn…grr…
A dope like me works his ass off for thirty years in a field he hates (software engineering) but is good at with incompetent little douchebags for the most part who bore him out of his skull…to pay child support, and my younger kid thinks it’s cool not to contact me. Obviously I should have been like most deadbeat Dads and said “I won’t pay child support so my ex-wife can buy booze”.
News flash: money is fungible and it’s the little lady’s choice for which she will answer to God, not you.
Male morality is a curious thing indeed. It seems to be a constant effort to control reproduction and the body.