Fri Jan 11, 2013, 11:22 AM
SpartanDem (4,469 posts)
Memory vs. Hobby Lobby: Evangelicals and contraception
In a post discussing her “Religious hopes for 2013,” Carol Howard Merritt struggles to reconcile what white evangelicals are saying today about contraception with what they were saying until just a few years ago:
Growing up as a teen in a conservative Christian culture, I read Passion and Purity. I was advised to take the pill for medical reasons and refused because I thought it would make sex more tempting. I also thought that using a condom would be like premeditated sin, because you would have to have to buy them beforehand and plan on having sex. But there was no sense that birth control was somehow tied to abortion.
This is a radical act, the act of remembering when the powers that be are telling you not to. Merritt remembers what evangelicals taught when she was a teenager and she remembers that it was the opposite of what evangelicals are teaching and saying and fighting legal battles over today.
But even though Merritt isn’t old, and her teenage years weren’t that long ago, one still doesn’t have to remember back that far to remember a time when what evangelicals thought and taught about contraception was very different from the position they claim in their current political war against health care.
You only have to remember the Bush administration. Not Bush 41, Bush 43. Less than 10 years ago. If you can still remember the OutKast song “Hey Ya!” then you can still remember the days when the evangelical leaders disagreed with and disavowed the claims about contraception that they’re now fighting to defend in court.
And if you can remember all the way back to those bygone days, then you can not only remember when evangelicals were saying something different about contraception, you can understand why and how they changed. As Merritt writes:
The Religious Right took up the cause of birth control because the Roman Catholic Church is against birth control. Since the Religious Right evangelicals and some Catholics could join forces and become more powerful in their shared quest to defeat Barack Obama, then they decided to add birth control as an issue. We began to hear the pill referred to more as an “abortifacient.”
For people who see the world in such black and white terms they sure like moving the goal post.
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