Monday, March 12th, 2012 at 8:28 pm
As I enjoy following politics and think it’s very important to do so, I have spent this past two week listening to this debacle that a heartless individual, Rush Limbaugh, and the lost Republican Party candidates have created. As I was not paying much attention early on, and was picking up pieces here and there, I thought, “oh, here they go after abortion again”. Last week when I tuned in I found out, forget about abortion, they have moved on to contraception.
Although it is pretty obvious to me that this is all a scramble to find any point to raise against President Barack Obama, which is what has led the crude right crowd to flaunt this issue as an infringement on First Amendment rights in a manipulative manner, I still can’t help but address this incredulous matter. At first I was skeptical about the Democrats calling the unfolding events as a “War on Women”. I thought this was their spin on the situation, and while that may have been the case, I can’t help but feel as if they have a point. From my observation I found myself asking why are the vocal right, the family values party only addressing women about contraception when obviously it involves men too and yet the first panel they brought in to speak about the use of contraception included only men!
Why is Limbaugh attacking women and demonizing them when the very essence of the issue involves both men and women. And then this supposedly great upholder and voice of values wants to see the videos of the women! Are these the examples of good family values! Where do their family values go when they attack women for taking contraception, why do they not address men too! Or are they meaning to say that it should be the men who get to make the choice of whether women will get pregnant and to have the good sense to protect themselves. I mean if you take away the contraceptives and you listen to the argument of these right wing Republicans when they say that “they still have the choice of birth control” they are obviously talking about the kind that can be bought at a local drugstore, and we all know that involves men not women.
Above all how can these supposedly highly educated and intelligent leaders fail to recognize that millions of women take contraceptives not as a birth control, but for other medical disorders. So when they say that this is not a war on women rights, but rather a freedom of religion issue, why do they speak about contraceptives only as a birth control? The very point of bringing up this whole discussion seems to me to be actually the right and Republicans attacking not only women but freedom of religion.
President Obama had already exempted all religious entities from the requirement to provide free contraception through insurance plans; however the Republicans refused to back down their attack on President Obama, claiming he was ignoring the religious rights and freedoms of Americans and subsequently in an outrageous act attached the Blunt-Rubio amendment to the Highway Bill. This amendment would have allowed any employer to refuse to provide for any type of health care they believed was immoral. They were presumably planning on trying to pass an amendment which would give employees a great big loophole against the Universal Healthcare Reform Act signed by President Obama. What they managed to do was to kill an opportunity to create lots of jobs and instead led the country into this whole fiasco of a frivolous yet damaging argument. They continue to claim that the current law infringes upon the religious rights of people. How is that? Employers will be providing medical insurance, they don’t know what the employees’ medical needs are, and why should it matter to them. Furthermore, the freedom of religion and separation of church and state was meant not only to give every individual a right to follow whatever religion they choose but to also not give preference to the religion of any one group of individuals over others. If the Blunt-Rubio amendment had passed it would have enforced and given preference to the religious beliefs of employers. What about the employee’s religious beliefs.
When there is such a variation on beliefs, the public interest must be given greater weight. Otherwise why not allow Mormons to marry more than one person, because it is in accordance to their religious beliefs, or for those who follow the religion of Hinduism, who believe in a strict vegetarian diet, to say that they shouldn’t be forced to provide medicine which are made with animal gelatin or enzymes. In this case the point that contraception is not against all religious beliefs, moreover is an essential to millions of women for serious medical disorders and additionally the necessity to provide affordable health care are all overwhelmingly more important and compelling arguments against these hollow and in genuine claims by the Republicans. I can’t help but wonder why these baffling people are not able to recognize that all these issues are not only a women or men issue, black or white, religious or non-religious issue, but rather most importantly it’s a personal human medical private matters.
I’ve always been amazed at the hypocrisy that the right has engaged in. They portray their family and religious values as the essential aspect of their agenda, however we are constantly and continuously finding out about so many of their leaders being anything but good family people. They embrace and hold onto their Constitutional rights, as long as it is applied to themselves, but they then so easily turn their backs on those very dear rights when it would be applied to people who are different than them. The other major issue that they are always scaring people about is how the government shouldn’t have any control over our lives, again as long as they are able to maneuver matters according to their own fixed ideas and benefits. The hypocrisy just glares out to anyone who is paying attention, at least that’s how it would seem to me.
When I look to my faith, I find that Islam gives us the best guidance on this issue of contraception. As reported by Jabir, one of the eminent companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him), “We used to practice ‘azl (coitus interruption) while the Qur’an was being revealed; had it been forbidden to do so, the Qur’an certainly would have declared so.” (Bukahri)
And majority of scholars have deemed all forms of birth control to be permissible, as long as the method is not irreversible, and is temporary and by mutual consent of the both husband and wife.
Because although marriage is encouraged and recommended even at an early age, to provide husband and wife with companionship, it is recognized that the couple may not be ready to have children. Men and women prefer to have children when they can adequately care for them and raise them with full attention, which is a right of the children upon the parents, therefore in order to wait for an appropriate time when the couple can adequately and wholeheartedly care for their children, they are allowed to practice ‘azl’ or birth control. Furthermore, Islam doesn’t make this a woman or man issue, as it involves the agreement or decision of both. Once again Islam proves to make it easy for Muslims.