The media, liberal and conservative, seemed to erupt last week after Rush Limbaugh made some disparaging remarks about Sandra Fluke. Ms. Fluke is a third year laws student at the Catholic Institution, Georgetown University Law Center. For those who may have missed the ruckus, Ms. Fluke writes in “Sandra Fluke: Slurs won’t silence women” :
Last month, students from several Catholic universities gathered to send a message to the nation that contraception is basic health care. I was among them, and I was proud to share the stories of my friends at Georgetown Law who have suffered dire medical consequences because our student insurance does not cover contraception for the purpose of preventing pregnancy.
Putting aside the fact that Rush tastelessly used personal and insulting language in describing Ms Fluke, for which he has apologized several times, was Rush out of line in wondering why others should be expected to pay the cost for Ms. Fluke’s, and by extension, all women’s contraception? We don’t think so. As the media firestorm erupted this week over Rush’s comments, it was brought to everyone’s attention that David Letterman, Bill Mahr and many other liberal mouthpieces have said far worse about women on their shows with no backlash from the mainstream media or the feminists at all. Indeed, liberal apologists maintain that these men are mere entertainers, and as such, are free to say whatever they want, but Rush should be banned from the airwaves, and according to Gloria Allred, criminally prosecuted! And yet, no conservative that has been paying attention to anything for the past few decades can be surprised by this double standard. Freedom of speech today seems to mean that people are free to agree with the liberal elites.
However, our concern is not really about the right or wrong of name calling, no matter how egregious, and no matter what “side” of the political/cultural divide the insults and name calling proceeds from. The “divide” is a fact of life in America now, and it can be very vicious. Indeed, anyone who steps into the political or cultural arena today can pretty much expect to come under fire – fairly or unfairly. I think the issue is one of religious liberty.
Just to be clear, we are not Roman Catholic and so we don’t necessarily agree with all of their doctrinal positions. But in free America, Roman Catholics do have a legitimate and constitutional right to hold them. On issues of sexuality, the Roman Catholic position is clear and has been consistent in their positions for generations:
Marriage is between a man and a woman.
Sex is not to be engaged in outside of marriage. This includes fornication, adultery, same gender sex, pedophilia, etc.
Use of contraception to prevent pregnancy is sin in their view. They do approve of certain methods to avoid pregnancy within the bounds of marriage but most forms of contraception are not on that list. They do make an exception and allow birth control pills to treat cysts on ovaries. In other words, they make an exception to treat an illness and they do not regard pregnancy as an illness.
Abortion is the taking of a human life – not only highly immoral, but an act of murder.
That individual Catholics do not follow all the proscriptions and official teachings of their church changes nothing – it does not negate the church’s right to hold and proclaim them. No one of lives in complete consistency with even our own consciences, but the fact that human beings fail does not negate right and wrong – and we maintain that most people do know right from wrong. Churches cannot and should not change their doctrines to keep up with the times, or to accommodate human weakness. Churches are to hold up the moral standard, regardless of the popularity of its stand. The Ten Commandments were never put to a vote! Would adultery, coveting and lying still be in there if it had been?
We have to wonder if Sandra Flute is really equipped to be an attorney though. Our concern stems from a series of questions:
Was she aware that Georgetown University Law Center is a Roman Catholic institution?
Is she aware that the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church prohibits sexual relations outside of marriage?
Is she aware that the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church is opposed to contraception?
If she is ignorant of these issues, that would demonstrate a serious lack of ability to gather the necessary decision-making information that is required in the practice of law. If, on the other hand, she is well aware of these issues, then it is apparent that she deems freedom of religion under the Constitution as meaningless, in which case she is unqualified to be an attorney, since our constitutional rights are foundational to all of our laws.
Sandra Fluke has the right to believe and practice as she chooses about extramarital sex. She has the right to use contraception and already has complete “access” to it, like everyone else. She does not have the right to expect the rest of society to pay for her behavioral choices in the privacy of her bedroom, though, and she certainly has no right to deprive others of their freedom of conscience and freedom of religion