Friday, February 17, 2012

Running for Pope?

Dear Madame L,

I've been listening to Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum's pronouncements on abortion and birth control, and I can barely believe what he's saying. It sounds like he doesn't want women to be able to have an abortion even if they've been a victim of rape or incest. And he's going even further, saying the states should be able to ban birth control.

Is he running for president or for Pope? But if being Pope were an elective office, I think he'd have problems, because 98 percent of Catholic women have used the Pill or some other form of Catholic-disapproved  birth control during their lives.


Freedom of Religion, My Goodness

Dear Freedom and Goodness,

Former Sen. Santorum appears to be farther to the right than anyone could have imagined, while Mitt Romney has been called the most liberal Republican ever to make it this far in a national contest.

Madame L strongly opposes abortion but strongly supports the right of women to make decisions for themselves about their bodies and their health. The example you give (and which Rick Santorum gives) of a woman who has been raped or victimized by a close family member is extreme and shows just how extreme Santorum's ideas are. Even most politicians who want to show how firmly conservative they are acknowledge that giving birth to a child from those circumstances should be a decision left up to the mother, not some conservative man. If Santorum had his way, women who have already had power taken from them by men who force sex upon them (and as we all know, these acts are not really done out of sexual desire but out of a desire to show power and to victimize another human being)  would be put in a position of losing even more power over their own bodies.

Madame L has just found the online video of Santorum's chief millionaire conservative backer, the financier of Santorum's Super-PAC, saying, ""Back in my days they'd use Bayer aspirin for contraceptions. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn't that costly."

The gals? 

The last time Madame L heard that "joke" was from her high-school P.E. teacher, who was subsequently reprimanded after girls complained to their parents, who complained to the principal.  

If there is a woman left in this country who will vote for Rick Santorum after hearing that kind of crude, rude, tin-eared, and outdated remark, Madame L doesn't want to meet her.

(Santorum has, as expected, "distanced" himself from the comment. Big whup.)

Please, please, can we separate religious beliefs from state priorities and practices? (See Constitution, First Amendment.) And could the Catholic bishops who are making such a big stink about Pres. Obama's health insurance policies on birth control stop being such hypocrites? (See "Catholic hypocrisy at its worst.")


Madame L

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