Real World Vs. Rightie World

I’ve already written about the new “conscience” rules that would allow just about everybody working in most hospitals and pharmacies to second guess doctors and refuse to follow medical procedures for “moral” reasons. Better to kill a few patients than to morally contaminate oneself by cleaning instruments that might terminate a pregnancy, right?

We have plenty of real-world examples of the many ways “conscience” (note to righties: the quotation marks indicate irony) puts the health of patients at risk. These include an ambulance driver refusing to transport a patient in pain and pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions — prescriptions prescribed to treat disease, btw, not contraceptives — from disapproved-of clinics. The Bush Administration’s rules could create chaos in the delivery of medical care and put many patients at risk, sometimes for reasons that have nothing to do with sex. Not that there are any excuses where sex is involved.

An editorial in the New York Times addresses this:

A parting gift to the far right, the new regulation aims to hinder women’s access to abortion, contraceptives and the information necessary to make decisions about their own health. What makes it worse is that the policy is wrapped up in a phony claim to safeguard religious freedom.

The law has long allowed doctors and nurses to refuse to participate in an abortion. Mr. Leavitt’s changes elevate the so-called right to refuse beyond reason to an increased number of medical institutions and a broad range of health care workers and services — including abortion referrals, unbiased counseling and provision of emergency contraception, even to rape victims.

Commenting on this travesty is one of our favorite candidates for the character disorder hall of fame, William Teach, who comes by here to comment from time to time. I don’t remember if I’ve banned him, and if he drops in again y’all can have fun with him, as you usually do.

Teach is, of course, in denial about the danger these “rules” pose for everyone’s health care — I mean, who cares about the real world when you’re a rightie? — and the injustice of denying rape victims contraceptive information. I thought this passage in particular was illuminating:

So, let me see, Bush has, to paraphrase Ann Coulter, undermined a women’s “right” to have casual, irresponsible, unprotected sex with men she doesn’t want to have children with.

Earlier this week, Dennis Prager revealed a sexual backwardness that defies description — I’d call it sexual autism, except that’s an insult to autistics — and our buddy R.S. McCain chimed in (same link) with an apology for sexual exploitation and forced marriage of girls as young as 12.

I’m beginning to think that movement conservatism is, at base, a kind of psychological-sexual dysfunction. You know these guys are terrified of women’s sexuality. They’d have us women in burqas and condone stoning of rape victims if they could get away with it. They’d deny that, but in fact, what is the difference between denying a rape victim reproductive rights and stoning her for unchastity? It’s a difference purely in degree, not in kind, rooted in the same twisted views of women and sexuality.

19 thoughts on “Real World Vs. Rightie World

  1. If a health care provider or pharmacist has a problem with someone who’s gay or lesbian they can deny them services as well, or refuse to fill prescriptions for AIDS medications. What if someone’s twisted religious beliefs teach you that ethnic minorities are intristically evil? Can they refuse to treat anyone but white patients? Just where does this nonsense end and who would be safe from it? I sure hope the courts or the legislators shut this down quickly.

    WA has been dealing with the issue of pharmacists being required to fill ‘scipts they disagree with. As far as I am concerned it is a licensed and regulated industry. If you cannot fill such prescriptions then you are not capable of fulfilling your contractual obligations and should not be allowed a license to dispense. Period. Find another line of work where you can discriminate to your hearts content.

  2. What’s with the McCain asshole? I see in his commentary where he puts “spiritual marriage” in quotes in what appears to be an effort to diminish the seriousnesss of the crime brought against the cult — like the State of Texas is just chasing rainbows. I sense he is trying to say that some of the marriages haven’t been consummated, so therefore no tangible offense has occured.

    Doesn’t he understand that these young girls are having something far more precious than just their sexual autonomy taken from them? It’s the theft of their freedom and basic human rights that is the gross violation of law that caused the State of Texas to act as it did. Yet McCain seem to be unable to grasp the real value of what’s at stake. And for whatever he can understand, he should understand that no amount of money spent can be used in a comparison of values when freedom is being weighted.

  3. Let’s extend this new rule.
    Taxi drivers won’t have to pick-up black or hispanic riders – or take them to their destinations. “I’ll drop you off here. That neighborhood sucks.”
    Bus drivers can skip certain stops they don’t like.
    Teachers don’t have to cover subjects they disagree with. “I don’t like the results of the Civil War, so I won’t cover it!”
    Restaurant’s don’t have to serve people of color. Or women. Or whatever…
    Diners won’t have salt shakers – too much high blood-pressure these days.
    Ministers and Priest’s can choose to whom they give last-rights. “I think he/she’s gay, so they’re damned anyway. I won’t waste my time here. Goodbye…”
    Where does all of this end?
    We live in a truly “F”-ed up society…

  4. I agree, Maha. Everything’s always about sex.
    If you think about it, on some level each of us is aware of our own inadequacies, and sometimes we find it easier to blame somebody else for the problem. If you’re so bad, then I must be so good.

  5. I sense he is trying to say that some of the marriages haven’t been consummated,

    Yeah, and I’m Brad Pitt.

    Every now and then there will be news stories about 8-year-old Middle Eastern girls married off to old men, and the Right Blogosphere holds these things up as examples of the depravity of Islam. But when the same thing happens here and the perps are superficially “Christian,” somehow that’s different.

    Of course, this doesn’t have anything to do with religion. It has to do with the natural evolution of highly patriarchal and authoritative cultures. Sooner or later, the women get hidden under burqas or 19th century “little house on the prairie” dresses, or their feet are bound, or some other thing, and the young girls are married off to old men. ‘Tis always thus.

  6. Thanks for realizing calling sociopathism “autistic” is an insult to people with autism. Too many people lately are mixing up those terms.

  7. The Republican Party has been searching for some trick to make irrational discrimination legal again. It looks like they might have found exactly that.

    From direct observation I conclude the following: For decades the American Evangelical so-called ‘christian’ has been claiming they MUST discriminate against whomever they feel like. Apparently somewhere in their bibles Jesus Christ says that the only way to get into heaven is to make sure that you are personally responsible for making as many other people as totally miserable as possible. If you can kill them by your callous hatred, so much the better. These so-called ‘christians’ declare that laws that prevent them from open hatred of their fellow man is somehow discriminating against them.

    This new issue, legalizing personal discrimination in one’s professional setting, is the latest attempt to re-legalize the hatred the American Evangelical are ordered by their religion have toward their fellows. As the law is applied to stop this blatantly illegal discrimination Obama’s BFF Rick Warren, and others like him, will scream from the rooftops that their ‘god-given’ rights to treat people like shit, as demanded by their anti-Christian religion, are being violated, that they are being discriminated against by forcing them to stop discriminating against others.

    These pro-discrimination, anti-Christians are trying to bring about an America that is exactly as other commenters describe. Where blatant, pointless and open discrimination is the norm everywhere.

    The arguments from these inhumane people that preach the opposite of what Christ actaully said (Rick Warren, I’m looking at you!) all reminds me of quote from Jello Biafra:

    “God told me to skin you alive”

    And as we know, God is infallible and all-knowing…

    Here is a quote from the Most Righteous and Holy Simpsons, “I was away at Bible Camp, learning to be more judgmental.”

    Disclaimer: I know that there are good Christians in America that are working very hard to fulfill the teachings of Jesus. I have a lot of respect for them. And I know that there are Christians that are mortified that the teachings of Jesus are being twisted into their opposite to justify such evil as this discrimination edict from the Bush Administration. I am thankful for them and I wish they got as much publicity as the ones that preach the opposite of Jesus’ message (like Rick Warren).

  8. And, of course, when the pharmacist refuses to fill the prescription for a woman’s post-abortion pain meds or birth control, the patient is reluctant to speak up because of the implied shame of these medications. It would be hard for me to screech about a pharmacy refusing to fill my prescription for nuva ring, since one of my students might be shopping in the store that day.

  9. The thing I’ve noticed is when conservatives demonize homosexuality. What is *their* concept of love and sexual relations if their first instinct is to assume that someone else is depraved and disgusting?

  10. Oh, how I wish it were all about sex.

    You forgot greed and hate.

    Now what were those other deadly sins? They’ll get to them soon enough.

  11. Comment should read

    A really important and little read book that illuminates the connection between fascism and sex is Male Fantasies by Klaus Theweleit in two volumes.
    It is all about the Freikorps, disaffected German soldiers from WWI who became the Nazi and SS officers. It is a great study of those mens’ fear of women, communism, and other things like water and the color red. A very relevant read today as that disorder infects the American right and there is not enough notice of the underpinning fear of women.

  12. Oh, come on… you’all are not being nearly cynical enough.

    The idea is yet another ideological win-win-win… (1) abortion opponents finally get to see something tangible by causing systemic pain to them looose women (‘specially them mi-narties, that don’t have the wherewithal to sue the asses out of anyone stupid enough to think they could follow these regs and actually injure or kill anyone along the way), (2) the Norquist government-destroyer crowd gets one of the finest examples ever that government never works– in this case, by “legalizing” institutionalized chaos in health care (more accurately, more institutionalized chaos than is already there), and (3) the beloved health “insurance” industry gets an excuse for a whole new class of things it doesn’t have to cover (now out of”conscience”) while still collecting premiums for the privilege of playing God.

    As a bonus, the Bushmen get to couch this all in the coded language of patriarchy.

    It’s another Festivus miracle!

  13. “I’m beginning to think that movement conservatism is, at base, a kind of psychological-sexual dysfunction.”

    Well, gee–where’ve you been? It was labeled Right Wing Little Dick Syndrome YEARS ago.

    I’m of the opinion, and have seen no reason to alter it, that the spittle-flecked RAGE that wingers go into over Bill Clinton is directly related to the fact that he Got Some and they Git None.

    Big Bill got a free blow-job from a nubile twenty-something (and she was LOVIN’ it), didn’t get impeached, didn’t get taken in a pricey divorce, and is still known as the BIG dog. As in BIG. He’s got his wife, his legacy, his popularity, and all the wingers got is a rosy palm and a Jesus-addled obese wife who thinks sex is nasty and you had enough for the babies and there won’t be anymore so just forget it! And to top it off, the hormone-swathed teen babysitter hottie thinks you’re like totally gross and slides all the way over to the passenger side door when you drive her home and won’t talk about her boyfriends with you even.

    I’m only slightly amazed it took you so long to come to this startlingly obvious fact–that wingers are lacking in manly parts and performance and their only consolation is hypermasculine bloviating and war because women won’t have them except for they money.

  14. Will this regulation trump anti-discrimination law? There’s plenty of people working in the medical profession in the South who are racists and would love to get out of treating black and Mexican folks – and will be able to point to their “morals”, which many in the South agree with.

  15. The rationalle: “Just because something is legal does not mean it’s moral. If you are a moral person, you can decline to participate – AND BE FREE OF ANY CONSEQUENCES.”

    Rosa Parks took a stand & went to jail. Cassius Clay went to jail. MLK went to jail. They placed their moral beliefs above the law, and they paid a price for it. If a pharmacist won’t fill an RX for moral reasons, I respect that. If he/she gets fired, that’s also appropriate. Your job is not your church, all of society does not subscribe to your beliefs. You take a huge risk if you try to IMPOSE those convictions (whether you are right or wrong) on society. So there SHOULD be repercussions.

    Put a larger frame on the picture. Once Obama was elected, all hopes to oveturn Roe v Wade were dashed – probably for decades. They are looking for any battle where they mght win sympathy in defeat. Also spelled ‘posturing’. This will have little-to-no real impact except as an issue where the Republicans try to paint themselves as morally superior to the Democrats who are opressing them. This is pure swill, but you can bank on it.

    Bush has motives that are purely personal. You heard about the parents whose child was so ugly thay had to tie a pork chop around his neck so the dog would play with him. Bush is tying this last pork chop around his neck in the hope of building support with the only conservative group irrational enough to ignore what the meaning of his presidency actuially is.

  16. Among the other potential horror scenarios is the possibility that doctors will decide that fat people aren’t deserving of the same level of treatment that thin people are, claiming that by refusing to provide certain services to the obese, they’re trying to motivate them to change their “lifestyle” – even though it’s been shown repeatedly that diet (even diet + exercise) does not lead to long-term weight loss in the vast majority of diets that are undertaken. Per the New England Journal of Medicine, roughly 95% of all people who begin diets will either fail to lose as much weight as they had hoped *or* within 5 years, they will have regained virtually all (and in some cases more) of the weigh they’d lost.

    Fat people already have to fight with their doctors to get access to the best treatment for any other disorders they might happen to have – letting the docs off by claiming that they consider it morally offensive for people to be fat – will do NOTHING to improve that.

  17. For Chrissakes if you were for one minute to tell any of the far right nimrods that they could no longer smoke a stogie — that it was illegal, there would be such a hugh and cry, it would wake the dead. This sort of invasion into the lives of the chosen ones should expose how self centered these people are. DON’T you DARE intrude into the smallest detail of their life, but WE will tell YOU how to live yours. In the final chapter isn’t all this shit supposed to come down to you and your god? Or don’t these sorry samples of humanity think GOD is up to the task?

  18. When dealing with Christian Fundies, there are 3 distict settings in my mind, and for the SAME issue I have different responses. I will use Pastor Rick as an example, but this is not about him.

    In the first setting Pastor Rick is in his church preaching to his flock. IMO, he has a right to believe as he interprets his faith; he has no obligation to perform same-sex marriage. The separation of church & state gives him the right to beliefs that may be offensive to me. The exception to his freedom involves children; the right of the state to protect them from exploitation until they reach an age they can decide for themselves has been upheld consistantly.

    In the second setting the preacher has moved out of his comfort zone into the world beyond their church as Pastor Rick does. It’s appropriate for churches to do this; a lot of what churches do for the poor is underreported, and it’s not wrong that these outreach programs also use their influence to ‘save souls’. (Disclaimer: I am not christian and don’t agree with the premise of salvation, but I am tolerent of those wo DO have this beleif system.)

    Up to this point, it’s all cool.. But Pastor Rick & his minions have entered MY world, and I am aware of my rights, and I will push back if they overstep. Example: I may tell any door-to-door evangalist ‘no-thank-you’ one time. If they don’t accept that polite refusal the first time, my second response will be more direct. Overall, I think it’s obligatory for churches to provide assistance to the poor; I think Jesus did, and I will allow some incursions by zealous missionaries, because I have no problem dealing with them.

    The 3rd setting is where I get my back up. Separation of Church & State protects any church from state incursions; but it also protects the state from church incursions. NO church has the right to attempt to convert their beliefs into law. This is why I support (for example) boycotts of LDS products in retaliation for their sponsorhip of Prop 8 in CA. (Against gay marriage)

    Wile it’s completely appropriate to advocate whatever – within the walls of your church, temple or synagogue, and partially appropriate to conduct outreach programs which also serve to recruit ‘the faithful’, if you try to convert your beliefs into public policy, you are now in the world of politics – and politics is a rough business! If you don’t want a bloody nose, keep it out of MY bedroom!

    That’s the ‘line in the sand’ we need to draw – that any organization who tries to their PRIVATE beliefs into PUBLIC policy, have made themselve, their parishoners, the businesses the parishoners own – legitimate targets for boycotts & pickets and all sorts of blowback that they are legitimately immune to in either of the first 2 settings.

  19. I seem to remember a time ago where Muslim taxi drivers working the pick up lanes outside an American airport would refuse to pick up passengers that were carrying liquor recently bought at one of the airports duty free shops. The drives gave as the reason their faith’s prohibition on anything related to alcohol. The reaction from many was reasonable; if their faith keeps these drivers from doing their jobs, then perhaps they should find another line of work. After all, nothing is forcing them to drive taxis. The same apples to this issue. If one’s faith means they can not give the care and service their job requires, they should find other work.

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