The Nonsensical Hypocrisy of the “Pro-Life” Religious Right

safesexIn my long exodus away from the religious right, the one thing I still have a personal problem with is abortion. Back then, every January, we’d hop on a bus full of people praying rosaries and head to Washington to protest the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. From a very early age, I was subjected to graphic pictures of aborted fetuses at every stage of gestation, and it still bothers me to this day.

I’m pro-choice, but thankfully it’s a choice I’ll never have to make since I lack that particular set of reproductive organs.

As much as I have my issues with abortion, my problems with those who oppose it far outweigh that uneasy feeling I get when being forced to view post-abortion photos in my travels through weird parts of the internet. I don’t like abortion, but then again, who actually does? It’s not like women get pregnant on purpose, just so they can have an abortion. It is a last resort for most, due to either unfortunate economic circumstances or a lack of access to birth control.

But who works to cause the endless spiral into poverty and who tries to block access to sex education and birth control at every turn? The religious right, especially fundamentalist Catholics, the same group I spent the entirety of my childhood surrounded by.

Even though I come from Jewish heritage on both sides, I was brought up in a very strict Catholic household. More than any other Christian religion, they have the biggest hangups overall when it comes to human sexuality. The strictest adherents are people who believe that sex that involves either partner using birth control is a sin, even if you’re married.

This is a religion that took until just recently to say it might be OK for a married couple to use a condom if one of them was infected with HIV. Seriously?

For them, it really comes down to this—it’s not about being pro-life, it’s about control. It’s about shaming those who do not follow their belief that sex should only be between married heterosexual couples, and only for the purposes of procreation. Again, this is not about children—it’s about wanting to force everybody to live by their unrealistic and twisted view of the Bible, under the guise of “protecting the unborn.” If it were about children, then they’d actually care about them after they were born, instead of trying to take away the programs that benefit them in their early years.

I have no problem with people who want to follow a religion, that’s fine. You can believe in whatever you want to believe, that’s the beauty of the 1st Amendment. It’s when you want to take your beliefs and shove it down the throats of myself or my children, that’s when I have a problem.


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  • Bill

    So you now align yourself with the equally hypocritical left who treat the killing of unborn children as cavalierly as one takes out the garbage but proclaim their desire for gun control “for the children”? I too am pro choice but refuse to buy that line of bull either.

    • thfan

      Bill you do not have a uterus so you cannot pass judgment on those that do make that hard decision..

      • tim othy

        actually he can.

      • Skulander

        I’m sorry but no. He cannot. Until he can PHYSICALLY be in the shoes of a woman who made the decision to have an abortion, I suggest he keeps his mouth shut. Because until he is physically and concretely faced with this hard decision himself, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

        Neither do I. Which is why I believe the pregnant woman herself should be the one, and the only one, allowed to make such a decision.

    • Would you rather go back to the days of coat hangers and dead pregnant women AND babies? And do you LIKE children being shot by their siblings? C’mon. I don’t know why men just don’t go get themselves fixed, instead of making their women deal with the dangers of birth control and the problems if it fails. Birth control pills are deadly, doncha know. A vasectomy is reversible, and you won’t be putting your woman in the position of having to kill her unborn child if she accidentally got pregnant.Or be mad at her if she did get one. I understand it sounds crazy, but there are many benefits to this idea, including the fact that men couldn’t be “tricked into marriage” if they CAN’T get a woman pregnant. Imagine…if all men had vasectomies, we could completely do away with teen pregnancies, along with abortion – NO more abortions..just imagine! No more women having to live with their awful decision for the rest of their lives. No more children brought up in poverty. Lower welfare rolls. The list goes on and on! I have read that the reversal process isn’t *that* easy but if this idea caught on, don’t you think that science could make it better? Hell, it COULD be done as an outpatient thing, with a remote control operated on and off spigot, if the man decided to go ahead and procreate…And what men don’t like gadgets? 🙂 The trouble with my idea is that men are very weird about their penises and the stuff that comes out of them. 😛 I do not think that very many men would go that far – ESPECIALLY when it is so much easier to look down on women, call them baby murderers and sit on the couch and scratch yourself.

      • Just Ann

        I realize this post is 7 months old but I just came across this site today. I not only agree with you but I will go you one step further. I have been saying this for some time now, that I believe the logical solution would be mandatory vasectomies for every teenage boy and for the parents that decline they must put $500,000 in a trust to be used on any baby produced by said son before 18 and after 18 he will either get snipped or put up the money. And then it can only be reversed by having his wife sign for it and proof they can afford kids, no wife no reversal and if they get divorced he has to get fixed again until the next wife signs. No teen pregnancies no welfare needed no abortions. And with all the money saved medicaid would be able to do all of them for free, I say tax dollars well spent.

    • Atrevista

      By your choice of language, it sounds like you’ve been listening to a lot of anti-choice bullshit. No one “treat the killing of unborn children as cavalierly as one takes out the garbage”. First of all, most abortions happen when the fetus is about the size of a peanut and in no way resembles a human being. Second, no woman has an abortion “cavalierly”. It is a difficult, personal decision and we don’t need a bunch of old men who have NO IDEA what it means to be pregnant trying to interfere with that.

      • Exactly, it’s not something as simple as taking garbage out. It’s a medical procedure. No woman would subject herself to it for fun.

    • Skulander

      Sweet pie: no one is treating abortion cavalierly. Nor is it “killing children” by the way. Women who have abortions do not make this choice easily and often come to the conclusion that this is the best option for them, their families and their kids after having considered all other options. (BTW: funny how antichoicers assume women are too stupid to know about the other choices, such as adoption, isn’t it?)

      In short: your sexism and belittling of women is showing. Badly.

      As for guns, regulating them adequately saves lives. You know? The lives of real, living and breathing children (as opposed to non-sentient fetuses)? Antichoicers are largely against such gun control measures. Largely. Overwhelmingly. Therefore they can no longer pretend they are “for life” when they know full well not regulating guns lead to tragedies, of which Newtown is but one of many. How’s hypocritical now, uh?

      It also shows that ultimately, antichoicers don’t care about life. What they’re REALLY about is control of women’s bodies and imposing their extreme religious ideology.

  • “…belief that sex should only be between married heterosexual couples, and only for the purposes of procreation…”

    Think of the impact of these words, expressed in any number of variations by religious institutions, on young people who are realizing that they are gay. Most of us grow up with this brainwashed in our minds. What it says to a young person who is just realizing that he or she is gay is, you can never have sex, or at least not within the moral structure of our society. You slowly and painfully realize that you are never going to get married because our culture doesn’t let you. So if you are going to have sex, you are going to be sinning against your religion and the principles that were pounded into you from infancy.

    • tim othy

      Greg, sounds like someone really cared about you. They taught you the truth! you received a very rare education that most do not get. Its a good thing to struggle with as it will have a big impact on how your life turns out. You should thank your teachers who really cared for you.

  • As a beneficiary of the Head Start program and as a current educator I shake my head at those who would deny basic early childhood education services which research shows lowers arrest rates , increases graduation rates and college acceptance rates. For every $1 invested in Early Childhood Education there is a $9 return on investment to society.

    • hank

      references would be nice

      • Atrevista

        Is your Google broken?

      • mystixa

        those making extraordinary claims should utilize google for citation to back them up. Here we have 2 opposing views making claims with no basis for persuasion other then some random guy on the internet said it was so.

    • sudster

      I heard there no significant difference.

    • 1. Art Rolnick and Rob Grunewald, Early Childhood Development: Economic Development with a High Public Return, March 2003; James J. Heckman and Dimitriy V. Masterov, The Productivity Argument for Investing in Young Children, October 2004; High/Scope Educational Research Foundation, The High/Scope Perry Preschool Study Through Age 40, November 2004.

      Its actually 8 dollars for every one.

    • Early childhood education is very important, and should not depend on a “zip code lottery” of how wealthy your parents are, or how retarded your State Congress is!

  • You can follow the “evolution” of religion and spirituality hrough an anthropological lense and gain incite from the Catholic adversion to sex.

    We began our spirituality with the cave paintings. Somehow we believed by painting a scene of a great hunt that it would become reality.

    We became pagans believing that there were gods everywhere and inside of everything. Some gods needed a place to live so we built them homes and even provided food for them.

    We realized mortality sucks and wanted something greater for ourselves. Gilgamesh — one man’s attempt to become a god.

    Hewbrew God, one of the forst monotheistic omnipotent gods.

    Christianity. God became man, lived, died, and became omnipotent again.

    What is the underlying issue you see here? Its a cognitive debate or question over flesh. With Christians flesh became evil. Deny your flesh to make your spirit greater. Monasticism. Sell it all and abstain from sex.

    However, if you must have sex it is only to be done for a purpose: procreation. Women who had sex were whores. The only good woman was a nun.

    All of this to fight flesh. To abstain from carnality so you get an extra gem in heaven. Spritiuality vs flesh.

    A bunch of malarkey.

    • Learn the diff between “incite” and “insight”, please.

    • Christianity was actually not altogether unanimous in its condemnation of flesh and all that came with it. It just seems that in the great Councils, and then finally, Nicaea, 325, which nailed down the Canon, and ruled on some schisms, like is Jesus God, for example. Alexander’s side said yes, but couldn’t solve the problem for monotheism, so Constantine gave the word, approximately “homoousion”, and I say approximately, because it is a transliteration from Middle Greek, and means “of same substance”, which gave what became the Roman Catholic Church its Trinity.

      Further, not all Christian thought died in Nicaea in 325, but the Roman Bishop ruled supreme, and because of that he could make final decisions, which led to the split with Constantinople, hunting of various “heretical” doctrines and sects.

      And even today, not all Christians feel the need to mortify their flesh, just kind of be assertive, and as for sex, well, that is MEANT for enjoyment, with moderation, of course. I can understand the latter based on the idea, that if I had ice cream for lunch and dinner every day, pretty soon I’d be bored with ice cream, but it’s individual, how long it takes.

      So, just saying that not everyone supported what you presented as the *whole* Christianity. Not by a long shot. But Rome played dirty.

  • Dirtpuddle

    I posted this picture on my facebook page and and someone actually said, “There is no safe sex, it’s like playing Russian roulette.” Really, a dangerous gun analogy to describe sex when comparing sex to guns? The irony just astounded me.

  • colleen2

    For what it’s worth the rest of the religious right is just as full of grotesque hangups about human sexuality as the RCC. Those hangups and an agreement about the natural inferiority of women and the need to control and punish women are the basis of their coalition.

  • Shweta

    Good article about the hypocrisy. As far as the abortion goes, it’s true no woman becomes pregnant in order to get an abortion. But I would not say nobody likes an abortion. What women don’t like or want is an unwanted pregnancy. But plenty of women who have unwanted pregnancies, from the failure of birth control, the lack of access to it, the lack of adherence to it, rape, incest etc, LIKE having the option of safe abortion. I know I am being pedantic, but the subtle difference between nobody likes an abortion, and nobody likes to have an unwanted pregnancy makes a world of difference! If we keep saying nobody likes an abortion, then we do nothing to battle abortion stigma.