Friday, February 10, 2012

A Few Thoughts on the Contraceptive Compromise

I don't have the time today for in depth analysis, but I do have a few thoughts to share.

EDIT: I think the compromise agreed to is excellent, but I still don't like giving in to the Religious Right.

  • If the Obama Administration had stuck to its guns more consistently, compromising on contraceptive rights wouldn't be a big news story. Nor would it be a potential campaign issue. Now, the Administration seems weak and without much of a backbone.
  • On second thought, in an election year, pandering to the Right like this is a part of the game.
  • Religious groups, in this case, Catholics, that would insist government reflect its beliefs have no right to be outraged when government tries to do the same thing to them.
  • Compromise ought to be an attempt to appeal to a majority in the middle, not cater to the loudest, most partisan, least reasonable voices.
  • To the best of my knowledge, Quakers have no current affiliation with hospitals or clinics. There are, of course, many Friends schools, colleges, and universities. Liberal Quaker institutions of higher learning likely already offer contraceptive services to women who desire it. More ideologically conservative Evangelical Friends may not.    
  • The difference between Catholicism and Quakerism is that the latter has always more strongly emphasized individual interpretation of faith. Catholicism, as often rendered, insists upon strict observance of uniform mandates for all, from the top down. This may explain why the Orthodox Catholics are so vociferous in their opposition.
  • Obama's leadership style often gives me room for concern. I wonder if he is too nice, too willing to give people the benefit of the doubt. I would prefer a more resolute President who digs in his heels. But, having read both of our President's books before I cast my vote in 2008, I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised. I honestly think he does believe that there aren't red states and blue states, even now. He must still cling to the notion that we can always find agreement somewhere. The sentiment is admirable, but I doubt more and more whether it really works in practice.

No comments: