“Lifestyle Politics”

You owe it to yourself to read “The Politics of the Accomodation,” a lament by devout liberal Catholic Michael Sean Winters who has suddenly found his eyes opened to the truth about the Obama Administration and, in general, the social politics of the political Left.  He concludes:

I confess I no longer understand Obama. He did not go to the mat to end the Bush tax cuts for the super-rich. He did not go to the mat for comprehensive immigration reform. He did not go to the mat to close Guantanamo Bay. He did not go to the mat for Card Check. He did not go to the mat for a public option in the health care reform. But, he went to the mat over the principle that a Catholic college or charity or hospital is not really religious.

… I am simply not interested in a Democratic Party that is so beholden to the fundraisers at Emily’s List, so consumed with lifestyle politics, that it is willing to thumb its nose at those working class voters who really do care about social justice and for whom that care is a part of their religious beliefs. And, if liberals no longer care about a robust defense of the First Amendment, well, then, we do not deserve the presidency.

… As I say, I no longer understand President Obama. I was not party to the discussions within the administration on this issue, so I don’t know who said what, or what arguments were made. But, from the outcome, we can conclude that the President never stopped the conversation to say, “We can’t do that!” By “that” I mean pick a fight with the leaders of the largest religious denomination in the country. By “that” I mean not ignore First Amendment concerns, even if it limits the reach of a policy he very much wishes to pursue. By “that” I mean decide, in effect, that the freedom of religion is now only a freedom to worship.

The essay comes by way of Deacon Greg, whose own commenters are always extremely insightful — “The Democratic Party, once the natural ally of socially aware Catholics, has now prioritized “lifestyle politics” over the traditional social justice issues.”

And there you have it.  “Lifestyle politics.”  The belief that individual happiness, which is to be achieved by pursuing the desires of our own mortal flesh, is the ultimate trump card in the morality debate.  The belief that if you promise pleasure and self-fulfillment and further promise to make it all as free from responsibility, consequences, and plain old fashioned guilt as possible, you have carte blanche to stamp out as many other freedoms and liberties as you choose – all in the name of “fairness,” “equal access,” and “justice” of course.

Naturally this course of action is accompanied by an almost Orwellian reworking of the concepts of fairness, equal access, justice, and the greater good by the intelligentsia, promulgated through the media-entertainment complex.

I believe this is what we are seeing with regard to the current debate over whether or not the government has the power to force churches (or anyone for that matter) to pay for contraceptive and sterilization procedures that they believe violate the tenets of Scripture.

The mission of Planned Parenthood, founded by a woman whose life was dedicated to mainstreaming the use of contraception and abortion as the primary method for ending poverty and reducing the number of mentally and physically handicapped among the population, has largely been redefined in popular culture (and in the Democratic party’s populist platform) as “women’s health.”

Now most of us with common sense recognize that there are circumstances where certain drugs prescribed for women will interfere with their reproductive system.  We also understand that in certain situations, pregnancy could result in a situation that is threatening to the life of the mother (a circumstance that personally affected us).  No one with genuine authority, not even the Roman Catholic Church, teaches that it is “God’s will” to refrain from taking medication or using contraception in those kinds of circumstances.

However, voluntary use of contraception, particularly by single women, is an elective decision and is no more a “health” issue than cosmetic procedures or any other elective medical treatment.

But now, if you question the compulsory provision of “free” contraception imposed by government fiat, you are “opposed to women’s health” and are further denounced as an extremist who wants to “ban contraception.”  More broadly, if you decline to ally yourself with the Planned Parenthood organization in any capacity, you are now branded as an enemy of women and an obstructionist to the pursuit of the public good.

I should also note the misleading language being used by supporters of the contraception rule.  Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, recently summed up her support for the rule by declaring, “Nurses, janitorial staff and professors who work at colleges and universities that do not currently cover birth control will get access to contraception.”  Huh?  We’re really supposed to believe that employees of religiously-affiliated organizations never had access to contraceptives?  We’re really supposed to believe that nurses and college professors are not bright enough to know that they can go to their doctor and, after a physical examination, ask for a prescription?  Or that those with qualifying low incomes do not know that they can already receive those services from Planned Parenthood and pay as little as $9 a month for generic birth control pills?

We heard the same rhetoric during the healthcare reform debate; apparently, unless the government mandates the provision of a service for “free” or at a greatly reduced cost, the masses do not have “access” to it.

Likewise, supporting the traditional definition of marriage or supporting the right of churches and clergy to refuse to perform the sacrament of marriage in situations that violate their religious teachings is now considered “hate” on par with the Jim Crow segregation of a half-century ago.

One of the standard memes of modern liberalism is, “When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the Bible.”  Obviously this is false.  When fascism comes to America, it will be cloaked in “justice” and laid upon a foundation of “fairness” and “the public good.”

"Planned Parenthood has a vested interest in hooking the next generation on sex"
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  • GarandFan

    Hey!  It’s election time and one thing Barry is always guaranteed to do is pander to his base.

    •  Who then is his base?

    • Commander_Chico

      I agree, this is a move by Obama to mobilize his base. 

      It’s all Kabuki theater.  The role of the “working class” Mr. Winters refers to is to get shafted and fight the wars.  Nothing will change, whether the black Bush (Obama) or the white Obama (Romney) gets elected.

      Judge Napolitano got fired because he spoke the truth:

      • “Nothing will change, whether the black Bush (Obama) or the white Obama (Romney) gets elected.”

        I have to agree with you on this.  Sadly.

  • He’s not pandering. He’s in the process of throwing each and everyone of them
    under the bus.  How long is that bus again?

    • It’s got to be the longest bus known to man.  Vote in Hope, live in Despair.

      •  “Vote in Hope, live in Despair.”
        Excelent Rodney!  Should be the Democrat campaign slogan.

        •  Only if such ads were subject to truth in advertising laws…

  •  I think a lot of folks who would go “Well, Obama’s stand on this issue and that issue isn’t all that important to me – what’s important is my particular hot button” have been finally slapped in the face enough to realize that Obama’s not their friend, not on their side, and not going to be giving them what he promised – all the while doing his best to FUBAR the economy. 

    This guy finally woke up.  

  • ackwired

    Now that Mr. Winters has seen the folly of the extreme left, I sure hope he doesn’t rebound all the way over to the extreme right. 

    On another topic, it is beginning to look like the Catholic Bishops have given the Republican Party a real lifeline on this one, and just when the economy was beginning to turn in Obama’s favor.  It is going to be fun to watch.

  • “I confess I no longer understand Obama”  …  Sean is lying to himself …  he knows now that Obama is a liar but can’t bring himself to admit he fell for the lies.  His world view would collapse if he admitted his own folly …

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  • herddog505

    Michael LaprarieOne of the standard memes of modern liberalism is, “When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the Bible.”  Obviously this is false.  When fascism comes to America, it will be cloaked in “justice” and laid upon a foundation of “fairness” and “the public good.”

    Well said.

    I confess I no longer understand Obama…

    I have to laugh at this moron.  Was he blind?  Or did he (like a lot of people) do an absolutely thorough, first-rate job of self-deception?  For that matter, many libs are STILL doing it.  What the hell did they expect from Barry???  My gosh, look at the man’s record (what there is of it)!  This is a guy who never met an abortion law he didn’t like.  Did they really, really think that Barry would respect the Catholic Church’s stand on the issue?  Barry has been a statist all his life (like most lefties).  Did they think that the wolf would only eat the other sheep and leave them alone?

    As I have written elsewhere on this and related subjects, libs simply don’t get that a powerful government – one that has the authority and the taste for meddling in people’s lives and businesses to “do good” – is a threat to EVERYBODY.  Yes, it may be forcing people to be “fair” today in ways that you may like, but it’s only a matter of time before it forces YOU to be “fair” in ways that YOU don’t like.

    And yet, the left is lustily cheering for Barry because he’s… asserting more and more power to make more and more people do what he wants.  Winters – poor fool – has woken up too late.  What about the rest of the lefties?  Or are they like Parsons in 1984 and will be glad when it’s their turn?

    • Walter_Cronanty

      Excellent point.   Michael Sean Winters is the poster boy for Paul A. Rahe’s [he’s a Professor at Hillsdale College] article “American Catholicism’s Pact With The Devil” http://ricochet.com/main-feed/American-Catholicism-s-Pact-With-the-Devil
      The Catholics, along with many mainstream and not-so-mainstream Protestant sects, completely and totally screwed up when they thought they could go Jesus one better – Why depend on people’s conscience to comply with Christ’s admonition to be charitable when we can join politically with big government liberals and legally take money from people and redistribute it – all in the name of charity?

      “[T]he leaders of the American Catholic Church fell prey to a conceit that
      had long before ensnared a great many mainstream Protestants in the
      United States – the notion that public provision is somehow akin to
      charity – and so they fostered state paternalism and undermined what
      they professed to teach: that charity is an individual responsibility
      and that it is appropriate that the laity join together under the
      leadership of the Church to alleviate the suffering of the poor. In its
      place, they helped establish the Machiavellian principle that underpins
      modern liberalism – the notion that it is our Christian duty to
      confiscate other people’s money and redistribute it.”

  • Brian_R_Allen

    …. When fascism comes to America, it will be cloaked in “justice” and laid upon a foundation of “fairness” and “the public good ….”
    Fascism long long long ago came to America. First taste courtesy of the free-enterprise-flagellating economics ignoramus, Teddy Roosevelt. Then under the banner of the inventor of propaganda and subsequently the patron saint of Joseph Goebbels: Woodrow Wilson. 

    And then the cloaked in “social justice” and laid upon a foundation of “fairness” and “the public good” full blown, full on fascism of Joe Stalin’s self-adopted nephew: the traitor, Roosevelt 

    The full-blown full-on fascism, that is, that has ever since characterized the vast RICO-racketeering organized-criminal hoards that prefer we call them by their street name: the “Democratic” party.

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