Posted on February 18th, 2012
In the aftermath of the Obama administration’s assault on religious liberty, the media have presented doctored statistics and deflected the issue into a general spin of “women’s health” (as if chemicals designed to alter the natural functioning of a woman’s body, or the outright murder of little girls, is somehow in the interest of women’s “health”). Here’s a sample of Mollie Hemingway’s analysis (“Media ignore women, for women”) at GetReligion:
My church body never engages in politics, for doctrinal reasons. But here even when we are compelled to speak out, the words that our elected President spoke aren’t important because he’s male? By falling for partisan spin about gender inequality, reporters have completely marginalized me and the millions of women who were being represented yesterday. It’s infuriating. It is sexism, but not the type that they recognize.
In any case, we already showed how laughable the oft-repeated, obsessed-over stat is, the one regarding 98 percent of Catholic women who, we’re told, use birth control for fun all of the time. We showed how that statistic was invented and, rather, showed that 87 percent of Catholic women who are not open to life in general but who report fighting contraception in particular use contraceptives. Or, as we could say 87 percent of Catholic women who are not pregnant, not post-partum, not pre-partum and are having sex right now and are between the ages of 15-44) are using contraceptives. The White House put it in talking points and the media swallowed it hook, line and sinker.
After Democrats staged protests over the lack of women on the first panel of the House’s hearing on the threat to religious liberty the Obama administration is mounting, the media (in cooperation with Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider) ran with the meme, “Where are the women?” Maggie Karner, director of LCMS Life and Health Ministries has written a fine response to this at Christianity Today entitled “Where the Women Were During the House Contraception Mandate Hearing.” Karner observes,
Curiously, before the hearing there was apparently no great concern by the House minority on that committee to get a woman on the witness panel because they didn’t make the effort to file the female witness’ paperwork in time. The other witness they recommended was a man (who, incidentally, didn’t show up). Not to mention that there was a woman (who objected to the HHS mandate) on the second panel of the discussion—but by then the “all male” photo had gone viral and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was already holding her own press conference in another wing to lead the charge of taking offense.
What those angry gals fail to realize is that as a Christian woman I was brilliantly represented on that House committee panel. In my first vocation as a Christian, I cheered the testimony of those brave men of the cloth because they represented me. They shared their concerns for the integrity of the free exercise of our faith traditions along with respect for the First Amendment of the Constitution. In my second vocation as a woman, I cheered again because that panel was filled with some of the finest theological leaders of our day. They made my case to congress and they did it exceptionally well. Other women concerned about the ability to maintain their choice to exercise their faith (without the interference of an over-reaching government) should cheer too.
Women and men should all cheer the defense President Harrison gave for our religious liberty. But let’s not cheer too quickly: the government has given no indication that it will back down from this assault on our freedoms. Someone said to me last night at a dinner party, “If the government can force Roman Catholics to pay for abortifacients, what can’t they do?”
These are dark times in the land of the free. This is not a partisan issue. It’s a constitutional issue: President Obama’s administration is mounting direct attacks on the First Amendment. He must be stopped.