You don’t have a right to free birth control

One common theme that keeps emerging in the whole birth control/healthcare debate is the idea that those opposed to paying for birth control are somehow attempting to stamp out women’s reproductive rights. This, of course, makes little sense. Birth control, when non-abortive, deals solely with the person’s body, thus the person has complete rule over his or her own body. The government cannot tell the person what to do in that instance, nor is anyone suggesting the government has that power (except for the most extreme right).

At the same time, there’s no justification for free birth control. While one has a right to one’s own body, that doesn’t mean that the taxpayers have to pay for a person to exercise that right. For instance, I have the right to free speech and can therefore publish any book that I want. That doesn’t mean, however, that I can require taxpayers to pay for my publishing of the book. I have the right to own a gun, but that doesn’t mean I can have the government pay for my gun.

The issue of paying for birth control, however, cuts deeper. The way the law is constructed, it would be like working for a Muslim and requiring him to pay for my lunch, which happens to include a ham sandwich (after all, I have the right to lunch, so why not make the government pay for it?). The new solution would be akin to telling the Muslim owner that he doesn’t have to directly pay to it, he just has to give the money to a bunch of my friends and then they have to pay for it – in the end, it’s his money that’s supporting my craving of ham sandwiches.

In a similar fashion, there’s absolutely no reasoning behind offering free birth control. Yes, people have a right to do with their bodies as they please (so long as what they do is non-abortive; no one has the right to take the life of an innocent human person), but it’s non-sequitur to argue that because that right exists, the government must pay for the exercising of that right.

“But what about the common good? Aren’t less unwanted pregnancies better for society?” What about paying for running shoes or exercise equipment or gym memberships? Aren’t people working out better for society as they are less likely to get obese? What about purchasing not only guns for people, but paying for lessons on how to properly use and store them? Our Founding Fathers believed that an armed populace was essential to the common good, so perhaps taxpayers should pay for those.

But let’s not stop there. We all have a right to practice whatever religion we want, but some religious practitioners can’t afford rent on a building. So let’s make the local community pay for the building the practitioners want to meet in. If atheists or those of a different religious view have a problem with it, then they need to learn that they live in a society where sometimes they have to pay for things they don’t like. After all, that’s basically been the argument offered so far on the contraceptive issue; “You don’t like it? Tough.”

If a man or woman wants to go out and have sex with another individual, or hundreds of individuals, then it’s none of my business from a government standpoint. But there’s no reason I should have to pay for that person’s choices. Birth control isn’t life saving nor does it really improve the quality of one’s life (not in any real, substantial fashion). There’s absolutely no justification for why it should be paid for by taxpayers or insurance companies.

We need to remember that while we have the right to do certain things, it is up to us to execute and actualize our rights. We have the right to free speech, but that right only begins to matter when we choose to take action and speak. We have the right to bear arms, but that right only becomes relevant the moment we purchase a firearm. I must actualize the right; it’s not up to the government to pay for me to actualize that right. In the end, saying that the general public shouldn’t pay for birth control isn’t a slam against women’s rights or against personal freedom; it’s simply pointing out that just because we have the right to do something, it doesn’t mean we deserve to be given the means to do so as well.

How to earn your very own mancard

For whatever reason, people equate having sex with coming of age. For men especially, the way they earn their “man card” is by having sex with someone. Of course, we all know the double standard of our society is that if a man sleeps with ten women in two months, he’s a man, but if a woman sleeps with ten men in two months, she’s a slut. Some try to argue that we should treat the woman like the man and praise her for her prowess, but the fact is both the man and woman should face some harsh criticisms for their choices.

Among Christians – at least from Al Mohler and Mark Driscoll – comes from the ability to live on your own, have your own place, be married, have children, and so on. While this might be an indicator in some situations, it is not a universal indicator. For instance, if we take their ideas of manhood and apply it to Christ we quickly summarize that Christ wasn’t a man (He had no home, didn’t have a job, and His mother followed Him everywhere He went).

So what is manhood? What does it mean to be a man? More importantly, what does it mean to act like an adult? I have known many men and women who sleep around, but should not be considered adults because of their immaturity. I know of someone who is married, has a child, has a home, and owns his own company, but is still childish. Should we call him a man despite the fact that he acts like a child on the weekends?

Manhood is found in the ability to live a virtuous life. There are many men who lead a life of virtue who do not sleep around – in fact, sleeping around and leading a virtuous life are antithetical to each other – and other men who lead virtuous lives, but have no home or haven’t found a stable job due to economic hardships (or just a delay in deciding what to do). Manhood isn’t defined by your circumstances, but rather by who you are and how you react in those circumstances.

Are you chaste, that is, outside of marriage do you abstain from sex or pornography and for those inside of marriage do you abstain from affairs? Then you are a man. Do you display temperance in all that you do, not rushing into anger or actions, but instead evaluating and controlling your desires? Then you are a man. To you give to those in need or help those in need? Are you self-sacrificial for the needs of others? Do you display charity in your life? Then you are a man. Are you diligent, patient, kind, and humble? Then you are a man.

Living a virtuous life, not by having sex or living on your own or having a career, gains the “man card”. Anything short of a virtuous life simply doesn’t cut it.


More Fun with Modern Sayings

I went over three modern sayings in a previous post that are popular to say, but just don’t make any sense. After writing it, a few more have come to mind.

1)   “What someone does in his/her personal life doesn’t affect me.”

To a certain extent, such libertine sentiment is true. What type of food a person chooses to eat doesn’t affect me. What kind of drapes a person puts up in his home doesn’t affect me. But often times so-called private actions can lead to public consequences, which does affect me.

This whole privacy matter generally deals with privacy in the bedroom. For instance, how many liberal protestors who advocate homosexual rights based on “My personal life isn’t the government’s business,” but quickly turn around and want to place limits on how big my “carbon footprint” is, or dictate if I can smoke or not, or even dictate how much electricity I can use? There’s a double-standard – they’re willing to let the government intervene on those issues, but not on sexual issues.

Regardless, what goes on in the bedroom can affect me by affecting society. What we do is often reflected upon our children. As I pointed out in a previous post, sexual immorality tends to go hand-in-hand with other forms of immorality. Thus, if one is engaging in sexually immoral acts in the bedroom, then one is more apt to perform immoral acts in public.

The connection to public corruption, however, is almost irrelevant. Though it may not be the government’s business what goes on in the bedroom or in a person’s personal life, as a human being I have an obligation to point out immorality when I see it. I have an obligation to point out what is wrong (in a loving way) in the way someone is acting. By being human, a person’s personal life is my business.

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Fun With Modern Sayings

Today I was thinking about modern sayings and how they really don’t make a lot of sense. We hear them all the time, either as bumper stickers or responses to common problems, but when put under analysis, these sayings are actually illogical.

1)   “Violence doesn’t solve anything/Violence isn’t the answer.”

Is it true that violence doesn’t solve anything? This attempts to bring up the sentiment that it’s good for people to work out their differences in a civilized manner. Certainly if all parties involved in a dispute are civilized, then violence makes little to no sense; violence between civilized persons would only seek to exacerbate the problem rather than solve it.

If, however, one person is civilized and the other person is uncivilized or unwilling to work out the differences, sometimes violence is the answer. If you witness a man beating up and robbing an old lady and you can’t reason with him, violence is the answer. Violence (physically apprehending the perpetrator would be a minimal use of violence, but violence nonetheless) does actually solve this problem. Violence solves the problem of the man beating up the old lady.

If we didn’t believe violence was ever the answer then we wouldn’t have police. Even the most ardent leftists in our country want police (the same cannot be said for the ardent on the right, who are Anarchists, but they are few and far between). But if violence is “never the answer” or “doesn’t solve anything,” then why have police? They have to use violence in order to apprehend an uncooperative suspect.

A better saying would be, “Violence should be the last resort.” This still shows that violence is never preferable, but is sometimes necessary in order to get the job done.

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