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The Sacred Dogma of the Left


JONATHAN LAST

Source:
Weekly Standard
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
2/21/2012

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ABSTRACTThe Sacred Dogma of the Left | The Weekly Standard Tuesday, April 3, 2012 Login Register About FAQs Subscribers Only Contact RSS Loading Advanced Search home magazine April 9 - April 16, 2012 Vol. 017, No. 29 ( Download Digital Edition ) Editorial Forward, March! Undoing Obamacare A Lose-Lose Case Beware ‘Flexibility’ Ryan vs. Dempsey Features The Book That Drove Them Crazy Candidates in Orbit Articles Only in New York UNESCO Funny Business High Culture’s Paladin Obamacare for the Financial Industry Animal Desires Nuclear Utopianism Books & Arts Guilty Man Hee Hee=MC2 Leo the Great Night Vision The Alphabet Blues Slaughterhouse One Scrapbook Inside the Liberal Bubble Casual Laggard Parody But those jeans give me so much flexibility . . . blog video politics & government Foreign policy & national security books, arts & society cruise store newsletter subscribe You are here: Magazine / The Sacred Dogma of the Left Hot Topics: 2012 Elections Congress Foreign policy Iran Mitt Romney Newt Gingrich Rick Santorum Syria The Magazine The Sacred Dogma of the Left Feb 27, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 23 • By JONATHAN V. LAST Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts Alerts Hide Get alerts when there is a new article that might interest you. Send me alerts for: Bill Kristol Fred Barnes Jay Cost Your e-mail address: Confirm e-mail address:   Please sign me up for The Weekly Standard weekly newsletter.   The Weekly Standard reserves the right to use your email for internal use only. Occasionally, we may send you special offers or communications from carefully selected advertisers we believe may be of benefit to our subscribers. Click the box to be included in these third party offers. We respect your privacy and will never rent or sell your email. Please include me in third party offers.       In the conflict between the Obama administration and the Catholic church over mandated contraceptive coverage in health insurance policies, it’s easy to understand the motivations of the church. Catholics object to artificial contraception—and to abortifacients and sterilization, reimbursement for which is also mandated—as a matter of doctrine, owing to their beliefs about the dignity of the human person. The church’s allies—evangelical Christians, Tea Partiers, and other non-Catholic conservatives—are motivated by a conviction that, theology aside, the Obamacare edict forcing the church to pay for procedures it finds morally objectionable is an unconstitutional trespass on the free exercise of religion. But what is it that motivates those on the left? Why do they care so deeply about the kind of insurance coverage Catholic employers provide? It’s not as if NARAL and Planned Parenthood devotees are heavily represented in the workforce of Catholic institutions. And you don’t see petitions from leftwing pressure groups calling on the church to provide better dental and vision coverage, or mental health benefits. Which would, as a pragmatic matter, be much more helpful for more of the workforce than the contraceptive mandate. No, for the left, the fight isn’t about social justice or the proper scope of the state. It’s about the contraceptives. It’s about sex. Related Stories A Lose-Lose Case Happy Hour: No Such Thing As Free Pills The Daily Grind: Chasing Andrew The High Price of ‘Free’ Health Care Happy Hour: Crony Contraception More by Jonathan V. Last The One Is Never, Ever Wrong More Delegates on the Cheap! Winning Delegates on the Cheap A ‘Wrongful Birth’ Lawsuit Meeting Breitbart in the Bat Cave The upheaval of the 1960s was a many-splendored thing, but it produced one permanent orthodoxy for liberalism: an absolute commitment to sexual liberation. As it aged, the left compromised on every other counter-cultural idea from that period—from pacifism to socialism to anti-materialism. The hippies stopped dropping acid and got high-paying jobs in the tech sector. They got married and stopped questioning authority and sent their kids to good schools. They enjoyed lower tax rates and spent their money at the Apple Store and Le Pain Quotidien. But to this day “the central dogma of the baby boomers,” as David Frum once wrote in these pages, is “the belief that sex, so long as it’s consensual, ought never to be subject to moral scrutiny at all.” Sexual liberation began with the pill. Enovid was approved by the FDA in 1960 and was originally conceived of as a way to stem world overpopulation. The world, as longtime promoter Margaret Sanger put it in the 1950s, “is going to depend on a simple, cheap safe contraceptive to be used in poverty stricken slums, jungles, and among the most ignorant people.” Only it didn’t quite work out that way. By 1965, 6.5 million American women were taking the pill, most of them white and middle-class. Today, there are about 10.5 million American women on the pill. That might not sound like much, but it’s 28 percent of the universe of women who are “at risk” .......