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By The Reverend Published: July 2, 2009

I have mostly understood the anti-abortion movement in America as largely an anti-sex movement. One size does not fit all, naturally, and I recognize that there are many people who oppose abortion on principles other than anti-sex.

What do I mean by anti-sex?

Within the Roman Catholic faith, sexual intercourse is theologically explained as sinful. The only condition under which the church accepts the sex act as anything other than sinful is within the confines of Catholic marriage. A clear example would be why priests must remain celibate. Priests are god's middlemen whose job it is to dispense god's grace. Priests cannot have sexual intercourse, nor marry, because sexual intercourse, itself, would defile the priest rendering him unable to dispense the perfect grace of god.

There is a theological reason why marriage, itself, is regarded by the church as a sacrament. God's grace, according to Catholic theology, is freely given....but only through specific vehicles of the church. The Eucharist, baptism, confirmation, confession, etc. Marriage is one of those vehicles. Marriage is a sacrament of god's grace. Therefore, the sinful activity of sexual intercourse, completely prohibited for the preisthood, can be made "clean" and acceptable before god.....but only within the safe confines of marriage.

I must say, that's a very dark and narrow view of human sexuality....but it is what it is. The root of Catholic theology in this area, as I understand it, is anti-sex. From this root, many other branches of dysfunctional church thinking have grown. The Immaculate Conception doctrine, the celibacy of the priesthood, the lesser status of women, and important to this post.....contraception.

From Obama's White House....

As the White House readies its plan for finding "common ground" on reproductive health issues and reducing the need for abortion, a major debate has emerged over how to package the plan's two major components: preventing unwanted pregnancies and reducing the need for abortion.

Many abortion rights advocates and some Democrats who want to dial down the culture wars want the White House to package the two parts of the plan together, as a single piece of legislation. The plan would seek to reduce unwanted pregnancies by funding comprehensive sex education and contraception and to reduce the need for abortion by bolstering federal support for pregnant women. Supporters of the approach say it would force senators and members of Congress on both sides of the abortion battle to compromise their traditional positions, creating true common ground that mirrors what President Obama has called for.

This approach is typical Obama. Bringing all sides together to accomplish a central objective. In this case, supporting pregnant women AND helping to prevent unwanted pregnancies. I am a liberal, and I find this approach acceptable. Others?.....not so much.....

But more conservative religious groups working with the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships say they would be forced to oppose such a plan—even though they support the abortion reduction part— because they oppose federal dollars for contraception and comprehensive sex education. This camp, which includes such formidable organizations as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Southern Baptist Convention, is pressuring the White House to decouple the two parts of the plan into separate bills. One bill would focus entirely on preventing unwanted pregnancy, while the other would focus on supporting pregnant women.

These two anti-sex-outside-of-marriage groups want to eliminate the contraception and sex education part of Obama's comprehensive effort and only support the part that's not sinful in their eyes....

"We welcome the opportunity to seek common ground with this administration . . . and to work on behalf of pregnant women and unborn children," says Deirdre McQuade, a spokesperson for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which is pressuring the White House to decouple pregnancy prevention from supporting pregnant women. "But issues of pregnancy prevention are much more divisive and would only slow down much-needed assistance to pregnant women."

Catholics and Baptists, diametrically opposed to each other theologically concerning how humans gain "salvation", are nevertheless joined at the hip in being anti-sex. The Catholic hierarchy teaches that even sin-free sex under the salvific umbrella of marriage, if accompanied by contraception, is wrong in the eyes of the lord. Baptists simply believe that free and open access to contraception and reproductive education will promote sinful sexual activity outside of marriage. The common ground of these two odd religious bedfellows is anti-sex-outside-of-marriage.

Even if the "common ground" is reached by closing ones eyes to the reality of human sexual activity, even if that "common ground" denies the efficacy of's the only "common ground" that anti-sex-outside-of-marriage advocates will accept.

It's not about the contraception, it's not about the sex education, and it's not even really about's all about the sex.



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