Anna Gregoline | March 24, 2005
Another case of people deciding for others what is moral and right.


A downtown Loop Osco (the one at State and Adams that I frequent and get prescriptions from) refused to fill a birth control prescription. I feel sick to my stomach that this can now happen in my happy little liberal bubble of Chicago. I refuse to shop there any more, and I'm trying to figure out if I should write a letter telling them so, or what. I feel like marching in there and giving them a piece of my mind. A woman trying to be responsible (or perhaps just taking care of a MEDICAL PROBLEM, as BCPs are often prescriped for such), asking for a legal and valid prescription to be filled, a prescription that probably is going to cost her an arm and a leg, because of COURSE insurance wouldn't cover it, although Viagra is covered perfectly FINE, is denied medicine she needs because someone who has chosen the profession of dispensing medications has a moral objection to it.

It makes me want to scream and scream and scream and never stop.

Jackie Mason | March 24, 2005
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Amy Austin | March 24, 2005
Yiii... scary, indeed.

Hey, didn't we have a discussion about this somewhere before???

Steve Dunn | March 24, 2005
It makes me want to scream and scream and scream and never stop.

You should at least wait until after the wedding.

Anna Gregoline | March 24, 2005
Something about that comment, Steve, combined with your picture, is unbelievably funny to me right now.

Amy Austin | March 24, 2005
Hahaha... I agree -- but it is almost 5AM here... ;DDD

Kris Weberg | March 25, 2005
Well, the Libertarian answer is that the market will decide on that behavior. Why, surely women will just not shop at that Osco, and it'll go out of business!

Now, granted, there are places where there aren't other good options, which would produce artifical local market conditions, but uhm, the Internet and stuff! Or, like, you can drive to another city! Yeah! Despite the economic disincentive to do so thanks to gas prices! Hey, that's just opportunity cost, baby!

This is another reason that I dislike Libertarians.

John E Gunter | March 25, 2005
What happens if the company that owns Osco needs it to loose money for a tax shelter?


Anna Gregoline | March 25, 2005
Unfortunately, that Osco will probably never go out of business, as it's on an extremely busy corner in the Loop. But I'll certainly never shop there ever again. I had to walk past it yesterday, I wanted to throw something at it.

Jackie Mason | March 26, 2005
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Anna Gregoline | March 26, 2005
I'm sure it is one person - but I'm severely disappointed in Osco for not firing them.

Kris Weberg | March 27, 2005
Right, but by refusing to fire the employee, Osco tacitly encourages other employees to similar conduct, and that will produce larger problems, particularly in areas where there aren't many good alternatives to Osco for such stuff.

Scott Hardie | March 27, 2005
We did indeed discuss this once before: (link)

At the time I didn't get involved in the main discussion because other people (mainly John) were doing a good job of making my points for me. But then as well as today, my opinion is that a pharmacist cannot and should not be compelled to dispense any medication if their religion is staunchly opposed to it, as long as several conditions are met. Frankly, people have a right to their religious convictions, and the law should not compel them to break them. That would be a case of the nonreligious majority having its way with a religious minority. You all say that the pharmacist shouldn't impose their beliefs on the woman, but I don't see that happening at all; the pharmacist is the one whose beliefs you would propose to trample unnecessarily.

Kris has argued that it's silly that the woman seeking pills should "just go to some other drugstore," because in some cases there are no other drugstores. I believe the same thing, except that I believe it about the pharmacist, not about the woman. This is downtown fucking Chicago; the woman can walk two blocks to another store, or ask for a different pharmacist at that Osco, or yes, actually receive the pills by mail; she has many options. If Osco and other major retailers refuse to employ pharmacists with certain religious convictions, and/or a law is passed that compels pharmacists to break their convictions, then a whole lot of pharmacists are out of work without nowhere else to go. They can't just walk two blocks to another store. It would be religious discrimination, plain and simple: If your religion prevents you from doing this one aspect of this job that otherwise you could do quite well, you're not welcome. There are many, many professions in the world that have found ways to accommodate people of alternative religions without causing a disruption (including plenty in the rest of the health care industry), so I fail to see why pharmacists can't work out a similar arrangement.

There are several qualifiers to what I'm saying:

- None of this applies to emergency prescriptions, which should be always filled by every pharmacist no matter what. Mail-order obviously doesn't work for emergencies either, only for long-term body-regulation needs.

- The religion must compel the pharmacist not to give out the drugs in question. This is why I have until now avoided the term Catholicism: To my knowledge, at no time has the Vatican or the Bible or any other authority ordered Catholics not to give out contraceptives; the pharmacist is declining on principle, not on religious conviction. That is not to be protected. I took a course of Xenical for weight loss and it fucked up my digestive system for years afterwards and I hate the stuff, so if I were a pharmacist I would strongly wish my customers not to take it themselves, but that's a personal principle, not a religious conviction. The Osco case did not involve a pharmacist who was genuinely forbidden from dispensing the medication (as far as I can tell), so what I've been arguing above does not apply to the Osco pharmacist.

- The soap box moment, when the pharmacist said that contraceptives were "killing babies" (obviously a misunderstanding of what contraceptives actually do), has nothing to do with this. That was a jerk being a jerk, and I don't propose protecting jerks from anything. If I were Osco, I would warn the pharmacist about turning his position into a pulpit when talking to customers; his job is to dispense medication.

- Most importantly: If what I propose were to be true, and pharmacists were to be protected from having to fill prescriptions that truly violated their religious convictions, it would only be so if the employer provided real alternatives for customers. In other words, Osco could only let the pharmacist in question refuse to give out contraception if another pharmacist at the same store was willing to give them out instead. This would protect both the customer and the pharmacist. And yes, I would still apply this rule in these small towns everybody keeps mentioning where there is only one working pharmacist; one with religious convictions would have to find work elsewhere. Does this help to illustrate my point? When the situation truly comes down to one or the other, it is more important for the customer to get needed medication than for the pharmacist to have certain protections, but, in most cases (like a Chicago Osco) the situation does not come down to one or the other, so there's room for both. Speaking realistically, most pharmacists have no problem giving women contraceptives, so there's no need for us to become tyrannical and crush the careers of the few who do have a problem with it. (For the record, I do not buy Planned Parenthood's claim that this problem is widespread, since there are no numbers to back up that claim.)

Kris Weberg | March 27, 2005
Of course, if a pharmacist had a genuine religious abhorrence of contraception, I doubt he'd work in a store that carried condoms in the first place. And as far as I know, Osco does stock condoms on its shelves, beyond the power of the pharmacist.

Of course, the fact that it's much, much easier for a man to buy contraceptives than a woman is an entirely different and somewhat irrelevant argument...

Anna Gregoline | March 28, 2005
Thanks for that point, Kris. That is truly maddening.

I think what drives me most mad about this is the JUDGING. If someone refuses me birth control pills, they don't know why I'm taking them. I started taking birth control pills for a painful condition, when I WASN'T sexually active. They are passing judgment on my medical condition, and that drives me insane. It's none of their business.

I think your points are well taken, and provided the person transferred the prescription, it's ok. But I'm still very angry about it, and usually these news stories are about emergency contraception, which is widely misunderstood.

And I can't help it - I will NEVER go into that store again. It's hard for me to deal with this stuff. I am a vigorous feminist and I feel sick to my stomach at everything I read every day. (This morning I read a story about wounded soldiers from Iraq in TIME. They profiled a few guys and one woman who was badly burned by an explosion. Her story focused on how her beauty was ruined and there was a quote to the effect that she thought when she returns to work she'll get more respect because the men will know what she's been through. What a sad commentary on gender equaliy. Not passing judgment on anybody here or what they experienced in the military since I've been burned on that before. But the story got me mad.) Stories like this steam me, when it's so easy for men to get, of all things, Viagra. I just want to not get pregnant, please!

I fear for the poor women in rural Ohio or something who are refused a prescription at the only pharmacy in town. I don't see why the burden of having to drive somewhere else far away to get a legal prescription should have to fall on the person needing to fill it.

Not a lot of hard numbers, but some very disturbing things here:


This is scary too:

A study of sexual assault survivors who were treated in emergency rooms found that fewer than half of the women who were at risk of pregnancy received EC (Amey & Bishai, 2002). Another study found that as many as 1,000 sexual assault survivors per year left New York State emergency rooms without having received EC (FPANYS, 2003).

Anna Gregoline | March 28, 2005
Of course, I realized now that in the last paragraph there, there is no indication if they were offered EC. Many might have refused it.

Kris Weberg | March 28, 2005
Some fundamentalist Christians -- like the ones who ran my (parochial) high school -- actually argue against EC for rape victims on the grounds that Jesus' lineage included at least one instance of rape.

Anna Gregoline | March 28, 2005
Wow. That's sick.

John E Gunter | March 28, 2005
I can't agree that it's sick, just a different belief system. I'm not saying either one is right or wrong, just can't view it as sick.


Anna Gregoline | March 28, 2005
I can't imagine someone feeling good about telling a rape victim that she should be ok with being pregnant with her rapist's baby because Jesus had rape in his family background. I just can't help but think anyone who would tell that to a rape victim is sick.

Amy Austin | March 28, 2005
I *wholeheartedly* agree with you on this one, Anna... I think it's "a woman thing", and they just don't understand.

Amy Austin | March 28, 2005
Lest I've offended the males, let me just *try* to make an analogy that might convey how I feel about that...

Remember the scene in "Alien" when the first crew member is exposed/"infected" -- and Ripley insists that he shouldn't be allowed to contaminate the rest of the crew? (This is kind of a stretch, so bear with me...)

Well... suppose that hosting the alien was not actually fatal, and in fact, they *wanted* to keep it alive -- for whatever purposes (without getting into the plots of the sequels) -- but they were going to use a non-human/non-host means to do so. However, since the guy has already conveniently become the official host (by means of violent/violating incident, mind you), everyone is telling him to suck it up and be the host. Anyone here besides me thinking "fuck that -- I want this thing OUT of me!"??? Be realistic (theoratically speaking ;D) here.

Jackie Mason | March 28, 2005
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Jackie Mason | March 29, 2005
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John E Gunter | March 29, 2005
I'm not an expert on fundamentalism, but I'm sure the violence of the act isn't being considered here; it's the fact that a life was possibly conceived and killing that life no matter how old it is is a sin.

Consider the Muslim extremist that believes that all Americans are infidels, and therefore, what we do is sick. I'm not saying accept the belief, I'm saying understand that others believe in things that you don't and at least have some understanding that it's their right to believe it no matter how right or wrong it is.

Taking the attitude that those people are sick is the same kind of attitude that has caused much of the troubles in the Middle East. You just haven't taken the extremes that they have.


Amy Austin | March 29, 2005
I see an open door that I just don't want to walk through right now...

Jackie Mason | March 29, 2005
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Scott Hardie | March 29, 2005
Oh, we men get it all right. :-) I couldn't imagine carrying a baby to term for any reason unless I was completely willing.

Before this goes further: When the word "sick" is used to describe this kind of fundamentalist, is it intended to mean "sick" as in disgusting, or "sick" as in mentally disturbed? If it means the latter, I think John Gunter is on to something. These people are not brain-damaged, they're not stupid; they simply have different value sets than some of us do. They almost certainly have compassion for rape victims, but their belief in the value of unborn life has a higher priority. We need not deem them somehow cognitively impaired just because we prioritize differently.

On the other hand, if you mean "sick" as in disgusting, then I wholeheartedly agree. :-)

John E Gunter | March 29, 2005
The same can be said for those in the Middle East. I can't believe they are all brain-damaged either, though I don't agree with their beliefs, the same as with the fundamentalists, but I try to understand where they are coming from, even if I don't agree with it. The extremists in the Middle East have been taught that all Americans are evil, vices of the flesh, infidels. So they don't know anything else.

The close contact that I have had as far as religious teachings is concerned, allows me to see that extremists in this country have been given similar education. Can their view be changed? I'm not sure, but getting riled up and fighting with them will certainly not help, it will only solidify their resolve.

I'm not saying that you should roll over and let them trample you either, just don't be the first to start a conflict because you don't believe what they do. Like what Anna said about not shopping at Osco, that is a much better way of showing your contempt for the practices of a business that has technically done nothing illegal, immoral maybe, but not illegal.

Freaking out and doing some kind non-peaceful demonstration against them is only going to end up making you look like the bad guy, and not them. Plus, just turning a blind eye to what someone else believes in, no matter how strongly you disagree with them, sets you up for conflict.

Just because I don't agree with what they believe, doesn’t mean I don’t see their point of view.


Anna Gregoline | March 29, 2005
I'm confused - where are we advocating a non-peaceful demonstration, etc. against anyone?

I guess that's where we differ, John...I can't see their point of view. I do mean "sick" as disgusting. I find it completely awful that anyone would try to "cheer up" a rape victim who was pregnant by telling her something as bizarre as "Jesus' family heritage had rape in it." That doesn't even make sense to me, because Jesus wasn't even supposed to be born by earthly means, he was supposed to be a divine conception, so his "family heritage" is really just two random people who were his parents. I don't believe any of that, but it still doesn't make sense to me as a concept. I have friends who have been raped and the very thought of someone saying something so insensitive to them if they had been pregnant just tans my hide. It's not the issue of abortion/non-abortion here for me - it's the idea of someone saying something like that to someone in that position. It reeks of "look on the bright side!" Uh....what?

I know this is an issue that is close to the heart for me, but I honestly can't see it any other way than "sick."

Didn't mean to set off a firebomb, folks. Hope that clarified.

Kris Weberg | March 29, 2005
Oh, it's not so much about "cheering up" as it is about making sure an abortion or EC doesn't occur. Basically, the fundamentalist Christian argument would be that abortion is always wrong, and that the fact that God was able to bring forth the Redeemer doesn't so muh excuse the rape in Christ's lineage as demonstrate that even evil acts are accounted for in God's plan.

Basically, from such a perspective the rape is horrific and wrong; but killing the fetus makes the victim a sinner as well.

I really, really strongly disagree with that perspective. And to the extent that fundamentalist groups agitate for it to become law somewhere outside their own personal lives, I'll vigorously oppose them on the issue. Likewise, when Islamic fundamentalists attempt to impose Sharia law, I vigorously oppose them as well.

Live by your own beliefs if you want. Don't coerce others into doing the same. And -- controversy moment -- where children are concerned, society should err on the side of presenting them with other options, particularly as they get older. If your religious or personal beliefs are so damn great, your unusual degree of influence over a child -- as a parent -- should be more than enough to convince them without changes to school curricula or legal standards.

Anna Gregoline | March 29, 2005
Yeah, that's equally horrible. "Ohhhhh, GOD sanctioned my rape. I see, it's all in the plan! Hooray!"


Kris Weberg | March 29, 2005
Well, no, the argument isn't that God sanctions rape, but that abortion is wrong regardless of the circumstances.

By following God's law and refusing to abort even a child conceived by rape, the world (and the victim) can be brought closer to God's plan and the evil of the original act by another can, in some sense, be redeemed. This in no way mitigates or sanctions the evil of the rapist, any more than Christ's death on the Cross actually sanctions sin.

Of course, according to fundamentalist belief, the rape victim should forgive the rapist but see that an appropriate (harsh) punishment is also carried out -- both of those would be God's law, part of the difficult balance between His mercy and His justice.

Theology doesn't work by laws of common sense: it works along lines that attempt to codify ancient Semitic religious laws with Neo-Platonic logic, often uneasily.

John E Gunter | March 29, 2005
Anna, I'm saying by finding out what someone else thinks, you can make a better decision as to what you want to believe in.

Obviously, Kris is well read on Christian fundamentalism, but from what I read in his post, he doesn't agree with it. He knows what they believe in as well as what the Islamic fundamentalists believe in and can therefore make an informed decision for his own ideas on the subject.

I'm not saying agree with what they believe in, I'm saying know what they believe in so that you can decide for yourself whether what they believe in is right according to your beliefs.

More importantly, let society be allowed to present the child with other options so that they can form their own opinions as to what is right for them. I'm not saying that you wouldn't let your child make up her/his own mind, I'm just saying that by not understanding a particular group's belief system, how can anyone make informed decisions as to what is right or wrong for themselves.


John E Gunter | March 29, 2005
Better yet, how can you tell your child about someone else's beliefs if you don't know about them. If the child comes to ask you a question about something, are you going to turn your back on the child or try to explain it to them so that they can make an informed decision about it.


Anna Gregoline | March 29, 2005
I already know what I believe in - there's nothing left to decide there. I'm all about learning about other cultures and faiths, but in this particular instance I don't want to learn anything more about the idea of "god arranged this rape so that the susequent child could be born" which is what it sounds like to me. Ugh.

Not sure why we're talking about future children and their religious decisions now, but ok...

"More importantly, let society be allowed to present the child with other options so that they can form their own opinions as to what is right for them."

Society does that already, although mostly the options are Christian ones. I would hope that before they are too heavily influenced by that, I'd be able to show them the wealth of other options out there. Believe it or not, I've always been fascinated by the world's religions and while I am no means an expert, I like learning and talking about other cultures and beliefs.

"I'm not saying that you wouldn't let your child make up her/his own mind, I'm just saying that by not understanding a particular group's belief system, how can anyone make informed decisions as to what is right or wrong for themselves."

I would hope (couldn't force but hope) that my child wouldn't choose a belief system that could make someone say a phrase like that, so potentially hurtful to someone in a painful place.

Kris Weberg | March 30, 2005
Once again, it's not "God arranged this rape..." That's already a misreading, and one that the fundamentalists would find hurtful and offensive. Given your feelings about offending the beliefs of others, I'd suggest considering the other side even if you find it loathsome.

God does not arrange evil, theologically speaking. What God does is allows human free will, which means that some humans, independent of and in contradistinction to God's will, commit evil.

Being all-knowing, though, God has already "planned for" the evil that OTHERS will do, dealing with the consequences and rewarding those who are just in the face of evil.

Not aborting a child of rape, to these fundamentalists, is remaining just in the face of a terrible evil, even one committed against one's very body. In many ways, it might be their definition of altruism: doing what's "right" even at the most horrifying personal cost without hope of Earthly reward -- quite the contrary, really.

Just because it's a position I find disagreeable, even monstrous, doesn't mean it's totally without nuance.

Jackie Mason | March 30, 2005
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Anna Gregoline | March 31, 2005
"Once again, it's not "God arranged this rape..." That's already a misreading, and one that the fundamentalists would find hurtful and offensive. Given your feelings about offending the beliefs of others, I'd suggest considering the other side even if you find it loathsome."

Please stop telling me I'm wrong. I am talking about how I felt listening to that statement, feeling a way that many other people I think would feel hearing that statement. That's all. I'm not talking about that statement as one that leads to abortion or not - that is besides the point of it to me. I just agree with Jackie - it comes off as very insensitive.

Scott Hardie | April 1, 2005
But Anna, it's your interpretation of their position that is offending you: Something that exists only in your mind. What you claim they say is not really what they say, as Kris has explained. If you are so hurt by the "statement," then why not open your mind and learn about them and realize they're not as offensive as you thought? You're the one causing your own disgust, but you're blaming them for it.

Scott Hardie | April 2, 2005
News on the matter: Governor Blagojevich has issued an order that all contraception prescriptions will be filled, emergency or otherwise. This order will stand for 150 days, during which time the state will devise a permanent solution. (link)

Erik Bates | April 2, 2005
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Amy Austin | April 2, 2005
Personally, I believe that "God's plan" is a mis-nomer that people love to use to "look on the bright side" a whole lot. Nothing wrong with looking on the bright side (although I agree that using the whole "God's plan" concept in a situation like the one that has Anna rightfully upset is a bit Pollyanna... no rape victim ever wants to hear these words, God-sanctioned or no.)

What people seem to always fail to realize is that "God's plan" for us is actually FREE WILL -- this, by logical definition, means that knowing "everything that has and will happen" is really a falsehood or, at best, an improbability. "God" would really only have a best guess on the outcome of things, based on personal knowledge and observation of human nature -- but then, I don't believe in God as the entity that Christians tend to promote "Him" as, either. (I think Christianity is a fine religion with a lot of idiots messing up its good name.)

All of this is fairly irrelevant, however, to the fact that nobody in *any* personal crisis really wants to hear about "God's plan" when facing their own difficult life choices and decisions -- maybe it *is* selfish to prefer not to carry a rapist's baby, and maybe it is nobler to look at it from the "pro-life" perspective (like those with "God's plan" in mind are really wanting you to do, as Erik so aptly points out)... but it's not really their choice to make, now is it? That's the beauty of "God's plan" -- according to it, nobody should really be *forcing* you to do anything (whether it's having sex or having a baby)... including God "himself".

Kris Weberg | April 3, 2005
Well, yes and no, Amy -- on the one hand, we have free will. On the other, no religion would argue that our free will constrains God in any way, because then God wouldn't be...well, God.

Basically free will and omniscience -- being all-knowing -- are complicated when you try to reconcile them both.

Arguing that God is not all-knowing, that He just "best guesses," puts you outside ALL Christian denominations. Not a one of them would grant that God isn't all-knowing.

Jackie Mason | April 3, 2005
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Amy Austin | April 3, 2005
I'm not going to argue religion with you, Kris -- suffice it to say that I disagree with your last statement. There *is* a difference between "omniscience" and puppet-master.

Kris Weberg | April 4, 2005
Uhm, we're not arguing, Amy.

"on the one hand, we have free will. On the other, no religion would argue that our free will constrains God in any way, because then God wouldn't be...well, God. "

Seems to me that's the same thing as claiming that "There *is* a difference between 'omniscience' and puppet-master."

I do go ont o say that reconciling omniscience and free will is more complicated than it looks on the surface, but that's not to say it can't be done. 2,000 years of theology has aimed at doing just that.

My argument with you was that your definition of God's knowledge -- "best guesses" -- is not the same thing as omniscience. Omniscience isn't educated guesswork, it's certainty.

And really, the claim that God's knowledge is all-encompassing -- not, as you put it, "only...a best guess on the outcome of things, based on personal knowledge and observation of human nature" --
is necessary.

After all, if God's knowledge and power are constrained in the same way as a human being's, what exactly makes God...well, God?

I'm an atheist myself, though, so I find the whole notion of God as improbable as you do. That doesn't mean that, in discussions of theology, I'd argue that omniscience doesn't mean what it means. I'd just argue that there's no such thing as omniscience, sot he idea of an omniscient being is already out the window.

Amy Austin | April 4, 2005
Since we *aren't* in agreement on the matter, and since we are both compelled to keep making statements in support of our viewpoints on this, I'd say that we are, in fact, "arguing", Kris -- that much is a logical certainty. That doesn't mean that it's heated or full of spite... please don't mistake my idea of an argument based on others that I've had here. Every argument is different.

That said... I think you're full of shit. ;-)

No, really... I just don't think I can make you understand what I'm saying, because of your tendency for the literal. Perhaps "omnipresence" would have been more to your liking -- although I still see it as "omniscience". Something akin to Morgan Freeman's cognitive abilities in "Bruce Almighty" (and I hate to go dragging weak movie references into it and "dumbing it down", but I'm at a loss here, and I already tried to say that I didn't really want to discuss it.) I can think of a better analogy based on the differences between theoretical and empirical observation in scientific experimentation, but that's like an invitation for more argument from you, when I'd just prefer to admit that we don't (and Most Likely Won't) see the same way on the matter... especially because I don't find the "notion of God" to be "improbable" -- I am not an atheist. (In the way most people define it, that is. You, however, might just mean that in a more literal way to exclude "worship"... in which case I would agree with you... but I really just *detest* having arguments that focus too much on semantics, and that's why I'd rather not discuss this further.)

Kris Weberg | April 4, 2005
Fair enough.

At least we're stopping before our theological differences erupt into a decades-long war, making us much, much smarter than several different centuries, actually.

Amy Austin | April 4, 2005

I'm sorry, Kris, but you're too late -- jihad has already been declared, and there is a fatwa on your head now.

Amy Austin | April 4, 2005


John E Gunter | April 4, 2005
[quote]there is a fatwa on your head now.[/quote]

Oooo, that sounds like that would hurt. ;-)


Amy Austin | April 4, 2005
mmm... slightly less than suttee... ;-)

John E Gunter | April 5, 2005
Well, since suttee wouldn't be happening to him...



Amy Austin | April 5, 2005

Amy Austin | April 5, 2005
Well, since this thread started out as the indignation of women...


Anna Gregoline | April 5, 2005


Amy Austin | April 5, 2005
I guess you didn't see the link the first time Scott posted it, Anna? Or, are you still just that excited three days later? ;-) Bit of a delayed reaction, maybe?

John E Gunter | April 5, 2005
That ruling I can get behind because it makes the corporation ensure that they will have an employee available who will not have a moral objection to do the job.

Hopefully there won't be a backlash with companies blocking the hiring of someone who doesn't fit a particular profile due to moral beliefs.


Amy Austin | April 5, 2005
Yeah, but hopefully the *administration* will see fit to make this temporary "emergency rule" a permanent one within 150 days!

John E Gunter | April 5, 2005
Yes, hopefully!


Kris Weberg | April 5, 2005
Though it should be noted that this will have the de facto effect of keeping companies from hiring peoople with particular religious beliefs. If you hire someone who's opposed to filling prescriptions for contraceptives, you'll have to hire another person as well. So why not save the amount of one salary and just hire the second guy?

John E Gunter | April 5, 2005
[quote]Though it should be noted that this will have the de facto effect of keeping companies from hiring peoople with particular religious beliefs. If you hire someone who's opposed to filling prescriptions for contraceptives, you'll have to hire another person as well. So why not save the amount of one salary and just hire the second guy?[/quote]

That's what I said, just not in so many words. :-P


Anna Gregoline | April 5, 2005
Didn't see the link previously - one of the reasons I dislike the new system of the link just saying, "link."

I've also been gone since Wednesday on a road trip, where we were caught in a PA blizzard on Sunday, sitting on the snowy highway for 6 hours. Not fun.

Kris Weberg | April 5, 2005
John, I'm not saying it'll be a "backlash" in the sense that anyone will be changing hiring practices in response to public opinion or direct governmental pressure on this. I'm saying it'll be a purely economic decision. Basically, the net effect of this ruling is that it makes it twice as expensive to hire an anti-contraceptive pharmacist as it would to hire anyone else.

That's not backlash, it's a simple economic decision -- if a company or a manager feels strongly enough on the issue, they'll take a financial hit on the issue.

Amy Austin | April 5, 2005
Hmm... too bad, Anna -- but that actually sounds *kind of* fun to me... as long as there's heat in the car!

Anna Gregoline | April 5, 2005
FUN?!? You weren't there - It was not one bit of fun, no sir. That statement makes me want to put you in that car, after around hour 5 going on 6...

Amy Austin | April 5, 2005
I'm sorry that you couldn't see how it fit into God's plan, Anna... ;-)

Kris Weberg | April 6, 2005
"You argue by results, as this world does,
To settle if an act be good or bad.
You defer to the fact. For every life and every act
Consequence of good and evil can be shown.
And as in time results of many deeds are blended
So good and evil in the end become confounded."
-- from T.S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral

Anna Gregoline | April 6, 2005
Uh, thanks for creeping me out, Amy. It was a bad experience, there's no need to try and make me feel better about it with platitudes, or pretend it was anything but an awful experience. Yep, I guess I'm an ignorant pagan, I don't "get" it. I've had enough of that "God's Plan" stuff for my entire life. NeoPagan, away!!!

Amy Austin | April 6, 2005
I guess you just haven't read this conversation very carefully, because you're right: you don't "get it".

Denise Sawicki | April 6, 2005
Amy's trying to be funny and all but I'm afraid this is going to be classified as an "argument". I don't mind, personally, but apparently some people do.

Anna Gregoline | April 6, 2005

Kris Weberg | April 6, 2005
"The last temptation is the greatest treason;
To do the right deed for the wrong reason."

Amy Austin | April 6, 2005
Not sure why all the references to religious pride and sinful piety, Kris, but suffice it to say that I sure am tired of being crucified for my sense of humor... but at least I've inspired the start of one or two conversations lately.

And since my jokes seem to keep bombing so horribly for some, let me just go ahead and get on into the God quote game here -- after all, I can have fun being pious, too:

"I imagine God is weary of being called down on both sides of an argument."
-- Jude Law as W.P. Inman in "Cold Mountain"

Kris Weberg | April 7, 2005
Actually, mine were just and only just meant to be jokes. Quoting T.S. Eliot on religion is rather like quoting John Ashcroft on seperation of church and state. Eliot is severe, conservative, and not a little obsessed with guilt and sin.

Indeed, the plot of Murder in the Cathedral hinges upon whether or not Thomas Becket wanted to be martyred, which in Eliot's theology would make him...well, not a true martyr. That's hairsplitting of the highest order, and was meant to throw our differences -- and people's differences with Anna -- into a sharp, ironic relief.

Meh. Ironized literary references 0, Society 843 and counting.

But the "God quote game" could be fun, actually. We just need a scoring system of some kind and we're off and running.

Amy Austin | April 7, 2005
Hahaha... okay, Kris -- my turn to say "fair enough" -- but you obviously must realize that your high-brow humor is pretty tough to see at times, too! I'm starting to "get" you, though... ;-)

Well, it's someone else's turn for a quote, but I suppose that if we're serious about it, then we should actually start another "thread"? The "Dare to Tread" thread, maybe???

Kris Weberg | April 15, 2005
All the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

Amy Austin | April 15, 2005
Sweet! Another Elvis Costello fan!

Kris Weberg | April 18, 2005
I love me some Elvis Costello, I love me some Morrissey, I love me some The Clash.

Angry, romanticizing Brits of the early-to-mid 80s have an impossible appeal.

Oh, and:
"Satan rejected my soul,
he's seen my kind before,
He won't be dragged down,
He knows Heaven doesn't seem to be my home.
So I must find somewhere else to go
Take it please! It's free!
You'll never see, oh, you'll never see,
All the fun in life it's cost me.
C'mon, c'mon, aw, come on, c'mon, come on."

Kris Weberg | January 28, 2006
Well, another pharmacist has refused to provide birth control pills to a customer...only this one got fired, in part because she also refused to refer the customer to another pharmacist.


Of course, if it were Texas, it wouldn't really matter, because it's not as if you could find an abortion clinic or a Planned Parenthood if you wanted to.


In that context, exactly what health care niche the CPCs are supposed to fill remains unclear. Licensed family-planning doctors, in FQHCs or more specialized family planning clinics, like Planned Parenthood's, offer a host of services and counseling regarding the entire range of options available for every reproductive medical condition – including an unplanned pregnancy. The CPCs, apparently, will provide no such services. So, what, many want to know, is the real intent of Williams' legislation?


DSHS estimates indicate that nearly 17,000 women could lose access to preventative family-planning health care and reproductive services because of the Williams set-aside. And because the women served by the subsidized family-planning programs are uninsured, low-income women, a lack of access to services raises the concern that the number of unplanned pregnancies – and, perhaps, even the number of abortions performed each year – will in fact rise, a potential consequence that disturbs pro-life Sen. Zaffirini.

Amy Austin | January 29, 2006
I guess Texans would rather see their tax dollars spent on hamburger patties for Death Row inmates' last meals...;-/

Furthermore, I find Ms. Williams' comments very discriminatory against amoebas, paramecium, and other single-celled organisms:

“For me, life begins with two cells...”

Steve Dunn | January 31, 2006
Burn down the disco
Hang the blessed DJ
Because the music that they constantly play
It says nothing to me about my life

Kris Weberg | January 31, 2006
She was left behind, and sour,
And she wrote to me, equally dour,
She said, "In the days when you were hopelessly poor,
I just liked you more."

Scott Hardie | February 1, 2006
You can't fall down the stairs
two times the same way.

Kris Weberg | February 2, 2006
Throw your homework onto the fire,
Go out and find the one that you love.

Denise Sawicki | February 2, 2006
Spending warm summer days indoors
Writing frightening verse
To a buck-toothed girl in Luxembourg

( I must confess I am too dense to understand why this quote trend came up in this thread initially, but oh well :) )

Steve Dunn | February 3, 2006
I've come to wish you an unhappy birthday
Because you're evil
And you lie
And if you should die
I might feel slightly sad
But I won't cry

Kris Weberg | February 3, 2006
But don't forget the songs
That made you cry
And the songs that saved your life
Yes you're older now
And you're a clever swine
But they were the only ones who ever stood by you

Steve Dunn | February 4, 2006
How can you stay with a fat girl who'll say,
"Oh! Would you like to marry me ?
"And if you like you can buy the ring"
She doesn't care about anything

Kris Weberg | February 5, 2006
I used to think that if you had
An acoustic guitar
It meant that you were
A protest singer.
Oh, I can smile about it now
But at the time it was terrible

Denise Sawicki | February 5, 2006
Darrell wants to contribute:

"I wear black on the outside
’cause black is how I feel on the inside

And if I seem a little strange
Well, that’s because I am"

Kris Weberg | February 6, 2006
Back at the old grey school
I would win and you would lose

But you've got everything now
You've got everything now
And what a terrible mess I've made of my life
Oh, what a mess I've made of my life

Kris Weberg | June 5, 2006
The FDA's reversal on Plan B and pharmacists following their consciences combine to screw over a 42-year-old married woman in Virginia:


I am a 42-year-old happily married mother of two elementary-schoolers. My husband and I both work, and like many couples, we're starved for time together. One Thursday evening this past March, we managed to snag some rare couple time and, in a sudden rush of passion, I failed to insert my diaphragm.


I'm still in good health, but unlike the last time I was pregnant, nearly a decade ago, I'm now taking three medications. One of them, for high cholesterol, is in the Food and Drug Administration's Pregnancy Category X -- meaning it's a drug you shouldn't take if you're expecting or even planning to get pregnant. I worried because the odds of having a high-risk pregnancy or a baby born with serious health issues rise significantly after age 40.


Meanwhile, I hadn't even been able to get Plan B with a prescription that Friday, because in Virginia, health-care practitioners apparently are allowed to refuse to prescribe any drug that goes against their beliefs. Although I had heard of pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for birth control on religious grounds, I was dumbfounded to find that doctors could do the same thing.

Moreover, they aren't even required to tell the patient why they won't provide the drug. Nor do they have to provide a list of alternative sources.

There's a whole lot more I'm leaving out, but this is what happens in places where there's opposition to both abortion and contraception: out-of-state abortions.

Anna Gregoline | June 5, 2006
Ugh, it makes me so mad. This is the 21st century, people!

Jackie Mason | June 6, 2006
[hidden by request]

Scott Hardie | June 9, 2006
On the bright side, the FDA approved the vaccine for cervical cancer (link) that had been opposed by the religious right because it encourages promiscuity. That's right, cervical cancer was the only thing stopping many people from having sex, but now all bets are off! Wanton sin abounds! I personally got laid three times while typing this.

The religious right opposes anything that encourages promiscuity, which includes not just life-saving vaccines (they want thousands to die for this cause?) but also contraception. They don't want anyone to have contraception – not just teenagers, but married couples with teenagers of their own. You, me, everyone here, and every person you know in this country would be denied birth control, prophylactics, and all other forms of contraception if certain people had their way. This is a scary world we live in.

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