Obama’s Bogus Equality

obama sadAs all the world surely knows by now, “equality” is the ideological key to President Obama’s domestic policies. That all people are created equal, the president says, is the “most evident of truths.” Whether that’s so or not, it is unquestionably the case that you express any reservations whatsoever about equality these days at no little personal risk.

Be that as it may, nonetheless, the meaning of equality is hopelessly unclear in the absence of specifics. Clarification requires asking and answering a prior question: equal in regard to what? Weight? Height? Intelligence? Misery? This plainly can’t be what the president has in mind.

On the contrary, when Mr. Obama speaks of equality, he seems to be talking about giving things to particular individuals and groups who enjoy his favor and that of his administration. Feminists and gays come immediately to mind as prime members of this privileged group. And so we have administration policies like women in combat and same-sex marriage, where the inconvenient fact of significant differences is brushed aside while people who raise rational objections based on the public interest are branded as foes of equality and, very likely, bigots to boot.

In the examples cited, the species of equality involved goes by the name “gender equality.” Here, of course, certain distinctions must be made. Usually, they aren’t.

Women, homosexuals, and heterosexual men are indeed equal in regard to some things. But everything? High up on any serious list of evident truths is the truth of sexual complementarity, and its claims also must be heeded. Sorting out the competing requirements of equality and complementarity is a political task calling for the exercise of virtues like justice, solidarity, and especially prudence. Unfortunately, this is something  a one-dimensional ideological faith in equality can’t be bothered doing.

In modern times, painful public events have repeatedly shown that political ideology can be a very dangerous thing. Ideologues, whether they be Islamic fundamentalists or die-hard old Marxists, commonly nurture visions of some kind of paradise on earth and, if fanatical enough, they will do profoundly disturbing things in order to make their vision real. Barack Obama is no fanatic, but he is an ideologue of equality with a strongly secular slant and worrisome on that score.

The HHS Mandate is a case in point. This is the proposed regulation emanating from the Department of Health and Human Services in implementation of Obamacare that originally would have required (and indeed may do so yet) that a large number of church-affiliated institutions and programs provide their employees with insurance coverage for contraceptives, abortifacient drugs, and sterilization.

Pardon a digression, but notice those words–contraceptives, abortifacient drugs, and sterilization. The verbal sleight of hand often employed by defenders of the mandate involves speaking only of “contraception” while keeping mum about the abortifacients and the sterilizations. That’s part of the ongoing flacking for Obama that some journalists have been practicing for years.

In any event, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told a Harvard audience earlier this month that as of August 1 “every employee who doesn’t work directly for a church or a diocese will be included.” That remains to be seen. But as matters stand, and leaving aside technicalities, religious employers are to become cogs in a vast machine delivering universal coverage for contraception (and the rest) in the name of equality.

If this succeeds, don’t imagine for a minute that agitation won’t quickly begin to add abortion at any stage of pregnancy to the package. After all, the ideology of equality mandates it.

Russell Shaw

By

Russell Shaw is a freelance writer from Washington, D.C. You can email him at RShaw10290@aol.com.

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  • Poppiexno

    Until Obama came along, I thought that Lyndon Johnson was the most destructive president of our liberty we ever had. Obama has achieved far more than even Johnson could dream of – Obamacare, Chrysler GM bail out and take over, the financial sector, the lackluster economy, stagnant unemployment (but not in the government sector!) – to name just some of his “accomplishments.” I am stunned that some not only approve his actions but actually idolize him. If, as the saying goes, “men are from Mars and women are from Venus” then surely Liberals and Conservatives are from two different planets. No waite, they are so far apart in their world view they are from different galaxies.

  • kirk

    Mr Shaw-
    I find it interesting that your columns are shown at regular intervals so that it will give you maximum time to spin a yarn about every expression, word, or sigh that can be atributed to President Obama. Unlike the other commenter (so far) this time around, i do respect the office of the President of the United States. Even if i don’t agree on everything he does, there are many good qualities about him – and i respect that. You, and a few others that will remain unnamed, find fault with every everything that has come out of the Oval Office for the past 5 years, and will surely continue for the next 3 – and perhaps another 8 with a different democrat after that. You always seem to find a picture of the president that fits your moods and words of condemnation, and it really wouldn’t matter who fills the office you would find fault, until a stern-faced conservative again manages to get elected. They don’t seem to be making any headway in the popularity polls, so that may not happen for a very long time.
    Although i agree with some of the things you mention here, i guess i just prefer to read more balanced columns that are not so one-sided. Your’s just doesn’t cut it.

  • Victoria

    Kirk,

    You are right, this column is one-sided. However given the vast difference in goals and methods between liberals and conservatives at this time in history, it would
    be hard to write a more balanced essay and still present a Catholic
    point of view.

    There are good things about President Obama: he is a splendid orator, he clearly cares for his family and children, he believes in some good things: equality, justice,
    fairness. But he is a fuzzy thinker, he hasn’t thought through his stands, and so he is easily swayed. Remember when he spoke of watching his sick mother struggling with bills and insurance company demands? Remember when he espoused universal healthcare? Maybe I dreamed that. What he’s done is create a monster healthcare plan that will still throw many into bankruptcy and create a windfall for
    insurance companies, while confusing the heck out of the rest of us. (mine is not a conservative point of view, I know, but it should be.)

    He cares about fairness for homosexuals and feminists (some feminists, certainly not feminists for life), but not fairness for Christians. He thinks it’s fine to demand that we
    engage in a horrendous sin, paying for abortions and sterilization for others.
    I don’t see any way that you could create balance out of such contradictions. We can’t be in favor of abortifacients and against them, in favor of gay “marriage” and
    opposed to it. Somebody has to take a stand.

  • Riley

    First things first… Obama is our President and deserves some respect, regardless of how you feel about him. He didn’t mess up this country, blame the hillbilly we called the President, for 8 years before him. George Bush started the war, hence every
    downfall since. Obama did nothing but try to repair the mess that Bush left. If
    anything Obama is trying to expand the way narrow minded American’s think. This
    isn’t the 1950′s anymore, lets move on. Give women rights and gay people the
    right to marry. Simple. And yet old people like the guy who wrote this article
    and who are running the government, want to keep everyone back in the days of the “dominate group” which are white males, in absolute power. As a country we spend WAY too much time worrying about stupid little things like gun control, gay marriage, women’s rights and abortions. It’d be more beneficial to worry about how a bunch of other countries, with nuclear weapons, hate the US. Also how we could stop the constant wars that arise with the Middle East? You hate Obama; then you should have tried harder to get Romney in office. You don’t like gay marriage; don’t marry a gay person. Don’t like abortions don’t get a one. But let’s stop shoving this ridiculous garbage down the throats of young people. Americans and our future American, who will be running this country deserves a good start; not being held in the olden days that were filled with hatred. Jesus or God or whatever didn’t write the Bible, a group of
    ‘MEN’ did… shocker there. Religion is a huge reason the world can’t get along. Stop throwing your bible verses out every time an argument about gay rights arises. Never read the bible, nor want to because of the religion freaks out there, but I gained enough knowledge that if God really exists, then he wouldn’t created gay people just to hate them. You protect the unborn child’s rights as long as they grow up to be straight, middle class Americans. Anything less is an abomination. I can honestly say that I am ashamed to be an American. Land of the free and home of the brave my ass.

  • Peter Nyikos

    Why do you not criticize anything Russell Shaw wrote this time around? You say simply, “i agree with some of the things you mention here.” Why not tell us what, if anything, you disagree with, and why?

    If you cannot do that with anything he wrote this time, it would make eminent sense to save general complaints about one-sidedness for a column in which he does say something that you actually argue against . After all, as you say, his column appears in Catholic Exchange quite often.

  • Dan

    Based on this long list of ridiculous and bigoted comments, I can understand why you are a supporter of this sad, little President.

  • Peter Nyikos

    You call the killing of over a million unborn children a year (in the USA alone) a “stupid little thing.” You spout ridiculous slogans like “Don’t like abortions don’t get one” without any regard for the lives of those children, some of which are killed after they are born because the abortion was botched and those children were far enough to live if properly cared for.

    That was done many times by an “abortion doctor” in Philadelphia whose name and case may mean nothing to you because you seem to be steeped in media far to the left of _The Atlantic_. This magazine, one of the most respected moderate-to-left magazines in the country, titled a story:

    Why Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s Trial Should Be a Front-Page Story
    and it immediately gave some of the why’s:

    “The dead babies. The exploited women. The racism. The numerous governmental failures. It is thoroughly newsworthy. ”

    The babies he killed because the abortions were botched may mean nothing to you because the victims were “unwanted.” But perhaps the following excerpt from the article may make you at least stop and think:

    One woman “was left lying in place for hours after Gosnell tore her
    cervix and colon while trying, unsuccessfully, to extract the fetus,”
    the report states. Another patient, 19, “was held for several hours
    after Gosnell punctured her uterus. As a result of the delay, she fell
    into shock from blood loss, and had to undergo a hysterectomy.” A third
    patient “went into convulsions during an abortion, fell off the
    procedure table, and hit her head on the floor. Gosnell wouldn’t call an
    ambulance, and wouldn’t let the woman’s companion leave the building so
    that he could call an ambulance.”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/04/why-dr-kermit-gosnells-trial-should-be-a-front-page-story/274944/

  • Riley

    I see where you are coming from, but any article about “botched abortions” or anything to do with abortions in general will never change my opinion. And I’m going to try to respect you as you did for me, explaining my points again, by not name calling. I read the article and it did make me stop and think. The stuff I read was sad and heartbreaking, but you have to understand where I am coming from as well.

    Before you can attack people for having abortions or doctors that preform the operation, you must fix the growing number of stupid people, which is a problem that will never go away.

    I see your name is Peter, so guessing you are a male? Why do you think it is any of your business if a women chooses to get an abortion? Is the women your wife or girlfriend or perhaps a pregnant daughter? If not I really don’t understand why it always the men who dictate what a women chooses to do with her body.

    You said, “those children were far enough to live if properly cared for.” which is true and false. If the women wanted an abortion but it was botched, do you really think the women is going to have a change of heart and keep the child? No. So the unwanted children that would make it through would go into foster care or adoption centers, which are already filled to the max with other children.

    And I completely agree that my slogans were ridiculous but it gets the points across. The point of, if it isn’t your life or body, you have zero right or say in what I do for and to my body. Personally speaking I would probably never get an abortion (but that’s because I’m not an idiot and smart about my decisions), but if a women gets pregnant and the man leaves (which happens way to often or even if he stays) the women should have the right for doing the right thing, even if it is a negative thing to do in today’s society. In most cases the women would be seen as self absorbed, thinking only about herself when she decides to get an abortion. But back to my main point have you ever had a fetus living inside you? Do you really understand the hardships of having it inside you? Regardless of social class or stupidity once a women is pregnant the thinking process changes, for the child. (Even if you disagree and think she’s doing the wrong thing.) The child is no better off living in a house with parents who didn’t want it to living in foster care where the foster parents most likely don’t really want it either. It’s a lose-lose situation.

    Again I see your point but my opinion will never change on that.

  • Riley

    Interesting that you call me a bigot by my comments, that defend the rights of others against people like yourself. Do you know what a bigot is? Yes, I have strong beliefs, but at least I’m not fighting against anyone from being happy. Is a gay person making your life a living hell because they are gay? I don’t think so. People like you and as well as the author are the reason the US is in this situation. Taking the basic right of being happy away from people because it’s different from what you believe is utterly ridiculous. You should learn the real definition of a bigot; which again wouldn’t be me. I’m not saying to change what you believe in, but stop shoving this garbage down others throats, lets let the next generation have a brain of their own, for them to figure out what’s wrong and what’s right. I have no problem with what you believe in or what you choose to do, but when you decide to defend this author for making ridiculous remarks, it makes you look awful. And as I previously stated, I’ll support that “sad, little President”. He may be sad and little in your eyes, but look who ended up winning the race? Have a great day, you pretentious asshole.

  • Peter Nyikos

    In my first reply to you I focused on the comments that I found most objectionable morally. But since you’ve decided to hang around, I thought I’d address some other objectionable comments. [Don't worry, I'll get around to your rebuttal eventually.]

    Your comments on war in the “Middle” East conveniently ignore the ongoing Benghazi debacle, including the cover-up of what happened to the survivors and why drones, which Obama seems quite happy to turn against Americans (“drones? what drones?”) were not used against the terrorists who were beseiging the embassy.

    You want peace, start asking some pointed questions about Benghazi addressed to your fellow leftists. Don’t forget the issue that the whole attack might never have happened had Obama not uncritically supported the rebels against Qadaffi. Are you going to blame the rise of militant Islam in the Arab world these last five years on Bush too?

    You have nothing to say about the specific points Russell Shaw brought up, confining your remarks about him to an *ad hominem* attack, and playing pot to his kettle by accusing him of “shoving this ridiculous garbage down the throats of young people.” Do you seriously think your remarks aren’t rife with ridiculous garbage? Just look at your boilerplate atheistic and anti-Catholic propaganda targeted not at anyone identifiable, certainly not the people involved in this discussion (including Shaw himself).

  • Riley

    Let me stop you there. I don’t pay attention to politics, never have and I doubt I ever will. So am I an uninformed person, sure, I’ll agree to that. And again, sure my comments are ridiculous, but it gets the point across, to stop taking basic human rights away just because it happens to be against your religion. In a general statement, there are always going to be people or things that are going to be against someone’s religion or beliefs, so why continue to fight a war that’s never going to end. Just except people for who they are.

    Do I believe there is a God or a higher power, no I don’t. My concern that arises with religion is everyone is quick to say “God said it’s an abomination to get an abortion or be attracted to the same sex.” No one ever has a logical way of thinking without throwing Bible verses or because “God said so.” into the argument. (Not saying you, but the general population.)

    Once again, I’m not trying to attack anyone. Like I’ve said many times over, I do not have an issue with anyone and my remarks aren’t targeted at anyone, just a general suggestion to everyone who may read this article. Honestly, it’s because people like this author (and I’m not limiting to just him) that is making it impossible for young kids to free think. I thank my mother daily for not forcing religion on me. (She was raised Catholic, but decided to go against it for once to let me think for myself.) That’s why I have zero problem with anyone, African Americans, Asians, Jewish people, gay people, straight people, the list goes on and on. However, I do have a problem when it comes to those who push their beliefs on me.

    It may come across that I am shoving my beliefs on this discussion board, and honestly that’s not my intention at all. But, once someone attacks the President, for being an awful President, I feel it’s my duty as an American to defend him by saying the most obvious thing I could possibly say, which is “He’s still in office for the next couple years, like him or not, he’s not going anywhere. If he’s so bad, he would have never been re-elected.” or when they attack my personal rights or the rights of my family members or friends, I will do everything in my power to defend them.

    And if you or anyone feels differently, that’s on you.

  • Mary-Lynn

    “However, I do have a problem when it comes to those who push their beliefs on me.” I feel exactly the same Dan. I am a woman who is a RN. It greatly upsets me to see this administration say that contraceptives are safe and better for woman.I had major complications from being on “the pill” for only 9 months. I have researched the safety aspect of this drug. Woman are not being told the whole truth. This administration is promoting their ideology. And I have to pay for it. We should have the right to be free thinkers and yes that would mean politely disagreeing with President Obama. Why can’t I support religion, unborn babies, woman, and marriage between a man and a woman?. Those of us who disagree should not have this administrations ideology pushed on us.

  • Dan

    Yes of course I understand bigotry. But I’ll address your response in order of their comment:
    1. You have no idea what “rights” are based on your initial comment.

    2. You are definitely fighting against anyone being happy. My happiness and millions like me. Your third sentence accuses me (and the author) of are the “reason” for US being in “this situation”-whatever that means. You don’t say what the situation is, just that we are to blame.

    3. I don’t think gay people are making my life a living hell at all. That is your bigoted assumption. I find most gay people I meet to be very fine people. You just assume since I don’t agree about some political points that I must hate them. Again-a bigoted perspective meant to mislead.
    You do this by saying that if I don’t agree with or acquiesce to your deductions about gay people,

    4. As for “taking away the basic right to be happy”, I can only surmise that you are talking about so called gay “marriage”. To begin with, you can’t take something away that does not already exist. Since this issue is just now being discussed I am certainly free (perhaps not in your opinion) to state my beliefs. Also my comments are about MARRIAGE not about being gay. Marriage is what is on trial. And I have MANY non-religious reasons for opposing gay marriage, adoption, etc. that have nothing to do with gay or straight. I know many gay people in wonderful relationships and many that who have found it profoundly wounding. I would say the same about heterosexual married people I know-some are happy, others not. That has nothing to do with redefining marriage. And nothing to do with being gay. I am also against other attempts to redefine marriage of heterosexual individuals so you assumption is again wrong.

    5. As for garbage, a loaded word for sure, it is not garbage but the fact that any opposing thoughts, reasons and logic you consider it so is a sign of not having a real intellectual discussion only silly bigoted words like that.

    6. As for cramming down your throat…that is exactly what the gay community is doing. If some don’t agree, we are called names and considered haters, etc. The fact is, thought, that ALL LAW EVER ENACTED is “pushing it down your throat”. A person might not like the speed limit, the tax code, the restrictions on free speech, late term abortions or whatever–but the law forces you to live with it whether you agree or not. Politics is the art of shoving it down someones throat for goodness sakes so don’t be so naive.

    7. Finally, i certainly support your right to support this sad little President. As I said, I might not like him but in our free democracy the voters spoke and he was elected. That doesn’t change the facts of the terrible legacy he will leave.

    8. Finally, your propensity for swearing at others seems firmly in place. Such are the practices of those who cannot and do not support free speech and debate. Such are many of the supporters of their like minded President.

  • Peter Nyikos

    Methinks you protest too much, Riley. Don’t you recognize your own anti-Catholic bigotry? (“You protect the unborn child’s rights as long as they grow up to be straight, middle class Americans. Anything less is an abomination.”) And what makes you think anyone who calls Obama “a sad, little President” is threatening the rights of others, in a way that requires you to “defend the rights of others against people like yourself”? How about comparing that remark with your own lack of respect for Bush (“the hillbilly we called President”).

    And that’s just the beginning of your attack on Dan. You get an amazing amount of mileage out of one little sentence by Dan, thereby coming across as being a lot more hateful than he does.

  • Peter Nyikos

    You claim you don’t pay attention to politics, yet you spout slogans that make you sound like a left-wing Democratic party hack. You spend a whole paragraph explaining why you think it is your duty “as an American to defend” Obama after laying all the blame for our ills on Bush, “the hillbilly we called President” while painting Obama as something little short of a savior. It never seems to occur to you to apply your words, “If he’s so bad, he would have never been re-elected” to Bush.

    I find it strange that you pleaded ignorance of Benghazi after having spouted off so much about peace in the Middle East being far more important than abortion, etc.

    I have never been able to understand why atheists aren’t on the pro-life front lines; after all, abortion is robbing the unborn baby of the only life he or she can ever have, by your standards. The deaths of older people in war, etc. are a tragedy, absolutely, but they at least have had a deep taste of life. The death toll of unborn children in the USA alone since RvW exceeds the deaths of all people in the world, military and civilian, in World War II, the most death-dealing war of all time.

  • Riley

    There is zero reason to defend myself against any of you. Peter, you gave me a bunch of stats and a bunch of words that meant nothing to me. I asked a simple question to you, which was is the pregnant women your wife, girlfriend or your own daughter… so why is a women getting an abortion any of your concern? You never answered. Instead trying to prove anything that was wrong in my initial argument. So don’t bother now.

    I am a 20 year old college student. I don’t pay attention to politics. I don’t have a religion and don’t care to find “God”. However, I made a general statement, no intentions of attacking a certain person (which maybe I did) but the fact of the matter, is you all are so hard headed and unwilling to change or even open your mind to a different way of thinking. That is the real saddening fact. I am open to different races, gay people, religious people, and yet in every reply back to me was you showing me how “you were right and I was wrong”. When I choose to defend myself (again maybe offending or as it seems “attacking” a certain person or group) you all were very quick to try to prove me wrong once again.

    You all have strong opinions that I doubt will ever change. And I have very strong opinions that I doubt I will ever change. So butting heads with me, is honestly the biggest waste of my time and your time.

    So I’m wiping the slate clean. I’m going to choose what I want to believe in and you all will do the same. I sincerely apologize for the only real intentional attack on Dan, and all the non-intentional attacks to the rest of the people on this discussion board. Peter and Dan, you did open my eyes to a couple new things that I should think about before opening my mouth, did they change my mind, no, but at least I’m going to be open-minded before spouting my opinions in the future. And the only thing I can hope is you all do the same.

  • Riley

    Dan, you get your own paragraph. I did attack you and especially at the
    end with the pretentious asshole part, and I’m sorry.

    The only points
    you made that I actually care for is points #2 and #6. I’m not fighting
    against you being happy, but again how does a gay person getting married effect your happiness? It’s not in the Bible so does
    that make it wrong. Marriage shouldn’t be defined as one man and one
    women. It should be defined by, find a person who makes you happy,
    regardless of if the person is a man or woman. (Don’t start the argument
    that if gay’s marry then people can start marrying animals… that is
    utterly ridiculous. And I apologize if that isn’t your thinking
    process.)

    Now to number 6, I agree that’s what happens if a person
    opposes gay marriage. I never called you a hater or anyone else on here a
    hater because they oppose it. I made the general statement of how does a
    gay person getting married change anything about you as a person? I
    just really wonder why people can’t handle the fact gay people should
    have the right to get married?

  • hillbilly

    If I understand Riley correctly the life’s mantra should be, “Live and let live”. Again, if that’s what Riley believes in and believes the rest of us should do as well, why bother commenting on this column and any thoughts by others? Riley… Live and let live.

  • Poppiexno

    i would like to ask Riley and others who share his world view this question: Where in the Constitution – not in a court decision, in the Constitution – does the government have the right to force me to a) Purchase a product b) to use my money to fund actions which I find morally objectionable. Let me anticipate one possible answer: I might be morally opposed to fund national defense. But as a citizen, I have entered into a contract regarding national defense as set out in the Constitution. I have entered into no such contract regarding the use of my money to fund abortion. I am being forced to provide that money.

  • Elle Bee

    You ARE a closed-minded bigot. You know nothing yet. GO back to middle earth and mature for a few years. 11 months ago, how’s Mr. Open Minded Fantastic working out for you , now? Do you have a better understanding of the world yet? It’s going to take more than “imaginary” equal rights to run a country. Peace? I remember when I was a baby liberal, too. Arrogant, living in this illusion that I was open minded and wise HA! You just wait, 20 year old. I’ve had more homosexual partners than you ever will, that might make you worship my words, who knows. I changed me, because I walked OUT of the teeny tiny liberal, bigoted box propaganda machine I was conforming too, a regular Stepford Liberal, I was. But you’re definitely closed off.

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