The Women’s Congressional Hearing (with apologies to Nellie McClung)

With apologies to the indomitable Nelly McClung

SCENE

[Interior of congressional hearing chamber. Behind a large and impressive wooden table sit three middle aged women in well-tailored suits, hands neatly folded in front of them.]

CHAIRWOMAN: Welcome, all, to this House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on the insurance coverage of erectile dysfunction medication and religious liberty. The chair recognizes the esteemed panel.

Today we are here to discuss the recent White House proposals regarding pharmaceutical coverage. The Obama administration wishes to force private insurance companies to provide coverage for erectile dysfunction medications. I’d like to ask the panel to provide an opening statement.

REV. CHASTITY: Thank you Ms. Chairwoman. The Obama administration has put a stranglehold on religious liberty in this country by forcing all Americans to accept practices antithetical to Christian doctrine – that is, that we should all pay for men in this country to be having recreational sex. The Bible clearly condemns sexual activity that is not for procreation – in Genesis 38:9-10, it stats “He spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring…What he did was wicked in the Lord’s sight.”

These men are sinful, and the people of America should not be held financially captive by the lustful, wicked ways of the godless left wingers of this country. Jesus said, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” We, as Christians, should not be forced by an overbearing government to fund mortal sins!

CHAIRWOMAN: Thank you, Reverend. I’d like to now ask the panel to comment on whether this medication could be seen to be medically necessary.

DR. PROSTATE: Oh, definitely not. Sexual activity is entirely optional. In fact, erectile dysfunction isn’t so much a medical condition as just a normal part of aging. Men have lived for centuries without drugs that allow them to have sex for purely recreational purposes and I certainly don’t see why they have suddenly been rendered unable of coping. Indeed, it seems that popular media portrayals of older men like Hugh Hefner as sexually active has lead to a move away from traditional values. There is really absolutely no medical reason why individuals would ever need to have sex beyond their child-raising years. It is excesses in the medical system like erectile dysfunction treatments that are sending health insurance costs skyrocketing.

I’d also like to preemptively counter the point that sometimes erectile dysfunction medication can be given for legitimate medical issues and say: the majority of erectile dysfunction drugs are given to people who want them for recreation, not people who need them. Sexually transmitted infections in elderly populations have been on the rise since the introduction of erectile dysfunction medications. Adding barriers to access will prevent people from being sexually active and prevent the spread of STIs. The best way to prevent erectile dysfunction is to abstain from sexual activity. Everybody wins and nobody needs to pay out of pocket for somebody else’s jollies.

CHAIRWOMAN: Thank you, Doctor. And now, could we have a final word from Senator McClung?

SEN. MCCLUNG: We have heard men speak out in support of the Obama administration’s proposed coverage, and although some may be well-spoken and seem capable, we must remember that men are ultimately weak at heart and easy to be persuaded into sexual activity by women and the media. Supporting the use of erectile dysfunction medications puts these vulnerable men at risk of being preyed upon by women, and promotes irresponsible usage of the medication. This could lead to promiscuity, STIs, unwanted pregnancies, abortions, and other horrors that plague our modern society. If I may be so bold as to paraphrase the words of my great grandmother:

If men were all so intelligent as these representatives of the downtrodden sex seem to be it might not do any harm to allow them access to erectile dysfunction medication. But all men are not so intelligent. There is no use in allowing men to have Viagra. They wouldn’t use it. They would let the pills spoil and go to waste. Then again, some men would have sex too much…Giving men Viagra would unsettle the home….The modesty of our men, which we reverence, forbids us giving them Viagra access. Men’s place is in the workplace, not the bedroom..It may be that I am old-fashioned. I may be wrong. After all, men may be human. Perhaps the time may come when men will be responsible enough to have sex with women for reasons other than procreation–but in the meantime, be of good cheer. Advocate and Educate. [adapted from Nelly McClung, The Women’s Parliament]

[Thunderous applause erupts]

CHAIRWOMAN: Well said, Senator McClung. If there are no further opinions-

LONE MAN IN CROWD: Wait, don’t we get to-

CHAIRWOMAN: I’d like to thank the expert panel for their time and we will await the committee’s decision.

[The hearing chamber noisily clears out.]

END SCENE

If you have no idea what this is about, read here. If you are horrified that the words of a suffragette 99 years ago resonate today as much as they did then, SPEAK UP!

Mommas don’t let your babies grow up to be Fundamentalist Christians

For all those interested, the following story is worth reading. http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/08/new-bethany-ifb-teen-homes-abuse

When I was young I went to a bible camp. I can say it was nothing like what Kathryn Joyce wrote about, per say. I think the worst I had to endure, other than the constant Christian subliminal brainwashing, was the milk served at meals. Every meal came with a glass of powdered milk. Every drop had to be consumed or you where not allowed to leave the table. I wonder what was in that “milk”.

Archie and the Gang are up to no good. Tune in next time when Jughead eats all the wafers.

I nearly died in that camp as well. The camp was located next to a lake and there were daily swimming sessions which were monitored by an adult. When walking along the bottom of the section designated for swimming I lost my footing and went under water. Luckily I was pulled out, resuscitated and proceeded to cough out water.

Still, nothing I can relate to compares to the horror that these young women go through. Young girls may rebel, may fight and swear, but no one deserves this torture. I you know someone who is currently rebelling, help them. Just talking about issues may actually accomplish something. Refer them to secular counselling that will look at what is actually going on, rather than attempting to exorcise demons.

If you know of a parent who is thinking of sending their child to a place like this, forward them this article. Hopefully they cringe and decide to see professional help as opposed to spiritual help.

2cp

In Which I’m an Axe Grinding Whinger

Well, the trolls finally found my blog posts from this spring, in which I am accused of conspiracy, lies, and scientific tyranny. Yay! I know, I know, don’t feed the trolls and all, but I would like to point out one simple thing: I honestly don’t care about geocentrism. I’m not a physicist, I’m not an astronomer. I am nothing more than an astronomy cheer leader, because I have always been fascinated by the stars and the planets and the galaxies. I was sort of sad when Pluto was downgraded from planetary status, but in a momentary “d’aw shucks” sort of way. I mourn the death of the American space program, that I never got to see a shuttle launch (though we did fly over Cape Canaveral once when a shuttle was on the launch pad. I took pictures). Any major changes to astronomy would interest me, because I have no vested interest in one theory or another. String theory can come or go – I’m a biologist and it makes no difference to me.

The hilarious thing is that apparently, according to my trolls, I have an axe to grind, and I am sitting here bitching and complaining and protesting because that’s all I do. This delights me, because I’m a busy woman with my own science to worry about. I had never even heard of geocentrism before I saw it on a Kijij listing for the lecture, and since I wrote the articles I have not worried about it for a moment since (barring my post earlier this week about the movie, which I wrote on a 10 minute break to lament science education). I wrote two comedy-based articles debunking the talk for the amusement of my fellow skeptics, and that was the end of it.

Now, I’m being challenged as a liar who misrepresented the evenings, even by those who have seen copies of the events that went on. What I find interesting is that these are only wild assertions. Which part, specifically, is untrue? Although I have not yet gone back to transcribe his talk, I certainly could to prove my point. Or perhaps, yes, I made a typo, or didn’t cover something in the notes I took. However, it is difficult to respond to such criticism if you don’t mention what I’m wrong about.

And yet, even though I spend both summaries asking over, and over, and over, “Please, somebody, just show me some evidence!!” none of them have presented any direct evidence for geocentrism. They all fall prey to the thinking of many creationists: if the current theory is wrong, then mine must be right! I am open to the concept that there is a better explanation for the way the world is than Newtonian physics. However, you must present this alternative theory!

In a geocentist world, this is what the solar system looks like. Please explain why planets are doing weird little circles all on their own. Please explain why Mercury never slams into the Earth. Please explain the forces that sustain this model.

Until then, truly, I’ve moved on with my life. The universe is not the focus of my scientific work and what frame of reference we use to describe it doesn’t particularly matter to me. This is not my field. I have far more to “whinge” about when it comes to people promoting medical quackery. You know, the stuff that is actually killing people.