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Only the religious can be as myopic and blind to fact as to propose abstinence-only sex education programs, preferring (as always) that people remain in the dark about safe sex, contraception and (oh nos!) reproductive choice. All religions are about control, and one of the prime mechanisms by which it asserts this control is through prohibition. Whether it’s prohibiting alcohol consumption, controlling what happens in the bedroom or subverting independent thought, no religion promotes freedom of any sort. One thing about prohibition that can be shown time and time again is its perfect failure rate.

Many of the piously religious would rather adhere to millennia-old doctrine that has little relevance remaining to modern society and try to put the genie back into the bottle. I’ve got news for such people – resistance is futile. The moral zeitgeist has changed over the centuries and the current conflicts in women’s rights and reproductive choice (to name only a few) are a reflection of this temporal anomaly. We no longer live in the 12th century and the world views of some members of society have remained unaltered by the march of time. Women are no longer chattel.

But, I know such advice will fall on ears deafened by the voices of irrationality like the late Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson, neither of whom do I think have any redeeming qualities in their character. They tell the faithful what they should believe and how they should act and the bleating masses blindly follow. I’ve never like the parable of the sheep and the shepherd. As a free thinker I do not resemble a sheep needing any shepherd, and being a sheep means getting shagged when the shepherd puts on his velcro gloves.

Case in point: A Minneapolis man drives his SUV into a Planned Parenthood clinic. On the 36th anniversary of the historic Roe vs. Wade decision acknowledging women’s reproductive choice, spokesperson Kathi Di Nicola said the 32-year old unidentified man had gotten out of his SUV after smashing it into the entrance and was pacing around it, holding a crucifix and chanting. “He was agitated and he was saying, ‘shut down this Auschwitz,’ ” she [Kathi Di Nicola] said. The damage was minor, and patients were diverted to another entrance. 

I find it amusing that atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens are described as ‘militant’, even though they would never condone violence to promote their views. I wonder what the faithful will call the actions of this ‘gentleman’? How far is anyone who would picket an abortion clinic from this kind of action? How far is anyone who follows a two millennia old dogma that can’t even begin to cope with modernity?

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