The contraception mandate as a dividing mechanism
The contraception mandate within the Healthcare Bill, which would require all colleges and hospitals to provide contraception regardless of religious conviction, is being demonized by the right as a blatant attack on freedom of religion. This follows a pattern of the evangelical Tea Party faction of the Republican party controlling the conversation and, at times, diverting the conversation into foggy areas.
In my opinion, the contraception mandate is overstepping many lines, arguably even separation of church and state, and is a clear example of the ever-increasing size and scope of government.
However, my concern lies with the silence that has fallen between a previously tentatively cooperative Tea Party and Occupy movement. Though the differences in perspective and opinion are vast, the Tea Party and Occupy have a common interest in some areas, most often those concerning the expansion of Homeland Security’s authority and the introduction of laws which could have a negative affect on our First Amendment rights.
The clearest example of these examples of these expansions include NDAA, the indefinite detention bill; SOPA/PIPA, internet censorship bills; and ACTA, the worldwide internet censorship treaty.
We risk losing our common ground due to a successful propaganda campaign, likely by establishment Republicans whose primary goal is to replace Obama with one of their candidates. This cannot be easily done if their radical base, the Tea Party, is finding common ground with the Occupy movement. The political 1% remain in that position by dividing those beneath them, and we needn’t fall victim to their tricks.
The contraception mandate is not a threat to freedom of religion. It does not say, we revoke your tax status as a church because we force you to violate one of your core beliefs. It does not instill a state religion or introduce Sharia. It hurts some sensitive feelings, that’s about it.
NDAA, EEA, SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA and legitimate threats to freedom. Their potential impact is measurable, and it’s very clear what life will be like if they are allowed to become a reality. Some of these already have, but that just means that we have more work to do.
Work that should be done together.
No more left, no more right. Stand up and fight.