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Sunday, February 19, 2006


One of the problems in this country is that many of the people who elect our officials are hopelessly ignorant. This, in turn, gives us abysmally ignorant officials who pass laws like the conscience bills, a type of legislation that allows a pharmacist, doctor, or medical institution to refuse to profer birth control or morning-after pills.

Given, it's hard for me, personally, to feel sympathetic to anything involving the word 'conscience,' as I am quite transparently without one, but usually I can at least understand where someone is coming from. In this case, I'm pretty sure it's just a transcendant level of childishness on the part of legislatures.

If I were a garbage man, and I opted to skip a certain house because I disagreed with the religion of the tenants, I would be immediately fired. Nobody would feel sympathetic to Bob Weiss, the vehemently racist garbage man. Or even if it were something less extreme, Bob Weinstein the Jewish garbage man who refuses to pick up garbage that might contain pig products as I could come in contact with them. I'm not sure if that's even a valid religious objection, as I am neither Jewish nor particularly inclined to care, but suppose that it is. Would the legislature of Kentucky suddenly, in a need to protect my right of conscience, jump to pass the Garbage Man Protection Act of Ought Six? (Because I imagine everyone from Kentucky to speak like a shoeless, moonshine imbibing mountain man, even in the name of legislation.) Of course not. It's absurd.

Even if I were a pharmacist, and I was increasingly concerned with the issue of old people reproducing, would people be sympathetic to my refusing Joe Medicare his Viagra? I suppose that it's also rather disturbing, thinking of an old guy having some rabid monkey sex, but it's nonetheless an improbability that such a conscience-based decision would result in anything other than an immediate dismissal. Yet at the same time, legislatures really care that a doctor might have to prescribe a drug that he would not personally use, were it his affliction.

Yet that's not what it's about, is it? Conscience bills are a blatent attempt to reduce the availability of legal, safe medications that exist to treat a very real affliction - because the legislatures and the residents who elect them are morally bankrupt, stupid, and want to seize the religious high ground. What this is about is the religious portion of our country feeling increasingly isolated, as without any actual faith, they look to communal acceptance and consent to continue with their religious beliefs - and, absent that, they will impose their views on others. It's not about creating legislation that best serves their constituancy, it's about being right.

That's what bothers me so much about the politically religious. They do it out of convenience, but they don't have any qualms about violating any politically unpopular segment of their 'faith.' Anyone who feels as if they need to evangelize via government mandate is automatically a bizarre hypocrite. While I'm not a practicing Christian, per se, the evangelism that is demanded by any Biblical writ is not "force people into acting correctly," it's to spread the Word of God and make actual believers out of the heathens. There was a word for people who used religion as a tool for their own personal or financial gain: Pharisees. Hint: Jesus hates them.

The other group that doesn't makel any goddamn sense is the pharmacists. Why become a pharmacist if a portion of the job is something you are morally opposed to? The doctors I can at least somewhat understand, but as a pharmacist? You're just there until we figure out a way to engineer a fraud resistant computer storage system that can dispense prescriptions with a reasonable timeliness. Pharmacy school isn't exactly the hope and dream of every little girl and boy. Astronaut, sure. Fireman, great. Pharmacist, not so much. It's not as if pharmacies exist in isolation, where no other job is available and people are economically coerced into a profession, requiring government intervention. It's a goddamn pill dispenser with a white apron. Get over yourselves and your 'conscience,' which includes forcing women to have children that they don't want, that may have been concieved against her will, and who are statistically far more likely to have a horrific life, but excludes giving someone a pill. Hegel you are not.

What if doctors suddenly began refusing to issue retroviral drugs to pregnant women with AIDS, to safeguard their children from the disease, because they didn't "agree" with the promiscuous lifestyle that AIDS often comes from? How far does the right of 'conscience' extend in professional dealings? What happens when someone lives in a rural area and the local pharmacist refuses to issue certain prescriptions, or someone is raped and unconscious when they are taken to the hospital? I guess we have to protect the real victim there: the pharmacy tech who doesn't like abortion.

cranked out at 10:33 AM | |

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