Monday, May 02, 2005

Right-wing logic?

The radical religious right-wing in this country is, once again, proving that they are a bunch of nitwits. Either that, or they hate women. I read this article and thought to myself, why, in God's name, would anyone oppose vaccinating women against a virus that causes cancer? That's like opposing a vaccine for sickle cell anemia or a vaccine for HIV for that matter. It's not just irrational, but totally illogical if you want to eradicate disease. But, as we well know, America's conservatives aren't motivated by logic

Get this quote: "Abstinence is the best way to prevent HPV." This is the FRC's best justification for denying the vaccine to women? Well I'll be a monkey's uncle. That's some argument alright. First of all, how does one define best? Theoretically or practically? Theoretically, never touching someone with HPV is the best way to avoid getting HPV. I'll cede the point. But, here on Earth where people touch people all the time (even sexually!), and where many women are raped or forced to have sex against their will, and where many other women work in sex industries to feed themselves or their families, and where poverty is widespread and few women (or men) have good health care, abstinence theory doesn't mean much. Here on Earth, abstinence is a nice idea, but it just isn't workable as a national or global policy. Practically speaking, we need every tool we have available to stop the spread of disease (venereal or otherwise).

Second of all, what decision model is FRC using? The one that says, "When you have many options to address a problem, you may use only one and that one may be only the best." Okay. Let's try applying that decision model elsewhere, like to the problem of global warming. It's pretty clear (though not necessarily proven) that the "best" way to avoid any further global warming is to stop using any fossil fuel. We'll call this the hydrocarbon theory of abstinence (if you don't burn hydrocarbons, you won't release CO2.) Having identified this as the best way to prevent global warming, FRC's decision model clearly requires us to ban any and all use of hydrocarbons. This, of course, is an absurd result. And yet, that is clearly what the FRC calls for. Why? I don't know, except that once again, America's religious right have taken the phrase "culture of life" and stripped it of any substantive meaning whatsoever.

Can anyone out there think of any other absurd situations where one could apply the "abstinence theory"?