Contraceptive Fund Raising

It didn’t take long for the Democrats to exploit Obama’s missteps on requiring Catholic institutions to provide employees with contraceptives. Just this week I received two e-mails on this issue. Here is the first.

This is just unconscionable: Republicans in Congress are trying to make it legal for ANY employer to deny birth control coverage to their employees.

Yes, you read that right. Republicans are on track to give corporations the power to deny women access to health care.

The vote is set for this week — we must act IMMEDIATELY.

We must raise $50,000 by midnight tonight to get activists mobilized and ads up and running in Republican districts about this atrocious assault on women’s health care.

Will you contribute $3 or more right now to our urgent Women’s Health Rapid Response Fund?

We can’t afford to fall short and delay taking action for another day. Women across the country deserve to know that right-wing Republicans intend to take women’s health care back to the dark ages. Please give what you can today.

Because if the government doesn’t provide it, it must be unobtainable.I mean it’s not like people can get birth control on their own.

Here is the other one.

BREAKING NEWS: Senate Republicans are pushing the Blunt Amendment, a radical piece of legislation that would cannibalize health care reform by letting any employer deny any part of your heath care coverage due to “moral convictions.”

David, this goes way beyond taking away birth control coverage. An employer could decide that they couldn’t shell out the money necessary for your expensive cancer treatment because of their “moral convictions,” and you’d be out of luck. Their goal isn’t just to end contraception coverage. Their goal is to implode our entire health care system and strike a deadly blow to President Obama’s historic health care reform.

Republicans are going to try to bring this to a vote as early as today. Before the vote, I need you and 49,999 other people who value health care reform to take a strong stand against the Blunt Amendment.

Republicans are dead wrong on this. Employers should not be allowed to decide what health care you and your family can receive. They’ve been wanting to kill “Obamacare,” and this disgusting amendment would do just that.

Sign the petition, and forward this email on to friends and family who value comprehensive health care. Thanks for your help, and I’ll let you know what happens.

Guy Cecil
Executive Director, DSCC


Why should any employer be required to provide birth control if they don’t want to, regardless of the reasons? Why shouldn’t they be free to provide whatever coverage they want to? If an employee doesn’t like the coverage he is getting, he can go elsewhere. Since when are contraceptives considered health care anyway? They don’t cure any disease or promote good health. (I know that oral contraceptives are sometimes prescribed for medical reasons, but that is another issue.) Why shouldn’t people pay for them out of their own pockets.

The whole idea here is that the government should be able to coerce employers into providing what the government thinks they should. They ought not to have any say in managing their own affairs. In other words, the point of these e-mails is really to persuade the reader to assist them in the project of making other people government serfs with the promise of a share in the loot. Only a great fool would agree to this but unfortunately, as the King said to the Duke in Huckleberry Finn.

Hain’t we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain’t that a big enough majority in any town?

Or in a country.

Home Schooling Demographics

The increasing acceptance and popularity of home schooling has to be acutely embarrassing to the educational establishment. To make matters worse for them, the stereotype of home schooling families as religious fanatics who don’t want their children to learn about evolution is no longer true, if indeed it ever was. The other day, I read an article in USA Today noting the changing demographics of people who decide to home school their children. An increasing number of parents who are opting for home schooling are secular minded.

There was a time when Heather Kirchner thought mothers who home-schooled their children were only the types “who wore long skirts and praised Jesus and all that.”

That was before the New Jersey resident decided to home-school her own daughter, Anya.

Kirchner favors jeans, and like the two dozen other families that are part of the year-old Homeschool Village Co-op in central New Jersey, she doesn’t consider herself to be particularly religious. “I was definitely not ready to hand over to anybody my 5-year-old, my baby,” she says. “I would hate to miss this. They grow too quickly.”

The New Jersey co-op is among hundreds of secular and inclusive home-schooling groups in the USA aimed at providing opportunities for parents to network and for children to socialize, conduct science experiments, play sports and games and more, according to Homeschool World, the website of Practical Homeschooling Magazine.

Secular organizations across the country report their numbers are growing. Though government records indicate religion is still the driving force in home schooling, members of these organizations say the face of home schooling is changing, not because of faith, but because of what parents see as shortcomings in public and private schools.

She says her area near Baton Rouge has some of the lowest-scoring schools in the nation. “A lot of the children are just falling through the cracks,” Burges says. Her five children, ages 16 to 35, were home-schooled, says Burges, a Democrat running for City Council in Baker City, La. “Parents are struggling, trying to see what they can do.”

One obvious reason for the increase in home schooling is a concern over the quality of the education that students in public schools are receiving. Parents trapped in substandard school districts have long since become frustrated in making any improvements. But I think a more fundamental reason for the growth of home schooling is that many parents perceive that the schools are teaching values different from and even contrary to the values they would like their children to learn.

The 2007 survey showed 83.3% of home-schooling parents named “a desire to provide religious or moral instruction” as an important reason to home-school.

Susan Beatty, co-founder and general manager of the Christian Home Educators Association of California, who home-schooled three now-grown children, says most of her group’s members are looking to offer “a distinctly Christian education.”

Amy Wilson, 42, on the board of the Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers, says the government statistics don’t paint a complete picture.

Wilson is an atheist and former senior research analyst for a nonprofit group. She home-schools her 12-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter in a state where home-school numbers are up from about 18,800 a decade ago to about 32,000 last year, according to the Virginia Department of Education.

“There are a lot of folks who choose home schooling, in part at least, because they’re concerned about transmitting their values,” Wilson said. “If someone answers (a survey question about morals) in the affirmative, it doesn’t mean they fit the stereotype of the evangelical Christian home-schooler.”

You don’t have to be very religious in order to believe that kindergarten is too early for children to learn about using condoms or that any age is inappropriate to learn about fisting.

The growth of the home schooling movement is a sign of our times. More than ever before people like choices and reject one size fits all institutions. Since every child in unique, shouldn’t each child have an education tailored to his or her needs. It seems to me that having twenty or thirty children in a classroom  all expected to learn at the same pace really isn’t a system that would work very well, even under the best of circumstances. When we have an educational system as consistently resistant to reform as our public school system is, the result can only be a disaster.

%d bloggers like this: