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Conservative Christians also want to impose their viewpoints on others

Reader comment on item: Militant Islam Is Put In Class With Communism, Fascism

Submitted by E Zucker (United States), Aug 26, 2002 at 21:02

While I think you raise excellent points about the Militant Islamists, I have to disagree with your assertion that conservative Christians do not want to impose their lifestyles on others and are not trying to take control of our society. they do-particularly when it comes to women.

My comments do not apply to all Christians but to those who serve as a politically active base. This plays out in many ways.

For example there has been a concerted effort to elect people with conservative Christian viewpoints to school boards with the intent of directing policy their way. Enough clout is wielded that text book manufacturers, for example, have watered down their content to suit their sensitivities. Curtailing sex education is another thrust despite much evidence showing that teenage pregnancy rates drop when there is adequate sex education and access to birth control. Since most school board elections receive little publicity, it is easy to ease their candidates in with little awareness (and therefore opposition) of the general public.

Another large area is in the controversy surrounding a woman's ability not to be subjected to forced pregnancy. This battle is wielded on several fronts. The most visible is the battle to make abortion illegal. Despite your assertion, there has been a great deal of violence here with coordinated anthrax threats to clinics, bombings of clinics and in some cases murders of physicians who provide abortion services. Politically, they have had much success in many state legislatures. Today over 80% of the counties in the US lack facilities for a woman to terminate her pregnancy and there is only a one vote plurality keeping the US Supreme Court from overturning Roe v Wade in its entirety.

But the fight is not limited to women's access to abortion. President Bush has blocked US aid to the UN's Population Fund, allegedly to protest funds being used for China's policy of forced abortion. In actuality, the abortion rate drops where these funds are available because women then have access to adequate birth control lessening the demand for abortion. President Bush, in one of his first acts of office resurrected the Mexico City ban of US aid to women's clinics outside the US. This ban is effective even if a staff member counsels a woman to find resources outside the facility for banned services on his or her own time! In the US we would consider this a breach of the First Amendment right to freedom of speech. This was a payback to the fundamentalist Christian base who helped Bush get into power.

On the whole, politically active fundamentalists of every religious stripe have proven to be bad news for women who value their dignity and independence. They have not hesitated to use their clout to impose their views to restrict women's abiltiy to control their reproductive capacity and their lives overall. While the militant Islamists are a gross example of this, fundamentalist Christians, (and ultra-orthodox Jews, for that matter-they have done much to impose their will in Israel, for example) are no friend to free women.
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