Two-thirds of people who have voted in the polling associated with selecting Time magazine’s person of the year say they do not want Sandra Fluke chosen as its Person of the Year.
Time magazine doesn’t provide the raw voting totals but the results, so far, show 66.52 percent of those voting say “No way” to the pro-abortion birth control activist as its Person of the Year while just 33.48 percent of voters say she deserves the title.
The pro-life movement was up in arms when Fluke’s name was included among the list of those Time said had been nominated as potential Person of the Year selections. In a new article, pro-life writer Kathryn Lopez, an editor of the conservative publication National Review, explains why Fluke would be an ironic selection.
Though the online voting for the award isn’t currently in her favor, I’ll actually be disappointed if the Time cover features anyone but her. Let me explain.
Fluke represents a debate we ought to be having out in the open. Her Time cover status would highlight a claim that permeated the just-concluded political campaign and became for some a cultural mantra of the year: That the Republican Party and the Catholic Church leaders who oppose the Department and Health and Human Services mandate somehow are waging a “war on women.” The assumption behind it is that women will never be free unless they can medicate their fertility away.
As a prime-time speaker at the Democratic convention in North Carolina this summer, Fluke complained about being shut out of a hearing panel of religious leaders on religious liberty and the HHS mandate. Besides giving the erroneous impression that there were no women at the hearing because of her absence — something that had been claimed for months and, I fully expect, will live on as an urban legend — she spoke on the issue in terms of equality and freedom. Anyone half-paying attention to her speech might have found what she said completely unobjectionable. Listen to longer-form testimony, though, and the principled agenda of marginalizing religious liberty becomes much more clear.
But what she was advocating was to equate “women’s health” with the full panoply of reproductive drugs and services. What she was advocating was a bureaucratic regulation that treats pregnancy as a disease, and fertility as a condition to be suppressed. What she was advocating was a coercive, punitive policy that represents a dramatic narrowing of our understanding of religious liberty.
We didn’t actually have a vote on that. Media stories mentioned that contraception was involved, and that some Catholic bishops were upset. But nothing like a transparent national debate ever happened. This issue of the HHS mandate and its infringement upon religious freedom is something we need to discuss out in the open. And it’s imperative we do so not just as a national matter, but also up close and personal — parish by parish, in our homes and communities — because we probably want something better than what the HHS and the Obama administration has imposed upon us.
So, thank you, Sandra Fluke, and everyone who celebrated her activism. This was a pivotal moment in a revolution that has been ongoing. If we deny the revolution and mask its consequences, then we do so at our own peril and impoverishment.
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No campaign to protect religious liberty will ever be successful without an appreciation of the fact that religious faith might offer a superior vision what it means to lead a good life, a life that is entirely within our grasp, a life filled with all the dignity and meaning that we lose whenever we pursue happiness in all the wrong places. Even fallen and frequently lost, we have the offer of redemption and the responsibility to rebuild. It’s time we did so. And that’s no fluke.