Bill Murchison

The modern view goes far beyond that understanding. The modern view, stemming from the invention of birth control and the federal legitimation of abortion is that mutuality of intention in sexual matters is off now -- a dead letter. The choice of the woman -- married or single -- is sovereign. As Planned Parenthood's Cecile Richards said, in excoriating Huckabee's remarks, "(Birth control) allows women to take control of their health and economic security and to take personal responsibilities for their family-planning decisions." With the government's help and protection.

The founding fathers could never have foreseen such a split between man and woman -- such a unilateral takeover of reproductive power by one sex (for all the tendency of people like Richards to see the takeover as payback for centuries of male domination). Equal rights, the way feminists of Richards' character define the term, lose the "equal" part. With -- let us just say -- dramatic implications for the culture of their country.

The matter demanding to be talked about, rather than Huckabee's vocabulary, is how we're to deal with the cultural breach between those who think science has slain the old norms about personal rights and those who reply, "baloney." A political figure of the latter sort expresses him infelicitously -- as his enemies see it -- and out come the long knives to carve up his male carcass. Not only do women deserve what they want in the way of contraception, but the government's duty is to ensure it is provided! That's the way we're to see things now! And those who don't like it can keep their mouths shut! So the Huckabee controversy instruct us.

Wow! Are we the same nation -- the same culture -- that came into being two and a half centuries ago? Hardly. Which is fine by Cecile Richards & Co., who like the nation and culture we've latterly turned into. Only don't mention it! Don't talk about it! Got that?

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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