Percentage of Americans who disapprove of the NSA program disclosed Thursday by USA Today, according to a new poll by the paper. 43% approve of the program.
According to Russell Shorto in last week’s New York Times Magazine cover story, Contra-Contraception, these developments are a result of right-wing religious leaders’ growing influence on politics and public policy. He noted that according to these religious leaders, contraception “encourages sexual promiscuity, sexual deviance (like homosexuality) and a preoccupation with sex that is unhealthful even within marriage.”
What Shorto misses is the extent to which Catholics and evangelical Christians themselves use contraception. Here is the latest data:
88 percent of Catholic women currently use birth control, roughly the same rate as other Americans. [Catholics for a Free Choice]
70 percent of evangelical women are sexually active and don’t wish to become pregnant. 90 percent of these women use birth control. [2002 National Survey of Family Growth]
Clearly, these women recognize what their religious leaders do not: that responsible sexual activity is a normal and healthy part of life; that not every sexual act is intended for reproduction; and that preventing unintended pregnancy – by using contraception – is a responsible, moral decision. Now if only our public officials would come to the same conclusion.
Yesterday, Bush said this in his weekly radio address:
The intelligence activities I have authorized are lawful and have been briefed to appropriate members of Congress, both Republican and Democrat.
Senate Judiciary Committee Arlen Specter (R-PA) disagreed with that assessment this morning. On Face the Nation, Specter said that Bush and others in the administration “still haven’t complied with the act to inform the full intelligence committees as required by law.”
“[T]here really has to be in our system of law and government, checks and balance, separation of powers, congressional oversight,” Specter added, and “there has been no meaningful congressional oversight on these programs.”
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Appearing on ABC’s This Week, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) sharply criticized President Bush’s proposal, expected to be announced Monday, of sending thousands of National Guard troops to police the southern U.S. border. Hagel said flatly, “that’s not the role of our national guard.” He added that “we’ve got National Guard members in their second, third and fourth tours in Iraq” and “stretched our military as thin as we have ever seen in modern times.”
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) has also spoken out against the plan.
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