Today's Top Five
1. The New York Times Magazine looks at the contraception wars
First the good news: The cover story of this weekend's The New York Times Magazine picks up on the growing Protestant discomfort with artificial contraception. It's an important developing story that few major mainstream media sources have picked up on.
The bad news is that Russell Shorto's 8,000-word article is horribly underreported, contains glaring errors, and essentially paints critics of artificial contraception as anti-sex.
Shorto is right that religious conservative Protestants have been increasingly critical about the 1965 contraception case Griswold v. Connecticut, and that recent technologies (especially the emergency contraceptive pill) have forced them to reconsider facile support of earlier technologies (like the non-emergency pill). And he's right in his implication that Catholic-Protestant alliances in the abortion wars (and the reasoning in Pope John Paul II's writings) have also had a dramatic effect.
But for those who have actually been watching this happen, it's like reading a U.S. history text that talks about the American Revolution without also talking about colonialism, Reconstruction without the Civil War, and World War II without World War I. Or like trying to read a subway map that only names four stops. His connect-the-dots puzzle only has the numbers 3, 8, 24, and 31, and the only crayon in his box is labeled "anti-sex."
"The issue is partly but only partly one of definition," Shorto says. Well, perhaps partly, but if the thesis of your story is that those who only opposed abortion now oppose contraception, it's an important part of your story to define which is which. Pro-lifers who have said "protect life ...1
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