One of the most outrageous examples of the moment is the Bush campaign against a new vaccine that eradicates the human pampilloma virus (HPV).
HPV causes genital warts, which have never been fun. But in its most deadly strains, it's the primary cause of cervical cancer.
Why are Bush's appointees on the FDA trying to stop a genius medicine that will save thousands of women's lives?
It's the same reason they're standing in the way of emergency contraception, or RU486, or developing a vaccine for HIV/AIDS. It's the same argument W.'s henchmen use to try to probibit birth control altogether.
The White House is against anything that would make sex less of a risk. The fundies believe the HPV vaccine will encourage women to be sexual— that it will "disinhibit" them, if they believe they can fuck without fear.
But they don't put it like that. No, they say crap like this:
"Premarital sex is dangerous, even deadly. Let's not encourage it by vaccinating ten-year-olds so they think they're safe." — Senator Tom Coburn, (R) Oklahoma.
"I never thought that now, in the twenty-first century, we could have a debate about what to do with a vaccine that prevents cancer," says David Baltimore, a Nobel Laureate and president of Cal Tech, speaking to The New Yorker. His interview with Michael Specter, and the accompanying article, is a MUST-read for anyone interested in sex, medicine, or going out of their minds. It's also the topic of my audio show this week.
Baltimore, a short, intense man, has spent much of his life studying the relationship between viruses and cancer. He stood up from the couch and crossed the room to his desk.
"Politics plays a role in all these decisions, and so does belief," he said. "I have no problems with that. But this is religious zealotry masked as politics, and it runs against everything that I as a scientist believe in, that I have devoted my life to.
"We are talking about basic public health now. What moral precepts allow us to think that the risk of death is a price worth paying to encourage abstinence as the only approach to sex?"
Many of us feel whipsawed every time we read about a new story about the fundies' scientific revisionism. They make Stalin's history-book campaign look like child's play.
On Monday, they're trying to keep "evolution" out of the classroom. On Tuesday, it's the law to keep teenagers from kissing in Kansas. By the weekend, they're in NASA claiming that no one's allowed to say "Big Bang" because that's just an odd little theory.
It's a whack-a-mole game, where just as we fire or disgrace one lunatic, another pops up behind us.
Even in the instances where they seem to be concerned about the origins of the world, or the age of the universe— they're still stoking their favorite fiery propoganda: the sex panic.
They want to dominate the story of "how things began." They go through the same motions, whether it's seven days to whip up a garden and give that whore Eve a good kick in the butt— or on another occasion, to determine that "Life Begins When My Zygote Says It Does."
They want their Genesis to be literal because they want to control the scene of authority, the origin of sin, and the trial of retribution. They want to determine women's sexuality from the get-go, whether they're telling Bible myths or confronting a scarlet woman at the pharmacy counter.
Sometimes I don't think there's any need to analyze them, because after all, their base is hypocrisy. If I hear about ONE more child molester in Homeland Security's executive offices, I'm going to choke on my Easter hat!
But still, I keep pressing the question: Why does it all come back to sex? Why the dedication to hold the female captive?
About ten years ago, i wrote a story in my book The Sexual State of the Union, called, "How Safe is Your Daughter?"— a title I took off the back of a milk carton. It was about the origin of sex panics, and it ended this way:
America will boomerang from Fear of a Black Planet, a Youth Planet, and a Genderfuck Planet to the opposite horror: that of a lone man with a big gun— the older,whiter, had-all-the-opportunities guy who now comes equipped with a bomb, no dates, and a pathological self-centered attitude.
Oh, we'll wish he's only been in the Crips! If only he'd been a drag queen, if only he'd just pierced his dick and gotten high on dope! Any of those scenes would have been preferable, a million times more humane.
We could understand a "counter-culture, but what are we suppose to do with a counter-human? We can't stand to look at the cult of alienated masculinity and wonder how we got here."
And I wrote that before I even knew Dick Cheney's name.
In Bed with Susie Bright 244: Shame Spirals
Also in this episode: How to surf Internet porn with savoir faire, and a letter from a married man who's conflicted about his use of prostitutes. (Episode 244, April 7, 2006)