Reforming the Pharisees

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Longmont's pharisees need a lesson in humility

This op-ed first appeared at the Boulder Daily Camera.

The activism directed at Longmont City Council to wreck public support for women’s heath services trotted out the made-up notion that federal government grants to Boulder Valley Womens’ Health Center would somehow fund abortions. When it just won’t. Abortions performed in the Boulder clinic are funded by patient fees. And that’s been assured by law for decades.

But to those tied up in hate, facts don’t matter. When hate guides thinking, prejudicial logic swells to prompt abusive tactics — such as threatening gynecological care for all women on the edge.

A particularly telling activist line to City Council displayed the holier-than-thou vanity that carries cause with hatred — “Please choose to use funds to assist responsible, hard working citizens instead of irresponsible county citizens who choose not to exercise responsible choices and expect the rest of us to pay.” Righteous indignation, moral superiority, and feigned victimhood all evident here.

But more — do the people behind such words show unfailing “responsibility” and never need public services? They’ve never used a sub-prime mortgage? Never misused a weapon? Never been alcoholic or hooked on porn or blown the retirement with gambling? Never needed to be tested at the DMV for driver competency because they knew just when to give up the keys — before plowing into a busy post office?

No. I didn’t think so. But don’t expect these Pharisees to meet the mirror and stop persecuting women’s health care over the uglier failings of human sexuality. As Twain said, nothing so needs reforming as other peoples’ habits.

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