Kudos to TheDC’s Kerry Picket for spotting the significance of this Hillary Clinton quote: “Laws [about reproductive health care and safe childbirth] have to be backed up with resources and political will,” Clinton said. “And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”
If one is to assume that “reproductive health care” rights are a euphemism for abortion (a fairly safe assumption), then this is quite telling. Maybe it’s because she was speaking to a friendly audience (at the Women in The World Summit), but this honest appraisal is a reminder that politics are downstream from culture, and that uprooting long-standing religious and cultural beliefs are a prerequisite for utopian progressivism. As President Obama might say, we do tend to “cling to guns or religion.”
Hillary’s comments also remind me of something Frank Bruni wrote in a recent column, “Bigotry, the Bible and the Lessons of Indiana.” In that piece Bruni argues that
our debate about religious freedom should include a conversation about freeing religions and religious people from prejudices that they needn’t cling to and can indeed jettison, much as they’ve jettisoned other aspects of their faith’s history, rightly bowing to the enlightenments of modernity.
He goes on to write that prominent gay philanthropist Mitchell Gold told him, “church leaders must be made ‘to take homosexuality off the sin list.’”