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I am waaay off on the sidelines on the requirement for insurers to provide contraception issue, as I am on other issues of "morality."

I don't really have "morals." I have ethics, principles that I have evolved in my own mind, heart and conscience, usually after listening to others, but never without long, personal deliberation on whether or not I personally agreed with their principles.

Being an ethical person, rather than a moral person, I am seldom disposed to dictate others' behavior. Oh, there are some ring-pass-nots. You sure as hell aren't going to harm me or people around me if I can help it. You're not even free to fill the heads of those I care about with nonsense, which I count a harm.

Harm yourself? Okay, if you insist. Don't ask me to watch, or help. I'm not going to "lend you twenty dollars so I can see my auntie in the hospital" when I know you're auntie died last year and you'd have killed her for a rock.

So I guess I understand the issues of conscience vis-a-vis others. I'd hate to have a job that required me to do something that, in my ethical worldview, was just dead wrong, like supply rocks to addicts or fire cruise missiles at civilians. I don't think I could do it.

Which is why I never took those jobs.

And if the job I had took on a new requirement that really crossed my ethical lines--like when the phone room I worked in took on a fundraising contract for the RNC--I'd have to quit. Which I did.

I don't want or need birth control pills. Or ED pills. Some people do. I could supply them if my job required it.

I don't want or need crack. Some people do. I couldn't supply them if my job required it. I'd have to quit. It's an ethical line I just won't cross.

Maybe these things are clearer for me because I'm not a moral person, simply an ethical person. My ethics are personal to me and, generally speaking, aren't imposed from the outside or offered as a model for others. People constrained by morals may not have the same ability to see these conflicts as calmly.

I feel for those who have intense ethical conflicts on the contraceptive coverage issue. But for the politicians hoping to gain advantage from the issue, and bishops hoping to distract Americans from their own sponsored "Who you gonna believe, me our your lying priest?" report, I have nothing but contempt. And ethical opposition.

Because they're trying to fill the heads of those I care about with nonsense. For reasons that have nothing to do with difficult, personal ethical decisions.

Birth control? Cocaine? None for me, thanks.

Hyping a non-issue to distract people from your own ethical failures? We've got a problem, you and me.

Originally posted to Crashing Vor on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 05:10 PM PST.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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