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The Freedom From Religion Foundation took out a full-page ad in the New York Times on Friday that seems to generally represent the position of certain advocates of the contraception mandate, advocates whose encyclopedic ignorance of Catholic Christianity startles. Written as an “open letter to ‘liberal and ‘nominal’ Catholics,” the letter begins:

In light of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops’ declaration  of war against women’s right to contraception . . . . why are you aiding and abetting a church that has repeatedly engaged in a crusade to ban contraception, abortion and sterilization, to deny the right of all women everywhere, Catholic or not, to decide whether and when to become mothers? The Church that hasn’t persuaded you to shun contraception now wants to use the force of secular law to deny birth control to non-Catholics.

The group reduces the complexities of the mandate to the question, “Will it be reproductive rights, or back to the Dark Ages?” If this false dichotomy represents the sort of absurd reasoning that serious, thinking religious people must deal with today, I’ll take the Dark Ages.

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