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A Lesson in Discernment: Michael Savage and Mandated Birth Control

October 9th, 2010 | 2 min read

By Andrew Walker

We at Mere-O take no effort to conceal our theological and political perspective. We are conservative and proudly, at that.

Hopefully, in enough time, you’ve come to realize that one cautious element we’re concerned with is learning to differentiate the theological and the political.

This post is an exercise in differentiation if there ever was one.

Let’s begin by agreeing that there’s a lot of conservative nonsense.

Reportedly, Conservative rock star Michael Savage’s new book “Trickle Up Poverty” calls for the forced implantation of birth control devices for all recipients of welfare; the logic, presumably, that mandated birth control prevents these individuals from “breeding” and causing greater economic dependency upon the almighty and sovereign American tax payer.

According to World Net Daily,

He also wants to see Norplant, the embedded contraceptive, required for all women on welfare.

“That’s a revolutionary statement,” he [Savage] admitted. “But should we permit women on welfare to keep knocking out babies to increase their benefits? Only an insane society would permit that.”

Savage doesn’t apologize that the book is “quite radical” in some respects.

“I don’t claim to be middle of the road…”

Any “conservative” who insists that forced birth control is a “conservative” policy is manifestly insane.

Savage’s most deleterious problem is identifying the apex of history along the lines of the Capitalist metanarrative. Attempts to segment off portions of American culture along the lines of economic determinism are Satanic. Capitalism is not the Christian story.

Christian, be vigilant. In the fevered talk of economic downturn and destitution, it is too easy to grasp for straws by placing one’s meaning within the market. This is explicitly ant-Christian. Capitalism is not anti-Christian, but plotting one’s existence amongst the lifeblood of Capitalism expresses an idolatry that Revelation explicitly warns of (Rev 17).

To the charges that the American Right often mixes the realities of Christian religion and American politics, let the distinction be made clear: There is nothing Christian, or, for that matter, conservative, about the forced implantation of birth control. Savage’s ploy assumes that one’s status as an American is determined by one’s economic output. In contrast, the Christian ethic proclaims that self-worth is defined purely by virtue of having been uniquely created by God.

Savage aims to be and proclaims to be pro-life. To hold the view he does and proclaim the pro-life mantle are contradictory. Savage falls prey to the same logic of the pro-abortion industry—an industry often drawing its boundaries among the economic narrative. Savage may not be promoting the outright dismemberment of our most vulnerable population, but the same guiding principle—one’s economic status—is as equally determinative for Savage as is the pro-choice argument.

Moreover, Savage’s ill-contrived agenda is nothing short of reverse tyranny—a tyranny determined by economic interests at the expense of human procreation.

Such policies are not merely anti-Christian, but demonstrably pro-Tyranny as is evidenced by China’s “one-child only policy.” Savage, who upholds the sovereignty of the free-markets and the self, does not likely see himself an heir of China’s totalitarianism, but the remnant is present. Does Savage not see that mandated birth control is the state asserting its own right over a woman’s procreative rights?

What this evidences is the uniqueness of the Christian ethic and its embattled stance in the world’s many ideologies. Conservative. Liberal. Whatever. Savage is a helpful reminder that no political ideology can absolutize the Christian ethic in its own service.

The American Right need not only be embarrassed by the likes of Savage, but would be well-suited to blacklist such nefarious agendas.