Why we keep fighting, Reason #4,561

Via Feministing, an anonymous reader, who happens to be a pharmacist at an unidentified Wal-Mart, brings up a behind-the-pharmacy-counter horror story.

Here’s a bit of background: We have a male pharmacist who works at our store and he is a fundamentalist, Conservative (yes, with a capital ‘C’) Christian. We have 2 female pharmacists and our former manager was male. All of the pharmacy techs at our store are women, ranging in age from 25 to 45, most married/divorced with children.

When Plan B went over the counter a couple of years ago, the Conservative pharmacist brought in a couple of things he had found on ‘pro-life’ websites that said Plan B was an abortifacient. He had talked to our manager at the time about his feelings on the matter and the fact that he didn’t want to dispense Plan B, citing his religious beliefs.

Okay, you say, we’ve heard this story. Guy’s a fruitcake zealot.  One at every pharmacy, right?  Is he the only person behind the counter?  Why, as a matter of fact, he is not.  None of the other pharmacy employees, all women, had a problem with dispensing Plan B.

And neither did the store manager.

And as some of you may already know, Wal-Mart has an official policy for this situation:

Wal-Mart’s official policy, however, is that even if no one in the pharmacy wants to sell Plan B, we have to have it stocked on the shelf.

So, what’s the problem? Emphasis below, mine.

The manager did not have a problem selling it, but he thought that the best thing to do would be to not stock it at all, that way the Conservative pharmacist wouldn’t be put in a situation where he felt compromised.

The women in the pharmacy, despite our political and/or religious beliefs, all agreed that we had no problem selling it, if for no other reason than the fact that there may be a girl or woman who needs Plan B because she has been raped. But this one particular pharmacist has blocked it. We are not allowed to order it, and if some does come in our order from the warehouse, he immediately arranges for it to be sent back to the warehouse. If someone calls asking for Plan B, we’re supposed to say that we’ve run out of stock. Im ashamed to admit that I have told people this, but I do always refer them to one of the many other pharmacies in town (there are literally about 30 others, ranging from small independents to large chains, some that are open 24-hours) that definitely carry it. We had a woman bring in a prescription for her 16-year-old daughter for Plan B, and we had to tell her to go to another pharmacy.


I also wanted to say that it’s not just Plan B that pharmacists will refuse to fill/dispense. There have been 2 specific occasions that I can recall where women have brought in prescriptions for Cytotec (misoprostol) and a pain pill, which is often used when women have had a miscarriage to pass any tissue that may be left. This pharmacist immediately began to question the doctor’s prescription and whether it was being used to cause an abortion.

As truly odious as that last bit is, I still think the real villain in this piece is the manager.  Guy violates a company-wide policy, changes the supply situation, instructs employees to lie, and refuses a vital service to deserving customers.

All this to accommodate one pharmacist w/ a personal religious issue.

Oh, and, in the why-am-I-not-surprised department,

This pharmacist apparently has NO problem dispensing birth control or Viagra/Cialis/Levitra, however.

08 Pride Post #21: Sunday morning — in church with Calpernia

One of my television guilty pleasures this past year was Transamerican Love Story with Calpernia Addams, which could have easily been a total trainwreck, and surprisingly wasn’t. Much credit for the show’s success is due to the fact that it’s impossible to not like Calpernia Addams.

Holly at Feministe has a wonderful post with an overview of the show and why it worked, Addams’ tragic backstory and subsequent activism, and her dead-on scathing Bad Questions to Ask a Transsexual.

The video below is something completely different, and I think it speaks for itself. It was filmed during Pride Week 2003 at New York’s Metropolitan Community Church.

There is something that ties this video to Holly’s post and yes, even to the (seeming) trifle of Addams’ reality dating show. It’s something too many of us have learned the hard way, one of those life lessons that underlies what GLBTQ Pride is all about:

The mistake I made at first was putting my identity in other peoples’ hands.

Amen, my sister.

Christian family values on parade

Isn’t Mike Huckabee supposed to be some kind of big pious Christian? What part of the Bible says it’s okay for a politician to joke about the assassination of another politician?

I wonder what kind of “no harm, no foul” bullshit excuse/explanation/apology is going to be given for this?

During a speech before the National Rifle Association convention Friday afternoon in Louisville, Kentucky, former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee – who has endorsed presumptive GOP nominee John McCain – joked that an unexpected offstage noise was Democrat Barack Obama looking to avoid a gunman.

“That was Barack Obama, he just tripped off a chair, he’s getting ready to speak,” said the former Arkansas governor, to audience laughter. “Somebody aimed a gun at him and he dove for the floor.”

Scared for my life!

News you can use

jewgirl paraphrases the message of Fellowship of the Martyrs:

Do not get comfy. Seek only to be filled by Jesus. Don’t be a friend of the world, that’s adultery. Only be friends with God. If you listen to Jesus, you can’t be co-opted. Don’t put a crippled lamb on the alter. Man up. When he forgives us, he forgets we whacked him. That Jesus is such a mensch. Stop playing footsie with other religions. If you preach self-help and someone drops dead without optioning into J’s program. Their blood is on your hands. Make sure other people are comfy. Tickle their ears. Try to help God along. Don’t get twitchy, he’s coming. Chill. Watch it.

This is why we love Katie so hard.

From the “Note to self: religion freaky” desk

Is it just me, or do the words “excommunication,” “recant,” and “heresy,” all in the completely non-ironic sense, evoke a “WTF century are we in now?” reaction?

via Pink Lady, aka Sister Eileen Helen Doherty Elizabeth Smith. Plus you can always throw in a ‘Mary’ somewhere for good measure”:

The Diocese of Little Rock announced Wednesday that six Catholic nuns have been excommunicated for heresy after refusing to leave a Canadian sect whose founder claims to be possessed by the Virgin Mary. Oh that’s nothing. I’m a stigmatic.

The nuns also refused to recant the teachings of the Army of Mary. “It is a painfully historic moment for this church,” said Rev. J. Gaston Hebert. “It’s even worse than the molesters.”

According to 82-year-old Sister Mary Theresa Dionne, she and her partners in hell are “at peace” and believe they are doing God’s work through Mary. The members of the sect believe that its 86-year-old founder, Marie Paule Giguere, is the reincarnation of the Virgin Mary. Seriously? She’s old enough to be the real thing.

More about The Army of Mary here.

More about another excommunication here.

One for Brownback

“…the LDS Jesus is not the same Jesus of the Christian faith.”

Senator, do not fuck with the Jesus:

Okay, you’re right: they’re just stupid

I have this ongoing argument with a cyberfriend: Americans—Unfortunate or Stupid?  My friend says too many red state and/or conservative Americans are just stupid.  I’ve always argued back about economics, education, stress, and other situational factors.

Well, after watching this video, I’ve got to change my vote to stupid.

via Good as You and SlangTV

A “little” Bush fatigue, Where the Wild Things Are

wild thingFurther proof there is a Planet Bush, which bears almost no resemblance to the planet we Americans live on:

In an interview to be broadcast tonight on Larry King Live, Daddy 41 and the pearl-bedecked First Mother discuss among other things, Jebbie’s chances for 2008. King cites Mitt Romney’s recent statement about Jeb: “If his name wasn’t Bush, he’d be running for President.” To which 41 acknowledges, “There’s something to that. There might be a little Bush fatigue now.”

Okay, now comes the WTF moment for me: King asks, “Should Mitt Romney’s religion be held against him?”

“No, not at all,” Mother Bush hastens to answer. She notes bigamy was outlawed in “that church” in 1897, and goes on to say, “You know, we have a lot of Christian wild people too, and a lot of Jewish wild people, and a lot of Muslim wild people.” Shaking her head, she adds, “The Mormon religion takes care of its own. They don’t have people on Welfare.”

UPDATED: Link to the CNN Political Ticker article which first featured this story.

gonna set ya thing on fiyo!

Years ago in New York, we were at Town Hall, up in the balcony at a concert that featured a variety of multi-culti acts of renown, when the Wild Tchoupitoulas and another tribe whose name I can’t recall took the stage and did a wild call and response battle-down, which started out fairly quiet and slow but gradually got louder. It was in the middle of a long concert and there were some oh so hip NYU cool kids in front of us that were shaking their heads and in general tut-tutting – way too loudly- about how regressive this ‘type of thing’ was, how it was a sad signal of repression and racial identity crisis, blah blah. Thankfully for the rest of us, they decided this was the right time to take a smoke break till the “real” music came back on. As they filed out, the music getting louder and louder, the dancing faster and faster, the guy (total stranger) standing next me leaned close so I could hear him above the music: “Yo, that was some SAD shit, right? Identity crisis my ass!”

(tip: play both vids at the same time)