Nick Kristof thinks “the poor” just copulate all day

New York Parakeet Cage Liner columnist Nick Kristof opened his column thusly:

I MAY not be as theologically sophisticated as American bishops, but I had thought that Jesus talked more about helping the poor than about banning contraceptives.

And it didn’t get better from there.

More important than aspirin.

The rest basically assumes that people have sex with the same frequency as they get a glass of water, and with about as much deliberation.

He says, “few areas have more impact on more people than birth control — and few are more central to efforts to chip away at poverty.”

I’ll grant him the first portion: many people have harmed themselves—hormonally, and emotionally—by using contraceptives. We ought to make them more difficult to get so women’s health is not so damaged. That’s not to mention the many people who were not conceived at all or who were denied the comfort of their mother’s womb after conception due to an abortofacient drug.

The second portion of that statement is a firm belief based in no evidence. Contraception has been around how long now? And there are still people in poverty? Right.

Even if the underlying logic is correct—that having more kids makes it harder to get out of poverty—I can think of another means to prevent the having of more kids. Chances are good that if you are reading this right now, you are partaking in that means of not having more kids. If your status is otherwise, you may want to rethink your sex life.

Abstinence is not even considered.

For this guy Blood Hound Gang was right: “You and me, baby, ain’t nothin’ but mammals/So let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel.”

He continues:

The cost of birth control is one reason poor women are more than three times as likely to end up pregnant unintentionally as middle-class women.

In short, birth control is not a frill that can be lightly dropped to avoid offending bishops.

The irony is that earlier he talked slightingly of what he perceived as a “patronizing tone” among the opponents of the HHS mandate.

Coverage for contraception should be a pillar of our public health policy — and, it seems to me, of any faith-based effort to be our brother’s keeper, or our sister’s.

Nick, when you found your own religion you can establish its norms. We’ll keep ours just as it is, thanks.

Then the real cynical stuff comes out:

To understand the centrality of birth control, consider that every dollar that the United States government spends on family planning reduces Medicaid expenditures by $3.74, according to Guttmacher. Likewise, the National Business Group on Health estimated that it costs employers at least an extra 15 percent if they don’t cover contraception in their health plans.

The first thing to note is the price he puts on life. More babies means an additional $2.74 the government has to spend. The second thing is the phrase “family planning.” That would also include abortions, since the whole point is to have fewer people. The third thing is that if we increase the rate of abortion and contraception by making it this much more accessible, thereby reducing the number of young people, we have shrunk the pool of potential tax payers to subsidize all this government-granted paradise. I mean, if costs are so important, that means sources of revenue to pay those costs are vital, so we need to consider that part, too.

He doesn’t seem to think that far ahead though. But he continues…

And of course birth control isn’t just a women’s issue: men can use contraceptives too, and unwanted pregnancies affect not only mothers but also fathers.

Except, Nick, the age of increased contraception and abortion has seen a stunning increase in the number of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and single mothers. The increase of contraception and abortion have, not coincidentally, tracked with the rise of a really distorted view of feminism that dictates to all that women don’t need men and are, in fact, the same as men. So what’s a man to do? Women don’t need him for anything but conjugal fun, why should he stick around for anything else? Like raising the kid? Especially if he wanted to abort the thing. Or, conversely, what if he wanted to keep it but she decided to abort? Can he stop her? Hardly. So again, what has the prevalence of contraception done to sticking around and being a dad? Aborted it, or at least placed a barrier in the way, really.

He meanders on for a while and concludes with,

In this case, we should make a good-faith effort to avoid offending Catholic bishops who passionately oppose birth control. I’m glad that Obama sought a compromise. But let’s remember that there are also other interests at stake. If we have to choose between bishops’ sensibilities and women’s health, our national priority must be the female half of our population.

Nick, first, this offends so many more than just the bishops, and even if the number were smaller the Constitution was written with things like the Electoral College specifically to protect out-of-favor minorities from the tyranny of the majority. Democracy is two wolves and a chicken deciding what to have for lunch.

Second, by the Administration’s own careful wording this was not a “compromise,” but an “accommodation,” and it didn’t actually change anything except which part of the accounting ledger the expense would be recorded—the offensive mandate is unaffected.

Third, no one is denied contraceptives or such services in this country. What we object to in this case is being forced to subsidize them.

If standing up for what we believe offends a few sensibilities among the sterile elite, well, sorry.



  • Catholic Vet

    “New York Parakeet Cage Liner”…really? That smacks of politics and not religion…oops…that’s right – you are a conservative political activist…now it makes sense…

    “Abstinence is not even considered.” Probably because abstinence only programs don’t work. “Youth in the program group were no more likely than those in the control group to have abstained from sex and, among those who reported having had sex, they had similar numbers of sexual partners.” I think that abstinence should be discussed as an option, but it is absurd to think that people really believe that is still a viable approach on a large scale.

    “You and me, baby, ain’t nothin’ but mammals/So let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel.” Wow…really? Thanks for elevating the discussion.

    “Then the real cynical stuff comes out” – and you would know about cynicism Tom – you’ve apparently created a career based on it.

    It is truly unfortunate that anyone, and I mean anyone, can post to these websites for the sole purpose of self promotion. There’s a reason Mr Kristof writes for the ‘New York Parakeet Cage Liner’…and you don’t.

    Of course I’m just a ‘sterile elite’ – which in my case means I have a college degree and served my country on active duty and feel that, as a man I really have no right to dictate women’s health discussions, and as a doctor’s son I don’t feel that health care should be dictated by religious dogma.

    But, as a Catholic, I know that women can choose not to use contraception, based on their beliefs (even though we know the vast majority of them will).

    And if my not wanting to live in a country where health care is dictated by religious dogma offends the sensibilities of a conservative blogger, well sorry.

    • Tom Crowe

      Catholic Vet, thank you sincerely your service. Now on to the discussion. Hopefully your Catholicism will one day elevate your view of humanity and affect your understanding of human morality vis-a-vis sexuality. Abstinence may be difficult, but it is possible. Note that in the years before abortion and contraception were considered the absolute norm illegitimate pregnancies were much, much lower. You tell me: does that indicate anything? And if you were in the military then you understand that just because something is difficult doesn’t mean it cannot be tried or accomplished. Heck, that’s the lesson of all the saints and of pretty much anything worth accomplishing for the betterment of humanity. Perhaps in your studies for your college degree, or your father’s, you learned that. The Church teaches what she does not because it’s just dogma, but because it’s the right thing for everyone, and therefore ought to be promoted as such to everyone. That’s basic Catholicism, not the random thoughts of a Catholic, conservative online activist. If you believe otherwise, see to your understanding of, or commitment to, Catholicism.

      • Seeker

        First, I agree with you that the sanctity of human life is taken too lightly in modern culture. I have a question that I’m curious about: is the rhythm method part of what’s described as natural family planning? And here’s another interesting question that everyone could consider: Are the rules for a godly life as the current leaders of our church teach us more correct than the rules taught in others’ faiths and churches?

        • Tom Crowe

          Seeker— The “rhythm method” is an archaic method of NFP that is not taught as a reliable method. Hasn’t been for a long time. One resource I found in a quick search is the NFP pages at the Diocese of Columbus Web site. On your second question, the Catholic Church maintains that Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that He left only one institution guaranteed to be protected by the Holy Spirit from teaching error on matters of faith and morals—what we know today as the Catholic Church. This does not mean that truth is wholly absent from other faith systems, but that the fullness of truth is only found in the Catholic faith and if any other faith traditions include truth it is because their adherents and leaders have discerned God’s truth that is “written on their hearts.” We know from John’s Gospel that the “true light” “enlightens every man who comes into the world.” But that doesn’t mean every man is free to define truth for himself, merely that he is capable of discerning truth. The Church is given to us (in part) to make sure that when disputes arise among those who believe they have discerned truth we can know what the Truth really is. So in the end, yes, the Truths taught to us by the Catholic Church can be trusted to be True over and against that which is taught by other faith communities.

          • drea916

            The rhythm method is the old school version of Natural Family Planning. There are many more versions now. Back in the day, and now, NFP is as effective as artifical contraception. The rhythm method was as effective at diaphrams back in the day. Just as contraceptives have become more effective, so has NFP. My friends and I use it and love it. You can find out more at

    • Marsha

      Thank-you Catholic Vet. You’ve seen through clearly why Tom posts on this site.

      • Tom Crowe

        Marsha— I’m really curious what you and CatholicVet have discovered that I haven’t about why I post on this site? Or, alternatively, you and/or he/she could respond substantially to the post rather than sticking to the ad hominems.

        • Marsha

          Tom, Catholic Vet answered your questions quite clearly in his first entry above.

          • Tom Crowe

            Marsha— You mean this, “It is truly unfortunate that anyone, and I mean anyone, can post to these websites for the sole purpose of self promotion.”? Because that’s the only thing he said about my motivations, but it lacks any explanation or evidence. In other words, it’s an assertion with no foundation. Can you help me see what I’m missing here? If you mean anything beyond that from his post, well, I responded to him. Do you have anything to add?

    • Ursula Anne Baxter

      So, you are Catholic? And also a Veteran? Thank you so much for defending our blessed Country at great risk to yourself. Do you know how unique America is? America was saved by God to be the last place on earth to be discovered and included in the family of man. People speculate about the reason for this, but, do not doubt, there is a reason. God doesn’t make mistakes. So, why don’t you begin some self education about the importance of America to the world and what God may have wanted for America to accomplish. I suggest you read ‘The 5,000 Year Leap’. Then ‘Ameritopia’. May God Bless you and all the rest of us, too. By the way, the Constitution does not authorize the Federal Government to provide health care.

  • mominvermont

    Here’s an “accommodation”: instead of taking our money to pay for “free” birth control for all, how about we offer “free” natural family planning classes?

  • Archangel

    – Fact1: Old Testament written to confuse non-Jews so that non-Jews cannot understand the Truth
    – Fact2: Christians then wrote the New Testament, founded on the Old Testament, which they could not understand
    – Fact3: The Truth, as it was understood when the Old Testament was written, can be found in the book The Mishnah
    – Conclusion: New Testament written as a sequel to a book Christians thought was the Truth but which was written to ensure they could not understand the Truth
    – To understand the Truth, see

    Eduyot 1:4 – 1:6 “To teach the following generations that a man should not [always] persist in his opinion, for behold, the fathers of the world did not persist in their opinion.” ~ Eduyot 1:4

    – Therefore: If we do not want to pay for contraceptives, all of us will have to pay more later for an increasingly over-populated world. We have enough people whom are homeless and/or starving. It is in the interest of the common good to support contraception and there isn’t anything in the Truth (the Mishnah, not the Old Testament or New Testament) which prohibits such.

    • Tom Crowe

      Fascinating. And terribly sad that you have such a hopeless view of God’s creation vis-a-vis the myth of overpopulation. Fact is, we’re headed for a demographic implosion if we don’t cut it out. As for nothing prohibiting contraception, for starters check out the sorry tale of Onan. It’s in Genesis, so you must have been skimming the early part of the Old Testament.

    • AuthenticBioethics

      If (IF) overpopulation is a problem, then ethically objectionable practices like contraception and sterilization only a couple of possible means. If ethical ways exist, then unethical ways should not be used. There are better alternatives that do not leave human beings slaves to their urges, or treat healthy, functioning systems as if their were diseased precisely because they work, or regard new human lives as an undesirable outome of physical intimacy.

      Oh. One more thing. Lucifer was an Archangel, wasn’t he?

  • John J. Jakubczyk

    He is an idiot…. So we must pray for him.

  • ndgp82

    Nick is a lost soul.

  • Kamilla

    I had much the same reaction – especially to his dripping with condescension tone while accusing others of condescension. Oy vey!

    What just fries me is not just the liberal nose-in-the-air tone – it’s that so many Evangelicals (especially women) are embracing the whole “Half the Sky” package (the book he wrote with his wife a couple of years ago) while he’s making it clear how much he despises genuine Christian charity.



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