I don’t like the word slut and you can’t make me use it.

When I first heard about the Rush Limbaugh debacle this week I had a knee jerk reaction and wrote a rambling tirade that I thought I was ready to post. Luckily for me I have an awesome sounding board to run these things by before I hit the publish button. First of all, as my husband pointed out, Rush uses the absurd and offensive to point out what he thinks is absurd and offensive.
Normally I understand this and get that this is his way of making a point and that although it isn’t the way I choose to make a point (I personally do not listen to Rush) it is usually effective.
And whether or not you agree with his politics there are people on both sides of the aisle that employ the same tactics.

This week however, Rush used a word that I do have a problem with. Slut.  The definition of the word slut according to dictionary.com is:

1. a dirty, slovenly woman.
2. an immoral or dissolute woman; prostitute
There are people who believe that Ms Fluke fits the second definition because she is participating in extramarital sex. I would contend, however, that using this word is inflammatory and does nothing to further a civilized conversation. Not everyone comes to the table of our government with the same moral standards. Some people believe that homosexuality is a sin but that doesn’t mean it is acceptable to call a homosexual couple testifying before congress for marriage equality dykes or faggots. It is counter productive. It doesn’t address the issues. How about if we have an older gentleman who wants his health care provider to cover Viagra even if he is a widower? Do you think we would be calling him a mimbo or a man-slut? I don’t think so. It just isn’t something men generally have to worry about. It starts in school where it is cool for boys to be experienced and bad for girls to be experienced. Sexually active girls are sluts. Sexually active boys are studs. Rush himself is on his fourth marriage and admittedly takes Viagra. Granted, he isn’t asking anyone else to pay for it.

Now, I don’t think that Ms. Fluke’s choice to be sexually active outside of marriage is the best way to find sexual fulfillment. I also disagree with her desire to see her CATHOLIC university forced to provide her with birth control which they consider to be sinful. I also disagree with the government telling private insurance companies and organizations what they must cover. In contrast it does seem to me that it is more cost effective to pay for birth control rather than to pay for labor and delivery and child health care but what do I know? Insurance companies seem to know more about how to make money in this area than I do.

Here is the thing, even though I have no scriptural proof, I truly feel that if confronted with Ms. Fluke Jesus would not choose to use the word slut. Jesus was at one point directly confronted by a women caught in the act of a sexual sin in the scriptures. He was given the opportunity to condemn her and he did not. In John 3:8-11 tells the story.

3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

I get it. The purpose of Rush Limbaugh’s show is entertainment and political commentary. His mission on his show is not repentance and reconciliation to God and he is free under the First Amendment to use whatever words he chooses. For me, however, as a follower of Christ, I do not condemn Ms. Fluke. I disagree with what she is asking for. But you will NEVER hear me calling her a slut. I will tell you that I believe she will be most happy in her relationships if she sets aside sex for her future husband. I also know that it is not our government’s job to tell her she cannot have sex and her church cannot prevent her from going against their teachings. Consequently, it makes no sense to me that she should be able to demand that the government force her Catholic university to pay for her contraceptives. If she wants her heath plan to pay for contraceptives she should buy a plan that covers them. They do exist.