Columnist Nicholas Kristof of The New York Timeshas emerged as one of the most influential journalists and public intellectuals of our times. He has been the voice of conscience on many issues of human rights and foreign affairs, and he has won two Pulitzer Prizes for his reports, books, and commentaries on world affairs.

A graduate of Harvard University and a Rhodes Scholar, Mr. Kristof sees the world from an elite point of reference, and his column in The New York Times is mandatory reading for anyone concerned with human rights and human dignity.

His keen sensitivity to human rights concerns is what makes his column published in the February 12, 2012 edition of the paper so perplexing — and so offensive.

Nicholas Kristof writes movingly and urgently of human rights violations all over the world, but this recent column reveals his apparent willingness to deny human rights here at home, on a matter right at the center of the American understanding of human rights — religious liberty.

Kristof writes rather sarcastically about the “pelvic politics” of recent controversy. The furor over the Obama Administration’s inclusion of mandatory coverage of birth control as “preventive care” under the Affordable Care Act, stating: “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.”….

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