By Kevin Foley

Contraception is and always has been a thorny social issue, especially for Catholics and politicians. That’s why it was puzzling when Catholic politician Rick Santorum made birth control a campaign issue.

By stupidly stumbling into the contraception mine field, Santorum discovered why, over the decades, his predecessors wisely steered clear of this highly personal, emotionally charged discussion best left to women, their partners and, if necessary, the clergy.

It all began with an Obama administration directive to Catholic institutions doing business in the secular world that said women must not be denied contraception under health insurance programs offered by these institutions. Because Catholic teaching forbids the use of birth control, a firestorm ensued stoked mainly by the far right media and GOP presidential candidates who charged the president with waging a “war on religion.”

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