I wish I had more time to write about the fact that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have their cinctures in a twist over the Obama Administration’s recent decision about birth control — namely, that Catholic institutions that employ non-Catholics have to provide birth control coverage under the health care law. I agree entirely with Nita Chaudhary and Shaunna Thomas, and also Digby, so go read what they said.
Yet another case where the Republican take is that institutions have [and should have] more rights than individuals.
I think I see a pattern…
If I were to write a letter to the Catholic Bishops, here’s how it would read:
Dear Catholic Bishops,
I don’t want to demean you, but I have to ask – just how f*cking stupid are you?
This is NOT about “religious liberty!”
If you take government money, and/or wish to remain tax exempt, then you must follow the GOVERNMENT rules. If you don’t want to, then you, like any other religious charitable organizations, should depend on your particular Diety(ies) grace, and wait for Him/Her/It to motivate fellow believers into providing you with the needed cash in the form of charitable donations from fellow believers, or tithing.
But you take the money, AND are tax exempt.
Here are some other reasons that this is NOT about religious liberty.
If I’m a Catholic, I can go the the Catholic Church of my choice. I can drive to one two towns away, if the nearest one isn’t to my liking.
If I’m thinking of converting to Catholicism, I can do the same.
If I’m of a different religion, I can go worship wherever I want.
But, if I’m in an accident, and the only hospital nearby is a Catholic one, I may not have much of a choice.
What if you were against stitching-up wounds, because no one was there to stitch Jesus’ wounds?
Should I bleed to death because of your beliefs?
And exactly how long do you think any government would allow you to have a license to practice medicine if that was what you believed?
And if a woman has been raped, and in need of a morning-after pill, or in need of an emergency abortion to save the life of the mother, your hospital should be, first and foremost, A HOSPITAL!
Don’t preach. Heal.
I suggest you have your Priests keep their pecker’s packed, whether it’s with boys or girls, men or women, put away your misogyny, and you have more consideration for the women who may need the services.
Or, are you afraid, that the child that is prevented through contraception or abortion, might be one of your Priest’s?
And I know you need more people, because Americans are deserting your church in droves.
But, instead of putting women through “Forced Labor,” you might want to consider how you, your Pope’s, and other leaders have behaved that is causing people to leave.
You remain out of touch – and are getting more so.
Which is a shame, because for awhile there, your church was important in the lives of people, and in fighting for social issues.
Vatican II too Liberal?
c u n d gulag.
I entirely agree with the policy decision here, but I worry about the repercussions of the politics. This will cost him some votes in November.
I think Obama might have lost more voters by caving in to the bishops than by standing up to them.
J. F. E.,
I think the POTUS position that puts everyone on a level playing field will attract more (new) voters than losing people that were planning on voting for him.
“U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have their cinctures in a twist over the Obama Administration’s recent decision about birth control”
Obama should make a statement renouncing sex with underage boys, then they’d have something to be upset about!
I think it is a mistake to analyze the politics of some of these decisions with our progressive hats on. A lot of Catholic swing voters now have another reason to consider voting against Obama. Don’t misunderstand me—I like and agree w/ the decision (and I *love* the “cinctures in a twist” comment!)—but I am unsure how the political repercussions will go. At the very least, it is something he will have to defend in a debate.
Some Catholics (that’s Catholic with a big ‘C’) will be outraged – right on cue. There are sincere and devout catholics (that’s with a lower-case ‘c’) who have developed their own moral conscience on reproduction. They researched, prayed, and analyzed the morality of birth control, and decided for themselves. A lot of them and it pisses of the Bishops. They won’t follow directions from church hierarchy – not without asking, “Exactly WHAT did the government decide?” Evangelicals decided against Obama before his inauguration. BFD. As far as Catholic or Evangelical votes are concerned, this changes very little, IMO. It does raise as an issue Church vs State but on terms which favor Obama.
I was raised Catholic. I know a lot of Catholics (including clergy) who put the teachings of Christ ahead of dogma. The line drawn by the administration does NOT undermine Church doctrine. Catholics can practice their beliefs on reproduction exactly as before. It says churches can’t impose dogma on people who are EMPLOYED by the church and are legally entitled by AHC to have their medical insurance provide benefits (like birth control) which the church objects to.
There is an ethical violation. It’s the attempt by the a Church to IMPOSE their dogma on people who aren’t even Catholic. Trying to prevent employees from using birth control, by making birth control expensive, is ethically WRONG. Entire books have been written by theologians on ‘free will’. Clerics who should know better, are using every trick they know to IMPOSE a ban on contraception and abortion on the general public.
I expect Romney will try to claim the high moral ground when this gets to the General Election. Obama can pivot and ask voters if they want organized, ultra-conservative religions to partner with the federal government to dictate what happens in your bedroom. Or is this an example of why the ‘wall of separation’ between Church & State was erected by the founding fathers? Please, Mitt, go there.
I am Catholic, and I think the bishops are completely wrong about this. Gulag, the Catholic Right has the upper hand in the institutional Church now, and they are trying to marginalize those of us who believe in Vatican II and its promise as old, stale, and dying off. Meanwhile, the bishops seem supremely unconcerned that the institutional Church is hemorrhaging members and that former Catholics are the second largest religious group in the country. The American hierarchy seems unaware that their moral credibility is completely compromised by their actions in concealing sexual offenders in the clergy, and many of the hierarchy are not subtly allying themselves with the Religious Right and the wingnut base of the Republican Party. The bishops seem to think they can dictate to the laity the way they were apt to do before Vatican II, but many of us are prosperous and well-educated, and don’t buy what they are saying.