According to Cardinal Dolan, if the Obama Administration insists that women who work for Catholic hospitals must get contraceptives paid for by health insurance, even though the Catholic Church doesn’t have to pay for the contraceptives itself, the Catholic Church will be strangled.
Transcript here; this is just a snip:
DOLAN: [pre-recorded] if these mandates click in, we’re going to find ourselves faced with a terribly difficult decision as to whether or not we can continue to operate. as part of our religion, it’s part of our faith that we feed the hungry, that we educate the kids, that we take care of the sick. we’d have to give it up because we’re unable to fit the description and the definition of a church given by, guess who? the federal government .
BASHIR: yes, you heard that right. they’ll have to end all charity work rather than allow women access to birth control . and the cardinal went on to say this.
DOLAN: [pre-recorded] we don’t want this fight. my lord, we just want to be left alone to do the work that we feel jesus asked us to do.
BASHIR: really? left alone ? you mean without that $2.9 billion a year from the federal government ? well, raps that could be arranged for you, sir.
Apparently the U.S. Catholic bishops see their predicament as the equivalent of St. Thomas More’s execution by King Henry VIII, which Ed Kilgore righteously calls out as artificial hysteria.
The church insists itâ€™s an argument about religious freedom, not birth control. But, really, itâ€™s about birth control, and womenâ€™s lower caste in the church. Itâ€™s about conservative bishops targeting Democratic candidates who support contraception and abortion rights as a matter of public policy. And itâ€™s about a church that is obsessed with sex in ways it shouldnâ€™t be, and not obsessed with sex in ways it should be.
Dowd also points to a recent Gallup poll that says 82 percent of U.S. Catholics think contraceptives are morally acceptable. That hasn’t stopped Ross Douthat and others from framing this skirmish has being between President Obama and Cathlics, rather than President Obama versus a bunch of isolated and clueless old men, who are all being dicks. But there it is.
See also: Scott Lemieux discusses the merits of the Cardinal’s case against the Obama Administration.