Dear Cardinals: Stop Being Dicks

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.

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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.

Maureen Dowd:

The church insists it’s an argument about religious freedom, not birth control. But, really, it’s about birth control, and women’s lower caste in the church. It’s about conservative bishops targeting Democratic candidates who support contraception and abortion rights as a matter of public policy. And it’s about a church that is obsessed with sex in ways it shouldn’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.

20 thoughts on “Dear Cardinals: Stop Being Dicks

  1. I keep thinking I’m missing the part about these institutions being forced to offer health insurance. Are they being forced to offer health insurance by the government?

    I believe they’ll say that they’re forced to do so by the *market* – by people expecting health insurance. Well, they can try to come up with an alternate incentive then. No one’s forcing them to do anything.

    Yes, I know, it would be very, very hard to attract employees without health insurance, but this is a *heavenly* duty. Surely it’s worth effort!

  2. Now, if they didn’t have d*cks, they couldn’t be cardinals. So I guess it makes a kind of sense that they define themselves that way through word and action.

    Since Ross Doubt-that isn’t a cardinal, he has no excuse other than, in Gaga’s phrase, he was born that way.

  3. In all fairness, I think the Catholic Church is being remarkably consistent about its position on S-E-X.
    They’re against it! (Except for married couples, where it’s missionary position ONLY, and then, only to create more little Catholics to fill the coffers of the church in the future – and, of course, unless it’s Priest on hot-Altarboy action, when other positions are, while not preferably, frankly necessary).

    And they’re against paying anything involving S-E-X to ANYBODY!
    -They don’t want to for the Altarboy-schtupping by their Priests – not to the victims, not to their families, and not to the state, in the form of sentences and/or fines.

    -And they especially don’t want to pay for the shameless harlots.
    The church doesn’t want to pay for S-E-X regardless of if they’re married or not-married, whether they want to avoid getting pregnant, or get knocked-up but want to end their pregnancy.
    And it doesn’t matter if the shameless harlots are of their own faith, or other faiths. And if men can’t keep it zipped, including their own Priests, then women have to keep their panties on – or pay the price.

    All women, no matter their faith, have to respect the religious freedom and rights of this cabal of celibate old child-feckers. The shameless harlots have no right to their own religious freedom and rights.

    After all, they’re women – they’re born to be screwed!
    ‘So sayeth the Lord! A-man.”

  4. Seems pretty simple to me–if you’re using taxpayer funds to do your “good works”, and taxpayers of all faiths and no faiths are footing the bill and, furthermore, if you are not required to pay for anyone’s insurance coverage (it is my understanding that students at Catholic universities and employees of Catholic charities and hospitals purchase their own insurance), then you have no right to dictate what that insurance does and does not cover.

    Ed Kilgore wrote: “I don’t believe the Bishops are arguing the Vatican should control religion in America.” I disagree. Seems to me that this is precisely what the Bishops are arguing–at least in matters of women’s health and control over their own bodies.

    Don’t want to abide by the rules? Fine. Want to refuse that 2+ billion in Federal funding? Fine. I’m sure other religious denominations, such as Lutheran Charities, will be delighted to pick up the slack.

  5. Jesus Fucking Christ! And I don’t say that lightly, except when I’m threatened.

    Whose “faith” requires them to meddle in my uterus?

  6. These Cardinals are basically James Dobson wannabes (they’re even starting to sound like him) who envy the way religious right leaders’ flocks follow them like sheep.

  7. I am not now nor ever have been a Roman Catholic. I grew up Protestant. Yet, the Catholic church is always trying to mind my business and interfere in my life. I wish they would go away and let me have my religious freedom to not be Catholic. However, I am concerned that this ridiculous thing called the Supreme Court will rule that the Roman Catholic church will be allowed to interfere in my life until I die.

  8. Since it is impossible to see how the Church has any “skin in the game”– they are not injured in any way, by any stretch of the imagination– they have no legal standing to bring these suits. They SHOULD be tossed out… in principle.

  9. Bonnie,
    Not to scare you, but of the 9 SC Justices, 6 of them are Catholics – with Sotomayor as the only one whose NOT one of the “Not-so Fab Five.”

  10. The good Cardinal needs to get laid…His thinking is all jammed up due to not utilizing the Lord’s natural pressure relief valve. Stress can reek havoc on the mind. Why even the apostle Paul spoke of the debilitating effects of “burning” in one’s Christian walk without an occasional therapeutic quenching.

  11. May I quote the Catholic church to the Catholic church –

    In its Declaration on Religious Liberty (Dignitatis Humanae), [VaticanII] the council went on to say that, “It is through his conscience that man sees and recognizes the demands of the divine law. He is bound to follow this conscience faithfully in all his activity, so that he may come to God, who is his last end. Therefore he must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters

    So on what basis does the Catholic Church defend substituting the conscience of (sometimes) celibate males for the informed, religious choice of women (some not catholic but only in the employ of the church) by forcing or preventing her from acting according to her conscience?

  12. Doug,
    Vatican II is the Catholic Church’s version of their own 1960’s DFH’s, Civil Rights activists and feminists.
    Just like today’s American Conservatism is a backlash against the era from the 1930’s to early 1970’s, and the beginnings of decades of progress for many people, the Church’s Conservatives, consisting of child-feckin’ coot clergy and complicit hierarchy, are looking to eradicate the progress of Vatican II: “We want our Church back!”

    Hopefully, if there is any justice, history will expose the revered John Paul II, who admittedly did a lot to bring down Soviet Russia and its Eastern European satellite empire, as a misogynist and a homophobe. And, while being a force for good in ending Soviet oppression, he was also a force for terrible regression and oppression in other areas, especially against women and gays. He helped take down the Soviet Gulag’s, but with his stances against women, he helped set-up the “modern” Church’s policies of “Forced Labor’ for women. I’m surprised they never asked Catholic homosexuals to wear pink triangles to services, where they’d be denied communion. But, maybe that’s because so many of their Priest should have been forced to wear them while GIVING communion.
    And today’s Pope and Church hierarchy are following in his footsteps and continuing his legacy, and are carrying out policies he established.
    Before he died, as esteemed and revered as he was, he could have focused on the sexual abuse and rape of children and young adults, and ended it by strict punishment within the Church. Instead, he turned a blind eye, and was more concerned about peoples use of contraception, and women’s abortions. And, despite taking a vow of poverty (laughable when coming from a Priest turned Pope, living in a castle and countless mansions, and wearing ornate gilded and bejeweled attire), helped in the continuation, and further expansion, of that poverty, by forcing women and families to have children they either didn’t want, or couldn’t afford.
    ‘Vow of poverty for thee, NOT for me.’

    I looks as if JPII will soon to be canonized as a Saint.
    But JPII was more monster than saint – at least in many peoples opinion, including mine.
    And I hope, eventually, historians will eventually judge him that way. But I’m afraid, despite the sexual abuses, and virtual enslavement of women, via their wombs, and denigration and repression of homosexuals, historians will sweep all of that underneath a priceless Papal rug.
    After all, in allegedly trying to help his precious poor people, and the children he loved, the people he ended up really hurting were only women and gays.
    Let that be his legacy – ‘The people I hurt were only women and gays.’
    Not a saint.
    A monster.

  13. I’ve read this several times over, and it’s clear that the Church is not even considering providing contraception, and is, instead, moaning over the lost $$$ when they DON’T follow governmental rules. Even though the Church is wealthy enough to care for the world’s poor out of its own coffers. They are simply full of it.

  14. maha,
    I just read this at C&L’s website.

    As It’s Even Worse Than It Looks co-author Norm Ornstein concluded:

    “When you look at the data, including voting records … the Democrats have moved left, to probably their own 25 yard line. President Obama’s probably around the 40. The Republicans have moved behind their own goal post.”

    I’m wondering if Norm reads, or at least, read, your blog. After the ellipsis, that’s almost exactly word for word what I wrote last year, or a couple of years ago, here on your site.

    Maybe it was a common analogy, and I picked it up somewhere from someone else. But I try hard to be original when I make comparisons like that.

    Oh well…


    “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”

    Give up the federal funding and they can do what they want, except molesting the Alter-boys I believe that is still against the law, not covered by religious freedom?

  16. gulag, you have insulted me in assuming I don’t know anything about the people on the Supreme Court.

  17. Bonnie,
    I’m sorry!
    I didn’t mean to.
    You know I love you! 🙂

    Besides, other people might not have known.

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