On Contraceptive Coverage, the Government Is Right, the Bishops Are Wrong, and This Is Why


Starting June 21, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is sponsoring a series of events nationwide called “Fortnight for Freedom” attacking women’s access to often life-saving contraception. With just six weeks before the historic Obamacare contraceptive coverage measure takes effect, the bishops are creating a public relations opportunity to press their disingenuous claim that the contraceptive coverage rule violates their religious freedom to discriminate against a women’s health measure they don’t like.

In effect, they are seeking to impose their religious doctrine on millions of Americans of all faiths and no particular faith. They are trying to do this by forcing the Obama Administration to back down on an essential basic preventive health care measure that has long – and unjustly – been denied to women.

The bishops’ cynicism in labeling their efforts a defense of religious freedom is appalling. Plainly, the bishops are demanding that the government become their tool in forcing their views on the American people. There is nothing free about that. The shamelessness of it is made worse by the fact that the bishops speak loudly and often about their concern for those who are poor and disadvantaged – people who are among those who most need insurance for contraception, without onerous additional costs, which Obamacare will provide.

As religious traditions teach, the decision to become pregnant and have children is one of the most important decisions people make. These decisions affect all of society and require responsible policies that involve us all, whether we are called to bear the sacred joy of parenthood ourselves or to be partners in creating a culture of loving care.

Yet the bishops contend that the Obama Administration is limiting their religious freedom by requiring them to pay for or provide contraception for their employees.  Nothing could be further from the truth. The bishops’ ability to believe and teach whatever they want is not hindered by the new healthcare rule. Insurers, not the bishops or Catholic Church-related institutions, are required to pay for contraception. No one at any institution is required to use contraception. But the bishops persist in demanding that the government do their dirty work in crushing the consciences of even their own church members.

What is true is that there is a new standard of care under the Affordable Care Act, which says that contraception is basic preventive health care for women and women should have full and comprehensive access to it without additional cost. For women, this is a critical step forward in closing the gender gap in healthcare. When the bishops protested against this significant improvement in women’s health and lives, the Administration devised a thoughtful compromise. It allows churches to limit the healthcare access of their strictly religious employees (like priests and nuns) but doesn’t allow the bishops to arbitrarily withhold healthcare options for employees of hospitals, universities and other settings that serve and employ the general public. 

If the Administration capitulates to the intense pressure being generated by the bishops during these two weeks, millions of Americans will be penalized – cut off from the care they need because of discredited and outdated doctrines they do not share and that are not in their best interests. Those harmed will include the 98 percent of American Catholic women who, like their neighbors of diverse faith traditions, use contraception at some time during their lives, regardless of the doctrine of their church. 

As faith leaders from the nation’s major traditions, members of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice are making a moral appeal to the Obama Administration.  Women’s individual power to make decisions about their own health is under attack – not the religious freedom of a corporation called the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.  We call on the Administration to defend the freedom of American women to exercise self-determination in the most critical area of their lives – their precious health.

The Obama Administration is right to require insurance companies to cover contraception for public employees. The bishops are wrong to seek to use the government to limit the decision-making power of American women.  And they are surely wrong to call what they are trying to do freedom.

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  • thomas-cincaid-brannigan

    “In effect, they are seeking to impose their religious doctrine on millions of Americans.”

    I simply don’t understand how he gets that the Church is ‘imposing’ its doctrine by not providing something. Let us ask the dictionary.

    ———–

    im·pose/imˈpōz/

    Verb:
    1. Force (something unwelcome or unfamiliar) to be accepted or put in place: “the decision was theirs and was not imposed on them”.
    2. Forcibly put (a restriction) in place: “sanctions imposed”.
     
    Synonyms:
    inflict
     
    ———–

    I don’t see how not providing something falls under either of these. Both definitions require positive action on the part of the subject. How is the Church, by not providing contraception, performing a positive action? All I see is a negative (that is, not doing something).

    The Catholic Church does not want this mandate – it most definately does “force (something unwelcome or unfamiliar) to be accepted” by the Catholic Church. Rev. Knox, the notion that the Church is ‘imposing’ anything is ridiculous. It is the Church that is being imposed on. You can argue that this should be imposed the Church, but it is intellectually disgraceful to say the Church imposing its doctrine by not providing something.
  • caroza

    Firstly, the bishops want to restrict access to something insurers, not the church, pay for, and they want to restrict secular employees of secular organisations (like hospitals), which happen to be run by the church, from having access to coverage which they are legally entitled to.  No-one would allow a Seventh Day Adventist to restrict his or her employees’ access to coverage for blood transfusions; but this is the sort of power over its employees’ private lives that the bishops want.  As employers they are bound to adhere to all secular employment legislation, which is there to protect employees from precisely this kind of abuse; but the bishops don’t want to be forced to obey the law of the country they live in.  All this bleating about religious liberty is entirely self-serving, as nothing in this legislation prevents any Catholic from opting not to use birth control in line with their beliefs.

    Secondly they are campaigning against the legislation in the public sphere.  The point Knox is making is that if they are successful in having the legislation overturned, they will have successfully imposed their antediluvian misogyny on the entire country, Catholic or not (thank nobody I don’t live in the US!).

    The point Knox hasn’t made, but that I will, is that the more backward elements of Catholic doctrine result in untold suffering: Ben Goldacre accurately characterised the pope as a public health risk (here: http://www.badscience.net/2010/09/the-pope-and-aids/), and more and more people want to see him arrested and tried for crimes against humanity – and there is a case to answer.  I expect the government of any democratic country I happen to live in to ensure that I am protected from such harmful and dangerous bigotry.

  • waterjoe

    (1) Seventh Day Adventists don’t oppose blood transfusions. (Do your research.)  Moreover, even if they did your analogy fails and, in fact, undermines your argument.  Blood transfusions, unlike contraceptives, are necessary emergency care and, therefore, another matter altogether.  The fact that blood transfusions are not required to be free by the ACA undermines the “compelling interest” argument of HHS.

    (2)  Of course they are campaigning against the legislation in the public square.  Where else are they supposed to campaign against it.  It was the HHS that made it a public matter in the first place.

    (3) As soon as one criticizes a belief as “backward” all pretenses of respecting religious freedom vanish.  

  • thomas-cincaid-brannigan

    I love this. There is definately compelling interest to cover these.  online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203370604577265461876605408.html?

  • prochoiceferret

    I love this. There is definately compelling interest to cover these.

     

    Well then, feel free to contact your Congresscritters. Maybe once we have a health-care system that addresses the basics competently and isn’t in danger of being dismantled by the GOP, we can expand it to cover other nice things like that.

  • prochoiceferret

    (1) Seventh Day Adventists don’t oppose blood transfusions. (Do your research.)

     

    Okay, so replace that with “Jehovah’s Witnesses.” Easy-peasy.

     

    Blood transfusions, unlike contraceptives, are necessary emergency care and, therefore, another matter altogether.

     

    Well, it’s nice of you not to argue against people getting the health care they need when their lives are clearly in danger. You’re better than some of the anti-choice advocates we’ve seen around here.

     

    The fact that blood transfusions are not required to be free by the ACA undermines the “compelling interest” argument of HHS.

     

    No, it just undermines your understanding of the economics behind requiring contraception to be covered without co-payments. Oh, by the way, the ACA doesn’t require anything to be free.

     

    (2)  Of course they are campaigning against the legislation in the public square.  Where else are they supposed to campaign against it.

     

    Inside the Catholic Church. Maybe they could focus on trying to convince the 99% of Catholics who use contraception that they shouldn’t. Though I wouldn’t hold my breath…

     

    It was the HHS that made it a public matter in the first place.

     

    So if the Catholic Church represents Catholics, then who does the HHS represent?

     

    (3) As soon as one criticizes a belief as “backward” all pretenses of respecting religious freedom vanish. 

     

    I’ll remember that the next time someone spouts stereotypes about Muslims.

  • thomas-cincaid-brannigan

    The point is – if the government can require contraceptive coverage, it require coverage of anything. That is, this mandate implies that there is no valid arena outside of government.

  • prochoiceferret

    The point is – if the government can require contraceptive coverage, it require coverage of anything.

     

    Yes. And if there is a good argument to be made for requiring coverage of something, as in cost versus benefit and so on, then it very well should. For now, however, I’d rather focus on need-to-haves like contraception, than nice-to-haves like coffee.

     

    That is, this mandate implies that there is no valid arena outside of government.

     

    No, it doesn’t, actually. Are you new to the subject of regulation, in general?

  • crowepps

    (3) As soon as one criticizes a belief as “backward” all pretenses of respecting religious freedom vanish.

    I think you’re misunderstanding the phrase “religious freedom”.  People have an absolute religious freedom right to believe whatever they want to believe.  Other people have the absolute religious freedom right to think the beliefs of others are backward, foolish or barbaric.  As, for instance, the Catholic Church insisting that everyone who isn’t Catholic has wrong beliefs and is doomed.

  • crowepps

    As I understand the Bishops’ demands, they not only want the right for businesses owned, operated and clearly associated with the Church to monitor the reproductive lives of their employees and limit the health care paid for by the insurers of their employees, they want ANY employer who happens to be Catholic to also be able to do the same thing.

    If Tom Monaghan decides his ‘religious freedom’ entitles him to prevent the employees of Domino’s from having sex without getting pregnant, Tom Monaghan gets to change their employment compensation to take away their birth control.  If Tom Monaghan wants to widen his morality campaign, all he has to do is buy up a few businesses, gut their insurance and include a whole new group, the Church feels he should have the right to do so.

    In addition, the Church feels Catholic doctors should refuse to prescribe birth control and refuse to perform sterilizations even in cases where women will face a high risk of death if they get pregnant, that Catholic pharmacists should face no penalties for refusing to fill prescriptions for birth control, and that Catholic politicians should vote in the way the Bishops order.

    The Vatican appears to be using Teh Horrors of women escaping their role as reproductive cattle as a justification for attempting to take over our government and establish a theocracy.

  • jennifer-starr

    I don’t see where or why someone’s religious freedom requires them  the ‘freedom’ to impose their particular belief system on me just because I’m their employee. You don’t believe in taking birth control? Fine, then don’t. But you don’t have the right to take that coverage away from me. That’s not your freedom, that’s MY freedom that you’re taking from me. 

  • oak-cliff-townie

    The Catholic Church does not want this mandate – it most definately does “force (something unwelcome or unfamiliar) to be accepted” by the Catholic Church. Rev. Knox, the notion that the Church is ‘imposing’ anything is ridiculous. It is the Church that is being imposed on. You can argue that this should be imposed the Church, but it is intellectually disgraceful to say the Church imposing its doctrine by not providing something.

     

    When this Bunch Finally comes clean about  stops covering up the Continued ANAL ORAL and Penis  Abuse of Parishioners  Post Birth Baby Boys and Girls  by the Priest class Then folks might give them a listen .

    Clean up Their house First .



     

     

     

     

     

  • thomas-cincaid-brannigan

    So, as an employee, why are you entitled to contraception from the Church? For most of human history, the terms of payment were an agreement that was acceptable to both employer and employee. In the old days you might have been paid in wheat – now money, retirement packages and healthcare are the popular medium of exchange. All these things are good, but I don’t see that you have a fundamental* right to any particular one. If the the employer does not provide a satisfactory form of payment, you may seek one that does. Your employer does not in any way restrict you from finding other circumstances that better fulfill needs or perceived needs.

     

    One thing I have to comment on is the “Fine, then don’t” arguement. I hate this arguement, because anything can be substituted into it. Don’t like homophobia? Fine, then don’t be a homophobic. Don’t like abortion providers being murdered? Fine, then don’t murder an abortion provider. This style or arguement fundamentally begs the question, no matter what you substitute.

     

    *I hear the cries already, “You would allow my employer to completely deny my healthcare coverage?” However, if your employer provided healthcare package goes away when you are unemployed (you might be able to keep it, but you have to pay for it), that implies that it isn’t fundamental in nature.

  • oak-cliff-townie

    Fresh meat for the church is all I hear you saying !

  • jennifer-starr

    If I work for an organization which is explicitly Catholic, that might be one matter. However if I am employed for a secular organization and my boss just happens to be Catholic, I don’t think he or she should have the right to deny me coverage because of their faith–a faith which I do not share. My employer is not allowed to ask me about my religious beliefs to screen me for employment. However if there is a ‘conscience’ law, should I be allowed to screen him beforehand to make sure I’m not denied coverage? 

     

    And I still don’t see where you’re denied religious freedom because you’re not allowed to deny something to others who might not follow your beliefs. 

  • colleen

    So, as an employee, why are you entitled to contraception from the Church?

    That’s not the right question. The question is ‘what right does the Church have to foist it’s cruel and dehumanizing beliefs onto a reluctant and disgusted public, most of whom aren’t Catholic? It’s absurd that the Church controls so many public hospitals. That you folks would use that power to demean and degrade women rather than work towards a decent healthcare system is predictable but still, deeply offensive.

    Besides your Bishops have been very clear. They want all employers to be able to control the fertility of their female employees. While I know this gives Republican small business owners a tiny woodie every time they think about it, the sex lives of female employees isn’t the business of the diseased and creepy men who constitute the GOP.

     

     

  • colleen

    I hate this arguement, because anything can be substituted into it.

    It’s not a formal argument. It’s a person to person statement. You and your pedophile enabling and protecting Church have very strong and really offensive opinions about how women, all women,  should conduct ourselves in the most personal and intimate parts of our lives. You don’t care that we disagree with those opinions, you don’t ever suggest that women are entitled to our own moral agency, you insist that you’re right and then proceed to force us to comply with your absurd, insulting and dehumanizing beliefs and  opinions. The absurdity of this state of affairs is exacerbated by the fact that neither you or your Church are acceptable as moral arbiters of ANYTHING much less women or human reproduction.A more twisted and clueless bunch is difficult to imagine.

    One of the problems with the religious right is that the whole lot of you never hold men responsible for anything. You’re like a chorus of whiny bullies blaming others for your own lack of self control or responsibility. So, when we say things like “Fine, then don’t.” we’re often just sick of blowhards and self righteous fools who use a corrupt and deeply flawed ‘faith’ to demean and devalue others in an attempt to control them. It’s a difficult task because Religious Right men believe that controlling and devaluing women is healthy sexual expression and are apt to react violently and abusively when confronted with the fact that we strongly disagree with your opinions. 

    Hope that helps.

     

     

     

  • thomas-cincaid-brannigan

    “However if I am employed for a secular organization and my boss just happens to be Catholic, I don’t think he or she should have the right to deny me coverage because of their faith–a faith which I do not share.”

    I often go to a local Catholic hospital for Mass. They maintain 24 hour adoration, and have a priest on staff. It was founded by nuns, and continues to be run by devout Catholics for the purpose of living the Gospel. This institution will be classed as secular by the mandate.

    That aside, you didn’t answer my original question. How is there a fundamental right to contraception? What is wrong with your employer ‘denying’ you contraception? I work full time during the summer as a seasonal for a government agency. They don’t offer me a health package or retirement plan, but I don’t feel deprived. I don’t feel like they’re ‘denying’ me anything, because I am agreeable to the mode of payment they offer. If I wasn’t agreeable to it, I’m not sure what claim I would have against them. If I was upset I wasn’t being paid in gold and silver, I doubt the courts would take my case.

    “However if there is a ‘conscience’ law, should I be allowed to screen him beforehand to make sure I’m not denied coverage? “

    I would encourage you to make sure that the form of payment was desirable before taking the job.

    “And I still don’t see where you’re denied religious freedom because you’re not allowed to deny something to others who might not follow your beliefs.”

    Think of a repugnant idea (insert favorite pet peeve here). Then imagine having to pay for it out of your personal monies (or those of an organization you run, ect) because an employee supports the idea and wants that sort of payment. Even if this is conceivably beneficial for those on the receiving end, I don’t find a good reason to force you to offer payment in that form. There is no absolute right guaranteed to them such that they are entitled to it. If you offer to pay for it, that is fine, but if you are forced, I think it is fair to say that would be a violation of your rights. They aren’t being denied some civil right – you are, by not being able to pay your employees in a way that doesn’t violate your conscience. Of course your employees can take what you’ve paid them in and transfer it to the cause you hate. But then again, you aren’t liable for what horrors they might create by their own means. To use a rather absurd example, you wouldn’t be at issue if your employee hired a hitman. Now if you contracted the hitman for him…

     

    Those who want to be paid in contraception claim it is beneficial to them. Very beneficial even. But to use our monies for something we find deeply troubling would be to violate our own consciences.

     

    Now, at this point Obama’s so called ‘compromise’ is usually mentioned. Our monies are still paying for the insurance which covers contraception, so this has done nothing to negate that issue. By our action, we have provided contraception.

  • thomas-cincaid-brannigan

    Well, I understand that you are angry Colleen. Another thing I know is that my questions are very annoying. And they draw a lot of anger because of that. But in my life, questions that rile people up have usually been the ones capable of changing my opinion. It’s the Socratic method.

     

    I haven’t always been a devout Catholic. I despised the Church for years, but found myself in it after I met a priest who was willing to put up with my annoying questions, and address them with good logic. Unfortunately, feminists usually just get angry at questions and offer me meaningless “person to person statements”, when I am searching for logical clarity. I appreciate the few who know how to entertain a logical and civil arguement. “Sick of blowhards and self righteous fools” doesn’t help me. Perhaps I am Catholic only by the ignorance, because in searching for answers, I can’t get much more than rants and “Fine, then don’t” from your side.

  • prochoiceferret

    I often go to a local Catholic hospital for Mass. They maintain 24 hour adoration, and have a priest on staff. It was founded by nuns, and continues to be run by devout Catholics for the purpose of living the Gospel. This institution will be classed as secular by the mandate.

     

    Your hospital is not classified as “secular”; it is simply not exempt from the insurance rules everyone (except for actual houses of worship) has to follow.

     

    That aside, you didn’t answer my original question. How is there a fundamental right to contraception? What is wrong with your employer ‘denying’ you contraception?

     

    There is no fundamental right to contraception. Just like there is no fundamental right to clean air or adequate building codes. What’s wrong with an employer denying contraception, however, is that it is sexist (are these same employers denying Viagra?), dismissive of the very real health concerns for women, and bad public policy in general.

     

    I work full time during the summer as a seasonal for a government agency. They don’t offer me a health package or retirement plan, but I don’t feel deprived. I don’t feel like they’re ‘denying’ me anything, because I am agreeable to the mode of payment they offer.

     

    They didn’t offer insurance, so they didn’t have to follow any rules about providing insurance. I hope they paid you well, however, because health insurance is a lot more expensive when you purchase it as an individual than through your employer.

     

    Think of a repugnant idea (insert favorite pet peeve here). Then imagine having to pay for it out of your personal monies (or those of an organization you run, ect) because an employee supports the idea and wants that sort of payment. Even if this is conceivably beneficial for those on the receiving end, I don’t find a good reason to force you to offer payment in that form. There is no absolute right guaranteed to them such that they are entitled to it. If you offer to pay for it, that is fine, but if you are forced, I think it is fair to say that would be a violation of your rights. They aren’t being denied some civil right – you are, by not being able to pay your employees in a way that doesn’t violate your conscience. Of course your employees can take what you’ve paid them in and transfer it to the cause you hate. But then again, you aren’t liable for what horrors they might create by their own means. To use a rather absurd example, you wouldn’t be at issue if your employee hired a hitman. Now if you contracted the hitman for him…

     

    People who are against war still have to pay taxes that fund wars. Sorry, that ship has already sailed…

     

    Those who want to be paid in contraception claim it is beneficial to them. Very beneficial even. But to use our monies for something we find deeply troubling would be to violate our own consciences.

     

    If your consciences cover what other people do with money that you are obligated to pay, then I suggest you lube ‘em up.

     

    Now, at this point Obama’s so called ‘compromise’ is usually mentioned. Our monies are still paying for the insurance which covers contraception, so this has done nothing to negate that issue. By our action, we have provided contraception.

     

    If your conscience is really that delicate, I guess you’ll just have to stick to running houses of worship.

  • thomas-cincaid-brannigan

    One final question ferret – should the Church be required to cover elective abortion through its healthcare plans too? A lot of folks feel like the contraception mandate is a slippery slope towards that.

  • prochoiceferret

    One final question ferret – should the Church be required to cover elective abortion through its healthcare plans too? A lot of folks feel like the contraception mandate is a slippery slope towards that.

     

    Realistically, there is enough controversy surrounding abortion that a coverage requirement in employer health plans is a non-starter. We might get there someday, but the picture is going to look very different from what we have now.

     

    Not that the slippery slope need be a bad thing. Catholic Charities getting out of the adoption business was a win for everyone.

  • freetobe

    I am an ex-catholic I will NEVER go back. The catholic church made me as a woman feel insignificant and useless as a human being. I was led to beleive that I as a woman was a second class non-human slave. Like cattle. I was only good for menaingless chores like cooking and cleaning and raising brats. I was not a girly girl who could tolerate that i threw all my dolls in the closet! i was a tom-boy who felt totally equal in every way to my male counterparts until we grew up. the the ego busting testosterone takes hold and I suddenly don’t know my male friends anymore.

    Maybe some of us women just are born to lead and dominate our own lives. Maybe some of us women just want to be treated as ASEXUAL NO SEX at all. maybe some of us women want to be able to walk into aroom and instead of being treated like a piece of meat be treated with respect. maybe just Maybe some of us women never wanted to be married with children. Maybe that is why the women in the past became nuns. I would have done that but I grew up in the age where my mom and dad said as a woman I could now do anything I wanted to. I just wish they would have added with a whole hell of a lot more work because your still “just a women and they really still don’t count in this world still”. Maybe I just wanted men to leave me the hell alone to do as I please. I am not a child!

    RESPECT as    a HUMAN BEING NOT a race or a gender or a religion but just a being RESPECT  as is don’t tell me what to do just because your a man and I am just a rib off a man (bogus). Is that clear to you now?

  • thomas-cincaid-brannigan

    No, not really. My last post complained about how feminists prefer responding to logical questions with emotional anecdotes, rather than answering the questions themselves and helping me find philosophical clarity, which makes it hard for me to search for the truth. You’ve done it again here.

  • prochoiceferret

    My last post complained about how feminists prefer responding to logical questions with emotional anecdotes, rather than answering the questions themselves and helping me find philosophical clarity, which makes it hard for me to search for the truth. You’ve done it again here.

     

    If you were serious about searching for the truth, you would have learned from getting an answer you didn’t expect, and perhaps realized that you weren’t asking the right questions. You’ve already found the “truth” you’re looking for—you’re just trying to browbeat other people into confirming it for you.

  • jennifer-starr

    Yep, we tend to get emotional, don’t we?  You see, for you this just may just be a philosophical exercise, but for us this is personal– it involves our actual lives, which tend to be  messy, confusing and complicated–as life often is. Sorry about that. 

    I wish you luck in your quest for ‘philosophical clarity’. In my four decades of living I’ve found no such creature, outside of a textbook or perhaps a seminary. But this is real life. As much as you might like it to be, there is no one right answer to fit every situation–no black and white–it just doesn’t work that way. 

  • crowepps

    It might help you to reach your goal of ‘philosophical clarity’ to understand that demanding others answer leading questions based on your presuppositions won’t lead you to the truth, and neither will relabeling testimony about the facts of real life as “emotional anecdotes”.

    Perhaps it would be more productive for you if you go to an area where you actually have some information on which to base your opinion, and focus your quest for the truth on how *men* are supposed to think, believe and behave.  You don’t seem to have any insight whatsoever into the realities of life for women.

  • crowepps

    I often go to a local Catholic hospital for Mass. They maintain 24 hour adoration, and have a priest on staff. It was founded by nuns, and continues to be run by devout Catholics for the purpose of living the Gospel. This institution will be classed as secular by the mandate.

    The institution can only be “classed as secular” if it charges money.  Open a charity hospital, fund it through donations, staff it with nuns, provide free care to Catholics who accept substandard reproductive care because they aspire to be martyrs, and you’re off the hook.

  • colleen

    Another thing I know is that my questions are very annoying.

    No, as I said, the problem lies in your opinions and beliefs about how women, all women, should conduct the most private and intimate parts of our lives. Perhaps the problem isn’t angry feminists but, rather, your reluctance to face the truth.

    Your beliefs about effective contraception are shared by a tiny portion of the population. Only 8% of practicing Catholics and 2% of the general population share these beliefs. The rest of us believe that women should be able to control when and how often we have children, that effective contraception is a good thing. We all realise this view is an anathema to those who embrace the animal husbandry school of religious dogma and we understand the depth of your hatred towards and fear of uppity women. Really we do. 

    The fact of the matter is that access to effective contraception is an enormous benefit to women. Effective contraception and the ability to control fertility is essential for both species survival and for any hope of a decent life for individual women. When dogma starts conflicting with your ability to provide a decent level of medical care, when your atrophied ‘consciences’ are troubled by the necessity of complying with the laws that establish a decent level of medical care for everyone than you need to amend  your beliefs, deal with the discomfort of your atrophied ‘consciences’  and/or get out of the business of providing medical care entirely.

    I believe that we should help folks like you with this dilemma by defunding the Catholic church entirely and that we should start by declaring Catholic hospitals ineligible for medicare/medicaid disbursements. If the wages and compensation packages of women hospital employees is YOUR money, the billions in taxpayer money going to prop up a Church which systematically abuses children and holds the innate inferiority of women as a foundational belief well that’s  OUR money.

    Oh, and I have no interest in your ‘spiritual’ journey or in helping you acheive clarity. The first because your ‘spiritual’ journey has produced a manipulative and intrinsically dishonest man  and the second because I know a futile effort when I see one.

     

     

  • j-rae

    The money that Catholic Hospitals use to pay their employees wages and benefits does not come from the collection plates in the parishes. The money that that the hospital receives comes from insurance companies, the government (medicaid/medicare), and persons who pay for care privately.

    Since the government pays a large portion of the money that keeps Catholic Hospitals open, then the employees must be considered secular. If the church wishes to enforce doctrine on employees then they need to turn away the taxpayer money and support the hospitals through the church offerings.

  • thomas-cincaid-brannigan

    Unfortunately, only one person used logical arguments in this debate, and didn’t use only emotional statements that can’t be judged by logic. “[W]e understand the depth of your hatred towards and fear of uppity women” conveys feelings, and the logical conclusion I can draw from it is that Colleen feels like Catholics have deep hatred towards and fear of women she considers uppity. That’s the argument, and there’s not a whole lot to work with there.

     

    Colleen, you said that I’m a lost cause, but I think you’ve misjudged me. Yes, I did ‘browbeat’ (also known as the Socratic method) people into confirming many of my opinions, which are stronger now as a result. But there were two points from your side that the argument drew out that I felt were very strong. They’ll give me something to think about for a while. Both these came from Ferret. That’s because Ferret gave me something to work with, and I was able to judge the ideas with logic. I like that.

  • colleen

    Colleen, you said that I’m a lost cause, but I think you’ve misjudged me.

    Oh Paul, I don’t think so.

     

  • ack

    The contraception coverage mandate doesn’t require qualifying religious institutions to pay for contraception. It requires the insurance companies with which they contract to cover it.

  • ack

    They can do that in AZ. Any employer who signs an affadavit that says that their religious beliefs are central to the business or agency’s goals can refuse to cover contraception.

     

    Work at a sub shop? We’re feeding the hungry. No whore pills for you.

     

    Idiotically, contraceptive equity has been on the books since 2002 in AZ. It was a bipartisan effort, and was never a problem until the national no co-pay mandate arose. This was a direct “screw you” to Obama.

  • ack

    Those nuns who “run the hospital” (you don’t seriously believe that, do you?) take taxpayer dollars through medicare and medicaid, receive government grants, and receive payment from insurance companies and individuals. That hospital isn’t run on donations by Catholic people. That money doesn’t belong to those nuns, it belongs to the community. Furthermore, it isn’t the hospital or business that contracts with the insurance company for contraception, it’s the employees.

     

    Employers don’t get to deny coverage for lung cancer treatment for smokers, vegetarians don’t get to refuse coverage for heart disease from red meat consumption, and we don’t live in a country where we get to pick and choose where our taxes go. If Catholics want to do things like run hospitals and schools while taking government money, then they need to play by the same rules as everyone else.

     

    This mandate has been on the books in NY for a couple of years and the church didn’t collapse.