We all know that the “official” position of the Catholic Church is against any form of birth control, other than the rhythm method. And surely we’re aware of the current controversy (and when I say “controversy” I mean bullshit created by the Republican party to stir up trouble for Obama) involving the health insurance requirement being imposed on Catholic employers mandating coverage of Birth Control, even for the Catholic Church. Yes, the Catholic Church will be required to provide medical insurance for its employees, except in certain circumstances, primarily involving employees of the religious edifice itself, as opposed to incidental employes not providing religious functions, such as hospitals, clerks, secretarial etc. Oh, the horror. It’s been the law, however, since 2000, all during the Bush years, with nary a peep from conservatives – until now.
If you listen to the people talking about this on the morning news shows, you have to ask yourself “Why are the only people complaining about this wearing black robes and funny hats with rosaries around their neck? THEY surely don’t use birth control, do they?” (If you hear of any pedophile priests using condoms when they rape little boys, be sure to let me know.)
Polls show that Catholics as a whole are in favor of the Catholic Church being required to include contraception in its health insurance plans provided to employees. More so than even the general population at large.
Some of them even recognize that more contraception access and affordability means a potential drop in abortions. You’d think the Pope would be happy with that. Yet Republicans are claiming that this is not acceptable, and that they will reverse this requirement. John Boehner calls it an “attack on religious freedom” that “will not stand”. Sean Vanity of Faux News says it’s part of a “war on religion”. However, many religious groups are in favor of the rule.
So what does this Health and Human Services rule actually do? It allows all employees to be treated equally when it comes to health insurance, instead of allowing employers that happen to be affiliated with the Catholic Church from treating their employees as second class citizens. It allows employees of Catholic institutions to be covered for what most of them use, have used in the past, would like their children to use when they become sexually active, and what responsible human beings actually use.
Face it. The hierarchy of the Catholic Church, (members of which, to a man, do not need or use contraception – at least officially) are afraid they are losing control of their flock. Dictating to the congregation what they can and cannot do in the privacy of their bedrooms has been the Church’s stock-in-trade, the sine qua non of Catholic dogma, and a sure means to control the general population of Catholics, not to mention ensure a continuous source of new Catholics. When the government takes that away from them, of course the boy-rapist papists will squeal. But has it really been taken away? Can one take something away from someone that which someone doesn’t have?
Catholics are individuals, not necessarily a monolithic entity. In matters of contraception, historically, Catholics have violated the ban on birth control with impunity. 98 percent of Catholics use birth control, according to surveys. With some exceptions, Catholic families, while stereotypically large, have shrunk. That mantle has been taken up by the evangelicals and fundamentalist Protestants. So exactly who are the Catholic leaders and Republican politicians fighting for? Catholics, one would expect, would welcome mandatory insurance coverage, if they use contraception. Who wouldn’t? And if any individual Catholic who in good conscience refused to use contraception, he/she is not using the mandatory aspect of the health insurance anyway. So, no harm, no foul.
As you can see from this link, as usual, the Republicans are being hypocritical (though I’m beginning to think they really don’t understand the concept of hypocrisy). It’s just another convenient political football to kick around in the hopes that it lands close to a Republican goal line – the goal being a single term Obama Presidency. In an age where the population explosion is one of the most pressing public concerns, now or in the future, this planet faces, it’s irresponsible to make an issue of this simply because it’s an election year and the Republicans want to use it to regain the Oval Office.
I suppose that the employees of the Jehovah’s Witnesses should be exempt from providing anything but first aid, as even the most basic care is precluded by that particularly bizarre cult. As far as not using contraception, google “quiverfull” and you will see quite another bizarre cult.
Thanks. I edited the post to add a link to the Quiverfull Wikipedia article.
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What’s next with these people? Christian postal mail carriers refusing to deliver mail to and from Planned Parenthood?
Mandatory vagina-cams hooked to a network of Republican computers to monitor for illegal contraception, would be my guess.
I hoped you’d post about this. 🙂
What do you think about it in regards to Employment Division v. Smith? Oh wait, I forgot that special privilege is given to mainstream religion in this country and that anything that has to do with vaginas or sex usually makes the Republicans squirm.
Wasn’t familiar with that decision, or at least I didn’t remember it by name, so you forced me to do research. That was the peyote case, where native Americans lost their jobs and were denied unemployment benefits for indulging in a religious sacrament. Here’s a nice quote which seems apropos:
That seems to cover it in the contraception/insurance ruling.
Yep, what I remember from it was that if the law wasn’t intended intentionally to disrupt the religious institution, but was implemented for the benefit of the state, then the law should stand. Otherwise everyone could make their own rule of law by claiming religious interference and there would be no over-arching law of the land that could be enforced by the state.
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And here’s a different angle on the subject. A significant number of women use oral contraceptives for purposes other than birth control. Shouldn’t their prescription plans cover it?
Perhaps the bishops should oppose insurance plans paying for Viagra, etc., too.
Oh wait, silly me. The bishops’ protest is about losing control over women, not sex. As you noted, the Republicans’ protest is about hassling Obama, not sex (but controlling women is always on their agenda). They’re desperate to find an issue on which to impale him because the odds are long that their weak candidates will defeat him on their own merits.
Did everyone hear about Shippensburg putting the morning after pill in a vending machine?
Yes, I did see that, and I thought “What a great idea!” I’ll bet it’s being done at other colleges but we haven’t heard about it yet. Who ever is selling them via vending machine isn’t doing it at one college. They need to blanket all the institutions of higher learning (and maybe even the high schools) with vending machines before they make any money.