A Second Letter To President Obama, Under the Assumption He Missed the First

Dear Mr. President,

When you announced you were making an accommodation for religious institutions morally opposed to paying for their employees’ contraceptives and sterilizations, I thought “aw hell yeah!” and “he read my letter!” and “he likes me!” and “we’re gonna hang out and drink beer at the House!” and I imagined you all like this…

I should change my policies, and read more Catholic blogs.

…and life was beautiful. But my exuberance was short-lived, for as it turns out, you missed my letter entirely. That, or you’ve decided that this is your shining moment to take down the Catholic Church in America, and neither letter nor silly Constitution will stop you.

I am not aware of any alternatives, for the accommodation you offered to religious institutions opposed to funding the use of artificial contraception was first insulting, and then — somewhat embarrassingly — even worse than the original HHS mandate.

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand that you had to do something break the ranks of the faithful. After all, who would have expected those outdated, medieval Bishops to lead such a united charge in favor of religious liberty? Your plan backfired, Barry: Instead of painting the Church as ridiculously oppressive, you managed to usher America into an incredible zeitgest, in which NPR dislikes you and Mike Huckabee can declare “We are all Catholic now,” without being damned to hell thrice over. You got rocked by the Bishops.

When any creature that normally takes half a century to form a complete statement starts a united effort to destroy your plans, think twice about your own brilliance.

And so we got your counterstrike, your ‘accommodation’, that: “…if a woman’s employer is a charity or a hospital that has a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of their health plan, the insurance company — not the hospital, not the charity — will be required to reach out and offer the woman contraceptive care free of charge, without co-pays and without hassles.”

Now I don’t know if you ever managed to sit in on a moral principles class, but allow me to try and explain why this sugarcoated politiking is ridiculous. Think about it: If you tried to force orthodox Jewish restaurants to sell bacon, and those Jews — rightfully — told you to take a knee, punch yourself in the face and read the Constitution, it would be no ‘accommodation’ to then force them to pay for a Gentile with a bacon cart to serve pork inside their restaurant. The Jews would still be paying for and serving the bacon, you’ve just made them pay some one else to do it. By this logic, hiring a hitman is delightfully ethical — “I didn’t do it, I got someone else to!”

So allow me to apply this to the current situation: You told Catholic institutions that they must provide for free contraceptives and sterilizations in their insurance plans. They said, and I quote, “No.”

To accommodate them you said the “insurance company — not the hospital, not the charity — will be required to reach out and offer the woman contraceptive care free of charge.”

Obama, who — precisely — is buying the insurance companies’ free-contraceptive coverage? Who but the Catholic institutions, the institutions morally opposed to providing contraception to their employees? All you’ve done is forced morally opposed institutions to pay for other institutions that will provide contraception. Yes, this is akin to forcing those morally opposed to murder to hire hitmen. Not only is it immoral, unconstitutional and arrogant, it’s also painfully unintellectual. No one in their right minds would think this will be accepted by the Bishops. Oh wait, that’s right, it wasn’t:

“We note that today’s proposal continues to involve needless government intrusion in the internal governance of religious institutions and to threaten government coercion of religious people and groups to violate their most deeply held convictions. In a nation dedicated to religious liberty as its first and founding principle, we should not be limited to negotiating within these parameters. The only complete solution to this religious-liberty problem is for HHS to rescind the mandate of these objectionable services…”

But this move wasn’t about fooling the Bishops — it was about fooling the Left. It was about winning back NPR and all the rest. That’s why your ‘accommodation’ is insulting — even you don’t believe in it. You’re not fighting with Catholics, you’re sneering at them.

Here’s why it’s worse:

You said, “Under the rule, women will still have access to free preventive care that includes contraceptive services — no matter where they work.  So that core principle remains.”

Please tell me, for the sake of our friendship, that you were misquoted. Because this “no matter where they work,” business is not a remaining core principle, it’s an entirely new principle, rotten to the core. Previously, the Mandate’s religious exemption covered churches, parish offices, and institution that only serve members of their own faith, out of some odd philanthropic desire that Catholics start religiously discriminating the poor and sick they serve. Now you’ve even flounced that. No matter where they work? So every single institution in America is now forced to pay for contraception – oh I’m sorry, I meant forced to buy insurance plans that will pay for contraception —  and that makes it okay? It’s not tyrannical if you’re being a tyrant to everyone? Maybe no one has told you, so I will be clear: We are opposed to paying money to provide for artificial contraception, no. matter. what.

You have given faithful Catholics the duty of civil disobedience. We will carry it out, with joy. Oh and before I forget, I was asked to relay a quick message, that you may never claim you were not warned:

Yours truly,

Marc Barnes

Keep up the fight everyone! Do not be deceived by the supposed ‘accommodation’, by the patronizing sneers the Administration is using to divide the Church, and to split her forces. In order to fight against this arrogance, I’ve made my own petition, entitled:

We Petition the Obama Administration To: Keep Calm and Cease Being an Ass Towards the Church

Sign it, share it, enjoy it immensely, and be filled with unshakable hope by the knowledge that we stand for goodness, truth and beauty against the powers of the world.

UPDATE: Sadly the federal Government took down my nice petition. Which deserves this:

YouTube Preview Image

 

  • Katieg

    Keep up the fight, Marc! Love the Ents graphic. I’ve definitely used that example sooo many times in the past few weeks.

    If you’ll allow me to share another blog who has developed brilliant social media pics, let’s stay united and behind our bishops, people! http://www.stpeterslist.com/3834/i-stand-with-the-catholic-church-10-pictures-in-defense-of-the-church/

  • Musiciangirl591

    don’t worry! we’ll keep fighting! i love the picture of Pope Benedict btw :)

  • Chip

    Let’s just hope we nominate a candidate who can beat this bum. Then they’ll get the message.

  • M68yankee

    Yippee ky-yay! Will share it…..

  • Marcel LeJeune

    I think I want you to train my children to write. Now.

  • Annalisa Tombelli

    Thanks, Marc, dear brother. The site won’t let me sign the petition, even though I’m logged in. If the “Sign the Petition” button is grey, does it mean I already have? I don’t see my name.

    • http://www.facebook.com/techmage89 Paul Fox

      I have found the petition site does not work with Google Chrome, but it does with Firefox.

      • Astro

        I had to meddle with the options of Google Chrome, but I figured it out and made it work. The white house webpage actually teaches you how to do it in FAQ #2.

        • Annalisa Tombelli

          Thanks everyone! I’ll try it.

      • Annalisa Tombelli

        Thanks very much, Paul! I’ll try Firefox.

    • guest

      I had to wait a couple of hours before the “sign the petition” button let me. Try again later.

      • Anonymous

        The White House doesn’t create an account immediately after you sign up. Try again tomorrow.

        • Annalisa Tombelli

          I’ve actually had an account for about two weeks now, but I will try again tomorrow. Thank you!

  • David Eddy

    Excellent! The Obama administration is counting on us to lose heart and abandon this fight. Your blog is an effective antidote.

  • Anon

    Just a quick question: What differentiates this from women in the Church’s employ being paid a wage that they then spend on contraceptives? The money is still coming from the Church, same as here. Your position at this point is nonsensical.

    Also (and perhaps more importantly), your supposition that the Catholic institutions will still be paying for the insurance coverage under the new compromise (notice how I left out the sarcastic “quotes?”) is wrong. I’m sorry, but it just is. Follow my math here.

    Catholic institutions buying health insurance make up X% of an insurance company’s business. Other businesses [(1-X)%], already are required to buy this coverage. Let’s call the cost of covering all workers at Catholic run charities C. Of course, premiums everywhere will rise to accommodate this new cost. The total cost to Catholic institutions will then be X*C. But C is already dependent on X, since the more charities that must cover the cost the higher it will be. In fact, C = X*Cper*N, where Cper is the cost per person and N is the total insured population. The total cost to Catholic institutions is then Cper*N*X^2. Catholic Churches now get to defray the cost among the whole population! THIS IS A SUBSTANTIAL CHANGE! If 5% of people are employed by Catholic charities, the church will only have to pay 5% of the total cost to ensure ITS OWN EMPLOYEES. This functions as a TAX, where everyone pays into a pot that society then decides how to spend. And the Church doesn’t get to decide that non-Catholics can’t use that money for contraception if they want to. Why? FREEDOM OF RELIGION.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kickintheface Jacob Timothy Michael Hughes

      Yes, but if the Church would deny these employees ANY coverage, they would not have contraceptive coverage. Therefore, buying them health insurance provides them with contraceptive access. That is unacceptable.

      • Anon

        I don’t think you know what this debate is actually about. These organizations ALREADY provide health insurance to employees. That’s not the issue. The issue is including contraceptives in the coverage they ALREADY have.

      • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

        So it’s all about enforcing the Church’s will that women – Catholics or not – shall not be allowed to use contraception if they work for Catholic organisations?

        Basically, sounds like trying to make it a goal that Catholic organisations employ men only.

        • Cal-J

          Like I said earlier, these are employee-employer contracts agreed upon by both parties at a prior date. The Church isn’t forcing anything on anyone. They establish that certain actions will not be undertaken and their potential employees accept those terms.

        • Anonymous

          they aren’t being forced to work for the Church…

    • http://www.facebook.com/techmage89 Paul Fox

      The point is a moral one, in that as Catholics, we are not allowed to materially assist evil. If an employee is paid and then goes off and spend the money on contraceptives, that isn’t under the control of the employer, nor can the employer necessarily know that that will happen.

      However, from Catholic moral teaching, we cannot put money into something we know will be used for an evil purpose, because then it is under our control.

      • Anon

        Surely you pay taxes that pay for things you don’t agree with? Like the Iraq War, which the Church condemned?

        • AverageJoeCatholic

          There’s a difference between Just War Theory and the Church’s stance on contraception. The former has a bit of a haze of ambiguity about it, while the latter has none. The Church did declare Iraq as an unjust war, but there’s a little more wiggle room there, due not to the Church, but to the very nature of war itself. This mandate lacks said wiggle room. Its pretty clean cut

          • Anon

            /In Yoda voice: “No! Is NO different!” Secular taxes are used for things that religious groups disapprove of. The Iraq War is but one example, and trying to obfuscate the Church’s opposition to it only serves to muddy the waters of the rest of the debate and distract from the Point. Which is that the author of this blog has his facts wrong about who exactly pays for this and how.

      • Anon

        I should clarify that I understand your point, I’m even sympathetic to it. But you ARE required to pay taxes. You DO have to contribute to secular society. Churches and charities are exempt from taxation normally through practice, not constitution it should be noted. This is a compromise in that it will make EVERYONE’S health care more expensive, but money will not go directly from the Church to cover contraceptives. So it functions like a tax. Money goes into a pot, and some of it is used for something you don’t like. My taxes are used for stuff that violates my religion all the time; it doesn’t mean that it’s a violation of the 1st amendment.

        There’s also the element of individual choice that is being glossed over. No one is trying to force any individuals to make any decision one way or another. What IS being forced is that an institution must allow for a choice to be made by an individual, which seems, if anything, an expansion of personal liberty.

        • Anonymous

          While yes, women can still go out and buy contraceptives at their own cost, that is their decision, not the Catholic Church’s.

          You ended your initial post with “WHY? FREEDOM OF RELIGION.” That is exactly what we are fighting for here. Once the government mandates that a religious institution has to provide services that go against its core beliefs, there is no more separation of church and state – the state becomes the church and a precedent is set for dismantling all the liberties provided for in the constitution. So while you think you have an immediate expansion of personal liberty what you actually have is a slow destruction of all personal freedoms.

          Oh and as a last point: To maintain personal liberty, choices don’t need to be provided, just not prevented against. The Church cannot force a law saying that its congregation cannot use contraception. You will never see the church suing it’s members for doing that. However, it does teach that they are in sin for doing so, but will await with open arms for those gone astray to return to its teachings and forgive them when they do. Therefore the very expansion of personal liberty you claimed this would provide is already in place.

          • Anon

            “Once the government mandates that a religious institution has to provide services that go against its core beliefs.” That’s the thing though, this compromise no longer mandates this!

            There was a legitimate argument to be made on the basis of separation of church and state before. My only objection to that argument at the time was that birth control has medical uses, such as treatment for PCOS (which my wife has), and that since employers don’t have a right to know that she has PCOS, they have to provide her with the medical coverage blindly.

            But now, it’s a different issue! It’s true that “someone” has to pay for the coverage, but it’s a fallacy to suggest, as the author has, that the Church is bearing that burden alone. Again, it functions similarly to a tax, paying into a pot that is then distributed. The Church is no longer providing the service, they now are paying slightly higher premiums, along with everyone else, because of a burden on insurers. It may seem artificial, but it is an important distinction.

            To your last paragraph, fine, I concede the point. That part was more of an afterthought anyway.

        • http://www.facebook.com/joeclark1977 Joe Clark

          I think you successfully highlight the weakness of the “freedom of religion” argument the Catholics are making. When some Catholics cite the first amendment, it’s as if they want to “wash their hands” of abortion, i.e., tacitly approve of it, keep voting for pro-abortion Democrats, but not personally pay for it. The bishops probably thought that, like most of the other Obama cronies who supported Obamacare, they would get a waiver.

          What you haven’t done is follow the logic all the way to its conclusion. Catholics should be opposed to a pro-abortion policy whether or not they personally are required to pay for it. They should have been engaged in civil disobedience (i.e., a tax strike as Ann Barnhardt is calling for) since 1973, not since February 2012. Allowing this horror to go on in our communities, and continuing to pay tribute to the government that creates and facilitates it, is NOT acceptable regardless of whether or not we personally can “wash our hands” of it. We cannot say it is out of our control, because we DO control whether or not we pay the taxes that fund abortion clinics.

      • Cal-J

        “The same applies to health insurance.”

        Nope.

        “If an employee is provided with health insurance, and then uses their insurance to get contraception, that isn’t under the control of the employer, nor can the employer necessarily know that that will happen. ”

        This health insurance issue requires the institutions to make no modification to their health care provisions… EXCEPT to enable the material participation in evil, at a cost to themselves. The employers are being forced to enable what they consider evil.

        “Except, of course, that they DO know that 98% of Catholic women will use their health insurance to get contraception.”

        Thank you for recycling the bull.

        Basic sum up: The 98% is supposedly based on the Guttmacher study, which says no such thing. The key graph involved in the myth is, by it’s own designation, “Restricted to sexually active women who are not pregnant, post-partum, or trying to get pregnant.” Not exactly an adequate criteria for Catholic women.

        Here, educate yourself: http://www.catholicvote.org/discuss/index.php?p=26675

        “Because the Catholic Church hierarchy has failed to convince most ordinary devout Catholics that there’s any problem with that.”

        I would like to know what your definition of “devout Catholics” is.

        “Now because the bishops have failed so completely, they want the US government to enforce their dictats on any woman unfortunate enough to be employed by the Catholic Church.”

        “… on any woman unfortunate enough to be employed by the Catholic Church.”

        Lovely. Because the women obviously have no control over their lives. It’s not like they could leave and find work elsewhere.

        “Bizarrely, Marc seems to think that forcing religious doctrine on people who don’t agree with it is “freedom of religion”. Odd, that.”

        Nobody’s getting religious doctrine forced on them.

        These are employee-employer contracts that were already agreed upon at a prior date.

        • Alexandra

          That’s not even what the Guttmacher stat is about and that site you linked acknowledges that. It’s 98% of Catholic women who have ever had sexual experience have used birth control. The stat means exactly what is says is does. It doesn’t mean that 98% of all females who are devout Catholics are currently using birth control, which is what it seems you think we mean when we quote it.

          If you look at the surveys it’s something like 87% of Catholic women who are not currently pregnant, postpartum, or trying to get pregnant are using a form of contraception. 2% of them are using NFP, 11% are using no method, which I’m assuming is pull and pray.

          You’ll say oh they’re not “real” Catholics, but they are the voters who identify as Catholics, and that’s all that really matters. Marc has quoted before that Catholicism is the biggest religion in the world. I’m pretty sure that’s not true if you decide to exclude all of these people on the basis of not being “real” Catholics. You don’t get it both ways.

          • Cal-J

            I apologize for being unclear. Allow me to redeem myself.

            I never assumed that the study claimed 98% of devout Catholics did anything. The study itself points out that less than a third of those who marked “Catholic” visit Church even once a week, which excludes them from “practicing Catholic” status, much less “devout”. (Edinburgh seems to equate practicing with devout, which, from his point of view, may very well approach comparative truth, but that’s a different issue).

            “If you look at the surveys it’s something like 87% of Catholic women who are not currently pregnant, postpartum, or trying to get pregnant are using a form of contraception. 2% of them are using NFP, 11% are using no method, which I’m assuming is pull and pray. ”

            I understand, and this is where I have my problem.

            You see, when Edinburgh says things like:

            “Except, of course, that they DO know that 98% of Catholic women will use their health insurance to get contraception.”

            … he (I’m assuming “he”, that drawing looks male) leaves out all those extra qualifications, and thus uses the number in a manner the suggests quite strongly that the 98% number applies universally to all Catholic women, which it most certainly does not, especially since the qualifier you forgot to mention is that they are SEXUALLY ACTIVE while avoiding pregnancy. By default, that’s an disastrously skewed definition of “Catholic Women”. This use is therefore radically incorrect (though he perhaps believes it to be correct) and its repetition and propagation perpetuates a myth. This is poor argumentation.

            (Side note: Also, do we have a definition for “trying to get pregnant”? Is it “I want a child and am having sex for explicitly that purpose”? Is it “I like the idea of having a baby and would certainly be happy if one came along”? Is it “I’m not particularly out for a child but if one comes along I won’t say no”? I have to imagine the distinction “trying to get pregnant” as a survey checkbox is a poor qualifier.)

            “You’ll say oh they’re not “real” Catholics, but they are the voters who identify as Catholics, and that’s all that really matters.”

            Hmmm. Analogy time:

            Sarah Palin, back when she first started to make headlines, once famously proclaimed herself to be a feminist. The internet quite famously retorted, “You ain’t jack $#!%.” (This is the bowdlerized version.)

            I question your designation of “they are the voters who identify as Catholics, and that’s all that really matters.”

            If belonging to a demographic solely consists of self-identification as such, then I could quite happily mark myself as African-American the next time I go to the polls, even if I’m so utterly white that when I remove my shirt, the glare is often mistaken for the flash of a nuclear bomb. Further, no one could accuse me of any kind of wrongdoing, major or minor, because it’s self-identification that matters.

            In other words, if there’s no way to independently verify or compare certain statements with external standards — such as whether or no they actually understand Catholic teaching, for example — there’s no way to determine their veracity, and if the veracity of a statement cannot be verified, well…

            (Another problem with this survey — from what I can tell, it’s basically based on self-reported claims; these kinds of studies are notoriously inaccurate do to the habit of the participants to make stuff up, assuming all the qualifiers are clear and unambiguous… which I doubt in this particular case).

            “Marc has quoted before that Catholicism is the biggest religion in the world. I’m pretty sure that’s not true if you decide to exclude all of these people on the basis of not being “real” Catholics.”

            Marc is quoting a statistical, well, I guess we could call it a fact (do stats count as facts?), which he does as part and parcel of lauding the faith. He’s basically writing love songs for his faith. That’s a different issue.

            One (1) part of being Catholic is being Baptized in the Church, but that is the barest of bare minimums. There, I gave you a standard by which to judge the veracity. However, since it’s the bare bottom standard, if you insist on the 98% figure, the claim, and it’s political use, stops being “98% of Catholic Women use birth control” and more “We made wild scrapes at the lower portions of the self-identifying “Catholic” Barrel and 98% of the women we found say they were involved with — at least at one point in their past– ‘birth control’”.

            “You don’t get it both ways.”

            We’re not. Marc is making use of statistics that rely primarily on a technicality that reinforces his claims. The simple statement that there are over a billion baptized Catholics isn’t false or skewed. Technically, the Catholic Church IS the biggest religion in the world.

            The 98% figure is used, however, to make claims about how 98%, or even 87%, of Catholic Women use birth control — which is not true at all, and especially when you consider the half-dozen or so technicalities that the claim intentionally disguises.

            Marc refrains from always drawing hard lines so he can write better love poetry. I insist on drawing hard lines to keep people from looking stupid when they sling mud someone else gave them. There’s a difference.

          • Alexandra

            You’re just arguing semantics at this point.

            The protection for the minority has been given, and what matters is what the majority wants. And the majority of the voters, even the voters who identify as Catholic, want birth control with no copay.

          • Cal-J

            If by arguing semantics, you mean “correcting you where you goosestepped”, than I suppose I am arguing semantics.

            And this isn’t a voter’s majority/minority issue. This mandate isn’t even a legislative issue. This came straight from the executive branch, which I’m not entirely sure has any authority to do so, and the so-called “protection for the minority” would do a mob boss proud.

            Stick to your own, huddle in groups, let us pick you off one by one.

          • Anonymous

            the thing about that study is that they only asked women who are currently sexually active, they elminated pregnant, post-birth, and trying to get pregnant… guttanmacher lies

          • Alexandra

            That’s not lying, that’s you making false assumptions about what the statistics mean.

          • Anonymous

            guttanmacher’s an arm of PP…

          • Annony11

            No, the statistic itself doesn’t lie. However, most people who are quoting the study are leaving out the “who are not pregnant, post-partum, or trying to become pregnant” and claiming that it is 98% of ALL Catholic women. Additionally, the 98% also includes the 11% who are using “no method.” Please explain how “no method,” which I can only guess means having sex if they feel like it and not having sex if they don’t feel like it all the while not using NFP or any artificial means of contraception, qualifies as part of 98% who are using contraception.

        • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

          “Lovely. Because the women obviously have no control over their lives. It’s not like they could leave and find work elsewhere.”

          It’s interesting how many of you keep coming back to this justification: it’s perfectly okay for an employer to force religious doctrine on their employees, because the employees could always quit their job.

          I know Marc is just a high school kid. But it really suggests that none of you have any experience at all in earning your own living.

          I would like to know what your definition of “devout Catholics” is.

          Regular attendance at Mass. Though it wouldn’t surprise me if some people here think they get to sit in spiritual judgement on a kind of inner devotion, frankly, all any human measure can make is: Do you go to Mass every week you can?

          “This health insurance issue requires the institutions to make no modification to their health care provisions… EXCEPT to enable the material participation in evil, at a cost to themselves. The employers are being forced to enable what they consider evil.”

          Employers don’t get to control the religious choices of their employees. That’s a basic religious freedom.

          It is open to the Catholic Church to exhort women to have partner sex when and only when they want to become pregnant, to accept pregnancy via rape as a gift from God by a rapist, to accept death from cancer rather than abortion and chemotherapy. That’s their right in religious freedom – despite my belief that these doctrines are all evil, I accept that the Catholic hierarchy has every right to believe those things and to promote those beliefs in religion.

          But when they’re employers, they have a secular relationship with their employees: they do not get to enfoprce their religious beliefs on their employees. Their employees have every right to think that what the Catholic hierarchy believes about women is evil, and to go their own way.

          And use contraception if they choose. It’s not up to an employer to decide that their employees can’t use birth control.

          • Cal-J

            “It’s interesting how many of you keep coming back to this justification: it’s perfectly okay for an employer to force religious doctrine on their employees, because the employees could always quit their job.”

            Nobody’s forcing anybody to work for Catholic institutions. All we ask is that if you work for a Catholic institution — which doesn’t have to hire you, which doesn’t owe you JACK — that you do so on Catholic terms.

            “I know Marc is just a high school kid. But it really suggests that none of you have any experience at all in earning your own living.”

            I’m a web contractor, and like any other contractor, I live on my checks.

            You seem not to get how employer-employee relationships work. Nobody HAS to hire me. Nobody owes me anything. It’s a business contract we come to a mutual agreement to. In exchange for my services they will provide me a certain amount of money and various goods, which are stated in the contract.

            It’s not the shell game you seem to think it is. I’m not signing on in exchange for some big Surprise Package that may or may not be what I want. They tell exactly what they’ll do for me. If I find those terms to be acceptable, I will sign off on the contract, and thus our relationship begins.

            I find it mildly intriguing that you come here to complain and argue ON BEHALF of the men and women you claim to support, because you know their desires and situations so well.

            Again, just to make sure you understand, nobody is forcing anyone to work for any organization or institution. These organizations do not force their terms on their employees. Nobody is constrained into specific situations that limit their freedom.

            Your use of the word “force” is inaccurate. And, as you assume the role of the defender for those downtrodden employees, it’s starting to sound arrogant.

            “Regular attendance at Mass.”

            Cool. I would say “devout” Catholicism is the spiritual side of regular orthodoxy, but it’s not necessary.

            “Employers don’t get to control the religious choices of their employees. That’s a basic religious freedom.”

            That’s great. And the employees don’t get to control the religious choices of their employers. Another basic religious freedom.

            “It is open to the Catholic Church to exhort women to have partner sex when and only when they want to become pregnant, to accept pregnancy via rape as a gift from God by a rapist, to accept death from cancer rather than abortion and chemotherapy.”

            Except it’s not “partner sex”, it’s coitus in the specific context of marriage, which is not just loving but open to life. To close sex to life is to reduce it to a shallow act of pleasure, which certainly has no grounds demanding love and obligation from its participants. In accepting your version, we’ve reduced “sex” largely to a dangerous, self-destructive activity that breeds hidden diseases and spreads them across massive swathes across populations — in other words, you’re version of “sex” is the 21st century equivalent of the black plague waiting to happen.

            Also, the fact that the father is a rapist doesn’t diminish the INHERENT VALUE of the child. You seem to be arguing that because the father is a criminal and a monster, the child is fair game for death row or whatever purpose you deem for him or her. Funny. I didn’t realize we lived in China.

            “to accept death from cancer rather than abortion and chemotherapy”

            Uh… what? Abortion causes cancer? And we Catholic theology doesn’t “deny” chemotherapy, it classifies it as “extraordinary care”. “Ordinary Care” is classified in Catholic theology as food, water, exercise, and medical care. (This is why it’s a bad idea for hospitals to send its “Deny Me Care” patients to Catholic care houses — we refuse to let someone die because they thought they’d want to starve to death). However, while medical care is “ordinary” there are a variety of possible activities that we are not morally obligated to undergo or perform. Medical means may be ordinary, but morally extraordinary. (More here: http://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/end_of_life_decisions.htm).

            Like I said, chemotherapy is “extraordinary care” — meaning morally extraordinary. The Church lauds its use and availability, but doesn’t require it if the patient chooses to forego.

            “That’s their right in religious freedom – despite my belief that these doctrines are all evil, I accept that the Catholic hierarchy has every right to believe those things and to promote those beliefs in religion.”

            I can understand why you would think these things are evil. Whoever related Catholic teaching to you should be beat upside the head with something large and heavy, because they obviously had no idea what they were talking about.

            “But when they’re employers, they have a secular relationship with their employees: they do not get to [enforce] their religious beliefs on their employees. ”

            Again, you have yet to demonstrate that anyone is forcing religious beliefs on anyone else.

            “And use contraception if they choose. It’s not up to an employer to decide that their employees can’t use birth control.”

            Except, again, the employers aren’t deciding that they’re employees can’t use birth control. There’s a difference between saying “I will not buy or give you X,” and “You are not allowed to have X.”

          • Anonymous

            i still enjoy how you belittle marc because of his age…

          • Annony11

            This amuses me as well, especially since he continues to claim that Marc is in high school. I also wonder how old EdinburghEye is but I doubt that he will answer as that might prove that there are older and possibly wiser posters than he.

        • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

          (trying to keep the thread from going too narrow to read)

          “Nobody’s forcing anybody to work for Catholic institutions. All we ask is that if you work for a Catholic institution — which doesn’t have to hire you, which doesn’t owe you JACK — that you do so on Catholic terms.”

          Ah. So the people who work for Catholic institutions, must expect to abide by Catholic doctrine, whether or not they are Catholic. Their employer, the Church, as you so tolerantly put it, doesn’t “owe them JACK” – the Church doesn’t value their labour, respect them as individuals, or even grant them basic privacy to make their own decisions with their doctor.

          And I take it you ALSO support the idea that a Catholic working for a Muslim institution must do so on Muslim terms. No buying kosher meat with the wages so generously provided – halal only, or get your wages stopped.

          It’s amazing to me how little some Americans value their Constitutional right to freedom of religion.

          “I’m a web contractor, and like any other contractor, I live on my checks.”

          Ah. So because you don’t get employer-provided healthcare, you don’t give a damn about anyone who does.

          Very Christian. I’m sure there’s something about that in the gospels – “Thou shalt not give a damn about your neighbor’s illness”. Oh wait, no, there’s not.

          “Nobody HAS to hire me. Nobody owes me anything. It’s a business contract we come to a mutual agreement to. In exchange for my services they will provide me a certain amount of money and various goods, which are stated in the contract. “

          You seem not to get how employer-employee relationships work. I mean, really not get it. I’ve encountered this kind of thinking before, in the same kind of naively-privileged thinking, and I know that only time and experience will teach you better.

          “I find it mildly intriguing that you come here to complain and argue ON BEHALF of the men and women you claim to support, because you know their desires and situations so well.”

          Well, yes. Much better than you do! You’re evidently naive and privileged enough that you honestly think you’re negotiating on equal terms with your employers. Someday you will learn better. I doubt if today is that day.

          “Again, just to make sure you understand, nobody is forcing anyone to work for any organization or institution. These organizations do not force their terms on their employees. Nobody is constrained into specific situations that limit their freedom.”

          Babykid, people need to eat. And pay their rent (or their mortgage). People need to support their children. And sadly, in the US, people need employer-provided health insurance. That you think this isn’t a “need”, that people can freely pick and choose between employers, tells me a lot about your age and health and privilege. Grownups understand these issues: you don’t.

          “That’s great. And the employees don’t get to control the religious choices of their employers. Another basic religious freedom.”

          Who exactly is demanding that they get to “control the religious choices of their employers”? No one. No one at all. Straw man, and a silly one.

          The point of the Catholic hierarchy’s opposition to the healthcare amendment is that they want to control the religious choices of their employees.

          This healthcare amendment does not affect the religious choices of anyone in the Catholic hierarchy: every bishop who has sex is still free not to use a condom, assuming his partner consents to that.

          “Except it’s not “partner sex”, it’s coitus in the specific context of marriage, which is not just loving but open to life. To close sex to life is to reduce it to a shallow act of pleasure, which certainly has no grounds demanding love and obligation from its participants. “

          That may be your belief. And you’re entitled to it. And if you can convince someone else to have sex with you on that basis – no birth control, no protection against your herpes or their HIV – then as consenting adults, that’s fine.

          You don’t have any right to impose that belief on anyone else.

          “In accepting your version, we’ve reduced “sex” largely to a dangerous, self-destructive activity that breeds hidden diseases and spreads them across massive swathes across populations — in other words, you’re version of “sex” is the 21st century equivalent of the black plague waiting to happen.”

          That’s an interesting take on the Catholic Church’s rather public opposition to condoms.

          The only other time I’ve heard of a Catholic claiming that condoms “cause” disease, it was a priest who used to preach sermons of that kind to his congregation in Uganda, empowering every HIV+ man in his parish to go home and re-infect his wife, because using a condom to protect her would be EVIL.

          The Catholic Church’s belief that a woman whose husband is HIV+ really ought to catch AIDS from her husband because because because CONDOMS ARE BAD is one of the most evil doctrines of the church. Seriously.

          “Also, the fact that the father is a rapist doesn’t diminish the INHERENT VALUE of the child. “

          Ah, the good old Catholic belief that women have no inherent value.

          There was a 14-year-old girl in Ireland many years ago who had been repeatedly raped by her father and her uncles, and was pregnant by one of them. She was suicidal and desperate to have an abortion. The kindly Catholic Church felt that this child ought to be forced to have the baby who would either be her half-sister or her cousin – what did it matter what trauma the forced pregnancy would put her through? What mattered was forcing her to have the baby. She herself had no inherent value.

          Fortunately, the secular authorities intervened: the girl became a test case of the right of any EU citizen to leave their country, have an abortion elsewhere, and return home.

          “And we Catholic theology doesn’t “deny” chemotherapy, it classifies it as “extraordinary care”.”

          While exhorting women to be saints and die of cancer, because somehow that would be better than having an abortion and then starting chemotherapy and living. Yeah.

          I can understand why you would think these things are evil. Whoever related Catholic teaching to you should be beat upside the head with something large and heavy, because they obviously had no idea what they were talking about.

          Er: People on this thread and Marc’s other threads are the Catholics who most recently told me that faithful married couples should be celibate if they don’t want any more children, because Catholics don’t need sex like secular atheists do. I’ve heard this repeatedly from anti-contraception Catholics – it’s by no means an unusual trope. You yourself are one of the Catholics who has just expressed the view that a rapist’s victim ought to regard the pregnancy as a gift from God via her rapist. Go, beat yourself over the head with something large and heavy. And as you yourself noted, Catholics actually do exhort women with cancer to deny themselves survival via chemotherapy – to die rather than have an abortion.

          Certainly the Catholics commenting on Marc’s blog are a tiny, angry minority. But these evil doctrines are what they’re all about.

          “Except, again, the employers aren’t deciding that they’re employees can’t use birth control. There’s a difference between saying “I will not buy or give you X,” and “You are not allowed to have X.””

          These employers are not being asked to either “buy or give” birth control to women. They’re merely being instructed to stop saying to their female employees via their health insurance “You are not allowed to have birth control”. And it’s precisely that which Marc is complaining about.

          • Cal-J

            “Ah. So the people who work for Catholic institutions, must expect to abide by Catholic doctrine, whether or not they are Catholic… the Church doesn’t value their labour, respect them as individuals, or even grant them basic privacy to make their own decisions with their doctor. And I take it you ALSO support the idea that a Catholic working for a Muslim institution must do so on Muslim terms. No buying kosher meat with the wages so generously provided – halal only, or get your wages stopped.”

            Ah, excellent! You’re sophomoric efforts have highlighted a small but important distinction. That means you’re learning.

            You suggest that, were I working for a Muslim, according to my principles, I should not but kosher meat with the “wages so generously provided”. Not so.

            In an employee-employer contract, an employee grants services. In exchange, the employer grants wages, and possibly benefits. The wages earned may be spent in any manner the employee so chooses. In my case, I am entirely free to buy and consume kosher meat with the wages I earned, for they are mine. On top of that, my Muslim employers may also provide free benefits for me, including health care, to keep me in good working condition.

            “Ah. So because you don’t get employer-provided healthcare, you don’t give a damn about anyone who does.”

            I can totally see how you came to that conclusion. It’s so simple, so logical.

            …Okay, that was a lie; you make no sense. Care to elaborate?

            “You seem not to get how employer-employee relationships work. I mean, really not get it. I’ve encountered this kind of thinking before, in the same kind of naively-privileged thinking, and I know that only time and experience will teach you better.”

            Because you can’t be bothered to?

            “Well, yes. Much better than you do! You’re evidently naive and privileged enough that you honestly think you’re negotiating on equal terms with your employers. Someday you will learn better. I doubt if today is that day.”

            So my potential employers have an obligation to hire me?

            “Babykid, people need to eat. And pay their rent (or their mortgage). People need to support their children. And sadly, in the US, people need employer-provided health insurance. That you think this isn’t a “need”, that people can freely pick and choose between employers, tells me a lot about your age and health and privilege. Grownups understand these issues: you don’t.”

            ‘It’s okay, you’ll understand when you’re older.’

            You sound like the father character in Calvin and Hobbes who makes stuff up on the fly when Calvin asks him a question he has no idea how to answer.

            “Who exactly is demanding that they get to “control the religious choices of their employers”? No one. No one at all. Straw man, and a silly one.”

            Hey, the mandate is ordering the employers to shift. It’s not asking the employees to do anything.

            “The point of the Catholic hierarchy’s opposition to the healthcare amendment is that they want to control the religious choices of their employees.

            We have no obligation to hand you a gun when you demand the right to shoot yourself.

            “That may be your belief. And you’re entitled to it. And if you can convince someone else to have sex with you on that basis – no birth control, no protection against your herpes or their HIV – then as consenting adults, that’s fine. You don’t have any right to impose that belief on anyone else.”

            Oh, my God, I can’t believe I didn’t see it before. The Catholic Church forces people into its employ. We enslave the masses. How could I have been so blind?

            “The only other time I’ve heard of a Catholic claiming that condoms “cause” disease, it was a priest who used to preach sermons of that kind to his congregation in Uganda, empowering every HIV+ man in his parish to go home and re-infect his wife, because using a condom to protect her would be EVIL.”

            So condoms are fool-proof protections against sexually transmitted infection? I was under the impression that a number of them could be transferred from groin to groin contract, where the condom covers only the member specifically. You know, stuff like HPV.

            “Ah, the good old Catholic belief that women have no inherent value. There was a 14-year-old girl in Ireland many years ago who had been repeatedly raped by her father and her uncles, and was pregnant by one of them. She was suicidal and desperate to have an abortion. The kindly Catholic Church felt that this child ought to be forced to have the baby who would either be her half-sister or her cousin – what did it matter what trauma the forced pregnancy would put her through? What mattered was forcing her to have the baby. She herself had no inherent value. Fortunately, the secular authorities intervened: the girl became a test case of the right of any EU citizen to leave their country, have an abortion elsewhere, and return home.”

            Okay, just so we’re clear, if one person’s existance — their existance — causes another distress, it’s okay to kill them?

            “While exhorting women to be saints and die of cancer, because somehow that would be better than having an abortion and then starting chemotherapy and living. Yeah.”

            Wait. Wait wait wait. “Dying of cancer” versus “having an abortion and then starting chemotherapy and living”? Did… did you just compare pregnancy to a cancer?

            “People on this thread and Marc’s other threads are the Catholics who most recently told me that faithful married couples should be celibate if they don’t want any more children, because Catholics don’t need sex like secular atheists do. I’ve heard this repeatedly from anti-contraception Catholics – it’s by no means an unusual trope.”

            Secular atheists “need” sex? “Need”?

            Wow.

            “You yourself are one of the Catholics who has just expressed the view that a rapist’s victim ought to regard the pregnancy as a gift from God via her rapist.”

            I didn’t say that. I said the child’s life is worth preserving even if the father is evil. The child has committed no fault. What problem is solved by killing the child?

            “And as you yourself noted, Catholics actually do exhort women with cancer to deny themselves survival via chemotherapy – to die rather than have an abortion.”

            ‘Like I said, chemotherapy is “extraordinary care” — meaning morally extraordinary. The Church lauds its use and availability, but doesn’t require it if the patient chooses to forego.’

            ‘The Church lauds its use and availability, but doesn’t require it if the patient chooses to forego.’

            Uh… Alexandra? Vision? I’m confused. Edinburgh accused me of saying something I’m pretty sure I didn’t. And could someone explain to me how pregnancy is comparable to cancer? Please?

            “These employers are not being asked to either “buy or give” birth control to women.”

            Uh, yes, they are. They are being told specifically to fund their employees’ use of birth control.

          • Anonymous

            (Replying to Cal-J, keeping it readable)

            On top of that, my Muslim employers may also provide free benefits for me, including health care, to keep me in good working condition.

            Technically, your Muslim employer works as an intermediary, using all of his/her employees as a collective bargaining unit to receive discounted rates from the insurance company. Technically, the premiums are part of YOUR salary that the employer is spending FOR YOU.


            So condoms are fool-proof protections against sexually transmitted infection? I was under the impression that a number of them could be transferred from groin to groin contract, where the condom covers only the member specifically.

            I’ve pointed this out before. In this scenario, the priest is speaking to the unconverted, and they’re not perfect people, they’re not going to stop overnight, or even in a week, doing what they’ve been doing for years: screwing. Some measure of protection is better than none at all, at least until they can be brought into the fold…right?


            Okay, just so we’re clear, if one person’s existance — their existance — causes another distress, it’s okay to kill them?

            Not everyone considers abortion killing a person, and if you can’t approach that argument with at least an understanding of that (i.e. – not just keep repeating “it’s murder”), you’re not going to get anywhere.
            On the point – It’s obvious you’re either a guy or not been preggers. Being pregnant is a 24-hour-a-day, 40-week experience. Every moment of every day that girl is reminded of the rape she went through, and nothing can stop it. Every morning sickness, every feeling of exhaustion, every new ache takes her back to that rape. It’s pseudo-stalking on a massive scale. I don’t blame her for wanting it to stop.

            Secular atheists “need” sex? “Need”?

            I believe EdinburghEye is quoting the other posters, who are probably speaking from a position of superiority. “WE (as Catholics) don’t need sex as much as you silly seculars…”


            I’m confused. Edinburgh accused me of saying something I’m pretty sure I didn’t. And could someone explain to me how pregnancy is comparable to cancer? Please?

            I believe EdinburghEye is referring to a situation where a woman becomes pregnant and either already has, or is diagnosed with, cancer. The only way for her to survive is to abort the baby and begin chemo immediately, otherwise, beginning chemo after birth is too little, too late. Thus, dooming the mother at the expense of a child.
            A bit specific and narrow example, to be sure.

          • Cal-J

            “Technically, your Muslim employer works as an intermediary, using all of his/her employees as a collective bargaining unit to receive discounted rates from the insurance company. Technically, the premiums are part of YOUR salary that the employer is spending FOR YOU.”

            Without whom we would pay higher rates. I would say that’s something to be thankful for, not to be choosy over after the agreement.

          • Cal-J

            Sorry about that. Jumped the gun.

            “Some measure of protection is better than none at all, at least until they can be brought into the fold…right?”

            Well, no. Some measure of protection WOULD be better than nothing… if it didn’t breed the sense of dangerous negligence that it does when it promises (and later fails to deliver), which thus spreads the dangerous behavior.

            A measure of protection whose promise to keep you safe without you having to worry – and when that promise is a lie – is far more dangerous than actual exposure to the threat in question. You can’t pretend there’s nothing to worry about.

            “Not everyone considers abortion killing a person…”

            Well, this is where we establish the definition of personhood, then.

            “…and if you can’t approach that argument with at least an understanding of that (i.e. – not just keep repeating “it’s murder”), you’re not going to get anywhere.””

            No, I’m not. So let’s talk about it. What is your definition of personhood, by which I mean, fully participant in the natural rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness?

            “I don’t blame her for wanting it to stop.”

            Neither do I. But — if I’m right about the nature of what she’s carrying in her womb — the act is tantamount to murder.

            ” “WE (as Catholics) don’t need sex as much as you silly seculars…””

            That doesn’t counter my point. The human person doesn’t “need” sex in any “secular” sense beyond the propagation of the species… which is an end that contraception thwarts.

            “A bit specific and narrow example, to be sure.”

            Well, I wish he would’ve been a bit more upfront about it than making vague allegations. I had to guess, and you had to guess further. :P

  • Rosemary

    LOVE the Ents.

  • http://www.facebook.com/judy.neslon.capistrant Judy Capistrant

    Great “letter”! Thanks for keepin’ on keepin’ on : ) Christ’s peace!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dnaaden Douglas J. Naaden

    You hit the nail on the head!

  • Barbara Fryman

    Yeah, I have my own letter to Mr. Obama in the works. After hearing how he views fertility and pregnancy I kinda feel sorry for the dude. I mean, he learned that from somewhere and the circumstances of his own birth weren’t ideal. What the hell did his mother tell him?

  • Alexandra

    This issue is so very very different than forcing someone a Jewish restaurant to sell pork. The analogy doesn’t even make sense. The correct analogy would be enforcing that Jewish employers can’t dock their employee’s pay because they don’t want to give them any bacon money.

    This law is thing same as not allowing Jehovah’s Witnesses to deny their employees health insurance that covers blood transfusions. Or not allowing a vegetarian Buddhist employer to deny coverage for any drug tested on animals. Or Christian Scientists refusing health care coverage at all.

    Religious freedom has to stop somewhere, otherwise it’s just a get out of jail free card.

    • Aleg1

      Except that things like blood transfusions, drug tests and most of the other things covered are 1) actually necessary to fix something that is broken, not break something that is working fine and 2) quite expensive. Birth control is not expensive and could be easily purchased by an employee quite easily on their own dime. There is no reason to call contraception ‘necessary’ for good health. That is absurd.

      • Alexandra

        Both of those things are untrue.

        Most women use birth control not only for prevention of pregnancy, but for the numerous other health benefits it has. The medical community has come to the consensus that it is an important part of healthcare. The religious community doesn’t get to decide whether or not it is necessary or good.

        Birth control costs about $60-100/month without a copay. That’s not cheap. I did the math the other day, even with good health insurance I have spent $5k on birth control in my life. The majority of the time I wasn’t even sexually active, it was for other reasons.

        • Deacon James Pearce

          Alexandra,

          Most women who use birth control _state_ that they use it for other reasons _in addition to_ birth control, but the primary purpose is still birth control. For many of those medical purposes, there are other medications that do not have the effects of birth control. Even so, the Catholic Church is not in disagreement that medications which have “birth control” as a secondary effect, i.e. are not prescribed for birth control, but for some other absolutely necessary purpose, and for which there is no other medication available, are morally licit. But birth control medication, prescribed and taken for the primary purpose of birth control, though it has a salutary secondary effect, is not morally licit.

          The medical community that you speak of has come to no such consensus. There are many in the medical community that claim that birth control in itself is an important, and some say necessary, part of health care. There are others within the medical community who disagree. These are, then, disputed claims, and birth control qua birth control is not a _necessary_ part of health care.

          Yes, the “religious community” does get to decide whether it is _good_ in the moral sense. That is a part of religion and faith. Our faith should inform our moral decisions. If it does not, you are not integrating your faith into your life – which is your choice, but one that makes you a divided person, which I would argue is not a good!

          That you have spent money on something that you have desired is your choice. I would say that you are exercising your purchasing power to buy something that has been used for an immoral purpose – in that you did use it for birth control. You did not specify the other reasons for purchasing the medication, and so no judgement can be made there.

          • Alexandra

            Oh well I’m pleased that I didn’t state my reasons, because I don’t need you judging me.

            There will always be people who dissent in opinion, but that does not make the issue a disputed one. There is a retrovirus expert that thinks that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, scientists who don’t accept evolution, and long after smoking had been shown to cause cancer, many health professionals continued to deny it. The same thing happens with the birth control issue.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/UNPKICSZDQ2POYY3YSKUMG22RY Colleen

          A 2011 study says that 14% of pill users take it exclusively for non-contraceptive purposes. http://www.guttmacher.org/media/nr/2011/11/15/index.html I certainly wouldn’t call that “most”. Sure, some women use it for both medical treatment and pregnancy prevention, but from a Catholic standpoint any contraceptive intent is immoral.

          Also, I used to work at a retail pharmacy where some generic birth controls are $20/month for individuals with no insurance. Sure, that’s not free, but when I hear individuals complain that this is expensive while they’re talking on their iPhone or buying two packs of cigarettes, I’m sure they can afford this.

          • Alexandra

            That is so judgmental. There are many many women who struggle to make $20/month and aren’t smoking or using fancy phones. Way to generalize.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/UNPKICSZDQ2POYY3YSKUMG22RY Colleen

            For those women who can’t afford that $20/month they can always find a free clinic where they can get their pills at no cost. Or are you trying to say that Catholics should violate their conciences and pay for the birth control so that PP doesn’t have to?

            Oh, and I’d like to point out that we’re talking about employer-paid insurance here. You know, which means they have a job. With benefits. So for women who have a full time job with benefits who are struggling to make $20/month…well, not to sound harsh but they should probably get another job. And for those women who AREN’T insured, well, 1. that’s not the issue here and 2. they could always sign up for welfare insurance which often DOES pay for birth control, at least if there’s a medical indication for it. So no, I’m not trying to generalize. In fact quite the opposite, I’m actually only looking at the population in question.

          • Alexandra

            You’re completely out of touch with what it is to be the working poor.

          • Cal-J

            The more I listen the more I get the sense that the working poor are in radical need of unbridled nookie.

          • Anonymous

            good argument

          • Cal-J

            Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

            U cleva man.

          • Musiciangirl591

            free clinics and PP are two totally different things…

          • Anonymous

            glad you think so, i live to please you…

          • Cal-J

            Planned Parenthood may sponsor a number of “free clinics”.

            There are also a number of “free clinics” that have nothing to do Planned Parenthood and indeed oppose their methods.

            To judge from the fact that Planned Parenthood started taking potshots at crisis pregnancy care centers not too long ago, I would say that the feeling is mutual.

        • Cal-J

          There are several problems with your statement of the issues. The first is that contraceptives and birth control are maintained to be contraceptives and birth control, things which are used specifically to prevent conception and childbirth.

          This isn’t about providing a specific form of hormone concentration (i.e. the “pill”) to people whose hormonal cycles need regulation (which I assume is one of the “numerous health benefits” you neglected to mention, and frankly the only one with which I am familiar, if there are others, please feel free to list them). This is about the provision of the capacity to prevent childbirth within the specific context of ongoing sexual activity.

          Secondly, appealing to communities does no one any good, even ones like “medical” and (oh, the horror) “religious” communities, neither of which agree on anything with ease. On top of that, the “medical community” hasn’t come to a consensus on JACK about this issue. There’s always the crowd that no one likes that points out widespread, available contraception, which is marketed and advertised as a “Get Out of Jail Free” card, leads almost necessarily to widespread, available infection.

          The “religious community”, in this particular case, the Catholic community, has maintained that thwarting the activities of sex leads to a number of disastrous consequences. Here are some of them: the lowering of moral standards, a rise in infidelity (birth control reduces sexual congress to a mere act of physical pleasure, why should anyone bond over such shallow activity?), women being reduced to objects of physical pleasure, government attempts to “fix” the problem, and on top of that, all that widespread, available infection I mentioned.

          As such, birth control qua birth control is a sorry excuse for a safety net that grants people a false sense of security which leads them to engage in an increasingly destructive pattern of behaviors that may spread all sorts of issues through society due to the pretense that it’s all in good fun (such as fathers taking their daughters to the hospital and discovering they have genital warts along their throat because the father caught and shared a STD while he fooled around before marrying the girl’s mother). We know the behaviors are dangerous, YOU know they’re dangerous, and yet you insist – quite importantly – that we foot the bill so you people can destroy yourselves.

          This is our outrage.

          • Anonymous

            “This is about the provision of the capacity to prevent childbirth within the specific context of ongoing sexual activity.”

            Um, no. This is about providing a medial service to someone who has a medical reason to use it. Anything beyond that is an invasion of privacy. Saying, “OMG, you’re going to screw everything in sight, aren’t you!” when someone asks for the pill is short-sighted and silly.

            “There’s always the crowd that no one likes that points out widespread, available contraception, which is marketed and advertised as a “Get Out of Jail Free” card, leads almost necessarily to widespread, available infection.”

            Wait, what? Where are these widespread available contraceptives? Also, you don’t get to argue about contraceptives CAUSING “widespread, available infections”, when the Catholic Church is arguing against contraceptives that PREVENT those same infections (re:Africa, Philippines, etc.).

            The “religious community”, in this particular case, the Catholic community, has maintained that thwarting the activities of sex leads to a number of disastrous consequences. Here are some of them: the lowering of moral standards, a rise in infidelity (birth control reduces sexual congress to a mere act of physical pleasure, why should anyone bond over such shallow activity?), women being reduced to objects of physical pleasure, government attempts to “fix” the problem, and on top of that, all that widespread, available infection I mentioned.

            Ah, I think you mis-typed there…Your argument here is that NOT sexing leads to all of these problems (which I kind of agree with, incidentally). As for the argument you were trying to make:
            1. Shocker: society is no longer in lock-step with the Catholic Church, or even Chrisitanity as a whole when it comes to “moral standards.” The fact that it’s the 21st Century might have something to do with that.
            2. Infidelity will happen whether or not birth control is involved, sad to say.
            3. An organization whose upper hierarchy is made up entirely of men doesn’t get to wax poetic about women being reduced to ANYTHING.
            4. See my argument above.

            “As such, birth control qua birth control is a sorry excuse for a safety net that grants people a false sense of security which leads them to engage in an increasingly destructive pattern of behaviors that may spread all sorts of issues through society due to the pretense that it’s all in good fun (such as fathers taking their daughters to the hospital and discovering they have genital warts along their throat because the father caught and shared a STD while he fooled around before marrying the girl’s mother). We know the behaviors are dangerous, YOU know they’re dangerous, and yet you insist – quite importantly – that we foot the bill so you people can destroy yourselves.”

            Sorry, but “the pill” isn’t an instant-apostate/sexual deviant creator. Your example makes absolutely zero sense, and is simply a “behold the horror!” straw-man argument. What we are asking is that the Catholic Church behave like every other employer in the US in providing health care.

            That is my outrage.

          • Cal-J

            “Um, no. This is about providing a medial service to someone who has a medical reason to use it. ”

            So why do we describe them as the catch-all birth control? The usage of the word implies contraceptive intent and purpose.

            That you point out that certain contraceptives have alternate uses besides contraception is obvious — that other options exist that do not have the side effect of birth control is also obvious. And yet you insist on the “birth control” option where other options are available. And you insist we

            “Wait, what? Where are these widespread available contraceptives?”

            http://www.myscienceproject.org/condom-prices.html
            This post is a follow-up to a project to see how many condoms one could wear at a time. It was suggested that one should buy in bulk. Suggested shopping locations include Wal-Greens, Rite-Aid, Safe-Way, and online. I would propose that suggests widespread availability.

            “Also, you don’t get to argue about contraceptives CAUSING “widespread, available infections”, when the Catholic Church is arguing against contraceptives that PREVENT those same infections (re:Africa, Philippines, etc.).”

            I didn’t say contraception “causes” infection. I said widespread contraception “leads to” infection. You misunderstood. My argument is that the idea that one does not need to care about consequences, an idea that contraception propagates, causes some people to act increasingly recklessly, as they think they don’t have to care about consequences.

            Combine that with the fact that contraception only provides a success RATE (I’ve seen generous estimates of 80%), and that, according to basic probability, that success rate diminishes with repetition (80% success rate x 2 uses = 64% total success rate; 80% success rate x 3 uses = 52% total success rate), and we suddenly are dealing with the idea that increased contraceptive uses may help propagate sexual infection, which is very good at hiding itself, even without contraception and the false security it offers.

            “Ah, I think you mis-typed there…Your argument here is that NOT sexing leads to all of these problems (which I kind of agree with, incidentally).”

            Forgive me, but could you clarify this sentence? I’m not sure what you’re saying.

            “Shocker: society is no longer in lock-step with the Catholic Church, or even Chrisitanity as a whole when it comes to “moral standards.””

            GASP.

            “The fact that it’s the 21st Century might have something to do with that.”

            To which I rejoinder with aid:

            “The real objection to modernism is simply that it is a form of snobbishness. It is an attempt to crush a rational opponent not by reason, but by some mystery of superiority, by hinting that one is especially up to date or particularly ‘in the know’. To flaunt the fact that we have had all the last books from Germany is simply vulgar. To introduce into philosophical discussions a sneer at a creed’s antiquity is like introducing a sneer at a lady’s age. It is caddish because it is irrelevant. The pure modernist is merely a snob; he cannot bear to be a month behind the fashion.” (Chesterton, All Things Considered, p. 5).

            “Infidelity will happen whether or not birth control is involved, sad to say.”

            Of course it will, old bean. We’re too sophisticated to be upset when somebody cheats on their romance. And we ESPECIALLY shouldn’t be concerned when the ability to make it easier arises.

            “An organization whose upper hierarchy is made up entirely of men doesn’t get to wax poetic about women being reduced to ANYTHING.”

            No of course not. A men’s club isn’t allowed to object when women are treated as sex slaves, because since they’re being reduced to something, it means OFF LIMITS. Same goes with porn.

            “Sorry, but “the pill” isn’t an instant-apostate/sexual deviant creator.”

            I had to go back to figure out what you were talking about. You were a little late with this one. I mentioned the pill specifically in the context of hormonal regulation; I was referring to contraception in general at this point.

            And I never said anything happened instantly, just like I never mentioned a causal relationship.

            “Your example makes absolutely zero sense, and is simply a “behold the horror!” straw-man argument.””

            GASP. It’s horrific. Thank you for rebutting me so well.

            “What we are asking is that the Catholic Church behave like every other employer in the US in providing health care.”

            I understand that. What we are saying is “No”, and not least because we don’t consider contraception to be “health care”.

          • Anonymous

            This is fun, but we’re running out of column space! I’m replying to Cal-J below so that this is readable!

            So why do we describe them as the catch-all birth control?

            Because that’s what they were originally intended for. However, the various other medical uses haven’t changed the moniker of what was originally “birth control.” Besides, it’s easier to say than “hormonal balancing agent.”

            And yet you insist on the “birth control” option where other options are available. And you insist we

            I assume you mean “pay for it.” Other options may be available, but none are as widespread, or as financially accessible as the pill.

            I would propose that suggests widespread availability.

            Funny, but we’re arguing about the pill, not how many condoms one can wear at once. Which is kind of funny to think about. Painful, but funny.

            I didn’t say contraception “causes” infection. I said widespread contraception “leads to” infection. You misunderstood. My argument is that the idea that one does not need to care about consequences, an idea that contraception propagates, causes some people to act increasingly recklessly, as they think they don’t have to care about consequences.

            Again, you’re arguing here that there is an inherent mental shift when the pill is used/available. Have you so little faith in your employees? Also, how is “leads to” different from “causes”? They both imply a cause/effect paradigm…

            Combine that with the fact that contraception only provides a success RATE (I’ve seen generous estimates of 80%), and that, according to basic probability, that success rate diminishes with repetition (80% success rate x 2 uses = 64% total success rate; 80% success rate x 3 uses = 52% total success rate), and we suddenly are dealing with the idea that increased contraceptive uses may help propagate sexual infection, which is very good at hiding itself, even without contraception and the false security it offers.

            The pill doesn’t prevent infection from STDs. At all. Also, that’s fuzzy math, that while statistically accurate, doesn’t reflect reality.

            “Ah, I think you mis-typed there…”
            Forgive me, but could you clarify this sentence? I’m not sure what you’re saying.

            You said: “The “religious community”, in this particular case, the Catholic community, has maintained that THWARTING THE ACTIVITIES OF SEX leads to a number of disastrous consequences.”
            Thwart: to stop. You said that stopping sex leads to disaster.

            “Shocker: society is no longer in lock-step with the Catholic Church, or even Chrisitanity as a whole when it comes to “moral standards.””
            GASP.

            But you’re asking us to “get back in line.”

            To which I rejoinder with aid:
            “The real objection to modernism [...] he cannot bear to be a month behind the fashion.” (Chesterton, All Things Considered, p. 5).

            Maybe I AM a bit of a snob, but I can’t help but think that following 2000 year old rules verbatim is a little backwards. Especially since the Church is picking and choosing which rules to follow. You’re wearing wool blend cloths, you’re not trimming your beard according to the Bible, you’re not stoning women who have sex before marriage. You’ve adjusted for all these things that don’t work in modern society, so why cling so fiercely to this, too? Why let the message of love and peace get lost behind all this political brouhaha?

            And we ESPECIALLY shouldn’t be concerned when the ability to make it easier arises.

            So you also get upset when someone has a lot of business trips, thus making it easier to cheat?

            Same goes with porn.

            Porn != sex slaves. What happens between two consenting people is between them and whatever deity they may or may not believe in.

            “Sorry, but “the pill” isn’t an instant-apostate/sexual deviant creator.”

            I was referring to contraception in general at this point.

            Contraception is a “you’re gonna do it anyway, you horny people, so try not to screw up the rest of your life because of it” device.

            “What we are asking is that the Catholic Church behave like every other employer in the US in providing health care.”

            I understand that. What we are saying is “No”, and not least because we don’t consider contraception to be “health care”.

            Okay, I can understand that. Just don’t ask for ANY state or federal funding when you DO say “No.”

          • Cal-J

            Update: AAAAAHHHHHH I want to beat the internet with a chicken. I was only a couple sentences away when I changed tabs to check on something and WHAM, page auto-refresh. Lost everything. Starting over. EPIC SAD FACE. (Sorry this took so long, by the way; went to bed early last night).

            Unfortunately, the commenting system is never sure when it wants to put new posts above or below, so I’m replying to you to keep things fluid. Sorry. (Want to exchange e-mails? We could have more wiggle room there). And so…

            “Because that’s what they were originally intended for. However, the various other medical uses haven’t changed the moniker of what was originally “birth control.” Besides, it’s easier to say than “hormonal balancing agent.””

            That’s not going to work. “Birth control” denotes contraceptive intent and purpose. Hormonal Balancing Agent is more accurate, but if it’s too much trouble, let’s go with HBA. To use “birth control” for non-contraceptive purposes is to misuse the word and to use it widespread and offhandedly is to weaken language.

            “I assume you mean “pay for it.” Other options may be available, but none are as widespread, or as financially accessible as the pill.”

            I seem to recall you demanding to know: “Wait, what? Where are these widespread available contraceptives?”

            Well, Old Bean, I’d wager that between my bulk-bought condoms and your widespread, financially accessible pill, we’ve found them! Jolly day! By jove, wait until those old stuffed shirts at the Academy sees this!

            “Again, you’re arguing here that there is an inherent mental shift when the pill is used/available. Have you so little faith in your employees?”

            It’s not that I have so little faith in “my employees”, it’s that contraception itself has “little faith” in them. As you yourself said:

            ‘Contraception is a “you’re gonna do it anyway, you horny people, so try not to screw up the rest of your life because of it” device.’

            You stated the principle, and I acknowledged it. We both agree that contraception, and especially widespread contraception, implicitly regards people as helpless, self-destroying creatures. It denies people their proper dignity by treating them as base animals.

            “Also, how is “leads to” different from “causes”? They both imply a cause/effect paradigm…”

            I made a difference between “cause” and “leads to” because “cause” implies a direct causal relationship, whereas my proposition is a degree or two less direct. I’m simply husbanding my language.

            “The pill doesn’t prevent infection from STDs. At all.”

            Which potentially makes it even more dangerous.

            “Also, that’s fuzzy math, that while statistically accurate, doesn’t reflect reality.”

            The math isn’t the point. The point is to illustrate that when measures with a chance of failure are repeated, the chances of that failure increase exponentially. The math was a simplistic illustration. 4 straight uses of a condom without anything bad happening = 60% chance of You Wish.

            Also, what reality am I not reflecting? Am I wrong when I say that STIs, which are notoriously difficult to trace, are NOT spread through rampant heedless promiscuity? Because if that’s what you’re saying…

            o.O

            Also, to anyone who objects to my usage of the term “promiscuity” –> I made you a simple flowchart:

            Contraception -> Sexual congress is now simply an act of shallow pleasure.
            An act of shallow pleasure -> Has no binding property on the individuals who engage in it.
            Unbound individuals attempting coitus -> Hey, that girl/boy over there is sexier than my current partner. And so is s/he.
            Multiple sexual partners, lack of bonding mechanism -> Promiscuity. Possibly heartbreak.
            Possible heartbreak –> Possible resentful masses, neverending spiral.

            “…THWARTING THE ACTIVITIES OF SEX…”

            Oh, that? Okay. My bad. Let me clarify.

            The point we try to make is that sex has two aspects/purposes: the procreative and the unitive, which are intimately joined through something we call the “openness to life”, the willingness to forge one flesh. (The “activities of sex” is a poor word choice, I admit — see what happens when I don’t husband my language)?

            Contraception in its intended use thwarts the first purpose, and in reducing the act to one of shallow pleasure (see above), it thwarts the second. I was saying that, the thwarting of both aspects of sex was a bad thing.

            ‘But you’re asking us to “get back in line.”‘

            We’re asking, perhaps even insisting, you to take better care of yourself. Not to get “back in line”. And you have every right to say No, which many of you perhaps even insist on doing. But the government is ORDERING us to get “back in line”, which is why we have this issue.

            “I can’t help but think that following 2000 year old rules verbatim is a little backwards.”

            I can understand that – I grew up in California, where that thinking is common. However, that thinking is flawed. From what I can tell you use the AGE of a law or rule in deciding its value, and as the justification to abolish it. This is bad thinking in general, and leads to situations in which Wednesday may be prefered to Tuesday because it’s Wednesday (that admittedly poor paraphrase of Chesterton belongs to a quote of his that I failed to find — which I would’ve used if I could find it, but I couldn’t so I used the long one instead). What we need to do is consider the morality and prudence of each law and ruling to see if it is good or not.

            “You’re wearing wool blend cloths, you’re not trimming your beard according to the Bible, you’re not stoning women who have sex before marriage. You’ve adjusted for all these things that don’t work in modern society…”

            The “modern society” angle is like telling your grandfather, “You’re old, so shut up and go away.” It makes you look neither intelligent nor mature.

            The first two laws were customs of fashion and culture. When the culture diminished, they disappeared. (And I do SO trim my beard. Shut up.) The third law was abolished when the focus shifted from punishing people for bad behavior to redeeming them, loving them, and – this is important – treating them with dignity.

            “…so why cling so fiercely to this, too? Why let the message of love and peace get lost behind all this political brouhaha?”

            Because the message of love and peace is about the love and peace of GOD. The Gospel is not the message of vague okayness.

            “So you also get upset when someone has a lot of business trips, thus making it easier to cheat?”

            That’s a red herring and you know it.

            “Porn != sex slaves.”

            I never said porn = sex slaves. I said both activities diminish the inherent value of human beings in a disgusting perversion of sexuality and are thus COMPARABLE.

            “What happens between two consenting people is between them and whatever deity they may or may not believe in.”

            Okay, pornography is NOT between “two consenting people”. Pornography is the exploitation and perversion of the sexual beauty of a human being in a visual medium for the purposes of profit. Assuming it’s not “free” porn, which is really the same thing, but pirated by libertines (the internet is about freedom, Man!). Also assuming the pictures were taken by something like a studio, and not just a creep cruising around with a camera. Sex traffickers deals heavily in this stuff.

            Even assuming the subject of the pornography DID agree with to subject herself to the camera, it’s entirely justifiable to object to the perversion of the subject’s (mostly the woman’s) dignity. A father is justified in being furious when he finds out his next-door neighbor is drooling over internet porn of his daughter and turning her into a dirty joke at school. I’d be sad if he wasn’t.

            ‘Okay, I can understand that. Just don’t ask for ANY state or federal funding when you DO say “No.”‘

            Hmmm. Let me use an illustrative example, here.

            In California, oh, in 2008, I believe, the people voted to sign “Prop 8″ into law as an ammendment to the California Consititution that declared marriage to be only between a man and a woman. This was met with heavy and immediate backlash.

            The people who fought back against the Proposition felt a moral opposition to the potential law and that the idea for the government to take such action was wrong.

            NB for everyone: THIS IS NOT ABOUT PROPOSITION 8 OR SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. DO NOT TURN IT INTO ONE OR YOU WILL BE SHOT. BY A GUN MADE OUT OF THE INTERNET. BY ME.

            The basic principle is that people who were morally opposed to the government taking a certain potential action fought to prevent the government from taking that action. Or, if the government does something wrong, you have the right to oppose it. Keep this in mind, we’ll come back to this.

            Now, then, let’s consider the institutions that will be affected by this law, in the particular case of the Catholic Church. The various Catholic instititutions involved here are primarily of two types: non-profits, which include homeless shelters, hospitals, crisis pregnancy centers, residential homes for pregnant and abused women, orphanages, adoption centers, and miscellaneous other charities, many of which concerned with the welfare of the poor and homeless, and generally far more successful than their government equivalents. On top of that, the Catholic Church sponsors a variety of private and parish schools: elementary, secondary, escalator academies, and colleges. Just about every single one of these institutions employs and serves non-Catholics.

            So, here are the options you’ve presented us.

            One, under the HHS Mandate, money that could be spent in the service of others will have to be poured into the nebulous category of “reproductive health”, multiple facets of which we take moral issue with. This mandate does not increase money dispensed through governmental contract and increases governmental beaureaucratic reach.

            A) We lose hundreds of thousands of dollars, violating our moral principles along the way, less people are served.

            Second option, the various Catholic institutions lay off every single non-catholic employee and stop serving the billions of non-catholics in the world. Now that we fit into the narrow “religious exemption” clause the mandate — assuming it still exists, which particular quotes from Mr. President seem to deny — and suddenly those billions of people are suing us because we’re denying them care/discriminating against them.

            B) We lose millions of dollars, violating our moral principles along the way, less people are served.

            Option 3, we refuse to acknowledge the mandate, and the United States government goes after each and every one of those institutions for tens of millions of dollars a year. EACH.

            C) We lose BILLIONS of dollars, less people are served.

            Option 4, following on your stated principle above, the various Catholic institutions that have Governmental contracts refuse the governmental contract, and lose possibly millions of dollars that could go toward charity. Oh, wait, nevermind, the mandate covers ALL INSTITUTIONS regardless of contract or not.

            D) We lose the millions of dollars from Governmental contracts IN ADDITION TO Option C. Less people are served.

            NB: Oh, by the way, the Catholic Church is a global organization. Those great gobs of money are getting sucked out of the Church, diminishing its ability to function on a global scale. Money lost to make up for the lawsuits is no longer going to the various charities around the world, which have their OWN issues to deal with. They start suffering from increased financial problems, quite possibly failing or collapsing. Congratulations, the United States government has single-handedly ruined a global charity.

            Oh, hey, I just thought of something. The government has created for us a grievance, which means we have the right to redress it. Assuming we have the right to fight the government when it does something we consider to be wrong.

            E) We fight.

            I dunno, I’m only seeing one real option, here.

          • Anonymous

            I would pay money to see a man beat the internet with a chicken.


            I seem to recall you demanding to know: “Wait, what? Where are these widespread available contraceptives?”

            Well, Old Bean, I’d wager that between my bulk-bought condoms and your widespread, financially accessible pill, we’ve found them! Jolly day! By jove, wait until those old stuffed shirts at the Academy sees this!

            I guess you got me there. See what happens when I don’t husband MY language enough? :) I guess I meant to say that the pill is THE most widespread of the available options, where your original statement (to me, anyway, I could be reading too much into it) read as, “Head on down to the doctor, they’re passing out pills like candy on Halloween!”


            It denies people their proper dignity by treating them as base animals.

            Or it recognizes we are weak, foolish creatures who want to enjoy ourselves. I’d not go as far as you have on this.


            4 straight uses of a condom without anything bad happening = 60% chance of You Wish.

            Sorry, I thought you were doing the math for the pill, not condoms. Entirely different paradigm there. Your reasoning is probably why the condoms are labeled, “for single use only”. Funny, huh?


            Also, what reality am I not reflecting? Am I wrong when I say that STIs, which are notoriously difficult to trace, are NOT spread through rampant heedless promiscuity? Because if that’s what you’re saying…

            o.O

            I don’t know if I’d go so far as to call it “rampant, heedless promiscuity”. One night of foolish love is all it takes. STIs don’t only infect the promiscuous ones…


            Contraception -> Sexual congress is now simply an act of shallow pleasure.
            An act of shallow pleasure -> Has no binding property on the individuals who engage in it.
            Unbound individuals attempting coitus -> Hey, that girl/boy over there is sexier than my current partner. And so is s/he.
            Multiple sexual partners, lack of bonding mechanism -> Promiscuity. Possibly heartbreak.
            Possible heartbreak –> Possible resentful masses, neverending spiral.

            If your chain begins instead:
            Contraception -> Sexual congress is now possible between a married couple, deepening their bond, allowing them to not worry about the potential of a child that they cannot afford or take care of at the moment.
            What then?


            The “modern society” angle is like telling your grandfather, “You’re old, so shut up and go away.” It makes you look neither intelligent nor mature.

            I would never be that rude to my grandfather. However, if he used racial slurs and told me things that I know don’t fit in an integrated society, I might roll my eyes once out of sight and ignore him…(this is an metaphor, I’m not accusing anyone of racism!)


            (And I do SO trim my beard. Shut up.)

            As described in the Bible? :)


            Because the message of love and peace is about the love and peace of GOD. The Gospel is not the message of vague okayness.

            So your message isn’t about the love and peace you share and spread among your fellow man as a messenger of God?


            That’s a red herring and you know it.

            Maybe it is, but at the end of the day, they both enable the behavior you describe.


            Okay, pornography is NOT between “two consenting people”. Pornography is the exploitation and perversion of the sexual beauty of a human being in a visual medium for the purposes of profit.

            Even assuming the subject of the pornography DID agree with to subject herself to the camera, it’s entirely justifiable to object to the perversion of the subject’s (mostly the woman’s) dignity. A father is justified in being furious when he finds out his next-door neighbor is drooling over internet porn of his daughter and turning her into a dirty joke at school. I’d be sad if he wasn’t.

            I should hope so! If she’s still in school, she’s underage! If she’s in college, well, obviously something didn’t get through to the daughter in the first 18+ years, and she made her choice. A depressing one, but it was hers to make, and now she has to live with the consequences, whatever they may be.
            I disagree further, but I think we’re getting off topic.


            In California, oh, in 2008, I believe, the people voted to sign “Prop 8″ into law as an ammendment to the California Consititution that declared marriage to be only between a man and a woman. This was met with heavy and immediate backlash.

            Because of massive out-of-state funds being pumped in to the state to make sure that the vote went their way, among other reasons.


            The basic principle is that people who were morally opposed to the government taking a certain potential action fought to prevent the government from taking that action. Or, if the government does something wrong, you have the right to oppose it.

            In court, where Prop 8 is being fought right now. The Church just kind of came out of the gate bellowing that “this shall not be, change it now!” Not quite the same situation.


            One, under the HHS Mandate, money that could be spent in the service of others will have to be poured into the nebulous category of “reproductive health”, multiple facets of which we take moral issue with.

            Which you already do by using an insurance company in the first place. It’s no different than recognizing that your tax dollars go to support stem cell research.


            A) We lose hundreds of thousands of dollars, violating our moral principles along the way, less people are served.

            This point is moot, since they’ve already brokered a deal so you don’t have to pay. The insurance companies were/are going to hike their rates anyway, not because of this. They’ve jacked them up more than 8% in each of the last two years, before this mandate even became an issue.


            Second option, the various Catholic institutions lay off every single non-catholic employee and stop serving the billions of non-catholics in the world.

            Why would the Catholic church lay off workers in Germany, Mexico, Brazil, or Zimbabwe because of an American law?


            B) We lose millions of dollars, violating our moral principles along the way, less people are served.

            Actually, by letting go all those people, you’re SAVING millions, and they won’t sue you, because they’re no longer working for you, and thus have no standing on the heath issue.


            Option 3, we refuse to acknowledge the mandate, and the United States government goes after each and every one of those institutions for tens of millions of dollars a year. EACH.
            C) We lose BILLIONS of dollars, less people are served.

            “I fought the law, and the law won.”


            NB: Oh, by the way, the Catholic Church is a global organization. Those great gobs of money are getting sucked out of the Church, diminishing its ability to function on a global scale. Money lost to make up for the lawsuits is no longer going to the various charities around the world, which have their OWN issues to deal with. They start suffering from increased financial problems, quite possibly failing or collapsing. Congratulations, the United States government has single-handedly ruined a global charity.

            I doubt that it would get that bad. One year of those fines and I fully believe the Church would either give in or close up shop, neither option would result in America sucking the Catholic church dry of funds.


            Oh, hey, I just thought of something. The government has created for us a grievance, which means we have the right to redress it. Assuming we have the right to fight the government when it does something we consider to be wrong.

            Golly gee, “old bean”! I do believe they’re called “courts.” What a bizzare concept, these things. You can actually challenge laws, and even ask those nice gentlemen behind those benches for a hold on the enforcement of the law until the matter is decided!


            E) We fight.
            I dunno, I’m only seeing one real option, here.

            It’s not just you (judging by the uproar of the talking heads, blogs, commenters, et al.). :) I just don’t think you’re going to win.

          • Cal-J

            You find me a chicken and point me at the internet.

            “Or it recognizes we are weak, foolish creatures who want to enjoy ourselves. I’d not go as far as you have on this.”

            Okay. But the problem with the birth control mentality is that it does nothing to improve the situation. What it does is attempt to take the same disaster and watch it unfold in slow-mo, apparently so we have time to go grab popcorn and beer.

            “Sorry, I thought you were doing the math for the pill, not condoms. Entirely different paradigm there. Your reasoning is probably why the condoms are labeled, “for single use only”. Funny, huh?”

            Haha. The 80% figure is often applied in defense of condoms on an individual scale, and the same principle holds.

            Basic probability states that independent events have no bearing on the likelihood of each other. If you flip four different quarters or the same quarter four times, the chances of getting all heads are 6.25% regardless.

            The 60% You Wish figure applies to four instances of (sex + condom). Not just the same condom.

            Of course, I’m assuming you understood that — this was primarily for those who were following along and didn’t jump track with us when we switched in and out of probability.

            “STIs don’t only infect the promiscuous ones…”

            I detect neither hostility nor disagreement, so I’ll nod my head and smile.

            “If your chain begins instead:
            Contraception -> Sexual congress is now possible between a married couple, deepening their bond, allowing them to not worry about the potential of a child that they cannot afford or take care of at the moment.
            What then?”

            Good question.

            Have you heard of something called Natural Family Planning (NFP)? It’s shown up several times in the comments here (possibly that’s my fault). The NFP method requires an investment of time and dedication as the couple basically observe and chart the natural physiological changes of the woman, which include her cyclical periods of fertility and infertility.

            NFP encourages couples who don’t want children to hold off from sex while the woman is fertile, resuming when she ceases being so. Plus, when she stops being fertile, the sex has all the amazing feeling of sex plus the benefits of delayed gratification.

            I hold that this is a universally better approach to marital unity and enjoyment then the pill, as I notice your modification to the flowchart basically branches a second line from the root. It’s entirely possible, and more than likely, that your new flowchart simply added step 1.5 to mine, and otherwise follows the same developmental pattern.

            “However, if he used racial slurs and told me things that I know don’t fit in an integrated society, I might roll my eyes once out of sight and ignore him…(this is an metaphor, I’m not accusing anyone of racism!)”

            Forgive me, but you seem to be dancing around the point. We’ve switched from Age to Integration, which seems to put us right back in “modern society” again. (Swing your partner, do si do). Why would you be upset with him?

            “As described in the Bible? :)”

            I dunno. I don’t think I’ve ever let my beard grow long enough to qualify to for a Bible trim. I might look like a disaffected teenager if I were to compare. A white, disaffected teenager in ancient Palestine. Yaaaay.

            “So your message isn’t about the love and peace you share and spread among your fellow man as a messenger of God? ”

            Never said that. The love of God flows from him to his people and from his people to each other. This is still radically different from the message of vague okayness. A man who looks at his kid’s D- and says “Eh, you passed” doesn’t exactly qualify for a loving father.

            “Maybe it is, but at the end of the day, they both enable the behavior you describe.”

            Not quite.

            A husband who leaves on a business trip is still bound by the ties he forged with his wife and the moral obligations that follow, especially in sexual matters. He is explicitly under the pressure of expectation (from his wife and likely from her shotgun-toting father) to remain loyal. For him to violate that would basically cast him as a scumbag.

            A husband who contracepts comes just short of explicitly denying any sort of sexual bond, with the extension that there are no such moral obligations — and the wife who contracepts with him would seem to agree. A wife who first contracepts with her husband, reducing sex to a mere act of pleasure, and then demands loyalty for the sex simply fails to understand what she got herself into. In the act of contracepting, she implicitly gives her husband permission to treat sex as a commodity of pleasure which may be pursued with others.

            “A depressing one, but it was hers to make, and now she has to live with the consequences, whatever they may be.”

            …This is my problem with the primacy of “Choice” as a tenet of somebody’s worldview. I notice you fail to suggest others help her or alleviate her situation, and in fact seem to suggest that her choice is valid enough to abandon her to her fate. I also notice you fail to suggest others prevent the situation from occuring. Under different circumstances, I have to imagine that, since you respect others’ decisions in and of themselves, you could watch your best friend put a gun to his head, tell you he had chosen to kill himself, and watch him pull the trigger.

            “The Church just kind of came out of the gate bellowing that “this shall not be, change it now!” Not quite the same situation.”

            It’s the same situation in embryo. Obama’s mandate smacked us over the head. We got upset. He told us there would be a compromise. The compromise changed nothing of substance — we’re still losing the money for the same reasons and for the same result. The compromise was a big fat backhand.

            “Which you already do by using an insurance company in the first place. It’s no different than recognizing that your tax dollars go to support stem cell research.”

            Wrong. The way things are, the money we give to these industries is used by people who make choices beyond the scope of our personal responsibility. We are not at moral fault when someone else does bad things. However, the mandate specifically forces us to participate directly in activities we consider to be evil, against our conscience and our will. We are being forced to pay directly for contraception/abortion/what-have-you. Obama’s “compromise” simply adds an intermediate layer, so he’s basically taking us to the cleaners through the insurance companies.

            Also, faulty example: Stem Cell Research is in and of itself not bad. We oppose Embryonic STR specifically, not least because its lack of proven usability suggests a big fat waste. We are also already working to change it so that only Adult Stem Cell Research, which has proven developments, receives tax dollars.

            “This point is moot, since they’ve already brokered a deal so you don’t have to pay. The insurance companies were/are going to hike their rates anyway, not because of this. They’ve jacked them up more than 8% in each of the last two years, before this mandate even became an issue.”

            Nope. The already-in-the-works rate hikes are one thing; the additional money we have to lose that will be used on abortion/contraception is another. We’re going to lose money for the abortion/contraception. The government knows it. The insurance companies know it. We know it. This is essentially having them piss down our back and tell us it’s raining.

            “Why would the Catholic church lay off workers in Germany, Mexico, Brazil, or Zimbabwe because of an American law?”

            Because the net loss in this issue diminishes the Church, as I explained elsewhere. In attempting to make up for the loss, other countries would have to lose some of their support. Possibly a large number of employees’ worth.

            “Actually, by letting go all those people, you’re SAVING millions, and they won’t sue you, because they’re no longer working for you, and thus have no standing on the health issue.”

            We’d be firing these people. Do you HONESTLY THINK that the government, which obviously has no respect for us or what we stand for, would come to our aid in this culture of frivolous lawsuits by the thousands? Or do you think it would support the suddenly the massive numbers of jobless, supportless, victimized, honest, hard workers who had just been laid off by those stuck-up Catholics just so they could save themselves a few measly dollars? And what about the massive numbers of the people who no longer have people caring for them because they’re not Catholic? And by massive numbers, I mean on the order of millions.
            Of course, the government will obviously stand by us and say we did no wrong, because we’re good little butt kissers.

            I know you may not agree with my morals, but pleeeease don’t imply that I’m stupid.

            “I doubt that it would get that bad.”

            I noticed.

            “One year of those fines and I fully believe the Church would either give in or close up shop, neither option would result in America sucking the Catholic church dry of funds.”

            Of course; we obviously care so much about our own skins that we’d obviously just quit at trying to help people according to our morals and what we believe in rather than try to continue.

            And on the subject of Catholics giving in, I don’t suppose I could interest you in a list of Catholic martyrs?

            “Golly gee, “old bean”! I do believe they’re called “courts.” What a bizzare concept, these things. You can actually challenge laws, and even ask those nice gentlemen behind those benches for a hold on the enforcement of the law until the matter is decided!”

            C’mon, Vision, no excited old British explorer ever said “Golly gee” to anyone. That’s 1950′s American youth. Gee willickers, and on. Stay in the proper time period. And Old Bean is a nickname — capitalize it.

            And I know they’re called “courts”, which is where this is heading. I mentioned above this is is the nascent stage of outrage — things haven’t picked up speed yet; several Catholic institutions have already sued the Obama administration, among them EWTN.

            “I just don’t think you’re going to win.”

            Could be. Then again, most of the “talking heads” might actually be anticipating this. Catholics have needed a good kick in the butt for a couple hundred years, now.

          • Anonymous


            What it does is attempt to take the same disaster and watch it unfold in slow-mo, apparently so we have time to go grab popcorn and beer.

            So you DO watch porn? :)


            “Sorry, I thought you were doing the math for the pill, not condoms. Entirely different paradigm there. Your reasoning is probably why the condoms are labeled, “for single use only”. Funny, huh?”


            Have you heard of something called Natural Family Planning (NFP)? It’s shown up several times in the comments here (possibly that’s my fault).

            So it is your fault? Get it to stop. Anyone commenting at this point is fully aware of NFP, lol.
            It’s entirely within your rights to use and advocate for NFP, just don’t expect me to do it because my employer thinks that it’s ALL I should do.
            Don’t give me that whole, “We’re not forcing anyone, you can pay for it elsewhere” malarkey. We’re asking you to let the insurers cover it, however they manage it, and you want us all to follow your example instead. I’m arguing intent, not action.


            Forgive me, but you seem to be dancing around the point. We’ve switched from Age to Integration, which seems to put us right back in “modern society” again. (Swing your partner, do si do). Why would you be upset with him?

            I’m using integration as an example of an old set of ideals that I don’t believe mesh well with the “modern age.” It could just as easily be him chewing me out for pre-martial sex (though he was in the Army, and I wasn’t born yesterday). I was trying to argue that I don’t dismiss my grandfather out of hand because of his age, or even the age of his viewpoints. Only that I weighed them and found them wanting.


            A white, disaffected teenager in ancient Palestine. Yaaaay.

            Stranger things have happened. :)


            A man who looks at his kid’s D- and says “Eh, you passed” doesn’t exactly qualify for a loving father.

            I guess it’s a matter of how differently we view God. I see more a distant father who left behind some old letters and rarely, if ever, calls. I think there’s a lot more room for interpretation in those old letters than the Church does.


            He is explicitly under the pressure of expectation (from his wife and likely from her shotgun-toting father) to remain loyal. A husband who contracepts comes just short of explicitly denying any sort of sexual bond, with the extension that there are no such moral obligations — and the wife who contracepts with him would seem to agree.

            That’s putting an awful lot of words in an awful lot of mouths, but I don’t think we’ll ever agree on the root point of this: Whether or not contraception is inherently linked to wanton/shallow promiscuity.

            …This is my problem with the primacy of “Choice” as a tenet of somebody’s worldview. I notice you fail to suggest others help her or alleviate her situation, and in fact seem to suggest that her choice is valid enough to abandon her to her fate.

            So if “choice” has no primacy, where does “free will” fall? I didn’t suggest helping the girl or attempt to alleviate the situation because I didn’t know we were going to dig that deep into the parable. :) I do, however, firmly believe that actions have consequences, and no amount of help will prevent them from occurring. That isn’t to say “dad” shouldn’t make every effort to track down and delete these pictures, or at least make sure she does, but it’s my experience that once something’s on the internet, it’s there forever.


            I also notice you fail to suggest others prevent the situation from occuring. Under different circumstances, I have to imagine that, since you respect others’ decisions in and of themselves, you could watch your best friend put a gun to his head, tell you he had chosen to kill himself, and watch him pull the trigger.

            And we go strait from logic-ville to left field! You presented the original scenario as fait accompli. It’s too late, the pictures/videos are out, the damage is done. I didn’t know I was supposed to come up with unrelated “fixes” to prevent this from happening in the first place!
            I would absolutely make every effort to stop a friend from attempting suicide, just as I would make every effort to keep any hypothetical daughter from posting things she shouldn’t. However, after making those efforts, if despite EVERYTHING I try, things still turn for the worse? I won’t blame myself. They did, in fact, make those choices, just like I would choose to try and help.


            Obama’s mandate smacked us over the head. We got upset. He told us there would be a compromise. The compromise changed nothing of substance — we’re still losing the money for the same reasons and for the same result.

            How is this mandate ANY different from SEVERAL state mandates (New York, for example) that are the exact same thing, and have been for YEARS, and the Church NEVER raised a stink? Or even in the EU, with their socialized medicine. How does the Church reconcile that?
            Also, the Church said, “We won’t pay for that,” and Obama said, “Fine, it’ll all just come out in the wash.” It’s a compromise. Just because you don’t like it, and think that digging in your heals now that all the talking heads are on your side will let you gain more leverage, doesn’t mean it wasn’t a compromise. Admit that much, at least.


            [...]so he’s basically taking us to the cleaners through the insurance companies.

            Just like the rest of the country? I still don’t understand, Constitutionally, how the Church thinks it can get a special waver on this. It would be a clear-cut case of a 1st Amendment violation.


            Nope. The already-in-the-works rate hikes are one thing; the additional money we have to lose that will be used on abortion/contraception is another.

            Actually, when ObamaCare forces the insurance companies to only spend 20% of their revenue on administrative fees, and 80% on coverage, they’re going to have a glut of funds to pay for extra perks. Any rate hikes to cover this is corporate greed, nothing less.


            We’d be firing these people. Do you HONESTLY THINK that the government, which obviously has no respect for us or what we stand for, would come to our aid in this culture of frivolous lawsuits by the thousands?

            Hey, you’re the one who made it all about the bottom dollar. :P


            And what about the massive numbers of the people who no longer have people caring for them because they’re not Catholic? And by massive numbers, I mean on the order of millions.

            Actually, just like the adoption agencies in Illinois after gay marriage was legalized, I think that secular equivalents will be formed or existing ones will step up to fill the void.


            I know you may not agree with my morals, but pleeeease don’t imply that I’m stupid.

            Not my intent, I assure you.


            Catholics have needed a good kick in the butt for a couple hundred years, now.

            I agree, but probably not for the same reason.

          • Cal-J

            New branch. Old one got too thin.

            “So you DO watch porn? :)”

            Clever. I notice the lack of response. Well, if you have nothing to say to it, we’ll move on. But I’ll keep it in mind the next time this sort of thing comes up.

            “It’s entirely within your rights to use and advocate for NFP, just don’t expect me to do it because my employer thinks that it’s ALL I should do.”

            That’s fine. But the existence of alternate, cheaper methods that work just as well as contraception if not better means that we are entirely able to oppose the mandate’s demand that we fund lifestyle drugs and the like against our will. Also, there’s the issue of whether or not the government should have any business in skewing the insurance marketplace.

            “I’m using integration as an example of an old set of ideals that I don’t believe mesh well with the “modern age.” It could just as easily be him chewing me out for pre-martial sex (though he was in the Army, and I wasn’t born yesterday). I was trying to argue that I don’t dismiss my grandfather out of hand because of his age, or even the age of his viewpoints. Only that I weighed them (the ideas) and found them wanting.”

            Wanting for what reasons?

            “I guess it’s a matter of how differently we view God. I see more a distant father (but loving, nonetheless) who left behind some old letters and rarely, if ever, calls. I think there’s a lot more room for interpretation in those old letters than the Church does.”

            Maybe. But you might be wrong. He could be at the door, knocking on it. Or he could be back up in his room, and you’re out watching television and you shout “Dad!” He may not come down because he doesn’t answer to being shouted at.

            “That’s putting an awful lot of words in an awful lot of mouths, but I don’t think we’ll ever agree on the root point of this: Whether or not contraception is inherently linked to wanton/shallow promiscuity.”

            The awful lot of words in an awful lot of mouths assumes people expect the man to be loyal. By contradicting me on that point you seem — SEEM, I could be wrong, I hope I’m wrong — to be suggesting that nobody expects the man to be loyal in the first place, as his vows certainly seemed to claim. In which case, the false sense of security of contraception “I won’t get pregnant so there’s nothing to worry about!” simply magnifies and accelerates the degneration rather than tugs at it.

            Alright, I explained my position, now it’s your turn. I gave, in my opinion, a rather clear developmental process from the usage of contraception to promiscuity. Point out flaws, counter, argue, what have you. Why /wouldn’t/ contraception be linked to promiscuity?

            “So if “choice” has no primacy, where does “free will” fall? I didn’t suggest helping the girl or attempt to alleviate the situation because I didn’t know we were going to dig that deep into the hypothetical scenario. :) I do, however, firmly believe that actions have consequences, and no amount of help will prevent them from occurring. That isn’t to say “dad” shouldn’t make every effort to track down and delete these pictures, or at least make sure she does, but it’s my experience that once something’s on the internet, it’s there forever.”

            Alright, sorry; tired and a little cranky on this end. Let me ask another question: What’s so bad about underage porn? When I said she was “in school”, I never mentioned her age specifically, but you hopped on that in an instant.

            “How is this mandate ANY different from SEVERAL state mandates (New York, for example) that are the exact same thing, and have been for YEARS, and the Church NEVER raised a stink? Or even in the EU, with their socialized medicine. How does the Church reconcile that?”

            Depends. The Church is out to help people, so the bishops, who are the heads of local networks of churches throughout their countries, look at ideas meant to help people and happily spend their money on them. Unfortunately, the role of the Bishops are as moral leaders, whereas the actual usefulness of the various systems in place would be better assessed by the laity — the individual Bishops may okay a plan without consultation. Also, the Church has a habit of being too trusting of people without scrutinizing them.

            Also, which of these mandates you mention specifically force the various Catholic employers to violate their conscience? You have to show me the specifics — I’m not going to research your claims for you.

            Also, the Church may in fact have raised a stink, but no one was listening, or, rather, the media decided to report on water-skiing budgies instead.

            As to socialized medicine, some Catholics may decide not to heed the Church’s teachings on Socialism, some may not bother to learn they exist. Besides, government medicine is a new enough concept that the Church may or may not have specifically considered it, yet. Again, the bishops may jump on board the newest “we want to help people” train, but without the proper consultation. To assess a plan morally is one thing, and is entirely within the realm of the Bishops’ expertise; to assess it practically is another, this should fall to the laity.

            “Also, the Church said, “We won’t pay for that,” and Obama said, “Fine, it’ll all just come out in the wash.” It’s a compromise. Just because you don’t like it, and think that digging in your heals now that all the talking heads are on your side will let you gain more leverage, doesn’t mean it wasn’t a compromise. Admit that much, at least.”

            Not quite. The Church said, “We won’t pay for that,” and Obama said, “Fine, it’ll all just come out in the wash.”

            Compromise means both sides give something up to achieve a goal. The “pre-compromise” mandate told us we had to lose money to participate in activities we oppose. The “post-compromise” mandate says almost exactly the same thing, except now we’ve lost the dignity of being treated like participants. It’ll happen whether we like it or not, because we have to select an insurance company who will extract the extra cost. Frankly, it’s the change from having a gun to our head to being put on a leash.

            And that’s not counting the employers who self-insure, like the Archdiocese of Washington. They ARE the middle-men in this mandate.

            “Just like the rest of the country? I still don’t understand, Constitutionally, how the Church thinks it can get a special waver on this. It would be a clear-cut case of a 1st Amendment violation.”

            If by “clear-cut case of a 1st Ammendment violation”, you mean the Church is “denying” others Birth Control, uh, no. No, it’s not. We’re refusing to distribute it on our dime, but if the people really wanted to, they have other ways to get at it. Like paying for it themselves. There’s a difference between “You cannot have X” and “I will not pay for you to have X”.

            In fact, we could argue that forcing the religious employers to comply to the demand that we fund lifestyle choices that we oppose counts as a “clear-cut case of a 1st Ammendment violation.”

            Hell, Joe Biden himself tried to stop this thing, as did once chief-of-staff Bill Daley. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0212/72612.html There was also Defense Secretary Leon Pannetta: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/02/policy-and-politics-of-contraception-rule-fiercely-debated-within-white-house/ I can also list opposition to the mandate from Michael Sean Winters — http://ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/jaccuse — to E.J. Dione — http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/obamas-breach-of-faith-over-contraceptive-ruling/2012/01/29/gIQAY7V5aQ_story.html — to Chris Matthews (video clip about a Page Down and a half) — http://www.almostnotcatholic.com/2012/02/even-chris-matthews-gets-catholicism.html

            Also, the Church is trying to change only the exemption at the moment. We may indeed move onto a full-on opposition of the mandate as a whole, a large number of the laity themselves already are. And we would be in solid company, it seems.

            “Actually, when ObamaCare forces the insurance companies to only spend 20% of their revenue on administrative fees, and 80% on coverage, they’re going to have a glut of funds to pay for extra perks. Any rate hikes to cover this is corporate greed, nothing less.”

            Nope. The money lost has no bearing on the money they already had, whether that amounts to “Corporate Greed” or no. Attempts to cover losses in and of themselves are not wrong. Hikes to compensate for the losses are not “corporate greed”, especially since the mandate specifically _instigates_ it. The maintenance of equilibrium is /not/ greed. And given how the Obama Administration has a bad habit of instigating inflation at the same time by pumping out money, I’m not convinced the original price hikes count as “corporate greed”.

            “Hey, you’re the one who made it all about the bottom dollar. :P”

            It’s the principle of the thing. “Pay for something you oppose.” “No.” “Fine, we’ll make your partners do it, and they’ll make you lose the money for it, anyway.” That’s a scam, plain and simple. Now we’re also being denied the dignity of being acknowledged as participants in the act. Gun –> Leash.

            “Actually, just like the adoption agencies in Illinois after gay marriage was legalized, I think that secular equivalents will be formed or existing ones will step up to fill the void.”

            How well do the secular equivalents work in comparison? I’m interested to know. And as for the existing ones, won’t they have to deal with increased workloads? I would imagine that drives up costs. And the increased costs mean increased prices to compensate. And the increased prices suggest that others have a harder time meeting them. Which means less people get served.

          • Anonymous


            New branch. Old one got too thin.

            Indeed


            That’s fine. But the existence of alternate, cheaper methods that work just as well as contraception if not better means that we are entirely able to oppose the mandate’s demand that we fund lifestyle drugs and the like against our will.

            Actually, it just means you have a treatment that is cheaper that you prefer. It doesn’t mean I’m entirely within my rights to spend more money/time on what _I_ want.


            Wanting for what reasons?

            When you exist in a world where a cultural misstep can result in your entire people being systematically wiped out, or forced to integrate and dissolve into a conquering nation, a black-and-white, absolute set of rules is not only necessary to maintain order, but for survival as well. Quite frankly, those rules aren’t necessary any more. So many of them, I think, are necessary only for a society on the brink of annihilation. “No homosexuals” makes perfect sense when the surest way to continue your culture is as many babies as possible. Not so much in our increasingly crowded, over-populated world. I also think a lot of rules got a “because God said so” tacked on, just to make sure people listened.


            But you might be wrong. He could be at the door, knocking on it. Or he could be back up in his room, and you’re out watching television and you shout “Dad!” He may not come down because he doesn’t answer to being shouted at.

            But I might be right…Which is why I don’t talk to Him any more.


            The awful lot of words in an awful lot of mouths assumes people expect the man to be loyal. By contradicting me on that point you seem — SEEM, I could be wrong, I hope I’m wrong — to be suggesting that nobody expects the man to be loyal in the first place, as his vows certainly seemed to claim. Why /wouldn’t/ contraception be linked to promiscuity?

            I _do_ assume that a man will stick by his vows. However, your continual arguments that contraception leads to cheating fail to account for emotional cheating. How do they explain those cases when there’s that one “nice girl” at the office, who goes on just a few too many “work dates”? Probably not even a kiss would be given, but I know a lot of women who would see that as cheating.
            Our problem is this, which you mentioned earlier: “A husband who contracepts comes just short of explicitly denying any sort of sexual bond, with the extension that there are no such moral obligations.” That is an opinion, from which you draw a causal continuity directly from “uses pill/condom” to “wanton cheater.” I don’t agree with that opinion, so we don’t even have a common starting ground from which to argue the point…


            Let me ask another question: What’s so bad about underage porn? When I said she was “in school”, I never mentioned her age specifically, but you hopped on that in an instant.

            It’s wrong because it exploits kids. Are you seriously asking for a moral debate on kiddie porn? Nice dodge on the “free will” question, though.


            Also, which of these mandates you mention specifically force the various Catholic employers to violate their conscience? You have to show me the specifics — I’m not going to research your claims for you.

            Here.
            Here
            And here. (About halfway down the article in this one, look for the Wisconsin law of 2009)


            Also, the Church may in fact have raised a stink.

            You’re right. They did. They took it to court, and lost.


            As to socialized medicine, some Catholics may decide not to heed the Church’s teachings on Socialism, some may not bother to learn they exist. Besides, government medicine is a new enough concept that the Church may or may not have specifically considered it, yet.

            It’s been around since at least 1948 (UK). How long does it have to stick around before the Church gives it a yea/nay?


            The “post-compromise” mandate says almost exactly the same thing, except now we’ve lost the dignity of being treated like participants. It’ll happen whether we like it or not, because we have to select an insurance company who will extract the extra cost. Frankly, it’s the change from having a gun to our head to being put on a leash.

            A gun to your head? Isn’t that a little much? I’d say it’s the difference between you hating, say, carrots. Maybe you’re even allergic to them. The school says they’re going to be offered at lunch, and you have to pay anyway. You cry “Foul!”. The school says, “Okay. You can pay the same $X you’ve been paying, but the carrots are going still going to be offered.” Maybe your parent’s taxes go up a smidge, maybe every student at the school now has to pay and extra 50 cents for their lunch, too. It’s still not a gun to your head, or a leash.


            And that’s not counting the employers who self-insure, like the Archdiocese of Washington. They ARE the middle-men in this mandate.

            I honestly don’t know how that’s going to work out. :

            If by “clear-cut case of a 1st Ammendment violation”, you mean the Church is “denying” others Birth Control, uh, no.

            No, by offering the Catholic Church this “out” is government establishment of religion. No, it’s not saying “The US is now a Catholic state”, but it is the federal government offering a specific religious group a legal exemption that the secular companies don’t get. And don’t get me started on the fact that the Bishops are now pushing for ANY employer, regardless of business type or ownership, should be exempted based on their religion. That’s just stupid. Do you want to have an insurance plan that only covers prayer healing because the shop you work at happens to be owned by a Christian Scientist? Do you want to be denied psychological treatment simply because your boss is a Scientologist? Didn’t think so.


            Hell, Joe Biden [et al.] tried to stop this thing

            Which they’re more than welcome to try. I’m not suggesting we muzzle them. I just don’t agree with them.


            Also, the Church is trying to change only the exemption at the moment. We may indeed move onto a full-on opposition of the mandate as a whole, a large number of the laity themselves already are. And we would be in solid company, it seems.

            It worries me that anyone could consider Liberty University, the Family Research Council, or Focus on the Family “solid company”.


            Nope. The money lost has no bearing on the money they already had, whether that amounts to “Corporate Greed” or no. Attempts to cover losses in and of themselves are not wrong. Hikes to compensate for the losses are not “corporate greed”, especially since the mandate specifically _instigates_ it. The maintenance of equilibrium is /not/ greed. And given how the Obama Administration has a bad habit of instigating inflation at the same time by pumping out money, I’m not convinced the original price hikes count as “corporate greed”.

            Judging from how eager insurance companies are to deny coverage, hike rates, and drown dying people in red tape, I’m more than willing to believe corporate greed is at work here.
            A rate hike after the 20/80 mandate goes in to effect is _not_ maintaining an equilibrium. Suddenly the scale is heavy on the side of money they _must_ spend on the customers for their health care. Adding more to the overall pot (and thus more to their 20% that can go into their pockets) does nothing to maintain or correct for an equilibrium.


            Now we’re also being denied the dignity of being acknowledged as participants in the act.

            And the fact that you’re completely denying the ability of the employees to be participants in the act of choosing their own health care is…what? They simply don’t count?


            How well do the secular equivalents work in comparison? I’m interested to know.

            As far as I know, they’re doing just fine.


            And as for the existing ones, won’t they have to deal with increased workloads? I would imagine that drives up costs. And the increased costs mean increased prices to compensate. And the increased prices suggest that others have a harder time meeting them. Which means less people get served.

            _Except_! Now _they_ get all those government funds, and are thus able to increase payroll, facilities, etc. while keeping their “prices” low. Yes, some services might diminish, or get more expensive, for a short time, but things will spin up quickly enough once the tax dollars start flowing in the right direction.

          • Cal-J

            “It doesn’t mean I’m entirely within my rights to spend more money/time on what _I_ want.”

            It doesn’t mean you’re NOT entirely within your rights, you mean? (Note: Not a counter. You seem to be claiming that you have the right to spend money on whatever you want, which, in the context of that particular grammatical rendition, requires a “not”.)

            Further, even if you do have the right to spend your money on what you want, the health insurance is a benefit provided to you as you need it. It is still the employers who pay for it, and you are _not_ entirely within your rights to require your employer to spend money on whatever you want.

            “When you exist in a world where a cultural misstep can result in your entire people being systematically wiped out, or forced to integrate and dissolve into a conquering nation, a black-and-white, absolute set of rules is not only necessary to maintain order, but for survival as well.”

            That doesn’t address the inherent morality of the individual laws.

            “Quite frankly, those rules aren’t necessary any more.”

            Age and society again.

            “So many of them, I think, are necessary only for a society on the brink of annihilation.” “”No homosexuals” makes perfect sense when the surest way to continue your culture is as many babies as possible. Not so much in our increasingly crowded, over-populated world.”

            Except the only laws in regards to homosexuals here regard same-sex marriage. The Church has never called for a “no homosexuals” law.

            And as to the overpopulation bit, I wouldn’t quite describe it like that.
            http://overpopulationisamyth.com/content/episode-5-7-billion-people-will-everyone-please-relax

            “I also think a lot of rules got a “because God said so” tacked on, just to make sure people listened.”

            Well, maybe. There are several ways I could take that, so I’d like you to clarify. Assuming we’re speaking of God in the Judeo-Christian sense (which means you’re not simply making broad, sweeping statements about the ancient world and the word “god”), are you saying that the “because God said so” was added while God never said so, or because there really is no God to say so?

            “But I might be right…Which is why I don’t talk to Him any more.”

            It would seem that the next necessary step would be to determine which one of us is right. You go first.

            “I _do_ assume that a man will stick by his vows. However, your continual arguments that contraception leads to cheating fail to account for emotional cheating. How do they explain those cases when there’s that one “nice girl” at the office, who goes on just a few too many “work dates”? Probably not even a kiss would be given, but I know a lot of women who would see that as cheating.”

            My claim was that, by reducing the act of sexual congress to an act of mere pleasure, willingness to contracept by default renders all claims of “cheating” as false. No legitimate bond can be claimed through an act of mere pleasure.

            “Emotional cheating” is related to the issue only tangentially. It has no bearing on any of my claims.

            “A husband who contracepts comes just short of explicitly denying any sort of sexual bond, with the extension that there are no such moral obligations.” That is an opinion, from which you draw a causal continuity directly from “uses pill/condom” to “wanton cheater.” I don’t agree with that opinion, so we don’t even have a common starting ground from which to argue the point…”

            Well, let’s find one, then. My claim is that to contracept reduces the act of coitus to one of mere physical pleasure. Do you reject that idea? If so, why?

            “It’s wrong because it exploits kids. Are you seriously asking for a moral debate on kiddie porn?”

            Debate? No. I’m applying pressure to your statements to see if you would actually _acknowledge_ a moral wrong as “wrong”. I notice you keep trying to avoid describing anything as right or wrong in and of themselves – above, you’ve graduated from out-of-date to no-longer-necessary, for example – so I wanted to see how far I could go before you started talking about anything being “wrong”. I had to push you pretty far, it seems.

            On that note, however, I’m willing to push you further. What’s wrong with exploiting kids? I want to see what basis you have for claiming things are “wrong”.

            “Nice dodge on the “free will” question, though.”

            Eh. I was more concerned with poking you. Alright: Does a human’s capacity to exercise free will justify the demanding others fund it? You may choose to exercise your free will in contracepting, but why should I pay for it?

            “Here.”

            “Catholic bishops in New York say their dioceses won’t abide by a new federal regulation requiring Catholic hospitals, charities and schools to provide birth control coverage in their health insurance plans.” That’s a stink.

            “Here”

            “Until now Catholic Charities had argued that it was exempt as a religious organisation.” Until “the California Supreme Court… ordered a Catholic employer to include contraceptives, including the morning-after pill, in its employee prescription drug coverage, despite the Church’s opposition to birth control.”

            There was resistance up until the court order, and the article refuses to cover the fallout afterword. This might very well have gone into appeal. There was a stink up until the ruling, but the article itself doesn’t proceed to answer that.

            “And here.”

            “Contraception mandate outrages religious groups”. That’s the title. That seems to be a stink. (Also, are you using “a href=” HTML; how do you do the word links?)

            “You’re right. They did. They took it to court, and lost.”

            Your original question was: “How is this mandate ANY different from SEVERAL state mandates (New York, for example) that are the exact same thing, and have been for YEARS, and the Church NEVER raised a stink?” You seem — SEEM, I could be wrong — to accuse us of hypocrisy. We’ve now demonstrated we aren’t.

            “It’s been around since at least 1948 (UK). How long does it have to stick around before the Church gives it a yea/nay?”

            The Church has been around for almost two thousand years. We’ve seen the rise and fall of kingdoms and empires. There’s no particular schedule that we follow. (Also, we inherited a Jewish love for argument — see the early Church councils — so it could take a while yet).

            “A gun to your head? Isn’t that a little much?”

            Apologies for the exaggeration. We have the threat of tens of millions of dollars in fines (at each various institution which leads to a scale of billions) for the failure to comply, and all the problems those fines would cause (legal prosecution, possibly jail time), being aimed at our heads.

            “I’d say it’s the difference between you hating, say, carrots. Maybe you’re even allergic to them. The school says they’re going to be offered at lunch, and you have to pay anyway. You cry “Foul!”. The school says, “Okay. You can pay the same $X you’ve been paying, but the carrots are going still going to be offered.” Maybe your parent’s taxes go up a smidge, maybe every student at the school now has to pay and extra 50 cents for their lunch, too. It’s still not a gun to your head, or a leash.”

            Poor example. School lunches are paid for individually – a given amount of money is either exchanged for a lunch at that very moment, or perhaps the student may buy a ticket that has a certain number of punches before he must buy a new one. They are not necessarily part of the fees of tuition. Further, from the given that school lunches are paid for individually, we’re back at you paying for your own birth control, again.

            “No, by offering the Catholic Church this “out” is government establishment of religion. No, it’s not saying “The US is now a Catholic state”, but it is the federal government offering a specific religious group a legal exemption that the secular companies don’t get.”

            Except the original version of the “religious exemption” made no particular distinction of any religion in particular — and neither does the new version. The Catholic Church isn’t labelled anywhere in the law; it is, however, the entity most affected by the practical fallout of the mandate.

            “And don’t get me started on the fact that the Bishops are now pushing for ANY employer, regardless of business type or ownership, should be exempted based on their religion.”

            The original mandate’s religious exemption covered all religions and the mandate itself covered all institutions. The law already labelled every single business owner in the United States, plus its individual mandate that requires people to buy state-approved health insurance. It was an issue from the start.

            “Do you want to have an insurance plan that only covers prayer healing because the shop you work at happens to be owned by a Christian Scientist? Do you want to be denied psychological treatment simply because your boss is a Scientologist? Didn’t think so.”

            I would choose not to work for them.

            “It worries me that anyone could consider Liberty University, the Family Research Council, or Focus on the Family “solid company”.”

            I was referring to the names I’d listed, but whatever. Better than the ACLU or SPLC.

            “Judging from how eager insurance companies are to deny coverage, hike rates, and drown dying people in red tape, I’m more than willing to believe corporate greed is at work here. A rate hike after the 20/80 mandate goes in to effect is _not_ maintaining an equilibrium. Suddenly the scale is heavy on the side of money they _must_ spend on the customers for their health care. Adding more to the overall pot (and thus more to their 20% that can go into their pockets) does nothing to maintain or correct for an equilibrium.”

            When I spoke of equilibrium, I meant the act of restoring the losses the birth control coverage would create. And my claim still stands: “Attempts to cover losses in and of themselves are not wrong.”

            “And the fact that you’re completely denying the ability of the employees to be participants in the act of choosing their own health care is…what? They simply don’t count?”

            The choice of health care is at _the_employer’s_expense_. A business contract is a mutual relationship; both parties come to an agreement. In the forging of a contract, if one side refuses to agree to something, the contract is either modified or terminated in its formation stages. As the contracts all affected were established at a prior date, the government is forcefully inserting itself where it wasn’t invited by either party.

            “_Except_! Now _they_ get all those government funds, and are thus able to increase payroll, facilities, etc. while keeping their “prices” low. Yes, some services might diminish, or get more expensive, for a short time, but things will spin up quickly enough once the tax dollars start flowing in the right direction.”

            That _assumes_ the government will reroute its funds to reinforce the remaining institutions. Has the government indicated that it will? I would imagine that the less institutions it has to fund, the more money it has to spend on other stuff. There’s no particular guarantee that the government will suddenly increase its payment to make up for harder workloads, and to assume it has the goodwill to do so would be naive.

          • Anonymous

            “Further, even if you do have the right to spend your money on what you want, the health insurance is a benefit provided to you as you need it. It is still the employers who pay for it, and you are _not_ entirely within your rights to require your employer to spend money on whatever you want.”
            I’m firmly believe in my earlier argument that the employers are acting as intermediaries, and any premiums they pay for or subsidize on my behalf is technically my money. Them deciding I don’t deserve to spend it towards birth control coverage because it contradicts “their” morals is a violation of my opportunity to choose.

            “That doesn’t address the inherent morality of the individual laws.”
            But the severity of enforcement, and the rigor to which they are adhered perhaps no longer apply.

            Except the only laws in regards to homosexuals here regard same-sex marriage. The Church has never called for a “no homosexuals” law.”
            I direct your attention to the massive call for support of Proposition 8 in California. You can’t tell me that granting legal rights, not religious, to homosexuals is a threat to the Church. I don’t see the difference between “You don’t get the same rights as us,” and “You’re not a true person.”

            “And as to the overpopulation bit, I wouldn’t quite describe it like that.
            http://overpopulationisamyth.c

            I would. Sure, we can make more food. Sure, we can build higher sky-scraping tract homes and government housing to fill with the massive swelling of people, and theoretically we could feed them all.
            What about fresh drinking water?
            What about the waste these people produce through trash and sewage?
            What about the cost of health care for all those people?
            Focusing solely on “where do we put them and what do we feed them” misses the larger issue of the approaching overall scarcity.

            “Well, maybe. There are several ways I could take that, so I’d like you to clarify. [...A]re you saying that the “because God said so” was added while God never said so, or because there really is no God to say so?”
            I’m merely saying that in some, or even many, cases, I believe that it was added while God didn’t say so, because it was either deemed necessary at the time, or someone was drunk on power.

            It would seem that the next necessary step would be to determine which one of us is right. You go first.
            Cute, but that’s a personal thing between our selves and the Divine. I’d rather not go there, if you don’t mind.

            No legitimate bond can be claimed through an act of mere pleasure.
            You’re totally right: laughter shared “just because”, the “pleasure” of someone’s company, hard work towards a common goal. Why is sex so different?

            “Emotional cheating” is related to the issue only tangentially. It has no bearing on any of my claims.
            I can’t figure out how to further articulate my argument. You win this round. ::shakes fist::

            Well, let’s find one, then. My claim is that to contracept reduces the act of coitus to one of mere physical pleasure. Do you reject that idea? If so, why?
            I don’t fully disagree. What I can’t accept is that “mere physical pleasure” as it relates to sex is either a) inherently bad or b) due solely to contraception. There are countless people who have sex with no contraception and for whatever reason view it solely as pleasure to be had. Given this group of people, I don’t think there is a causal link between contraception and “casual sex.” Correlated, perhaps, but not causal.

            Debate? No. I’m applying pressure to your statements to see if you would actually _acknowledge_ a moral wrong as “wrong”. [...]I wanted to see how far I could go before you started talking about anything being “wrong”. I had to push you pretty far, it seems.
            That’s because it takes an extreme before I’ll admit inherent wrong. I think societies create morals, sometimes through their own history, and sometimes with Divine inspiration, but I don’t believe in an inherent, universal right/wrong. It just so happens that child exploitation is very morally reprehensible to both myself and society at large, thus my reply.

            “On that note, however, I’m willing to push you further. What’s wrong with exploiting kids? I want to see what basis you have for claiming things are “wrong”.”
            Nothing, if you want, or have, a class system. Exploiting the children of a lower class costs you nothing, becuase by the nature of a class system, they’re “not as much of a person” as you are, if at all. In an arguably classless society like the US, exploiting children is inherently wrong because it corrupts the next generation, teaching these children that they exist to be used in some degrading manner (sex/labor/etc.). That begins the first steps toward a class system. Sexual exploitation is no different than labor exploitation, and quasi-slavery can only result from dehumanizing the one being exploited. I kind of have an issue with dehumanizing people.

            “Eh. I was more concerned with poking you. Alright: Does a human’s capacity to exercise free will justify the demanding others fund it? You may choose to exercise your free will in contracepting, but why should I pay for it?
            Ah, but here we come to the “are companies people” crux. I say an organization should have to pay, you say I, as an individual shouldn’t have to pay. I don’t believe corporations are people, plain and simple.

            That’s a stink.
            There was a stink up until the ruling, but the article itself doesn’t proceed to answer that.
            That seems to be a stink.

            Sorry, I should’ve clarified. Those were links to point out how, via previous state mandates, the Church eventually provided the contraception care, despite it’s objections. “You’ve done it before” was my point.

            (Also, are you using “a href=” HTML; how do you do the word links?)
            (open)a href=”blahblahblah.com”(close)Words to actually be seen(open)/a(close).

            Your original question was: “How is this mandate ANY different from SEVERAL state mandates (New York, for example) that are the exact same thing, and have been for YEARS, and the Church NEVER raised a stink?” You seem — SEEM, I could be wrong — to accuse us of hypocrisy. We’ve now demonstrated we aren’t.
            You got me there. I guess my point was, “You raised a stink, but the courts didn’t rule in your favor, so you had to follow the rules. You’ve done that for years now, so why is it such a big deal that everyone has to do it, not just the 20-odd states where it already occurs?”

            The Church has been around for almost two thousand years. We’ve seen the rise and fall of kingdoms and empires. There’s no particular schedule that we follow. (Also, we inherited a Jewish love for argument — see the early Church councils — so it could take a while yet).
            So the rest of us have to twiddle our thumbs until Rome makes a decision?

            Poor example. School lunches are paid for individually – a given amount [...]. They are not necessarily part of the fees of tuition. Further, from the given that school lunches are paid for individually, we’re back at you paying for your own birth control, again.”
            No, we’re talking about the school subsidizing the carrots. Employees have to pay premiums, they’re not “part of the fees of tuition”. Lots of kids get free lunches, too. If the food delivery company can squeeze a couple boxes of “carrots” onto their truck at little to no extra cost to them, or a small cost increase to every customer, I fail to see the problem.

            Except the original version of the “religious exemption” made no particular distinction of any religion in particular — and neither does the new version. The Catholic Church isn’t labelled anywhere in the law; it is, however, the entity most affected by the practical fallout of the mandate.
            I’m not arguing about what the mandate says. I’m arguing about what the Church and the talking heads seem to want it to say. That is: If there’s a religion somewhere in the management of your company, that religion gets to dictate, due to religious beliefs, the health benefits of employees. Is that not what’s being asked for?

            The original mandate’s religious exemption covered all religions and the mandate itself covered all institutions. The law already labelled every single business owner in the United States, plus its individual mandate that requires people to buy state-approved health insurance. It was an issue from the start.
            The mandate excludes religious institutions, i.e.: houses of worship. It does not exclude institutions that happen to be related to religion. Unless you’re arguing that the original law (before the contraception mandate) requiring insurance, etc., was an issue to the Catholic Church from the get-go?

            I would choose not to work for them.
            And in this economy, I’m glad you have that ability. You’re a lucky man. /sarcasm

            I was referring to the names I’d listed, but whatever. Better than the ACLU or SPLC.
            You do know the ACLU defends Christians too, right? The SPLC may get severe in their rhetoric at times, but I believe they do more good than harm. As far as FRC goes, you’re really content with an organization who’s spokesman said that the Japanese Tsunami and the Haitian Earthquake were God’s divine wrath upon the unbelievers?

            When I spoke of equilibrium, I meant the act of restoring the losses the birth control coverage would create. And my claim still stands: “Attempts to cover losses in and of themselves are not wrong.”
            Ah, so the insurance companies wouldn’t be wrong getting the money from the Church to recover the “losses”? Or the Church wouldn’t be wrong by decreasing every employee’s salary to recover the “losses”?

            The choice of health care is at _the_employer’s_expense_. A business contract is a mutual relationship; both parties come to an agreement. In the forging of a contract, if one side refuses to agree to something, the contract is either modified or terminated in its formation stages. As the contracts all affected were established at a prior date, the government is forcefully inserting itself where it wasn’t invited by either party.
            You mean every single employee of a non-house-of-worship variety does not want birth control coverage? I find that hard to believe.

            That _assumes_ the government will reroute its funds to reinforce the remaining institutions. Has the government indicated that it will? [...] to assume it has the goodwill to do so would be naive.
            I don’t think it’s gotten that far, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t, under Obama. Considering the two instances where this occurred (the Illinois case where equal rights granted to homosexuals resulted in Catholics closing adoptions agencies, and the recent case about counseling and care for victims of human trafficking), the money did flow to secular companies and organizations who were, apparently, more than willing and able to pick up the slack. I don’t see any reason why the trend won’t continue.

          • Cal-J

            Darn, sorry that took so long. Had some issues to sort out on the home front.

            “I’m firmly believe in my earlier argument that the employers are acting as intermediaries, and any premiums they pay for or subsidize on my behalf is technically my money. Them deciding I don’t deserve to spend it towards birth control coverage because it contradicts “their” morals is a violation of my opportunity to choose.”

            Not quite. The money is /theirs/ to start with. You both come to an agreement how it will be dispensed to you in exchange for your work. It is not a violation of your “opportunity to choose” (I was mildly surprised you didn’t claim a “right”, here) when they declare certain actions will not be taken while the system is in its Potential stage. And I use the word “system” intentionally; we’re discussing business _contracts_ here: agreements regarding the behavior of _multiple_ people. Every single one of your claims of the issue relies on the consideration of an _employee’s_ rights only. However, this being a multiple contract between two (or more) people, the other’s rights necessarily come into effect as well. You are not the only one choosing, here; your choice correlates intimately with your employer’s choice. Further, even as the “intermediary” in your scenario, your employer is making things _easy_ for you; your “opportunity to choose” in this specific case is really the demand that he make certain activities easy for you in addition to what he already offers. You are entirely free to go pursue these activities if you really want to. You have no right to demand your employer make it easier.

            “But the severity of enforcement, and the rigor to which they are adhered perhaps no longer apply.”

            That “perhaps” sounds too weaselly to me. Start making statements instead of vaguely side-stepping.

            “I direct your attention to the massive call for support of Proposition 8 in California. You can’t tell me that granting legal rights, not religious, to homosexuals is a threat to the Church. I don’t see the difference between “You don’t get the same rights as us,” and “You’re not a true person.””

            There are two implicit claims, here: that there is a “right to marriage”… and it has no basis in or relation to the actual sex of an individual. Since you claimed a “right”, you are, by definition, appealing to a universal standard (otherwise a “right” is simply “something I really want to do”). Further, the claim “You don’t get the same rights as us” lacks a specific point of the issue. The point is “marriage as a bond makes sense only in the context of potential childbirth; there is no reason for the government to go around and recognize/sanction pairs of people who only demonstrate affection for one another.” Homosexual unions fall specifically in the “only demonstrate affection” category. Given your claim on a universal standard, you need to demonstrate that there is a right to marriage (extrapolating from human nature) and that it includes people who simply claim affection for one another.

            “I would. Sure, we can make more food. Sure, we can build higher sky-scraping tract homes and government housing to fill with the massive swelling of people, and theoretically we could feed them all. What about fresh drinking water?”

            As water purification technologies develop, I would imagine that they, like all technology, grow both more effective (production, energy cost), more usable (transport, size, etc.), and cheaper.

            “What about the waste these people produce through trash and sewage? What about the cost of health care for all those people? Focusing solely on “where do we put them and what do we feed them” misses the larger issue of the approaching overall scarcity.”

            “I’m merely saying that in some, or even many, cases, I believe that it was added while God didn’t say so, because it was either deemed necessary at the time, or someone was drunk on power.”

            Well, at this point, you’d have to prove that. On the face of it, it certainly seems like God did say so.

            “You’re totally right: laughter shared “just because”, the “pleasure” of someone’s company, hard work towards a common goal. Why is sex so different?”

            Because humans are sexual beings. We bind ourselves together through those sexual relationships. We expect and demand fidelity to and from our lovers. This is borne out by the act of sexual congress — the shared chemicals of a single pair human bodies reinforce each other through repetition of the act (a woman’s womb, for example, grows stronger due to repeated exposure to a single man’s sperm); the hormones going off in the brain are searing those moments in time into the mind (which is one of the dangers of porn; those image- and feeling-searing hormones are going off due to an utter fantasy).

            Contraception by its nature breeds the false notion that the sexual act is as casual as it gets.

            “::shakes fist::”
            ::fistbump::

            “I don’t fully disagree. What I can’t accept is that “mere physical pleasure” as it relates to sex is either a) inherently bad or b) due solely to contraception. There are countless people who have sex with no contraception and for whatever reason view it solely as pleasure to be had. Given this group of people, I don’t think there is a causal link between contraception and “casual sex.” Correlated, perhaps, but not causal.”

            A) Because if the act is casual, there’s no reason why people shouldn’t be promiscuous. Plague.

            B) You are either misunderstanding me or willfully misrepresenting me. I never said contraception was the sole cause of the “mere physical pleasure” mentality. I said that it is a source of the mentality; that other people come to and live out the idea that sex is solely for physical pleasure do so without any contraception (this sounds more and more contrived a situation as I write it, by the way) has no bearing on that. Also, you further say I claim that people “contracept” explicitly to reduce the act to physical pleasure; I never said that, either. I said the act of contracepting itself inherently reduces the act to mere physical pleasure by thwarting every other aspect.

            “That’s because it takes an extreme before I’ll admit inherent wrong.”

            But to admit inherent moral judgment is to appeal to a _universal_ moral standard. To admit inherent wrong is to say the act is wrong in and of itself. Which says that activities can AND ARE right or wrong in and of themselves. And, yet…

            “I think societies create morals, sometimes through their own history, and sometimes with Divine inspiration, but I don’t believe in an inherent, universal right/wrong. It just so happens that child exploitation is very morally reprehensible to both myself and society at large, thus my reply.”

            I don’t believe in an inherent, universal right/wrong.” You can’t have it both ways, big guy. You can’t say something is inherently wrong and than say there’s no such thing as being inherently wrong.

            Further, your proposition of morality assumes that “society at large” will be amenable to your views; “society at large” being a fancy term for “most people”. According to your statement, slavery was legitimate when “society at large” thought it was. Further, if “society at large” suddenly got into child porn, your statements seem to imply that that would be a legitimate development.

            You’ve taken an act that was “morally reprehensible” and based that judgment on “society at large”; basically, you’ve taken objective judgment, kicked it in the nads, and said that the only thing that matters is the opinion of the masses.

            Since “Good” and “Bad” (we’re including “wrong”, “evil”, and “reprehensible”, and all the others, too) are objective judgment values (I leave you the capacity to use the word “right” only in the sense “the opposite of left”). Since you deny objectivity, you are HEREBY BANNED from appealing to it. You do not have “rights”, you have priveleges. Since there is no objective standard, your priveleges cannot claim the protection inherent to “rights”.

            “Nothing, if you want, or have, a class system.”

            Alright. At least you’re being consistent.

            “I kind of have an issue with dehumanizing people.”

            And why should I be concerned if you “have an issue” with anything? Further, your issue with dehumanizing people is inconsistent. We both acknowledged earlier that contraception was a “you’re gonna do it anyway, you horny people, so try not to screw up the rest of your life because of it” issue. Even in your application of it, it denies people the power to take responsibility for themselves, and inherently treats people as irresponsible. So, under the principles (because I hope and pray you’re consistant with yourself if nothing else) of you “kind of” having “an issue with dehumanizing people”, you should be opposed to it, too.

            “Ah, but here we come to the “are companies people” crux. I say an organization should have to pay, you say I, as an individual shouldn’t have to pay. I don’t believe corporations are people, plain and simple.”

            Except corporations are made out of people. People are achieving things via cooperation that no mere individual could dream of, true, but the exist only in the sum and fallout of human activity. If you demand a “corporation” be bent to your will, you are in effect demanding that the people involved in the corporation do likewise.

            ‘You got me there. I guess my point was, “You raised a stink, but the courts didn’t rule in your favor, so you had to follow the rules. You’ve done that for years now, so why is it such a big deal that everyone has to do it, not just the 20-odd states where it already occurs?”‘

            We’ve always objected to it. We’ve never stopped objecting to it. It’s always been a big deal. We’ve been fighting these decisions to the best of our ability for years. This is just the first you’ve heard about it.

            “So the rest of us have to twiddle our thumbs until Rome makes a decision?”

            Nope. The Church has rejected socialism outright. The idea of government healthcare flirts too dangerously close to it, so it would be wise to reject that, too. As a practical issue, the issue lies largely with the laity, to whom practical expertise belongs. Having already rejected Socialism, the Church may not really have to consider its Mini-Me.

            “No, we’re talking about the school subsidizing the carrots. Employees have to pay premiums, they’re not “part of the fees of tuition”. Lots of kids get free lunches, too. If the food delivery company can squeeze a couple boxes of “carrots” onto their truck at little to no extra cost to them, or a small cost increase to every customer, I fail to see the problem.”

            Alright. Except you are being put on a leash; in being forced to do something against your will, you are, by definition, “on a leash”. Now, the issue with your “carrots” example is that it’s incredibly minor, and nobody has a legitimate moral objection to carrots. The “hate” you describe can never be more than a personal distaste for them.

            That’s a far cry from the issue we have.

            “I’m not arguing about what the mandate says. I’m arguing about what the Church and the talking heads seem to want it to say. That is: If there’s a religion somewhere in the management of your company, that religion gets to dictate, due to religious beliefs, the health benefits of employees. Is that not what’s being asked for?”

            If an employer chooses to have and to follow a religion, and its attendant beliefs, they are automatically part of the consideration of all his dealings. Now some of the beliefs may or may not be wrong, but that’s a different issue.

            Nothing’s being “asked for”. The personal considerations of the employer, religious or otherwise, have ALWAYS been a “part” of the health benefits of employees. Your understanding of the situation rests on the premise of it being something “new”, which it isn’t. The issue, in part, is with the exceedingly narrow religious “exemption”.

            ///////The original mandate’s religious exemption covered all religions and the mandate itself covered all institutions. The law already labelled every single business owner in the United States, plus its individual mandate that requires people to buy state-approved health insurance. It was an issue from the start.

            “The mandate excludes religious institutions, i.e.: houses of worship. It does not exclude institutions that happen to be related to religion.”

            The original mandate specified an exclusion for religious institutions (which includes organizations owned by a religious institution, which includes the vast amount of Catholic charities, hospitals, and schools) that employed and served only members of their faith. Under its own definitions, however, it merely specifies “religion”.

            “And in this economy, I’m glad you have that ability. You’re a lucky man. /sarcasm”

            Make a point or I’m moving on.

            “You do know the ACLU defends Christians too, right? The SPLC may get severe in their rhetoric at times, but I believe they do more good than harm.”

            Name five instances where the ACLU defended Christian beliefs.

            The SPLC accuses everything they don’t agree with as being hateful. No justification, no rebuttal, just “bad” words.

            “As far as FRC goes, you’re really content with an organization who’s spokesman said that the Japanese Tsunami and the Haitian Earthquake were God’s divine wrath upon the unbelievers?”

            They said that? If they did, that was wrong. (I don’t work much with or read FRC, so I dunno). It sounds like something Westboro might come up with. Source?

            “Ah, so the insurance companies wouldn’t be wrong getting the money from the Church to recover the “losses”? Or the Church wouldn’t be wrong by decreasing every employee’s salary to recover the “losses”?”

            There are three considerations to any discussion of morals: the objective act, the subjective reason, and the auxiliary circumstances.

            Examples:
            Act: A man having sex with his wife is not wrong.
            Reason: A man having sex with his wife because he loves her is not wrong. A man who having sex with his wife so he can cause her pain or distress is.
            Circumstances: A man having sex with his wife because he loves her in spite of the doctor’s warnings that he would be putting her at risk of infection is wrong.

            The act of trying to recover financial losses in and of itself isn’t wrong. Having been forced — forced — into a situation that is morally reprehensible, the insurance companies would not be wrong in trying to recover losses. Neither would the church in trying to compensate for its own losses. It’s basic practice – when an organization cannot afford to maintain operation due to lack of funds, cuts have to be made. Sometimes these cuts happen in the employee sector. To refuse to try and compensate for financial losses is economic suicide.

            The evil belongs to the situation itself and to the factors that begot it.

            “You mean every single employee of a non-house-of-worship variety does not want birth control coverage? I find that hard to believe.”

            Stop being disingenuous. Having signed the contract, the employer and employee have come to a mutually-binding agreement.

            “I don’t think it’s gotten that far, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t, under Obama.”

            Assuming Obama will be around to enable it. He has one of the most heinous grasps of economics in the history of the office. The PPACA itself is part and parcel of it.

        • VVVVVV

          If the contraception is used for non-birth control things (regulating out of control periods, controlling acne, etc.), our church is fine with it. So if you weren’t sexually active, you weren’t spending $5k on “birth control”, you were using drugs that could be used as contraceptive for other medical needs.

          If you are currently sexually active, I suggest taking a course in Natural Family Planning. Other than the cost of the course (which may even b offered free) and the cost of a thermometer (which should last the rest of your life), this is a completely free method of birth control :)

          • Anon

            But employers don’t get to know the information they would need to make that distinction! They don’t get to ask employees, “Do you have a medical condition that necessitates this?” or “Are you sexually active?” It’s not their business! So they MUST provide coverage for all employees blindly.

          • Jmsteve4

            I don’t think bringing in a doctor’s note explaining that you were born with a horonal conidition is an invasion of privacy. It’s like what we had to do in elementary school-bring a doctor’s note t get out of gym class.

          • Alexandra

            But we’re adults. Not children getting out of gym.

          • etmom

            ok, must disagree with this “and the cost of a thermometer (which should last the rest of your life)”.

            I’m on my 5th thermometer :)

          • Cal-J

            The Catholic position is that activities that thwart — THWART — the either purpose of sex (procreation and spousal unity) are wrong.

            NFP does not automatically count as “contraception” because having sex while the woman is unlikely to bear a child does not thwart the aspect of procreation. Futhermore, NFP promotes a holistic understanding of the human body and cooperation with it.

            Artificial Contraceptives qua Artificial Contraceptives have no such concern and are used to FORCE the body to prevent itself from functioning. (Marc has several posts that go into detail about how artificial contraceptives wreak havoc on the woman’s body). To contracept in and of itself is to violate the first aspect of sex, and the fact that contraception reduces the sexual act to one of shallow pleasure violates the second.

            NFP was promoted as a method that allows for naturally spacing children, or even not having them. Can NFP be abused in a manner that thwarts either aspect of sex, due to a disinclination towards children in general? Possibly, but I’m hard pressed to find anyone who adequately reconciles the mutually spent time and effort in the course of NFP and the deliberate prevention of childbirth. NFP users are often marked by something called an “openness to life”.

            “In any case, it’s not for Catholic bishops acting as employers to decree how or if their employees use contraception.”

            Employee-employer contracts –> already agreed upon. Nobody’s decreeing jack.

          • Alexandra

            But why do you care what other people do with their bodies and sex life so much?

          • Cal-J

            Because I believe that you have a dignity and a glory particular to you as both a human being and a person and that its wrong to demean yourself.

          • Alexandra

            Seriously, none of your business at all. I think the Church demeans women but I’d never push for legislation that would make them change those behaviors. I let women make those choices for themselves.

          • Musiciangirl591

            how does the Church demean? do you mean women or just in general?

          • Cal-J

            “I think the Church demeans women but I’d never push for legislation that would make them change those behaviors.”

            Are we talking about the same Mandate?

          • Cal-J

            Oh, wait, yes we are. I forgot that this particular law has nothing to do with the legislative branch.

          • Cal-J

            “And yet, the Catholic Church has no problem with health insurance paying for vasectomies.”

            News to me. I was under the impression we opposed sterilization. Source?

            “And it doesn’t seem to occur to a bunch of men who are either celibate or paedopholes that married couples who welcome children – who already have children – nonetheless often want to have partner sex without risking another pregnancy.”

            Okay, seriously, where do you keep getting these ideas about what the Church teaches about anything? Whoever’s telling you these things has no idea about what he’s talking about.

            This is why we encourage NFP — it allows for the responsible spacing of children. NFP’s spacing mechanism isn’t “don’t have sex unless the woman is fertile”, it’s “if you don’t want a child, then abstain from sex UNTIL she is no longer fertile”. Sex while the wife is infertile is, frankly, encouraged. We’re Catholic, and a number of us have massive families. We love sex.

            Also, due to the principle of delayed gratification, the sex feels that much better after abstainance. (This same principle shows up when we advise children to forego candy while we observe Lent — Easter chocolate is frigging amazing).

            “Requiring a faithful couple to become celibate forever once they’ve had all the children they intend to have, is not exactly a promotion of spousal unity.”

            Good thing we don’t actually have that requirement, huh?

            “Which is why the vast majority of Catholic women are on the Pill, and the Catholic Bishops, realising that calling these women whores is not actually stopping them, are now frantically demanding that the US government help them enforce Catholic doctrine on their disobedient parishioners.”

            Where in your news story do the Bishops call people whores? In fact, I have trouble seeing how that news story correlates to anything your paragraph says. That story is about the mandate, which is a degree or five removed from the vague blanket statements you keep making.

          • Musiciangirl591

            the pill is artifical contraception (messes with the body’s hormones to prevent conception), NFP is with the temperature of body and the stickyness of the cervical mucous, it’s having sex during the non-fertile times…

          • Anonymous

            i’m on the rag right now, my hormones are messed up, do you think that’s a bad thing?

          • Cal-J

            Pregnancy prevents conception? It’s harder to conceive a child in an environment that already has one? That’s a pretty deep comment, right there. I bow to Science!

            Oh, by the way, it’s not exactly the same way as the Pill does it. The Pill is essentially a fake estrogen bomb that goes off in a woman’s body, most of which the body tries to get rid of by peeing it out as fast as it can.

            Pregnancy pee doesn’t mutate fish. Pill pee does.

            http://gawker.com/5520990/promiscuous-dc-residents-are-creating-sexually+confused-fish

            http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23504633/ns/health-health_care/t/mutated-fish-swimming-tainted-water/#.Tzwdk8X–14

            http://www.greatreporter.com/content/birth-control-pills-spark-environmental-debate

          • Alexandra

            Wait, are you not aware of the fact that the reason why a pregnant woman can’t get pregnant is because she does not ovulate? In the same way that a woman on birth control doesn’t ovulate?

            And yes pregnant woman urine has more estrogen in it.

            And the vast vast majority of the hormones in the water comes from factory farms. Moreover, there are technologies to remove it.

          • Cal-J

            “Wait, are you not aware of the fact that the reason why a pregnant woman can’t get pregnant is because she does not ovulate? In the same way that a woman on birth control doesn’t ovulate?”

            I was under the impression that changed depending on the “birth control” — abortifacients don’t prevent a woman from ovulating so much as they stimulate an environment hostile to the unborn child, for example.

            Secondly, the physical similarity has no bearing on the opposition to contraception.

            “And yes pregnant woman urine has more estrogen in it.”

            Pregnant woman pee, which carries an overflow of natural estrogen, doesn’t mutate fish. The synthetic estrogen of the Pill does.

            “And the vast vast majority of the hormones in the water comes from factory farms.”

            I know that. The last two articles are about pharmaceuticals in the water besides the Pill.

        • georgia

          Most of the numbers I’ve seen quoted in the mainstream media recently is that it costs $30-$60/month. I haven’t priced it, so I don’t know whose numbers are correct. But using the higher numbers don’t help the argument in this forum.

          • Alexandra

            The birth control I use costs $100/month retail. I’m not making stuff up.

        • Annie

          I’ve spent $12,000 just diapering my kids … but that doesn’t mean I think you should chip in on buying disposable diapers.

          • Alexandra

            And that’s another issue entirely, and again not something that is to be left up to the Church to decide.

            If there was a law saying that insurance needed to cover diapers, no one would get an exemption just because they have an objection to it.

          • Cal-J

            You sure? Because a law saying that insurance needs to provide free diapers sounds just banal enough to promote a whole lotta outrage, and not just from the Religious Right ™.

          • Alexandra

            Yes, but then the outrage would be with the existence of the law, not with the lack of exceptions to people who are morally opposed to diapers. It’s a different story.

          • Cal-J

            Who’s morally opposed to diapers? This is starting to sound like a situation Lewis Carroll might vomit onto a rejected story.

          • Alexandra

            Environmentalists probably. See though, this is what the Catholics look like from the outside. It sounds just as absurd as being morally opposed to diapers.

          • Alexandra

            Actually it’s an excellent analogy. Objectively there isn’t anything immoral about disposable diapers, but environmentalists would say they’re a huge bane on the environment, the way that Catholics say that birth control is a sin against the body and society.

            The environmentalists would want everyone to go with cloth diapers because they’re more natural and healthier, but most mothers are like yeah no way, I’ve got enough stuff to do, I’m fine with throwing some diapers in the landfill for the time and effort it saves me. The environmentalists would say this creates a culture of waste where we don’t have proper respect for the earth.

            It’s the exact same thing with birth control. It’s incredibly convenient and we’re willing to accept the consequences of using it. Why the Catholics won’t just back off and keep to themselves about birth control we just don’t get and frankly we resent that they won’t stop judging us. They might be willing to make those life choices, and I’m fine with them doing that, but once they try to alter laws and preach about what they think is best I resent them.

            I recognize this doesn’t address the HHS mandate, but that’s not what I’m thinking about here. Just the general attitude that women shouldn’t be using hormonal birth control.

          • Cal-J

            The general attitude that women shouldn’t be using hormonal birth control is because we hold that contraception demeans women.

          • Alexandra

            You should probably leave that up to women to decide. I sure don’t feel demeaned because of my choice to use it.

          • Cal-J

            So… does that mean we have to alter our actions because of how you feel about yourself?

          • Cal-J

            That’s not what we mean when we say “natural”. When we say “natural”, we mean “according to Natural Law”, as in, in accordance with the natural state of the act itself.

            In the context of sex intercourse, Natural Law accords the act two aspects: Procreation and Unity.

            Contraception deliberately opposes the former, and in so doing reduces the act to one of shallow pleasure.

            In reducing the act to one of mere pleasure, it likewise negates the second aspect of Unity.

            In using contraception, the bond between to people forged by intercourse is de facto negated.

          • Anonymous

            Okay so maybe not diapers…but what about pregnancy and pregnancy related issues? Why does everyone not have to pay for pregancy when it is very much a women’s health issue? Why is the only right the government is concerned about is a woman’s right not to conceive? What about a woman’s right to conceive and give birth? Why should tax payers foot the bill for one and not the other?

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            “Why is the only right the government is concerned about is a woman’s right not to conceive? What about a woman’s right to conceive and give birth? ”

            It’s interesting, isn’t it, how massively uninterested Marc is in that important detail.

            Obama’s “Affordable Healthcare Bill” mandates that all health insurance plans must cover all women’s healthcare needs (except for abortion, which the federal govt is not allowed to fund) – which was not the case before. Contraception, which is the biggie that the Catholic bishops and therefore Marc care about. But also maternity care through pregnancy and childbirth costs and post-partum health needs. Those important women’s needs are not at all important to Catholic bishops. But they’re important to most women in the US. And they’re covered.

            “Why does everyone not have to pay for pregnancy when it is very much a women’s health issue?”

            Wouldn’t it be great if the US had a national health service? Then all health services would be paid for by tax – the cheapest, most effective way of ensuring everyone gets the healthcare they need, free at point of access.

          • Anonymous

            “But also maternity care through pregnancy and childbirth costs and post-partum health needs. Those important women’s needs are not at all important to Catholic bishops. But they’re important to most women in the US. And they’re covered.”

            Really? Free of charge with no co-pay, just like contraception will be? I did not know that!

        • MJ

          If you’ve spent nearly $5k on birth control for health reasons, you should really look into the underlying health problems that are being covered up by the birth control pill and are not being addressed holistically.

          After years of frustratingly painful menstrual cycles and visits with many doctors, my wife was finally treated by a holistically-minded fertility doctor (Dr. Thomas Hilgers) and she says she feels like a new woman.

          The Catholic Church has no problem (from a moral standpoint) with someone who isn’t sexually active using the birth control pill.

          From a medical perspective however it’s not addressing the underlying problem, so alternatives should be sought out. Whether the $60-$100 per month that goes to drug companies contributes to bad medical practice is for another debate.

          • Alexandra

            Thanks, but I’d appreciate you not judging my personal medical choices. I don’t judge your wife’s, do me the same favor.

          • Cal-J

            Nobody judged your personal medical choices.

            You proposed your personal medical choices and someone pointed out that they don’t solve the problems. It’s no more judgmental than informing someone that using a hammer to work with a screw isn’t optimal.

          • MJ

            Who in their right mind wouldn’t judge between two medical choices? You are welcome to judge my wife’s medical choices, she is just happy to let people know that there are other options that aren’t always presented alongside the birth control pill. Perhaps if the other options came with a monthly bill they would have a larger advertising budget and be more well-known.

          • Alexandra

            Except you can’t possibly know enough about the situation to know if a hammer might actually work well in that case. Presuming to know more than you do to give unsolicited advice and tell someone they’re doing it wrong is obnoxious.

          • MJ

            You could enlighten us by providing an example of a medical problem that you believe is solved more effectively by the birth control pill than by a holistic method. And then I could enlighten you by explaining the alternative position.

            I’m not presuming to know more than I do. I am presuming to know more than you about holistic medical alternatives to the birth control pill, but I could be mistaken.

          • Alexandra

            And I’m not asking for your advice.

          • Jmsteve4

            We’re just saying that if the reason for needing the pill could be solved by hormone treatment, these instituations would pay for that. They’d even pay for the pill if that was the only solution. No one’s attacking you. Relax. =)

          • Cal-J

            I would say I’m hard pressed to find a situation in which a hammer would be well-disposed to the application of a screw, but that would be immature.

            The issue is you said you were using “birth control” for non-contraceptive reasons as an example that lent favor to you argument. Someone else suggested certain issues arising from your particular “medical choices”, and you snapped at him.

            You presented an example for scrutiny and then got upset when somebody scrutinized it.

    • georgia

      It does sound like there may ultimately be some exemptions allowed for Christian Scientists and Amish, though that hasn’t yet been explicitly defined.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kickintheface Jacob Timothy Michael Hughes

      Actually, Christian scientists HAVE an exemption here.

      • http://www.facebook.com/kickintheface Jacob Timothy Michael Hughes

        Absolutely. That’s why I wouldn’t work for a Christian Scientist.

        • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

          So like Marc, you believe that freedom of religion applies only to employers, not to individuals?

  • Romulus

    And you thought this administration didn’t like “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

    Since Mrs Romulus and I won’t be taking advantage of this “compromise”, we’d like to know if substitutions are allowed. Can we get a free pony?

    • Lauren G.

      I am laughing quite hard.

    • Musiciangirl591

      i want a pony too!

  • Fano19

    Not able to sign the petition. This could be a probably with my computer but I signed one the other day with no problem. As of this writing you only need 74 more signatures. I will try again later but I just wanted you to know. Love your “letter”. Posted it to fb and read it to my daughters.

    • Annie

      I think it’s actually that he had 74 signatures and still needed 24,924. ;)

      • Annie

        24, 926, sorry about my math!

    • Astro

      I had trouble signing it, too, but was able to figure it out using FAQ #2 on the white house webpage. Try that.

  • Patraulea2323

    It’s funny, none of you guys were this outraged when there were child sex abuse revelations popping up left and right within the Church (which is still happening, by the way.) This non-issue, however, has all of you up in arms all of a sudden. You guys need to seriously reexamine your moral priorities.

    • Amanda

      We WERE/are up in arms over the abuses going on in the Church. Were you around at the time? Were you reading/watching mainstream media or the media reporting of the Church because it was a storm just like this, if not way more! Sorry, Patraulea, but that comment just doesn’t cut it.

      • Anon

        Rufus Choate up there isn’t so outraged. He thinks it was all consensual. Of course, that doesn’t mean all or even most Catholics feel that way, but people DO have reason to be upset with the Church’s response.

      • Cal-J

        What unnamed Vatican official? The article rather clearly names Cardinal Levada.

        Marc already touched on the subject of the scandals, there’s no particular need for him to go in depth on the subject.

        Further, I challenge the designation “massive cover-up orchestrated by the clergy” — these terms are too vague to mean much anything at all.

        I dunno, I wouldn’t call Marc a Republican. Republican’s are economically Capitalist. Marc’s a Distributist, from what I understand.

        • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

          “I dunno, I wouldn’t call Marc a Republican. ”

          He sounds like a Republican – hates gay marriage, hates sexually-active women, hates Obama and tells lies about him.

          • Cal-J

            He sounds like a Republican?

            Assuming he’s distributist, he opposes unrestrained free-market, or perhaps the corrupted form that keeps cropping up.

            He cares about the dignity of the poor, and supports the variety of charitable institutions the Church supports, which many Republicans would accuse of being bleeding heart institutions, and there are plenty of Republicans and Conservatives who have no stance on same-sex marriage or “sexually active women”.

            He hates Obama? Okay, now you have made a claim worth proving. And on that note: he lied about Obama? What did he lie about?

      • Musiciangirl591

        how many priests do you know (i don’t mean heard of, but personally know) who have molested children? enlighten me

        • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

          My dear girl, if I personally knew a man who admitted to me he had raped children, the police would have had his name and address within the next half hour – or within the next three minutes if I had my phone on me.

          That to the Catholic Church hierarchy discovering a priest has been abusing children is not a matter for the police but for a secret internal inquiry, is what is appalling to most people.

          • Anonymous

            quit calling me my dear girl, it demeans me and makes me feel younger than i am, and none of the priests i know would ever ever ever EVER do anything like that

          • Alexandra

            If you want to be taken seriously you should probably start by typing like an adult and spell checking. Then maybe you can advance to actually making coherent arguments.

          • Anonymous

            hey, i’m sick and exhausted, cut me some slack

          • Cal-J

            “Then maybe you can advance to actually making coherent arguments.”

            Yes, and then she’ll be inducted into the ranks of the Grammar gods, where by virtue of her periods and commas she’ll be able to forego self-restraint and good intentions in favor of frequent pot shots at the people she doesn’t like.

          • Anonymous

            this made me smile :)

          • Cal-J

            Welcome.

          • Anonymous

            =)

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            Well, frankly, you sound about 13.

            I call you “my dear girl” to remind myself that you are obviously very young, and getting annoyed with you because you are immature and ignorant is really Not On.

            “and none of the priests i know would ever ever ever EVER do anything like that ”

            You really have no idea if that’s actually true. You’re not allowed to know. All inquiries are carried out in secret: the only way you would know is if some survivor in adulthood managed to bring a legal action against the priest.

          • AttentionDeficitCatholic

            Cannot help but notice that whenever you comment on this blog, you seem to feel this compulsion to belittle somebody about their age (whether it be Marc or some commenter who disagrees with you). Do we young wippersnappers really get on your nerves SOOOOOO much? Not to make the assumption that antagonism implies insecurity, but just out of curiosity, how old are you, exactly?

          • Anonymous

            i’m kinda interested too, how old are you, EE?

          • Anonymous

            i’m almost 19 excuse you, i’ll be 19 in 9 days, i know their personalities, they wouldn’t do anything to harm a child, my old theology teacher has 50 nieces and nephews, i don’t think he would harm any of them

          • Cal-J

            Don’t bother, Musician. He doesn’t care in the first place.

          • Anonymous

            also you don’t go through the shit i went through in high school without coming out mature, in one summer i faced the death of my aunt and my cousin, in the summer after that my cousin died, i almost died, i got diagnosed with an uncurable illness, in my sophomore year i got abused by a boyfriend and many of his friends, my best friend (ex best friend sorry) spread rumors about me stealing her boyfriend, i’ve been depressed, pushed around and had near death experiences, so before you tell me to “grow up”, you should really think about the fact that i’ve probably been through more shit in the last 4-5 years of my life, than you have your whole life!

    • AttentionDeficitCatholic
    • Alexandra

      I think the issue that people seem to miss is it isn’t the molestation that was so horrible, but the fact that the Church felt it was okay to deal with internally. I really don’t want to get into this argument, but that link you just posts ADCatholic kind of misses the point of why there is still outrage about the situation.

      • Anon

        Nail on the head! Child abuse is a criminal matter, dealing with it internally is in no way acceptable.

        • Anonymous

          Look at the statistics and the number of the ex-Priests actually tried and convicted of Pedophilia and a “cover up” that was never the real issues in the scandal. Most “victims” were teenaged males or older.

          The Church was dealing with mass extortion for Homosexual activity between consenting parties and little else.

          • Alexandra

            You make me want to vomit all over your head, sir.

          • Anonymous

            Try, Please.

          • Anonymous

            Careful, his nose is so high in the air, he might drown.

          • Anon

            “Consenting parties?!” That’s the kind of BS that has so many people pissed at the Church over this.

          • Anonymous

            Again, the statistics don’t support what you’re claiming. Either provide them or cease and desist please.

          • Anonymous

            I am more curious about the lack of criminal prosecution of any illegal sexual contact by Priests which I fully support and the desire of most the “victims” to forego criminal penalties and prosecutions for big cash settlements in civil courts. Any idea?

        • VVVVVV

          Except that when most of the abuse happened (60s -80s), most organizations dealt with it internally and it was considered normal to just “rehabilitate” predators and return them to their jobs.

          That’s doesn’t make it ok, but it wasn’t as if the Church’s method was an anomaly (nor does the Church have the highest rate of molestation). We’re just fortunate that people like Cardinal Ratzinger stepped up to the plate to have stricter rules and harsher punishment in cases of molestation when they did. The Church is one of the few organizations that has made sweeping efforts to amend a system that let predators get away.

          • Anon

            “It’s in no way acceptable!”
            “Except it was common practice at the time! But that doesn’t make it acceptable!” –WTF?

          • Anon

            Why do you feel the need to qualify that? What does that say?

          • VVVVVV

            I’m not saying it was acceptable, but finding fault ONLY with the Church in the matter of not reporting abuse at the time (when it was considered the normal policy for all institutions) would be like finding fault ONLY with Central American communist dictatorships and not right ring ones.

            People (not saying you specifically, but it’s hard to tell) don’t critique policy because it hurt kids, they critique it because they hate Catholics. Otherwise, they would say that the entire country was stupid and had a failed policy. But they don’t care about the abuse that occurred in schools and homes and Synagogues, only the abuse that occurred in Churches

            Saying it should be a criminal matter is true, but you should take up that matter with all organizations that let abuse slide. I hope you do.

          • Anonymous

            You really think those who call out the Church for their horrible mis-handling of this situation are just Catholic-haters?
            Just because others “may” be doing it, doesn’t make it right, and deflecting the argument (like you’re doing) by saying “Well…but…it’s NOT JUST US!” is childish.

          • AttentionDeficitCatholic

            Odd choice of argument, considering that at this point, all references made to the child abuse scandals are just childish attempts to deflect other arguments (such as the current one on the constitutionality [or rather lack thereof] of the HHS mandate and the following “compromise”) by saying “PRIESTS MOLEST KIDS!!1!”

          • Anonymous

            While I agree that bringing up the molestation in relation to this current issue is unnecessary, that doesn’t negate my earlier point.

          • AttentionDeficitCatholic

            I absolutely agree. The argument “Well everybody else did it” is juvenile and unhelpful. I just felt that it was worth mentioning.

            A better way of phrasing the argument that I assume VVVVV was trying to make would be to say that the Church has gotten FAR more publicity on the issue, despite similar or worse levels of abuse found in just about every institution imaginable, not to mention that the Church followed what was at the time considered ‘standard procedure’.

            Also, the argument that this publicity was due to hatred of the Church is not at all far-fetched, if you consider the history of anti-Catholicism in the US.

            Again, however, I must agree with you, that simply using “everybody does/did it” as a argument of justification is simply not quite enough.

          • Musiciangirl591

            what are Joe Pa and Jerry Sandusky?

          • Musiciangirl591

            i mean about

          • Tally Marx

            Someone needs to read, “Anti-Catholicism: the Last Acceptable Prejudice” by non-Catholic Philip Jenkins.

          • Lauren G.

            You’re jumping to conclusions here. No one is saying that child molestation is good. It’s awful.

            I THINK what she’s trying to say (if not, I’m sorry, I don’t mean to put words in your mouth), is that this happens at similar if not higher rates in other institutions (Protestant churches, schools, etc.), but the Catholic church is the one getting the blame. If we are to truly eradicate child molestation, shouldn’t we work on getting rid of it EVERYWHERE?

          • Alexandra

            The issue isn’t the molestation, it’s the covering it up and dealing with it internally. That is what people hold against the Church.

          • Cal-J

            Okay, that’s a legitimate case.

            And when we found out, we instituted massive, public reforms, stayed in the spotlight of the media… which showed remarkably little concern for the efforts we took or the progress we made in favor of turning us into the 90s equivalent of a bad meme.

    • Flyersrule2011

      No, you need to reexamine the ideals behind this arguement. Forcing the church to pay for contraceptives is what the church deams as a “Violation of Conscience.” Saying that the child sex scandals did not raise any kind of outrage within the church has nothing to do with the HHS mandate and what Obama is trying to force through the system. The reason we are so up in arms over this is because it is an outrage to force ALL religions to pay for something that, especially us Catholics disagree with. For example, if all Atheist were required to pay for the building and supporting of churches in their towns it would be no different whether it be through direct or indirect payment. This mandate would not be a personal choice for us. Also, raping a child IS a personal choice. The preists that have commited such an evil act made a personal choice to sexual abuse the child. No one forced him to do it. This is part of the reason why some within the church just shrugged it off. It is not being forced by the church or the government that priest should rape children. Regardless, many within the church, myself included are in fact outraged when such a report comes across the evening news, but trying to compare two issues that have absolutely no tie in whatsoever is complete bull.

      • Alexandra

        Uhm, atheist money goes to Church institutions all the time through taxes.

        The point Patraulea is making, I think, is that the Church looks evil to the rest of the world. The Church wants to be able to deal with crime on it’s own, and wants to get to infringe on people’s insurance coverage. It’s not a solid argument, but right now the Church looks like an enemy of justice and freedom.

        • Jmsteve4

          And our money goes to PP thourght taxes.

          • Alexandra

            Exactly. It happens. It’s part of how society works. Doesn’t mean you get to not pay taxes or follow the law.

          • Cal-J

            “Uhm, atheist money goes to Church institutions all the time through taxes. ”

            Which ones?

          • Anon

            Faith based charities receive government money all the time; hospitals, community building initiatives, education, etc. Any government grant ultimately is tax money. We spend it on these initiatives because they do good work that benefits the whole community. They’re wonderful. And they receive atheists money. It’s not exactly a parallel case, I would argue, but the facts she is presenting are accurate.

          • Alexandra

            The webpage that lists all of them isn’t loading for me, but funding to faith based institutions is typically on the order of $1-2billion/year.

          • Jmsteve4

            Inwhich case they should make just supplement this part of healthcare through taxes. Or just not tax us at all for hings we don’tspport. That’d be cool.

          • Anonymous

            good enough reason to not pay taxes :P

        • Spike

          You can’t be serious. The Church is totally on the side of justice and freedom to anyone who knows anything about the US constitution. Granted, a left-wing extremist will ignore the constitution and side with Obama. But the Catholic Church is a shining beacon on the side of liberty here, without question.

          • Alexandra

            Clearly there is question on this point, since this is buzzing like this. No, the Church is not clearly on the side of liberty.

            Even Supreme Court Justice Scalia has stated that religion should not be exempt from these laws, and the ACLU said that the original mandate was not unconstitutional.

          • Anonymous

            1st amendment violation? uhhh yeah i think that’s unconstitutional…

          • Alexandra

            The point is it isn’t a 1st amendment violation.

          • Anonymous

            yes it is, go back to school and learn your amendments… it prohibits the free exercise of religion…..

          • Alexandra

            I forgot how much I thought I knew everything when I was 19. It’s a nice feeling. Enjoy it while it lasts.

          • Anonymous

            last year in government i had to memorize the amendments of the Constitution, in my sophomore year i had to memorize the first amendment, word for word, it stuck

          • Anonymous

            Memorization is not comprehension.

          • Anonymous

            don’t belittle me, i graduated with honors

          • Anonymous

            Still doesn’t mean you completely understood anything you were tested on.
            Not every critique is a personal attack, musiciangirl. I’m not calling you stupid, I just think you’re missing the greater issue here.

          • Anonymous

            which is what, enlighten me pretty please?

          • Anonymous

            And any exception establishes a religion. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.
            The Church wants special privileges, plain and simple.

          • Anonymous

            we just want freedom of religion, and also freedom of assembly because a couple of protestors got arrested today for protesting and praying outside of the White House…

          • Anonymous

            Those people went there _hoping_ to be arrested, _knowing_ they were breaking the rules. The rules clearly state that protesters are allowed outside the White House, but they must keep moving, even if in a circle. So what did they do? Knelt and ignored a lawful order from a policeman to follow the rules. I have zero sympathy for them.
            You want the freedom of your business to push your religious limitations on to others, denying their own freedom of religion (i.e.-they follow the religion _they_want). It’s not as simple as you’re making it out to be.

          • Anonymous

            they can pray if they want, i’ll go share a jail cell with them :)

          • Anonymous

            Lol, are all Catholics so eager to join the ranks of the martyrs that they go out looking for ways to break the law in manners their faith permits?

          • Anonymous

            that’s the way we roll, civil disobedience baby! my parents are looking for a little teenage rebellion from me, now’s a good enough time to do it

          • Anonymous

            “Occupy Wall Street protesters have been occupying federal property for months, but when we kneel in prayer, the police are called in and we are arrested.”

          • Anonymous

            Cute. OWS protesters have been sitting in parks and monuments. While they are arguably federal land, you can’t tell me with a straight face that sitting in the middle of a park deserves the same security rules and watchfulness as right outside the White House. It’s a pathetic, “But…but…they’re doing it too!!” and has zero to do with the protesters breaking the law and being subsequently arrested.

          • Anonymous

            thanks for the compliment, that’s always a good way to a lady’s heart, but the OWS protestors didn’t get arrested right away

          • Anonymous

            –Moving my comment up here, so it’s readable–

            which is what, enlighten me pretty please?

            The issue at hand is whether or not the non-Church Catholic businesses should be exempted from a law that every other business in the country must abide by, which is an issue relating to the “establishment” of a religion, favored by the government. Not the “prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

          • Anonymous

            eh, all 180 of the bishops have spoken out against the mandate, my campus minister is going to have to obey this mandate, he’s not going to do it though…

          • Anonymous

            And if their court appeals fail, they will have to pay the consequences. :

          • Anonymous

            do you think they care?

      • Cal-J

        Okay, fine. If freedom of religion is what allows “religious institutions” to accept or reject the added health care requirements, then why are you so up in arms about this? Catholics aren’t forcing anyone to do anything. The mandate makes Catholics do things they don’t want to do.

        • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

          “If freedom of religion is what allows “religious institutions” to accept or reject the added health care requirements”

          Nope. Freedom of religion is what requires religious institutions to accept the added healthcare requirements. Opposition to contraception is a Catholic religious belief. It is not the business of the US government to enforce Catholic religious beliefs on anyone who does not choose to accept them. First Amendment.

          “Catholics aren’t forcing anyone to do anything. ”

          Most Catholics aren’t, true enough – but then most Catholics use contraception.

          The Catholic Church hierarchy are trying to make use of US government powers to force their female employees away from contraception, because of Catholic religious beliefs. That’s not allowed. First Amendment.

          “The mandate makes Catholics do things they don’t want to do. ”

          No, it doesn’t. No Catholic is forced to use contraception as a result of this amendment. Priests and bishops are free to have condomless sex with any consenting partner.

          • Cal-J

            “It is not the business of the US government to enforce Catholic religious beliefs on anyone who does not choose to accept them.”

            Luckily for us, we didn’t. Employee-employer contracts: money and benefits in exchange for services, everything set out on the table and agreed to.

            As in, the non-catholic employees agreed to the terms set by their Catholic employers.

            “The Catholic Church hierarchy are trying to make use of US government powers to force their female employees away from contraception, because of Catholic religious beliefs. That’s not allowed. First Amendment.”

            Incorrect. These relationships existed prior to the mandate. The opposition is to tell the government to back off where it wasn’t invited by either party.

            “No, it doesn’t. No Catholic is forced to use contraception as a result of this amendment. Priests and bishops are free to have condomless sex with any consenting partner. ”

            Do you ever wear out your brain trying so hard to seem sophomoric?

          • Anonymous

            seriously how old are you EE? i know you mock me because of my age but seriously?

    • SBlack

      This blog post is one of my favorite rebuttals for those that make uneducated remarks trying to defame my Church by bringing up the child abuse scandals: http://blog.archny.org/?p=1127

    • Anonymous

      How do you know that Roman Catholic Prelates were not outraged by the sins of a tiny minority of fallen Priests who should never have been allowed to even study for the Priesthood? Let’s face it homosexuals and other deviants are raping young people in every social institution and it doesn’t concern you because you’re
      a urbane sexual sophisticate.

      The raw statistics of “Pedophilia” committed by Priest’s doesn’t even approach the level in other public institutions or Church’s. Your outrage is based on the desire to have the Church removed as a moral voice in the World.

      Some people warned about allowing homosexuals (or Pederasts) into the Priesthood but we were called haters and homophobes at the time and judgmental.

      • Alexandra

        Did you really just group pedophilia and rape with homosexuality? You suggest that homosexuality was the cause of the sex abuses?

        Then, yes, yes you are a judgemental homophobe.

        • Anonymous

          Isn’t it interesting that even the Ancient Greeks and Romans understood that Homosexuals were Boy lovers and yet the overly clever amoral deviants of the 21st century have managed to bifurcate the issue into nice unrelated categories that are completely unrelated? Bravo well played if insanely irrational.

          • Alexandra

            Seriously, you’re a total bigot.

          • Anonymous

            Post an argument, please. We are not children, to result to name calling when our personal beliefs are questioned.

          • Alexandra

            Oh please. He’s trying to argue that the sex abuse wasn’t actually abuse, it was consensual. That’s called victim blaming, it’s disgusting.

          • http://www.facebook.com/kickintheface Jacob Timothy Michael Hughes

            Rufus, shut the hell up. You’re annoying, and misinformed.

          • Anonymous

            This does count as a refutation. It is cute and puerile but what is your position?

            Your name is hilarious and the concept of someone with a such candy-assed name kicking any man in the face is laughable.

            Your turn, Girly Boy.

          • Cal-J

            Okay, Rufus, we understand your angry. But you need to calm down. The internet is the worst places to get upset, and one of the easiest places to cause it.

        • Cal-J

          “A paraphilia involves sexual arousal and gratification towards sexual behavior that is atypical or extreme.” – Wikipedia

          Same-Sex Attraction is a minority issue, thus atypical.

          It was taken off the “official” list in 1973 when it suddenly became popular, but the conditions are all still present.

          Homosexuality thus qualifies as a deviation, which does in fact place it with other such deviations.

          Furthermore, you really ought to stop calling people “judgmental” and “homophobe”. Name-calling suggests you can’t think of anything to argue.

          • Alexandra

            Ehew. There is no argument to be made with people who actually believe such hateful things. These ideas are made of hate.

            Saying someone is judgmental, a homophobe, or a bigot is not name calling like calling someone a buttface or a jerk because you’re angry, it’s an accurate description of what the person has shown you with their words.

          • Elvin_bethea

            No, it’s simply an easy way to attempt to take the moral high ground.

            It’s also an easy way to avoid posting a legitimate rebuff of someone’s argument.

          • Belle

            Not matter what your stand is on homosexuality, name calling people with different views should be avoided. No one has called you an insulting name. Labeling the other side, what ever that might be, in a debate/disagreement/discussion/argument closes it off to open discussion and changing minds.

          • Alexandra

            There are not two sides to this point of view. There are no opinions on whether or not homosexuality is a mental illness that leads to rape. It’s not about disagreeing, it’s about having an idea that is influenced by nothing but hate.

            I have no interest in having open discussion with someone that hateful.

          • Cal-J

            Homosexuality was once considered a mental illness by the APA. It is no longer.

            What conditions arose to justify the change?

          • Cal-J

            Thank you for answering the question. Scientific Understanding has been expanded because of you.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            You’re kindly welcome.

          • Cal-J

            Care to share what that scientific understanding uncovered?

          • Anonymous

            Perhaps it is supposed to be used in that manner, but all too many times people (like you in this case) use it as argument simply because you are either too lazy or cannot find a reasonable argument to refute the other person’s point. Instead of attacking the point, you attack the person, seeking to discredit them and, thus, their argument. So, yes, it is not meant to be “name calling”, but people use it for that purpose all the same.

          • Anon

            Except that it’s a persistent minority in any population (here I mean population in the ecological sense, rather than just a group of people), which makes it typical. Minority != Atypical.

          • Alexandra

            That’s not even the issue really.

            There’s a difference between homosexuality and homosexual rape in the same way the heterosexuality and heterosexual rape, that some people here seem to have trouble acknowledging.

          • Anon

            I agree that’s the biggest difference, I wasn’t arguing with you. I was taking issue with the idea that regular homosexuality is deviant. Rape is an ENTIRELY separate thing; the idea that what I said could remotely come across in another way is nauseating…

          • Alexandra

            I know you weren’t disagreeing with me, I was just pointing out that regardless of whether or not you think homosexuality is atypical, it isn’t what’s really offensive.

            I really hope someone Catholic comes down on Rufus because otherwise I might lose my faith that they’re actually good people who are just misguided.

          • EV

            Please separate the Religion from the sin.

          • Cal-J

            It’s more like they’re tired of people shouting at the top of their lungs that pedophilia occurred in the church. Yes, of course it did.

            However, we have answered and apologized at every accusation – real and false. We’ve paid for the ability to answer them, too. We set up comprehensive, incredibly deep-reaching programs to rid the Church of it. And with 94% of the accusations occuring before 1990, we’ve done a pretty good job of it.

            Once we understood there was a problem, we deliberately stayed in the spotlight while we wrestled with it. We fought it, we let you see us fight it.

            But we let you turn it into a joke and an excuse to avoid dealing with whatever other moral issue came up. And we’re really tired of you using it as either.

          • Cal-J

            Alright, then let me try this.

            What particular conditions about homosexuality came to light that justified its removal from the list?

          • Alexandra

            Oh I don’t know, the same ones that got hysteria removed?

          • Cal-J

            Hysteria was a paraphilia?

      • Really?wtf?

        homosexuality != Pedophilia. Thinking that they are the same IS homophobic and bigoted.

      • Anon

        I do love that so many people jumped up to say the Church WAS horrified, only to have an apologist like you pop up to undermine their arguments. Almost makes me think you’re a troll.

        • Cal-J

          Angry response ==> “You people can’t even put together a single, coherent statement about this.”

          Single, coherent statement about this ==> “You people aren’t angry enough about this!”

          • Cal-J

            Poop. Wrong response. This was supposed to be down there.

            Is there anyway to mountain climb up and down posts?

      • Alexandra

        This got 6 likes? Sweet spaghetti monster there’s some hate filled people here.

        • Cal-J

          Spaghetti tastes good.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t like that this conversation has overridden the combox, but careful with what you are saying here. There’s no real evidence backing up what you’re saying.

        “…a high proportion of homosexual priests do not increase the risks of sexual abuse of minors by priests. Sexual orientation does not predict illegal sexual abuse of children and minors in general. Homosexual men are not more likely to engage in illegal sexual behaviors with children and adolescents than heterosexual men.”

        from Thomas Plante, Ph.D., in his excellent defense of the priesthood.
        http://www.psywww.com/psyrelig/plante.html

        • Anonymous

          Curiously the same Psychologists and Psychiatrists said the same nonsense when they started to allow homosexuals into Priestly formation. It is simply a lie and Thomas Plante is no more credible than other Homosexual apologists.

      • Don Corleone

        “Let’s face it homosexuals and other deviants are raping young people in every social institution and it doesn’t concern you because you’re
        a urbane sexual sophisticate.”

        This goes too far. It generalizes, which is the problem with more than half of all political/religious argument today. (E.g., it could just as easily be asserted that “Catholic priests and other deviants are raping young people in Catholic institutions…”) Rather than assuming the worst about gay people, Catholics of all stripes should be working to show them genuine love and concern and to understand the unique gifts they can offer the Mystical Body of Christ.

        On the other hand, it is fair to observe that, despite constituting a distinct minority of the priesthood, homosexual men committed almost 90% of the abuse in the priestly sexual abuse scandal. That does not mean that gay men are raping young people all over the place, or that anything but a small minority of gay men would be willing to do so (as is true of heterosexual men as well), but it raises a reasonable question about whether homosexual men have higher rates of sexual misconduct than do heterosexual men. If so, this should be studied and society should understand why and what triggers it before jumping headlong into allowing gay couples of adopt same-sex children. I hold out hope that there was something unique about Catholic priests at that time and that this is not the case. But caution must be exercised.

        • Anonymous

          Oh please where did you learn your Logic and Rhetoric? The number of fallacious nonsense in your post it is embarrassing. You can’t possibility be this ignorant without willing it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lauren-Gustainis/1571762101 Lauren Gustainis

        Yikes! Homosexual certainly does not mean rapist! Homosexuality is not the cause of rape!

        I think you oughta change your comment; it’s simply not true.

      • Jmsteve4

        Whoah Rufus calm down. They didn’t rape them because they were gay. They raped them becase they raped them. They just happened to hve raped boys because of their sexuality instead of girls. And it is hateful and homophobic- not all homosexuals are attracted to children, same as hetero. Be worried about rape as rape, not as the orientation of the rapist.

        • Anonymous

          Whoa? You’re a moral idiot without any serious understanding of the dimensions of this scandal aside from the desire that your team doesn’t get blamed.

          Your team did it and the vast majority were not children.

    • Srlloyd7

      Yes we were outraged. Watch the generalizations.

    • Angelaodell70

      Your ignorance is appalling to me. Those ae two seprate issues. I have been a Catholic since birth, and I take issue when Our President decides he can infringe on my God given right to relgious freedom. THAT IS THE ISSUE HERE!!!

      • Anonymous

        No, it’s not. Do ALL Catholic organizations use one and only one specific insurance company that is specifically only for them? Does this hypothetical insurance company ONLY receive funds from the Catholic church?
        No?

        Then, oddly enough, some of that coverage MIGHT actually be covered by someone else, just like the fact that whatever insurance company you’re using RIGHT NOW, the one you’re GIVING MONEY TO RIGHT NOW, is paying for someone’s birth control. This has nothing to do with religious freedom, and everything to do with Christian Privilege and the waning power of the Catholic Church.

        • Anon

          Concisely put! I tried to say something similar down-thread, but I took a lot longer to get there.

        • http://www.facebook.com/techmage89 Paul Fox

          We are obliged to avoid materially aiding evil acts as much as possible. Therefore, we must resist any compulsion in this direction steadfastly.

          • Anonymous

            Quit paying your taxes then, they pay for stem-cell research. Quit paying ANY outside insurance company then, they’re using YOUR money to cover abortions and contraceptives.
            There, I fixed your problem for you. Just tell the IRS your same argument when they come for your taxes. I’m sure they’ll let you off the hook then.

            This is about the Catholic Church trying to overturn Federal Law because it clashes with their conscience. Sorry, this is a secular government.

          • Tallly Marx

            You really need to learn more about the US government, how it works, and what it was meant for.
            http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=123.

          • Anonymous

            You seriously linked a David Barton article?! That man makes up more history than Seth Graham-Smith (who wrote: “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”, a delightful bit of fiction).

            Barton’s article is a very clever manipulation of facts and historical quotes, but he neglects several things:

            1) A committee at the Continental Congress, tasked with vetting a law that would establish the new country as a Christian nation, noted “the dangers which the union between church and state had imposed upon so many nations of the Old World” and said in light of that it was felt “inexpedient to put anything into the Constitution which might be construed to be a reference to ANY religious creed or doctrine.” (emphasis mine)

            2) There’s the Treaty of Tripoli from 1797 (before Jefferson), passed unanimously through congress and signed by President Adams, which states: “The government of the United States is NOT, IN ANY SENSE, founded on the Christian religion.” (emphasis mine)

            3) “We are teaching the world the great truth that Govts. do better without Kings & Nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson that Religion flourishes in greater purity, without than with the aid of Govt.”
            – President James Madison’s Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822

            4) There is ZERO mention of any specific religion or deity in the Constitution or it’s amendments. In the Constitution itself, it’s only mentioned once, in Article VI, where it states that there shall be no religious test to hold public office.

            The United States of America is a secular nation, and it works just fine that way. It was meant to be a new type of government, for ALL its people, not just the religious ones. I’m not the one who needs a history lesson.

            Thanks for the chuckle, though.

          • Alexandra

            Oh wow, I just realized from Vison’s post that that is indeed a David Barton article. That’s fantastic. He seriously just makes stuff up. That did give me a good LOL. You might as well cite the homeless man ranting on the corner. He’s probably more reliable.

    • JoAnna Wahlund

      You’ve invoked Anderson’s Law! You lose.

    • Momvocation

      Who wasn’t outraged with the sex abuse scandal? Now sit down and read your catechism and the constitution. Non-issue…my butt!

    • Tally Marx

      You seriously need to read “Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice” by the non-Catholic Philip Jenkins.

      • Alexandra

        The last acceptable prejudice? Please.

        • Annony11

          Let’s say a gay rights group got upset about something in the government because it was trying to take away their rights. Would the majority of people be ridiculing them the way they do Catholics? Or an African American group? Absolutely not because people who speak against groups like that are automatically labeled bigots and intolerant. But when Catholics stand up about something very important to us, we are told to be quiet because we are making a big deal about nothing and if we do anything else we are insensitive.

          How many people actually research the Church’s response to the sex abuse scandals AND look at them in light of comparable research involving male teachers, Protestant ministers, etc? It is easier to simply use “priests are pedophiles” any time someone dislikes what Catholics are saying and few people refute it because that has become an accepted answer to any Catholic comment.

          Or in the media, take the incident just this past weekend at the Grammys. I’ll admit I didn’t see it myself, but I’ve heard about it from plenty of other people. If that had been making fun of any other group, would it have been permitted?

          In the workforce – Muslim women can get permission to wear a headscarf but I can’t wear a small crucifix. (I have no problem with allowing them to wear one, just that it should go both ways)

          Read the book suggested. Considering the fact that the author isn’t Catholic, it can’t even be said that this is just Catholic propaganda.

          Being an orthodox (as opposed to a cafeteria or cultural) Catholic today is slowly becoming as dangerous as it was to be a Christian in ancient Rome. Just this past summer, I heard a cardinal honestly say that he believes his successor will die in prison and the one after that will be a martyr. Of course, none of us hope this happens. But if it does, we will not give up. Because, the fact is, Catholicism has outlasted EVERY empire that has tried to stand in her way. She will survive. And even more than that. They say that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of faith. That is why the Church actually grows in areas where it is persecuted (be it physical or social persecution). After the sex abuse scandals, a number of dioceses considered closing their seminaries because they did not think they would get enough men to keep them open. These seminaries are now bursting at the seams hardly able to accommodate the growing number of seminarians.

          • Alexandra

            Maybe because orthodox Catholicism ends up being somewhat synonymous with bigotry. Intolerance of intolerance isn’t a prejudice that we should be ashamed of.

            Catholics are a majority, they’re not being persecuted. W’ere just telling them to back off and keep their ideas out of our lives. That’s not persecution, that’s justice.

            This is Christian’s losing their privilege they’re so used to.

          • Annony11

            “Intolerance of intolerance isn’t a prejudice that we should be ashamed of”

            Therein lies the issue. Why is your intolerance something of which to be proud? And who makes these decisions over which intolerance is allowed and which is unacceptable because it is intolerance? I am truly sorry that the only people you have encountered who are orthodox Catholics have seemed to be bigots. Every group has its fringe. Of course, if you simply mean that believing what the Church teaches and loving both her and her teachings is bigotry then it seems you are the one who is intolerant. In which case, it comes back to being prejudiced against Catholics.

          • Alexandra

            You don’t see how the Church’s stance on homosexuality is bigoted? It is.

            I could go on with other issues that are bigoted, but really that’s enough to start with. The Church’s stance on “loving” homosexuals but also denying them rights and condemning any acts upon their orientation is bigoted.

            Prejudice implies ignorance of the truth. The truth is that the Church is intolerant of homosexual rights and that is bigoted. It’s not a prejudice against Catholics, it’s a hate of their bigotry. It’s like calling anti-racism a prejudice. It’s intolerance of intolerance and is not something that deserves condemnation.

          • Anonymous

            intolerance of intolerance, now don’t call me young or anything but this whole post makes absolutely no sense to me, i could type a better response to whatever comment you’re responding to drunk

          • Cal-J

            “The Church’s stance on “loving” homosexuals but also denying them rights and condemning any acts upon their orientation is bigoted.”

            What acts are we condemning according to their orientation? Fornication? We oppose that regardless of orientation. Promiscuity? We oppose that regardless of orientation.

            Okay.

            You claim we deny them rights. I’m assuming you mean our opposition to Gay Marriage.

            Alright, in the interest of fairness, I’ll hear you out.

            Present your case for Gay Marriage. I will scrutinize it, and you will have the opportunity to refine it. “Because it’s fair” will not suffice; you must tell me why “it’s fair”.

            Is that acceptable?

          • Annony11

            What is truth? Is there absolute truth? If so, who determines what truth is?

          • Anonymous

            Let’s say a gay rights group got upset about something in the government because it was trying to take away their rights.

            You mean like calls for a US Constitutional Amendment that tells homosexuals that they can’t get married?

            Would the majority of people be ridiculing them the way they do Catholics?

            A goodly number, I would hesitate to call them a majority, because that concept scares me.

            Absolutely not because people who speak against groups like that are automatically labeled bigots and intolerant.

            Probably because gay marriage doesn’t hurt you or cost you anything, so no one understands why you complain.

            How many people actually research the Church’s response to the sex abuse scandals AND look at them in light of comparable research involving male teachers, Protestant ministers, etc?

            Why does this always come up? Why is the counter-argument, “Well, we just did what everyone else was doing. Why should we be held to a higher moral standard?” Why indeed?

            In the workforce – Muslim women can get permission to wear a headscarf but I can’t wear a small crucifix. (I have no problem with allowing them to wear one, just that it should go both ways)

            Why can’t you? Do you work with heavy machinery where it may get caught and injure you or someone else? Unless it’s something safety-related, your job can’t stop you from wearing a crucifix under your shirt.

            Being an orthodox (as opposed to a cafeteria or cultural) Catholic today is slowly becoming as dangerous as it was to be a Christian in ancient Rome.

            Oh, please. Christians have been dragging around that persecution complex for centuries. You’re not going to be fed to lions again. You’re just being forced to learn to co-exist with others in an increasingly diverse and secular society.

            Just this past summer, I heard a cardinal honestly say that he believes his successor will die in prison and the one after that will be a martyr. Of course, none of us hope this happens. But if it does, we will not give up.

            And that’s why he said it. Rally the troops, we’re under attack! They’ll be breaking down your door! But they’re not. They’re just telling you that the religion can’t dictate government policy.

          • AttentionDeficitCatholic

            Just gonna refute one of your counterpoints that really seemed to glare at me:

            “Unless it’s something safety-related, your job can’t stop you from wearing a crucifix under your shirt.”

            UNDER YOUR SHIRT. Do you not see the problem?

            Even you, who seem to be honestly attempting to tolerate Catholics, freedom of religion/expression, etc., cannot help but adding that “under your shirt”.

            You can wear a crucifix to work, as long as it is under your shirt.

            You can wear a Pro-Life T-shirt to school, as long as it is inside out.

            You can pray to your God in the privacy of your room, but don’t you DARE try to take your convictions out into the world.

            If there were no persecution of Catholicism in this country, he/she would be able to wear a crucifix OVER the shirt (assuming that safety is a non-issue).

          • Alexandra

            You Christians really like to think of yourself as persecuted, huh? It’s just hilarious to me. You are the majority, you normally get your way. There’s a difference between having to compromise and being persecuted.

          • Cal-J

            Care to name a few instances of us getting our way? You know, just to prove you can back up what you say and aren’t slinging mud.

          • Anonymous

            Christians are actually still being persecuted, go to China and check it out

          • Alexandra

            Of course there are Christians being persecuted in China, but there aren’t any in the US. You’d think the persecution in China would put your persecution complex in the States in perspective.

          • Anonymous

            come to Clarion University of PA, there’s persecution here too…

          • Anonymous


            UNDER YOUR SHIRT. Do you not see the problem?

            Nope.


            You can wear a crucifix to work, as long as it is under your shirt.

            As long as we’re not talking “Flava’ Flav’”-size crucifixes, I don’t really have an issue with them outside your shirt, but I have to wonder why they MUST be on the outside?


            You can wear a Pro-Life T-shirt to school, as long as it is inside out.

            If it disrupts class or causes disruptions to school discipline, then it’s no different than a shirt with nudity on it. It’s disruptive and needs to be removed.


            You can pray to your God in the privacy of your room, but don’t you DARE try to take your convictions out into the world.

            No one is stopping those who shout their convictions from the street corners. No one is stopping those who go door-to-door. Society just asks that those (personal, religious) convictions be kept out of government practice and law.


            If there were no persecution of Catholicism in this country, he/she would be able to wear a crucifix OVER the shirt (assuming that safety is a non-issue).

            Considering the problems some people have had with my own religious symbols, I honestly don’t mind wearing them inside my shirt while at work. I don’t wear them for everyone else, I wear them because they mean something to me.
            It’s not just Catholics. It’s not just Christians. We all have to get along, and some times that means keeping some things to yourself.

          • Annony11

            No, wearing a crucifix would not interfere with the safety of the job. Wearing it under my shirt would be a possibility but, as a woman, I don’t always wear shirts which reach all the way up to my neck. And frankly, I find my necklace popping out of my shirt even when wearing a turtleneck. The fact still remains that I should not have to keep it hidden.

            As a side note, I didn’t take the job. (I had been offered the position I was referencing which prohibited religious jewelry) I could have taken the job and dealt with wearing it under my shirt. Ultimately, there were other aspects of the job which would have been unsafe for me (not related to jewelry). Because of this, I decided to continue looking. I knew what I would be getting into and made the decision that it was not something I could work with. The exact same principle is at work with the mandate. No one is being forced to work for a Catholic institution. Any applicant has the option, as I did, to reject a position if they disagree with something required at work, something missing from the benefits, etc.

    • Spike

      “None of you guys were this outraged”

      Plenty of Catholics were/are outraged. You’ve just demonstrated, Patraulea2323, that you have no clue what you’re talking about.

      And it’s hardly an either/or thing. I can multitask in my outrage quite easily.

    • Theresa

      Your statement is both false and extremely offensive. Perhaps you should talk to some Catholics or read Catholic newspapers or do something before you make such an assumption. As a Catholic, I hear about sex abuse a lot, so please do not say that I was not outraged. I was. But I I never knew any of these priests and I never had any control over the situation. How am I supposed to help? What course would you suggest?

      And abortion and contraceptives are not a “non-issue”. They never have been and they shouldn’t ever be. Abortion and every type of contraceptive is taking a distinct individual, loved by God from forever, created, possible of being granted eternal happiness and supposed to do tons of good in the world and throwing them in a dumpster. That’s it. That’s all it is. And at least the Greeks and Romans who did expose their children and have abortions knew what they were doing. They didn’t try to hid behind “we have no knowledge of when life begins” or “it’s our right” or “it’s my choice[to kill an innocent human being]” Face up to it and take responsibility at least.

      Thank you.

  • Kristin Laylock

    Sock it to him! Very well done.

  • Nick

    This is a well-argued piece, but it stands on the assumption that contraception is immoral (and bacon eating is immoral). The author doesn’t have to argue about this assumption in his piece (and that would suck, because he would have to find bad secular arguments to dance around the fact the church is really concerned with potential people and the souls of blastocysts), but he should at least disclose it, like, “As Catholics, we all know that every sperm is sacred. An ejaculation wasted is a potential Christian never born…”, or something f that flavor.

    • Dicamiel

      No, it is based on the idea that an organization that believes contraception is immoral should not be forced to provide it or pay for it. Nor does it hinge on the idea that bacon is immoral, but rather that those who believe it is should not be forced to provide it or pay for it. In other words, it hinges on the assumption that our government should not force individuals or organizations to act against their beliefs (with some exceptions). That’s the entire issue at hand. There are organizations that provide free birth control. They do so because they have not qualms about it. That’s fine. But forcing an institutions WITH qualms against providing contraception is not.
      Did you even READ the article?

    • Anon

      I actually disagree with the piece, but I don’t think it does rest on that assumption. It only rests on the assumption that someone out there thinks it is. Which is true. There are other problems with the piece, though, which I talk about up-thread.

    • VVVVVV

      We actually don’t care about wasted sperm or eggs, dude. A woman’s egg cell or a man’s sperm is no different from the skin cells we lose every day. Most times people have sex, the sperm is “wasted”. No big deal.

      Now, once sperm and egg combine to form a new cell with it’s own human DNA (unique from the mothers) that immediately stars to grow and show the other scientific characteristics of life, we do care, because it would seem that the cell is a living human creature distinct from the mother (Lets say a distinct human being (being = a thing what exists).

      Now we can argue about if this human being is a person or not, but I think we’d have to get into some messy territory (maybe it’s, I dunno, 3/5 of a person?). I say we give this living human being the benefit of the doubt (how awful would it be if it were a human person but we said it was just another person’s property). So, if it’s a person, it must have the right to life, as stated by the 14th amendment (which grants the rights to life, liberty and property not to all citizens or even born persons, but simply “all persons”).

      I guess we could frame the argument like that?

      • Anonymous

        I’m sorry, did you think that “birth control” and “abortion” were the same thing? Oh, honey…

        • Dicamiel

          Your condescension is unprodcutive, rude, and unnecessary.
          Furthermore, some birth control pills ARE abortive in nature. They prevent a fertilized egg (a zygote, and if you believe life begins a conception, a person) from implanting, leaving it to die from a lack of necessary sustenance provided by the uterine lining which later forms into the umbilical cord. Not all do this, as I’m sure the poster probably knew. But abortive BC is still widely used. Also, you need some spaces between your elipses

    • Anonymous
      • Annony11

        Rufus, do you find that this sort of comment (and the rest that I’ve read so far from you on this page) goes a long way in changing hearts and minds? I’m fully on the side of Marc and the bishops but the name calling and, quite frankly, pathetic quips which you keep flinging seriously undermine everything else.

        I agree that much can be gained from Humanae Vitae but, personally, if someone presented me with a link saying “do yourself and everyone else a favor and read — and stop sounding like an imbecile” I would have no interest in reading what they posted.

        As they say, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Of course we need to be speaking the truth, but in a way which encourages others to listen not just decide we are running our mouths and tune it out.

  • Kqueenoftheworld

    “When any creature that normally takes half a century to form a complete statement starts a united effort to destroy your plans, think twice about your own brilliance.”

    this about made me pee my pants

  • Jay E.

    I think B16 should come and visit America in rather the same manner that JP 2 visited Poland (and consequently set up a chain of events that ended communist control of Poland).

  • Tiff

    Quick question Marc, in the petition is says:

    “This assumes Catholics are too stupid to know those very same hospitals or charities must BUY insurance plans that provide free contraception, and are thus STILL forced to pay for services they are morally opposed too.”

    Shouldn’t that be “to” and not “too”?

    • Tiff

      Sorry, not trying to be nit-picky here, but since you’re the creator of the petition didn’t know if there was a way for you to fix it.

      • Anon

        ‘Too’ is correct in that sentence. ‘To’ would be incorrect. No changes necessary. :)

        • georgia

          No, she’s right, the last phrase should read “morally opposed to” not “morally opposed too”.

        • Jmsteve4

          They mean the too at the end…

    • Alexandra

      I think you’re right, it should be to.

    • Astro

      It should be “too.” There is no mistake in the petition.

      • Alexandra

        Can you explain why? I’m really confused as to why it isn’t to.

        • Cal-J

          She’s right, Astro. It should be “are morally opposed to.” The “to” belongs to the “morally opposed”.

          If it were “too” the sentece should read “They’re morally opposed, too.” Which doesn’t quite sound off so well.

          • Cal-J

            *senetnce

            Uh…

            *sentence.

            There we go; I’m getting tired. :P

    • http://www.facebook.com/joeclark1977 Joe Clark

      Maybe should be “morally opposed to, too”…

  • Anonymous

    Such a classy title for a petition. “…..Cease Being an Ass Towards the Church”. Hmmm…..

    • Alexandra

      It beams of maturity and seriousness!

      • Cal-J

        It beams of honesty, certainly.

        • Anonymous

          ..or just an opinion.

          • Cal-J

            Well as long as we’re clear you’re just stating your opinions and make no claims as to whether or not others should behave in a certain manner, we should all be okay.

      • Anonymous

        I’m sorry, is there an actual argument in there somewhere?

    • VVVVVV

      Well donkeys can be pretty stubborn and uncompromising, right?

      • Anonymous

        Of course, one must not fail to mention the dictatorial hierarchy of the church.

        • Cal-J

          HIERARCHICAL AND PROUD!!

          • Anonymous

            Well, good for you. As for me, I’m proud that I grew beyond the influence of that hierarchical institution’s influence.

          • Cal-J

            Uh huh. And under whose influence did you grow?

          • Anonymous

            And don’t forget Male dominated for the piece de resistance.

          • Cal-J

            Shhhhh…! That’s our little secret. The New World Order has to come about quietly.

          • http://www.facebook.com/kickintheface Jacob Timothy Michael Hughes

            Because the Vatican just doesn’t want you to have sex! That’s why we’re doing this! We hate women and gays. It’s just all about control! New World Order, with us at the head! WOOHOO!!!!

  • Guest user.

    Will you still love that fertilized egg/embryo/fetus if it turns out to be gay? Will you still support him/her? I think not.

    • Anonymous

      Love points out error for correction and doesn’t tolerate the debasement of the person.

      Saint Thomas More (written in the Tower)

      “Bear no malice nor ill-will to any man living; for, either the man is good, or naught: if he be good, and I hate him, then am I naught; if he be naught, either he shall amend, and die good, and go to God; or abide naught, and die naught, and so be lost. If he be saved, he shall not fail, if I be saved too, as I trust to be, to love me very heartily, and I shall then love him likewise. And why, then, should I now hate one, who shall hereafter love me for evermore? and why should I now be an enemy to him, with whom I shall, in time coming, be coupled in eternal frendship?—On the other side, if he shall continue naught and be lost, that is so terrible and eternal a sorrow to him, that I should think myself a cruel wretch, if I did not now rather pity his pain, than malign his person. Should any one say, that we may, with a good conscience, wish an evil man harm, lest he should do harm to such as are innocent and good, I will not now dispute upon that point, for the matter requires to be more considered than I can now conveniently write, having no other pen than a coal. But, verily, thus will I say—that I will give counsel to every good friend of mine, if he be put in such a room as to punish an evil man, who lieth in his charge by reason of his office, at all events, to leave the desire of punishing unto God, and unto such folk as are so grounded in charity and cleave so fast to God, that no secret shrewd cruel affection, under the cloak of just and virtuous zeal, can creep in, and undermine them. But let us that are no better than men of a mean sort ever pray for such merciful amendment in others, as our conscience sheweth us we have need of in ourselves. ”

    • Cal-J

      Hahahahahaha.

      Shallow caricature = deep and profound argument.

      False Ad Hominem FTW.

    • EmilyP

      Yes, actually. The Church teaches us to love all our brothers and sisters, regardless of sexual orientation. The Church just asks that anyone who is not married be chaste-gay or straight. I have gay relatives and love them just the same.

    • VVVVVV

      Actually, I think we all would. I’m a believe-everything-the-Church teaches Catholic, and I have gay friends that I would take a bullet for and whom I support in their dreams and aspirations (my friends are more multifaceted than only being “gay” and nothing else. They are talented people with diverse interests and needs just like the rest of us.)

      Where in Church teaching does it say “no abortion except in cases of homosexuality”? (Hint: the answer is: nowhere)

    • http://www.facebook.com/joeclark1977 Joe Clark

      Alternat question for the libs: if it turns out that there’s a “gay gene” we can test for prenatally… will you still support legal abortion?

    • Anonymous

      There’s a reason Rick Santorum didn’t bother answering this question — because it is a stupid question with the goal being to play “gotcha,” as opposed to actually learning anything.

      • Cal-J

        I’m mildly tempted to figure out how the response “Would you?” would play out.

  • Thomas Pigg

    Two questions:

    Does the gov’t have any role in interfering in any religious matters?

    Is this really an issue of religious belief?

    To the first question, most would say no. You point to amendment numero uno. Case closed, right? Wrong. There are plenty of instances where the government can step in and interfere. For example, Mormons or Muslims cannot legally marry more than one person at a time, even though it is a part of their religions. Pagans cannot legally sacrafice animals to their dark lord of the underworld. People who might want to follow Aztec religion can’t just start sacrificing people to the Sun and Moon. I can’t burn witches or heretics at the stake. All of these things are prohibited by the government.

    So perhaps there is an interpretation issue with the 1st amendment? I think so! The reason Congress can deny polygamy to Mormons and Muslims is because they deny to all citizens. Therefore, it isn’t a ruling that is for or against any religion, or any portion of society. It is simply prohibited for anyone to marry more than one person at a time. Similarily, Congress cannot say “Well, we will give Mormons and Muslims the right to practice polygamy, since it is part of their faith, but not any other people” This would go against the first amendment. Nor could they deny the right to Muslims and Mormons, but allow it for others. It is all about keeping the state neutral in the matters of religion. It neither supports nor hinders religion.

    Now this brings us to the second question: is this really an issue of religious belief? Simple answer: No. No one is forcing Catholics to give up their belief that contraception is immoral. No one is forcing Catholics to take contraceptives. The Church can still preach that Contraceptives are immoral and that their flock should not take it. No one is taking that away. No one is saying it is wrong. This is NOT an issue of religion.

    It IS a issue of LABOR standards. All employers must provide certain standards to their employees. ALL. We cannot have some employers who don’t pay minimum wage because it offends their beliefs. Otherwise, we’d have a bunch of people working for next to nothing. So, this rule initially was stating that all employers have to provide free access to contraceptions (which, ironically, would help lower the number of abortions. Who doesn’t want that? A large percent of abortions are done by Hispanics…who also happen to be Catholic. Shouldn’t the Church want to stop these women from doing that?). So all employers much provide this access. Just like all employers have to provide safe work enviroment, min wages, and so on. This rule has always stated from the beginning that it would NOT include the Church directly, but institutions affiliated with the Church, such as charities, universities, and hospitals. Now, we know that not everyone working at these institutions are Catholic, nor share the belief of contraceptives are evil. Therefore, to allow the Catholic church to impose their beliefs on non-Catholics in denying coverage for contraceptives actually might be the offense against the 1st amendment, NOT requiring that employers provide coverage for their employees.

    It is sad that we have turned this into an issue, when there is CLEARLY no issue here.

    • Cal-J

      No, sir. It is very much an issue.

      I notice you failed to mention HOW, exactly, the ability to physically thwart the sexual act is a “labor standard”. Please explain.

      Nobody here is arguing about minimum wage, or denying wages to workers. This is about birth control, which does not — and cannot — claim so unambiguous a benefit.

      I keep hearing that contraception prevents abortion, except it doesn’t. The behaviors are physically exclusive.

      Contraception would only prevent getting pregnant, but even then, it’s not perfect. Contraception only provides a “success rate”, which, according to basic probability, gets worse and worse until something goes wrong, or, rather, until you KNOW something has gone wrong. In the meantime, the lack of “things going wrong” leads to an diminished sense of responsibility which leads to increasingly frequent and increasingly reckless sexual activity until – WHOOP! – something goes wrong. Cue abortion.

      The only thing that “prevents abortion” is choosing not to have one. In fact, contraception GREATLY INCREASES the likelihood of abortion due to the fact that abortion is the next logical step where the contraceptive inevitably fails.

      The rule involves facilities “affiliated” with the Church, which involves facilities that were started by Catholics, to act in accordance with Catholic teaching, and to serve the purposes of the Church.

      As to whether or no Catholics are imposing their beliefs on their non-Catholic employees, uh, it’s not “imposing beliefs” to inform someone that they will not be provided a flawed safety net for the removal of pants — which happens to be an agreement the employees and employers ALREADY REACHED.

      • Anonymous

        contraception GREATLY INCREASES the likelihood of abortion

        “citation needed”

        • Cal-J

          “due to the fact that abortion is the next logical step where the contraceptive inevitably fails.”

          Comparative statement, extrapolated from the primary intention of birth control.

          • Mike

            But have some common sense. I think you can agree on these basic points:

            1. People will have sex
            2. Some people do not want kids
            3. Despite this, these people will still have sex
            4. If there is no contraceptive, the chances of pregnancy are drastically, DRASTICALLY increased
            5. If the people involved to do not want kids and become pregnant, they will seek an alternative path.

            So if you remove step 4, contraception, you end up with people who don’t want kids getting pregnant way more often and seeking alternatives to this… aka abortions.

            You honestly believe that contraception use increases abortion frequency? That is just absurd.

          • Cal-J

            I am using common sense. I am saying that, if people really, truly do not want a child and contraception fails, it is more likely that they will rid themselves of that child using abortion. That is not “just absurd”.

            Also, your sequence of events is based on utilitarianism. We both look at the same problem, you answer “Damage Control”, I say “Responsibility Lesson.”

          • Alexandra

            Common sense is not how research is done. Research shows your common sense is wrong.

          • Anonymous

            “Research” you either misunderstood or flat out invented, you mean.

            If you’re referring to Steven Levitt’s work on the subject, it was later shown to have at least two glaring mathematical oversights, rendering its conclusions moot.

            But let me guess — it only counts as “research” when someone smarter is agreeing with you, not the other way around, right?

          • Cal-J

            Be nice, man. We’re tired. That last comment could’ve been cooled off a little.

          • Alexandra

            I have no idea what you’re talking about. Research is done by following the observable facts, not whatever you’ve decided is common sense.

          • Anonymous

            Then perhaps you should do a little research of your own before taking a position apparently based entirely on faith, no? Here’s a summary of the issue (which took, by the way, all of about 10 seconds on Google to find):

            http://www.isteve.com/abortion.htm

            If you’d prefer to continue to use the word “research” as a magic talisman to ward off people who disagree with you, however, feel free to skip it.

          • Cal-J

            I’m not really going to bother with judging whether the abortion rate/crime drop research as faulty or not. I choose not to because that’s not the principle, which I admit makes sense in a broad strokes fashion.

            Higher abortion rates would probably lead to less criminal activity, because less children would grow up to become criminals.

            Of course, less children would grow up to become criminals because less children would grow up to become ANYTHING, which is its own issue.

          • Anonymous

            Well, unlike that other commenter, at least you’re coming right out and admitting that reality is irrelevant, and you just want to talk about your feelings.

            Also, I’m not sure if you understand the difference between per capita rates and absolute totals…

          • Cal-J

            Dude, we’re on the same side.

            And I never said anything about my “feelings”, I said that her statement makes sense. It may be true, or it may not be, but it still has a logic. A sad logic, but logic nonetheless.

          • Anonymous

            What, exactly, are you smoking? If her statement isn’t true, then by definition, it doesn’t make sense.

            When you give cover to this twisted, Sanger-esque logic, and the ugly assumption that an America without abortion would be “punished” by the babies of unenlightened breeders, you make me suspect we’re not actually on the same “side” after all.

          • Alexandra

            Seriously still have no idea what you’re talking about. Are you hung up on my definition or research? Or are you just upset about Levitt?

            Levitt responded to that criticism, fixed the error, and essentially got the same result.

          • Anonymous

            I already explained the issue (below), and even posted a link — I can’t do any more. If you refuse to inform yourself, that’s your problem.

            I’ll await a more informed response, but I won’t hold my breath.

          • Alexandra

            Posting a link to a giant webpage is not an argument.

            I get that you disagree with me on some levels, I’m not sure what they are, you’re not being very clear.

          • Cal-J

            “What, exactly, are you smoking? If her statement isn’t true, then by definition, it doesn’t make sense.”

            @Dwduck: Okay, let me clarify. (I’m branching off this post because the line of letters bit is annoying). In logic, there is a principle called “validity”, which is basically that an argument follows its own internal logic. A valid argument doesn’t have to be true, but has a logical conclusion. For example:

            All cups are green.
            Socrates is a cup.
            Therefore, Socrates is green.

            …is a valid argument. I was merely pointing out that, while Alexandra had an argument that MAY or MAY NOT have been true, with a secondary premise that she only implied and I actually stated for her, her argument itself was valid. Or, at least, it was a valid progression of events. As such, her argument “makes sense”.

            Now, whether or not it’s a SOUND progression depends both on validity AND truth. I claimed she had validity. You claimed she had no truth. I’m not arguing against you. Both of our premises can be reconciled. She makes sense, but her sense is poor and has no actual bearing in truth. Of course, proving the truth/falsehood of her claims is your business.

            “When you give cover to this twisted, Sanger-esque logic, and the ugly assumption that an America without abortion would be “punished” by the babies of unenlightened breeders, you make me suspect we’re not actually on the same “side” after all.”

            Duck, you’re starting to sound like Rufus.

            I’m not covering anything. I made a side comment that I’m starting to regret. If you’d like, you can handle this on your own.

          • Anonymous

            So a child has to grow up under possibly difficult and probably poverty-level conditions just to teach the parents a lesson?

            …Wow.

          • Cal-J

            So the child has to die for the sake of the economy?

            …Wow.

          • Alexandra

            Not only is it absurd, it’s entirely unsupported by facts. Abortion rates always go down when contraceptive use goes up. And then about 15 yrs later crime rates drop. Less poor women having children they can’t afford to take care of. Less unhappy people committing crimes.

          • Cal-J

            Source?

          • Alexandra
          • Cal-J

            No, I’m afraid that doesn’t count.

            The subject of the Wikipedia article is the idea as to whether legalized abortion reduces crime or not.

            It has nothing to do with what you and I were talking about, which was whether increased contraception led to increased abortion.

          • Alexandra

            Oh okay, I wasn’t sure what you were asking about.

          • Cal-J

            “Abortion rates always go down when contraceptive use goes up.”

          • Cal-J

            How tiny can we make this?
            :D

          • Alexandra

            Here’s a good summary:

            https://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/2900603.html

            The PDF of the figures is particularly good.

          • Cal-J

            Okay, we seriously need to start a new thread. Or copy and paste whole posts into text editors to make them more readable.

            “Once use of highly effective contraceptive methods rises to 80%, the potential demand for abortion, and its incidence, will fall.”

            But until contraception usage hits that number, the study suggests that “contraceptive prevalence and the incidence of abortion can and, indeed, often [will] rise in parallel, contrary to what one what one would expect.”

            So, according to the report, contraceptive use and abortion use will rise simultaneously until the 80% figure is reached.

            So, for that first 79%, you just proved me right. Assuming it ever exceeds that.

          • Anonymous

            If abortion rates go down with contraceptive use, then why is it that 54% of women seeking an abortion were using contraception during the month they became pregnant? It seems that if contraception decreased the abortion rate, we’d be seeing very few contracepting women in the abortion mills.

          • Anonymous

            Source?

          • Anonymous

            http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html

            Scroll down to “Contraceptive Use”

          • Anonymous

            I’m sorry if this is a duplicate post. It’s very hard to find comments here. I can’t see my original reply to this, so….

            http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html

            scroll down to Contraceptive Use.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            Most women had used some form of contraception during the same month they became pregnant. Contraceptive use is common.

            But women who are using contraception correctly and consistently – ie, women who could afford to buy the best and get medical advice – tend not to become accidentally pregnant and therefore tend not to have abortions.

            As someone else notes downthread; provision of contraception via health insurance means abortion prevention.

            Anyone who militates against women getting access to contraception is clearly none too bothered if the abortion rates go up.

          • Anonymous

            Could you please provide a source that shows that increased contraception has decreased the rate of abortion?

          • Alexandra

            Here’s a good summary. It’s a complicated issue but you can learn the most in the least time from looking at the charts in the PDF of figures associated with this webpage:

            https://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/2900603.html

          • Anonymous

            This shows under the heading “Simultaneous Rises in Abortion and Contraception” that indeed in many countries, inlcuding the U.S. abortions increase with the increase use of contraceptives.

          • Anonymous

            oh good ol’ guttmacher, always so unbiased…

          • Alexandra

            That’s simply not true though. The majority of women I know who use hormonal birth control are pro-life. I know three women who had unintended pregnancies while on birth control who had their babies.

            Most Americans do not consider hormonal birth control to be immoral, but many of them do consider abortion amoral. It’s not black and white. Just because you use birth control doesn’t mean you would ever have an abortion.

          • Alexandra

            Ugh, immoral not amoral. Long day.

          • Cal-J

            No problem. We all have long days.

            The fact that a number of women do not have abortions when they have babies does not refute my statement, or the logic behind it — are your friends Christian? A number of Christian women hesitate to make the connection between contraception and abortion, mainly that both stem from the same root (the desire not to have children) and have the same end result (not having children), but we’re not establishing morals by counting raised hands here.

            Personal considerations and opinions regarding issues do not change whether something is objectively bad or not.

            Of course, that’s a hol nutha ballawax, which is its own debate.

            Tell you what; you seem like a person worth getting to know outside of combox bickering. Wanna shoot a debate over e-mail?

          • Anonymous

            Correlation is not causation, and the primary intention of birth control isn’t even birth control any more for the majority of those who use it, it’s become a misnomer.

          • Theresa

            hi
            I’m just going to interject myself into this discussion by pointing out that the first chemical abortions were performed by the ancient Romans by eating a plant. The plant caused the woman to expel the baby extremely violently, which you could argue, was either a form of contraception(like ella) or an abortion. The baby of course died, the the point of me telling you this was to prove that contraception and abortion are extremely similar. And the Romans used that plant to extinction…

            Oh, sorry to make this so long, but I have a friend in college and she has endometreosis. I don’t know much about it except that it makes it hard to have children, her periods are long and extremely painful, and all the women in her family have it. She was on birthcontrol for a while(she’s Catholic) and that worked ok I guess, but then she started using this chart. It was kind of like natural family planning in that she charted her cycles by mucus, temperature etc. And them with that info her doctors have her certain medicines to take on certain days. i think it really helped her, and it’s treating the problem, not just the pain, and helping her body.

            Thanks so sooo much for reading:) God bless you

          • Vision_From_Afar

            I realize I’m feeding the necroposter, but I just have to respond to this.

            You’re saying there’s a cure for endometreosis? Why has this news not spread throughout the medical community? I thought it was still a largely unknown disease that the medical community can’t bother to study in detail…

            Your Roman example is interesting, but not really germane to the point I was trying to make. I was talking about birth control, not “the morning after pill”, which is a different topic altogether, and still only tangentally related to what you’re describing here, which is a chemically-induced abortion. The Romans used what they had on hand, and to judge them by today’s standards is just arrogant.

            I’m truely glad it’s working for your friend, but don’t expect the rest of us to follow suit when a viable aternative exists.

        • Anonymous

          it does actually

          • Anonymous

            That’s not a study, scientific paper, or even a news article. That’s a “because I say so.”
            Guess what? It doesn’t, actually.

          • Anonymous

            it does, i learned about it last year, check out dr. janet smith’s talk “contraception leads to abortion”

          • Anonymous

            Ah, see? _That_ is an _actual_ rebuttal. A link would’ve been nice, but don’t worry, I found it anyway.
            A talk that includes a lot of statements but few facts from a rabidly pro-life website does not an argument win. She only mentioned a single research study, and then admitted that the study was completely biased, setting out only to look for the result it expected. That’s bad science, and should be dismissed out of hand.
            Also, the entire talk’s point (whether Dr. Smith intended it or not) was _not_ that contraception increases abortion, but rather women’s self-image issues, forgetfulness, or stubbornness _in relation to_ contraceptives, lead to an increase in abortion. I would argue that Christianity’s tacit labeling of such women as promiscuous slatterns probably has a lot to do with this. So now we’re stuck with a self-fulfilling prophecy.
            Church: “If you use contraception, you’ll just get an abortion, you bad woman.”
            Woman: “You know, I never liked it any way. I’ll just quit using it.”
            [use your imagination]
            Woman: “I’m pregnant, and to avoid a loveless, forced marriage, I’m going to have an abortion.”
            Church: “Told you so.”

            See what I mean? Until Christianity gets off it’s moral high-horse on contraception, the cycle will continue.

          • Anonymous

            i like my high horse =) and plus what about not having sex at all? is it so hard to have some freakin’ self control and keep it in your pants and keep your legs shut?

          • Anonymous

            So you’re making my point for me? Any woman who wants to have sex, regardless of whether or not she follows your religion, is now a slattern who can’t control herself according to you.
            Not everyone agrees that abstinence works. I certainly don’t.

          • Anonymous

            eh, it works for me, i don’t know what slattern means… i haven’t been in a relationship in 3 years and i’m doing just splendid!

          • Anonymous

            Bully for you! (“Good for you”) I’m genuinely happy that it’s working for you. Honestly, no sarcasm here. Not everyone has the ability to do as you are doing.

            Slattern is an old-school (and thus, not quite as “shocking”, since most people don’t use it any more) version of “whore” or “slut”.

          • Anonymous

            alot of people do have the ability to do what i’m doing

          • Annony11

            Actually, everyone has the ability to do what she is doing. Most people just don’t want to. Saying that they don’t have the ability reduces humans to animals in heat who cannot control their sexual impulses.

          • Anonymous

            ORLY? In a world riddled with addicts of all shapes, sizes, mannerisms, and degrees, you’re going to tell me that everyone has the perfect impulse control of a 19-year-old devout Catholic? Quit wasting my time.

          • Annony11

            No, maybe not every single person but I would hope we can agree that addicts are the exception and not the norm. Perhaps it would have been more astute of me to say “Every person with full use of their mental capacities and without serious chemical or emotional imbalances is able to do what she is doing.”

          • Anonymous

            everyone should be able to do it, they just choose not to…

          • lucelu

            Try staying in a successful relationship for 3 years and abstaining. Women aren’t impregnating themselves.

    • Tiff

      Yes, it is an issue of religious beliefs and this is why (not my quote, not sure who it originates with):

      “This is an argument from logic and ethics applied to the first amendment. The first amendment, as we know, protects the Church from government regulation. This mandate is government regulation. Obviously, the state has some ability to regulate churches, so, for instance, we don’t have legal cults that practice genocide. The Nazis couldn’t call themselves a religion and then have freedom to kill the Jews in our country. Why not? Because it is recognized that natural law is the basis of civil law and of religious law. So, if a religion is violating natural law, then it is in that way not acting as a religion, and the state may intervene on that issue to force compliance with natural law. That is the only way that the state may interfere with religion. Given that, to make the case that the state can force the Church to pay for contraception for employees requires at least three premises to be true: 1) that all people have a right to contraception under the natural law, 2) that all people have a right to receive that contraception free of charge, and 3) that employers have the duty to pay for the contraception. The 1st premise is false because contraception violates nature by ceasing or altering natural bodily functions. The 2nd premise is false because no one can say that his rights must be secured by another. The 3rd premise is false because employers provide health care as a matter of convention and a part of wages, but it could also be that an employer pays enough for an employee to acquire independent insurance. Further, the 3rd premise is false because while employers do have an interest in the health of employees, they have no interest in the sex lives of employees, and contraception, which is a violation of the body’s health, is about sex, not healthcare. These three false premises form the basis of the government’s attack on our freedoms. These are the real arguments. Every other argument the media is using is a distraction from these three points. Now, the federal government may not agree that they are limited to regulating churches only with regard to natural law, but that would be one of those points on which the state and christianity disagree. Ultimately, we are still bound by moral obligation to disobey the government when it is in the wrong, even if government says that it is in the right.”

      • Anonymous

        “contraception, which is a violation of the body’s health, is about sex, not healthcare.”

        And that’s where your argument goes off the rails. It was close in arguing the 2nd premise, because oddly enough, we have police and a standing military to ensure that our rights are secured, but this is where it collapses.
        There are medical conditions, like endomitriosis, which can cause crippling pain and infertility, which can be kept in check by contraceptives until the time when a couple decides to actually conceive. How can you tell me that is all about sex, not health care? There are other examples, but I already blew one giant hole in your argument.

        • Anonymous

          Not that big of a hole since hormonal therapies (The Pill) is covered for the specific treatment of disease. I happen to know this because my sister worked for a Catholic hospital and her prescription was covered.

          • Anonymous

            *gasp*
            You mean a Catholic hospital ALREADY covered “the pill”?!


            So why all the angry blowback at being asked to do something they were already doing?

          • Elvin_bethea

            Sure, for medical purposes. But definitely not so someone can live a sex-filled life.

          • Bill Armstrong

            One can find very clearly in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Part 3, Section 2, Chapter 2, Article 6) the outline of the above idea. See line 2370, “In contrast, ‘every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible’ is intrinsically evil”. “The pill” is not intrinsically evil, just its use intentionally to prevent conception. Thus, it is not morally unacceptable to give something like “the pill” to someone to clear up a medical issue, so long as they are not seeking it as a means of birth control. Certainly, it will function as birth control while they take it, but that cannot be the point within the Church’s morality.

          • Elvin_bethea

            I kinda wanna know why this is directed at me.

          • Cal-J

            Continuing the conversation thread to keep it from branching, maybe? I do it, too. I address who I’m talking to, though.

          • Anonymous

            First, they are being required, not asked. Second, it include contraceptive use, as well as sterilizations.

            The insurers already cover medically necessary medicines and hysterectomies. It’s not as though the Church is saying these thing in themselves are evil. Their improper use is the problem.

            My husband works for a secular company that restricts plastic surgery to medically necessary procedures. That is no different than what the church does with contraception.

        • Aaron Suddjian

          “oddly enough, we have police and a standing military to ensure that our rights are secured”

          We pay the police and military. They are basically our employees. It’s their job to protect us, as convoluted as the whole system is. So, yeah.

    • Anonymous

      “Pagans cannot legally sacrafice animals to their dark lord of the underworld.”

      Seriously? I’m not even going to say anything beyond pointing out the inherent absurdity of this statement.

      “The reason Congress can deny polygamy to Mormons and Muslims is because they deny to all citizens. Therefore, it isn’t a ruling that is for or against any religion, or any portion of society. It is simply prohibited for anyone to marry more than one person at a time.”

      No, the reason Congress denies polygamy is because Christians have set down in law, and most especially tax code, that marriage is a strictly two-person affair. You contradict yourself, sir. Mormans and Muslims (and whomever else) are, by definition, a “portion of society”, and therefore, the ruling preventing their religious behavior is a violation of the 1st amendment. It’s just that they’re such a small part of society that actually challenging it would be impossible (that, and society in general hasn’t been very accommodating of the idea of two same-sex people getting married, no telling what they’d think of four people doing the same!), so everyone sticks with just two. Also, since it’s codified so deeply into tax law, unless there’s a serious tax overhaul I don’t see this changing.

      On the other hand, I completely agree with the rest of your post! Cheers.

    • Anonymous

      Mr. Pigg,

      It is not merely an issue of religious belief, but the question exposes the heart of what true healthcare is. This is a question that every patient, doctor, etc. must face as they decide what they must do, not do, and how to handle the gray zone in the middle.

      Consider: what if contraception is not really healthcare, as properly understood? Contraception interferes with the proper functioning of the reproductive system. Think about it: is it REALLY “healthcare” to take a normal bodily function and “break” it, in someone who is neither sick nor injured?

      Catholics are merely insisting that they only be required to pay to treat and prevent injuries and disease, because they believe that is the extent of medicine. That is, after all, the logical definition of healthcare. On the other hand, preventing normal human functioning has always been a controversial idea, particularly if those “preventive” measures have harmful side-effects.

      You can expect stout opposition from Catholics whenever a voluntary treatment is proposed that makes people less than what they were before.

      • Anonymous

        So my wife has to suffer horribly painful cycles and crippling migraines because they’re “natural” and “normal”? She can’t have the pill, which corrects for these conditions and lets her go to work every day? Please tell me you’re just trolling. I want to have faith that you don’t actually believe that tripe.

        • Anonymous

          My sincere sympathies for your wife.

          In such cases, the pill is being used to treat a problem other than pregnancy, and using it for its non-contraceptive properties, and there would be no ethical issue (or far less, anyway).

          The ethical problem with a contraceptive is in giving it to healthy people **for its contraceptive properties**, some of which may be harmful. That would be unethical.

          • Anonymous

            But what you’re arguing for here is that the ONLY reason anyone could ever require insurance coverage of this pill is so they can go screw, not for the legitimate reason you just agreed was medically necessary!

            Which is it? Are you going to force them to fill out a medical-privacy-invading questionnaire?

          • Anonymous

            What I am literally arguing for is for the pill to be treated like prescription painkillers.

          • Cr

            Dude, really? That’s what you think this whole argument is about? You need to retake a critical analysis class.

          • Anonymous

            And you need to re-read the article and comments.

          • MC

            Sir, you are clearly (I hope not intentionally) missing the point. The Church allows for the use of hormonal therapies, which may include the Pill, if they are used for the purpose of treating a serious medical issue that doesn’t have another readily available treatment. In such cases, infertility is a side effect (google “principle of double effect). This is why Catholic institutions do in fact cover the Pill, if it is prescribed to treat a serious medical condition; the doctor will in that case write a note explaining the circumstances. They do not cover it if it is prescribed in simply in order to render a woman infertile.

          • http://www.facebook.com/gerardneumann Gerry Neumann

            Definitely intentional. Cast not your pearls before swine.

          • Anonymous

            How’s the view from up there?

          • Anonymous

            I DO realize that, I’m just wondering what your standard of measurement is for “serious” medical issue is, any why the Catholic Church has any right to make such a judgement.

          • EV

            Well it is the institution that started hospitals. But really, any decision by the church is well though out and well informed.

          • Anonymous

            You REALLY don’t want me to argue that statement here.

            “Any” decision? Really? I’ll give you three: Inquisition (you never said “current”), Condoms for AIDS prevention in 3rd world countries, and playing “find the pedophile” with priest assignments.

        • Anonymous

          My sympathies sir!

          But the Pill — while entirely ethical in medical situations — just covers up the underlying problem causing migraines, painful cycles and the like by ‘flattening out’ the hormonal cycle. It’s not actually fixing anything, just treating the symptoms. This isn’t bad, but have you ever considered something like NAPROTechnology, that can fix the underlying problem? You’re in my prayers.

          http://www.fertilitycare.org/

          • Alexandra

            What is NAPROTechnology? People keep linking to the site and despite combing through it I cannot figure out what it is. Can you enlighten me?

          • Anonymous

            This site covers it pretty well: http://www.naprotechnology.com/

            The basic idea is that a woman can observe her hormonal cycle herself by looking at biomarkers — cervical mucus, temperature — and find abnormalities or problems there. NaPro doctors then look at the measurements she takes (in the form of the chart) and prescribe direct hormonal supplements, or surgery, or whatever is needed.

            It is more effective than the Pill in treating PMS, endometriosis, PCOS, and can also help with infertility, migraines, and depression. All naturally! ( :

          • Alexandra

            How are hormonal supplements more natural than the pill? The pill is hormones and they work to fix all of those things.

          • lucille

            The natural hormones used in NaPro like progesterone are the same that our bodies naturally produce. The synthetic equivalent used in bc is progestin and actually works in the body in very un-progesterone ways and is one reason why there are many unpleasant side effects with progestin versus with progesterone.

        • Cr

          Medical conditions are different from the agenda Obama is proposing. The church would never condemn anyone in any circumstance, much less if it’s a case like your wife’s. Please be informed before you get all upset.

          • Alexandra

            But that’s not the case. The Church is opposing all birth control insurance coverage, not just coverage if it is not for a medical reason.

          • http://www.facebook.com/kickintheface Jacob Timothy Michael Hughes

            They already cover NECESSARY usage of contraception, as long as the contraceptive effects of the medicine are not the goal.

          • Alexandra

            How do they know whether or not it is necessary? They ever cover the drug under the insurance plan or they don’t. If they did, this wouldn’t even be an issue, because any woman could say she’s taking it to regulate her menstrual cycle.

            What makes you think that these institutions already cover birth control?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/UNPKICSZDQ2POYY3YSKUMG22RY Colleen

            False. Most insurance companies don’t have a blanket policy of “they either cover it or they don’t”. If a woman gets a diagnosis from her doctor, insurances who don’t cover contraceptives for personal reasons will cover it with proof of an actual medical condition.

          • Alexandra

            Interesting. I guess that makes sense since you can use that glaucoma med to grow eyelashes and they’ll cover it for glaucoma but not eyelashes.

            Do you know if that’s what most Catholic employers are using? Because then women just need to tell their doctors they’re having irregular cycles, cramps, or acne and they’ll be able to use the benefit.

          • http://www.facebook.com/kickintheface Jacob Timothy Michael Hughes

            They are using a form of it. An employee in St. Louis must have the approval of the Archbishop’s office before they will have it covered. And doctors are not stupid. They won’t just take a woman’s word for it, just as they wouldn’t take someone’s word that they need painkillers. They would verify.

          • Alexandra

            My doctor does it all the time. Painkillers are a completely different class of drugs than birth control.

          • http://www.facebook.com/kickintheface Jacob Timothy Michael Hughes

            I had a post here, but the column was too skinny.

          • http://www.facebook.com/kickintheface Jacob Timothy Michael Hughes

            Also, to clarify, the Archbishop gets word from the doctor. They are not making an uninformed decision on it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/kickintheface Jacob Timothy Michael Hughes

            Yes, but for the plan to cover the BC, the doctor must verify that there is a problem. Your doctor doesn’t do so because he doesn’t need to for your insurance. It doesn’t matter what class of drugs it is; if it’s prescription, you can’t get it without permission from a doctor.(Legally, anyway.)

          • Alexandra

            And how is a doctor going to verify that you have an irregular cycle or debilitating cramps? They aren’t. Many doctors aren’t above recording things differently to help a patient use their insurance benefit to the max.

          • Anonymous

            It’s all fun and games, until they end up in prison for insurance fraud…

          • Kpkmms

            Alexandra, How old are you? Believe me, when you visit your gynocologist for female problems, they start doing procedures and there are lots of them available to the doctors. The doctors do not want law suits, especially the obgyn’s since they already pay enormous amounts in malpractice insurance.

          • Anonymous

            i don’t feel like finding her comment, so i’m writing this on yours to respond to hers, i’ve never been to the OBGYN, so i have absolutely no idea what goes on in there, but doctors aren’t stupid, i’m pretty sure they can tell if you’re lying to them or not…

          • Jcrow086

            There are alternative treatments to BC for acne, cramps etc. I was given a stronger pain killer to manage my cramps, there is acne medication. BC is mainly used for contraceptive means, if an institution is against that, then they shouldn’t be forced to pay for it. If individuals want birth control they should pay for it themselves. Its $25/month usually, $40 for Plan B. It isn’t a necessary item for health, its a luxury item people don’t need but choose to use. Also these institutions shouldn’t be forced to pay for someone else’s pharmaceutical abortion, that would be forcing them to aid in an act they view as murder, how is that right? To inflict the guilt anf sorrow over aiding a murder so to speak. If someone was irresponsible than they should cover the costs, if its too much, then they shouldn’t be out having frivoulous sexual relations, because a child could result, and children are expensive. All and all people should have to pay for their OWN unnecessary items, not force those against them to pay the bill.

          • Kpkmms

            Your obgyn makes the determination that you medically need the hormones to control the condition. It’s a “code ” that they put on the insurance form that they submit to the insurance company. Another example is we do not have eye coverage for glasses, visits, ect. but my son had an eye accident. Now anything he has done to that eye is covered under our major medical. There are always exceptions with the insurance plans. If it is medically necessary you can normally get the coverage with minimal hassel.

          • Musiciangirl591

            women can, oh what’s the phrase, it’s on the tip of my tongue, oh yeah, BE RESPONSIBLE and get their contraception elsewhere, other than the Church

          • Anonymous

            They’re not getting it from the Church. They’re getting from their insurance and from a medical provider. Both of whom are, oh what’s the phrase, it’s on the tip of my tongue, oh yeah, SECULAR! That’s the type of government we have, SECULAR, not Catholic! Weird, right?

          • http://www.facebook.com/kickintheface Jacob Timothy Michael Hughes

            What about those that are self-insured? And who do you think is paying the insurance companies?

          • Anonymous

            I’m not sure where you’re headed with this argument…

          • http://www.facebook.com/kickintheface Jacob Timothy Michael Hughes

            If a hospital is self-insured, they would necessarily be forced to pay for contraceptives, as they are the insurance providers.

            By the second point, I’m arguing that there is no difference between the insurance company paying for it and the organization paying for the coverage. It’s semantics. The entire point of insurance is that the policy holders do not directly pay for things, other than with co-pays. The insurance company pays for the services. How is this any different?

          • Kpkmms

            You have the freedom to work anywhere that you want. You do not have to work for a Catholic institution. This is not about just the Catholics it’s about the government getting involved within a religiously run organization and making mandates. I don’t have optical coverage for my family, how about mandating that? Or cover all of my dental bills. How about pay the enormous amount that I owe the oncologist for my cancer treatments? Cut out going to dinner once a month and the woman can afford to purchase her birth control pills, or go to planned parenthood. There are other options. My insurance company didn’t cover my pills 25 years ago and I’m sure they were more expensive then than they are now.

        • Alexandra

          You’re wrong Vision, your wife’s employer should get to decide if she deserves coverage. Because she might just be a slut, and we can’t take that risk. The way it should work is women should have to take a note to a priest from their doctor who will approve whether or not she is using it in good conscience. You just can’t trust us sneaky temptresses.

          • Anonymous

            Well, if you feel that strongly about it, open your wallet and go buy it yourself. I don’t know why you insist on it being “free”.

            Are you implying women are too flighty to take care of their own needs? Like, if the government doesn’t force someone to give them pills, they’re going to get distracted on the way to the drugstore and buy a pair of shoes instead?

          • Jstinchcomb

            what about those who can’t afford the pill? church institutions hire plenty of low-wage workers, particularly for janitorial needs (in schools, offices, and churches themselves) who may or may not feel that the best choice they can make in their life is to use contraceptives. Is it fair for the church to deny them that very, very personal choice?

          • Anonymous

            Minimum- and low-wage workers aren’t receiving employer-subsidized health insurance anyway, so your point is moot. (In fact, I’d point out that employed-subsidized comprehensive coverage is a major contributor to medical cost inflation in the first place, which hits the poor particularly hard.)

            I do love the rhetorical knots you have to tie yourself into, though, to claim that asking someone to *choose* to purchase something themselves is “denying choice”. Be honest — what you’re really saying here is that you want the poor to be compelled to make the choice *you* want them to make. Which is in fact “denying choice”, by the way.

            Do you think the poor are somehow inferior to the middle class at decision-making skills? Or do you just think that your ability to have kids should be tied to your net worth?

          • Jstinch

            That was unnecessarily unkind. I never said that I wanted someone to choose contraceptives or not. I’m Catholic, by the way, and I’m struggling with this issue. Thank you for making me feel attacked by a member of my own “community”.
            As a Catholic, I’m allowed to have questions, and my question is if its fair to deny the choice of contraceptives or not to those most economically disadvantaged within this system. It’s easy for people who are financially comfortable to say ‘just buy it on your own if you want to make a choice’, but that’s the point. When the money’s not there, there is no choice. It’s not about choosing shoes over contraceptives; it’s about choosing food over contraceptives. I didn’t know that about minimum and low wage workers; perhaps that does make my point moot. I’ll be honest, since this is just a comment forum, I’m going to do some research before I believe you. I was speaking out of my personal experience; I’m familiar with Catholic universities that have full time, often round-the-clock janitorial posts or food service jobs that pay for the cost of living but not much more than that. I was under the impression that these people do receive health care coverage. If their health care didn’t cover birth control, wouldn’t that in effect be denying them the choice of contraceptives or no?
            By the way, it could be no. I’m not going to judge people on this issue, because I do believe it’s personal and not necessarily a reflection of an immoral lifestyle.

            And you didn’t say this, but I’m going to put it in here as a response to someone else anyway: if someone can’t afford birth control, they can’t afford to quit their job to find other work at a place that does pay for birth control. (Unless the economy fixed itself when I quit looking?)

          • Anonymous

            No more than an insurance plan not covering elective plastic surgery means we’re preventing the poor from getting boob jobs. (That’s actually an apt analogy — insurance will pay for breast implants after a mastectomy, but not “just because”.) There’s a massive difference between prohibiting something outright and not subsidizing it. Price and income have nothing to do with it.

            I’m sorry you feel attacked, but I think that has more to do with your cognitive dissonance than with me. And I’m not Catholic, so don’t try pulling that card on me.

          • Kqueenoftheworld

            in regards to ((It’s easy for people who are financially comfortable to say ‘just buy it on your own if you want to make a choice’,))
            my non-catholic daughters , one of whom is a poor college student . and one who is a poor single mom . who both see no problem with birth control . both feel that free birth control is not a right , and don’t think they should have to pay for their friends birth control .
            my family is a paycheck away from disaster . and i can only use my insurance for hardcore emergencies . because i can’t afford the co-pays to go for regular checkups .
            but now my premiums are gonna pay for my 14 yr. old neighbor to be on the pill because she is in ‘love’ and sleeping with her boyfriend .
            so you see it can also be easy for some of us poor people to say ‘just buy it on your own if you want to make a choice’ .

          • Jcrow086

            I was un birth control at one time, I had to stop. One because ingredients in it were making me ill, but also because I became unemployed, and could no longer afford it. My boyfriend and I chose to abstain. It didn’t ruin our relationship, my symptoms went away, and my money goes to necessities rather than luxuries. I don’t want to pay for someone who can’t keep their prioroties straight, I’m too busy paying for food and glasses.

          • Kpkmms

            There is choice for poor people. Planned Parenthood.

          • Alexandra

            Duck, how do you get from wanting it to be easily accessible to denying them choice by compelling them to make the choice you think is best? That doesn’t even make any sense.

          • Anonymous

            It’s easy: you’re not arguing that birth control should be cheap enough to be affordable; you’re arguing that it should be pushed by people with a vested interest in pushing it, i.e. insurers and doctors. (Which happens right now, by the way.) So, you’re stacking the deck, to coerce people to make *your* choice.

            If you can manage to stop twisting the word “choice” into such tortured knots, you’d see it too.

          • Kpkmms

            It already is easily assessable. And it’s only about 30.00 a month. GO to Planned Parenthood if you ned financial help. Otherwise quit complaining about such a trivial amount of money when there are millions of people paying the co-pays, deductables, and out of pocket expenses for real medical problems. Cancer, diabetics, kidney disease, heart disease, stroke victims. I pay several hundred dollars a month out in medical.

          • http://www.facebook.com/gerardneumann Gerry Neumann

            The question is is fair to make those of us who don’t want to pay for her licentious lifestyle pay for it?

          • KoriL

            If someone doesn’t like the Church’s policies on contraceptive healthcare policies, well – no one’s forcing them to work for the Church.

          • Laura

            The Church isn’t denying anyone that “choice”. She just isn’t bank-rolling it. As she doesn’t fund plenty of other “personal choices”, including my deodorant

          • Kqueenoftheworld

            but why free contraception , for a non-disease . when you have cancer patients , diabetics , etc… who can’t afford their medication . to treat real disease . why do they not get theirs free?

          • Maggie

            Probably because it’s way more expensive to pay for the health of future children that would be included on the parent’s insurance plan. The administration isn’t trying to get it covered because it’s necessary, but because they see the effects of widespread, easily accessible contraception as a boon. Which is scary. I mean, how long until we have a one child policy or something equally horrific?

          • Jcrow086

            One word: abstinence. If you can’t afford birth control and choose not to practice NFP, then you shouldn’t risk the possibilty of pregnancy which will be expensive. Why should an employer have to pay for someone who can’t keep their pants on.

          • Musiciangirl591

            don’t use the word slut, and they should go find their contraception elsewhere instead of from the Church!

          • Anonymous

            Are you trolling? You can’t possibly be this entitled and ignorant, right?

          • Alexandra

            I’m not entirely sure if you think I was being serious, or if you think that my sarcasm was entitled and ignorant. Either way, I was being sarcastic.

          • Anonymous

            oh, thank god.

          • Alexandra

            I’ll thank my sweet noodly savior the spaghetti monster, thank you very much. :)

          • http://www.facebook.com/kickintheface Jacob Timothy Michael Hughes

            The “spaghetti monster” argument has been tried, and found lacking.

        • JoAnna Wahlund

          The pill is just masking your wife’s symptoms; it’s not curing the underlying problem — a problem which could be getting worse without proper treatment. I recommend finding a NaPro doctor and exploring treatment options that will cure the underlying problem and not just mask the symptoms.

          Also, check out the book “Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition” by Marilyn Shannon; it’s possible that changes in diet and/or certain nutritional supplements might help her condition as well.

          But, as has been said already, using hormonal treatments for a valid medical condition has never been an issue with the Church. It’s licit to use medication to treat a medical issue even if there’s an unintended contraceptive side effect.

          • Alexandra

            Can you explain what NaPro is?

          • http://www.facebook.com/gerardneumann Gerry Neumann

            Every hear of google?

            http://www.naprotechnology.com/

          • Alexandra

            Thank you Gerry, but I’ve seen that website and it’s very vague about what it is and how it’s any different to take hormones that they prescribe vs hormonal birth control. It seems like the same thing to me.

          • Anonymous

            There is a very clear difference between the hormonal supplements Marc is suggesting verses the pill. As other people have noted above, the pill does not actually fix the problems a women might have; it just covers them up by putting her in a state of pseudo-pregnancy.

            For example, if a woman has endometriosis, some doctors will automatically put her on the birth control pill, and the symptoms will seem to get better. However this is because the root cause of endomitriosis is irregular ovulation. Because the pill suppresses ovulation, it is not actually fixing the problem, just suppressing it.

            The same effect- temporarily stopping the problem- happens when a woman who has endomitriosis becomes pregnant. Because women do not ovulate when they are pregnant, the condition seems to temporarily go away. However this is only a temporary result of the pregnancy, or in the case of birth control, the pseudopregnancy simulated by the hormones. When a woman either goes off the pills or is finished with her natural pregnancy, the endometriosis returns because problem with never fixed, just covered it up.

            A close friend of mine has this problem; she has very severe endometriosis. She has struggled with ovarian cysts and other complications since she was a teen, and has miscarried two children because of it. She went to six gynecologists, all of whom told her the pill was her only choice. Finally sure saw a Napro doctor. Unlike the other physicians, he could read and understand her NFP charting and identify the root of the problem right away. She is now on herbal supplements that are not synthetic hormones and is scheduled for a surgery that will fix the root cause of her disease. Unlike the doctors who just wanted to put her on the pill to fix the symptoms, the NAPRO doctor was able to work with her body and help it heal and function correctly. Isn’t that a better use of medicine, rather than just covering up the problem? Do you see the difference?

          • Alexandra

            Thank you for explaining it so well!

            Personally, I’d always rather go for pills than surgery, and I think covering up the problem is a perfectly acceptable method of treating it. I can see how this would be a good alternative for women who were morally opposed to birth control, but I think that there are still very good reasons to use birth control instead.

          • therese

            Maggie, decent explanation of NaPro, but they don’t use “herbal supplements”, they use bioidentical hormones. Alexandra, see my response to Vision From Afar for more info on NaPro…the video may help.

          • Anonymous

            Good catch, Therese, thank you. I think I was mixing it up with another doctor I know who does homeopathic remedies. You’re right, Napro does bioidentical hormones.

          • http://www.facebook.com/gerardneumann Gerry Neumann

            If he is really looking to help his wife, You’ve down him a big favor JoAnna.

          • Alexandra

            Why though? Hormonal birth control works and doesn’t have huge side effects or risks that any other kind of drug does. His wife probably does really well on birth control, she doesn’t need to go try some Catholic hormone method.

          • Alexandra

            Ugh that didn’t completely make sense. I meant that the pill doesn’t have any more side effects than any other drug.

          • Laura

            That is not true. Are you saying that EVERY drug out there has being labeled by the WHO as a cancerigen type 1?

          • Alexandra

            WHO added it to the list in doses that are way way above what is used today. The increased risk is only for the time that women are taking the pills, which is a period of time in which the risk is exceptionally low. The risks are low. Sure it doubles the risk, but the risk is so small to start with that doubling it isn’t a big deal.

          • Anonymous

            yeah the heart attack and stroke risk doesn’t seem like a big deal…

          • Kpkmms

            Yes that is why one of the first questions that was asked to me when I went to the doctor for breast cancer was “Have you ever taken birth control pills?” And then “How many years?” You will not convince me that there were no long term side effects.

          • http://twitter.com/carsonweber Carson Weber

            Whoa.. “doesn’t have huge side effects”? Yessiree, it sure does! http://www.beinghealthynaturally.com/womenshealth/controlpills.php

          • Anonymous

            Considering the “nearest” Catholic-approved doctor is over 8 hours away, I find your presumptuous attitude insulting. We’re doing just fine with our secular medicine, thanks.

          • Charlottec08

            No, really, the pill is dangerous. It can cause infertility and breast cancer, and as previously stated, it JUST MASKS the problem. An 8 hour drive might be worth the trip if you want to care for your wife.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Meredith-Wise/672300105 Meredith Wise

          Actually, that’s different. It’s not like we think that the Pill is made of demon blood or something – it’s all in the intended use.

          • Anonymous

            And I’m arguing that being forced to tell someone other than a doctor the intended use is a breach of privacy.

          • http://www.facebook.com/kyrieeleisonme Marsha Boles

            Doctors and pharmacist do this daily. It is called your insurance company and it happens every time you go to the doctor. The form that is need to have BCPs covered is the same form used for “overrides” for many different types of prescriptions.

          • Anonymous

            So there’s no difference between a medical professional, a health care provider (the ins. co.), and a priest?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/UNPKICSZDQ2POYY3YSKUMG22RY Colleen

            Who said anything about telling a priest? Maybe you don’t understand how insurance companies work. If the employer gets some input as to if/when something is covered, that’s the end of his/her involvement. From that point on if there are questions about coverage it’s all between the patient and the pharmacist or insurance company, not the employer at all…the same way you wouldn’t have to tell your employer if you suffered from mental illness in order to get your meds covered.

          • Anonymous

            I’m referring to the commenters who have said that the Archbishop (or his office) has to grant dispensation for medical cases of a contraception medication used for a non-contraceptive purpose.
            That most certainly involves “telling the employer”.
            (It’s somewhere else in these comments, I can’t find it at the moment. :( )

        • Caroline

          Just because I don’t buy you a sandwich doesn’t mean I’m depriving you of your right to have a sandwich. I’m just not buying it for you.

          • Anonymous

            Perhaps, but a sandwich won’t help with medical issues. And sandwiches are not purchased by individuals for other individuals as part of federal labor regulations. Why the Church feels they shouldn’t “buy someone a sandwich” when every other not-an-actual-church (i.e. – university/hospital/etc.) has to is beyond me. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake, and the era of Christian Privilege is coming to an end.

          • Kristen indallas

            Why should any employer have to buy me a sandwich (or healthcare of anykind for that metter)? Mine pays me money, with which I can choose to buy a sandwhich or healthcare or both. It’s all very empowering. And don’t be ridiculous… not ALL employers have to purchase emp. healthcare previously or under new regs. There are all sorts of exemptions for small business, part time or temp jobs, etc

        • http://twitter.com/carsonweber Carson Weber

          Vision_From_Afar, you might be interested in http://www.naprotechnology.com/ – it may help your wife find a cure (not a band-aid) to her ailments.

          • Anonymous

            We looked it over, and we’re not convinced it is medically sound. Also, we’re not rich and the nearest doctor is over 8 hours away, so we’ll just have to make do with our “band-aid”.

          • Alexandra

            Band-aids are a great way to deal an issue that won’t get better with anything but time.

            Birth control helps women through difficulties of fertility. I’m cool wearing a bandaid for now, and I’m guessing your wife is too, since there are so many women who find relief through it. I’ve never understood what all of the hate on bandaids is.

          • Anonymous

            Beats me. :)

          • Anonymous

            difficulties of fertility? like getting pregnant? hmm….

        • Lisa Ann Homic

          birth control is not necessarily the cure, hormone replacement is not birth control, migraines respond to natural alternatives such as magnesium, detoxing, chiropractic, and acupuncture, look outside the other god of the medical complex

          • Alexandra

            None of those things are real medicine. If alternative medicine worked, we’d just call it medicine.

          • http://www.facebook.com/kyrieeleisonme Marsha Boles

            Wow! So, my board certified neurologist prescribing magnesium to treat my migraines isn’t practicing real medicine. I need to call my insurance company and tell them to remove chiropractic coverage from my policy since it isn’t medicine. Oh, but wait.. they won’t a non-narcotic pain patch, because they deem it as unnecessary but they are required to cover BCPs. Give me a break.

          • Alexandra

            You know what I mean. I was referring to “detoxing, chiropractic, and acupuncture.” I’m guessing that your neurologist didn’t only advise Mg.

          • Anonymous

            “Detoxing” is, in fact, a terrible idea, but it’s entirely outside the scope of this argument.

        • Jrd4117

          Your wife can have the pill, YOU just have to pay for it yourself! She won’t be denied anything, as long as she is willing to be the one paying for it.

        • therese

          Vision From Afar, your wife needs Napro. The pill is NOT correcting her problems. If she goes off the Pill her migraines and difficult cycles will be still be there. Napro is a new approach to gynecological health requiring a woman to first learn to chart her cycle. The chart then becomes a preliminary diagnostic tool giving the physician the initial clues of what is wrong. The chart is then used to specifically time further diagnostics to specific points in the woman’s cycle. When the underlying problem is then confirmed (typically hormonal), then the charting continues to be used to time the treatment specifically to her cycle. In this way her cycle is brought back to normal, her periods will be normal (unless endometriosis is part of the problem-she needs to be checked for that as well) and her migraines are very likely to dissipate as well, all because the hormonal imbalance/deficiency is corrected.
          To find a practitioner to get started see http://www.fertilitycare.org. To see a promo video that may explain better how this works (featuring women whose migraines and difficult periods were resolved) see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuText0rwhs. Please note, this is a TWO PART video, part two emphasizing the NaPro side of the house. What a great Valentine’s gift to help your wife. God bless yo both!

          • Alexandra

            I wish people would back off with the unsolicited advice about this NaPro stuff. At least be apologetic about being presumptuous and offering unsolicited advice. People don’t want to be told that they’re doing it wrong and your Catholic methods are way better. I don’t tell anyone here that they should really try using hormonal birth control over NFP or NaPro, do us the same favor.

          • Cal-J

            ” People don’t want to be told that they’re doing it wrong and your Catholic methods are way better.”

            You’ve been complaining that we object to doing it your way and saying we should be obligated to allow for your way, and when we propose alternatives that may, in fact, solve your problem in a way we have no objection to, you object!

            “I don’t tell anyone here that they should really try using hormonal birth control over NFP or NaPro, do us the same favor.”

            No, you haven’t been “telling” anyone to do anything. You’ve just been demanding we enable it.

          • Alexandra

            Yes, that’s a reasonably accurate description of what I’ve been saying. Except that your alternatives aren’t really alternatives. Its religious medicine, a combo that never goes well, and something that shouldn’t be pushed on people who aren’t religious. Where’s the peer reviewed science? In real journals? This is a great option for Catholics, but not territory that those of us that are more secular want to get into. Our method works for us, and if you’re going to work in a secular society, you have to work with that.

            I expect every business to follow the law, especially ones that receive federal funding.

          • Kristen indallas

            history: Catholics started the first hospitals. now: Catholic hospitals are quite often at the forefront of modern medicine and new treatments and procedures. So in that sense, you could say the practice of medicine in general is “religious” We’re not using faith to treat the sick, we treat the sick because of our faith… that doesn’t make it voodoo potion.

          • Anonymous

            As I said to the first five people who gave me the NaPro spiel…
            We’re 8 hours from the nearest doctor, and we’re perfectly content with our current medication regimen. I appreciate that your heart is in the right place, but we’re going to pass.

        • The only sane one in the room

          I myself have ‘horribly painful cycles and crippling migraines’ but would never consider taking ‘the pill’ for this. But if I did, I certainly wouldn’t expect anyone else to pay for my treatment, especially if it is against their faith. People are just being spoiled, greedy cry babies because this is a hot pc topic. There are numerous procedures that are not covered by insurance and considered ‘elective’ because there are either other treatments or they are deemed not necessary. I, for one, feel that all these contraception/abortifacients are never necessary, only desired. And as such, should be paid for out of your own pocket, not someone else’s.

          • Alexandra

            That’s not even the issue.

            It’s about following the law. I expect everyone to have to follow the law.

            No one expects someone else to give them their birth control, but it’d sure be very helpful to not just women, but their partners. It’s been deemed helpful enough that there are laws saying insurance must provide it with not copay. I expect everyone to obey that law. The “greedy cry babies” are the people who are saying they’re morally opposed to throwing into an insurance pool that might provide people with birth control. A compromise that probably didn’t even need to be made was given, and people are still mad? Expecting special treatment beyond that is greedy.

          • Anonymous

            What you’re advocating is that anything that one person deems immoral or unacceptable be paid fully out of pocket. That can, and will, bankrupt a lot of people. While I respect your individual position, I cannot accept that you have the right to force it on me or my family.

          • Kristen indallas

            nope what we’re advocating is that anything immoral be something that we have OPTIONS over, some insurance companies will still cover the pill at full cost, MANY will offer it with a small copay to offset risk factors, a FEW companies affiliated with Catholic employers or Catholic group plans be allowed not to cover it at all.

          • Kpkmms

            Sane One, You are correct. As I’ve stated before, I would love for all of mymedical bills to be paid. The oncologist, surgen, radiologist, physical therapy caused by radiation treatments, And the treatments to my son’s eye at Cleveland Clinic. I’ve been paying them for 6 years and it’s ongoing. I’d truely much rather pay 20.00-30.00 a month for birth control pills than all those other bills. There is so much that is not covered that this truely seems like a needless mandate when the bickering is over 30.00 a month. Skip going out to dinner, that should give you the extra money to pay for the pill.

          • Jcrow086

            I agree. I find it sad that insurance will pay for something unnecessary like birth control, but won’t pay or partially pay for something I need, namely eye care. I have horrible eyesight, but my university won’t cover the $80 appointment bill or my $100+ glasses. I guess there is a misunderstanding when it comes to what is necessary to live and what is a luxury treatment for people who wish to have worry free sexual encounters.

          • Wolfpups05

            Wow Jc, I never even thought of that! What a good point! My son is legally blind, by DMV standards, and no university offered to pay for his glasses. I guess being able to see isn’t as important and preventing a child from being born, or murdering it when the pill ( only 99% success rate) doesn’t work :/

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/PR5SN4TDMTJL6CHCTB737S7QWE AJ

          Yep, my wife went to a pro life obgyn with the same problem. He took her off the pill, zapped the endometriosis and fixed the problem… with healthcare

    • Anonymous

      Mandating something is different than stopping a group from doing what no one else is allowed to do. Saying Jews must handle, sell, and eat pork else they be criminally punished is very different than saying no one is allowed to commit human sacrifices or practice polygamy.

      Also, it’s not even important. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (which applies directly to federal law) would protect the Church here without even going into the first amendment directly. Even though the first amendment is CLEARLY relevant to this issue.

    • http://www.facebook.com/fikset Tim Fikse

      The free “exercise” clause doesn’t protect mere belief, it protects religious behavior. Good grief, 8th-graders learn that in school. Secondly, there is a large gulf between FORBIDDING Mormans from committing an act (bigamy) and DEMANDING that Catholics commit an act (promote abortion).

      • Alexandra

        Purchasing adequate health insurance coverage to employees = promoting abortion?

        I think I missed a step in that logic.

        • Anonymous

          Well, there are abortifacients that must be covered. So it’s not that huge of a stretch. But, more accurately, the act is purchasing contraception and abortifacients for employees. The act is not demanding that Catholics “promote abortion,” nor is it “purchasing adequate health insurance coverage.”

          • Alexandra

            No that really isn’t what is going on here. You can keep thinking it, but as Elizabeth posted up at the top, you’re just making the Church look bad.

      • Anonymous

        Actually, no there isn’t a difference. The 1st Amendment states “no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”.
        Momans can’t practice bigamy because of a history in this country of Christian lawmaking. Gay marriage is in the same vein. You can’t have it both ways.
        Besides, these Catholic hospitals et al. could simply stop taking Federal money. Wonder how that would work…

    • Free

      ” This rule has always stated from the beginning that it would NOT include the Church directly, but institutions affiliated with the Church, such as charities, universities, and hospitals. Now, we know that not everyone working at these institutions are Catholic, nor share the belief of contraceptives are evil.”

      If people want to enjoy the benefits of Catholic Institutions, they should respect the rules that Catholics have set up for themselves.

      If you invited me to eat at your house and asked me to take off my shoes before entering, it would be rude of me to not do so and even worse if I partook in some of your food.

      “(which, ironically, would help lower the number of abortions. Who doesn’t want that? A large percent of abortions are done by Hispanics…who also happen to be Catholic. Shouldn’t the Church want to stop these women from doing that?)”

      I’m sure that every morally sound catholic would prefer that if anyone were to get pregnant that the child should be given a fair chance for life. If the mother doesn’t want to or is unable to provide for it she can give it up for adoption.

      The usual three complaints concerning my last statement are the following:

      -The adoption process/foster care is…. well… sucky
      So it is better to KILL the child straight off?! I, for one, refuse to accept that for an answer. Why not make insurance companies provide [more] benefits and deductions for those who adopt and accept foster kids. Basically, create a system that welcomes life and fosters a sense of community instead of resentment toward life and frustration about human sexuality.

      -Cases of rape, incest, and other violent sexual crimes.
      Obviously, life isn’t fair. Evil exists. But, again, is the answer to evil more evil? NO! Also why does current society try to encourage these women to kill the baby and deny justice to the father forever?

      -There is a difference between contraceptives and abortions.
      Well, they do have one thing in common, neither are accepted by the Catholic church.
      Catholics believe that if someone has sex, they should accept the consequences of their actions. Catholics also hold that premarital sex is also wrong. You may think that this is outdated and foolish to expect out of our society but that’s what Catholics believe. Ironically, I think it is funny that the drive for contraceptives is sex but the people who statistically report having the most satisfying sex are couples married in the catholic church and never use contraceptives.

      In conclusion, having contraceptives readily available is not going to solve the problem. Contraceptives have (statistically -mind you-) never solved the problems that they were set out to fix. Even if there were no Catholics in america or if their viewpoints differed, there would still be problems. I feel that this issue will ultimately force people apart and cause barriers to true intimacy.

      • Alexandra

        I’m sorry but Catholics are the one who are in the secular house.

        Churches don’t have to pay taxes. That amounts to something like $100billion dollars/year tax free. Meaning that everyone else is picking up the tab from the taxes churches don’t pay. Religious based charities receive $1-2billion/year in funding from the federal government. The least they can do is follow the law. A law that doesn’t actually ask them to directly violate their consciouses since the compromise.

        Even if it was the government coming into the Church’s house, they should be respectful enough of the guest and what he does for them to allow him to decline the request to take his shoes off. The Church is eating the government’s food and throwing a hissy fit when they didn’t get as much ice cream for dessert as they wanted. And then when the host realized that the Church wanted more ice cream and accommodated them, they still sat there being cranked out that they didn’t get more.

        • Musiciangirl591

          the Church doesn’t eat the government’s food, the diocese pays for it and most of the time, if the priests want food they pay for the food themselves…

          • Alexandra

            Oh honey, it was a metaphor.

          • Cal-J

            It’s a flawed metaphor. And the church isn’t asking for ice cream.

          • Alexandra

            You know, you’re a lot less clever than you think you are, Cal.

          • Anonymous

            eh, so are you :P

          • Cal-J

            And the metaphor is still flawed. :D

          • Anonymous

            well, it really sucked fyi

          • Alexandra

            Bringing out your big girl arguments, huh?

          • Anonymous

            yep, i don’t feel so good, may i vomit on your arguments?

    • Anon

      “Pagans cannot legally sacrafice animals to their dark lord of the underworld. ”

      Ignoring your insulting “dark lord of the underworld” crack, I’d like to point out that animal sacrifice is actually legal as long as it follows particular guidelines. Also, animals sacrificed are treated far more humanely than the factory farmed animals that you get your grocery store meat from.

  • Deacon James Pearce

    What a disgusting question. Of course we would still love the _child_! We will still support him or her. We would do so no matter what they did, though we might also disagree with what they did.

  • VVVVVV

    Please tell me you really sent this to him, picture and all. You just made my day *o*

  • Deacon James Pearce

    There is a difference, Thomas, in the examples that you give. The examples of political coercion that you cite are all ones in which the practitioner is denied the opportunity to take an action that is deemed harmful to the community. In this instance, a practitioner or group of practitioners is being forced to take a positive action – it isn’t that they are kept from buying something, but that they are being required to contribute their funds to something – that is immoral.

    The Catholic Church is saying that, in its own institutions, both it’s worship organizations and its service organizations, it cannot be required to take a positive action in purchasing something that is immoral. Yes, I would say that there is an issue.

  • http://ohnimus.wordpress.com/ Christian Ohnimus

    Okay, I’m calling it. Best. Blog. Ever. I just about died at the Obama pic.

  • Harrison Garlick

    Its nice to see our graphic compliment such wit. We enjoyed the post.

    HH Ambrose
    St. Peter’s List

  • Anonymous

    Thanks. Signed. I’ll never agree that preventing my kids is “health care”. That is total bull ______. If they want us to stay out of their bedrooms, don’t make us pay for it.

  • Charles

    Marc, I’d let Abp. (Cdl.des.) Dolan continue to take point.
    The Holy Father’s apparently dealing with his own albatrosses in the curia.
    Mutiny on il Bertone

  • Steven

    I attempted to sign the petition, only to be informed that “The petition you are trying to access has been removed from the site under our Moderation Policy because it is in violation of our Terms of Participation.”

  • Aaron

    Yeah, the 98 percent of sexually experienced Catholic women who have used birth control at some point in their lives are behind this 100%

  • Amber

    Marc! I can’t find it. Am I just not looking hard enough? I want to sign that thing lol Also awesome post. “Do not make me come down there.” lol!

  • Charlie Weaver

    I must disagree with a few of the points in the piece. It is my understanding that the original exemption stands as it had before, and the compromise position only affects the religious institutions that did not qualify for the previous exemption. So there’s no way this is worse than the original.

    Secondly, though many of the details have yet to be worked out, it does seem like a good-faith effort to work with the concerns of the church. Who could have predicted that the church would be able to bring about any response from the administration so quickly? There are many crucial things that will have to happen to make this solution morally acceptable, but to dismiss this first step toward a compromise as insulting seems to be the wrong direction to go with this.

    The new regulation is a definite improvement on the current law in my own state of New York, where all the Catholic hospitals and schools already provide contraception coverage for their employees. Other states have similar policies with narrow exemptions. For that matter, Romneycare in Massachusetts is not nearly so generous in its religious exemption, so you could argue that the President is to the right of Gov. Romney’s policies on the issue.

    Again, caution is necessary, and we should under no circumstances just assume this will all work out fine for the church. But can we at least acknowledge that the administration has heard the concerns of the church and is moving in the right direction on this? It seems some bishops share my optimism. See this piece:

    http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=13263

    We have really achieved something as a church by demanding change. It still may need correction, and the mechanism leaves some concerns about conscience protection. But engagement means acknowledging that the administration seems open to working with the church on this.

    • Anonymous

      You write: “Secondly, though many of the details have yet to be worked out, it does seem like a good-faith effort to work with the concerns of the church.”

      I would be tempted to agree with you, except that we have already been down this road of receiving various kinds of assurances, only to find at the end of the road that the promises were not kept. The USCC warned us when PPACA passed that there were giant loopholes for the introduction of contraception and — the executive order notwithstanding — abortion.

      As another example of bad faith, I offer the so-called “compromise” of extending the deadline for compliance from August 2012 until August 2013. That is not an “offering” of any sort, but rather the back of the administration’s hand across our faces.

      • Anonymous

        Gee, you poor, mistreated people! How awful that you got an extra year of not having to do something everyone else has to do, just because you threw a pity-party.
        It was a gesture of good faith, not a back hand, you ungrateful wretch.

        • Anonymous

          Charming response, and not bitter in the least…

          • Anonymous

            I apologize for my snark and verbiage, but not for my point. I was in a bad mood, sorry.

        • Laura

          Well, as long as we have a year everything is fine, isn’t it?

      • Charlie Weaver

        It’s true that the original “compromise” of the extra year was insulting. It seems that some in the administration were baffled with the first solution. I remain, however, cheered that we effected some political action on that.

        I think what most bothers me about the arguments over this last weekend is that Catholics really had the country’s ear on the religious liberty issue. And if the church refuses to work with the administration going forward, we run the risk of losing that political high ground. Can we acknowledge that the administration is open to compromise without calling the president an ass? I feel like that’s fighting the wrong battle. There was clearly some conflict within the administration prior to the original announcement. They got it wrong, badly wrong, the first time. But they are moving in the right direction. This post calls the new regulation worse, and I really don’t see how that’s the case.

        It seems that Abp. Dolan is maintaining a more conciliatory tone, anyway:

        http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/12/dolan-says-compromise-on-contraception-does-not-go-far-enough/

  • Lindsey

    the petition has been removed, most likely due to the title (I do think it’s funny, but anyway…)

  • Natalia

    Marc! They took the petition down!

  • … — … —

    “None of you guys…” First, I have to ask which of the posters or “you guys” do “you” know? If the answer is “none”, then you’re throwing out comments that have no basis in fact. That being the case, the rest of your points are not relevant. If you’d like to have a discourse on the merits of this topic, do so. There’s not one good Catholic ordained or otherwise that knowingly supported the behavior of sex abusers.

    That aside, what moral basis does the government have to force a George Orwell’s “1984″ type mandate on any religious institution? This isn’t a Catholics are bad mandate. This is a “The government knows best mandate.” If the government claims to know best and wants to mandate how Church and religious institutions are run, that government is walking the fine line of the “Separation of Church and State”.

  • Anon

    OK guys and gals, I have had it up to HERE (gesturing at neck…ah, nevermind) with all the “contraception doesn’t fix something that’s broken” arguments. Aside from being utterly *beside the point* it’s WRONG. There are medical uses for contraception! Even the author of this blog said as much in a previous post! Employers don’t get to know who has what conditions. That’s an invasion of medical privacy. Women with conditions like PCOS deserve treatment, and they deserve not to be outed in public unless they want to. To cover them, it must be covered for everyone. And again, that’s beside the main issue, which is that Catholic groups don’t even have to pay for it anymore! See my argument below if you want an explanation.

    • Anonymous

      I know, and I agree about not “outing” them. But why does it follow that they all must be covered? You can just as easily argue, as I would, that none of them can be covered.

    • Charmante

      But insurance companies do get to know pertinent medical information. Remember that form you sign that gives your doctor permission to share pertinent medical info with your insurance company?

  • anna

    No matter how you spin it, with 99% of people using contraception at one time or another, it has become a basic part of healthcare. The government could completely exempt churches by creating a situation where the church organizations could exclude their employees from receiving any insurance-funded contraceptive offerings (after all, one isn’t forced to work for church-run organizations). But, not only would this cost the churches more because health plans that don’t offer contraceptives are more expensive, I wonder if this would set a precedent that could completely undo healthcare reform, something that Catholics have supported in the past.
    For instance, there may be some who are opposed to vaccinations for one reason or another. Not many people know this, but it is a fact that some vaccines (MMR and Chickenpox, to name two) use aborted fetal diploid cells in their manufacturing. I might be a business owner who feels deeply upset by this practice and it may go against my conscience to fund the use of these vaccines. Should I be able to opt out?

    • JoAnna Wahlund

      Re: the vaccines made with aborted fetal stem cells, I refuse them for my family, and I’d support the right of a business owner to not fund them if those were his/her religious convictions. If I felt otherwise, I’d go to the public health department for those vaccines instead, or I’d find another job with an employer who did not have those moral objections.

      • Alexandra

        Because life is always that simple. There’s so many job openings right now, and everyone has time to go to the public health department.

        False.

        Last stats I saw were for every 1 job opening, there are 4 unemployed applicants. If you have a job or can get a job with a Catholic employer, leaving isn’t always an option. People have bills to pay. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to make time to go out of their way to get a service that should have been covered by their insurance.

        • fabius

          Well, given that most contraceptives are already manifestly accessible (Guttmacher notes that only about 12% of women who abort listed no easy access to contraception as a reason they had an unplanned pregnancy), I don’t think this is some sort of undue burden issue.

          Indeed, the so-called Hawaii compromise merely required the employer to tell employees how they could get “free” contraception. I’m not completely at ease morally with that option because it’s still the employer facilitating the getting of contraceptives, but the main point is that it proves that contraception is widely accessible already.

          • Alexandra

            Sure contraception, like condoms, are easily accessible. You can buy them at the drugstore. Highly effective methods of birth control like hormonal methods aren’t as easily accessible.

      • anna

        I agree that you should have the right to refuse those vaccines or all vaccines if you wish. The churches should have the freedom to teach against the use of contraceptives. But, you can’t fail to see that allowing every business owner to opt out of offering insurance coverage for basic procedures that go against his or her conscience would totally undermine healthcare reform.

        By the way, who do you think funds the public health department?

        • Don Hasenfratz

          I think it needs to be said that one reason the Church doesn’t want to begin more support of contraception in it’s insurance is that it kills babies who are 7 days old. Also, I believe history shows divorce rates among those using natural family planning (NFP) are very low like they were in the general population before contaception became legal in 1940. What natural law changed since then to make it OK now? History shows NFP is more effective than contraception. The Church cannot err in matters of morals like this one, when proclaimed by the Pope as such, and it will stand for all time, per Jesus. NFP allows the unitive and creative purposes of marriage to work together, spouses give their entire selves to each other, withholding nothing.

    • Anonymous

      “No matter how you spin it, with 99% of people using contraception at one time or another, it has become a basic part of healthcare.”

      This claim is illogical. I’ll let you figure it out.

      • anna

        Yeah, I accidentally wrote “people” instead of “women,” and “contraception” instead of “contraceptives,” so sue me. It’s a wonder you bothered commenting at all….unless, of course, I’m missing something else, in which case….do enlighten, oh, Logical One.

        • Anonymous

          I wouldn’t be so petty as to care about grammar. Didn’t even notice.

          The number of people using contraception has nothing to do with whether or not it is “a basic part of healthcare.” It’s like saying, “No matter how you spin it, with 99% of people eating dirt at one time or another, it has become a basic part of nutrition.”

          Now, there could be other arguments as to why contraception is “a basic part of healthcare,” but not that. I only point it out because there’s this strand of thought in modern America that we can by consensus change the metaphysical nature of things. Gay marriage is a pretty excellent example.

          The amount of people who use contraception has nothing to do with whether it’s “a basic part of health care.” And it’s certainly not justification for forcing others to buy it for you.

          • anna

            Well, it’s a relief to know that you’re not petty. Snarky? Perhaps…but petty? Never!

            Actually, I somewhat agree, contraceptives are not necessarily part of my personal definition of basic health care. In fact, I probably take issue with several items that are generally considered “basic healthcare.” I have problems with mammograms, vaccine schedules and a whole host of other money-driven “preventatives.” I would love to see the entire medical system completely overhauled.

            That said, the individual preference rarely decides these things. The vast majority of people feel that being able to have control over pregnancy contributes greatly to overall health and well-being. And, a reasonable person must admit, pregnancy can have very negative effects on the health of women, so I think to pretend it’s not a health issue is naive. Most decent health insurance plans already cover this service because it is widely regarded as basic, whether an individual agrees or not.

    • fabius

      Well, what about the large number of pre-existing insurance plans which in fact don’t require contraception coverage, which are being grandfathered in? They don’t have to comply with the mandate…is that going to undo health care reform? I thought the wonder of the whole thing that Obama kept talking about was, “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan…”

      I’m just a knuckle-dragging conservative, but a huge part of wanting a market-oriented approach to health care was that you could have all sorts of plans tailored to the specific needs and desires of different individuals. The existing system wasn’t terribly cost effective to begin with because of the whole employer-based approach, which ran up costs from having to cover too many employees with different health needs.

      If you have moral objections to certain health services, you should be able to opt out, and if that means you have to pay a little more because of market forces, that’s ok. That’s why liberals buy fair-trade coffee after all. And if some of your employees don’t like everything your company offers on the health plan, well that ought to be something they weigh in how much they value the job, in the same sense that we pick and choose by salary, other benefits, time off, location, parking, etc.

      • anna

        The “grandfather” clause only applies to plans or policies with coverage in effect prior to March 23, 2010. If the benefits offered on those plans are not substantially slashed and the premiums or deductibles are not substantially raised, then they will still enjoy grandfathered status. The grandfather clause doesn’t undo health reform because most grandfathered plans eventually lose that status and any new plans fall under the new rules.

        The existing system was not cost effective, true, but I’m not sure it’s due to health insurance being largely based on employer groups. Employer-based health insurance is more expensive, on average, than individually-purchased coverage today but that’s largely because the benefits of employer-based plans are richer than those on offer in the individual market, and because no one can be denied coverage under an employer-based plan due to pre-existing medical conditions. The healthy effectively subsidize the costs of the sick – but then we all get sick eventually so what goes around comes around.

        I like the idea of there being a broad range of options available when it comes to health insurance and I think the health reform law ensures that there will be. It’s just that major medical plans will have to meet certain basic coverage requirements. The argument, of course, comes in when we discuss what those basic coverage requirements should include, and whether or not churches are being asked to go against their conscience.

  • Mestafford

    Bahaha! Romish Ents! Somebody give me a rock.

  • Anonymous

    Wrong. Do you not understand how third-party insurance works?

  • Anonymous

    You’re missing the more fundamental question — why does your employer have so much control over your insurance in the first place? Why can’t your employer just pay you the $20K or whatever they’re spending on your insurance, and send you on your merry way to go buy it yourself? (Or not, if you’d prefer.)

    But that would require not thinking of yourself as some kind of dependent, I guess.

  • Skihappy

    I’m curious what the theological distinction is between providing health insurance through which an employee can choose to purchase contraceptives, as compared to providing a salary with which an employee can choose to purchase contraceptives?

    In both cases the employer is providing the money, albeit in different forms, used to purchase the contraceptives and the employee must personally choose to use the contraceptives.

    Both a salary and health insurance are given as compensation for the employee’s services.

    It seems to me, only the proximity between the Church and the employee’s choice to acquire contraceptives changes between the two options. But in both cases the Church is providing the resources for its employees to purchase contraceptives?

    Why is it theologically necessary for the Catholic Church to ensure that compensation given to its employees in the form of health insurance not be used to purchase contraceptives but not necessary to ensure the same for compensation given in the form of a salary?

    Please help me to understand this distinction.

    • fabius

      It’s a subtle distinction alright, and in one sense it may not add up to much more than the proximity between the two. But I think it’s meaningful nonetheless.

      Essentially, with the contraceptives built into the coverage, or provided separately, then access to the contraceptives is a direct result of employment, the Church is actively facilitating (or indirectly if it’s just passed on through higher premiums) the employee getting something that they wouldn’t otherwise.

      It’s true that if I pay an employee wages, they are free to go do something with the money that I might object too. But, with wages, I haven’t actually done anything to direct them specifically towards the objectionable thing. I may have indirectly made it easier for them because I’ve paid them, but all the active obtainment of the thing that’s wrong is something they have to do entirely for themselves.

      With the mandate, the Church is being forced to actively facilitate getting contraception, in a fashion that the employee wouldn’t get otherwise. Also, the indirect coverage of the contraception means the money is earmarked for the contraception to begin with, it’s a sunk cost on contraception, rather than money given through wages which, once the possession of the employee, becomes the employee’s moral responsibility.

      • Skihappy

        To me, this still appears to be a false distinction. Through both wages and health insurance the Church only enables employees to acquire contraceptives if they actively seek them out. The moral responsibility resides with the employee in both cases.

        I do not perceive that providing health insurance which includes contraceptives makes the church morally liable for an employee’s use of contraceptives. The employee must seek – through their sole desire and action – to exercise the use of the contraceptives regardless of the means used to acquire it.

        I understand the symbolic ground upon which the church wishes to exclude contraceptives from their employees’ health insurance. Providing contraceptives as part of employees’ health insurance implies that the church accepts the use of contraceptives – even though that is not the case. The Church is well within its rights to want this. I just don’t see how this amounts to an attack on the Church’s religious freedom any more than requiring the Church to allow employees to purchase contraceptives with their cash salary.

        As an aside; to the best of my knowledge none of the insurance premium goes to pay for contraceptives if an employee chooses to exercise that responsibility – the insurance company just keeps it as profit.

        (I apologize if I come off as argumentative; I’m just trying to better understand the Catholic Church’s reasoning)

        • http://www.facebook.com/kickintheface Jacob Timothy Michael Hughes

          The difference is that while wages can be used for other things, contraceptive coverage cannot be used for anything else.

          • fabius

            Not argumentative at all, no worries.

            I think it will be impossible for the church to not subsidize this eventually. The insurance companies are being told they can’t charge anything for the service, the money will have to come from somewhere. They will end up having to demand higher premiums from religious organizations.

          • http://www.facebook.com/kickintheface Jacob Timothy Michael Hughes

            Exactly. This is just fudging with the accounting.

  • Zpeabody11

    The LDS church (the Mormons) do not believe in pologomy. It is the FLDS faith that does. The FLDS faith is a break off from the LDS faith. Just fyi as it seems that most people outside of Utah don’t understand that.

  • Musiciangirl591

    sorry your petition got taken down marc :( but awesome article nonetheless

  • Amanda

    Oh Obama…..SMH

  • BennySquad

    I cannot adequately describe how amazingly astute you are! Every thought process, picture, and VIDEO CLIP is right on the money! Keep up the good work, by golly! We should attempt to hand-deliver this letter!

  • http://www.facebook.com/gerardneumann Gerry Neumann

    We are on the road to the government telling us if we may have children.

  • http://www.jennasthilaire.com/ Jenna St. Hilaire

    That picture of the Ents and its caption made my day. Made. My. Day.

    Also, great article. Thanks!

  • JJ
  • Asclepius

    You know, one thingI can’t stand: inevitably, in all of these posts, there will come a time when someone appeals to Mormons and polygamy, child sacrifice, or some other obscure practice.

    In every instance where these examples are illogically applied, there seems to be this sense that because the Federal Government can say “no” to polygamy, or spiritual child abuse or whatever, it can also tell the Church that it must cover birth control.

    There used to be a time when people understood how ridiculous that line of reasoning is. Apparently, that time has past.

    First, what we see is that the atrocity-of-your-choosing does not serve the common good. It does not promote something that is truly beneficial to society. A case can be made that all of these things damage actual rights other citizens have. I would hope that I do not need to articulate why polygamy, spiritual child abuse, or any other practice qualifies.

    What Barry is saying is that you have an innate human right to birth control, vasectomies, and abortifacient drugs. He wraps this up in a nice little bow and calls it “preventative care.” And what he’s saying is that the Church’s moral teaching violates this innate human right, neverminding that these substances and procedures are 19th-century inventions.

    Now, if I must, I can go through and articulate — from classic morality, from natural law, etc — why dressing someone up like the Hamburglar and sacrificing them, or taking multiple wives, or whatever — are in violation of innate human rights. Six years of seminary shall not go to waste, if you really require me to do this.

    Of course, I’d expect the same level of intellectual honesty from you: can you sit down and tell me how not paying for contraception — not blocking anyone’s access to it, mind you — just not paying for it, in some way violates the inalienable rights of man?

    You can’t do it, because there is no rational way you can explain the human right to manipulate and control what the body does quite naturally. Sex has two ends, and one of them — horror of horrors, I know — just happens to be reproduction: can you appeal to natural law and show me how it could be any different?

    Still with me? Great. Imagine, now, that the federal government stepped in and told us that, for the common good, we have to honor gay marriages, we have to dress pomeranians up like Disney characters and sacrifice them on our altars, or we have to honor polygamy.

    Would you see the difference, given that I can rationally explain why these actions work against the common good, and would you accept my refusal to participate in these things, even if the government concocted some supposed “right” to these things?

    I’d expect you would.

    • Anonymous

      The federal government is simply telling you that, for the common good, you have to play by the same rules as every other employer in the country. The law passed.

      The 1st Amendment can prevent the government from forcing you to officiate or religiously recognize gay marriages, true. However, if the government changes the rules to recognize (in a legal sense: next-of-kin/medical power-of-attorney/etc.) gay marriage and/or polygamy, any hospital or service receiving federal funds would have to recognize those things as well.
      The other side of the coin is that Catholic services can refuse to recognize those things (and has, and continues to do), but that also means that those services would cut themselves off from federal funding. It’s not discrimination, and it’s not intolerance. It’s simply the law.

    • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

      I find it fascinating that I’ve seen literally no complaints at all that Catholic institutions when they provide health insurance have to cover a man getting a vasectomy.

      Apparently it’s only women being able to access birth control via health insurance that offends the Catholc bishops.

      “Imagine, now, that the federal government stepped in and told us that, for the common good, we have to honor gay marriages, “

      Well, you will, soon. Which will be great for everyone who supports marriage and human rights!

  • Jmsteve4

    Hey guys, any help countering this one?

    “The thing is that the Catholic church will not be paying for the contraceptive, simply that the insurance they provide to their employees will cover contraception (just as all insurances will have to cover contraception). The Catholic church will only provide the insurance, which is usually set up in plans where the company and the employee both pay for premiums together. The employee still pays into the insurance, so it’s not like the Catholic church will be paying the whole premium for the contraception.
    Also, often the price of contraception is small enough that a copay can cover it. Anything more expensive than the copay is probably usually because either the patient/employee wishes to have a more expensive kind of contraceptive (which they will have to pay for out of pocket), or because it is needed for more serious medical reasons.
    Requiring insurance companies to provide contraceptive coverage was the government’s way of meeting in the middle with those who felt raising taxes/universal health care was a horrible idea. And the aforementioned provisions to require insurance companies, and not the companies themselves, to provide the medicine was also a compromise. It seems like every time the government concedes a bit, more unfair and anit-women’s health demands are made.”

    • Asclepius

      Well, reasonably, the Catholic employer/employee is still paying for the medicine. It’s not as if this stuff is going to pay for itself.

      They may counter with the fact that “preventative” care will reduce pregnancies, so the insurance company saves money on pregnancy, etc, and as such, the individual isn’t *really* paying for anything.

      Don’t be snarky, but make the point that actuarial scientists everywhere must have woke Friday to this group-revelation about how they could magically save their companies money, causing them to bow down to the Philosopher-King in his genius. (It can’t work like this because of the overall use, right now, of contraceptives; it will end up costing more for the insurance companies, since the overwhelming majority of individuals use contraceptives to regulate pregnancy to their own liking as it is.)

      There will be no copay. Copays exist because of something already covered, under a plan, in which the insurance company pays the overwhelming majority of the cost of the drug. Now what they’re saying is that the insurance company has to eat the total cost of the medication: again, where will the money come from, now that the burden has been increased on the IC’s end?

      So in the end, there’s been no change here. No accommodation, because the Catholic is still paying for it.

      You may also ask about Catholic Insurance Companies. The Christian Brothers, or the fact that EWTN is self-insured through their own program. Should they — as a religious insurance company — be forced to pay for what they find morally objectionable as an institution? What about other potentially religious insurance companies?

      A million things wrong with the argument. Have fun :).

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/UNPKICSZDQ2POYY3YSKUMG22RY Colleen

    Funny you should say that, since up until a year ago I WAS one of the working poor, barely making minimum wage and with no employer-provided health insurance. So I purchased my own insurance, and continue to do so. Please remember that this issue is about individuals who are already insured by their employers, while many of the so-called ‘working poor’ have no such luxury. Which makes this whole argument kind of a non-issue.

  • BadWolf

    I agree that the use of the word accommodation is unfortunate. But I hate to break it to you, this isn’t the first time the federal government has asked us to pay for something that goes against the teachings of the Catholic church. You’re flexing your muscles a bit too much on this issue, to the benefit of almost no one because the only people who are listening are the ones who agree with you. I suggest you put your energy somewhere else.

  • Anonymous

    Wait, the doctor has to call the Archbishop to “ok” medication? How is that not a HUGE violation of privacy and doctor-patient privilege?

    • Asclepius

      Huh? What? Where am I?

      • Cal-J

        Welcome to the internet, man! It’s a rave!

    • http://www.facebook.com/kickintheface Jacob Timothy Michael Hughes

      They don’t divulge information. The doctor tells the Archbishop that the medication is recommended. That is all. It is no more information than is given to a pharmacy.

      • Asclepius

        Actually, the Archbishop never sees what is recommended by any doctor. The Archbishop doesn’t even see the claim against the insurance, which is handled by the pharmacy.

        What the Archbishop does see is the bill covering the premium, since he’s the guy paying.

        Actually, the bishop probably never even sees that: he just signs the check.

        And that’s what this is about: him paying for that which he finds morally objectionable.

        • http://www.facebook.com/kickintheface Jacob Timothy Michael Hughes

          I’m referring to my Archdiocese, which, from what I’ve been told, requires that a doctor get approval from the Archbishop before prescribing the Pill for non-contraceptive purposes.

          • Asclepius

            Ah! Thanks for the clarification. I’ve never seen anything like this anywhere else before.

          • http://www.facebook.com/kickintheface Jacob Timothy Michael Hughes

            I actually haven’t either, but that’s what I’ve been told. I’ve never had to deal with the process, so I wouldn’t know.

  • Anonymous

    There’s a perfectly simple way of solving this problem, then. If you don’t play by the rules, you don’t get to swim in the pool.
    No more government funds and/or grants until the organizations agree to this coverage.

  • Adelphia

    Marc,
    There is a nice (slightly less obscene, but also less fun) petition here:
    http://wh.gov/08d

  • Anonymous

    Bloody Brilliant!

  • Rebecca

    Some wonderful points have been made, but you’re all several steps ahead of me. I’m still stuck way back at the beginning of this issue wherein I must have missed the clause in the Constitution that guarantees free contraceptive coverage for all. ;-)

  • anna

    I think the Jew/pork comparison used by Marc was amusing but not very compelling. I think a more sincere comparison would look something like this…The Obama “compromise” is like asking Jewish taxpayers to pay into social welfare, which pays for programs that provide food stamps that can be used to purchase pork. Is anyone bent out of shape over that one?

    • Asclepius

      Here’s why this doesn’t quite work:

      Say we live in an environment where your employer (let’s go along religious lines and say you work for a diocese, and thus that employer is the Church) gives you $10,000 a year to go out and buy the health insurance plan of your choice. Say, with that $10,000, you choose to purchase a plan that includes birth control and abortifacients.

      Is the Church responsible for how you spent that money? You cannot reasonably say that it was: it gave you the money to buy something that was good, and you chose to spend it on a grave moral evil.

      Same with the food stamp program: the Jew pays for something essentially good, but does not make your moral choices for you.

      Of course, this is not how insurance works. The bishop/diocese buys something and gives that something to his employees in the form of coverage. And what the government is doing is forcing him to buy something that stands in direct violation of his conscience — because make no mistake about it, the bishop absolutely will be paying for that birth control pill — these things won’t pay for themselves, and there will be no reduction in cost because these pills are now covered, if their prevalent use is as true as we’re told it is.

      That’s why the Jew/pork comparison by Marc is sound, but your example misses the mark.

      • anna

        Yes, but if all insurance plans are required to offer basic health care, which includes contraceptives, and everyone must buy health insurance for the reform to work, it amounts to the same thing. Giving $10,000 to your employee to buy a health insurance plan that will most definitely include contraceptives is no different than offering health insurance that includes these services as part and parcel of a whole package. That reasoning is functioning on technicality just as much as Obama’s compromise.

        And, you only pay for the contraceptive portion of the insurance in as much as you are involved in paying for any coverage at all. The insurance companies will agree to “technically” pay for the contraceptives because it saves them money in the long run. Will they use some of the money that you have paid into the plan to cover contraceptives? In a way… just like the government will use Jewish taxpayer dollars to fund food stamp programs that will include pork in its offerings. The employees still have the choice to not use contraceptives, just like receivers of food stamps could stick with kosher foods.

        Would your conscience be appeased if there were a single payer healthcare system? Remember, this reform is part of a compromise to allow for a certain amount of free market, but it is also interested in meeting the citizens’ needs, as defined by the sentiment and actions of a HUGE majority not by a group of Catholic bishops who apparently are having a difficult time influencing their own flock on these matters.

  • Pleiades

    You don’t have to comply: the contraception mandate is for insurance companies, not individuals. Do not use birth control if you don’t want to. It may be this simple (though far less dramatic, and I do appreciate the funny pictures).

    • Asclepius

      This falls apart rather easily, however, and has nothing to do with “do not use birth control if you don’t want to.”

      Say a person does want to.

      Should the bishop be forced to pay for that, when it violates his moral conscience? That’s the question, and — as you rightly say — it’s pretty simple.

      I think what’s lacking in a lot of these posts is a lack-of-understanding for how indirect & material cooperation with evil work according to moral theology. Perhaps this confusion is the result of our inability to articulate it as a “first things” presuppositional approach to the way things are. Needless to say, however, that if you see why it’s morally problematic for a bishop to pay for an abortion, then you see the real question at play here.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/Y7KPPA7BYDQKL22UD65EGKLGHQ Elizabeth

    Dear Marc, I adore your blog more than I can say, but I think you’re being a hothead.

    The battle to stem the universal availability of free birth control is already lost. The Church is only wounding itself by pressing on the legalistic front after Obama has already given us a legal out from conscience violation. Any goodwill that might have been accumulated over the past few weeks as the Church fought the good fight is being squandered now as it squabbles over the accommodation. This is no way to evangelize the Church’s teachings. It’s a remarkably efficient way of solidifying millions of people’s misguided view of the Church as a cartoonishly evil entity out of a Dan Brown novel.

    These millions of outsiders do not speak our language. They don’t even live on the same planet. All they see when the Church fights tooth and nail to throw legal obstacles in the way of birth control is a bitter, arcane throwback whose special interest in curtailing women’s sexual freedom outweighs any of its other priorities. Most of my friends see it this way, and let me tell you, my Facebook News Feed making me ill these past few days. These people can’t believe Obama granted so much with the accommodation, and they are flabbergasted that the bishops are not happy with it. They see a fascistic Church that will only be content with a state takeover. Yeah, yeah, so they’re wrong or whatever, but we’re not helping. Much as I personally respect the bishops’ willingness to keep fighting an unpopular fight, I unhappily have to agree with Andrew Sullivan that their selectiveness in fighting on this particular issue puts them in danger of looking like a bunch of Pharisees.

    Archbishop Dolan is now talking about the rights of his brother the butcher to make it more difficult for his female employees to get birth control. To my secular (or religious-ish) friends, this just sounds like pure evil. And I’m close enough to them, I understand enough of how they think, that I can sort of see their point.

    I am a former Protestant who is preparing to be received into the Church. My (Catholic) husband and I are both formerly pro-choice and have used birth control in the past. We’re giving all that up now (we used ABC to space our first two children, but after our second baby is born we will use NFP). Why are we doing this? Because we are in love with the Church, and we understand now (as another recent convert said so beautifully) that “the rules of the Church, that [we] had once perceived to be a set of confining laws, [are] rules of love; they defined the boundaries between what is love and what is not.” No priest came down hard on us; we simply saw the door to a more beautiful life and walked right in of our own free will. (And our insurance covers not just contraception but abortion, for God’s sake.)

    Marc, keep doing what you are already doing on your blog so beautifully, preaching the Gospel of love, beauty and sacramental sex. I believe this is the front we have to fight on, not the U.S. legislature and courts. We have to fight for people’s hearts, not their insurance cards. Let them have all the access to birth control they want (it’s going to happen anyway). We have to show them how to just walk away.

    • Anonymous

      Elizabeth,

      Your response (as is your story) is beautiful and compelling, and you are correct that individual action freely chosen is the greatest end here, and in your example other women may follow. However, there are three agencies of action here: the individual, the Church, and the State. The Church has a doctrinal duty to protect what is sacred and simply can not chooses its battles, as you suggest, and Andrew Sullivan fruitlessly wishes. The State has a Constitutional duty to protect and enforce the Bill of Rights, first and foremost among them the free exercise of religion. The individual to act fully informed of Church teachings and State law. Each agent is duty-bound to its specific responsibility and resolution can only be met when each agent fulfills its respective duty.

      Welcome to the church!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/Y7KPPA7BYDQKL22UD65EGKLGHQ Elizabeth

        Dear Vanada, thank you, and I like your analysis of the three agencies of action. I do agree with you and Asclepius that the bishops cannot simply choose their battles. I just think they might need to reevaluate the weapons and the arena.

        The Church’s duty to preach its doctrine steadfastly is clear, but these legal/political waters are getting muddy. I believe that it’s becoming debatable whether we are defending an employer’s free exercise of religion or fighting against an employee’s free exercise of little-or-no religion. I am also apprehensive to see this issue becoming a bandwagon for Republicans who couldn’t care less about the Church or birth control, but just want to destroy the Affordable Care Act.

        If the Church wades into the muck of partisan fighting in the legislative and judicial branches, I fear that we will be on the losing side and that we will harden millions of hearts against us in the process.

        I was heartened to read the latest interview with Cardinal-designate Dolan this morning (http://bit.ly/xfrAWV). I truly hope the Church can get a nuanced message across amid the hysteria of the left and the distortions of the media.

        • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

          “I believe that it’s becoming debatable whether we are defending an employer’s free exercise of religion or fighting against an employee’s free exercise of little-or-no religion. ”

          Debatable? Is there any real doubt? Over and over again on this and previous threads, Catholics have told me angrily that an employee has no right to the free exercise of religion – if they work for a Catholic institution, they ought to be forced to abide by Catholic doctrine with regard to birth control.

      • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

        “The Church has a doctrinal duty to protect what is sacred and simply can not chooses its battles, as you suggest, and Andrew Sullivan fruitlessly wishes. ”

        Oddly enough, I don’t see the Catholic Church battling against Catholic institutions paying taxes to fund unjust wars, the death penalty, or against men getting vasectomies covered by their health insurance. Nor do I see the Catholic Church battling against the huge evil of the bankers and usurers.

        So the Church clearly does “choose its battles” – it goes for the underdogs: low-income women, gay couples. The vulnerable people, easily attacked, without cost to the Church.

    • Asclepius

      Great, beautiful post, Elizabeth. As a priest, you bring joy to what I’ve given my life for! :).

      I would just say that morally, what President Obama has done has not in any way given us an “out.” This is because of how we understand direct and indirect material cooperation with evil: the bishops are still being forced to pay for things that go against their conscience.

      You’re right that we’ve lost the contraception struggle (which is one of the reasons that it’s laughable to propose that birth control will offset labor costs, and thus the insurance companies break even on this deal), but be that as it may, we cannot abide by any condition in which they are told to materially cooperate with what the faith calls evil. And that’s why they’ve rejected the “compromise,” which is no compromise at all: it’s still morally problematic and places the bishops in a position they cannot be in.

      • Anonymous

        Sorry, Father, that’s the cost of doing business in a secular society. How is this scenario any different than Catholic hospitals operating in Europe, with it’s socialized medicine?

      • Anonymous

        Have we lost the contraception struggle? Perhaps not – in thinking of my own children (daughters and sons alike) who quite willingly follow the path that Church has lit for them, I am optimistic. The Church has a unique opportunity to help inform its faithful not only of its doctrinal stance (sound, on all counts) but of the real joy in living in accordance with your faith. For each couple (like Elizabeth above) who choose to place their faith in God, and to rely on natural family planning – I say the struggle is met and won.

        • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

          “Perhaps not – in thinking of my own children (daughters and sons alike) who quite willingly follow the path that Church has lit for them, I am optimistic.”

          They’re just not likely to tell you about using contraception, Vanada. Seriously. The sons won’t call you up and say “Hi mom, picked up a bunch of condoms today” and your daughters absolutely won’t let you know when they go on the Pill.

          “For each couple (like Elizabeth above) who choose to place their faith in God, and to rely on natural family planning – I say the struggle is met and won. “

          But that’s exactly the choice that the Bishops want to take away. No faith in God required, no choice allowed. And when the Bishops of the Church want the US government to enforce their doctrine on unwilling Catholics, the struggle is clearly lost.

          • Cal-J

            Would you like a hug? You sound like you could use a hug.

  • Evan B.
  • Free

    I think they took down the petition because of the word ‘ass’.

    So, try ‘politely rephrasing’ it and see if it taken down by a govbot or if it is something more sinister, like a conspiracy.

  • Catbeart22

    I think my insurance should cover my advil. Just saying its not fair they get their b.c. covered & my headaches get neglected.

    • Alexandra

      There are actually programs through insurance programs where you can set aside money for your OTC healthcare needs so that you don’t have to pay taxes on income that goes towards healthcare expenses.

      If you needed a more powerful prescription painkiller the insurance would indeed cover it. Insurance covers things that are expensive, and gives you a little help with the OTC needs. My BC is ~$100/month retail and seems to go up every single time I fill the script. Last time I bought a bottle of Advil it was ~$4 for 100 pills that’ll last me at least a year. There’s definitely a difference between Advil and BC.

    • Anonymous

      i think my insurance should cover the rest of my folic acid, you know since they get their birth control covered, i shouldn’t have to pay 12 dollars for 30 days of it

  • Alexandra

    I’m quite amused by the Monty Python clip. Seeing as they all were/are such huge fans of the Church, and would have been much more likely to relate this particular scene to the power the undemocratic Church patriarchy has decided to try to throw around in the States instead of, as you are trying to suggest it, of the democratically elected POTUS who is inline with previous SCOTUS judgements.

    • Anonymous

      Or, they just would’ve gotten the joke.

      • Alexandra

        The joke being the irony that Marc used that clip?

        The clip where they are making a point about people rebelling against someone that has no real authority? Kind of like the Catholics who have made the personal choice to use artificial birth control are rejecting the authority of the bishops?

        Yes I think they would get that joke. I think they’d probably laugh pretty hard. I know I did.

        • Anonymous

          eh my parents can’t wait until i accomplish some good civil disobedience, i’ll rebel against authority, because the Church is rebelling against authority…

        • Cal-J

          You sound like you could use a hug. *Hug*

  • Ggmorse68

    I am a bad Catholic along with 90 somethin% of Contraceptive using Catholics and all you say is true. I think it is an obsolete issue and the Church should either condemn me and all the other bad Catholics, or change their position on this issue… We could not even be close to being able to afford to raise the 7 to 12 kids of our Grandparents time, ( who were able to be self sufficient on the farm) My parents were considered good Catholics ‘ raised 6 kids but used contraceptives in secret after the 6…Why has the Church been so Quiet on this issue until now. They are trying to save face in this way instead of changing their possition on this birth control issue, and make the majority of us Catholics “good” again. This bothers me terribly that my church is pointing fingers and muddying the true issue. I am sure that the Government probably figured that this wasn’t a pertenant issue with most Catholics so also didn’t take it serious..I take more affront at being condemned by my Church in this way, than I do at our Government, who made an honest mistake, and attempted to fix the unfixable. The only one who can fix this is the Church who needs to rethink their possition.’ Contraception should not be condemed. by the Church! Contarception prevents Abortion! Abortion is the true abomidation! Thankyou, Germaine Morse

    (NO HATE MAIL PLEASE)

    c

    • Anonymous

      Condemned? How so?

  • Anonymous

    I hereby petition you to keep calm and stop being an ass, period. You as a mouthpiece for the bishops are on the wrong end of this. I understand in New York state Catholic institutions have been living with state laws that amount to much the same as this for some time now, silently going along. But when they saw a chance to attack President Obama again they jumped at it.

    Let’s face it, bishops like the opulent life and are comfortable with the wealthy, who tend to be Republicans. And who knows how much a few of the greedy among the wealthy have donated to buy the bishops’ attacks on the President and Democrats in general. But the great mass of Catholics are on the right side of this, as is the public. You all are starting to look like fools now. If you had sense you’d quietly fold your tent and go away on this issue.

    And this incessant talk of the “conscience” of the Catholic church is such a sick joke after the decades, probably centuries of hiding child molesters among the clergy, reaching to the very highest level.

    • fabius

      The Church was very clear that there were existing options for them to use in New York and other states so they didn’t have to come under the state mandate. The federal mandate leaves them no alternative.

  • Anon

    How about the Catholic church stop accepting billions of dollars in federal money and start paying taxes? Then you can have whatever policies you please. In reality, you just want to have your cake and eat it too. You want the government to pay for your religious institution but you don’t want that institution to conform to taxpayer demands. If your convictions are more important than the money then the answer is simple.

    • Guest

      The Church as an institution doesn’t receive federal money, to my knowledge. I know there are some individual Catholic groups (hospitals, schools, etc) that receive government funds, but there is no earmark specifically for the Catholic Church.

      • Jaltman

        The church as an institution is also exempt from the mandate. Church related organizations (hospitals, universities, Catholic Charities) that DO receive massive amounts of government money are not.

        • JoAnna Wahlund

          For-profit business owned by Catholic individuals and private Catholic colleges receive no government funding, but are not exempt from the mandate. What about them?

          • Alexandra

            It’s called being part of a society. You don’t always get what you want.

          • Anonymous

            yeah, but we should be exempt from the mandate if we don’t receive funding…

        • Anonymous

          Catholic schools like my alma mater didn’t receive any government funding, all we got from the government money-wise was textbooks, we didn’t have heat in winter or air conditioning in the summer, we basically got our money from alumni and the diocese

      • Alexandra

        But it’s these groups that receive federal funding that are asking to be exempt from federal law. That’s the problem.

    • Patrick Coffin

      How about the coward hiding behind “Anon” man up and use his real name? I believe the right word, there, John Wayne, is pitiful.

    • JoAnna Wahlund

      This mandate also applies to private businesses owned by Catholics, who receive no federal money – not to mention private Catholic colleges that receive no federal money. How about their religious liberty?

      Also, the Church pays social security and medicare taxes, just like any for-profit business.

      You seem very ignorant about the issues involved.

      • Anonymous

        So only Catholic business owners don’t have to follow the law? Insurance is no different than taxes. A pool of money is paid in to, and then given out according to the rules of the overseer. Any insurance already used by the Catholic Church pays for contraception, just like taxes paid to the Federal Government pay for stem cell research, which I believe the Church also has a problem with.

        Also, the Church is a NON-profit business, last I checked.

    • Del

      Hey, Anon — We Catholics would gladly pay taxes, if we could keep our freedom to live our faith. But the Federal Government refuses to tax us… taxation of churches is against our own law.

      And what should they tax, anyway? The Catholic Church, and all her charities, do not make any profit. (It’s not like we sell 330,000 abortions each year at an average price of $461 each!)

      Catholic charities, schools and soup kitchens beg for donations to keep themselves open. Catholic parishes survive on the donations of their own members. It’s not like we are a for-profit corporation.

      And the Federal Goverment could stop granting us money any time (like the way that taxpayers want to stop giving money to Planned Parenthood). But as long as Catholic charities do a great job at helping the poor, the Feds would rather let us do it, than have to do it themselves. Bureaucrats are a lot more expensive than Christian volunteers.

      • Anonymous


        But the Federal Government refuses to tax us… taxation of churches is against our own law.

        Ah, no. Actually, no. The Federal Gov’t doesn’t tax the church because the church filed a 501.3c (Non-Profit) status with the Government. I’m sure Uncle Sam would be perfectly willing to tax the Church if the Church wanted to “render unto Ceaser”, so to speak.

  • Jaltman

    What a crock! I have to pay for the George Bush war I (and the Pope) opposed. Where was your outrage when Bush dissed the Popes (both John Paul and Benedict)?

  • Qcirish

    If the Catholic institutions hire only Catholics who believe the Church’s line, then they could be exempt. But they don’t. So in a way, aren’t the freedom of /from religion being denied to those employees who want birth control? And the Church is run by MEN, celibate MEN. I don’t say that because I hate men, but because I find it ironic that women’s health issues are always dictated by men who never were pregnant, never had a difficult or even dangerous pregnancy, never had irregular periods or PMS, never had post partum issues….yet they want to tell women they can’t use birth control to prevent pregnancies. Nice.

    • Knapp Becky

      It is a lie to tell women that they must alter a normally functioning body part in order to be available for sex anytime. This sets men and women up for enslavement to a mentality that focuses on using something other than their mind to direct their actions. Women do want real answers for painful periods, endometriosis, PMS, PCOS, and any other gynecological health problem out there, but it is not the band aid approach provided by mainstream medicine in the prescribing of hormonal contraceptives for all of the above.

      There are ways to work cooperatively with our fertility, but at the rate the government is moving I expect that women will not be any more free in the future, in fact it would appear that contraceptives may be a required dose in my grandchildren’s lives. This is so sad. Why are we putting up with the government and modern medicine feeding us this crock!

      • Alexandra

        Maybe women want to alter their normal crotch bleeding baby making cycles so that they can have sex whenever they want? Ever thought of that? That women want to have sex too? Women who are on birth control still say no to sex sometimes. Being infertile doesn’t make a woman powerless and a sex object. The implication is just insulting.

        Most women are very happy with the “bandaid” approach that hormonal birth control provides. Bandaids cover problems that will heal with time. Women aren’t fertile for their entire lives, sometimes a bandaid works just fine. That “bandaid” does so much for me as a woman. I can have sex when I want to, I can move my period around so that it doesn’t happen when I’ll be working in the field and won’t have great hygiene. It also makes my periods lighter and less painful, and no PMS. It’s fantastic.

        If other women want to use other methods, that’s fine by me, but the minute they start preaching about it and trying to limit other women’s access to hormonal birth control, I get angry. The worst part is it isn’t even women who are preaching about it. It’s men who have never experienced a menstrual cycle or been in a sexual relationship with a woman.

        • JoAnna Wahlund

          “Maybe women want to alter their normal crotch bleeding baby making cycles so that they can have sex whenever they want?”

          And I want to abolish the law of gravity so I can fly! Wheeee!

          However, neither of us can change the laws of biology, or the laws of physics. Sex makes babies. Be a grown-up and deal with it.

          • Alexandra

            Or you could deal with the fact that sex doesn’t have to make babies and some women make that choice. It is the 21st century.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            “However, neither of us can change the laws of biology, or the laws of physics. Sex makes babies. Be a grown-up and deal with it. ”

            Heh. Further upthread, another Catholic was quite seriously telling me that the doctrine that a faithful married couple ought to be celibate once they’ve decided they don’t want any more children, was indeed an evil doctrine and whoever told me about it ought to be hit over the head with something large and heavy.

            Feel free to do so. Or not. As you please.

    • guest

      I believe it’s prudent to point out that the Church accepts use of contraception in medical cases where it’s dangerous to the woman’s health to carry the child. Quite frankly, almost everything you mentioned there can be handled via alternative methods, and as a woman myself, I know and understand that, which is one of the many reasons I firmly agree with the Church’s position on birth control.

      But I would also have to disagree with your statement that Catholic institutions should have to provide birth control since they hire people who aren’t Catholic. To go along with Mr. Barnes’s argument, that would be like saying that the Jewish restaurant would have to serve bacon because their cook isn’t Jewish.

      Also, frankly if a woman doesn’t agree with the fact that the health insurance provided by these institutions does not cover birth control, then she can easily GO ELSEWHERE. You are not obligated to receive health benefits from your employer, and you pay for it either way since health benefits from the employer is simply taken out of your check before it’s passed on to you.

  • Vivianne

    Spot on, Marc! The sad part is that this will have to be resolved through the courts, as Harry Reid will not allow the Blunt Amendment for Freedom of Conscience to come on the floor of the Senate!

  • http://www.dyno-mom.com/ Melissa @ Dyno-mom

    So, when are you cracking into the Tshirt sales ’cause I’m buying.

  • Anonymous

    So, you stand shoulder to shoulder with the bishops taking on recalcitrant GOP politicians who haven’t heeded their calls to not withdraw support to the unemployed? Or are you a bad catholic because you cherry-pick from your faith to fit you politics.

  • Anonymous

    If fundamentalist colleges had to choose between faith-based racism and federal dollars, I fail to see why the catholic bishops shouldn’t have to choose between their faith-based sexism and federal dollars.

    • Elvin_bethea

      If you would please explain to me how the Catholic Church is sexist I would be much obliged.

      • Anonymous

        Apart from having a non merit-based test that discriminates against those humans with certain genitalia to enter certain ministries? Well I suppose that would be that seeking criminalise abortion and disallow access to contraception disproportionately effects the very ones disbarred from the decision-making offices of the catholic church… Surely this isn’t news to you? “Women must not be priests. Women must have babies.” sound familiar?

        • Annony11

          Are you this angry about the fact that the US military has a “non merit-based test that discriminates against those humans with certain genitalia to enter certain ministries” and still does not allow women on front lines?

  • Anonymous


    But the Federal Government refuses to tax us… taxation of churches is against our own law.

    Ah, no. Actually, no. The Federal Gov’t doesn’t tax the church because the church filed a 501.3c (Non-Profit) status with the Government. I’m sure Uncle Sam would be perfectly willing to tax the Church if the Church wanted to “render unto Ceaser”, so to speak.

  • fabius

    I do hope everyone who supports the HHS mandate and is touting the “get with the program, this is the price of being part of a society” understands the can of worms they’re opening.

    If the government has the legitimate power to decide what it thinks is in the public interest and can coercively order private institutions, insurance companies, and individuals to offer certain services, then there is absolutely nothing to prevent a future administration from doing the exact same thing in reverse. A hypothetical Pro-Life president could mandate that no private insurance company cover abortion procedures because the administration believed that abortion increased the risk of breast cancer, and so preventing abortions would be a cost-saving measure in the long run by reducing the need for breast cancer treatments. You can do the same thing with contraceptives, as the WHO already classifies hormonal birth control as a carcinogen.

    Set aside what we believe or disagree with/on about the specific medical legitimacy of various health care services. The Obama administration has set a precedent that others may easily follow, in ways you might not like.

    Legally, this boils down in no small part to the old limited vs. positive rights debate. The traditional limited rights view holds that the social contract only applies to the government working to protect the limited rights of individuals, in that the government doesn’t have the innate power to give us stuff, only the power to prevent our freedom from being imposed upon. In this view, individuals don’t have a duty on the part of government to give them things. Government only has the obligation to make sure that their right to pursue certain things isn’t infringed upon. It is only a relatively recent innovation over the last century that “positive” rights exist, that the government has both the ability, and responsibility, to actually “give” people things. This is where notions that we have a “right” to health care or contraceptives or material goods. After all, how can a universal right to health care exist when that right is only made possible by the invention of modern medicine. Were all people at all times being deprived of their universal right before the invention of antibiotics? Some people think there’s even a right to internet access. Apparently we were all denied that right up until quite recently.

    It’s not a matter of whether or not people should be taken care of or given certain things. We should all exercise that responsibility to our fellow man. But note that (from a Christian point of view) this is expressed as a private or communal duty. My obligation to help the poor is not at all addressed if I simply vote for someone to do it for me. Virtue cannot be coerced. The limited rights view holds that government cannot be randomly used to address whatever social problem we have at a given moment. It may very well be a very good thing for government to provide health care to a bunch of people, but that doesn’t answer the question of whether government actually has the legal “right” to do so.

    The advantage of the limited rights view of government, is that you mostly avoid competing claims of different groups to rights that they both legitimately have a claim too. The Church has a legitimate right to be forced not to privately pay for something it holds to be morally wrong (note that as a matter of forcing private individuals to do something, it is different from the question of using tax dollars to pay for things). Once you start asserting positive rights for things that really aren’t at all universal but just an expression of a current societal consensus, you will inevitably end up with someone’s perceived rights being trampled on.

    So watch out if the societal consensus decides to elect someone who has a different idea of health care rights than you do. There is still time to close Pandora’s Box.

  • Lift your vision higher

    From what I’ve read in many of the comments here, the focus has been on contraceptives. Does anyone realize that this is really a much larger and more significant issue? It’s about constitutional rights!!

    So just to be clear – the HHS is mandating all employers to provide contraception, the morning after pill (which essentially induces an abortion) and sterilization.

    Once the government has violated the religious liberty of those who are morally opposed to providing these services AND paying for them, who is to stop it from violating other constitutional rights? Really, this mandate is just a stepping stone to more government control over the rights of citizens.

    I am opposed to the mandate both because I find it morally offensive, but also because it violates religious liberty. Even if you believe that the services which the mandate would provide are helpful or even necessary, is it worth giving up religious liberty to gain them? What a hefty price to pay!! Is there a less “costly” way to achieve the goal of access?

    Especially since the services that are mandated are intended to prevent pregnancy – which is not even a disease or illness. I understand that it is not always desirable and sometimes is unsafe for the woman involved. However, in the majority of cases it is not a disease or illness that requires “treatment”.

    Check out this blog post which addresses this issue:
    http://www.catholicvote.org/discuss/index.php?p=26596

    Let’s lift our vision higher than the issue of contraceptives to the bigger issue of where do we get all of these “rights” anyway? Is government the source of human rights? Or is it just an enforcer? I certainly pray that government is not the one deciding our rights. If it is, we are in hotter water than we can even imagine!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002529195406 Katherine Major
  • Anonymous

    Have we hit some comment ceiling? I’m missing over 100 comments…
    (Showing 534 of 638 – and no “see more” button)

  • Guest

    In response to your clip:

    USSCB: SHUT UP!
    Gov’t: You can’t expect to wield supreme ethical power just because some carpenter had you stand on some boulder!
    USCCB: SHUT UP!
    Gov’t: Why, if I went around, sayin’ I was the Voice of God, just because some laborer two thousand years ago ate dinner with my folks, they’d put me away!
    USCCB: SHUT UP!
    Gov’t: Oh, now we see the hypocrisy inherent in the system! Help, help, I’m being repressed!
    USCCB: Bloody agnostic!
    Gov’t: Oh, what a giveaway! Did you see that? Did you see him persecuting religious beliefs? You saw that, didn’t you?

    And I’ll further remind you that 1) that whole Monty Python scene was about how legitimate power must derive from the people and you’re distorting the meaning by using it out of context, and 2) the NYT had an excellent editorial by Gary Gutting on the fact that the Church is not a democracy. Which is why it is out of context.

  • http://www.mybrokenfiat.com/blog.html MyBrokenFiat

    Loved this and linked back to you (specifically for the photo / caption under the ENT. :)

  • Zacking2002vi

    ““Under the rule, women will still have access to free preventive care that includes contraceptive services — no matter where they work. So that core principle remains.””
    you know he ment with the exception of churches, parish offices ect.

  • AChild

    From a child’s simple point of view, this is what is understood. The Catholic organizations are being forced to pay for someone getting people under their coverage something that they think is wrong. So… not knowing much about this, the Catholic’s own this… right? And if they own it, they should make the rules, right? Now, if this is true, the Mayans should be able to sacrifice people. Now it gets more complicated… “hurting others is bad” (ancient thought), so you shouldn’t sacrifice them… but now, how is refusing to prevent them from having a child hurting them? They choose to have a child or not… so, this contraception isn’t needed to stop it. It does not hurt them to refuse this. But now of course we become human and have opinions… and we are all different in those. Really, though… this is like saying, “This toy in this bin can give me (couldn’t think of analogy. I don’t think children are germs) a potentially harmful, potentially great germ. So teacher, can you get me a mask, so as not to get this germ.” The teacher, however, says, “I don’t think these masks are right, so I am not going to give it to you. Just don’t play with the toy” Then another teacher says, “You have to give this student a mask. He needs to play with the toy.”
    Now, do you need to “play with the toy?” No. Duh. End of story. This can most likely apply to other things in other religions as well. Now, I have very little clue as to how a woman’s body works, but these pills apparently cause relief from pain. If these do stop someone from hurting, then they shouldn’t be labeled as something else. There should be medicine for one, and medicine for another. That would be like using a gas mask with wound sealing properties for a cut. Doesn’t make sense that a gas mask has wound sealing properties in the first place.
    Correct me if I am wrong on anything. Don’t be a “bully” though.
    These adults running around like this, acting so silly…

  • Neal Hightower

    My comment pertains to your recent article in Catholic digest regarding alcoholic beverages. Yes alcohol is ridiculously Catholic, which accounts for centuries of peodophilia, alcoholism, adultery, fornication, rape, murder, prevarication, idolatry, etc., within the Catholic church. Whoredom, old and new wine take away the heart, as stated by the Prophet Hosea, and destroys the life of many priests,who are now incarcarated for molesting children. Do you think it is any diferent now, 2000 years, even as canon law has justified this sin, even adultery, for the past 1700 years. Do you think the righteous do not know when the priest is a drunkard, or adulterer or pedaphile, as their energy comes through the host. Do you think in your sophmoric interludes that your writing inspires people to be good, saintly, followers of Christ. Nay, I tell you it corrupts the minds of youth, and opens the door to perdition, you who justify the use of wine, beer, alcohol for pleasure, for the excitation of lust and arrogance, for the accumulation of material goods, money, power, prestige. The Prophet Isaiah speaks to us of becoming overpowered by wine, led astray by strong drink. Do you not heed his words? Do you think the Lord used wine, strong drink, for pleasure, which excites lust, arrogance? Do you follow those who do? If so, then indeed you are a bad Catholic, who encourages “tables covered with filthy vomit, with no place left clean:” youth leaving the church because they witness first hand the loss of innocence and will not defile the Lord’s house by such infamy. Do you think it is Ok to amass great fortune when 20% of the world’s population lives continually in hunger: when 150,000 die daily from starvation, over 75,000 who are children? I would encourage you to read the Holy Scriptures free of your lust principles, and then perhap you might begin to understand what Jesus Christ is telling us. Pray peace to your soul.

  • Three Angel Mom

    NaPro, for all that everyone feels it is shoved down people’s throats, actually works. The doctors found a problem with my insides that was leaving prone to constant infection. Six months of cycles showed something was off; an internal found the reason. One procedure later and a month later, and my hubby and I are both happier people.

    I am sick of people bashing the church for its stand on contraception. No one bashes the Amish for dressing differently and refusing insurance, and they’re exempt. There are some evangelicals who grouped together to pay out of pocket for each other’s medical costs, and they’re exempt. I am sick of this administration thinking it is more Catholic than the Pope and holier than the LORD.

    As for birth control, I’m one of those Catholics on the fence. I clearly agree that anything that acts as an abortifacient (the pill, NuvaRing, IUD’s) is wrong. I struggle with both barrier methods being wrong and sterilization being wrong; if the Catholic God can’t work around these things, we’re serving the wrong god.

    Yes, I have taken the pill in the past. I am sorry I did it, but my situation and my health required it. I may never know if the fourth child I longed for was somehow lost in that time. I worked for a secular employer who did not pay for contraception. I sucked it up and paid up. I did not expect the government to come in like an anti-cavalry and buy my pills for me or force my employer to.

    Holding a job is a privilege and responsibility, not a right. If you are working for a company, you need to know what they believe. If they don’t share your beliefs and you find this intolerable, get another job.

    • Anonymous

      “I am sick of people bashing the church for its stand on contraception. No one bashes the Amish for dressing differently and refusing insurance, and they’re exempt. ”

      Last I looked the Amish are not trying to make everyone else follow their religious beliefs. The RCC is.

      As far as holding a job being a privilege, etc. do you still say that when Catholic pharmacists try to not dispense real birth control in drug stores that sell it?

  • John Doman

    All I can say is I’m just loving the MS-Paint-miter’d-Treebeard picture.

  • http://everythingtosomeone.blogspot.com/ Christie

    I thought it was Glenn Beck who said “We’re all Catholic now.” Or was it both of them?

  • IoanRaduTanasescu

    Wow, the church must really have a lot of power over you. It’s just another institution, it doesn’t have a direct line to God, it’s just a bunch of people claiming to have direct and exclusive access to what you should believe and how you should behave.

    The U.S. actually has three political parties, two that fight each other to govern, Democrat and Republican, and one that always governs along with them by default, and that’s the church.

    Wake up. I’m not even an american and I see this. As for contraceptives, the world needs a lot more of them.

  • momolovesjesus3

    Your first letter to the president was inspiring; the second letter made me stand up and cheer.
    The Holy Grail clip at the end was the icing on a delicious cake in my favorite flavor of Catholic Smackdown.


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