Nancy Pelosi Claims Your Support

At last Wednesday’s White House press briefing, a CNS reporter asked Nancy Pelosi — a self-claimed devout Catholic – if she would stand with the Church and oppose the HHS contraceptive mandate as an assault on religious freedom. In summary:

Pelosi, listen. You are not with your fellow Catholics. Having the blessing of being a Catholic myself — though admittedly not a devout Catholic — I can’t help but take offense that you included me in your crazy, deluded circle, along with all those opposed to your assaults on religious freedom. As I’m sure you’re aware, you’re going directly against the Church. Don’t blame the bishops if they have their own press conference, of a ten-billion-times-cooler nature:

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Allow me to tell it like it is: Being Evangelical might very well mean whatever you want it to mean. As may being a secular humanist. But being Catholic — ah, the beauty of it — means being obedient to the teachings and doctrines of the Catholic Church. For the sake of your soul and the nation’s, figure it out.

On a positive note, I hope you’re all aware that we’ve reached the goal on Frank Weather’s petition to “Rescind the HHS Dept. Mandate Requiring Catholic Employers to Provide Contraceptives/Abortifacients to Their Employees”! 25,000 signatures and climbing on upwards! Sign it if you haven’t, the more the merrier!

  • Pamela Koo

    Dear Ms. Pelosi,

    This “devout Catholic” phrase you keep using? I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • http://biltrix.com/ Chip

    The woman is Bizarre.

  • Anonymous

    Silly and funny. :-) But a little hateful, too?

    • http://www.facebook.com/patrick.hoelscher Patrick Hoelscher

      Hateful of her obstinant perseverance in manifest grave sin, yes. Of her as a human being? No.

      • Anonymous

        Hmmm. I read it again. It does sound hateful of HER. And mean spirited. I’m not sure if you’re intending that, but it comes across that way.

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

          Perhaps a bit blunt, maybe even not completely respectful. But hateful? Gosh, that word must have gained a new definition while I wasn’t looking.

          • Anonymous

            Paul- I checked the definition on dictinary.com, and I think it fits here:

            verb (used with object)
            1.
            to dislike intensely or passionately

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

            According to the OED, “hateful” means:
            1. Full of hate, cherishing hatred, malignant.

            And “hate” means:
            a. To hold in very strong dislike; to detest; to bear malice to. The opposite of to love.

            I don’t detect any malice or detestation of Nancy Pelosi in this article. The author is telling Pelosi that she ought to shape up and follow Catholic teaching, which to the contrary seems like a loving argument, when one happens to believe Catholic teaching represents everyone’s best interests.

          • Anonymous

            Well we disagree. I stand-by dictionary.com and my use of the word, upon even further reflection of your definition and the post. Good night!

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

            dictionary.com over the OED, and no particular reason?

            I confess I’m rather confused by your reasoning.

            “Hate” can’t be used to mean any time you say something bad about another’s actions, or it loses all its bite, and all the significance it once had.

            Also, looking it up on dictionary.com, I get:
            to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest

            Which is roughly equivalent to the OED definition I cited.

            I still wonder what he said that you believe is hateful towards Pelosi, but perhaps my curiosity is doomed to remain unsatisfied.

          • Anonymous

            In the moral sense, “hate” means “to will evil for”. Strictly defined, in fact, it is actually limited to the desire for someone else’s spiritual evil, since any other evil—say a swift sock in the jaw—may act as a corrective.

            A Christian’s duty to “love” is, not coincidentally, the duty to wish the spiritual good of another—hence why it is sometimes permissable to inflict physical harm to correct an evildoer (spanking children, at one extreme, and the justified use of the death penalty or war, at the other).

          • Penny Farthing1893

            Word.

            Tough love.

          • Penny Farthing1893

            Haven’t you heard? Hateful now means “opposed to the views of someone on the left, defending one’s own views, acknowledging the possible existence of objective truth”, according to the Institute of Civil Discourse (unfortunately that’s a real thing here in Tucson, although my definition above is something of a paraphrase) and civility now means “willingness to cave on principles”.

        • Anonymous

          It seemed very mean spirited indeed! The next time he dares speak negatively of a public figure who is not only intensely hypocritical, but is through her hypocrisy possibly leading countless others into error, his words should convey the dainty politeness that Christ Himself upheld when He was confronted with outrageous situations.

          Oh, wait.

          • Annony11

            I was about to comment asking how you decided that he should be dainty. Then I read the rest of your post and saw the picture.

            AMEN.

          • Anonymous

            So BC is Christ-like? Bwahhahahahahaha!

          • Anonymous

            Did Christ show outrage when confronted with outrageous behavior? Is this case like what I just described? If so, then yes. In this respect he would indeed be Christ-like.

            Repeating something someone else has already said isn’t an actual argument. Your continue to hold in disdain something that you cannot hold to be actually objectionable (unless you believe that Christ sinned in this response).

  • Musiciangirl591

    i loved the video and the article, she is not standing with her fellow Catholics, she needs to have her head examined if she thinks that’s where she is

  • Lauren G.

    She’s also claimed that the Catholic church has not necessarily taken an absolute stand on abortion. *sigh*

  • http://www.facebook.com/patrick.hoelscher Patrick Hoelscher

    I think our Bishops could learn a thing or two from St. Thomas a Becket

    • Anonymous

      Especially since martyrdom (white first, then red) is coming.

  • Brenner Dd

    What movie is that video clip from?

    • Lordshadowblade

      “Becket” Great movie. It has Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole in it. :)

      • Penny Farthing1893

        I think I follow you on deviantart… if so, hi!

  • AverageJoeCatholic

    Pelosi has been affected by a principle of American life first described by the philosopher George Santayana. Santayana said “American life is a powerful solvent. It seems to neutralize every intellectual element, however tough and alien it may be, and to fuse it in the native good will, complacency, thoughtlessness, and optimism.” Pelosi has done just that with her Catholicism, as have many Catholics in America. She’s let her Americanism hijack her Catholicism until she only sees Catholicism through a marred lens. To Pelosi, Catholicism isn’t loyalty to the authority of the Church, its whatever Catholic (typcially “progressive” typed) people come to a loose consensus Catholicism is. In her mind, Catholicism should be progressing to look like America, and not in any sense vice versa.

    • AverageJoeCatholic

      That has absolutely nothing to do with what the Catholic Church is asking. We’re not asking for Catholic rule. We’re not even asking for a federal ban on contraception. Hell, we’re not even asking for the mandate to be repealed outright, just that it allows a full consciencious objection, especially for religion. Pelosi, if she is indeed Catholic as she claims, and if she believes in the Constitution of the United States, ought to see no problem with supporting the Bishops on this issue.

      • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

        “just that it allows a full consciencious objection, especially for religion.”

        It does.

        The mandate does not compel any Catholic to take contraception in violation of their conscience.

        There you go.

        • eva

          “The mandate does not compel any Catholic to take contraception in violation of their conscience.”

          It’s not just about Catholics not taking contraceptives. It’s about having to provide something that Catholics believe is morally wrong. Like requiring Jewish restaurants to serve pork when they don’t believe in eating pork. They’re not making any Jews eat the pork but they have to provide it even though they think it’s wrong. That’s not right.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            “It’s about having to provide something that Catholics believe is morally wrong. ”

            Yes. Just as if you worked for a Jewish employer, they would not be allowed to require you to only buy kosher food. Once your employer provides the benefit – wages, health insurance, whatever – it’s between you and your conscience how you use that benefit.

            It’s not up to your employer to rule what your religious beliefs have to be.

          • Don Corleone

            Edinburgh: I appreciate that you’re not attributing motives to anyone here, an intellectually bankrupt, speculative and unpersuasive exercise. People can actually respond in a thoughtful way to analogies. Thank you.

            That said, your analogy here is not apt. In your analogy, the Jewish employer demands that his/her employees purchase only kosher food. In the case of the HHS Mandate, Catholic institutions don’t want to be forced to subsidize an activity they believe is evil, but that their employees are free to obtain at the local Planned Parenthood office or County Clinic. Ironically, using your analogy, HHS is the Jewish employer demanding that Catholic institutions fund something they believe is wrong.

            A better analogy might look like this: The Bush Administration mandates that all businesses subsidize the consumption of fossil fuels for their employees so they can get to and from work. Members of an environmentally-conscious religious faith object on conscience grounds because they are being asked to contribute to global warming. Should the Bush Admin exempt them, or impose it’s belief that global warming is hogwash and people need transportation to get to work?

        • AverageJoeCatholic

          You seem to be missing the point. The mandate is forcing the Catholic institution to do what it finds evil. This is not an issue at the personal level only, its an institutional level. Taking it or not, Catholics are paying for what the Church has declared morally wrong. The government is impeding free practice of religion, which is protected in the Bill or Rights. “Reproductive health care” is not.

  • http://ohnimus.wordpress.com/ Christian Ohnimus

    I think she meant Kathulyk not Catholic. Unfortunately their pronounced the same. Either that or she’s a blatant liar but that’s not possi-Oh wait, she’s a career politician, almost forgot. Yeah, this is disgusting.

    • VVVVVV

      I think she might just be obliviously insane. I’m not even exaggerating; she seems a little off, no matter what she’s talking about :(

  • Amber

    Stinking awesome video clip.

  • Imperatoraugustus

    A lot of Catholics are pro contraception though…I don’t understand what all the anger in this post is about…

    • AverageJoeCatholic

      Let us make something very clear. “A lot of Catholics” do not equal “Catholicism”. The moral doctrines Catholic Church is not a matter of discussion, debate, or compromise. If they were, I’d be absolutely horrified, because that means morality is not absolute. If there is not absolute moral standard, than justifying genocide is merely a matter of rhetoric and persuasion. No, we cannot have any confusion between the popular morality and the true morality. Yes, a lot of Catholics are for contraception, but a lot of Catholics support the death penalty, a lot of Catholic cheat on their spouses, a lot of Catholics use pornography, a lot of Catholics lie, cheat and steal. Catholics sin. The solution isn’t to change Catholicism to suit the person. We have to change the people (Catholics) to suit Catholicism.

    • OtterMommy

      “Popular” does not equal “right”. Don’t you remember high school?!

      • Musiciangirl591

        exactly! if that were the case, then i would be the outcast (which i am pretty much now at my very secular college!)

  • Pearty

    The separation of Church and state is to keep the state out of the Church’s affairs as much as vice versa.

    You seem to run with the “98% of this” and “the majority of that” line fairly often. The Church is not a democracy. Thank God.

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

      Democracy: The system that chose Barabas over Jesus.

      • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

        You are very confused about democracy if you think it consists of a mob shouting at a military governor, the result going to whichever section of the crowd shouts loudest.

        Tyranny: the system that set up both the Roman Catholic Church and the Greek Orthodox Church.

        • Musiciangirl591

          democracy is defined as a group of people who vote for a certain issue and then it becomes law, technically that was a democracy because Ponitus Pilate asked them who they wanted, they picked Barabus

    • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

      Exactly!

      The Church’s affair is to attempt to persuade all Catholic women to refrain from using artificial contraception by explaining it to them using doctrinal examples.

      The State’s affair is to ensure that no institution is allowed to enforce Catholic – or any other – doctrine on its employees.

      What Marc is defending is an attempt by the Catholic Church to use the power of the state to enforce Church doctrine on people who may not even be Catholic.

      • AverageJoeCatholic

        You know, the great thing about the free market is, when we don’t like the practices of our employer, we can quit, and get a new employer. The Church is not forcing them not to use contraception, its just choosing not to buy it for them. They can buy all the contraceptives they want on their own tab.

        • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

          “You know, the great thing about the free market is, when we don’t like the practices of our employer, we can quit, and get a new employer.”

          You’re obviously independently wealthy and have no concept of how real people live.

          Ordinary people don’t just quit their jobs because ordinary people have credit cards to keep paying, mortgages, family obligations, etc.

          But in any case: the First Amendmment of the US Constitution actually protects the individual’s religious freedom. No one should have to quit their job because their employer expects them to change their faith to their employers

          The Church is not “buying contraception”: the employer is providing health insurance. That health insurance covers contraception: it is up to the Church to try to convince people to not use contraception, by – for example – calling young hard-working poor mothers “no better than whores“. When that doesn’t work, the Church is not allowed, in the US, to use the government to strongarm the people for them.

          Your notion that “Live the way we do or quit!” isn’t very coercive probably comes from inherited wealth. Real normal people find losing a job pretty damn difficult.

  • Feeneyja

    Let’s get this straight. This Catholic contraception number being thrown around comes from the Guttamacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood. They are notorious for putting out stats and studies that support their stance and don’t take into consideration the whole picture. That stat is of Catholic women who have been on contraception at one time or another. I fit that stat. Many Catholic women I know fit that stat (we were just discussing it yesterday). BUT we know from our own terrible experiences that contraception is NOT the right answer. We have chosen to free ourselves from the notion you must “take control” of your fertility by giving up control to big pharma and pop culture. I stand with the Catholic Church because u have seen the truth in it. Marc’s posts are right on target on this topic. Don’t you DARE use my experience in this Cathilic contraception stat to justify something I stand against!!!

    • Musiciangirl591

      i love it when pro choicers use stats from the Guttamacher Institute, i’m just like those are so biased it’s not even funny

      • AverageJoeCatholic

        I take the Guttamacher Institute about as seriously as the liberal world takes Fox News

      • Alexandra

        What makes you say that? I’m interested in why you think it is biased, because I’m sure you have a reason too, and I’ve never seen anything.

        • Musiciangirl591

          guttanmacher is a branch of PP, they only report their stats so of course they would be biased

          • Alexandra

            I’m not sure why you think that PP is biased. This is just a hunch of yours? Guttmacher is a trusted source by academics and professionals on both sides of this debate.

          • Musiciangirl591

            PP’s biased because they lie about how many babies they kill, they mismanage their funds, they cover up sexual abuse and sex trafficking, do you want me to go on?

          • Alexandra

            I’d like proof of that if you expect me to believe it.

          • Musiciangirl591

            liveaction.org, lila rose led investigations into this, along with PP’s racist intentions

          • JoAnna Wahlund

            Here’s more proof of how Guttmacher skews their stats: http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/2012/02/i-am-98-percent.html

          • Alexandra

            JoAnna, if you read the Guttmacher study they do actually make qualifications. Yes the one 98% number is misleading if you don’t actually think about what it means, but that’s not Guttmacher’s fault. That’s people throwing around the stat’s fault.

            87% of Catholic women who are currently sexually active (as in had sex in the past 3 months) and not pregnant, postpartum, or trying to get pregnant are currently using a form of artificial birth control.

            Still pretty high.

          • JoAnna Wahlund

            Women who self-identify as Catholic, not women who actually ARE Catholic (i.e., who believe and abide by the tenets of their faith). Guttmacher makes no distinction there, thus the stats are very inaccurate.

          • goldie

            I agree that the 87% number is pretty high, it is not insignificant.

            I would like to know about the entire sample — specifically, what percentage of the whole sample of Catholic women have not been sexually active in the last three months, and what percentage fall into the “pregnant, postpartum, or trying to get pregnant” category. The reason I think this would be significant is that people love to cite the 98% statistic, or even the 87% statistic, but that is still only 87% of those who have been sexually active in the last three months who did not want to become pregnant. It’s still not 87% of all Catholic women. Does that make sense? (I’ll just make up some numbers, I have no idea, but say like 5% have not been sexually active in the last 3 months, and 14% — as cited in the study, now that I recall — are in the pregnant, postpartum, or trying to get pregnant group. Then 81% of Catholic women would be sexually active and not wanting to get pregnant. 87% of that would be about 70% of all Catholic women. It is still a large percentage, but very far from the 98% that gets thrown around in these discussions.)

            And regardless of that — though I think having a more accurate representation of “all Catholic women” would be useful — it still does not answer the question about whether a religious institution should be required to pay for something, regardless of what Catholic women are actually doing.

          • Alexandra

            I’m going to reply in a new post!

          • daniellekha

            And FYI – Catholic women who follow the faith would probably consider themselves to be classified as “trying to get pregnant” by this group as being open to life allows for that possibility at all times of fertility. And how long do they classify postpartum as? And what percentage of these women follow the faith versus just calling themselves Catholic. This statistic has more holes than Swiss Cheese.

          • Alexandra

            Yeah I’m not gonna wade through a giant pro-life website. You’ve got to provide more specific links than that. If you can show me real proof I’d be more than happy to revise my position, but I don’t think it’s there so I’m not going to take the time to look for it. The burden is on you.

          • Musiciangirl591

            there’s a button on the homepage called projects, click on it mona lisa is the sexual abuse one, rosa acuna is the misinformation, then the rest are named for what they are

          • Annony11

            I have to agree with you on ONE point. When providing proof, one should give the right link. It took me a minute to find the actual page.

            You can choose any or all of the videos on this page, they are simply different examples from different PPs around the country. http://liveaction.org/monalisa These are the videos on sexual abuse, if you want to see the rest they are under the “projects” link near the top on the left of the page.

          • Alexandra

            There’s a difference between what a nurse does at PP and what a survey institute does.

            I see your point of view, but the fact remains that the Guttmacher Institute is trusted by people who know what they’re talking about.

          • Feeneyja

            No, PP is not trusted on both sides of the debate. They are trusted by those who side with them.

            Pick a fact sheet. Check the sources. I’m doing that now on the sheet about the negative emotional effects of abortion. PP states no emotional side effects http://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/PPFA/Emotional_Effects_of_Induced_Abortion.pdf. They start off by making broad statements with absolutely nothing to back it up. Just trust them when they say that 30 years of studies have shown no negative emotional effects of legal abortion. They cite two studies in particular to back up their side, and criticize another that says there is a significant emotional toll. The language they use in the sheet is misleading (stating that one study disproves a hypothesis…um, studies only support or contradict. Never PROVE or disprove.) If you go through the APA study (yes by, a major medical organization), you find that it is flawed because they don’t take into account all of the data (see the critique of the APA study here http://www.aaplog.org/american-issues-2/abortion-and-mental-health/analysis-of-the-apa-task-force-on-abortion-and-mental-health-by-dr-priscilla-coleman/). They cite an AMRC study that is also flawed (missing key studies that show negative effects), And the AMRC study actually shows that there is no positive benefit to having an abortion (as is often inferred by pro abortion folks…releif from the strain of carrying an unwanted child to term.) The study makes clear that numerous mental and social factors contribute to the negative health outcomes associated with abortion. PP uses this to say “hey, nothing bad about abortion here!” But what they ignore is that Planned Parenthood’s stance on abortion is actually feeding into and contributing to the potential mental harm by playing the rhetoric over and over that you don’t have to want your baby and an abortion can help. And then they use the AMRC study to blame the negative psychological effects on the woman (she was crazy anyway). The Coleman study that DID find negative psychological effects associated with abortion, PP and APA criticize because the study didn’t control for previous mental health issues. BUT, if unwanted pregnancy is a major contributor to mental health, and the abortion camp is using this a as marketing tool to promote abortion, you shouldn’t control for that because it is a major player in the cumulative negative affects associated with abortion.

            Hooray for PP, they successfully lobbied against legislation that would force them to say that post traumatic stress disorder is a possible result of abortion (per their annual report). They REALLY are for women’s health…Right. NO ONE who is for woman’s health would actively lobby AGAINST it!

            I would re-evaluate the trustworthiness of PP and their research team. They are marketing a business. Always have. Always will.

          • Alexandra

            I said Guttmacher not PP.

          • Feeneyja

            You actually said “I don’t know why you think PP is biased.”. Just reread your comment.

          • Alexandra

            Well here’s the other thing. The APA came to the same conclusion as PP, and your conclusion is they’re both wrong?

            Not only that, but you’re alleging that PP says that abortion is good for your mental health? That’s huge stretch.

            Your logic on this position leaves something to be desired. I tend to trust the medical professionals and the process of peer review, not the completely unsupported conspiracy theory on an anti-abortion website.

          • Feeneyja

            ead what PP said. THEY didn’t come to “the same conclusion” as APA. PP is promoting the APA conclusion which is eliminating data and so is not valid. Read the critique of the paper. I posted. Yes, it is a pro-life Ob-Gyn site. But if we all have to listen to PP’s “proof” and have it used in public policy, you could certainly manage to navagate a pro-life site. Particularly the significant results published in a peer reviewed journal. The critique of the APA paper is written by a well-published scientist who has spent much of her career studying this. This is not conspiracy theory. This is a supposed women’s health organization activly suppressing information that affect’s women’s health.

            And PP’s own website says, “most women experience relief after an abortion.”

          • Alexandra

            That link went straight to the homepage of that site.

          • Feeneyja

            Don’t know why it does that. When I cut and paste it in, it goes directly to the critique:

            http://www.aaplog.org/american-issues-2/abortion-and-mental-health/analysis-of-the-apa-task-force-on-abortion-and-mental-health-by-dr-priscilla-coleman/

            Try cutting and pasting.

          • Feeneyja

            I just clicked on it and it took me there.

          • Alexandra

            Figured it out, there was a paren on your link that kept it from going to the site. But geez that thing reads like the rantings of a crazy person. Honestly, I know nothing about medicine, but the APA comes to a different conclusion than this woman, and the APA is made up of a lot more people than this one woman. There are always dissenters in any field.

            I’m not literate enough in medicine to be able to make my own decision on this. That is why huge organizations like APA exist. I’m trusting APA.

          • Feeneyja

            I posted a reply and it ended up posting as a new comment.

    • JoAnna Wahlund

      That stat is a load of BS. For crying out loud, I am the 98%, as are many other Catholic women who OPPOSE this mandate.

      • Alexandra

        There’s the issue of that contraception is only wrong religiously. In a secular world there is nothing morally wrong about it.

        • JoAnna Wahlund

          What the secular world believes is irrelevant. That’s why this is a RELIGIOUS LIBERTY issue. It’s enough that the Church believes it, and teaches it as doctrine. Your opinion of the veracity of that belief has no bearing on whether forcing organizations to violate that belief is unconstitutional.

          Any comments on how the 98% stat is a load of BS?

          • Alexandra

            I did reply to the Guttmacher stat above, and it doesn’t matter what the Church thinks because freedom of religious exercise does not apply when what the religion does harms other people.

          • JoAnna Wahlund

            How are people being harmed? Women will still have access to contraception, and are still free to use it if they so choose. They even have the choice to not work at a Catholic institution if they want their sex lives subsidized.

          • Alexandra

            The truth of the matter is sometimes the Catholic employers are the only, or the biggest, employer in the area. Especially with universities, sometimes there are not other jobs available, and while people might want to find jobs elsewhere, they don’t always have that option.

            If Catholic universities and hospitals are allowed an exemption from the HHS mandate, that could leave a lot of people without access to affordable healthcare. Because the HHS mandate is absolutely constitutional it is really unfair of the Bishops and those lobbying against the mandate to be making the fuss that they are. An exemption puts the people employed by Catholic institutions at a distinct disadvantage.

            Birth control isn’t cheap, and our secular nation has decided that it should be covered by health insurance. Women who are being denied that health insurance coverage for birth control are being harmed because they are forced to spend more money on birth control.

          • JoAnna Wahlund

            100% of women who work for a Catholic employer also choose to do so, and if getting their sex lives subsidized is so important to them, they can choose another employer. And yes, they can make it happen if getting free hormonal contraception is their dealbreaker, even in small towns.

            Contraception is not health care. Just ask any pro-life OB/GYN who somehow manages to treat the full spectrum of women’s health issues WITHOUT resorting to contraception (which masks the symptoms but doesn’t treat the problem): http://www.naprotechnology.com

          • Anonymous

            Birth control is available free or ‘low cost’ just about everywhere. Check you local paper. And why they hand out the Pill, a known carcinogen, like candy, is a complete mystery; women are the victims, and it’s time for women to fight back and demand more respect for their bodies.

            We might start by clear instruction for NFP, which is safe and natural and can be used to space children in a moral manner. It also has been found to strengthen marriages, since both spouses are involved in its use. Abstinence should also be taught, and the negative myths about both of these dispelled.

            If Catholic universities and hospitals, etc. are forced to violate their consciences, many will close, causing even worse unemployment, and a lack of charitable services. Doesn’t sound too promising, does it? Sounds like a crisis to me.

            But the bottom line is that this in an attack on religious liberty. My rights today; your rights tomorrow. Perhaps Glenn Beck says it best: “We are all Catholic now.” Think about it. This may not affect your beliefs, but down the road, your rights are next in line to be violated.

    • Following the way

      I took the time to read the entire report and the language used about Catholics was consistently biased. It didn’t read so much like a research study as a “haha, told you so, Catholics!” I was actually surprised, even considering the source.

      “Even so—and despite the strong body of evidence demonstrating that contraceptive use and the prevention of unintended pregnancy improves the health and social and economic well-being of women and their families— contraception continues to be perceived as controversial among some policymakers and is opposed by the Catholic hierarchy and some other socially conservative organiza- tions. Among recent actions, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has led the charge against the Department of Health and Human Services designating contraceptive services and supplies as a women’s pre- ventive health service that must be covered in all health insurance plans without cost-sharing (such as co-pays or deductibles) under the new health care reform legislation.”

      • Alexandra

        That’s not the study itself, that’s a summary of the results and the implications of it. It doesn’t claim to be unbiased.

        Catholic Bishops are being a huge obstacle in this policy and the point is that the majority of women, regardless of their religion, chose to use birth control, so it is a very interesting result and the implications are huge.

        • JoAnna Wahlund

          100% of women who work for a Catholic employer also choose to do so, and if getting their sex lives subsidized is so important to them, they can choose another employer.

          Contraception is not health care. Just ask any pro-life OB/GYN who somehow manages to treat the full spectrum of women’s health issues WITHOUT resorting to contraception (which masks the symptoms but doesn’t treat the problem): http://www.naprotechnology.com/

  • Tim

    I hate nutshells. But I love nuts, which is why I love Pelosi despite my disagreements with her.

  • Musiciangirl591

    ok 1.) i thought marc blocked you, and 2.) she calls herself a “devout Catholic” and she doesn’t even stand with the precepts of the Church, her bishop excommunicated her

  • Leslie Book

    I don’t see how you can say she is “standing for the cause of religious freedom,” when we are talking about a MANDATE here–a mandate that would require many Catholics to go against their religious beliefs. In no way would rescinding the mandate establish the Catholic Church as a deciding body in the state. It would simply be allowing her institutions to act within their religious rights.

    It doesn’t matter if 98% of Catholics use contraception. They don’t go to Church organizations to get their contraception because they know they won’t find it there. It is within their rights as citizens to purchase legal contraception that is on the market, but certainly not within their rights to get it from an organization that thinks its morally wrong to use it.

    Now that I think about it, when did contraception become a constitutional right at all? Sure, using it is legal, but having a right to it? Pregnancy is not a disease.

    I don’t have a right to eat Pork at a Jewish institution, whether or not I think it’s good for me (and whether or not 98% of Jews agree with me).

    It’s freedom of religion, people, not freedom from it.

    • Alexandra

      Have you ever tried to get hormonal contraception? It’s not always easy or even affordable. Medical professionals have decided that contraception is a part of basic health care, and the affordable health care act means that our secular nation has decided that it is important for people to be able to have easier access to health care, and therefore that includes contraception.

      Catholic institutions that provide a secular service have no right to deny their employees basic healthcare. To not provide it is not an act that is protected by the free exercise of religion.

      And while pregnancy might not be a disease, it can be fatal and traumatic. It can deeply affect a woman’s physical and mental health, and some women need to avoid getting pregnant.

      • Musiciangirl591

        am i one of those who need to avoid getting pregnant?

        • Alexandra

          I have no idea what you’re harping on at this point. You have the right to chose what you want to do with your body.

          I’m done engaging with you.

      • JoAnna Wahlund

        Yes, I have, ten years ago before I was Catholic, and it was incredibly easy to get. I could walk into any drugstore and buy condoms, or I could go to any local pharmacy and purchase contraception. Now I use NFP, which is completely free of charge.

        If a pregnancy will truly endanger a woman’s life or cause health problems, she should not be having sex at all. The risk is too great, as all contraception has a failure rate.

      • Don Corleone

        Alexandra: I was wrong the other night to compare you to Edinburgh. You seem sincere and eager to learn where she seems only to want to lash out. I have two responses to this. First, I am curious, why does the government give money to Planed Parenthood? What do they do with their charitable donations if not give away contraceptives? I don’t know the answer to this. Do you? It would seem to me that one ought to be able to walk into one of their clinics and walk out with cheap contraceptives, at a minimum.

        Second, among the points Marc has made about contraception is the argument that it’s helpful to women’s health is debatable. The Catholic Church strenuously disagrees. It believes that separating the unitive and procreative aspects of sexuality degrades women (and men too) because women become objects, means to the end of the pleasure of men when they should be viewed as ends in the themselves. The objectification of another human being is at the root of all dysfunctional relationships and societal ills.

        The HHS Mandate does not make contraceptives free. They are paid for, in part, by the employer. That means Catholics have to subsidize something they believe (and can argue well) that is harmful to individuals and society. As I said above in another post, it’s like asking Jewish people to subsidize a Hezbollah Medrasah because Jews “have no right to deny Israeli Palestinians basic education.” Jews would be right to say no to subsidizing something they consider evil and so are Catholic organizations to say no to the HHS Mandate.

        • Alexandra

          I’m too tired right now to properly address this, but I wanted to address the question of PP and their services. The thing about PP is there’s a huge demand for it.

          You have to show up very early in the morning to get an appointment and then wait all day to see someone. They do give exams and contraceptives out for free, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to get it. You have to basically give up a day, and travel to some low income area of town. Not all women have the luxury of being able to do that. They’ll do a pap smear and annual exam and then provide you with hormonal birth control, but you can only get 3 months worth at a time, meaning you have to go back again to get more. Which is another day of your time. For me as a college student that always meant long bus rides to the middle of no where.

          If you have health insurance, but it doesn’t cover birth control, that’s a huge expense. I’m pretty sure the kind I use is $100+/month. There are cheaper options, but the kind I use, the Nuvaring, is the easiest to use and is the hardest to mess up. It’s a very good choice because it has the lowest dose of hormones and it really should be more available to women. People shouldn’t have to be paying that much for it.

          The issues about women’s health and contraception are a lot less debatable than people are making it out to be here. As a woman that has been a Catholic and an atheist, on birth control while purposefully chaste, and while married and sexually active, I can tell you it improves my quality of life. This should really be a personal decision a woman makes with her partner and her doctor. I don’t judge or begrudge any woman who disagrees with me on whether or not it improves their quality of life, but I do very much so disagree with ANYTHING that gets in the way of women being able to make that choice for themselves.

      • Musiciangirl591

        how can pregnancy be traumatic? it’s beautiful and natural

    • Alexandra

      Anyone remember Andrea Yates?

      Pregnancy can be incredibly harmful.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrea_Yates

      • JoAnna Wahlund

        Parenthood can be incredibly harmful, too.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Smith

        By your logic, we need to kill ALL children, not just the unborn.

        • Alexandra

          Only if you don’t know how to think logically and like to throw around strawmen.

          • filiusdextris

            Is the harm of pregnancy greater than the harms of contraception (some of which are also abortifacients)? Anyways, this comparison harm argument is basically a non-starter for Catholics since we believe the ends don’t justify the means. So even if contraception could add overall health to our mothers and would-be mothers, we would not be morally allowed to use them since their means are against natural and divine law (see Marc’s recent posts).

          • JoAnna Wahlund

            I’m glad you’ve recognized your error. Apology accepted.

          • Alexandra

            Ugh, you and I aren’t even debating anymore, you’re just making stuff up. I’m done.

      • Penny Farthing1893

        And in cases where the pregnancy would kill the mother, the Catholic Church allows the pregnancy to be terminated to save her, even though the child cannot survive. Find another argument – this one makes no sense. Birth control is not necessary preventative medicine just because the occasional pregnancy goes awry.

        • Alexandra

          Uhm, yes it does make sense. Why do you think it doesn’t? Some women should not get pregnant because of health risks. Some women know that pregnancy could be fatal or extremely difficult for them.

          Andrea Yates was just an extreme example about why pregnancy can be harmful, because it triggered her mental illness.

          • http://twitter.com/CaffdCatholicMa Karianna

            Andrea Yates was a by product of postpartum psychosis. Her hormones were out of whack and no one noticed in time. So was the pregnancy to blame? Sure as the elevated hormones kept her pregnant and it was the drop in hormones that lead to the psychosis. So the solution would be to keep women artificially pregnant (i.e. hormonal birth control) to try to stave off pregnancy and, therefore, psychosis?

            (I was diagnosed with postpartum depression when DD2 was 3 months old.)

          • JoAnna Wahlund

            If the risk of another pregnancy is that grave and dire, then the woman in question should not be having sex AT ALL! All birth control has a failure rate, and in such a grave circumstance, even a 1% risk is too high. Don’t you agree?

          • Alexandra

            Getting sterilized would work even better. Something that the HHS mandate would help her with.

            She should still be able to have sex, why would you want to deny someone that pleasure when there is medicine to help her enjoy life?

          • Don Corleone

            Sterilization does not carry a 0% risk of pregnancy. As a former tort lawyer, I defended at least two doctors a year who were sued for wrongful birth following pregnancies after sterilization. We never paid a penny because the doctor always performed the procedure right – we had to tell the judge that sterilization is not 100% effective.

          • JoAnna Wahlund

            Also, what Andrea Yates needed was psychiatric care, not contraception. All contraception would have done was delay the onset of her issues; it would not have cured her mental illness.

        • Annony11

          No, the Church does not allow the pregnancy to be terminated. I think what you are referencing is the principle of double effect which IS morally permissible.

          For example, if a mother has cancer while pregnant she may have chemo even knowing that it will most likely kill her child. In this case, treating cancer is the goal and the death of the child is a heartbreaking side effect. Terminating a pregnancy (as opposed to treating a medical condition which may result in the pregnancy being terminated) makes the end of the pregnancy and death of the child the goal rather than a side effect.

          • Penny Farthing1893

            How is what I said not double effect? Well, I guess I said the pregnancy could be terminated, which is not quite right. I was thinking specifically of tubal pregnancies, where it is unfortunately the same thing. The example of chemo is better, since it endangers the child but does not actually end the pregnancy, although the child often doesn’t survive. Thank you for pointing out my clumsy argument.

        • LJP

          No, not exactly. An intentional, procured abortion is never morally licit. What is licit is the performance of a procedure intended to save the woman’s life which, as an unintended (even if foreseen) consequence, ends the life of the unborn child. A woman is never asked to choose the child’s life over her own, but when she does it is rightly seen as a heroic act.

        • P.

          you are missing the point….Madelyn Murray- O’Hair has stated over and under there has to be no government interference with faith based institutions of any kind…hence the separation of
          faith and politic…as espoused by the foundling fathers of our nation…yet we hear and see this is not always the case scenario…

      • Musiciangirl591

        if pregnancy is so harmful, how is everyone here? apparently our mothers didn’t think it was harmful… just saying

    • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

      “I don’t see how you can say she is “standing for the cause of religious freedom,” when we are talking about a MANDATE here–a mandate that would require many Catholics to go against their religious beliefs.”

      The mandate does not require ANY Catholic to go against their religious belief.

      Religious freedom is for individuals, not for institutions.

      The mandate ensures that each individual has freedom of religion, regardless of the religious beliefs of their employer.

      “It would simply be allowing her institutions to act within their religious rights.”

      That is precisely what the First Amendment of the Constitution requires the US Government to prevent – a system whereby every employee in the US loses their freedom of religion because they must conform to their employer’s rules.

      “I don’t have a right to eat Pork at a Jewish institution”

      If you work for a Jewish employer, they do not have the right to make you keep kosher at home. If you work for a Muslim employer, they do not have the right to insist you eat only halal meat. If you work for a Sikh employer, they do not have the right to require you to wear a turban. If you work for an atheist employer, they do not have the right to make you read Richard Dawkins*. If you work for a Catholic employer, they do not have the right to prevent you from using your health insurance to access contraception.

      To have freedom of religion for all religions means that you have the right to freedom from the religions you do not believe in.

      *Joke.

      • Jmsteve4

        Contracption is a rght? Okay, so mabye the governmnet should provide it then. Oh wait, then people would have to pay for things they don’t want. Just like the Church would have to pay for things they don’t want, i.e. what they believe to be damning some one.

        • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

          “Contracption is a rght? Okay, so mabye the governmnet should provide it then.”

          Healthcare is a right, and I agree: the US should have a national health service, providing universal care to all.

          But at the moment, the US has the piecemeal system where your employer provides you with health insurance with which to buy healthcare, and therefore employers can’t be allowed to discriminate against their employees on grounds of gender or religious belief.

      • DudeBro

        E-Eye,

        Your interpretation of the First Amendment demonstrates at best a severe misunderstanding and at worst a complete disregard for it’s intended meaning. The First Amendment reads:

        “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

        That first line “Congress shall make no law” applies to CONGRESS. It means that Congress has absolutely no business making laws that impact the nation’s religous organizations. None. There is no room for Congress to force members of a religion to adhere to something that they believe to be morally wrong. But it doesn’t stop there. The amendment goes on to say that Congress can’t make a law “prohibiting the free exercise” of religion. Again, forcing members to pay for, and thereby support, something that they belive to be wrong is completely OUT OF BOUNDS of Congress’ authority.

        Additionally, from your reply above to Leslie Book, you said, “The mandate does not require ANY Catholic to go against their religious belief.” This once again, shows a lack of understanding here. Even if Catholics don’t use contraception or get abortions themselves, they are still being forced through their policy to pay for other people to have it — a perfect example of how liberals are always happy to use other people’s money in order to murder their own children in the name of happiness and “choice”.

        • DudeBro

          One edit to my previous post,
          I take back the part about liberals murdering their own children. But I stand by everything else.

    • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

      Interesting… Marc seems to have deleted this comment. I guess he didn’t like reading about religious freedom.

      Ho hum.

  • Musiciangirl591

    religious institutions shouldn’t have to provide their employees with contraception (it goes against the conscience), maybe those 98% can go find contraception somewhere else and take responsibility for themselves… just saying, come at me bro

  • Stillshaving

    Creful Marc, looks like EE has a growing element of Fatal Attraction developing with you

    • Musiciangirl591

      i think EE’s in love :)

  • Kevin Hernandez

    hey, bro. Watch the vid in this post once more, except sub in your name for Lord Gilbert. All in fun, really, but I have been a-wondering, why the hell do you follow this blog?

  • Dan

    You are not American. You do not understand the visceral response this HHS mandate has provoked not only in Catholics but other Americans who recognize this is a Constitutional issue, not a Catholic one. The federal government cannot coerce a particular religious body to violate its teachings. The Constitution defends against this very thing. You may cite all the statistics you want about how many Catholics violate church teaching on the matter of contraception but that is beside the point.

    • Musiciangirl591

      the Constitution doesn’t apply to Obama apparently, the founding fathers are probably rolling in their graves right now

      • Alexandra

        Actually the majority of the founding fathers were deists and some of their writing indicates that some of them were leaning towards atheism. The founding fathers would be proud that Obama is taking a stand against religious influence of the law.

        • Musiciangirl591

          then why did they write an amendment about the separation of Church and state?

          • Alexandra

            Because it’s important to not have religious ideas influence public policy. Religious freedom is absolutely guaranteed in this country, but a very secular government was important to the founding fathers.

            Read up on it, it’s interesting stuff.

          • Musiciangirl591

            “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ….” check it out

          • Annony11

            Actually, the first amendment was written to protect religion from the state not the opposite. This would be a prime example of why the amendment is necessary. Yes, it keeps religion out of the government, but the primary purpose was to keep the government out of religion.

            And before you ask, yes, I have read up on it as I learned this in a 300 level uni class specifically on religion in America.

          • Penny Farthing1893

            Yes! Correct! The First Amandment protects religion from the federal government. The establishment clause was because they didn’t want a “Church of America”, with other religions being persecuted. That is the only extent to which it was meant to keep religion out of government. It doesn’t mean the government can chase religion out of the public square. Hence the free exercise clause.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            The First AMendment protects religious people from the federal government. What you apparently want is for the federal government to set up a system where your freedom of religion depends on your choosing an employer who will allow it! But the First Amendment prevents that. You get to live by Catholic doctrine regardless of the religion of your employer.

          • Penny Farthing1893

            The First Amendment also protects religious people who happen to run a business or a hospital…

          • Alexandra

            Penny, the thing is it goes both ways. Having a government that is influenced by a religion isn’t fair to the secular or other religions. Granting this kind of an exemption is ridiculous because the mandate doesn’t limit free exercise in terms of that Catholics don’t have to use contraception. Catholic institutions have no right to impose their religious beliefs on others, that’s taking free exercise too far, and that’s not protected.

            It really is both freedom of religion and freedom from religion.

          • Dan

            Understand this, Alexandra: Catholic hospitals and schools and charities are the church’s missions. They are not secular businesses, even if they serve the secular world. They operate in that world but are not of it. So people who go to work at Catholic institutions ought to do so with the understanding that their health care plans will not pay for services that the Church declares illicit. If that is a problem for them they are free to seek employment elsewhere. Isn’t that what we are always told when we object to some aspect of our workplaces? You are free to work elsewhere. Now, the government can insist on this intrusion into religious affairs and lose these agencies, or it can cease to meddle and let them continue to do all the good they do for the nation and world. The mandate limits free exercise by imposing the will of the government on the Church in an unprecedented way.

          • Alexandra

            I would respond to this, but I’ve said what I would say about 10 times in this comment section already.

          • Dan

            Yes, you said this: “The truth of the matter is sometimes the Catholic employers are the only, or the biggest, employer in the area. Especially with universities, sometimes there are not other jobs available, and while people might want to find jobs elsewhere, they don’t always have that option.”

            I’m not sure what part of the country you are talking about, but
            you missed the point. If this is the point you have made about 10 times, then you have missed the point about 10 times. The point, and the only point, is that this mandate is an affront to the Constitution. When it reaches the Supreme Court, the Administration will receive the same smackdown it received in Hosanna-Tabor.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            “They are not secular businesses, even if they serve the secular world. They operate in that world but are not of it. ”

            That’s fine, but if they want to be able to offer health insurance and other secular benefits to their employees, those secular benefits have to be provided according to secular rules: and schools and hospitals have to be run according to the secular law of the land binding on any school, on all hospitals.

            If the Church doesn’t care to obey the law, the Church can quit running schools and hospitals.

        • Dan

          The majority of the founding fathers could have worshiped bananas for all that has to do with anything. The First Amendment protects us from government intrusion on religion. This is government intrusion on religion. The administration is counting on its cohort of useful idiots to paint it as something else.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            “The First Amendment protects us from government intrusion on religion.”

            Exactly! So why then do you want to have to live by the laws of Islam if you work for a Muslim employer?

          • Dan

            I would not expect to have to live by the laws of Islam if I worked for a Muslim employer. The Muslim employer wouldn’t insist I live by the laws of Islam, either, although I expect he would be delighted if I did.

            Likewise, a Catholic employer would be delighted if I lived according to the Catholic faith, but he does not insist on it. He simply makes it clear to me, as his employee, that I cannot expect him to pay for services he regards as morally objectionable.

            My Catholic employer will not subsidize my birth control. My Muslim employer will not subsidize whatever it is he finds objectionable – perhaps birth control as well. I am free, in this country, to buy those things on my own, or to go to work elsewhere for an employer who does not object to them and is happy to pay for insurance policies that cover them.

            Catholic employers are not denying their employees the “right” to use birth control. They are simply refusing to pay for it. That has always been their right.

            If your belief conflicts with your employer’s, you do not demand that he alter his. You accommodate his views or go elsewhere.

            Say I am a reporter. My employer tells me I can’t join a particular group – liberal or conservative, it doesn’t matter – because of the nature of my job. I am, after all, expected to be perceived as objective, someone who can fairly cover issues all over the political spectrum. If I want to keep working here, I must accept that my constitutional rights to free speech and free association are being somewhat curtailed. I can accept that or I can leave. I do not expect the federal government to tell my employer he must allow me to join the ACLU or the NRA.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            The employment world as you see it:

            Muslim Employer “From now on, if you buy non-halal meat, you do so with your own money.”

            Dan: “You mean with my wages…?”

            Muslim Employer “No. I will not subsidize what I find objectionable. You’ve been seen eating cheeseburgers with bacon. You’ve been buying ham. You cannot expect me to pay for services I regard as morally objectionable – so your wages will be docked the amount you choose to spend on non-halal food, to ensure from now on, if you buy Islamically-forbidden food, you do so with your own money, not with the money I pay you.”

            Now obviously, no Muslim employer would hazard behaving that way to a non-Muslim employee in the US*. But this is how you’re arguing they should be allowed to behave towards you. You’re not allowed to have things which you want, which they find morally objectionable and you don’t see a problem with. You can buy them – but only if you do so with “your own money” – ie, not that which is provided by your employer.

            Employers are supposed to provide health insurance. Health insurance is required to cover contraception. No Catholic is obligated to use contraception. End of.

        • Alexandra

          The founding fathers religious views do matter when you interpret what it is they intended by their words. It is the same thing as reading the Bible in its context to be able to read it to achieve the best understanding.

          This is not government intrusion on religion. And even if it were, free exercise of religion does not apply when the exercise harms other people.

          • Dan

            Not providing contraception does not “harm” other people, as other people can find affordable contraception at any drug store or 7/11. They can also abstain (no, really, you don’t HAVE to do it) or they can time their intercourse to non-fertile periods, which admittedly is chancier but is also free and doesn’t lead to situations where a coercive government is compelling a religious body to violate its conscience. Up to now, the Church has not been forced to pay for health plans that include contraception, and yet civilization has kept chugging along. The Church believes a baby is a blessing. The Obama Administration believes a baby is a disease.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            “Not providing contraception does not “harm” other people”

            Eating halal meat won’t harm you either. Nor will keeping a kosher kitchen. Or having your children baptised in the Mormon temple. Do you want to have to live by Islamic, Jewish, or Mormon law depending on your employer, providing what your employer wants you to do won’ t “harm” you?

          • Penny Farthing1893

            Then please read their actual words and look into their religious views. Start with the Federalist Papers, then move on to the Founders’ correspondences and speeches. Of special interest are Benjamin Rush, Gouverneur Morris, Samuel Adams, George Washington, and the vast majority of the other very religious people who founded this country. You can’t be choosy and only read Thomas Paine.

            Primary sources – gotta love ‘em.

          • Alexandra

            Like I said, scientist, not historian. Not training I care to have. When it comes to history, I read what the trusted academics come up with, not primary sources.

          • Penny Farthing1893

            Why trust an academic who doesn’t tell you what the people he’s writing about actually said? There’s nothing wrong with not studying a lot of history, only it may not be the best argument to use.

        • Penny Farthing1893

          The majority of the founding fathers were devout Protestants, actually. There were a couple of Catholics. Franklin and Jefferson were the closest to being deists, except that they both believed in a personal God who responds to prayer (deists believe in a deity who created the universe and hasn’t done a thing since). Witness, for example, Franklin’s suggestion, enthusiastically adopted, that each session of the Constitutional Convention begin with a prayer asking for God’s blessing and guidance. Thomas Paine was likely an atheist, as were a handful of others. The Constitutional Convention and the early sessions of Congress included Bible studies to seek inspiration for laws. This can all be read in the actually congressional records, writings, and personal correspondences from the time. Look it up at the Library of Congress’s website.

          Learn. Your. History.

          • Alexandra

            Yeah the majority is probably overstating it, but the ones that we generally look too were deists. Everything I’ve seen about Thomas Jefferson indicated that he doubted the existence of a personal god and that he abhorred organized religion.

            I’m a scientist, not a historian, so this is never my strong suit.

          • Penny Farthing1893

            Jefferson was no fan of organized religion, but he was, generally speaking, a Christian. As was Franklin. Those are the only two ever cited as deists, and they have only been the ones we generally look to for the past 50 years or so. They used to include a lot more founders in history classes, but they were a little too Jesusy.

    • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

      “The federal government cannot coerce a particular religious body to violate its teachings. ”

      No religious body is being coerced to violate its teachings.

      Religious freedom is upheld when each individual has the legal right to decide to follow – or not – the teachings of any religious body.

      The Constitution defends the American people’s freedoms: the First Amendment stringently rules that Congress is not allowed to enforce the doctrine on the Catholic Church by the means that Marc proposes, or by any means at all.

      • Musiciangirl591

        they are actually trying to coerce a religious institution to violate their conscience, EWTN is suing the obama admistration over it along with many other Christian and Catholic charities, a pastor is actually saying that he would rather go to jail than comply with the mandate, they wouldn’t be doing this if the federal government with their tyrant in state wasn’t forcing them to violate their consciences

        • Anonymous

          To imply the Roman Catholic Church has a conscience is to ignore decades, probably centuries of shielding child-molesting clerics.

          And it’s much like implying a corporation has a conscience. Get real.

          • Musiciangirl591

            don’t make the minority the majority, all the priests i’ve ever met wouldn’t even think about doing that, there’s more of a chance of that happening with jerry sandusky in happy valley (teaching and coaching)

          • Anonymous

            It’s the COVERUPS that were so pervasive; may well still be. And that goes to the very highest level.

          • Musiciangirl591

            so was in Happy Valley, Joe Pa covered it up by not contacting the authorities…

        • Anonymous

          To imply the Roman Catholic Church has a conscience is to ignore decades, probably centuries, of shielding child-molesting clerics. In parish after parish in country after country.

          And it’s much like implying a corporation has a conscience. Get real.

  • Tim

    Inconceivable!

  • Anonymous

    It is not possibly true that 98% of Catholic women use contraception. I’m quite certain that there is a greater than 2% of Catholic women who are either too old or not in a relationship to need it. This stat is, if PP can be believed, that 98% of women have AT ONE TIME used contraception. How many now realize how horrible it is and have stopped?

    Most of the Catholic women that I know are NOT using contraception NOW, although many have at one point in their past before they realized how destructive it was to their physical, emotional and spiritual health.

    • Alexandra

      87% of Catholic women who are currently sexually active and avoiding pregnancy are using some form of artificial contraception.

      It’s on the last page of the pdf associated with this page:

      http://www.guttmacher.org/media/nr/2011/04/13/index.html

      • Anonymous

        Leaving aside the fact that the Guttmacher Institute is Planned Parenthood’s research arm and I’d sooner trust Halliburton to tell me the truth on Global Warming.

        THEY even admit its a smaller fraction than 98%. For this 87% eliminates all chaste women and all women who are not “actively avoiding pregnancy” and I doubt couples who are “open but not trying” would fall under the “actively avoiding” category.”

      • Alexandra

        Okay, can someone please tell me why Guttmacher and PP are untrustworthy? You think they fabricated the data?

        And of course chaste women aren’t using contraception, and I’d have to look at the study again, but I think that it was worded as women who aren’t trying to get pregnant, so that would include open but not trying. The study shows 2% of the women in this category using NFP and 11% using no method.

        87% is still a huge number.

        • Anonymous

          PP is untrustworthy because it makes money off of abortions, and the more women using contraception the more will be needing abortions. Yes, I know, “that doesn’t make sense”, but it’s unfortunately the way it works. If you have 100 women who think that having sex gets you pregnant, they will be less likely to have sex than the 100 women given the pill and told they will not get pregnant. You will in the end have MORE unintended pregnancies because there is a perceived safety in the act which translates to more unsafe behavior.

          So their “business model” is to convince as many women as possible that they are the odd balls for NOT using contraception and having sex. They take every opportunity give out prescriptions for the pill and to council women on how to be as promiscuous as possible. They get a woman’s trust and when the contraception fails they are there to “solve the problem” for a nice fee of $300-$1000 a pop. Since taxpayers pay for most of the upfront costs (medical staff and cheap, ineffective contraception), they reap all the benefits of the profit.

          Guttmacher was founded by Planned Parenthood to support this business plan.

          • Alexandra

            I replied in a new post because skinny columns are painful.

        • Anonymous

          Also, my point was that it’s still not 87% of ALL Catholic women. Yes, it’s larger than it should be, and Catholics need to reach out to their sisters to help them understand the great damage this causes. But the number is deceptive. It makes you think that 9 out of 10 Catholic women you meet are using contraception unless you sit and really THINK about what those qualifiers mean.

          Perhaps I overestimate the number of women who fall outside of this cohort, but it would seem to me that most of the women who would NOT be using contraception would also NOT fall inside the scope of this study. As in, all single faithful Catholic women who remain chaste.

          And perhaps I am wrong to distrust this group. They may have actually used valid research methods (and not 9 out of 10 women who walked into PP professing to be Catholic).

          • Alexandra

            89% of Catholic women have sex by the time they are 25, so the amount of chaste Catholic women is relatively small.

          • Anonymous

            No, the amount of virgin Catholic women is small. Do not judge someone as not chaste based on their past actions. There are many, MANY women who realized all too late what a precious gift their virginity was and how carelessly they threw it away.

          • Following the way

            You are right about this.

            It occurred to me, there are so many populations that would not fall within the scope of this study. Women who are past childbearing age, women who are infertile for some reason or other … the percentage of all Catholic women who are sexually active and avoiding pregnancy must be much smaller than I was even thinking. This is why it’s so annoying that so many people are saying “98% of Catholic women want contraceptives”. I mean, I’m pretty sure my grandma doesn’t, lol!

            I’m not arguing with the validity of the study, I’m just challenging people to think — it’s not 98% of all Catholic women. That wouldn’t — couldn’t — make any sense whatsoever.

          • Musiciangirl591

            i’m chaste and never have had sex, i’m almost 19, some of my friends have never had sex before

          • JoAnna Wahlund

            Once again, that stat is skewed. It doesn’t account for women who had premarital sex while they were non-Catholics and later converted to Catholicism (and thus saw the error of their ways).

          • Alexandra

            It’s not skewed. It means exactly what it says it does. That 89% of Catholic women have had sex by age 25, nothing more. It’s not the stat you seem to want, but as far as I can tell doesn’t exist because it’s not really relevant to public policy.

          • JoAnna Wahlund

            89% of self-identified Catholics, and the stat doesn’t make exceptions for those who had premarital sex while in a different denomination (and later converted to Catholicism).

        • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

          “Okay, can someone please tell me why Guttmacher and PP are untrustworthy?”

          Because they provide substantiated facts that go against what prolifers want to believe.

          Therefore they must be lying.

      • JoAnna Wahlund

        No, an alleged 87% of women WHO SELF-IDENTIFY AS CATHOLIC are using contraception. However, as I explain here, that is not the same as “Catholic women.” It’s actually very different.

        Nancy Pelosi self-identifies as Catholic, but she clearly doesn’t hold to the tenets of her own faith. Thus, she is a dissenting Catholic, and should be discounted. It’s illogical to count “how many women of X faith” do whatever if you’re counting people who are members in name only, and not in belief.

        • Alexandra

          The stats are similar in women who go to Church weekly and monthly.

          And fundamentally it doesn’t matter how you define the women as ‘real’ Catholics or just ‘self identified’ Catholics. The survey shows that regardless of religion, the vast majority of American women chose to use contraception. And not just at some point in their life they used contraception, they are using it right now.

          You can define Catholic women however you want, but it doesn’t change the fact that these women are the citizens and voters and what needs they have in terms of their own health and bodies should be addressed by government policies.

          • JoAnna Wahlund

            The stats are similar in women who go to Church weekly and monthly.

            You should do some research before making wild claims like this. Once again, going to Mass weekly or monthly (if you’re only going to Mass monthly without a very good reason for it, that right there is a violation of the tenets of Catholicism) does not a Catholic make. My sister, for example, converted to Catholicism solely for the sake of family unity, because she wanted to be the same denomination as her husband and children. They attend Mass every week, yet she does not adhere to the tenets of the Church.

            It absolutely does fundamentally matter, because it’s Catholics who actually adhere to their faith who are being forced to violate their consciences. The dissenters from Catholicism should not be able to force those who actually believe the faith to violate it.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            No Catholic is being forced to violate their conscience. The obligation is on institutions to provide health insurance with which the employees can get contraception. It is up to each individual to decide whether they will. It’s not for the institution to override the individual conscience.

      • JoAnna Wahlund

        Also, I’m assuming Guttmacher is getting its information via surveys from women who are patronizing Planned Parenthoods. That right there skews the data, because very few practicing, faithful Catholic women will patronize Planned Parenthood, even if its just for non-abortion or contraception-related purposes.

        • Alexandra

          No, these are randomized phone call surveys. It’d be best to do some research instead of throwing around wild claims, it doesn’t make you look very credible.

          • JoAnna Wahlund

            You didn’t provide a source for your claim that they’re random phone call surveys. Who’s not credible, again?

            Also, with random phone call surveys the questions asked can be disingenuous and/or misleading, so it’s not a very reliable way to obtain this data.

      • Penny Farthing1893

        Exactly. ONLY 87% of the subset of Catholics who are currently sexually active and also trying to avoid pregnancy use contraception. 13% of them don’t, and there are also all the Catholic women who are not sexually active or who are sexually active but not worried if they get pregnant. So the 98% figure is misleading.

        Besides the fact that it’s not relevant anyway in this discussion.

        • Alexandra

          These stats only mean what they say they mean. No one is claiming that 98% of Catholic women are currently using birth control. That’s not what the study says, and that’s not what people are saying. It’s only misleading if you decide to stop thinking about things.

    • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

      “It is not possibly true that 98% of Catholic women use contraception. I’m quite certain that there is a greater than 2% of Catholic women who are either too old or not in a relationship to need it. ”

      They weren’t always too old. The 98% stat applies because you can go back generations of Catholic women and the majority have always used contraception to keep their families to the size they want.

  • Musiciangirl591

    you seem kinda hateful to me, but that’s just my opinion, if you’re going to rag on an 18 year old college student’s blog, you seriously need to get a life

    • Alexandra

      Oh come on, arguing on the internet is a great way to pass time. It in no way means you don’t have a life.

  • Alexandra

    I really can’t understand why people are so upset about this and have some weird notion that it violates the right to free exercise. Free exercise has never, and will never, apply when the exercise negatively affects other people. If I am the owner of a business, and I decide that my Pastafarianism means that I object to the use of antibiotics, I can’t decide that the insurance plans I provide my employees doesn’t cover antibiotics. That wouldn’t fly because I’d be denying my employees something that our secular nation has decided that antibiotics are part of basic healthcare and employers must provide health insurance that covers basic healthcare.

    Moreover, the Catholic institutions aren’t even being asked to provide contraception, they’re being asked to follow the law that says that employer insurance plans much cover contraception. It’s not like Catholic employers are going to have to pay more money for that coverage. And they’re free to encourage their employees to not use contraception, and provide information about NFP if they want to.

    This is a very prime example of the separation of Church and State being carried out, not a violation of it as so many of the Catholic Bishops seem to think.

    • Musiciangirl591

      actually, the HHS mandate is requiring them to have health plans that cover BC and abortificents (that’s probably misspelled), which goes against their consciences. if they don’t comply with this rule, they are subject to fines of $2,000 or more per employee, for example St. Vincent’s hospital up in Erie has 800 employees, 800 times 2,000 is $1,600,000 or it could be higher than that, idk what the tyrant is planning to charge charitable organizations if they don’t comply

      • Alexandra

        Right, they are being required to follow a law if they want to provide secular services. If they break the law, they will be fined. It is not okay for a religion to influence public policy. That’s the definition of separation of Church and State. Allowing a religious organization an exemption influences public policy, which is not okay. What’s so hard to comprehend about that?

        If they don’t want to follow the law, they can choose to pay the fine or stop operating a business that provides secular services.

        • Musiciangirl591

          hey, guess what, we’ve been fighting oppostion for the last 2000 freaking years and we’ll keep fighting, we won’t pay the fine, what will happen then?

          • Alexandra

            They’ll get closed down? People will lose their jobs?

            Some hospitals have decided to drop their affiliation with the Church, so that might happen too. That’d be the rational response, for people that are actually being reasonable about this issue.

          • Musiciangirl591

            yeah sure, close down the charitable organizations just because they won’t support sin

          • Alexandra

            Well sin is a religious idea. And there’s secular charities too, and secular people that would be happy to take over the formerly religious organizations and obey the law.

          • Musiciangirl591

            yeah im sure thats going to go over real well with Catholic Charities

          • guest

            I guess all the atheist hospitals will take over in that case.

          • Alexandra

            Do you mean secular? Because there are secular hospitals.

          • guest

            No I meant atheist.

          • Musiciangirl591

            there’s a difference between atheist and secular, sometimes that line gets blurred though

          • Anonymous

            As we’re talking about things ran by a religion than I don’t see the problem with “sin is a religious idea.”

        • guest

          It is okay for people to influence public policy. This is a democracy. Just as if your voice would be raised if coverage was refused for those services and products. Our voices are raised in their requirement.

        • Anonymous

          And what is “a secular service”? Is this defined by the law? Is a Catholic Universities, with priests or nuns teaching, a “secular service”? Is a Catholic hospital ran by nuns a “secular service”?

          If this were “The Catholic Post Office” or “The Catholic interstate” I could maybe see it, but state institutions are secular in this country. I sort-of see your point, but this is clearly going to affect private organizations. That you may feel education or healthcare should be secular/state-ran doesn’t make them always secular or state-ran.

      • Annony11

        Musiciangirl591, PLEASE and I repeat PLEASE check your spelling. It only takes a second to either use Word or just look something up online. Many browsers also aid in this by giving the standard red squiggle underneath misspelled words. I’m 100% on the side of the Catholic Church/the bishops, but posts with misspellings (especially if you comment that they might be misspelled so it’s clear it was not a simple typo) strongly undermine the position.

        I don’t mean this rudely (I know that’s sometimes hard to tell on the internet) but rather as a way to help you make a stronger argument because I’ve noticed this on a number of your posts.

    • fabius

      By being coerced into participating in employer-based policies which cover contraception, the directive is forcing church officials and institutions to endorse contraception. The directive definitely conflicts with the Freedom of Religion Restoration Act. There’s also a broad existing precedent that the government can’t tell religious organizations what to do when it comes to their own conscience.

      I’d note that a lot of the liberal catholics who supported Obamacare to begin with a freaking out, they didn’t expect this. It’s a mainstream consensus for the most part that the administration is acting unconstitutionally (and incredibly stupid politically).

      And this does apply even if it might negatively effect other people. In allowing Quakers not to serve during WW II, the government was effectively requiring that someone else who might not have otherwise served, would then have to serve.

      • Alexandra

        It’s funny you say that the mainstream consensus is that it’s unconstitutional because that’s not what I’m seeing. We’re just looking at different sources and have different world views.

        Ultimately someone more educated on this particular issue than any of us will decide, but personally I’m pretty sure it’s going to land on the side of not protected.

        • fabius

          Well, that’s certainly possible, I’m sure we both tend to look to different outlets and have different preconceived notions of where “the center is.”

          A lot of what I was getting at was the number of liberal Catholics who had supported Obamacare but are now reversing course. Folks like Cardinal Mahoney, Fr. Jenkins at Notre Dame (he who invited Obama to speak at the commencement), Sister Carol Keehan (she supported it even with the abortion fears the rest of the church had), and even Doug Kmiec!.

          Apart from Church circles, a lefty correspondent passed along to me that he’d even recently seen Chris Matthews on MSNBC say this was a bad idea.

          • Alexandra

            What I’ve seen is the polls that show the majority of Americans support the mandate, including a large percentage of Catholics, and the ACLU has made a statement saying that it doesn’t violate religious liberty. There’s also a handful of academics talking about it too.

    • Anonymous

      “Free exercise has never, and will never, apply when the exercise negatively affects other people.”

      That’s arguable at best. I’m pretty sure people are allowed to avoid vaccination on religious grounds. That affects other people. Many states I think still allow church-ran organizations to refuse to hire non-celibate homosexuals. I imagine there’s others, but I’m a bit spacey right now.

  • Jay E.

    I almost want to say that the idiocy of the HHS mandate was totally worth it just for this post. The Becket Excommunication scene!!! One of the most BA scenes ever!

  • Karen May

    Who is Nancy Pelosi’s bishop and WHY in the name of all that is holy has he not corrected her by refusing her Communion, or has he? I never hear about this with any of the CINO pols who spew this garbage.

  • JoAnna Wahlund

    That 98% stat is a load of BS, as I’ve explained here:

    http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/2012/02/i-am-98-percent.html

    It’s specious and deceptive. It’s also irrelevant. The existence and veracity of a faith’s doctrines aren’t contingent upon how many of that faith adhere to them.

  • Tim

    So if Pelosi is right about Catholics supporting the HHS mandate, does that mean Catholics are imposing their views on the rest of America?

    Isn’t that supposed to be bad?… I’m confused.

  • Musiciangirl591

    how am i hateful, i just want women to take back their respect and dignity…

  • Alexandra

    Why do you say that Planned Parenthood makes money off abortions? They are a non-profit. Are you saying that they make money off abortions and use it to give bigger salaries? Because salaries for executives at PP are way lower than average for a non-profit. This accusation that they are making money off abortions is simply unsupportable.

    I understand that reasoning you are using but there are flawed assumptions in there. For one contraception use does not lead to an increase in abortions.

    People have sex whether or not they have contraception. They might have more unintended pregnancies without birth control, but once a woman decides to take control of her fertility and control when and how many children she will have she uses both contraception and abortion to achieve those goals. The study most often cited to suggest that increased contraceptive use leads to increased abortion is the one that surveyed women in Spain from 1997-2007. The thing is, the average number of births/woman went down as the rate of use of contraception and abortion went up. This was women deciding to have less children, not more women having more unintended pregnancies that they decided to abort.

    Most other countries see a drastic decrease in abortion rates over time with an increase in contraceptive use. Seriously, people have sex whether or not they have contraception. Increased contraceptive use always drives down the rate of abortion.

    Guttmacher is trusted by academics and professionals. It is a real institute that does real surveys and publishes their results in detail. This whole thought process that it is associated by PP and PP makes money off abortions sounds like a wild conspiracy theory.

    There are valid reasons for people to oppose abortion and contraceptive use, but when you start throwing around nonsense like this you make everything you say sound suspect to being crazy conspiracy theories.

    • Anonymous

      They may be classified as a non-profit, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make money. PP was founded to provide abortions, they make a large chunk of their operating budget on abortions and thus they will try to sell more of them. There have been several PP employees who have left the organization with tales of being told to sell more abortions.

      I’m not a conspiracy theorist and have little patience for most of that. In general I think the stories of extreme behavior and intentions among PP employees are exaggerated. Since most of the employees think that there is nothing wrong with abortions and that they are actually helping to “liberate” women by providing them, it’s not with evil intent that they do this, anymore than a clothing designer trying to get people to buy their cloths.

      Usually the same people who trust Guttmacher also think abortion is just fine and PP is helping women. However, an institute setup by PP for the sole purpose of supporting PP’s main product line is not going to be unbiased. And anyone who’s done survey’s before knows how much a bias at the outset can color your results.

      • Alexandra

        That doesn’t mean that Guttmacher’s surveys are biased. The data is out there and you can interpret it yourself. You can see what questions they asked, what response options they had, all sorts of things. Only people with an agenda dismiss a study based on it’s association, it can still be very good work, as good as any unassociated study.

        • Anonymous

          There is a difference between dismissing and taking with a huge grain of salt. I have no doubt that a large percentage of women who profess to be Catholic are using BC. What I was pointing out was that it was not as huge as this study makes you think. These numbers are presented in such a way as to make it seem like those who are NOT using BC are in the minority.

          “Only people with an agenda dismiss a study based on it’s association” The next time someone brings up a study done by a Christian or family-based group that showed that free-sex, contraception, abortion, etc is harmful, make sure to bring this up to all the liberals dismissing it solely on the basis of who ran the study.

          • Alexandra

            Well that’s not how it works. When I see a study funded by some family-based group I take it with a grain of salt, do my research and THEN make claims about why it is flawed. That’s what “liberals” do, and yes we correct each other when we dismiss something on the basis of who ran it. Anyone who dismisses something just because of who paid for it is being irrational.

            But if someone comes up with a result that is really surprisingly different than what you would expect or what most studies find, it’s important to be skeptical and investigate how they came up with that conclusion, but the idea that most American women use contraception regardless of faith isn’t all that surprising. That’s something most women know from talking to their friends.

          • fabius

            I know you’re making a more general point, but I had a maddening debate with a liberal recently who dismissed my own citations from Guttmacher quoting PP’s annual report about revenue from abortion, simply because the data was formatted in a National Right to Life Fact Sheet. It wasn’t manipulated data, it was a direct quote from Guttmacher that was in the handiest format I could quickly find. And he refused to accept it because it came from a “biased source.”

            I’m not trying to say you should take blame for dishonesty simply because I met one close-minded liberal. But you should watch out for hubris in thinking liberals are particularly good at objective evaluation and conservatives aren’t. Given the general parity in the culture/political war between the two sides, I imagine that there’s a decent breakdown of liberals and conservatives who either do their honest best to be objective or refuse to ever look at a piece of data that doesn’t support their own bias.

            In regards to the contraception thing, I wish someone would do a study breaking down the Catholic laity better. I’m sure that many (maybe even most) Catholics currently use contraception, the 98% stat technically refers to “have used it at some point.” That could account for a lot of former users who don’t anymore.

            And I’d like to see a survey done of weekly mass goers as opposed to just “everyone who self-IDs as Catholic.” There’s a big distinction between the two. As a whole, Catholics voted for Obama over McCain, but that includes cafeteria Catholics who don’t practice their faith seriously. Weekly mass-goers actually voted for John McCain.

          • Anonymous

            That suggests going to mass weekly is like watching Fox “News”. McCain is an old man with anger management problems and his running mate was a real ditz. Voting for them was a declaration you don’t care what happens to the country.

            But then voting for GWB, especially the second time, was that too.

          • Alexandra

            Fabius, you’re right it is a very general hubris filled statement. I guess my bias comes from that I only participate in communities where that kind of discourse is standard. I’m not interested in spending a whole lot of time discussing things with people who dismiss things based only on the source. I’m an academic, a graduate student, I am surrounded by people who know better than to dismiss something just based on the source.

            Now that I think about that though, it’s the same argument that people are making here about that’s not a “real” Catholic. People who don’t live up to my idea of how skepticism should be done are still skeptics, they’re just bad ones. Thanks for calling me out on that. :)

            The real point is that it doesn’t matter how many Catholics use birth control, it doesn’t change what the Church teaching is or what the mandate should do.

            What I’m learning in talking to people here is that this all fundamentally comes down to a theist/atheist issue. From the atheist point of view, Catholics are pushing for something that isn’t good for people simply because the patriarchy has said it is the moral thing to do. Without the Christian God this isn’t an issue. We can go around and around on this issue of the HHS mandate, but the only real way to ever get someone to where I’m standing is to recognize there isn’t a god.

          • Feeneyja

            While much of the argument does center on the your stance on God, I would argue that you should leave it out. The ethics of a business can be examined from a secular point of veiw. Take a soft drink company whose goal is to increase sales and the best way to do this is to market to youth. I know many public health offiials who find this unethical behavior given the rise in obesity and type two diabetes in our youth. Then, imagine, said company produces its own studies to show that soda pop can not be implicated in the current health epidemic. Yet there are also plenty of studies that show a link to increase in sugared beverage intake and the health epidemic in youth, but those studies did not fit the critera for the review and so were not included. The company is a part of the government task force to institute changes in nutritional standards and, wouldn’t you know it, the standards are put back into the hands of the company to do further research and implimentation studies. Then they donate money to anti- obesity campains and children’s hospitals to show they are doing good…

            This is made up (sort of…I follow health and nutrition and food rights issues too and this is a sad truth). It mirrors the kind of thing going on with PP. Stats aren’t just stats. As a grad student you should know that it is easy to manipulate the stats to get the outcome you want. I’ve done surveys before and have seen that going on. It is the responsibility of other professionals to review and critique. Peer-reviewed does not equal absolute.

            For what it’s worth, I at one time was pro-choice. And I was pro-contraception. My vews changed when I saw the fallout. The emotional toll on women who were supposedly free from their pregancy. And the blatent disgust for the poor and uneducated that motivated the contraception campaign (this was from my experience working on health education in Niger, West Africa). My religious and ethical transformation came through these expereinces. As I have attempted to make sense of the PP campain and marketing strategy and the history of the abortion debate, I have found serious conflicts of interest and unethical behavior. Regardless of one’s stance on God. The use of selective stats, the disregarding of real harm done to women, the use of youth education to hook the kids when they are young (and therefore need to rely on the organization – this was an actual stated goal back in 73 when they remade their marketing strategy), the hundreds of millions of dollars in income from medical procedures, the hundreds of millions of dollars in government grant money, the use of breast cancer screenings to say “see we do more than abortions”, the “fact sheets” and lobbying that misrepresent the data and affect countless women. I am frankly disgusted by what I am finding. I am disgusted because they are using women’s health as a marketing strategy and disregarding the true health of women. And when women stand up we are shot down as being anti-women’s health.

            It is marketing. And nothing more. And I haven’t even brought God into the picture (heaven help us all if I do that)!

          • Alexandra

            I’m sorry but I disagree with basically everything you said.

          • Feeneyja

            I’m not sure what you are disagreeing with? That stats and surveys can be biased? You are a grad student. I suggest you duscuss that with your profs. The validity of the stats, the method of analysis, this is one of the first things most look at in a paper. At lab meetings, we found countless holes in the stats of peer reviewed papers. I was in an ecology department and much in ecology is stats driven. And there are plenty of ways to analyze the stats to get the results you are looking for. Coleman’s critique of the APA paper details it quite nicely.

            Do you not agree withmy personal experiences and personal reevaluations as a result of my research? Since you have not had those experiences and obviously haven’t read the papers and documents I have, I’m not sure how you could disagree. It’s like saying I disagree with you when you say you had a bad day. Your experiences may not be the same as mine, but that certainly does not negate them. Now, if you want to refute a point that is substatiated by a fact and you have a fact to back it up, feel free.

    • Jeanette Marie

      Where do you get the idea that salaries for execs at Planned Parenthood are “way lower” than those at other non-profits? In 2008, PP paid its president, Cecile Richards, $385,163, plus another $11,876 in benefits and deferred compensation. More than 22 of its CEOs make in excess of $200K, with an average of nearly $159K per year. Very lucrative, eh? http://www.lifenews.com/2012/01/09/planned-parenthood-abortion-biz-ceos-average-158k-salary/ Reading recommendation? “Unplanned” by Abby Johnson.

      • Alexandra

        Why do you think that those salaries are that high? Those are average or low salaries for executives of a non-profit as large as PP.

      • Penny Farthing1893

        O_O That puts Cecile Richards in the 1%. Just sayin.

        And Unplanned is a fantastic book! Everyone should read it – very interesting perspective.

  • JoAnna Wahlund
  • Annony11

    There is a very distinct difference from allowing legitimate medical procedures (such as chemo, radiation, etc) even if there is an almost definite possibility that the child will die as a result as opposed to abortion.

    In the first, the principle of “double effect” applies – meaning, the chemo is being given with the goal of treating cancer and the child dies as a heartbreaking side effect. The second has the death of the child as the goal.

    • Penny Farthing1893

      Yeah. The “no absolute stand on abortion” Pelosi was referring to was during the Denver DNC convention when she said that the Church doesn’t say that life begins at conception because Augustine theorized that the soul didn’t enter the baby’s body until sometime after that, and thus the Church’s position on the entire issue was flexible. Aside from the historical error, the blatant logical leaps, and the fact that people in the 1600 years since Augustine have defined church doctrine, Archbishop Chaput actually issued an awesome smackdown on her, explaining and reiterating the Church’s real position (life begins at conception/abortion is always wrong, but procedures to save the mother despite endangering the child are sometimes ethical)

      It really is hard to tell if she has a firm grasp on what’s going on around her. It’s quite strange…

  • Casimir Pulaski

    I have learned that debating your beliefs with others whether it be a blog or a social network is a waste of time. You are not directly related to the person you disagree with. Your lives and circles don’t overlap. Changing minds is best done by how others see how you live your faith.

    • Alexandra

      The goal isn’t to change minds, it’s a fun way to spend some time. You learn interesting things about how other people think and learn about the weaknesses in your arguments that helps you challenge yourself. It’s only a waste of time if you think it’s more serious than it is.

      • Penny Farthing1893

        Hear hear. Debating things online is great practice. It helps you develop good debating skills, besides being fun. Occasionally it makes me lose faith in humanity, but I must say, the commenters on this and many other Patheos blogs are quite a bit better, and the occasional troll gets dealt with pretty maturely.

      • Casimir Pulaski

        I could debate you on that. Just kidding.

        • Alexandra

          BRING IT! :)

  • Annony11

    Good post, as usual. Pelosi definitely does NOT speak for me.

    And… kudos for using one of my absolute favorite film clips!

  • Penny Farthing1893

    I would indeed like Nancy Pelosi et al to stop using their governmental powers to override people’s religious freedom. That’s precisely why the Bishops and so many other Catholics (as well as other people of faith/ people who believe in the constitution) are protesting this mandate.

    I wouldn’t want Mitt Romney to make me follow Mormon doctrine, and I don’t want Obama to make me follow secularist doctrine. I want the government to leave me the choice to follow the doctrine my conscience allows.

    • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

      “I don’t want Obama to make me follow secularist doctrine. ”

      And since this mandate does not make you do so, what on earth are you complaining about?

      The mandate meants that Mitt Romney can’t make you follow Mormon doctrine if you work for him.

      What Marc wants is to ensure that if you did work for Mitt Romney, his Mormon doctrine would become your condition of employment. Marc is against your having freedom of religion regardless of who employs you.

      • Penny Farthing1893

        Me following religious rules set by a private individual with whom I have freely contracted employment is fine. I could seek other employment if I had a problem with it. Me following religious (or secularist) rules because the government forces me under penalty of fines or jail is unconstitutional and just plain wrong, because I have no choice.

        Take your Mitt Romney example. If I worked for him, and he refused to buy me alcohol, that’s fine. I could buy alcohol with my own paycheck if I wanted. The government should not force him to buy it for me. If the federal government won’t let me buy it on the grounds that it violates Mormon beliefs, that’s different, since it carries the force of law. If Utah, or various dry counties/cities/Indian Reservations decide that’s best for their communities, that’s fine too, because you can vote with your feet. That’s why the 9th and 10th Amendments are so important.

        Here’s the thing – the Constitution says only what the federal government is not allowed to do to you. The states and individuals can do some things the federal government can’t (9th and 10th Amendments). The 1st Amendment protects each person’s religious freedom, and also the freedom of religions and religious institutions in general, FROM THE GOVERNMENT. Mitt Romney cannot possibly violate my religious freedom by withholding a product that I could otherwise obtain, but the government could violate his by making him provide it.

        That’s the difference between the US Constitution and the idea of positive rights. You can’t have your liberties violated by being left alone (even if it means you have to expend a little effort/money of your own). You CAN have your liberties violated by being forced to do something, or prevented by force of law from doing something. Since no one is being prevented by force of law from getting birth control, no one’s liberties would be violated if their employer didn’t cover it. We don’t have the right to free birth control. Sorry. The Constitution does not, and should not, require any product to be provided to any individual – it is not a list of positive rights.

        • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

          “Me following religious rules set by a private individual with whom I have freely contracted employment is fine. ”

          Really? So you think – entirely contrary to the US Constitution – that a person’s right to religious freedom depends entirely on how independently wealthy they are?

          In the real world, you really don’t deserve to be made to give up going to Mass and forced to go to the local mosque instead, just because you work for a Muslim employer.

          “Take your Mitt Romney example. If I worked for him, and he refused to buy me alcohol, that’s fine.”

          So you work for Mitt ROmney, and he decides that as you work for him, you have to live like a Mormon. You’re not allowed to use your wages to buy alcohol or coffee – he regards that as subsidising immoral behaviour. So, you give up drinking both.

          He also requires you to attend Temple on Sunday. Nor are you allowed to attend Mass. You’ve got to follow his religious rules, because you work for him.

          Ridiculous, isn’t it?

          Birth control obtained via health insurance is not “free”. It’s completely up to the Church to try to convince you or anyone else that you just shouldn;t use birth control. (Men, apparently, are allowed both Viagra and vasectomies paid for by health insurance provided by Catholic employers, and the Church has no problem “subsidising” male lust or male sterilisation: it’s only women who aren’t allowed birth control.)

  • justamouse

    those picts and captions…you totally made my day

  • Alexandra

    Following the way, I agree, I wan’t to know what those numbers are too! I was trying to look it up earlier but I couldn’t find it. It must exist, I’ll keep digging.

    But you’re right, these stats have nothing to do with whether or not the HHS mandate is constitutional. Personally, I think it very clearly is, but I can see why the Bishops disagree. I think people are bringing it up to say hey, it’s mostly the Bishops who are upset, most Catholic women are okay with this. Which is true, I saw a newer study that showed 61% of Catholics support the HHS mandate, but clearly it’s irrelevant.

    • Following the way

      I typed a whole response which disappeared because I accidentally scrolled sideways instead of down on my magic mouse.

      Anyway, briefly, I wanted to say that I agree that that the number of American Catholics who stand with their Church is irrelevant . Obviously, I think it should be 100%. :) But in the end, the opinions of a certain percentage of American Catholics does not represent the universal Church, which exists across all political borders.

      Though I’m not a constitutional scholar, I think this is unconstitutional, but we’ll have to see how it shakes out over the next year.

      And I do think that having more accurate numbers would be beneficial because it would contribute to a more reasonable discussion. Right now, those who argue in favor of contraception like to cite the 98% statistic in such a way that implies 98% of ALL Catholic women currently use/want contraception. After thinking about it more, I realized the made-up numbers I threw out couldn’t possibly be accurate because I didn’t even consider those past childbearing age. When you factor them into the number of ALL Catholic women, it’s not really possible to say “98% of Catholic women”. I know it seems to make the argument weaker if it were only 55% or something, but that would still be a significant statistic and may actually give the argument more clarity.

  • http://twitter.com/CaffdCatholicMa Karianna

    Let’s see here… if 98% of people have shoplifted once in their lifetime, that means that we should make shoplifting legal, right? What about if 98% of men beat their wives? It’s been said already, but just because the majority think it’s a good thing does not mean it’s RIGHT!

    Is contraception currently accessible to all? Yes, anyone can walk into a Walgreens or Rite-Aid and walk out with Condoms. Anyone can learn Fertility Awareness, even poor women in India. So the question seems to stem from if Hormonal Birth Control (which is classified as a carcinogen after the Hormone Replacement Therapy issue in the mid-nineties. And Hormonal Birth Control contains the same hormones as the HRT pills… just in a HIGHER dose!) should be accessible/ free for everyone and therefore subsidized by everyone (as we all contribute to each others insurance coverage) and are a RIGHT.

    I have 2 children, aged 4 and 2. IF 100% of my children decided that it was their RIGHT to have a dinner composed entirely of ice cream and gummy worms I, as their mother, should comply, right? After all, they’ve decided!

    Come on, people!

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8759578/ns/health-womens_health/t/hormone-pills-added-list-carcinogens/#.TzLh-pjtGGk (link to carcinogen)

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/587813/posts (link to Indian women on NPF)

    • Alexandra

      Oh come on, so many things are carcinogens. The thing is these are talking about older higher does hormonal contraception and the increased risk of breast cancer isn’t huge, especially not in women who have no family history of breast cancer. Even that article you linked says that the cancer risk is kind of blown out of proportion.

      We take risks in life, and taking birth control is one that some women take. The information is out there, and women are informed about the risks, but the risks involved with taking birth control aren’t wild. Jogging around in a smoggy city, driving a car, flying in an airplane, drinking some wine…these are risks people take everyday knowing what the potential consequences are. Birth control is the same thing.

  • Following the way

    Except it’s not really 98%. The 98% figure is confusing. The Guttmacher study states that 87% of those who have been sexually active in the last 3 months and didn’t want to become pregnant used it. The study doesn’t tell us what percentage of Catholic women actually fall into that category (sexually active and not wanting to become pregnant). It does tell us that 14% of women at any given time will fall into the pregnant, postpartum, or trying to get pregnant category. The number of women who had not had sex in the last three months is unknown. So, even the 87% statistic doesn’t tell us everything we need to know if we want to say how many Catholic women actually use contraception. It could be in the 70-75% range. Using the 98% statistic, though it makes your argument sound impressive, isn’t accurate and is actually pointless, anyway, since the question at hand is not “how many Catholic women agree with their church” but whether religious institutions must be compelled pay for things they are opposed to.

    70%, 87%, or even 98% of American Catholic women still does not equate Catholicism.

    • Alexandra

      The point is that this point is irrelevant to whether or not the HHS mandate is constitutional. You can nit pick this all you want, but what the stats say is that there’s a ton of Catholic women who use contraception.

  • Elvin_bethea

    Let’s look at this from a removed perspective. The Catholic Church is not asking to be given control of the government at all. Rather, they are simply claiming a violation of their freedom of religion and, thus, they are asking for a repeal of this law. Just to say this one more time, as it seems it takes you awhile to absorb points which are contrary to your personal beliefs: the Catholic Church is NOT, in any way, shape, or form, asking for control of the U.S. Government, but rather a repeal of something which inherently violates their Constitutional Rights.

    • Alexandra

      I think you’re having trouble seeing it from our point of view as well. I can understand what you are saying, but in this case what the Church wants to do is have protection for a religious exercise that harms other people. That is not protected. If the Church wants to operate in the secular sphere, they must adhere to the laws applied to all businesses.

      Secularists don’t see this as a violation of religious freedom. Catholics can still refuse to use birth control and teach that it is morally wrong, but they aren’t allowed to provide substandard healthcare insurance to their employees.

  • Upperdeckhr

    Look. This mandate doesn’t require catholic employers to provide contraceptives. It requires catholic employers to only provide the option. Pretty beneficial I’d say for the thousands of non-catholic (unbelievable I know but there are a few people who don’t believe in your non-sense) employees, and those people probably don’t want there personal healthcare to be controlled by crazies. Just saying.

    • Don Corleon

      The Catholic Church should not be punished for providing charitable, health and school services. If the Church stopped providing these services, governments would be overwhelmed the same as our economy would be overwhelmed if all illegal aliens actually left the country, as so many right wingers advocate. Your position punishes them, as described below.

      When it comes to “the mandate”, contraception is not “free”, as in pharmaceutical companies don’t get paid for it. It gets subsidized by the employer and all other participants of the Plan. The mandate demands that Catholic organizations subsidize something they believe (and can reasonably argue via the Natural Law) is evil (i.e., beneath the dignity of human beings with terrible unintended consequences). Catholic organizations should no more have to subsidize this than Jewish organizations should have to subsidize a Madrasah sponsored by Hezbollah. Your argument is that Jews shouldn’t care because they’re not being made to attend the Madrasah themselves. Just saying.

      • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

        “The Catholic Church should not be punished for providing charitable, health and school services. ”

        How is it being “punished” by being required to abide by the secular law in the provision of health and school services – and being required, as the US Constitution mandates, to respect the religious freedom of all their employees?

        “The mandate demands that Catholic organizations subsidize something they believe”

        This argument makes sense if and only if you think “Catholic organisations” are ensouled persons. Do you?

        Catholic organizations should no more be allowed to escape their obligations to their employees than a Jewish organization should be allowed to ban their their employees from attending Mass.

        • Anonymous

          We are not required to support everything an employee does. This isn’t about whether Catholic hospitals can ban their workers from taking contraception. This is more like wanting a Jewish organization to be obliged to pay bus-fare for employees to attend Mass and even that’s not a good analogy as birth-control is not really expected of any religion.

          And secular law of a nation can say all kinds of things. The secular law of Missouri once said Mormons should be expelled or exterminated. Secular law is not sacred.

          • Anonymous

            Nothing’s sacred (except in some peoples’ imaginations).

        • Musiciangirl591

          they are being forced to violate their conscience, the secular law says i can’t jay walk or i can’t buy alcohol because i’m underage, no one’s being forced to work at a Catholic institution…

  • Feeneyja

    Alexandra,

    Dr. Coleman and 6 other professionals sent a letter to the APA criticizing their review. If one is to seriously consider women’s health, you can’t ignore studies that show detrimental effects.

    Profesisonal organizations are certainly baised (or have the potential to be). Have you read the history of the American Public Health Association and their stance on abortion? It reads as a Who’s Who in the Planned Parenthood and population problem/eugenics movement of the 50′s and 60′s. The APHA’s stance on abortion mimics that of all of the other organizations paroting the legalizing of abortion at the time. The folks on the board, members, editorial staff…all were pushing for abortion legalization. They had an agenda. That was actually Planned Parenthood’s original agenda. They were not a woman’s rights/health organization. Their agenda at the time was actually population control. It all changed in the 70′s when the feminist movement movement took hold of the organization and stated that they would get further if they took a woman’r rights approach. They litterally re-wrote their marketing materials from the ground up at that time and re-branded the organization.

    As I have said before, it is about marketing. Always was.

    Sorry, it’s hard to post links to all of this. I’m acutally going through old journals, lists of board members, meeting notes, etc. Can’t get pretty links to all info. Thank you archives and libraries! You shold get a hold of the old law text “The Sanctity of Life and the Criminal Law” by Glenville Williams. It was used extensively to write the majority opinion for Roe v. Wade. It is a textbook for the justification of abortion, euthanisia, sterilization, contraception, etc. It is, by the way, incredibly anti-Catholic and a fascinating read if you want to understand how the debate has raged throughthe years and how we got to where we are today.

  • Liam

    Captain Picard did it first. Many have followed. But Christ, as always, does best.

    /Facepalm/

  • Nick

    what movie is that youtube clip from?

  • Anonymous

    Ms. Pelosi may not speak for you but she obviously speaks for a very large number of Catholic and non-Catholic women and families on this. I understand it’s the majority of Catholics. I also understand it’s embarrassing for certain mucky-mucks and their feet-lickers that that’s the case. But so be it.

  • Jaltman

    98% of Catholic women stand with Pelosi.

  • Anonymous

    This guy clears it all up.

  • Mark

    11/04 of ’08 was no joke
    The D.C. chapel emitted white smoke.
    Liberal Catholics were filled with such hope
    Declaring with pride, “We have a new pope!”

  • HermitTalker

    Too many posts to see if the point I wish to make is included. GOD has provided birth regulation called Natural Family Planning. It has developed beyond the taking temperature method which went the way of the typewriter, now replaced by the computer. It is perfectly natural, no chemicals, no formal education needed, it works with illiterate women in mission lands, ask any female missionary where it has been tried. Method failure is the same as chemical and barrier, human failure is not even guaranteed by barrier or chemical methods.
    One poster at least on here referred to her regretful use of the artificial approach. Many couples, many of those who are now divorced can tell you about that. Remember the commercial ” It is not right to fool Mother Nature.” The other one works also- its almost butter. Any messing with Mother Nature is not natural. She has a wicked kick- check today’s high school and college kids and their crop of diseases trying to scam Her!

    • Anonymous

      If you want to convince the vast majority of Catholics who apparently not using the rhythm method you’ll need to produce some well documented statistics, for a start. But if GOD created it, why doesn’t it just work?

      As for those diseases young people are getting, I understand those come from using abstinence. Abstinence from intercourse but not, it turns out, from sex. When things get hot and heavy, and they often will get hot and heavy, instead of putting on a condom or relying on birth control pills or any other pretty effective method to have safe sex, they pleasure each other orally. So they can say they’re practicing abstinence but nature is having its way. It is hard to beat mother nature.

      • Musiciangirl591

        it does work, you take the temperature of the cervix, measure it, and then check how sticky the cervical mucous is, it’s 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, practicing abstinence is means abstaining from all sexual contact, doesn’t matter what it is, so oral sex is disgusting and off limits and can transmit diseases (herpes, long term you can contract throat cancer, etc)

        • HfermitTalker

          I am a lot older and learn every day, musicianLADY, not girl any more, see my note below. Glad I could help you and some others here who seem to have caught “Pelosi-tis” -attacks the heart then the brain goes all mushy!. Saw you personal lifestyle comment. Form support groups, they are very much needed, some have already done so here in Europe.

        • Anonymous

          Kissing is sexual contact (unless it’s your parent, hopefully) so practicing abstinence includes not kissing? In that case abstinence almost never works.

          • HermitTalker

            How stupidly insulting to this very fine moral posting female.

          • Musiciangirl591

            kissing isn’t really considered sexual contact, it’s the other stuff

        • Anonymous

          It sounds like a method for clinicians, not for husbands and wives after hard days of work. No wonder it’s little used.

        • Alexandra

          Oral sex is disgusting and off limits?

          I’m sorry, but I promise anyone who buys that and incorporates it into their sex life is definitely not having a deeper more intimate and better sex life than those who don’t have those kind of prudish issues.

          Isn’t the whole thing about this NFP stuff that you’re not ashamed of your body? I really hope you’re a minority in that belief.

          • Musiciangirl591

            it’s putting something in your mouth that shouldn’t go there, and call me a prude idc, and where did you get that i said that we should be ashamed of our bodies?

        • Annony11

          While I agree that oral sex falls into the category of off limits pre-marriage, it is not necessarily wrong within marriage. Check out Christopher West’s book “The Good News About Sex and Marriage” which is based on Blessed JPII’s Theology of the Body. Of course, you are free to decide that you believe it is disgusting and refuse to engage in it when married, but that’s not what the Church teaches.

          • Alexandra

            Thanks for throwing that in! I was kind of horrified and didn’t want to actually google around to figure out what the Church’s teaching on oral sex is. Not that I have any issue with someone who doesn’t want to do it personally, but the Church opposing it would be just bizarre.

          • Annony11

            Right… it’s not a free-for-all and not to be used as an “alternative” for intercourse, but foreplay in general is fine provided it culminates with intercourse and neither party is being used as an object for the other’s pleasure.

            I highly recommend the West book I referenced above as well as “Love and Responsibility” by Karol Wojtyla (JPII pre-papacy). They include much deeper philosophical (not just religious but secular – as in, not specifically religious – as well) reasoning behind many Church teachings. Some of the things may shock you as they are far from prudish.

          • Alexandra

            That’s the thing, I didn’t think that there was anything prudish about Catholic marital sexuality and making oral sex off limits was out of line with my impression.

            Again, thanks for clarifying. :)

          • Anonymous

            Actually it can transfer just as many germs, viruses etc. from one part of your or your partner’s body to another part of yours when you are married as when you are single.

            So there are at least as good reasons not to do it when you’re married as when you’re single.

          • Alexandra

            Thanks for the tip. I didn’t realize that sex could spread diseases.

  • HfermitTalker

    It is not the rhythm metod. It is an examination of the consistence of the mucus. Now as to why Catholics do not practice it, your comment shows it is not even known or is still dismissed as “Vatican rhythm” despite its faithful practicioners.
    As to the STD’s there are all sorts, not just from oral contact. As to Catholics and other citizens in general about our bodies, why do we have so much obesity in even young children? With all the education about the food groups? Why so many college and University students today who are graduates of DARE and Just Say No? Education, formation, discipline, the sacredness of the body. The theology of the Body by Bl JP11 is now being promoted. Pass it along. Good healthy food for the Temple of the Holy Spirit and as I suggested to my state university students “put nothing in where it does not belong” which was a sneaky way of getting around the ban on religion except their version of it known as ( atheistic aka ” secular humanism.”.

    • Musiciangirl591

      i like the obesity comparison, is the theology of the body by Bl JPII in humanae vitae?

      • HfermitTalker

        Thank you,Musiciangirl. Humanae Vitae -which is sadly recalled by many as “against birth control” was a prophetic warning about the misuse of all human sexuality that leads to abortion.It has one line, only one line about chemical/barrier birth prevention.! Some of which today are as noted on another post abortifacients.
        And as we see so much now, once the dam is burst, sex by anyone for anything and all up to euthanasia flowed in freely with the flood. That was written by Pope Paul V1. Bl. JP11 was inspired to address the sexual revolt and its death-dealing results, presumably, to give us his series of Wednesday audience talks which were published as the Theology of the Body.

        • Musiciangirl591

          dang it, i should have known that

  • Cherry

    O wow, I was reading comments below, all those links and statistics and reports are literally nauseated for someone like me.
    C’mon…Just go back to the basic, if you really believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who gave His authority to the church, then all of His teachings should be followed. Who are we to question God? Learn it, get to know your religion before you say “I’m a devout Catholic”. Read your CCC! We are Catholic first before we are US citizen, that should make it easier for us, we don’t have to follow any popular opinion to make our decisions.

  • Gkcgirl

    I figured out that the fellow Catholics she is talking about are Lady Gaga and Madonna ( :

  • Bdefaze

    the use of the Becket excomm scene was brilliant


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