On Sunday, Syracuse.com published this letter-to-the-editor from Anita Ciannilli:
To the Editor:
I am a Catholic, and I support insurance coverage of contraception. I believe that I should be free to follow my faith and my conscience, and make the health care decisions that are best for me.
Some people are saying that it’s an attack on conscience or religious freedom if people who work for a Catholic hospital or university can get contraception through their insurance without a co-payment. That doesn’t make any sense. Individuals have consciences — institutions do not — and no employer should be able to prevent an employee from following his or her conscience. It is just not fair to deny some people access to affordable health care simply because their workplace or the school is religiously affiliated. That’s not religious freedom. It’s discrimination.
The bishops do not speak for me on this issue, and they do not speak for the vast majority of Catholics, here and across this country, who use contraception and have no religious objection to it.
Of course, I fundamentally agree with what Ciannilli has to say, and she makes her point in a clear-headed way.
But it also begs the question: If you don’t agree with what the leaders of your church are saying, why are you identifying with that church?
Maybe it’s something that is beyond my ability to grasp because I didn’t grow up going to church, so I don’t have that feeling of “Cultural Catholicism” that some people hold. I understand that maybe she still believes in a lot of what the religion teaches that she holds to be true. Maybe she still believes in the Communion, or that her sins are forgiven if she goes to confession, or that little babies are horrible, sinful little beasts until they get holy water splashed on them.
Like the Freedom From Religion Foundation said in their open letter to “liberal” and “nominal” Catholics:
By remaining a “good Catholic,” you are doing “bad” to women’s rights.
What do you all think? Is this woman doing something good by taking a stand against her church or is she deluding herself by remaining one of its numbers?