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Emily C. Heath: “How to Determine If Your Religious Liberty Is Being Threatened in Just 10 Quick Questions”

I’ve come up with this little quiz. I call it “How to Determine if Your Religious Liberty Is Being Threatened in Just 10 Quick Questions.” Just pick “A” or “B” for each question.

1. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A) I am not allowed to go to a religious service of my own choosing.
B) Others are allowed to go to religious services of their own choosing.

2. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A) I am not allowed to marry the person I love legally, even though my religious community blesses my marriage.
B) Some states refuse to enforce my own particular religious beliefs on marriage on those two guys in line down at the courthouse.

3. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A) I am being forced to use birth control.
B) I am unable to force others to not use birth control. …

Joshua D. Ambrosius: “Do We Have a Responsibility to Shut Our Siblings Up?”

Why do we as believers feel this overwhelming need to disrupt the world around us whenever we feel our faith is challenged?

Is it because we are trained by parents, youth groups, and campus crusaders that it is the only appropriate response when under attack? … Is it so we get some high-fives from fellow Christians when leaving the classroom? (As we brag to ourselves about our secret knowledge of the world that our professor and classmates reject or just don’t know about.) Is it because we feel condemned if we don’t “speak up” and defend the truth? Is it because we genuinely think this tactic will pay dividends in souls for heaven? Maybe we just don’t think — particularly about the fact that we might be wrong. I was raised in a practice that certainly praised spiritual revelation and condemned any philosophy or intellectualism as “traditions of man” (and Satan) and thus anti-scriptural.

I’m not sure what motivates each of us to act this way — I would think it is combinations of these forces molding our young minds to only accept select information that doesn’t threaten our “worldview” (or Weltanschauung, to avoid this horrible cliché that we have embraced to set apart our own ideas from our rivals’). Ordinarily this is called “indoctrination” — but only cults do that. We are just training our children in the way that they should go, right?

I think it also has something to do with politics. … The blending of Evangelical Christianity with the political right wing and the Republican Party has created a cosmic battle of “us vs. them.”

Maureen Tkacik: “The student loan crisis that can’t be gotten rid of”

The finances of Sallie Mae, the former government sponsored enterprise formally called SLM Corp, are a bit difficult to divine, but the operating profit margin is over 50 percent. It will surely surge higher if CEO Albert Lord executes on his current strategy of turning the $700 million “sweet spot” that is its “fee income” division into a billion-dollar business. “Fee income” means collections, but student loan collectors “do things that no other industry could get away with,” a veteran debt collector named Joseph Leal told Student Loan Justice. They stalk, threaten family members, and jack up loan balances by thousands of dollars at whim, and they do it all with impunity, because they are legally entitled to garnish your wages.

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Chapter and verse
Relitigating the Golden Rule
'Religious outreach'
The Fall of the House of Graham (ongoing)
  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    pay a tax penalty to the government, who will provide insurance to those employees.

    I’m curious, would this be the policy Obama said would be originally in his plan, where anyone could opt into the same plan as federal employees?

  • Monala

    Another issue: I’m not sure I trust that the Catholic Church is taking this stance based on conscience. First, as some have pointed out,  many Catholic institutions offered birth control coverage as part of their insurance plans previous to the ACA going into effect, and they either did so volunarily or in response to state laws without objection.

    Second, and this I’m less certain about. I recall reading an article in which one of the Catholic bishops, who had previously apologized for the priest sex abuse scandal, not only retracted his apology but said something to the effect that the church is going to begin paying back those who had “attacked” the church, starting in the U.S. Anyone else remember something like that (and can provide links)? Because if that’s the case, it suggests that a motive that is far removed from conscience, or even about controlling women’s sexuality, but rather, one of revenge.

  • Lori

    I’m not sure I trust that the Catholic Church is taking this stance based on conscience. 

    You’re right not to. Their stance on birth control is their genuinely held belief (that women shouldn’t be allowed to control their own bodies or have sex without risking pregnancy, the dirty sluts). Their pearl-clutching over participating in sin by providing comprehensive insurance to secular employees, most of whom aren’t Catholic is pure political theater. This circles back to my first point—-the only reason we’re still talking about this ish as if it’s a serious issue is that the press has totally failed to do their damn job.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     One might, in fact, suppose that it is not about controlling women (this time; they’re all about controlling women in lots of cases, but maybe not this specific one), or about the money, or even about revenge.

    It’s about finding an “out” so that they can weasel out of the social justice obligations required by their interpretation of scripture, and side with the republican party.

    They really want to oppose the ACA for purely political reasons, but need cover lest they be accused of being less a church and more the celibate-old-man arm of the republican party.

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

     I’m not sure I trust that the Catholic Church is taking this stance based on conscience.

    Oh, it’s not. It’s feeling its power slip away and cracking down extra hard to try to retain it. Geoffrey can’t tell the difference between the people in the church and the organization itself, but believe me, it exists.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Geoffrey, I’m sure you saw the comment in which I told you that my religious beliefs require the use of contraception at all times excepting when the woman is ready, able, and willing to conceive. What are you doing to ensure that the government protects my religious freedom?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/Y7RI44MSCCK6FJS7OTEDTWC4YI Geoffrey W.

     Ah, I’ve heard of that sect.  The Flukists I think…

    If a Flukist employer is offering plans, he’s perfectly free (in fact, required) to include contreceptive coverage.  And you’re free to buy them yourself at any time.  So I really don’t see any issue.  Inj fact, Flukist doctrine is currently the law of the land.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Abstinence-only sex education still exists in this country, dipshit. Abstinence-only sex ed, if you’re fortunate enough to be unfamiliar, maintains that sex is bad and safe sex worse. Also all the stories of pharmacists who refuse to dispense contraceptive pills. Therefore I find it exceedingly difficult to believe that people are required to use contraception whenever they don’t intend to conceive. Thus I say again: what are you doing to protect my religious liberty?

  • Ross Thompson

     

    Ah, I’ve heard of that sect.  The Flukists I think…

    Since you’re working so hard to keep it classy, let’s talk about the circumstances of Miss Fluke.

    Sandra Fluke attends Georgetown University, a Catholic institution in Washington, DC. Georgetown’s health insurance is funded solely by the students – that is, Miss Fluke pays 100% of the costs of her health insurance, with no university money involved. However, Georgetown University then bundles all those students’ money together, so that they can get a big group discount.

    Miss Fluke’s position is that she wants the health insurance that she’s paying for to cover the health care that she wants. As it stands, she has to pay an additional $3,000 per year for health care that the insurance company would happily include in her policy without increasing the cost (specifically, they did not reduce the cost to reflect its removal).

    The university’s position is that the mere fact that they touched it on they from Person A to Person B makes it Catholic Money that can’t possibly be spent on reproductive care without damning everyone involved to hell.

    So, who do you think should “win” in this case?

  • Monala

     Just a slight correction: the additional dollars were $3,000 over the 3 years of law school, or $1,000 a year for birth control out of pocket. Still not chump change, and usually unaffordable for students.

  • AnonymousSam

    Wait, what? That… wow, that takes some serious chutzpah.

    To put it into a perspective that’s less vulnerable to special pleading, this is like five friends pooling their money together to get a pizza, and the fifth person takes that money and then says “I get to choose the toppings though. After all, this is my money now.”

    That would be a special kind of bullshit, and so is this.

  • Ross Thompson

    To be a strictly accurate analogy, you’d have to remember that the fifth guy is neither contributing to nor eating any of the pizza. He’s just picked up the money to give it to the delivery guy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

     Also, the fifth guy has a coupon that gives him a discount from the pizza shop, but only if he is the one who actually places the order.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

     Incidentally, I always wondered how far some religious restrictions stretched. Can a Muslim place an order for a pork item for someone else’s behalf? (Like, could a Muslim call a pizza store on the phone and order a bacon-topped pizza for me, without putting in any of her own money or having any intention of eating or even touching the food itself?)

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     I can’t speak to Muslim tradition, but Orthodox Judaism as I was raised in it permits me to order bacon for a non-Jew, precisely because Judaism does not teach that it is sinful for nonJews to eat pork.

  • Madhabmatics

     People think that pork is some sort of Muslim kryptonite, but it’s really not. We just don’t eat it. There are even exceptions to not eating it if your choice is between starving and killing a pig.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Jerry Jenkins disagrees with you about the whole kryptonite thing.  And he thinks it applies to Jews, too.

    *Nicolae rides a pig*

    “I don’t get it,” a man in front of Buck said, his accent German.  “What’s he doing?”

    “Putting all previous religions in their place, Friedrich!” he wife said, her eyes glued to the scene.  Even Christianity.  Especially Christianity.”

    “But what’s with the pig?”

    “Christianity has Jewish roots,” she said, still not looking at him.  “What’s more offensive to a Jew than an animal he’s not allowed to eat?”

    Desecration

  • Carstonio

    Oh, come on! Nicolae could have done much worse. He could have sabotaged kosher delis for a month and then sprung the news on their customers, like Hannibal Lecter staging a dinner party.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The way I’ve often thought Nicolae should have done it was to be very subtle. Slip some bacon onto the altar, and watch the ensuing fallout as the Orthodox Rabbis try to argue their way into reinstating the altar while blaming all the others. Oh, and plausible deniability. He does, after all, have Satanic powers at this stage.

  • guest

    This is reminding me of the commenter some years ago who was Australian but passionately objected to Muslims building a community centre…in New York.  I think Jesus has a pithy saying about people like that.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    I think Jesus has a pithy saying about people like that.

    Wait, wait, don’t tell me… I know this one. It was “Poke your neighbor in the eye,” right? Or, no, something like that…

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Speaking of health care?

    A hospital just clipped someone about $83 grand for treating a scorpion bite.

    The health insurance system in the USA is officially completely fucking absurd to the point of recursively infinite levels of absurdity.

  • Stone_Monkey

    As has been so carefully explained by others – if a Catholic Organisation offers health insurance to women that doesn’t offer contraception, what they’re offering is not health insurance. Health insurance has now been legally defined so that it covers contraception.
     Such an organisation now has two choices, either get out of the health insurance business, because it’s no longer a health insurance company – in much the same way as a Halal restaurant can’t serve non-Halal meet and still be a Halal restaurant, or they stay in business and obey the law of the land.Geoffrey seems to be arguing, rather stupidly (if not deliberately obtusely), that for some reason the Catholic church be allowed to flout the laws of the land. Which is, somewhat, a step on the road to anarchy (and not a good form of anarchy either).

  • zmayhem

    Just chiming in to add my voice to Sgt. Pepper’s and others’ to confirm that there are indeed plenty of Catholics who have no problem with the ACA’s requirements, and who even think that the compromise offered after the US bishops drummed their heels and made snitty whinyfaces was more generous than it needed to be.

    Also, there’s a theological argument to be made (not that Mr. W can fruitfully engage with it, as he isn’t a Catholic) that, as Humana Vitae has been soundly rejected in practice by the majority of Catholics all over the world, it doesn’t matter how much the hierarchy tells us it’s the law of the Church, it… just isn’t. The sensus fidelium, the hearts and minds of the laypeople who make up the overwhelming majority of the living Body of Christ, clearly does not regard it as valid doctrine, so it isn’t; and if it’s not valid doctrine, it is certainly entitled to no special protection or exemptions under US law.

    Also also, as a woman whose husband has been out of work for six years now, I am so, so desperately tired of people saying that if an employee doesn’t like the provisions and restrictions offered by a particular employer, zie is free to seek employment elsewhere. Because, you know, jobs are so thick on the ground all the hell over the place that it’s perfectly easy to walk away from one and find another that suits you better, just like *that*.

    Healthcare workers in the comment threads to the many, many other articles and blogs hashing the whole ACA vs. the Church issue out over the last year have pointed out that there are parts of the US where most of the hospitals have folded or been absorbed by Catholic hospitals, giving the workers in those areas a “choice” that is effectively no choice at all: Work for a Catholic hospital and suck up whatever restrictions it chooses to impose, go on unemployment, or pack up yourself and your family and move to another part of the country, with all the additional monetary and emotional costs that entails.

    Though, I guess, “free to choose as long as you’re already independently wealthy” is a perfectly cromulent notion if you’re a libertarian.

  • Tricksterson

    Ah but you and the other Catholics can’t be real Catholics or you’d be agreeing with him even though he’s not.

  • zmayhem

    Oh, dear. I hadn’t thought of that.

    ::vanishes in a puff of logic::

  • Emerlee88

    Something I’ve never understood is how “forcing” Catholic institutions to offer birth control is any different than allowing their employees to purchase it on their own. In the case of insurance companies, the institution gives money to it that is collected from their own revenues as well as its employees. That money is now no longer under its control, so isn’t it the insurance companies (unconnected with the Catholic Church) that are actually doing the funding of birth control? Just like if the Catholic institution gave money to its employee who then went and paid for birth control. The money is no longer theirs in both cases – why are the bishops getting in such a tizzy?

    This argument’s probably already been made, so excuse me if this is a repeat.

  • Tricksterson

    Because the issue isn’t money, it’s control.  What the bishops are really outraged about is that they can’t control the behavior of their female employees or of the spouses of their male employees.

  • Emerlee88

    (I know why the bishops are really in a tizzy, btw, just being incredulous for the sake of this argument)

  • Tricksterson

    Sorry, hadn’t read the second post.

  • Stone_Monkey

    Not a US citizen, but from what I can gather the employer, Catholic or not, doesn’t even know if their employee has taken up the insurance company’s coverage in respect to contraception (and in fact is not allowed to know). So what is actually being complained about seems to be merely the fact that the opportunity to do so exists. Which seems to me to be a nonsense.

    Playing Devil’s Advocate here, surely what they should be trying to do, using Geoffrey’s argument that the Catholic church is obliged to attempt to stop others sinning, is to make contraception itself illegal, rather than simply trying to make sure it remains inconveniently expensive for some of the people who wish to use it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/j.alex.harman John Alexander Harman

    Playing Devil’s Advocate here, surely what they should be trying to do, using Geoffrey’s argument that the Catholic church is obliged to attempt to stop others sinning, is to make contraception itself illegal, rather than simply trying to make sure it remains inconveniently expensive for some of the people who wish to use it.

    They want to do that — some of the bishops (and, IIRC, their buttboy Rick Santorum) have made it clear that they feel that not only Roe vs. Wade, but also Griswold vs. Connecticut was wrongly decided and should be overturned.  But making that view widely known would be political suicide, so they’re keeping quiet about it and hoping a Republican president will appoint one more Opus Dei fascist to the Supreme Court (Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito are all known or rumored to be members of Opus Dei — and even if they aren’t, their ideology is indistinguishable from that of the ultraconservative Catholic group).

  • AnonymousSam

    Santorum was quite outspoken about wanting to ban contraception, even if other Christians were okay with it.

    One of the things I will talk about that no President has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea. Many in the Christian faith have said, “Well, that’s okay. Contraception’s okay.”

    It’s not okay because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be. They’re supposed to be within marriage, they are supposed to be for purposes that are, yes, conjugal, but also [inaudible], but also procreative. That’s the perfect way that a sexual union should happen. We take any part of that out, we diminish the act. And if you can take one part out that’s not for purposes of procreation, that’s not one of the reasons, then you diminish this very special bond between men and women, so why can’t you take other parts of that out? And all of a sudden, it becomes deconstructed to the point where it’s simply pleasure. And that’s certainly a part of it—and it’s an important part of it, don’t get me wrong—but there’s a lot of things we do for pleasure, and this is special, and it needs to be seen as special.

    Again, I know most Presidents don’t talk about those things, and maybe people don’t want us to talk about those things, but I think it’s important that you are who you are. I’m not running for preacher. I’m not running for pastor, but these are important public policy issues. These how profound impact on the health of our society.

  • The_L1985

    Aww, isn’t that nice?  Shoving your bits against another person’s bits is special.  Giving someone an impressive flower arrangement isn’t special.  Buying tickets for that once-in-a-lifetime event that your SO wanted to go to isn’t special.  But by George, rubbing this piece of skin against that piece of skin is.

  • AnonymousSam

    But only if it’s done right! It instantly loses any specialness the moment you start doing it without the intent to put the woman through several months of discomfort, hours of severe pain and then years of added financial stress. D:

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Speaking of Catholics, by the way, I foolishly clicked on a link Patheos tweeted at me from their Catholic channel: A Tale of Two Nations

    Apparently, the reason our politics are so deeply divided is because half the country doesn’t believe in God:

    The other half do not believe in God, or if they profess belief in God, he is not this God. If they do not believe in God, then they cannot believe that man is created in God’s image. They can only believe that man is a product of random evolution, and is therefore caught up in a random sort of fatalism–his destiny determined by his genetics. This person who does not believe in God can also not believe in the dignity of man. For him man is an animal, and if he therefore behaves like a beast it is only to be expected. We will find such people to be increasingly full of irrational rage and hatred against God and his people. The believers will tolerate the unbelievers, but that tolerance will not be reciprocated.

    Ahem.

  • Carstonio

    Last time I saw a collection of straw men that large, it was a casting call for The Wizard of Oz…

    So many assumptions. A god could exist and humankind could still be the product of “random” evolution instead of being created in the god’s image. One could believe in a god and still reject humankind having any dignity. And there’s the sexism of the old term “man” for humankind.

    Aside – I once suggested the philosophy of dealing with the fact that shit happens, and was asked if I was against “God.” What would give someone that impression?

  • Albanaeon

    It’s really quite depressing to find Catholics talking like Fundagelicals.  The alliance of right-wingers has produced an abominable hybrid that doesn’t believe in science, adds Ayn Rand to the Bible, and resembles Jesus’s teaching like a vulture resembles a Pegasus.

  • Lori

    However, the stepfather was not excommunicated, with Sobrinho telling
    Globo TV that, “A graver act than (rape) is abortion, to eliminate an
    innocent life.” 

    Holy crap, I’ve been reading the story wrong. I thought everyone got the boot, which was more than bad enough. The fact that the one adult who wasn’t excommunicated was the rapist just….I have no words for that. I have swear words in at least 4 languages and none of them even begin to cover it.

    I’ll just say that the rapist did so “eliminate an innocent life”. He didn’t kill her, but he took her innocence and destroyed the person she was before he raped her and could have grown up to be if she had never been abused. She’s different, and nothing can ever change that. The fact that the priest cares more about a clump of cells than he does about that reality says quite a lot about him and the morality of the Church he serves, none of it good.

    I fervently hope that she’s continued to receive the help and support she needs and that she’ll have a happy, healthy life. I hope she never darkens the door of another Catholic church because she doesn’t need any more abusers in her life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    Wow, I guess we can’t give the Catholic Church even a little bit of credit, huh?

    I thought there was no way that the institutional leadership could be even more horrifying in their callous disregard for basic human decency, but… wow. Not only do they not think that rape is worse than abortion, they don’t even think that rape and incest are excommunicate-able offenses. 

    I have to ask — how do people get like that? How do you get to the point where you can look at someone who has raped a little kid and not feel anything? I don’t care if you’re pro-life, pro-choice, whatever — there has to be some kind of anger or shock or even a purely intellectual understanding that something terrible has happened. Even if you are opposed to abortion in all cases, you have to at least think that the rapist did something wrong, right?

  • EllieMurasaki

    My understanding is that the Catholic hierarchy believes that all forms of illicit sex are crimes against God; confess and do penance and all is well. This goes equally well for consensual sex between unmarried adults with dissimilar genitals, consensual sex between adults with similar genitals, and nonconsensual sex. The fact that the first two harm no one and the third harms someone, how can that possibly matter?

  • http://www.facebook.com/j.alex.harman John Alexander Harman

    My understanding is that the Catholic hierarchy believes that all forms of illicit sex are crimes against God; confess and do penance and all is well. This goes equally well for consensual sex between unmarried adults with dissimilar genitals, consensual sex between adults with similar genitals, and nonconsensual sex. The fact that the first two harm no one and the third harms someone, how can that possibly matter?

    You forgot masturbation.  It’s not important to the NCCB (Narcissists Concealing Child Buggery) whether a man ejaculates in his own hand or inside an eight-year-old’s rectum; they’re both sins of “sexual incontinence.”

  • Matri

    How in all the range and breadth of this planet can the hierarchy of the
    Roman Catholic Church expect to be regarded with anything other than
    utter loathing and contempt, when so many of them avail themselves of
    this kind of shitty thinking process?

    The Leadership has been actively protecting the identities of child molesters and sexual predators for decades. It has done everything legal and illegal to protect them from prosecution and to allow them to continue predating. Fred’s written several posts about this here.

    So while this cover-up is both shocking and horrifying to the victims, anyone with even a shred of decency, compassion, ethics, morality, or even vaguely resembles a human being, this is actually business as usual for them!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

     I know all about that. I guess I’m just flabbergasted that they’re even going to bat for sexual predators that apparently don’t even work for them. I am horrified by the Catholic priest sex abuse cover-ups, but I can kind of understand how an evil person would think that it’s better to protect their own reputation and that of their organization than look after the smallest and most vulnerable members of their group.

    I can’t imagine what would motivate even an evil person to go out of their way to help someone like that stepfather, who according to the BBC is also suspected of abusing the girl’s physically-handicapped 14-year-old sister. Excommunicating

    I wonder what it’s like in the minds of people like Sobrinho. Is it liberating, to read about case of a girl being raped by her stepfather from the age of six and not even realize that it’s a story about something awful until he reached the part about the abortion? Would he have felt happier if the girl and her twin children had died in childbirth?

    The fact that the first two harm no one and the third harms someone, how can that possibly matter?

    I guess that makes its own kind of sense. Again, I can’t imagine being in the mind of someone who could read that sentence and not see a thing wrong with it, but that’s a horror story for another time.

  • Lori

    Even if you are opposed to abortion in all cases, you have to at least think that the rapist did something wrong, right? 

    If you’re a normal person, yes of course. If you too are a child molester (there’s a nonzero chance of that), then possibly not*. Also possibly not if some of your best friends and closest colleagues are child molesters (also a nonzero chance) and you’ve put a lot of energy into making excuses for them so that you don’t have to do anything about it.  If you’ve actively participated in the cover-up of child rape for years then you’d probably have trained yourself not to feel anything about it. Same goes for someone who is so devoted to the power structure of the Church, either from careerist self-interest or the boot-licking impulse of an authoritarian follower. Humans are remarkably adaptable and for many people that includes training themselves not to feel things that are inconvenient or painful.

    It’s also possible that Sobrinho blames the girl for “seducing” her stepfather. IME that’s far more common than most people realize. Some asshat priest said that every thing just a couple weeks ago. I won’t say what I think about people like that. I’ll just say that it isn’t nice and leave the rest to your imagination.

    *Some child rapists a perfectly aware that what they’re doing is wrong, they just claim to be unable to help themselves. Others at least claim to believe that there’s nothing wrong with what they do.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    It’s also possible that Sobrinho blames the girl for “seducing” her
    stepfather. IME that’s far more common than most people realize. Some
    asshat priest said that every thing just a couple weeks ago. I won’t say
    what I think about people like that. I’ll just say that it isn’t nice
    and leave the rest to your imagination.

    They backpedaled on that. Said he only said that because of the brain damage from a car accident he’d been in a few years ago.

  • Ross Thompson

    They backpedaled on that. Said he only said that because of the brain damage from a car accident he’d been in a few years ago.

    Yeah, it’s like with the Republicans: They know how crazy their ideas sound to outsiders, and if you have the temerity to say what they’re all thinking in plain language rather than in code, you get in trouble.

    But they still believe it.

  • AnonymousSam
  • Lori

    Strangely, that doesn’t make me feel any better.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Yep.  And I’m sure it was a weather balloon or that the dog ate his homework.

  • PJ Evans

    Said he only said that because of the brain damage from a car accident he’d been in a few years ago.

    In which case they should have retired him a couple of years ago, to someplace where he’d get the therapy and care he needs, because that’s not minor damage.

  • Kiba

    Some asshat priest said that every thing just a couple weeks ago.

    You mean this sorry old bastard? http://www.truthwinsout.org/blog/2012/08/28903/

    Yeah, the amount of words that come to mind to express my thoughts on him largely consist of four letters and are considered rude.

  • Matri

    WOW.

    He does not look creepy at all. Nosiree Bob, not creepy at all…

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    I thought there was no way that the institutional leadership could be
    even more horrifying in their callous disregard for basic human decency,
    but… wow. Not only do they not think that rape is worse than
    abortion, they don’t even think that rape and incest are
    excommunicate-able offenses.

    Is the catholic church the only church that won’t kick you out for rape?

    Excommunication is not *about* the church saying that they disapprove, or saying that some action was very bad, evil, or a crime. It’s not even punishment for wrongdoing. It’s an official declaration of the subject being theologically incompatible with the rules of the church. You don’t get excommunicated for being a bad person or a criminal or even a sinner. You get excommunicated for failing to abide by the rules for membership in the church.

  • Lori

     

    You get excommunicated for failing to abide by the rules for membership in the church.  

    Performing or aiding the performance of an abortion is against the rules for membership in the church. Raping a child is not against the rules for membership in the church.

    Forgive me for failing to see how this is not a statement about what the Church believes is worse.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    Fair enough. It does bother me though that rape and incest are not considered against the rules of membership of the church, as well as sins.

    Incidentally — and this is just a question — do you happen to know how they create the line between actions that are sins in the eyes of the Church and actions that are against the rules of the Church? I guess in my head I always linked the two together — sins are always against the rules of the Church, and breaking the rules of the Church usually involved a moral or doctrinal conflict with the bishops.

    As I said before, I can understand the idea that abortion is against the
    rules of the church and in defiance of their teachings; I can understand why the mother and the doctors were excommunicated; I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that the theology of the church can accept child rape — not just secretly, under the shroud of deception, but openly, without shame or reservation — but not abortion.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    However, the stepfather was not excommunicated, with Sobrinho telling
    Globo TV that, “A graver act than (rape) is abortion, to eliminate an
    innocent life.”

    Is. this. guy. for. real?????????????

    How in all the range and breadth of this planet can the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church expect to be regarded with anything other than utter loathing and contempt, when so many of them avail themselves of this kind of shitty thinking process?

    They defend rapists and abusers by the trainload, and then have the unutterable nerve to demand veneration.

    The bankrupting of the Roman Catholic Church can’t come soon enough for me. (>_<)

  • The Disco Spider

    Nobody is forcing others to not use birth control.  Liberals are angry that they can’t force others to fund their recreatrional sex.  You are a liar and a jabroni.

  • AnonymousSam

    Mmhmm. Tell me, how would you appreciate being fired from your job because you got pregnant from being raped, having to give birth to that child, and then spending the next 16+ years paying for it physically, emotionally, financially and otherwise, knowing it could have been easily prevented if you had only had access to a little pill your employer felt you were too much of a slut to let you have?

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Yes, just like those awful libruls, trying to reduce the chances that women will get ovarian cancer.  What a bunch of monsters.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     Speaking as a liberal whose recreational sex does not involve birth control, but who nevertheless wants health insurance to cover people’s health care needs, which for some people include contraception: your theory regarding liberal motivation is at best incomplete.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Which would you rather do, pay for someone’s Pills or pay for food and clothing for the baby she wouldn’t have had if you’d been willing to pay for her Pills?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I’ve had people contort themselves into pretzels on this. They refuse to concede to paying taxes for an abortion. They don’t want to pay taxes for the woman’s welfare (TANF) costs. They don’t want to pay taxes for postnatal care. In short, for all that they claim themselves to be liberal they have an astonishing lack of sympathy for “slutty women”. *rolls eyes*

    300 bucks for an abortion or several thousand down the road for the child. These dickwads are penny wise and pound foolish in the extreme, and it’s all down to misogyny.

    That’s right, conservative readers of this blog! Misogyny distorts economic incentives! Stick that in your pipes the next time you need a free-market justification for banning discrimination against women.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Nobody is forcing others to not use birth control.  Liberals are angry
    that they can’t force others to fund their recreatrional sex.  You are a
    liar and a jabroni.

    http://apocalypsereview.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/nathan-fillion-reaction-gif.gif

  • Turcano

     Rush, please go.

  • Lunch Meat

    Liberals are angry that they can’t force others to fund their recreatrional sex.

    Can you tell me how to do recreatrional sex? We’re trying to spice up our lovemaking and it sounds pretty fun! Thanks!

  • Tapetum

     Could you please explain to me how preventing my death from catastrophic bleeding (which is very nearly what happened the last time I got pregnant) doesn’t count as necessary medical care?

    Or why I should have to disclose that little tidbit of my medical history to anyone except my actual doctor, whose job it is to prevent it from happening again?

  • The_L1985

     OK.  Let’s play a little game.  You are a woman earning $1500/month (that’s only 18k/year, and YES, there are full-time workers earning that little).  You are not sexually active.

    You have endometriosis.  That $10 you have left at the end of the month, after cutting all sorts of corners just to keep yourself fed?  Has to go to birth control pills, and it’ll have to be the generic kind you can actually get for $10/month.

    But there’s a problem.  See, different brands of BCPs have slightly different formulas (like how Coke and Pepsi are slightly different).  For some women, this doesn’t matter.  But you’re one of the women who has horrible side-effects from generic BCPs.  In order to be able to work and continue earning that $1500/month, you have to spend $90/month on a particular brand of BCP.  No, wait.  Months generally have 30 days.  You’re spending $90 every four weeks, which actually means MORE money spent per year.

    Now, tell me.  How is forcing poor people with horrible reproductive health issues to pay through the nose for the pills they need to control their condition, anything other than “forcing others to not use birth control?”

    Because my PMDD and I would very much like to know.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Well, obviously, you go to your employer, and explain your situation, and ask for him, as a big strong righteous man to deign to grant you an exemption because he personally has judged your medical need to be legitimate. And he listens to your story and listens to you disclose private health information, and he… Declares that there’s no such thing as endometriosis and you’re obviously just a slut trying to pull a fast one and denies you.

  • friendly reader

    Various thoughts reading through all of this:

    First of all, wow, it’s amazing to discover we’re at 360+ comments arguing with one person.

    Second,

    “”Sin, he reflected, is not what it is usually thought to be; it is not
    to steal and tell lies. Sin is for one man to walk brutally over the
    life of another and to be quite oblivious to the wounds he has left
    behind.” – Shusaku Endo, Silence

    Third, even in the Catholic hierarchy not everyone agrees on the issues of birth control. My Catholic cousin quipped that the ban on birth control is approved by 100% of the popes, 80% of the Cardinals, 60% of the bishops, 40% of the priests, and (at most) 20% of the parishioners. The problem is that there isn’t enough of a voice for those at the bottom, and as that gap widens, the Catholic church is going to see more people leaving.

    Also, I’m pretty effing sure that gap is even bigger in approval on their handling of molestation cases.

    Fourth, I’m a serious religious libertarian. No, really, I genuinely believe in expansive levels of religious freedom. I don’t think the Mormons should have had to abandon polygamy. I don’t think Native American groups who use peyote should be stopped from doing that. In terms of practice, I draw the line at “things that can hurt minors.” I hate the so-called anti-cult movement, which endorsed kidnapping and encouraged a narrative that has allowed groups like Falun Gong to be lumped in with Aum Shinrikyo, just by smacking a label on them.

    And even I don’t think the Catholics have a leg to stand on here.

    Yes, you’ll be asked to pay a fine for not providing full health care coverage. But there comes a point where you have to choose between rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s rather than rendering it and writing it off as a tax exemption (to paraphrase Stephen L. Carter). You have to decide, is commitment to this belief more important than parting with some money? If the answer is no, then either (1) it wasn’t a particularly essential  to your religion, or (2) you care about money more than your religion and that is sad, sad, sad (unless you worship Ayn Rand, in which case…).

    And I’m not saying that Catholic-affiliated providers will be renouncing an anti-birth control belief, but rather a belief (which, by evidence, seems to have emerged rather recently) that they should not do anything that could even remotely be attached to someone acquiring birth control for any reason whatsoever.

    This complaint is, after all, assuming that anyone with a plan that covers birth control will use it. As I’m not currently sexually active, I wouldn’t; most lesbians wouldn’t; women past menopause likely wouldn’t. In fact, people in those categories would only use it for (drumroll please!) medical safety, with the side effect of preventing pregnancy. In which case, is it really “birth control”? Or is it cyst prevention/hormone stabilization/anemia prevention, etc. and all the other things these pills can do?

    Lastly, everything I read about the Catholic hierarchy and its issues just makes me more thankful to be Lutheran.

  • friendly reader

     (Noted looking at those exceptions that I forgot “or cause harm to involuntary participants in a ritual” after “cause harm to a minor.” I.e. adults snake handling is okay so long as everyone knows the risks involves, human sacrifice not so much. I suppose if someone was really gung-ho about being sacrificed, I might go along with it, but since there currently are no religions that fall into that category, it is at best an intellectual thought puzzle. When a scenario actually appears, I’ll give it more consideration.)

  • Tricksterson

    That would depend on whether you think someone has a right to commit suicide.  I do.

  • Carstonio

     

    I don’t think the Mormons should have had to abandon polygamy… In terms of practice, I draw the line at “things that can hurt
    minors.”

    I would agree that there’s nothing objectionable about consensual adult polyamory. With polygamy specifically, it seems that just about every society that has had it as a cultural norm turns it into a form of slavery, where adult men accumulate very young wives as accoutrements of their power, or where girls are bartered among families to settle disputes. That seems to describe the fundamentalist Mormons who still practice polygamy, the Warren Jeffs types.

    The argument on behalf of the Catholic employers seems to be a purity one. Or else a gross miscalculation of the power of employers over employees’ private lives, wrongly treating birth control as nothing but a temptation.

  • Tricksterson

    That’s why I go back ond forth on the idea of polygamy.  On the one hand, in pricipal, I have not problem with a man having two o more wives.  Or a woman having two or more husbands.  Or  group marriage with, for instance two women and three men (oor whatever arrangement they can come to a mutual agreement on)  The problem in prcatic is that in traditional polygamy the man has all the rights.  If polymarriage was too made legal boundaries and rights for everyone concerned would have to be strongly defined.  Since I’ve had friends in one man-two women, one woman-two men and two men-twowomen (which one of the men dropped out of) relationships  I’d really like to see this happen.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    So, I completely appreciate your discomfort with modern polygamy based on historical polygamous arrangements treating women at best as subordinate and inferior partners, and at worst as chattel.

    Similarly, a lot of people are uncomfortable with, or altogether reject, marriage on the grounds that a similar historical background has tainted the institution irreparably, and I appreciate their discomfort as well.

    And yet, culturally we seem to be able to continue the tradition of monogamous marriage while at the same time embracing a changing view of women’s rights within marriage. Which has been a far-too-slow, frequently painful, frequently abusive process that has nevertheless led to a significantly different understanding of the nature of marriage than what prevailed two or three generations ago.

    So I guess it’s worth drawing a distinction between the belief that polygamy is historically abusive to women (which it is, much as monogamy is), and the belief that polygamy is intrinsically abusive to women in a way that monogamy isn’t.

  • Tricksterson

    Good point.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Hey, if it’s religiously motivated, it’s okay, right? Pat Robertson advises man to move to saudi arabia so he can beat his wife

    Televangelist Pat Robertson, who campaigned with Mitt Romney this past weekend in Virginia, advised a viewer of his show today to move to Saudi Arabia in order to be able to beat his wife.
    Robertson’s tone indicates he’s joking — “Well, you could become a Muslim and you could beat her,” he said, adding that the man “can’t divorce her according to the Scripture, so I say: move to Saudi Arabia.” The response came as part of the 700 Club’s “Bring it On” segment, where viewers can send in questions for Robertson to answer.
    Robertson refers to the woman in question as a “rebellious child,” and says, “This man’s got to stand up to her and he can’t let her get away with this stuff.”
    “I don’t think we condone wife-beating these days but something has got to be done.”

  • Carstonio

    Another reason why the conscience argument is bogus:

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-rodricks-0911-20120910,0,5727994.column

    you hear a lot of weird stuff when you get into the arguments against
    same-sex marriage, and I thought I had heard everything until (Maryland Del. Neil) Parrott took up for “wedding DJs.”

    I am pretty sure this is what he said: People who provide music for wedding receptions might be sued by gay couples if they refuse their business. “They may or may not be comfortable in that environment,” Parrott said of wedding DJs, “and yet they are going to be able to be successfully sued if they are doing wedding DJing.”

    As I said, there isn’t much logic here.

    In fact, upon reflection, I’ll bet my velvet cummerbund that most wedding DJs are supporting the Maryland same-sex marriage law. It will be good for business.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    A story about Jeremiah Goulka, former Republican.

  • Roolword

    A lot of you guys are saying pretty good stuff but OP already started off talking about religion and that he came from a very religious background. Now growing up in the “Truth” and then totally being sucked in by “Worldly” things can take a big effect on you. My best friend is going through this and honestly you yourself half to make and live with the situation and decisions you set yourself with. If you feel as if you can distinguish right from wrong then do the right thing. Why would you do otherwise if you kno you shouldnt. Im a fuckin pothead but i got myshit straight. I told me girl stop using birth control cause thats bad for you especially at 30 when u wanna have kids in a couple years

  • EllieMurasaki

    I told me girl stop using birth control cause thats bad for you especially at 30 when u wanna have kids in a couple years

    Fuck that and fuck you. Her reproductive decisions and her health decisions are her decisions and none of your business.

    And for the record, women who go off contraception with the intent of getting pregnant tend to get pregnant very soon thereafter.

  • Weeds

    Exactly cause our decision was the same… Im 23 n this girl was trying to get prego without tellin me.. After a few convos we agreed it was best for her heAlth n relationship with me to stop taking them.

  • Weeds

    Now we just use condoms…. Seriously grow up all of you. When you have faith you have to have unquestionable faith. Dickface man go to school get a job and guess what SAVE MONEY… Because pf my moms colombian jew ass i paid off my school loans and im workin gettin bank stfu go cry to ur elder or priest o and pray yeah


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