Lies, Cynicism and the Spin Cycle – UPDATED

The intellectual dishonesty of the hysterical and adolescent tract below is staggering. It is a full-page ad in the NY Times.

In a transparent (and largely successful) bid to keep the electorate distracted and the conversation off his numerous dubious policies and practices, January’s cynical move by the Obama Administration, helped along by an equally cynical and mostly-surrendered press, has delivered two profound lies — the first is that the HHS mandate battle being waged by the churches is “about birth control”, not about a perversion of the first amendment; the second: that what is being threatened here is contraception (!) and not the right of a church to be who it is and to define its mission.

Or, for that matter, the right of a small business owner to do choose whether or not to offer health insurance at all, what it can afford, and what its insurance policy might cover.

This is what constant spinning does — it flings you into a state of disorientation, where things no longer look like what they are.

My favorite part is this: “a church that has repeatedly engaged in a crusade to ban contraception, abortion and sterilization…”. In fact, the church is not trying to “ban” contraception or sterilization, but at least the writer acknowledges that abortifacients are part of what the HHS Mandate wants covered.

I wonder if the Skinner-box-trained authors of this thing, so capable of spitting out the evidences of their own indoctrinations, would be able to accurately relate, on any level, why the church teaches as it does, or to articulate how and why the constitution gives a church the right to its teachings and to its conscience. Silly me, they (and similarly incurious bigots) don’t really care why a thing is taught. They have no curiosity for anything that does not promise more pellets. I wonder if they even understand the concept of “freedom of religion” the exercise thereof.

The most depressing thing about it all, for me, has been the realization that so many women are exactly as stupid, incurious, easily-led and addicted to victim-narratives as the administration and press calculated them to be. Cynicism, validated.



Ann Althouse — Obama voter, not a Catholic, asks an interesting question

UPDATE:
Frank Weathers looks to Martin Luther King.

Meanwhile, Sr. Mary Ann Walsh notes:

The Amish are exempt from the entire health care reform law. So are members of Medi-Share, a program of Christian Care Ministry. Yet, when the Catholic Church asks for a religious exemption from just one regulation issued under the law – the mandate that all employers, including religious institutions, must pay for sterilization and contraceptives, including abortion-inducing drugs – the Administration balks.

They’re doing more than balking, they’re trying to win an election based on their lies. But, as Dr. King said, “a lie doesn’t last…” And it’s a stinking thing to build anything upon.

Kathryn Jean Lopez: Miserable Women

Dr. Gerard Nadler: If Bishops Fight Last War, They Lose

“I’ll choose my faith over the mandate if it means my life”

Would the Times publish a similar ad about Islam?

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • John

    Manny, I’m not sure our detractors intend for the liberal and nominal Catholics to leave the church. I think it is their aim to appoint those armchair theologians as the new “keepers” of Catholic orthodoxy. Which is to say, not much would be “kept” except the brand name — which would undoubtedly be used in appalling ways.

    In other words, they’re hoping to orchestrate an inside job as a counterpart to their external attack. They’d like to see the Catholic church so-opted in the same way they co-opted higher education. They’ve already made substantial inroads.

  • c matt

    In parishes or any other organization where Catholics primarily employ and serve other Catholics, they’re exempt from the mandate, just as are the Amish.

    Then, when the Catholic organizations do this, they will be sued for discrimination in hiring practices and providing services. So they will need a double exemption, one from the mandate, and another from the anti-discrimination laws.

    As for accepting medicare/medicaid, recall that we are taxed for this, so it is not the “government’s” but ours, and the gov only acts as trustee (one that would be found grossly, if not criminally negligent for its handling of such funds if it were a private entity). Medicare/medicaid also pay out at very low rates to the healthcare providers. Private pay and private insurance generally pay more. So the religious institutions are doing the government a service by accepting medicare/medicaid (much like we are required to accept federal reserve notes as a medium for exchange even though they are essentially worthless, and no one in their right mind would accept them if not forced to do so). In addition, there are laws such as EMTALA that FORCE institutions to accept and screen certain patients and makes it illegal to turn a patient away. Again, the government is forcing the hospital to treat the patient, so how could it fit within the HHS exemption without violating another statute? There is just so much wrong with the whole Obamacare approach that it is hard to know where to start, and this current mandate makes a bad system even worse.

  • http://jscafenette.com Manny

    @Tim – I didn’t say to hate Kenneth, but OK if you think his arguments require address. No matter what one says to him, he never seems to extend a charitable hand.

    @John
    “Manny, I’m not sure our detractors intend for the liberal and nominal Catholics to leave the church. I think it is their aim to appoint those armchair theologians as the new “keepers” of Catholic orthodoxy. Which is to say, not much would be “kept” except the brand name — which would undoubtedly be used in appalling ways.”

    Yes, but there are multiple detractors. Some of which are pushing atheism. You’re right, those in the administration are looking to control religion in support of their world view and political purposes. But there are other detractors that are looking to prosletize their atheism, as that advertisement makes clear.

  • kenneth

    I certainly have no agenda to persuade liberal or nominal Catholics or anyone else to leave the Church. I made the decision to do so myself, but I won’t presume to instruct anyone else’s conscience. I do think the Church ought to man up and provide a real process by which people can formally quit, and I think most conservative Catholics would agree with the underlying reasons.
    As I’ve said, I don’t have very strong feelings on the mandate itself and while I think it’s legitimate, I’m happy to let the courts earn their keep and decide whether its really constitutional. I am a secularist and a big big believer in separation of church and state.
    I defend my own right and the right of others not to be forced to live as Catholic, or Muslim, or Hassidic or anything else, or to live under a government which acts as the semi-official enforcement agency for any of these doctrines. I believe that freedom of religion is a broad right, but not an absolute one, and I believe our country’s traditions and long record of case law supports that concept. I don’t believe this mandate debate is solely about religious freedom and I reject on plain evidence the assertion that it has nothing to do with contraception access.
    That’s the basic outline of my “agenda” where this is concerned. I only argue points of Catholic belief to the extent that they translate into public policy which affects the climate in which I have to live. Beyond that, I truly don’t care what you believe or how you practice it. I don’t care if you ordain women or not, or administer Communion to lesbians or elect this or that pope or follow Liturgy Translation 2.0 or whatever.

  • kevin

    “Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community – however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things – whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds.”

    - – Pius XI

  • liz

    so who is forcing who’s agenda on whom. Last I checked it was the administrations MANDATING their secular beliefs on us. We don’t contraception mandated, we want to CHOOSE if we want to cover it, period. My company CHOOSES not to offer dental insurance and that’s okay, I CHOSE to work there. So much for choice if its not a CHOICE, ITS MANDATED. And stop this nonsense that contraceptions is healthcare, it is not, being fertile is NATURAL, not a desease to prevent. If they really cared about healthcare, they would help out with the NATURAL process of pregnancy and cover more of that, if need be, but then again, the insurance can choose to do that if they want to, just saying as to point out where the HHS agenda really is. And about the courts, unfortunately I don’t trust them, since the 60′s there’s been case after case of legislating from the bench not willing to uphold the constitution.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Oh, Kenneth, please.

    At least, be honest.

    You don’t care what we believe—uh-huh, yah, right.

    That’s why you show up to scold us so often. Because you don’t care.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Yes, Liz, this whole controversy isn’t about health care. It’s about making us dependent on teh government for everything. So much for choice; from now on, we will have to answer to the government for all health care, including birth control. (I thought we were supposed to get government out of the bedroom?)

    Speaking of actual health care—what’s going to happen to research about actual diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and heart problems, and what are we going to do about the old, the handicapped, the mentally retarded, if we have to direct all this healthcare money and effort into making sure college co-eds have endless supplies of birth control?

    In the words of the old song, “Something’s gotta give!”

  • Peggy

    Liz, I also have never had a health benefits plan that included dental care coverage, ditto for vision care (those had to be purchased separately of one wanted them). I think there is a better argument for mandating vision care than for contraception, abortifacients and sterilization. I absolutely require prescriptive glasses or contacts to function. many people do. I would love to also have prescription sunglasses, but don’t really need them. how nice to have them gratis, through insurance!

    I think prescription sunglasses are comparable to contraception, abortifacients and sterilization—optional, a lifestyle choice, something I could probably afford (might have to save up), a half-way solution is readily available (non-prescription, cheap sunglasses worn with or without contacts, can be purchased at Safeway—the condom of vision care, eh?). a big difference between sunglasses and contraception, though, is that sunglasses pose no moral hazards to anyone. Sunglasses (or any prescription lenses) are not offensive to anyone.

  • Tim

    @Manny: I didn’t mean to imply that you advocated malice or ill will. I had a broad definition of “enemies” in mind which includes merely those who we disagree with.

  • John

    Let’s take a moment to remind our secularist friends that “separation of church and state” is a vulgar translation of some duly ratified language that very specifically restricts government power, not church power. In short, government may not establish a religion. Not even a secular one.

    The establishment clause exists to protect religions themselves from the meddling of power-hungry politicians. To turn it on its head and make it a tool of repression is shameful and lawless.

  • Brian English

    “I don’t believe this mandate debate is solely about religious freedom and I reject on plain evidence the assertion that it has nothing to do with contraception access.”

    Where is this evidence you keep talking about? Show me the letter where the bishops are calling for the exclusion of contraceptive coverage from ALL insurance policies purchased by ALL employers. Show me the letter where the bishops are demanding that laws be passed to prohibit pharmacies from dispensing birth control. Show me the letter where the bishops are demanding that laws be passed that prohibit places like Target and Wal-Mart from dispensing birth control pills. Show me the letter where the bishops are demanding that laws be passed that prohibit the provision of free condoms on just about every other block in a city like New York.

  • http://jscafenette.com Manny

    @Rhinestone
    “Oh, Kenneth, please.

    At least, be honest.

    You don’t care what we believe—uh-huh, yah, right.

    That’s why you show up to scold us so often. Because you don’t care.”

    LOL! That’s exactly what I was thinking!

    @Kenneth
    I’m glad you do come here. You certainly add to the discussion. Just be a little charitable to the Church once in a while, just so we can tell you’re not out for her destruction.

  • kenneth

    The evidence is this, and while it doesn’t pertain directly to the bishops, it does give a clear indication of the intention of a the pro-life movement. The personhood amendment initiatives at the state level would clearly outlaw birth control pills. Those measures have been attempted at least three times in recent years. Twice in Colorado, once in Mississippi. There are plans to put them on the ballot in half a dozen other states. So far, the bishops have withheld their formal endorsement. Not because they oppose the content of the ballot measures, but because they want to work on a nationwide vs state by state basis.
    Going back a few years in time, the Church also has a very clear track record of banning or highly restricting contraception. They fought tooth and nail to keep contraception illegal in certain states in the years just before Griswold V. Conneticut struck down such laws. In Ireland, they successfully banned birth control well into present times. Their theology certainly has not changed since then. They may be politically saavy enough to not waste their political capital on a very unpopular crusade right now, but their intentions are crystal clear.
    If that case is too old or obscure for your taste, I’ll give you a more recent one. In the final years of the Bush administration, Plan B, “emergency contraception” was blocked at the FDA from being approved for over the counter sales for several years. This was done entirely for political reasons, not scientific ones, and that fact has been established by depositions of FDA officials under oath. That approval was blocked by top level FDA people even before the ground level reviewers even had a chance to weigh the scientific merits. The reason was made clear. They needed a political gift to appease the evangelicals and conservative Catholics.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Kenneth, what is your evidence that this was done entirely for political reasons? Any new drug usually needs a long time to be cleared by the FDA, and many medications—not just contraceptive ones—have severe side-effects, that sometimes cause them to be dropped, or not approved in the first place.

    As for the rest. . . these are all pretty vague accusations, and there’s nothing here but your own assertions, to back them up.

    And, again, this controvery is about religious freedom, not contraception. It’s also about the right of employers, and all of us, not to be forced to buy, or supply, a product that the government demands that it buy/supply—insurance, in this case.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Putting it another way, why is a Catholic university supposed to pay for a 30 year old “Student’s” birth control? Why should any university, religious or secular? In fact, why is anybody—other than this woman herself—supposed to arrange thisr? Why can’t she pay for birth control out of her own pocket, or pay premiums on some freely chosen insurance policy that does cover contraception? Why go, hat-in-hand, begging to the church, the taxpayer, anybody, to fund this for her? Since when did birth control become a right that the rest of us are supposed to shell out for? And isn’t insurance supposed to cover the catastrophic stuff, such as, you know—real diseases? Since when is fertility an illness?

    I know, I know. . the Left is looking forward to what it thinks will be the glorious, happy orgy, once birth control is free for everyone.

    But it’s not gonna work that way.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    One reason it’s not gonna work that way is that, with so many businesses going out of business during the economic meltdown, there are going to be fewer and fewer employors able to afford Obamacare, let alone full-coverage, limousine quality birth control (along with whatever else the government has decided is a “human right” at the moment).

    Said employers will probably close up shop, and join the growing ranks of the unemployed. The Left might want cradle-to-grave, full coverage of everything, insurance for everything, and full power over your health, but the fact is, the nation might not be able to afford it, especially in the face of our multi-trillian debt. . .

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Please remember—our military is having their benefits cut, right at the same there’s this whining about contraception being a “human right.”

  • Mark

    Ever notice that Kenneth topic always turns to how the Catholic Church is wrong and only he seems to see it? Kenneth has left the Church, but can’t seem to stop himself from trying to find Catholic Blogs to come to attack it.

    We get the point Kenneth. No matter the topic, you try to decide what side a Catholic would take and go the opposite way to give you a forum for you spew against the Catholic Church.

    Next topic?

  • Mark

    I was given this info today at Mass in regard to the argument that this is all about birth control

    http://www.lifenews.com/2012/03/12/obama-admin-finalizes-rules-1-abortions-in-obamacare/

    Obama Admin Finalizes Rules: $1 Abortions in ObamaCare

    Now this to me looks like it proves the Bishops point. If Obama is allowed to do whatever he desires to our religious liberty, what prevents him from adding surgical abortion next (done) or later coming out and saying Grandma is too old and too costly so euthanasia is to be added to the insurance policies of everyone without exception. Or how about those born with major health problems. We already know he supported the killing of babies that managed to survive the first attempt.

    However, I also think we need to come up with some ways to talk as Catholics so that we can begin to unite around Catholic teaching and grow in power to really have a solid influence that the politicians have to listen to. they would prefer to keep us divided. I think this attack has given man Catholics a reason to begin to think through where they have their importance. Are they Catholic who uses the full teaching of the church to inform their vote or at they party first and allow that to guide their faith.

  • Brian English

    “The evidence is this, and while it doesn’t pertain directly to the bishops, it does give a clear indication of the intention of a the pro-life movement.”

    In other words, you have no evidence regarding the bishops alleged desire to pass a national law banning contraceptives.

    “So far, the bishops have withheld their formal endorsement. Not because they oppose the content of the ballot measures, but because they want to work on a nationwide vs state by state basis.”

    And you know this how?

    “They fought tooth and nail to keep contraception illegal in certain states in the years just before Griswold V. Conneticut struck down such laws.”

    Griswold was decided in 1965. And Griswold and subsequent cases should remove the fear of contraceptives being banned from all but the most paranoid minds.

    “In Ireland, they successfully banned birth control well into present times.”

    Ireland is not the United States.

    “They may be politically saavy enough to not waste their political capital on a very unpopular crusade right now, but their intentions are crystal clear.”

    In other words, the mandate dispute has nothing to do with the bishops trying to ban contraception.

    “If that case is too old or obscure for your taste, I’ll give you a more recent one.”

    What does this have to do with the contraception mandate?

  • lovemysoldier

    Rhinstone is correct. The military’s EARNED benefits are being cut. It’s important to emphasize earned because Leftists consider it an entitlement identical to Welfare. Not kidding. They say that all the time.

    Socialism through insurance. We are all under attack.

  • dry valleys

    On the specific issue of Motoons, I can’t speak for the New York Times, but most of the atheist and secularist movement were perfectly up for publishing caricatures of Islam and its “prophet”, and have criticised the weakness of those who make a special exception for what is a far more aggressive religion than Christianity. (The broader left-liberal movement was more likely to show misguided “respect” and “sensitivity”).

    It was in that most secular of countries, France, that the most extensive mockery took place, and it was given lengthly treatment in “The God Delusion” which came out a few months after the initial controversy.

    Now, wouldn’t it be better if the church shed a few nominal believers who are only really there out of ancestral loyalty? There are people in pews who are only there because their forefathers were Irish, Italian, Poles, etc. and this makes them “Catholicc” even though they believe barely if at all.

    And it seems to me that in a culture in which it was ok to have no religious faith at all, prominent figures (this certainly does include conservatives) would be openly atheist. Bad, you might say, that there are more “Nones”. But wouldn’t it be leaving a purer chhurch which actually believes in its own teachings and is more coherent? I don’t see how anyone is meant to gain from the casual members of mosst denominations which we all know are there every Sunday. I therefore agree with Kennneth’s observation that it should not be assumed every baptised person is a full-on member of the faithful.

    As for the matter of choice, the choice certainly should exist to do what you like, for example to not recognise gay marriage or provide contraception, but if you try to mobilise your following to make these things illegal, as in the case of the Scottish cardinal Keith O’Brien, then you can expect to meet resistance.

    Suppose, then, there were full-on state provision of health care? (An idea which is of course greeted with howls of outrage in America). That would provide birth control. And likewise, if gay marriage were legal, it could be done in a registry office and no one would try to force a church (or mosque) to condust such a service. You can oppose it but not actually stop others benefiting from it, unless you succeed in changing the laws to exclude any such thing, which hopefully would never happen.

    This is what came to mind reading Liz’s comment, as in fact many people don’t have a meaningful choice of where to work, they either do their present jobs or are unemployed. They can’t rely on what their employer does or doesn’t provide, for example if in a particular programme mental health is an afterthought (very common, I believe).

  • dry valleys

    Suppose that Pelosi, for example, turned round and said “Yes, it’s true, this Catholicism thing isn’t really for me. I don’t believe in your teachings. Therefore I am leaving the church. I am now an atheist”. Would you think more or less of her?

  • Brian English

    “Now this to me looks like it proves the Bishops point. If Obama is allowed to do whatever he desires to our religious liberty, what prevents him from adding surgical abortion next (done)”

    Absolutely nothing.

    “or later coming out and saying Grandma is too old and too costly so euthanasia is to be added to the insurance policies of everyone without exception.”

    Well, it is a scientific fact that dead people require far less medical care than sickly old people, and this Administration is all about “science.”

    “Or how about those born with major health problems. We already know he supported the killing of babies that managed to survive the first attempt.”

    Which explains the post-birth abortion trial balloons we see going up.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    I’d think more of her for being honest, Valleys.

    Right now, I can only condemn her hypocrisy; she doesn’t support the church, but she’s rich and powerful, so no church prelate has the stones to excommunicate her for her open defiance of church teachings—so she gets away with it.

    If she left the church officially (she’s already left it in reality) she’d at least be being honest, with herself and us.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Valleys, I disagree.

    I think that, very soon, after the passage of gay marriage, churches would be forced to perform gay weddings. And, as Brian points out, the wonderful, universal healthcare being forced on us at the moment will soon be used to facilitate abortion, euthanasia and cutting off all assistance to the truly handicapped: the mentally retarded, the autistic, the wheelchair bound. All these “useless eaters” will be pressured to join Grandma, in the euthanasia chamber.

    Because this stuff never stays in the Registry office, or wherevr; sooner or later, the Culture of Death will want us to join in, give it our blessings, and approval—or else.

    And what I think of Pelosi, as an individual, doesn’t really matter. What I don’t like is the fact that the New York Times is running an ad directed at one particular religion, urging people to leave it, and demonizing those who don’t as being women haters, medieval minded and haters of modernity. Supposing there isn’t this mass exodus from the church? What then? Will there be more, and angrier letters, demanding—not just asking—that Catholics stop being Catholics? Will there be calls for these eeeeevil Catholics to be fined, even arrested, if they don’t go along with this lovely new program for “womens health”?

    The slippery slope’s always a lot slipprier than you think it is.

    Kinda like all those defammatory articles about “Da Joooooos!” in pre-Nazi Germany. . .

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    As for people supposedly not having a meaningful choice of where to work—you’ve really got to get away from the socialist mindset that the working man is merely a hapless pawn of the toffs, with no free will, and no enterprise, of his own, dependant on the government to provide for him.

    There’s always a choice. You can always educate yourself for a better job, move someplace more with more job opportunities, start your own business. . . you aren’t bound to one single job for life.

    As I said in an earlier post, forcing employers to provide insurance coverage for whatever the government thinks people need at the moment will probably only succeed in driving more companies out of business. Sooner or later we will have to face the fact of our monstrous debt, and realize we can’t go on giving out endless entitlements and government largesse.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    (Sigh), Yes, Mark, I have noticed this about Kenneth.

    We need to pray for him.

  • savvy

    kenneth,

    There is no movement to outlaw contraception. This is a lie being told. If you really want to go back in time, then until 1930 all Christians opposed artificial contraception, but this is besides the point.

    The church is simply asking, not to be forced to sponsor and subsidize something they do not want too. Simple as that.

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  • Claire

    Excellent post.

  • Golda

    I don’t know about you but, as a woman, I feel the HHS mandate discriminates against woman. By mandating the provision of drugs that halt the female reproductive system, or get rid of it altogether through sterilization, the Obama administration has medicalized womanhood and relegated it to the status of a diseased state. This feels like discrimination to me, and it will play out as discrimination if the mandate is passed. Imagine the increased scrutiny of a mother who brings her child in to the office, or decides to have children and take paid leave, after the passage of this mandate. I don’t think womanhood is abnormal. I think it should be glorified and respected, but this mandate says that being a woman means you are diseased, and may live as a second-class citizen. Aren’t there laws against this?

  • Mary

    One should note that if the liberal Catholics did leave, they would at least be serving the truth. And they would have fewer ways to delude themselves.

    Both of which are causes for hope.

  • CatholicMinnesotan

    I will pay for the Obamacare mandate on all days that end in Q. On days that end in Y, I must, as a Catholic, respectfully cry out “B!S!”(hard as that is to do respectfully) and refuse to pay. There is no known proof that the Catholic definition of life (from conception until death) is wrong, and infact, science actually backs it up. So, why are we forced to pay for murder-causing drugs, objectifying objects, and immorality? We live in a land of free enterprise, where we have rights as a consumer to buy good stuff, and not buy bad stuff. It seems that the current administration would like to see us all in the position where we can only afford the bad, and only they can afford the good. If only they would prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was wrong… (but then they would not be DFL)

  • Peggy

    Golda, when I lived in Saudi Arabia and had to cover myself up in an abaya (like all other women and girls over 12), I used to wonder—did the Saudis despise God’s handiwork? Did they think God goofed when he made woman as He did? Who were they to cover us up, as if we were defective? Better that the men put a thick mesh over their own eyes and thus obscure their vision if they had a problem with our appearance.

    so your observation that some people view normal female functioning as problematic resonates with me. So many of us humans, throughout the world and across cultures, have problems with God’s design for and of women.

  • Harold Westmoreland

    @Kenneth

    …Where to start…where to start :

    “I certainly have no agenda to persuade liberal or nominal Catholics or anyone else to leave the Church. I made the decision to do so myself, but I won’t presume to instruct anyone else’s conscience.”

    -So this is why you come to a Catholic blog to comment? To make us see ‘the error of our ways’ perhaps? Maybe that’s not an “agenda”, but…

    “I do think the Church ought to man up and provide a real process by which people can formally quit, and I think most conservative Catholics would agree with the underlying reasons.”

    – Why would the Church create a “process” for something that it stands against with every fiber of its being? (i.e. leaving the Church)…oh yeah, that’s right…this is the same line of thinking that would have the Church accommodate a “process” that stands against every fiber of its being (i.e. providing birth control, abortifacients, etc…) Now I see the common thread in this way of thinking…

    “As I’ve said, I don’t have very strong feelings on the mandate itself and while I think it’s legitimate, I’m happy to let the courts earn their keep and decide whether its really constitutional. I am a secularist and a big big believer in separation of church and state.”

    –Here we find common ground. I too am a “big big believer in the separation of church and state”…so I’m sure you would agree that the state has NO business trying to force any church to accept any mandate which they find objectionable. ;)

    “I believe that freedom of religion is a broad right, but not an absolute one, and I believe our country’s traditions and long record of case law supports that concept.”

    -Really? not absolute? “Rights” that are not “absolute” are subject to the whims of whoever is enforcing the law…and thus are not “rights” at all. Absolute rights are given by God and therefore cannot be taken away by any government. I think this might be one of our country’s traditions…as outlined in the…ummm, Constitution?

    “I don’t believe this mandate debate is solely about religious freedom and I reject on plain evidence the assertion that it has nothing to do with contraception access.”

    – Hmmm…if you don’t believe that it IS solely about religious freedom, then I would contend that you haven’t really thought it through carefully. I can’t really explain my position on your position any clearer than that…

    “That’s the basic outline of my “agenda” where this is concerned. I only argue points of Catholic belief to the extent that they translate into public policy which affects the climate in which I have to live. Beyond that, I truly don’t care what you believe or how you practice it. I don’t care if you ordain women or not, or administer Communion to lesbians or elect this or that pope or follow Liturgy Translation 2.0 or whatever.”

    –Ok…fair enough…if you are not happy with the “points of Catholic belief to the extent that they translate into public policy which affects the climate in which you have to live”, then if by chance you go to work for a Catholic institution…DON’T expect them to pay for something they find objectionable. It’s really that simple…again, I don’t think you have really thought this whole situation through…but rather I think you might be suffering from the same myopic viewpoint that is one of the hallmarks of modern liberal political philosophy.

  • ahem

    Kenneth is in the pay of the Left.

  • dry valleys

    Kenneth might be in the pay of the left, but I do it for love myself :)

    Of course people can better themselves, but they’re objectively less likely to do so than was the case 50 years ago, given the decline of social mobility, which I attribute to Reagan and Thatcher’s policies. (Others put the blame elsewhere, but whatever its cause it’s a phenomenon that has happened). So there are people who might well have few options other than to work for, say, a large Catholic hospital. Given that low-paid jobs are always going to exist, someone will be doing them, and I no more agree with filling such jobs with immigrants than most commentors here would.

    It seems to me as though it’s the voices of the employees that is less likely to be heard in the disputes between employers and the state. As I say, US healthcare isn’t exactly my field so I won’t talk about it any more, apart to raise this:

    http://heresycorner.blogspot.com/2012/02/obama-and-catholics.html

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    I have to agree, Valleys; I don’t think U.S. healthcare is your field.

    In every city I’ve lived in that had a Catholic hospital, there were also plenty of other job opportunities, as well. I’ve never come across a case where a Catholic institution was the only source of employement in any town or city. (Catholics themselves, here in the U.S., tend to be blue/collar-middle class; despite fevered fantasies about Vatican wealth, they aren’t, in general, rich, and thus are not the ones running the big companies, health conglomerates, corporations, etc.)

    Condoms are sold in grocery stores and drug stores, and you can get them for free from Planned Parenthood. Birth control pills are cheap, and, again, you can get them from any pharmacy, with a doctor’s prescription. Even if your employer doesn’t offer insurance that covers birth control, you won’t be left high and dry, wringing your hands over what to do about your Saturday night date. This is a non-issue.

    And, again, to reiterate: forcing employers to pony up for certain insurance plans in our current economic climate, be they dental, plastic surgery or reporoductive, is going to force a lot of them out of business. Which means they’ll have to lay off their employees. Talk about your limited job opportunities! This will limit them even more.

    And, as the productive sector of society stops working, there won’t be any money to pay for welfare programs anymore. Not to mention the trillion-plus debt we’re already facing.

    Er, you do realize that both Reagan and Thatcher are dead? And that they haven’t held any sort of office for decades? Isn’t it time you stopped blaming them for all our current economic woes? (Especially as Reagan was never in charge in England.) It’slLike the same old broken record, skipping over the same old scratch; “Skriiiithch, Reagan/Thatcher! skrriiiiiiiiitttttchhh, Reagan/Thatcher! Skriiiiitttttttchhhhhhh, Reagan—-” Arrrrgggggghhhhh! Enough, please!

    Whatever’s going wrong at this point is the fault of more contemporary actors—not them. It’s our current house that needs cleaning at the moment. Obsessing over the past (which I know socialists love to do) is useless.


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