Church teaching

Melinda Henneberger is upset.  It turns out Obama decreed that Catholic institutions doing secular work must provide basic health care to their employees, including giving women the option to control what comes out of their own bodies.

She expresses her displeasure in a rant so rank with privilege you could smell it from the moon.

…he’ll have no one to blame but himself, after a recent edict by his Health and Human Service Department effectively denied conscience protections to church-run schools, hospitals and social service agencies, which under his Affordable Care Act must provide free contraception to employees, in violation of church teaching.

And that’s the rub and one of the main reasons I hate religion: it elevates church teaching over basic human decency.

It doesn’t matter if it’s church teaching that gays should be bullied or not receive equal rights; it doesn’t matter if it’s church teaching that you pray for your sick children rather than take them to a hospital; and it doesn’t matter if it’s church teaching that women should have children they don’t want or for which they’re unprepared.  The government needs to be in the business of protecting individuals.  Failure to do so should be what weighs on our conscience, not whether or not something violates church teaching.

Sadly, the protection of the government must frequently come at the expense of church teaching.

Via Camels with Hammers

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • KathyO

    What’s even more depressing is that it looks like Obama may cave on this issue.

  • Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort

    In an additional bit of sadness, Obama’s likely to cave to that religious idiocy…

  • Mark

    Wanting all of the benefits and none of the cost.

    • clsi

      Actually, Mark, I think a little prevention is a lot less costly than covering the pregnancies (not to mention STDs and abortions) that result from failure to use contraceptives.

      • Rieux

        You might be interpreting Mark’s comment correctly, but another possibility is that he’s distressed that the Catholic church and religiously conservative voters like Henneberger “want all of the benefits” of the separation of church and state “and none of the cost.”

        Either way, it’s pretty funny that his comment can be read in the other way.

  • b00ger

    If church teaching is obeyed by all those employees and none of them purchase contraception under the program, the total cost to cover those contraceptives is $0. However, I believe what you will find is that a portion of those “good catholic” people actually want contraceptives. What you see here is that church teaching is not enough to control behavior on its own and they would like special privilege to force obedience to church teaching.

  • peicurmudgeon

    It is just another sad example of discrimination against women, and particularly against poor women. Women with enough money will not be seriously affected by this, as they can afford to purchase contraception. It is the women who have less disposable income who will suffer the most.

  • ash

    This is another reason why moderates are complicit in the awfulness of religion. The stats say something like 90-some odd percent of catholics use contraception. The moderates are the ones in the best position to call the edicts from the Vatican to task. And they don’t

  • Kevin

    If you ask Marge whether Muslims should be allowed to follow Sharia Law in the US, her head would explode.

    But apparently has no qualms at all about every person in the US following Catholic dogma in substitution for US law.