Religious Objections?

The news is covering the “controversial” Administration decision to require all health plans to cover contraception.   You can’t turn on a television news show without seeing a bishop thundering about how this a terrible, terrible infringement of religious freedom.   That’s besides the rather cynical race by the Republicans to pander to capitalize on this by attempting to introduce bills rolling this back.    You’d think this was a major new initiative, designed to assault their beliefs.  All you have to do is ignore that 27 states already have this in place, it’s been tested in courts, and some of them have had that requirement for over a decade.    I might have been more sympathetic, if I didn’t know that, and a few other things that have happened in the past decade or so.

Yes, I understand the doctrine that sex is supposed to be for procreation, and contraception is against that.  Really, I get it.  I’d give the bishops and cardinals of the Church an ear for moral standing except that they rather torched that a while back.  You see, if they want to talk about morals and actions, they should have been putting it into practice themselves.   I happen to remember all those scandals – and they’re still ongoing with more coming to light – about priests molesting children and the Church’s active role in covering them up.  Even to the extent of blaming the victims.   The Catholic Church has never really come to grips with this, in fact, there’s been a recent meeting where they’re still resisting some of the suggested actions.

I’d also be more willing to believe them if I didn’t know that their own congregations aren’t listening to them.

Then again, it’s not clear how many people actually are offended. A national survey found that 98 percent of sexually active Catholic women use birth control at some point in their lives. Moreover, a survey by the Public Religion Research Institute reported that even among Catholics, 52 percent back the Obama policy: they believe that religiously affiliated universities and hospitals should be obliged to include birth control coverage in insurance plans.

I can also point to my own observation, although that constitutes anecdotal data.  I’m a boomer.  When I was young, most of the families  I knew had 4 or more children.  The “only child” or just two children families were anomalies.   Look around today, and it’s not unusual, it’s the norm – and it crosses across most religions.  I doubt that people have become less sexually active since the 1950’s, so the explanation has to be elsewhere.

Even though the President “modified” the requirement,  various Republicans are still trying to make political hay out of it.

“It’s not about contraception,” Santorum said. “It’s about economic liberty; it’s about freedom of speech; it’s about freedom of religion. It’s about government control of your lives and it’s got to stop.”

Funny, I don’t see anything in the decision that forces people to accept or practice contraception.  It’s simply a requirement for insurance companies that if an individual decides to use it, it’s covered by them at no charge.  If they decide to not practice contraception, it’s their choice to do so.  Their employer, and the government does not force them to do without it, or pay for it out of their own pocket.  Which is what the Republicans are really saying – that other organizations (just not government) can force people to do things their way with government acquiescence.

The other thing you don’t see in all this?  Insurance companies complaining.  It turns out it’s a significant cost savings for them to offer that as opposed to paying for the costs of unintended pregnancies.   I also haven’t noticed any of the religious organizations saying they’re willing to pony up the estimated 10 to 15 percent extra a plan that doesn’t cover contraception would cost.  I guess their “morals” are flexible when it comes to that.



Filed under Politics

17 responses to “Religious Objections?

  1. lockewasright

    This whole discussion is so twisted backwards! Religious liberty is in NOT allowing these bishops to dictate what counts as healthcare for employees else based on what the bishops’ imaginary friend thinks is the sole purpose of sex. Nobody is demanding that they obtain and use contraception, only that their employees not be penalized for working for believers. The president’s view is on the side of religious liberty. The bishops’ view is in opposition to it, NOT the other way around.

    • lockewasright

      That should be “employees or anyone else”, as in patients insured through the employee.

    • What was pointed out by the a lot of the NY press when they were covering that was that this was exactly the same thing that NY had gone through when it passed a state requirement along the same lines. The church lost then, and no one has noted any “decrease in religious freedom” since then in the state. 🙄

  2. overseasgranny

    I happened to catch a bit of Hannity’s show the other night wherein he had a pile of priests and ministers and even a Rabbi. The vileness of these men of god was frightening. It nauseated me. It repelled me. They hate so easily and so very well and appear quite practiced at it. I had to turn it off and now I think I have PTSD from it.

    • I found it amusing that their own parishioners don’t agree with them. As I said, they’d have more moral force if they hadn’t been busily covering up, excusing, and avoiding any action regarding their own scandals. In my moral universe, someone deciding not to get pregnant (or get someone pregnant) is not a “sin,” while molesting a child is a huge one. There’s that saying in the Bible about pointing out the mote in someone’s eye while ignoring the log in your own…

    • Granny, these are NOT men of any god but they are truly tools of evil. It was well you turned them off. My heart to yours with &heats;

  3. Morgan Sheridan

    Not only are the Catholic Bishops failing to get their house in order over the sex abuse of children by clergy, now they’re going after SNAP >

  4. Mi Hijo, I knew you would wade in with facts and sanity. I got smacked around on another blog when I shared that my own Latina Catholic Mama told my Dad: “Get a girlfriend or get some condoms” after baby #9 was born. This was well before the pill & I know my parents practiced “safe sex’ from that time on. Papi really loved Mama so he made sure he always had some condoms on hand. My sneaky brothers sometimes “borrowed” one.

    All this BS is the proverbial tempest in a teapotty. It has nothing to do with religious beliefs but everything to do with power and control. The Extremists want a Theocracy and the “Haves” want Everything. Both are willing to dive into bed with each other for a sexual orgy.

    • Personally, I think that’s funny, and I can’t see why you would get smacked around for that. Some people. 🙄

      While I think some of today’s smaller families tend to spoil their children more than is good for them, at the same time, I’m very realistic about the difference between “wanted” and “unwanted.”

      • Well, kiddo I do believe that we children were all wanted & loved very much but like my Mama said: “Enough!” She stood with that and did not give one peso for priests. She said once: “Bah! What do the priests know of love and passion!” She never considered herself any less Catholic for taking charge of her own reproduction.

        Women have always and ever been the ultimate pragmatists.

        • While that was true in my family, and some others I knew, I also knew it was not all families. I also knew a few families growing up where not only did they have a large family, their parents could have cared less about them. 😥 My best friend in high school was an only child, but not a “welcome child.” The result was that he spent a lot more time with us than with his own parents. So much so, that some people used to ask “was he adopted?” My sisters mostly regarded him as another brother, although my youngest sister used to get exasperated when she started dating. As she said “You were bad enough, but he’d pick up where you left off! I lost more boyfriends to you two!’ 😆

          • Well, we weren’t always successful. One sister’s first husband was an unprintable that we couldn’t drive off, and much to our fury, she married him. He dumped her a few years later. Several years later, she found her current husband, who is a terrific guy. But a few months after the wedding, he pulled aside one of my other brothers-in-law and asked him “Just how bad was her first husband?” When the other brother-in-law asked why, he said “At the reception, everyone in her family was coming up and saying, congratulations, we’re happy for the two of you, and wish you all the best. Oh, and by the way, if you ever do anything to her like her first husband, we’ll hunt you down and kill you.”

  5. LOL! There’s nothing like a few brothers gathered around the kitchen table cleaning a shot gun when your current BF comes to pick you up for a date! I had five older brothers so I am in sympathy with your little Sis.

    Hubby told me that when things started to look serious between us, each of my brothers and my Dad took him aside for a little “chat.”

  6. Norbrook, all joking aside, I’ve been thinking really hard about this issue and here is a excerpt I wrote in comment on another blog:

    >I am fully tolerant of all religious belief and practice as long as they stay out of our politics and especially out of women’s bodies. This whole tempest in a corrupt teapot has brought home to me why we need to start taxing all these religious institutions and their assets. They have had a free ride for much too long. WE ARE NOT A THEOCRACY!

    America was founded on the principle of separation of church and state. Our forefathers knew just how pernicious and evil the mix of religion and politics could damage and corrupt a nation. This is why they said while all religions could be free to practice their beliefs, the new formed United States would have no religious government.

    All the people who bleat constantly about our Constitution and our founders seem to forget this and they all think they have the “last word of their deities” on this issue. I have total contempt for these people. This is not about morality, ethics or spirituality but power and control. I say we make them PAY TO PLAY. They want to medal in all our lives and politics, then pay their taxes and register as lobbies right out in the open. >

    I am thinking that we really need to go after all these churches hard on this issue. First, because it would give them something new to really worry about (money talks and bull caca runs away!) and second because the religious extremists have become so openly involved in our politics that we need them to put up or shut up! They have way too much ‘free money’ that they are using to hurt this country and all of us.

    Your thoughts would be so appreciated and sorry for such a long post.

    • I’m not all that sure about taxing them, since I think it’d open up a constitutional can of worms. That said, I’m quite in favor of pointing out that they’re treading on thin grounds when it comes to political advocacy in this manner, and the Republicans in Congress are also on very shaky constitutional grounds with some of their proposals.

      What I find … interesting … is that the Catholic Church and many of the right-wing evangelicals have been doing a reductio ad absurdum when it comes to birth control or abortion. That is, they’ve extended the definitions to the point of the ridiculous, which is why even in their own congregations, many aren’t following their “precepts.” At one time, the church’s definition of the beginning of ‘life” was “quickening” – that is, when the mother felt the fetus moving/kicking. They’ve now set it at the moment of conception which any reproductive biologist would tell you is patently ridiculous. What their definition does is make every woman a “murderer” (another absurd reduction).

      • I will defer to you on matters of Constitutional law but what I am seeing is these religious institutions using massive tax free $$$ to subvert the real intent of our Constitution & further their own ends toward Dominionism in our country. It makes me really angry and there has to be a way to stop them. I refuse to spend the last years of my life living in a theocracy of the US Taliban & their corporate masters.

        I volunteer for OFA and I do my level best to inform, empower and get butts to the polls to vote in their best interests and not for some BS they got from MSM or lying corrupt GOP and their Evangelical minions. Some days it just seems like all the decks are being stacked against us. Dang! I do get pissed and I am never one to
        just give up.