Tag Archives: Catholic church

It’s Now A War on Contraception


In the aftermath of the stunning reaction of extremist Catholic Bishops (you know…the guys who’ve taken an oath of celibacy) to President Obama’s recent rules regarding contraception, nothing rings more true than the fact that the Class Warfare initiated by the Republican Party and it’s increasingly effective off-shoot, the Tea Party, have a strong and hate-filled contingent of those waging not only a War on the Poor and Middle Class, but a War on Women.

First there was the fiasco that nearly (and may still) bring the once-honorable Susan G. Komen Foundation to it’s knees in submission thanks to a political agenda set forth by Republican and staunch opponent of Planned Parenthood, Karen Handel, who weaseled her way into the hierarchy of that group. What came out of the bloody fray was a once proud Foundation whose name will from now on connote the seedy side of political posturing and influence.

Next was the recent contraception policy set forth by the Administration that precipitated a manufactured outrage from the religious right, Constitutionalists, and the Catholic Church in particular.

Failing to realize the issue had less to do with a constitutional freedom of religion issue and more to do with the right of the individual, regardless of employer or religion, to seek contraception in pursuit of their own health, financial status, and well-being, the religious right used the issue to return to their heyday of the 1980’s, that of the so-called Moral Majority – of which they are neither.

The issue should have been a non-sequitur following the President’s compromise making the issue one between the patient and the patient’s insurer, which it always should have been. With support from the Catholic Health Organization, who’s Director, Sister Carol Keehan stated the resolution “protects the religious liberty and conscience rights of Catholic institutions”,  while the Catholic United issued a statement of support stating that President Obama “has shown [them] that he is willing to rise above the partisan fray to deliver an actual policy solution that both meets the health care needs of all employees and respects the religious liberty of Catholic Institutions”.

Other groups and institutions praising the President’s compromise include:

Catholic Charities: “Catholic Charities USA welcomes the Administration’s attempt to meet the concerns of the religious community and we look forward to reviewing the final language. We are hopeful that this is a step in the right direction and are committed to continuing our work to ensure that our religious institutions will continue to be granted the freedom to remain faithful to our beliefs, while also being committed to providing access to quality healthcare for our 70,000 employees and their families across the country.”

Rev. John Jenkins, President of the University of Notre Dame” “We applaud the willingness of the administration to work with religious organizations to find a solution acceptable to all parties.”

Broad Coalition of Faith Community Leaders: “Today the Obama administration announced an important regulation that will protect the conscience rights of religious organizations and ensure that all women have access to contraception without a co-payment. We applaud the White House for listening carefully to the concerns raised by religious leaders on an issue that has provoked heated and often misinformed debate. This ruling is a major victory for religious liberty and women’s health. President Obama has demonstrated that these core values do not have to be in conflict.”

That should have brought an end to the consternation. But no! The Catholic Bishops (you know – those guys who’ve taken an oath of celibacy) still aren’t happy!

President Obama’s effort to accommodate the Catholic Church by altering his administration’s rule on birth control coverage has not appeased the church, congressional Republicans or GOP candidates trying to take his job next year.

Their continued anger over a requirement that nearly all employers offer free insurance coverage for contraception — even with changes Obama announced Friday (Feb. 10) for faith-based institutions that object on religious grounds — guarantees that the issue will percolate throughout the presidential election season.

Nor are the politicians who, on any other day, oppose telling others what to do:

Republican leaders in Congress stuck by their plans to overturn the requirement with legislation. The issue “will not go away until the administration backs down,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on CBS’ ”Face the Nation.”

Three of Obama’s potential opponents in November — Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich — thundered against funding birth control under Medicaid or through employer subsidies, calling it a radical overreach by government.

Where will this go? Who will win The War on Contraception? We now have politicians introducing “Personhood” legislation at both the State and National level. We have one State Senator introducing a bill granting “Personhood” not only to embryos, but to sperm!

“However, any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman’s vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child.”

Will the misogynistic actions of the religious right devolve even further into banning not only contraceptives, but condoms?

Will we be arresting men who masturbate into socks and charge them with murder? 

Let’s hope not. But – considering the insanity we’re seeing today – could it happen?

Another question: What if this craziness actually does result in the banning of contraceptives and condoms? Who will be charged with raising the millions of unwanted children born to mothers who don’t want them?

Catholic Charities?

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Pray for Obama: Psalm 109:8


It’s showing up on bumper stickers, t-shirts, coffee mugs, and even teddy bears.

For those unfamiliar with biblical passages, it seems pretty inocuous, doesn’t it? How nice! Let’s pray for the President! 

“Psalm 109 8 prayer for Obama”

The words of this particular psalm are far more telling:

“May his days be few, may another take over his position.”

 

“May his children be orphans and his wife a widow”

 

“Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.”

 

Courtesy ThinkProgress

I find it particularly distressing that evangelical right wing conservative leaders of our churches in this country are taking a political stance on political issues, regardless of the current interpretations of Separation of Church and State. It’s one thing to preach civil disobedience, it’s an entirely different thing to preach breaking the law.

From Diane Butler Bass at BeliefNet:

It is the personal prayer of an individual, someone who has been dealt an injustice by another–and usually more powerful–person. The words of Psalm 109 are those of deep agony, the longings of a victim for retribution and justice. This psalm is considered one of the most difficult of all the psalms–full of violent images of vengeance and death.

From Rabbi Brad Hirschfield via The Washington Monthly:

Any time the citizens of a state, particularly a democracy, invoke their faith to pray for the demise of those they oppose politically, we should be concerned.

All this is especially upsetting in light of the last weeks’ events at Fort Hood. Exactly how long is it going to take us to figure out the danger of linking faith claims and violent fantasies?

Amen!

We’ve discussed on here the implications of the tragic massacre at Ft. Hood a few weeks ago. What I find ironic now is that these are the same right wing conservative christian nutcases who are screaming “TERRORIST!” and “TRAITOR!” over the same sentiments voiced by Major Nidal Hasan…

“Allahu Akbar”