Instead, the USCCB decided that today we should watch a video on the Affordable Health Care Law and it’s requirement that people working at Catholic institutions be allowed to receive benefits which would be termed contraceptive in nature.
Let’s be clear. Catholic institutions, universities and hospitals mainly, employ thousands of people who are neither Catholic, or who are but have chosen to use contraceptive methods in their health regime. It should be noted that fully 95% of all Catholics use contraception to manage their families. It should also be noted that various contraceptive methods which have nothing to do with avoiding pregnancy, but in fact are helpful in the cure or management of other conditions having nothing to do with family planning.
Let us also be clear that some 22 states required Catholic institutions to provide the ability of their workers to obtain insurance covered benefits for contraception long before the President and his health care plan came along. Funny, but I never heard any outcry, and somehow they have been handling the matter without the necessity of a call to arms as it were.
We would also note that Catholic institutions, apply for and receive vast sums of federal and state monies the same as private companies do. They whimper not about the “tainted” money they receive, money that in part goes to various policy implementation that they would consider immoral and/or simply wrong by their interpretation of scripture.
When the issue first came forth, the hue and cry raised by the now ultra-conservative bishops of the American church, caused the Administration to re-examine the issue and look for a compromise. They found one, when the insurance companies themselves agreed to absorb the additional cost for contraceptive care and not “charge” the Church any additional monies. They did this not our of some high-minded goodness, but because in the long run, it is profitable to prevent pregnancy from their standpoint rather than pay the expenses of a normal pregnancy, let alone those of an abnormal one.
The fact that religious organizations are tax-exempt is no small issue. It is enormously beneficial on its face, but it allows them to avoid “paying” for immoral wars and other practices it finds against the precepts of its faith. Somehow, accepting government funding is “okay”, which is just another way of saying that they have avoided thinking about that sort of participation in the body politic.
Which leads to this morning’s video. The priest who gave the presentation, went on with all the usual claptrap about how this was an assault on religious freedom. But he went much further. He insisted that the Church was being ordered to pay for something they found morally repugnant. He suggested, that the Obama Administration was imposing what amounted to a totalitarian society, with liberal use of the word “secular” as if it were some awful disease.
He called the President a liar, claiming that when Notre Dame had the bad taste (he pointed out that he was against it) to offer the President an “honorary doctorate of law” (as if the President has no such degree), the President promised to protect freedom of religion, and now we find that he has “utterly broken his promise.”
He claimed that Thomas Jefferson and the Founding Fathers inserted a protection of religious freedom in the First Amendment, precisely to combat the totalitarian tendencies of democracy.
He urged all the parishioners to contact their representatives and do all they can to pass a “bill of conscience” which would allow every person the right to refuse equal treatment to all based on their own particular moral beliefs.
Well, I came to church to celebrate the feast of John the Baptist. He was barely mentioned by our newly ordained priest, who did his best to underscore the danger posed by the Administration, the cost of which would bankrupt the poor church. Instead I was subjected to pleasantly concocted web of lies, innuendo, half and mis-truth, in order to further the agenda of a small minority of controlling men.
It was a sad day in my church, and I expect it was in churches all over America.
Shame on the Roman Catholic Church which continues to avoid real issues of poverty, immigration, and corporate greed and the ensuing inequality it brings, while it concentrates on the only two things it thinks are important, contraception and homosexuality.
Shame on them.
Shame on us if we don’t speak up.
I pray as called upon by the Bishops. However, my prayer is simple: Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.
- Pelosi: Those bishops suing HHS don’t speak for the Catholic Church (hotair.com)
- hhs frustrations (withrestlesshearts.wordpress.com)
- Jon O’Brien: The Truth About Religious Freedom (huffingtonpost.com)