Sunday, February 5, 2012

Bring up birth control and the Catholic church admits church state separation was actually a thing all along.

Pure evil according the Catholic Church
Catholics and other Christian groups are up in arms about the government requiring the insurance companies provide to their employee's with FDA approved contraceptives.  They are angry because this law is extending to many church owned organizations such as private schools and hospitals.

For those of you not familiar with law here, churches are granted an exemption to a lot of rules that other business must follow.  Some of them make a lot of sense, for instance laws that prevent religious discrimination in hiring would not really work in a church, requiring a church not to consider the religious beliefs of their pastor in hiring him would not work very well.  I may consider all religious beliefs to be rather illogical but I can still understand the need for this kind of separation.  

Now when it comes to this particular law there is also an exception for employees of churches and and religious organizations, however the private schools and hospitals owned by the Catholic church do not fit into these exceptions, and in the case of hospitals generally receive public funding.  These organizations do not and, in fact, are not allowed to discriminate based upon religion.  The end result is that many of the people working for them are not Catholics.  The people being serviced there are also often not Catholics but this is not even relevant to the current issue since it affects employees.  

Catholics, being anti-contraception, have decided that they don't want to set up the insurance for their employees to cover such things.  A situation that has no doubt been the way they have done things for quite some time.  Now, the government is saying it can't be that way anymore, that women have a right to contraception and they have a right to expect their employer to offer insurance that covers it irregardless of how their employer may personally feel about contraception.  Make no mistake, this is a women's rights issue, since in order for women to maintain a equal place in society they must be able to choose when and if to get pregnant.

Now the Catholic church is threatening to simply shut down their services rather than comply with the law, just as they did when the government refused to hand out state funds to Catholic adoption agencies that refused to adopt to gay parents.  Make no mistake this is a clear case of bullying with a flimsy religious excuse on their part.  If the world won't play by their very silly and bigoted rules they will simply take their ball and go home.  

Part of me can't help but think this might be a good thing.  Do we really want the Catholic church running our hospitals and our schools when they care more about controlling the reproduction rights of women and obeying moral rules that are insulting to any thinking person than they care about doing the jobs they built those hospitals and schools for?  One wonders what they founded these hospitals and schools for; is it because they care about people or is it because it gives them an opportunity to force their moral ideals on to the general populace?  

Perhaps it would be a good thing if they shut down, other people would build hospitals after all.  People get sick and someone else would fill the need for hospitals, that's how free market economies work. 

Meanwhile, the height of irony in this is that many Conservative Christians like the Catholics Leagues Bill Donohue are claiming that this is a violation of "Church state separation."  You might remember that as the thing they have spent years claiming doesn't exist.  The fundamentalist interpretation of the establishment clause is that it does nothing more than prevent the establishment of a state religion.  This law in no way violates that interpretation, but I will go one step further.  The more encompassing interpretation of the clause offered by the courts is that no government organization can show favoritism to one religion over another because such actions would lead to an implication of an establishment of a state religion.  Nothing about this law comes anywhere close to a violation of church state separation.  However, it is ironic how quickly the establishment clause became important.

Personally I am a fan of the old saying, "your right to swing your arm ends at my nose."  Well the Catholic church has been swinging their proverbial arm into the bedrooms of American citizens for years and personally I have no problem with the government finally telling them to get the hell out.

Arms of Catholic priests not shown due to it being a metaphor

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