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View Diary: Red state of Georgia has declared war on religion (141 comments)

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  •  Interesting. I will have to check into that. (13+ / 0-)

    It does cover prescriptions, but like I said, the prenatal/maternity care is for married females only. We opted out of the Archdiocese plan because I have a daugther who is 19. My insurance is more expensive but includes much more.

    •  Very important talking point: (32+ / 0-)

      There are some - not me, that semi-reasonably will argue that a "church" should not be forced to provide treatment they have been against for hundreds of years.

      We MUST be ready to inform these people - the Federal law DOES include an exemption for actual Diocesan, Parish and Parochial school employers, "real" church employees.

      The law does not provide an exemption for "name only" church institutions, giant hospital campuses that are literally part of every big city in the US (my town - Providence Health Inst. - 4,000 empl.) nor does it cover Church Universities/Colleges with huge numbers of employees, either.

      Some people who might be inclined to feel sympathy for the churches (not me) will feel quite differently when they hear it has an exemption for ACTUAL churches.

      "How can the United States be the Greatest Nation ever if it is the only modern nation where citizens hold bake sales to pay for life saving medical care?" Single payer is coming but how many people will die before it becomes the only solution?

      by 4CasandChlo on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 08:01:55 AM PST

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      •  Chris Matthews said yesterday (41+ / 0-)

        on Hardball that all employees at Catholic schools and hospitals ARE Catholics. He argued the point strenuously for several minutes.

        Then he stepped back and said, well, everyone at HIS school was Catholic.

        Really, Chris?

        I went to Catholic school, and not even all the STUDENTS were Catholic. There were lay teachers too, and they weren't Catholic either.

        He is also apparently completely unaware of these 28 states with rules in place already, and he just keeps squawking how dangerous this is for President Obama losing Catholic votes.

        He and E.J. Dionne -- who has also been everywhere on TV and in print freaking out about this, including on Hardball -- should be ashamed to call themselves journalists -- or even pundits. They have their Catholic man blinders on and can't see anything but the scary, scary lady parts.

        "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

        by Brooke In Seattle on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 08:52:55 AM PST

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      •  Also that the model for the US law (18+ / 0-)

        in the New York State version, with religious exemption, has been tested in the courts and passed through the Supreme Court refusing to hear the bishops' final appeal against it in 2007. The bill signed by conservative Catholic Governor George Pataki has passed constitutional muster with the conservative Catholic majority Supreme Court. And guess what, no New York State schools or hospitals have closed down yet.

      •  The benefits are part of what's paid to employees (13+ / 0-)

        as compensation--and I think that's the key to flipping the 'we own it, we get to say what we do with it' arguments conservatives are pushing. No one can reasonably argue that church employers, as a matter of faith and praxis, can grab 10% of their employees' pay pre-emptively, as a tithe owed the church. Now maybe this is allowed in some other nations where church and state powers and finance are fused, but not in the USA. The health plan is part of the whole compensation paid as wages, which employees should be free to use as they need and see fit, as free citizens in an free market economy. Also, I see a profound moral problem with the Church trying to use a miserly health insurance plan to cast any young pregnant unmarried female employee or daughters of their own employees out in the uncovered coldness of rejection and unsupported abandonment. Punishing employees and the daughter while already in a difficult crisis is unmercifully cure for an institution founded on redeeming grace and sacrificial love, and forgiveness of sins.

        As for pay, what American would tolerate any church putting requirements upon employees as to how to spend their frugal pay checks and declaring that their money is only good for some church-approved 'formulary' list of goods and services, and then only from certain approved church related 'company stores' and providers? In America, if we earn wages, they are ours to spend in the 'free market' so esteemed by conservatives, and we are as free and to be unencumbered under the umbrella of liberty as that which also permits free association with the church of one's choice.

        Church employees are not nuns, priests or otherwise under vows of poverty and full time devotion to the Church and do not surrender their citizenship nor expectations of liberty or rights as full citizens of the state and US. Health insurance, as a benefit paid as compensation, is a commitment by the policy provider to provide funds necessary to to cover the health services and medical goods necessary to make one's life 'whole' (and presumably fit for work and life as a full citizen), either for preventive health care exams, vaccinations, etc. or for medications, treatments, services and hospitalizations required to restore one to health and/or maintain it. Employees should be able to expect their health insurance does conform to state and federal standards, without employers quibbling over small ticket provisions or imposing 'moral choices' upon citizens against their will. The health plan should utilize provider networks which provide a full spectrum of high quality services with histories of good outcomes, and not limit employee and family access to providers by any restrictive, punitive non-medical 'faith' demands.

        States could rightfully object to this sort of religious denial of benefits and limitation of provider access to the working citizens and families within the state, since it leads to an increasing shift in costs to public facilities, on an uninsured basis, as employees are forced to utilize them and end up in financial straits. Employees forced to deal with uncovered situations, on the already frugal wages paid by the church, will risk bankruptcy and other social costs, which in turn end up as various state and local court costs, mortgage default evictions and auctions, etc.

        If the church truly wishes to demonstrate it's full faith and trust in God and promote 'naturally' large families as a natural consequence of 'pro-life' policies), the church ought to take the lead in showing God provides, and enthusiastically pay it's employees the sort of bountiful living wages required to provide for the resulting large families sufficient to acquire and maintain suitable housing, clothing and food, sufficient to afford private parochial schooling for each and every child, and demonstrate to the world that their employees are truly blessed for their hard work and good faith.

        I find particularly unmerciful of the Church it's intent upon casting young pregnant women out in the cold, either as employee or daughters of their employees, without insurance and rejecting them as too shameful and immoral to treat with even basic humane decency. This seems appallingly un-Christian, reflecting condemning hate rather than redemptive love. It is a cynical and judgmental withholding of Christian sacrificial and redemptive love when needed most by women in a most vulnerable human condition. The Church ought to be especially sensitive to such women's needs and the conceived life within, when considering that the life of Jesus Himself was conceived within a young unmarried young woman. God sent angels to require that Joseph to not abandon his engagement to Mary, to not 'dispose' of her even quietly, but to go forward in faith, with a full, supportive marriage. Is it not expected of the Church to emulate its esteemed St. Joseph in welcoming a new image of God into the family to support such mothers, and is not the Church, even it's bishops, is but a society of sinners all welcomed in as part of God's family, destined in grace for redemption, regardless of how mothered and fathered into the world?

        Where is that Church's emulation of Jesus, who extended the Water of Eternal Life and redemption even to a promiscuous woman he met at the well, one with the notoriety of having been with seven 'husbands' (after seven, it's not worth counting any higher than that, and she probably was mother to their many unclaimed children). The Church is supposed to be the humble and faithful follower of this Jesus who called for his own stodgy Disciples to allow all the interested children of mothers to come unto him with their accepting, trusting faith, and He deemed them each, and their unfettered trust, as most precious in God's sight. He declared their trusting faith as being closest to what God expects of his closest disciples. And that was in contrast the many concerns of the disciples trying to be the 'adults in the room', fretting over what rules to use to exclude others, and limiting access to Jesus defining whom is acceptable to regard as belonging to God's family.

        If the Church is truly pro-life, pro-fetus, and dares claim to emulate the love of Jesus, there should be no hesitation in caring for and being protective of the lives of unmarried women who are pregnant and carry within what is deemed God-created life, a life just as eligible to receive redemption as any bishop. To do otherwise is to show disrespect God and to blatantly sin against the foremost commandment of Jesus, the one which fulfills God's Law, and a primary requirement of all who would claim to be Children of God and living under the Reign of God: that we Love one another as God has loved us, and as we would love ourselves.

        When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

        by antirove on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 10:02:32 AM PST

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        •  Plus, Catholic institutions regularly (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          antirove, ladybug53, ZedMont

          pay women less than men for the same work!

          "Since when did obeying corporate power become patriotic." Going the Distance

          by Going the Distance on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 11:28:56 AM PST

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        •  Oh, puh-leez-- (3+ / 0-)
          I see a profound moral problem with the Church trying to use a miserly health insurance plan to cast any young pregnant unmarried female employee or daughters of their own employees out in the uncovered coldness of rejection and unsupported abandonment. Punishing employees and the daughter while already in a difficult crisis is unmercifully cure [sic; "cruel"?] for an institution founded on redeeming grace and sacrificial love, and forgiveness of sins.
          --take the blinders off. Whatever it may or may not have been "founded on," the "One Holy Catholic & Apostolic Church" has been about money & power since Constantine's deathbed baptism. What the Church Mofos claim to hold sacred at any moment is whatever allows that collection of twisted, smarmy & thoroughly misogynist old men to increase & exert both to the max.

          snarcolepsy, n: a condition in which the sufferer responds to any comment with a smartass comeback.

          by Uncle Cosmo on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 12:01:48 PM PST

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          •  'cruel' was indeed intended rather than 'cure' (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Uncle Cosmo, dhcallahan

            and I'd share the doubt that yet another generation of bishops will ever see themselves, what has been done under the cover or in the name of the Church, as accountable to the rest of humanity. By all outward appearances, too many leaders do seem to imagine their 'calling' gives them insulating immunity rather than a greater obligation to serve with humility, aiming for higher standards, greater transparency and full accountability to those served. And they still seem to reflexively and organizationally resist being held responsible to the public in public, avoiding ever having to apologize in a meaningful manner, and continue to meddle in politics while demanding continued tax-exemption for the vast property holdings and income, and tithes from parishioners. I do not know what will be sufficient impulse to drive the Catholic Church to real reform, but the division between laity and the hierarchy is already a great gulf, and reforming the church from the outside in, from the bottom up, will meet a ring within ring of internal resistance, and is wound up in a medieval labyrinth designed to keep change away from the center or slow it enough that decades and Centuries pass before recognitions of the need for change are acknowledged, and perceivable changes are made.

            I do not intend to demean the well-meaning and service-minded Catholics who may be found doing much good in the world and are committed to making love felt in the world honoring Christ. I know the best among Catholicsfully realize major changes are needed and can, when allowed to speak, articulate what those are, but, sadly, those many may deem the best don't seem to be the ones given charge of the church or given any change to give what might be prophetic insights to the Church. And they are left having to defend a tragically flawed Church instead of focusing on their mission, or they finally leave.

             The 21st Century, with it's global challenges environmentally, technologically and sociology-politically, as people worldwide seek the liberty and freedom of truly democratically and lawfully run government, will be unforgiving era for a church stuck centuries in the past, with leaders embedded in hierarchies who are inflexible and intransigent and who disassociate themselves from the rest of humanity and who deliberately chose to delink themselves and the Church from a role in liberating people. Perhaps this Church is already like the Italian cruise ship and is gashing it's hull against the rocks due to irresponsible piloting.

            When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

            by antirove on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 02:45:28 PM PST

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            •  The problem for the Church, in a nutshell, is (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              antirove

              how to remain relevant to the 21st century when the power structure is still living in the 14th--& still cursing under its breath every reform that's yanked its temporal power out from under it, starting with the French Revolution.

              The last significant hope for reforming the RCC died with Albino Luciani, quite probably for that very reason. It will take another century & enormous good luck for the institution to recover from the damage Wojtila did (& Ratzinger continues to do). "Catholics of conscience" need to vote with their empty collection envelopes, the only language those bastards understand.

              snarcolepsy, n: a condition in which the sufferer responds to any comment with a smartass comeback.

              by Uncle Cosmo on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 02:13:11 AM PST

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        •  Very well said. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          antirove

          Very beautiful and most eloquently stated. To harbor such spiteful judgement and harsh attitudes about a "sinner" is indeed unkind, uncharitable, and unchristian.

          Nobody should have to check their rights or expectations for equality at the door when they get to work.

      •  The church is not required to employ anyone, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dhcallahan

        now are they? Many, many organizations work primarily with part-time volunteers. Churches and church organizations could do the same, in which case there would be no necessity for health coverage.

        So, by the same logic that supports "right to work", the church "chooses" to put itself in a position where it is covered by this law. Don't employ people, and you won't need to provide health coverage.

        That which doesn't kill me merely postpones the inevitable.

        by EeDan on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 07:18:51 PM PST

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