OK

This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.

ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.

  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

Not all doctrine is created equal.
On September 21, 2011, a man's life ended. His death was not natural; it was not a product of anyone's god; rather, the drug cocktails that caused the heart of Troy Davis to stop beating were purely the result of human artifice.

Davis was a convicted murderer who was put to death by the State of Georgia as punishment for the crimes of which he was found guilty. Like so many other death row inmates who were wrongly convicted of—and sometimes even executed for—crimes they did not commit, Troy Davis may well have been innocent. There was no physical evidence proving his crime, and many of the eywitnesses upon whom Davis' conviction depended later recanted their testimony, citing undue pressure from prosecutors to finger the person they had apparently already decided was responsible. In the end, however, whether or not Troy Davis was guilty or not is merely salt in the wound of a far bigger outrage.

The Catholic Church officially opposes capital punishment. This doctrine is in the same vein as those opposing abortion, birth control, and physician-assisted suicide: church doctrine dictates that life begins at conception and is a gift from God. Consequently, it is beyond the scope of any soul, no matter how high the earthly authority, to terminate a human life. It does not matter if it is legal, and it does not matter if the rationale is to relieve suffering: the taking of life is God's department, not ours.

Yet in the middle of September, as opposition to the impending execution of Troy Davis reached a fever pitch and a singular opportunity presented itself for the Church to not just call for an act of mercy, but support a key element of doctrine, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops was silent as the grave. Yes, some local Catholic bishops in Georgia did support the conscience of their doctrine by calling for a reprieve, but the USCCB, the organization most responsible for lobbying and policy advocacy on behalf of the Holy See here in the United States, sat idly by. The execution of a possibly innocent man was not enough to stir the bishops into action. But birth control? That's a different story altogether.

The directive of President Obama's Health and Human Services Department that requires employers to cover the cost of contraceptive prescriptions was met with outrage by the USCCB. Never before, they argued, had citizens been forced to pay for things that violated their religious conscience. Not that the Church would have been forced to cover the cost of contraceptives: churches who objected receive an exemption under the directive. The Bishops even rejected a compromise that allowed women who work for affiliated organizations, such as nonprofits and hospitals, to obtain contraceptive coverage directly from an insurer, as opposed to through their employer. Apparently, preserving the "religious conscience" of an insurance company was ground that these bishops simply would not cede.

One could commend the bishops' commitment to principle if it were based on any sincerity. Unfortunately, that seems not to be the case. Our tax dollars subsidize executions in every state where they are conducted, as well as pay for the wars and occupations that offend a true Catholic conscience, yet these bishops will not lift a finger to stop the execution of one possibly innocent man, let alone work to prevent their believers from paying for these egregious violations of doctrine.

Yes, the hypocrisy is shameful, and it serves as yet another reminder that in this mean-spirited age, the only doctrines that conservatives deem worth standing up for are those that punish and impede, rather than those that demonstrate any inkling of compassion and mercy.

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 10:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Pro Choice.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.