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Issa hearing
Witnesses for the persecution

Rep. Darrell Issa's "religious freedom" hearing, at which no women were allowed to speak to talk about the potential impact on their lives allowing religious institutions to dictate their health care, was, well, as ridiculous as you would imagine.

Exhibit 1:

Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., a former pastor, told the religious leaders to “speak with clarity” to their congregations, lest America lose its guiding principles of religious freedoms.

“I don’t normally quote Stalin,” Walberg said, “but today he said something appropriate.” Walberg then read a quote from the former communist leader about causing America’s collapse by undermining its “spiritual life.”

“I would encourage the church to fight back strongly against what Stalin understood,” Walberg said solemnly.

“I presume the gentleman brought Stalin up only to bring him down,” Issa quickly interjected.
“Absolutely!” Walberg responded.

And exhibit 2, in which Rep. Rosa DeLauro D-N.Y. spoke about surviving ovarian cancer and how taking birth control reduces the risks of cancer.
“I am alive because of the grace of God and because of biomedical research,” she said. “And I have to ask each of you: Are you morally opposed to allowing women who work in your facilities, many of whom are nonreligious … are you opposed to allowing them to take a pill in cases where their lives depended on it?”

Most of the panelists agreed: In times of medical necessity, it was OK to take birth control.

I wonder who the other panelists were?

Here's exhibit 3, from the testimony of Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, CT.

Once upon a time, a new law is proposed, so that any business that serves food must serve pork.  There is a narrow exception for kosher catering halls attached to synagogues, since they serve mostly members of that synagogue, but kosher delicatessens are still subject to the mandate.
You can only imagine where it goes from there. But you dont have to imagine the reaction of Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown student who the Democrats on the committee had invited to testify, but whom Issa refused to hear from.
Fluke sat directly behind the bishop as he made the orthodox deli analogy.

“He spent his entire testimony talking about a hypothetical story,” she said. “It was very difficult to hear his testimony about a hypothetical story and  not about the real stories, about the women in my story.”

Here's some of what she would have said had she been allowed to testify:

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 02:10 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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