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Screw you, sayeth the Lord.
Despite the pope's message for this year's Lent, calling on Catholics to "Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works," it seems the Church hierarchy in the United States has a different take: screw you, in the name of the Lord.

Still outraged—outraged!—that the majority of Americans support insurance coverage of contraception, used by almost all sexually active women, including Catholics, the bishops and cardinals aren't shying away from its absurd rhetoric and threats.

Via Joe My God, Cardinal Francis George of the Archdiocese of Chicago, has penned a lengthy column suggesting that Church-affiliated hospitals should shut down and cease providing health care services altogether, rather than be forced to ... uh ... exist in a country in which women have access to birth control:

What will happen if the HHS regulations are not rescinded? A Catholic institution, so far as I can see right now, will have one of four choices: 1) secularize itself, breaking its connection to the church, her moral and social teachings and the oversight of its ministry by the local bishop. This is a form of theft. It means the church will not be permitted to have an institutional voice in public life. 2) Pay exorbitant annual fines to avoid paying for insurance policies that cover abortifacient drugs, artificial contraception and sterilization. This is not economically sustainable. 3) Sell the institution to a non-Catholic group or to a local government. 4) Close down.
Of course, none of those things are actually true, since the new policy adopted by the Obama administration doesn't force the Church to do a damn thing, won't cost the Church a dime, doesn't cover abortifacient drugs, and is, in fact, not only "economically sustainable," but far more cost-efficient than denying contraception to women. In other words, the cardinal is flat-out lying about what the policy does and doesn't do. Hey, isn't there something in the Bible about how you're not supposed to make shit up?

The cardinal acknowledges that "some" (actually, Father, it's just about all) Catholics don't actually subscribe to the no-contraception rule, he's got news for them:

There have always been those whose personal faith is not adequate to the faith of the church. Perhaps this is the time for everyone to re-read the Acts of the Apostles. Bishops are the successors of the apostles; they collectively receive the authority to teach and govern that Christ bestowed upon the apostles. Bishops don’t claim to speak for every baptized Catholic. Bishops speak, rather, for the Catholic and apostolic faith. Those who hold that faith gather with them; others go their own way. They are and should be free to do so, but they deceive themselves and others in calling their organizations Catholic.
Riiiiiight. So the 98 percent of sexually active Catholic women who've relied on some form of contraception are not adequately Catholic. Bunch of fakers. Because the only way to be adequately Catholic is to do exactly what the bishops command. It's right there in the Bible! Bishops are the boss of you, and if you don't do what they say, you aren't a good Catholic, sayeth the Lord.

So having suggested that the Church should deny all health care to all people rather than stand by while its laity continues to use contraception just as it always has, and having chastised that laity for being inadequately subservient to the Church hierarchy, the cardinal concludes:

I ask lay Catholics and others of good will to step back and understand what is happening to our country as the church is despoiled of her institutions and as freedom of conscience and of religion become a memory from a happier past. The suffering being imposed on the church and on society now is not a voluntary penance.
Ah yes, the Church and society are indeed suffering by being forced to ... wait, what is it the Church is being forced to do? Oh, right. Absolutely nothing.

But apparently that's reason enough to threaten to shut down hospitals and deny care of any kind to anyone in need. In the name of the Lord.

Of course, the Church has already lost this battle. And it knows that; thus, the increasingly desperate complaints and threats that prove the "concern for each other" and acts of "love and good works" don't mean nearly as much to the Church hierarchy as demanding that the government enforce its antiquated edicts. Because lord knows its own "inadequate" laity has stopped listening.

Originally posted to Kaili Joy Gray on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 09:55 AM PST.

Also republished by Abortion and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (144+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mijita, varii, looking up, roseeriter, rogerdaddy, Siri, athenap, JeffW, jennyp, CoExistNow, Loquatrix, anodnhajo, implicate order, mikidee, YsosadisticGOP, 6ZONite, koosah, kestrel9000, citizenx, IndieGuy, Geekesque, T100R, CitizenOfEarth, gchaucer2, cai, moiv, millwood, Keone Michaels, AllanTBG, dksbook, glendaw271, Unit Zero, celdd, shesaid, Carol in San Antonio, googie, Arahahex, zerelda, Sanuk, poligirl, mattc129, leftykook, batchick, JAM11, catly, Denise Oliver Velez, swampyankee, Persiflage, sap, lostinamerica, big annie, StateofEuphoria, Dinclusin, Dem Beans, Lilith, tiponeill, imokyrok, BlackSheep1, middleagedhousewife, createpeace, chloris creator, belinda ridgewood, Armando, IL clb, LefseBlue, jfromga, Texknight, Cronesense, OWCH, jacey, glitterlust, GeorgeXVIII, Railfan, kurious, Brooke In Seattle, OldDragon, miracle11, ewmorr, HCKAD, KatHart, Liberal Mole, Portlaw, profh, gfv6800, Matt Z, FindingMyVoice, highacidity, madgranny, Little Flower, poleshifter, xanthippe2, Alice Venturi, davelf2, allergywoman, jeturek, mdsiamese, Rileycat, Melanie in IA, msmacgyver, Mol, MKinTN, madhaus, happymisanthropy, kevin k, JekyllnHyde, the good witch, jerrypw, howabout, cocinero, maryabein, bronte17, sngmama, annan, HappyinNM, mchestnutjr, jedennis, Tamar, myrealname, chira2, Sophie Amrain, 4mygirls, Desert Scientist, Mayfly, splintersawry, Ghost of NY, legendmn, doingbusinessas, WheninRome, Voiceless, SquirrelQueen, FlamingoGrrl, Setsuna Mudo, rsmpdx, sagansong, Yosef 52, LynChi, Luschnig, RJDixon74135, nomandates, flamingokicker, kaliope, OjaiValleyCali, babatunde, annrose
  •  God forbid they either (24+ / 0-)

    accurately represent their position or comply with the law of the land.

    At least they're aware they're not speaking for all Catholics. But clearly they'd like to.

    "There once was a union maid..." Political compass: -9.75 / -8.72

    by mijita on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 10:00:44 AM PST

  •  the pedophile church hates women? but of course! (11+ / 19-)

    spreading God's love one atrocity at a time...

    A few of these interviews have gone slightly awry, because every now and again there has been the odd conflict of interest between interviews because of the Iron Maiden record, and I am a bit long-winded. ~ Bruce Dickinson

    by looking up on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 10:02:10 AM PST

  •  Silly old men in sillier hats telling people to (29+ / 0-)

    behave the way an ancient sky wizard tells them.
    Yeah...that makes sense.
    Sheeesh, the stupid really burns hot.
    ;->

    "We're right in the middle of a fucking reptile zoo! And somebody's giving booze to these goddamn things!"-Hunter S. Thompson ;-)>

    by rogerdaddy on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 10:04:07 AM PST

  •  What do you expect from... (13+ / 0-)

    ...kvetching alter kokers?

    And I mean that in the nicest possible way, bless their hearts!

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 10:08:42 AM PST

    •  "Kvetching, etc." AND "Bless their hearts?" Are (0+ / 0-)

      you a Southern Jew, JeffW, honey?  Grew up with them in Miami, when I and another little nominally Protestant kid were the only ones in school during Jewish holidays. Wonderfully educational for me.

      Empathy is going to change the world.

      by Mayfly on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 02:04:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not sure what people expected from (3+ / 0-)

    the Catholic Church.  Their religion teaches that contraception is wrong, the morning after pill (because it may prevent implantation of a fertilized zygote ) is wrong, and sterilization is wrong.  Whether all of the people who go to that Church agree or not, that's the official belief of the Church organization.  Whether people who disagree with that particular teaching are part of that church -- for other reasons -- or not is irrelevant, since that has clearly been the teaching of that particular church forever.  We don't get to say, that shouldn't be part of your teaching.  And, most of all, the federal government doesn't get to say, that shouldn't be part of your teaching.  That's a clear First Amendment violation.

    Everybody here simply assumes that, given the situation, a Catholic organization like a Catholic hospital or a Catholic charity is simply going to do something that THEY see as a violation of their teachings so that they can stay in operation.   I think it's pretty clear that many will not.  It's the same thing that happened when certain states said that adoption services could not discriminate against same-sex couples, some Catholic adoption services simply shut down rather than violate what THEY saw as their religious beliefs.  

    Why would anybody here be upset with that?  If THEY believe that staying in a certain business would force them to violate what THEY see as their religious teaching, why wouldn't they simply shut down?  

    Really, when I had this discussion with people about Catholic pharmacies that did not want to dispense the morning after pill, people told me, "They shouldn't be in the business if they can't do what we think they should be doing."  I think that's what is likely to happen here -- a lot of Catholic organizations will say, if the choice is between (1) violating what we -- the Catholic Church -- say are the religious principles of our church; and (2) shutting down a particular operation, we'll shut down that operation. It's unreasonable -- and frankly, a violation of the First Amendment -- for someone to say, well, they should have changed their beliefs and long-time teaching to conform to what the government says they should do.  

    I'm not sure why this would upset anybody here.  Isn't that what people here would have expected them to do if staying in business violated their religious beliefs?  

    •  Then the logic conclusion is this: (40+ / 0-)

      If you cannot provide authentic and comprehensive health care because it violates your conscience, then you should not be in that business, because the good you are doing is offset by the harm you are doing.

    •  I am not catholic anymore (5+ / 0-)

      So I do not expect squat from them.

      But if I still were, I would expect from them to actually acnowledge that the vast majority of their followers does not agree with their stand.

      Of course religion is not a matter of majority, but still ...

      Basically I would expect them to get a fucking clue.

      •  That church has a constitutional right (0+ / 0-)

        to believe what they want and teach what they want.  If their followers don't agree, their followers should find another church.  

        •  This isn't just about their followers.... (35+ / 0-)

          they're refusing to even allow their insurance companies to provide contraceptives to their employees, who may or may not be Catholic.

          If they want to act as an employer, which they do in Catholic hospitals, and they want to continue receiving tax payer dollars to stay in business, then they need to play by the rules that every other business does.

          Don't worry, their membership is already plummeting.  That's not the issue.

          •  two points. (2+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            campionrules, VClib
            Hidden by:
            SuzieQ4624

            1.  The diary is critical of that church for saying exactly that -- that since "playing by the rules" violates their religious teachings, they will shut down.  Why the criticism for saying that?  

            2.  (This is a by the way -- taking federal money doesn't have anything to do with it -- the rule applies if you have so many employees, whether you take federal money or not.)  

            •  The diary is critical... (20+ / 0-)

              of the church making empty threats.  They're not going to shut down.  They're going to keep throwing a temper tantrum in hopes that they will get an exception.

              Taking federal money does relate because actual churches, faith based institutions, houses of worship, etc. are exempt.  But because hospitals main job is provide medical coverage, they are not exempt.  Both take federal grant money, but the only exemption is faith based institutions.

              If you want to take federal dollars, then you have to play by federal employment rules.

              •  Of course they are. (4+ / 1-)
                They're going to keep throwing a temper tantrum in hopes that they will get an exception.
                After all, the administration gave them a year to do exactly that.  

                But in the end, it seems to me that the answer should not be "Isn't it terrible of them to threaten to shut down"  as this diary states. That's hypocritical, it seems to me -- you say, "if you want to operate as a hospital, you have to live by our rules, whether you think it violates your religion or not," they say, "ok, then we may simply not operate as a hospital" and then you say "how terrible of you to say you won't operate as a hospital!"

                 Instead, the intellectually honest response is, "it's your religion, if you don't think you can live with the rules without violating your religion, I guess you do have to shut down."

                •  You're arguments are misguided at best... (13+ / 0-)

                  and completely ill-informed, borderline delisional at worst.

                  If anyone wants to run a hospital, their number one priority should be providing medical care.  That's a no-brainer, something we can all agree on, right?

                  If a company wants to operate as an employer, they have laws, called federal employment laws that all employers (with the exception of churches) have to abide by.  Are you still with me?

                  So when a hospital decides it wants to shift it's focus from actually providing medical care to protesting the government over medical coverage provided to their employees, by a third party insurance company, it seems their priorities are in the wrong place.  Threatening to shut down said hospital because the government won't bow to their demands, seems pretty misguided and pathetic, at least from where I'm sitting.

                  And final point, when a church decides to branch out and start businesses, which takes federal tax payer money to operate, but doesn't want to play by federal employment rules, that's a problem.

                  •  Here's where I disagree with your premise (4+ / 1-)
                    If anyone wants to run a hospital, their number one priority should be providing medical care.  That's a no-brainer, something we can all agree on, right?
                    The fact is, if you are a religious institution like a Catholic hospital, it's (1) your religion first, and (2) operating a hospital second.  Whether you or I think that's how WE would operate a hospital, that's not how THEY operate a hospital.  True Catholic believes say their faith, their beliefs, come before everything else.  My dad (very long-standing Catholic here in very Catholic New Orleans) used to say that his priorities in life were, in this order (using his words) (1) "my God" (2) "my family" (3) "my job."

                    You may think that a religious hospital should put providing medical care before religion, but they (at least some of them) don't.  They think religion is first, providing medical care is second.  And that's fine.  That's their choice.  And if they mean what they say when they say religion comes first, if there's a conflict between their religion (as THEY see it, not as you or I see it) and the hospital, they shut down the hospital part.  Because abiding by their religious beliefs are more important to a "true believer" than anything else.  Here's the deal: a true believer will not violate fundamental religious beliefs in an attempt to help others.   They will tell you that they are supposed to help others within the parameters of their "faith."  

                    Yes, that's how many Catholics -- especially the ones that run things like the bishops -- really, really think.  Religion first.  You may think their "priorities are not in the wrong place."  But -- again -- your view of their religion doesn't matter.  The administration's view of their priorities under their religion really, really, really doesn't matter (under the First Amendment.)  So, it's not that I disagree with you that "their priorities are in the wrong place."  It's more that, under the First Amendment, if THEY view their priorities as (1) religion first, (2) medical care second, well, that's what the First Amendment lets them do.

                    For those reasons, I completely, completely agree with you that , if you want to run a hospital, and you think that the laws surrounding that violate your religion, that's a problem.  Where we disagree is the solution.  I think that the non-hypocritical solution for the church would be to stop running the hospital.  Otherwise, if you as a church (in your view) directly violate your religion so that you can run a religious hospital, you are a hypocrite.  

                    And a "by-the-way" it's not just "church" employees who are exempt from things like labor laws.  The SCOTUS has held that anyone in a "ministerial position" (i.e., a position where part of the job involves religious aspects even if you don't work for a church) is basically not bound by federal labor law.  If you read that case, there undoubtedly will be "ministerial positions" at Catholic hospitals and schools, and I'm not sure that the administration has dealt with that.  If there's any legal challenge, that might be it.  

                    •  And this is where you're wrong... (4+ / 0-)

                      Catholic Hospitals are hospitals first, religious zealots second.  A hospital's first priority should be providing medical care, not judging people who need medical care.  If they want to be in a faith dominated field, by all means, open a church.

                      I don't have time to read all your wild rantings.  Clearly you love you some Jesus, and feel like religion holds precendent over everything else.  I live in reality, quality medical care means a hell of a lot more to me than some magician, con man who lived 2000 years ago, who still has fools today brainwashed.

                      The Bible still cannot solve any actual problems like pregnancy, so I'll stick with birth control pills. You can stick with being judged by old, nasty, white people in dimly lit closets wearing robes who think they're "holy" - have fun being a sheep!  BAH BAH BAH!

                      •  I'm going to disagree with this (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        coffeetalk

                        Religion is not something that gets put in a box and let out on Sundays (or Saturdays or whatever day of the week).  There is nothing wrong with organized religion doing things other than opening a church.  I would look down on a religion that didn't want to go beyond providing worship services.

                        Freedom of religion means freedom from religion, if that is your wish, about as much as racial freedom means freedom from black people.

                        I should also point out that it is considered inappropriate to HR someone you are having a dispute with.

                        •  I wasn't disputing the fact that people... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Ghost of NY

                          should have the freedom to practice whatever religion they want, that's not in question.  What is in question is whether a Catholic Hospitals first priority should be providing health care or being Catholic.

                          By all means, practice whatever religion you want, but when someone else's religion infringes on my freedom from religion or I'm somehow imposed upon with another's religious laws, I'm not going to be ok with that.

                          BTW, I HR'd him because he was flipping out on me and replying to every single comment I posted with page-long rants about Jesus.  He was vitual stalking me.  That's not ok.

                          •  You've Gone Too Far (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Vote4Obamain2012

                            I don't see where coffeetalk flipped out on you, or replied to any of your comments with long rants about Jesus. I see only the long threads of you arguing in this diary. Replying to your comments in an argument is not stalking.

                            HRs are for comments that pose some clear and present danger to someone or to this site. Not for strong disagreement or showing you don't like someone.

                            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                            by DocGonzo on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:54:34 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  From the Catholic perspective (0+ / 0-)

                            Providing health care and other good works are a part of being Catholic.  A reasonable person could disagree with that, but a reasonable person should also be capable of empathy with the position, despite disagreeing.

                            I don't see any flipping out.  I don't see anything I would describe as ranting.  In theory, it should be left for more neutral, outside observers who are not emotionally attached to a dispute rather than people participating in an argument.  You said, "I don't have time to read all your wild rantings."  Are you saying you didn't read the entirety of the reply and are just HRing because it is long and you presume that someone who disagrees with you and posts that many paragraphs must be engaging in some crazy ranting?  Even someone who agrees with you might find that beyond the site's norms.

                          •  SuzieQ - coffeetalk NEVER rants (0+ / 0-)

                            and never mentions Jesus. WTF are you talking about?????

                            "let's talk about that"

                            by VClib on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 04:46:47 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  The Real World (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Vote4Obamain2012

                          Catholic churches have helped feed, clothe and heal prostitutes for thousands of years, even though helping them that way enables them to commit more sins. Those actual acts of Jesus in the bible have always been a higher priority than ideological purity, except during the darkest chapters of Church history.

                          And what is "racial freedom"? You're making an analogy to an incoherency.

                          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                          by DocGonzo on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:47:12 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  C'mon, Anthony (0+ / 0-)
                          Freedom of religion means freedom from religion, if that is your wish, about as much as racial freedom means freedom from black people.
                          I'm free to be not religious. I have freedom from religion.

                          But what the hell is "freedom from black people"?

                          You've invented a ridiculous, offensive analogy.

                          Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

                          by RJDixon74135 on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 06:11:50 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  what majician or con man who lived (0+ / 0-)

                        2000 years ago are you referring to? You hold an inconsistent / incoherent world view holding mutually exclusive propositions. You have no answers for the nature, origin, or resolution of evil. You may find that your incoherent world view persuasive based upon nothing more than the idea that it makes sense to you; others of us may not find that authority sufficient or persuasive. I recommended your previous comments in this and fully back this diary. Insulting the faith of people is not helpful nor productive, especially given your own weaknesses on the subject. I don't believe that Jesus was a majician or a con man. May I add many deists would violently disagree with your mischaracterization of Jesus. Keep the unnecessary / irrelevant attacks on religion out of this. I try to show respect for all people regardless of what they do and don't believe and make every effort to avoid unnecessarily offending others, particularly where religion is concerned.

                      •  Lol. Wild rantings? (0+ / 0-)

                        While I don't agree with everything Coffeetalk argues for - I find it absolutely hysterical that you somehow think her comments or reasoning is 'wild ranting'.  On Dkos? How long have you been here? Coffeetalk is one of the most even keeled, consistent writers on this site - even if you don't like her views.

                      •  SuzieQ - please remove your HR (0+ / 0-)

                        It is against the site rules. Uprated to offset the bad HR.

                        "let's talk about that"

                        by VClib on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 04:45:04 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Reluctant rec to offset.... (4+ / 0-)

                      ... inappropriate HR

                      All the same, coffeetalk, why are you here?  You have in the past (I believe) indicated you are not a Democrat.  You do not appear to be either a "liberal" or a "progressive". Rather you would seem to have rather strong conservative/libertarian leanings.

                      As a Catholic, all I can say is that if the American Catholic Church feels that it should get out of the business of helping the sick in order to make a political point, it has the right to do so.  But it will show everyone what the Catholic Church's true priorities now are.

                      •  Since SuzieQ doesn't have the ability to engage (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        campionrules, VClib

                        in discussion without inappropriate HR's, I'll respond to you.

                        Here's my basic position.

                        1.  I am a strong, strong supporter of the rights in the Constitution -- especially the Bill of Rights.  For that reason, I respect the constitutional right of a religion to Free Exercise of its religion.  In my view, it is hypocritical to be (as I also am) a strong supporter of free speech rights, or freedom of the press, for example, without also supporting other constitutional rights.

                        2.  For that reason, I stay away from injecting my beliefs about the value (or lack thereof) of the religion of others into a discussion of governmental policy.  It doesn't matter if I think a belief is anti-woman (I'm a woman and I recognize that many major religions are anti-woman), anti-gay, or as horrid as the Westboro Baptist Church.  I recognize that the Constitution gives religion rights to a free exercise of their religion, no matter how abhorrent I may think it is.  The Constitution says that those kinds of things -- how stupid or abhorrent I think certain religious teachings may be -- can play no role in government policy.

                        3.  I recognize that some Catholics in the heirarchy believe that this policy violates their religion.  Again, if we are talking government policy, stuff like how much anybody disagrees with those people about their religion really don't matter.  The question is (1) is this something government can do, even if it violates their religion, and (2) what are their options.  

                        4.  With the exception of those people who work in what the SCOTUS might see as ministerial positions in schools, hospitals, charities, this is probably something that the government can impose on a religious institution as an employer without running afoul of the Free Exercise Clause.  (I say "probably" because there's a couple of unanswered issues in the case law as it developed, but I think most people would say that it would stand up.)

                        5.  Given that government has to take a church at its word when it says that the policy violates its religion (the government can't say what people here have said, essentially, "you don't really believe that"), what are the options for a church when being in an ancillary operation would violate its religion?  To me, if the church is sincere about a religious belief (no matter how ludicrous others may find that belief, which, as I said, is irrelevant), I would EXPECT them to say, well, if being in this ancillary operation means we have to violate our religion, we'll get out of the ancillary operation.  That, to me, is a much more straight-forward way for that church to deal with the issue.  If a church says, well, this violates our religion, but we'll stay in that operation because we get federal money (for example), I would see that as completely hypocritical -- a sell out of what you say your principles are for money.  I would say that no matter what religion you are.  I respect your freedom of religion, but I respect your freedom of religion more if you are consistent about your principles.

                        And this:

                         But it will show everyone what the Catholic Church's true priorities now are.
                        I completely agree -- it will demonstrate that they care first and foremost about their religious teaching (whatever I think of that teaching) over and above operating a hospital.  Which is the point I tried to make above.  
                        •  The "religious teachings" at issue here... (0+ / 0-)

                          ... are not traditional ones.  They have been developed comparatively recently -- and have a very strong political dimension.  The Catholic Church is both the entire body of believers (in genuinely religious matters -- not ancillary social and political ones) and the organized hierarchy (which is primarily concerned with both internal and external politics).  

                          Once upon a time (not all that long ago), the local church had a key role in picking bishops (much longer ago, lay people even had a vocie) -- except in "mission territory".  Within recent times, the Vatican has increasingly seized control -- and has used that control to appoint bishops whose only real loyalty is "political" loyalty to the Vatcan.  Bishops in the US are no longer chosen based on their ability to represent and care for their "flock", but for their ability to toe the line (and for their enthusiasm in doing so).  The structure of the Church today is markedly different from the structure only 40-50 years ago.

                          •  Not exactly true. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            campionrules, VClib

                            The Catholic church as been against contraception almost since its inception.  See, for example, this discussion.  Or this. Or this.  

                            But my larger point is that when you are talking about making government policy, the First Amendment means that we don't make inquiries or have debates as to how valid or legitimate we think a belief is.  It would be totally unconstitutional if the REASON for the administration's policy was directed to Catholic institutions as a statement that the administration thought the Catholic policy on contraception was invalid.  The Free Exercise clause means that, when the government is involved, religions have a right to believe what they want.  That's why I said it doesn't matter whether I think the contraception teaching is valid or legitimate or not.  This policy is probably constitutional precisely because it is not aimed soley at Catholics and because it is not meant as a statement on the validity -- or lack thereof -- of the Catholic teaching on contraception.  Government has no legitimate interest in making statements on the validity of religious teachings.  Instead, it is based on another separate, legitimate government interest in providing health care to women -- and that is what makes it constitutional.  

                            As an aside, I'm not sure that the structure of the Catholic Church is "markedly different" from 50 - 60 years ago.  I think that the fact that it's NOT markedly different from 60 years ago is part of the complaint that many have against it (for example, excluding women from leadership positions in a religion, or not allowing your ministers to marry, makes no sense to many people in today's world.)  In many ways, it can be an anachronism.  

                          •  I am Catholic.... (0+ / 0-)

                            ... and I have lived through all sorts of changes in the way the Church has operated.  It is undergoing the same sort of concerted effort at rolling back all Vatican II reforms that the GOP is making at rolling back all of FDR's reforms.  The Church was moving (very slowly and incompletely) in a positive direction until Pope John Paul II (aided by Cardinal Ratzinger) began packing the ranks of bishops (and cardinals) with hard-core reactionaries. Obviously with Ratzinger's elevation to Pope, there is little likelihood of a return to positive change in the foreseeable future.

                      •  coffeetalk has never stated that she is not a Dem (0+ / 0-)

                        On some issues she is more conservative than many here, but we welcome Dems all across the political spectrum.

                        "let's talk about that"

                        by VClib on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 04:50:26 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  SuzieQ - I just noticed a second HR WTF???? (0+ / 0-)

                    You and coffeetalk are engaged in the kind of dialogue that this site is all about. She has at all times been respectful in her exchanges with you and outlined her position in a logical, and respectful way. This is exactly why we have a site like DKOS to debate these issues.

                    What the fuck are you doing dropping two donuts on her???  This is a clear violation of site rules.

                    "let's talk about that"

                    by VClib on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 04:59:46 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  The bishops will probably choose #1 (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Amber6541
                  A Catholic institution, so far as I can see right now, will have one of four choices: 1) secularize itself, breaking its connection to the church, her moral and social teachings and the oversight of its ministry by the local bishop. This is a form of theft.
                  But it's not "theft" because it's their choice.

                  Their other choice is to simply obey the law as they are already doing in states that require contraception to be included in employees' insurance coverage.

                  This may be a turning point like the time when the LDS church abandoned their belief in plural marriage in order to comply with the law.

              •  HR? (0+ / 0-)

                I agree with you. But why did you HR the comment to which you replied?

                "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                by DocGonzo on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:43:32 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Three donuts??? This is an outrage (0+ / 0-)

                Just as a point of reference under the rules regarding religious institutions and the application of certain rules accepting federal money, such as from Medicare and Medicaid, isn't an issue in any of the tests that are applied.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 05:07:05 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Jesus dealt with a similar issue (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gagme

              regarding taxes -- what part of "rending unto Caesar" does the Church not get?

              Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes (modified)

              by Cali Scribe on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:21:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  And guilt tripping doesn't help (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Amber6541, cocinero
            There have always been those whose personal faith is not adequate to the faith of the church. Perhaps this is the time for everyone to re-read the Acts of the Apostles. Bishops are the successors of the apostles; they collectively receive the authority to teach and govern that Christ bestowed upon the apostles.

            When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

            by msmacgyver on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:12:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  What difference does it make what their members (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            schnecke21, gagme

            believe. They are denying employees, people who may or may not have anything to do with the Catholic church except they happen to work or go to a school or work in their hospital. Why does this church believe it has a right to dictate its positions to people outside of the actual church?

        •  Or may be the sheperds should buy a clue (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          happymisanthropy, cocinero

          It is not like they have not done it before.

          My grand mother told me that when she grew up, menstruating women could not get the communion. Now that is a pretty silly rule, but I am sure there were sound theological resons for it.

          But when they realized how out of touch that thing was, they changed it.

          •  And (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            implicate order, Danali

            Women used to have to wear hats in church.
            You couldn't eat meat on any Friday.
            The mass was in Latin, including the responses from the congregation.
            You were pretty much required to go to confession every week.
            You were supposed to go to church every holy day (and there are a lot of them)

            That's not even going back that far - go back further (more than 40-50 yrs) and it gets even worse.

          •  Your kidding about your grandmother, right? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            implicate order

            n/t

            A man in love is incomplete until he is married. Then he is finished. - Eva Gabor

            by nomorerepukes on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:37:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Maybe not (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              implicate order

              But probably Orthodox, not Catholic.

              Conservative/Traditionalist members of the Orthodox Church observe the ancient practice of abstaining from Holy Communion during menstruation.[14] This is a fairly common practice throughout Greece and Russia and other historically Orthodox Christian countries. However in most non-Orthodox countries—especially in Europe and North America—a sizable majority of women do not practice this ancient rule, although a minority of women still do. In fact, many Orthodox Christian women are unaware of the ancient practice of abstaining from Holy Communion due to menstruation.
          •  Great point (0+ / 0-)

            The church has continually changed, and it will continue to adapt and change or slowly pass into oblivion.

        •  Agreed however (15+ / 0-)

          this is not about Freedom of Religion nor is it about a Church.  This is about a non profit corporation who has more than a 100 employees and accepts Federal monies being mandated as they already are in 28 states (without complaint) to provide appropriate healthcare.

    •  They're not being required to provide (39+ / 0-)

      either abortion or contraception.  The health act requires them to include contraception in their employee coverage.  It doesn't require them to either distribute or dispense.  

      Employers should not be in the business of deciding which legal health care their employees should have and which they can opt out of for moral reasons.  

      Personally I've worked for employers who believed vaccines were unethical and dangerous and for another who believed that medical mental health care was immoral.  Should they be able to decide for me what care I get?

      "There once was a union maid..." Political compass: -9.75 / -8.72

      by mijita on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 10:29:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If they cannot, in good conscience... (17+ / 0-)

      perform the services they are supposed to perform as a hospital or a pharmacy, then they're in the wrong business.  Maybe they should just stick to judging people in a church, leave the hospitals and medical care to professionals.

      I can't open up a gas station and refuse to sell gas because the unrest in the Middle East goes against my conscience. That would be stupid.

      •   Yet the diary is critical of (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        adam smith needs revision, VClib

        them for saying exactly that same thing.  

        •  Not really... (12+ / 0-)

          maybe you need to re-read.  The diary is critical of them making empty threats.  They're not going to shut down, they're just going to keep crying and complaining hoping that the government will give in just to make them stop.

          What they don't realize is that they're just calling unneeded attention to how arciac and antiquate their views are, how out of touch with society, and how desperately they need people to listen to them.  

          Without sheep followers, they're just old, white guys who still live in like it's the 1800's, louging in a robe all day, judging other people with no authority over anything (on paper, that sounds like my grandpa).  

          They need followers to stay powerful, but their followers are all going against their wishes, so this is more of a power grab, desperate to hang onto their dwindling moral authority.  No one cares what they say anymore.  But without followers, they are nothing more than a pathetic cult.

        •  That's Not the Criticism (0+ / 0-)

          The criticism is primarily that their sudden insistence is BS, since nothing has changed and they're lying about what violates their religion. And that their insistence on preventing people from getting contraception is more important to them than helping the sick and the poor, which is demonstrably ideologically contradictory.

          But indeed it would be a good idea to take them up on it. Hospitals are profitable when not mismanaged. If a church doesn't want the "immorality" they require in the modern age, then some other shareholders should run them.

          And then there will be even less reason to tolerate the intolerance that the Church seems most interested in growing.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:32:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm with you, SuzieQ, but the (0+ / 0-)

        provision of ACA is not about "providing services", but about employer-based insurance coverage for contraception.  The Obama compromise took away any objections by requiring that the insurance companies pay for the coverage, not the employer.

         

        When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

        by msmacgyver on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:18:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Because they are LIARS and HYPOCRITES! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      msmacgyver, skyounkin

      ...and their currently stated beliefs aren't centuries old at all.

      If they want to conduct business in the commercial world, which they do in their hospitals then they can play by the rules in the commercial world.

      Otherwise they can SHUT THE FUCK UP

      "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

      by leftykook on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 11:29:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just ridiculous (3+ / 0-)

      There so much much that is false in your comment, but I'll demonstrate it on Sunday.

      One of your poorest comments.

    •  Here is what I expect of the Catholic Church as (5+ / 0-)

      my EMPLOYER: good pay & benefits, including full medical benefits. Perhaps Nurses should make their own threats, since threats are so popular right now. How long would the nations Catholic Hospitals last without the Nurses. We could set a date to resign all across the country unless the Church complies with the ACA. Perhaps the Bishop could come in and do pt care while we go on strike.

      Bunch of fucking hypocrites.

      If there's a reason for the rich to rule, please Lord, tell us why. -Battle of Jericol, Coal Mining Women

      by JayRaye on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:00:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Catholic church can teach (8+ / 0-)

      any damn fool thing it wants.

      People don't have abide by those teachings. And obviously, even the bulk of Catholics don't.

      But this part
      "It means the church will not be permitted to have an institutional voice in public life."
      really pisses me off.

      Since when are you SUPPOSED to have an institutional voice in PUBLIC life? CATHOLIC life, sure - but I'm NOT Catholic, I don't care about your damn teachings, and you are most decidedly NOT the boss of me.

      If this were a MUSLIM organization, and they made that SAME statement, people would be screaming bloody murder.

      The Catholic CHURCH does NOT get a say in PUBLIC life. That is NOT their place.

    •  The Catholic Church does not get to deny (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy, schnecke21

      employees of lawful medical treatments based on their beliefs. That is my first amendment right not to have that church or anyone else's church dictate to me what I can and can not do. Ditto for the mormon church. I have the right to choose any religion or no religion and the church does not get to sanction or approve medical treatment. The whole discussion is completely foolish. And if churches all over the country had not been allowing coverage for conception this issue might have a non hypocritical leg to stand on, but it doesn't. These Bishops are politically motivated, trying to reassert authority that it has lost after decades of misconduct and abuse in the area of sexuality. They have no authority over me.

    •  They are NOT going out of business (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Danali

      the people who run the hospitals don't see their mission as kowtowing to the bishops.  They see their mission as healing and comforting and they will continue to do it.

      Nuns live in the real world, and nuns operate hospitals.

      As to not being Catholic, apparently the bishops are selective about how this happens.  The hospital in AZ that allowed a theraputic  abortion was tossed out by the bishop for not being Catholic enough and it doesn't seem to have done them any harm.  

      On a personal note, I know Cardinal George from when he was in a previous post - he is one of JPII's ultra-conservatives.

    •  I'm so confused! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OjaiValleyCali

      I belong to a health care plan that is run by a Catholic organization, and have for quite a few years.  Of course, all the hospitals in the plan are Catholic-run as well.  (St. Vincent's, Providence, etc.)

      Since 2007, the state of Oregon has required all health plans to cover contraception.  Providence Health Plans has been playing by these rules for at least five years. without any noticeable outcry about violations of their religious freedom, much less threats to shut down their operations.

      My understanding is that this is a requirement in 27 other states as well.  Guttmacher Institute (pdf):

      20 states allow certain employers and insurers to refuse to comply with the mandate. 8 states have no such provision that permits refusal by some employers or insurers.
      - 4 states [including Oregon] include a “limited” refusal clause that allows only churches and church associations to refuse to provide coverage, and does not permit hospitals or other entities to do so.
      - 7 states include a “broader” refusal clause that allows churches, associations of churches, religiously affiliated elementary and secondary schools, and, potentially, some religious charities and universities to refuse, but not hospitals.
      - ...
      So, now that this mandate comes from the federal government rather than the states, it becomes intolerable?

      Please help me understand your reasoning.

      Catholic historian Lord Acton said that Catholics were too sensible to go crazy every time a pope does.

      by rsmpdx on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 03:13:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  By the Bible, Jesus cured the sick and injured. (8+ / 0-)

    One would think these Bishops would be eager to follow in his footsteps and be super concerned about providing health care to all, but they don't if it gets in the way of their trying to usurp God and put their own asses on the throne of judgement.  They don't care about the sick; they only care about the power.

    •  Good point! It's the church, not the religion (0+ / 0-)

      This is the challenge every organization faces, between living into its vision, non-profit or otw, and trying to survive as an institution. They're not always congruent.

      I read in Cardinal George's long, long whine his longing to preserve the perks and power of the RC church, from the Vatican on down. I sense a centuries-old conflict here, between civil law and church law. The RC hierarchy still winces at the Western view that civil law takes precedence over Church law and governance. They bridle at the impertinence of the Govt demanding obeisance to its terms in return for its largesse. This would never have happened in the Holy Roman Empire!

      Jesus single-handedly cured the sick and afflicted the church hierarchy, sans organization. Here we are now, watching the results of the accretion of 100 generations of bureaucrats, and the distance they have created from the Sermon on the Mount.

  •  Shut it down!!! Yes!!! (5+ / 0-)

    The catholic hospitals will not heed your advance directives if they deem them inconsistent with church doctrine.  Like you need this intrusive, ignorant intervention at the worst possible time in your life.
    I'm in complete support of shutting down the entire miserable thing ASAP - churches, schools, hospitals.  Replace tham with institutions you can trust, that will work with you, and respect your wishes.

    Buh-Bye. Shut it down!
    Thanx, Rogerdaddy, for the "silly men in silly hats" thing.
    Perfect.

  •  Jesus H. CounterCantering Christ (20+ / 0-)

    This man is a embarassment.

    We had a real Cardinal Arch in this town once, a man of towering faith and compassion.  When he was introduced as the new head of the Archdiocese of Chicago he did so by saying

    I am Joseph.  I am your brother
    And never once, to my knowledge did he ever, EVER exhibit the heart sickening arrogance, vitriolic bigotry and unsufferable hypocrisy of his predecessor.

    Don't practice. Train.--Brian Harvey

    by luvsathoroughbred on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 10:38:54 AM PST

  •  He came out against in vitro again... (7+ / 0-)

    the other day. Reminding Catholics that they shouldn't buck Mother Nature by trying to conceive via "artificial" means.

    Great timing, Benny.

    Ich bin ein Wisconsiner!

    by Apphouse50 on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 10:39:55 AM PST

  •  The Cardinal should (15+ / 0-)

    probably put a call into the boards of all those "Catholic" hospitals -- the most likely response would be:  "Are you fucking kidding me . . . . your Eminence?  We run a business, not a church."

    Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 10:44:32 AM PST

  •  Isn't Catholicism partly about the (17+ / 0-)

    the idea that people need intercessors between them and God, or them and the Bible?  

    It only occurred to me when you put it like this, but in a way, yes, the Bishops are (in their own minds) the boss of all Catholics, just as the Pope is the boss of the Bishops, and God is the boss of the Pope.

    That's one of the issues that the Reformation was dealt with, IIRC.

    The one that gets me is claiming that the Catholic Church is "suffering".  I'd like to, just once, see a Bishop or Pope express as much upset and turmoil over actual suffering caused by the Catholic Church's policies and edicts.  Do they not know that the louder they bray about their suffering and moral authority, the more people are reminded of raped children?

    •  They don't know (16+ / 0-)
      Do they not know that the louder they bray about their suffering and moral authority, the more people are reminded of raped children?
      because they live so far removed from the real world that they can't even hear it anymore.

      "Texas is going to shrink government until it fits into a woman's uterus." -- Texas State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte

      by moiv on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 10:53:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why in the hell do people need to have such a (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cai, Amber6541, Danali

      hierarchy of Bishops, Cardinals, etc to worship God?  Why do these positions of power inside of a church even exist?  

      It's like a political type of system.  How does this help people in their faith?  

      These people are are no closer to God than anyone else.  They just want to keep people from thinking.

    •  not exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541

      "Isn't Catholicism partly about the the idea that people need intercessors between them and God, or them and the Bible?"

      No, people do not "need" intercessors between them and God, we just have them.  We pray directly to God, as well as saints who are "intercessors."

      The pope is supposed to be God's word on earth, but each pope can change what the one before him did. In fact, the church's position on abortion has changed several times over the centuries.

      Bishops & Cardinals have no real authority with the message of the Church, they can't make stuff up as they go along. Whatever they tell us has to derive from something the Pope said. And this is what concerns me the most about what this particular Cardinal is doing. He is basically advocating that Catholic hospitals fold over this one political issue. Unless the Pope says that this policy is so severe that the it outweighs the good a hospital does for people, then this Cardinal has no authority to be stoking this fire this way.

      "Every Pootie is a masterpiece." - Da Vinci

      by mdsiamese on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:23:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The church was already irrelevant in most places.. (0+ / 0-)

    Yet the old men of the Catholic Church continue to push.  

  •  And they pretend not to notice... (12+ / 0-)

    ...all the Catholic families at Mass with three children instead of six or eight....

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 11:23:56 AM PST

  •  F*ck Me (24+ / 0-)

    This guy is my cardinal.  And he dares--he dares!--to say my personal faith isn't adequate to the Church's because I use birth control???  

    This coming from a man who turned a blind eye to decades of child abuse.  And recently compared the LGBT movement to the Ku Klux Klan. If this is what I have to do to be adquate in the eyes of the Church, count me out.  

    I'm so mad I could spit.  The next time someone asks me why I'm not at Mass, I'll just say the Cardinal felt my personal faith wasn't up to the task.

    Sorry for the rant but my hair's on fire and I'm smoldering.  

    Voting is like driving. Choose (R) to move backward. Choose (D) to move forward.

    by JAM11 on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 11:26:11 AM PST

  •  So off base (0+ / 0-)

    Yes, you are required to do what the 'bishops' say, except that it's the Pope. No you don't get to pick and choose which rules to follow and which ones you can ignore. And, yes, the Church is being forced to provide birth control to its employees through their insurance. That may be unpalatable but saying it's not true doesn't make it so.

    Riiiiiight. So the 98 percent of sexually active Catholic women who've relied on some form of contraception are not adequately Catholic. Bunch of fakers. Because the only way to be adequately Catholic is to do exactly what the bishops command. It's right there in the Bible! Bishops are the boss of you, and if you don't do what they say, you aren't a good Catholic, sayeth the Lord.
     So having suggested that the Church should deny all health care to all people rather than stand by while its laity continues to use contraception just as it always has, and having chastised that laity for being inadequately subservient to the Church hierarchy, the cardinal concludes:

    I ask lay Catholics and others of good will to step back and understand what is happening to our country as the church is despoiled of her institutions and as freedom of conscience and of religion become a memory from a happier past. The suffering being imposed on the church and on society now is not a voluntary penance.
     Ah yes, the Church and society are indeed suffering by being forced to ... wait, what is it the Church is being forced to do? Oh, right. Absolutely nothing.

    Riiiiiiiiiiight? geeeeeeeeeeeeeez

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 11:45:29 AM PST

    •  And they are forced to support war... (8+ / 0-)

      ...through the tax that they are required to withhold from their employee's paychecks. At least, according to your argument they are.

      I think the Pope declared the Iraq war wrong, but we're all being forced to pay for it. I've never heard of a Bishop complaining about tax money that goes to fund things the Pope condemns...

      ...EXCEPT for contraception. For some reason they fight that, even when it isn't their adherents using it & it isn't their money paying for it. I wonder why?

      •  Tax money goes for contraception? (0+ / 0-)

        where?

        "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

        by eXtina on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 12:03:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Probably not, but taxes for war... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Amber6541

          ...are a closer link to them than their link to insurance companies covering contraception.

        •  Pretty sure Planned Parenthood receives (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          msmacgyver

          some federal tax funding.  That's the reason the righties are so rabid against it.  

          Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. MLK Jr.

          by koosah on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 12:22:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Planned Parenthood is one of (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            koosah, happymisanthropy, Amber6541

            4,500 Title X organizations which receive federal grants.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/...

            The Title X Family Planning Program, officially known as Public Law 91-572 or “Population Research and Voluntary Family Planning Programs” was enacted under President Richard Nixon in 1970 as part of the Public Health Service Act. Title X is the only existing federal grant program that is completely devoted to providing comprehensive family planning and other related preventive health services to individuals. Title X is legally designed to prioritize the needs of individuals from low-income families and/or uninsured people (including those who are not eligible for Medicaid) who might not otherwise have access to these health care services. These services are provided to low-income and uninsured individuals at reduced or no cost. Its overall purpose is to promote positive birth outcomes and healthy families by allowing individuals to decide the number and spacing of their children. The other health services provided in Title X-funded clinics are integral in achieving this objective.

            When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

            by msmacgyver on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:29:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Death penalty, too. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happymisanthropy, Amber6541

        It gets pretty sticky in lots of places when you start looking.  Especially when you also consider the significant amount of secular $$ that the Church receives from the government to administer all sorts of state and federal programs.  Isn't that money tainted?  Or does running it through the Treasury department somehow launder it and make it sin-free?    

        Isn't this one of the reasons Jesus instructed his disciples to cut their ties to material possessions and render unto Caesar and all that?  Because otherwise they could be drawn into these sorts of conflicts?  

        Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. MLK Jr.

        by koosah on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 12:04:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The diarist is challenging the church's right to (0+ / 0-)

        tell their members what they are allowed to believe.

        I am not making any argument - I am challenging the diarist's lack of understanding of how the church works. If you like it, stay. If you don't then leave, but they get to make the rules.

        People are free to not belong to the church if they disagree. If they don't like it, they can leave. If they just found out the church doesn't allow contraception, then they probably aren't very avid churchgoers. But the church doesn't grant 'waivers' or allow cafeteria-style choices.

        "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

        by eXtina on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 12:07:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But the people are the Church (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          koosah, happymisanthropy, Amber6541

          That is why we are so pissed and care.

          But I will not be told, when I know good and well Jesus never spoke about abortion or contraception.

          The two main rules are love of God and love of neighbor. Why should I leave when it is the archbishops who are in the wrong.

          But I will go to Mass a lot less, give a lot less to the Church, and give more to the foodbanks.

          "Your image of God creates you." Richard Rohr

          by createpeace on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 12:17:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  No, they are telling NON-MEMBERS what to do (7+ / 0-)

          No one here has a beef with their telling Catholics what to do. It's what they are trying to enforce on non-member employees that is the issue here.

        •  then you missed the point (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          koosah, Sophie Amrain, Danali

          The diarist is making no such challenge, rather pointing out the hypocrisy of the Lenten message of "Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works," with this Cardinal's message of "If we don't get our way, Catholic hospitals should shut down rather than heal the sick."

          I always go back to the teachings of Christ when reading some pronouncement from some Cardinal or Bishop or even the Pope on some political issue - What would Jesus do? If Jesus had a hospital and was told that if he offered insurance to his employees, his policy had to meet secular laws passed by the state, would Jesus stop healing the sick because he objected to one of those secular laws? Somehow, I just don't think that in this case he would. I don't think that Jesus would close his hospital and stop healing the sick over this. And this is what I find so appalling about this Cardinal's rant. It is opposite the teachings of Christ on so many levels, and blatant hypocrisy, as the diarist pointed out.

          "Every Pootie is a masterpiece." - Da Vinci

          by mdsiamese on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:33:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  What would Jesus do? (0+ / 0-)

            He would probably ignore the secular law and keep healing the sick.

            So, in this case, He would probably allow himself to be fined for disobeying the law, then wait for the authorities to come and confiscate everything rather than paying the fines.

            •  I don't think so (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Danali

              I think Jesus would obey the law to the greatest extent possible in order to keep healing the sick. He would work to change a law he didn't believe in, but he wouldn't close down a hospital over a co-pay.

              "Every Pootie is a masterpiece." - Da Vinci

              by mdsiamese on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 02:11:53 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Jesus was not shy about ignoring authority (0+ / 0-)

                He would probably see healing the sick as one of those things to be rendered unto God as a thing belonging to God, rather than something that falls under civil authority.  You could also look at his willingness to heal on the Sabbath as a desire to do ministry on his own terms rather than submit to the views of other men.

                I would be so quick to cast Jesus as a law-abiding citizen who is submissive to authority.

        •  Not challenging their right (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sophie Amrain

          Calling someone out for what they say is not the same as challenging their right to say it.  

          I don't challenge the Catholic church's right to chose a pedophile enabler to be their current pope, but that doesn't mean I won't point it out.

          Ask your barista what her degree is in.

          by happymisanthropy on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:39:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  They get to make the rules for people who choose (0+ / 0-)

          to be part of that church.  They don't get to make the rules for people who are not part of that church, such as employees at a hospital.  The bishops are a bunch of pampered princes who believe they can bully the President they way they bully their parishoners.  But as long as they take federal money and as long as they employ non-Catholics they cannot avoid following the law.

      •  And notice (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        koosah, Danali

        no threats of excommunication or withholding of the wafer to those pols who supported the war.

        A man in love is incomplete until he is married. Then he is finished. - Eva Gabor

        by nomorerepukes on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:48:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  What's E.J.Dionne say? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy
  •  The Cardinal is basically begging for a (13+ / 0-)

    new protestant movement, which is downright amazing.  When he states: "They are and should be free to do so, but they deceive themselves and others in calling their organizations Catholic." he's basically giving Catholic's an ultimatum.  In favor of contraceptive freedom?  Then you aren't genuinely Catholic, and shouldn't hold yourself out as such.

    Of course, no word at all from the Council of Bishops about other non-lady-parts-related social issues (such as economic justice, war, torture, the death penalty, the environment, immigration, the list goes on and on).  No, as far as the American Bishops are concerned, it's all uterus, all the time.

    As a practicing Catholic, my response is as follows:  If you don't believe I'm genuinely Catholic because I disagree with the Church's stance on this (and several other) issue(s), then stop taking my money, and stop counting me as Catholic for all purposes, including those times when you want the numbers to be high.  Indeed, stop counting all of the 90+% of sexually-active Catholics in the USA who use birth control.  Stop taking their money too.  When you come down the isles with the collection basket, include a checklist, and if we don't score 100 on your purity test, don't take our money.

    I'll get the ball rolling.  No tithing from me until the Bishops speak up (with equal vim and vigor) about a social issue that doesn't involve the female reproductive system.

    •  True - (0+ / 0-)

      there have always been purists and purifiers - they  are the reason for both the reformation and the huge drop off in numbers recently.  

      Catholic theologians are quite worried about the gulf between the bishops and the faithful.   It's not going well at all.

  •  Interesting choice... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    createpeace

    of pronoun considering their attitude towards women:

    ...1) secularize itself, breaking its connection to the church,
    her moral and social teachings and the oversight of its ministry by the local bishop....
  •  didn't he just excommunicate all those Catholic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    swampyankee, happymisanthropy

    women?

    It's kind of funny that all those who say that it's okay for the government to require drug tests for those on welfare (if you don't follow our rules you don't get the government money)

    are the same people screaming about the same principle being applied to catholic run hospitals, universality, etc.  

    Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

    by Clytemnestra on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 12:22:58 PM PST

  •  Does anybody know how the rule (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye, annan

    applies to catholic affiliated hospitals that self-insure?  In that arrangement, the insurance company is itself part of the catholic organization and is not a separate commercial entity.

    I certainly hope Sebelius and Obama will make these entities comply with providing contraception coverage for their employees.

    Insurance benefits are part of the employee reimbursement for the employee's labor.  I don't get how an employer thinks they should be able to tell an employee which health services to use under insurance any more than they could tell them they can't buy cigarettes with the money in their paycheck.

    I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

    by fayea on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 12:29:01 PM PST

    •  Wonder how long it will take Nurses in Catholic (7+ / 0-)

      hospitals to get good and pissed off. I am sending in my notice TODAY. I have finally had enough of this bullshit. And I will tell them why also. Let them try and run their health care organizations without women, since they don't want to pay for women's health care coverage. And I will have a new job, before they have a new nurse. (Serious shortage of Nurses in my area of practice.) In fact already have new job offer, it's just that easy. Where as they have to pay $1000 bonuses to get new Nurses.

      Nurses should call the Bishop's bluff. It would take ONE DAY if the Nurses would just raise their voices.

      If there's a reason for the rich to rule, please Lord, tell us why. -Battle of Jericol, Coal Mining Women

      by JayRaye on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:13:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There will be further compromise. (0+ / 0-)

    The Catholic hierarchy already won the first compromise from Obama.  They know this is an election year and votes will be needed even from the Catholics.  There will be a second compromise couched in the terms of "fine-tuning".  It could be as soon as the end of this week.  It would be great if the Administration just said no but once started on the slippery slope of compromise it will just continue until the Church and other groups are satisfied.

  •  Actually agree with Cardinal George (0+ / 0-)

    The idea that the Church should run big businesses is anachronistic; just a gimmick to offset costs like retirements and other expenses allocating them to business overhead. This isn't the Middle Ages, for Pete's Sake!

    In our diocese they dropped the issue; turns out it was a very bad time to make folks walk out of church in protest, since it was the annual appeal for money for the Archdiocese!

    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

    by MrMichaelMT on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 12:55:29 PM PST

  •  Wow (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    If this mewling and puking prince of the church is representative of his institution (& he does seem to be), the rc church is in trouble.......oh, duh.

  •  How dumb are these assholes? (8+ / 0-)

    No, I mean it. How dumb do you have to be to not realize that (a) you have NO FUCKING RIGHT to make anyone, in or out of your religion, live by your interpretation of your religion? That's not "freedom of conscience," that's tyranny.

    And how utterly completely stupid do you have to be not to realize that even if you succeeded in the evil you want to do, that would leave the door open for OTHER RELIGIONS with different ideas of what's sacred to do THE SAME DAMNED THING! What's to prevent the Mormons from refusing to cover any health care for people who drink coffee? Why shouldn't a devout Jewish employer fire an employee who posts a picture of herself eating bacon to Facebook? Or the Jehovah's Witnesses from refusing to cover lifesaving blood transfusions? Or Christian Scientists to refuse to cover ANY medical treatment other than their prayers?

    Am I the only person who's noticed this? Because I'm the only person I see who's bringing up these points. Is the American public completely uneducated about other religions?

    •  ? Dumb? They Got Movies Censored in the 30's, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy, Sophie Amrain

      birth control outlawed even for married couples in CT till the Griswold decision.

      They've been tilting governance of us all for many years. That's why conservatives were once paranoid that JFK would take instructions from the Vatican.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:18:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And herein are the "culture wars" (0+ / 0-)

      There is a core of cultural conservatives that is very aggressive about (a) controlling the Catholic church and things like its real estate holdings, and (b) using it to impose their unique mix of early 1930s Fascism (yes, with a capital "F") and 15th century theology.

      The scorecard is something like this:

      1. A small but motivated group of ideologues.  Call them the "political officers."

      2. A larger number of apparatchiks who have somewhat internalized the ideology of the political officers but are mostly interested in organizational advancement.  But they're very crusty and won't question what they've been repeating by rote.

      3. Yet more apparatchiks who don't care or who mildly disagree, but who just go along because this is what good organizational men (we can still use that term thanks to the all male priest rule) do.

      4. An opposition group that is basically intimidated into silence, probably because the ideologues have mostly stuck to sexual issues so far and haven't attacked the core social justice mission of the church.  Liberal Catholic clerics tend not to like the sexual doctrines of the church but they care more about actually helping the poor and will put up with it to keep that ministry going.

      It's the political officers who drive this.  They get away with it because the Catholic hierarchy is a large, unaccountable bureaucracy.  This is not a statement about Catholic faith, which does lots of good works in the world, but a characteristic of any bureaucracy, even one set up by Jesus' disciples.  It's also characteristic of opportunistic authoritarians everywhere to exploit this attribute of large bureaucracies.

      •  The attack on social justice is on it's way (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        liberaldregs

        the bishops have told catholic schools that they are changing the way religious studies will be taught.  And one of the biggies is decreasing the importance of social justice teaching.  Pretty sure it's going to be far more conservative and doctrinaire.  

        •  Then the church is going to break apart (0+ / 0-)

          A lot of people who can't stand the bishops' stand on sexual issues put up with it because of the social justice tradition.  Sounds like the new member welcoming committee at my Unitarian church is going to be working overtime.

  •  They're following the Republican playbook. (8+ / 0-)

    No, not the one about befouling our public discourse with nonsense! The one about alienating your own followers until you end up totally marginalized.

    But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

    by Rich in PA on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:04:29 PM PST

  •  oh my (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, cocinero
    This is a form of theft. It means the church will not be permitted to have an institutional voice in public life.
    And that was penned on a napkin and passed around secretly so as to avoid detection from the secular dictators.
  •  I am certain..... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, happymisanthropy, cocinero

    there are healthcare corporations SALIVATING at the thought of Catholic hospitals shutting down - or being put up for sale - simply because the Church will not offer contraception.

    More Money and Clients/Patients for Them.

  •  Not to continue flagellating a deceased equine (6+ / 0-)

    but this wouldn't be an issue if there were single-payer health care.

  •  Ah the Mother Church shakes her booty (0+ / 0-)
    I ask lay Catholics and others of good will to step back and understand what is happening to our country as the church is despoiled of her institutions and as freedom of conscience and of religion become a memory from a happier past. The suffering being imposed on the church and on society now is not a voluntary penance.
    de·spoil  (d-spoil)
    tr.v. de·spoiled, de·spoil·ing, de·spoils
    1. To sack; plunder.
    2. To deprive of something valuable by force; rob: a region despoiled of its scenic beauty by unchecked development.
    [Middle English despoilen, from Old French despoillier, from Latin dspolire : d-, de- + spolire, to plunder (from spolium, booty).]

    dangerous voter for a "dangerous president"; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare."

    by annieli on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:12:20 PM PST

  •  I am a bigger supporter of organized religion (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JAM11, Amber6541, jeturek, mdsiamese, Danali

    than most on this forum, but the bishops have it totally wrong here.

    They had a valid claim of conscience (whether or not I agreed with their belief) when they were being mandated to provide access to and pay for something they thought was incompatible with their religous beliefs.

    However, that is not the case now with Obama's compromise.  What happens now is that the health insurer has to offer no cost contraception to those covered. The church doesn't have to offer it, mention it, or pay for it.

    They do not have a valid complaint at all.

  •  This is How the Right Advances New Restrictions. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    Lie that the Dems have made a huge power grab.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:17:17 PM PST

  •  Time to revoke their tax exempt status (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, mdsiamese, RadGal70

    Pay to play Catholics, pay to play.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:22:50 PM PST

  •  All Catholic hospitals in NYC shut down (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, mdsiamese, lina

    but not for this reason. They were going broke. One left hundreds of millions of dollars in debts, unpaid bills, and unpaid severance pay.

  •  Dear Cardinal Francis George, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    Fuck off.

    Love,
    Puffin.

    Also, I can kill you with my brain.

    by Puffin on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:24:48 PM PST

  •  This is about one thing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    and one thing only:  Abortion.

    The only way the Bishops can get abortion banned in America is to get Republicans elected (they don't see that Republicans don't REALLY care about abortion, they just use the issue to gain power and wealth.)

    Even if electing Republicans means more unnecessary wars, deaths by lack of insurance, mass poverty, etc., it doesn't matter.

    Abortion is the ONLY thing that matters to them right now.

    Which is good news for John McCain.

    by AppleP on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:25:12 PM PST

    •  No, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jeturek, sagansong

      the only thing that matters is maintaining the absolute hierarchical control within the church itself.

      Thus, the church becomes ever more reactionary and inflexible.  Only reactionary bishops can get promoted, and these all happen to be antiabortion ideologues, etc.

      Ask your barista what her degree is in.

      by happymisanthropy on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:46:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed. Above all, the Cardinal's editorial seems (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happymisanthropy

        to be directed at entities such as the Catholic Health Association, which lauded the White House for its compromise.

      •  If that were true (0+ / 0-)

        then what about torture?  Or the death penalty?

        Why aren't they reactionary and inflexible about those issues?  Where are the letters read from the alter on those issues?

        Which is good news for John McCain.

        by AppleP on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 05:22:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Those things don't correlate (0+ / 0-)

          Bishops are chosen who will resist any effort to reform the structure of the church.  Priests who can be trusted to never waiver on an all celibate male priesthood are also antiabortion hardliners.  Torture and the death penalty are not strongly correlated with general misogyny.

          Ask your barista what her degree is in.

          by happymisanthropy on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 10:30:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  no sh*t (5+ / 0-)
    There have always been those whose personal faith is not adequate to the faith of the church.
    to this i say "No Shit."

    Cardinal, when your church found out about those whose faith was so inadaquate they coerced sex from children using the stature of their robes, you shuffled the offenders so as to hide your shame and prolong their criminal enterprises. I'd appreciate you just not claiming to speak for Jesus anymore.

    When life gives you lemons, don't elect them to Congress.

    by papa monzano on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:27:15 PM PST

  •  Baby Rapers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    The Catholic Church, especially (but certainly not only) its American franchise, is an organization that protects and promotes raping babies. It has no moral authority, even if it does quote selectively from longstanding moral authorities, and wraps itself in the authority's dress. Its current global chief actively helped baby rapers escape their consequences and rape more babies.

    Any Catholic who changes their mind because of what a Cardinal says is at best a fool.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:27:42 PM PST

  •  I actually grew up Catholic (4+ / 0-)

    And it's crap like this that led me to add the adjective "lapsed" before that.

  •  "...those who appear most sanctified... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541

    "Those who appear the most sanctified are the worst." --
    Queen Elizabeth I to the Spanish Ambassador.

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:37:47 PM PST

  •  He seems rather quick to dismiss option #2 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mdsiamese

    which I've been saying for weeks.

    If the Catholic Church has strong thoughts on this issue, it may, due to its faith, make sacrifices that those who don't have the faith issues don't have to make. Is this really not economically unsustainable? Or just less emotionally satisfying to the Bishops compared to a public hissey-fit?

    "All things are not equally true. It is time to face reality." -Al Gore

    by Geek of all trades on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:44:55 PM PST

  •  This is what you get (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Danali

    with a Supreme Court which is predominantly Catholic. The Church feels it has a strong hand. Another good reason to re-elect Obama.

    "Even in the valley of the shadow of death, two and two do not make six." Leo Tolstoy

    by Miss Pip on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:45:25 PM PST

  •  I'm just sure that those (0+ / 0-)

    organizations who are deceiving themselves and their organizations and are not Catholic are still tithing to the Catholic church and I am just as sure that The Catholic church is accepting those tithes.

    I have no reason to read the Acts of the Apostles.  the only books in the bible that it is necessary to read are the Gospels, and the words of Jesus.  

    The acts and most of the new testament was written by Paul and I am not a follower of Paul.  Shall we say, Paul had some "issues".

  •  To be cannonized as St Ignoramus of Tea Bag? (0+ / 0-)

    Methinks Cardinal George has been reading Tea Party pamphlets and not the Church's own catechism which as I recall is a lot more pragmatic and doesn't require Catholics to be annointed with santorum

    "I'll press your flesh, you dimwitted sumbitch! " -Pappy O'Daniel

    by jakewaters on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:51:30 PM PST

  •  It's sad. Just sad (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Danali

    As a lapsed Catholic it's just sad when the bishops ignore the teachings of Jesus and go all Old Testament on people, when the people they should have gone all Old Testament on were once members of their group.

    While Americans clearly don't listen to the bishops, people in many other parts of the world do, and go about oppressing women and gays at their bidding.

    You would think with so many dead bodies piling up around them because of such rhetoric that "men of God" might pause and think.

    Apparently not.

    http://www.danablankenhorn.com

    by Dana Blankenhorn on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:57:29 PM PST

  •  The diarist UNDERSTATED the column (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koosah, Danali

    Read the actual column by the Cardinal. He says at the beginning:

    This year, the Catholic Church in the United States is being told she must “give up” her health care institutions, her universities and many of her social service organizations. This is not a voluntary sacrifice. It is the consequence of the already much discussed Department of Health and Human Services regulations now filed and promulgated for implementation beginning Aug. 1 of this year.
    NOBODY told anybody they have to "give up" anything. These institutions can comply with the secular laws imposed on all employers across the country without sacrificing any of their conscience.

    This is basically an "I'm taking my marbles and going home" rant over a co-pay for birth control pills. He is suggesting that a religious affiliated hospital close, stop healing the sick, rather than allow an insurance policy to cover a drug without a co-pay (a drug already allowed btw, we're just talking about a co-pay). This is not what Jesus would do. This is not what the teachings of Christ mean. In the darkest places of the world, under the worst most oppressive governments imaginable, Christ would be there to heal the sick, he would not have a snit and shut down over anything.

    "Every Pootie is a masterpiece." - Da Vinci

    by mdsiamese on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 01:59:56 PM PST

  •  The bottom line... what this is really all about (0+ / 0-)

    is $$ and the fact that private insurers are falling by the wayside in the healthcare process. Whoever runs the healthcare institutions will control a vast portion of our destinies.

    The Catholic Church and its hospital network have been on the muscular march to take over numerous hospitals across this nation.

    This is precisely why Steve Beshear, Gov of KY, denied the Catholic Church and Catholic Health Initiatives, INC the right to take over the University of Louisville Hospital and Jewish Hospital in Louisville and Lexington.

    10 years ago, there were 400 Catholic hospitals.  10 years ago, that was 12% of the total of our healthcare institutions. That percentage in 10 short years is now 22%.

    In 2009, 3 of the Top 10 healthcare systems were Catholic taking in 22% of the healthcare dollars we spent. And since only 22% of our population are Catholic, the other 78% of us should shut off the cash spigot of Medicare, Medicaid and reimbursements when someone tells us we must die or commit suicide for their religion.

    From Catholics for Choice:

    That being said, according to a 1999 survey of 589 Catholic hospitals conducted by CFFC, 82% said that they do NOT provide emergency contraception under any circumstanceseven if a woman has been sexually assaulted.
    Supposedly, the federal government offers "Catholic HMO insurance" for Catholics. That's the way to go to provide options, BUT the Catholic hospitals do NOT get to rule the roost when they are gobbling up so many of our healthcare investment dollars.


    One may live without bread, but not without roses.
    ~Jean Richepin
    Bread & Roses

    by bronte17 on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 02:01:36 PM PST

  •  Hey, RCC, get out of the hospital business. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Danali, gagme

    That's right, just get out. No need to sell it, just give it to some other corporation - after all, you're not in it for the money, right?

    So, get out. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

    I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

    by tle on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 02:07:57 PM PST

  •  Cardinal George has a point (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Danali

    ...the Catholic church is not a democracy, and it's policies, prescriptions, and proscriptions are not made by or for the flock.  They are mandated from the top and required by all true Catholics.  It has always been this way and I have long grown weary of Catholics who protest it.  It is kind of.. no, EXACTLY like being a Gay Republican.  

    I'm not saying any of this in support of the Catholic church. I am saying this as an EX-Catholic who would dearly like to see the Catholic hierarchy accountable to anyone other than themselves.  And that is not going to happen while those who do not believe and do not practice Catholic teaching, nonetheless continue to support the Church with their money and their numbers.  

  •  Sorry but most Catholics (0+ / 0-)

    are full of shit when it comes to Catholicism. Probably moreso in Catholic-thick areas such as the Northeast where "Catholic" is as much or more a cultural identity than it is a religion.

    98% of "Catholic" women commit the sin of contraception in spite of Catholic law? Not surprising. Most Catholics don't really care about Catholic teachings until Sunday, or Lent, or Christmas, or whenever they decide their "faith" actually matters. They don't pray three times a day. They don't say Grace before lunch or dinner, unless it's with the larger family. And have they gone to Confession in the past three months? Probably not. Odds are they haven't been to Mass since, say, Advent.

    I once had a "Catholic" tell me that he thought that the Pope was "wrong" on a number of things, e. g. abortion or gay rights. He wouldn't accept my argument that papal infallibility is a core tenet of Catholicism and therefore he was not actually a practicing Catholic. It's too inconvenient to follow what the Pope says, or that you are supposed to, so... simply don't! But you're still a Catholic, because, you say you are.

    Catholics comprise one of the largest groups of cognitive dissonants in America, right up there with "vegetarians" who eat chicken, and Log Cabin Republicans.

    Terrorists can attack freedom, but only Congress can destroy it.

    by romulusnr on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 04:50:18 PM PST

  •  Bishops are mafia crooks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gagme

    Mr George of Chicago talks about the Church's hospitals.   I don't know where he gets off saying that since in the only way the hospitals are Catholic is that the church stole the deeds.  Unless the institutions are older than crap, they were built with funds subsidized, augmented and exempted by the public coffers.  Operating expenses are subsidized by government funds and insurance reimbursements not out of the Church's tax exempt charities.  And in the rare instances where nuns and priests stll work they are paid out of ordinary, usually government funds.   If George wants the hospitals to be Catholic in anything but name  he should first reimburse us for them.  

  •  1st amendment covers beliefs NOT practices (0+ / 0-)

    It is settled law, even with Scalia, that the 1st amendment protects beliefs and opinions, NOT necessarily practices, especially if those practices collide with separation of church and state.

    Thus, the rulings on Quakers paying war taxes and the Amish having to vaccinate/school their children.

    Also, once a religious institution enters the secular realm or a business, they must play by those rules.  Same with not for profits.  For example, once a non-profit enters into a business, it must pay taxes just like a for-profit business.  Otherwise, they have an unfair advantage.

    If the Catholic Church wants to take their ball and go home, let them.  It will only hasten their demise, already at a rapid rate in the first world.

    •  Oh, one more thing (0+ / 0-)

      Once you take ANY public money (state or federal, medicare, construction bonds, etc.) you have officially relinquished your right to cram your beliefs/opinions down anyone's throat.

      Run your educational institutions/hospitals solely on your own.  If your conscience is so dear, you have a simple either/or choice.

  •  What Acts actually says is... (0+ / 0-)

    The good bishop seems to mean this verse:
    Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (Acts 20:28)
    because this is the only reference to bishop (overseer) in Acts.

    He conveniently takes it out of context, however, by not including the next verses, with their admonition for Christians to beware of the fallibility of bishops:
    For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch ... (Acts 20:29-31)

    It is always good to find out what the Bible actually says and to handle the text with care.

    They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations ... (2Timothy 4:4-5, New International Vsn.)

    by Two cents from Derwood on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 08:05:17 PM PST

  •  Some say. (0+ / 0-)

    That the healthcare crisis in this country could be solved by mandating that non-profit hospitals operate on the same playing field tax-wise that profit hospitals do.  Namely... PAY TAXES!  That would free up more government funds to support healthcare initiatives for citizens and reimburse doctors and healthcare providers more fairly.  

    Religious hospitals get taxpayer dollars in the form of Medicare/Medicaid payments.  Therefore, they should pay taxes like everyone else.  And, they should have to provide care to everyone on the same level.

    Abortion Clinics OnLine, the world's first and largest source for online abortion clinic information. Join my DK Abortion Group.

    by annrose on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 08:33:57 AM PST

  •  'Cuz Christ talked so much about birth control and (0+ / 0-)

    ...sexual morality, like, all through the Gospels.

    Oh, wait.

    He said not one fracking thing, in all of the Gospels, about contraception or abortion. And he said almost nothing about sexual morality, framing marital fidelity as simple honesty and fairness rather than sexual morality per se.

    The Bishops are said, bitter, twisted little men.

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