Having met earlier this week and declared that regardless of public opinion, the Catholic bishops aren't giving up their losing war on women's health. Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York and the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has come up with a brand new rhetorical strategy to counter the growing consensus that the Church doesn't care about women, and it's sure to be a winner:
Nuh uh. No, really. That's the argument. Nuh uh:
When it comes to the health of women, their babies, and their children, the Catholic Church is there, the most effective private provider of such care anywhere around.Cardinal Dolan cites, as his nuh uh evidence, stirring tales of "fresh water projects" in "impoverished, thirsty countries throughout the third world," all because of the good work of Catholic Relief Services. These wells enable young girls to do other things with their lives—like go to school—instead of having to spend hours every day carrying water to their villages from the nearest water source. It's an important program, no doubt, but it doesn't exactly prove that the Church is "the most effective private provider" of health care for women.
But hey, it's evidence enough, according to the cardinal:
And now understand why Catholics rightly bristle when politicians and commentators characterize the Church as backwards and insensitive when it comes to women’s health.Actually, no. Because "Catholics" aren't bristling; they, like the rest of the country, oppose the Church's attempt to inject its dogma into our health care policies. The only "bristling" is from the bishops, who are frustrated that they can't even get their own laity to follow the Church's rules on sex.
But nuh uh, says the cardinal:
We just want to be left alone to live out the imperatives of our faith to serve, teach, heal, feed, and care for others. We cherish this, our earthly home, America, for its enshrined freedom to do so. Those really concerned about women’s health would be better off defending the Church’s freedom to continue its work.The Church is, of course, still perfectly free to "serve, teach, heal, feed, and care for others." No one forced it to pull its funding from services for the homeless because the director supports marriage equality; the Church came up with that one all on its own.
The Church is still "free to continue its work," including spending millions of dollars on lobbying and pursuing its new "get tough" policy to shut down Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). No one is standing in the way there either.
The cardinal is even free to spend his time using his blog to smear children who claim to have been molested by priests. Since that's apparently an important part of the Church's devotion to caring for women and children.
The cardinal's right about one thing, though:
We’re on the offensive when it comes to women’s health, education, and welfare, here at home, and throughout the world.At this point, does anyone really doubt that the Church is on the offensive when it comes to women's health? With all of its hand-wringing and multi-million-dollar lobbying against women's health care, it's actually perfectly clear just how offensive the Church really is.
In the words of Cardinal Dolan: