Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Archbishop Timothy Dolan attacks women's rights. No suprise there

Opulence and wealth.  WWJD
Timothy Dolan, the rather elaborately dressed gentleman to your left, is very upset.  Dolan is the archbishop of New York and president of the US conference of Catholic Bishops. He's the Catholic equivalent of the leading Iranian Imam or Afghani Mullah but the political climate he finds himself in restrains his power.

He's mad at the Obama administration for refusing to exempt religious institutions that "serve the common good" such as Catholic schools, charities and hospitals from the provisions in his health care plan that "require employers to to provide all forms of contraception approved by the Food and Drug Administration without co-payments or deductibles..." the Wall Street Journal reports today.

Dolan called the decision "a literally unconscionable" attack on religious freedom. "The Catholic Church defends religious liberty, including freedom of conscience." Dolan writes in his WSJ op-ed piece. The Catholic Church is one of the main organizations that has been an obstacle to human development. It was the religion of the feudal aristocracy that capitalism jettisoned.  It has historically opposed religious freedom and responded to threats to its prestige and power with unconscionable violence. The Catholic Church is the only religion that has its own state and through its network of clerics throughout the world promotes free market policies and the interests of capitalism and the bankers.  It is an undemocratic male dominated organization whose chief executives have covered up for a massive epidemic of child abuse on the part of pedophiles within its ranks, even to the point of sending these criminals to fresh hunting grounds when their activities became apparent.

This global corporation has its home base in the small state called the Vatican in Rome.  As a haven for pedophiles this corporation has been forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation to the victims but for the most part the perpetrators of the crimes have gone unpunished including the head of the organization, Benedict, the former Nazi youth member.

And what is all this religious freedom nonsense?   Even here in the US, religious freedom is tolerated as long as the Christian religion is dominant.  If Islam continues to grow apace you'll see how popular religious freedom is in this country and which religion is the right one. The Jews, a small percentage of the population here will find that out too if Israel for some reason becomes less of important Middle East foothold for US capitalism than it is now.

We are all restricted by society in one way or another, some good, many bad. In capitalist society by laws that protect the rights of capital to exploit Labor power; after all, the revered first amendment to the US constitution doesn't apply in the workplace. Yet when I raised with a friend that I supported efforts here in San Francisco to ban circumcision, a form of genital mutilation,  I was stepping on the right of religious freedom. What sort of freedom is that?  The child having a part of his body cut off without anaesthetic doesn't have the right to object. But why should I expect these religious figures that communicate with the supernatural to respect human rights?  Why would I expect them as employers to offer their workers birth control that gives women more control over the reproductive process?

The esteemed archbishop and the organization he represents doesn't have much credibility, historically or in more recent times. He objects to a law that forces Catholics to treat "Pregnancy like a disease".  Dolan's organization has wallowed in centuries of male dominance and social power.  It refused to excommunicate Hitler while it excommunicates women for practicing mass. This representative of an undemocratic institution run by a group of aged misogynists rambles on about morality as it denies the right of women to control their own bodies.  The archbishop cares about human life, you see. But he doesn't care enough about it to wage a public campaign against the violence waged against the people of the world or against American workers by US capitalism. His love of morality and "conscience" doesn't compel him to comment on the need to address those efficient destroyers of human life and liberty Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld or the war monger Obama, point out an "immoral" justice system that sentences a man who murdered 24 Iraqi's to three months in prison as hundreds of thousands of US workers languish in US jails, the American Gulag.

These religious institutions are not supposed to be political and yet that's exactly what they are.  Here in Oakland the archbishop's organization just built a new cathedral by Lake Merritt that costs million of dollars. It is built on prime lakeside land and as a tax exempt organization will no doubt pay no taxes on it.  This is as slumlords exploit the poor and the taxpayers renting out decrepit lodgings.  That is one thing that must change, the tax exempt status of political organizations like the Catholic Church.

I would like to say that the archbishop, like the Emperor, has no clothes, but as we can see, he clearly has a considerable wardrobe.  Dolan is rising up the ranks of the church hierarchy and is expected to be "elevated to the rank of cardinal next month.." writes the Wall Street Journal.

I believe in religious freedom but like all freedom it has its limits, and like all worldly organizations, the catholic church has its members who may be genuine although I can't understand why someone would associate with such an organization.  Workers more often than not are sincere about their religious beliefs, people like Dolan are manipulators and propagandists for capitalism and Wall Street.   As a committed atheist and therefore persecuted minority I can't say I wish the archbishop luck in his new job.  Perhaps his god might "elevate" him home sooner than later and do us all a favor before he does more damage to humanity.

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