Monday, February 13, 2012

Contraception: Obama backs off, but the priests want more

Oakland's new Cathedral
No more tax exemption for religious outfits

I can't stand it anymore.  The back and forth between a few unelected old men that run the Catholic church in the US and the very "Christian" president Obama over his health plan that would have required religious institutions that employ workers to provide contraceptive insurance.  These moral and caring clerics raised such a fuss over the issue that Obama has backed off in the name of religious freedom.  The compromise now says that the religious employer will have to provide it but not pay for it.  The insurance carrier will spread the cost to the rest of us.  The holinesses are not pleased though and voice their disdain for the plan despite the compromise and are waging a campaign against it.

Michael Quinn, a holiness in San Francisco compares the campaign to the civil rights movement: "This is our Rosa Parks moment." he tells his parishioners Sunday, I assume at mass. That's an insult to Rosa Parks for sure.  "By what authority does the president of the United States seek to impose this moral policy?" says another, a Bishop from Rhode Island. Another one, an "Arch" Bishop, wants legislation to deal with this legislation that is an "unprecedented incursion of state power in to the domain of religious freedom."

Bubel: Birth control is "Poison"
The idea that a woman can have easy and affordable access to contraception and therefore more control over her reproductive functions is a terrifying thought to these mullahs of the west.  Birth control, ", in fact, poison. It is a poison for our bodies. It is a poison for our souls." the Rev. Robert Bubel tells his flock at St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC. The decision, "is likely to encourage priests across the country to continue their months long campaign against the requirement." the Wall Street Journal reports. But wait!  Preaching against political legislation at mass, waging an organized "political" campaign to change laws.  Isn't that engaging in politics?

How can these huge institutions, businesses really, be tax exempt if they participate in the political affairs of the land?  I went by that steel and glass Catholic cathedral in Oakland the other day  and I cringe when I do. The building cost some $200 million and sits on prime real estate next to Lake Merritt. There were even concerns about Catholic Church Inc. spending so much money on this building, a residence and burial place for church dignitaries,  given that the Diocese of Oakland was forced to "take out a loan to cover half its $54 million settlement with 56 sex abuse victims."

It's not as if ordinary Catholics have taken to the streets to oppose contraceptive health insurance coverage.  Why would they? A poll last week found that 58% of Catholics believed that "all employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception." according to the WSJ.  52% of Catholics believe that religiously affiliated colleges and universities should do so also and millions of Catholic women use contraception.

The Catholic church is in dire straits.  It has been proven that its head, the pope in Rome knew about the existence of serial rapists and pedophiles in the organization but covered up for them as did lesser dignitaries.  It is an institution that is a cover for Wall Street and the banks. It was once the church of the feudal aristocracy and has, by historical necessity become a cheerleader for capitalism.  Its hands are dirty in the crushing of the Liberation Theologists in Latin America and the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero.  It is losing ground to its arch enemy, Protestantism in Latin America as well and has been driven from power in Ireland where it ruled with an iron fist for centuries.

We defend an individuals right to religious freedom, but belief in god is a personal matter and has no place in public life, buildings literature, politics or restricting the reproductive rights of women or the sexual activities of consenting adults. etc. It is time to end the tax exempt status of what are clearly organizations that are political in nature.

What is rising in opposition to a woman's right to control her reproductive process and her sexual activity is a predominantly male gang of old backward clerics representatives of  organizations (the Catholic church is not alone) that have throughout history been among the most repressive institutions and supporters of all forms of despotism. What do these man-made monoliths have to do with god or Jesus Christ for that matter?

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