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Sunday, October 23, 2016

What is most striking about the showdown over contraceptive freedom is not the political victory that President Obama earned by standing up for women’s reproductive rights, although his Republican adversaries are certainly helping him to make the most of it. Those adversaries don’t seem to realize they have fallen into a trap, whether the White House set them up intentionally or not.

While the Catholic bishops and their allies on the religious right insist that this is an argument over the First Amendment, their true, longstanding purpose now stands revealed to the public. They would begin by imposing their dogma on every woman unlucky enough to work for an employer who shares it – an agenda that is deeply unpopular even among the Catholic faithful, let alone the rest of the American electorate. Then they would impose it on everyone, as the theorists of the religious right suggest every time they deny the separation of church and state.

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Copyright 2012 The National Memo
  • BarneyGoogle1940

    I was impressed our president was able to forge a compromise in which the insurance companies aborbed the cost of providing birth control. What would we do if the Jehovah’s Witnesses who oppose blood transfusions owed a business or ran a health facility, insisted they would neither provide transfusions or pay for them through insurance. The religious freedom asserted by the bishops is we have the right to force our point of view on people who work for our institutions. This is shameful

  • leon

    You haven’t the slightest idea what you are talking about. You are just as stupid as the President to think he has any right to interfear with my life as he has in the last 3 years. With assholes like you who praise and support him I say wait for his down fall and then we will see what you have to say. ASSHOLE

  • Richie T

    Technically, it’s not “separation of church and state”.
    The 1st amendment,
    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”
    The Government cannot support any particular religion, or deny any religion.
    IE; ANY law based on, influenced by, or that denies, any aspect of any religious belief, violates the 1st Amendment.
    The organizations can have policy’s, that’s their right, but there can’t be a law.

  • John Walls

    If the Catholic Bishops/Church wish to do as they please when it comes to birth control/contraception then their tax exempt status should be revoked. The church and the bishops are more concerned with the church’s image and ideals that are out of date by at least a hundred years than they are about giving their congregations want they want and prosecuting abusive priests. Hey, to all you who are going to bash me now, it is only my opinion and opinions are like backsides, everyone has one and they all STINK!

  • StevenBrungard

    Religion has been a good business in the US. Religion businesses spend nearly 400 million dollars each year just to lobby congress. Add to that all of the advocacy and advertising and lobbying they do at local and state venues. But the customer base of the religion businesses has been declining. Their primary source of new customers is children. Pushing hard against abortion and birth control is their best hope to maintain and increase the number of children they have access to. Imagine how the birth rate will increase when abortion and birth control are eliminated. Add in the ideal of the obedient, submissive, child rearing, home making wife and the religion business regains vitality.

    Another factor in this contraceptive issue is cost. With 600 hospitals and 200 universities run by the catholic business alone, religion businesses are concerned about the cost of providing no cost reproductive care to female employees. Whether by direct payment or payment through insurers, cost is an appreciable concern. It might require diminishing the lobbying and or the promotions budget.

    Two matters of logic interest me. One is that contraceptives prevent the abortions that religion businesses decry. Another is the personal responsibility that the religion influenced republicans will trumpet but not for females or corporations, especially not their corporations. Females are unable to make reproductive or family planning decisions and corporations are not able to succeed without government assistance and protection.

  • bmerbob

    Leon, is it necessary for you to insult the commentor and the President simply because they disagree with your opinion? And how exactly does this issue interfere with your life? Is the President forcing you to take birth control medication? Your vile post, in my opinion, and I would guess some might agree with me, kind of puts you in the category of the body part you use in your insult. It is that kind of attitude and mentality that divided this country and precludes civil discussion of issues.

  • Richie T

    Not really getting into this, I see it in allot of comments, the only way to change the tax exempt status of religious organizations, is a modification of the 1st amendment. “free exercise thereof”

  • leemsgt

    Being a minister of the gospel, I find it sad that so called righteous people want to impose their beliefs on everyone. I thought businesses were supposed to be licensed and regulated by the local, state & federal governments (We the People), be they for profit or non-profit. why don’t we just vote to become a theocracy like Iran. The bishops should spend time cleaning up the sexual problems amongst themselves.Let us pray for our country.

  • bmerbob

    The intent of the 1st amendment clearly is separation of church and state, as explained in writing by Thomas Jefferson himself.

    “”Separation of church and state” (sometimes “wall of separation between church and state”) is a phrase used by Thomas Jefferson (in his 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists) and others expressing an understanding of the intent and function of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The phrase has since been repeatedly cited by the Supreme Court of the United States.”

    Article VI states “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” So it appears to me the Republicans are
    in violation of the Constitution in their attacks on Obama with their ridiculous war on religion stuff.

    It seems to me when the Catholic (or any) church operates businesses, schools or hospitals they have left the realm of pure church and as employers should be held to the exact same laws and requirements as all other employers, particularly when they receive federal funding.

  • Inhocsignovinces

    The Magisterium’s opposition to medical methods of birth control is based on the dogma that every sex act must be accompanied by “procreative intent”. The hypocrisy of that dogma is plainly revealed by the fact that, no matter how hard a bishop tries, he will never make an altar boy pregnant.

  • BobShipp

    Give me a break. From the Inquisition to Butt F**king little boys and everything in between (remember the silence during the Holocaust?), where does the (C)hurch get off screaming bloody murder (literally) about this? They should be glad we haven’t used the RICO act to pursue the depths to which they have gone to protect the culture of child abuse and sexual discrimination in their holy work in the name of god. I don’t need any lectures or pontificating from this crowd! This is the 21st century not the 15th…..

  • sleeprn01

    I have to agree with bemerbob, he has taken the words right out of my mouth. Other than the requirement to carry health insurance, where has President Obama intervened in your life? The penalty for not having insurance is a $75.00 fine. At least in Maryland to own a car you are under mandate to carry auto insurance and I can tell you that the fine for not having it isn’t $75, it can easily range into the 1000s of dollar range. If I were king, people like you would not need to carry health insurance but 2 million in personal liability insurance; I don’t want to pay for your stupidity. Now, back to my original question, how has President Obama interfeared in your life? I’ve hear this often said, so I hope that you can provide me with an answer!!!

  • PatrickHenry

    It is your Lefty The National Memo that is supporting taking away the rights of ALL Americans guaranteed under our Bill of Rights> You mention the rights of a select group, and when you start this chipping away of the People’s 1st. Amendment Rights, other Rights will follow!

  • justcommonsense

    These hypocritical bishops should be more concerned with saving souls than saving money. Don’t they realize that a vast majority of catholic women are using some form of birth control and are therefore damned to spend eternity in hell? If they were effectively doing their jobs, they wouldn’t have to worry about saving money. And, speaking of money, why doesn’t the Vatican pull a few treasures out of their basement, run a yard sale and eliminate world hunger with the proceeds?

  • noreasterbybirth

    I think the larger point that is missed here and by many that this recent incident with the Catholic Church illuminates is that: 1. We really don’t know what is in the healthcare bill known as PPACA since very few people have read it to date, and 2. That when we do know all that is in the bill we will be shocked at the liberties that will be taken away. It is just a fact that when a government controls your healthcare they can DICTATE the care you get, or don’t get, and there is not a thing you can do about it. I fear for the day we know all the facts of this bill and have to live, or die, by them. Just remember the words of our illustrious House Leader at the time, Ms Pelosi, who said “We must first pass the bill to find out what is in it”.

  • katela

    It’s a labor law issue, you dumb ass.

  • snarky

    As far as noreasterbybirth’s last sentence. Ms. Pelosi was speaking of the American people, not the congress. The congress debated the bill for months. It is not in the same vein as Cheney-bush launching wars in order to figure out what was next. I am sure the American people were kept up to speed on that? Right?

    As far as the religious right. They are neither right or religious. They seek wealth, power and fear. Nothing they say or do has anything in common with the teachings of Jesus.

  • rafael vazquez

    Though the 1st ammendment makes a strong case regarding reproductive laws, it is common sense that rules here. I am an evangelical and do not agree with or condone abortion. However, I believe that women have a right to do with their bodies as they wish, short of self inflicted harm or suicide. I also believe that if woman desire to use prevention in order to avoid abortion, more power to them. I don’t believe that any religious organization should take such a strong stand on these issues. The ten commandments and religious laws were written centuries ago and may have been needed then. Today, life is more modern and people are more aware. Religion should not alienate itself from the people to simply hold fast to rules and customs that may not be necessary today.

  • PatBrown

    Why is it that when people disagree with anyone who supports Obama and the rights of women, they have to curse? Can’t they use basic, intelligent arguments instead of calling people assholes? Obama’s interfering with” my life as he has in the last 3 years” Obama isn’t forcing anyone to use birth control or even accept the medical care now available to people who can’t afford it. It seems to me, it’s the Catholic Bishops who are trying to impose their beliefs on other people who just happen to work for them, or is one of their party becomes President, prevent all women from being anything but baby machines until they die in child birth when they’re forced to carry babies to term no matter what it means to the health of those women.

    Religion has no business enforcing their laws on anyone. We object to letting Muslims impose sharia law, but it’s okay if a Catholic Bishop does? Or an Evangelical Christian group? Tell me what the difference is.

  • Bassicdave

    If the contraception discussion hasn’t pushed the right so far into the fringe that it’s the blow that lands them on the canvas, the “outrage” they express when religions other than Christianity start exercising THEIR moral rights to refuse whatever they want against Christians. Notice that boneheads like “leon” or “patrickhenry” are incapable of articulating an argument or idea for discussion. I think that tells us everything we need to know about the strength of their logic.

  • bigD

    Give me a break. Let these so called religous institutions do what they want. The government should abide by a complete seperation of church and state. DO NOT allow any government money to be given to any religous based business–that means no Medicare, Medicaid, government research grants, etc. to go to any of these religous institutions–including Pell grants and other government backed education loans to any religous university. You get the point. See how long they keep their Old Testament laws.

  • PatBrown

    “taking away the rights of ALL Americans guaranteed under our Bill of Rights”

    Whoever thinks this, would you please tell me what rights are being taken away? People always seem to be throwing out claims like that, but they never back them up. Just like they make the ridiculous claim that the media is liberal. In what universe? Who owns most of the media in this country? It’s not liberals that’s for sure. Those are the buzz words thrown out to scare the masses into following the path of hate and fear without question.

    The ignorance about universal health care continues to astonish me. I live in Canada right now and I will tell you that no one tells me what medical care I can get. I choose my own doctor and we don’t stop coverage for people with preexisting conditions. Nor are chronically ill patients left to die because their HMOs won’t give them expensive tests. In actual fact, America spends more on health care than Canada does. Mostly because we get preventative care to keep us healthy, not wait till we’re sick to deal with us.

    And finally, no one in Canada would cheer when a politician said he would let the poor die in the name of cutting government out of people’s lives. Well people who aren’t women who have the gall to think their bodies are their own. Then the government wants to have even more control.

    But please, please, please tell me how Obama is controlling your lives?

  • freethinker

    The President’s first tact was simply a crude violation of the first amendment. His repositioning did not change anything about the violation, it simply pushed the cost of birth control, etc. (free from insurance companies) back to you and me. The President certainly knows there is no ‘free’. That PatBrown is how the President is controlling our lives. Just a quick question, if Canadian health is so great, how come so many Canadians cross the border for health care?

  • Sleipnir

    My friends son and his family are catholic and followed the church’s teachings and didn’t use birth control and had 6 children before they finally decided they couldn’t afford any more and he had a vasectomy. He lost his job and was unemployed for almost two years. Unemployment was not enough to pay the bills and feed a family of 8 so his parents used most of their savings helping them out. My question is, why didn’t the catholic church help them financially since they followed the teachings of the church. They try to force their dogma on everyone but do nothing to help when it’s needed whether its someone who had to many children they can’t support or a woman forced to have a child she doesn’t want or can afford.

  • Fearfull Ralph

    You are missing one very important detail, freethinker. Those Canadians coming to the US for health care have their care paid for by Canada and are usually here because the area where they live is medically under served (like Texas, Alaska, Nevada, etc.). For the most part they are not coming here because they want to be here and most Canadians I know complain bitterly about being sent out of country and away from their families for their health care. By the the way, another reason that the uberwealthy of other nations come here for health care is that we have hospitals with luxury suites and no waiting for admittance while those same people are treated the same as the poor in their country with no butler service available.

  • Jackie Allen

    Ignorance is a dangerous thing, because it slams shut the mind to the very reality that it denies. The world is becoming a more dangerous place each day we refuse to
    see what man is doing while rushing to our destruction. We are ruining the air, water, land and everything we can touch. While all the Republican candadites can do is blather about abortion, birth control, etc. children in our country are coming
    to school hungry, homeless or abandoned. Religion is fine in church–keep in THERE.

  • Kitchenman

    The issues is the forcing of ME to support your free policy. If you want birth control, fine. Good for you. BUT DON’T MAKE ME PAY FOR YOUR use of it. That’s the violation. It’s to a right, it’s a choice.