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I haven't written a letter to the editor in awhile. There's been some flak about a Nativity scene that was displayed on the grounds of a municipal building. Ultimately, I did not have the time or the passion to write on that topic. However, the "You're infringing on my religious freedom" meme is being heard elsewhere, and I decided to add my $0.02 to the mix:

Civil liberties arguments have become twisted lately. [A local priest] says President Obama’s policy forcing religious agencies to offer contraceptives and sterilization coverage to their employees would infringe upon the religious freedom of Catholics.

But the dirty little secret, according to a report from the Guttmacher Institute, is that 98 percent of Catholic women have used contraceptives banned by the Church. Is it so imperative to avoid infringing on the antiquated sensibilities of a religious doctrine that its own parishioners disregard?

President Obama is not forcing Catholic women to use contraceptives. What about the rights of non-Catholic women who are employed by Catholic charities?

When a religious institution becomes a business that is partially funded by taxpayers, the line separating church and state is crossed, and that business should have to serve all taxpayers and obey all civil laws, just like any other business.

President Obama has already found a compromise for this issue, however, such a compromise will not work in other instances.

Taxpayer funded Catholic charities in states where same sex marriage is legal must allow for adoption by same sex couples. Some institutions have shut down rather than be forced to comply.

Individuals use this meme against gay couples, also. Some clerks in New York have refused to sign marriage licenses for same sex couples. They say that because they do not agree with the “gay lifestyle,” it is an infringement on their religious freedom to be forced to sign civil marriage licenses. Why these people have not been fired outright is a testimony to the power of the Church in this country.

Religious institutions and individuals do not have the right to force their moral and religious beliefs onto the rest of society. This is not a theocracy. Yet.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 11th, 2012 05:21 am (UTC)
Don't forget to include the doctors who won't prescribe birth control or perform sterilization procedures because of their own religious beliefs. Get the hell out of medicine and go into the priesthood, says I.
Feb. 11th, 2012 05:44 am (UTC)
Feb. 11th, 2012 05:50 pm (UTC)
Too bad the Bible didn't say "Go forth and multiply *responsibly.*"

This whole argument boils down to one problem the Catholic Church has with modernization- it refuses to acknowledge that God's word might not be invalid in a fully sexual society. The old testament texts grew up during a time in human culture when controlling sexuality was paramount- who you had children with and when in order to preserve the purity of the race. Every culture in old history was *horribly* racist and xenophobic and for some reason our myopic lens of the history of our culture to see it even as some of the more restrictive reproductive practices continue today. Requiring that a potential wife convert to the male's religion? C'mon.

I seriously doubt God would have Created this amazing place called Earth only to order us to strip it bare and kill it just to go forth and multiply.

Until the Word of God can be detangled from the word of man, Truth will be obscured.
Feb. 11th, 2012 06:35 pm (UTC)
We do not learn well from world history. When one must distort facts in order to follow a religious dogma, there is something seriously wrong.
Feb. 11th, 2012 08:15 pm (UTC)
I find it very telling that the objection for such a basic necessity for many women as contraceptives comes from the ALL MALE leadership of the Catholic Church. Men who have never had a menstrual cramp or excessive bleeding in their lives, and never will. And assuming they actually follow the celibacy rule, (I'm not going to get started on that topic) have no need for birth control. Funny how easy it is for someone to oppose freedoms that don't affect them.

It is everyone's Constitutional right to believe what they wish. It is not their right to deny others that same freedom.
Feb. 11th, 2012 09:32 pm (UTC)
Feb. 13th, 2012 07:18 pm (UTC)
Reading about crap like this just makes me unreasonably angry. >:( I don't understand how it can be acceptable in this day and age for people to be denied perfectly legal medical care and other rights based on somebody else's religion.
Feb. 13th, 2012 11:51 pm (UTC)
The wrong-headedness of this makes perfect sense to you and me. But heaven forbid you should attack the Catholic Church! I got into a whole battle with some people on FB yesterday, until I had to walk away from the debate, shaking the dust from my sandals snow from my boots as I left.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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