The Separation Of Church And Reality

There are lots of reasons why people, myself included, don’t particularly like President Obama. He fails to keep promises… um, except that one about expanding the war in Afghanistan. He’s backed (and led) by the 1%. Plus, he’s a socialist! Don’t I wish.

See, mixed in with all of the legit criticisms of our commander-in-chief are the ones that seem to come from the heavens — like the written statement by Bishop Tobin, which was given to Mt. Carmel churchgoers this weekend. The document was in response to Obama’s recent mandate requiring all private health care plans to cover FDA-approved contraceptives. Sparing the gory details about “pro-abortion” politicians who worship a “culture of death”, let’s just say the Catholic church feels the decision violates its freedom of religion. The bishop’s knowledge of the constitution, let alone his flock, must be based entirely on faith because there’s absolutely no truth to it.

The 1st ammendment guarantees us the freedom from religion as much as it does the freedom of religion. In other words, the separation of church and state cuts both ways and people (Catholics, non-Catholics and their doctors) should be just as free to choose contraception as they are not to choose them. This simple point, along with the fact that 98% of sexually active Catholic women of child-bearing age have used contraceptives, is lost on Tobin. I guess he would rather resort to unholy name-calling and political heavy-handedness than actually do his job. I mean, honestly, pro-abortion? Yeah, because, as all non-believers know, the only thing better than one abortion is two, right?

In what world, other than Tobin’s imaginary one, does simply forbidding people from doing evil suddenly make them good? The bishop would clearly be better served to practice what he preaches. If he’s truly opposed to a culture of death, then where are the statements condemning capital punishment or the longest war in US history? I’m afraid no amount of faith will make them miraculously appear. Fortunately, you can be a part of a more consistent pro-life crowd.

As for Obama, you know he’ll back pedal. That’s how he rolls, that’s why I didn’t vote for him and hopefully I won’t feel the need to stick up for him again. Remember to vote 3rd party in November!

5 Responses to “The Separation Of Church And Reality”

  1. bristolbullraker Says:

    http://participate.lwv.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=5537

    LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS ACTION ALERT: It’s Discrimination Against Women and We Won’t Stand for It

    Please oppose the Blunt–Rubio amendment which would block contraceptive services and discriminate against women It would deny Americans access to needed health care coverage based on ill-defined religious or moral objections of employers and insurance plans.

    The Blunt-Rubio amendment would turn back the clock for women.

    • Mike Byrnes Says:

      Kevin,

      I had a hard time following your argument. You say the Bishop Tobin’s letter was in response to Obama’s recent mandate requiring all private health care plans to cover FDA-approved contraceptives. First I am not sure why you note “FDA-approved contraceptives” – is this the term Bishop Tobin used in his letter? I would be surprised if Bishop Tobin opposed Obama’s mandate requiring all private health plans o cover FDA-approved contraceptives. I would suspect that Bishop Tobin opposed the President’s mandate to force Church organizations to provide services that go counter to Church teachings. Are you saying that the government can force a religious organization to do something that violates its beliefs? Seems to me that would be a clear violation of the free exercise clause of the 1st amendment. Bishop knows this not as a matter of faith but because the words of the 1st Amendment are pretty clear.

      That many Catholic women (doubt it is 98% – like to see the study that gives this number) use contraception is a different issue and in no way make the President’s mandate right.

      In general I am not sure that the government should be mandating the provision of free services for something that is not a health threat or a disease. I am surprised that you can not not see this as much more of a political issue rather than a health issue.

      .

  2. bristolbullraker Says:

    Hi Mike,

    To address the questions/points you raised…

    The term “FDA-approved contraceptives” did come from the Tobin letter. Unfortunately, I tossed the hard copy and can’t find it on-line anywhere. If you can, pass it on and I’ll be happy to add the entire document to the post.

    A mandate to provide free services for something that can prevent diseases (like STDs) sounds reasonable enough to me, especially since those services are optional for each patient/employee. I see this as a (rather small) health/labor issue, which has been turned into a (rather large) political issue by an organization that’s incorrectly claiming its 1st amendment rights are being violated.

    Here’s an article that references the study about the 98% figure:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/have-98-percent-of-catholic-women-used-contraceptives-not-quite/2012/02/14/gIQAZszTDR_blog.html

    Though it’s somewhat redundant, I will clarify my statement to say that 98% of sexually active Catholic women of child-bearing age have used some form of contraception. I agree this stat does not speak to the validity of the mandate itself. It was merely attempting to show the Church’s policies are so heavy-handed that they ignore the realities even among most Catholics.

    It’s this same heavy-handedness that shows Tobin’s stance to be invalid. Nobody is forcing Catholics to violate the teachings of their Church. It’s the Church, which is attempting to block its employees from certain health services. The bishop would have a more logically sound (though probably still not very convincing) argument if he approached things from a moral, economic, or scientific perspective rather than a constitutional one. But, hey, why should a leader of a religious group let that stop him? It’s more important to win than to be right, right?

    • Mike Byrnes Says:

      Kevin,

      I do not see how the Church or any of the religious organizations are being heavy handed at all. Rather I see the government being heavy handed in forcing religious organizations to perform actions in direct contravention of their basic precepts.

      When you said that we need a mandate to to provide free services for something that can prevent diseases (like STDs) – do you mean that the government needs to provide condoms to everyone for free? The other methods of contraception have little to do with STDs. Whether they are optional or not they are not FREE. Someone has to pay.

      I looked at the study and 98% is not correct – it is lower but not by much but certainly not 98%..

      The Church spokesmen have been very clear that the are not trying block its employees from “certain health services” (I would argue that these are hardly “health services”). The Church spokesmen admit that the services are available from any number of other sources and that employees have every right to obtain these services.

      You need to get the Bishop’s letter and – I do not have it – please send me a copy.

      Thanks me a copy, Mike

      • bristolbullraker Says:

        Religious organizations are not being targeted by this mandate and no one is forcing them to perform actions in direct contravention of their basic precepts.

        If the Catholic Church wants to oppose the mandate, then there are many legitimate (though, to me, largely unconvincing) points to make — but saying that it’s unconstitutional is simply not one of them.

        And nowhere did I say we “need” this mandate. In fact, I welcome a debate on the merits of the policy. For example, you bring up the issue of cost and whether contraception should even be considered a health service, let alone one that must be provided to patients for free. If the bishop made those points rather than claiming his constitutional rights were being violated, at least it would have been a valid argument… one in which I’d still disagree, mind you, but valid nevertheless.

        Here’s a link to the original letter: http://www.thericatholic.com/opinion/detail.html?sub_id=4716

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: