A person really couldn’t make this stuff up:
Republicans have gone to war against President Obama’s regulation requiring employers and insurers to provide contraception coverage, portraying the measure as a “government takeover” of health care and pledging to repeal the rule in Congress. The measure, which is part of the Affordable Care Act, says that companies offering prescription drug coverage must also provide birth control insurance (but it exempts houses of worship and nonprofits primarily employing and serving those of the same faith).
The Obama measure closely resembles state laws providing equity in insurance coverage for contraception in six states and actually offers far more conscience protections than previous Congressional efforts to expand women’s access to birth control. For instance, a 2001 bill co-sponsored by Republicans Sens. Olympia Snowe (ME), Susan Collins (ME), Lincoln Chafee (RI), Gordon Smith (OR), John Warner (VA), Arlen Specter (PA) — S. 104 — sought to establish parity for contraceptive prescriptions within the context of coverage already guaranteed by insurance plans, but offered no opt-out clause for religious groups who opposed contraception:
SEC. 714. STANDARDS RELATING TO BENEFITS FOR CONTRACEPTIVES.
`(a) REQUIREMENTS FOR COVERAGE- A group health plan, and a health insurance issuer providing health insurance coverage in connection with a group health plan, may not–
`(1) exclude or restrict benefits for prescription contraceptive drugs or devices approved by the Food and Drug Administration, or generic equivalents approved as substitutable by the Food and Drug Administration, if such plan provides benefits for other outpatient prescription drugs or devices; or
`(2) exclude or restrict benefits for outpatient contraceptive services if such plan provides benefits.
“Women shouldn’t be held hostage by virtue of where they live,” Snowe told a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing in September of 2001. “It simply is not fair.” “All we’re saying in this legislation is that if health insurance plans provide coverage for prescription drugs that that coverage has to extend to FDA-approved prescription contraceptives. It’s that simple.”
Strong principled language from Olympia Snowe! She seems to have lost her voice somewhere along the line.
The rules are different if you’re President Obama. Everything is immediately suspect, everything is a “slap in the face”, and everything is radical and unprecedented. This rule is about as radical as moderate Republicans were waaaay back in 2001.
hmmm, wonder what’s different about Barack?
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Melinda Hennenberger just now on the Tweety show: “Maybe the Founders were wrong to guarantee us religious liberty, but they did”
This is just a manufactured issue for Newt to be able to attack both Romney (for having the same policy in MA) and Obama, and he’s gotten the bishops to be the mouthpiece of it.
I think it’ll fade once the media realizes that they’ve been punked into concern trolling the nation.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: No one is being forced to use contraception. If the Catholic Church is unable to keep its members in line, it is not the job of the United States government to do it for them.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Doesn’t “Tweety” have a giant staff?
Why didn’t he know Republicans sponsored this in 2001? It’s like they’re all just completely winging it.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Martin: Not just the Bishops, Tweety and Melinda Hennenberger are shouting down and interrupting enemy of religious liberty Michelle Goldberg; Hennenberger is smugly heartbroken as she describes nuns forced by the government to deny their ‘calling from jesus to serve the poor’
I think it’ll fade once the media realizes that they’ve been punked into concern trolling the nation.
I think the media loves concern trolling us. They think it’s the only way to get ratings.
I wish they’d hurry up and figure it out. I’ve been waiting at least 15 years for them to see it.
Two developments in the Catholic Church’s War On Women, and the Republican attempt to hyperbolize the Democratic resistance to same into a Democratic War On God:
Santorum Says Obama Might Force the Catholic Church to Hire Female Priests
Head Military Catholic Chaplain Implicitly Calls For Troops To Mutiny
(I tried to find a non-winger, non-theocratic link for this story, without much success)
OT: But did you see that Cardinal retract his apology for child rape under his watch?
There’s a diary on GOS that points out that Georgia has had a similar law on the books since 1999 that no one ever complained about.
The good news is the Obama administration must not be backing down from this if they are calling out Romney for his hypocrisy. My sister is a converted Catholic who is a strong believer in birth control. She has twins and is done. I have a hard time believing the Republican decision to demonize birth control will play that well with anyone who is not crazy.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: It was obvious how full of crap Hennenberger was by the number of times she started talking over Goldberg the second she started correcting the misinformation Henneberger was putting out. But Tweety was happy to go along, because, to him, insufficient respect for whatever Catholics want has been the cause of every Democratic defeat since 1966.
I know the competition’s fierce, but this is as phony an issue as we’ve seen in this country in some time.
And yet, the GOP war on the poor, especially if they are illegal immigrants, has been accelerated to levels of unbridled hostility.
So now the GOP are pitting poor Latinos against struggling middle class workers of all ethnicities.
I hate these people.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@gex: Egan of New York, yup. They seem to have convinced themselves it’s time to double down on all things Ratzinger.
Does the media fail to realize that just about everyone, most especially Catholics, detests the bishops? My grandmother was an old-school Catholic who attended mass twice a week. The only thing that surpassed her love of teh Baby Jesus was her loathing of the Church hierarchy. My father actually convinced her to vote c*mmunist (this was in Italy) against the priests’ orders on the grounds that this is how Christ himself would have voted.
This is such a stupid transparent craziness on the part of the right wing. blow it up – fight them, make it about equal access to contraception. that’s all it is. This is an eminently winnable fight.
Let’s be very clear about the noise machine’s response to the non-issue of requiring contraceptive coverage
In the highly unlikely event that a winger or RC Bishop tries to stir this pot with you, stand-up and say
The vast majority of Americans and even practicing Roman Catholics are on your side.
Doubt it. All available evidence suggests he’s overcompensating for something.
And I doubt even more that his show hires people to fact check stuff.
The contraceptive ban is because the Catholic church wants there to be more Catholics born. Since they are short on priests, they are hoping to increase the odds of a baby boy being born who will want to take the pledge.
The same media that took the Balloon Boy story and ran with it? The media whose most progressive TV network up until quite recently used to put on Patrick Buchanan to represent the viewpoint of “white ethnics” (aka Catholics), and which thinks that the bigoted old Irish great-grand-uncle who lives inside of Tweety’s head is the very model for moderate discussion of social issues? The media that feasts off of ginned-up outrage and faux concern like Dracula left alone in blood bank after a long winter’s nap? That media?
TPM says that more moderate Republicans who’re still in touch with relatively normal segment of population telling Congressional GOPpers to back off on anti contraception campaign.
General election disaster predicted if they do not.
I guess this story will be ‘developing’ for awhile.
@cathyx: Also to increase the number of people they can fleece for donations.
Especially that, actually.
@Rick Massimo: You first need priests to do the fleecing. The Pope is only one man.
That list of moderate Republican Senator co-sponsors: notice that the Maine twins, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, are the only ones still serving.
And they’ve attached themselves to conservative Republicans liked crazed remoras.
The others — happily, mostly replaced by Democrats. Only Specter’s seat went to a Republican.
John Warner, Virginia: retired; Mark Warner (no relation) elected in 2008
Lincoln Chaffee, Rhode Island: defeated by Sheldon Whitehouse in 2006; became an Independent and now governor of RI
Gordon Smith, Oregon: defeated by Jeff Merkley in 2008; now president of National Association of Broadcasters
Arlen Specter: switched parties to Democrat; defeated in primary by a Joe Sestak; Senate seat went to the execrable Pat Toomey (Club for Growth) in 2010
I wonder if tweety, the gutless little creep, will have his wife on to talk about this.
Charles Pierce had a post today about the Catholic church’s defensiveness and denial. The best part of it was a link to the speech by Irish Teoiseach Kelly in the Irish parliament, the Dáil Éireann. It was a fiery denouncement of the Church.
Gin & Tonic
They all wing it. I was having breakfast this morning with the Today show as background noise, and their health beat “correspondent” was in that irritating segment where three people shout over each other, and in the “discussion” about singles being “discriminated against” she said the IRS even penalizes them, because if you file as married, you pay less. Which is exactly the opposite of true, like saying the sun rises in the West, and nobody even bothered to correct that.
This reading of political screeds from the pulpit is deeply offensive. Where’s the line when this violates tax exempt status? When will reasonable congregants start walking out in protest?
O/T: I may have trouble getting home this afternoon, because Romney is doing a fundraiser in the adjoining luxury hotel (which shares a parking deck with my office building) and the whole place is crawling with security and media and rich Atlantans who can spend whatever it is they’re willing to spend on his campaign. Add this to the always-horrible late-afternoon Peachtree Street traffic, and I have yet another reason to loathe Mittens.
Well, wonder what Tweety thinks of this now that he’s shown the interview”
“In her first television interview, former White House intern, Mimi Alford tells Rock Center special correspondent Meredith Vieira specific details about her alleged affair with President John F. Kennedy in 1962. In her book, Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath, Alford calls their encounters “sexual and fun.” She also calls the President a “sensualist,” who also enjoyed being completely silly, especially in the bathtub.
“He had a collection of little yellow rubber ducks and they were in the bathtub and rubber ducks sort of became part of the game,” Alford told Vieira.”
Hey! Those helicopters weren’t laughing.
I think it may be less that and more genuine outrage on the part of the upper echelons of the Catholic hierarchy (who are more conservative and authoritarian than the laity) that they have had some of the power taken away which they used to wield over other people below them, in this case the employees of the Catholic hospitals, etc.
A subtle point in this controversy is that as Obamacare goes into effect employers in general will have less leverage to fuck around with the personal lives of their employees by virtue of controlling the health insurance plan which the employees have access to. Some employers don’t care about this all that much, but clearly the Catholic Bishops were enjoying the ability to toy with the lives of the employees of their hospitals, and don’t appreciate having that little bit of petty tyranny taken away from them.
My mom left the Catholic church in the 1960s when the pill became available and her parish priest told her she would go to hell for taking the pill.
I learned on UP with Chris Hayes last weekend that 98% of catholic women have used birth control at some point in their lifetime.
You would think the church would have gotten smarter since the 1960s, but apparently not.
Interesting that you mention 2009,
since 64% of Democrats opposed Guantanamo in 2009,
and a majority of them support keeping it open now.
Things really did change!
Yabba dabba dooooooooooo!
Can’t wait for the god-bothering “I-am-so-a-liberal Catholic” commenters to show up and claim (once again) “assault on religious liberty”.
What utter bullshit.
This no “assault” on anyone’s “religious liberty”.
Catholic hospitals (what this mostly pertains to) are institutions serving the public that employ many non-Catholics. They are not “the Church”.
And they are not allowed to discriminate on healthcare coverage for women they employ anymore than they are allowed to discriminate on hiring those women in the first place based on their (sometimes non-Catholic) religion. That’s the law, and it “assaults” precisely no one’s religious liberty. Religious “feelings” sure, no doubt. Too fucking bad.
No one’s telling the Catholic Church that they have to cover birth control pills for the nuns at the convent, nor are they telling them they have to “hire” atheist men to be those nuns. That’s the fucking obvious difference.
How “even liberal” Catholics don’t get this I do not understand.
Except I do – religion blinds people (to greater and lesser degrees, of course).
I took the suggestion of a commenter on a previous thread and wrote in to the White House to tell them I supported them on this issue. Then I looked up the MSNBC websites of Lawrence O’Donnell and Chris Matthews and left angry comments and emails.
Yelling at Lawrence and Tweety was more satisfying.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
It’s far, far dumber than that. They believe the soul comes into the body in the sperm. The Catholic hierarchy knows this is utterly ludicrous to anyone not brainwashed enough so that’s why they won’t mention it public and instead spew out these vague arguments against birth control, masturbation and gay sex.
Religion is like one of those Russian dolls, but with doll inside more absurd than the one before.
This is not surprising. HCR was really the creation of Congress more than Obama (sweet FSM, Congress actually did it’s job once?) and it looked a lot like what the Republicans proposed back in the mid-90s.
Basically, every time this kind of thing happens, someone should ask the Republicans if this means they were radical social….ists in the 90s. And then make them explain why it was conservative then but radical now.
Bunch of reactionary blowhards.
Liberals fail to do better:
Greg Sargent, that crazy radical:
@Raven: When I was a kid, not sure how old but certainly less than 10, we had a record album titled “The First Family”, which was a comedy album about the kennedy family.
In the course of the bathtub skit, the voice of “JFK” would say “and the rubber duck is mine”. We loved that album!
@nellcote: Reasonable congregants have been quietly walking out in protest for years. I’ve seen recent statistics showing that church membership, especially in the Northeast, has been plummeting in recent years. Also, Latino immigrants may be more observant than other Catholics but they are certainly not reflexive worshippers of everything the bishops say.
There is a reason many western Europeans are fiercely anti-clerical, and we are now witnessing what that reason is.
@WaterGirl: Vaughn Meader
I figured it was something like that. Now, they simply cannot backtrack OR upgrade. That infallibility thing is a harsh mistress.
Tweety is now getting up off his knees.
@Raven: That’s it! I’m so excited! Thank you. i never dreamed it would be on youtube.
Yawn. You left out all the stuff about Congress braying to keep Gitmo open, pulling money to provide for any change, etc.
If I want omissions and distortions, I can watch Fox News.
And Bush’s policies were stupid because they were dumb and founded on lies, not because Democrats and liberals opposed them.
Hardball was execrable tonight. Matthews sunk into utter self-parody.
I think you’re incorrect. They started frothing about the mouth on Nov 5, 2008.
FSM, I’m sick of letting the death cult determine public policy. Can we nail a new person to a cross and start over?
@Bobby Thomson: I see what you did there! ::giggle::
@WaterGirl: I wasn’t able to reply to you, a couple days ago. No, no FPer has taken it up. I’ll just keep mentioning it and see what happens.
@Cassidy: As Nietzsche once wrote: “Two-thousand years and not a single new god?!”
@Joe Lisboa: Motherfucker can’t stop shillin his goddamn book even while he admitted he knew about Kennedy fucking a 19 year old but didn’t mention it.
Pro-choice Republicans are a dying breed in Washington, but they still exist. Have any of them been heard from in connection with the current debate?
Villago Delenda Est
You are stupid enough to fall for the bullshit spewed by the Mouse and Kaplan?
Congratulations. Your credibility is shot to hell.
@Raven: YES! I was screaming at the TV. Grar.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Is there a particular reason you’re spamming this thread and not putting it in the thread that’s actually discussing it? Just can’t stand the thought of women getting to make their own healthcare choices, so you have to try and bring up an unrelated topic to distract us?
@WaterGirl: Hell, I found “Say Man” by Bo Diddley today!
Villago Delenda Est
No, you’re off by several hours. The frothing stared seconds after 8PM PST on 4 November 2008.
Anecdotally, people have said they’ve seen parishioners walk out of Mass when the priest starts his spiel about this. You won’t hear about it on CNN, though.
Almost makes me want to crash Mass this Sunday just so I can pointedly walk out.
The Fat Kate Middleton
This, a hundred times over.
@WaterGirl: As one who’s probably old enough to be your mother, same thing happened to me. I will not repeat here the nastiness that was hissed at me by that quasi-male behind the confessional screen.
In 2001, religious groups raised concerns about no “conscience” clause and Snowe said they would put one in. I don’t remember a huge outcry about this at the time. Was there outrage from other rightwingers not Catholic?
I don’t think republican voters really know what they are supposed to be enraged about until Fox and Rush tell them. There was so much anger from the right about the proposed Community Center near ground zero but when Park51 opened last Sept, nothing, zilch, crickets.
I was thinking before that this was a strange issue for Obama to engage with. I mean, Democratic politicians are loathe to pick controversial fights over any issue that touches upon religion…
Then I had an odd thought: what are the chances that the administration is pleased to make this an issue now, in part, to give culture warrior Santorum some fuel to burn against Romney?
Too 11 dimensional chess?
The Moar You Know
Here’s the problem right here: Save for the Maine sisters, who still are employed only because there’s no one in Maine who can primary them, all the rest on this list were “moderate” Republicans.
And they’re all gone. There are no moderate Republicans left. Arlen went over to our side, caucused with us, voted 100% party line (yeah, he squawked but the votes were there everytime) but we traded him in for a hard-right 100% Club For Growth stooge, because, hey, we loves us some self-defeating purity too.
Can’t wait for the Senate to flip next year as the last of the Blue Dogs say goodbye. That’s going to be awesome when we have no hope of passing any legislation or confirming jurists.
The Fat Kate Middleton
@Mnemosyne: When my father came to live with us because of his Parkinson’s disease, I had to accompany him almost every Sunday to mass, which was something I hadn’t done for forty years. Nothing seemed to have changed, except that everyone knew that the priest celebrating the Mass was being investigated for child sexual abuse. He still took it upon himself to shout out the vileness of birth control and abortion, so it was all OK. My poor dad was so deaf, he didn’t catch any of it, and I’d learned long before the deafness, dementia and Parkinsons that it was best not to even try filling him in on what was going on. (BTW – said priest was found guilty. Have no idea what happened to him.)
My takeaway from this controversy is that The Catholic Church would rather let a homeless man freeze to death on the doorstep of a shuttered soup kitchen than let a women take a birth control pill?
Ha! That Vaughan Meader album was the first thing I thought of too!
@beltane: Exactly. Plus, it isn’t the Church’s money that is being used to purchase contraceptives. Not at all.
This whole thing strikes to the root of the problem of how health insurance is viewed in the US. It’s not a “benefit.” It’s fucking wages that just so happened to be paid in the form of a health insurance premium. If the US had a fair, reasonable national single-payer system, the Church or any other employer would not need to “provide health benefits.”All of the compensation for work performed could be paid in money. In reality that’s what is happening now but because we see it through the filter of benefits, we end up with this bullshit.
If the Church didn’t pay for health insurance premiums would it seem reasonable for the Bishops to be saying that Federal law should prohibit its workers from buying birth control with the wages they earned from the Church? Would it be reasonable in this case for the Church to say it didn’t want “its money” spent on birth control? Because that is exactly what it is saying now. The Church paid the workers. It chose to pay some of that wage buy purchasing a health plan. But after that money exchange hands, it was and is no longer “the Church’s money.” It belongs to the worker who earned.
Fuck the Church. If they don’t want to be part of American society they can have nuns and monks do all the work they need done. Otherwise they can go piss up a rope.
The Moar You Know
@Concern Troll Steve: No. They don’t. That’s why no one has heard from them.
Collins has responded to TPM about how this time is totally different because of reasons.
Villago Delenda Est
There was a MAD magazine strip called “Caroline and Her Family”, which purported to show life in the White House from Caroline’s perspective.
In one panel, Caroline is talking to her dad, and saying how she loves to hear him talk, because he sounds just like Vaughan Meader!
@The Moar You Know: You have a gift for saying really dumb things.
Villago Delenda Est
And of course, Senator Collins can’t articulate those “reasons” in any sensible way, now, can she?
The bitter irony is, the new regime being brought into existence via Obamacare is a net gain for religious liberty, in this case the religious liberty of all of the non-Catholic (and non-compliant Catholic) employees of the hospitals. They are being given a wider opportunity to practice their own personal religious beliefs on this subject, than they had before.
ROFLCOPTER + I know exactly how she felt.
Same thing in France. You know how fanatically secular and anticlerical we get? Wasn’t always that way: the country used to call itself “the elder daughter of the Church.” But a couple thousand years of Catholic domination, well, it’d make anyone snap.
A nationwide version of Preacher’s Daughter Syndrome, as it were.
Well, you know, I’m still waiting for someone — ANYONE — to call the GOP out on their bullshit. Obviously, with the economy getting stronger and Osama Bin Laden in the bottom of the ocean they’re left with just one trusty weapon in their arsenal: culture war/religious BS. So that’s why they’re hitting this so hard.
And honestly I really do think it’s going to backfire. Because you do NOT go after women’s birth control. For one thing, the pro-choice left has been warning for years that conservatives want to come after your birth control and we’ve been told, “Nah never gonna happen, they really just hate abortion,” and if you hate abortion you should LOVE birth control. And sure enough here come the religious nutballs coming after women’s birth control pills. Guess the dykes and Feminazis were right all along.
And also, as I’ve said before, I think “normal” people are really sick of the culture wars. It’s the same shit we’ve been hearing forever and really no one wants to hear it anymore.
The reasonable ones began walking out decades ago. Church attendance is down throughout the Western world and has been declining for decades, and its something of a tossup whether the decline has been steeper in the United States or in Europe. Pew did a study in 2009 that found that for every one American who converted to Catholicism since 1970, four Catholics left the Church. And its not just parishioners, but the clergy, too. There are now thousands of parishes across the country that lack a resident priest, causing the Vatican to actually start importing priests from Asia and Africa to fill in the gaps.
Much of this decline has to do with John Paul II undoing nearly every reform of John XXIII that helped to liberalize the Church, but the revelation that the Vatican is nothing more than the world’s largest child rape syndicate hasn’t helped a whole hell of a lot.
People are doing it. But the village doesn’t echo that noise.
Gin & Tonic
I know this isn’t your point, but I just want to say that I know some of these folks, and some low-level priests, and while theirs is not a life I’ve chosen or would ever choose, they do good, unheralded work with people who really need it. The bishops and cardinals are not the church — they’re those annoying guys who lobbied to be elected junior class president in high school. Those are political jobs, not spiritual.
@arguingwithsignposts: It’s because it’s a liberal media. They are just waiting for the assholes to hang themselves. Of course, that could take a while.
@The Fat Kate Middleton:
Probably a Monsignor by now, if not a bishop…..
Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor
@Enhanced Voting Techniques:
None of this was even an issue until the mid 19th century.
Augustine declared that ‘ensoulement’ occurred 40 days after conception (that was Aristotle’s theory, and it was good enough for him, apparently). Aquinas believed in an even later date. It wasn’t until Pope Pius IX that the more Pythagorean view of ensoulement-at-conception became the official doctrine.
If you really want to fuck with a radical Christian’s head, ask them about the case of identical twins: One sperm. Do they share a soul? Do they each have half a soul? Was that particular sperm special, with two little souls in it?
pseudonymous in nc
Actual Ireland is so over being ruled by a shadow theocracy. Certain Oirish-Americans in the US, not so much.
Gay marriage in Washington state. The media will be off of this by dinner tomorrow.
@Villago Delenda Est: LOL, the Meader album came out during my freshman year in college and I can remember we used to listen to it over and over to the point where many of us in the dorm could rattle off entire word-perfect bits. But I don’t remember that MAD Mag thing, that’s funny!
They do a pretty good job of nailing themselves on crosses.
@AA+ Bonds: There is a whole thread about this issue.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques:
Don’t know about the soul, but according to the RCC, human life begins the moment the egg’s fertilized by the sperm. Birth control and the rest of that stuff don’t technically kill people, they’re simply wrong because it’s wrong to have sex in any context other than marriage. (Which doesn’t necessarily matter less to the RCC than the “murder” that is abortion).
And yeah, it is fucking ridiculous, especially when you consider the sheer number of Catholics who use birth control.
Villago Delenda Est
@Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor:
Alex, that’s the one I’ll take for $800!
@Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor: @Villago Delenda Est: These are people who believe a wafer and some wine become literal flesh and blood when eaten. So I wouldn’t put it past them.
Gin and Tonic, I’m reading Saul Alinsky and liberal priests came to him and said “what do we do when the Bishop tells us to stop organizing poor people?”
Alinsky told them, “when you walk out the door in the morning, decide whether you want to be a Bishop or a priest, and everything else will flow
from that decision”
This is why Gingrich doesn’t want us reading Alinsky :)
I think Greg Palast summed up the situation completely: “Religious freedom is a right of people, not their bosses.”
Or, in the long form: “If a religious organization abjures condoms or The Pill or blood transfusions, that’s their right. It should not be their management’s right, even if the managers wear vestments, to impose those religions strictures on the bodies of their workers.
“It’s about freedom of the worker from the religious dictates of her employer.”
Steve Benen, I believe, floated the theory that the administration did this deliberately to shift the women’s health debate in the election year from abortion, where public opinion is muddled and the committed voters are more on the other side, to birth control, where public opinion is strongly behind them and the “mainstream” GOP position is deeply repellent to everyone except the 27%-ers.
I’m not sure I believe that, since I think they’re more policy-focused than that, but I’m sure it didn’t hurt when they were weighing whether they could make it stick.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@pseudonymous in nc:
It’s embarrassing that all this nonsense over fucking BIRTH CONTROL seems to be causing more of a political-media firestorm than sexual abuse. Egan fucking apologized for apologizing about this “one issue”. Embarrassing and even at this late stage of the post-Reagan game, even after Iraq, Gitmo, torture, Katrina, and everything else we’ve lost interest in, it’s even a little shocking.
I was going to say that 50+YO Irish-American men probably make up most of the opposition to this rule, but that’s just tribal guilt on my part (but I’m not fifty yet, dammit). I’m sure the sone of Poland, Ukraine, Quebec (Dionne) and Italy (never forget that Tony Soprano was a very strict Catholic) are well represented in this nonsense, but they’ll never match my people for over-representation on MSNBC.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Italy has the lowest birthrate in the world except perhaps for Japan. I guess having their anti-contraception teachings rejected at home has emboldened the Church to try its hand elsewhere.
Unless Chris Matthews has fathered a few dozen children he really needs to STFU. Likewise, any woman who comes on TV spouting the “freedom of conscience” shit needs to be asked if she is pregnant, and if not why not.
@Gin & Tonic:
Yep. Fr. Greg Boyle is not a bishop or even a monseigneur, and he never will be — he’s way too busy actually making a difference in people’s lives.
(If you live in the Los Angeles area, you can now buy Homeboy Industries products at your local Ralphs market — and they’re pretty damn tasty!)
” Pro-choice Republicans are a dying breed in Washington, but they still exist. Have any of them been heard from in connection with the current debate? ”
I think they are an extinct breed in DC, at least publicly. But there do seem to be a sizable group of pro choice Republicans out in the real world US who will vote GOP (why they would is beyond me though).
But there seem to be moderate Republican operatives out in America who worry about getting real life moderate Republicans to vote Republican in November (and, given the insanity taking over the GOP, again, why they would worry is beyond me). Anyway, they are warning the Congressional GOP to back off, because real world people will not go along with an anti contraception jihad. See my comment at 22.
From The Obama Diary, a handy list of media contact info. The grunge I have has stunned my brain – cant remember how embed the link. Matthews, O’Donnell and Dionne are really making me angry with the misinformation. Gonna send ’em an epistle. Scarborough is hopeless. Just fuck him. And the weak tea that is Mika.
My dad used to quote frequently from that album. We have a tape recording of my Dad imitating the guy imitating JFK. Good times!
Liberals who support this policy need to send the White House emails in support.
They’re being swamped with wacko outrage drummed up by Hate-radio and repressed Bishops.
Liberals need to balance it out and let them know, they’re not alone.
True liberals have a duty to speak up when support a policy.
Lord knows if Obama had done the wrong thing, liberals would be freaking out (and rightfully so) and inundating the White Houe. It is perverse to only contact the White House when they’re wrong, and not when they’re right.
Ummm … am I the only one thinking this entire thing is a ginned-up fake?
Just emailed the Prez supporting this policy.
@Cassidy: I really think it’s a great idea so I hope someone picks up on it!
@WaterGirl: Yeah, I think/hope so too! Accountability and snark are 2 crucial components to an exercise program (at least they both sure help me! :-))
I left the church several years ago when I got sick of hearing about “life” every Sunday when I needed help with the 4 kids I already had. My best friend and Godmother of 3 of my kids, and her husband, left last year. She sang in the choir, he was a lector and Eucharistic minister, both taught confirmation classes, but last year both of them had just had it. I know of people who walked out of church when the priest read his letter last weekend. I grew up Catholic, all family and most of my friends were Catholic, and I only know 2 people who didn’t really use birth control. I just can’t imagine this observant liberal Catholic who was going to vote for Obama until he insisted her insurance pay for her pills. This person may exist, but there aren’t many of them, and they weren’t going to vote for Obama anyway. I sure hope the administration doesn’t back down on this to please the bishops, whoom most Catholics feel contempt for, and piss off their supporters.
In this country, for better or worse, health care coverage is typically provided by employers as a form of compensation. It is none of the employer’s damn business how that compensation is used, any more than it is the employer’s business how the worker’s salary is used. Catholic hospitals aren’t paying for contraception, they’re paying for health care coverage that their employees can choose to use as they see fit within the restrictions imposed by law, just as those employees can choose to use their salaries in the manner they see fit as long as it does not violate any law. If my memory is correct, only 2% of sexually active Catholics don’t use contraception. But even that’s mostly irrelevant; Catholic institutions aren’t required to use contraception, or purchase contraception, or support it; they’re just required to give their employees health care plans that allow those employees to choose what services they use. As a form of compensation, the money being spent is the employee’s, not the employer’s, so the employer isn’t any more morally accountable for where that money goes than they would be if some employee chooses to use her salary to procure an abortion, or to purchase candles for worshipping Satan for that matter. The Catholic Church (or the bishops in particular) are trying to endorse a view of the world wherein women are constantly threatened by the possibility of unwanted pregnancy, where they are denied any autonomy or agency in the choice of whether to bear children. Individuals have the constitutionally protected right to join such religions and follow such precepts if their own conscience is aligned with them, but if the Catholic Church cannot deign to respect the rights of Americans as free people entitled to choose their own religious beliefs, if they see the “evil” of letting women of all or no faiths control their own bodies to be more important than the Catholic mission of charity, then they really don’t have any place in the secular market of health care provision. It just highlights their true priorities in an unflattering fashion: better that people die from lack of health care access than that people be accorded the freedom to choose to take advantage of the coverage their insurance provides for health care.