Religious Freedom Means We All Have To Live As Catholics

A birth control coverage Xavier University provided for its employees for years is suddenly yanked, for inexplicable reasons:

The controversy prompted Xavier President Michael Graham, a Jesuit priest, to review the health insurance plan offered to the university’s 935 employees. Graham announced this week in a letter to the faculty that the plan will cease to cover contraception on July 1.

Some faculty members who relied on the coverage said they were surprised and upset at the sudden end to benefits, which could raise their out-of-pocket costs for contraception by hundreds of dollars a year.

“It hadn’t occurred to me that this would ever be an issue,” said Tina Davlin-Pater, an associate professor in the department of sports studies.

Davlin-Pater, an athletic trainer who is not Catholic, said she viewed the denial of birth control coverage as an indication that “it’s still OK to discriminate against women in today’s world.

Well, not inexplicable reasons. As Atrios observes,

Obviously this is an incredibly principled move based on deeply held religious beliefs that they discovered about 5 weeks ago.

Heh indeedy. Or, to be more precise:

Some on campus said they suspected Graham had come under intense pressure from the diocese, and perhaps from conservative donors as well, to publicly demonstrate Xavier’s fidelity to Catholic doctrine by cancelling the birth-control coverage.

As has been pointed out a thousands times already, what we really have here is the Catholic church using the United States government to enforce a doctrine it has been unable to get its followers to abide by on its own. And we just don’t do that here in America.

Keep it up, Catholics.

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14 Comments

Filed under birth control, culture wars, health insurance, religion, women's rights

14 responses to “Religious Freedom Means We All Have To Live As Catholics

  1. I am so proud to say that I am a former Catholic. The reason is explicable. I was told by a priest at age 21, with 3 babies already born, that it was “OK to take the Pill, just do not confess it.”. So not wanting to be a hypocrite or ‘secret sinner, I chose to live my life as a moral wife and mother, but independent of the heirachy of that church. I have never regreted to think for myself or the decisions I made.
    And since that day, I am grateful for my 4 children, but had I not taken my family planning into my own hands, I would have been, no doubt, the very poor, very ill mother of 10 or 20 children.
    And with the Church’s growing public hatred of women’s rights, hatred of the LBGT community, while STILL hiding its own shame…pedophile priests and rapist priests, I agree with the title of a book written several years ago by author and also ‘former Catholic’, Jimmy Breslin….it is truly “The Church That Forgot Jesus”.

  2. It’s hard to take any of this seriously knowing that the priests themselves haven’t taken this particular bit of Catholic doctrine to heart. In the age of AIDs, the church isn’t just out of touch on contraception, it’s downright criminal. I think the Pope finally came out a couple years ago saying if you’re in Africa it’s okay to use condoms. The Catholic church is allowing itself to be used as a pawn of the political right just like their Evangelical brethren and this will be the church’s downfall.

  3. It is so incredibly frustrating for those of us who are Catholic that this has become the issue it has. Studies show, as noted everywhere, that the overwhelming majority of Catholics do not accept the church’s teaching on contraception. It is, as theologians would say, not a “received teaching.” There has been some push back from the faculty, albeit couched in the nice terms such matters are. See the local story at
    http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20120403/NEWS01/304030127/XU-ruling-birth-control-protested?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|p

    I am long overdue in writing an email to my own father who is buying this “religious liberty” argument put forward to explain my own belief, not just about contraception, but also the push by the bishops, under the guise of religious liberty, to do precisely what you name clearly – the church is asking the government to “establish” Catholic doctrine as the law of the land. I put “establish” in quotes to use the actual word from our Constitution.

    As a Cincinnatian, I am so disappointed in Xavier University. As it is, once the ACA regulations go into place, they wouldn’t be forced to pay for these either (at least not directly – a distinction moral theologians make – such as how we pay for war with our taxes even though many of us find that totally immoral) as the cost will be borne by their insurance carriers.

    I’ll keep you posted on how the faculties negotiations go. Xavier shouldn’t have done this, but the conservative wing of the church is pushing more and more of this. Well, that’s true of the whole damn country, isn’t it? I thought we’d won some of these battles and settled this a long time ago. Oy.

    • Thanks. My niece is actually a Xavier alumnus (alumnae??). I’ll have to ask her what she thinks of this.

      Your taxes pay for the death penalty too and last I checked, that is against Catholic doctrine.

      • Joe

        Exactly right about the death penalty. For that matter, I ultimately was too young for the draft, it ran out around the time I turned 18, but I was fully prepared to apply for C.O. status, which was going to be especially difficult for me as a Catholic since we weren’t a traditional peace church. I think my class was the last in the lottery (1972) and I had to really hunt to find the Selective Service office in our federal building. I finally did find a broom closet size room where they said they weren’t taking anymore C.O. applications since the draft was going away. But I was prepared to go to jail or leave the country if I had to.

  4. As a Catholic myself, I’m like this right now ——> palmface.

  5. pyrhic vhowever you spell it victory IMO. People are hanging on to their jobs becuase the economy stinks but when (and if) it comes back people will likely consider such a policy to be a negative when considering applying for a job there.

  6. JoAn Karkos

    All I read here are opinions and everybody’s got them, and being one’s own pope. Holy Mother Church adequately explains what she teaches and ‘religious liberty’ the right to practice wrong is not what the Catholic Church teaches. In fact, religious liberty has been condemned as explained in several encyclicals. Is anyone interested in what has been handed on and what Catholics must believe?

    • Hmm well quite a few Catholics on this thread, actually. I think people are objecting to the hypocrisy of the church saying one thing and doing another, and stoking selective outrage when it comes to women’s bodies but ignoring the log in its own eye on child abuse, war, and capital punishment. Don’t think that’s part of the church’s teaching. I’ll care what Catholics must believe when I become one, which will be never. Until then, non-Catholics shouldn’t be forced to live Catholic rules, not in America at least.

      • JoAn Karkos

        There is nothing in Catholic doctrine that forces one to follow the Teachings of Holy Mother Church. The Church defends the right to one’s own conscience even if they choose to develop it improperly.

      • Great, so the bishops are fighting for something against Catholic teaching, with their phony argument that the health insurance contraceptive mandate is a blow to “religious freedom.” Thanks.

      • JoAn Karkos

        You can’t have true freedom and rationalize your decision. ‘True freedom’ is abiding by the Commandments of Our Creator which has no consequences. Everybody wins! Brace yourself: these churchmen do not represent the Catholic Church. They oppose many of the Magisterial Teachings, turned their back on their own history and left the Catholic Church. These men agreed to go along with the man-made truths created by the Council of Vatican II, 1962-1965 and began a new religion.

      • Okie dokie, like I give a shit about the theological debates within your religion? Why do I care? I’m not a Catholic! Take it up with your bishops and whatever. Whatever issues you have with the men in funny hats are your issues, not mine. Leave me the fuck out of it, lady. I could give a crap about your church.

        These debates have NO place in the sphere of public policy. That’s why we have separation of church and state in this country. Don’t think birth control is biblical? DON’T USE IT. But don’t tell people who don’t follow your religion what the law says they can do. That’s legislating Catholic doctrine. I didn’t sign up for your religion so don’t force me to live under its rules. End of story, you people are beyond annoying.

  7. Bayleaf

    Conversion into the Catholic Church is according to the “free will” of the individual or it would not be conversion at all.