There Is No Catholic Controversy

Oh fer crying out loud. I am so sick of this bullshit about the Catholic church and contraceptives and Obama and healthcare and hair-pulling and fainting couches and aaaaaaggggghhhhhh…..!

This whole thing is made up, people! Hello! How come no one is coming out and saying it? Is everyone blind? Or on drugs? Or just … pretending we don’t live in some crazy-cakes media drama where the manufactured fauxtroversy du jour is trotted out because it’s fucking February and nothing interesting is happening? Again: helloooo?!

Look, the Republicans are stuck with a field of dogs, turnout at their primaries sucks and no one gives a shit about these losers. America’s Goofy Other Party is desperate to attack the Obama Administration on something — anything. With the economy improving and Osama bin Laden at the bottom of the ocean, what have they got? Culture wars, of course.

Here’s how I know the whole “Catholics are outraged about contraceptive prescription coverage” thing is a ginned-up fake:

1- The nation’s largest Catholic university, De Paul University, already provides contraceptive coverage in its health insurance plan. No teeth-gnashing or pearl clutching, and so far Jesus hasn’t sailed out of the heavens to smite anyone.

2- Ditto Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Jesuit University of Scranton, and other Catholic-affiliated institutions.

3- I hate quoting polls because we all know they can be manipulated to say whatever the questioner wants them to. That caveat aside, this survey says the majority of Catholics agree that contraceptive coverage should be part of an employer’s insurance plan. On top of that, let’s be honest here: most American Catholics use birth control. Sorry, church leaders can whine about it and complain about it but we all know it’s true. They lost this battle somewhere around 1977 and I’m just not going to get dragged into some church battle that the leadership lost 30 years ago.

4- Megachurch pastor Rick Warren has decided to grandstand on the issue, Tweeting:


You know this shit is fake when people like Rick Warren decide it’s another opportunity for them to grab the spotlight.

Sorry to be the one to call bullshit here, but somebody had to.

I want to send a special message to my Catholic friends out there, too: the Catholic church has a long and wonderful social justice history, centuries of empowering the poor, ending slavery, and standing up for oppressed peoples all around the world. It’s a shame to see all of that thrown away over the leadership’s desire to hold women hostage to their biology. I hope the Catholic faithful will speak up on this. Time to stop the madness.


Gail Collins nails it. Of the Catholic Bishops she writes:

The problem here is that they’re trying to get the government to do their work for them. They’ve lost the war at home, and they’re now demanding help from the outside.

This is exactly right. Catholic institutions like hospitals employ people of all faiths. These employers need to abide by the same rules as everyone else. No one is forcing Catholic employees to use the contraceptive benefit in their insurance plans. What the Catholic bishops are trying to do is get the federal government to enforce the church’s anti-contraception doctrine because they have failed to do so on their own. This isn’t an “assault on religious liberty,” it’s the exact opposite: it’s getting the government to enforce a church rule that no one has followed in decades.

What next, do you want the Dept. of Food & Agriculture to ban all meat sales during Lent?

C’mon, this stuff isn’t hard. We see this for what it is. And I’m just loving John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Republican Party lining up on the wrong side of yet another issue for the sole purpose of lodging partisan attacks against President Obama.

Really, Republicans? Going after birth control is going to be a winning issue for you in 2012? Ya think so? This has FAIL written all over it.


Filed under 2012 presidential election, birth control, culture wars, rants, religion, religious right

13 responses to “There Is No Catholic Controversy

  1. They lost this battle somewhere around 1977

    Actually, it was closer to 1960. This was the big moral dilemma for Catholics in the 50’s, and maybe into the mid 60’s. By the 70’s, it was abortion.

  2. AMEN, SB. I was raised Catholic. When I found myself at 21, a Navy wife with 3 little ones, I asked a priest about the mortal sin of taking the pill. His advice: “Go ahead and take the pill, just do not confess it”. That convinced me that I did not want to live my life as the ultimate hypocrite. Since that time, in the ’60s, I was glad I left because of the Pope and Cardinals and Bishops’ hatred of women’s rights and its hatred of gays while HIDING the criminal pedophile priests. A great book, “The Church that Forgot Christ” by wonderful writer, Jimmy Breslin, tells it. And this outrageous use of the Bishops’ hatred is used by the GOP/TEAs as the reason why they are using this issue to distract voters from the fact, as you say, that their ‘candidates’ have NOTHING.

  3. I’ll be sure to be careful with your rug and furniture.

    One thing that particularly troubles me about the assertion that church institutions should not cover contraception in their health insurance plans is that if they do not provide such coverage, the women most seriously impacted are not their executive vice presidents or department directors, but rather the janitorial staff and receptionists etc.

    For higher paid employees the refusal to cover contraception is an inconvenience, but for the lower income employees covering the costs of contraception may be impossible. And if those lower pay scale employees cannot afford the contraception, they certainly cannot afford an unplanned pregnancy. This forces an intolerable choice for such employees; gamble on natural methods of family planning or remain abstinent.

    I don’t think men in gowns should make this decision for others.

    I wrote a blog on this subject as well, and it occurred to me that an institutionalized church asserting “religious liberty” in these circumstances is itself infringing on the religious liberty of their employees. If an overbearing government is objectionable, why would an overbearing church be less so?

    • the women most seriously impacted are not their executive vice presidents or department directors, but rather the janitorial staff and receptionists etc.

      Well of course! And it’s ridiculous to think that every single person working at a Catholic hospital or university are themselves Catholic. They’re not. This rule is for those non-Catholics. You can’t force non-Catholics working at St. Thomas Hospital to abide by Catholic prohibitions.

      What this really is — such as the issue exists as anything other than a contrived political controversy, of course — is the Catholic church basically saying they can’t control their followers to abide by their own doctrine. And that is not my problem because I’m not Catholic. If the Catholic church doesn’t want its followers using contraceptives, then it needs to do a better job of explaining the religious reasons for that and enforcing it among their flock. Trying to make sure EVERYONE ELSE can’t have contraceptives because their flock can’t follow the rules is wrong.

  4. Terrific post. Like your blog.

  5. joel hanes

    For some time, the Roman Church has been quietly complying with equivalent state regulations in 28 states.

  6. deep

    The RC church can’t even control their own bishops/cardinals. While the official policy from Rome is a condemnation of the Iraq war, all of the cardinals in the US actively support the war.

    Great quote from this blog:

    The College of Cardinals to this day remains free of infection by a single Cardinal who publicly believes and publicly teaches that Jesus’ teaching of the Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies is the Way of Jesus, the Way of discipleship, the only Way of doing what He did.

    (note: I’m not catholic, but I have a lot of Catholic friends who believe in non-violence and are actively trying the change the church from within.)

  7. ThresherK

    I’m a suburban Yankee who was raised Catholic.

    (How Catholic were you raised?)

    I was raised so Catholic that until 5th grade I thought “mixed marriage” meant an Irish family on one side of the aisle and an Italian family on the other side.

    But seriously, this beef is between people who call themselves Catholics (I’m lapsed, or “recovering” if you will) and the people who lead their church. On one side are all those Protestants who like to use Catholics whenever they’re handy, plus all those centrist pundits who think straight talk about ladybits is yucky but theocracy is natural. On the other side are the actual people who still go to Catholic church, and what they do.

    I’m fond of the old saying, “Let’s you and them fight.”

  8. John Weiss

    Screw that repressive made-up church, the Catholic church. They aren’t catholic, quite the opposite. If one wanted to join a truly catholic religion, join the Hindus.

    But, I’m calling bullshit on all of this religion stuff. Religion is a personal issue, not a political one.

    • And John, you are right on. And NO ONE except ‘Mother Jones’, today, this morning has pointed out that this ‘rule’ was in place way back in 2001 under GWB and has NOT been changed or amended since then! This dog-and-pony show is just a smoke screen to cover the GOP’s collective ass since they HAVE NOTHING to talk about! The first three candidates are sanctimonious sluts who have changed positions at least 3 times each…and Ron Paul discriminated against females in his practice for years. But his was worse. He just refused to treat Hispanic/Latinos at all, or people whose only insurance was Medicare!

  9. They’re desperation is showing. Rick Warren is a tool.

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