Watching the Catholic Church since the birth control pill came to civilization has been an Olympic caliber gymnastics act as the Vatican has tried to vault, twist and slither over and under science, common sense and the desires of its followers.
Recently, the government made concessions to religious institution allowing them to opt out of birth control programs because of religious beliefs. Personally, I don't give a tinker's damn about it, other than watching the laughable hypocrisy of the overwhelming majority of American Catholic women submitting to the tail wagged by the American Catholic Bishop's Association.
Catholics for Choice president Jon O'Brien harshly criticized today's proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services, which would broaden the definition of religious employers entitled to an exemption from providing contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Calling the proposed rule "appalling," O'Brien said that providing such exemptions gives "carte blanche" to "religious extremists" to "trump the rights of others. . . even if those beliefs are contrary to science and even the beliefs of their co-religionists."
Being fruitful and multiplying has left hell holes around the
world and in Africa where the Catholic Church has particularly strong links, which have helped contribute to overpopulation, poverty and the AIDS epidemic. As usual and unsurprisingly, the Catholic Church is centuries behind reality and living in ancient Vatican City, insulated from even it's own constituents.
Nearly 90% of American Catholic women use some type of birth control. Is it a money argument? That's understandable, but trying to tie morality to the issue makes the discussions irrelevant. Reciting the litany of effective contraception changed life for women, men and the world cannot be overstated.
According to Catholics for Choice's Domestic Program Director, Sara Hutchinson, the new definition of religious employer expands exempt employers from just houses of worship to organizations that are operated or financed by houses of worship, including Catholic parishes or dioceses. As a result, said Hutchinson, many Catholic elementary, middle, and high schools, in addition to some Cat
holic charities and social service organizations, would be exempt from providing the coverage.
Despite good intentions, the new concessions leave the the door wide for abuse in the form of denying women choice in the matter of birth control, which despite the overwhelming use and support of birth control, a few within the Catholic Church have managed to set themselves up as spokesperson for all of Catholicity in the United States.
Much like Christian evangelists of today, a decided minority speaks for larger groups while the corporate media ignore the protests of mainstream religious followings to publicize the minority rants of the far right. Personally, I don't care if it's done or not because I am not affected. However, as an observer I am struck by the unfairness of the deal, but I have come to expect as much from THE CHURCH.