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I don't have the time or inclination to dive into this issue and make a thorough diary explaining the blind-side to the Obama campaign that this could become, but it's quickly being mis-characterized by liars like Joe Scarborough and its defense is being neglected by the Democrats.

What am I talking about? I don't know the details like a wonk so forgive the sloppy analysis.

The ACA is requiring Catholic hospitals to honor the right to contraception etc that is part of the law. This is because, if you want to get federal funds you cannot have religious restrictions.

Of course this is being turned completely upside-down as if it is the government that is trampling on the rights of Catholics to be bigots. As of this day only Steven Rattner has presented any push-back on the free-for-all misconstruing that has taken root. Steven Rattner??? C'mon! This guy is not exactly Obama's BFF.

Why are there not 20 diaries by the wonks on here? It's going to take articulation to cut through the lazy accusation that this is the "paternal" Obama administration "violating the separation between church and state." As far as I understand it that is an ironic attack. Where're the wonks? Let's take a break from the "Romney's such an idiot" diaries and put some troops where they need to be. Romney sinks himself these days. The gist this day seems a lot of dancing in the end zone with ridicule of Komen, Hoekstra, and Rove. Meanwhile they're whispering in Swing-state catholics ears about what a heathen Obama is, so can I get a wonky push-back up in here???

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Comment Preferences

  •  If they want to make it a 1st amendment issue (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psilocynic, Cedwyn, Deep Texan

    then they should shut up and take it to court.

    See what happens then.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:40:48 AM PST

  •  Jack (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jack23, CS11, mslat27, stagemom, maf1029

    We had a mind-meld cause I just posted a diary on this topic, and its not just Republicans. Its the socalled straight reporters as well...meanwhile there's no one coming on Tv to defend the decision. We r losing the PR battle BADLY.

    Where are the women's groups?

    •  Was it Morning Joe? (0+ / 0-)

      Of course it's a sad, sad show but I'll watch it since it gets the inexplicable privilege of setting narratives for people getting ready for work. Joe is working the "poor Catholics" theme pretty hard. You can almost see his mind working it out too: "If I just carefully misunderstand this I can start a controversy!" It's infuriating. And the predictability of the right-wing echo chamber is so reliable. By this afternoon there'll be an outrageous accusation by Limbaugh, then "straight" news will pick that up with a "Rush makes stunning claim on Obama administrations clampdown on Catholics." then some weak sauce Dems will have it put to them to defend this "tyranny" and their unreadiness will be the impression that calcifies the "left's" position and by then no amount of reason will matter. This is the time to be articulate and if it doesn't happen now this issue will be the flogging stick for the right for the next few weeks.

    •  Nearly every Catholic woman (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Thomas Twinnings, Deep Texan

      in America has used contraception sometime in her life.

      I think they can figure out what to do when they go into the voting booth.

      •  if there's one thing I've learned (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elmo, Scott Campbell, JamieG from Md

        it's that relying on people to "figure out what to do when they go in the voting booth" leads to a lot of counter-intuitive Republican votes and a bunch more for Ralph Nader. I may be chicken little but that's because Republicans have no gumption about misleading people so it shouldn't be overkill to be sure the correct information is presented.

        Not to mention that there are a lot of Catholic men who don't know and don't want to know about their wives "blasphemy" and feel unencumbered in being outraged by such an "incursion on their religion by this administration."

        •  Well, you're right, of course (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Scott Campbell, jack23

          It never hurts to explain things and frequently helps.

          I think about it this way: you are perfectly free to refuse to invite black people into your home for dinner if you're a racist, but if you open up a restaurant, you've got to serve everyone equally.

          The same is true for a hospital that serves the general public and employs both Catholic and non-Catholic employees. If you are going to accept federal funding, then your employees must be treated the same way as employees at every other company, and that means offering them the choice of contraceptive care as part of their benefits package.

          No woman will be required to avail herself of this benefit, of course. And I read something the other day that pointed out including this benefit as part of the package will actually save employers money.

          Finally, there are many states (California for one, I believe) that already require hospitals to do this. So much for the theory that this is the worst, most outrageous violation of religious freedom since the Spanish Inquisition.

          Of course, Catholics wouldn't cite that as a violation of religious freedom (although it most definitely was) because their church was the primary perpetrator of that horror.

  •  Catholic hospitals (11+ / 0-)

    is basically an oxymoron. They are putting Catholic first rather than hospital -- a place that is staffed by people who took an oath to "do no harm." A place that should provide all health care. They've already skated on life saving abortions.

    The backlash from bishops and hard core Catholics is inconsequential since they vote Republican anyway. They can feel free not to provide full women's health care -- they should just give up all government funding and depend on donations from the anti-women crowd.

    Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:51:41 AM PST

    •  Question: How important is the Catholic League... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gchaucer2

      today?

      Do they wade into all of this or are they still more concerned about Hollywood's portrayal of the Church?

      •  I haven't thought about (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        David Kroning II, tardis10, maf1029

        The Catholic League in decades. The only two Catholic churches I attend (not every week) are very progressive and do amazing work for the poor communities. One has already been threatened by the bishop -- he was going to raze the Church (the oldest Cath. church in Hartford) and sell the land to Aetna for a parking lot.

        Sadly, for the bishop, prominent, wealthy Catholics, Protestants and Jews who support the Church humiliated him publically. The Catholic League is comparable to the Phelps crowd of haters for me -- ergo, fringe. Here's their website. Do you see anything there about social justice or the "civil rights" which they proclaim as the center of their existence?

        Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

        by gchaucer2 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 07:14:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hospitals not necessarily church-run anyway (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, TheOpinionGuy

      The "Catholic" hospital in my city is no longer operated by the Poor Clares. It's not run by the local diocese, either. There is some foundation whose board members happen to be Catholic.

      It's a corporation, no different than any other private hospital. And the idea that it's non-profit is a joke.

      I've never used the facility myself on grounds that it is anti-woman. My parents used it for years, though. So
      I will say this for the Poor Clares. They ran a top-notch community hospital and served their patients without regard for ability to pay.

      Now it's all about VIP suites and orthopedic surgeries for pro athletes. On the general wards, they are chronically in violation of staff/patient ratios and leave patients to rot. If you are medically indigent, they will stabilize you (kinda sorta maybe) and move you to the university teaching hospital, which is public and turns away no one as a matter of state law.

      The "Catholic" hospital here is no different than any other corporate hospital. It shouldn't be exempt from the laws that apply to other corporate hospitals. If they want federal funding, they can provide medical care without imposing their religion on employees or patients.

      Just because you're not a drummer doesn't mean that you don't have to keep time. -- T. Monk

      by susanala on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 07:35:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  OK- True story- (0+ / 0-)

      I was born in a Catholic hospital in Boston. I was significantly (!!) premature, and, honestly, not expected to survive very long.

      One of the nurses took it upon herself to have me baptized in some sort of emergency ceremony @ the hospital chapel. My folks didn't find out until it was done.

      Yep, took it upon herself to qualify me for Hell- just in case I didn't last long enough for my folks to do it.

      Catholic first, damned straight. They shouldn't even have had me out of the incubator.

    •  That is the element that is completely missed... (0+ / 0-)

      ...by those who are crying about how this is going to harm the president's chances with Catholics (with one columnist I normally agree with, E.J. Dionne, who led off a column claiming that the president was throwing "progressive Catholics under the bus" (the quote was prominently played up in a piece that was shown on my area's Fox affiliate (and was prepared, not surprisingly, by the political whorehouse that calls itself "Fox news."

      "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Gandhi

      by alaprst on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 10:21:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Catholic Church is not a person (9+ / 0-)

    Yes the religious liberty issue is turned on it's head. We're told that telling non Catholic employees of hospitals and schools that they have to accept Catholic only healthcare is not an attack on their freedom.

    But telling an unconscious, unalive corporation - the church - that it must treat it's employees equally, is an attack on it's freedom.

    But what freedom? The Church is not a person. It isn't being forced to do anything itself. No Catholic is being forced to use birth control. No Catholic is being forced to do anything they don't like.

    But the Church can't force all of it's employees to be Catholic. No, it does not have that right.

    •  Correction: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coffeetalk, gchaucer2
      But the Church can't force all of it's employees to be Catholic. No, it does not have that right.
      But, they can force them to sign a waver agreeing to accept Catholic values as a part of their employment agreement.

      This is standard practice for any non-Catholic who is offered employment in a Catholic-centric institution.

      •  I'm Catholic and used birth control (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not practicing anymore, but I was married in a Catholic church. When my wife and I were getting married, a Catholic nun told us she had no issue with birth control, and we were using it at the time. 98% of Catholics use birth control at some point. Birth control is fully consistent with the values of the vast majority of church members.

        This is the 1% vs the 99% all over again. The church leadership is shoving this down people's throats, and is a large part of the reason why I don't go to church anymore.

        The gov't is simply requiring that birth control be available. All the employees are free to use it or not. They can choose their values for themselves. That is a far, far cry from having the church impose those values. Especially when we don't agree with them.

  •  Here's the point: catholics use birth control in (7+ / 0-)

    the same amount as non-catholics. Nobody talks about it, even the bishops and priests. [What's crazy weird about Santorum is that he actually preaches about birth control, something that every Catholic clergyman knows not to do as they scan the congregation and see mostly families of two and three kids, rather than the six to sixteen that were the norm a generation ago.]

    So the real battle for choice and freedom isn't between the government and the church, it's between the church and its employees: the church is using its power as an employer to increase the cost of birth control over the catholics and non catholics that work in their institutions. It makes as much sense as allowing those institutions to pay less than minimum wage because they fear that actual money will allow employees to buy birth control on their own or maybe indulge in some other sins.

    “Romney’s ‘I’m not concerned with the very poor’ line may be the most idiotic thing a politician has ever said,” The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack tweeted.

    by Inland on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:55:47 AM PST

  •  Using man made religion (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psilocynic, CS11, Cedwyn, tardis10

    to perpetuate the war on women. Catholic women take contraception. I grew up Catholic (poor me, but I'm recovering from it) - I should say, I was forced to go to church - nothing but a bunch of repressive men who love their control over women. F@#k them!

    love the fetus, hate the child

    by Raggedy Ann on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:57:08 AM PST

  •  speaking of Rmoney, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jack23, Deep Texan, Scott Campbell

    that guy is such an idiot.

    Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

    by psilocynic on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:58:16 AM PST

  •  As I understand it... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, Cedwyn, stagemom, maf1029

    ...if I were a 25 year-old Methodist who got a job at a Catholic-owned hospital, and my 28 year-old husband just lost his job, we're barely able to survive on my salary, we have no savings and cannot possibly afford to have a child at this time, but I am not allowed to have birth control pills paid for by my employer through the health coverage that is part of my benefits package?

    In other words, I'm forced to adhere to the teachings of a church I don't belong to - and never would because God only know HOW many of its men wearing the collar are child rapists and rarely sanctioned by the Vatican, or arrested and thrown in jail.

    Gimme a break.

     

    •  Actually, to get the job in the first place (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib

      you may well have had to agree to publicly abide by certain Catholic beliefs. For example, if you teach in a Catholic school (I'm in New Orleans, where the Catholic school system is pervasive) you can be fired if you live with your significant other without being married. Or you can be fired if you speak out against Church positions. As a practical matter, many non-Catholics teach in Catholic schools or go to Catholic schools, and their religious views are generally respected, but not to the extend of directly and openly contradicting Catholic church teachings.

  •  Raised A Catholic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Inland

    While many other religions share the Catholics' stance on abortion, the Catholic view on contraception is one of the weird things many people see in the religion. Up there with the frequent kneeling during mass, the costumes and papal infallibility and exorcism. And the dirty little secret is many Catholics don't follow the ban on contraception either. Somehow I don't think this is the Fort Sumter in Obama's war on religion.

    •  Catholics want the benefit. (3+ / 0-)

      They don't want to make a big deal out of it, since it'll draw the attention of a bishop, and there's obviously a tacit understanding that nobody is going to talk about what people are actually doing. But something's making all the families in the congregation smaller than a generation ago, and it ain't abstinence.

      “Romney’s ‘I’m not concerned with the very poor’ line may be the most idiotic thing a politician has ever said,” The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack tweeted.

      by Inland on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 07:32:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The discussion here is sometimes counterproductive (6+ / 0-)

    On something like this, the discussion often delves into, "well that's a stupid belief" or "the Catholic Church is has stupid ideas, nobody should be a Catholic" or "we should not respect those religious beliefs that are not worthy of respect." Those are exactly the kinds of statements that are going to fuel the religious backlash against the administration. Those people who are religious -- as an overwhelming majority of this country is -- do not believe that government should be making value judgments about which religious beliefs are worthy of respect and which are not. If government can disregard religious beliefs about certain contraception as not sufficient to accommodate, can it also make value judgments about which of THEIR religious beliefs are worthy of respect and accommodation? That's what is going to be the mantra if the administration does not get a better grasp of the message out there.

    At the very very least, the way this was handled by the administration was clumsy. The message that is now out there is that, well, we (the administration) don't think that particular religious belief matters all that much, so you (the Catholic Church) just going to have to live with doing something that you believe violates your religion -- because WE don't think it violates your religion.

    I think that the administration, at the very least, needs to demonstrate that they understand (whether they change the policy or not) that there is concern by a church over paying (not in the form of taxes, but in the form of direct payments to a private entity) for people to be able to do something that violates the church's religious beliefs.

     

    •  The fact catholics don't believe it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan, maf1029

      for the most part is worth pointing out: this isn't about respecting the beliefs of catholics beyond a few clergy, who know better than to make a big deal out of it, see my comment about.

      I think that the administration, at the very least, needs to demonstrate that they understand (whether they change the policy or not) that there is concern by a church over paying (not in the form of taxes, but in the form of direct payments to a private entity) for people to be able to do something that violates the church's religious beliefs.
      But of course, they ARE NOT paying for it. The institution pays for for insurance, and the insurance company reimburses claims. The insitution is as removed from the decision to buy birth control as it always was, since whether its insurance or just cash wages, compensation to employees gives them the power to buy rubbers.

      Frankly, politically, this is a winner. The laity doesn't care, the insitutions don't care, and the employees want their benefits.

      “Romney’s ‘I’m not concerned with the very poor’ line may be the most idiotic thing a politician has ever said,” The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack tweeted.

      by Inland on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 07:28:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's a winner. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deep Texan, coffeetalk, VClib

        A debate between bishops and the White House over what Catholics believe.

        Fantastic.

        •  Heh. Catholics know what they believe. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deep Texan, maf1029

          You may not know what they believe, but you could check out polls that show catholics use birth control in the same amounts as non catholics. Or, you could go to Sunday mass and see pews of families with two or three kids, as opposed to the eight to sixteen that was the norm a generation ago. Or, you could ask.

          It's not necessary, by the way, to win a debate with the deeply concerned Joe Scarborough or the bishops over what catholics believe. It's enough to know oneself that for every catholic who actually speaks out against birth control (is there one besides Santorum?), there's a church full of families of two or three kids. Even even bishops know better than to actually debate the value of their stance on contraception.

          The debate is about the power of employers over employees and how far we want to let som employer use wages and benefits to coerce employeess. I'll side with the employees and the laity. There's more of them.

          “Romney’s ‘I’m not concerned with the very poor’ line may be the most idiotic thing a politician has ever said,” The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack tweeted.

          by Inland on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 07:43:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So, you're saying you want (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jack23, VClib

            a television ping pong game between David Axelrod and Archbishop Dolan over Catholic sex habits?

            What's wrong with you?

            We've got a 99% message that works. Lets stick to it. They are ginnig this issue up because they don't want to talk about economic fairness. Know why? Because that's a winning issue on which even Catholic Bishops agree.

            Get this thing off the radar and pronto. We got Mr. 1% out there hanging like ripe fruit and here we've got the right baiting the white house into a fight over sex and religion. Ridiculous.

            Malpractice.

            •  It doesn't matter who wins that "debate", since (0+ / 0-)

              every individual catholic is well aware of his sex habits and knows whether he wants the benefit or not. It's pretty clear that he wants the benefit. What's not to like about that?

              Don't you think we lost Archibishop Dolan in 1972? Frankly, this concept that we are going to win the votes of micro minority of catholics who actually stand up against birth control as a sin is nonsense. It's like trying to placate Santorum.

              They are ginnig this issue up because they don't want to talk about economic fairness.
              Whatever. People who want to distract from a losing issue by bringing up other losing issues can't be stopped.

              “Romney’s ‘I’m not concerned with the very poor’ line may be the most idiotic thing a politician has ever said,” The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack tweeted.

              by Inland on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 08:02:04 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I'll tell you one thing Catholics believe (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            oneshot, jack23, VClib

            they believe that the government should not be weighing in on what Catholics believe. They think government should stay out of the issue of what Catholics "really" believe.

            I'm in an overwhelmingly Catholic city. Even Catholics who use birth control strongly believe that the government has no place telling the Catholic Church which of its beliefs are legitimate and which are not.

            •  Heh. Except that's what you're demanding. (0+ / 0-)
              They think government should stay out of the issue of what Catholics "really" believe.
              You're just demanding the government jump in with both feet to create a special exemption on the sole ground that the religious instutions decide what is or is not an unbearable subsidy. Personally, I think pointing out that a subsidy is so far removed from the action itself that it's not relevant: I subsidize wars, but it's not like the govenrment is forcing me personally to kill anyone.

              “Romney’s ‘I’m not concerned with the very poor’ line may be the most idiotic thing a politician has ever said,” The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack tweeted.

              by Inland on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 08:04:07 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I posted the same thing in another diary (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              coffeetalk, jack23, VClib

              I think people are missing the point here. This is not a popular decision, even among liberal Catholics. It has nothing to do with Catholics using birth control, and everything to do with Catholics wanting their church to remain free from government interference.

              I know people here are solidly supportive of access to contraception to all, and I am as well. I just don't think that idea is nearly as popular to the general population.

              This isn't about contraception or health care. This is about government interference.

              •  Actually (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jack23

                It has nothing to do with Catholics using birth control. It has everything to do with non-Catholics being denied reproductive health services by their Catholic employers.

                It has to do with government interference with the lives of women by making a special case that if they work for a subsidiary of the Catholic church they can be denied birth control.

                •  AQ - this has nothing to do with denying anything (0+ / 0-)

                  this is about being forced to pay for something that is against religious doctrine. No one is suggesting that anyone be denied any health service, it's about who pays for it.

                  "let's talk about that"

                  by VClib on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 09:30:31 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree. It is not a political winner (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib

        the way it is currently postured. Most religious people do not believe the government has any place telling a religion what it believes. I think that if the government says anything even remotely like, well Catholics don't really believe that birth control pills or even the morning after pill are morally wrong, that's a political loser. Can the government tell Muslims what Muslims "really" believe? Or Jews? For the government to try to tell an organized religion what it "really" believes is a political loser.

        As to your second point, again that is the government telling the religious institution that it should not really be bothered because it is only indirectly paying for it, i.e., going through another entity, rather than directly paying for it. The institution believes it will be financially subsidizing a practice that violates its religious beliefs. For the administration to say, well, it's only a subsidy, you shouldn't be bothered, you should just let it go, is not a political winner. Again, it is the administration essentially dismissing a religious concern as "nothing serious." Religious people -- even non-Catholics -- are suspicious that the left does not respect religious beliefs ESPECIALLY religious belief with which they do not agree, and this as it is presently postured reinforces that suspicion.

        I think the political messaging right now is not good for the administration.

        •  It's a winner because employees want the benefit. (0+ / 0-)

          Catholic ones just as much. Done and done.

          The fact is, the religious concern isn't that of actual voters. The concern of actual voters is that they get health care.

          The institution believes it will be financially subsidizing a practice that violates its religious beliefs.
          Which is true for cash wages, as far as anyone knows: there's nothing that stops an employee from using his cash wage from buying rubbers, and to use this "subsidy" argument as a means to prevent an employer of literally thousands of people, like a chain of hospitals or a university, is a slippery slope that justifies not hiring non catholics, or having religious tests, or firing the divorced, etc.

          The fact is, there's not a single person who is going to be turned off by this who doesn't already see Obamacare as a socialist plot.

          “Romney’s ‘I’m not concerned with the very poor’ line may be the most idiotic thing a politician has ever said,” The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack tweeted.

          by Inland on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 07:55:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Even the non-Catholics who are religious (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jack23, VClib

            that I know are opposed to this, and see it as "evidence" that the Obama administration is anti-religious.

            In 2008, Obama won almost half of the Catholic vote. If the messaging on this is not fixed, that will undoubtedly go down.

            Over 80% of this country identifies as religious in some way. A message that the Obama administration dismisses religious concerns as not worthy of discussion -- which is what the message out there is -- is going to hurt with religious voters.

             At the very least, the administration needs to show that it respects religious beliefs even when it disagrees with those beliefs. That message is what is missing. If the message stays that the President has no problem telling organized religion that it must ignore certain of its religious beliefs, that message will hurt the President with religious voters.

            •  All the people who saw it as socialism before (0+ / 0-)

              see it as socialism now, no doubt, and no doubt they see is as confirmation, just as they see everything as confirmation. That's the thing about ideologues.

              Personally, I'd rather bail out the car companies and provide benefits to voters than worry about people's memes. This is not the time to lose one's nerve.

              “Romney’s ‘I’m not concerned with the very poor’ line may be the most idiotic thing a politician has ever said,” The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack tweeted.

              by Inland on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 08:06:15 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

              The non-Catholics you know think that large institutions like universities and hospitals owned by the Catholic church should be able to deny all women access to birth control? You live in a different reality from the one I live in.

              Because it's not about the government defining beliefs for religions. But of course, if you pretend it is and ask people (kind of like an incompetent pollster), you'd get a very different answer.

              Do you also believe that a Catholic hospital has the right to prevent a woman employee from getting an abortion even though they know it will kill her not to, and the fetus has no chance of surviving either way?

              Do you believe in the right of the Catholic church requiring employees to convert and tithe?

              It sounds to me like the "Civil war wasn't about slavery" argument wingnuts use.

              •  Answers. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                VClib

                1. Do you also believe that a Catholic hospital has the right to prevent a woman employee from getting an abortion even though they know it will kill her not to, and the fetus has no chance of surviving either way?

                No, I do not believe that a Catholic hospital has the right to prevent a woman employee from getting an abortion. That is a different question from things like (1) does the Catholic hospital have to provide the abortion in its facilities or (2) does the Catholic hospital have to subsidize payment of that abortion. On the other hand, if you are talking about a Catholic school (I live in New Orleans, where the Catholic school system is pervasive) and the woman got an elective abortion and was open about it with her students, then I think the Catholic school would be within its legal rights to fire her. See this unanimous decision from the SCOTUS. There are situations where a religious institution, as an employer, are beyond the scope of certain laws if compliance with those laws violate the religious beliefs of the institution.

                2. Do you believe in the right of the Catholic church requiring employees to convert and tithe?

                No. But I do believe that, when someone is hired for certain positions at a Catholic run institution, it can be made a requirement of their employment that they comply with certain underlying religious beliefs. And a unanimous panel of the SCOTUS agrees with that.

          •  Inland - I think you are wrong (0+ / 0-)

            This is a political loser, even among many Obama supporters. It also energizes the religious right, which we all though would be quiet this fall. This gives them some red meat.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 09:33:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  They made the decision BEFORE deciding how (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan

      they would defend it. Now they just look ridiculous.

      This is a minefield.

      •  indeed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Scott Campbell

        They could've done this a thousand different ways and every single one would have been better. But here we are in the minefield, and the most notorious GOP shills are standing on the edge tossing rocks. There is a way out but it's through info and push-back, not regret.

  •  get twenty diaries up now, guys! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10

    get the messaging straight--
    "viagra is ok with the catholics?"
    get a clear sound bite away from abortion--
    "no birth control pills? -- then no federal money"

    •  My wife works at a Catholic school (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coffeetalk

      and we thought about using her insurance because it was much less expensive. We decided against it because there were too many "Catholic limitations".

       The insurance didn't cover viagra either. (Not that I needed it too :)

  •  Violating the Ten Commandments to blame Obama (0+ / 0-)

    Thou shall not lie. Or does that not matter as long as the ends justify the means. IOKIYAR.

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