I published a piece in the Filipino ethnic press last week and spent most of the week responding to angry Catholics, including one named Jesus, about the recent insurance flap concering health care and Catholics.
The president’s accommodation last Friday apparently wasn’t enough.
Some people still see it as forcing contraception on Catholics.
Ironically, there are a good number of Catholics who also want their crucifixes and their condoms, too.
Most, however, are still too willing to buy the GOP’s framing of the issue, which is to put a political prophylactic on Obama’s health care plan and call it sent from the devil.
Let’s be clear. This issue isn’t about religion.
President Obama’s initial approval of a provision in his health care plan that would require Catholic institutions and hospitals to provide health insurance to its workers is just about insurance, not about the right to be Catholic.
The health insurance includes coverage for such things as contraception and the morning after pill. It does not directly pay for abortions. And it’s only for insurance coverage benefits. Catholic institutions and hospitals have all sorts of people working for it, so it just doesn’t cover Catholics.
But some Catholics around the country claim this is an affront to the Catholic religion. How can Catholics be Catholics under this law?
If you went to Church two Sundays ago, you know the Bishops are all tweaked about this and are ready to start a jihad on the Obama administration, with the First Amendment their battle cry!
Everyone, please stop for a moment of prayer and sanity.
When Newt Gingrich sides with the Bishops and calls what Obama is doing an attack on Catholics, we all need to rethink exactly what this is—and isn’t.
The law doesn’t say Catholics can’t practice their religion.
It only forces them to offer insurance to workers. What the workers do with it is their business.
If it’s a benefit like your weekly pay, what you do with your money shouldn’t be your employers’ matter.
On top of that, as I said, not all workers in Catholic hospitals and institutions are Catholic. If the Bishops believe in religious freedom, why would they want to force it on non-Catholic workers
The law is being applied to every employer equally, and to that end, the Obama administration isn’t forcing it on Catholics. The law is the law. There was even a period of transition built in for Catholic employers to adapt.
But the Catholics are trying to politicize this in a presidential year, and trying to rile up Catholics on the issue of abortion (which incidentally this law doesn’t support directly).
Who’s bullying whom?
More interesting is that a majority of Catholics actually want their contraception and their birth control these days.
Catholics should have their choice to do as they see fit. Their medical decisions aren’t religious ones, and medical decisions are private.
That’s a tough enough issue for people to tackle without also having to deal with a fake political issue that the GOP and the Church are so adamant in deploying against Obama.
In America, aren’t we’re supposed to have a separation between church and state. The Obama administration maintains that. The Church is crossing the line.
But the other line it’s crossing is the one that keeps medical/health matters separate from religion.
I’m all for faith. Keeping it separate means we don’t have to make a bad choice between health and faith.
LEFT BREAST, RIGHT BREAST POLITICS
Exit polls say abortion isn’t all that burning an issue these days, but candidates who need a spark will keep turning to it to get attention and divide an electorate.
The Susan G. Komen fiasco is an indication that contraceptive rights could get hotter this campaign season.
When right-wing influences inside Komen, forced it to pull support from Planned Parenthood cancer screenings we got a glimpse of how the issue can mobilize. The dis-funding set off a firestorm of protests. The Right doesn’t like Planned Parenthood’s abortion policy. The Left resents the politicization extending to innocent cancer screenings.
Komen felt the ire and reversed its stand.
But can anyone see pink again without thinking Komen is just a tool for the right-wing?
There are a lot of other groups out there that put women’s health first before politics.
Now we know Komen isn’t one of them.