Nobody is harmed by the fact that “In God We Trust” appears on our money.
Most of us can ignore public prayers at a public school event — or compose our own alternate prayers and meditations in our minds.
Some of us held our noses when considering the political implications of who was chosen to offer prayers at President Obama’s inauguration, but nobody died as a result.
But church meddling in our newly passed Health Insurance Reform bill may well cause harm and perhaps even death to some people. However, since those people are women, some people don’t care. Moreover, church meddling in civil law may well bring harm to the poor in Washington DC.
It is of course the low hanging fruit: the Catholic Church.
In a petulant fit of pique, Catholic Charities threatened to cut off services to Washington DC if they actually made it legal for gay people to marry. When they realized that they could not in fact do that without legal repercussions, they instead decided to deny benefits to all new employee partners, gay or straight. Further, they demanded that new employees sign a statement that they won’t violate the tenets of the Church!
If there were ever a stronger case for a public safety net rather than depending on the fickleness of charitable organizations deciding that this issue is important and this not, I am not familiar with it. As much as we all appreciate the work that charities do, it is simply not acceptable to pick up your ball (or shelter, or food kitchen) and threaten to go home if you don’t get your way. And pressuring new employees into signing documents regarding their private lives is just a little onerous, particularly in the middle of a recession where the only new jobs really being created are temp positions with the Census. Denying partners health insurance within weeks of a law being signed requiring mandatory insurance in a few years? Just twist the knife already in the new employee’s back.
Of course, it is now well known how the Catholic Bishops meddled in the Health Insurance Reform Bill, even over the objections of the Catholic Nuns — who for all their own faults aren’t accused of covering up dozens of priests who committed sexual crimes against thousands of minors under the age of consent. There. I didn’t call them pedophiles, but what they did is criminal and should be prosecuted. Since there was a clear conspiracy, no statute of limitations applies.
So then, when something tragic happens to a woman in your life and she must make the terrible decision to abort an embryo or fetus, remember that it would have been covered under her mandated health insurance policy if it weren’t for these meddling kid-molesters. If she finds it difficult to find a provider who will help her, remember that it is Catholic groups that have hounded doctors out of the business. And remember, not a single one of these Bishops will ever get pregnant, will ever have a wife who might get pregnant, will ever have a daughter who might get pregnant. Talk about no skin in the game.
As easy as it is to lob shots at the Catholic Church right now, I don’t want to overlook another serious threat to the separation of Church and State. Susie Madrak has pointed out that there is now an investigation by CREW into whether the shadowy religious group known as “The Fellowship” or “The Family” has been breaking the law by providing below market rents to the Congressmen who live in their C Street residence. Rep. Stupak and Sen. Ensign both could have [additional] problems as a result. Since it is relatively well documented that the purpose of this group is to put control of Congress in “godly” hands — their narrow definition of godly, of course — this investigation is necessary and overdue.
In Closing: They don’t make recoveries like they used to; job creation looks even worse compared to population growth; huh, I guess it is possible to teach a large number of students at once; I’ll say it again on the 19th, but this is what Militias are about; You can’t talk bad about your boss!; bankruptcy filings up you say? Well, as long as they aren’t spiking!; it’s surely a sign of Armageddon for me to link to Politico, but Banking Hypocrisy; melanoma may be more complicated than staying out in the sun too long (which never seemed to hurt our great grandparents much); and no, you should not laugh out loud if you see somebody drowning.