Bishops Doth Protest Too Much

The Post-Gazette today has a prominent article on the call for prayer by the Catholic bishops in Pennsylvania.  It is another attack on the religious liberty of employees, couched as an attack against the church.

The Catholic bishops of Pennsylvania have designated March 30 as a day of prayer, fasting and abstinence for religious liberty.

Their call, in the context of Lent, was sparked by a furor between the bishops, some other religious groups and the Obama administration over a mandate requiring most employers to cover contraceptives and “morning after” drugs in employee health plans. The bishops also urged the state’s 3 million Catholics to contact their legislators.

“On that day, offer your sacrifice for the cause of religious liberty, that the church may be granted the basic right to practice what she preaches, and for our political leaders, that their eyes may be opened to the rights of all Americans, including those of faith,” the bishops wrote.

The “rights of all Americans” are not at issue.  The rights of employers to control the lives of employees is at stake.  The article is full of biased reporting.

As drafted, the federal mandate exempted only religious organizations that primarily employ and serve only their own members. It forced Catholic social services to provide coverage for services that the church teaches are immoral.

First of all, the federal mandate exempted religious organizations that primarily employ and serve only their own members. The qualification above (the first use of ‘only’) does not change that fact.   Second, the coverage is not a gift from Catholic social services.  The money used to cover health care is earned by the employee.  A health care provider then provides insurance, which covers a wide range of coverage. Medical decisions are best left between a patient and a doctor.  The religious dogma of the employer should not be in the equation.

The funny thing is that this request is presented as critical to faith.  Yet, we know from many studies that prayer does not work, so praying is a waste of time.  And, what did Bishop Zubik say about the Lenten fish frys on Friday, which many churches depend on for raising funds?

In deference to Friday fish fry fundraisers, he emphasized that people could fast from television or other pleasures, not just food.

So we have an end-of-the-word scenario that requires all PA Catholics to pray and fast, but, hey, if fasting is too difficult, no worries.  They are serious about restricting non-Catholics in their choices, but restricting Catholics is just a little too much trouble.

About SamStone

A Steel City Skeptic who thinks science and reason is the light that we should follow to find our way in this world.
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7 Responses to Bishops Doth Protest Too Much

  1. Pingback: The Politics Behind Why Catholics Eat Fish On Friday « Mindful Consideration

  2. rdodson says:

    If you do not like what the Catholic Church or any religion mandates, then do not work for, attend, or live by their rules. Although they do have the right to set rules in place for their businesses, children, and employees. You have the right not to work for them and therefore get a job where the belief system matches your own.

    • Strange and Away says:

      They have complete control over their churches and schools. It is the quasi-religious organizations (hospitals, adoption agencies, etc) that take tax money and hire a substantial number of non-Catholic employees. Workers at those places have a right to privacy.

      Alternatively, stop taking any tax dollars. The bishops want it both ways.

    • Sk8eycat says:

      If you have trained as a surgical nurse, and the only OR within driving distance is in a Catholic hospital, are you supposed to take a lower-paying job just to avoid cross-contamiination?

      I’m not an RN, but I do hope I don’t require emergency room services on March 30, because the only hospital close enough to do any good IS run by the Sisters of Providence. Although it’s been decades since I’ve see any nuns working there, except in administration.

      The last time I was a patient there, I objected to the grisly brass “scarecrow” strategically placed on the wall of my room. They refused to remove it, so as soon as I was able to get out of bed (3rd day), I hung my “Imagine No Religion” T-shirt over it. My (secular Jewish) surgeon THANKED me…and continued to chuckle as he left my room.

      And yes, Medicare did pay most of my bill.

  3. Pingback: Perry’s propaganda is hardly intended to change laws « LOVEISUNLIMD.COM

  4. revelmundo says:

    Keeping in mind that all of these delusional buffoons take their understanding of themselves and the world around them from authority and orthodoxy, it becomes crystal clear why Reason would have no perceptible effect in persuading them towards any other position.

    We’re living with superstitious nuts and, no matter how hard we try, can’t seem to mitigate their terrible influence. It’s a pitifully painful situation.

  5. Sk8eycat says:

    Why don’t the media ever challenge Catholic and/or evangelicals to point out the chapter(s) and verses in the buybull that forbid contraception and abortion? If they claim that their dogma is based on that book, they ought to be able to find something, somewhere. But they can’t, because it says nothing about either subject.

    Hosea 13:16 seems to favor abortion…when applied to non-Jews…

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