Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

What comprises health care shouldn’t be decided by religious dogma

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“Why are we being forced to pay for things that we don’t believe are health care?”

So now we can’t even agree that birth control and abortion are health care?

You may not believe our society should support birth control and abortion, and you have the right to that perspective. but you should understand that these are a part of health care.

The opening line from a priest is from a propaganda-laden video courtesy of one of my Facebook friends.

This “being forced to pay for something” line is sooooo late to the party. The hippies and war protesters took to the street in the 1960s and 1970s because they didn’t want their tax dollars going to the Vietnam war. Same goes for the Iraq War protesters of the 2000s.

Conservative Catholics are the force behind this latest installment of not wanting to pay for something. What makes their outrage so amusing is that they have been successful in not getting us “to pay for something we don’t like.” The war protesters had little impact on the length of the Vietnam War and no impact on the length of the Iraq War. Now that they might lose a single battle, they are suddenly so upset. Their falling into “religious freedom” is more of a smokescreen than a principled stand.

— If conservative Catholics believe religious freedom is at stake, then why don’t they point out that Christian Scientists don’t want us to pay for any health care. This isn’t a Catholic position, but if this is about religious freedom, is that for all religions or just Catholics?
— If this is about Catholicism, tax dollars goes to pay for the death penalty, something the Catholic Chruch is against. Do conservative Catholics not want to pay for the death penalty? If so, will they speak up?
— The Catholic Church is also against war. True, some wars are more justifiable than others, but where was the principled stand during the Iraq War? In the 2004 race, U.S. bishops were obsessed about John Kerry’s more liberal positions on issues, yet not concerned about an unjustified war.
— Since U.S. taxpayers support the Catholic Church, taxpayers pay for the pedophilia scandals and also to protect those accused multiple times of molesting children. Where do we go to get our refund?

These groups are confusing “religious freedom” with “religious dominance.” And women’s health care has suffered as a result.

For too long in this country, we have had to officially pretend that birth control and abortion are not health care. We have watched federal funding for abortions change on several January 20 occurrences over the years.

The other priest in the video weighs in on abortion funding as part of the health care mandate.

“That’s not something that was voted on by Congress. It’s something that was left to the Department of Health and Human Services to define.”

So is he saying that his religious freedom can be “violated” by a vote in Congress? That would be news to those who would normally agree with him. This push to the HHS “bureaucrats” is rather mean-spirited. The folks at HHS, BTW real human beings (some of whom are probably Catholic), are defining birth control and abortion as part of health care because it is.

Women aren’t allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia — these are the kind of laws you get when religion dominates a government. The vast majority of Americans find that repulsive because they know a religion shouldn’t dominate government policy.

We don’t live in a theocracy, we live in a democracy. Treating women as equals in health care, treating women’s health issues as human issues — these are steps toward democracy and away from theocracy.

The idea that the Catholic Church or any other church has to strong-arm citizens to follow their religious doctrine doesn’t say a whole lot for their doctrine.

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