PART III: Church, State, Morals, Pontificating, Religious Freedom, & Another Fine Mess


I am not a philosopher or an expert in government.  But, I know my history.  I know it is just as important for the Feds to stay out of a church’s religious practices as it is for practitioners of any religion to shut up already yet and not dictate to the Feds. It’s that simple.

They are symbiotic parasites, feeding off one another with a delicate balance that is insane.  It allows for pandering politicians to manipulate various religious groups for votes.  In many ways it is a terribly dishonest system, but it works.  Right now we are dealing with an increasingly incompetent POTUS who is using his power to promote an increasingly unpopular law.  The very institutions and individuals who helped him pass this law are now crying foul.

There is no honor among thieves.

As much as I admire and respect the Catholic Church, they cannot be allowed to dictate policy, no more that the ECUSA, various mosques, or any other religious institution.  If they do, then we are on a slippery slope to allowing sharia law being allowed. The Obama Administration has no business telling the Church what they can and cannot do, but the Church has no business dictating terms to the Obama Administration – or any other administration.

I am beginning to suspect this is a liberal view it one way and conservative view it another way fiasco.

Think Progress

This is NOT about birth control, insurance, abortion, or anything else reproductive.  This is about the steady encroachment of church and state.  The irony here is that the Protestant religious right has brought all of this on themselves by being so narrow-minded.  It’s too bad there is no reason here.

  1. The Feds have no right telling the Catholic Church to furnish reproductive insurance for employees – or do they?
  2. If the localized “institution” is taking Federal taxpayer money, it seems to me, that specific location has bowed to Caesar.
  3. If you don’t want to provide for such reproductive items then don’t take taxpayer money – for anything.
  4. If a woman is working for one of these institutions and she is pissed, then get another job.  Anyone who goes to work for the Church is an idiot of they don’t know the stand on these things.
  5. Why the heck should taxpayers be supplementing or paying for contraceptives in the first place? If a person can’t afford them then quit fooling around.
  6. You can’t legislate morality.  Give it a rest.  Men are men and women are women and they are forever going to exchange information as to the process that may or may not lead to the production of off-spring.
  7. If students going to a Catholic college want birth control, then go somewhere else to school. It’s like this, if students who go to BYU are required to have a code of behavior, that probably doesn’t include birth control, then why the heck must Catholic churches do the same?
  8. If Catholic schools are privately funded, with no tax payer money, then the Feds have no right to tell them right to do.
  9. Why can’t we tell people to pay for their own damn birth control?
  10. If a pharmacist doesn’t want to fill prescriptions for such items then get another career.

I don’t want to open a can of worms here, but if the Catholic Church is able to tell Washington what they are and are not going to do when it comes to contraceptives, then it looks to The Pink Flamingo like every hard-line Islam can demand the Feds allow them to circumcised their little girls.

Why the heck must the Obama Administration tell everyone how to live their lives?  In many ways this has absolutely NOTHING to do with religion and everything to do with the nanny state.  I think we would be much better off leaving religion alone and discussing how Obama’s lovely little liberals want to regulate every part of our lives.  That’s the real argument here, isn’t?

Then there is the increasingly insanely hard line approach some conservatives are taking about birth control, RU-486, abortion in the case of rape or incest.  It is getting quite old.

Let’s face facts here, neither side is behaving very well.  Both sides are pandering to their base in an election year.  Everyone has egg on their dirty little faces here.  No one is perfect. It is disgusting, pathetic, and intellectually dishonest.  The same group of liberal Catholics who were behind Obama Care are now the very ones crying foul.  The same conservatives who constantly cry about church and state, are well, crying about church and state.

This is NOT really about church and state.  This is part of Obama’s preening for fall. It is about Obama Care.  If you don’t see the battle that is just being enjoined, then you are missing the whole nasty little bit. The only salvation here is to declare the whole blasted thing unconstitutional.  I’m not sure if that is going to happen.

“…That “something else” has a lot to do with the complexities of religious loyalty, as I’ve said. But it also has to do with a basic commitment to the kind of institutional pluralism and tolerance of principled dissent that the United States has always wisely tried to cultivate. And here I find Drum’s overall perspective simply appalling. The idea that the state should only “tread carefully” on issues of liberty, conscience and freedom of religion in areas where polling data shows significant support for the position or community in question is a recipe for majoritarian tyranny and government overreach. The logic that he’s applying to orthodox Catholics could be applied just as easily to the Amish, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Orthodox Jews, and a host of other groups that don’t have the kind of institutional resources that Roman Catholicism can muster in its own defense. Yes, sometimes state interests are compelling enough to trump religious liberties, and defenders of this mandate have every right to make that case. But the argument that the state’s interests can trump religious liberties so long as the group of people being asked to violate their consciences is small enough is not an argument at all. It’s just a raw appeal to power….”

Does anyone dare suggest that the Catholic Church is woefully out of date when it comes to contraception?  I fully understand the historical reasons for promoting and demanding men and women go forth and multiply.  There have been numerous times when this planet was in great danger of not being able sustain Homo sapiens.  The Lord told Adam and Eve to go forth and people the Earth.  Looks like their descendants did a very good job of just that.

I know this will annoy or even anger some of my very good Catholic friends, but where does it stop?  Why should families who do not want a large number of children be forced to live in some sort of limbo because they are not abiding by an edict that out to be changed, with the times?

That would solve the whole problem.  The problem is we are sorely lacking in wisdom and reason in this world, especially when it comes to religion and politics in this Age of Extremism.


6 thoughts on “PART III: Church, State, Morals, Pontificating, Religious Freedom, & Another Fine Mess

  1. Hi SJ Reidhead, You wrote; (This is NOT about birth control, insurance, abortion, or anything else reproductive. This is about the steady encroachment of church and state.) I would phrase it more a case of overlapping Magisteria – the point at which two social bodies (one with guns, one that can offer hope the other is incapable of…) collide. Your 10 points I completely agree with. (Why the heck must the Obama Administration tell everyone how to…) Why didn’t Obama just come out and say ‘everyone, you are going to pay for this, that and the other whether you like it or not rather than using a ruse to have religious organizations sign off on a compromise which is ‘exactly’ what this administration wanted in the first place; (oh I know – when religion signs off on this ruse it will lend legitimacy to this chicago punk) it’s like two basketball centers hammering away at each other – but to be honest it’s the administration on offense; in other words this ‘state vs religion’ game has been going on from antiquity and will continue on long after I’m gone. But now we’re stuck with a really bad problem and obama has forced this fight under the basket so I did the only thing I could do and turn to an objective observer “without the assistance of the priests even now no power can become ‘legitimate’: as Napoleon grasped.”…“As soon as this happens the mood of those still moved by religion, who formerly adored the state as something half or wholly sacred, will be transformed into one decidedly hostile to the state; they will lie in wait for the measures taken by the government, seek to obstruct, to cross, to disrupt as much as they can…” FN, Human all to Human, #472 Religion & Government. Obama has forced a fight IMHO, and now we grasp to what makes sense for us personally – but this is one giant against another, it is deep, it is profound and it is strictly divisionary, it is a war!!! Thank you for the opportunity to add my thoughts to your blog.

  2. Thank you for your very logical and reasoned comments. They are much appreciated.

    I think it is all political, with Obama using the whole issue to detract from the current GOP race and make himself the center of attention, then again, I’m a cynic.


  3. Many church doctrines appear “Woefully out of date”. Some of them just don’t make sense to many people. There are many church doctrines people dislike or disagree with. Should the virgin birth, the resurrection changed with the times because they appear to be outdated and unreasonable? Should the government make the choices for the churches about what it thinks is reasonable and unreasonable? Should the government be involved not only in contraceptives, but also in matters concerning abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage, and divorce? When there are mandates to change over 2000 years of church doctrine, where does it stop?

  4. I was thinking the same thing. If you change one thing, where does it stop? Obama opened a can of worms, which I think was the whole plan. Are “enlightened” cultures the only ones who want churches to change to meet the modern world? Then again, there is history to suggest that cultural changes were made during the Renaissance. Where does it begin and where does it stop? No one has the wisdom of Solomon on this one.


  5. Then let’s do it. Let the church get out of ALL public service and let’s see how quickly this separation of church and state changes.

    Again, this isn’t just about contraceptive, Obama wishes it was because it would have been an easy win for him. But as put forth by his own health czar; it’s about the abortion pill and sterilization, which the church will not go for, no way. The truly sad, COLD part about this is that it doesn’t figure the tons of people this will effect.

    Right here in Hawaii, 2 hospitals closed not only because they couldn’t afford to give free medical to the poor but they couldn’t also give free medical to the thousands on Medicare. (which they were doing rather than do abortions). Senior people DIED because they couldn’t make it to the ER in town once the hospital closed down. All this because the government wants the church to take care of the poor and to close the gap of elderly care but NOT have the right to obey the laws as created by their church leaders.

    In fact the only way the Republican party can lose in this fight is to do a “if they can’t afford it, too bad” because it perpetuates the belief that the have-nots do not care.

  6. I fail to comprehend why this is the church telling the state what to do. They are asking for an exemption based on religious convictions.

    It would be the same as if there were thousands of Jewish & Moslem institutions who were happily not serving pork and the government decided that their workers had a right to be offered pork in their cafeteria. They would want an exception to the rule based on their religious beliefs; they would not be telling the state they couldn’t tell other non-Jewish/Moslem institutions the same.

    The slippery slope is when there is exemptions for none, YOU and yours might be the one desperately needing that exemption some day and exemption by definition means not dictating to everyone else.

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