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Posts Tagged ‘catholic church’

Thoughts On Hobby Lobby

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As a son of a woman, a spouse to a woman, the father of two young women and the uncle of several women, I could hardly let the decision in Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius go by without comment. Briefly this is indeed a major setback for women’s rights in this country. It is also a major setback for those who believe that courts are impartial. The Roberts Court has been shaped by reactionary leaders over a long period to favor the rich and powerful, the corporations over people at all turns. By picking very young justices, the Roberts Court will have more influence over lives in this country than almost any other group of politicians. All without any recourse from citizens.

Some of my thoughts on the ramifications of this decisions:

First, as with Roe v. Wade, the right in this country will play a long game in chip, chip, chipping away at the ACA until it is a gutted shell. Hopefully progressives in this country already realize this and also understand that a true single payer system like those in most other democracies is the only way to handle healthcare in this country. Supporting single payer healthcare should be the price of admission for all democratic candidates.

Second, despite Justice Alito’s utterances to the contrary, religion will now be a major hammer for the right to attack all that they do not like in this land. More attacks on the ACA on religious grounds, even expect attacks on things like Medicare and Social Security. Can’t be done you say? Just wait.

Third, this really strengthens the control the right wing has on women. Controlling people is one of the goals of corporations. By controlling people they can control things like wages and benefits.

Fourth, where exactly does “religious” freedom end. As with many on the left I find most wars to be avoidable. Can I ask to be exempt from paying taxes that go to war and constant war preparation? This is but a small example of where this could go. No doubt there is still a contingent in this country that is religiously opposed to inter-racial marriage. Religious leaders have already asked that businesses be exempted from an expected executive order banning discrimination against gays on religious grounds. We have lift off.

Fifth, hard not to notice that the five votes for Hobby Lobby came from five older white men all Catholic. In this case as most know contraception is mortal sin in the Catholic Church. Did they purposely impose their religious views as law? In any case as a group they are hardly representative of America as a whole.

Sixth, Hobby Lobby is probably the very epitome of hypocrisy in this case. Apparently their religion say they can’t have anything to do with contraception as part of their pay package, yet by buying most if their merchandise from a country that has abortion and contraception as state policy, they contribute directly to sponsoring abortion and contraception in China. What does their bible say about hypocrites?

To conclude, I offer some words from Justice Ginsburg’s scathing dissent in this case. Dissents in the past have been used as a basis for majority opinions later on. Let us hope that happens here. (From Dana Liebelson at Mother Jones)

“in a decision of startling breadth,” would allow corporations to opt out of almost any law that they find “incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs.”

“The exemption sought by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga would…deny legions of women who do not hold their employers’ beliefs access to contraceptive coverage”

“Religious organizations exist to foster the interests of persons subscribing to the same religious faith. Not so of for-profit corporations. Workers who sustain the operations of those corporations commonly are not drawn from one religious community.”

“Any decision to use contraceptives made by a woman covered under Hobby Lobby’s or Conestoga’s plan will not be propelled by the Government, it will be the woman’s autonomous choice, informed by the physician she consults.”

“It bears note in this regard that the cost of an IUD is nearly equivalent to a month’s full-time pay for workers earning the minimum wage.”

“Would the exemption…extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah’s Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus); and vaccinations[?]…Not much help there for the lower courts bound by today’s decision.”

“Approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be ‘perceived as favoring one religion over another,’ the very ‘risk the [Constitution's] Establishment Clause was designed to preclude.”

“The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.”

Warren on Hobby Lobby

hobby lobby no moral ground

Wandering Thoughts From A Lefty Mind

As elusive as reality on Fox News.

As elusive as the truth to Mitt Romney.

The money the rich are spending to buy this election could buy some good infrastructure and schools in this country

If I every get surrounded by a group of angry Republicans, I know the secret word to scare them to death: vagina!

When climate change wipes out humanity, the last Republican will say “Why didn’t somebody warn us?”

This crop of Republicans makes writing jokes too easy. Soon Dennis Miller may figure it out.

I shouldn’t pick on Dennis Miller. Republicans have a hard time telling jokes. Instead they run them for public office.

I would love to see as much of the world as Mitt Romney’s money.

If you wanted to be treated decently in this country, you should have been born as a dressage horse.

This is not a joke. The pope says the reason for the child abuse by the Catholic clergy is still a mystery.

Seems like Catholic nuns are the only ones still practicing Catholicism. And to think I used to be scared of them in school.

A Muslim school applied for state money for private religious schools in Louisiana. Boy their legislature never saw that one coming. Seriously.

The approval ratings for congress are directly the inverse to the number of Republicans in Congress at any given time.

Eric Holder may soon be held in contempt of Congress. But not near the contempt that Americans have for Congress right now.

Republicans are so opposed to anything Obama proposes, I can only hope someday Obama proposes that all Americans must breathe.

Want to have a good cry? Think of what the country would be like after 8 years of President Gore. The peace, the prosperity, the jobs.

People can’t believe in climate change or evolution for which there is overwhelming evidence, but they can believe that 51 years ago a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas conspired to make a child (that was born in two different places) that would grow up to take over the United States and turn it into a communist state. Why is that so hard to understand?

Romney and his rich cronies are out in Utah dividing up the country today. What part do the 99.99% get, do you think?

Turns out that despite calling it illegal and one of the worst things about America, Ron Paul does get Social Security. Ron Paul does look out for Ron Paul.

Per Thom Hartmann, the Chamber of Commerce has won 100% of the cases it has been involved in before the Supreme Court this year. That doesn’t bode well for ‘we the people’ on number 8 – the Affordable Care Act.

Romney lays his claim to fame on being a businessman. America has had two businessmen as president. If you want to use history as a guide, those men were Herbert Hoover and George W. Bush. At the end of their terms, when the rest of the country was broke, they still had money. I am sure we could expect the same from Romney.

Finally we now know that Romney did create jobs while at Bain Capital. Those jobs were in China, however.

The Republican War On Women

I hate it when Republican insane talking points become all a person hears about on radio and TV. But like many who will read this, I have several relationships with women – my wife, my daughters, many friends and relatives are women. This most recent controversy is truly, truly insane. But it does fold in nicely with the Republican War On Women. This war has been going on for a long while, but as the move to the fringe increases, the intensity of the war also increases.

Among the many things that make me want to puke over the whole controversy on birth control pills being covered by health insurance through a person’s place of employment is that the Catholic Church is carrying the water for the Republican Party. For some stupid reason, I was taught that churches were to keep their noses out of secular business and in turn they would not be taxed. They have never been taxed, but damn near every church in this country sticks its nose into secular business.

Considering that the Catholic Church already offers reproductive services, including pills, through health care benefits at most of their businesses (hospitals, schools, universities) and considering that most Catholic women already use or have used the pill, isn’t the Catholic Church a huge hypocrite? It is too bad that no one will even speak of repealing their tax exemptions that they seem to want to forfeit.

This week has been quite the eye opener in the Republican Party’s War On Women. The week started with the attack on Planned Parenthood by the board of the Susan G. Komen Foundation led by Republican activist Karen Handel and Nancy Brinker. Attacking Planned Parenthood also attacks millions of women, especially poor women, for whom Planned Parenthood is their reproductive health provider.

Then, of course, this attack on birth control came out of the blue. Using the Catholic Church as a surrogate, which is shameful, Republicans are trying to once more control women’s reproductive health and thus keep women “under control.” Claiming this is a religious freedom question is obviously bogus, as the Catholic Church already defies that logic.

Here are the lessons I have learned from this situation:

1) Settling for the odd compromise of a health care bill is going to come back and haunt Democrats. We still need to work toward Universal Health Care and nothing less. Health Care must be severed from the work place and from insurance companies, else there will never be consistent health care in this country and it will always be open for judicial interpretation and games played by doctors, insurance companies and workplaces

2) It is about time that some politicians with guts stand up to say to the churches of this country “If you want to keep your tax exemptions keep your nose out of state affairs.” And then back it up with laws that will actually tax churches if they cross lines. Ever since the Reagan revolution decided that they could get evangelical votes by playing to the religious, the lines have become more and more blurred between church and state. If they want a voice in policy, pony up for the upkeep.

3) It is time for women, especially Republican women to stand up and say “Stop this insane war on women.” Through the years of the alliance of evangelicals and Republicans, they have shrunk available reproductive health care in state after state to the point where poor women have no access to reproductive care. This is wrong. Believe it or not, women are humans also and as such deserve to have medical services available to them and for them in a “free” country. For those who believe in “market” economics, I think one can make the case that there is a huge market for women’s reproductive services.

One thing I have fought for all my life is that my daughters be treated equally with men. For a long time the fight was for economic equality. Now that is still an issue and access to all medical care has been added.

Meanwhile, Chuck Grassley does his part in the War on Women as he helps cut funds for the Violence Against Women Act Reathorization. This act has been reauthorized by voice vote for 2 decades. But our Chuck says “No!”