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The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby pjbogart » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:26 pm

Huckleby wrote:On the other hand, I know religous people who are extremely intelligent, positive people, and religous faith is at core of their being. Dare I say it, they are spiritual. How do you put such qualities and values into words? You can't understand these things from debate and logic, takes life experience and talking to people.


And that's fine, Huckleby. They're welcome to their beliefs. But the very nature of religion is the "leap of faith" in choosing to believe in something that is a little far-fetched (or you wouldn't need a "leap of faith" to believe in it). I know it's a tired cliche, but if I choose to believe in unicorns what special treatment should I get? What if my merry band of Unicornians and I started getting special tax treatment or even some federal funds? What if we stood in the way of healthcare legislation by claiming that our tenet that we have Unicorn blood in our veins prohibits blood transfusions? Put the whole country on hold until we figure out how to make the Unicornians happy? It's absurd.

No one is telling Catholics to get abortions, take contraceptive pills or wear condoms. If you want your insurance to qualify as "comprehensive" under the legislation, contraceptive services (other than abortion) must be covered. You don't have to use those services, you merely need to offer them to your employees who may or may not use those services. Personally, I think the whole thing is purely politics anyway. I have Dean/St Mary's coverage and not only is the pill covered, elective abortions are covered. Obviously, the Catholic Church isn't nearly as outraged as they claim or they wouldn't already be offering to pay for the abortions (though I'm certain they don't perform them).
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:03 pm

I so totally want to become part of the Unicornian religion.
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby Huckleby » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:00 pm

pjbogart wrote:If you want your insurance to qualify as "comprehensive" under the legislation, contraceptive services (other than abortion) must be covered. You don't have to use those services, you merely need to offer them to your employees who may or may not use those services.

The act of offering the services goes against the catholic religion.
Therefore, the government is intruding on religous practice, backing church leaders into a corner.

Look, I am perfectly aware that religous freedom is not absolute. Sometimes there are overriding practical imperatives. But you still ought to bend over backwards to find an accomodation. I would say Obama's accounting gimmick is a good solution. Its a gesture in respectful direction.
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby Huckleby » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:04 pm

pjbogart wrote:No one is telling Catholics to get abortions, take contraceptive pills or wear condoms.

Irrelevant.
The gov is demanding that Catholic organizations provide abortion-inducing drugs.

focus! You have to try and see issue from other side's perspective.
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby pjbogart » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:27 pm

Huckleby wrote:
pjbogart wrote:No one is telling Catholics to get abortions, take contraceptive pills or wear condoms.

Irrelevant.
The gov is demanding that Catholic organizations provide abortion-inducing drugs.

focus! You have to try and see issue from other side's perspective.


No, the government is demanding no such thing. According to the law, in order to be considered "comprehensive" coverage you need to provide contraceptive coverage. There is no mandate that you provide comprehensive coverage. If you don't cover contraceptive services and thus are not comprehensive then you cannot participate in the health insurance exchange. Your choice. The Catholic Church is simply angry that providing such coverage is codified (strangely, many States already have similar provisions for health coverage which the Catholic Church has been largely silent on).

Furthermore, the Catholic Church already pays for contraceptive services and thus in not being required to do anything that they don't already do. I told you, my Dean/St. Mary's coverage covers elective abortions. Freakin' abortions! And not only the health-of-the-mother type. It's the "hey, I want an abortion, will you pay for it, Pope Benedict?" type. Don't sit there and tell me that bishops are drowning in their own tears over covering the pill when they're currently paying for abortions. The law specifically exempts abortion coverage to avoid conflict with prohibition on federal funding for abortions, even though the Catholic Church already pays for abortions every day.
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby Huckleby » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:18 am

pjbogart wrote:
Huckleby wrote:
pjbogart wrote:No one is telling Catholics to get abortions, take contraceptive pills or wear condoms.

Irrelevant.
The gov is demanding that Catholic organizations provide abortion-inducing drugs.

focus! You have to try and see issue from other side's perspective.

No, the government is demanding no such thing. According to the law, in order to be considered "comprehensive" coverage you need to provide contraceptive coverage. There is no mandate that you provide comprehensive coverage. If you don't cover contraceptive services and thus are not comprehensive then you cannot participate in the health insurance exchange.

OK, pjbogart, I see what you are saying now. I'm sure you are way off on the facts. The HHS order has nothing to do with insurance exchanges, which aren't even to be implemented until 2014.

What you are suggesting is that the the Catholic Church has an easy way out, just purchase insurance plans that aren't designed for exchange. Look, if this were the case, we wouldn't be having this hell-holy controversy. Oh, and self-insurers will obviously not be on the exchanges, and new HHS rule doesn't excempt self-insurers.

(By the way, "the health insurance exchange" will actually be dozens of different exchanges implemented at different levels with different rules. Some will be for employers, some for individuals, some fed, some state, some fed-state... much is undecided, we're waiting for Supreme Court and elections.)

If you can find a link that validates your theory, I will send you a basket a fruit.
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby pjbogart » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:27 am

Employers who fail to offer plans that meet the minimum requirements will pay a penalty. If the insurance companies have already offered to absorb the costs of contraceptive services for religious institutions (the alternatives are more expensive anyway), then the Catholic Church has little legitimate complaint left. They still have the option of offering a plan which fails to meet the minimum requirements and pay the penalty, but they apparently don't like this option.

Here's kind of a wonky but apolitical article on the "essential services" of the PPACA

Here are a few links you might like from Dean/St. Mary's:

How to take Birth Control Pills

Sterilization

Abortions

I was a little surprised by the exclusion of elective abortions here because I talked to someone who had first-hand knowledge of such coverage. Probably need to talk to an obstetrician and get the recommendation classified under one of the approved categories.

Regardless, based upon this post alone you can clearly see that the Catholic Church currently freely offers the services they're crying crocodile tears over in the PPACA. Unless you're going to claim that St. Mary's isn't really Catholic.
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby Huckleby » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:19 pm

pjbogart wrote:They still have the option of offering a plan which fails to meet the minimum requirements and pay the penalty, but they apparently don't like this option.

OK, ya, I knew about this option. The talking heads on TV suggest it is a very high penalty and not really a consideration. I also expect paying a "religous conscience" tax would feed the anger.

I will read the links you provided on St. Mary's and other Catholic caves on abortion. I get your point, but not sure that local compromising means the church heirarchy is being political or insincere in their objections on the national mandate. The church also seems to easily accomodate itself to the similar mandate in New York state. It's an emotional issue rather than practical. A federal mandate carries a strong authoritarian symbolism.
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby GOD » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:33 pm

Huckleby wrote:A federal mandate carries a strong authoritarian symbolism.


LET IT BE KNOWN THAT THERE SHALL BE ONLY ONE STRONG AUTHORITARIAN FIGURE IN MANKIND'S LIFE...THE ONE TRUE CREATOR, HE WHO DID IT ALL IN SEVEN DAYS...I.
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:48 pm

Huckleby wrote:Some of those most critical of the church's attitudes towards sex & gender are Catholics.

Talk talk talk.
If they're so critical, what are they doing about it?

Huckleby wrote:And though they probably question their membership in the church sometimes, they see far more positive there than bad.

That's because they willfully keep their eyes closed.
How much "positive" counterbalances all the molested children? How much "positive" is enough to make up for their relentless quest to force the rest of society to conform to their backward views?

Huckleby wrote: I know the bad in religions, the heirarchy, easy slip into narrow-mindedness.

You keep insisting on generalizing this (even after accusing me of doing the same) when we're talking about Catholics. I'm not worried about "narrow-mindedness" in individual adherents, I'm worried about systematic prejudice and attempts to restrict personal freedoms as written in the governing rules of The Church. I'm talking about the "bad" of allowing and covering up decades, if not centuries, of sexual abuse. I'm talking about the "hierarchy" which its members seem to disagree with but who are tacitly supported anyway.

Huckleby wrote:On the other hand, I know religous people who are extremely intelligent, positive people, and religous faith is at core of their being. Dare I say it, they are spiritual.

Dare all you want.
Does being spiritual absolve you of personal responsibility for promoting an organization which seeks to restrict freedom?
Does intelligence or positivity somehow preclude standing up against child abuse?
Does faith really prohibit you from condemning obvious evil being committed in your name?

Huckleby wrote: How do you put such qualities and values into words? You can't understand these things from debate and logic, takes life experience and talking to people.

Obviously, you can't. But don't presume to speak for the rest of us. Not only have I met many spiritual people who have no problem putting their religious beliefs into words, I don't have any trouble explaining in what sense I consider myself spiritual, even though I am totally lacking in religion. My view is irrelevant to this thread, but I'll gladly share if asked.
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby cloudy » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:15 pm

There's plenty of absurdity in the bishops' position, but the claim that the government is unconstitutionally restricting freedom of religion by requiring contraception coverage is truly ridiculous. Even Catholic Antonin Scalia sees this clearly. He's written (Employment Division v. Smith):
We have never held that an individual’s religious beliefs excuse him from compliance with an otherwise valid law prohibiting conduct that the State is free to regulate. On the contrary, the record of more than a century of our free exercise jurisprudence contradicts that proposition....Respondents urge us to hold, quite simply, that when otherwise prohibitable conduct is accompanied by religious convictions, not only the convictions but the conduct itself must be free from governmental regulation. We have never held that, and decline to do so now"
Case closed.
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby Mean Scenester » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:55 pm

Huckleby wrote:I am an atheist and fan of Annie Gaylor.

Wait ... and you're busting Wagstaff's balls?

Have you actually ever listened to the woman speak or do you just like what you think she stands for? Because Gaylor does more to deride people's religious beliefs than anyone chiming in on this thread. Have you seen some of the FFRF billboards? Even I have found many of them needlessly confrontational for a PR effort.

Hey, I consider myself an atheist, but I'd kick Gaylor's ass off my porch as fast as I would any Jehovah's Witness because she's equally as evangelical in her beliefs and every bit as annoying. Wagstaff's not publicly berating people on their way to church, he's stating a reasoned opinion. Fucking get over it already.
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby Huckleby » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:02 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:That's because they willfully keep their eyes closed.
How much "positive" counterbalances all the molested children.

How would someone leaving the Catholic church do any good ? Isn't it more admirable to stay and work for change in a 2000 year old institution?

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Talk talk talk.
If they're so critical, what are they doing about it?

Catholics have done a lot to deal with problems. I went to Catholic school before Vatican II, I have nun stories that would peel paint. The church changed it's practices drastically in the 1970s, well before the sex scandals. The scandals initiated another wave of reform.

BTW, someone in my immediate family was molested by a Catholic priest.

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:I'm worried about systematic prejudice and attempts to restrict personal freedoms as written in the governing rules of The Church. I'm talking about the "bad" of allowing and covering up decades, if not centuries, of sexual abuse. I'm talking about the "hierarchy" which its members seem to disagree with but who are tacitly supported anyway.

You can slam the church all you want. I get it, they are a fat target. I also know the good they do for people. You clearly have a very narrow view of what they are all about, you see them through the prism of the disasters. This is no different than seeing the Muslim church as a terrorist organization.

Why do you suppose that liberal pundits like EJ Dione, Mark Shields and Maureen Dowd remain devout Catholics? Do you think they have turned a blind eye to the institutional failings, or creaky heirarchy? Are they brainwashed or stupid?
Last edited by Huckleby on Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby pjbogart » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:56 pm

Looks like this one is a winner for "Owe-bummer." A whopping 26% oppose the contraceptive requirement. Interestingly, this is about the same number of people who plan to vote for Santorum.

Obama Rope-a-dopes the Fundies
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby Huckleby » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:59 pm

pjbogart wrote:Looks like this one is a winner for "Owe-bummer." A whopping 26% oppose the contraceptive requirement.

well duh, as long as issue is framed in terms of contraception, it's an easy win.

I am just trying to get people to understand that there is legitimacy to the religous freedom issue.
Last edited by Huckleby on Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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