Friday, February 10, 2012

The war against religion
I'm always interested in the assumptions beneath what's said.

With the current brou-ha-ha over the Obama administration's now-compromised dictum that Catholic-owned institutions that serve the general public (as opposed to churches, monasteries etc.), for example, I've noticed that once more religious people frequently seem to assume that what they'd call "non-religious' "secular" or "unchurched" people don't actually have moral views that should be respected.

It's like the way the ancient Greeks came up with the root for the word "barbarian": they assumed that those who didn't speak Greek didn't speak--they just uttered nonsense noises, which the ancient Greeks portrayed as "bar-bar-bar." That's how they came up with "barbarian."

Fast forward to the conservative commentator who said that Republican Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor had no morals because she believed in pragmatic compromise. To him, pragmatism wasn't a moral system he disagreed with--it wasn't a moral system at all.


So the ones fulminating over ordering institutions that serve the public to follow certain rules-for-all don't acknowledge that the side wanting contraception provisions included are taking a moral position they disagree with. 

This is philosophical jingoism. You can't even debate the issue if the other side won't admit that you're on a moral side.

And of course we can argue that their position is extremely immoral, given the world overpopulation crisis. But overpopulation hasn't been mentioned by either side in the public debate over this issue. Yet it's the Blue Whale in the swimming pool.

Not to mention all the states in which Catholic schools and hospitals are required to do this by state law. Haven't heard any uproar about that before now. 

Tax-exempt institutions are entitled, by law, to campaign on behalf of issues, but not candidates. However, if you pay attention to conservative media, you'll see Catholic church authorities campaigning to overthrow President Obama. This church has also ordered its adherents to disobey American laws that conflict with Church orders (in the context of the Catholic Church actively promoting illegal immigration from Catholic countries to America, along with granting full citizenship to such people). 

In countries where the Catholic Church is in a majority and its adherents are fervent--as in Latin America--you see this church aggressively involved in politics. I see nothing wrong in doing that. Just in its being exempt from taxation when it does so.

But at this point, with a quarter of the country Catholic and a majority on the Supreme Court Catholic, and our Catholic population expanding rapidly, it's already too late. Our only hope is that native American Catholics aren't anywhere near as fervent as their Bishops and their Mexican immigrant congregations. Perhaps as the Mexicans become acculturated over the next several hundred years they'll mellow out. 

1 comment:

stanchaz said...

I'VE HAD ENOUGH! In this Holy War on Religion, of Religion, and by Religion. I SURRENDER! I’m a lover, not a fighter.  Instead... I’m gonna start my OWN religion, and get in on the good stuff: tax exemptions, and lots of taxpayer money to do what I want, in the name of religious liberty. Most definitely! Hey NEWT -wanna join? We’re gonna have open marriages and multiple wives and all SORTS of neat stuff that you’re just gonna love! But don’t you worry your little head Newt: we’ll have no -I repeat- NO nasty stoning of adulterers. None of that stuff. I Promise! As for SANTORUM, he just LOVES to tell other people how they should live. He’ll make us a REAL fine preacher-man. In fact, we’ll make him Saint Santorum. AND fix his Google search results! As for Mr. Obama,  obviously, we’ll need to (severely) demonize him, even further. And his dog Toto too. Last but not least: MITT and RON. Hmmm. Hey, I know. Just for you two guys: we’ll insist on NO TAXES AT ALL for church members…AND human sacrifice of illegal aliens. Out with their hearts! Televised! Live! Whoooppee! WHAT A COUNTRY!  :-)
By the way, please don’t mention the REASON that Mitt Romney’s dad was born in Mexico (i.e. The fact that Mitt’s Mormon grand-dad left the United States in the 1880’s. He went to Mexico BECAUSE laws against polygamy were passed in the U.S. ; Being a Mormon back then, Mitt’s grand-dad wanted to keep his multiple wives. Hey, who wouldn’t?) Bottom line: if we follow the “logic” of the people crying crocodile tears about a non-existent “war on religion”, then the U.S. should have allowed polygamy (and who knows what else) just because a particular religion claimed it as their cherished belief. GIVE ME A BREAK!
Absolutely NO ONE is coming into our Churches or places of worship and trying to tell parishioners what to believe.....or forcing them to use contraception. BUT If the Bishops (and other denominations) want to continue running businesses that employ millions of people of varying faiths -or no "faith" at all- THEN they must play by the same rules and rights that other workers have and enjoy...especially if their businesses use our tax dollars (and skip paying taxes) in the process. This is not a “war on religion”. It’s a war on women and men who simply want to plan their families and control their future. Now that’s REAL religious liberty!
p. s. I come from a religious background. I know that their are MANY good people out there, in various faiths (and outside of those faiths); many good people searching for answers, for community, for a this all-too-harsh world. There's only one thing I can say to you: think for yourself, be yourself, trust yourself. Don't just accept something because it comes from a "voice of authority". That’s why you have a conscience: to choose, not just to follow....