Holy War. That was the headline emblazoned atop the Huffington Post last week just hours after a number of U.S. Catholic entities, including Notre Dame, filed suit against the provision in the health care law concerning birth control. And, just in case they did not make their point, just below the headline were two side-by-side color pictures: President Obama on the right and the mural of Jesus (aka touchdown Jesus) on the Notre Dame Library. I think I got the point.
Actually the point I got first is that I am sick and tired of those in the media who seem to have an obsession with the word war. This has been going on for years and it’s time that we sent a message. Here is just a short list of those wars: the war on religion, the war on Muslims, the war on Christianity, the war on women and the dual wars on conservatives and liberals. Of course the all time classic is that Fox News oldie but goodie, the war on Christmas.
Tagging the news with the word war is an affront to all Americans who have actually gone to war risking their lives for this country – many of them left for dead and many others coming home crippled. Have some respect for them and just stop it.
Well let’s get back to the news at hand and the real reasons behind that lawsuit. Personally (and for clarification, I am Catholic), I agree that that Catholic-run businesses should not be forced to provide birth control as part of their overall health plans. I also think the compromise offered by the president was reasonable, that women could go directly to the health care provider, if that is their decision. Apparently this is not good enough, thus the lawsuit.
Just a week before the suit was filed a Gallup Poll found that a resounding 82 per cent of American Catholics do not think using birth control is a moral violation of their religion.
That number is just below the national average (89 percent) in the poll. Clearly the increasingly out of touch and aging male leadership of the church has lost touch with the flock. While a number of these church leaders turned a blind eye to abusive priests, they have never turned a blind eye to keeping women in their place. Heck, it was just a couple of weeks ago that they sent a nasty letter to some American nuns who had the audacity to speak out.
The church often speaks eloquently about the plight of the poor and that it is our duty to help them. Has it dawned on anyone that it is the poor who will be hurt the most with this rigid policy on birth control? Most women who are employed by Catholic institutions can work their way around the policy. They go to the doctor, get a prescription and stop at the pharmacy on the way home. But many of those who work at the lowest pay level often have to make choices they would rather not have to make.
Like feeding and putting clothes on the children they already have.