So who’s special? Catholics? Women?

Sunday, February 12th, 2012 · 10 Comments »

On Friday President Obama caved in and announced that it was okay for Catholic hospitals and universities to deny women contraception on the basis of “religious liberty.” No matter that this is a step backwards from established law and the EEOC’s own enforcement of the Civil Rights Act; Father Obama knows best. He will just arrange things so that insurance companies fill the gap in coverage, thus saving Catholic employers from having to treat women like humans.

And now the Republicans have responded, perfectly logically, with an amendment to allow any employer to reject any aspect of the healthcare mandate on religious grounds. After all, why should the Church get special treatment? And why should women’s healthcare be the only thing subject to discrimination?

Funnily enough, the folks who were high-fiving Obama’s “brilliant” compromise on Friday do not seem to grasp what their adored president hath wrought. They’re too busy being outraged by the Republican amendment:

That’s the religious freedom to deny coverage for birth control, of course. But it’s also the religious freedom to deny coverage for cervical cancer, because it’s caused by HPV, which is transmitted sexually. It’s the religious freedom to deny coverage for treatment for alcoholism or any health issue associated with drinking. It’s the religious freedom for any employer, not just religiously affiliated ones, to be legally allowed to come up with any excuse to exclude any kind of care from the health coverage they provide their employees, as long as they say it’s a religious or moral reason.

Awful! We can’t allow that. Yeah, it’s fine to discriminate against women’s contraception, but that other stuff? No fucking way! And it’s fine to allow the Catholics to defy the Civil Rights Act, but other employers? No fucking way!

Waiting for the penny to drop in these people’s minds. Waiting, waiting, waiting.


ETA: Quixote has a very good post on this mess over at Sky Dancing: My religion is to kill your religion. Great title, too.

10 Responses to “So who’s special? Catholics? Women?”

  1. quixote says:

    I KNOW. It is un-bleeding-believable.

    I’d never really taken on board, before this BS, that there are so many people who don’t get the difference between rights and the gifts of (benevolent?) dictators.

    I’ve just posted a rant about it at my blog and Skydancing.

    Women no longer have a recognized right to decisions about their own health care. Instead they have pills. That’s a sop; not a win.

  2. Violet Socks says:

    That is an excellent post, and I just added the link to it.

    In all seriousness, I’m not sure that Obama’s ridiculous compromise is defensible from a Constitutional standpoint. I’m sure the regulation will be written to apply to all religious institutions, not just Catholics, but still, it raises a lot of questions in terms of the Establishment Clause, the 14th Amendment, and the Civil Rights Act:

    1. Why should contraception be the only thing that can be denied on religious grounds? That’s a very particular concern of one very particular branch of Christianity.
    2. Why can’t individual employers invoke the religious liberty clause? Must it be institution-affiliated employers like Catholic hospitals? Why?
    3. Why should women’s healthcare be the only thing subjected to this special treatment? Doesn’t that violate the Equal Protection clause? The Civil Rights Act?

  3. quixote says:

    Thanks for the shout out!

    Of course that shit isn’t Constitutionally defensible. Unless you want to throw out separation of church and state, in which case you’ve thrown out the Constitution and started over with whatever’s left. The brainiacs at Oral Roberts University, I guess.

    (By the way, this has bothered me for years: What’s up with that “Oral” business? What kind of oral? Why oral?)

  4. Violet Socks says:

    But I mean really, in real life, actually in a real-live court (to be all Monty Python about it). Surely some enterprising folks on either the left or the right or both will challenge this thing in court.

    Of course there’s no telling how the decisions could go, especially if it got to the Supremes. They’re crazy. John Roberts’ Crazy Town Bar and Grill.

  5. Miss Clairol says:

    So, last time I checked employers hate paying for benefits. What’s to stop every one of them from claiming they’re converting to Christian Science, or maybe that human suffering is a glorious ticket to the Kingdom of Heaven, and refusing to pay for any coverage at all?

    I wish these people would learn that Republicans can’t be checkmated because they will never stop pushing for more, more, more.

  6. Swannie says:

    The Catholic Church would tale us back to the inquisition if we let them. They are jumping for joy and will push this as far as they can.

  7. tinfoil hattie says:

    @ Violet, not only are the Supremes crazy, six of them are Catholic. Which I am sure you know. Just driving home. bitter point.

  8. votermom says:

    In all seriousness, I’m not sure that Obama’s ridiculous compromise is defensible from a Constitutional standpoint. I’m sure the regulation will be written to apply to all religious institutions, not just Catholics, but still, it raises a lot of questions in terms of the Establishment Clause, the 14th Amendment, and the Civil Rights Act:
    1. Why should contraception be the only thing that can be denied on religious grounds? That’s a very particular concern of one very particular branch of Christianity.
    2. Why can’t individual employers invoke the religious liberty clause? Must it be institution-affiliated employers like Catholic hospitals? Why?
    3. Why should women’s healthcare be the only thing subjected to this special treatment? Doesn’t that violate the Equal Protection clause? The Civil Rights Act?

    That’s the real debate. Lovely how it’s women that again get to be the battleground. And by lovely I mean $%&@!

    Btw, I read an opinion somewhere that Obama’s compromise is technically a form of fraud – pretending that A does not have to pay for x by having B pay for it who will pass the charges on to A anyway.

  9. gxm17 says:

    I’m just stunned that an institution that protects child rapists has even a speck of moral ground to stand on. It’s insane. Why in the hell does no one in authority tell the Church of the Almighty Pedophiles to piss off? Why is it okay for a bunch of old men to tell women what to do with their bodies when they can’t even keep their own priests from raping children? Seriously, dudes have major priority problems. As well as major ethical ones. If only they invested as much time and energy into anti-rape legislation as they do in destroying women’s hard won reproductive rights. But I guess that would require sanity and compassion.

  10. 1950democrat says:

    “2. Why can’t individual employers invoke the religious liberty clause?”

    In the latest version of the RR/Catholic bills, it can be invoked not only by employers but by any individual connected with the policy. (Blunt’s amendment, iirc.)