This graphic has started to float around the Internet (click for bigness), and I can’t think of a more distorted, factually-incorrect representation of the recent National Health Care vs. the Catholic Church situation. Let’s break it down, frame by frame.
Disclaimer: I am not Catholic nor a Catholic scholar. My apologies if I misrepresent their theology.
Frame #1 How does “We’re not going to buy you birth control” equal “I can’t control my reproductive health”?
Condoms are available in any corner drug store, supermarket or convenience store for less than a can of soda. Here’s a 48-pack of Durex at Amazon for $.33/per. Comes in a reusable metal tin and is even eligible for free Super Saver shipping. Also, Planned Parenthood and many university health clinics give out condoms for free. Birth control pills cost $15-$50 a month and are already covered by many health insurance plans. And if worse comes to worse, don’t have sex that night! Get yourself some condoms the next day and be more prepared.
We have come so far in the last 50 years in improving women’s rights. We have a generation of men raised to understand that “No means no”. Chris Brown is a pariah to many. Women are encouraged to have a career and have gone on to hold some of the highest offices in business and politics. And then to stand here, today, and act like women are being subjugated? It’s a cruel treatment to all that have fought to get us where we are today. Which is that it has never been easier, in the history of the world, for a woman to be in more control of her reproductive health. NEVER.
The right to have sex should never be infringed on, but having safe sex is a responsibility and a choice. Sex is serious business with serious consequences. We should expect a level of seriousness from our culture about it and encourage a level of personal ownership for those engaging in it.
The issue behind the issue here is: where do we, by legal force, stop requiring companies to provide things to their employees? Should we force insurance companies to buy me running shoes so I’ll lose weight? Or ergonomic chairs for better posture? At what point do we stop forcing behavior under the banner of “It’s for your own good” or “I want it that way”?
And practically speaking, where is this money supposed to come from? Somebody has to pay for all this additional coverage, and that cost will always be passed down the line. And you know who that ends up hurting the most? The poor people that you wanted to help so badly in the first place because now their insurance costs went up.
Frame #2 Correct! Catholic theology considers most forms of contraception a mortal sin, including hormonal (ie: the pill) and barrier (ie: condoms) methods of birth control. So, essentially, what the current administration wants to do is force Catholic organizations to give their employees something that they feel is the worst degree of sin possible.
Now, you can argue against Catholic theology all day long. I don’t agree with most of it, but I don’t care about the sanity of their beliefs. I don’t even care that we might have a president who believes in magic underwear. And frankly, neither does the Constitution. What I do believe in is the very first line of the Bill of Rights (emphasis mine):
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…
President Obama is, in a very real way, prohibiting the free exercise of religion here. He is very much violating the separation of church and state. Until you can prove that someone’s actions violate the law, Catholics (and Mormons and Breatharians and whomever) have the right to believe whatever crazy thing they want. The whole concept of “separation of church and state” grew out of this very thing: preventing the state from mandating what religion can and can’t do.
My buddy Pudge summed it up as such: “…stop the insipid assertion that because you don’t want to pay a few bucks a week (tops!) or get it for free, that it somehow gives you the right to force your boss to do something that he considers a mortal sin.”
Frame #3 Sorry, Inigo, but it does indeed mean just that: the government is supposed to leave religion alone. I don’t want religions dictating laws, and I don’t want a government dictating how a religion should work.
In the words of Frank Sinatra, “You can’t have one without the other”.