Friday, February 3, 2012

Catholic Hospitals to offer contraception?

Obama-care apparently includes a “contraceptive mandate” that will require all insurance companies in the US to cover sterilization, abortifacients, and contraception. Under this law, all Catholic hospitals will be forced to offer “contraception” to their employees. Perhaps this is what Nancy Pelosi meant, when speaking on Obama-care, when she said “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it.” There has not been a discernible clamor on the part of Catholic hospital employees for their employers to offer free “contraception.”

This is an example of a manufactured issue, one that is motivated by a much more sinister agenda than merely an assault on religious freedom which it certainly is. This law is part of an ongoing effort that goes back to the turn of the last century, an effort that would seek to replace the moral authority of private religion with the perceived interests of the State. More precisely, this law is part of an ongoing and relentless effort to replace the moral authority of the family with that of the State.

There are countless examples of so-called progressives in history who have advocated for the replacement of faith and family with centralized collective control going back as far as French Revolutionary Gracchus Babeuf and communist founder Karl Marx. The limited space of a column constrict the focus to just two examples of  American “progressive” thinkers who have influenced the present atmosphere that now permits the government to force Catholic institutions to pay for abortions and birth control without much public opposition. The two examples offered here are John Dewey, the patron saint of progressive education, and sociologist Phillip Reiff, who influenced the establishment of sex education.
In a December 5, 1928 article in The New Republic, Dewey, having recently returned from a pilgrimage to Stalin’s Soviet Union, described “The marvelous development of progressive educational ideas and practices under the fostering care of the Bolshevist government.”  He described “the great task of the school to counteract and transform those domestic and neighborhood tendencies such as the influence of home and Church.” Dewey’s idea of such a “transformation” involved indoctrinating America’s children against “home and Church” while he cautiously called for the “institution of the family (to be) sapped indirectly rather than by frontal attack.” 

Gushing over the Soviet utopia, Dewey observed the “whole network of agencies by means of which the Soviet government is showing its special care for the laboring class...and to give a working object-lesson in the value of a communistic scheme.” Indeed, Dewey planned for the time in which young and impressionable American public school students would grow up to influence a “network of agencies” after his “change agents” had disabused the younger generation of such false consciousness as moral standards, faith, and the centrality of the independent sovereign family.

In that same vein, sociologist Phillip Rieff wrote in his 1964 progressive classic “The Triumph of the Therapeutic-Uses of Faith after Freud” (p.159) “Sex education becomes the main weapon in an ideological war against the family; its aim was to divest the parents of their moral authority.” Reiff referred to the family, as opposed to the socialist oriented state, as “the chief institutional instrument of repressive authority.” Rieff was a consultant to the National Council of Churches.

American liberals need to wake up and join conservatives who smell the danger of allowing the government to implement repressive laws against Catholic institutions. Liberals might indulge in a degree of smug solace over the “contraceptive mandate” by assuring themselves that, after all, they support contraception and abortion so why should they care. Indeed some Liberals might even rejoice over the spectacle of the government cracking down on those pesky and intransigent Catholics. Before they get too comfortable, liberals might reflect upon the famous poem written by Lutheran anti-Nazi theologian Martin Niemoller:
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak out because I was Protestant.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.


MP said...

This is an example of a manufactured issue, one that is motivated by a much more sinister agenda than merely an assault on religious freedom which it certainly is.

This is utter BS.

To say "There has not been a discernible clamor on the part of Catholic hospital employees for their employers to offer free 'contraception.'" is disingenuous - workers are asking that their employer's healthcare insurance cover various forms of healthcare - WHICH, by the way, they already do at a number of Catholic employers.

The Catholic Church wants to have its cake and eat it - it wants federal monetary benefits as a religious employer, but wants exemption from equally enforced federal regulations.

SCOTUS already denied review on this one.

You're right, to a point, that this is a religious liberty issue - the religious liberty of employees who are not employed in direct religious roles.

So, if the Catholic hospitals etc said they would fire non-religious role employees for failing to follow Catholic restrictions (premarital sex, eating meat on Fridays in Lent, remarriage after divorce), would the Church be in the right?

By the way: Godwin.

Jonathan said...

Our government’s laws and our tax payer money should not have to cater to religious beliefs or biases. If someone what to operate their business, organization, hospital, etc. as a Religious institution then let them do so and claim their religious exemption. However, as a Religious institution it should not be eligible for any public funding; as that funding comes from all tax payers.

In the case of this article, non-Catholics should not have any of their tax money going to institutions with a religious bias. As such, these Catholic Hospitals should not be permitted to both receive government funds and still receive an religious exemption.