Friday, September 30, 2011

Catholics Merit NO Special Exemptions!

The recent news (Denver Post, WSJ, Economist) that the Roman Catholic Church in the States is demanding much broader exemptions from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, ought to make every citizen sit up and take notice. These Catholics are so incensed at having to provide coverage for contraception and other preventive services for women (such as screening for gestational diabetes) that they're actually saying they may have no choice but to drop all insurance coverage or shut down. Are you effing kidding me? So, all Catholic hospitals, institutions will bar their doors or drop insurance because the whiny, sanctimonious little bastards don't wish to comply with the law?

Here's what these whiners don't grasp: the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services has already exempted religious organizations that employ and serve people of the same faith, from having to provide contraceptive services for example. This is natural and reasonable, because it is assumed that within that closed enclave of faith - most or all of the participants will agree to any claimed principles. However, most Catholic social service agencies, hospitals, universities, and nursing homes employ and serve NON-Catholics as well. Should all those individuals, including a few atheists, be held hostage to archaic and absurd Catholic dogmas?

Of course not!

But this is what these Catholic whiners are bitching about!

They insist that the exemption be broadened to extend to ALL institutions, even those that employ mostly non-Catholics! This is insane! They even have the nerve to offer up codswallop that would be laughable if it weren't already so transparently egregious and self-serving. According to one flummoxed padre (WSJ, Sept. 29, p.A5, 'Catholics Fight Health Rules'):

"Jesus himself, or the Good Samaritan of his famous parable, would not qualify as religious enough for the exemption, since they insisted on helping people who did not share their view of God"

But what this babbling idiot doesn't grasp is that the core issue isn't judging who is "religious enough" but rather whether provision of services that HELP (which contraception clearly does when a family is already maximized and can't make ends meet) can be withheld by Catholic institutions which serve or employ mostly or many non-Catholics!

Another moron, a Bishop David A. Zubik from Pittsburgh, quoted in the piece, asserts:

"This looks like the government telling us what we can and can't believe and what we can and cen't do!"

In a way, yes - if you accept the benefits of the Patient Protective and Affordable Care Act, you must extend those other benefits to the non-Catholics you serve or employ - who don't share your archaic or absurd beliefs. This is little different from the "faith -based charities" which can receive federal monies for support, but are then obliged to hire others who may not share their faith or beliefs, as well as being mandated not to proselytize to them!

So what is the response of these ignorant, entitled babies? They are threatening to close all their social services, schools, hospitals, etc. or else restrict employment etc. only to Catholics. How stupid and self-serving is that? Just because they won't be allowed total control of fobbing off their lame doctrines, which is what they are.

Now, let's look at the historical basis of their stupid beliefs regarding artificial contraception, which difference I may add, is what eventually drove me from this backward Church. I wasn't going to have kids - no how, no way, and my wife and I weren't prepared to have a padre, pope or church dictate our sex lives. So we said 'hasta la vista'. I became a hard core atheist, my wife remained an agnostic. (Though she does seem to be leaning more toward atheism every day!)

But my departure had been building since I attended Loyola University and took an Ethics class in the Fall of 1966. This was under Rev. Alvin Holloway, S.J. - shown in the above graphic - suspended on 'Einstein's' blackboard.

Catholic impediments to a sane birth control policy began with the misguided encyclical Humanae Vitae in 1968. The Pope at the time, Paul VI, issued this document in direct opposition to his own specially appointed Papal Commission on the matter. Author David Yallop, in his book In God's Name, 1984, has portrayed Humanae Vitae in stark terms indeed, as well as its paradoxical consequences (p. 58):

"On a disaster scale for the Roman Catholic Church, it measures higher than the treatment of Galileo in the seventeenth century "

The implicit assumption in Humanae Vitae and Pope John Paul II's encyclical Veritatis Splendor, is that procreation takes precedence over any other function of sexual intercourse. This is observably true in most other animals (with estrus cycles) but it certainly doesn’t apply to humans who exhibit a diverse array of sexual play. To devalue sexplay for its own end, while extolling procreation-based sex as the be-all and end-all, is to rob humans of their uniqueness as sexual primates. Or, to refer to the words of one Catholic biologist, Elizabeth Dougherty (in Contraception and Holiness, The Lessons of Zoology, p. 110):

"Why do we call secondary the ends of the sexual act which have been accorded in fullness to us, and why do we call primary the end that we share with the lower animals?"

It is also to invite ecological catastrophe for this planet. Since 1968, for example, the world population has added another two and a half billion which the Vatican merely welcomes as 'more souls for the Church' - potential or otherwise - while ignoring their collective impact on strained planetary ecosystems. Also, ignoring their individual impact on families which are so stretched economically they can't even care properly for the children they have, far less must add!

But what really really pissed me off bigtime, was the Rev. Holloway's take in his Ethics class. He compared the use of artificial birth control in marriage to ‘mutual masturbation’ and justified this definition and term based on "natural law". For example, according to Catholics' natural law doctrine, the use of artificial contraception is gravely sinful because a device (condom or diaphragm or pill ) is used to frustrate the ‘natural outcome’ of the sexual act, i.e. conception. Since the natural outcome was frustrated, and only pure pleasure resulted with no potential for fertilization, then the act reduced to onanism times two. In this padre's forlorn brain that was the be all and end all. Case closed!

When I informed him that not so long ago, Catholic theologians justified slavery as wholly consistent with natural law, and asked him to square this with justifying rejection of contraception now, he lost it. Maybe that was one reason he ended up giving me a 'D' in his course (which fortunately, had no bearing or use when I transferred to another university to pursue a degree in astronomy!)

Considering both slavery, and the Catholic birth control proscription, we clearly see where the Church is coming from. Natural law was invented purely as a theological sophistry; a device to control and manipulate people's lives. As one priest intimated to me in a moment when I caught him off-guard: ‘Hey don't knock natural law. It keeps sinners coming back to confession!’ Just like dutiful mental slaves, who’ve allayed a few existential qualms at the cost of intellectual gangrene, and stunting of personal growth.

The bottom line is there is no more good reason to protect this pseudo-belief by these irritating Catholics then to protect slavery. The central problem with all "natural law" lines of moral defense is that they betray an over-allegiance to Aristotelian thought. A primary feature of such thought is a tendency to fix behaviors within very limited and narrow definitions and categories. Thus slavery was "naturally lawful" since the slave was believed to possess no innate ability for authentic self -direction, or independent thought. Hence, he required a "master" to guide him and handle his affairs. Also, to make him work, since otherwise he'd just loaf all day!

Thus today, artifiical contraception is outlawed and naturally unlawful because it supposedly frustrates the natural outcome of birth. (And presumably, if the moral law wasn't there, every married couple would just go on their merry way, fucking the daylights out of each other and never ever having kids!)

But a question I've always wanted to ask these pompous dopes is this: How is it you are morally against artificial contraception, but the last Pope (John Paul II) had no problem asserting (in one encyclical) that artificial heart transplants are fine?

Wouldn't that frustrate the natural outcome of death? Or are you okay making exceptions with artificiality, just as up until 1869 the Church’s Canon Law had historically held abortion to be allowable up to the end of the first trimester (Sagan, C. and Druyan, Anne, Is It Possible to Be Pro-Life and Pro-Choice?' in PARADE, April 22, 1990, p. 6)

Inquiring minds really want to know, especially before you toss tens of thousands of people out of work (which I'm sure Jesus would not be happy with) in order to satiate your own dumb, irrational beliefs!

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