Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Catholic Church tryin' to blackmail America! Seriously!

So, some bishops are trying to hold Americans hostage about abortion. Some bishops have mouthed off that if the Freedom of Choice Act gets signed into law that Catholic hospitals will close their doors. About a third of all hospitals in America are Catholic.

And by "Catholic hospital", well, I mean that only in a narrow sense. Most of their income is actually from fees, and the federal government funds them more than the Catholic Church does through Medicare and Medicaid, not to mention grants from the federal as well as state and even local governments. So, they're only Catholic in a very vague sense. I think that's important to realize.

But the Freedom of Choice Act . . . well, no one has even tried to pass it in fifteen years. So, it's an act that doesn't really, y'know, exist, and it hasn't come before the House or Senate in any form in fifteen years, so who knows what it'll actually say? But the act would presumably force hospitals to give or refer abortions. And the Catholic Church is trying to blackmail the US government with it.

Mind you, the medical profession is already regulated. Catholic, and Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, secular, etc., hospitals are already regulated to do a large number of things if they receive public money. They can't, for instance, deny emergency services. They have to contentiously serve their patients. Stuff like that.

But because abortion is an "intrinsic evil", they feel they can threaten the US government! That they can blackmail us. Because that's what this is - a threat, blackmail.

Me? I hope they do it. I think it'll destroy Catholicism in America - which ain't doin' so well to begin with - if they try that. They love life so much that they'd close down a third of the hospitals in America, causing untold suffering, because, oh-em-gee, they might be forced to give medical services to people after receiving billions in taxpayer money.

Which is part of the key thing, here. These institutions get a lot of funding from the government. They're not private hospitals (which would likely be exempt from the FOCA, or they were as of the last draft of it, fifteen years ago). These are public institutions . . . but also religious ones?

I think that the Catholic Church shouldn't be allowed to get government money. Separation of church and state. If they want to run these hospitals as privately financed charities, they should do that. Make 'em private hospitals. Oh, but they can't afford to do that. To do what they say they want to do - help people - they receive huge amounts of money in the form of grants and Medicare and Medicaid and supplementary state and local programs. So, they want our money, but don't want to follow our laws . . . ? I think that just this threat, alone, is enough to get their non-profit status removed. It's insane that they should try to blackmail the American people!

But what strikes me as interesting is how conservative the Catholic Church has become. I can't think of a single time in my life that I've seen the Catholic Church go after anyone the way they've gone after Obama. Beyond the institutional racism in the Catholic Church (WHEN is there going to be a Latin American or African Pope?! African and Latin American Catholics are the huge bulk of Catholics!), there's been a steep rightward slant to Catholic politics for the past ten or fifteen years. Once viewed as being a center-left organization, now it's basically an all out right-wing organization. While giving tepid statements about how global climate change and war are bad and should be worked against, while very lightly castigating corporate capitalism, the Catholic Church doesn't do anything about any of those things. You don't see Catholic bishops threatening to excommunicate soldiers who work with nuclear weapons (also intrinsic evil) or who fight in illegal and immoral wars, or who serve greedy, soul-destroying corporations that are plundering the wealth of the world - but with abortion you've got these right-wing reactionary bishops threatening to close a third of all hospitals in America and trying to blackmail the American government. Wow. Which really tells a person where their priorities are, huh? War in Iraq? Well, they can work with that. Having to refer abortions? Intrinsic evil and they're willing to blackmail the US government over it!

4 comments:

smith said...

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Anonymous said...

Actually, I know for a fact there was at least one Latin American Pope (Pope Alexander VI). I realize that you were probably referring to the modern papacy, and that my knowledge of the Catholic religion is extremely limited, but just thought I might point this out.

Dr. kold_kadavr_flatliner, MD, the Roamin' Cat said...

You don't believe in God? That's quite funny... seeing as you'll return to Jesus when you croak (your soul is indelible). Because I was an actual NDE, lemme share with you what I actually know Seventh-Heaven's gonna be like for us: meet this ex-mortal Upstairs for the most-extra-groovy, pleasure-beyond-measure, Ultra-Yummy-Reality-Addiction in the Great Beyond for a BIG-ol, kick-ass, party-hardy, 10110110-yummy-flavors you DO NOT wanna miss the smmmokin’-hot-deal. YES! For God, anything and everything and more! is possible!! RSVP? Cya soon.

Chris Bradley said...

Dude, I find your post to be extremely sad. You seem to take pleasure in the impending pain of others. How will an actual moral being take your pleasure in gloating about your presumably impending life of unending bliss?

Part of the reason why I stopped being religious is precisely this: that religious people are so arrogant and spiteful about the prospect of people about to suffer eternal damnation.

I consider it great irony that they consider themselves to be MORE moral than a person who merely tries to do the right thing regardless of religious orientation.

If I do have an immortal soul and, when I die, I am cast into Hell . . . well, that will suck for me. But I doubt I'd like it in a Heaven where people like you are present, so the afterlife is pretty much a no-win situation for me. Good thing there isn't one.