Tag Archives: beliefs of the catholic church

The Catholic Church vs. the Government

14 Feb

I rarely go into political or religious issues on this blog but I am so angry that I can’t keep quiet on this one. I’m sure most of you know that Obama has mandated that religious organizations, include Catholic organizations, are required to cover birth control and abortion medications in their health plans.  This requirement directly goes against the core beliefs of the Catholic Church.

The first and most important point is that it is unconstitutional for the government to force a religious organization to go against their beliefs. Period. It’s pretty simple really. I’m sure you have heard many, many news articles covering the issue of religion in schools. Many people believe that there should be no prayer or mention of religion in school. While I think that may take it a bit too far, their reasoning is separation of church and state. Religious organizations cannot tell the government what to do and the government cannot tell religious organizations what to believe in. It completely blows my mind that anyone can think this mandate is acceptable. Even if you do not agree with the Church’s stance on birth control and abortion, you should be able to see that this mandate is wrong and sets a very dangerous precedent.

One of the statistics I have heard is that 98% of Catholics use birth control. This statistic has been refuted (http://www.lifenews.com/2012/02/13/figure-that-98-of-catholic-women-use-birth-control-debunked/). If that source is not enough for you, take this into consideration. The CDC conducted a study that showed only 62% of women in the U.S. aged 15-44 actively use any form of birth control (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_23/sr23_029.pdf). How is it possible that women who belong to a religion that rejects birth control as one of it’s core beliefs, has an average 30% higher than the national average? It’s not.

In reading blogs I have seen many people try to defend this mandate. Inevitably, someone will throw out that Catholic priests rape children and the Church covers it up. Guys, come on. Yes, there were some horrible men that abused children and it was wrong and awful. Those priests have either been jailed, forced to resign or defrocked. Some leaders of the church did try to cover it up which is completely wrong. Pope John Paul II “declared in 2001 that “a sin against the Sixth Commandment of the Decalogue by a cleric with a minor under 18 years of age is to be considered a grave sin, or delictum gravius.” (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_sex_abuse_cases) The church has enacted new policies in order to prevent this kind of thing from ever happening again. The Catholic Church does not condone rape or molestation of children.

Furthermore, people seem to assume that only Catholic priests abuse children, when in fact, there is no higher rate of abuse in the Catholic Church than in any other religion or even in the general population (http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2010/04/07/mean-men.html). If that source is not enough for you, let me know and I will provide others.

Another point people keep trying to make is that Obama amended the mandate to say that the insurance company has to provide the birth control and abortion medication coverage so the Catholic organizations will not be paying for it. That is not true. Most employers pay for a majority of their insurance premiums. For example, the company I work for pays 75% of the medical premiums. Employees only pay 25%. Some organizations are self insured which means they pay all or most of the insurance premiums. So if the organization pays the majority of the premium and that premium covers birth control and abortion medications, the organization is paying for the birth control and abortion medication coverage. Obama changed nothing. He basically just reworded it hoping that many people would be fooled.

Most people do not know how much good the Catholic Church does. Did you know the Catholic Church was the main reason education is available to those outside of nobility? Did you know that the Catholic Church has a nonprofit hospital system that has 637 hospitals that treats 1 in 5 patients in the US every day? Did you know that in Chicago alone, the Catholic Charities will provide 2.2 million free meals to the needy in that area? What about the fact that in the US, the Catholic Church educates 2.6 million students every day, at the cost of 10 billion dollars a year to parents and parishes. If there were no Catholic schools, those students would have to be educated in public schools and that would cost taxpayers 18 billion dollars. (source for this paragraph is from the book Rediscover Catholicism by Matthew Kelly.)

If you take only one thing from this blog post, let it be this. The government does not have the right to force a religious organization to go against their core beliefs. This cannot continue.