• RSS Queering the Church

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS Spirit of a Liberal

    • Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand September 15, 2014
      Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand: A Vietnam Soldier's Story has just been released. The title comes from a stanza of the gospel traditional, Down by the Riverside, with its refrain--"Ain't gonna study war no more." Golden Sand is a bold, dark, and intense retelling of the Vietnam experience through the eyes of an army scout that is […]
      Obie Holmen
    • Gay Games Symposium July 21, 2014
      I am pleased and honored that the UCC has asked me to moderate a symposium during the games entitled Queer Christians: Celebrating the Past, Shaping the Future. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
      Obie Holmen
  • RSS There Will be Bread

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS The Wild Reed

    • Making the Connections June 27, 2017
      . . . then and nowThe Wild Reed's 2017 Queer Appreciation series continues with the sharing of a piece I originally wrote in 2003 for an online progressive LGBT community forum that's now long gone. At the time I wrote this particular piece the U.S. (along with its coalition of "the bought and bullied," in the words of Indian author Arund […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Something to Think About . . . June 26, 2017
      Related Off-site Links:We Need to Talk About Racism in the LGBTQ Community – Phillip Henry (Teen Vogue, June 21, 2017).An Open Letter To Gay, White Men: No, You’re Not Allowed to Have a Racial Preference – Donovan Trott (The Huffington Post, June 19, 2017).Redesigned Pride Flag Recognizes LGBT People of Color – Nancy Coleman (CNN News, June 13, 2017).Being O […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
  • RSS Bilgrimage

    • The Guardian on Abuse in Church of England in Peter Ball Case: "A Reputation Deservedly Damaged" June 27, 2017
      Not to be missed: the Guardian editorial yesterday on the cover-up in the Church of England of Bishop Peter Ball's abuse of minors, including Neil Todd, who committed suicide after he was unable to get a hearing for his story among the powers that be in the Church of England. The Guardian writes:The report of Dame Moira Gibb into the Church of England […]
      noreply@blogger.com (William D. Lindsey)
    • Flying the Not So Friendly Skies: A Report on One Same-Sex Couple's Experience with Delta Airlines June 26, 2017
      The following is a report about how businesses — in this case, an airline — now routinely treat their paying customers in the U.S., and get away with it. Because they can do so — and all the more so with the Republican party totally controlling the federal government. Don't want the healthcare system ripped apart and millions having their healthcare cov […]
      noreply@blogger.com (William D. Lindsey)
  • RSS Enlightened Catholicism

  • RSS Far From Rome

    • the way ahead March 23, 2013
      My current blog is called the way ahead.
      noreply@blogger.com (PrickliestPear)
  • RSS The Gay Mystic

    • Christmas at Litmanova December 29, 2016
      The Marian Shrine of Litmanova, Slovakia.Christmas 2017A forest chapel at the Slovakian Marian shrine of Litmanova.Stunning painting of the Sacred Heart inside the forest chapel.
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
    • Not Our President November 16, 2016
      To hear the simplistic denial of those who scream out with naiveté “give Trump a chance” as they condemn others engaged in selfless protest against a certain political and social tsunami in the making, is to ignore his life-time public embrace of policies that tens of millions reject as not just destructive, but evil per se. They are not mistaken.Those in st […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
  • RSS The Jesus Manifesto

    • Another World is Neccessary: Anarchism, Christianity and the Race from the White House July 30, 2008
      I’ll be presenting at the upcoming Jesus Radicals conference in Columbus, Ohio. My session (on the relationship between Church and State) will be on Friday afternoon. If you’re in the area, drop by. I’d love to meet some of the folks who frequent this site. Here’s the info: August 15-16, 2008 St. John’s Episcopal 1003 W Town Columbus, OH [...]ShareThis […]
      Mark Van Steenwyk
  • RSS John McNeill: Spiritual Transformations

  • RSS Perspective

    • More Moodies June 27, 2017
      I don't know about you guys, but when things get depressing I often turn to music to try to change my mood. Today I came upon a couple of Moody Blues songs, the versions of which I hadn't seen before. This first one is Tuesday Afternoon sung by Justin Hayward at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 ...And this is Justin singing Nights in White Satin, […]
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)

Wake Up, America!

This past week, the Senate held a floor vote on a proposal to allow employers to decline to provide health benefits which conflict with their religious beliefs. With a twitch of their collective noses, Catholic bishops – each one appointed by the head of a foreign nation – have generated two Congressional hearings, legislation  introduced in the House with 190 cosponsors and the Senate with 29, a lawsuit by seven state attorneys general and the support of the three leading GOP presidential candidates over something as innocuous and non-controversial as health insurance coverage for birth control. After losing Thursday’s vote by only a 51 to 48 margin, House Speaker Boehner vowed to continue the fight. “It’s important for us to win this issue,” Boehner said

A similar mandate is already required by 28 states with nary a peep from any religious leader because (like the federal mandate) no one is being forced to buy, use, prescribe or administer a contraceptive. So this is neither about birth control nor religious freedom. As Catholic Congressman Bart Stupak noted after arduous negotiations with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to get their support for the health care reform act in 2010: “Ultimately, what stings the most… is that people tried to use abortion as a tool to stop health-care reform, even after protections were added.”  

Actually, it’s about a foreign government with global financial interests flexing its muscle to elect a pro-business government. Prelate of Wall Street and president of the USCCB, Timothy Dolan, just returned from Rome after being elevated to prince of the Holy Roman Church. 

Our last corporatist president, George W. Bush, went to Rome five times to meet with Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice also made several visits. On one trip, Rice was asked by the Vatican’s secretary of state to intervene in a U.S. lawsuit naming the Holy See as the defendant in a sex abuse case. “It’s obvious and reasonable that the Holy See would present its positions as a sovereign entity to the American State Department, and recall the immunity for its acts that international law anticipates,” a Vatican official explained.  

When Benedict arrived in the U.S. during the last presidential election year, Bush went out to Andrews AFB to greet him, an honor accorded to no other head of a foreign government before or since. After all, it was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger himself who had given the order to deny communion to the Democratic presidential nominee, John Kerry, in 2004, thereby assuring the Catholic – and deciding vote – for Bush’s reelection.  

Evangelicals and Tea Partiers seem incapable of acknowledging that Catholic bishops are not elected by their congregations or chosen by any group of Americans but they should know what to expect when they vote a Republican into office. 

But Dolan is getting wise. “In the public square, I hate to tell you, the days of fat, balding Irish bishops are over,” he admitted yesterday in a speech delivered to a diocesan convocation on public policy. Dolan said that the prelates might not be the Church’s “most persuasive advocates.” He related how bishops’ hiring an “attractive, articulate, intelligent” laywoman to speak against abortion was “the best thing we ever did,” as a way to persuade other non-clerics to “be very active, very informed and very involved in politics.” There was a catch of course. He added: “If you want an authoritative voice, go to the bishops.”

(Betty Clermont is author of The Neo-Catholics: Implementing Christian Nationalism in America (Clarity Press, 2009))

Advertisements

3 Responses

  1. Superb commentary, Betty.

  2. This article is very interesting. I feel that employers are not doing justice by not handing out health benefits. I am concerned because I will begin to work within a a few years and this could affect me and my lifestyle I live.
    I am also receiving extra credit for this comment in my Theology class. Please argue with me.

    Ryan

    • Hi Ryan, OK I’ll argue with you so that you can get some credit. If I read you correctly, you’re stating that employers should “hand out health benefits” by which I’m assuming you mean health insurance. I disagree. I think we should have a “single payer” system where the government provides the insurance. While everyone seems to be writing about how we’re supposed to pay for health care, no one is having the conversation of why it costs Americans double and triple what it cost others in industrialized nations. Perhaps if we had a single payer, it would be easier to identify where money is being wasted, eliminate the waste, and lower costs for everyone.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: