Friday, February 10, 2012

Social Issues to determine the election?

Sometimes I get so mad at politics and what I see happening that it is soooo tempting to quit reading about it. Then I remember what is at stake for us as a nation. Here's the latest where Obama supposedly blew it with the religious types over birth control and the Catholic Church.

Huge kerfuffle and a chance for right wing nut jobs to say Obama hates Christianity. He gave in on it in a way that gets what he wants but lets Catholic universities and hospitals pretend they aren't paying for it. Some will say it's another of his sneaky deals, but it makes sense for those who prefer to look idealistic while they look the other way from what is really going on.

Here is the issue and why this matters. Women have for a long time said it's unfair that insurance companies cover Viagra and other such drugs while they do not cover birth control for women. Neither are a disease. One is covered since it's for men. The other hasn't been. The Obama administration said insurance must cover birth control which opened the door for this problem.

The cries that this is about freedom of religion make me so mad I could spit-- and I don't spit. What the Constitution offers is freedom to choose a religion. It does not say that religion then is immune from the laws of the country. You cannot do a lot of things in the name of your religion but many claim you can like say using drugs.

The Catholic Church, of which I legally probably still am a member if a fallen away one, has seen itself above the law in another issue. When the Bishops would discover a priest had been molesting boys, what did they do about it? Turn him into the police to face our laws? Nope, they'd pay off victims and parents, and move him where he could get a new shot at doing it. They considered themselves above the law and who knows in what other ways.

Freedom of religion doesn't mean religions should be able to go into business, which a university, hospital, and insurance company certainly are, and ignore the laws of the land. Well the righties like Santorum would make what the Catholic Church has for moral laws legally binding for the rest of us. That's what he's talking about when he says it should be all right for a state to totally ban birth control if it wants to do that. As president, he'd be just fine with that. Who knows, since the majority of our Supreme Court judges are also Catholics, maybe they'd be fine with that too and not just for a state but the nation.

Obama found a solution that fudged its way into getting what he wanted for women and letting the Catholic Church stand pompous and righteous above the fray. It won't stop the front runners for the presidency from claiming that Obama hates all of Christianity and his trying to get birth control insurance coverage is evidence.

Interestingly enough with the country picking up, the Stimulus actually showing it worked (talk to your own financial planner if you don't believe it), jobs improving, this election turns out it will be about social issues more than economic. The Republicans think that's good news for them. What do you think? Okay with you to block gay marriage, turn abortion back into an illegal act, block people from buying birth control, end any right to die with dignity, and whatever else the Catholic Church dictates to its own members to be part of our legal system under a Santorum presidency? It's what he's got in mind to retrieve the destiny of our country or so he says.

These right wing, religious, supposedly all Christian guys will immediately end health care for all which will be cheers from those who have it and cries from someone with a child who has a chronic condition that will mean they can never buy insurance for themselves. Three of the four appear to feel they should attack Iran. From what I can tell, all want to lower taxes for the rich even further. Environmental or financial regulations-- bad bad bad. Business should have free rein and for Paul that even means blocking a person of another race from eating in your restaurant? Rights of property supersede anything else, right?  And as for your private life, well to stay in good with God, the church should dictate those choices-- their church, not yours, of course.

The thing is-- wasn't freedom of religion also meaning freedom from it. Obama didn't interfere with the Catholic Church's dictates that birth control is a sin. In their church they can say what they want. He was trying to make them function as a business when they go into business. The screams of religious outrage were heard all across the nation enhanced by zealots like Santorum and frauds like Perry.

You know, we as a nation, do give churches all kinds of benefits like not taxing their income or buildings. Why we do that is beyond me but we do. So here we have a religion that has gone beyond worship into profit and it wants the country to give it a wash where it comes to rules.. If they don't like the rules, they don't have to go into the business, do they?

Nobody is forcing people to buy birth control devices or pills.


Brian said...

Wonderfully argued and spoken, Rain. You're absolutely right: once religious organizations go into business, taking taxpayer dollars and serving the general public (as a hospital, college, whatever) they have to follow the laws everyone else follows.

Personally, I think even churches should have to follow those laws. After all, if we allow a "conscience exemption" for religious people, why shouldn't we do this for everybody?

Imagine that I have a moral problem with financing the military (I don't, but imagine). Should I be able to subtract from the federal taxes I owe the military budget proportion?

Somehow I don't think the IRS is going to agree with me that I'm exempt from the law just because I have a belief at odds with what the government pays for.

Ingineer66 said...

If you take Federal Money then you have to follow Federal Rules. That is how it works, the new Golden Rule.

Rain said...

Well they compromised and the Catholic hierarchy is satisfied and likewise women. But the issue of social issues in this next election could be interesting how that works for the Republicans if they really run on that.

Robert the Skeptic said...

I have never understood why insurance companies wouldn't look at paying for birth control as a more lucrative financial decision than paying for the extremely higher costs of birth? For most businesses, profit trumps ideology at almost every turn, why is this issues any different?

Rain Trueax said...

Robert, it makes no sense at all nor does the Catholic Church's stand on birth control. It really is a group of men dictating to women. The women in the Catholic Church aren't buying it; so they want to shove it onto all the rest of us. That it would even be discussed in this day and age tells you how nutty we have become and how much the party that talks freedom really wants a dictatorship of their idea of moral values!