As a graduate of a local catholic high school I am familiar with the value of a parochial school education. However, as a citizen of the United States of America I take issue with the Church’s involvement in health care for its employees. If you choose to work for the Chancery or directly in the church then I can understand your concerns and rights.
However, a worker in a catholic institution should not be required to adhere to the Catholic Church or any church’s birth control doctrine. Freedom of religion also means freedom from religion, if you so choose. Therefore, the church letter read denouncing President Obama’s birth control coverage is forcing the doctrine of religion on every woman of child bearing age in America. The vast majority of Catholics have admitted in countless polls that they do not follow that edict. In fact, many use birth control.
No woman is being forced to run to Planned Parenthood or her physician for a variety of safe and effective birth control methods. And why should a nurse or health aid be forced into an unwanted or unsafe pregnancy just because she works at a religious institution? Forcing these women to pay out of pocket full cost for birth control is forcing religion on these women. Wealthy women who can afford the cost of birth control will not be affected while the poor and working poor would be denied this vital women’s health coverage. Let women decide what to do with their bodies. The fact that a group of men can determine what’s best for them is mind-boggling.
I know of a catholic store owner who when asked why he didn’t carry condoms, he stated, “I’m Catholic.” Until then I hadn’t realized what an issue this was for the Catholic Church and the faith community.
However, just as politicians shouldn’t campaign in the church sanctuary, the Bishop should not be attacking President Obama from the pulpit. Being educated in a catholic setting from ninth grade and being taught by priests who’ve since been exposed for abusing their mission, I just find it difficult to accept the Bishop casting stones from a crystal cathedral.
February 10, 2012