Those of us who want to rest snugly in the denial that our Country is immune from the religious madness such as the Taliban that is tearing apart other countries, are getting a double-dose of reality right now. Between the US Supreme Court and the Conference of Catholic Bishops, one can hardly ignore the rising tide of religious authoritarianism rising. Taliban America?
In a recent Supreme Court ruling on a case where a Lutheran Church was allowed to discriminate against handicapped employees, the Court ruled in effect that Secular Law cannot interfere with Ecclesiastical Prerogative. In other words, a Church can discriminate against any American on the basis of the separation of Church and State. Well, so much for the Constitution protecting us from Shari’a Law. I mean, if an Imam chooses to enforce the religious penalty for adultery and beheads a woman, what’s to stop them? Like the Citizens United decision, the SCOTUS has opened the door to one of the most destructive forces against our liberties. Permission to violate the law or Constitutionally protected rights because of religious beliefs is dangerously close to have no Constitutional rights at all, which brings us to another aspect of religious assaults on our liberties… the political interference of religions in our Country.
The Catholic bishops are “outraged” that Catholic-sponsored health care institutions and insurances must be required to provide birth control as prescribed and are launching a political and media-driven campaign against the government forcing them to “violate their conscience”. Let’s set aside the obvious contradiction of Catholic Bishops (who enabled and covered-up child sex abuse) invoking a conscience of any kind, and consider the issue for what it is: money. The vast majority of Catholic women have used birth control and the majority of Catholics support the mandate requiring providing birth control, and Catholic Institutions could easily avoid the mandate by refusing any tax monies. If conscience means that much to the bishops, why not perform acts of charity without relying on tax money to make a profit? If their conscience comes into conflict with the concept of “equal under the law”, then do your own thing without our tax money. They want to be free to make money by collecting tax money, while being tax exempt. It seems odd that men whose conscience didn’t bother them a bit when children were being sexually abused, would be so outraged that they would have to provide equal treatment to all women, or, maybe not.