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Activist Annie
11:24 AM on 04/16/2012
"...What is at stake is whether America will continue to have a free, creative, and robust civil society -- or whether the state alone will determine who gets to contribute to the common good, and how they get to do it," the statement says. "This is not a Catholic issue. This is not a Jewish issue. This is not an Orthodox, Mormon, or Muslim issue. It is an American issue..."

Indeed, the Bishops have forgotten that the Founders already addressed this issue, as did Jefferson in his "Wall of Separation" letter to Danbury Baptist Association in 1802 which contains the phrase "wall of separation between church and state," which led to the short-hand for the “Establishment Clause” that we use today: "Separation of church and state."

They need to keep out of government and attend to church which is their domain.
12:43 PM on 04/16/2012
great blog Annie . . ditto
Activist Annie
01:59 PM on 04/16/2012

I really get angry when I read of the bishops' or any priest or minister promulgating the lies about the "dangers" of the government laws in the free exercise of religion. In this case the bishops (who lost their court case) are still promoting this lie regarding contraception.

07:41 PM on 04/16/2012
They might also profit from Lincoln's meditation on the Divine Will...and the idea that just possibly God's plan is different from their own.
10:35 AM on 04/16/2012
It's interesting that the Catholic church is acting on behalf of the corporations by misleading people about how their religious freedoms are at stake. I shouldn't be surprised since this institution deems it acceptable to systemically hide the victims of rape and those who engage in it. They have proven that the "institution" reigns supreme --- sheep in wolves clothing. On the other hand, I'm happy to see that they are putting pressure on Ryan for using his religion to justify inequities to the poor. Honestly, democracy runs counter to literal interpretations of the Bible it seems....
10:29 AM on 04/16/2012
tax them . . . . . they have no power . . . complete separation of church and state
April Dancer 25
The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.
09:19 AM on 04/16/2012
Dolan has to realize that the people who will actually follow his instruction are not the type of people who will break the law. And catholics who are willing to break the law are not the type who agree with him so won't do what he's asking. I think that we should all just stop putting oney in the plate and see what happens next.
07:56 AM on 04/16/2012
Right. Given how blatantly political - and partisan - this move by the bishops is, it's time to end the tax-exempt status of the Catholic Church. It's not a religion any more - it's a PAC.
10:30 AM on 04/16/2012
f & f Australian2 . . ditto
Activist Annie
11:25 AM on 04/16/2012
True. True. True.
Progressive is good; regressive, not so much.
06:37 AM on 04/16/2012
As we watch dolan make his 'run for popedom', the hypocrisy continues to spread through the Catholic Church and it's leadership. The misogyny and hatred become more open every day. It is probably one of the saddest things this world has ever seen.
Facts have a liberal bias.
01:02 AM on 04/16/2012
I call on all Catholics, especially women, to walk out of Mass and refuse to donate until we are treated as equals.
10:31 AM on 04/16/2012
great blog been2there . . . they should if they value their civil liberties . . . .
Activist Annie
11:29 AM on 04/16/2012
Great suggestion.

Believe me, though, the women would be threatened with excommunication by the presiding bishop...
12:38 AM on 04/16/2012
The Bishops' claims have gone from wrong to ridiculous.

While some may oppose the policy of promoting the availability of medical services they don't like, the law does not put employers in the moral bind some suppose. Many worked themselves into a lather mistakenly thinking that employers were forced to provide employees with health care plans offering services the employers disliked, even though employers are free to not provide any such plans and instead pay assessments. Unless one supposes their religion forbids paying money to the government (all of us should enjoy such a religion), the law poses no moral bind. Problem solved.

Some continued complaining that by paying assessments they would indirectly pay for things they opposed, seemingly missing that that is not a moral dilemma, but rather a gripe common to many taxpayers–who don’t much like paying taxes and who object to one or another thing the government may do with “their” tax dollars.

In any event, those complaining made enough of a stink that the government relented and announced that employers would be free to provide health plans to their liking and not be required to pay the assessments. Problem solved–again, even more.

Yet some still complain, fretting that the services they dislike will get paid for and somehow they will be complicit because if insurers pay for such services, the costs will be passed on to them. When they spend a dollar, they nonetheless want a say in how others later spend that dollar.
07:55 AM on 04/16/2012
As far as the Catholic Bishops are concerned, "freedom of religion" means "freedom to impose my religion on others".
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...lest my wife says I'm not.
10:51 PM on 04/15/2012
This poses the challenge of religious freedom w.r.t. the extent to which religions can participate beyond the law of the land. It is an issue to be decided by the courts if needed. One question is whether allowing religions exemptions from general law is whether that allowance places those excepted at risk.

While I personally disagree with the Bishops on this, I support their right to protest and am interested to see the extent to which the Catholic laity follow their edict.
Activist Annie
11:27 AM on 04/16/2012
The Catholic laity is not as unformed as they were when I was in the Roman Church years ago.
10:00 PM on 04/15/2012
Another nail in the Catholicism coffin. Nobody cares what pedophile protecting bishops say about anything.
Charlie Seivard
Always curious & concerned
09:48 PM on 04/15/2012
One of the greatest dangers to our freedom is the arrogance of the Catholic Bishop desire to impose their version of Christianity on the resy of the country.
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11:21 PM on 04/15/2012
They aren't imposing "their version of Christianity" on anyone; what they are saying is the government must not take away the rights of people to abide by their (respective) religion's tenets.
George Genung
06:49 AM on 04/16/2012
naama2, they are free to do so with employees of their churches. When the operate a multi-million dollar business, float bonds in the open market, accept federal funds and employ thousands and thousands of all beliefs and non beliefs, you are subject to federal laws. You don't get to pick and choose.
09:43 AM on 04/16/2012
and the govt isn't...however if the catholic church continues its numerous criminal activities then it's going to be TREATED like any other criminal enterprise.
400+ yrs of science & STILL no evidence for a god
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08:24 PM on 04/15/2012
What the Church really wants is the freedom to impose, at will, their version of morality on the rest of human kind -- free from constraint or censure. They do not care for the poor or sick anymore than Romney -- they oppose birth control, stem cell research, the rights of women, economic justice.

One of their most popular propagandists is Mother Theresa. During a 1981 press conference Teresa was asked: "Do you teach the poor to endure their lot?" She replied: "I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ. I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people."

The Missionaries of Charity have never accounted for where the millions they raised went. Certainly the poorly equipped shelters they ran were not beneficiaries -- they had minimal if any medical facilities, were poorly construct, and cheaply run by them and untrained, unpaid volunteers. Many criticize Theresa and her order for declining to use their influence and income to finance a properly equipped hospital, instead devoting their efforts to ensure that everyone (regardless of faith or culture) received religious indoctrination.

You are either part of the solution, or part of the problem -- when the Church joins the rest of humanity, when they stop making unnecessary suffering a virtue, show compassion for the poor, the sick, women, and get out of the way of medical progress, they'll have the right to ask
08:23 PM on 04/15/2012
Better yet, I encourage all Catholic women who use birth control to stop supporting the catholic church on these dates, don't give any money or attend services. Only then will this guy understand its about individual freedom.
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11:22 PM on 04/15/2012
It's not a gender issue - it's a religious belief.
09:45 AM on 04/16/2012
Contraception is certainly a gender issue since the Church's stance against contraception is in DIRECT contradiction to a woman's rights and freedom...therefore the church has a position AGAINST women's rights and freedom. Not shocking since this has ALWAYS been true,
12:19 PM on 04/16/2012
And the only people that believe it are some in the clergy. Just about every single Catholic couple has practiced birth control during some time in their reproductive lives. So if it's a belief, shouldn't there be more than just a handful of men that this belief has zero effect on actually believing in it? You can't be called a leader if no one is following you. I might also add, there is no basis in scripture for the Church's ban on contraception, and further, they've already agreed in principle to contraception, it's just the method. There is no scriptural basis for any method that does not involve fertilized eggs, which would include most of which the Church is against.
08:02 PM on 04/15/2012
"The statement also makes a concerted effort to portray the Catholic campaign as bound up with the fight to defend American values from an overbearing central government."

It's funny how the religious favor small government, except when they want legal protections for public schools to teach creationism, when they want to impose their religion through the government like they do on our money, and in every other situation where a big government coincides with their agenda.