What? What? WHAT?!
It's like a bad joke opening, "Two Roman Catholics and a Mormon walk into a bar and demand that all the women stop using contraception..."
To make the joke complete let's examine the "moral authority" credentials of these three clowns and that of the "religious authorities" who want to make religion -- say the "issue" that President Obama is not a "real Christian," or he is "anti-religious freedom" -- an election year talking point.
Who is it that claims this moral authority and that also demands to be taken seriously? Why the Roman Catholic bishops and a former Mormon missionary of course!
I didn't bring this up, they did! So cool your jets everyone who only wants religion to be respected and never criticized, even when that "religion" plays hardball politics.
Who are these paragons of tolerance demanding that the rest of us respect the reclassification of robbing women of their right to use contraceptives as "religious freedom?"
Back to our "two Catholics and a Mormon walk into a bar," or rather back to Newt, Mitt and Rick walk into a bar. So what about the moral authority of the religious bodies they are "defending" -- as a way to actually attack the president? They brought religion up so lets talk about it! What right do they or their bishops have to lecture the rest of us?
When Mitt was working for his church as a missionary he was working for a church that at that time banned black men from being ministers.
When Newt and Rick speak for their church's tender conscience on not being forced to insure women's health, they are speaking for a church body run by old men who have presided over 50 years of covering up child abuse, sexual molestation and the codling of fascist regimes from Franco to Mussolini.
Like I said, this may be impolite to mention but the rest of us didn't start talking about religion as an election issue in order to depose our first black president.
And what of the fellow traveler evangelicals ready to yell that they may be "personally" for "allowing" women to use contraception but that they just want to "defend religious liberty?"
Aren't they the people spouting anti-Muslim nonsense from coast to coast? Aren't they the people trying to ban gay men and women from marrying? These evangelicals seem eager to strip lots of people of actual rights these days while crying wolf about their own.
Like they say, people who live in class houses shouldn't throw stones. If the bishops want this fight, bring it on!
Frank Schaeffer is a writer. He is just launching a speaking tour called Theocracy or Democracy.