As of Friday, February 17, 2012
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- DEFEND FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS. The United States Catholic bishops have unanimously portrayed these new rules as an egregious violation of the right to practice their faith. The Catholic Church strongly opposes artificial methods of contraception and these new rules would force the church to sponsor what is sinful.
- STAND WITH THE CATHOLIC BISHOPS EVEN IF YOU DISAGREE WITH THEM. This argument proposes that an attack on any group’s religious freedom is an attack on every group. Thus we must jealously guard the religious rights of every group so these rights are not slowly eroded.
- BE WARY OF PORTRAYING THIS AS A WAR AGAINST RELIGION IN AMERICA. The image of “making war against religious people” is being employed by some politicians. But not everybody in the Catholic Church - or the larger faith community - opposes these rules. The Catholic Health Association, which represents Catholic hospitals across the country, welcomed the rules as laid out in the Obama administration’s compromise. Religious persons are themselves divided.
- BE WARY OF THE CATHOLIC BISHOPS. This group of men has traditionally been at odds with the Catholic Health Association over reproductive health issues. Furthermore, Catholic women apparently pay little attention to the church teaching here, using contraceptives at the roughly same rate as Protestant church women. Under this line of argument the government should not allow the bishops to deny the right to health care for women.
QUIK QUIZ: In 1965, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Comstock laws, written by Anthony Comstock, that since 1873 had prohibited all contraceptives in the United States. What was Comstock's occupation?
- A -- Dry goods merchant 75%
- B -- Defense lawyer 0%
- C -- Church pastor 0%
- D -- Railroad owner 25%
4 total votes.
- STAND WITH FAIRNESS FOR WOMEN ON THIS ISSUE. Some religious populations, out of their deeply held moral and religious values, see this as an issue of fairness for women who should be able to decide whether to use this insurance option. Some segments of the church have historically supported civil rights issues, for example, even when a majority of church members advocated segregation.
- RECOGNIZE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHURCHES AND CHURCH AGENCIES. Churches and religious bodies engaged in worship are exempt from these guidelines under their First Amendment Rights. The national insurance plan recognizes that many faith-based colleges and hospitals are only tenuously connected with the group that originally founded them. These agencies, already receiving large amounts of government money, serve and hire vast majorities of non-Catholic clients. The line distinguishing a church and an agency founded by a church is somewhat indistinct.
- REDUCE A HIGHLY COMPLEX ISSUE INTO A FEW INFLAMMATORY PHRASES. Unfortunately this will be the tactic of persons on both sides of this complex issue.
More like this story
- Contraception tricky for health care law ( November 24, 2011 )
- Catholic church progressing? ( May 27, 2012 )
- Obama should have tried harder to find middle ground ( January 29, 2012 )
- Access to contraceptives can curb abortion ( February 13, 2012 )
- Religious diversity in U.S. dazzling ( July 5, 2012 )