“Class Warfare” has become the verbal cudgel of choice for the GOP candidates for President. People like Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have been trying to add some nails to that cudgel by screaming “Religious Liberty!” over President Obama’s insistence that all women have access to healthcare provided for by the Affordable Care Act.The protection of the law is particularly important to the poor. It simply lets women CHOOSE THEIR HEALTHCARE and GET IT LEGALLY.
The law does not require churches to teach contraception anymore than it requires it to promote the death penalty or war. Yet the church lives with these realities while preaching against both. Arguing for different strokes for women folks on the issue of contraception gives an Alice in Wonderland quality to these men of the cloth and men on the stump thundering about their conscience and their turf.
It’s class warfare when institutional power and dogma trump personal freedom and one’s own conscience.
It’s class warfare when women are treated as an inferior class apart, incapable of making their own health decisions even though they bear, often alone, the consequences of sexual behavior from which their partners too often walk away with no accountability.
It’s class warfare when men of the cloth insist on their institutional religious “liberty” so that they might exercise power over the individual liberty of one class: women. This notion of institutional “liberty” has the effect of denying poorer women contraceptive care. Those who have money will get the care they need and want, no matter what the church teaches. And the leaders of the church know this.
Do the Bishops question wealthy donors about whether they abide by their teaching on contraception before they accept their money? Does receiving the donations of the 98% of Catholics who practice contraception while contributing to their parish coffers every week not taint the conscience of the bishops?
If the good bishops do not feel compelled to get into the heads and hearts of their wealthy donors where their sexual behavior is concerned, let them stay out of the bedrooms of the poor as well. It is neither Christian nor American to deny one group of women—those without the independent means to buy it on their own– the right to full healthcare coverage as provided by law.
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9
It’s class warfare when we, with middle class comforts –or offshore accounts– speak of “the poor” as if they were a faceless mass, not real people who have names and lives lived in starkly different circumstances with often frighteningly few choices.
It’s class warfare when Mitt Romney keeps his income outside the nation he wants to lead as President and pays 15% in taxes while my friend, a retired college professor from Massachusetts pays 28% on a small sum she recently withdrew from her retirement account.
“Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.” Ecclesiastes 5:10
Why do the Bible-thumping Christians who defend unbridled capitalism, who insist that the wealthy not pay a dime more in taxes have such trouble remembering the numerous verses in the scriptures that warn that
“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” Matthew 6:24
Romney, Gingrich, Santorum and the GOP cast of thousands would have us believe they can.
You are a voice in the wilderness! I wish I had connections to Obama’s inner circle. You should be part of it.
Dear Gwen: What are friends for–except to say things like this????
I’m just trying to work through my own puzzlement –and outrage– and let everyone who will listen know that millions of Catholics just go about the business of being Catholic regardless of the public posturing by people in power. Catholics should come out in full force for Obama after this ridiculous spectacle and shameful effort to turn back the clock on women’s rights. In the USA –of all places! love, Dawn
In response to the article, I strongly agree with the notion of class warfare that has developed against women.
I have been a lifelong Catholic and love many aspects of the Catholic church, however i believe that the ways in which Catholicism, and Christianity in general, has been swayed into the political realm has become one of the Churchʻs greatest detraction’s. Personally i have always believed that issues of womens health, particularly with reference to contraception, are to be decided by women. Though men bear a moral responsibility to many of these issues, it is ultimately women who must bear the physical consequences, and therefore women who should decide the manner in which they are dealt with. Additionally, though i am pro-life, and generally not in support of contraception, i believe that it is not my decision to make for women, much less the decision of “career” politicians.
The portion of this article that resonates most strongly with myself is the ability of so many politicians to wield a shield of Christianity while directly contradicting its most core principles. Regardless of denomination, or lack-there-of, one similarity amongst all form of Christianity is the utilization of the Bible- a book that so frequently and blatantly condemns the aimless accumulation of wealth, while mandating the care and support for the poor. And to act so fiercely against such principles, while hiding behind the banner of Christianity seems nothing less than sacrilege!
Proverbs 14:31 “He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.”
The church and government are similar in a way that they have both gone overboard with their power. Although the church may not have direct power over their members, they have great influence over them. I agree that the moral ideas that they are trying to instill in other Catholics are detrimental and are mostly likely creating an ignorant group of people.
The church and government need to set their priorities straight. The economy is in shambles, we have men dying overseas, and we have people at home without healthcare. It seems to me that this is an issue that is being blown out of proportion to distract everyone from realizing what really matters. The issue about women’s health and contraception should NOT be an issue. Telling us how to run our lives in a country that is supposed to represent freedom is a bit of a contradiction. Just because you have your own opinions, it doesn’t mean that they are right. Belief does not equate to fact.
What is the point? Really? Our leaders are forgetting who they are working for, because they should not be working for their interests. If they believe that teenage pregnancy is a problem, taking their contraception away won’t stop it. Banning contraception promotes abstinence like banning seat belts promotes safe driving. Is that really practical?
As important as it is to some people, I believe that religion should not be in politics. I know that it’s freedom of speech, etc., but if it’s so taboo to bring up religion in school or work, why can we can scream it to the entire country in an election? And why are these candidates so caught up in your sex life? It seems to me that some people are spending too much time practicing their freedom of speech that they are forgetting some people’s own freedom and rights.