h/t: Being Liberal
h/t: Being Liberal
Cardinal Timothy Dolan has made it very clear that he doesn’t like President Obama’s contraception mandate. And apparently, he and the Catholic Church are prepared to let poor people starve to death if President Obama doesn’t give in to their demands.
In an appearance on Martin Bashir on MSNBC on Tuesday, Dolan said that the Church would abandon Jesus’ effort to help the sick and feed the poor in protest of the contraception mandate that only applies to insurance companies and not the Church itself.
“If these mandates kick in, we’re going to find ourselves faced with a terribly difficult decision as to whether or not we can continue to operate,” Dolan said. “As part of our religion — it’s part of our faith that we feed the hungry, that we educate the kids, that we take care of the sick. We’d have to give it up, because we’re unable to fit the description and the definition of a church given by — guess who — the federal government.”
Bashir then pointed out that the Catholic Church had taken a staggering $2.9 billion from the federal government to pay for the charitable efforts the Church provides. “They don’t seem to bristle at the hand of government when it comes to money, do they,” Bashir commented.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s full-page ad, “It’s Time to Quit the Catholic Church,” runs in today’s Washington Post (A-5 Main), urging liberal and nominal Roman Catholics to “quit” their church over its war against contraception.
The provocative ad asks: “Will it be reproductive freedom, or back to the Dark Ages? Do you choose women and their rights, or Bishops and their wrongs?”
The ad is similar to the full-page ad that appeared in The New York Times in March, which is still creating shockwaves among conservative religionists. The Washington Post, unlike the Times, accepted FFRF’s punchy headline, “It’s Time to Quit the Catholic Church.”
Additionally, FFRF has placed the full-page ad with a splash of color on the back of the Washington Express, handed out for free to Metro riders and D.C. residents. Express distributors will be wearing the ad on their vests.
“It’s a disgrace that U.S. health care reform is being held hostage to your church’s irrational opposition to medically prescribed contraception,” the ad states. “No political candidate should have to genuflect before the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.”
The average American would be hard-pressed to see evidence of this “war.” Millions of people meet regularly in houses of worship. What’s more, those institutions are tax exempt. Many denominations participate in taxpayer-funded social service programs. Their clergy regularly speak out on the issues of the day. In the political arena, religious leaders are treated with great respect.
Furthermore, religious organizations often get special breaks that aren’t accorded to their secular counterparts. Houses of worship aren’t required to report their income to the Internal Revenue Service. They don’t have to apply for tax-exempt status; they receive it automatically as soon as they form. Religious entities are routinely exempted from employment laws, anti-discrimination measures and even routine health and safety inspections.
Unlike secular lobbies, religious groups that work with legislators on Capitol Hill don’t have to register with the federal government and are free from the stringent reporting requirements imposed on any group that seeks to influence legislation.
Religion in America would seem to be thriving in this “hands-off” atmosphere, as evidenced by church attendance rates, which in the United States tend to be higher than any other Western nation. So where springs this “war on religion” talk?