Beyond the Cusp

March 3, 2012

Broadening the Contraception Debate Through Lies

The contraception debate, which ensued after President Obama had his Administration press a decision demanding that Catholic owned and/or run institutions such as Hospital, Schools and other institutions where non-Catholics were employed would be required by the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Obama Care) to offer free contraception services as part of insurance coverage for their employees, has become a pressing issue where the arguments have been blurred and muddled with lies. The debate has been expanded to imply that the Catholic Church is fighting not simply to hold the line on their faith which does not allow for them to offer such coverage, but is dead-set to deny women’s right to choose and deny women to decide on decisions concerning their own bodies. This has expanded the debate to, by slanted implication, to include abortion as part of the debate which was not part of the original debate. The core of the debate is whether or not the Federal Government can force the Catholic Church, and other similarly aligned religious institutions, to provide free contraceptive health coverage despite their religious canon making such a sin. So, what exactly are the lies being used to distort this debate?


The largest exaggeration in this debate is that the Catholic Church is denying women of their right to use birth control. This is not the position of the Catholic Church as they simply hold that they advise Catholic women not to sin and that contraception is defined by the Catholic Church as a sin. They are not refusing to allow women from using contraceptives any more than they are refusing to allow any Catholic from breaking any other laws of the Church. The Catholic Church position is that they should not be forced to pay for or provide the means of committing sins as part of their offering services under Church employment. The Church looks upon their hospitals and schools as doing G-d’s work and a blessing performed by the Church through these institutions and in the desire to serve, offer all services to the entire public. The Catholic Church believes this is an essential part of their outreach and exemplifying the meaning of service under their beliefs. These institutions are as much a form of holy enterprise similar as the Churches themselves and seen as being similar in holiness and under the same laws and canon of the Church. It is this consideration which is the reasoning behind why the Catholic Church holds these institutions cannot be forced to provide the means of sin under the protection in the First Amendment’s guarantees against “impeding the free exercise of religion.”


But, what will be the further expansions which will logically proceed from this case? The most immediate expansion will be to every other religious institution being forced initially to provide these same full and free contraceptive services under their health coverage even if doing such violates their religious laws and beliefs. This will affect many Jewish institutions just as it does the Catholic Church as Judaism has similar opinions when it comes to many of these very same issues. The Protestant and Mormon religious institutions are also in this same ship receiving broadside attacks from President Obama and the Departments of Health and eventually Justice. Once this foothold has been established, which further guarantees promised by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights will be negated through Federal Government edicts and regulations and other forms of coercion. Allowing this to stand can and will serve as the crowbar with which all our protected rights will become vulnerable to government aggression.


There is one other way of perceiving this debate which is becoming more appropriate and will define some of the underlying attack on many of our rights and freedoms. Ihis demand is really an attempt to erase the Judeo-Christian ethos of our society and replace it with an alternative religious ethos of Secular Humanism. When liberals scoff at classifying Secular Humanism being a religion, they deny it having such a classification, as Secular Humanism lacks a deity and thus cannot be a religion. By this argument Buddhism, Hinduism, and other religious philosophies which do not have a deity would no longer be considered religions. This would deny these religious institutions Constitutional protections under the First Amendment if part of the requirement for a religion is the belief in a deity. Perhaps we should go to the dictionary for the definition of “religion” where we find the following:

<I>1) A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

2) A specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.

3) The body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.</I>

The definition I would put in words from this is a religion is any philosophy which has a set canon or set of laws which is believed to be valid and is followed by a group under a general sense of harmony and agreement. It sure sounds as if Secular Humanism fits the definition of a religion even if it is a recently formed religion and is still finalizing their canon. It is definitely a philosophy with an ardent and strict following who, unlike Judaism and most of Christianity, do not accept disagreement. Secular Humanists preach universal acceptance but only for those who accept and believe completely their dogmas. This latest attack, which has begun with the Catholic Church but will not end there, is simply another attempt to squelch and silence any person or institution which stands separate and possibly opposed to the Church of Secular Humanism. Do not be fooled by the claims of this being simply equal treatment under the law. This is anything but equal treatment under the law. This is use of the law as a battering-ram in an attempt to abolish any alternative to the new world religion of Secular Humanism. Universal contraception and full reproductive rights are simply part of the basic tenets canonized in the laws of Secular Humanism, and it is the decree of the new progressives that all shall worship at the Church of Secular Humanism.


Beyond the Cusp


February 12, 2012

President Obamas Unhealthy Miscalculation

President Obama had ulterior motives when challenging the religiously attached institutions such as Catholic Hospitals, health providers, and other institutions which employ other than solely from within their religion. His demand that such institutions not be exempted from the requirement to provide coverage for contraceptive care, as had been assured during the debate on Obamacare, instigated a much larger and stronger response from the Catholic Church than he had probably expected. But why would President Obama take such a risk in the lead up to this election year? The one reason that appears to make any sense is that this was a calculated instigation to move the debates of the election from President Obama’s record and the economic outlook, as both are indefensible, and move the debate to the arena of social politics where the Republicans might be cast unfavorably, especially concerning abortion and contraception. Had this scheme worked, then President Obama would have acquired a much needed wedge issue with which he might energize his base from the most ardent leftists to the moderates who have accepted the social status-quo concerning the acceptance of contraception and the legality of a woman’s so-called “right to choose”. Well, President Obama does indeed have his wedge issue, but at what cost?


It was probably not the intention of President Obama to directly challenge the Catholic Church, and least of all, the Pope, but that is exactly what has appeared to be the case. It was probably the expectation that this challenge would have remained within the shored of the United States and not have reached beyond the heads of the Catholic Church within the country. But that turned out to be the great miscalculation. We can expect the near term result of this ploy to be carried on by the liberal press by way of questions of the Republican hopefuls as they move from one primary to the next. The other side of this action was to force into the campaign this fall the matter of religion into the mix. This would have forced either Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum to have to defend their faiths in place of addressing the more crucial concerns of the economy and the President’s record from his first term. This, of course, would be a meaningless subject should either Ron Paul or Newt Gingrich become the Republican candidate this fall, but these two offer an entire new set of items to place before the voting public. We may still have this debate come the fall election, but my bet is that President Obama and his campaign advisors will attempt to allow this confrontation to fade away rather than have it end up energizing the other side’s base.


The ball, as they say, is now in the other court. It is entirely possible that the Republicans may wish to keep this issue as their rallying cry in the election, or they too may wish it to fade away. Entering into a contest over such polarizing issues such as contraception, birth control, abortion, and the entire range of moral issues often present a negligible advantage. Quite often such issues split the electorate evenly in halves. It is most likely that the real decision on whether or not this issue maintains its legs will fall to the press and their decision to press the issue or drop it. Time will tell. If I had to make a prediction, this issue will be used by the press against either Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum in particular venues and only be brought to the discussion by the Republican candidate in the other extremes. Both sides will probably try to make use of the morals issue to their own advantage. President Obama and his campaign can be expected to throw out various other issues in the next several months attempting to find issues more to their favor in order to avoid having the debate solely be the economy, jobs, and government over-spending. They have no choice as running on President Obama’s record in office would lead to winning only the deepest blue of blue states which would assure his loss in the election.


President Obama once told Diane Sawyer, “I’d rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president.” It will be the Democrat desire to try to focus the voters’ attention on what Obama will promise to do and not what he has accomplished or attempted. On the other hand, the Republican campaign will be to run on President Obama’s record while promising to repair the damage done and place the country back on track to an America where the people can once again proclaim American Exceptionalism. The side which is able to sell their vision of the future will be the winner. The real question the voters must address is which vision is best for the United States and whose promises can they honestly believe. This election has been once again referred to as the most important election of our times. Perhaps this time they are correct and we can no longer simply vote for the candidate we like best but choose the one who is best for the future of the United States. Voting for the lesser evil is definitely not an option, unless the lesser option you choose is somebody or thing which will be amusing, such as a third party candidate or Daffy Duck.


Beyond the Cusp


February 4, 2012

Abortion and Contraceptive Ruling and You

First things first, this week saw a decision coming down from the White House that with the new healthcare regulations make it such that the only places of employment which may opt out of offering such coverage to their employees are those which are strictly of a religious nature. This means that Catholic and other Churches, and similar places of worship whose religion forbids the use of such drugs or services will have to choose between obeying this ruling or obeying their religious decrees. But, those religious run institutions such as hospitals, health clinics and others which employ people of differing faiths or serve people of differing faiths will be required under the new health regulations to provide coverage for abortion and contraception based drugs and other procedures. The Catholic Church has decided they will refuse to abide by these rules and will do all within their power to oppose these regulations. So, how could this affect you who are not Catholic or hold the belief that abortion and contraceptive practices are a sin?


Well, there is an easy way for the Catholic institutions to get around these regulations. All they would need to do is pursue a simple policy of employing only other Catholics and offer services solely to other Catholics. Now, imagine if the Catholic Hospital system is forced to only employ and treat other Catholics in order to not become forced to offer and perform abortive and contraceptive services? What happens to those towns where the only major hospital and health systems are part of the Catholic healthcare systems? Would you be ready to have such a restriction to all of a sudden become enforced in your town, city, or where ever you live? Where I live the entire area would suddenly find themselves without a major hospital within hundreds of miles from a fairly good size city and metropolitan area. OK, so I don’t live in Los Angeles, New York, Boston but there are at least 900,000 served by the two Catholic Hospital systems which make up virtually the entire healthcare systems in the area. I have suspicions that a fair number of those people are not Catholics which means, if worst comes to worst, the majority of the population would either need to convert or travel hundreds of miles to receive hospital care.


But the question is why would the Obama Administration choose to force this confrontation? Is the President that tone deaf that he does not realize that the Administration will be cast as the bad guys and the Catholic Church will actually be the injured side and receive the sympathies of the vast majority of people. Of course, I could be wrong and the President may receive the majority of support and win the battle for the public’s sympathies. Even so, the President would have to realize that this is opening up a can of worms for no real gain and a likely defeat once this goes through the courts. For the life of me, I cannot figure what would drive the President, even should he have a tin ear when it comes to the ardently religious, to choose to confront the Catholic Church. I fully understand that the Catholic Church does not have the best of reputations outside of the faithful, but when blindsided with such a needless and senseless attack, this would actually make them a sympathetic victim of unfair oppression.


What can I add? Obviously, I am confused and completely bewildered by this ambush of the Catholic Church and any other religious groups who will also be affected by this ruling. There was no real need to force this issue, yet push the issue President Obama has chosen. Normally, supporting the Catholic Church in anything is not something that would ever enter my life, so, I might just be the perfect example of the average unaffected person. Well, as is obvious, this person who has no real ties to the Catholic Church beyond having spent some life-saving urgent times under their hospital care, and I am actually animated and put out. The Catholic Church can count on one ally in this fight right here at BTC. I hope that many others will also take the side of preserving and protecting religion which in this case is the Catholic Church which has had their religious principles challenged by the long overextended arm of Government.


Beyond the Cusp


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