What do Republicans have in common with Democrats? If Louisana State Senator Peacock and US Senator Landrieu (from Louisiana) are our samples, the answer is religious dishonesty that seeks ultimately to remove Christianity from the political equation in America.
I wrote last week about the moral stupidity of a local Louisiana politician, State Sen. Barrow Peacock, a Republican, who replied to objections from the Catholic bishops with a feeble and dubious claim to know the mind of God.In striking similarity, Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Democrat, replied today to another issue with a similar argument. Rather than appealing directly to God, Sen. Landrieu uses her Catholic label (to say “Catholic identity” would be dishonest) to try at a similarly sinister angle:
As a Catholic myself, I support the values and teachings of the Catholic Church, and I was one of the voices who expressed concerns about the Obama Administration’s initial, ill-advised policy on this issue. As a result of my efforts and of those by some of my colleagues, the Administration made changes to its initial proposal. The resulting changes better protect the religious freedom and liberty of churches and other religious-based institutions.
Oh? Sen. Landrieu is a Catholic? She even lends her “support [to] the values and teachings of the Catholic Church!” Surely, she must know more about and show more loyalty to Catholic teaching than the bishops who so stubbornly continue to oppose the proposal even with its “changes [that] better protect the religious freedom and liberty of churches and other religious-based institutions.” By all means, then, Senator, please continue!
(Pardon my sarcasm.)
Before the Affordable Care Act, women paid as much as $50 a month for prescription birth control medication, in addition to the cost of seeing a doctor to get the prescription. In some cases, it is even more expensive – as much as $1,000 upfront. Now that the Affordable Care Act is law, women with private health insurance can see a doctor and get prescription birth control without having to pay a co-payment or fulfill a deductible.
Did Sen. Landrieu really just try to tell me that I, who expressed moral opposition to mandatory funding of contraceptives, should favor her policy because it makes contraceptives easier to acquire? How does that make sense?
This saves women and their families money and reduces the number of abortions, a goal we all share.
“A goal we all share.” That sounds warm and cozy, doesn’t it? Senator, if that’s true, why do you only have a 35% pro-life voting record?
The truth is, Senator, that Catholic moral theology – that body of teaching you “support” – states pretty clearly that supporting an evil in order to achieve a good is itself an evil practice. The ends don’t justify the means.
Even if your argument could be held on a moral level (it can’t), it loses all authority when you consider that any decline in abortions is likely a statistical flaw, since reported clinical abortions would be replaced by at-home, unreported early stage abortions through the medicinal effects of the Pill. I won’t even mention the World Health Organization’s classification of the Pill as a Class 1 carcinogen or that contraceptives have been found not to reduce abortions.
Let’s read more from the Epistle of Landrieu:
I respect and believe in freedom of religion for all people, and that is why I do not think any employer should be able to prevent their employees from receiving preventive birth control medication coverage if that is in accordance with the employee’s faith.
Wait, I must have missed something. When did free contraceptives become a right? When did it come to be that any employee has the right to impose her religious views on her employer? What religion requires its followers to use contraceptives, or did you mean, Senator, to imply that my employer should pay for anything my religion merely allows?
The Obama Administration is trying to normalize certain behaviors and medical practices in order to give the impression that the Catholic Church is against the grain and causing disruption to the religious freedom of employees who up until now never noticed a problem. In other words, the administration is inventing a problem in order to sell a solution. The problem? “By not paying for things your religion allows – but doesn’t require of you – things which are completely unrelated to your work and actually harm the proper, natural functioning of your body, your employer, the Catholic Church, is violating your religious freedom.” The solution? “We need the state to reign in the Church, to legislate it, restrict it, fine it, and, if possible, reduce it through coerced submission to all the moral relevance and political power of the Episcopalian Church.”
Using God as a silent campaign partner and political prop is hardly a new practice, nor is the custom of referencing one’s faith in an attempt to appeal to co-religionists as well as silence the opposition of other flocks. What Senator Mary Landrieu is doing goes beyond that. She’s using her Catholic label to alter for her constituents the very meaning the word Catholic. Setting herself up as a Catholic more faithful than the bishops, she wants to conflate religious freedom with the right to do as you please and turn the Catholic teaching on the matter – which is rooted not in any goodness of other religions but in human dignity’s freedom from coercion (Dignitatis Humanae 1) – into an instrument with which she may subvert the Catholic Church herself.
Senator Landrieu and her cohorts in the Democrat and Republican parties throughout America must not be allowed to continue this usurpation of the Catholic bishops and restructuring of Catholicism’s (and all Christinity’s) place within society and the moral law. Join us.