I blame myself and everyone like me

I feel like an idiot.

When the U.S. bishops came out so strongly against the new government rules regarding contraceptives and health insurance, they said the issue was one of religious freedom.

And I believed them.

When the bishops argued that it was not the administration’s place to decide whether Catholic hospitals or colleges fit the “faith mission” exception to the insurance rule, it made sense to me.

And I believed them.

I thought the bishops were trying to make an argument apart from the politics of the moment, separate from the polarizing stances they have so often taken in the last few years, stances that had placed them in league with odd allies from the far right.

I feel like an idiot.

After the Obama administration announced adjustments to the contraception rule that would remove the church from directly having to pay for contraceptive coverage in health plans, many Catholics responded with relief, including Catholic Charities and the Catholic Health Association. The bishops’ objections seemed understood, and the public at large was not denied access.

But the bishops were not to be denied a wedge issue. After initially sounding open to the compromise, they soon came down firmly against something that was just not good enough. The bishops now say they will throw their support behind a Republican-sponsored bill in Congress that would exempt any individual insurance provider or purchaser from any mandate that doesn’t mesh with their religious beliefs. It is yet another not-so-subtle attempt to essentially gut the health care reform law.

And now the story has entered into absurdity, a land often explored when the bishops find themselves all puffed up on matters of sexuality and gender. Read more




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