Fomenting Insurrection

This is kind of shocking:

The still-lingering controversy over the Obama administration’s mandate about health insurance coverage that includes contraception spread to American Army posts all over the world before the matter was settled.

For the Army, it started when Timothy Broglio, the archbishop for the military services, sent a letter to all Catholic chaplains in the military objecting to the administration’s new mandate, calling it “an alarming and serious matter.”

Broglio, who oversees all Catholic chaplains in all branches of the service, also wrote: “We cannot – we will not – comply with this unjust law.” He wanted Catholic chaplains to read the letter aloud during their sermons on Sunday, January 28.

The Navy and Air Force had no objection to the letter, but the Army chief of chaplains, himself a Catholic, was worried that the line about not complying with the law was close to a call for civil disobedience. So he told the chaplains to not read it in Mass, but instead pass out copies after Mass was over.

Archbishop Broglio objected to this and after a meeting with the secretary of the Army, John McHugh, he agreed to remove the one sentence about complying. McHugh gave the OK for the letter to be read at Mass last Sunday.

So basically, the Archbishop was fomenting an insurrection against the government. Imagine if this was about any other issue, and there were radical clerics calling for insurrection against the government.

And it is important to remember who we are looking to for moral leadership- Folks like this guy (via):

In 2002, at the height of the outcry over the sexual abuse of minors by Roman Catholic priests, the Archbishop of New York, Edward M. Egan, issued a letter to be read at Mass. In it, he offered an apology about the church’s handling of sex-abuse cases in New York and in Bridgeport, Conn., where he was previously posted.

“It is clear that today we have a much better understanding of this problem,” he wrote. “If in hindsight we also discover that mistakes may have been made as regards prompt removal of priests and assistance to victims, I am deeply sorry.”

Now, 10 years later and in retirement, Cardinal Egan has taken back his apology.

In a interview with Connecticut magazine published on the magazine’s Web site last week, a surprisingly frank Cardinal Egan said of the apology, “I never should have said that,” and added, “I don’t think we did anything wrong.”

I am so sick and tired of these moralizing religious blowhards. I don’t care how important he may be to millions of people and I don’t care if he speaks latin, likes incense, and wears a funny hat, that guy is an asshole.

And this goes for all of you- I am so sick and tired of fighting stupid petty battles because of your damned religion. I am sick of getting bogged down in these stupid arguments. I am sick of you using your religion as a way to divide people. I’m sick of you using your religion to get in the way of other people’s lifestyle and healthcare choices. I am sick of you using your religion as an excuse to bomb people. I’m sick of your religion getting in the way of policy making. I’m sick of you using your religion to stifle scientific progress. I really am. Do whatever the hell you want in your home and in your church, but just get out of my face with whatever horseshit you believe, be it anything from judaism to catholicism to mormonism to islam to jehovah’s witnesses to the church of the flying spaghetti monster.

Whatever the voodoo that you do is, keep it your damned self. I am officially sick of your crap.

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240 replies
  1. 1
    Abo gato says:

    Me too. Thanks.

  2. 2
    Hunter Gathers says:

    It’s Flying Spaghetti Monster , but I doubt that you’ll hear any complaining out of him.

  3. 3
    gex says:

    I need a goddamn cigarette. Righteous rant, took the words right out of my mouth with that last paragraph.

  4. 4
    clone12 says:

    Amen. I mean, uh, word. :-)

  5. 5
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Yet another righteous rant by our esteemed bloghost.

    Testify, brother Cole. Testify!

  6. 6
    BlueDWarrior says:

    But herein lies the problem… these are people who to me seem perfectly willing to literally burn everything to the ground rather be dragged into the 21st Century (hell can we compromise and get them into the late 90s?)

    I do not understand what it’s going to take to finally put these minority over-zealous nutjobs in their proper place, which is nowhere near the levers of societal or political power.

  7. 7
    tweez says:

    Cole’s coming along nicely

  8. 8
    Insomniac says:

    Indeed.

  9. 9
    Biscuits says:

    I’m with you Cole! That was righteous. Smoking virtual cig.
    And having a Rolling Rock, for reals. This feels so right.

  10. 10
    Stoggy says:

    Aw shit, now you made the baby jesus cry. You did this, now you go get him down again, I can’t hear my stories.

  11. 11
    patrick II says:

    I have been thinking about what happened to Joe Paterno and other administrators at Penn State, and others still who still face criminal proceedings for not reporting Jerry Sandusky to authorities.

    Anyone hear of any Catholic Bishops having to quit or going to jail for their much larger sex scandal?

  12. 12
    taylormattd says:

    Thank you.

  13. 13
    shortstop says:

    RrrrrrRRRRowwwwrrrrr (stretches toes languorously, smiles contentedly at ceiling).

  14. 14
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    “We cannot – we will not – comply with this unjust law.”

    So…. the US Conference of Old Crotch-Sniffers in Funny Hats is now the collective Commander in Chief of the United States’ Armed Forces? What the motherfucking fuck does the military, still less the chaplains of the military, have to do with fucking health insurance for lay employees of Church managed institutions.

  15. 15
    beltane says:

    There is a reason why in England for many centuries Catholicism was practically synonymous with treason. The Pope just couldn’t resist issuing fatwas against the likes of Elizabeth I. Everyone knows that true religious liberty requires the burning of heretics and oaths of allegiance to the Bishop of Rome.

    Fascism under cover of silk robes and clouds of incense is still fascism.

  16. 16
    gex says:

    @BlueDWarrior: It has saddened me, over the last however many years, to realize that as a gay person my equality would improve more by old assholes dying than by any argument. I don’t like being tempted to wish people dead. But they sure make it tempting.

  17. 17
    Egg Berry says:

    I just posted this below, but I’ll post it here as well:

    After reading about the contraception contretemps, I was struck by how frequent these little shit storms are on the right. I honestly don’t understand how anyone can keep up this level of pure spite over such long periods of time. You’d think they’d burn out or something. But it’s just one thing after another after another.

    It tires me out just thinking about it.

  18. 18
    beltane says:

    @patrick II: Heck, I’ve read that not a single Catholic was excommunicated for taking part in atrocities during the holocaust. Birth control pills are sinful, genocide is merely regrettable.

  19. 19
    JGabriel says:

    John Cole @ Top:

    And this goes for all of you– I am so sick and tired of fighting stupid petty battles because of your damned religion. [emphasis added]

    What did I do? I’m agnostic! Don’t drag me into this. I’m sick and tired of that shit too.

    .

  20. 20
    PTirebiter says:

    this falls under give them an inch…. it goes all the way back to the Hyde amendment. a purely political accommodation of a ridiculous idea. anyone want to talk about appeasement?

  21. 21
    MikeJ says:

    So if a power plant owner decides that stack scrubbers are against his religion, he should be allowed to not put a jimmy on it?

  22. 22
    Citizen Alan says:

    I love you, John Cole. I want to have your babies. (Don’t laugh! Through the Flying Spaghetti Monster, all things are possible!)

  23. 23
    JGabriel says:

    @Egg Berry:

    After reading about the contraception contretemps, I was struck by how frequent these little shit storms are on the right. I honestly don’t understand how anyone can keep up this level of pure spite over such long periods of time.

    Ya can’t let ’em relax or get complacent! Give’em a little downtime and they might start to … think.

    .

  24. 24
    the dude says:

    Righteous rant, but I ask only that you be nice to the Church of Powder Day Saints. I can has more snow plz.

  25. 25
    KG says:

    So basically, the Archbishop was fomenting an insurrection against the government. Imagine if this was about any other issue, and there were radical clerics calling for insurrection against the government.

    Hell, you don’t even have to do that. All you have to do change the cleric from Catholic to say… oh, I don’t know, Islam?

  26. 26
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Here’s my hobbyhorse today. We have the freedom to _worship_ (or not). But religious people don’t have the right to have everything else they do, or believe, as members of a church count as a fundamental “freedom.” Having money you made go towards something you abhor [1] may offend you [2] — but it doesn’t abridge your “religious liberty,” because that’s not what “religious liberty” is.

    I’m just getting unbelievably tired of this blatant misuse of the notion of “liberty” in this debate.

    (1) And it’s even stranger to be preoccupied with what your employees are doing with the money they made and whether it offends _your_ conscience. At a certain point, it’s not your money, it’s theirs, and you don’t get to control it.

    (2) Welcome to the club. Pacifists can’t stop their taxes from funding bombs, and vegans can’t stop their taxes from funding slaughterhouses, and homophobes can’t stop their taxes from funding children adopted by gay couples. Your complaint has been noted. Move on.

  27. 27
    GregB says:

    It’s shit like that which is giving me some trepidation about the election this fall.

    When these people feel there is nothing left to lose…..

  28. 28
    burnspbesq says:

    With all due respect, John, no. I will not compromise my faith just because it makes you crabby.

  29. 29
    kdaug says:

    I’m a palebluedotist.

  30. 30
    kc says:

    Another reason this pisses me off: My ob-gyn tells me that birth control pills reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. Since both my mother and maternal grandmother died of ovarian cancer, I’m at some risk. Plenty of women are taking bc pills for reasons entirely unrelated to contraception.

    Not that my contraceptive choices are any priest’s goddamned business anyway.

    (I accidentally posted this on the thread below)

  31. 31
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @BlueDWarrior:

    But herein lies the problem… these are people who to me seem perfectly willing to literally burn everything to the ground rather be dragged into the 21st late 18th Century

    Tom Paine and Thomas Jefferson, we miss you. Your nation, backward it has slid.

  32. 32
    Skippy the Wondermule says:

    as delusional as the Church is, they are only slightly more delusional than the average person, and in some ways more sane.

    There’s the scary thought

  33. 33
    BlueDWarrior says:

    I can only hope that these big institutionalized religions will start seeing a breakdown in membership as the 55+ cohort start shuffling off this mortal coil.

    Maybe it, like gay rights, are just one of those things we are going to have to ride out timewise; which doesn’t excuse us from continuing to make the various arguments but there are just some people who actively try and tear down anyone bringing reason to our politics.

  34. 34
    General Stuck says:

    I think Ma and Pa Kettle, kind of get the objection to abortion, and maybe even are anti abortion themselves. But dollars to donuts they are shaking their middle American heads about all this contraception bullshit. Especially if broke and jobless. Talk about trying to close the barn door long after that horse got out. Wingnuts unplugged

  35. 35
    Jager says:

    I was ordained in January as a Priest in the Church of the Latter-Day Dude. http://www.dudeism.com

    I am the leader of the First Dudest Temple of Thousand Oaks, CA. We have a large garage with tables, chairs, a double door fridge and a 44 inch TV. (Its handy for me because the garage is attached to my office!)

    We meet pretty much when ever we want, we are getting together tonight to watch the Lakers-Celtics and during the half we will be writing a letter to the the bishops telling them to fuck their beanies like an altar boy.

    Peace, Love and Joy
    Jager
    Dudest Priest
    T.O. CA

  36. 36
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Your complaint has been noted.

    And appropriately filed away for consideration at some vague date in the distant future.

  37. 37
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Can’t help wondering if this is much more of an issue in the blogosphere than IRL. I’ve been looking at the front page of the NYT and the default Google News page on and off all day, as representatives of news overviews — one curated and one algorithmic — and this issue just isn’t making it above the fold at all.

  38. 38

    You know what contraceptives are also good for? NOT GETTING PREGNANT. Not one fucking person should be forced to justify that position to anyone else.

  39. 39
    gex says:

    @JGabriel: Plus, have you ever seen a toddler’s endurance for throwing a tantrum? It’s world class. That’s the maturity level of these guys. At their best.

  40. 40
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @BlueDWarrior: The non-institutionalized ones are even worse, though — like Rick Warren and Joel Osteen. The “mainline” Protestant churches come down on the progressive sides of key political issues a pretty fair amount. It’s those weird charismatic mega-churches that just tell their members they’re special and prosperous that do so much harm.

  41. 41
    WereBear says:

    Funny thing is, people defend religion because of how it comforts people in times of trouble, provides a moral anchor, and provides a mechanism to help those in need.

    But in the hands of Republicans, it’s a club to beat people with.

  42. 42
    Waldo says:

    Once again, the buddhists get a free pass. Bastards.

  43. 43
    pragmatism says:

    sorta OT but this open letter from kenny powers (character on eastbound and down) to tim tebow is too good not to share:
    http://www.grantland.com/story.....-tim-tebow

  44. 44
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Religion has to keep people down in order for them to look up. ;)

    I’m sick and tired of people defending religion, more specifically Christianity, because it does some good things around the world. Christianity places a yoke on it’s believers, having them pull the plow as it’s leaders yell and crack the whip to keep them motivated. The job of the believers is to get the unbelievers to join them or till them into the soil. That’s pretty much it. Everything else is a distraction.

    Religion is generally divisive, especially Christianity. It divides by promoting the idea that one particular group of people are better than any other because of their beliefs, their “faith”. I walked on the Catholic church over three decades ago and every time I hear shit like this I’m glad I did. The only difference between the radical Islam and Christianity is whoever is holding the guns and passing oppressive laws.

    That’s what they are really fighting over, who gets to control the people.

  45. 45
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I had the same thought> THe NYT, Chicago Sun-Times, Boston Globe, Denver Post… nothing. Dem pols watch CNN and MSNBC, and probably Fox, and get freaked out.

  46. 46
    erlking says:

    No shit, Cole. Amen.

    I was a devout little goody-two shoes Catholic kid–altar boy (6:30 am Mass my specialty), lector on Sunday, my entire education 1-12 was in Catholic schools, contemplated monastic orders VERY seriously and ended up doing my ph.d. work at an institution famous for its denomination and its, now worthless, football program.

    I’m sick to death of these high-hatted, moralizing cocksuckers mandating that the entire society subscribed to their pinched, warped and repugnant views. Fuck the entire conspiracy of child rapists and enablers. And that specifically includes the Frothy One. Imagine the damage THAT asshole could do.

  47. 47
    piratedan says:

    @burnspbesq: since when did being a Duke fan become a recognized faith? Did I miss a memo?

  48. 48
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Then don’t try to ram it down Cole’s throat.

    That’s what he’s asking for here. Live and let live.

    A lot of evangelicals can’t live with that, though. So much the worse for them.

  49. 49
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @burnspbesq:

    With all due respect, John, no. I will not compromise my faith just because it makes you crabby.

    Keep your faith out of other people’s sex lives and we’ll all get along fine.

  50. 50
    pat says:

    And these clowns hyperventilate at the thought of Sharia Law.

    Let me tell you, the Obama administration is making a huge mistake if they back down now. Millions of other church goers, including a majority of Catholics, are firmly on the side of the administration.

    I read E.J. Dionne whining that Obama had thrown Catholics under the bus (now there’s a massively overused cliche.) But if he backs down now, he will be throwing millions of WOMEN under the bus. (Yeah, it’s overused, but it fits.)

  51. 51
    Mouse Tolliver says:

    @gex:

    It has saddened me, over the last however many years, to realize that as a gay person my equality would improve more by old assholes dying than by any argument. I don’t like being tempted to wish people dead. But they sure make it tempting.

    I don’t even feel guilty about it. Because I know these cretins are wish the worst would happen to people they don’t like. One man’s Teabagger on a Hoveround wearing an oxygen mask is another man’s light at the end of the tunnel.

  52. 52
    Samara Morgan says:

    bravo Cole.

  53. 53
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    @burnspbesq:

    And contraception is in the Nicene Creed where?

    Concerned liberal Catholics: how dare people criticize the Church who aren’t (currently practicing) Catholics! That’s only for Catholics who blow off the church’s teaching but still go to church out of ethnic loyalty.

  54. 54
    Bill ORLY says:

    @burnspbesq: I kinda don’t think that’s what he’s suggesting. I’d rather suggest that he’s requesting that one doesn’t rub his fucking nose in it, and make people stop doing stuff one doesn’t like (not that it’s YOU doing it…)

  55. 55
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Rick Warren is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Church. He just doesn’t advertise it.

  56. 56
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @WereBear: In this case, it’s a club to beat your employees with. Or, perhaps, a cat o’ nine tails.

  57. 57
    gex says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: None of them can prove to me that human beings wouldn’t cooperate to do good without religion. They like to claim something that is coincidental to, not caused by, their belief.

    On the other hand, there’s a metric shit ton of evil that has occurred that seems to rely on religious thinking to power itself.

    Yeah, so I don’t even cede that religion sometimes does good. There are good believers, there are good non believers. Therefore belief does not make goodness.

  58. 58
    John Cole says:

    @burnspbesq: Keep your faith out of my government and out of my face and we are cool.

  59. 59
    Mouse Tolliver says:

    Is it an infringement on an Orthodox Jew’s religious freedom when the troops eat non-kosher MREs?

  60. 60

    The Archbishop’s name is Tim Broglio?

    Hi Tim, say hi to Cardinal Donny Brook will ya?

  61. 61
    JWL says:

    It’s great you got that out of your system, and put the word out. I’m sure you’ll never be bothered by another religious zealot, ever again. Because if there’s one thing those folks are great at, it’s in minding their own business.

  62. 62
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Ah, I thought it was The Church of the Holy Rick Warren.

  63. 63
    slag says:

    Great. Now you’ve given JGabriel a persecution complex. Next will come the incense or magic underwear.

    Leave it to you, JC, to turn a good man religious.

  64. 64
    McWaffle says:

    Keep up like this and you’re going to start drawing even more traffic from PZ’s place. There’s already more overlap but your original rant ended up linked over there, so I’m guessing you’re going to draw more readership from that end of the internet at this rate.

    Unlike, say, Kos, where this shit doesn’t fly as well. Many more Christianists/”spiritual” types on that end, though it’s not huge numbers.

  65. 65
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay: THat’s what kills me: Cafeteria Catholics like Tweety, Dione, O’Donnell, Cokie telling me I have to let the Church leaders they ignore dictate government policy.

  66. 66
    Cap'n Magic says:

    Time for the Cesar Party to rise: no more tax exemption for Churches/Synagouges/Mosques.

  67. 67
    hamletta says:

    Yeesh. My old pastor was a military chaplain. I should send this to him. If anyone frowns on The Clan of the Red Beanie, it’s a Lutheran.

    I get hinky about telling military personnel to disobey the law. It’s a little too Seven-Days-In-May for my tastes.

  68. 68
    burnspbesq says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    That’s what he’s asking for here. Live and let live.

    No, he’s ordering me (and, by implication, all people of faith)to STFU. I won’t do that. And he’s way out of bounds in asking it.

  69. 69
    Mouse Tolliver says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    The non-institutionalized ones are even worse, though—like Rick Warren and Joel Osteen.

    You can’t join Rick Warren’s church if you’re gay because the “homosexual lifestyle” is a sin. Usury is also sin, but would he deny membership to an executive from Capital One — or Alec Baldwin? Getting remarried after a divorce is also a sin. But could Newt and Calista still join?

  70. 70
    Aris says:

    Go Cole! Righteous rant.

  71. 71
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @The Other Chuck: Cardinal Phi Asco on line two…

  72. 72
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @burnspbesq: I think Burnsie was teasing Cole, not declaring his/her adherence to the Church’s forty year old ancient belief in the doctrine of Every Sperm Is Sacred.

    @68, oh, never mind

  73. 73
    JGabriel says:

    CNN:

    The still-lingering controversy over the Obama administration’s mandate about health insurance coverage that includes contraception spread to American Army posts all over the world before the matter was settled. …
    __
    Broglio, who oversees all Catholic chaplains in all branches of the service, also wrote: “We cannot – we will not – comply with this unjust law.”

    Just a quick point of order here.

    This is coming from a Catholic priest serving as an army chaplain? Isn’t the church supposed to be against war?

    .

  74. 74
    Privatize the Profits! Socialize the Costs! says:

    You’d think the Catholic church would be a LITTLE more grateful, since us non-religious folks have been making up all the taxes that they never have to pay.

    But if they really want to get into politics, then, hey!

    Step one should be for them to lose that tax-exempt status.

  75. 75
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @burnspbesq:

    No, he’s ordering me (and, by implication, all people of faith)to STFU. I won’t do that. And he’s way out of bounds in asking it.

    Reading comprehension fail.

    By the way, it might help if you cracked open that book with all the red letters in it once in a while instead of relying on a homophobic misogynist in a funny hat and robe.

  76. 76
    Ben Cisco says:

    If Timothy Broglio was a Muslim he’d already be on his way to Guantanamo.

  77. 77
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @JGabriel:

    The Pope used to wage war, and revel in it. Catholics have no problems with “just wars”, particularly against heretics and apostates. See Central Europe, 1540ish to 1648.

  78. 78
    Rita R. says:

    @pat:

    That’s where they like us.

    To quote Hillary Clinton: “Women’s rights are human rights.”

    Explain to me again how the Catholic Church and other religious proto-fascists out there railing against birth control are any better than those who’d impose the much-dreaded “Sharia law.”

  79. 79
    grandpa john says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: Seems to me you are confusing Christianity and Catholicism . they are not the same. There are many beliefs and practices in the Catholic church that are not held by protestants or upheld by biblical references. The current uproar is one of them. there is no bible references that support the catholic belief on birth control. This is just one of the many instances of papal and leadership pushing their personal ideology as being Gods intent, if lay people did it the would by charged with heresy.

  80. 80
    Samara Morgan says:

    @beltane: do catholics get excommunicated for child molestation?

  81. 81
    joeyess says:

    Whatever the voodoo that you do is, keep it your damned self. I am officially sick of your crap

    .

    Go, Cole, go!

  82. 82
    Mouse Tolliver says:

    @JGabriel: JP2 was against the Iraq war. The Catholic Church is also against capital punishment. Funny how the bishops aren’t blowing a gasket over those two issues.

  83. 83
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @JGabriel: They’re _supposed_ to be against a lot of things. But at this point they appear to have become a faith exclusively dedicated to the rules for sex other people mustn’t be having.

  84. 84
    slag says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: By that standard, they have no problem with sex either. Just sex between two consenting adults.

  85. 85
    ABL says:

    I am officially sick of your crap.

    I’m so glad we didn’t get that divorce.

    ETA: this really should be a rotating tagline.

  86. 86
    Yevgraf says:

    In hindsight, the Soviets did the right thing about religion, IMHO. Outright oppression of the zealots, coopting the establishment for the lukewarm.

  87. 87
    hamletta says:

    @JGabriel: Yeesh! Didn’t you ever watch M*A*S*H?

  88. 88
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @The Other Chuck: Oh, and Br. Ouhaha called from the monastery in Hawaii.

  89. 89
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    If the Red Beanie Brigade decide to circulate any more letters, I hope that it becomes a cue for people to take a break from Mass for some fresh air. I know there were some people who did that over the recent missive, but second time round, they’re forewarned of what the abuser protection racket is going to be talking about.

  90. 90
    JeffH says:

    I want someone to suggest to the folks raising a stink about this issue, that if they get to opt out, then Quakers should be able to opt out of paying the portion of their taxes that goes to the military. For most of them I doubt they’d get the point, but it might make a few brains explode.

  91. 91
    General Stuck says:

    This must be the 2012 edition of the Great Cole Cathartic Purge of backed up emo. A integral part of any successful Blog Based therapy program. Just don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater

  92. 92
    SmallAxe says:

    Amen Brother Cole! Preach it.

  93. 93
    Yevgraf says:

    @beltane:

    I’ve read that not a single Catholic was excommunicated for taking part in atrocities during the holocaust.

    How many excommunications occurred over boy-fucking?

  94. 94
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @slag: Much like “Just War,” Catholic “Just Sex” doctrine is similarly centuries old and carefully parsed by Jesuits.

  95. 95
    burnspbesq says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:

    And contraception is in the Nicene Creed where?

    You should clean up after yourself after building a strawman. Where on earth did you get the lunatic idea that the Nicene Creed incorporates the sum total of Catholic doctrine?

    Concerned liberal Catholics: how dare people criticize the Church who aren’t (currently practicing) Catholics! That’s only for Catholics who blow off the church’s teaching but still go to church out of ethnic loyalty.

    That’s pretty much incomprehensible, but I’m reasonably certain that it bears no resemblance to anything I have ever written on topics related to faith.

    Look, if that chaplain’s CO wants to throw him in the brig and charge him with anything he can find in the UCMJ that might stick, I am completely down with that. That letter was way out of bounds, and threatened good order and discipline.

    But somewhere along the line, a large number of commenters here and elsewhere have gotten the mistaken impression that the Catholic Church is something akin to a democracy, so that the faithful can and should be held accountable for the insanity of the hierarchy. It’s not. It’s a rigidly hierarchical organization. I don’t get to vote for the leadership of the USCCB. I can, and do, bear public witness to the fact that the hierarchy is out of step with the actual beliefs of the faithful. But that’s pretty much all I can do. If that’s not good enough for you, then there’s no point in this dialogue.

  96. 96
    joeyess says:

    @burnspbesq:

    No, he’s ordering me (and, by implication, all people of faith)to STFU. I won’t do that. And he’s way out of bounds in asking it.

    No…. He’s telling you to STFU about your faith when it comes to matters of public policy. Religion, to use the words of the late, great Hitchens, was and is, our “first and worst attempt at understanding our natural world”. And I agree with Cole.

    So please, kindly do, in matter of policy….. STFU. Leave your “faith” out of it. You’re not helping.

  97. 97
    SuzyQ says:

    Longtime reader/lurker….I signed up to reply to this (and other posts) but John, can I call you John? I couldn’t have said better myself!!

    Love the site! Look forward to joining the convo.

  98. 98
    John PM says:

    The letter makes perfect sense. Its not like members of the military ever need birth control.

  99. 99
    beltane says:

    @Samara Morgan: I read of one such case in the 1300s but maybe standards were higher then.

  100. 100
    hamletta says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Hey! Leave the Jesuits out of this. They’re usually pretty cool.

  101. 101
    West of the Cascades says:

    I am still trying to get my head around what possible way an Army chaplain could be required to “comply with this unjust law.” As someone up above said, what the fuck does a chaplain have to do with what goes in the Army’s health insurance coverage — meaning, there is nothing in this regulation (not “law,” by the way, Monsignor Fucktard Brolio) that involves compliance or non-compliance by the chaplains.

    I realize this is a minor point compared to the imbelicility of the overarching sentiment by these people, but if they’re going to go all whiny-ass over this, shouldn’t they at least first pass the basic test that — in fact — they will be required to “comply” with what they’re complaining about having to comply with?

  102. 102
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @JeffH:

    Quakers should be able to opt out of paying the portion of their taxes that goes to the military

    It’s much worse than that. If _the guy who signs your paycheck_ is a Quaker, he could kick your son off the company health plan if he enlisted, because otherwise your employer’s money would be being used to support an activity his conscience can’t countenance.

  103. 103
    dollared says:

    @burnspbesq: That’s nice that you’re a good Catholic with all the usual, rational reservations.

    So Cole is saying that you and your bishops should stop trying to use federal law to enforce papal encyclicals. Do you really have a problem with that? Ever read, I dunno, the US Constitution?

  104. 104
    Jerzy Russian says:

    Rightous, as always. I would respectfully ask that the chaplains read Mr. Cole’s rant in mass next Sunday. Also, print a copy in the church bulletin for those devout followers who did not make it in to church that day.

  105. 105
    JimTheNewb says:

    (delurk)
    Bravo John! Well ranted.

    @WereBear:

    Funny thing is, people defend religion because of how it comforts people in times of trouble, provides a moral anchor, and provides a mechanism to help those in need.

    Also, those things can be accomplished WITHOUT religion, so there’s not much “defending” that can be done there. Being comforting, moral, and/or charitable are about being human and are not the special province of religion, as some would have you think.
    (/delurk)

  106. 106
    Lojasmo says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Shit, I had the over/under on # 24.

    Butthurt quotient is slipping.

  107. 107
    Samara Morgan says:

    @joeyess: Dont like abortion? dont have one. Dont like gay marriage? Dont have one of those either.
    Dont like Islam? dont go to islamic countries and try to force your culture on them.
    See how that works?

  108. 108
    kc says:

    @burnspbesq:


    No, he’s ordering me (and, by implication, all people of faith)to STFU. I won’t do that.

    Oh, spare me, drama queen.

  109. 109

    @burnspbesq: Or you could climb down off that cross and use the wood to build a bridge and get over it.

    Persecuted much?

  110. 110
    grandpa john says:

    @FlipYrWhig: One of things they are supposed to be against is sexual abuse of children . How is that working out for them ?

  111. 111
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @joeyess: This is why I think the word “worship” helps. Worship is about ritual practices and contemplation. That’s protected. The government can’t infringe on that.

    But if your religion leads you to take a certain stand on policy or politics, that’s not worship, and you don’t have a constitutionally-protected right to do that, only a right to speak up — and expect your speech to be met, perhaps rudely.

  112. 112
    JGabriel says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    @JGabriel: The Pope used to wage war, and revel in it.

    Yeah, religiously agnostic, raised culturally Catholic post-Vatican II here, so I’m aware of the history.

    Anyway, the point I was intending to develop there is this: The church and its priests, currently anti-war as a matter of dogma for the most part, has priests in the Army, but they go all “This will not stand!” over birth control?

    They’re fine with ministering to people blowing the shit out of each other with an ever-increasing array of missiles, guns, bullets, projectiles and other explodey shit, but try to keep one sperm from fertilizing an egg, and that is what the fucking church deems it should be planting the full weight of its two-thousand year history against?

    It’s not news, but that is a fucked set of priorities — and what better to illustrate it than an anti-pill outcry and jeremiad from a Catholic Army chaplain.

    .

  113. 113
    burnspbesq says:

    @dollared:

    Ever read, I dunno, the US Constitution?

    Yup, and for better or worse, every bit of nonsense that spews forth from the mouths of the Catholic hierarchy on these issues is protected political speech. You don’t have to like it (and for the record, I think most of it is stupid), but they get to say it.

  114. 114
    kc says:

    Can I just say, this site’s formatting has been completely fubar for weeks now. It’s intermittent but occurs frequently enough to make it a pain to read.

    Is it just me?

  115. 115
    Thymezone says:

    Mad props, John. For the second time lately I must take back every rotten thing I ever said about you.

    Preach it. This is why a lot of us came here 7 years ago (Schiavo time) … and why we are still here.

  116. 116
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @grandpa john: Oh, that’s not a cardinal (get it? get it?) rule like “Don’t wrap your wiener” is. So it’s much less important.

  117. 117
    Irony Abounds says:

    @burnspbesq: Sorry, but nothing in the HHS regs requires Catholics or anyone else for that matter to use birth control. It simply requires that it be made available. No one is forced to use it against their faith. The position your faith is taking, however, effectively prevents others from using birth control because of lack of funds. So, your faith is trumping the rights of others. That is the issue. If the catholic church is so effing concerned about birth control, it should probably look into why so many of its adherents chose to ignore the ignorant positions that come down from a bunch of old men who are more concerned about stopping people from family planning than they are dealing with the large number of pedophiles who minister to the faithful.

    I was willing to consider granting exceptions for religious institutions, catholic hospitals and the like because no one is forced to work there, but of course that is not enough now, they want the requirement removed for anyone. Screw that. Until catholics are forced to take a contraceptive, please do STFU.

  118. 118
    John Cole says:

    I think Keith Ellison should propose a bill allowing every company in the country to cut health benefits for anyone who does not pray to Mecca a half dozen times a day. IT’S THEIR FAITH! WHO COULD ARGUE WITH THAT?

  119. 119
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @grandpa john:

    I’m not confusing either, they both have sordid histories that they should be ashamed of but never will. Right now the focus is on what the Catholics are up to but we’ll be getting back to the ‘issues’ that matter to Christianity real soon.

    IOW, they both suck for the same reasons; their desire to control society through their ‘teachings’. The pretty mask they put on is only for show.

    I want the masks ripped off and the nasty nature of the beasts exposed for all to abhor.

  120. 120
    kc says:

    @pragmatism:

    Ha, that was great! Thanks.

  121. 121
    jefft452 says:

    Tweety just ended his show with a dire warning to Obama
    (paraphrase) “you cant govern the country with the support of 40% – that’s the liberals
    You need the support of the 55%. Obama won with 53% of the vote, if he doesn’t cave to the bishops he is in danger of losing that 3% that he cant afford to lose”

    Hmmmm 55%-40%, where did I see that recently?
    Oh yeah …

    “A majority (55%) of Americans agree that “employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception and birth control at no cost.” Four-in-ten (40%) disagree with this requirement”

  122. 122
    joeyess says:

    @Samara Morgan: preaching to the choir there, Samara.

  123. 123
    Lojasmo says:

    @burnspbesq:

    that’s pretty much all I can do. If that’s not good enough for you, then there’s no point in this dialogue.

    If you had a working soul, you could realize that the catholic church is not deserving of your fealty and constant appologism.

  124. 124
    burnspbesq says:

    @dollared:

    So Cole is saying that you and your bishops should stop trying to use federal law to enforce papal encyclicals.

    Why? It is the essence of democracy that interest groups will attempt to persuade the legislature to enact their policy preferences into law. If you don’t want that particular interest group to persuade the legislature to enanct its policy preferences into law, you know what to do: you can either fight in the legislature, or you can wait for what you consider a bad law to become law and then roll the dice in litigation to get it declared Unconstitutional.

  125. 125
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @JGabriel: At what point did the church become this laughable fertility cult while relegating ALL the other issues to peripheral status? Punting on those leaves, really, not much of a church.

  126. 126
    joeyess says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Waaaaay too much nuance for the lizard-brains.

  127. 127

    So Egan is objectively pro child rape.

  128. 128
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @JGabriel:

    One has to wonder if the Catholic chaplains are directed to visit the supply room and make sure the supply sergeant is not handing out rubbers to the troops.

    Because when I was in Korea, that’s exactly what was going on. “For prevention of disease only”, of course…

  129. 129
    Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor says:

    @burnspbesq:

    With all due respect, John, no. I will not compromise my faith just because it makes you crabby.

    As long as you stay on your side of the Fence, we don’t care.

  130. 130
    Svensker says:

    As a Christian, I completely agree with John’s rant. Yay!

    Also, too, as a Quaker, I’ve decided it offends the hell out of me to pay for wars. And torture. And executions. And police brutality.

    So I don’t think I should have to anymore. Phooey on all of ’em.

  131. 131
    les says:

    @burnspbesq:
    My, my, touchy aren’t we? John asks you to keep your religion out of his business, and you respond with knee-jerk “HE’S OPPRESSING ME!!” Perfect.

  132. 132
    burnspbesq says:

    @Irony Abounds:

    The position your faith is taking, however, effectively prevents others from using birth control because of lack of funds.

    Only if they win. If you don’t like it, don’t waste your time telling me to STFU (which I am not going to do). Get off your ass and fight it. That’s how democracy works.

  133. 133
    Irony Abounds says:

    @John Cole: Just look at the attempts to ban sharia law even when there is a matter solely between muslims. Somehow I don’t see the catholic church standing in solidarity with muslims crying about religious freedom in circumstances where islam’s nutty tenents are thought to be abused.

  134. 134
    les says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Yup, and for better or worse, every bit of nonsense that spews forth from the mouths of the Catholic hierarchy on these issues is protected political speech. You don’t have to like it (and for the record, I think most of it is stupid), but they get to say it.

    Jebus, who are you today, Susan G Komen? Nobody says they can’t say it; we’re all yelling, they can’t insist the government enforce their pig ignorant, antediluvian bullshit fantasies.

  135. 135
    Thymezone says:

    What kind of sociopathic moron sons of bitches would invent a healthcare system where employers get to meddle in the care choices of their employees?

    As far as I know, America is the only country on earth that relies largely on employer-provided insurance for healthcare access.

    no other industrialized country has quite this arrangement. It is uniquely American in origin and in modus operandi.Our employment-based system was not the product of a carefully designed health policy. It was a byproduct of evading wage controls during World War II.At the time it was thought that, as the nation’s drafted military personnel risked their limbs and life on foreign battlefields at low, tightly controlled pay, those who stayed behind should have their wages controlled as well.But with the wink of the eye with which Congress routinely puts loopholes into the tax laws or regulations it imposes, the wage controls imposed in World War II did not extend to fringe benefits. And thus, employer-paid fringe benefits, including employment-based health insurance, were born.

    NYTimes.

  136. 136
    burnspbesq says:

    @les:

    we’re all yelling, they can’t insist the government enforce their pig ignorant, antediluvian bullshit fantasies.

    See comment 132.

    FTR, I’m on your side on this issue. The hierarchy of the Catholic Church should not be able to dictate reproductive health policy to anyone but the faithful. Period. Full stop. But they will try, and if you don’t want it to happen, you have to beat them in the political process.

  137. 137
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @John Cole: Just imagine if that time you smashed your shoulder carrying your dog it had been a Friday night and your employer was an Orthodox Jew. “Sorry, John,” he’d say. “My religious beliefs prohibit me from using my company’s money to treat injuries arising from working after sundown on the Sabbath. This one’s coming out of your pocket.”

  138. 138
    lacp says:

    Cleric calling for insurrection? Broglio’s gonna look awful funny with a Hellfire missile stuck up his tailpipe.

  139. 139
    les says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Well, except for that constitutional thingy. If you think an “offends my religion” exception from law isn’t establishment of religion, what is?

  140. 140
    Chyron HR says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Don’t listen to the haters. Cole’s post is completely inexcusable. If I were you, I’d boycott this site until he offers you a front-page apology.

  141. 141
    Irony Abounds says:

    @burnspbesq: And Cole’s rant is in response to the frustration felt by those who do choose to fight religious myopia. Religion has such a favored position in this country that anyone who tries to fight the stupidity that comes from religious blather is immediately branded as someone trying to strip rights away from the religious, when in almost every case it is more a matter of the religious zealots trying to impose their sense of morality on everyone else. It is sickening that an avowed atheist can’t be elected to any position of power in this country, and that politicians feel compelled to always say God Bless America. Like America can use the blessing of a monster god who sits idly by as natural disasters kill multitudes of people, or tyrants such as Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot murder people in the millions. This is simply another case of religions fighting to maintain their control over the masses

  142. 142
    JGabriel says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    One has to wonder if the Catholic chaplains are directed to visit the supply room and make sure the supply sergeant is not handing out rubbers to the troops.

    Bingo!

    “You can hand out all the bullets and guns you like, Seargent, but I WILL NOT STAND for any distribution of condoms!”

    .

  143. 143
    shortstop says:

    Now iz ze part off Shprockets vere Burnz demonztrates that hiss pissy zelf-dramatizing iss shtronger zan hiss reading comprehenshun, and he triess to make it all about himself again. Dance!!!!!

  144. 144
    Mary G says:

    OK, I am going to have to stop reading these threads because…this chaplain guy, Lawrence O’Donnell, Mike Barnicle, Tim Kaine, Joe Biden, Rick Santorum and nine million other wingnuts yada yada yada…ALL MEN!!!

    When you old farts acquire the ability to bear children, then you can talk about this. Otherwise, though I don’t like to swear…STFU.

    This is all a big tantrum over losing the Komen/PP thing, the good jobs numbers, the lousy Republican candidates, and other various and sundry things not going the way they were so sure they would be by now.

  145. 145
    pragmatism says:

    @kc: kinda got lost in the heated posting here. i’ll pimp it in another thread as well.

  146. 146
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    When a cleric displays his extremism, does the military pay heed? Or shall they wait until something serious happens?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Hood_shooting

    “Hasan is an American Muslim of Palestinian descent. Internal Army reports indicate officers within the Army had discussed what they characterized as Hasan’s tendencies toward radical Islam since 2005. Additionally, investigations before and after the shooting discovered e-mail communications between Hasan and Yemen-based cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who quickly declared Hasan a hero, as “fighting against the U.S. army is an Islamic duty”. After communications between the two were forwarded to FBI terrorism task forces in 2008, they determined that Hasan was not a threat prior to the shooting and that his questions to al-Awlaki were consistent with medical research.

  147. 147
    Thymezone says:

    @les:

    The problem here is that these employers are not religions, or even churches. They are almost without exception, nonprofit corporations, just like Goodwill Industries, or Komen for the Cure.

    They are businesses, set up deliberately as businesses BY the church to avoid the immense hassles and legal tangles of trying to run them as anything but businesses, and to insulate the church from the legal tangles of a business (for example, how about a nice malpractice suit againsts the bottomless wealth of the Catholic Church? You get the idea).

    These are businesses who already provide the subject coverage under existing laws, just a they comply with hundreds of other laws that govern their business practices, employment and labor actions. They are businesses because they WANTED TO BE TREATED AS BUSINESSES and have always behaved accordingly. There is no Constitutional issue here, never has been, never will be.

  148. 148
    burnspbesq says:

    @les:

    I understand where you’re coming from, but I don’t think the case law supports you. What the Framers were concerned about was eliminating the possibility of an official state religion a la the Church of England. Short of that, there’s a big gray area as to what is excessive entanglement. What the bishops are asking for might be on the wrong side of the fuzzy line in the middle of that gray area, but I would rather kill this idea in its legislative cradle than roll the dice in litigation.

  149. 149
    Citizen_X says:

    And this goes for all of you

    Does this mean we’re not getting any treats?

  150. 150
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @shortstop:

    ROFLMAO

  151. 151
    scav says:

    Does it get complicated because the Vatican / Papal States actually have sort of formal national diplomatic status with the US? We’ve got ambassadors. How does that play into the whole fomenting an insurrection against the government within the armed forces angle?

  152. 152
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @burnspbesq:

    a large number of commenters here and elsewhere have gotten the mistaken impression that the Catholic Church is something akin to a democracy, so that the faithful can and should be held accountable for the insanity of the hierarchy.

    Uh, no. A large number of commenters here have pointed out that self-identified lay Catholics right along the spectrum of devotion regard Humanae Vitae as bullshit, pointed out that old male professional Papist pundits with the bishops’ offices on speed-dial are representative of themselves and not much else,

    Catholicism, in practice, is based upon a healthy disrespect for the hierarchy. This is something that obsequious converts like Gingrich who join the church with the hierarchy’s assistance really don’t understand. But that healthy disrespect is not necessarily something to be maintained tacitly in situations where the hierarchy claims to have the flock lined up behind them.

  153. 153
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Thymezone: And on top of that the Rubio/Manchin proposal seems to suggest that _any_ employer should be able to claim a conscience exemption to the mandate. For the reasons you cite, it was bad enough when the whole thing was a fake dispute over church-affiliated enterprises. But it’s becoming an even stupider dispute about how _the guy who signs your paycheck_ should be able to compel you to choose only the medical treatments _his_ conscience allows. I mean, come the fuck on, nobody could possibly subscribe to that principle. And yet here we are, pretending it’s defensible.

  154. 154
    slag says:

    Along with agreeing wholeheartedly with your rant, John, I’m going to add my own…

    I fucking hate the National Prayer Breakfast. Really. I try not to. Every year, I try to listen to the President’s speech with an open mind looking for the intellectual angle in every sentence. But it’s damn freakin’ hard. And quite frankly, when Obama talks about falling on his knees or walking the path or whatever, I feel embarrassed–for him and for us but mostly for him. Understandably, I’m not the intended audience for the speech, but really…why is that stuff public? When the President of the US gives a speech, shouldn’t all Americans be the intended audience? Isn’t that what those speeches are for? If not, why are they on the government website? Put them in with the official White House pr0n collection where they belong!

    To be fair to Obama, however, he’s not the worst Prayer Breakfast speech-giver in my lifetime. He at least gives it a try for the rest of us. It’s just too big a haul, even for such a gifted politician. I just think the practice needs to end.

  155. 155
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @scav: I think I see where you’re going with this. The Vatican is a rogue state!

  156. 156
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @slag:

    It’s compulsory, like the American flag lapel pin.

  157. 157
    JGabriel says:

    @Mouse Tolliver:

    Is it an infringement on an Orthodox Jew’s religious freedom when the troops eat non-kosher MREs?

    Is it an infringement on an Orthodox Jew’s religious freedom when their taxes pay for non-Kosher MREs?

    .

  158. 158
    Malovich says:

    Reverence the gods, and help men. Short is life.

    -Marcus Aurelius

    Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

    -possibly Marcus Aurelius, but definitely a keeper

  159. 159
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @JGabriel: Is it an infringement on a Mormon’s religious freedom when his taxes pay for the troops’ coffee?

  160. 160
    Thymezone says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Yes, and in the end, that’s the principle that is going to govern here. The White House is going to make a deal with the corrupt Bishops and agree to some ass covering modification in the language of the rule, and people will largely forget the flap .. except for the true crazies who really think that contraception is murder … the Santorum crowd. But they will be marginalized as we go along.

    The bottom lines here are (a) employer meddling in healthcare choices won’t stand, and (b) the Church constructed the legal separations between its sponsored nonprofits and itself, for business reasons, and will never compromise those separations in any meaningful way.

  161. 161
    scav says:

    @FlipYrWhig: bit overstating it, although the leap could certainly be made. I really was just thinking of the legal blowup that could be involved with someone basically telling troops not to obey orders. They certainly didn’t tell troops not to obey orders when it came to the wars they publicly were against. It sure looks like interfering with the internal policies of a state’s health care system is closer to their hearts than blythely ignoring one of their Big Ten NoNos.

  162. 162
    General Stuck says:

    @slag:

    I feel embarrassed—for him and for us but mostly for him. Understandably, I’m not the intended audience for the speech, but really…why is that stuff public?

    Last poll I remember had around 90 percent of Americans calling themselves religious, or that believe in God. I think the number of self identified atheists was like 7 percent. Successful Politicians are very aware of this, even those who govern as pragmatic secularists.

    I just think the practice needs to end.

    It will end when baby jeebus says it will end. Welcome to the US of A!

  163. 163
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Thymezone: My guess is that if there’s a middle ground, it will be to include “religious” hospitals and charities as exempt from the mandate to cover contraception in preventive care. But I hope there isn’t a compromise, because even that is bullshit, because those aren’t churches and don’t only serve or employ co-religionists.

  164. 164
    harlana says:

    @slag: i agree with you. for me, it’s like somebody forcing me to eat cauliflower, which i hate, because “it’s good for you”, and because i believe it’s what’s best for the nation, i eat the vile stuff all the while hating the person who is making me eat it

  165. 165
    becca says:

    @Egg Berry: I do believe that frequent use of viagra is helpful in maintaining optimal spite manufacturing.

  166. 166
    shortstop says:

    Indeed, only a few here have ever regarded the Roman Catholic Church as a democracy. On the contrary, most have repeatedly noted the immutably top-down authoritarianism of its structure, even as we note that most American Catholics go about their business paying little attention to many of leadership’s strictures. What really burns Burns is not that we think he can actually do something about the insanity of his chosen church’s management team, but that we are less interested than he in helping him feel a-okay about willingly remaining part of an operation that does so many things of which he’s patently deeply ashamed, and which he has zero ability to influence. Sorry, Burns, not our job to make it right for you–your choices are all on you.

  167. 167
    slag says:

    @harlana: I don’t know. If it were good for me or for us, I think I might be more amenable to it. I mean, if the last couple of weeks weren’t enough evidence that it just might not be good for us, I don’t know what would be. Nobody expects the American Inquisition.

  168. 168
    harlana says:

    @slag: and yet here is the guy from the Family Research Council just flat out accusing the President of being hostile towards religion. And Santorum has all but declared him the anti-Christ at this point. hm.

  169. 169
    joeyess says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    My guess is that if there’s a middle ground, it will be to include “religious” hospitals and charities as exempt from the mandate to cover contraception in preventive care.

    Doesn’t that give charities the impetus to find “religion” as a cost-saving matter?

  170. 170
    harlana says:

    @slag: i guess what i mean is, whatever helps Obama get re-elected is what’s good for the nation, not forgetting for a moment the alternative, so he has to go through all this sort of religious posturing as part of the package more digestible to most Americans (no pun intended), i suppose, and i/we have to endure it, or rather ignore it if possible to focus on the larger picture.

  171. 171
    Cassidy says:

    I do not understand what it’s going to take to finally put these minority over-zealous nutjobs in their proper place

    Shackles.

  172. 172
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @joeyess:

    Doesn’t that give charities the impetus to find “religion” as a cost-saving matter?

    Well, religious orgs have some political issues they must avoid in order to retiain the 501(c)(3) status, but the IRS generally leaves them alone. What they pursue are those orgs which purport to be religions, but are not.
    (Section 508)

  173. 173
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    My guess is that if there’s a middle ground, it will be to include “religious” hospitals and charities as exempt from the mandate to cover contraception in preventive care.

    But as Kay has pointed out today, where do you draw the line for “religious” hospitals when megaproviders like Catholic Healthcare West are restructuring to become “steeped in Catholic tradition” (in order to take over non-Catholic hospitals) rather than Catholic-run?

  174. 174
    Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor says:

    @Malovich:

    “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.”

    -Seneca

  175. 175
    bottyguy says:

    So if the Catholics are able to scuttle the requirement to cover contraception, will the nut wing of Christian Scientist be able to scuttle everything else, like cancer treatments or heart bypass surgery?

    And if that’s the case do you think people who own businesses with more than 25 employees with start converting to Christian Science?

  176. 176
    PGfan says:

    John: I couldn’t have said it better.

    Maybe there’s a groundswell starting – that would be great. This after the Komen thing and suddenly I just want to punch every sanctimonious culture warrior I can find. I am sick to death of them. Their persecution complexes, their complete nastiness and their holier than thou sanctimony. I’ve been sick of hard core religionists for a long time but now I’m suddenly REALLY sick of them. I think there needs to be a lot of people just standing up and saying “Shut the fuck up. Go away.”

  177. 177
    Ozymandias, King of Ants says:

    I know it’s late in the thread, but thank you SO f*ckingmuch for saying this.

  178. 178
    slag says:

    @harlana: Aha! Yes. I suppose you’re correct. As General Stuck rightly points out, I’m in the minority and I should get ok with it. The whole thing’s still creepy and weird. But aren’t so many things? What’s one more creepy, weird thing to put up with?

  179. 179
    Mnemosyne says:

    @slag:

    I’m not the intended audience for the National Veterans Job Corps speech since I’m not an unemployed veteran and the program doesn’t affect me at all, so clearly it should be removed from the website as being insufficiently inclusive.

  180. 180
    gelfling545 says:

    @Samara Morgan: Obviously not. I’m sure they get a very stern penance, though.

  181. 181
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @joeyess: @pseudonymous in nc: Yes, it would be an obnoxious compromise that caused a lot of problems, and I wouldn’t favor it. But if a compromise happens, it’ll probably look like that, because that’s where people like Tim Kaine seem to want to draw the line.

  182. 182
    slag says:

    @General Stuck:

    Last poll I remember had around 90 percent of Americans calling themselves religious, or that believe in God. I think the number of self identified atheists was like 7 percent.

    I hear this and totally get it. But why does it have to be so public. I’m sure at least 90 percent of Americans would admit to having sex but not all of those are ok with putting it on the intertubes. Can’t we keep some stuff to ourselves? PDA has its limits of acceptability, and when you’re giving Jesus a handjob on national television, I think you’ve crossed them. Just sayin. Relationships are personal. I don’t wanna know what’s in your drawers!

  183. 183
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @bottyguy:

    if that’s the case do you think people who own businesses with more than 25 employees with start converting to Christian Science?

    Ooh, I like that. Someone should ask Chris Matthews.

  184. 184
    Gus says:

    You’re beautiful when you’re angry, John.

  185. 185
    slag says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m not either. But I had no problem whatsoever with that speech. Golly! What could that possibly mean? Maybe I was an unemployed veteran in a former life?

    Don’t play dumb with me, please.

  186. 186
    harlana says:

    and, Obama is now, apparently, the anti-Christ – it’s coming any day now, there is going to be prophesy talk. it’s the natural progression of this thing at this point, i predict Bachmann to be the first. i’m just saying.

  187. 187
    stinkwrinkle says:

    Cole speaks for me!

    God, I hope this goes viral. I’ll make the “STFU and GTFO” t-shirts.

  188. 188
    kay says:

    Flip, Obama can’t make a no contraception rule because that’s going backward.
    Turns out there’s already a rule in place where denying contraceptive coverage is unlawful, and has been since 2000.
    Obama slightly expanded an existing rule, to include no co-pay.
    The good Bishops have not been playing straight with the American
    people.
    Obama’s looking more and more like the only good faith actor in this negotiation.
    No wonder he’s pissed.
    It’s like peeling an onion, I swear. Their whole complaint is falling apart.

  189. 189
    hamletta says:

    @harlana: Honey, where have you been for the last four years?

  190. 190
    harlana says:

    don’t Catholic hospitals, for instance, cover their employees with private insurance that covers contraception now? what am i missing here?

  191. 191
    Thymezone says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    There are no religious hospitals. A hospital cannot operate as a church. It is just not legally and administratively doable. That’s why they operate them via nonprofit corporations and why those corporations are treated just like all the other corporations that run businesses.

    And that will be mainly because, as I said, the churches not only want it that way, they can’t have it any other way. Can you see a church trying to defend a medical malpractice suit in a court of law? Uh, we had to let the mother die, our Bible tells us so. Cha-ching. Open up the Vatican bank accounts. Game over. No, it will never happen. That’s why the idiot GOP is now floating the idea that “any employer can get an exemption on religious grounds, with our swell new law.” Are you fucking kidding us? People are going to work for employers who tell them what healthcare they can get paid for, on the employers’ own relgious grounds? Really? And before you choke on your food laughing over that one … what religion do you suppose General Motors will presume to be? How about Virgin Atlantic? How about Hooters? How FUCKING RIDICULOUS do these people want to go with this nonsense?

  192. 192
    Mnemosyne says:

    @slag:

    I’m not either. But I had no problem whatsoever with that speech. Golly! What could that possibly mean?

    That you hate religion so much that, even though you agree with the president on most topics, it bothers you that the president is a churchgoing Christian who can use that language to get his points across when he speaks to religious groups?

    I realize that you would have preferred for him to get up in front of that group and denounce them all as feeble-minded idiots who worship a sky fairy, but it ain’t gonna happen. Get over it.

  193. 193
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @kay:

    Obama’s looking more and more like the only good faith actor in this negotiation.
    No wonder he’s pissed.

    Not for the first or last time, and this time he’s being undermined by a whole different, or at least larger, group of nitwits.

    Glad to see Rosa DeLauro step up, depressed once again to see the gender line get more pronounced. Tweety and Larry need to have DeLauro and Gillibrand and Mikulski on to discuss this issue.

  194. 194
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @harlana:

    Once you reach 500+participants, you self-insure and create a trust to fund liabilities (claims). The insurance co just administers the rules of the plan.

  195. 195
    harlana says:

    @hamletta: oh i’ve been right here, i’m predicting candidate talk, they are already attacking the President’s faith and calling him everything BUT a Child of God and Bachmann is going to come forth with a vision, alls i’m saying

  196. 196
    Ecks says:

    so if my boss is a Jehova’s witness, can she refuse to pay for my blood transfusion?

  197. 197
    slag says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Get over it.

    No. I don’t like it, and I’m going to say so. It’s weird and creepy and you can fuck right off if you have a problem with my saying that.

    Me and burns. We’re not gonna take any of your attempts to silence us. Right, burns? Burns?

  198. 198
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    forgot the link for DeLauro:

    The administration exempts churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship. The rule applies only to institutions and businesses that serve the larger community and employ people of different faiths on a non-religious basis. This preserves individual conscience protections while enabling employees of all faiths to have access to the health care they need.
    With this well-crafted balance, the religious liberty of our churches and other houses of worship is respected. They are exempted from the rule, as they should be. There is no mandate that individuals use contraception or that anyone dispense contraception, and there are no changes to existing conscience protections

    and if you want to see what we, and Obama, are up against in the Village, look at the link at the end of DeLauro’s op

  199. 199
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    how the liberal Washington Post views this debate

    Kathleen Parker: Obama runs roughshod over religious freedom
    Michael Gerson: White House declares war on religion
    The Post’s View: White House wrong on religious exemption
    Ed Rogers: A blunder that will be remembered in November.
    David Gibson: Five reasons why Obama is losing the contraception fight.
    Sally Quinn: Should Obama reverse course on contraception?

  200. 200
    Thymezone says:

    @harlana:

    Nothing, yes, they do. In at least 28 states, they do it by law. Here in Arizona, for example … by law. No complaints, no challenges, they just do it. Three blocks from where I sit, one of the largest Catholic hospitals in the country, doing it right now.

    Here is NARAL on the subject of Arizona law in this context:

    What does the refusal law allow? A religious employer may require issuers of its health-insurance plans to exclude coverage for contraception.

    Is this refusal law overbroad, jeopardizing insurance coverage for contraception for women? No. The law appropriately defines the term “religious employer” as a non-profit organization that primarily employs and serves persons who share the religious tenets of the entity. This narrow definition is appropriately limited in scope, applying to religious entities but not broad-based entities that operate in the public sphere.

  201. 201
    Thymezone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Christ, that’s almost as salient a list as one DougJ could put together. Hasn’t David Broder written from the grave on this?

  202. 202
    Cacti says:

    “Can a free government possibly exist with the Roman Catholic religion?”

    -John Adams

    Letter to Thomas Jefferson, 1821

    No John, it can’t. Keep that wall of separation firmly in place.

  203. 203
    Sister Inspired Revolver of Freedom says:

    This all makes me so glad I’m a Pagan.

  204. 204
    Thymezone says:

    @slag:

    What’s in their drawers? Not unless they send a picture. Amirite???

  205. 205
    slag says:

    @Thymezone: I don’t know. I understand the folks at CPAC prefer to use Poloroids. They would know.

  206. 206
    batgirl says:

    I’m very confused on how a Catholic chaplain can disobey this rule. He doesn’t prescribe medication. He doesn’t create or buy the health insurance that covers the troops. And, duh, correct me if I’m wrong, but the armed forces health insurance already covers birth control. (whether or not with a copay I don’t know).

    So what the fuck is he crying about. This has absolutely nothing to do with him or his church!

  207. 207
    Mnemosyne says:

    @slag:

    Actually, if you think religion is weird and creepy, that’s up to you. It’s thinking that it’s somehow weird and creepy that Obama speaks to religious people in terms that they understand that’s odd to me. It sounds like “John Kerry speaks French!” but from the left.

    And while the National Prayer Breakfast is yet another of those annoying 1950s vestiges of McCarthyism like having “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, if you’re pissed off that presidents have to make a speech at it, you’re going to have to complain to Dwight Eisenhower since he’s the one who thought it was a good idea for the president to participate. Like pardoning the White House turkey, it’s one of those weird traditions that no one wants to end.

  208. 208
    Lojasmo says:

    @burnspbesq:

    FTR, I’m on your side on this issue. The hierarchy of the Catholic Church should not be able to dictate reproductive health policy to anyone but the faithful, but they do, and though I say I disagree,I still support them.

  209. 209
    Violet says:

    Awesome rant, John!

  210. 210
    slag says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It’s thinking that it’s somehow weird and creepy that Obama speaks to religious people in terms that they understand that’s odd to me.

    Wait. So you’re saying religious people don’t speak standard English? It’s all coming clear. I’ve always suspected those people. Who’s the Real American(TM) now, you bastards?

    And I have no problem complaining about it to Eisenhower’s Ghost, his turkey, or anyone else. The National Prayer Breakfast is a bad tradition. Suck it, EG!

  211. 211
    Mnemosyne says:

    @slag:

    So you’re saying religious people don’t speak standard English?

    Well, duh. Who the hell says “hallowed be thy name” to anyone, anywhere? Wars have been fought over which language is the proper one to address God.

    And to show there’s no hard feelings, a clip you will enjoy: Father Ted kicking Bishop Brennan up the arse.

  212. 212
    Ecks says:

    @slag:

    So you’re saying religious people don’t speak standard English?

    They have their own peculiar jargon and sets of metaphors, just as ALL specialized groups do. I could string together sentences of English words that would sound like complete gobledygook to you, but would be immediately comprehensible to people trained in statistics and social sciences. The President probably could too, and if you don’t like that, then this is your problem and not his. Get over yourself.

  213. 213
    Bobby says:

    Samara, what about the Jewish, Christian, and non-beleiving citizens of “Isalmic” countries? You have revealed your bigotry. Those of us who “don’t like Islam” don’t like hearing from mindless idiots who adhere to a facially ridiculous ideology that worships a child-raping illiterate businessman as a “Prophet.”

  214. 214
    slag says:

    @Mnemosyne: Ha! Not bad. But it’s hard to beat Mahr’s unbaptism. Expecto Petronum, indeed.

  215. 215
    Chup says:

    burnspbesq, John wasn’t telling you and your ilk to STFU — but I’ll happily do it!!

  216. 216
    slag says:

    @Ecks:

    Get over yourself.

    As Jesus might say: Thou first.

  217. 217
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    Fair is fair, can observant Jews(and Muslims) be exempt from subsidies paid to Hog farmers, also can they be exempt from subsidizing the Gulf Shrimp Industry?

  218. 218
    Scott Alloway says:

    “Broglio, who oversees all Catholic chaplains in all branches of the service, also wrote: “We cannot – we will not – comply with this unjust law.” He wanted Catholic chaplains to read the letter aloud during their sermons on Sunday, January 28.”

    If I were President, I would haul his ass into the White House and can him on the spot. He is an officer in service to the United States. He seems to have forgotten that.

  219. 219
    jomike says:

    So the Catholic bishopric would agree that Christian Science hospitals should be free not to cover prescription drugs — and outpatient surgery and chemotherapy and radiotherapy and so on — unless employees’ medical conditions have first been prayed over in a CS-approved manner, for a CS-approved length of time?

  220. 220
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Scott Alloway:

    Actually, this guy is not a chaplain himself, he’s not a member of the armed forces. He’s just the Catholic official who oversees all Catholic chaplains for the military services on behalf of the Catholic Church, not the military itself.

    He’s not in the chain of command of the armed forces in any way, shape, or form. His directives, if any, do not have the force of law that any member of the armed forces is in any way obligated to follow.

    Now, Chaplains who are in uniform are in the chain of command, and are obligated to follow legal orders, or face UCMJ action for failure to do so. Also face the consequences of following orders from outside the chain of command that amount to incitement to mutiny.

  221. 221
    Water balloon says:

    Nothing about that marine sniper unit posing in front of a Nazi SS flag in Afghanistan? I just heard about it. According to commenters on Gawker, marine snipers have been using that symbology for a long time, and they don’t see anything wrong with it. I don’t know why finding that out has shaken me as much as it has, but I’m really pretty irate right now.

  222. 222
    Mike in NC says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Actually, this guy is not a chaplain himself, he’s not a member of the armed forces.

    In other words, some self-appointed asshole who has that freak Bill Donohue on his speed-dial.

  223. 223
    Mike in NC says:

    @Water balloon:

    Nothing about that marine sniper unit posing in front of a Nazi SS flag in Afghanistan?

    What’s that flag all about? The Nazis had an anti-partisan badge that showed an eagle stomping on a bunch of snakes. Is it anything like that?

  224. 224
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Oh, he’s not self-appointed…he’s been appointed by one of the red beanie types in the US, probably the USCCB or some similar outfit. He’s the “Archbishop of the Armed Forces”, but he’s not in the chain of command of the military. He’s in the Catholic Church’s chain of command though.

    So the question becomes, which master do you serve, Father Nick our battalion chaplain?

  225. 225
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Water balloon:

    Do you have a link to this?

  226. 226
    Thymezone says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I would wager that the end result will be to arrange the language to conform to the state laws already in place. Some kind of political deal will be made between the administration and the bishops. Which is fine with me.

    The only thing not fine with me is the codification of an absurd situation, namely, employers making any kind of healthcare judgments for their employees. The very idea of it is so repellent I can hardly process it, unless the employer wants to be identified as a member of that very limited class which can have certain exemptions. But membership in that class is pretty restrictive, and the status of those orgs has already been established. What they have in common mostly is that they are pretty small by comparison to, say, a large hospital campus in a major metro area. St. Joes over here is the biggest employer in this part of Phoenix. And this is something I did not know until this week:

    In 2012 the company’s name changed to Dignity Health to better reflect their ministry and the ending of their affiliation with the Catholic Church.

    The local campus includes a world famous neurosurgery facility, Barrows, which my dad spent many of his last days in .. So the point is, this is bigtime medicine. I think they are the 8th largest hospital system in the country.

  227. 227
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mike in NC:

    I might point out that military chaplains have their own internal “chain of concern” if you will, to chaplains at higher and lower echelons. Normally, the lowest level you’ll find a chaplain at is battalion level (a unit of 500-1000 or so members) and usually they are assigned to several battalions. Note that they have to be ecumenical in their ministry…you might have a Southern Baptist or a Catholic or even, very rarely, a Jew or Muslim as your unit chaplain, and they’d give you spiritual guidance if you asked for it from a very generic approach, for obvious reasons.

    But the “chain of concern” is in no way in conflict with the chain of command, it’s quite informal in nature. A division level chaplain might make assignments for lower level chaplains, and rotate them through various units within the division, but at some level the chaplains are answerable to the regular chain of command just like every other member of the forces.

    So while the corps chaplain might offer suggestions, those suggestions cannot override the orders given to you by the commander of the division to which you’re assigned. The corps chaplain might go to corps commander and ask him to intervene if there is a conflict of some sort, but that’s a pretty precipitous step.

    The chief chaplain of the Army wouldn’t allow the Archbishop’s letter to be read at Sunday Services, specifically because it could be interpreted as a call to mutiny, and because he’s operating under the chain of command (through the Chief of Staff) his word is law in this case. The Secretary of the Army got involved and said it could be read if the “unjust law” sentence got pulled.

  228. 228

    About the moral difference between child rapists and those who defend/excuse/cover for them:

    You’ll have to confirm that you’re over 18…

    I’ve got this and Tom Lehrer’s Vatican Rag in my head at the same time!

  229. 229
    suzanne says:

    I am so sick and tired of fighting stupid petty battles because of your damned religion. I am sick of getting bogged down in these stupid arguments. I am sick of you using your religion as a way to divide people. I’m sick of you using your religion to get in the way of other people’s lifestyle and healthcare choices. I am sick of you using your religion as an excuse to bomb people. I’m sick of your religion getting in the way of policy making. I’m sick of you using your religion to stifle scientific progress. I really am. Do whatever the hell you want in your home and in your church, but just get out of my face with whatever horseshit you believe, be it anything from judaism to catholicism to mormonism to islam to jehovah’s witnesses to the church of the flying spaghetti monster.

    Fuck to the hell yes.

  230. 230

    http://www.youtube.com/verify_.....HRDfut2Vx0

    Sorry. Link Stripped. If this doesn’t come through, go to YouTube and search for Tim Minchin Pope Song.

  231. 231
    dww44 says:

    @Mary G: Yep, and all we need to do to counter this ridiculous made up cultural war about contraception is just replay Rachel’s segment on tonight’s show, where with actual footage she demonstrates to any and all that Republicans are simply full of it. From one issue to another, beginning with cap and trade, individual mandate,bank bailout, and most recently insurance coverage for contraception,they’ve reversed themselves over and over again.

    Seriously, get a super-pac (Colbert?) to replay this segment all over the TEEVEE for a week and let’s see how these Republican politicians like it. Make sure time is bought on Fox News. More importantly, maybe that segment of hers might just quash this latest itereration of “if Obama’s for it, we are agin it”. If anyone ever had any doubt that Republicans were shameless, this segment forever erases it.

    Click here: Rachel Maddow: Republicans reverse themselves in trying to drag America backward

  232. 232
  233. 233
    Water balloon says:

    This is the original post: http://gawker.com/5883828/us-m.....nazi-rifle

  234. 234
    Catsy says:

    @burnspbesq: Christsicles, sometimes you give toko-loko a run for her money in the department of selective reading comprehension.

    And this goes for all of you- I am so sick and tired of fighting stupid petty battles because of your damned religion. I am sick of getting bogged down in these stupid arguments. I am sick of you using your religion as a way to divide people. I’m sick of you using your religion to get in the way of other people’s lifestyle and healthcare choices. I am sick of you using your religion as an excuse to bomb people. I’m sick of your religion getting in the way of policy making. I’m sick of you using your religion to stifle scientific progress.

    Are you engaging in any of the bolded activities above, which were the focus of Cole’s complaint?

    If so, then you’re a fucking douchebag wingnut theocrat and your hurt fee-fees don’t deserve a moment’s consideration; FOADIAF.

    If on the other hand the shoe does not fit, you are under no obligation to try wearing it just because you like trolling with knee-jerk contrarianism.

  235. 235
    scav says:

    And here’s an AP/Guardian thing on the idiot snipers. They’re insisting it was a “naive mistake”. I suppose historically illiterate is marginally better than racist scum on the national PR front and both are indeed plausible to the international community.

  236. 236
    Catsy says:

    @scav: Ya know, I can actually buy the snipers being ignorant of the symbol. If you’re poorly educated and don’t know its significance, it wouldn’t stand out in Nazi-themed movies any more than most of the other frippery crap they put on their uniforms.

    What I don’t buy is their unit commanders not knowing. This has been a Scout Sniper tradition for years.

  237. 237
    runt says:

    Moore Award please!

    Good for you.

  238. 238
    Paul in KY says:

    @gex: I can outwait any toddler. 10 hours, 20, bring it on weepy pete.

  239. 239
    Paul in KY says:

    @SuzyQ: Welcome to the scrum!

  240. 240
    jafd says:

    Meanwhile, the dead can’t be called to the witness stand
    http://www.philly.com/philly/n.....death.html

    “Montgomery County authorities asked the county coroner to examine the body of Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua last week to ensure the 88-year-old prelate died of natural causes, not foul play.

    Coroner Walter I. Hofman said county prosecutors made the request because Bevilacqua died barely a day after a judge said the former leader of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia might have to testify at next month’s child sex-abuse and endangerment trial for three current and former priests.”

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