Obamacare just won’t die, but US Bishops’ ethical failings keep going like zombies.

It’s like a Walking Dead zombie wearing a motorcycle helmet or a well constructed law, or something.

From Reuters:

U.S. justices decline to hear another Obamacare challenge

The court rejected a petition filed by Liberty University, a Christian college in Virginia, which had raised various objections to the law, including to the key provision that requires individuals to obtain health insurance.

By rejecting the Liberty University case, the justices left intact a 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals of a May 2013 decision that dismissed the claims made by the college and two individuals, Michele Waddell and Joanne Merrill.

The court will hear two cases which challenge the constitutionality of a requirement for corporations to provide health insurance that includes contraception.

With the House of Representatives only scheduling eight working days between now and the holiday break, any change in the law would have to wait until the new year, which puts the Republicans in the unenviable position of voting to take away people’s health care.  I’m sure they’ll do it on what passes for ‘principle,’ but it’s going to look even worse if they do (and if the Dems have the courage–always a questionable prospect–of calling them out.)

In more news on the Women’s healthcare front, the ACLU is suing a the US Conference of Catholic Bishops  on the grounds that their religiously based rules caused a patient to suffer a miscarriage.  From NBC News:

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Michigan are suing the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on behalf of Tamesha Means, 30, of Muskegon, Mich., according to a lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. district court in eastern Michigan.

The lawsuit aims to highlight what ACLU calls the “trauma and harm that Tamesha and other pregnant women in similar situations have experienced at Catholic-sponsored hospitals.”

The suit claims that the hospital knew that the fetus was not viable, and witheld medically indicated care due to restrictions placed upon them by the Conference, and that further those restrictions also prevented the hospital from telling her the truth about her condition or the restrictions themselves that prevented appropriate care.  The hospital in question is the only hospital in the county where the patient resided at the time of the events in 2010.

When my daughter is able to make decisions for herself without consulting me, then I will have done my job as her father.  When she chooses to consult with me even when she doesn’t have to, then I will have done my job well.  I resent the living shit out these people who are trying to run my family in a way that does not comport with my beliefs.  I have said before that Pope Francis is saying the kinds of things that I needed to hear before I would consider returning to the Church.  Well, words without policy are like faith without works–dead.  (James 2:14-26)

Also too, open thread.

94 replies
  1. 1
    Gordon, the Big Express Engine says:


  2. 2
    dmsilev says:

    @Gordon, the Big Express Engine: 2005 called and asked for its cliched joke back.

  3. 3
    aimai says:

    About bloody time on the law suit. They probably had to wait for the perfect patient but I can tell you that women who are miscarrying or who have absolutely miscarried–the fetus has died in the womb–are routinely denied medical treatment and sent home to somehow “birth” the fetus without medical intervention by Catholic Hospitals. Often the women have no idea that in some other hospital or other part of the country they would not be left alone to pass the dead fetus, or die of septic shock if something goes wrong. I used to hang out on a women’s board that was full of younger women who were getting pregnant and having babies. They were from all over the country. When they published their stories of miscarriages they were often shocked to discover that what was the standard of care in one place was not in their state. At a non catholic hospital you will (probably) be given a D and C (dilation and currettage) for a dead embryo or fetus. In a Catholic hospital they won’t do it unless you are dying. Women reported being sent home with minimal medication and just having to wait it out, hoping their bodies expelled the fetus. They thought that was their only option–and it may well have been.

  4. 4
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Liberty University. Two fucking lies make up its name. Vile spawn of the thankfully late Jerry Falwelll, racist, jeebofacist twit.

  5. 5
    Ash Can says:

    The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Michigan are suing the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

    GOOD. I hope they trounce the USCCB in court. Since the RCC cannot give its female patients the full range of health care options, it should not be in the hospital business at all.

  6. 6
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Yup, about damn time on that legal front. The red beanies need to be sued into fucking penury for any number of their fucked up notions about a great many things.

  7. 7
    srv says:

    That Man’s Law does not over-ride G-d’s Law.

    Next up, Tamesha’s marital status and countertops.

  8. 8

    I have family members in medicine. The Catholic Bishops absolutely do impose limits in what their hospitals are allowed to do in terms of womens’ health care that are in violation of medical ethics and legal standards of care. I hope the Bishops are nailed to the wall on this and forced to give up all of their religious restrictions on their hospitals.

  9. 9
    Gypsy Howell says:

    I don’t understand how, as a non-Catholic, I should be subjected to the whims of the church when I go to the local hospital? How is this not an infringement on my religious beliefs?

  10. 10
    Randy P says:

    I think it was hearing that they will turn away women with ectopic pregnancies that really shocked me, having had a relative deal with that incredibly painful and dangerous condition.

  11. 11
    Gypsy Howell says:

    Or we could just fuckin nail ’em to the cross, as they seem to want.

  12. 12
    scav says:

    Why anyone would trust their health to hospitals run by an establishment (or individual doctors / health care actors professing allegiance to their personal salvation over patient care) dedicated to the proposition that heaven is the “life” that matters, that the “unborn” trump the mere living who are inevitably guilty and sinning etc etc, . . . Slightly more toxic than the in it for the money hospitals, but definitely into meddling in their patients lives with ulterior motives.

  13. 13
    Randy P says:

    @Gypsy Howell: In Bizarro Republican world, “religious freedom” means that the company owners can impose their religion on you. Unless they’re Moslem of course. Only works when the owners vote Republican.

    I’m sure that’s in the First Amendment somewhere.

  14. 14
    Glidwrith says:

    Thank you, Sooner – too many people are listening to the pretty words the Pope is giving out, saying, “Well, at least he’s going after income inequality.” I can barely leash my rage that he hasn’t done one gods-be-damned thing about what the Church is doing in the hospitals and hasn’t done anything about the child diddling. I want more than just pious mouthings!

  15. 15
    Yatsuno says:

    @Gypsy Howell: Nah. We still need the wood.

    @Ash Can: I remember when the Catholic hospitals used to be the charity case care facilities. Then some enterprising bishop figured out hospitals also mean sweet sweet gubmint money without mucking about with that church/state separation mess. The health system I’m having my surgery at just got bought out by a Catholic health system, and so far I haven’t noticed any major changes, but the right to an abortion is also in the state Consitution. Should be interesting if that comes to a head.

  16. 16
    Aji says:

    @scav: Because there’s no choice? I live on a rez at the edge of a small town. There is exactly one hospital. It’s Catholic.

  17. 17
    El Caganer says:

    @scav: Often they have no choice – the Catholic health system is buying up hospitals right and left.

  18. 18
  19. 19
    Aji says:

    @debbie: Has he boiled a bunny in the middle of the House floor yet?

  20. 20
    Ash Can says:

    @Gypsy Howell:

    I don’t understand how, as a non-Catholic, I should be subjected to the whims of the church when I go to the local hospital?

    You shouldn’t be.

    How is this not an infringement on my religious beliefs?

    It is. And that’s why the Church needs to get out of the health care business.

    Catholic children’s services were rightly forced out of the adoption business when they refused to place kids with same-gender parents. The same should happen with health care.

  21. 21
    scav says:

    @El Caganer: I know about the lack of options. We need to start hitting those beanied creeps and their enablers harder in competitive markets as well as on the legal front. Their effective geographic monopoly of care is killing people and we need to roll out the deaths attached to faces to bring this home to the smugly pious. Beatified Death Panels. Buying their way into heaven and soothing, if not lovingly stroking, their consciences using the bodies of other people.

  22. 22
    seefleur says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    You are too kind to Falwell. May he rot in hell. (I so wish I believed in hell…)

  23. 23
    Cassidy says:

    Frankie needs to get control of his American franchise.

  24. 24
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Glidwrith: I know, and he’s been Pope for, what? Six whole months? I mean, what’s taking the man so fucking long, huh??

  25. 25
  26. 26


    I think we all know how conservatives are going to respond to this case. Damn you Rosa Parks!

  27. 27
    Mnemosyne says:


    If you really want to be freaked out, the new thing is for-profit Catholic hospitals. All of the dogma, plus you get to put money in the CEO’s pocket.

  28. 28
    Ash Can says:

    BTW, and OT, here’s the perfect antidote for Thanksgiving dinner/leftover overload: leftover turkey, cold, chopped up and thrown into a big-ass salad of greens and cut-up raw veggies.

  29. 29
    gbear says:

    MN recently passed a law that gives abuse victims a three-year window to file lawsuits claiming past abuse, removing the statute of limitations that prevented may cases from moving forward. The shit is hitting the fan in a huge way for the Catholic church in the Twin Cities .

    The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as well as the Diocese of Winona, must release the names of 46 priests accused of sexually abusing minors, a Ramsey County District Court judge ruled Monday. He set a deadline of Dec. 17.
    Judge John Van de North ordered that the church provide not just the names of the priests but their year of birth, year of ordination, the list of parishes where they served, their current ministerial status, current residence and whether they are still living.
    The Twin Cities archdiocese has held secret its list of 33 credibly accused abusers since it was compiled in 2004. Another 13 clergy have been on a similar list in the Winona diocese.

    There is also a whistleblower from inside the chancery. “Former archdiocesan canon lawyer Jennifer Haselberger has provided inside information about the church’s handling of recent abuse allegations and its treatment of priests who were known to have abused children”.She’s been telling everything she knows.

  30. 30
    Morzer says:


    California Republicans are desperate and shameless. In the past two weeks, GOP Assembly members have sent mailings out on what appears to be the state’s dime to their constituents about health insurance. Only, they don’t direct those people to CoveredCA.com to sign up. Instead, they send them to their own astroturf version at the URL CoveringHealthCareCA.com.
    On their version, there are links to negative articles and twisted messages intended to sour people on signing up for health insurance before they ever land at the official health exchange site.

  31. 31
    aimai says:

    @Aji: Yes. This. People don’t have any choice in lots of areas–and they won’t know about the treatment of women or the dying if they aren’t at the hospital for those issues.

    It ought to be illegal for the Catholic Church to own hospitals if they can’t provide a consistently high and morally defensible quality of care for all their patients. I don’t even see how they can bid for contracts under Obamacare if they are going to refuse to allow their doctors to prescribe or treat women’s health conditions which are covered under the ACA.

  32. 32
    Kay says:

    Well, finally. Miscarriage management should have been raised a LONG time ago:

    OVER THE PAST DECADE, AS Catholic hospitals have merged with and purchased nonsectarian hospitals around the United States, the lay press and legal journals have featured discussion about the impact of these mergers on patient care, particularly with regard to reproductive health.
    Catholic-owned institutions and their employees must adhere to medical practice guidelines contained in the “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services” (hereafter called “the directives”) written by the Committee on Doctrine of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.
    The directives state that abortion is never permitted. However, regarding emergency care during miscarriage management, the manual used by Catholic-owned hospital ethics committees to interpret the directives states that abortion is acceptable if the purpose is to treat “a life-threatening pathology” in the pregnant woman when the treatment cannot be postponed until the fetus is viable. The experiences of physicians in our study indicate that uterine evacuation may not be approved during miscarriage by the hospital ethics committee if fetal heart tones are present and the pregnant woman is not yet ill, in effect delaying care until fetal heart tones cease, the pregnant woman becomes ill, or the patient is transported to a non–Catholic-owned facility for the procedure.

    That this debate has been limited to abortion is ridiculous. They’ve known women have been denied emergency medical care for a miscarriage for at least 5 years, yet they’re rubber-stamping these huge mergers that cover whole geographical areas.

    It’s nonsense that it’s “charity care”, too. They’re also merging with for-profits.

  33. 33
    scav says:

    @Mnemosyne: Not surprised, they’re all over that part of the temple. The overthrow of moneylending tables, like the march to the sea, never quite finished the job. Still angry though, those 00-class bishops, licensed to kill in the name of religion because armed with a hospital and disagreeing with the law of the land. If pulling this shit with bombs and beards . . . .

  34. 34
    Aji says:

    @aimai: Exactly. I’m seriously hoping that this is the thing that finally gets us some movement in the right direction. After all, principles are all fine and well until it encroaches too much into the bottom line, and the Church has proven not to be immune to that on other fronts, certainly. Although I recognize that if ever there were an area where they would dig in their heels to the point of bankruptcy and beyond, it’s anything that might be remotely connected with women’s sexuality. Since we’re all daughters of Eve and sisters of the Whore of Babylon and all.

  35. 35
    Kay says:

    It’s like a Walking Dead zombie wearing a motorcycle helmet

    It is. It’s The Law That Won’t Die. I get such a kick out of the fact that it outlasted Scott Brown’s entire national career. He was the death knell! Now he’s come and gone already.

  36. 36
    burnspbesq says:

    @Ash Can:

    I’m no happier about how Catholic hospitals approach reproductive health issues than any other sentient being, but the ACLU’s got the wrong defendant (which makes this action nothing more than a publicity stunt). There is a very good chance that the USCCB is going to skate, on the theory that its actions aren’t (in tort law terminology) the proximate cause of the harm suffered by the plaintiffs. The proximate cause, the argument would run, is the inaction by physicians who violated their oath by not defying hospital rules and giving appropriate care.

    I don’t think that’s a sensible answer, but it appears to be the answer under current law.

  37. 37
    JoyfulA says:

    Don’t forget that Catholic hospitals infringe on men’s health care, too. Vasectomies are absolutely forbidden, as a Catholic friend learned to his horror.

  38. 38

    @Gypsy Howell:

    How is this not an infringement on my religious beliefs?

    They’re just following the golden rule: he who has the gold makes the rules. The Catholic Church is rich and powerful, so their right to dictate to you is more important than your right to do as you please. That seems to be the basic principle they’re aiming for.

  39. 39
    Capri says:

    On a somewhat tangential note- saw Philomena over the weekend. Very good movie, highly recommend it. It does not paint the Catholic church in a good light.

  40. 40
    scav says:

    @burnspbesq: Practically speaking, driving a wedge between employees and the hospitals that employ them is also a result, especially when it becomes apparent how quickly the hospitals let their employees take the hit. There’s the legal case and there’s the bar of public opinion.

  41. 41
    Kay says:

    This is why I never believed them when they said they have a “save the life of the mother” exception.

    Not buying that.

  42. 42
    gwangung says:

    @Kay: And I recall that this is the standard that killed an Indian woman who was stuck in Ireland earlier this year.

    Imposing religious beliefs on health care, indeed….

  43. 43
    NotMax says:

    I resent the living shit out these people who are trying to run my family in a way that does not comport with my beliefs.

    Talk about the proverbial two-edged sword….

  44. 44
    Yatsuno says:

    @burnspbesq: BTW: BARK THE SARK!!! I know quite a few Huskies who are gonna be PISSED at this.

  45. 45
    MomSense says:


    I love that Issa only wanted the correspondence after the law was passed. Can you imagine all the fevered messages between Repubs and Insurance companies about their strategies to kill the bill?

  46. 46
    rda909 says:

    @Glidwrith: No kidding. I’m a life long Catholic, but if he doesn’t start waving his bully pulpit around and take care of these couple of issues NOW, which we all know he can do no problem, then I’m OUT!1! Last straw. I don’t care if these problems have existed for generations. 6 months is plenty of time, as we all know, and this TALKER better start delivering what WE demand!

    Hey, there must be some obscure 3rd party pope candidate we can start lobbying for now, right? Talk is cheap, Frannie!!

  47. 47
    esc says:

    We had to rent a breast pump from the local Catholic hospital after my son was born. My husband saw a woman having a screaming argument with a priest on the labor and delivery floor because her fetus had some sort of abnormality, but the hospital wouldn’t help her. At least in our area, there are other options for care.

  48. 48
    Kay says:


    It was. This isn’t abortion or contraception. It’s emergency medical care. They can’t cut off emergency medical intervention in a crisis pregnancy for a huge geographical area.

    The key is to block the merger. Jack Conway (the AG of Kentucky) did a great job tying one up on just this issue

    Conway is also the guy Doctor Rand Paul beat for the Senate. No word on where Doctor Rand Paul is on women receiving emergency medical care.

  49. 49
    Just One More Canuck says:

    Seahawks are looking pretty awesome tonight

  50. 50
    Cassidy says:

    @rda909: Oh jesus that’s stupid. The guy obviously wants to make some changes and do some good. His efforts will be for nothing if he doesn’t bring the fundies to heel. Opening the books and throwing the child abusers to the cops is an easy PR move. And, he’s the boss. He can do it.

  51. 51
    Yatsuno says:

    @Just One More Canuck: I never underestimate Seahackitude. But it’s a nice lead right now I must say.

  52. 52
    Gordon, the Big Express Engine says:

    @dmsilev: that’s bullshit. Al Gore didn’t invent the internet until 2006.

  53. 53
    Aji says:

    @Kay: Oh, but Rand Paul is for legalizing marijuana! He’s SO much more liberal than Conway, who didn’t deserve the support of true progressives!

    I nearly threw up typing that. But I was told that by so many people at the GOS that year, who also were only too eager to tell me that I wasn’t a “real liberal” because I wasn’t a Paulbot. And, of course, Rand does NOT support ganja legalization (except for his college-age Aqua Buddha self, of course). But never let a little thing like facts – or the lives and health of women – get in the way of libertarian fantasies.

  54. 54
    mclaren says:

    Notice how you don’t see any more Supreme Court challenges to Roe v Wade? Reagan, the cruel man with the kindly smile, and his co-conspirators talked lots of trash about repealing Roe v Wade in the early 1980s. Now, not so much.

    Same deal here. After 10 more years of this, Republicans won’t even be talking about trying to repeal the ACA.

  55. 55
    TriassicSands says:

    Sooner, I suspect it’s going to take a lot more than Pope Francis to remold the Catholic Church into a force for good in the world. There is only so much one pope can do, especially when fundamental issues of faith are at odds with reality.

    I don’t know if the Catholic Church is better off without you, but I have to believe you’re better off without the Catholic Church.

    Besides,, Pope Francis, for all his comforting words, can’t create a god that doesn’t exist and never has. (Leaving aside the issue of whether there is some kind of supreme creator or being, there is no rational reason to believe that there has ever been anything remotely like a personal god who takes an interest in the lives of his/its creation.)

  56. 56


    Notice how you don’t see any more Supreme Court challenges to Roe v Wade?

    Sure you do. They’re just challenging it a little bit at a time around the edges rather than trying to get the whole thing thrown out. They’re pushing for limits on abortions at 20 weeks instead of third trimester, adding arbitrary and unreasonable rules about the staffing and layout of abortion clinics, requiring doctors performing abortions have admitting privileges at the local hospital, etc. None of those things should be legal under Roe v. Wade, but they’re trying to push them through to weaken it.

  57. 57
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Yatsuno: pretty entertaining team to watch. Seeing Seattle makes me miss home (from Victoria)

  58. 58
    Wally Ballou says:

    @Ash Can: And then dump the whole works onto the head of the nearest RCC bishop?

  59. 59
    Culture of Truth says:

    Sperm need to fertilize an egg. Anything else is an affront to God. You go, sperm!

  60. 60
    Yatsuno says:

    @Just One More Canuck: When I was in high school, the highlight of the spring marching season was going to the Victoria Days parade. Of course this meant crawling all over Victoria and getting into various levels of trouble. I haven’t been back in ages, but I’d love to see the Parliament building again and this time actually have the money to have the high tea at the Empress. Being a Navy brat has disadvantages.

    I wish Carroll had more huevos. 4th and 1 on the 2 you really should go for not settle for the chip shot kick.

  61. 61
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Yatsuno: Never liked that UW hired him, they can do better than a U$C retread.

  62. 62
    Yatsuno says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: A week ago he was promising he wasn’t going anywhere. Shows how much that is worth.

    Don’t get me wrong, Wazzu will lose Leach in a very similar situation. But we’ll fight tooth and nail to keep him around as long as possible.

  63. 63
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Yatsuno: Kinda worried that UW will go after Mora, he was playing for UW when I was there.

  64. 64
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Yatsuno: I was in that parade a few times myself.

    Tea at the Empress is definitely worth it, and then you can wash down the sandwiches with a couple of gin & tonics at the Bengal Room

  65. 65
    gelfling545 says:

    Though I was born & educated in the Catholic Church and I am really pleased to see the Francis putting the emphasis of the faith back where it would seem to belong, I doubt that I would ever return to the RC church. Too much water has gone under that bridge.

  66. 66
    jonas says:

    For phucks sake! Would the Jehovah’s Witnesses be allowed to run a hospital and deny an accident victim a blood transfusion? How about some atheist hospital telling people they will be discharged on the spot if observed praying or reading religious material, regardless of their condition?

    If a Catholic hospital won’t perform a medically necessary procedure due to their religious sensibilities, they should be required to transport the patient, by medivac copter if necessary, to the nearest hospital able to perform the procedure with the understanding that they bear full liability for anything that goes wrong in the meantime.

  67. 67
    MikeJ says:

    I don’t think the Ain’ts are going to be much of a threat.

  68. 68
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @Yatsuno: I dislike Leach intensely. He can win games, but he seems like a nutso control freak, even by football coach standards. And he just radiates a sleazy aura.

  69. 69
    aimai says:

    @Aji: There was a shocking case a year or so ago where, as you say, the bottom line briefly triumphed. A Catholic hospital gave such horrendously bad care to a woman pregnant with twins that she lost both of them. Shemight have died as well, I don’t remember. Her husband sued the hospital for negligence, incompetence and malpractice and the hospitals lawyers argued that the babies (who were at least 8 months) were not babies but fetuses and so didn’t really count. They were going to go with that as a defense until it became public and the Churchs lawyers realized that this was a total nonstarter.

  70. 70
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    One of the problems with banning the Catholic Church from running hospitals is that there are a lot of places in the vast hinterlands where no one else wants to do it. If you outlaw them then some of these places won’t have any hospital services, not just the ones the Catholic Church doesn’t want to provide.

  71. 71

    @aimai: Fetus for me, but not for thee…

  72. 72
    scav says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN): Actually, at the moment, the for profit hospitals are also enjoying areas where they can corner the market on health care and charge at will monopoly pricing. Churches aren’t doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. Sure, they’ll whine about religious freedom and the goodness, purity and charity of their motives but blah blah blah BS. They’re cut from the same cloth, only theirs has more gilt and they’ve a couple of extra get-out-of-regulations excuses. The amount of profit administrators / shareholders expect out of health care (like so much else in business) is obscene.

  73. 73
    David in NY says:

    @burnspbesq: Pretty damned proximate when you issue policies that you know are going to cause pain and suffering to someone in violation of ordinary medical norms. Sorry Burnsie, this is not Palsgraf. (Cf. prison health care cases, where prison policies cause delays in treatment, and pain and suffering, and violate the Eighth Amendment).

  74. 74
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Gypsy Howell:

    How is this not an infringement on my religious beliefs?

    YOUR religious beliefs are irrelevant. Why do people so obviously overlook the obvious? Catholic means everyone, everywhere, must adhere to their rules, no matter if it actually endangers their lives, which are, of course, the personal property of some red-beanied Vatican crimonious clerk.

  75. 75
    smike says:

    Sonnergrunt, I like that you are critically analyzing your reconsideration of the religion. Back when I was still considering religions (brought up Southern Baptist and left them due to extreme displays of hypocrisy), I almost converted to Catholicism. I hit a brick wall – or maybe, an ice wall – at the end of the process when I refused to deem the pope infallible (there were contraceptive issues, as well). At any rate, in the ensuing 40 some-odd years religious organizations have remained just as they were. Beware of them all, and live your life as you see fit. Living life in consideration of your own beliefs, as messy as that process is, is worth the try. And the absence of dogma is a plus! The good that any religion does need not be based on any sectarian belief – as the secular community ably demonstrates. If you think there is a god, go for it (but do not intrude on others). If you don’t think there is a god, go for the same morally based things (non-intrusive behavior still perhaps a good idea).

    Oops… out of pennies. Sometimes two is all you got.

  76. 76
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:


    Worse than bush.

  77. 77
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @smike: Totally a bargain. Well said.

  78. 78
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:



  79. 79
    Origuy says:

    The Seventh-Day Adventists also run a lot of hospitals. The Adventist position on abortion doesn’t appear to be as rigid as the Catholics, but I don’t know how it is in practice.

  80. 80
    Mike with a Mic says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    There is a dirty secret about church “charity” that we tend to gloss over.

    The church is in the business of putting asses in pews and winning hearts and minds. Charity has been one of the most effective ways of doing this for ages. The church may provide excellent medical care, education, shelter, and food for reasonable prices or even for free if needed, but it’s not all out of altruism. When you are dependent on the church for your medical care and food that comes at the prices of accepting what the church believes and following it’s teachings.

    For a lot of churches this is about a war of power with the state. Whenever the state steps in to provide a service it usually crushes all competition. You just can’t compete for volume, efficiency, and the state writes the laws anyways. Whenever the state gets out of something there is a massive vacume that anybody else can step into. Many places lack the income for profit seeking vultures to step in, but they have bodies that can be put in pews and people that can be converted.

    If a church can’t push it’s values then it would be insane of them to still provide services to these areas. The entire reason for taking the loss or just breaking even is to create more Christians.

    An NGO I worked for handled a lot of healthcare work and the Church was always one of the organizations involved. There are really two options. The first is to find funds to create facilities that will offer the services the church does not, the second is just to throw your hands up in the air and say “fuck it, no healthcare for anyone in this area, at all”. Forcing a church to take actions against what it’s trying to get people to do is asking them to shoot themselves in the face. They won’t, they’ll cut their losses and let whatever operation they have rot.

    One of the reasons social conservatives hate things like social security that many of them depend on is for exactly the same reasons. Once the government got involved and made sure people could retire there was no more need to pack multiple generations under the same roof and let the elders control the world view and values under the threat of landing in the street. Or the church would give you money. But if you didn’t agree 100% on the social and cultural issues and work on them everyday those donations to keep the roof over your head would go the fuck away.

    — For the record I know not all religious people want what I’ve described above. However taking desperate people, turning them into Christians by making them depend on the church (which is why they are so scared of government dependency, they can’t control them), and then controlling their lives is what the church does… and charity is it’s main tool for this.

  81. 81
    jonas says:

    @Origuy: The main feature of the SDA institutions I’m familiar with that is characteristic of their religious beliefs is that they serve you all-vegetarian meals. But getting veganaise on your gardenburger does not, last time I checked, threaten your health or your life.

  82. 82
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @Roger Moore:
    Don’t forget. According to some, the ACA was a big sellout to big pharma and insurers. Worse than bush, etc.

  83. 83
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):
    They shouldn’t be outlawed. They should be required to provide basic and competent medical care. They’re hospitals, after alll.


  84. 84
    fuckwit says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: My religous beliefs dictate that anyone can fuck anyone who enthusiastically agrees to fuck them. And nobody should have to get pregnant or be made pregnant unless they enthusiastically want to raise a child. See, in both cases, the consent is the important part, and anything which violates that is offensive to my religious beliefs and is thus unconstitutional on 1st Amendment grounds.

  85. 85
    Bubblegum Tate says:


    I mentioned that case to a wingnutty Catholic I know, and the response I got was, “So what? Isn’t that what you liberals believe, anyway? They’re just arguing according to the parameters of the law.”

    And then he went on to rail against “moral relativism.”

  86. 86
    YellowJournalism says:

    @Yatsuno: I was a band geek my freshman year of high school. I had ankle problems and couldn’t march properly, so I walked behind the band and waited for my band mates to drop instruments. I was also too young and too goody-goody to get into any trouble outside the hippy hemp craft store and allow a braver friend to buy me a smiley face lollipop condom at another store. That trip was my only regret in quitting band. I never got to go at an age when things would get really fun.

  87. 87
    Yatsuno says:

    @YellowJournalism: If you had marched at Wazzu we would have met or at the very least you would know who I am. I kind of made a decent splash and freaked out a few folks as well. Some are still great friends even after all these years.

  88. 88
    cleek says:

    there’s at least one challenge being heard : Hobby Lobby

  89. 89
    Soonergrunt says:

    @cleek: but Hobby Lobby’s challenge is not to the mandate, but to the requirement to purchase contraceptive care as part of an insurance package.

  90. 90

    Pope Francis is saying the kinds of things that I needed to hear before I would consider returning to the Church. Well, words without policy are like faith without works–dead.

    This…Every time I hear someone praising this Pope, I think “big effin deal, he said something against current Church practices…he hasn’t actually changed those practices” More smoke up our proverbial asses.

  91. 91
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @aimai: Remember, the Bishops have their OWN morality and their OWN science. They set up sham bio-ethics panels and get right-wing ID proponents burrowed into government offices.

    It’s the arrogance of ignorance writ large.

  92. 92
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Kay: They just straight up fuckin’ lied to me when I was in high school about that shit. Maybe the ones saying it actually believed that crap themselves. After all, parish priests advise parishoners–what they don’t do is make “ethics panel” decisions at hospitals. And yet, they had to kind of know. My mother was forced to do that seaweed thing in the 80s when she miscarried and while she was 100% opposed to the fetus being used for medical research (because: prejudice, I guess), everything else about the experience at the Catholic hospital was traumatic as fuck. And that was a case with no fetal heartbeat so I really had no idea about how they, or at least the bishops, defined ‘life of the mother’, certainly a far cry from the anecdotes they told me. Yeah, I’m pissed.

  93. 93
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @mclaren: Move out of Massachusetts and keep talking that shit, pardner.

  94. 94
    J R in WV says:


    Actually, any lawyer that didn’t is probably violating the law, because this is an ongoing criminal enterprise. RICO the whole outfit, if you ask me. Turn the assets over to a real non-profit non religious organization, and provide real benefits to those in need.

    You don’t need gold and jewels to worship any god worth believing in.

    You certainly can’t allow women to suffer and die as the result of some reproductive health failure under any moral code I would subscribe to. If you don’t want to provide a complete set of health care to everyone in every circumstance, then don’t get into health care.

    @GHayduke (formerly lojasmo):

    And you need your head examined. No one can remain silent to protect those who would rape and molest children.

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