Tag: Catholic Church

Francis I

There’s a new pope in town and, by the Church’s standard, he’s pretty revolutionary:

  • The first non-European Pope since the 5th century.
  • The first Jesuit Pope.
  • The first original Papal name since the 10th century (I don’t count John Paul as original).
  • I find the Jesuit thing the most surprising. I never thought we would see a Jesuit Pope. He’s 76 so we’ll see how much of an influence he has. But my first impressions are positive. There’s some noise on Twitter about him opposing abortion, same-sex marriage and contraception (Twitter, apparently, is shocked that the Pope is Catholic; no word on how Twitter feels about what bears do in the woods). But my first impression is positive. I think it was a good choice.

    Pill Fight!

    I believe I’ve made it clear where I stand on the whole “forcing religious charities to cover birth control in their insurance policies” issue:

    1) I am pro-choice (mostly), pro-birth control, pro-women’s rights and anti-Religious Right Nutbaggery.

    2) I think forcing insurance to cover birth control is misguided and a ridiculous intrusion into free markets.

    3) The religious issues the Catholic Church has with this mandate only increase my opposition.

    The bullshit on this issue, however, is only getting deeper with each passing day. The latest layer of manure being slathered on by the Left is the poll that shows that a majority of Catholics support the measure. But this is such an obviously bogus argument, I feel lame even responding to it. First, it doesn’t matter if 90% of the public support the idea; it’s still wrong. Second, it doesn’t matter if the majority of Catholics support it; it’s still a violation of religious liberty for those who don’t. Our Republic is not supposed to be about the majority forcing their will on a minority. Third, the point is especially bogus because the Catholic Church has an official leadership. And even though they are obscenely out of touch with reality (today, they offensively withdrew their apology for letting the sex abuse scandal happen), they are still the leadership and they still set official policy for innumerable vital hospitals, schools and charities. And finally, the poll states that “Majority of Catholics Think Employers Should Be Required to Provide Health Care Plans that Cover Birth Control at No Cost”. But there is no such thing as providing birth control at no cost. All the mandate does is hide the cost in higher insurance premiums. So the poll is based entirely on a false premise.

    But the question I keep returning to is this: Why? Why are fighting this fight? Yes, Wonkblog, you had a thought?

    And a lot of this likely isn’t about Catholic voters at all.

    Rather, it may well be about the demographics that are most supportive of this particular health reform provision: young voters and women. In the PRRI poll, both groups register support above 60 percent for the provision.

    Those two demographics are important here for a key reason: they were crucial to Obama’s victory in 2008. Third Way crunched the numbers earlier this month and found that the “Obama Independents” — the swing group that proved crucial to his 2008 victory — are, as Ryan Lizza put it, “disproportionately young, female and secular.”

    In other words, its about rallying liberal and independents and trying to paint Republicans as religious extremists. It’s about the election.

    This is why Obamacare was a bad idea and why it will become a worse idea. Thanks to PPACA, every healthcare decision, every insurance provision, every medical approval is politicized. We have an HHS making decisions on health policy based not, as they assured a million times during the PPACA fight, on facts, data and science … but on polls, demographics and interest groups.

    It’s only going to get worse. The bill for all these mandates is only going to get bigger. And the process will only become more politicized.

    This is why you don’t put the government in charge of healthcare. Because, from now on, every medical issue is going to become an exercise in political bullshittery. Every drug and procedure will carefully probed for which interest groups support it rather than how effective it is. Our entire healthcare system will be seen through the lens of politics, not science.

    Pay close attention to the Pill Fight. Because this is just the beginning.