There is a passsage in the Bible that clearly states that a man whose testicles have been crushed can’t get into Heaven. I’m serious, and so apparently are the very important, very pious, and very close to God leaders of the Catholic Church. To borrow from Krugman, Very Serious People have decreed that President Obama’s decision to force the inclusion of contraception in the policies of employees of religious affiliated organizations, is cause for a wholesale revolt among the nation’s Catholics.
Knowing some of the nation’s Catholics as I do (I was, after all, an altar boy and did graduate from a Catholic high school…Go Gaels!), I was a bit perplexed by all of the hoopla. While I haven’t actually asked my parents whether they used contraception (we are all relieved by that decision), my guess is that they did; and I really hope that Dad isn’t going to Hell for the deed. Hey, nuns along with at least one Very Serious Lay Minister (a prototypical older, married but cold English teacher), informed me that sex was a mortal sin, and that dying during sex would get me a ticket to Lucifer’s playground.
I burned incense every Sunday morning, and made a great living (by the standards of a 13 year old) serving weddings and funerals. I was not about to mess with that gig. Then I grew up, and realized that it wasn’t sex that was bad. I learned what most mature, well-adjusted, and decent Americans know. I learned what the rotting and quickly pointless central structure of the Catholic Church still hasn’t figured out. Sex is the most natural, most beautiful, and most profound expression of love that two people can share. While it is a responsibility that needs careful consideration and reflection, it is something that the overwhelming majority of adults can handle just fine without the Catholic Church giving any advice.
And as to the insurance beef…get over it. Insurance companies have to detune policies to exclude contraception, because most include it as a basic part of the formulary. This move isn’t an attack on faith; if anything, it is a frontal assault on abortion and sexually transmitted disease. The President’s decision doesn’t force the use of contraception by anyone, and the addition of these products to the formularies of Catholic hospitals and universities isn’t going to raise anyone’s cost. Other notions to the contrary currently being peddled by the non-ordained and self-appointed spokespeople of Catholics are just silly nonsense. Most of America’s Catholics know all of this, just as most of them (98%) use contraception. The Catholics I know still look to their priests for spiritual guidance, they just don’t ask them advice on family planning. And really, aren’t we all glad about that?
This is a ridiculous non-issue, and we don’t have time in our democracy for non-issues.
The Rational Middle is listening…