I was raised as a Catholic. My family went to church every Sunday for more than half of my life. My mom taught CCD, my grandmother sang in the choir, my grandfathers were Eucharistic Ministers, and my cousins were altar servers. It’s fair to say that the teachings of the Catholic Church have had a significant role in my moral development. However, I am also an average woman with modern American values. And the values of Americans have changed over time to include groups of people that were previously ostracized. Sadly, not a single institution ostracizes people like the Catholic Church and their current target is women.
The Obama Administration began their “War on Religion” a few weeks ago with the announcement of a mandate in the President’s much scrutinized health care plan that all employers must provide insurance coverage for birth control pills. Naturally, this didn’t go over well with the Catholic Church.
The church famously preaches abstinence until marriage at which point they believe contraceptives of any kind are unnecessary. However, what the male dominated religion may not know is that besides preventing pregnancies, birth control is also prescribed for acne, heavy periods, and regulating estrogen levels. Fifty-eight percent of Catholic women agree with the President’s decision and 98% have admitted to using contraceptives. Therefore, I don’t see the argument. Women want and need birth control pills. Why is it fair that we should pay more for a simple solution to common health issues because they are gender specific?
The Catholic Church has a long history of targeting women though. During my eight years of religious education I was led to believe that women should not have sex before marriage. If a woman chooses to sin, by giving in to the natural human urge, and has sex she should not use contraceptives to protect herself against diseases or unwanted pregnancies. In the case of an unwanted pregnancy women should not, under any circumstances, including rape and incest, get an abortion. Women who have children out of wedlock are going to Hell.
Their hypocrisy is off putting to me. They tell us that we are surrounded by God and that He made everyone perfectly and loves equally and as his servants, they are supposed to be preaching those ideas. Instead they make it their business to ignore the idea of separation of church and state and voice their conservative opinions any time the progressive government makes a decision they don’t agree with. Now they are making the case that the government can’t force a religious institution to provide healthcare coverage that conflicts with their values. I say, as long as Catholic affiliated institutions are taking government funding they should be forced to comply. Additionally, they should respect that women know what is best for them health wise.
By now you’ve probably guessed that I don’t agree with many of the things Catholic leaders preach about and I stopped attending Mass regularly quite some time ago. It wasn’t because I lost faith in God. It’s because I lost faith in the Catholic Church. They have lost sight of what is most important. Their mission is to spread the word of God and last time I checked, that word was Love not Damnation.
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you” - John 15:12