Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Thought for the day

If forcing Catholic hospitals to pay for "morally offensive" birth control is wrong, why is forcing me to pay for bombs and bullets, bombs and bullets that my religion holds are moral abominations, just fine and dandy?

- Badtux the Friendly Penguin


  1. That should be a billboard....on every major highway!

  2. Religious POS hypocrites. This should be part of their bitch as well they love life sooo much even if it's only - well you know.

  3. I imagine that the main difference is that you aren't required to directly pay for bombs and bullets while in this case, the Catholic church is being forced to directly pay for birth control. A subtle difference to be sure but a real one.

    A better way to look at this is that once you find yourself doing business, you must obey laws that protect people regardless of your beliefs. That means that even though I am an atheist, if I run a business, I must follow the law. That means that I can't refuse to hire someone for being Catholic for instance. And maybe I think there are too many people in the world. Too bad! I still have to provide my employees a health insurance plan that includes birth and delivery care even if I would prefer to offer abortions and not pay for anyone to actually have a child.* If I can't follow the law, then I don't deserve to be in business. It is simple as that.

    I think the Catholics and others should step back and think about that for a minute. They often give lip service to "The Golden Rule" but if they were ever treated the way that they treat others, they would cry foul in a heart beat.

    *Not my actual views but just a hypothetical example. I actually don't have any real problems with those who choose to have children.

  4. Uhm, no. The health care tax is a tax just like the bombs and bullets tax because it's enforced at government gunpoint, it's just a tax going to a private insurer rather than directly to the government. Calling it a "premium" is just a sop to the people who scream "socialism! socialism! Keep your government hands off my Medicare!". If we had single-payer this would be more clear, but instead we implemented Romneycare on a nationwide basis, so we get this weird setup where a tax isn't a tax because it's going directly to the folks handling the claims paperwork rather than taking a turn thru government hands before making it to the folks handling the claims paperwork (the same insurers handle Medicare claims as subcontractors).

    Money is money. I don't have it whether the government is forcing me to pay it to them directly, or the government is forcing me to pay it to a third party that's implementing the government party. So you're saying that if the government required me to pay Blackwater (or whatever their current name is) directly rather than call it a tax, that'd make it somehow more morally offensive to pay mercenaries to kill people? Either way, it's still money out of my pocket going to kill people.

    So the only difference between Quakers having to pay for bombs and bullets and the Catholic Church having to pay for birth control, both as part of their taxes, is... what? In both cases we're being required to pay for something our religion holds is morally offensive. Should anybody be required to pay taxes for things their religion holds is morally offensive? What about religions that hold that *all* government activities are morally offensive, like the First Church of Rand, Ayn? You simply can't run a government that way. We tried it, back in the Articles of Confederation days. It didn't work.

    - Badtux the Taxed Penguin

  5. I get it that you don't make the distinction. I don't either really except that I suspect that mandated payments are less efficient than just using the already established infrastructure of the IRS to collect the money. But clearly there are those who do make a distinction between mandated payments to third parties and taxes. If people didn't make such distinctions, we would already have a single payer health care system. These are the same people who see major fundamental differences between things like fees and taxes and get mad if you point out that things like bus fares are a way of putting more of the tax burden onto the poor.

  6. Political power.

    The Catholic church can still deliver a lot of votes (though probably far fewer than they think on this issue). So can the fundagelicals, a surprising number of whom are against birth control. The Quakers, not so many votes. Your Church of the Mighty Herring, or whatever you call it, only a few votes.

    The fact that the vast majority of Americans support birth control has been made to be a side issue, and the cry is "Religious Freedom" because people respond to that; I did before I thought the issue through carefully.

    Of course the whole thing is a sideshow carefully crafted to direct attention away from the economy, which is finally improving. Every unemployed person who's found a job, starting in the last few months and leading up to the elections, is a potential vote for Obama. And the only job-generating plan the GOP has to offer is to poison every aquifer between Canada and south Texas.

  7. Karen - 97% of Catholic women say they've used contraceptives. Somehow I think any votes that the Catholic bishops believe they can deliver are in the *negative* direction, because you know some of those women would have voted for Republicans until this thing happened.

    Lynne: We have an entire industry devoted to the reality that humans are not rational. But I'll talk about that later...

    - Badtux the "Go Bishops! You're great for Dems!" Penguin

  8. I have to admit that I thought Obama's "compromise" was especially elegant. I loved how it took the whole idea that a mandated payment is different than taxes and came up with the whole "you wont have to pay, the insurance company will be required to provide it"

    Especially funny was watching some of the news pundits realize that essentially making the insurance company pay instead really is the same. And it is the same in the exact same way that mandated payments to private parties and taxes paid to the government directly are the same. They either stick with their original distinctions and go along with it (because they aren't being forced to pay) or they have to admit that direct payments to third parties and taxes aren't as different as they claim. Brilliant!

  9. I blame that ancient misogynist, Saul of Tarsus. He hijacked Christianity. Then the murderous, politically opportunistic Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus sealed the deal by making it the state religion, which meant stamping out all the competing naturist earth-mother cults. That's how Mary Magdeline came to be a post-humus prostitute.

    It's all really quite ugly, and had no basis in any kind of morality.

    But conservatards don't know any of this.

    In Jebbus name,

  10. Oh, JzB, I am so with you on the Saul of Tarsus thing!


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