Friday, February 10, 2012

Women vs. Religion Part 1

Women of the world will never be free of male dominated oppression until the major world religions are either abolished or radically changed.

This begins a series of rants on religion - all major world religions, but specifically Christianity - and how it oppresses women. I've been contemplating writing this for a while but refrained while I got my thoughts in order. The thing that really pushed me to start writing this is the current battle raging over birth control.

The hot issue of birth control right now has me absolutely irate.

Obama announced a Health and Human Services mandate, as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), that Catholic Church run businesses (hospitals, universities, and other non-church related businesses) must provide insurance covered contraception to its female employees with no co-pay. This law applies to all businesses, not just those run by churches. However, churches themselves are exempt from providing this to their church employees.

This is not something new either. Twenty eight states have had similar laws on the books for years. In fact, in 2007, when the Catholic Charities of New York bristled against the New York law requiring them to provide contraception to their employees, they petitioned the Supreme Court, and were denied.

What has me really angry isn't the fact that the churches and the religious right are pushing back, that's to be expected, but that they are calling it an attack on religious freedom.

Excuse me? I must have not read the ACA properly. I missed the part that said Americans no longer are free to worship as they choose.

While this mandate does not impinge any one's religious freedom, the Catholic Church and the religious right are most certainly doing their best to impede the religious freedom of anyone who is not Christian by attempting to force their views upon our lives.

Churches are running businesses and employing people. Their employees have to pay taxes, and the Church has to follow the law as do all employers.  I guarantee not all of their employees are Catholic, so why should they be forced to live according the the doctrines of a faith that is not theirs? As for the Catholic employees... well, most of them ignore the Church's archaic doctrine on contraception and use it anyway. In fact, recent surveys show that they also want birth control coverage.

Furthermore, the majority of birth control pill users take the pill for reasons other than contraception, such as endemetriosis, poly-cystic ovary syndrome, excessive bleeding, hormone induced migraines, loss of bone density, and acne prevention.

Oh, and the Catholic Church's employee health insurance covers Viagra...

This isn't about religion. It is the age old practice of the male-dominated religions putting women under their thumbs. It's the whole Madonna/Whore dichotomy being played on the national stage.

Women must be punished for wanting to have sex for pleasure.

For further reading on this topic:

1 comment:

  1. The radicalized religious right in this country is brought up from cradle to grave to believe that "something" is out to get them [whether it was blacks, the devil, communism, or more recently the illusive "NWO"]. This has for generations created a deep seated persecution complex which has them perceive anything that changes [or proposes to change] the way they do things as a direct attack against not them as a cultural group, but the fate of their souls & the souls of the people around them.

    Ever notice how every year around December American Christiandom's far-right comes out to talk about this big conspiracy against Christmas, and how the radical preachers of this group will get their followers fired up about things like people saying "Happy Holidays" or spelling Christmas as "X-mas"? This is because of what I am talking about here. It has become a pillar of their religion, and has left them constantly worrying about fighting "The Man" without being able to see that they are "The Man"

    The religious far-right is the most powerful political faction in North America, and has been for a very long time. But since they don't see that they are "The Man" they only see when their existing status quo practices are challenged or halted.

    When Perry did that political ad [the one when he was wearing the jacket from Brokeback Mountain] the specific example he used to show that American Christianity was somehow under attack was the idea that today's kids "cannot openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school." Whether that's a factual observation of reality is irrelevant. There are plenty of Christians in the far right who are old enough to remember when public schools forced their students to read from scripture as a normal part of day to day schooling. This practice was rightfully overturned in the 1960s, but from their position what they see is not that "now all students can go to a public school without a teacher forcing them to read from a religious text they don't believe in" but instead see that "When I was little our teachers were able to teach us morality using the Bible, and today they can't; and low and behold we have a problem with immorality [gangs, dissent, cheating, violence in schools, general "Uppity" behavior].

    So of course they'll see this as an attack on religious freedom; in the same sense that they saw it as an attack on religious freedom to force them to stop forcing nonbelievers in k-12 to make daily biblical lessons/readings. They're deathly afraid of the government circumventing their parental authority and anything they perceive [real or not] as a challenge to that; like say, gov mandated insurance forcing their employee health plans to cover contraceptives in their eyes might do something crazy like "letting their daughters go get the pill without their permission" or their wives "Plan B without their husbands knowing when they don't want to have as many kids as he does." Etc.

    Part of me thinks this part of the reforms wouldn't have been such a big deal if it were going on 15, 20 years ago instead of today. Since now they have all these outlets to get the outrage out [i.e. fox news, the internet, etc.]. I don't remember seeing as much outrage over Christmas greetings when I was little, but at the same time when I was little they still allowed Halloween in the schools [since banned by many around here, because the Religious Right thought it was causing the Paganization of students against their parents' wishes] thereby helping to usher in the PC cleanliness & emphasis on neutrality that they themselves have the most problems with.