Sunday, February 12, 2012

Rants: The Current Rage

The rant below is one of my comments in a thread at Vox Nova concerning the recent controversy over mandated birth control in health insurance coverage provided to employees at Catholic institutions, such as hospitals and universities. I first quote an excerpt from another readers' previous comment, and then launch into my own screed:

@ Henry Karlson

“This is also something constantly forgotten when bringing up religious liberty: it is not just our religious beliefs that are in the nation.”

The fact that you even need to point this out, and the fact that the whole discussion of the issue is entirely pointless without this fact in mind, is precisely indicative of the type of Catholic exclusionary thinking of which I have been complaining with regard to the question of the closed communion.

If it is not possible to be a good Catholic in a secular and pluralistic society, then perhaps this is not the best society for Catholics to inhabit? I say this seriously. This nation was originally founded by Protestants. And the Calvinists (and other Protestants), against whom I continually hear some Catholics railing, founded it in order to be able to live according to their own beliefs.

Maybe the Church should just get out of the hospital business? I’m sure that for-profit corporations will buy them out. Maybe Catholics should not be running colleges and universities if they necessarily need to be employing non-Catholic staff who will want to live according to their own religious beliefs (or lack thereof?) Or maybe they need to shrink to whatever size a fully-Catholic staff will be able to support?

Nobody is asking Catholics to use birth control (although apparently they do so anyway.) Nobody is asking Catholics to have abortions. The idea that it’s fine and dandy to use medieval Scholastic verbal gymnastics such as “material cooperation with evil” to try to control – in very fundamental ways – the lives of non-Catholics, is just wrong. In this country, it’s wrong. And I’m not sure in what country it might be right. Can you think of one?