Do the Catholic Bishops Trust God?

14 Feb

The Catholic Church, through its Bishops, is currently fighting tooth and nail to deny women access to contraceptives- birth control. The Catholic Church believes that contraceptives are immoral, and that women should never ever use them. With the new concept of no-copay birth control, the Catholic Church wants the right to refuse to provide women with access to this basic healthcare- and they want to extend this ability to refuse to any business. This is a dangerous situation for women all across the United States.

There are many arguments against the Catholic Bishop’s position. I’m sure you’ll hear them all over the feminist blogsphere. But I think there’s one idea you will not here shared everywhere: The Catholic Bishop’s position on denying women access to birth control shows that they don’t trust God.

If you’re a Christian, you believe that God is all powerful. He is capable of anything, and He can change our world however He wants to. If the Bishops truly believed this, why would they be so worried about birth control?

If God willed for a specific woman to have a child, then no earthly measures could prevent that (this might sound terrifying for some people, but for Christians it’s usually combated with “God has the best of intentions”). Birth control can fail, even when taken correctly. This wouldn’t be God interfering with free will, but interfering with biological reproduction- just like He did when Mary became pregnant with Jesus, even though she never had any sperm in her
uterus/fallopian tubes, ever. Some methods of birth control may, possibly, somehow, sometimes make it slightly more difficult for a zygote to implant in the uterus (the science on this is still being questioned and debated). Even if this is true, more difficult isn’t impossible- God could ensure a zygote burrows happily into the lining of the uterus without a problem. The same is true for emergency contraceptive, which works by preventing ovulation. If God absolutely wants a specific woman to have a child, He could just ensure she ovulates before she has sex. Again, this is control over biological functions.

If a woman does become pregnant, despite using birth control, the choice of whether or not to carry the pregnancy is then between her and her God — and again, we must trust that the all powerful, all loving God will lead her on the path that He has planned for her, having brought her to this point.

Knowing that God is all powerful, and His will can’t be stopped by using birth control pills, I have to wonder why the Bishops are so worried about including access to birth control. Do they not trust God? Do they not believe He is powerful enough to overcome birth control if He wants to? Do they believe God’s Will can so easily be avoided just by swallowing a daily pill?

I trust in God’s ability. There is absolutely no reason for the Bishops to deny women access to contraceptive. Matthew 18:15-17 says that if someone sins, you should tell them alone, then with some friends, then tell the church- if he still refuses to listen, treat him as a person who does not believe in God or a tax collector. It does not say, “refuse him access to whatever he used to sin.” So if the Bishops think birth control is a sin, they should treat people using it as non-Catholics- still human beings- and not deny them access.

If the Bishops believe in the power of God, they should allow women access to contraceptives, because God’s will is stronger than anything on Earth. However, if they do not believe in God’s power- if they cannot trust God to do what is right, then perhaps they should continue taking this issue into their own hands.

14 Responses to “Do the Catholic Bishops Trust God?”

  1. Edward February 14, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    The Catholic Church is not seeking to deny women access to contraceptives. This is the central myth of this story as promulgated by abortion rights activists. The Church in this instance isn’t even seeking to deny women access to abortifacients.

    What the Church seeks to defend is it’s constitutional right and freedom not to be forced by government to violate its own beliefs.

  2. JD February 14, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

    This must have been penned by an Atheist.

  3. Richard February 14, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    Edward:

    Why does the church seek to distance themselves from the US Government when the People of the United States of America (Government) afford them tax-free benefits? Shouldn’t the church listen to what we tell them to do with the money they are able top retain because of the status We (Government) allow them to operate under?

  4. Hugo February 14, 2012 at 10:20 pm #

    What the catholic church wants is to have control over women’s sexuality

  5. Arual February 15, 2012 at 1:53 am #

    We are not refusing this mandate because we do not have faith in God. We are refusing this mandate because contraception is not in God’s plan for us, and we choose not to support it.

    As a person who is pro-choice, I would think that you would respect our right to choose what to do with our own bodies, and our own money. By not paying for YOUR birth control, I am not saying you cannot have it – I am just saying I do not want to be the one to pay for it.

    What do you say to that? Why do you think my choice should be taken away, and I should be forced to pay for something I believe is wrong?

  6. Serena February 15, 2012 at 8:52 am #

    I think you make some valid arguments – despite Edward having a legit argument.

    Regardless of what religion a woman is, if she uses birth control, that’s her business. From the Catholic point of view, 98% of Catholic women use birth control. They’re obviously using it because they want to control their fertility, not just for fun an games. And if someone gets preggers while they’re on the pill and they need to decide whether or not to keep the pregnancy, it’s totally between that woman and God. Period.

  7. KushielsMoon February 15, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    JD, I can assure you I’m not an atheist.

    Edward, my problem is that the Catholic Church is an institution- a corporation, if you will. And I personally think rights of an individual person come before any rights a corporation might have.

    Arual, as I said to Edward, the position held by the Bishops isn’t a position that is protecting individual’s rights and choices, it’s protecting an organization. Individual Catholic women use birth control- 98% of them. I hope the Bishops will choose to respect the choices of Catholic women.

  8. Dylan Walker (@SkeptimusPrime) February 15, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    @Arual The reality is that you cannot always get what you want in government. The government regularly spends money on things I disagree with as well but the government cannot discriminate between different religious beliefs. If you think the catholic church has the right to refuse a normal part of medical coverage where would you draw the line?

    Scientology doesn’t believe in psychology.
    Jehovah’s witnesses don’t believe in transfusions
    Christian Scientists don’t believe in ANY medical treatments. (I suppose their medical plan would just be a piece of paper telling you that you’re screwed)

    Should these people be able to eliminate medical coverage for employees because of their beliefs? If not, then you are demanding special privileges from the government which would a clear church state violation. However to support ALL of these groups would be tantamount to anarchy. People cannot simply ignore the law because of their religious beliefs.

  9. pictish February 15, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

    Edward, I call bullshit.

    This compromise allows church owned employers whose business functions are not inherently religious to avoid paying a dime for employees’ contraception – their insurance companies provide it directly. For such employers to be exempted from employment regulations (like mandated terms of insurance coverage) would be an ACTUAL violation of the establishment clause. Actual churches and synagogues (as employers) are already exempt and not subject to this compromise.

    PROPAGANDA FAIL.

  10. Arual February 16, 2012 at 2:26 am #

    KushielsMoon – The Catholic church teaches that contraception is wrong and therefore does not want to pay for it. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be forced to pay for something you believe is wrong. Not paying for your birth control is not taking away your right to buy it yourself.

    That 98% statistic is heavily misused and skewed as most of the responders who identified as “Catholic” were not actual practicing Catholics. Please look at this article for the breakdown on that: http://www.catholicvote.org/discuss/index.php?p=26675

    Dylan Walker (@SkeptimusPrime)- I draw the line when it’s my freedom being abused. Yes, different religions teach that different things are wrong. I believe that needs to be respected. We should not force jews to pay for bacon, catholics to pay for contraception, or Jehovah’s witnesses to pay for transfusions if they don’t believe in it. No one should be forced to violate their conscience in land where we pride ourselves by having the freedom to choose.

    No, we can’t ignore the law because of religious beliefs, but we can’t ignore our beliefs because of laws either.

    And I’m not asking for special privileges here. I just don’t want to pay for someone else’s birth control. In in the “land of the free” I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

  11. Steph February 16, 2012 at 9:46 am #

    Hi Arual,

    Actually, in the land of the free, it IS too much to ask. We as individuals don’t have the right to impose our morals on someone else, or the right to demand that the government make decisions based on our religious or moral code. I don’t want to pay for medically bogus crisis pregnancy centers, abstinence-only sex ed that has been proved useless time and again, or endless wars overseas. But I don’t get to make that call. Maybe I don’t want to pay for your doctor’s visits or thyroid medication. I don’t get to make that call either.

    It’s the government’s responsibility to make the best judgements based on public health and medical evidence, and that’s what they are doing.

    As for the Guttmacher statistics about Catholic women, I urge you to read the actual report: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/Religion-and-Contraceptive-Use.pdf

  12. Arual February 16, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    Steph – In America, we have certain rights and freedoms. Among those are the right to free speech, the right to assemble, and the right to practice your own religious beliefs. It is the government’s responsibility to protect those freedoms.

    In our Constitution, it says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Forcing me to pay for anything is a direct violation of my freedom. Forcing me to pay for contraception also happens to violate my religious beliefs, thus prohibiting me from freely exercising it. This HHS mandate disregards our Constitution, and violates the freedom we are ‘guaranteed’ as American citizens. I’m not okay with that.

  13. Steph February 16, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    Arual, you’re missing the point. You have the Constitutional right to practice your religion however you see fit. You do NOT have the Constitutional right to enforce your religious practices or beliefs on anyone else. If you’re uncomfortable with birth control, don’t use it yourself. You do not get to tell 99% of American women that they don’t have the right to access it. Furthermore, under President Obama’s compromise, Catholic institutions won’t even be paying for birth control. Insurers will be covering it directly, bypassing Catholic institutions completely. Birth control coverage is so obviously a red herring. What the Bishops really care about is power, especially power over women’s bodies and sexuality. That is not a Constitutional right.

  14. Dylan Walker (@SkeptimusPrime) February 16, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

    @ Arual

    So you really think if you worked for business run by a Christian Scientist they should have the right to not give you ANY insurance coverage? If you get sick and can’t afford treatment you should just die?

    The government has already mandated for along time that employers HAVE to offer medical insurance to full time employees. If you are a Jehovah’s witness and you run a business then sorry you DO have to pay for insurance that covers transfusions for your employees.

    These have been the laws for a long time, so I wonder why you haven’t complained about that since you seem to be so against it. I smell a bit of hypocrisy here.

    The world you want to live in would be one of pure anarchy, where ANYONE would get to break laws they didn’t like. The courts, gratefully, do not agree with you.

    This is not new, to quote from Reynolds V United states 1878 in regards to a case involving religious polygamy “to permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.” Sorry, the supreme court already ruled 130 years ago that your religious beliefs do not trump the law.

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