Only A Few Catholics Sue The President.

It is a small group of Catholics going to court against the President’s policy of requiring birth control in Catholic health insurance.  The vast majority of Catholic Bishops, Dioceses, colleges and universities and members are not participating.

There are 194 dioceses but only about a dozen have chosen to join the lawsuit.  Just a few of the 200 Catholic colleges and universities have signed on.

To an outsider, the lawsuits appear a risky gamble to retain moral standing for Catholic clergy after the sex scandals.  The new scandal of Vatican cover up of financial corruption make the stakes even higher.

The Catholic concept that only certain human beings have been designated to understand the spiritual realm is one that must have made sense in Europe a thousand years ago, but does not fit the American experience.  Europe, steeped in Kings, Queens and Dictators holding hands with clergy, might have been the ideological setting for the only-they-talk-to god political concept there.  The U. S., so it seems to me, was founded on the idea the common man has some rights and ability to figure this stuff out for himself.

The Catholic heirarchy has doubled down its bets to retain authority.  It does not want to open government in the Vatican,  reveal its corruption,  yield equal status to women or conform to the policies of its funding entity.

Maybe it’s headed for a comeuppance.


35 Responses

    1. Buzz 2:34 Thanks for your assessment of me. People are welcome do make whatever observations they wish.

      It would be a service to other readers if you would share your comments of issues I discuss–such as why a few Catholics are suing the President and the majority seem to have little interest in doing so. As I recall, the diocese of Los Angles took a pass on suing as well as some other very large ones.

  1. Stan

    Jon, if only one parish sued in each district court it would be enough. We had thirty people protesting against the Church here a week ago. The local paper made it sound like we should bow down because a whole 30 people, some who were NOT Catholic, were protesting.

    When the ACLU files lawsuits does every office file?

    1. Stan

      No, Jon the question for you is how many WOULD be enough for you? The law is not on how wide spread, but is it violating the First Amendment. 13 of the largest diocese and 43 other institutions and 12 separate lawsuits covers a lot of ground. But really if it was 1 parish and it was found to be unconstitutional the law would be invalid.

      How big is the lawsuit you have against the 10 Commandment memorial in Fargo and does it have the support of every atheist in the Red River valley? Probably not, but it is still going through.

      1. Stan 1:28 “No, Jon the question for is how many WOULD be enough for you?”

        I wrote the blog to illustrate there is not widespread support for this effort to criticize the Fed Gov’t and Obama. You are right the legal case does not depend on numbers. The press has portrayed the effort as being very popular with Catholics.

        1. Stan–5:39 “..if the had added more we would have heard about ‘piling it on.'”

          You might be right there.

          All I’m saying is that the lawsuits have been portrayed as representing widespread Catholic opposition to the President’s policy. If the percentage of Catholics using birth control and the small number lodging legal protests represent evidence, there is not widespread opposition.

        2. Stan

          How many thousands of people are represented in this lawsuit? In YOUR opinion it is not widespread. Among the people IN the church who I am in contact with we ARE supporting this. I just don’t think we need every name of every church member who does support it on the lawsuit.

          As we have heard from from others, what an individual does that is not approved by the church is between them and GOD. That does NOT force the church to change what it feels is moral. We admit the Catholic Church is NOT a democracy but it is also not compulsory, if you don’t like it ….leave.

          1. Stan 1:17 You are correct, it is my OPINION it does not have widespread support. You are also correct, I am sure, the majority of people you talk to support it.

            I’m just repeating the evidence–widespread use of birth control, few entities falling in line with the establishment’s position.

          2. Wanna B Sure

            Still a regional poll. (New York.) Probably get the same results in San Francisco. At least you can’t blame a more conservative paper for fudging or twisting the results. Politicians are guilty of that, especially at election time. Jon; you must remember that a Western MN Democrat is more conservative than a Mpls. Republican. Most strong Democrats I know talk and conduct their personal business like a Republican, yet vote for FDR, in spite of who or what the Democrat is.

          3. Stan

            “though Catholics narrowly approve, 51-45”

            This is also a city that lets Bloomberg regulate their salt intake and is planning on banning soft drinks over 16 ounces.

            NYC is NOT a microcosm of the United States.

          4. Stan, Wanna I think you both have to admit it does not reflect widespread support for the heirarchy’s decision to go after Obama.

            And, Stan, about Mayor Bloomberg’s desire to regulate salt and soft drinks, we need to roll it into the health insurance coverage, like smoking. The more you play, the more you pay.

            Trouble is, most conservatives and people who call themselves captialists don’t like to pay for their mistakes or for costs they can push onto other people.

          5. The Mayor of New York is a bright guy who made millions selling services to some of the most financially astute people in the world. Surely he’s aware that a tax of soft drinks is a better solution than banning large cups. Doing so would more effectively address consumption and raise revenue for health initiatives at the same time. Unfortunately, even in NYC, the public has no stomach for any proposal that contains the word “tax”.

          6. Stan

            Jon, polls say Minnesotan want voter ID by a count of 80% for 20% against, yet there are people who will still bring it to a lawsuit. Try polling this somewhere beside NYC and see what happens.

            I really didn’t think you were a nannystater reading most of your posts, but I see as a freethinker you believe the government should have control of our lives. Isn’t that just substituting one master for another? Aren’t you worshiping at a different altar. But then again you have held office so it shouldn’t be a surprise that you would want to control people,

          7. Demosthenes

            @Stan June 1, 2012 at 7:02 pm

            On the topic of voter ID which I find interest. Minnesotans want ID to vote by law? Then I say we enact mandatory voting similar to federal and state income taxes. Everyone who can vote has to vote.

            You want to see a great republic in action? You do mandatory voting and the pandering of the political party bases will disappear in a few short years. The left and right wing nuts will become white noise in the political arena instead or the gladiators they are now.

  2. To be fair. At its founding the good old USA concentrated power with landholding white men, not terribly different than the church. Of course that was 225 years ago and our secular institutions have demonstrated an ability to change and become ‘more perfect’ with time. A task that the church doesn’t seem to be capable of at present.

    Stan, from a legal perspective I agree with you, all it takes is a decision in one case at the Supreme Court to invalidate. Jon, if the point you were trying to illustrate is that internally there may not be as much support for the church leadership’s position as they’d like everyone to believe, I agree with you. The Roman Catholic church likes to present a monolithic front but it’s simply not true. There’s plenty of disagreement on this stuff from bishops, priests and lay people.

    1. Wanna B Sure

      Sea; Pretty much agree. Regarding issues within the RCC, there is Dogma, (things which must be believed for salvation), and non-dogmatic issues, (that which may be questioned). There are times the leadership would like to enforce non-dogmatic issues, and for the layity, some think some non-dogmatic issues are dogma, causing much unnecessary confusion. Eating meat on Fridays was one such issue. Even a Papal letter does not elevate an item to the state of Dogma. There is a term, “Creeping infallibility”, which tends to place Vatican pronouncements into the category of Dogma, which in reality it does not. Only when pronounced “from the chair”, and in complete agreement of the Magisterium, is something declared to be dogma. ( I am sure there is a lot of politicking going on then.) In the end, the Pope has the final say. Would that they put out a list of what is dogma, and which isn’t. That would clear up a lot of inner strife, and confusion. A little more transparency would go a long way.

  3. entech

    Stan says: at 1:17 pm
    As we have heard from from others, what an individual does that is not approved by the church is between them and GOD. That does NOT force the church to change what it feels is moral. We admit the Catholic Church is NOT a democracy but it is also not compulsory, if you don’t like it ….leave.

    Going by that statement I would think it likely that you would permit the following statement, perhaps even go at least part way towards agreement?

    “I say that the Church deviates from the truth in so far as it says that a man could not do anything in any way good on his own, since nothing praiseworthy can proceed from our corrupt infected nature except to the extent that the lord God gives us his grace… the Roman Catholic Church is a particular Church and no Christian should restrict himself to any particular Church. This Church deviates in many things from truth.”

    Pomponio Algerio was a civil law student and his theological ideas brought him before the Roman Inquisition. when he was making the above statement at his trial he wore academic attire to remind the court that as a University student he had the legal right to freely express his ideas and that church policy was to show tolerance to students.
    I am sure he would have loved the opportunity leave of his own volition, however, his departure was greased (so to speak) by boiling oil, it took 15 minutes for him to die. The church was under threat from many quarters, tolerance be damned.

    This was August 1556, not much time after the death of Luther and the developing reformation, counter reformation which were part of the lead up to thirty years of sectarian warfare.

    As the main thrust of this topic is birth control, it is worth noting that even where birth control is a secondary factor it is still anathema, medication for the health of the woman – where very often the illness would or, at least, should be a reason to avoid conception – is to be banned. The attempts to prevent the use of condoms (when I was young they were called rubber prophylactics = prevention of the spread of disease) as a way of helping to prevent the spread of AIDS in Africa is one of the least moral actions imaginable.

    Not a democracy, could that be why it was the church of choice for Hitler and Mussolini?

    I am surprised that your Lutheran and evangelical comrades let you get away with that one, you have neatly defined the need for and part of the reason for the reformation. Still looking towards to the next post “Deception and Faith” it is logical that you would all stick together against a common enemy that state an honest position – interesting that no one has attacked or defended the Gideons.

    1. Wanna B Sure

      Entech; Actually, the RCC has never been in favor of the Gidions, as the Gidion full Bible does not contain the Dutercanonical books, ( the Apocraphal books). Years ago, the RCC made it clear, and I have heard nothing to the contrary. My denomination has no association with the Gidions, organically, systemically, officially, or casually. On top of that all, they have a post reformation emphasis of pietism. Didn’t think it was necessary to fulfill your potential expectations, as it would have been akin to beating a dead horse. There, feel better now?

    2. Wanna B Sure

      Perhaps you should aim your concerns at the “Mainline” churches,” Fundamentalists, and the Charasmatics. I can’t speak for them or the Gidions.

    3. Stan

      Can you show me where the inquisition has killed anyone in the last oh, lets say 300 years? Of course a religion practiced elsewhere is killing people right now for either leaving the faith or just being a different faith and not converting. I rarely hear anything about that group here, but they are pretty well protected by the progressives in the US.

      1. entech

        Probably more than 400 years since any one was killed by the inquisition, and probably not as many as is often claimed. The Portuguese Inquisition in Goa is supposed to have executed about 60 out of about 17,000 brought to trial, another 60 odd were burned in effigy and wasn’t ended till sometime in the early 1800s (Spain ended about the same time if I remember. The inquisition still exists in the form of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Inquisition(s) and there were many more than is commonly known England, Mexico, France, were not all as murderous as they are depicted as a purely Anti-Catholic polemic and the case I brought up was only in response to your ” if you don’t like it leave”, this was not an option for hundreds of years, Goa for instance was specifically for Hindus and Muslims who converted and then wanted to change their minds, to “leave”.

        But you can’t reasonably say that we have to accept words written 3000 years ago and ignore actions taken 300.

        That places are unfortunate enough to have Islamic dominance in Government and where apostasy is punishable by death is enough to condemn that religion, that it was Catholic policy a few hundred years ago is also to be condemned.

        Remember Mohammad was a few hundred years after Christ, if you consider Christianity a few hundred years ago we have hope that things will improve

    4. Stan

      Hitler killed Catholics as well as Lutherans and Jews, in fact it didn’t matter who you were if you disagreed or even failed to agree with him. Hitler also banned smoking in many places, was kind to children and animals does that mean he was a progressive like our current nanny staters?

      Mussolini had no choice, when there was 80% professing Catholics in the country he could never had won without pandering to them. I think Mussolini was more of a liability to Hitler then an asset, because of him Hitler lost most of Africa and they were the weak link in the south of Europe and the Russian theater.

        1. Stan

          You have to watch those throw away lines, they are the one which bite you later. I can ask you this, how many generations are we to be blamed for actions done hundreds of years ago? If that is the case no one is blameless.

          If that is the case my Viking ancestors make me a slaveholder and a murderer. I am sure somewhere in your family history there is something to be ashamed of also.

          1. entech

            How many generations in thousands of years to change the interpretation and meaning of old writings thousands of years? Unlike Christians my Jewish friends, those responsible for most of those writings that you have changed, would say no generations to blame each man is to blame, to be responsible for, for his own sins.

            Hey Vikings invaded Britain before America was invented, and left a lot of genetic and linguistic inheritance.

          2. Stan

            Writings we have changed? Interesting accusation. Please expand, I am not sure where you are taking that?

          3. entech

            Merely that Jewish scholars and Christians often differ on what the original Jewish bible actually means.

  4. entech

    😳 “common enemy that state”, should be “common enemy than state an honest position”.

  5. Stan

    How many people to start a lawsuit Jon?

    MIDDLEBORO (CBS) — A statue that has stood in the same spot for 53 years is now at the center of a Constitutional debate.

    In 1959, Middleboro Kiwanis Club erected a 12-foot brick cross bearing the word “worship” on a traffic island on Route 28.

    Recently, the statue caught the eye of a Boston attorney who has since filed multiple complaints with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. The state declined to release the name of that attorney.

    The cross sits mostly on town land. The state owns a small fraction of the traffic island where it is located, and thus, the ACLU says, the cross violates church and state separation laws.

    A number of locals who spoke to WBZ-TV defended the statue, including Bob Kinney of the Middleboro Kiwanis Club. They argue that the statue is a local landmark.

    “For someone to go by it one time and complain, I think that’s sad,” he said.

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