The Catholic Church vs We The People

Karl Marx said of religion that it is the ‘opiate of the masses.’  In other words, it is the thing that keeps people in line, keeps them obeying rules that they are told by their respective churches are the rules of some higher power.  A disclaimer here:  While I am a non-believer, I fully respect the right of others to believe as they will so long as they do no harm and do not impose their beliefs on others.  But this is where the problem comes in.

I’ve railed long and loud about the evangelical Christians who would impose their will on us all if given half a chance.  They have cherry-picked their own religious tome and loudly proclaim those parts that suit their own conveniences, while ignoring other parts, such as “do unto others …”  But today, I am equally disgusted by the Catholic religion that is trying to do the exact same thing as the evangelicals, only on a grander scale.

From an article in The Washington Post

Catholic bishops on Friday voted to create guidelines on the meaning of Communion, a move that could be an early step toward limiting the serving of the Eucharist to President Biden and other politicians who support abortion rights.

The bishops voted 168 to 55 to punish the President and other politicos who support women’s rights. Let me tell you what this means in basic terms.  President Biden is a dedicated Catholic to whom receiving communion on Sundays is important.  This is a personal choice of his, he was raised in the Catholic church and is dedicated to his faith, as he has every right to be.  However, it IS a personal decision and cannot cross into his professional duties as President of the United States.  But this is exactly what the Catholic church is attempting to do … to threaten and bully our president into changing his stance on a critical human rights issue in order to appease the church.  BULLSHIT!

Make no mistake … the issue here and also with the evangelicals is not … I repeat NOT … about abortion per se.  The Catholic bishops and the evangelical leaders couldn’t care less about a fetus.  It is about women’s rights.  Period.  Back in the Dark Ages that ended only a couple of decades ago, women were considered chattel … they were dominated by males, were basically maids, cooks, and baby-making machines.  We finally got sick and tired of that status, rose up and demanded and fought for equal rights, and while we still aren’t quite to the point of being considered the equal of men, we’ve made one hell of a lot of progress, no thanks to most religions or church leaders.

President Biden is now faced with a decision … to obey the tenets of his church (new tenets, as it were, designed only to coerce him and other politicians who defend women’s rights) or to follow the will of We the People.  I have full confidence that President Biden will do the right thing, but sadly his personal religious life may never be the same.  A man (or someday, hopefully, a woman) should not be forced away from their religion in order to do their job!  They should not have to choose between their faith and their job!

The Catholic church, the various evangelical churches … they cannot be allowed to dictate whether or not women have the right to control their own bodies.  And isn’t it interesting that NONE of the churches seem to object to a man having a vasectomy, or conversely, a man asking his doctor for a prescription for Viagra so that he can … er … perform.  Again … women’s rights are on the chopping block if churches have their say.  Ask me again why I eschew religion, why I agree with Karl Marx, that religion is a tool that is used to suppress that which certain elements of society do not wish to allow.

What’s next?  Will the churches next demand that only men be allowed to vote?  Or that Blacks be relegated to the back of the bus once again?  Or that … well, use your imagination.  For every step forward we take, the religious right tries to shove us two steps back.

This nation has people of many different religions:  Muslim, Protestant, Hindu, Catholic, Mormon, Jewish, Buddhist, and others, as well as those of us who are agnostics or atheists.  We all pay taxes, we all vote, we all have the same constitutional rights.  The U.S. Constitution calls for a separation of church and state, which means that while people have the right to believe as they wish, no religion should define the laws that bind us all.  However, that is exactly what is happening when the U.S. Supreme Court rules discrimination is legal as has happened numerous times recently, the most notable case being the Masterpiece Cakeshop v Colorado Civil Rights Commission case.

I rarely condemn a certain religion, but today I am condemning the Catholic church for trying to leverage our President to return women to a state of chattel.  Harsh?  Sure, but also true.  As a woman, I’ll be damned if I’ll sit back and let a bunch of old, white men who wear 10th century garb and funny things on their heads tell me what to do with my body, with my life.  Were I to see a priest at the grocery store today, I would likely aim a head of cabbage at his head!

Ask me again why I think religion sucks.

41 thoughts on “The Catholic Church vs We The People

  1. I want to say in advance that I am not trying to be insulting or belligerent here. It just seems like your article is very one-sided, and I want to offer another perspective. Here are a few reasons the Bishops might be deciding to do this now:

    1. Abortion in the Catholic Church is considered murder. For us, life begins at conception. Even if you don’t believe that, most people, I think, would say they don’t know when life begins. So if there is a possibility that a fetus is a person, then we have to assume that fetus has a right to life if only to stay on the safe side.

    2. President Biden, despite how much I appreciate his demeanor and experience, actively promotes legal abortion – and even supports expanding it. Can you understand that for Catholics who actually believe their faith, he is essentially expanding infanticide in the United States?

    3. 70% of Catholics in the United States don’t believe the most basic and essential teaching that Jesus Christ is really present in the Eucharist (Communion). They don’t understand that when they take Communion while supporting, say, murder, and knowing that the Church vehemently teaches we should not support murder, they bring judgment on themselves. The priest’s job is to teach. Clarifying the importance of Communion is vitally important for US bishops. What’s surprising is that it has taken them this long to consider doing it.

    4. President Biden is probably the most prominent Catholic person in the world today aside from the Pope himself. If he blatantly disregards the teaching of the Church on this point and still claims to be a devout Catholic, and his bishops do nothing about it, what message does that send to the larger world and to Catholics in the pews? Those bishops would not be fulfilling their duty to guide Biden in his faith and set an example for everyone.

    On your other points, you make this sound like the church is trying to take over the government. If you call denying Biden a wafer every Sunday ( I mean, that’s all you think it is, right?) a take over, I have to wonder what you think separation of church and state means. The church has no power and no authority to tell the President which policies to put in place.

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  2. A cult, that has raped, tortured, enslaved, beat and brutalized and outright murdered children all over the world and not one of their scum leaders have ever paid for their crimes? Have no fucking right to tell anyone how to live or what to do.

    In my opinion? All Catholic Churches should be destroyed, all the wealth taken and given to the victims and survivors and all their Pedo Pimp Leaders, from Pope Franko to all the Cardinals, Bishops and Archbishops who covered up these crimes and protected their pedos? Should be publicly executed at the Vatican Square.

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  3. No man of faith can pledge to fulfill religious or political party adherence – to truly be faithful to God requires dissension. That being said, the gulf between Catholic idealism and Catholic clergy is too broad to sustain the faith, never mind lay Catholics practices. The politics of Bishops statements and committee was woefully childish and reactionary. Biden exposes publicly what it is to be an imperfect man accepting human realities beyond his command (the terrible complexity of women facing a physical, moral, and spiritual dilemma). No priest or man is properly positioned to pass judgement here. The communion question is a battle lost before it began. If you have to threaten sanctioning – you have already lost your authority to lead.

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    • Well said … your last sentence says it all. I understand that today the bishops have backed off and say there will be no national policy on withholding communion.

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    • But unrealistic. The world is already overpopulated and children around the globe go to bed hungry at night. Of equal importance is it is a woman’s right to decide what is best regarding her own body.

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    • Your god ordered his followers to rip the fetuses out of the wombs of pregnant women, from Tiphurah and other places. Which is abortion.

      Your god destroyed several cities in the buybull and killed pregnant women in those cities, which is abortion.

      Your god supposedly drowned the whole world, including pregnant women, which is abortion.

      You Christians have committed brutal abortions against pregnant Pagan, Jewish, Native American and other women.

      Screw you and your damn hypocrisy on abortion.

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      • MY god??? I am a non-believer … in my book, there is NO “supreme being” taking care of business down here on earth, else we wouldn’t have the plane crashes, wars, murders, pandemic and more that we have now. No sir, don’t blame ‘god’ on me … he damn sure ain’t mine! I’m as far from a hypocrite as you can get on abortion, buster, and don’t … DO NOT … disrespect me on my blog. I tolerate honest opinions and encourage civil discourse, but I do NOT tolerate being told to “screw” myself!

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    • In 2018? UNICEF showed how 3.1 MILLION children died that year due to starvation, EVERY YEAR.45% are children in third world countries. One in six children (100 million) in developing nations is underweight and one in four of the world’s children are stunted. Across the globe, 50.5 million children are estimated to be “wasted” (low weight for height) and 150 million children under five years old were considered to be stunted in 2017.

      But yeah, let’s have more kids huh? Freaking anti-abortion Christians need to just sthu.

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      • Perhaps you didn’t notice, buster, but I am for a woman’s right to choose an abortion. I am NOT an anti-abortionist! I agree that the world is overpopulated and it is unconscionable to bring more than 2 children into this world. Now … why don’t you try reading before you let lose your acerbic tongue on me!

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  4. OK. So I froze because my UK civil service brain had to process this one and not my usual gut reaction (later explanation).
    As much as it can be theoretically argued that the leaders of a religion can censure a follower for not adhering to the beliefs of the religion unless we are talking about a theocracy trying to pressure the elected leader of a democracy is a path that can only be viewed with suspicion. This is for the simple reason as pointed out the said religion is seen to be imposing its unelected views on the population in general; which is not democracy. Now some might say ‘Yes but a belief system will always have a stronger than hand a political one because of the Supreme Being, the fundamental system of belief etc, etc’. Well that would be fine if the Religion was spotless and adhering totally to the teachings, in this case of Christ
    When the microscope is narrowed….
    The Catholic Church has to purge itself of a great number of abuses before it gets around to trying to influence a president on one issue. As Keith points out the glaring one of sexual abuse of children (Matthew 18:6 ‘But whoso shall cause one of these little ones who believe in Me to fall it were better for him that a millstone be hung about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depths of the sea’) still is an accusation which will not go away. And that is the hill the Church will die on if it pushes this issue. (Theologians could tear this apart on the Communion Issues, which is between God, Christ, The Holy Spirit and the person)
    On a doctrinal issue. It would appear an abusive priest could still give out Communion because at that time he is in a state of grace. OK, if that is so, then a president need only go to confession and say ‘I might have sinned by signing this bill’ and a priest will be in a situation where he can forgive that sin if the president does a penance, the priest might tell him to work to turn the bill around, however the president can still go back and say he failed and has sinned. Now since God is all forgiving to the truly repentant and since the president has not defied a fundamental doctrine of the Church (Ex Cathedra) such as saying Mary did not give birth to Christ as a Virgin trying to hold him to changing abortion laws in stepping into territory that it is up to God to decide on…On the individual.
    Annndd this looks blatantly political anyhow. The Catholic Church in the USA allowed Trump all manner transgressions just because he said he was ‘Pro-Life’ (Oh please!). Just like the lesser case of the Catholic Church in the UK letting Boris Johnson (multiple divorcee) get a quick church wedding when other divorced folk had been tied up in Church law for years.
    In short, hypocrisy. Looks like they dug out the Sanhedrin playbook from the time when the local power groups were trying to bamboozle Pilate into helping them get rid of a troublesome radical preacher out of Galilee.
    (I write as someone who is very suspicious of abortion being sold to women as another means of birth control—read those words carefully folks….but that is an entirely separate issue which would take up another 600+ words).

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    • Very good assessment, Roger. One thing that I think many people don’t understand is that church and faith are not one and the same. Church is run by men and faith is one’s personal belief in God, Allah, Jehovah, or another ‘supreme being’. Church has men who make rules that … well, maybe because they believe those rules are what their god would want, or maybe for some other reason (and I can name several possibilities, but I won’t). My grandmother was ex-communicated from the Catholic church for divorcing her husband, and yet the church gave Boris its blessing even after multiple divorces. Where’s the consistency? Was something wrong back in 1940 that the church has now decided is okay?

      I’m with you on the issue of abortion being treated as simply another form of birth control. That does happen, though not often, I think, and it is wrong. Abortion should never be taken lightly, but again, it’s the woman’s body. Some states are trying to make it illegal even when the woman’s life is endangered. And what about the mother of 3 who just found out she was pregnant a week after her husband walked out on her? How’s she going to feed yet another hungry mouth? The funny thing about all this is that the very people who cry that abortion is murder, who call themselves ‘pro-life’, are the same people who consistently vote against such things as programs to help single parents, or families trying to live on a minimum wage income, they vote against affordable healthcare for such people, or rental & food assistance. But they would force a woman to give birth to a child that she cannot care for.

      It’s not an easy issue … people on both sides are adamant and both sides have some valid points. I can only speak as a woman, and I don’t want a government largely comprised of men telling me what I can or cannot do with my body. Of course, at my age it is a moot point, but … I’m fighting for all women, not just myself.

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      • I agree Jill.
        The old saw about Religion and Politics should not mix is not supported by History; they are in effect different sides of the same coin. You’ll encounter the same mix of Thoughtful, Well Meaning, Opportunists, Intolerance, Hypocrisy, Genuine, Revision, Selective Vision, In-fighting, Sacrifice ‘and so and so on’. Show me a Human Organisation and I’ll find all of those for you at some level.

        The issue which worries me on contraception is a societal one. This is a minefield path for a man to state, but hear me out; there’s a sting in it. If you look at birth control overall; it’s
        ‘Well lady, if you don’t want kids, we have all these fine devices. You can stick them up yourself, you can take chemicals to cause disruptions to your system or we can do invasive surgery. It’s your choice. Of course don’t ask us to do anything much, apart from these cute little bits of plastic, which do no harm to our precious parts. Oh no, that’s far too difficult, and we can prove it. No, as usual you take all the risks’

        I call it the MID (My Inviolable Dick)-Life Phobic. (I’m still working on the British Equivalent W for ‘Willie’ is more difficult than you would think).

        It’s the same in all walk of life. Males still want women ‘in their place’…..Males that is. Real MEN treat women as equals (albeit with our own set of ‘quirks’…as the other sex sees them).

        You are quite right on abortion, it should be a last resort when there are no other options; and no man should try and tell a woman what to do. That’s a form of statutory rape. Watch out Women everywhere; they will try and foist that on you at any time, any way; no matter how they try and dress it up or give it some cute name (Looking at you Incel- ) it’s all about trying to keep women in their place by Inadequates…. and there are a lot of them.

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        • Nothing I can disagree with you about here! You’re a good man, Roger … one of the best. If they were all like you, I suspect we women wouldn’t need such things as abortions, but sadly you are a rarity. The Catholic church puzzles me, for they are against birth control, but also abortion. One makes the other unnecessary … doesn’t it seem logical that they might move into the 21st century, understand that men and women, teens especially, are going to have sex and sometimes the result will end in pregnancy if birth control is not used? Anyway, thanks for your thoughts, Roger, and I agree with most everything you say! Sheila is a lucky woman!

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          • Thanks Jill for your kind words.
            As a convert to Catholicism it seems to me (and more concerned with what Jesus preached that what someone reckoned HE meant…meditate…ponder…reflect) the hierarchy want to keep things in some woolly-headed, never-happened era where after some children the man would say..
            ‘Nay my dearest wife, thou hast been noble in carrying, birthing and taking take of our brood of two, we must(eth) abjure for that which is allowed between husband and wife for some time until thou art of goodly health’….
            Whereas a couple not wedded would hold hands and share chaste kisses while thinking pure thoughts…..
            I think there’s something else in some of that incense.
            Either that or a big dollop of Hypocrisy.
            Or some theologians went straight from childhood and into cloisters and never met the real world.
            Meanwhile guys let’s keep researching that Male Pill.

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  5. I have a basic question of understanding the whole affair: Doesn’t the Catholic church has its head office in Italy/Rome, Vatican state? How come some barbarians from a far away colony can decide about what and why and how their very own “democratically elected” leader can receive the eucharist or whatev that thing is?

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    • Yes, the Pope is the head of the Catholic Church and he resides in Vatican City outside Rome. But as for the rest of your question … it’s a very good question, but I don’t know the answer. I did read yesterday that the Vatican had warned the Bishops not to deny Biden communion over this, but I also know that the Pope is adamantly against women’s rights, ie abortion, so I really don’t know if they can or will put a stop to this nonsense. Perhaps one of my other readers can better answer your question.

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  6. Jill, here is a quesion that I would like an answer to from those who voted yes. Why was it OK to turn a blind eye to pedophile priests for decades if not centuries? Why was it OK to move known pedophile priests to a new parish to prey upon a new flock of boys after some so-called training?

    It is one thing to say your against something, but the significant majority of US Catholic women did not adhere to the church’s position on birth control, so I guess they should be denied communion as well. I am religious person, but we need to check the hypocrisy and just try to treat others like we want to be treated. Since I believe a woman has a right to choose, I guess that precludes me as well from communion. Keith

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    • That’s an excellent question, Keith! I wonder how they would answer … of if they would answer at all.

      Both my mother and grandmother were excommunicated from the Catholic church. My grandmother’s “crime” was divorcing her abusive husband and remarrying, and my mother’s “crime” was marrying a Jewish man, my father.

      Yes, it’s one thing to believe something is wrong, but it is another to impose your views on an entire nation.

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      • Jill, thanks for the very good adds with your mother and grandmother. As for domectis violence, it is not just the Catholic church’s stance A woman I worked with said she went to her minister for help and he asked to see her and her abusive husband. He told her in front of him that if she was a better wife, he would not be beating her. She left that church and her abusive husband. Keith

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        • You’re so right about domestic violence, and a year or so ago I read a story very similar to the one your co-worker experienced. I think that especially in the South, many churches still view women as second-class citizens. I’m glad your co-worker left both church and hubby!

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  7. It’s a short step from getting the President to being pro-active on the side of the church to being the State Church to being the only Religion in the Country when followers of other faiths will have to worship in hiding which was virtually what brought the Pilgrim fathers to the Country in the first place. Church, cater to the needs of your folowers and allow the Government f the day to cater to the needs f the people as a whole.
    Cwtch

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    • I trust Biden not to take that short step, but you’re right … it’s a very short step from giving in on this one issue to becoming a theocracy. There are some here who would welcome that, but … obviously I am not one of them, nor I think are most people in this country.
      Cwtch

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  10. The American bishops are assholes. They actually have not jurisdiction in this case. The only requirement for receiving communion is being in a “state of grace” & that has nothing to do with whether or not you are pro-choice or not. & you can be pro-choice as a politician & against it as a Catholic, something that these idiots can’t understand. They want to make abortion a litmus test & being Catholic is NOT about abortion. & it never was.

    Full disclosure – I was raised Catholic & my family is still Catholic. I get this same shit from them. My sister says you can’t be “in a club” & not “abide by the rules of the club”. However, religion is not a club & there are no rules. Regardless of the religion, when push comes to shove, it’s between you & your god, whatever you call this deity, however you visualize this deity. My Catholicism is only cultural (my spirituality is Goddess-centered) but at least I don’t try to regulate the consciences of anyone else.

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    • Well said, and I fully agree! Long ago I came to associate religion with hypocrisy, and nothing has changed my mind since. Faith and religion are NOT the same thing, contrary to what some would claim. One’s faith should be between him/her and whatever deity he/she believes in. Religion is just the social trappings that purport to be about faith, but in truth is more about control. It will be interesting to see how the Vatican responds to this … so far, I hear the Pope is remaining silent.

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