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.