Catholics Want to Force Non-Catholics to Do as They Do:
You know, the Rude Pundit could understand why Catholics and other religious groups (and opportunistic politicians) would be upset about the Obama administration's HHS decision, which require that all employers who provide health insurance ensure that the policy covers women's contraception, if, say, it required all women working at a Catholic Church-affiliated business or institution to take birth control pills. He could understand if the new rule required that all pills be shaped like Jesus or Mary or eucharists. He could understand (but not sympathize) if the rule also said, "And abortions for all Catholics." But it doesn't. It merely says that, with exceptions like churches, if you provide health insurance, you gotta cover contraception. The rule itself is devoid of any mention of religion. This uproar is over a clarification of the law about how it applies to religion-based employers, like, say DePaul University.
Essentially, if Catholic bishops and others get their way, if you're an atheist or agnostic woman who works cleaning bedpans at a Catholic hospital, where, in all likelihood, a significant percentage of the staff is not Catholic, the hell with you and your contraception (unless you work in one of the 28 states that already have a similar rule or work for one of the many, many Catholic-run hospitals and colleges that have contraception in their insurance policies...because, really, most Catholics, like most Americans, support contraceptive coverage and are against the religion exemption, and the Pope can shove an IUD up his Nazi ass).
Now, unlike so many others who are going around screaming, "Freedom of religion" or "First Amendment rights violation" or some such overdramatic shit that they didn't shout when, you know, the Bush administration enforced a similar rule, the Rude Pundit's not gonna pretend to be a constitutional scholar. But he's pretty fucking sure that if you impose your religious beliefs on your employees, and the government allows you to do so, that's more or less establishing religion. You have the right to practice your faith. You don't have the right to infringe on someone's right not to, especially if your ass receives money from the federal government, like, say Catholic University.
This is one of those situations that drive batshit crazy those of us who believe that government shouldn't be carving out any exceptions for religious groups (save for cases where it affects no one except the practitioner, like peyote-downing). You don't let your sick kid get medical care? Fuck you, you go to jail. Your conscience won't let you dole out certain drugs to women at your pharmacy? Fuck you, get another profession. You've been told you have to keep your hair or face covered at all times? That's just fucking sad. But, no, you can't enter government buildings.
'Cause, see, to a growing number of us, this all comes down to whether or not the law is offending your particular invisible sky wizard. And if we have to take everyone's personal invisible sky wizard into account when putting together laws, then we'll get a Swiss cheese of wildly different enforcements, rendering certain laws null and void, except, of course, for those that all religions agree on. The ghost of Benjamin Franklin should be kicking all our asses right now.
Of course, none of this current anger really has much to do with upholding the moral code of the Catholic Church. Otherwise, we'd be seeing John Boehner and Mitch McConnell out there demanding the end of capital punishment and the beginning of a fuck of a lot more programs to assist the poor.
No, as usual, this is about how the right-wing outrage machine can be cranked up to 11, especially in the wake of the Planned Parenthood triumph in the Susan G. Komen Foundation funding affair, and how poll numbers and money can be raised on the bodies of women. It's about who controls those bodies: the women, who can choose whether or not they use contraception, or their employers, who can make the expensive drugs impossible for their female employees to afford. Or right-wing religious leaders, who have been trying so hard to wrangle the unruly female body back into the maternity ward and the house. Or the GOP, who must just no longer give a damn about women voting for them.