|Quite appropriate that the silencer on this American lamb is a black collar.|
I've been watching this current 'religious freedom' crusade of the USCCB with a certain amount of cognitive dissonance. I haven't been sure what's really been going on. As Bill Lyndsey notes in his current post on the shenanigans which went on inside the Komen Foundation relative to Planned Parenthood, the Catholic pro life movement is aligning itself with some pretty ugly agendas in it's monomania with abortion. My cognitive dissonance comes from the fact I really have a difficult time believing our bishops have any deep personal motivation for this monomaniacal attitude about the issue of abortion--as opposed to their anti gay marriage crusade. With that crusade I can easily see a great deal of deep seated personal psychological motivation for some of them to beat their breasts about the so called evil gay agenda. But abortion, and now birth control? I don't see any real personal motivation other than career advancement. Maybe that 's because this monomaniacal focus seems to have worked very well for Cardinal elect Tim Dolan, the gregarious smiley face of this strategy and Archbishop Charles Chaput, the not so smiley face.
If it's career advancement pushing this fight with Obama, that just kicks things up another notch to the Vatican. Why would the Vatican be interested in the USCCB creating a war with the Obama administration over birth control in insurance coverage? Especially given Catholic employers have already been doing just this in some form or another in 28 states and a whole host of other countries, and lay Catholics have utterly rejected the teaching on birth control? I have finally had to admit it doesn't have anything to do with abortion or birth control or the good of the souls of the laity. It has to do with protecting the hegemony of the power distribution in Roman Catholicism and enhancing it's perceived global foot print. This is a war that has nothing to do with the body of Christ and everything to do with duping the laity into continuing to allow the bishops, and through them the Vatican, to be the ONLY voice heard in Catholicism. It is a covert attack on the power of the laity to have a voice by appealing to tribalism for us to just hand our voice over to them. It is directly in keeping with the mindset of the past two popes and this current Vatican who have made it a point to disembowel Vatican II teaching on the Church as the People of God, any power for the laity, and the teachings on subsidiarity. That this solo voice also speaks for the interests of the 1% should not go unnoticed, because it is this 1% with whom our hierarchy wishes to maintain it's primary association. The rest of us are expected to ignore all that while we eat our bread and maybe get to drink our wine.
In case readers haven't figured out by now, I am really angry about the brazenness of this campaign and it's duplicity. If mainstream Catholic writers and editorialists refuse to see this and insist we lay Catholics support this so called 'religious freedom' crusade, I will be generous enough to assume it's because they draw their daily bread at the sufferance of one bishop or another. I am not in that position and so I feel very free to call this campaign what it is--an attempt to destroy the power of the alternative lay voice in the Roman Catholic Church by having us meekly hand it over to them.