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posted: 6/30/2012 5:00 AM

Bishops' stance only subjugates women

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The U.S. Catholic bishops' fight with President Obama has nothing to do with religious freedom and everything to do with politics and the maintenance of patriarchy -- the religious and secular systematic denigration of women.

Every American women has a right to good health care, and that includes contraceptives and whatever else she and her doctor determine is needed. The fact that Catholic universities and hospitals employ and serve people of many faiths and persuasions and both genders requires that they respect their employees' religious liberties as they respect their own. They do not own their employees. They are not their religious superiors or civil judges. The requirement that contraception be included in their insurance is a matter of universal conscience.

The bishops' stand against contraception has no moral theological basis and it is not an infallible papal pronouncement. It is a matter of individual choice and no one is requiring them to use it. Contraceptives are also regularly necessary to treat several medical conditions not related to sexual activity or conception. Their denial to anyone is unconscionable.

It is understandable, given that history shows that the church's teachings at one time included the world being flat and the sun revolving around the earth. I have a harder time forgiving them for their participation in partisan politics. They deliberately try to blur the line between contraceptives and abortion and the line separating church and state. They oppose justice for women across the board, or should I say aisle? It seems they are also using the freedom of speech, granted recently to corporations as though they were individual citizens, to enhance their stance. The U.S. bishops are leaders and backers of the political war on women and war is not the answer.

Berna K. Gingras


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