With all of the bluster a bishop could wish up
The Catholic clergy are making some noise
We hear them defending their privilege with snivelage,
With moaning, and tears, and complete lack of poise
Their habit of unfettered spending was ending
(“Our money, our rules”, as the White House explained)
When strings are attached to a dollar, they holler—
They’d much rather work with their funds unconstrained
Though priests wish to ban birth-controlling, the polling
Says people in pews are a whole different sort;
The people are more contraceptive-receptive—
Most Catholics use them, by latest report;
The bishops’ control has been shrinking, I’m thinking,
They’re aching for relevance now, you’re aware;
But sadly, their days in the clover are over…
I’m trying real hard, but I’m failing to care.
Bit of a rant, after the jump:
It’s all over the news, in one spin or another. The bishops are crying “religious persecution”, and at least some people are buying it, or appearing to. Like Cranston, and Big Mountain, and the Camp Pendleton Cross, the forces of secularism are attacking those pure-hearted religious people again and again. Except that it’s not an attack at all. It is nothing more, nor nothing less, than the very sight reeling in of privilege–the beginnings of treating religious groups like any other groups, when they are acting in the guise of those groups.
They have special privileges when acting as churches. Ok, so long as any other belief category is given equal privileges when acting in equal capacity. But if they are acting as schools, hospitals, adoption agencies? If they want government money, they should be expected to follow government rules. Government money is all of ours, not just theirs.
This does not impinge on their rights to do what they will with their own money. If they want to claim that some of the government money is theirs, they might want to give up their tax-exempt status first. And as long as the data show that rank-and-file Catholics are overwhelmingly using birth control, the bishops cannot claim to speak with the voice of their flock. They are wanting it both ways–exempt from paying taxes, but free to apply their religious restrictions when spending ours. This is not fairness; this is privilege. It is wrong.