Praying Mentis

A Laymen's Journey into the Catholic faith.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Catholic Church and Oppression of Women II

A few days ago, during a political debate of sorts, an acquaintance suggested that the constitution should not be used to determine what is and is not a right.  This person was specifically reffering to the current patient and affordable act which he said was "irrelevant" to whether or not women's "rights" were under oppression by the Catholic Church. I had to pause for a second in order to process the accusation. Let me bring in a metaphor to illustrate my thoughts on this subject. Suppose someone decided to drop you off a cliff. As the culprit holds you 10,000 feet above the ground, you beg him to reconsider because you are afraid and want to live. In return he looks at you blankly and without comprehension. He says to you that it is irrelevant that you are afraid... after all, he is standing safely on the ground (which is arguably a very safe place for him to stand). He continues to try and calm you by informing you that he bought blue suede shoes last week for only $20! You continue waving your hands in the air telling them to stop this madness because honestly, shoes are the last thing on your mind. Finally, he gets irritated and begins to accuse you of ignoring him. So he loosens his grip entirely. The last thing you hear as you plummet 1000 km per hour towards the ground is the voice of the man still yelling, "Don't worry so much; I'll be fine!" The point that I'm trying to make with this metaphor is this: if you are the guy standing on solid ground, it's easy to stay calm. You aren't the one dangling over the cliff or having your rights violated.

Only in a day and age where religious persecution and tyranny are rampant would we not pause and ask whether or not a law that requires the entire population to purchase a product should be examined by the constitution at the law's birth. From a political stand point, the first question that must be asked in order to determine whether or not the Catholic Church can stand by Her principles is whether or not the constitution lets Her. So with this question in mind I am going to dive into this debate by first offering some context.

Catholic Institutions are self insured. When forced to "compromise" Obama promised that religious institutions no longer had to provide contraceptives, but that their insurers will. The problem with this "compromise" is that most Catholic institutions are insured by Catholic insurance agencies. This means that Catholic insurance companies will have to pay for contraceptives. 

With that having been said, I currently work for a company who will have to provide contraceptive services at the expense of my dollar. Yes, Obama's "new" plan essentially did nothing. It's like instead of taking candy from a baby... you pay a bully to do it for you. That way, you aren't actually taking the candy from the baby, someone else is. Clever, clever.
The government knows that the contraceptives (which will promote the act of sex and thus spread of STD's) and abortive pills (which usually increase the likelihood of cancer and hormonal inbalances) can currently be attained from almost anywhere. For an example, the halls of my old university. You want a condom? Go to the bathroom and you can buy one for a quarter. We are not arguing whether or not people should have contraceptives available to them. We are arguing whether it is an essential right guaranteed by the constitution which is why the government wants so desperately for Catholics to be forced to purchase the product. (Despite the direct violation of the constitution)

Obama's new plan allows for religious exemptions. For example, some Muslims and Amish are exempt because they view insurance as a form of gambling, which is forbidden by their religious laws. This further demonstrates the law's personal bias against Catholicism. Furthermore states are allowed to disallow Aids and Cancer treatments in their plans as they see fit. These sound like essential health services to me. Here are more ways that this is unconstitutional as cited by:

"Gender equality—because the mandate only pertains to preventive services for women, it requires coverage of tubal ligations, but not vasectomies.

Service to all in need—religious organizations lose their exemption under the 4- part test if they primarily serve those outside their faith, giving the organizations a strong incentive to curtail their work for the neediest in society.

Freedom of choice—people and groups that are still forced by government to fund and facilitate sterilization and contraception over their religious objections have  no choice.

Separation of church and state—the mandate has the government both interfering with the internal affairs of religious organizations, and favoring some religious  organizations over others by means of the restrictive 4-part test.


Thus, although HHS will brook no dissent regarding whether sterilization and contraception, including abortifacients, must be covered as “preventive services,” HHS is essentially indifferent regarding what is—or is not—mandated as an “essential health benefit.”  As a result, genuinely indispensable items under the important rubrics listed above may well be omitted from coverage, depending on the policy preferences of each state.  By contrast, states have no such discretion with respect to sterilization, contraception, and abortifacients—these must be covered, even over religious objections in many cases.

Taking just one example of “essential health benefits”—prescription drugs—the  state may define this category to require coverage of cancer drugs, AIDS drugs, and other life-saving treatments.  But HHS has no quarrel with a state that decides not to require coverage of drugs like these.  By contrast, HHS requires that state to cover drugs that, according to respected medical studies and the drugs’ manufacturers, may increase women’s risk of suffering from breast cancer, stroke and AIDS."

Here are some articles that address the effectiveness of Obama's plan for ruling the world, (and indeed that is what he is attempting... I am confused at how willingly people followed that ploy):
Philpott, A., Knerr, W., & Maher, D. (2006, December 2). Promoting protection and pleasure: amplifying the effectiveness of barriers against sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy. Lancet. pp. 2028-2031. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(06)69810-3.
This study shows that contraceptives vary in effectiveness. Anywhere from 60%-95% effectiveness for preventing STD's, where 95% is not the mean but instead an outlier... In addition to this the number abortions have doubled in Spain as a result of easy access of contraceptives in their society.
Now someone is bound to say, and indeed they have, that "the study was flawed because our societies are different", to which I say the following: the way a study works is simple. You introduce a variable that is not typically there and you watch the effects after adding that variable. This has been the method for science for quiet some time now, we cannot continually play the "science is not fool proof" card only now that the Catholic Church has entered the boxing ring. It would be like giving all boxers boxing gloves and the Catholic Church a pillow. I think it is time that we call out the contradictions of the media and its stance that science is fool proof when it is convenient, but also fallible when it is also convenient. What happened in Spain is discredited because science is fallible, but contraception is trusted completely because the science is infallible. 

In the situation with Spain, contraceptives were introduced and the abortion rate rose. We need to learn from the mistakes of other nations. The reason I posted this is because a massive wave of liberals have begun attacking the Catholic Church and accusing her of oppressing women. I find the view Ironic because no other institution promotes the dignity of women more than the Catholic Church. Indeed, it is ironic because society oppresses women, not the One, Holy, and Apostolic Catholic Church. 

When Society says that sex should be something that people do freely, the Catholic Church says, "Wait... please, for the dignity of women." We do not want men walking the street talking about how badly they want to go and "bang" another girls. When society says that pornography is a means of entertainment and a right that needs to be provided to the public, it is the Catholic Church that says that society is degrading the value of women and that it needs to stop. When society releases article upon article on the damaging affects of sexualization of women in society to the point where women are discriminated in the work force, are performing worse in school, aren't taken seriously in society, and are payed less in the work force, the Catholic Church is the only one that even suggests that we take a stand. Saying that the Catholic Church causes any of these problems is like saying slim fast causes obesity because people don't like to drink things that make them healthy.  =/

I will end this with a quote by G.K. Chesterton. "Society is becoming a secret society. The modern tyrant is evil because of his elusiveness. He is more nameless than his slave. He is not more of a bully than the tyrants of the past; but he is more of a coward."

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Catholic Church and Oppression Against Women Part I

So I know, it has been awhile since I posted last. I guess. But, I read a blog today that accused the Catholic Church of being patriarchal and that woman were only to be used as children bearing machines. He accused the Catholic Church of oppression against women. I kind of blinked… a lot. There are just so many ways to analyze this, here is one of many blogs on the Catholic Church and Oppression against women.

My first angle comes from the family life. What should happen in a family dynamic if said family has a child?
1.     Have a stay at home dad. (Wow, I literarily shuttered at the thought of that.)
2.     Have a stay at home mom.
3.     Day Care
4.     Leave the child at a zoo with nothing but a lazer gun and hope that wolves truly can raise children. (see Day care)
As a developmental psychology major we talk a lot about what works and what doesn’t in parenting. Let me just say that who ever is going to stay home with the child, in order for it to help the Childs confidence and promote the optimum psychological state of health, the provider must stay at home with the child for at least the first 4 years of its life. This is an undisputed psychological fact. I won’t bore you with the countless reasons why, but lets just say they will be severely emotionally challenged if they don’t. Justifiably so, many highly acclaimed psychologists and teach for America even, believe that the time period where the child develops much of who they are happens before the age of 7.

So we know the early stages of childhood are crucial to a child’s understanding of the world. How do we apply that? Many liberalist will say that women should give birth to children, and then, have the fathers stay at home, or put them in day care, or even more laughable, go to work and just forget about it. Lets explore each of those.

Women are more capable of soothing their children with Oxytocin that is released during breast feeding, breast feeding also reduces the chance of breast cancer by roughy 90%, and children recognize and are naturally comforted from their mothers voice more than any other voice. Scientists think this is because it is the first voice they heard since the mothers voice would have been all they could hear during the 9 months in the mother’s womb. What does that mean for guys? I’ll tell you. It means that you have literarily no means of calming a baby that is crying and soon you will be all too able to identitfy with Arnold Schwartzenager in Kindergarten Cop.
Children who are simply put into day care without a consistent provider to turn to for the first 3 years, come to resent their parents and develop emotionally short of those who had a consistent provider (Consistently at home for 3 years... which is why developmental psychologists say, make maternity leave longer, or there is no point in giving it.)

This is where liberalist say, But but—women will be independent and they… will have super powers and… they will be happier! If by super powers you mean they will report  feeling that they did not understand their roles and had a greater incidence of depression.  Then yes, they will have that. Most women who worked and were mothers for their children reported as not having enough time and not having enough time to be a wife and mother, and this identity conflict caused them to feel depressed.

Now, I am not saying that women should never work in their lives. I think that they should and If a family is struggling and they need the income they should go for it. I have also read that women who worked after their children are in school reported having the highest satisfaction, had children that developed properly, and reported having a 100% likelihood of having superflying skills, X-Ray vision, and super strength. Let's go super moms!

Let me just end with a quote by John Paul II in Mulieribus Dignitatem, "It is commonly thought that women are more capable than men of paying attention to another person, and that motherhood develops this predisposition even more. The man - even with all his sharing in parenthood - always remains "outside" the process of pregnancy and the baby's birth; in many ways he has to learn his own"fatherhood" from the mother." There is so much more that men have to learn from women, including how to love. As Catholics we embrace an egalitarian society, we acknowledge that women are the forefront of civilization and are the archetype of humanity. We acknolwedge that there are some things that women can definitely do better than men vise versa. What you do with that information is up to you.