I was just reading an article on NPR about the GOP's attempt in New Hampshire to amend its law requiring coverage of contraception in all prescription drug plans that has existed since 2000. I quote from the article:
"I wasn't here back in 1999," said Diane Murphy Quinlan, chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Manchester, "and we didn't have a full-time lobbyist in the Legislature. It's possible that it was missed."
The diocese isn't itself directly affected by the contraception mandate because it, like the state's largest Catholic hospital, has chosen to self-insure. But if the church gets its way, contraceptive-free insurance may soon be widely available on the open market.
"I ask that all of our people of good will support that which is in the best interest of that which gives life, that which sustains life," Bishop Peter Libasci said during a recent news conference. The diocese helped draft the bill, which would free any employer, be it an auto repair shop or a metaphysical bookstore, with a religious objection to birth control.
Notice it isn't employers that are voicing concerns about this and drafting legislation to amend the current law, it's the Catholic Church. There is something fundamentally wrong with our legislative process when religious institutions are allowed to lobby lawmakers, draft legislation, and do so by hiding behind the face of God. I call your bluff, religious zealots, and say unto thee that God need not be any religious follower's scape goat anymore. Come out from behind your mask of divine righteousness and show yourself for what you truly are: members of an institution that have realized they can no longer effectively control people from the pulpit, so have moved to overtake our government in order to regain control of the masses.
This is the religious equivalent of Corporate Personhood. It is Religious Personhood, and it has no place in our legislative process or our government. The true definition of Separation of Church and State and why it exists is to protect people like me, a self-proclaimed non-Christian that you, unfortunately, cannot burn at the stake or ruin by casting me out of the village. Separation of Church and State mandates that no person shall be subject to the doctrines of any religious body that would prevent them from living their lives as they see fit. It does not mandate that Religious Institutions are people, and are therefore protected from secular legislation because it violates its religious convictions. This is the larger issue that we must all confront now as women must once again enter the fight - which they never should have given up - to demand a secular government.
We must be aware that these religious affiliates view this as the penultimate fight of the Catholic Church. The Church is angry that it has lost its power and blames the government for reducing its territory and power of persuasion. It is demanding that it be protected from the government because the government protects the lives of Non-Catholics, sinners, whores, and heritics and rock-n-roll, protected by the 1st Amendment, is the work of the Devil. These followers of Catholicism view themselves as Soldiers of God ready to fight the good fight. This is common language used by Opus Dei members. It isn't confined to Protestant Evangelicals, and they will join with Protestants to win this war so they can go back to fighting the real enemy: other Christians. But, now, we must fight back to ensure that we are not oppressed by these small people who crave nothing more than absolute control in the name of the Divine, on whom none of us have ever laid eyes.
My only consolation is that the Church has no control over me, and when those priests, bishops, cardinals, and the Pope go to bed at night, they nash their teeth over it. This consolation may be short lived.