Writes Andrew Sullivan in Newsweek:
"Most Catholics will be fine with this compromise, as are the Catholic Health Association and Planned Parenthood. But the bishops? They’ve gone out on a very long limb. This could be the moment when the culture-war tide finally turns and the social wedge issues long deployed so effectively by the Republican right begin to come back and bite them. [snip]
"...Contraception is popular. Even in conservative Mississippi, a recent ballot initiative to amend the state constitution to ban the morning-after pill failed badly at the polls. If this issue won’t work for the GOP in Mississippi, they’ll have a hard time winning a general election over it. And if the bishops think opposing Obama’s compromise will rally Catholics to their cause, they are even more out of touch than they realize. This will indeed become a wedge issue—between the bishops and their flocks. Yes, finally a social wedge issue that helps Democrats, not Republicans."
When I, a 63-year-old former Catholic, hear someone in the Catholic Church male hierarchy speak of "moral authority" or "religious freedom," I consider whether the Catholic Church was the "moral authority" or defended "religious freedom" in these cases:
-- the Crusades, Church-led murderous forays to recapture the Holy Lands from the Muslims;
-- the Inquisitions, wherein the most ghastly torture methods and murder were used for well over 6 centuries to "cleanse" Europe of non-Catholic believers, including Jews, Protestants and Muslims;
-- the Thirty Years' War, wherein the Church instigated the most horrific destruction and warfare not seen in Europe until that time, again to "cleanse" the continent of the new reformist movement, Protestantism;
-- its institutional anti-Semitism (i.e., the "Blood libel") up until recent decades;
-- its opposition to women's suffrage;
-- its tacit accommodation with the rise of fascism and Nazism in Europe in the 1920's and 1930's;
-- its policy against the use of condoms in the fight against AIDS in Africa;
-- its policy opposing gay and lesbian marriage;
-- its opposition to the health care reform act; and
-- its repeated efforts to protect pedophile priests, cover up their illegal activity, and deny the victims the dignity of timely restitution.
"Moral authority?" "Religious freedom?" Who are they kidding?