What They Think It Means

You’re getting newsy bits until I can stay awake and focused long enough to do some writing again. From the Secular Coalition for America:

Last week, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a proclamation that called for every priest, parish and layperson to participate in a “great national campaign” to “defend religious liberty”, which they said is “under attack, both at home and abroad.” In fact, there are more than 100 upcoming “religious freedom” rallies scheduled nationwide.

Oh, yay. Of course, the word they’re actually looking for is “theocracy”, which becomes apparent when you look at sites like this one, owned by the Catholic Newman Center at the University of Washington.

Not only does the site ask “Do women have too many rights?” It takes it one step further.

The right to abortion is considered a “reproductive right” by many. They say it is the right of a woman to exercise control over her body, but is that what the issue is really about? What if in this case, human rights and women’s rights conflict? Is the woman’s right to her body more important than the child’s right to life?

Yes, it tells us that women are no longer automatically human with respect to rights once they become pregnant. It disguises that the church doesn’t recognize a woman’s right to life in this situation. It also simply asserts that an embryo or fetus has a right to life without laying out any reasoning for that assertion or acknowledging that (1) this has not, over the course of human history, been held to be true and (2) any purported god apparently disagrees.

(Aside #1: This site is advertising a talk by Abby Johnson, whose inspirational story about abortion holds up neither chronologically nor scientifically. Aside #2: The prayer of Cardinal Newman, after whom the Catholic Newman Center is named, ends with the following: “Let me be Thy blind instrument.  I ask not to see – ask not to know – I ask simply to be used.” Yeesh.)

But remember, no matter whose rights the Catholic bishops attack, no matter how they try to legislate their religion, it’s their “religious freedom” that’s under attack.

What They Think It Means
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6 thoughts on “What They Think It Means

  1. 2

    Yup. We, as a culture, by and large do not believe that human life begins at conception. The Catholic church, as an institution, actually seems to have very little interest in actually changing that culture. By for some reason, they want to make abortion the focus of pretty much everything they do.

    The only rational way to think about it is that it’s not about “saving babies”, it’s about controlling women.

  2. 3

    And seriously, in NO CASE does an individual’s right to life trump another person’s right to bodily autonomy. NEVER. So I need a kidney and you’re a match? Too bad–I don’t get to force you to give it to me, even if you’re my parent. So you could save lives by going to give blood? Well, we can applaud you for doing so, but we can’t *force* you to do it.

    So, yes–right to bodily autonomy trumps someone else’s right to life, otherwise we have no freedoms at all (remember that whole “give me liberty or give me death” thing?!). It should be exactly the same for pregnant women, because in contrast to the curious phrasing above, women are in fact humans and deserve human rights.

  3. 5

    Unfortunately (as mostly seems they do), the bishops got it wrong:
    “defend religious liberty” is a misnomer – it should be “defend
    religious tyranny” then it’d be accurate.

  4. 6

    When the church that thought it was a great idea to use the police power of the state to torture and burn alive religious dissenter claims to be a defender of any type of liberty, let alone religious liberty, one has to wonder if words mean anything at all.

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