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My Take: Contraception politics makes good works difficult
The author has struggled to get contraception coverage from her Catholic employer.
March 16th, 2012
12:12 PM ET

My Take: Contraception politics makes good works difficult

Editor’s note: The writer was granted anonymity because of concerns this piece could jeopardize her employment.

By Anonymous, Special to CNN

I love the good works my job at a Catholic nonprofit group enables me to do, advocating for the poor, hungry, sick and homeless.

My passion for these issues comes from Catholic social teaching. From my Catholic grammar school to my Catholic high school, I absorbed these teachings into my DNA. As I came into adulthood at a Catholic university, my commitment to social justice guided me.

The most profound declaration of faith I can make is practicing the Catholic teachings about human dignity and about what my faith calls the “preferential option for the poor” in my everyday life.

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My work brings attention to people who don’t have corporate lobbyists representing them in government. I advocate for people too often talked at or about, not to, and never with, by the elite and powerful.

But I’ve come to realize that women are excluded from the Catholic notion of social justice, specifically the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ understanding of social justice.

The bishops don’t understand women or biology. They understand power and control. They have become lobbyists in robes exerting influence in Washington and every state capital.

They are detached from the real life challenges facing women who sit faithfully in their pews, serving their churches, and millions like me who’ve rejected their power and control in order to keep the most important parts of our faith.

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The politically powerful bishops want to control access to contraception, portraying themselves as victims of the new federal healthcare law’s policy that provides free birth control coverage to women.

My work brings me in touch with people for whom the word “victim” has real meaning. The bishops aren’t victims. They’ve created a political charade based on invented threats to religious liberty.

What about my religious liberty and that of my co-workers? Real religious liberty gives everyone the right to make personal decisions, including whether to use birth control, based on our own beliefs.

And what about our health? When a colleague with a cancer-causing condition at my Catholic nonprofit needed contraception for her treatment last year, she didn’t know where to turn. Our employer doesn’t provide access to contraception, and she couldn’t afford the medication. Her condition got worse.

After months of waiting for permission from our employer, she was finally granted contraception coverage, and her condition improved. But she suffered needlessly in the interim.

Another co-worker, we learned, was paying $90 a month out-of-pocket for the contraception she needs to treat her polycystic fibrosis. That’s a significant monthly expense, especially considering “the pill” is the most commonly prescribed drug for women.

HR told us we had to ask permission of the agency’s CEO on a case-by-case basis. It reminded me of when I first got my period at age 12. My cramps were so bad that my pediatrician recommended contraception.

I had to ask my father’s permission. The only difference today is my colleagues and I aren’t young girls; the CEO isn’t our father.

Recently, I learned that I needed contraception for dysmenorrhea, and I thought my work helping my colleagues get contraception coverage meant I would have an easier time.

Instead, I had to explain my personal medical situation to a man in HR, which is embarrassing for any woman.

When I received special permission from the men in control to get medication to take care of my health – to live according to my beliefs – I requested that the agency develop protocols so no one else would have to go through the same humiliating process. The powers that be refused.

In rejecting the Obama administration’s compromise on contraception coverage – which mandates that insurance companies, not religiously affiliated employers, provide free contraception coverage – the church and the bishops find themselves out on a limb politically.

They have twisted religious liberty to mean they can impose their beliefs on others, and it’s taking a toll. The bishops’ rigid thinking caused me to leave the Catholic Church two years ago.

I could do the church’s good works advocating for others, but the only way I could advocate for myself was to leave the church.

I was no longer nourished spiritually. Instead, the spoken and unspoken messages about sexuality, the body and women – especially our inability to serve as clergy – forced me to leave.

Just like the people I advocate for, within the church hierarchy women are talked at and about, not to, and rarely with.

I’m deeply proud of my work representing the poor and dispossessed. I love my job, and the faith I’ve found through my work after leaving the church. I don’t like the thought of having to leave that behind, too.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Opinion

soundoff (576 Responses)
  1. RillyKewl

    This was the most moving + beautifully written blog I've seen in a long time.
    Thank you, Anonymous. You are deeply appreciated.

    Doing good work is what matters, and I applaud you for finding your role so rewarding. I'm glad to know you're out there.
    Your strength and passion make you a great advocate for yourself, and I hope, an inspiration to others reading your story. You're great.

    March 17, 2012 at 2:58 am |
  2. Here Is What Is Really Going On

    This is a Red Herring issue, a emotionally-charged topic that gets people agitated and polarized, intended to get people to vote a certain way. However, Red Herring issues are irrelevant to the question at hand, namely, who has the best talents and ideas to lead this country forward for the next four years.

    The reality is that this non-issue is so far down the list of important policy items that it is effectively irrelevant to the elections. The real purpose is for the religions to agitate their parishoners into voting Republican, preferably Santorum.

    Look at you – all worked up. Is this more important than economic policy or foreign policy? More important than our forward strategies for wars and infrastructure improvement and so many other things that, unlike this "issue", the government IS supposed to be responsible for? Notice how the side that the right, who is driving this bickering, is not even discussing those true issues, much less presenting ideas to deal with them?

    You are being manipulated, Christians, and it is your own leaders doing it. Your leaders are grifters, and you are the marks.

    March 17, 2012 at 2:41 am |
  3. Reality

    Only for the newbies:

    For the author of the topic i.e. Anonymous

    Getting to the nitty gritty of the situation:

    The reality of contraception and STD control: (from a guy who practices intelligent se-x)

    Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

    The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

    The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill ( 8.7% failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

    Added information before making your next move:

    from the CDC-2006

    "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

    And from:

    Consumer Reports, January, 2012

    "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

    Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

    "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

    Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

    March 17, 2012 at 12:25 am |
    • RillyKewl

      Shut up you loser. You're at least half wrong on every line of this bs.
      Why don't you stop posting it on every thread + get out of here. Schmuck.

      March 17, 2012 at 2:48 am |
    • Ted From Battle Mountain, Nevada

      So Reality, how does it feel to be a cut-and-paste shrivel-loser like Prayer Troll? You are exactly the same, cut-and-pasting the same things day in, day out, week after week, month after month, year after year. No thought involved at all, no hope of influencing anyone because your tactics are so repellant.

      How does it feel to be so boring?

      March 17, 2012 at 3:01 am |
    • Reality

      Newbies = newcomers

      Obviously when one sees this and are not a "newbie", they should skip the comments.

      Then there is this:

      o Reiteration is great for the learning process. As is reading and rational thinking followed by conclusions based on all of it.

      March 17, 2012 at 7:41 am |
  4. KH

    This debate and the problem of pedophilia in the priesthood is why I will never step inside a Catholic church. And my children will never be allowed to either. Boycott Catholicism. Easy answer.

    March 16, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
  5. magyart

    BC for NON-BC medical conditions isn't actualyl BC. It should be covered. Who goes to the HR for a claim ? Aren't claims handled by an insurance carrier or third party admin. HR is not capable of practicing medicine.

    WalMart has Sprintec and Tri-Sprintec (BC) for only $9, 30 day supply.

    iI suspect this article is fictional.

    March 16, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • Jen Larkin

      How dare you accuse a woman of lying because you are personally to ignorant of women's medicine to believe a woman when she explains it to you!

      Birth control pills are an entire CLASS of medication of which exactly ONE is $9 at Walmart. Pills to treat cancer are different than pills to treat acne are different from pills to treat migraines are different from pills to treat PMS are different from pills to treat menopause are different than pills to treat ovarian cysts. ALL of them are "birth control pills." You honestly think that one single pills treats all of those medical conditions?

      Based on what medical qualifications of yours, or rather I should say, based on what medical qualifications of Sean Hannity, who MADE UP THAT CLAIM?

      Just because you are too busy listening to men who are ignorant of women's health care does not mean that women are LYING, and to make such a claim is frankly malicious, hateful, ignorant, and the opposite of EVERYTHING that Christ believed in.

      So again, how dare you.

      If you can't bother listening to the people trying to inform you, STOP VOTING TO ELIMINATE MY RIGHTS.

      March 17, 2012 at 2:06 am |
    • RillyKewl

      Good post, Jen. I get so tired of these jerks.

      March 17, 2012 at 2:50 am |
    • newcraft

      The bill being proposed in Arizona requires that women would have to go to their HR in order to request coverage for BC and prove that it isn't being prescribed for birth control, but a medical diagnosis.

      Wake up. This already happens. The woman isn't lying, and the Republicans want MORE women to have to do this. Beg for coverage.

      FYI – there isn't "one" BC pill – there are many, and they each contain hormones in different doses. The $9.38 Wal-Mart version that people keep harping about does NOT WORK for every person, for every need. Most pills are much more expensive and at higher doses. Women with polycystic ovaries and dysmenorrhea typically require the higher-dose versions. $9 a month at Wal-Mart won't cut it.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  6. ronddenv

    I empathize with your situation, however it is entirely self inflicted. You choose to be a part of a religious group, so you seem to accept their beliefs. The obvious solution is to choose to leave their controlling and abusive influence. Consider the Episcopal, or Anglican, church. They have essential the same liturgy and rituals, but are welcoming of dissent and change. I'm not Episcopal, but I have close knowledge of the Church.

    I have empathy, but not sympathy.

    March 16, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I think you mean "pass judgment". sweetie. Not "empathize."

      March 16, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Jen Larkin

      So you didn't read the end of the article– where she left the church?

      When (if) she chose to be Catholic, it was certainly not made clear to her that because she is female she will be denied adequate and speedy care for health problems relating to her lady parts. We are NOT talking about contraception here and men need to stop pretending that contraception and birth control pills are the same thing.

      They are not.

      While I'm at it, why don't you chose a better religion, like say Episcopalian, since they tend to actually not judge people like you're PRETENDING to do?

      March 17, 2012 at 2:10 am |
  7. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    I get such a kick out of reading the posts of these 'convicted' Christians. It's a hoot.

    Jonny and his pretense that s3x just doesn't matter; gerald and his 'ferimones'; Balled George and his silly assertions. They're all just more proof that religious nuts are irrelevant and laughable.

    Keep on keepin' on, you crazies. You're proof that everyone else is sane when compared to you.

    March 16, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
  8. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 16, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • momoya

      Yes, the prayer's state of mind.

      March 16, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Ah....wait just a second

      Yes momoya !
      It raises the prayor's circulating beta-endorphin level. It DOES change things. They're addicted to it.
      It's like a shot of Morphine Sulfate.

      March 16, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • poopmeister

      This person has gone into almost every post and said "prayers change things". Can everyone, including myself, not reply to their stupid post....they have nothing to contribute to the conversations.

      March 16, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
  9. momoya

    @ Louet

    So abortion goes against your conscience, don't get one.. Why do you get to decide that another person should follow your conscience, and not their own?. The pro-choice side isn't asking you to go against your conscience, but you are asking the pro choice side to go against their conscience.. Why do you get the right to define other women's choices?

    March 16, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • tz

      So unless the church pays for your abortion, you have no freedom. Ridiculous.

      As far as the article, if the author rejects the church, she rejects Jesus as well. What does she know about a first century Jewish carpenter that she didn't learn from the church?

      March 16, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
  10. Four Jumps to Insanity

    Jonathon,
    Please tell us exactly when life begins. (And I mean EXACTLY).

    March 16, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  11. bobcat

    Jesus never said a word about abortion, but Mohammed said alot about how Allah said it was evil. But then again Mohammed was abandoned and left to die as a baby. Just a note.

    March 16, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
  12. Louet & friends

    Freedom of conscience 101.

    March 16, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Your conscience can be as free as you want; I don't have to live by your beliefs.

      If you're paying for insurance, the money goes to pay for lots of things you'll never need or use: smoking cessation programs, weight-loss programs and lap-band surgery. Too bad if you don't want those or need them. Everyone bears costs of things that in the long run are beneficial to society. Contraception falls under that umbrella.

      March 16, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
  13. bobcat

    Freedom ends at anothers nose, sadly the church continues to struggle with this concept. One person's religious rights apply to their actions alone and no one else, not even their spouse or children and certainly not employees

    March 16, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  14. Jonathan

    I'll pay for abortion and/or contraceptives (whether directly, indirectly or through a 'premium') when you pry the money from my cold dead fingers.

    If that offends anyone, sorry but too bad. That is how deep my convictions run.

    March 16, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      How would you be paying for it?

      March 16, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • sam

      The moment you grow ovaries, we'll respect your convictions on the matter.

      March 16, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If by "convictions", you mean "stupidity."

      March 16, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Jonathan

      "How would you be paying for it?"

      Read the Individual Mandate recently? Appears there is going to be a seperate $1 premium charge for policies that include elective abortion coverages. When everyone gets contraceptives/abortions for free (or no co-pay) everyone is paying for it. The cost is shared. That is how insurance policies work.

      "The moment you grow ovaries, we'll respect your convictions on the matter."

      I could care less about your 'respect'. It takes two to make a baby. It only goes to reason that those two should have a say in what happens to it.

      "If by "convictions", you mean "stupidity.""

      Twist it any which way you want. Name calling solves nothing and only reveals how low the name caller is willing to go in order 'win' the argument, regardless of truth ot not.

      March 16, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • momoya

      Thanks for letting us know your opinion, Jonathan.. Now, what reasons does it rest upon?. Or do you know why you feel that way?

      March 16, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Louet & friends

      We agree with you Jonathan.

      March 16, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • momoya

      @ Louet

      Why?

      March 16, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, if you don't want to be called stupid, stop being stupid. The moment you are the one carrying a fetus and bearing the risks of pregnancy, you can have a say. Do alert the media when that moment comes.

      March 16, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Snow

      So, to get your "convictions" right, let me clarify.. if your wife or daughter has any one of those myriad of problems (polycystic fibrosis, dysmenorrhea, or plain old cancer risk) and the only way to prevent is to use contraceptive drugs, you would refuse to buy for them or let them use it.. right? Wow.. what a smart, protective, moral family man.. Not! Ever tried telling that to your wife or child?

      March 16, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I don't want to pay for your Viagra. I don't care if you can't get it up-you can live without s#x.

      March 16, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Louet & friends

      When did they start making rules based on exceptions?
      Jonathan is right on!

      March 16, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • momoya

      @ Louet

      Again, WHY do you agree with Jonathan?. WHY do you feel he is right?

      March 16, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • GodPot

      "I'll pay for abortion and/or contraceptives (whether directly, indirectly "

      So I guess you are going to stop paying your taxes that are used for maintaining the roads and highways women use to get to planned parenthood or to their clinic? How about the money you are already paying for b o ners? You tax dollars fund those little blue pills and "caulk" pumps you know... oh, thats right, it's not a contraceptive so it wouldn't lead to any promiscuity, nope, never... hypocrite.

      March 16, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      Look bro as a person whose religious symbol is a fetus and as a fellow pro life; do not let your convictions influence how others live there life,.. you can't save every one let them pay the price of taking life without reason them selves.

      March 16, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Louet & friends

      Because, abortion goes against consience.

      March 16, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Oh really

      @louet, I am guessing you are a woman.. so, let me rephrase @Snow's question for you.. if you or your daughter is diagnosed with polycystic fibrosis, dysmenorrhea kind of things and the only way to prevent its harm is to use contraceptive, are you going to refuse to buy it or use it (since you made your stance very very clear about no exceptions to rules)?

      if you are a man, refer to Snow's question above.. but give an answer..

      March 16, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Jonathan

      "Thanks for letting us know your opinion, Jonathan.. Now, what reasons does it rest upon?. Or do you know why you feel that way?"

      What reason? Several actually. I believe human life to be sacred, for a number of reasons. Namely, from my own logical reasoning before any religious influence. I became 'religious' by choice at the age of 15. Whether or not you believe that is not an issue that I care to discuss. Of course, my religious outlook strengthens my resolve in this issue but I am not lead blindly by the 'man on the pulpit' (and I'm not Catholic for those that as-sume so).

      "Hey, if you don't want to be called stupid, stop being stupid. The moment you are the one carrying a fetus and bearing the risks of pregnancy, you can have a say. Do alert the media when that moment comes."

      I believe I've already addressed this above. Oh yes, "It take two to create a child. Logic follows those two should have a say in what happens'. As far as the claim of stupidity, well, sticks and stones. Actions speak louder than words and if you judge intelliegence by strictly IQ, then I have little to worry about. If you decide someone who disagrees with you is stupid, then that seems to speak volumes about your own character.

      "So, to get your "convictions" right, let me clarify.. if your wife or daughter has any one of those myriad of problems (polycystic fibrosis, dysmenorrhea, or plain old cancer risk) and the only way to prevent is to use contraceptive drugs, you would refuse to buy for them or let them use it.. right? Wow.. what a smart, protective, moral family man.. Not! Ever tried telling that to your wife or child?"

      Contraceptives are not the only way to treat or deal with these symptoms, merely the most widely used and recognized. And while this is a very specific hypothetical situtation on strictly contraceptives, rather than abortives (which I will never pay for), how a father or husband decides on this matter is completely beside the topic of me paying for everyone elses.

      "I don't want to pay for your Viagra. I don't care if you can't get it up-you can live without s#x."

      First, I would never take viagra. Second, You can live without s-ex. I am currently abstaining from s-ex and plan to for a while yet. S-ex is nice but it doesnt make the world go 'round (at least, not mine). I fill my time with better, longer lasting pursuits than worrying about my body's craving for instant gratification.

      March 16, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Louet & friends

      Abortion kills innocent human beings . Your viewpoint may be different but funding abortion goes against my conscience.

      March 16, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • GodPot

      @Louet & Jonathan & Friends of – I have it on very good authority that drinking Mercury will cure you of your syphilis, though it did come from an ancient book of medicine, but it should be alright, they knew everything there is to know way back when they wrote the bible and proclaimed sacraficing an animal to God would cure ailments as well as placing that ban on contraceptives, it's good to see you are still practicing the ancient art. Dung was also a remedy, though crocodile dung could be used as a contraceptive so you wouldn't want to mess with that...

      p.s. please do not drink mercury, once you've got mercury in your bloodstream, good luck getting rid of it: the neurotoxic element acc u mulates over multiple doses. At its worst, mercury poisoning can cause paralysis, insanity, loss of motor control and death ... and it never really did much to cure either syphilis.

      March 16, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Jonathan

      @"GodPot"

      Please provide scriptural evidence (ie, point out the passages).

      March 16, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • Snow

      "Contraceptives are not the only way to treat or deal with these symptoms, merely the most widely used and recognized"

      Two things
      1) since you said "Contraceptives are not the only way to treat or deal with these symptoms", I assume you have an medical degree (atleast a nurse practi.tioner degree) to back your statement.. otherwise logic dictates that you are simply talking out of your a$$.

      2) you said, "the most widely used and recognized". ever wonder why it is the most widely used and recognized? I do not have a medical degree, but since I have a father and a brother who are MD's, I venture to guess that its because they have the most help and the least number of side effects.. Also, those other methods are not encouraged widely because of some very bad side effects.. ever thought about that?

      When will you recognize that not all modern day life's problems have solutions in a 2000 yr old goat herder's hand book? Not to say there isn't any good advice in the book, but to make life and health decisions based on that book is stupidity at best and criminal insanity at worst.

      March 16, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • momoya

      @ Jonathan

      You say that your stance on this is because you value human life, but most contraception PREVENTS fertilization.. If you believe life begins at conception, then you can NOT be against most contraceptives..

      So, I ask you again, what are your reasons for being against contraception coverage, since your reasoning has been shown inaccurate?

      March 16, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • Jonathan

      "1) since you said "Contraceptives are not the only way to treat or deal with these symptoms", I assume you have an medical degree (atleast a nurse practi.tioner degree) to back your statement.. otherwise logic dictates that you are simply talking out of your a$$."

      One does not need a medical degree to do some very basic research on the subject and the internet is such an or-gy of information. What one needs is a willingness to look. An att-itude of dismissal when evidence is not laid out at your feet really doesnt help.

      "2) you said, "the most widely used and recognized". ever wonder why it is the most widely used and recognized? I do not have a medical degree, but since I have a father and a brother who are MD's, I venture to guess that its because they have the most help and the least number of side effects.. Also, those other methods are not encouraged widely because of some very bad side effects.. ever thought about that? "

      Some do have different side effect, some are worse, but you can say the same things about the women that are harmed by reactions to birth control. I could easily assume that birth control is so widely used because it performs two functions. Two birds = one stone?

      "When will you recognize that not all modern day life's problems have solutions in a 2000 yr old goat herder's hand book? Not to say there isn't any good advice in the book, but to make life and health decisions based on that book is stupidity at best and criminal insanity at worst."

      While your response has quite a few colorful additions that really serve no purpose other than to build an emotional response, I will not be baited by them. The information contained in the 'Bible' is far older than 2,000 years and many of the 'health' decisions are pretty ingenius. Abstainance prevents all se-xually transmitted diseases and, oh my, is a great way to control pregnancy. You can be the judge of how 'stupid' following the book is when you can prove the life lead by following it is in anyway more unsafe than not.

      "You say that your stance on this is because you value human life, but most contraception PREVENTS fertilization.. If you believe life begins at conception, then you can NOT be against most contraceptives.. "

      Most contraceptives do prevent fertilization. A good many of them can also prevent implantation. Whether or not it always does or not, it CAN prevent implantation. I would never condone the use of those particular forms of contraceptives. My stance is and always has been, I am not paying for it. If you chose to purchase, you do so. I won't help you.

      "So, I ask you again, what are your reasons for being against contraception coverage, since your reasoning has been shown inaccurate?"

      My reasoning has not been proven inaccurate, since I did address the new 'definition' you brought to the plate ('most contraceptives' rather than just 'contraceptives'). And my stance hasnt changed.

      March 16, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • Andrew

      Bad news man, if you pay income tax, you already pay for contraception coverage for hundreds of thousands of federal employees just like me. Thanks!

      March 16, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • momoya

      @ Jonathan

      Okay, since you have no argument against the main contraceptive in the issue "the pill." I'll assume that you have no problem with contraceptive pills that prevent fertilization so no human life is ever risked.

      Since you are perfectly fine with the major contraception being discussed (the pill), then I assume that your argument is not with contraception, but with devices/procedures that cause early-fetus abortion (IUD).. Since your disagreement is so small, your problem is not one of ideology, but of honest compromise..

      If the public were forced to disagree or agree with your statement as you made it, most would greatly disagree.. If the public were forced to disagree or agree with what you are really against (IUDs and "morning after" pills), the majority might just go your way. Your drastic statement and rash method above do not correctly convey your motives.. Perhaps you try looking for agreement at least as much as you look for disagreement.. You might be surprised by what you find.

      March 16, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Conclusion: Jonny ain't married and he can't get a date.

      March 16, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Jonathan

      "Bad news man, if you pay income tax, you already pay for contraception coverage for hundreds of thousands of federal employees just like me. Thanks!"

      Forgive me to quoting, but "Give unto Caeser what is Caeser's"

      What the government chooses to do with the money that I pay for taxes is up to the government. An individual mandate is different. It is the government telling me that I have to purchase something that I would never choose to purchase. I pay for car insurance because I like to drive a car. It is a privelage I enjoy. I pay taxes (income, state, sales, county AND property) because I choose to live in this country and I like my house. Its part of living here, legally anyway.

      March 16, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I suspect that Jonathan is a kid in his 20s, or perhaps younger. He is single and is probably not really very successful with the opposite s3x. He can't get a girl to go out with him and that is why he's 'engaged in more noble pursuits' than s3x. It's not by choice-he doesn't have a choice. And he wants everyone else to be in that same tiny little lonely boat right along with him.

      Sorry, Jonny, no one else is required to live a life of celibacy just because you can't get any tail. And no one else has to live by your moral convictions, either. Too bad if you don't like paying for insurance that covers costs for all kinds of treatments that you don't need or want. That's life. Get over it.

      Either that, or go live in a monastery.

      March 16, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Suppose I'm a homeowner. I don't have kids. Why should I pay taxes that fund public education?

      Why? Because that is part of living in a civilized society. Paying for health insurance coverage is no different. You can pretend it is, but such coverage benefits all and yes, you DO have an obligation to contribute, regardless of your supposed religious beliefs.

      March 16, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Jonathan

      "Your drastic statement and rash method above do not correctly convey your motives.. Perhaps you try looking for agreement at least as much as you look for disagreement.. You might be surprised by what you find."

      Drastic? Maybe. I was simply stating my opinion in pure black and white. I'd call that being blunt and having forgone the use of being PC. If someone is honestly willing to understand my position (as you did) instead of instantly rising up to resist it (as other did), I am willing to talk about my reasoning. That is being open minded, rather than being long winded and using justification in an argument.

      "Conclusion: Jonny ain't married and he can't get a date."

      Johnny? Oh, you're back to using nicknames again. I'm going to be a tad blunt here, just so you dont misunderstand. Don't get offended.

      Cut it with the nicknames. You don't know me well enough to have earned the right to refer to me in a personal manner.

      I am not married. That is true. But to assume that I am not se-xually active merely because I can not find a date is juvenile and, to be honest, insulting. It reminds me of standard bullying tactics used in middle and high school to single out others and make them feel bad about themselves because they don't 'fit in'. Don't you agree its about time to grow up? If someone was desperate enough for se-x (and I truly feel remorse for someone so addicted to their body's desires), they could go out and purchase a favor. In this economy, standards arent exactly high.

      If you truly can not grasp at the concept of being se-xually inactive simply because one chooses to, I truly pity your entire perspective on just about everything.

      "I suspect that Jonathan is a kid in his 20s, or perhaps younger. He is single and is probably not really very successful with the opposite s3x. He can't get a girl to go out with him and that is why he's 'engaged in more noble pursuits' than s3x. It's not by choice-he doesn't have a choice. And he wants everyone else to be in that same tiny little lonely boat right along with him."

      I am a kid in my 20's. Twenty-seven to be exact. I am single. That is about all you got correct.

      "Sorry, Jonny, no one else is required to live a life of celibacy just because you can't get any tail. And no one else has to live by your moral convictions, either. Too bad if you don't like paying for insurance that covers costs for all kinds of treatments that you don't need or want. That's life. Get over it. "

      I never said anyone needs to be celibate or follow my convictions. I merely stated my opinion on paying for other people's abortions and/or contraceptives. It my very well get passed as law and then I imagine I'll go down refusing to pay for it. Thats the life I choose to follow.

      "Either that, or go live in a monastery."

      That's an option. But its not a choice I am prepared to make at this time.

      March 16, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      But really, the crux of the matter is this: Jonny can't get a date. Jonny can't get any s#x. If Jonny can't have any, no one else should get any, either.

      March 16, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • Jonathan

      "Suppose I'm a homeowner. I don't have kids. Why should I pay taxes that fund public education? "

      Funding public education doesn't violate anyone's deeply held convictions. And if it did, no one's come out and said it has.

      "Why? Because that is part of living in a civilized society. Paying for health insurance coverage is no different. You can pretend it is, but such coverage benefits all and yes, you DO have an obligation to contribute, regardless of your supposed religious beliefs."

      When it violates my First Amendment Right and my religious belief, I have no obligation. You'll have to force me.

      March 16, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • Jonathan

      "But really, the crux of the matter is this: Jonny can't get a date. Jonny can't get any s#x. If Jonny can't have any, no one else should get any, either."

      I have to assume you either did not read one of my last posts where I clearly addressed this comment or you choose to deliberately ignore it. Either way, you are repeating yourself and added nothing.

      March 16, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sorry, honey, no sale. There are lots of folks who think public education DOES violate their convictions and they HAVE said so, you lying little hypocrite.

      March 16, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I was right. Jonny ain't gettin' any tail, and he thinks no one else should get any either.

      I don't give two shits if you don't like my sentiments, you little twerp.

      March 16, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Jonathan

      "Sorry, honey, no sale. There are lots of folks who think public education DOES violate their convictions and they HAVE said so, you lying little hypocrite."

      How does one lie when when is ignorant of certain facts? I clearly admit right here that I have never heard of ANYONE claiming their first amendment rights were violated because they have to pay for public education. I will research this and if you'd like to be helpful, please provide some evidence for those that will be scanning these comments and stumble upon our little debate. I know I'll be back to show my results.

      March 16, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'll be happy to do so. Just as soon as you prove you're not still a virgin, dear.

      I will require a notarized sworn statement, Jonny, dear.

      March 16, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sad when a man of 27 has yet to dip his bean.

      March 16, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Jonathan

      I have nothing to prove to you Tom. Let the readers be the judge of who's word carry the most weight.

      March 16, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yes, let's let readers decide WHOSE word is more reliable,

      You might want to learn how apostrophes work, dear.

      After that, we can help you with your s3x life.

      March 16, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • ronddenv

      How very, very sad for you.

      March 16, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, yeah. Aaaaannnnnndddd....

      BULLSEYE!!

      I nailed it.

      Read it and weep, Jonny.

      March 16, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, rod, I'm not sad; I'm just laughing at all of you religious crazies who think your beliefs absolve you of any societal responsibilities.

      And because you're stupid gits.

      March 16, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Betcha Jonny is beating off his deep convictions with Rosy Palm.

      March 16, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Goshers, Jonny, aren't you finished yet? I mean, really, how many times does it take to relieve the urge?

      March 16, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • classicallymeg

      J+M+J

      I never cease to marvel at the compassion, intelligence, civility, and general good-will exhibited by the self-proclaimed "tolerance" crowd.

      Jonathan, I don't know who you are, but I hope you stick to your values and ideals and refuse to let the asinine remarks of perpetually adolescent "men" bother you. You must be a more patient individual than I, because you've already kindly indulged their ridiculousness far more than they possibly deserves.

      March 17, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oooh, "more than they possibly deserves". Yeah, those MEN.

      I'm a female, ya dolt. Keep kissing Jonny's azz and see what good it does, sweetie.

      March 17, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • eeyore

      I don't think Jonathan is much interested in you. I think his tendencies run in the other direction. You should probably troll elsewhere for dates.

      March 17, 2012 at 12:42 am |
    • An Interested Observer

      Good for you Jonathan, for resolving to stick to your beliefs in the face of blind ignorance that cannot even carry on an intelligent conversation. You've expounded your position well against ad-hominem attacks and Grammar Nazis who simply sidestep your argument because they're far too immature to talk in any real capacity.

      March 17, 2012 at 1:00 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      NIce try at trolling "Interested". Too bad you aren't better at disguising your ident ity...Jonny.

      March 17, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • An Interested Observer

      Did someone just say I was trolling? No, I would never lower myself to such standards, but it would be an easy choice for the less...moral.

      March 17, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • Bizarre

      Jonathan: "Please provide scriptural evidence (ie, point out the passages)." [for animal sacrifice to cure disease]

      In Leviticus 14 "God" spoke to Moses and told him the correct treatment and cure for leprosy. It is the dangedest, silliest thing you'd ever want to read. This was the LORD speaking, Jonathan, THE LORD – how dare anyone search for a better treatment!

      Briefly:
      Get two birds. Kill one. Dip the live bird in the blood of the dead one. Sprinkle the blood on the leper seven times, and then let the blood-soaked bird fly away. Next find a lamb and kill it. Wipe some of its blood on the patient's right ear, thumb, and big toe. Sprinkle seven times with oil and wipe some of the oil on his right ear, thumb and big toe. Repeat. Finally find another pair of birds. Kill one and dip the live bird in the dead bird's blood. Wipe some blood on the patient's right ear, thumb, and big toe. Sprinkle the house with blood 7 times. That's all there is to it.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:14 am |
    • Jonathan

      @GodPot

      Thank you for providing scriptual evidence of this 'cure for leprosy'. I will read up on it. As far as I know, there is no current 'cure' for leprosy and my first instinct when I read that passage tells me it is more the ritual and the faith of the person that matters, rather than just the blood. It screams of symbology.

      If you can link to the other passages that speak of mercury to cure syp-hillis, dung being used as contraceptives and any other treatments involving blood that cures another illness, I would be grateful. My search for those have been fruitless.

      @classicallymeg & An Interested Observer:

      Thank you for your kind words. They are appreciated.

      @Tom, Tom

      I still have nothing to add to our 'debate' other than that I had no luck finding anyone objecting to funding public education and claiming a first amendment rights violation. I am not claiming it isnt out there but I have not found any.

      March 19, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  15. lol

    People call a parasite a parasite, and try to kill it. But if the parasite wears a funny outfit and tells them what to do, they honor and respect the parasite.

    March 16, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  16. snow

    Also, I find it really amazing that a person who wishes to express their opinion had to hide behind anonymity out of fear for personal attacks.. from whom? the mighty "love everyone" church who "follow their god's teaching" to "love unconditionally".

    Frankly, if their god ever comes down (a big if there for someone non-existant) to see how man does his appointed work, he would puke his guts in disgust..

    March 16, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  17. snow

    oh how the "righteous" have fallen.. This is what happens when stoopid people cling on to each and every arcane principle written by 2000 yr old goat herders.. sure that are a number of good bits of advice there, but that doesn't mean each and every point be followed to the tee.

    March 16, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  18. PrimeNumber

    Aside from contraceptives as birth control, they do bring a degree of equality with men. Previously, a woman would hold out for a wedding ring before he had any "priveledges". But now that we have the pill, there is little fear of consequences. Now, a woman can be used by any jerk who comes down the alley. He need show her no respect whatever. Now, men need show women no more respect than they do each other. Equality has arrived.

    March 16, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • momoya

      Oh please.. Men are such brutes that if women don't keep them in line by a manipulative form of abstinence vs wh.oredom, men will bring women down to some base, animal level?. how narrrow-minded of you..

      Respect is EARNED.. If a woman wants the sort of respect that "holding out" until marriage provides, she can still earn that sort of respect from a man willing to honor her according to that particular value.. Contraception gives us women more choices in family planning and often times is used for other female health concerns.. There's no need to reduce this down to some sort of "Barbarism versus Victorianism" dynamic..

      March 16, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm just shocked, shocked, I tell you, to see such a post from Prime Number.

      March 16, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      PrimeNumber, you're a perfect example of the idiot who fails to study history and is doomed to repeat it. Women got pregnant out of wedlock all the time before the advent of the pill. They either had illegal abortions (or legal ones), gave the baby up for adoption, or married the jerk, often unhappily. Dumbazzes like you are so predictable. To hear you burp up your opinions, one would think that the 50s were perfectly represented by "Happy Days." Does it hurt to be so stupid?

      March 16, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  19. Soul

    What a great article, this is also why I have nothing to do with the catholic church, I have my beliefs, I don't need the church. When an organization can determine the needs of women, when it's run by men, who, have had their own past issues that were quitetly covered up, I then feel hypocritical being part of it. And, Carol O is correct, why about the real issues in our country right now, why has this come to the forefront? Because political platforms are based on repealing the healthcare act that has helped many American families, inlcuding my own.

    March 16, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  20. CarolO

    I guess how women live their lives is all the Republicans care about these days. I notice not one of them mentions SOCIAL SECURITY OR MEDICARE that is on their hit list and very little about JOBS.

    How about vasectomies that also prevent pregnancy? Why no mention of that? Or viagra or the cute little "pump" for the men? Both covered by insurance and Medicare, BTW. No One is paying for someone elses birth control. People pay for their premiums for their own insurance. They are the ones paying, not the general public.

    March 16, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The Repubs don't REALLY care about any of this. They don't give two craps about abortion, either. They'll use contraception and abortion as a means to stir up the gullible far right to garner votes, and then, if elected, you won't hear another peep out of them on either of these matters.

      March 16, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.