In their campaign to keep women barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen, Republicans are backing themselves into another no-win situation, as the nation lines up against their position. However, instead of having the wisdom to back down, Republicans are doubling down, generating even more widespread opposition.
In this video essay, Bill Moyers addresses the question of how to honor religious liberty without it becoming the liberty to impose on others moral beliefs they don’t share. The recent debate over contraception coverage in Catholic hospitals and other faith-based institutions brought this question to the forefront, but then something surprising happened — a reasonable, practical, and equitable solution from President Obama…
Inserted from <Bill Moyers>
Moyers is right. Religious liberty does not include the ability to impose on others moral beliefs they do not share, as Republicans are working to accomplish.
Darryl Issa (R-CA) made matters worse by forcefully excluding women from his sham hearing.
As the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee began a hearing Thursday morning on the Obama administration’s rule mandating free contraceptive care for employees at religiously-affiliated institutions, New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney had a question for the panel: "Where are the women?" she asked.
"I look at this panel, and I don’t one single individual representing the tens of millions of women across the country who want and need insurance coverage for basic preventive health care services, including family planning," Maloney said. "Where are the women?"
The hearing, entitled "Lines crossed: Separation of church and state. Has the Obama administration trampled on freedom of religion and freedom of conscience?" aimed to address the White House’s ruling on contraception, and whether or not that rule infringes on religious liberty…
…In his opening remarks, Rep. Elijah Cummings, the panel’s top Democrat, argued committee chair Darrell Issa had "stacked" the panel with people who reflected only the Republican perspective, and accused the committee of perpetrating a "massive injustice" by failing to include women in the discussion.
Democrats on the committee charged that Issa "personally rejected" testimony from Sandra Fluke, a woman who had hoped to tell the story of her friend, who she says lost an ovary due to a lack of contraceptive coverage.
"Your staff told us you personally rejected Ms. Fluke’s testimony, saying that, quote, ‘the hearing is not about reproductive rights and contraception,’" Maloney said to Issa in her opening remarks during the hearing.
"Of course this hearing is about rights — contraception and birth control," she said. "It’s about the fact that women want to have access to basic health services family planning through their health insurance plan."… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <CBS>
Ed Schultz provides excellent coverage of this story and interviews both Sandra Fluke and Professor Caroline Heldman.
I fully support the notion of freedom of religion, enshrined as it is in our Constitution, but when Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians attempt to impose their religious dogma on you and me, they are interfering with our freedom of religion.