Saturday, January 25, 2014
Every time I see a headline like this, I seethe. Just possibly, what sets me off is not what you might think.
The ongoing court challenges to Obamacare's treatment of contraception as unexceptional preventive medicine are just everyday patriarchal obstructionism. Anyone who doesn't want to practice birth control, who has a religious objection to birth control, is perfectly free not to practice it. If your faith says only having the children you want is evil, convince others of your stance. Don't try to prevent poor women from being able to follow their consciences.
But making an order of nuns the face of the challenge is additional offense. Old men who hunger to control women's bodies are hiding behind the good will and good deeds of the sisters. I've known lots of Catholic nuns. Most of these nuns would probably loyally sign on with their particular sect's opposition to birth control -- but mostly they live in the real world of human struggles and moral ambiguity in which we all do the best we can. Nuns aren't the force behind spurious legal abstractions about religious freedom; they deal in the messy realities of life in the world. They are much more likely to be feeding the hungry and clothing the naked than to be peeking censoriously into people's bedrooms.
Nuns should not be drafted into some clerical princes' battle against Obama and the modern world. Now there is an evil.