Friday, November 18, 2011

Who are the victims here?

From the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science:
14,000 daughters. Fourteen thousand women is a lot of victims of human trafficking.

In fact I’m wrong. I should write 14,000 females. Many of these 14,000 are girls, not yet women, girls often trafficked as sex workers -- a kind of 21st Century slavery. Many of these 14,000 victims are beaten, others raped. Many become pregnant, others contract HIV.

The Catholic hierarchy is eager to refuse these victims contraception -- even now when most American Catholics support contraception. I know it sounds harsh, but the policy of the Catholic hierarchy results in a harsh reality so let’s repeat it: The Catholic hierarchy want to refuse contraception to a rape victim, sometimes someone beaten then raped, sometimes a woman or girl who can’t speak English. And no abortions, not even after a rape.

Oh. One more thing:

The Catholic hierarchy wants your money. They want YOUR tax money when they deny beaten and raped girls contraception. They want your tax money when they refuse these victims comprehensive health services. In fact they even refuse to provide information about where victims can get contraception elsewhere.

The article goes on to explain how the Catholic Church claims that it's the victim here:
The Catholic hierarchy, on the other hand, the outfit taking in millions in tax revenue, claims that they are the victims in this controversy. They claim that, unless they get our tax money for these practices, they are having their religious liberty violated. Yes. You read that right. According to the Catholic Church hierarchy, THEY are the victims.

According to Catholic leadership, it’s quite simple: George W. Bush gave the Catholic Church tax money to provide services to victims of human trafficking. Those services would specifically EXCLUDE contraception and abortion regardless of circumstance. Now the Catholic leaders are mad and claim to be victims. Why? The Obama administration dared to take the side of rape victims and other human trafficking victims who deserve a full range of health options, including contraception.

Doesn't this remind you of the rape of children by Catholic priests? In that scandal, the Catholic Church hardly seemed concerned at all about the children, but only about how a scandal would affect the church.

In fact, the church leaders concealed these crimes, moving pedophile priests to new parishes where they could find fresh, unsuspecting victims. Well, there's only one Catholic Church, but there are plenty of kids - one might even say more than enough - right?

Now, because a government grant went to other groups, instead of to them, the Catholic Church is playing the victim card. The facts are not in dispute. From The Washington Post:
In late September, HHS ended funding to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to help victims of trafficking, or modern-day slavery. The church group had overseen nationwide services to victims since 2006 but was denied a new grant in favor of three other groups.

The bishops organization, in keeping with the church’s teachings, had refused to refer trafficking victims for contraceptives or abortion. HHS officials have said they made a policy decision to award the grants to agencies that would refer women for those services.

That seems simple enough, doesn't it? The church refuses to provide all of the services which the government requires, so the job went to other contractors. How is this discrimination? Why should the Catholic Church be guaranteed money from the U.S. government?

Here's Secular News Daily:
Let’s be clear about this: No religious group has a “right” to taxpayer money – and religious groups certainly shouldn’t get it when they are unwilling to serve the public interest and meet the terms set forth by the government. But as it turns out, Catholic organizations are hardly facing discrimination in D.C. As The Post pointed out, the church isn’t being shut out of the contracting game. The Post reported that since the mid-1990s, “Catholic groups have received at least $800 million in HHS funding to provide social services, including $348 million to the bishops conference.”

In this particular case, the church hierarchy was denied the public aid not because of animus toward Catholicism but because, I will state once again, it wasn’t willing to do what the contract asked.

Let’s say this contract also required referrals for psychological counseling. Let’s say the Church of Scientology, which is known for its hostility toward psychology, applied for the contract. Let’s say Scientology officials said, “We will do everything the contract calls for, except one thing: We’re not going to refer these victims of trafficking to psychologists because we don’t believe in that.” It would be nothing short of madness to give the church the contract anyway.

Who are the real victims here? Michael Gerson, who used to write speeches for George W. Bush, claims that President Obama is turning his back on Catholics. Really? No one is forcing them to provide contraception or abortion services.

But should they get paid for doing work they refuse to do? This is their choice. And why, anyway, should they be guaranteed grant money from the U.S. government? What about the other groups which also bid on this work - and actually agree to do what the contract asks?

More than 30 Republican lawmakers are also protesting this "discrimination," but that's no big surprise. Republicans are going to protest no matter what Obama does. But how can the Catholic Church have the gall to play the victim card here? It's just incredible, isn't it?

The Catholic Church isn't the victim. The victims are the thousands of young women and girls forced into sex trafficking. Wouldn't it be nice if the church thought more about them and less about the cash?

What, didn't they make enough money stealing and selling babies in Spain for 50 years?

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