« Romney v Obama 1 | Main | Spotlight@Northern with Pete Carrels »

Thursday, February 02, 2012


larry kurtz

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph: give me strength....

larry kurtz

When I was at SDSU I had a t-shirt made that said, "Fuck the Church." That's when my parents knew they should have had an abortion.


larry kurtz

Like wiping yer ass with a hula hoop: it's endless.


larry kurtz

From a gay former priest: http://dgsma.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/catholics-defend-the-president/

larry kurtz

The Church discriminates against women: it's just that simple.


Methinks the Montana idiot has too much time on his hands!

larry kurtz

Good eye, lynn: http://intelligentdiscontent.com/2012/02/02/rehberg-the-rancher-is-out-of-touch-with-reality-of-montana-farmers-and-ranchers/

Ken Blanchard

Lynn: he has hands?

Donald Pay

It's very simple. A religious group that believes slavery is a Biblical command and that therefore refuses to pay the people who work for its charitable organizations, universities and hospitals a legally mandated wage would not be able to use the First Amendment as means to loophole its illegal behavior. It would be required to follow the law. There are all sorts of nutty religious practices that legally are not allowed, including child sacrifice.

Just because a small cabal of the power drunk, evil male leaders in the Catholic Church (like the nutty Islamist who believe they have a religious right to honor killings) have decided they have to control women's bodies, does not mean they have a right to do so under the First Amendment.

D.E. Bishop

That is an outstanding response Don. Thank you.

It's not about religious freedom. It's about a woman's freedom to control her own body. She gets to decide when she wants to have children. She gets to work with her doctor to take birth control pills to care for her fibroid ovaries. She gets to use birth control to regulate her heavy and painful periods.

A woman has the right to control her own body. No one, including the Roman Catholic Church, has the right to control anyone else's body. Bodily integrity is the hallmark of a free human being.

Nope, in SD a woman cannot easily go elsewhere to get her health needs met. You all know what the distances involved can be, if you've ever been West River.

Even if she could, that's still not the point. It's her body and her freedom and her integrity. Every single Roman Catholic has the absolute right of religious freedom. This law will not make any Roman Catholic use any medication they do not want to use. However, the ACA does not allow them to impose that belief on anyone else.

I doubt the Vatican and the RCC bishops represent the majority of Roman Catholics. That majority uses artificial birth control. (I wish I could find the stats that support that, but I've lost the site.) Most RCC members resent a bunch of supposedly celibate men telling them how to conduct their private sexual lives.

This is about power and women having the right to control their own bodies.


"No one, including the Roman Catholic Church, has the right to control anyone else's body."

In that case, no one can ever be arrested. Traffic laws should never be made. (How could we presume to tell other people what to do with their feet?) Anti-smoking laws are out. Gun control is out. Even laws against domestic abuse will have to be scrapped. A man's hitting his wife? Oh well. We have no right to tell him what to do with his body.

Bill Fleming

Mirand, your rights to liberty end at my nose.


The point isn't a person's right to control her body. The point is the gov'ts power to tell the church and its environs what it can and cannot do as far as insurance offerings etc. Two different things entirely. And if you can't see that, you are blind or in love with the great O and his purported power of persuasion.

Donald Pay

There are a lot of wacky ideas out there and anyone can set up a "church," and claim they have "religious freedom" to implement and carry out their wacky ideas. Unfortunately for those people and for the current crop of misleaders of the Catholic faith, religious freedom doesn't mean you get to trample on the rights of people you employ in non-religious positions.

D.E. Bishop

Miranda, you are referring to criminal acts. A woman asserting and using her right to control her own body is not a criminal act. It's a human right.

I strongly disagree with you Lynn. Not because I'm blind, stupid, unable to make an independent decision, use my own good judgment, or anything of the kind.

I've presented a clear and concise argument. You've name-called. See if you can do better. So far, you've not been persuasive at all, but you have hurt your cause.

Mark Anderson

28 states already do this to some extent, why not mention that. In fact there is a compromise, the church or anything that is religious is exempt, just not basically secular institutions that the church runs. It's pretty simple, and fair. Why should you give up your rights if your baptist and have to work at a Catholic hospital? You can make a case for it, but it's not a black and white situation.

Ken Blanchard

Bill: your nose has no right to free birth control.

Donald: you confirm the view that religious bigotry is part of the motive for the new rule.

D.E. Bishop: No one is telling anyone what to do with his or her body. The administration is telling Church-affiliated hospitals that they have to pay for free birth control for their employees. A right to birth control does not entail a right to have it provided free of charge.

Mark: again, it is not a matter of rights, since no one has a right to free birth control, let alone sterilization or induced abortion. I agree that it is not a matter of black and white. The U.S. has a long tradition of conscientious objections. Given how much charity is involved in church-affiliated hospitals, do you really want to force them to choose between free birth control and closing down?

Bill Fleming

"Bill: your nose has no right to free birth control." Well that's unfortunate. Now we'll just have to put up with a whole bunch of Fleming noses. It's not going to be pretty, I'm afraid.


The Church is not making it criminal to practice birth control or to have an abortion or anything else. The Church is teaching these things are wrong. Nobody is forced to go to the Church. People are free to either adhere to the teachings or not.
For the government to tell the Church they have to provide things that are against their teachings is rather appalling. The health care bill has the death committees, whether you want to admit it or not. What happens when the government in its evolution decides that a person who is "beyond being worth medical help" is told to take a pill or an injection to put him/her out of misery? Will the Church be given an exemption from this as well? It is a slippery slope.
Mr. Bishop, nobody is telling you what you may do with your body. If you want to have a baby, you are allowed. If not, and you want to have an abortion, you can legally do so. However do not expect the Church to tell you it is OK. If you want to take the pill to avoid pregnancy, you are allowed. Just do not expect the Church to condone your action. But please don't tell me that aborting a fetus is a "human right". Tell me about the "human rights" of the baby! As Bill says, your rights end at my nose. I think that includes the baby's nose as well.

Bill Fleming

Equal protection. It's not just a good idea. It's the law.

Bill Fleming

I suppose the Catholic institutions could just have a policy that if any of their faithful ask for and receive birth control assistance, they will be excommunicated. Sounds like a good way to weed out the unholy among them. It might have an effect on the Sunday collection plate receipts, but it's probably within their rights under the 1st amendment.

Bill Fleming

p.s. duggersd, it's Ms. Bishop. (He's a she.)


Ms. Bishop, the issue here is whether the fed govt has the right to tell an independent, privately owned and operated, nonprofit, religiously based hospital what it has the right to do as far as offering insurance to its employees. The employees are free to take or not take the insurance. If they don't like the policy offered by their employer, they are free to look elsewhere for their insurance needs. HOWEVER, the fed govt does not have the right to mandate that said hospital offer insurance to ;cover things that are against its moral beliefs, or at least the fed govt as it was set up under the Constitution.

The Obama administration seems to believe it has the authority to do whatever it wants whenever and to whomever, it ignores the Constitutional limits of its authority, and it is getting away with it because no legislator has the balls to stand up against this assault on the Constitution, separation of powers, and separation of church and state (which heretofore the libs and Dems were so in favor of).

You are free to believe what you want, work where you want, and buy insurance where you want. You do not have the right to tell your insurance company or your employer that they MUST offer anything in that policy or that the govt must force them to offer such.

There, no name calling, although I didn't really use namecalling before either.


I really love this quote at the end of LK's third link: ”It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy
by a resort to mathematics,
though she is still forbidden to resort to physics and chemistry.”
~H.L. Mencken

I wonder if the Pope and U.S. bishops would allow for the "rhythm method" if denying access to calendars was feasible.

Donald Pay

I think there's a difference between the faith of Catholics and the Catholic Church hierarchy which attempts to misdirect and misuse that faith. If there is bigotry it is yours.

larry kurtz

The Gregorian calendar is a reaction to eastern 13 moon calendars. Chimpanzees are patriarchal and conduct wars. Bonobos are matriarchal and conduct love.

The UN should invade the Vatican, arrest everybody in vestments, and prosecute the whole kit n kaboodle for crimes against humanity. Convicted perpetrators would be subject to a Handmaid's Tale style punishment, then the casting of lots would determine the recipients of their loot.


My apologies to Ms Bishop. However the argument still stands.

D.E. Bishop

Apology accepted Duggersd. Thank you.

Lynn, this sounds like name-calling to me: "And if you can't see that, you are blind or in love with the great O and his purported power of persuasion." But that's not the point.

You must know that SD, and much of the rest of the nation, cannot afford their medication if they do not get help. With few exceptions, that help comes in the form of their insurance. There are few working people who can afford insurance via means other than their work-related insurance. If RCC-affiliated businesses do not include birth control coverage, those individuals working there, and needing birth control are out of luck. Thus the RCC denies birth control to thousands.

You also must know that work opportunities do not abound in much of SD, so people frequently don't have choices in the matter of work places. They can't just switch to an employer who does cover bc.

Those are simple facts. The rest we are talking about is how we feel about these issues. I distrust the RCC on all issue relating to women, as they have a centuries old history of activities aimed at diminishing women in all areas of public life, except as baby-incubators. That continues to this day. Birth control is another aspect of that. It's all been about, and continues to be about, controlling women.

john davidson

Ms Bishop,

You say the following about the RCC:

"It's all been about, and continues to be about, controlling women."

You are a product of your day, and I apologize if that sounds like name calling. The RCC has 1 billion members. As with all faiths, some members are extremely devout, some very devout, some average, some not so much. So be it. They are all imperfect people, as are you, perhaps.

Approximately half of the members are women.

So, according to you, half a billion women belong to a Church that is all about diminishing and controlling them.

It occurs to me you may not have a full and complete picture of what the RCC is about.

As to the issue at hand, it is not about the RCC, per se. It is about the United States Constitution and specifically the Bill of Rights. Does that mean anything to you?

john davidson

Ken Blanchard

Donald: "a small cabal of the power drunk, evil male leaders in the Catholic Church"? I wonder where the word "cabal" comes from? Your language is dispositive in any case. It is one thing to disagree with the doctrines of the Church. I am no kind of Catholic. It is another thing to consider them evil because they hold different views from yours.

You see the leaders of the church the way anti-Semites see the Elders of Zion. Your contempt can hardly be limited to a small cabal since, as Mr. Davidson points out, a billion people recognize the authority of that cabal. By your jaundiced reasoning, those people are either fools are just as evil as their leaders.

If that isn't bigotry, the word has no meaning.

Ken Blanchard

A.I.: that is a deliciously funny bit of Mencken. While I believe that abortion is wrong for the same reason as slavery is wrong, I have no objection whatsoever to contraceptives. However, some of my best friends are Catholics, really, and I have listened to them patiently try to persuade me that the Church's teaching on this matter is not only authoritative but reasonable. I remain unpersuaded. I do know that these are thoughtful, caring people. Some of them were women.

john davidson

Hi Ken,

For a good read on contraception I recommend "Humanae Vitae", by Giovanni Montini - yes, he is also known as Pope Paul VI. You can read it online with a Google search.

Much of what he said would result from widespread contraceptive use has come to pass, including a decline in morality, the objectification of women, and a reduction in respect for women among the male population. As the old (somewhat crude) saying goes, "why pay for the cow when you can get the milk for free?"

40+ years after it was written Humanae Vitae is receiving a fresh look by many in the academic and theological communities.

Still, the issue at hand - the abuse of the Consititution by the present administration - is not directly related to the teachings of the RCC. I've noticed the RCC bashers like to come out at times like these, they rant and vent while disregarding the actual issue itself.

Best regards,
john davidson

larry kurtz

Transubstantiation is ritual cannabalism.

larry kurtz

If altar boys could get pregnant abortion would be a sacrament.

john davidson

Larry - Gee, those were very insightful observations that contributed greatly to this dialogue…very well thought out, thank you very much. Now I understand the world and everything in it much better. Cheers!

john davidson

larry kurtz

Look, jd: you write crap like this: "Still, the issue at hand - the abuse of the Consititution by the present administration - is not directly related to the teachings of the RCC," expect someone to crawl into your colon with a microscope.

It is because billions of people have been duped by The Vatican that reinforces the premise that religion is a study in the history of mental illness.


john davidson

Hi Larry,

Hmmm, I misspelled "Constitution", that's not like me, I'll be more careful in the future.

My wife said to ask if you are related to Moe and Curly. But that would be border line name calling so I won't.

Whether you like it or not the issue here is the First Amendment to the Constitution, not your demented view of the RCC. Deal with it.

At times you sound like you could use a good exorcist! I don't happen to be Catholic (considering it, though)- but just let me know and I'll see if I can rustle one up for you!

john davidson

larry kurtz

Mail a check to Our Lady of Good Counsel in Elkton as a memorial to Monsignor Louis J. Miller.

larry kurtz

@KathaPollitt: Okay, I'm shocked: JFK watched 19yrold intern-girlfriend perform oral sex on aide at his behest.


Ken Blanchard

John: thanks for providing an example.

Larry: I have yet to ban anyone from this blog. You are making a serious effort to be the first. Bigoted and altogether irrelevant comments are your specialty, but here you go overboard. Consider this a notice.

larry kurtz

What? Good grief: ip is pushing Santorum for you guys.

john davidson

Ken: I'm afraid ol' Larry brought out my sarcastic side. If I re-visit this board I'll try to keep my own standards a bit higher.

You wrote an insightful piece at the top of this thread that I agree with 100%. Your point about the Free Exercise clause and the possible constitutionality of this new rule concerns me, but I believe wiser heads will eventually prevail and the rule will be reversed by a future administration, or an act of Congress. I believe Obama is attempting to drive a solid wedge between the RCC leadership and it's members, knowing that many of the members disagree with the Church on this issue. Divide and conquer. It is a calculated risk that I believe/hope will backfire. While many Catholics are of the cafeteria variety I think they will reject a direct governmental assault on the Church. Rather like, "they can't diss our Church leaders, only we can diss our Church leaders."

Thanks for an excellent piece.

Larry: Nothing personal. Don't be surprised, however, if many normally reserved Catholics (and their friends in other faiths) show a bit less tolerance for derogatory comments that are based purely on emotional hatred. The bishops are clearly agitated, and are showing signs of rallying the troops. If they do, remember the expression author James Joyce used to describe the Catholic Church - "Here comes everybody."

Larry: Peter Kreeft speaks eloquently of the difference between the Church, which is from Christ and therefore "holy", and it's members, both clergy and laity, who are not. In his book Catholic Christianity, Kreeft writes:

"Christ established his Church, not as a museum for saints, but as a hospital for sinners. “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mk 2:17)."

Larry: For all it's flaws, for ~2,000 years the RCC has done more good than any other human institution I can think of...perhaps there are others, but I can't think of any. Certainly you dont have to agree with any of this but you might stop and consider whether your words are truly serving their desired purpose. God bless you.

All: Sorry, this thread is not supposed to be about the RCC but about the recent HHS ruling..future posts from me will respect that.

john davidson

larry kurtz

Istáwicayazan Wi – Moon of Sore Eyes (Snow Blindness)

Donald Pay

Your religious bigotry shows when you say that most Catholics follow the authority of the male cabal. I hardly think so. Most Catholics have their own relationship with God, and tolerate and ignore the male cabal as much as possible. Most would like to see the Vatican come out of the Dark Ages and get into the real world. Doing away with male domination of the priesthood and celibacy might make them look less like they lived by Sharia law. The reports I've heard are that 80 percent of Catholic women in the US use birth control, so that leave about 20 percent who follow the cabal on that issue. I was always taught that true faith is more about what you do on Monday through Saturday, not what pew you sit in on Sunday. Most Catholic women are using birth control like most Protestant, Jewish, pagan and atheist women.

john davidson


I don't thing the RCC needs to worry about the appearance of "Sharia Law" any time soon. Check out the status of the RCC permitting Anglicans/Episcopalians to join the Church.

Anglicans are trying to liberalize the Word of God, the RCC is standing pat. Yet many Anglicans are crossing the Tiber.

Methinks sincere Christians are getting fed up.



D.E. Bishop

Interesting. Interesting.

When I speak of RCC, I'm talking about the pope and his boys. Some members of the church are quite conservative, others are very liberal. Just like many other institutions. The boys at the Vatican are extremely conservative, and in the RCC structure, they have all the power.

You may not be aware of the deliberate historical program created by the RCC to reduce the status of women. A few years ago, maybe 10?, the Vatican publicly acknowledged that they had distorted the role of Mary Magdalene, deliberately conflating her story with that of a prostitute. That's only one example.

I understand that several of you feel this is all about the HHS decision. I disagree with that. It is in part, in part only. It's also about the separation of church and state.

Davidson, you said, "Much of what he said would result from widespread contraceptive use has come to pass, including a decline in morality, the objectification of women, and a reduction in respect for women among the male population." There is no evidence of any causal relationship there. None.

Someone referred to all the good the RCC has done. No argument here. The people of that church certainly have. However, that is not the end of the discussion.

I don't believe a trade off is effective. For instance:

We fed thousands of people v. We killed a few thousands less of people in crusades, inquisitions, witch hunts, etc.

We've provided health care to thousands of people v. We've denied condom use to a few less thousands of people who then died of AIDS.

We provided schools and Christian teachings for thousands of Indian children v. We molested a few less thousands of them.

See, I don't think that one cancels another out. When your defense of the RCC is that they've done some, even many good things . . . that's awfully weak. As it is for anything else.

Mark Anderson

Ah Ken, it is a matter of birth control and when did that become free. Anyone who works for a company that provides insurance is in actuality paying for it themselves.
Again why should a Baptist woman or an Atheist woman or an Islamic woman have to work under the religious standards of the Catholic church when they are working at a Catholic hospital. Why not talk about the Catholic discrimination of their workers, because it's easy to make a case for it. You can say it's religious freedom to do so, but again that's too simple. Again, it's already done in many states, so why now is the argument blaring. It's again simple, another way to bash Obama. It's pretty funny actually. You've got the new Catholic Gingrich, blasting Obama for it. Gingrich has a wonderful history with women but that's another argument.

larry kurtz

@justingsmith Justin Smith: Rep. Hickey on HB 1218: "The statute of limitations on sex abuse claims, passed in 2010, was part of a conspiracy by the Catholic Church."
5 minutes ago.
Retweeted by rcjMontgomery

larry kurtz

"As Governor of Massachusetts in 2005, Mitt Romney required all Massachusetts hospitals, including Catholic ones, to provide emergency contraception to rape victims, even though some Catholics view the morning-after pill as a form of abortion."


john davidson

D. E.

As the kids say on facebook, wow. I started to prepare a lengthy response but decided, what’s the point? Your anger (at something) places you beyond any level of help I can provide.

The conservatism of the Catholic hierarchy (“the boys”) is well-grounded (see Bible) and, dare I say it, probably has something to do with the fact that the Church has prevailed for ~2,000 years, has 1 billion members, and shows no signs of declining despite myriad attacks against it, pretty much from day one.

Please research St. Mary Magdalene with an eye to Pope Gregory (year 591). Fast forward ~1,400 years to 1969. You might be surprised what you find. Consider that the Catholic Church named this woman a saint in the earliest days, and that there are scores of Catholic Churches named after her at present.

Then tell me how the Catholic Church used St. Mary Magdalene to deliberately “reduce the status of women.”

I think the Supreme Court will be more interested in the Constitution than the nebulous concept of separation of Church and state, when they eventually rule on the decision by the HHS. Please research the notion of separation of Church and state (Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to a Baptist Church). Do you think this concept trumps the Constitution?

Regarding the pill and morality, all I can say again is, wow. No causal relationship? You are clueless about the baser instincts of men.

Many women today wonder why men seem less interested in them as lifelong mates. Research the difference between “pretty/innocent/chaste” and “hot.” Pretty/innocent makes men want to marry. Hot makes men want to consume. Sorry! Our society today mocks pretty/innocent and glorifies hot. Personally, I think women suffer the most from this.

Regarding your statements about the good vs. not good the Catholic Church has done over 2,000 years, all I can say is we must live in parallel universes.

Ken, thanks, it has been interesting. Your initial piece on the HSS ruling was excellent.

John D.

Ken Blanchard

Thank you John, and thanks for your helpful contributions. Stick around. We are a lively bunch here, and occasionally some of us have interesting things to say.

Ken Blanchard

Bill: I am worried about the proliferation of a lot of things. Nukes. Real estate hunting TV shows. However, I am very fond of Flemming noses. We can make room for more of those.

D.E. Bishop

John D. You said, "As the kids say on facebook, wow. I started to prepare a lengthy response but decided, what’s the point? Your anger (at something) places you beyond any level of help I can provide."

That sounds like a deliberate attempt to marginalize me. You declare me angry and beyond hope so you can avoid dealing with the information I've provided. My information is very well researched and accurate.

If you don't like what I have shared, then you are free to disagree. Just be honest about it, rather than trying to obtusely attack me personally.

BTW, I never asked for your help, though you write as though it is your responsibility to correct my errant thinking. I hope that you can do much better than your 2/6, 10:35 post.

john davidson

Hi D.E.

The last thing I want to do is marginalize you. But I guess I don't find your info that well "researched and accurate."

I'm not attacking you or anyone else on this blog personally. I do disagree with you, though, so far.

I'll give you my honest opinion and I'll certainly take your hits back!


We should let our arguments stand on their own merits.

That may lead us to the truth.


larry kurtz

Join me and sue the Church this week: it's morally bankrupt; let's break it now.

Donald Pay

There is an twisted sexual meme underlying much of this thread. Let's take, for example, John Davidson's statement, "Many women today wonder why men seem less interested in them as lifelong mates. Research the difference between “pretty/innocent/chaste” and “hot.” Pretty/innocent makes men want to marry. Hot makes men want to consume. Sorry! Our society today mocks pretty/innocent and glorifies hot. Personally, I think women suffer the most from this."

In reading this I have to wonder whether it is "many women" in wonderment, or if it is John Davidson's own particular sexual fantasy he is laying out for us here. John's statement seems a bit dated, like porn on videotape, more a concern of the 1970s than of today's young women. He's 40 years behind the times of what today's young women think and feel and it may indicate why he identifies so strongly with the outdated policies of the old men in the Catholic Church who have self-appointed themselves as keepers of the virtue of today's women.

Putting out this "whore/Madona" duality is something that screwed up generations of men and women, and leads to an inability to really understand human sexuality.

john davidson

Hi Donald, please tell us more! My wife and teenage daughters all had a chuckle at what you wrote, but we are a little confused about what the actual point was, if there is one.

One of my daughters asked me what "whore/Madonna duality" means? I could not answer her.

Please tell us more!

Thanks, jd

Donald Pay

Not interested in your further titillation, JD.

john davidson

Uhhh, Donald, sorry, there hasn't been anything titillating that I've read here yet, "please to explain", as they say.

D.E., Larry, Donald, et al, please copy/paste this link, read it and let me know what you think: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/290699/gospel-according-obama-charles-krauthammer

It's important to have a dialogue on this, not a few one-sided comments.


larry kurtz

dialogue with earth haters is pointless.

john davidson


I dunno, I'm concluding that this well-meaning blog is too full of liberals to be of much overall value!

Larry is kooky in a fun sort of way, I'd rather have a beer with him than any of the other contributors, crazy as he otherwise might seem.

D. E. is an uptight lady who thinks women have been getting screwed by societies since societies first sprang up. D. E. consider this - gender equality is different from gender interchangeability.

Donald thinks my comments make me a perv. What is that?! I think Donald is a closet perv...D. E. can make that call.

Been fun guys, I honestly hope you all find what you are seeking!!

Sincere best regards,
john davidson

The comments to this entry are closed.