In a move that will surprise a grand total of zero persons, the Catholic Church is protesting a new White House mandate requiring employers to provide contraception and other reproductive services as part of their health-care plans. The mandate, which requires religious employers to provide "preventive" health-care services for their employees — including cervical-cancer screenings and birth-control pills — has royally pissed off the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who released a statement Friday saying that the church would pursue "every legal avenue available to them to bring an end to this mandate. That means legislation, litigation, public advocacy. All options are on the table."
Although evangelical Christians, Orthodox rabbis, and other religious leaders are pissed about the ordinance, the Catholic Church has been by far the most vocal, embarking on a nationwide crusade to get Congress to reverse the ruling since it was announced last month. While the mandate, which takes effect in August, doesn't apply directly to churches, it does apply to employees at Catholic-owned hospitals, universities, and charities, and members of the church argue that the law violates their constitutional rights by "interfering in the workings of the church," according to Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokesperson for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Of course, by attempting to deny non-Catholic workers the health-insurance coverage enjoyed by every other employee in the country, that kind of seems like the pot calling the kettle black, but that's no biggie 'cause the church has been doing that for years. It's not like these guys have to personally administer cervical-cancer screenings to every parochial-school teacher in the country, or slip doses of Yaz under the tongues of lady churchgoers. Ultimately, the fact that these yabboes are investing so much time and energy into fighting this mandate isn't a shock as much as it's just one more bullet point on the endless, infuriating list of reasons of how out of touch the Church is with the rest of the world.