Cardinal Timothy Dolan has made it very clear that he doesn’t like President Obama’s contraception mandate. And apparently, he and the Catholic Church are prepared to let poor people starve to death if President Obama doesn’t give in to their demands.
In an appearance on Martin Bashir on MSNBC on Tuesday, Dolan said that the Church would abandon Jesus’ effort to help the sick and feed the poor in protest of the contraception mandate that only applies to insurance companies and not the Church itself.
“If these mandates kick in, we’re going to find ourselves faced with a terribly difficult decision as to whether or not we can continue to operate,” Dolan said. “As part of our religion — it’s part of our faith that we feed the hungry, that we educate the kids, that we take care of the sick. We’d have to give it up, because we’re unable to fit the description and the definition of a church given by — guess who — the federal government.”
Bashir then pointed out that the Catholic Church had taken a staggering $2.9 billion from the federal government to pay for the charitable efforts the Church provides. “They don’t seem to bristle at the hand of government when it comes to money, do they,” Bashir commented.
But it was David Corn of Mother Jones who had the best observation about Dolan’s threat. “It strikes me as just not very Christian, if I can say so, to get out there and say, ‘We will not be providing services if you force us to do these things — or if there’s a mandate,” Corn stated. ”Would Jesus take his fish and a loaf and go home?”
Here’s the video:
Perhaps the Catholic Church has outlived its usefulness in this world if it has sunk so low to be willing to let hungry people starve and sick people die as a way to throw a temper tantrum over contraception that prevents unwanted pregnancies and therefore prevents abortion. I have never seen an organization that is so willing to put others in harm’s way in order to advance their agenda. Oh wait, I have. The Tea Party. And coincidentally, I’m sure, the Tea Party also thinks we should let the poor starve and let the sick die. And what’s up with this $2.9 billion that the Church has gleefully been collecting from the government? As it turns out, that money comprised 62% of the total revenue of the Church and they paid nothing in taxes on that revenue. So not only did the Catholic Church collect almost $3 billion of taxpayer dollars, they didn’t have to pay a cent in taxes. And that taxpayer money didn’t just come from practicing American Catholics. It came from every hard working American in the nation.
Just this funding alone makes me wonder if the Catholic Church could properly operate without it. It just seems to me that the Catholic Church is whining over something that they really have no business whining about. If you’re going to take federal cash, you should accept federal laws, especially when those laws do not directly apply to you and only apply to the insurance companies that cover your employees. Not a dime of the Church’s (or the government’s) money will have to go toward covering contraception. Insurance companies are required to now offer contraception to employees of religious institutions free of charge. In other words, there is no violation of religious freedom in this case. So this isn’t really about religious liberty as much as it is about women having access to contraception.
Religious institutions have no business interfering with the federal government, especially on policies that apply to the whole country, especially when a religious entity takes billions in tax payer money to help support itself, which brings up another issue. But rather than criticize the Church myself for taking federal funds while complaining about federal policy, I’ll let a famous Founding Father do it.
“When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obligated to call for help of the civil power, it’s a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.”
I’d say that about sums it up.