I am pro choice in all things. So, if some want to believe that the moon is made of cream cheese; politicians work for the American People; corporations and money are more important the human beings and a vibrant civil society serving ALL of its members; kissing the master’s ring long enough will result in having a place at the table rather than just serving; suffering is redemptive and the only way to the heart of a heartless God, therefore, our great experiment in democracy and freedom should become a medieval style theocracy a la Ted Cruz; forcing men and women to have more children then they can feed without recognizing a responsibility to preserve the planet on which those children will stand is honorable; and/or anyone who refuses to accept a given religion is persecuting its followers and in violation of the Constitution, because Jefferson and the boys gave one faith the exclusive right to live out its belief system – then by the Goddess they are at liberty to believe any or all of the aforementioned claptrap.
However, such people are not invited to foul my airways, my Facebook pages or my blogs. They are certainly not invited to come creeping into my life like an invasive and noxious weed, buying up hospitals under cover of secrecy or passing laws under cover of legislative, bureaucratic darkness. To wit: here in northern Colorado the Little Sisters of We Move Stealthily out of Bend-Over-We-Are-Driving, Any Red State, USA, are quietly buying up hospital beds. Pursuant to the purchase of such beds these nuns put in place something called the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services or ERDs, approved by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Accordingly, abortions are not allowed except in cases where the life of the mother is threatened – a small advance over the Dark Ages, not much. Surgical family planning options are not available to members of either sex, that is to say, both tubal ligations and vasectomies are no longer done. Lest you think anything to the contrary, please rest assured that these nuns and priests are equal opportunity meddlers. It seems that the advanced directives that people my age have crafted for the benefit of our loved ones, with the help of our attorneys and in accordance with our own faiths and personal convictions may not be recognized or honored.
Let me be clear, I am a Pagan Lady. I have followed the Great Goddess longer than most of the people who will read this have been alive. I have a spiritual obligation to Her to respect and tolerate all religions even those that are disrespectful to and intolerant of mine. It is a moral imperative in my faith to honor and appreciate all people, as I honor and appreciate this planet and all creatures. I do my best to comply with these requirements of my religion, but I do not and cannot respect, tolerate, honor or appreciate these sneaking, conniving, “holy sisters” and the men they serve – cheerleaders/part-time tax exempt lobbyists with their collars turned backward who spent the better part of the last century hiding pedophiles.
At Good Samaritan Hospital in Lafayette, Colorado, near my home, I was told by a staff member that not only has this takeover been secret, but the hospital itself does not advertise its affiliation. Well, I don’t blame them. Since all Christian denominations read the same gospel – or so I am told – one would not know that Good Sam’s is Catholic out of hand. When Brad and I first starting going to this hospital we were encouraged to submit our living wills and advanced directive, as Kaiser and Medicare, not to mention the ACA, encouraged their creation.
When I attempted to speak to Good Samaritan about the validity of my legal directives, some nitwit on the switchboard informed me that I needed to speak to a priest. Speak to a priest; really; me? I am certain that she was taken aback by my loud and sustained laughter. I then asked to speak to the patient representative. I was given a number, called that number and left a message. My call was never returned. Hardly surprising since people who hide their affiliation and agenda from the public at large, seldom want to talk to a member of the public who sounds neither stupid nor supportive of their overreach.
Kaiser tells me that it uses the few non-Catholic hospitals left in the area and Planned Parenthood to practice reproductive medicine, and that anyone who wishes to get their money, or Medicare’s come to that, had damn well better honor living wills and advanced directives. Kaiser has been wrong before. All the same, it is funny how commerce waters down religious zealotry every time. Still, I remain vigilant and will keep asking questions.
Vigilance needs to be our watchword, asking questions needs to be our first line of defense, and not just where hospitals are concerned. Although, one might start by calling their community hospital or the hospital their physician uses and finding out who owns it and who will control their life once they are admitted.
Little by little corrupt politicians, arrogant clerics and their handmaidens are surreptitiously usurping our civil liberties. Those who scream the most about freedom and rights are often the first to step with flagrant disregard on the freedom and rights of others. Clandestinely and with malice of forethought money and privilege are cementing the idea that some people matter and some people don’t – those that agree with you matter and those that disagree don’t. While the Constitution is hauled out with ever increasing regularity to justify the tyranny of zealots – the religious and the just plain power hungry alike – the material fact that has been forgotten in all this religious liberty palaver is simply this: Jefferson and the boys wrote the Freedom of Religion and Establishment Clause in part to assert and defend freedom FROM religion.