Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Diocese starts 1% propaganda site

Because this is a day ending in y, the right-wing intelligentsia is again living in Bizarro World by claiming to represent the precise opposite of what they really stand for.

A few days ago, I saw a sign in the front yard of a northern Kentucky mansion that depicted the Statue of Liberty and a website address that seemed to allude to religious freedom. When I got home, I logged on to this site and found it to be a sham. The site - which is a department of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington - featured a lengthy dispatch against religious liberty.

The text attacked the Obama administration's popular policy on insurance coverage of contraceptives by calling it a "restriction on the free exercise of religion." In reality, the policy does nothing to crimp religious freedom. In fact, a majority of the states already had such a policy.

The website also claimed Obama's policy covers contraceptives that induce abortion. That is false. By definition, contraceptives do not induce abortion. If they did, they would be abortifacients, not contraceptives. The President's policy does not cover abortifacients.

If contraception is a form of abortion, abstinence is too.

The diocese's website is not about religious freedom. It's about imposing beliefs on everybody else - and playing on partisan politics. It also embodies both the economic and the social dimensions of political conservatism: Not only does it attempt to police personal behavior, but it also tries to minimize health care as a public function. By endeavoring to control what individuals do in private, this campaign ultimately serves the Wall Street 1%.

The right-wing brain trust doesn't whip up each of their ideas independently of one another. All of their memes are part of an intertwined program that seeks to codify a stance on every issue - serving the rich and powerful. The movement against the White House's contraception policy is part of this system. The forces of conservative extremism have lost the public opinion battle and perhaps the electoral battle. But - by losing those fights - the Far Right thinks they can get more out of it in the long run as they seek to replace human aspirations with their rigid code.

We can talk about the magic of freedom because it truly is magic. Liberty works! Freeing your mind is a process that can transform you from a fearful wreck into a thinker to be reckoned with. Plus, constitutional liberties such as freedom of religion are a must in our democratic system. It's a shame the Diocese of Covington's latest webpage claims to promote it but doesn't.

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