A recent story in USA Today commented on how Catholic bishops have lost their stage since Rush Limbaugh's slander of Georgetown student Susan Fluke last week. The bishops had been wallowing in their 15 minutes of fame ever since Pres. Obama compromised on a plan to require Catholic institutions that hire non-Catholics, such as hospitals, to offer health insurance that covers contraception. Churches were always exempt from the requirement. Obama's compromise would not require religious institutions to offer coverage for contraception but the insurance companies themselves would have to.
But that wasn't good enough for the bishops. They want no contraception at all. Obviously, they know there is no way to get what they want, a world free of any kind of contraception. But for now, they would settle for the cancellation of the contraceptive mandate in Obama's health care plan.
The bishops were successful for awhile, along with the Republican presidential candidates, in labeling the controversy as a freedom of religion issue. But thanks to Limbuagh's three-day tirade against Fluke, the topic has focused on women's health care rights. The bishops can't seem to buy a headline this week. And that's good news for rational, thinking people who don't give a rat's ass what the good-old-boy bishops have to say. Mainstream, rank-and-file Catholic women seldom paid them much attention anyway. About 98 percent of Catholic women have used birth control despite a prohibition on it by the Church. And framing the contraceptive issue in terms of religious freedom didn't seem to change any minds on the matter.
The fact is, Catholic bishops are a group of albatrosses who are way out of touch with their flock. The vast majority of Catholics don't really care what the bishops, or even the pope has to say on social issues. Mainstream Catholics are more in touch with the modern world than any part of the Church Hierarchy. In fact, isn't it about time the Catholic Church lightened up a little? It really doesn't have a clue about the social effects caused by most of the stringent rules it applies. Many of them are not grounded in biblical dogma anyway. The cardinals and bishops of an earlier age simply made up much of the doctrine that they now pass off as what Jesus would have wanted and force it on the modern-day rank-and-file members.
Perhaps it is time for the bishops to get real and ease up a little. They are a bunch of stodgy old men who understand and care very little about modern society. They care less about women and women's issues. They, along with priests and nuns are not allowed to take mates, which might explain why so many of them like to molest little boys. Maybe if they could get a little now and then the giant stick that's been stuck up their collective asses would be easier to remove. But no, the pope will have none of that kind of reform. So, I guess the best thing the bishops can do under the circumstances is just to go fuck themselves.