Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Monday, July 25, 2011

What's up?

* Amy Davidson has a post at The New Yorker about gay marriages in New York and funerals in Norway -- Rituals: Many Weddings, Many Funerals ...

Sunday was a day of rituals, from New York to Norway—ceremonies of love and mourning, both intimate and public. In our city, a cheering crowd gathered outside the City Clerk’s office on Worth Street, where hundreds of same-sex marriages took place on the first day they were legal; at Gracie Mansion, Mayor Bloomberg officiated for two of his aides, who are the fathers of two small daughters. (Michael Schulman has more on the scene.) In a cathedral in Oslo, there was a memorial for more than ninety people; some were killed when a man named Anders Behring Breivik set a bomb in a government building, more when Breivik opened fire at a youth camp a few hours later. More people came to the cathedral than it could hold, and the square outside was filled with flowers. The pictures were of parents who won’t see their children alive again, and of King Harald V crying ...

* You can read about the Cloyne report at US Catholic: Irish sex abuse: From bad to worse, and here's a video of the speech given last Wednesday by Ireland’s prime minister, Enda Kenny, about the report. The Vatican has recalled its ambassador over the speech, but I thought it was a good speech ....

* There's an editorial in The Los Angeles Times with which I agree - Covering contraception makes sense ...

[...] Close to half of all pregnancies in this country are unplanned, and about 40% of those result in abortions. In addition, according to a University of Michigan study, a third of all births in the country are unintended. In many cases, those births are nonetheless welcomed, but studies have found that pregnant women are more likely to smoke and drink during an unplanned pregnancy, two activities that are dangerous to the fetus, and that they tend to be less attentive to the babies born of such pregnancies.

Abortions and unwanted pregnancies are not only more expensive than contraception, they are sad events in a family's life. Removing the financial barriers that keep many women from using contraceptives is both smart preventive medicine and a social good. The Obama administration has wisely indicated that it will adopt the recommendation.

The Roman Catholic Church and conservative religious groups predictably object, seeing this as a government endorsement of contraception. Pregnancy is not a disease, they note, and most preventive care is aimed at warding off medical problems. But once a medication or medical device is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it should not be treated differently by the government, or by insurers, based on religious beliefs. The person who should make the decision on whether to use contraception is the patient .....


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