Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Good News: No Pay for Pray Healthcare

Here's a happy update on the Holy Blog's previous post!

The Freedom from Religion Foundation reports:
     The Freedom From Religion Foundation is delighted to report that the mandate requiring private medical insurers to reimburse for "religious or spiritual health care" was not included in the merged health care reform bill that Sens. Reid, Baucus and Dodd have sent to the Senate floor. This provision was previously removed from the House version of the bill. This action removes the language that would have mandated payment to Christian Scientist practitioners for "faith-healing" expenses. This is a great victory for the separation of church and state, and a deserved defeat for the Christian Science lobby—responsible for the passage in most states of "faith-healing" exemptions to protect parents from prosecution when they fail to seek medical treatment for gravely ill children on religious grounds.

Paying for Prayer: Your Tax Dollars

As soon as a coin in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs.

     I first heard of this story over the weekend on the Freedom from Religion Foundation's show on Air America (which you can download for free on iTunes).

     The following text is a reblog of a post by Dan Savage on Monday, Nov 23, 2009 at 10:13 AM at The Stranger.  He said it so well, that I couldn't improve upon his words.  Thanks Dan!

     Here's what Dan has to say:

     The government isn't going to cover abortion—or allow you to buy a plan that covers abortion—but it is going to pay for... prayer?
    Leaders of the Church of Christ, Scientist, are pushing a proposal that would help patients pay someone like Lewis for prayer by having insurers reimburse the $20 to $40 cost.
    The provision was stripped from the bill the House passed this month, and church leaders are trying to get it inserted into the Senate version. And the church has powerful allies there, including Sens. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), who represents the state where the church is based, and Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), who said the provision would "ensure that health-care reform law does not discriminate against any religion."
     Faith healing. Deficit hawk Orrin Hatch and John Fucking Kerry (!) want health insurers to pay people to pray. Because not paying people to pray somehow amounts to religious discrimination? Jesus Christ, it's time to start a new religion that has just two sacraments: abortion and homosexual sodomy. It might be the only way to protect choice and secure gay rights in this lunatic asylum we call a country.

Global Dominion, Global Meltdown

     Then God said: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground."  God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.  God blessed them, saying: "Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth." -Genesis 1:26-28
     Even within mainline Catholic and Protestant scripture circles the book of Genesis is considered myth.  The creation story is similar to other Middle Eastern creation myths as is the flood story.  Who knew that the holy spirit practiced borderline plagiarism?  Still, that doesn't stop proof-texting religious conservatives of all Christian denominations from abusing the above quote from Genesis.

     This text is often used to condemn homosexuals.  Those condemning claim that same sex couples can't be fruitful and multiply.  (As if having your own biological children is the only way to assist the species.)  They also claim that god created one man and one woman, male and female and that this is the only natural way for human beings to interact.  "It's in Genesis! God's decree!" they argue.  But so is the fantastic account of the Nephilim, giants, appearing in the land after "the sons of heaven," celestial beings/angels, came down from heaven and had a little "divine intervention" with the sexy, hot human females, if you know what I mean. (Genesis 6)  I mean: WTF?

     That said, the myths of the Pentateuch are ripe for misuse by the far right.  One common myth is that because god gave human beings dominion over the earth, that we can do whatever we want to the planet.  The earth is our garden, our playground, and our ash tray.  There is no global warming, because whatever is happening to the earth is god's plan and our dominion.

     They are wrong.  When myth continues to trump the scientific evidence, we all pay the price.  Perhaps, they will get that flood of cataclysmic proportions after all.