It seems progress is inchin’ its way forward, even in the Catholic Church.
Yesterday, 60 leaders of religious orders representing 59,000 nuns joined with the Catholic Health Association to support the Senate health care reform bill. The Nuns’ support for the bill is in direct defiance of Catholic Bishops, who came out against the bill on Monday claiming it funds abortion (it doesn’t, much to my dismay). The Bishops assumed they were speaking for the entire Catholic Church. You know, the way a man tells a woman whom to vote for in Real America. Oh, dear.
You can’t blame the boys for assuming they were the voice of authority. That’s how this whole religion thing works. It’s based on patriarchy and serves to enable and support the patriarchal system. Nuns do the dirty work in the trenches whilst Bishops wave to crowds, eyeing up fresh….bait.
So, what goes on here?
I went to a Catholic school for a brief time, and I’m fully aware of the many prejudices and resentments one can carry with them after a few hours balancing their bare kneecaps on Sister Theresa’s wooden bench. However, this is some true sisterhood in action and an awesome display of courage.
The Nuns have came together to say they care MORE about pragmatic reality, MORE about helping people, MORE about correcting the unjust practices in the current healthcare system than they do obeying the patriarchs of the Catholic Church, who are cynically catering to political powers. This is a gift to humanity, the women’s movement, social justice, Democrats, and certainly Jesus if one believes.
The Nuns are raising holy hell by defying the Bishops. They are taking a stand for real pro-life legislation. That is what goes on here. And in doing so, they have not only defied but also actually shamed the Bishops.
The nuns support the healthcare reform bill because it is pro-humanity, pro-life, pro-social justice – everything Jesus stands for in the bible. However, the Bishops have no reason for their position, based as it is upon a lie. The driving force of their position is prideful indulgence of their own assumed power. I’m sure those boys don’t have the sense God gave them, so God’s only grace for them is that they don’t realize what preening fools they are. But back to our nuns and their stupendous courage….
It seems these nuns studied the bill, and having been in the trenches as first responders (as women are in general when it comes to healthcare), and they found it to be pro-life, pro-family, a good thing for the poor, and in general a pro-social justice piece of legislation. Which is what Jesus stood for and indeed, the very foundation of every religion I can think of. While they don’t find it perfect, they know we need this.
I can’t help but wonder what real America thinks about nuns reading. Isn’t reading elitist? And how on earth did these ladies get through this bill, which the Republicans have had on their desks for almost a year and still haven’t managed to read, due to its “length”? Perhaps it was divine intervention.
Regardless of your beliefs, it’s hard not to be moved by the tireless work of the sisters of the Catholic Church. They minister to the poor, aid pregnant women, and run free clinics and hospitals across this country. They know first hand the inhumane damage the health care crisis is causing.
I don’t agree with their stance on abortion, but I do agree with their pro-life stance. Pro-life should mean that one is FOR LIFE for all people; poor, pregnant, not-pregnant — regardless of color, race, sex, religion, or crime committed. And anyone who has the courage to stand up for and behind the convictions of their faith, without cynically falling prey to hypocrisy in order to serve their political ends, deserves respect.
“We write to urge you to cast a life-affirming “yes” vote when the Senate health care bill (H.R. 3590) comes to the floor of the House for a vote as early as this week. …..
We have witnessed firsthand the impact of our national health care crisis, particularly its impact on women, children and people who are poor. We see the toll on families who have delayed seeking care due to a lack of health insurance coverage or lack of funds with which to pay high deductibles and co-pays. We have counseled and prayed with men, women and children who have been denied health care coverage by insurance companies. We have witnessed early and avoidable deaths because of delayed medical treatment.
…..It will make crucial investments in community health centers that largely serve poor women and children. And despite false claims to the contrary, the Senate bill will not provide taxpayer funding for elective abortions. It will uphold longstanding conscience protections and it will make historic new investments – $250 million – in support of pregnant women. This is the REAL pro-life stance, and we as Catholics are all for it.
…. In this Lenten time, we have launched nationwide prayer vigils for health care reform. We are praying for those who currently lack health care. We are praying for the nearly 45,000 who will lose their lives this year if Congress fails to act. We are also praying for you and your fellow Members of Congress as you complete your work in the coming days. For us, this health care reform is a faith mandate for life and dignity of all of our people.”
Sing it, Sisters. Score a big one for humanity.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.