Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Spiritual Care?

religion, christian, health care, hatch, enzi, kerry, public option, rape, birth control, abortion, abstinence, safe sex,
The Secular Coalition for America is fighting three amendments to the health care bill that are egregious examples of religious intrusion in government that we all should be aware of and fight against.

Of great concern is a bipartisan amendment sponsored by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) that would require private and public health plans to cover all "spiritual care" - whether or not the individual has religous objections to medical care. This proposed funding undermines our Constitution and will open up your tax dollars to scam artists.

This amendment will make an existing problem worse. Religious people who object to medical care already have some "spiritual care" covered by Medicare and Medicaid. This "spiritual care" includes reimbursements for payments that Christian Scientists make to members of the Church who pray for them when they are ill. Numerous children have died while receiving this "spiritual care" when modern science would easily have saved their lives. And you helped pay!

We currently pay people to watch children die. Allow me to repeat myself: your tax dollars pay people to watch children die. This is appalling and should not be allowed to continue. The fact that the government doles out tax dollars for this reprehensible practice is . . . I don't know what to say. I don't have words for that.

One Christian Scientist congregation presided over the deaths of 64 children between 1975 and 1995, and Orrin Hatch and John Kerry want to encourage that. I suggest contacting them and telling them no.

Senator Enzi wants to make sure that if my doctor is opposed to birth control pills or, well, anything, he doesn't even have to tell me the treatment exists. This is already a problem with morning after pills, especially for rape victims. Rape victims who visit Christian (usually Catholic) hospitals, or who are seen by those opposed to birth control, are often not even told that after the fact birth control exists. I am personally quite opposed to exposing already traumatized rape victims to the further trauma of having to choose between giving birth to their rapist's baby or aborting it.

We are fighting another amendment, proposed by Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming), which would ensure that doctors can deny patients any care or information that violates the doctor's religious beliefs. This violation of medical ethics is labeled with the Orwellian term "Conscience Clause" - i.e. denying or delaying proper care for a person in need. This amendment cruelly places the religious beliefs of practitioners (such as pharmacists) above the medical needs of patients. This amendment threatens your access to contraception, end-of-life care, HIV care, and any other care to which a health provider employee objects.

Senator Hatch also wants to revive abstinence-only programs, despite the fact that they are a miserable failure.

Third, Senator Hatch has submitted an amendment requesting that funding for Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage programs be restored. Congress has wasted $ 1.5 billion on such programs since 1996. Numerous studies, including a 10-year government-funded evaluation of the Title V abstinence-only program, have found that these programs do not delay sexual initiation and have no beneficial impact on young people's health or sexual behavior. In addition to being ineffective and leaving out information on safe sex, many such programs contain false and misleading "medical" statements and teach religious propaganda and theologically-driven gender stereotypes to our children.

There is no reason to teach abstinence only other than religion. Abstinence-only programs don't work, as is ably demonstrated by the fact that teens in highly religious states have the highest pregnancy rates. Abstinence-only programs deter birth control use, not sex.

Please help out teenagers, women, rape victims, children, yourself, and everyone else and tell these politicians, in no uncertain terms, to keep their religion out of the health care bill.


  1. I wrote to both of them this morning. Unreal what these people try to do. Any of course by "spiritual care" they mean Christian or some other Abrahamic religious tradition. If it were Wiccans trying to get their beliefs into the bill under the notion of "spiritual care" they would freak out. But it's all OK for the Christians right, because they have the truth. Not OK for others to do the exact same thing because well, they're wicked servants of evil. *rolls eyes* Thanks for posting this.

  2. This bill will be loaded down with an amazing amount of terrible amendments before it gets voted on.


Comments are for you guys, not for me. Say what you will. Don't feel compelled to stay on topic, I enjoy it when comments enter Tangentville or veer off into Non Sequitur Town. Just keep it polite, okay?

I am attempting to use blogger's new comment spam feature. If you don't immediately see your comment, it is being held in spam, I will get it out next time I check the filter. Unless you are Dennis Markuze, in which case you're never seeing your comment.

Creative Commons License
Forever in Hell by Personal Failure is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at foreverinhell.blogspot.com.