PASTRAMI ON RYE

Friday, December 13th, 2013 | Uncategorized

The other day, Rick Warren, this culture’s go-to evangelical Protestant by people who don’t understand either word, observed that legally forcing Christian businesses or ministries to pay for abortion contraception birth control is a lot like legally forcing Jewish delis to sell pork. 

At The Christian Century, Carol Merritt didn’t like that comparison at all.  And I have to warn you that it’s been a very long time since I’ve seen a piece open with this much stupidity straight out of the gate:

Isn’t that metaphor inaccurate? The UN has declared that birth control is a basic human right. Birth control is often needed for women’s health. Contraception allows women to get an education, go to work, and get out of poverty. Selling pork does none of these things. To equate the two makes no sense.

My lapper’s old (hell, the damned thing should have blue-screened five years ago) and I guess it can handle another headbanging.  So if you’ll excuse me…

Thanks very much.  But can I beg a little more of your time?  Seems that my late, much-lamented, English teacher mother is currently angrily throwing things at the walls of the new Jerusalem and the Lord asked me if I could try to calm her down.

I’m back and thanks for your indulgence.  Mom should be okay.

Carol?  Having a little trouble with the whole “metaphor” concept, are we?  Let me put it this way; if Shakespeare had opened it with, “Shall I compare thee to a woman close to your age with similar physical beauty and emotional characteristics,” nobody would remember Sonnet 18 today and rightly so since it would suck.

What happens when we keep expanding corporate personhood? The Supreme Court cases that are coming up would expand corporate personhood beyond the practice of “free speech” (that “speech” is largely expressed by flooding our political system with cash) to corporate personhood’s ability to practice religion. Would that give corporations even more power and rights in our society?

Objection, Your Honor!  Relevance!

What happens if bosses are allowed to dictate other private matters of women based on corporate personhood’s right to practice religion? What happens when my CEO thinks that I should submit to my husband? What happens when my boss thinks that I should stay married to my abusive spouse? Could he or she deny me a promotion if my actions go against their practice of religion?

And we’re off.  What say we turn this around, Care-Bear?  If I’m the president-and-CEO of MCJ Enterprises and I believe abortion to be one of the gravest of sins, why should I be legally coerced into providing you with free or low-cost abortions?  Why should your “interpretation” of the Christian religion trump mine?

Who gets to decide what is a legitimate practice of religion? For-profit corporations fighting against providing insurance coverage that covers certain contraception is such a tiny, particular act. But what happens when corporate personhood gets to dictate more cases? What happens when my boss wants to discriminate against gays and lesbians because of religious beliefs? What happens when my boss wants to discriminate against a man because he’s not married to the woman he’s living with?

Okay, I’ll play.  What happens if those bringing suit against the ruling lose in this country’s highest court?  What happens if these employers respond by demanding that their employees, regardless of their religious affiliations, sign rather stringent code-of-conduct agreements, the breach of any point of which will constitute grounds for dismissal from employment?

What gives you the right to determine what “a legitimate practice of religion” is?

What happens when the rights of religion, as practiced by the CEO, clash with my beliefs? What if I think taking contraception is a religious practice because it empowers women? What if I’m a manager at Hobby Lobby, and I want to practice my religion by providing insurance coverage to cover contraception? Will the owner’s religious practice override my right to practice my religion?

See above.  You can also display a little integrity and quit.  Just tossing it out there.

29 Comments to PASTRAMI ON RYE

Fuinseoig
December 13, 2013

“Contraception allows women to get an education, go to work, and get out of poverty. Selling pork does none of these things.”

But Carol, what if the contracepting, educated, working woman is working for an abbatoir or a butcher that sells pork or a food company specialising in pork and bacon products?

Aren’t the wages she earns selling pork getting her out of poverty?

goddessoftheclassroom
December 13, 2013

Murdering a neighbor and stealing her life savings hidden under the mattress would get a person out of poverty, too.

The government’s job is not to support anyone’s religious practice.

Creedal Epicopalian
December 13, 2013

“The UN has declared that birth control is a basic human right.”

No need to read any further.

midwestnorwegian
December 13, 2013

Even as a reference librarian. I’m still amazed at your ability to find this crap.

Dale Matson
December 13, 2013

I do not think she knows what is meta is for.

Chris M
December 13, 2013

She talks about women going to work and getting out of poverty, yet here she is question begging..

Daniel Muller
December 13, 2013

There are much stupider assertions in this excerpt, but one stayed with me:

What if I’m [sic] a manager at Hobby Lobby, and I want to practice my religion by providing insurance coverage to cover contraception?

Honey, if you were a manager at Hobby Lobby or any other chain store, you would not be providing insurance coverage — or even choosing which kind of coverage to provide.

Daniel Muller
December 13, 2013

P.S. Mmm … pastrami on rye.

Allen Lewis
December 13, 2013

@Daniel Muller -
I second that pastrami on rye!

As for Carol Merritt, seems she needs to get back on her tranquilizers and chill out!

Marie Blocher
December 13, 2013

So I should go in Saul’s Deli and demand a ham sandwich with cheese? I have a right to choose what I want for lunch!

The Little Myrmidon
December 13, 2013

One of the responses at the linked article was this:

“It would be wonderful to hear people preaching empowerment finally recognize the inherent power and dignity of actually paying for some of your own needs.”

To which Carol replied,

“And on the “dignity of actually paying for some of your own needs…” people who are working for a company and get insurance are getting a benefit as a form of compensation. So, in a way, they are paying for their needs.”

Carol must work in the public sector. Apparently she thinks that because healthcare is included as a benefit for some workers, that nobody is paying for it! Maybe she should work for a company that only partially subsidizes health insurance.

I mean, she has no clue at all.

Truth unites... And divides
December 13, 2013

“Carol Howard Merritt has been a pastor for 13 years, serving growing Presbyterian (USA) Churches in the swamps of Cajun Louisiana, a bayside village in Rhode Island, and an urban neighborhood in D.C. She served as a pastor at Western Presbyterian Church, an intergenerational congregation in Washington, DC. Western’s deep commitment to serving the poor in the city has helped to initiate programs like Miriam’s Kitchen, a social service program for the homeless which provides a hot, nutritious breakfast and dinner for over 200 men and women.

She is the award-winning author of Tribal Church (Alban 2007) and Reframing Hope (Alban 2010). She has contributed to numerous books, websites, magazines, and journals. Carol is a sought-after speaker. She facilitates Unco (short for Unconference), an organization that hosts open-space gatherings where participants support one another while planning for the future of the church. And she co-hosts God Complex Radio, a podcast with Derrick Weston. Carol lives in Chattanooga, TN.”

——–

Can you say WO? Like in “woe”?

Katherine
December 13, 2013

She needs both English lessons and instruction in logic.

Whatever happened to “get the government out of the bedroom”?

Michal
December 13, 2013

“The UN has declared that birth control is a basic human right.”

Why does anyone continue to take the UN seriously? Seriously.

FW Ken
December 13, 2013

TLM -

I work in the public sector and am well aware that the people of Texas pay for my health insurance premiums, which constitute part of my compensation. That doesn’t give me a right to any and all services which I would like to have.

Specifically, contraception is not health care. Some contraceptive drugs do serve as medications for reproductive system diseases but in that case, we are talking about medications, not contraceptives.

Two more points: contraceptives are not expensive. Someone said you can get the pill at Target for $9. Moreover, pregnancy is not a disease. Put those two facts together and you see an anti-human agenda straight out of C.S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strenght.

Jacob Morgan
December 13, 2013

Birth Control a basic right? Well okie dokie, take a thermometer and a sheet of graph paper and the local Couple to Couple Leauge and they will be happy to show one how to avoid pregnancy. It just requires the self-control type of control, oh, and the risk of breast cancer goes way, way down. As Chesterton said, “Birth Control” means no birth and no control–I’d add to that that it means cancer and STD’s and a baby every few years anyway. How that empowers women is questionable. Women would have more power if they, collectively, wouldn’t sleep with any guy who takes them out three times in a row–and demanded a life-long commitment before engaging in procreative activity.

What is to stop the government from forcing an Amish company to produce military gear? Should a fundamentalist state governer be allowed to force a publishing company to print a young-Earth science book? Should the government compel the local Sierra Club to go on a wildlife culling hunt? Should people who think drinking is evil be compelled to drink even a token amount? Incense to Ceaser.

LaVallette
December 13, 2013

ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME: Everyone has an obligation to me, my principles, my beliefs, my lifestyle choices my morality etc etc etc etc even at the expense of their principles, their beliefs their lifestyle choices their morality etc etc etc. It the same old leftist liberal progressive mantra: “All rights for me but not for thee unless you agree with me”.

Leaving aside the issue as to whether an employer has an obligation to employ any pro choice Tina, Debra or Harriet demanding subsidy for their lifestyle choices, since they are Pro Choice, they should exercise their rights and choose not to work for an employer who does not provide coverage for contraception and/or abortion. Simples????

Katherine
December 13, 2013

Or, LaVallette, they can choose to work for Hobby Lobby and go buy their own birth control pills if they so desire.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
December 13, 2013

A leftist doofus says a bunch of leftist doofus stuff…yawn…zzzzzzzz

Allen Lewis
December 13, 2013

Who cares what the UN says. When the UN declares that Christianity is a false religion is this twit going to buy into that declaration?

What an idiot!

Katherine
December 13, 2013

“When the UN declares that Christianity is a false religion is this twit going to buy into that declaration?” Probably.

Clown Celebrant
December 14, 2013

“The UN has declared.” Irrelevant. Game. Set. Match.

FW Ken
December 14, 2013

BTW, can I have my pastrami on white? I know that makes me odd man out, but there’s a local deli that makes a killer Rebecca Sandwich on egg bread, with pastrami, turkey, cream cheese and Russian Dressing.

So I’m ruined for rye.

Lina
December 14, 2013

I came across this verse in the gospel of John. 7:18 today.

“He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but he who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.

LaVallette
December 14, 2013

The term “UN and Human Rights” is a well known oxymoron.

Gillian
December 14, 2013

Last time I looked, condoms were fairly inexpensive, and come in a variety of …styles. You don’t even have to ask for them from behind the counter any more (like in the embarrassing old days), and you can use the self check-out if you don’t want people to know what you’re buying.
On a side note, while looking at my “new” health-care coverage the other day, I noticed that tubal ligation (female sterilization) was covered with no co-pay, but a vasectomy (cheaper, more reliable, and less intrusive than abdominal surgery) was NOT. I’d say that was discriminatory – and this lady should get right on that. Isn’t birth control a basic HUMAN right, not just a FEMALE right?

Christopher Johnson
December 15, 2013

Ken? Dear LORD that sounds good.

Robin Munn
December 15, 2013

Did you notice her deliberate choice of wording in “… corporate personhood’s right to practice religion”? She’s using this “evil” (in her view) concept as a rhetorical shield to mask what this is really about, which is an individual‘s right (not a corporation’s right) to follow their religious conscience. When she talks about “corporate personhood”, she wants you to think of (say) McDonald’s Corporation, a company that is owned not by a single person, but collectively by its shareholders. The shareholders of McDonald’s are such a varied collection of people that there is no religious belief that all of them share, and probably no religious belief that 50% of them share — so McDonald’s could not have a religious grounds to objecting to, say, paying for contraception.

But the case she cites, that of Hobby Lobby, is completely different. The owner of Hobby Lobby is not a group of shareholders, but one person, David Green. So when Carol Merritt rails against “corporate personhood”, it’s a rhetorical mask to hide the fact that she’s talking about denying David Green the right to follow his conscience.

Carol? Why do you hate individual rights?

FW Ken
December 15, 2013

http://carshonsdeli.com/menu/

My ambition, though, is a pastrami sandwich at Carnegie Deli in Manhattan. They were on diners, drive-ins, and dives.

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