Freedom of conscience, Loss of: The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals has removed an injunction that would allow pharmacists in Washington state to continue to practice without distributing "Plan B" emergency contraception.
The logic of the ruling is that your freedom to practice your religion ends when you refuse to do something that violates your conscience, but is legal. The court apparently doesn't think that going to another pharmacy is an option.
I can't help but suspect the law was passed, and the suit pressed, with the intention of barring Catholics from the profession of pharmacy. Sort of like laws that barred Jews from certain professions in the Third Reich. It really, is an extension of a very old practice used in the persecution of Christians. In the Roman Empire, people were required to offer a pinch of incense to the Emperor. This drove a wedge between those who submitted and their faith--not just under church Law, but within their own minds and conscience. I see this as more or less the same thing.
Gay Rights? NO--a Gay Wrong: A Gay man living in Ontario has filed a human rights complaint against the Bishop of Peterborough, Ontario. The basis of the complaint is that the Bishop Has refused to let him serve Mass, based on the mans openly proclaimed homosexuality. The man involved lives with another man, but says that the relationship is chaste.
When you make one of these complaints in Canada, the process is punitive in itself--and very expensive for the defendant. The Gay Community in Canada has repeatedly used this process to silence of coerce Clergymen--one ruling has made it a punishable offense for one clergyman to ever again mention that homosexual conduct is sinful from the pulpit.
Here's my personal take: 12 parishioners complained, and it was causing division and scandal. From the point of view of the Bishop, and the Church, to forbid this man from serving Mass was correct! Moreover, I am not without sympathy for the Gay man in question. I live in a chaste relationship, under the same roof, as my ex-wife, who is the mother of my children. I don't serve Mass, I don't serve as a lector, and I don't serve as an EEM. It would cause scandal for parishioners to learn that we lived in the same house, outside of Matrimony, no matter if we're chaste or not. Yes, people are not supposed to assume the worst. But many do, that's life, get used to it.
This is a purely religious matter that the state has no business interfering with. And using the coercive power of the state to make people afraid to criticize you is simply a form of fascistic oppression.
An Unexpected Friend: Bishop Council Nedd, of the Episcopal Missionary Church has asked Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell to fire Carol Carson, State Ethics Committee Chair, and Ethics Enforcement Officer Thomas Jones.
These two are responsible for the "ethics investigation" that attempted to classify the church as an unregistered lobbying organization for stirring up popular opposition that would have placed the governance of the Church more of less in the hands of the state and removed Episcopal authority from play.
Bishop Nedd says--and many agree with him--that this was simply an attempt to grab Church funds, and to hinder the Catholic Church. In effect Anti-Catholicism.