Eric Bugyis teaches Religious Studies in the Division of Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs at the University of Washington Tacoma.
By this author
Since they will apparently be taking to the streets this summer to defend freedom, one would expect the Bishops and their hordes to be particularly scrupulous when it comes to defending those poor souls who experience equal discrimination.
If I might, I would like to interrupt these proceedings to bring you a special bulletin that may be of interest to dotCommonweal readers. In two weeks, a friend and I will be hosting a gathering of Professor Denys Turner's friends, students, and colleagues to mark his retirement from full-time teaching at Yale.
A parallax is a change in the spatial orientation of an object when viewed from two different vantage points. By measuring the changes in the position of the observer and the spatial shift in the appearance of the object, one can calculate the distance to and between objects in space. These kinds of calculations are used in astronomy to calculate the distances to and between stars and planets, and it is also the way that we are able to perceive depth in our visual field.
Like Eduardo, I have become increasingly baffled by the nearly unanimous support among Catholic commentators of both "conservative" and "liberal" political persuasions for the Bishops' specious appeals to "religious freedom" protections in their rejection of the HSS contraception mandate.
Yesterday, the Obama administration upheld the original provision for religious exemption in the Affordable Care Act by not extending it to religiously-affiliated organizations that employ non-adherents.
TheNew York Times carried an article last week on the dispute that is emerging between Democrats in Congress and the White House over Obama's consideration of the Catholic bishops' appeal to widen the religious health care exemption to make it possible for non-ecclesial, religiously affiliated institutions (like Notre Dame) to deny contracepti
Over at NCR, Michael Sean Winters praises Notre Dame President John Jenkins for the letter (pdf) he sent on Wednesday to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in which he claims that new mandates for the coverage of contraception would put the University and other religious institutions in "an impossible position." Jenkins says:
For all of the common wisdom ascribed to the hackneyed expression that "history repeats itself," attempts to draw analogies between events in history are riddled with problems. At best, such analogies may be said to "limp" and shed little light on the very particular and complex set of circumstances they are being called upon to illuminate.At worst, the very act of analogizing might be said to replicate the violence done to and by the actors and events of the past by using them to emotionally manipulate one's audience.