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David Poland

By David Poland

It’s that simple… we want to do what we want to do.

This ad is, of course, a sequel. Earlier incarnations…

“You wouldn’t ask British citizens to financially support colonists who won’t pay their taxes.”
“You wouldn’t ask white people to pay people to pick all that cotton when they can just buy some niggers.”
“You wouldn’t ask America to pretend that Blacks were full human beings.”
“You wouldn’t ask men to allow those menstruating harridans to vote.”
“You wouldn’t ask unaffected religious people to allow same-sex animals to enjoy the sanctity of a legal (not religious) marital construct that results is dissolution about 50% of the time.”

Privacy is an inalienable right that’s at the core of freedom of religion.

How you use your health insurance, however its paid for, is a private matter. It is so much a part of our culture that doctors are protected from being forced to divulge patient information… even more, are disallowed from doing so without the consent of the patient.

So why would ANY employing organization be allowed ANY voice in that conversation?

“Well, why not allow Catholic institutions to just give insurance to its Catholic employees?”
“That’s absurd. These are not biased organizations. Just allow the Catholic institutions to pick and choose what their health insurance spending will cover.”

In principle, there is no difference between the two things.

And what about the 88% of Catholics who use Birth control?

And what about AIDS medication? Should Catholic institutions have to pay for those meds if they have hired a gay man… or should they be able to decide what meds to pay for based on an investigation of whether HIV was created by gay sex, as opposed to intravenous drug use (or some other method)?

What about Sickle Cell? Or Tay-Sachs? Or diabetes in people with over 20% body fat?

Some will argue that these are stretching the point, but the core of this is not fact, but belief. So if you believe that birth control is wrong and you should be able to force this on others economically, there is not legitimate way to hold the line against any belief that you or anyone else holds.

Perhaps the law should be changed so employers of women who have more than one child in a five year period don’t have to offer health insurance benefits for those pregnancies or other workplace protections? After all, we are in an era of over population.

And let’s not forget that the principle of relentless procreation in religion – not just Catholics, but in many religions – is about increasing the population of that group, not faith. (And don’t even get me started on the freak-out by white people in the United States since becoming aware that we – is this Jew included? – will no longer be 50%+1 of the population of this country anymore.)

The law of the United States is there to protect ALL Americans from all the things the Founding Fathers feared… even if those being protected look, live, and love nothing like the Founding Fathers. The foundation of this nation is NOT the protection of our right to only protect the rights of those with whom we agree. That is not the foundation of unity.

If you or a corporation or the Catholic Church wishes to employ people in the United States of America, you are no longer a standalone bastion of individual rights, but a participant in the principles of this nation, governing all the people, not just those with your belief system.

If you only like Democracy when it fits all things you want and believe, you don’t like Democracy.

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13 Responses to “It’s that simple… we want to do what we want to do.”

  1. LYT says:

    I suspect you could even find examples of counters to the specific arguments in the video.

    Free school lunches, for example. Don’t some of them contain meat? Might not some of the taxpayers funding that be vegetarians?

    I don’t know if I could stretch that to atheists buying Bibles, but atheists sure are forced to put up with a lot of religious stuff coming from government. It’s not some massive rights infringement…but nor is somebody else taking contraception.

  2. A. Campbell says:

    I love you, Dave- been reading you since the mid-90’s -but you’re so mistaken on this that it saddens me.

    I watched CHARIOTS OF FIRE last night, for the first time in probably 20 years. The scene where the Prince of Wales and the committee attempt to stress Liddell’s obligation to country over God struck me as particularly apt, applicable to this matter. And in this country we also happen to have a constitution of which part is specifically meant to prevent government from making people choose between their conscience and their obedience to the state.

    The HHS mandate is quite clear: you will kowtow to government, or you will be unable to provide services. The government IS above God.

    Not going to try to refute everything here, just going to state a couple of things:

    Nobody’s trying to prevent anyone from obtaining birth control. For pete’s sake, it’s so readily available that it’s showing up in water supplies.

    We’re also not in “an age of overpopulation.” The problem is distribution of resources, not population- as someone who (rightfully) decries the selfishness of the super-rich, you should be smart enough to recognize that.

    The Catholic Church has no objection to birth control where it is necessary for a woman’s health. Neither would they have any objection to a gay man being treated for AIDS, or any of the other circumstances you listed. To suggest otherwise is demonstrably inaccurate, if not inflammatory. (Are you aware of the importance of Catholic hospitals in this country, historically and now?) I’m not Catholic, but this reads to me like bigotry and prejudice on your part.

    I don’t think that’s what you meant, and I think better of you than that. Between this and your strident tweets, I think perhaps the rhetoric of election season has gotten to you. I don’t mind when you call the movie industry to account- it’s your field, and you’re quite ecumenical. Not so much on either account when it comes to politics.

    There are plenty of times I disagree with you, but you’ve crossed a line here from opinion into something closer to persecution. Honestly, based on the beliefs I hold, when I read this I feel like you’re branding me personally as unAmerican, an unworthy participant in your nation.

    (Me, who’s not even going to vote Republican!)

  3. David Poland says:

    A. Campbell –

    I’m not calling you unamerican for holding a belief. THAT would be unamerican.

    But I do think you are wrong.

    The government isn’t above God… but it is – and must be – separate from God. That is not to say that faith and the principles of faith have no place in government, but rather that “God” is not something that everyone is in agreement about, either as something that exists nor what “God” is for those who do believe.

    The majority of our population is Christian, but we are not a Christian State. (And Israel, btw, doesn’t actually operate as a Jewish state.)

    Government does not have a role telling religious organizations what they can and cannot do in the course of expressing their faith. But churches still have to deal with zoning laws and fire codes, etc. Those are non-controversial laws designed to keep citizens – members of the church and those who are not – safe.

    I would argue that the government has the responsibility to enforce civil rights as much as it does to enforce building codes. Government must not infringe on freedom of religion.. and religion has no right to infringe on the rights of the individuals in society with whom its principles disagree.

    I respect and honor Catholic hospitals. But one reason they have continued to be a force in the country is that they hire and treat on a non-prejudicial basis.

    But if you build a business that hires a lot of people, you are not building a church. You are building a business. And if that business is paid for and supported by a church, great. All accolades. (It may be worth noting that the government does not tax those businesses and, in most cases, supports said business with community improvements like roads, power, water, and the like at a cost to the government.)

    But the woman you hire for $9 an hour in the cafeteria being forced to spend 5% of her $20k-a-year income on birth control because of the principles of her employer creates an economic hardship that demands either no birth control, a decision to not need birth control, or giving up the job to find one that isn’t connected to that church.

    Ironic that the same employer’s insurance will spend more than her annual income on the health costs of a pregnancy, if she does get pregnant.

    Controlling people economically is not a principle on which I can look the other way. It’s easy to say that the church doesn’t prevent anyone from obtaining birth control. It’s true. But it’s not reality. $1000 a year is a high bar for many Americans.

    This is also true of the Voter ID controversy. There may be as few as 1 million people affected by the new laws. But those people will mostly be disenfranchised by the difficulty – and in some cases the price – of someone who doesn’t have photo ID getting photo ID.

    Putting aside the politics, I don’t have a giant problem with the idea of photo ID. But only if there is a real and multi-year effort to make photo ID available to those over 18 who don’t have any… and THEN there is a change to the rules. Not 6 months before a national election, knowing that many people will have to take time off work to get an ID before taking another day off of work to vote.

    So… to sum up, I believe in a government that has a responsibility to uphold the civil rights of the diverse. And that means, when you decide to play in the public sector – as a hospital does – you have to play by public sector rules.

    Do I think that not allowing mangers on government property is ridiculous. Yes. But as a matter of policy, I get it.

    Finally, I love Chariots of Fire. And when I run, I feel his pleasure. Dig it. And I am Jewish and not very religious. But the story you cite, in my views, supports my position much better than it supports you being offended by my position.

    Liddle’s faith was glorious. And he made a choice on principle. For himself. And he was willing to pay the price for it…. not running.

    In this country we have a constitution which is specifically meant to ALLOW people to choose, without being penalized by the state, between their conscience and their obedience to the state.

    Eric Liddell wasn’t making a choice between feeding his family and running on The Sabbath. THAT is what government is there to protect people from.

    And that is the issue underlying this birth control silliness. Should an employer that offers health insurance be allowed to pick and choose what services will be offered based on the faith of the employer? We can argue all day about what this church or that church might want to disallow… but opening the door is opening the door.

    Why does Roe v Wade matter? Because abortion went back to the states, at least 15 states would make abortion illegal… maybe a lot more. And in those states, a certain number of women who don’t have the financial resources or knowledge to get to another state or to abort illegally with safety in the states where it is illegal will die. Not whine. Die.

    We are not very kind to the weak and poor in this country. Ironically, the Catholic Hospitals really are. And yet, even with the law being changed so the church would not be paying for birth control via these health care plans, they object strenuously. And people – even people are generous of spirit as you show yourself to be – kind of laugh it off with a “the church isn’t trying to keep anyone from birth control… it’s practically in the water.”

    What you see as an infringement on your faith and the moral rights of The Church to live by its own moral standards, I see as an infringement of the live of some individuals. The Church has the power of the employer… an employer that does not hire based on a moral standard. And the government’s job, in part, is to make sure that selective moral standards do not infringe on the right of the individual by their employer.

    I guess we disagree.

  4. bulldog68 says:

    I am not entirely sure as I don’t live in the USA, but doctors are now recommending pills like Cialis for prostate issues. Of course there are other pills without the much desired side effect that they could be recommending. So if this is prescribed for an unmarried man who works for a Catholic organization, would it be rejected?

  5. hcat says:

    You wouldn’t ask someone to pay for a war they don’t support? or even two? Or ask their children to pay for it since we didn’t set a dime aside?

    No, of course not.

    You wouldn’t ask an environmentalist to pay for tax breaks to a gas company? Or a gas executive to pay for solar research?

    Or a bike rider to bail out the auto industry?

  6. greg says:

    “We’re also not in “an age of overpopulation.” The problem is distribution of resources, not population” — A. Campbell.

    No. No. No. Skiplogic at its very worst. The problem IS that there isn’t enough resources to distribute. Because there are too many people. There simply isn’t enough food and water to support 7 billion. Which will soon be 8. Then 9.

    Until limits on procreation are enforced, all the Green policies in the world isn’t going to stop the electrical grid from collapsing thirty years from now, water supplies to dwindle, etc.

    Overpopulation IS the issue. Just the one that no one will ever talk about. It’s the “third rail” of environmental policy.

    Thankfully we’ll all be gone by that time after living in what will always be looked back as the best 75 year run to be alive.. well, ever. After that, your great great grandchildren will be left footing the bill.

  7. martin s says:

    The left believes the right wants to impose a theocracy, the right believes the left wants a new bureaucracy, like an Americanized variant of the CPCA of China.

    The answer is to separate the two at every f’ing level.

    A religious org already has to itemize its deductions and has to provide a certain level of charitable care as defined per state. Most don’t reach it.

    So realign the tax code, redefine the community standard threshold and push the two apart. If a person works for a religious org and they have to pay for certain healthcare options out of pocket? Total personal deduction. And to argue “what if they get really sick”, is damn silly when we’re talking about religious orgs; they’ll take care of the person or find someone who can. Hence, charity.

    Rebuild the wall, problems are solved. But the power of one side influencing the other, in either direction, makes it very hard in the current climate.

    …and to think I came here for Disney/Lucas…

  8. hcat says:

    Every Catholic I know is adamantly against child rape but the church didn’t seem to mind spending their members money to pay for legal defenses and damages.

  9. hcat says:

    But Holy Shit, Star Wars is in the hands of the people that brought us John Carter and The Prince of Persia. Around 2016 the prequels are going to look a whole lot better.

  10. martin s says:

    hcat – the odds of most Catholics thinking their donations are going to that kind of legal defense is slim-to-none. Church donations usually stay in that church and go towards overhead and renovations. Legal costs are accrued by the higher structure.

    …and at what point does Disney become too big to get real value from its acquisitions.

  11. hcat says:

    Wondering if Lucas approached Disney thinking they can uniquelly handle the merchandising or if he put out feelers elsewhere as well. Fox has got to be livid to lose the franchise.

  12. Idiot says:

    What a weird day. Good discussion here.

    DP How did fox lose star wars? Is it that easy to walk away with that massive of a film/legacy?

  13. hcat says:

    Lucas fully owned the rights, he probably only went with Fox for the prequels so that they would continue to fund other projects but after viewing Red Tails he rightly concluded it was time for him to hang it up. Disney paid handsomely for Pixar and Marvel based on what they could wring out of Sleeping bags and birthday hats so it probably seemed like a perfect fit for the Star Wars franchise. I am sure they paid more than anyone else would have (not that this is a bad investment).

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon