Monday, May 30, 2005

The Assault on Morality Continues

Well, he's out of the gate. The freshly minted Pope is weighing in on Italian politics. Benedict XVI is supporting a boycott of a referendum on medically assisted fertility. The referendum is designed to get rid of absurd restrictions on the current fertility law, which "bans donations of sperm and eggs; defines life as beginning at conception; and allows fertility treatment only to "stable heterosexual couples" who are living together and can prove infertility."

I don't suppose we can expect anything else from a Pope, but we shouldn't lose sight of what a terrible assault on morality this boycott represents. All these possibilities - the donation of sperm and eggs, allowing a woman the right to choose and fertility treatment for unmarried couples, including homosexual ones - are wonderful, kind, and caring. They are designed to improve the quality of life for countless human beings. While people may disagree on whether life begins at conception, I don't think there's anything controversial about the fact that life does not end at birth.

What could be more moral than a society that devotes itself to improving the quality of life for all its members? What kind of organization devotes itself to trying to influence the political system to marginalize some members of society?

Lest one think that the church is merely preaching to its members, and not actively interfering in the political process, consider this quote from the Pope's recent letter to Spanish bishops
"the transmission of the faith and religious practices cannot remain confined to the purely private sphere."
Look around you. Look at your friends. Look at the gay ones, the unmarried ones, the single ones and the infertile ones, and think what this type of statement says about them, about their status on this planet. Doesn't it make your blood boil? It should. How do we put up with such bigotry, just because it comes clothed in the garb of religion?

If you think of yourself as a moral person, this type of attitude should appall you.

Of course, it's not just in Italy that such thinking threatens the moral fabric of society. The far right assault on morality here in the U.S. has gained quite some momentum under the patronage of the Bush administration and its support of dogma. I thought we were assured life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. How is that consistent with denying that to part of the population when their pursuing it harms no one?
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