In my letter I had to be careful to stay respectful and all that jazz so yeah. I also only stayed on the topic of his homily, healthcare and religious freedom. I'd also like to discuss other similar things but this is the letter:
A Letter to My Former Priest
Response to July 1st, 2012 Homily
Let me begin by assuring you that this letter is coming from the mind of a non-religious, but religiously educated mind. I myself have chosen not to follow a faith, but 100% respect other beliefs. I will not insult, deface, or poke fun at any religion in this letter, nor will I show any bias. I will only base my response to your homily delivered on July 1st, 2012 on fact, reason, and the homily itself. I encourage you to keep an open mind in reading this. Much of it will be from a “Christian” perspective.
You begin by citing a classic Gospel tale in which your god (please do not take offense to my mechanics when writing the word, “god”. This is simply how I spell the word and am not trying to denounce your belief) heals two sickly women. These are the beautiful stories which have built the Christian faith and instilled good views of charity.
Next you cite the Declaration of Independence in that our natural rights, given to us by our “Creator,” are to be protected by the government. You must remember that the “Creator” you cite is not the one you preach about. Many of the founding fathers were deists, we are not a Christian nation, and when they used the word, “Creator,” they did not mean any specific god from any specific religion.
Now that I have finished clearing up some quick things, I’ll break into the meat of my letter. I am sorry you feel that your religious rights are being infringed upon. They are not. The United States has 100% religious freedom. This is not changing any time soon. We also have a separation of church and state. This also will not change.
Here is where I show that I, in fact, am not biased against your teaching. Mayor Nutter’s regulation is ludicrous. I am offended that I can’t give some guy a sandwich in Philadelphia. I feel that this is my right. However, this is not an infringement on religious freedom. It is simply an infringement on my right to give some guy a sandwich in Philadelphia.
The Catholic Church’s recent publications and interpretations have unfortunately turned into a huge misunderstanding of both the healthcare law, and their own religion. I’ll add that I for one am not for the healthcare law; I believe the United States needs a single-payer universal healthcare system like those used in several Scandinavian countries. However, the mandate is still better than our previous “system,” if it could be called that, and if one looks at it on a larger scale, it is much more Christian. I just blew your mind, didn’t I. The law the Vatican has been speaking out against? How could it be?
I really wish the majority of Christians would actually follow Christ’s teachings instead of listening to their now politically involved Vatican. According to the Bible, Jesus was a great man, out to heal the sick, clothe the naked, and feed the hungry. All for free. Jesus was out for no profit of his own. Our current healthcare system leaves many Americans of all walks of life uninsured, and too many people die every year because they simply cannot afford to stay alive. People fall sick, and fall into debt. This is not what Christ would have wanted. If your Jesus spoke to us about the new law, he would probably say something like “Good try America, you have made the first step toward a better healthcare system for all, not just those who can pay.” I know, there are some parts of the law you may not like, but isn’t it still better than the previous one? Is healing the sick, one of Jesus’ main priorities, less important than a small part of the law which will make healthcare available to all people?
Now on to what you feel is infringing on your religious freedom. Contraception, abortion. You knew these two words would come up. Unfortunately, they had to. The new law will never force a pill down a woman’s throat. The new law will never force a woman to abort her pregnancy. It is simply ensuring that all women have equal healthcare provided to them under the law. A woman should never have to leave their job because their employer is uncomfortable with providing them the care they need. I respect that the Catholic Church is against abortion and contraception. What I disagree with is their assertion that free will should be taken away from others. That’s right. Free will. The free will you believe your creator gave you at birth. It is given to everyone, and no law can take that away. Therefore, Christians should not be advocating outlawing abortion or contraception. They shouldn’t even be against having to provide them as healthcare to those who need them. They simply shouldn’t use contraception or get an abortion. This is the Christian way. If you are pro-life, why are you against affordable healthcare? If you want to follow your faith and be against these things, don’t use them. But to refuse someone else their free will to use them is simply un-Christian.
I’m all for speaking out for your rights like founding father Charles Carroll bravely did. If your religious freedom was being taken away, I would be right there with you on the front lines of the debate. Even though I am not religious, I want the freedom to be religious or not. However, these rights are not being taken away. As Jon Stewart said, “You’ve confused a ‘war on your religion’ with ‘not always getting everything you want.’…America isn’t Nazi Germany. And the secret police aren’t coming for ya. Hell, the IRS isn’t even coming for ya. This government ‘hates’ religious organizations so much, it lets them keep $100 billion a year in offerings tax-free.” The church doesn’t even have to pay taxes like everyone else, and yet they feel they are being persecuted, and are becoming more and more involved in politics. The Catholic Church deserves its natural right of free speech, but if they want to influence our lawmakers and population, they should be paying taxes.
In closing I must say that I have been very confused with the Catholic Church recently. They seem to be contradicting their own good and pure beliefs. I encourage Catholics along with Christians everywhere to advocate for healing the sick, to advocate for free will. I’m sure Jesus would not agree with an every man for himself approach to healthcare, and nor would he want free will to go by the wayside. He would want the sick to be healed. The bill was found to be constitutional by Christian people in the Supreme Court. I really wish the Catholic Church would look at the big picture and realize that the new system will be more Christian than the old one, and their rights are definitely not being taken away.