Sunday, June 3, 2012

Whose morality?

We've talked previously at length about the new "religious freedom" argument from the right, that somehow THEIR religious freedom means they must be allowed to disadvantage others.

Now, let's take this to its logical conclusion.  Today, word came of an allegation that a Catholic hospital refused a gay man his HIV meds because the doctor felt that  "This [HIV] is what he gets for going against God’s will."  Think about it.  A physician disapproves of a man's life, and denies him life-saving medication because he offends her faith.  If true, this allegation exposes the utter hypocrisy and moral vacuum of these "life-affirming" religionists.  It is not a far reach from this to calls to kill the gays-- or the blacks, or the Jews.

But let us ignore this egregious and disturbing allegation in a single case, and look at the broader issue.

From the HuffPo:

Conservatives have spent generations accusing liberals of moral relativism and "anything goes" indulgence in their feelings or whims. But is a belief -- no matter how ennobled by the protective mantle of institutional religion, historical longevity or broad popularity -- any less arbitrary of a foundation for the giving or taking away of people's rights? In order to be a legitimate basis for public policy, does the assertion of a belief need to be paired with an empirical argument about the impact of the proposed policy that the belief is being cited to justify?
The religious right has had great success in casting issues of sexuality and health as "moral issues," a conscious conflation of morality with religion. It's time to hold those who perpetuate this confusion accountable for the imprecision of their ideas, and for what amounts to a demand that virtually anything goes, so long as someone "believes" it's okay. If you're going to throw the "m" word around -- morality -- you should have to make the case for how the action in question is harming society. The word of God is no longer enough.
Does God allow a physician who disapproves of gay people essentially to sentence them to death?


Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is the news report on this that said the doctor was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit. I would have thought the doctor would be named (with the hospital) and a complaint filed against his professional license.


dr.primrose said...

MSNBC says, Appeals court to announce if it will hear challenge to California same-sex marriage ban by 1 pm tomorrow (June 5, 2012).

MarkBrunson said...

The doctor violated the Hippocratic Oath - he should have his certification to practice rescinded.

dr.primrose said...

In the Prop. 8 case the Ninth Circuit denied en banc review. There's a short dissent (called a "dissental" in the Ninth Circuit) and a short concurrence with the decision to deny en banc review (called a "concurral"). You can read it all here. As the concurral notes, the dissental is a bit weird -- it largely relies on a statement by President Obama.