Thursday, April 3, 2014

Money Talks: The Sincerity of the Green Family as a Moral Trump Card in Catholic Discussions of the Hobby Lobby Case

Another footnote to what I have just written about yesterday's Supreme Court McCutcheon decision and its clear Catholic connections:

Follow the discussion thread responding to Grant Gallicho's recent Commonweal posting regarding the revelation that Hobby Lobby has millions invested in mutual funds with companies producing contraceptives and abortion pills/devices, and one of the not surprising but morally shocking arguments you'll encounter over and over is, quite precisely, 

Money talks. Case closed.

One contributor after another to the conversation — to this Catholic moral conversation — argues that what the Greens happen to do with their money is beside the point, as long as the Greens inform the Supremes (and, therefore, the whole nation, all of us) that they are sincere in their belief that contraceptives are Very Bad Things.

And that non-existent abortifacients are, in fact, abortifacients.

Because they're sincere, for God's sake, in believing and saying this.

And how dare any of us question the word, the sincerity, of powerful, rich white men?

Case closed. 

The hypothetical presumption of hypothetical good will on the part of men who own lots of things must trump any and all discussion of what those men actually do with their money. Even when they approach the highest court in the land to argue — in an argument affecting the entire nation, affecting all of us — that their consciences are so sensitive, they should be accorded special rights to ignore non-discrimination laws, because . . . . 

Because their consciences are sensitive, and haven't they said so? 
Because they're sincere, for God's sake! 
And did I mention that they're powerful white men who own many things?

If any of this is anywhere near even the rudiments of moral discourse, I'll eat my hat. It is shocking in the extreme that it is permitted to pass for profound, reasonable moral discourse among a certain cadre of Catholics who represent themselves as the intellectual elite of American Catholicism.

Who are perfectly content to swallow all this amoral hogwash as profound, rational moral argumentation as they continue fretting and frittering and nattering away about sperm and ova and what might happen if non-existent abortifacients could contact sperm and ova.

While real-life human beings whose real-life moral quandaries, which are deeply affected by the Hobby Lobby case and its arguments, are simply ignored.

Is it any wonder that, with intellectual leaders like this, who ape the morally vacuous discourse of  church leaders who have internalized the values of the 1%, the Catholic church has absolutely no credibility any longer as a moral teacher in the public square?

For my source for the graphic in this posting, see this preceding posting.

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