When Obama moved the responsibility for contraception from the religious institutions to their private insurance companies, it was a cop-out, of course. Our President's 2012 campaign song ought to be Paul Simon's "Slip Sliding Away." Presumably, he didn't use enough lube, because the bishops are still (sans lube) up his ass (despite the fact that he passed through puberty many years ago.)
Personally, I think there's not nearly enough separation of Church and State. When the right-wing religious ideologues start yelling about the First Amendment, I am inclined to step back, gather up a few thunderclouds, and shout, "Hypocrites! Woe be unto you! Surely, the command from the Lord, thy God, is to go fuck thyself!"
Okay. Let us zipline down from the mountaintop, and get a little more analytical and less emotional.
Mitt Romney tithes to the Mormon church, and 100% of his tithe is tax deductible (even if he doesn't really need the deduction. He's got more than ample deductions, rate advantages, and credits just by virtue of being rich.) How much of his tax-deductible tithe was spent on, for example,
- Baptizing dead people, including dead celebrities, victims of the Holocaust, etc.?
- Converting hapless adherents of other faith systems by sending young missionaries around the world? (Romney, as you may know, was sent to convert the French. Sacrebleu!)
- Actions to influence the outcomes of legislative initiatives and/or elections?
- Acquiring real estate and hence making it nontaxable?
In other words, I think charity should be defined as money going to do measurable good to those actually in need — and by that, I mean in this life, not some hypothetical next life.
I'm not allowed to deduct my contributions to the ACLU, because they might go to work that is somehow political. Well, if you think today's churches, synogogues, mosques, etc. are not political, then your head is up your ass. Isn't it time to take a look at how tax advantaged religious organizations are using the taxpayer money they gain through their tax advantages?
As a totally secular individual paying taxes to subsidize other people's superstitions, I do.