Principles and priorities: accepting food from Planned Parenthood is worse than starving


by digby

An area Catholic food pantry whose mission is to feed the hungry says no to Planned Parenthood.

As part of its Martin Luther King food drive, Planned Parenthood collected 50 pounds of food. It hoped to donate the food to Paul's Pantry.

“What was told to me was that they simply said we do not want any food donations from you period,” said Lisa Boyce, a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.


FOX 11 asked St. Norbert College religious professor Paul Wadell to provide context to the situation. He says since Paul's Pantry is a catholic organization, Planned Parenthood shouldn't have been surprised by its decision.

“In the Catholic Church there is such an emphasis on the dignity of life, the sacredness of life that it really is a cornerstone moral principle that there is a fear of wanting to do anything that might seem to compromise that principle or to weaken the church's stance on it,” said Wadell.
While Paul's Pantry won't comment on its choice, Waddle says catholic principles for life often come first.

“It becomes for many people I think a defining issue of catholic morality and to the point where it can overrule other moral considerations,” said Wadell.


But it isn't just the Catholics, as Sarah Posner pointed out last week at Religion Dispatches:

Last week at CPAC, Mike Huckabee, who has previously identified as a "Bapti-costal," spread his religious wings a little further by declaring, "we are all Catholics now." (Translation: this Southern Baptist pastor backs the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in opposing the contraception coverage requirement under the Affordable Care Act as a mortal threat to religious freedom.)

Now Glenn Beck (a convert to Mormonism) has picked up the Catholic ball, reports Evan McMorris-Santoro. He's urging his radio listeners and followers to call their member of Congress in support of the Blunt Amendment (a ridiculously broad proposal which would permit any employer to refuse to provide coverage or any medical service he or she finds morally objectionable) and include in their comments, "We are all Catholics now."

A new New York Times/CBS News poll finds 66% of respondents support the contraception coverage requirement, and 61% support requiring religiously-affiliated institutions to provide the coverage, with 57% of Catholics supporting. With the American public, the contraception coverage is very popular, and a new Gallup poll finds President Obama experienced no decline in support even among Catholics since announcing the rule.

If you wonder where Republicans think they're finding support for legislative proposals like the Blunt amendment, a new poll out from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life makes a telling discovery: evangelicals are more opposed to requiring religious institutions to provide coverage for contraception than Catholics are.

This is why I don't believe the whole brouhaha is about religion at all, at least on the elite level. It's about tribalism and politics. I'm sure that some of the people who are foolishly hating on Planned Parenthood have strong moral objections to abortion rights and contraception. But mostly, it's just standard old groupthink --- and an opportunity to make a point for your "side". There's nothing moral about turning away food for the hungry. For any reason.

h/t to bb