Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Stewart skewers Catholic whining over birth control mandate

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Last night, The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart applied his trademarked brilliant take to the absurd kerfuffle over the Obama administration’s new birth control mandate for Catholic-affiliated groups and the outrage from the Old White GuysTM who claim to represent all lay Catholics with their childish bluster:

My transcript: (click the [+/-] to expand/collapse →) []

JON STEWART: As we’ve seen, this controversy over birth control insurance was really in full flare last week, which is why a concerned Sean Hannity convened a diverse panel of experts on the subject of contraception: Catholic men, Jewish men, Baptist men, Black men, White men – absolutely everyone who might have something relevant to say … on women’s reproductive health.

Of course, where you might see a disagreement over bureaucratic details of employees’ preventive healthcare benefits, the world’s holiest sausage-fest saw something much bigger.

[START CLIP: Hannity’s holy sausage-fest]

HANNITY: Is there a war now on religion in America? Father?

PRIEST #1: There certainly is.


STEWART: I gotta hand it to these guys’ imagination. First wine becomes blood, then insurance reform becomes war? It’s getting pretty dramatic.

[START CLIP: Hannity’s holy sausage-fest]

HANNITY: How many of you would be willing to go to jail over this?

All holy men raise their hands.

PRIEST #2: If I’m asked to do something that goes against my conscience, I better be willing to die for that.


STEWART: That strikes me as somewhat of an overreaction. I used to bartend in Jersey, we had some hair-trigger folks there as well, you know. “You want another drink?” “THAT’S IT, OUTSIDE!”

Do some Christians face persecution today? Absolutely – in Egypt, China. Believe me, the Christian guy making bricks in a Chinese forced labor camp? He’d love to be on Hannity, complaining about a $20 copay for orthotrycycline.

So I know you’re not seriously equating yourselves with victims of actual religious persecution and wars.

[START CLIP: Montage of cable news channel interviews]

ERIC METAXAS: You read about what happened to an amazingly great country called Germany. […] In the beginning, it always starts really, really small.

DR. RICHARD LAND: Martin Niemöller said, during the Nazi era in Germany, “I didn’t speak up when they came for the communists, because I wasn’t a communist.”


STEWART: You wanna do the Nazi dance? Is that what you wanna do? You wanna do this? ALL RIGHT, LET’S DO THIS!

First of all, when the Nazis came for people, they also left with them. It wasn’t a metaphor. And as for your slippery slope, Hitler did not “start small”. His deliberate annihilation of religion didn’t kick off with insurance reform. He started by trying to take over of all of Germany with a machine-gun and a [beer haul?]. They saw him coming.

In jail, he authored a little best-seller, writing, quote: “The personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew.” By the way, doesn’t sound nearly as bad in it’s original angry German. (That’s a real font, by the way.)

So, in the early 1930s, when you’re saying Hitler was making subtle and incremental changes to top-quality healthcare, the slippery slope, he was actually focusing on more broad-based changes like 1932, when a “little” group of a half-a-million Brownshirts shot hundreds of his political opponents in the street. Not to mention those “intimate” little back-room gatherings the Nazis held every year at Nuremberg.

My point is, Hitler didn’t play small ball. So lighten up, Francis. 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 a hundred billion dollars a year in offerings tax-free. Persecute my ass like that! I’d love it!

Here’s how far you are from being persecuted. I live in New York City, the world capital of godless secularism. How bad is it? These are our taxis. [image: gay pride float] That is what we here in New York are forced to go to work in. But even here, we’ve carved out huge zones in front of houses of worship where only religious vehicles are allowed to park. You know how hard it is to find a parking space in Manhattan? The only proof of the existence of God we accept is when you find a spot on your own block. It’s the only proof! Meanwhile, religious houses are getting fifty feet of gold-[?] curb all to themselves, 24-7!

You’ve confused a war on your religion with not always getting everything you want. It’s called being part of society! Not everything goes your way. You know, I don’t let my kids eat ice cream every night. They wish I did. But even they know that doesn’t make me the Hitler of ice cream.