Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-07-10
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

The religious (lack of) conscious rule
by Matt Simonette
2019-05-08

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


It is time for all government officials to start acknowledging "religious conscience" for what it is—a heavy-handed and high-minded euphemism for discrimination.

The Trump Administration's May 2 sop to the president's right-wing base—the so-called "conscience rule" first announced in Jan. 2018 but finalized just now—places women, LGBT persons and any other person with minority status in jeopardy.

The rule allows healthcare professionals—and entire hospitals and healthcare systems—the right to refuse to deliver services that they might find objectionable on the basis of their religious or moral scruples; employers can similarly refuse to offer insurance for services they find objectionable. Thousands of possible slippery slopes have now fallen away before the American public.

Legislators and the public need to call out this rule for being the straw man argument that is. There is no epic battle between religious consciousness and medical bureaucracy. The rule is based on a perspective of religion that seems to engage only the basest, most reductive instincts of its followers.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans attend houses of worship that command them to be mindful of social justice and good deeds. Hundreds of thousands of Americans attend houses of worship that command them to feed and care for the poor. Hundreds of thousands of Americans attend houses of worship that command them to respect their neighbors. The president and his supporters don't seem too concerned about respecting those particular religious principles though.

It's not the responsibility of patients or lawmakers to contend with internal religious conflicts that might arise within those delivering healthcare services, if that is even a widespread problem ( we're not convinced it is ). At the moment of service-delivery—a moment when the patient is likely to feel the most scared, helpless and embarrassed—they don't need that extra distress when someone explains to them that their particular situation has sent their provider into existential crisis.

In 2016, Illinois lawmakers established mitigating procedures for this, adjusting the state's existing rules so that transfers between medical personnel can proceed as seamlessly as possible. An ACLU of Illinois official told me that that he foresaw minimal disruption to the state's service-delivery from the new federal rule.

But that begs the questions: How did Illinois end up with these rules in the first place? Why is it so important to backwards-engineer service-delivery models in this manner? These are matters that health personnel need to take up with their professional mentors, religious advisors or therapists; their patients and colleagues need to be spared from this disruption.

Lawmakers on both sides of the spectrum have, at times, voted for laws that have privileged or otherwise acknowledged the perceived religious values of their constituency. Perhaps the issues seemed innocuous, or were meant to control for potential political damage from particular legislation.

However, even lawmakers for whom such votes are performative, and who know that their trying to control for particular religious expressions is disingenuous, have even inadvertently helped their right-wing colleagues. "Conscience-based" legislation legitimatizes fundamentalism as a valid political concern for the government; all it takes is someone like Trump to fan the flames by using these laws to political advantage as the basis for oppressive executive orders.

Trump's new rule will come into play in the next few months, and we'll no doubt see court challenges arise. We hope lawmakers, advocates and service providers will carefully watch how these situations unfold, and use them as the opportunity to think about the complex relationship between medicine, religion and government.

Matt Simonette is managing editor of Windy City Times.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Making Barrington More Welcoming LGBTQ Discussion Panel July 23 2019-07-20 - BARRINGTON, Ill. —July 18, 2019—Cook County Commissioner Kevin B. Morrison will participate in the Making Barrington More Welcoming LGBTQ Discussion Panel Tuesday at ...


Gay News

Smollett fighting special prosecutor appointment 2019-07-19 - Weeks after an Illinois judge ordered that a special prosecutor be appointed to investigate the handling of Jussie Smollett's abandoned criminal case, the ...


Gay News

CPD seeks comments on firearms policy 2019-07-17 - The Chicago Police Department unveiled a draft of the firearm pointing incidents policy on July 16, after reviewing and incorporating feedback from the ...


Gay News

Groping case against Kevin Spacey dropped 2019-07-17 - On July 16, Massachusetts prosecutors dropped the groping case against Kevin Spacey, CBS Boston reported. Cape & Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe said ...


Gay News

Minimum wage raise would increase earnings for 1.5 million LGBT adults 2019-07-17 - On Thursday, the US House of Representatives is expected to vote on the Raise the Wage Act. The Williams Institute at UCLA School ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Miss Major ailing, NAACP, crime items, Puerto Rico governor 2019-07-16 - Miss Major Griffin-Gracy—a Stonewall Riots veteran and staple in transgender activism for nearly 50 years—suffered a stroke July 4, Out.com reported. News about ...


Gay News

WORLD Alan Turing, Theresa May, UN expert, South Korea military 2019-07-16 - The Bank of England will honor the late gay mathematician/codebreaker Alan Turing on the 50-pound note, LGBTQ Nation reported. After World War II, ...


Gay News

Lighthouse Church holds racial-justice summit, announces new foundation 2019-07-15 - In the wake of the recent controversy surrounding Boystown's Progress Bar, Lighthouse Church of Chicago UCC held a "Racial Justice Summit: Boystown & ...


Gay News

House passes Military Non-Discrimination Amendment 2019-07-11 - WASHINGTON July 11, 2019 — By a vote of 242-187, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a non-discrimination amendment to the National ...


Gay News

Illinois trans woman freed from prison 2019-07-10 - Strawberry Hampton—a transgender woman who was transferred to multiple Illinois men's prisons after making abuse allegations against inmates and guards—is now free after ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.