I am so damn sick of religious people insisting that it's their way or the highway. It matters not what religion or what cult within any religion, they are all the same. Give the religious a little power and they will do everything within their power to force the rest of the world to believe as they do and act as they say.
That's the road the Roman Church has taken, all the way from the Nicene Council in the 4th century to the seat of American episcopacy in the 21st century. When the so-called "orthodox" took control in 381 CE, they immediately banned all books they didn't like and required everyone to toe their theological line. Those who dared disobey the orthodox bishops were killed and their books were burned. If the American bishops had their way today they might not kill, but you can be sure that no one would be able to publicly or privately disagree with them or print anything not approved by the Vatican!
Down through the years, there has been no religion more horrendous and murderous than the Christian religion, represented mainly by the Roman Church. Those defined as heretics were routinely burned at the stake. So-called witches were raped by priests and then brutally murdered. Jews were sought out and killed wherever they were found. Dissent was disallowed and mercilessly suppressed.
Protestants were no better. Martin Luther was a vicious hater and had no problem killing those who opposed him. He took the side of the princes rather than the peasants in a war where thousands were slaughtered! Luther hated Jews with a passion, and the book he wrote on the Jews became the blueprint for Adolph Hitler's "Final Solution." John Calvin, representing another Protestant faction, actually killed one of his closest supporters who dared oppose him as Calvin became more insane.
Today, in the United States, the Roman Church does not have the power to torture, maim or kill dissenters. But that does not deter them from attempting to force their beliefs on every man, woman and child in the country!
The issue of the moment is birth control. Because the Roman Church has medieval and non-scientific views on sexual issues and behavior and because it has hitched it's wagon to an other-worldly mythical theology (which even the ancient Greeks would reject), it promotes the notion that sex is only for procreation and not recreation! Therefore, anything that gets in the way or procreation is taboo. They have the audacity to claim this is the will of God.
It's fascinating that a bunch of celibate, male, priestly characters running around in dresses would claim the right to circumscribe the sexual behavior of normal human beings! Not only so, but the Roman Church, filled as it is with the worst hypocrites, has no moral authority whatsoever. That ship, as they say, sailed long ago.
Studies have shown that somewhere between 25 and 50 percent of Roman Catholic priests are homosexuals. Not that that is necessarily bad except for the fact that the church teaches homosexuality is a disorder of creation and homosexual behavior is a sin! Every gay priest is living a hypocritical life!
I'm not sure of the percentage of priests and nuns who are child-abusers and pedophiles, but many thousands of Catholic children are suffering long-term damage from the treatment received at the hands of these cretinous "religious" leaders. Almost every day a new story appears in the media related to child sexual abuse by priests who are supposed to be mediators of God's love in the world!
Now, the Roman Catholic bishops in the USA (these are the same bishops who, for years, have used every device at their disposal to hide and cover up the sexual abuse of their clergy!) are lobbying hard to make it more difficult, if not impossible, to obtain birth control devices in this country. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance providers are required to provide contraceptives without a co-pay. Note this applies to "private" insurance plans. This has nothing to do with government money or government insurance plans.
Note also there is an exemption for certain religious groups. Irin Carmon, writing at Salon, says, "An institution which provides its employees with health benefits can qualify for it, if its major purpose is to employ and serve co-religionists - like a church. That's not enough for the Catholic Church, which says (though possibly not in these words) that it doesn't want to subsidize the shameful non-procreative sexing of its employees at affiliated hospitals, charities and universities, whether they agree with the Church about birth control or not."
And all this in spite of the fact that studies done for a number of years have shown that a large majority of Catholic men and women have used contraceptive devices in direct opposition to the teaching of the Church!
The bishops are lobbying the Obama administration to deny those who disagree with the sexual views of these male celibates the right to "essential medical care." We've got to hope Obama will not bow to the wishes of these bishopricks.