Bishop Lori Took the Pig Right Out of Eric Cantor’s Mouth

Along with the ridiculous visuals, one of the most amazing parts of today’s hearing in which a bunch of men explained why birth control was a threat to their First Amendment rights was the statement of Bishop William Lori.

In it, he drew an analogy between birth control and pig flesh.

For my testimony today, I would like to tell a story. Let’s call it, “The Parable of the Kosher Deli.”
Once upon a time, a new law is proposed, so that any business that serves food must serve pork. There is a narrow exception for kosher catering halls attached to synagogues, since they serve mostly members of that synagogue, but kosher delicatessens are still subject to the mandate.

The Orthodox Jewish community—whose members run kosher delis and many other restaurants and grocers besides—expresses its outrage at the new government mandate. And they are joined by others who have no problem eating pork—not just the many Jews who eat pork, but people of all faiths—because these others recognize the threat to the principle of religious liberty. They recognize as well the practical impact of the damage to that principle.

They know that, if the mandate stands, they might be the next ones forced—under threat of severe government sanction—to violate their most deeply held beliefs, especially their unpopular beliefs.

Meanwhile, those who support the mandate respond, “But pork is good for you. It is, after all, the other white meat.”

Other supporters add, “So many Jews eat pork, and those who don’t should just get with the times.” Still others say, “Those Orthodox are just trying to impose their beliefs on everyone else.”

But Bishop Lori wasn’t the first person to make that porcine analogy. Eric Cantor made it on February 9.

President Obama’s HHS regulation violates religious freedom.  It is like forcing a kosher deli to sell pork chops.  #NotKosher

I find it pretty unclean to have a the words of the Jewish politician being voiced by the purported Catholic holy man, like mixing milk and meat.

I mean if Bishop Lori’s parables are just regurgitated Republican talking points–if Bishop Lori’s feigned interfaith concern is just a script borrowed by the his party hosts–then what does that say for Lori’s claim to espouse Catholic dogma more generally?

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