Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote that, “In truth, there was only one Christian, and he died on the cross.” Nietzsche believed that the Church had essentially killed God by demanding its followers choose faith over genuine moral action. “The Christians have never practiced the actions Jesus prescribed them,” wrote Nietzsche in The Will to Power. “And the impudent garrulous talk about the “justification by faith” and its supreme and sole significance is only the consequence of the Church’s lack of courage and will to profess the works Jesus demanded.”
While many Christians would argue this isn’t the case, a Michigan woman in desperate need of a medical procedure was subjected to some very un-Jesus like treatment by her Catholic hospital. Jessica Mann was denied treatment by Genesys Regional Medical Center in Grand Blanc, Michigan, because it was following “the ethical and religious directives of the church.” From the Guardian:
Weeks after learning she would give birth to her third child, Jessica Mann was faced with a difficult decision: because she was stricken by a life-threatening brain tumor, her doctor recommended she have her fallopian tubes tied at the time of her scheduled cesarean section delivery, later this month.
Mann agreed to undergo the procedure at her hospital to prevent the risk of a future pregnancy exacerbating her tumor. But the hospital, Genesys Regional Medical Center in Grand Blanc, Michigan, declined on religious grounds.
The case is part of a trend that some experts are calling a burgeoning public health crisis, as a greater proportion of patients rely on religious hospitals for medical care.
Genesys’s denial stems from a religious directive crafted by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, which governs every Catholic-sponsored hospital in the nation.
The set of rules, called the Ethical and Religious Directives, prohibits the facilities from performing procedures like tubal ligations.
The hospital refused to elaborate on what the “Ethical and Religious Directives” are, but it is fairly clear they are related to the Church’s stone aged teachings on women’s reproductive rights and warped view of the purpose of sex. One can see Jesus informing the sick of similar “directives” back in Galilee:
“Sorry, no healing for you today, curing leprosy might make you infertile and you have to produce an unsustainable amount of children to be in good standing with the old man upstairs.”
When doctrine demands inhuman behavior, it’s safe to say it isn’t worth paying any attention to – something Jesus would have whole heartedly agreed with.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.