BOSTON, MA — The US Conference of Catholics Bishops (CCB) and the Catholic Dioceses announced today that church-affiliated group medical plans will no longer cover the stepfamilies or spouses of employees who have divorced and remarried.
This new Brady Bunch Exclusion has apparently been in the works for a while. Bishop Michael O’Patriarchy of the CCB stated, “There is by far a stronger Biblical and historical basis for discrimination by the Church against divorcees than there is for the discrimination against women we are already getting away with in regard to contraception coverage.”
O’Patriarchy explained, “In Luke 16:18 Jesus says, ‘Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery,’ so it is well within our rights to use our financial power to enshrine this personally invasive religious doctrine in the private lives of our employees. The Catholic Church is opposed to divorce, so it is offensive to our religious beliefs to pay for the healthcare coverage of stepfamilies.”
Dr. Stephanie Milner, a psychologist with the Stepfamily Health Foundation, stated in a phone interview: “The Brady Bunch Exclusion is a real blow to stepfamilies across the nation. Not just for the families who will suffer as a result of this new discrimination, but stepfamilies not associated with the Catholic Church will still feel the social sting and stigma of the Church’s bias against the legitimacy of stepfamily care.”
When questioned about the impact on stepfamilies, O’Patriarchy stated, “Let them work elsewhere if they don’t like it. Our goal is to get people to stay together even when they believe they shouldn’t: too many whimpering women today use spousal abuse, infidelity, and other such pettiness as excuses to break what in our definition is a holy bond and between only one man and only one woman.”
O’Patriachy continued, “The First Amendment guarantees us the right to discriminate against certain groups based on our religious opinions. Thus, we are moving beyond merely using our religious opinions to decide what sorts of healthcare women need and should have; now, we are using them to financially discriminate against those whose marriages and families do not meet our religious definitions.”
“This is just the beginning,” O’Patriarchy concluded. “Why stop with using our religious opinions to discriminate against women and divorcees in the work place when there are so many, many more with whom we disagree?”