Last Thursday, President Obama decided that he couldn’t handle the political heat from his attack on Freedom of Religion and did his best to compromise with the Catholic Church over the health care mandate. Unfortunately, his attempt at compromise wasn’t good enough and the Catholic Church has not relented, although the Church is thanking the President for opening a dialogue. It is my opinion that President Obama should be forced to completely cave on the issue and the Catholic Church as well as all other religions should unite to achieve this end.
This column has already written about this controversy twice. The first was my article: Obama Administration Attacks Freedom of Religion. The second was by my partner, Kevin Rush: Barack Obama’s Contraceptive Mandate Violates Multiple Constitutional Rights.
This whole affair started with the passage of the Affordable Health Care Act in 2009. Apparently, the now immortal words of former Speaker and still idiot Nancy Pelosi, “we have to pass the bill to know what’s in it,” have proven themselves true again. Buried deep in the bill is a mandate that all providers of health insurance must make sure the policy provides for contraception and abortion free of charge to the insured. Unfortunately for the Obama Administration and his Department of Health and Human Services, there is no religious exemption for these two mandates. For those of you that have been living with your head in the sand for most of your life, the Catholic Church and many other Christian religions have a fundamental problem with both contraception and abortion. In fact, to practicing Catholics both are forbidden.
That doesn’t mean that all Catholics follow the dogma of their religion. In fact, a recent poll shows that 58% of Catholics practice contraception. Of course, the pro-Obama lobby on this issue has decided to use this poll as evidence that the Obama Administration should not back down. But, that is missing the point entirely. The issue here is plain and simple, “Can the government mandate what a religious organization can or cannot do, especially, when the religion’s dogma specifically says otherwise?” Whether some members of the Catholic Church are imperfect and ignore their dogma is irrelevant.
Again, a little education is in order. The First Amendment to our Constitution states, whether liberals want to accept it or not; “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . . .” By mandating that the Catholic Church offer its employees health insurance that includes Contraception and Abortion, Congress has clearly violated this portion of the Constitution. It is interesting to note that liberals and the ACLU throw this Amendment out whenever they want to use it such as to eliminate school prayer and/or to allow atheists to do whatever they want to undermine the Judeo/Christian background of this country. It also should be noted that this is another mandate that makes the Affordable Health Care Act unconstitutional.
President Obama’s compromise last week, if one wants to call it that, is just not good enough as the Catholic bishops are still arguing. Forcing insurance companies to offer contraception and abortion coverage free of charge to the Church’s employees and to thereby not charge the Catholic Church directly is ridiculous. You are still forcing the Catholic Church to offer it whether they are paying for it not. In fact, they actually will be paying for it regardless. The charges will just be indirect instead of direct as the insurance companies are not going to cut into their profit margins in order to allow the Obama Administration to save face on this issue.
“AsI have said, the issues at stake go far beyond the morality of contraception. This government mandate threatens the basic character of our society and puts ever American’s freedom at risk. America was founded to be a diverse society with many layers of institutions and affiliations. . . . In the founders’ vision of civil society, churches and religious agencies held a special place. They believed religion was essential for democracy to flourish because religion instills the values and virtues people need for self-government. That’s why the First Amendment protects churches and individuals from the government meddling in what they believe, or in how they express and live out those beliefs. That’s also why the government has always felt comfortable providing funding for Church charities and ministries that serve the common good of all Americans.”
The remainder of Archbishop Gomez’s article goes on to state that this is just one step towards government controlling our lives completely. He eventually writes: “This new mandate moves us closer to what Pope Benedict XVI warned against in his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est (“God is Love”): “The state which would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself . . a state which regulates and controls everything.””
And, that is exactly what is at stake here. As Archbishop Gomez says this is not just about morality and the Freedom of Religion, this is about the state trying to control our lives. It is another battle in the war against the far left’s attempt to turn the United States into a socialist or dare I say it communist country. And, for that reason alone no one should back down this time.
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