Bishops pledge to defy Obama administration on contraception mandate

posted at 10:25 am on January 31, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier this month, HHS issued a finding that reaffirmed its position that all employers had to comply with a new mandate to provide contraception support in health-care plans — even religious organizations whose doctrines oppose pre- and post-conception intervention.  Needless to say, the decision — which gives churches and other explicitly religious organizations only a one-year waiver to comply — are outraged over the intrusion on their consciences.  Three Catholic bishops announced yesterday that they will defy the Obama administration and fight the rule, and more will surely follow:

At least three Catholic bishops have said they will not comply with the mandate the Obama administration put in place recently in Obamacare that will force religious employers to pay for birth control, contraception and drugs that may cause abortions in their health care plans.

The Obama Administration issued a statement re-iterating the “contraceptive mandate” requiring all insurance providers cover the full range of FDA-approved drugs and devices would remain intact. This mandate, originally proposed in August, includes drugs that work after conception to destroy life rather than prevent it. The statement included a postponement of one year for religious groups that do not already carry contraceptives and additionally would not be exempted under last year’s narrow definition of “religious employer.”

The mandate not only violates such existing conscience protections on abortion such as the Hyde/Weldon Amendment (in so far as Plan B and Ella are covered), but also violates the principles of the Church Amendments which protects conscience rights for those who object to contraceptives and other services on moral or religious grounds.

Responding to it, Bishop Thomas Olmstead of Phoenix announced that his diocese will not comply with the mandate and Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati and Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay, agreed to refuse to comply.

It’s early yet, but the entire USCCB should be acting in unison along these lines.  The Catholic Church, as well as other religious organizations, should not have to fund procedures and devices that violate their tenets on the sanctity of life through employer-based insurance plans.  As Life News says, this is a violation of the First Amendment on its face — having the federal government intrude on religious practices, especially in areas that break no other laws for public peace and safety.

Beyond the religious exemption, however, is a larger question.  Why has HHS arrogated to itself the authority to mandate coverage for contraceptive and abortive devices (ie, the IUD)?  Why do health insurance plans need to cover what is clearly an elective process?  They don’t cover nose jobs or breast enhancements, or for that matter, LASIK in most cases.  Lasik at least treats a chronic medical condition (which is easily and less expensively treated with eyeglasses or contacts).  For all other entirely elective medical treatments, patients cover the costs themselves.  If insurance plans and/or employers want to cover contraception because of market demand and competition, I’d have no problem with it, but that’s obviously not the case if Kathleen Sebelius and Barack Obama feel the need to impose mandates on industry to add to their costs in covering entirely elective products and services.

Hopefully, this will go to court sooner rather than later and get torn down quickly by the courts.  The larger question remains, however.  We need to get government out of the market, and this example of heavy-handed social engineering conducted by the elites is a great example of what happens when the federal government gets the kind of power they do in ObamaCare.

Update: The Anchoress tries to find the silver lining:

To be sure, this situation is cause for concern, but there are some bright spots in all of this. Although the mainstream press has reported very little about this event—a close examination might prove uncomfortable for their own worldviews—the unified public expression of righteous defiance by the U.S. bishops is a powerful development.

Just as importantly, the laity—divided for decades on issues ranging from felt-banners to dress to dogma—has found a line in the sand upon which they can come together; “conservative” Catholics are reassured to see their more “progressive” brethren defending the church’s right to be who and what she is; more “progressive” Catholics may be coming to realize that—as relentlessly single-minded as some of their opponents could be—had they not held the line all these years, much could be crumbling at this moment.

I hope she’s right and that this becomes a hinge in history when many people awaken to the ability of government to abuse power, and not just the few affected.


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Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

=========================================================================

I believe the recent SCOTUS 9 – 0 decision speaks to this issue as well.

hillbillyjim on January 31, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Studies have shown that Catholics who are active church-goers are conservative, Republican, and don’t vote for Obama.

Cafeteria Catholics are another matter.

PackerBronco on January 31, 2012 at 12:08 PM

I’m not condemning people for what they happen to believe, but I will point out that the media use the word “Catholic” as a swinging door. When they poll “Catholics,” they ask any people who describe themselves that way, even if they volunteer the information that they haven’t seen the inside of a church (outside of the occasional funeral or wedding) in twenty-seven years. The media say, “That’s okay. You’re still Catholic.” for the purposes of this poll. Then they release the figures, but they leave out that non-active Catholics were a huge percentage of the people polled, so you might get the idea that when X% of Catholics disagree with the church on x, y, or z they must mean the people who go to mass every week, fast on Good Friday, give up something for Lent, go to confession, etc.; ask only churchgoing Catholics, and you’ll see different figures.

bmmg39 on January 31, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Just three?

Don L on January 31, 2012 at 12:56 PM

I think it’s starting to emerge that it’s not just three bishops and that the refusal to obey this unconstitutional law is a coordinated, across the board approach. The letter from the Archbishop of the Portland Oregon that darcee quoted above is identical to the letter we received from Bishop Malooly of the diocese of Wilmington, DE last week.

Trafalgar on January 31, 2012 at 1:18 PM

I would also like to add this to the conversation:

This type of abuse of power is what you end up with when Congress abrogates its duties and gives unfettered authority to political appointees in the executive branch.

This was totally predictable once ZeroCare was signed into law.

hillbillyjim on January 31, 2012 at 1:18 PM

I believe the recent SCOTUS 9 – 0 decision speaks to this issue as well.

hillbillyjim on January 31, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Yes, it would follow that the RCC can’t be compelled to provide health care to priests. However, the Hosanna-Tabor decision draws a line between minsters and non-ministers when exempting churches from employment law.

OptionsTrader on January 31, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Tired of peole saying, “Catholic hospitals, Catholic schools, etc. employ non-Catholics, why should they follow Catholic teachings?” What a canard! You don’t have to follow any Catholic teachings, but you also should not be demanding that the place of employment, private or religious base follows YOUR moral teachings!!!!!! It goes both ways.

Cpt. Kirk on January 31, 2012 at 1:06 PM

That’s really what this is all about.

bmmg39 on January 31, 2012 at 1:23 PM

This article is wrong. It is not only three, the whole United States Conference of Bishops is standing up together against this mandate. I hope the author fixes the article.

Please visit, http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/conscience-protection/index.cfm

It is ALL the Bishops speaking as one and asking all Catholics to do the same.

Cpt. Kirk on January 31, 2012 at 1:24 PM

IUDs prevent fertilization. But why bother explaining.

Marcus on January 31, 2012 at 11:25 AM

No. They do not.
They prevent implantation of a fertilized edd.

But why bother explaining?

Solaratov on January 31, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Didn’t the Catholic Church support Obamacare?
Mimzey on January 31, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Yep. Now on one hand, I can understand their position. They run hospitals, and the Federal government has mandated that hospitals have to treat everyone, regardless of ability to pay. Someone’s got to pick up the costs for that nice idea. But bringing government into it is ALWAYS a bad idea. For some reason, they believed the promises of the most pro-abortion president evah that the health care bill wouldn’t include abortion/birth control coverage.

How’s that working out again???

CJ on January 31, 2012 at 1:31 PM

The Roman Catholic Church is driven by $$$$$$$$$$. Also note that all states that are heavly Catholic, vote for democrats and are liberal. The Dem’s in congress are made up with more Catholics than other denominations. Your Liberal CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNBC and Fox are 90% Roman Catholic.
Shain1611 on January 31, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Are you saying the $$$$$$$$$ the Catholic Church puts into charity, is a small percentage of their total $$$$$$$$$ ?

listens2glenn on January 31, 2012 at 1:38 PM

I’d care about the catholics here; but they, for the most part, vote for democrats. So my caring meter cannot seem to fill up.

Sucks to be them, I guess. Don’t vote for people who step on your religious freedom in the future.

Oh, you’ll continue to do so? Caring meter is now broken.

lorien1973 on January 31, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Sen. Marco Rubio introduced legislation today to exempt from this mandate all indivduals and organizations that object to contraception and abortion for religious reasons.

Let’s see how famously pro-life Catholic Bob Casey votes on this one!

rockmom on January 31, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Yikes. Nothing like visiting Hot Air’s home page and seeing a huge picture of something that looks like a contraceptive device.

Here’s to hoping in the future we’ll be treated to large photos of jock straps, condoms, maxi pads, tampons, and male private part enlargement vacuums too.

I can’t get enough of seeing that stuff during TV commercial breaks (especially while eating dinner), I have to see it on political blogs too! Please make my dreams come true!
/s

TigerPaw on January 31, 2012 at 1:50 PM

I like this stand by the bishops. It’s really about time. I only wish the states would take a cue from them and start doing the same.

darwin on January 31, 2012 at 1:53 PM

All things great and small start in little seemingly insignificant ways.

1. I have the “Hope to Change” the establishment.
2. I do not need the forced restraints of a budget to fulfill my destiny.
3. I do not need an armed civilian population to stand in the way of MY “hope and change”.
4. I need MY private Army to do MY work with in the Continental US.
5. I do not need a dysfunctional congress for “Hope and Change”.
6. I do not need a Congress except to do what I tell them to do.
7. I need to redistribute the wealth from the rich to the poor.
8. I do not need other authority figures of religion to compete or my place over the people.
9. The Press and Internet must be controlled.
10. They don’t understand, and tell lies about me, only I tell the truth.
11. I must remain true to with MY certain rich friends, foreign and domestic, for only they will help me when in need.
12. This I tell all is my Ordained Destiny of “Hope and Change”.

Careful all who may read this. 11 November is close at hand and this may well be our last chance to get it wright.

We have a Government and especially the Congress that has enacted so many laws and procedures to protect themselves that changes from the out side is virtually impossible.

We have an election system that essentially prohibits any one other than a Democrat or a Republican from being elected President of the US. Statistically a Third Party Candidate would need about 60% of the populous vote (last one was George Washington) to be considered, and the election may still be determined in congress over the objections of the people.

The Constitution outline FIVE (5) branches of government, that are meant to balance.

1. The Administrative
2. The Legislative
3. The Judicial
4. We the People
5. The Free Press (Internet also)

It is in my opinion, that “We the People” that have failed the system the most. For we allowed and encouraged it all to happen. This November 11 may be our last chance to save this great nation from itself.

VOTE WISE MY FRIENDS.

jpcpt03 on January 31, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Here is one article that mentions the exemptions for religious organizations and companies with fewer than 50 employees.
OptionsTrader on January 31, 2012 at 11:56 AM

This makes no difference and is just a distraction. It is the MANDATE that is Unconstitutional on it’s face; for anyone.

bluefox on January 31, 2012 at 1:53 PM

mankai on January 31, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Just for the record, I was not accusing you of being a Leftist Liberal. I was merely reporting that in my parish, all of the pastors we’ve had over the years have never insisted from the pulpit, either implicity or explictly, that we should vote one way or another, just that we do so as citizens.

Before every state and federal election, our diocesan newspaper publishes a voter’s guide. In it is listed everyone running for office, whether incumbent or newcomer, and their voting records and/or positions on key issues. A politician has the choice to participate or not, and if they decide not to, that is noted also. Nowhere in it is the suggestion, implicitly or explicitly, to vote or not to vote for a particular politician. The information presented is a convenient presentation of a politician’s public record, and I’m sure the hope is to help a Catholic voter make a thoughtful and prayerful decision.

PatriotGal2257 on January 31, 2012 at 1:54 PM

My insurance plan is a private affair and is only employee based because thats the way the system was designed. The services I choose are private and should be of my concern only. Businesses provide insurance as a job incentive and payment, not as a way to dictate their morals in my own life.

That being said, it’s ridiculous if there isn’t an option for religious organizations to obtain “kosher” plans, shall we say?

Boomer_Sooner on January 31, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Oh, you’ll continue to do so? Caring meter is now broken.

lorien1973 on January 31, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Getting kinda tired of being painted with the “catholics vote for democrats” brush here! This one certainly doesn’t, never has, and never will. My parish has two very conservative priests and a a very conservative congregation.

Trafalgar on January 31, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Will Obummer come out and PUBLICLY condemn the Catholic church because they are willing to fight for their religious belief’s? There goes ANOTHER a huge block of votes.

kilwil888 on January 31, 2012 at 1:59 PM

I’m not condemning people for what they happen to believe, but I will point out that the media use the word “Catholic” as a swinging door. When they poll “Catholics,” they ask any people who describe themselves that way, even if they volunteer the information that they haven’t seen the inside of a church (outside of the occasional funeral or wedding) in twenty-seven years. The media say, “That’s okay. You’re still Catholic.” …
bmmg39 on January 31, 2012 at 1:12 PM

I’m not a Catholic in particular (but am a Christian).

On a similar note, I see the same thing with the word “Christian,” or who gets identified as such in the media, or by lay persons.

I don’t totally blame the media for that, though, because even people who genuinely think they are Christians may not be, as even Christ warned in Matthew 7:22-24.

There are people today who deny the very central tenets of the faith (such as the literal, physical resurrection of Christ), yet they amazingly still call themselves “Christian” (which runs contrary to what Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:14-19).

TigerPaw on January 31, 2012 at 2:00 PM

It’s not just the churches though. An employer should be able to offer the benefits he feels are inline with his values. When Dave Thomas was alive, Wendy’s offered credits for adoption and only allowed abortion for ‘the big three’. Dave Thomas was adopted.

Why should he have to violate his ethics to stay in business?

The_Livewire on January 31, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Let’s see how famously pro-life Catholic Bob Casey votes on this one!

rockmom on January 31, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Yeah … I’m going to be curious about that as well, as he’s managed to repudiate all of his father’s pro-life stances so far.

While maybe not as flagrant an offender to the Faith as Nancy Pelosi, et. al, Bob Casey, Jr. is definitely a CINO (Catholic In Name Only).

PatriotGal2257 on January 31, 2012 at 2:02 PM

This makes no difference and is just a distraction. It is the MANDATE that is Unconstitutional on it’s face; for anyone.

bluefox on January 31, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Sure, get rid of the mandate for everyone. I think that’s a great idea. Hopefully, the GOP president in 2013 will make that happen, or perhaps SCOTUS will sooner.

OptionsTrader on January 31, 2012 at 2:04 PM

The Roman Catholic Church is driven by $$$$$$$$$$. Also note that all states that are heavly Catholic, vote for democrats and are liberal. The Dem’s in congress are made up with more Catholics than other denominations. Your Liberal CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNBC and Fox are 90% Roman Catholic.

Shain1611 on January 31, 2012 at 12:56 PM

And your point is? Everyone knows there are hypocrites in every faith. Not practicing what you preach is well known, even in Politics.

bluefox on January 31, 2012 at 2:06 PM

The IRS and DOJ will be contacting them shortly.
(I was getting excited when I saw the headline…I thought they were talking about our Bishop!)

KOOLAID2 on January 31, 2012 at 10:28 AM

I’ve been defying the PBHO administration on pretty much everything.

Bishop on January 31, 2012 at 10:29 AM

Bishop on January 31, 2012 at 10:29 AM
Wow. Your own thread. Congrats!

Fallon on January 31, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Wow…and Bishop was right there!

KOOLAID2 on January 31, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Do you have a Constitutional argument for a broader religious exemption, one which doesn’t create an opportunity for large employers to avoid commercial laws by citing religious objections.

OptionsTrader on January 31, 2012 at 12:33 PM

I do have a constitutional argument for BROAD religious exemption.

Allow me to make it:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

If you are worried about “large employers” “avoiding commercial laws” because of their religion, THE GOVERNMENT HAS OVERSTEPPED ITS CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY.

WHO gets to exercise their religion is not dictated by how many people they employ.

makattak on January 31, 2012 at 2:09 PM

January 31, 2012 at 1:31 PM

The Roman Catholic Church is driven by $$$$$$$$$$. Also note that all states that are heavly Catholic, vote for democrats and are liberal. The Dem’s in congress are made up with more Catholics than other denominations. Your Liberal CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNBC and Fox are 90% Roman Catholic.
Shain1611 on January 31, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Are you saying the $$$$$$$$$ the Catholic Church puts into charity, is a small percentage of their total $$$$$$$$$ ?

listens2glenn on January 31, 2012 at 1:38 PM

No, what I’m saying is that many high powered Dem’s , Like the Kennedys are not dealth with on abortion because the RCC fears they will not support them as much $$$$$$. The laws that Congress pass when they are pro-$$$$ for the RCC they keep silent even when these laws are anti-RCC doctrine. Money rules….

Shain1611 on January 31, 2012 at 2:16 PM

I like this stand by the bishops. It’s really about time. I only wish the states would take a cue from them and start doing the same.

darwin on January 31, 2012 at 1:53 PM

I get to be grateful to Catholics again. They sure are up on the wall a lot lately.

Axe on January 31, 2012 at 2:19 PM

I’d care about the catholics here; but they, for the most part, vote for democrats. So my caring meter cannot seem to fill up.

Sucks to be them, I guess. Don’t vote for people who step on your religious freedom in the future.

Oh, you’ll continue to do so? Caring meter is now broken.

lorien1973 on January 31, 2012 at 1:41 PM

This dictate is not directed to only the Catholic Church!! The Catholic Church is not the target or the issue. Read some more.

bluefox on January 31, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Careful all who may read this. 11 November is close at hand and this may well be our last chance to get it wright.

Yup -the choice apears to be living with a rattler, a copperhead or the viper we now have, that we rush to purchase in 2008 from the big government/few freedoms store.

Don L on January 31, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Marcus – please read this:

IUD’s do NOT prevent fertilization 100% of the time – it is their intent but:

“Changes the lining of the uterus, preventing implantation should fertilization occur. Ethical Consideration.”

Read the operative word ‘SHOULD’ and note that there is a link to ‘Ethical Considerations’. Fertilization = conception.

Show me where it says that an IUD prevents fertilization in 100% of cases?

joadard on January 31, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Sen. Marco Rubio introduced legislation today to exempt from this mandate all indivduals and organizations that object to contraception and abortion for religious reasons.

Let’s see how famously pro-life Catholic Bob Casey votes on this one!

rockmom on January 31, 2012 at 1:41 PM

An exemption? Why doesn’t he protest on solid ground. This sounds like another exemption like all of those issued for Obamacare. Anytime you exempt someone, it will still apply to others; otherwise there is no need for the dictate. Just my opinion.

bluefox on January 31, 2012 at 2:26 PM

WHO gets to exercise their religion is not dictated by how many people they employ.

makattak on January 31, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Does a business owned by a religious organization have to comply with laws relating to worker safety, minimum wage, child labor, product safety, sexual harassment, racial discrimination? How do you draw the line?

OptionsTrader on January 31, 2012 at 2:26 PM

It is in my opinion, that “We the People” that have failed the system the most.

jpcpt03 on January 31, 2012 at 1:53 PM

^^

Axe on January 31, 2012 at 2:30 PM

bluefox on January 31, 2012 at 1:53 PM
Sure, get rid of the mandate for everyone. I think that’s a great idea. Hopefully, the GOP president in 2013 will make that happen, or perhaps SCOTUS will sooner.

OptionsTrader on January 31, 2012 at 2:04 PM

If this protest goes Nationwide, they will back off this dictate.

bluefox on January 31, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Didn’t the Catholic Church support Obamacare?
Mimzey on January 31, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Let me begin by stating that I am catholic.

The problem with the Catholic church, when it comes to politics, is that the Church pretty much supports every single liberal cause except abortion and gay marriage.

So, the Church effectively, for years, has helped create the liberal establishment and elect liberal leaders and now, the chicken is coming home to roust – as the honorable reverend wright would say. Yes, the church supported Obamacare, just as it supports most gov’t spending programs and entitlement programs and supports higher taxes and supports just about everything that enabled and left to get to this point.

The problem the church failed to understand is that in teh same way you can’t get “a little pregnant”, you can’t support “a little socialism”. You open the box and it is eventually going to envelop you. If you support some form of national health care, you can’t then cry when the various mandates, etc. are also imposed upon you.

While I disagree with Obamacare completely and disagree with telling churches what to do, I have little sympathy for my own church on this issue. Like all people who support socialist programs, they thought it was great when talking about forcing other people to do things, but now that it applies to them, suddenly it is a bad idea.

Monkeytoe on January 31, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Wow…and Bishop was right there!

KOOLAID2 on January 31, 2012 at 2:08 PM

And he was first too. Bishop privileges:-)

bluefox on January 31, 2012 at 2:34 PM

I’m sure you think I should only be in the bedroom and kitchen too. Bite me.

stingray9813 on January 31, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Now, now. Bathrooms and living rooms don’t clean themselves either, do they?

In all honesty, I don’t envy Catholics on this issue. I don’t personally see any problem with most birth control sources, and as a Christian, I see no biblical reason for the outright ban, especially concerning contraceptives that do not terminate a pregnancy.

Esthier on January 31, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Trafalgar on January 31, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Part of the problem in my opinion is that many Catholics I know who are Democrats identify with that political party because their parents or grandparents were Democrats. Several of my co-workers have told me as much. My reply to one of my co-workers who vociferously insisted that the Democrat party was the only “true” party (back in 2004!) because his parents and grandparents were was that sure, my parents and grandparents were Democrats also, but they also brought me up to think for myself.

To me, these people seem to be living in the past with an idealized notion of the Democrat Party of JFK or FDR. That the Democrat party in recent decades has become totally incompatible with the tenets of Catholicism and has been overrun with Marxists seems not to occur to them. It means that we have much more educating to do than ever.

PatriotGal2257 on January 31, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Shain1611 on January 31, 2012 at 2:16 PM

I’m told that Kathleen Sebelius is not allowed to take communion in any Catholic church. IMO she should be excommunicated along with Pelosi.

Eren on January 31, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Does a business owned by a religious organization have to comply with laws relating to worker safety, minimum wage, child labor, product safety, sexual harassment, racial discrimination? How do you draw the line?

OptionsTrader on January 31, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Give it up already! The Catholic Church is a church not a business and its beliefs and exercise of its beliefs are specifically protected under the Constitution in a way that businesses are not. Of course they comply with laws relating to worker safety, minimum wage, sexual harassment, etc., but those laws in no way conflict with the Church’s fundamental beliefs. This is NOT about labor or employment laws. It is about passing a law which forces a church to go against its religious beliefs, and the Constitution is very clear that the government cannot do that.

Trafalgar on January 31, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Does a business owned by a religious organization have to comply with laws relating to worker safety, minimum wage, child labor, product safety, sexual harassment, racial discrimination? How do you draw the line?

OptionsTrader on January 31, 2012 at 2:26 PM

I don’t know, but it is already drawn. Churches can discriminate based on their religious ideals (i.e., not hiring women as preachers if that’s their thing, or even not hiring non Christians), but they can’t flaunt safety codes.

It’s not as though this is completely unheard of and untested.

Esthier on January 31, 2012 at 2:43 PM

joadard on January 31, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Can you tell me something in medicine that does something 100 percent of the time in 100 percent of patients? Today’s IUDs are designed to primarily inhibit fertilization. Lippes loops and Dalcon shields were not. And that is a Dalcon shield there in the photo, which hasn’t been available in over 40 years. BTW, the popularity/acceptance of Mirena with teens is skyrocketing, because providers are learning it’s perfectly safe in never pregnant patients even age 12 or 13.

Marcus on January 31, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Thanks to all that posted links to articles and or petitions!!

bluefox on January 31, 2012 at 2:49 PM

PatriotGal2257 on January 31, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Couldn’t agree more! The Catholics I know who vote Democrat are “legacy” Democrats and very few of them are actually practicing Catholics. I think they have very little idea of what the Catholic Church or the current Democratic party actually stand for.

Trafalgar on January 31, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Trafalgar on January 31, 2012 at 2:43 PM

The issue to be resolved is when religious organizations operate as a business. They already have an exemption when they employ their ministers and operate their churches. You are contending they should have broader exemptions for businesses beyond their parish. You haven’t provided a rationale for where the limits to those exemptions are.

OptionsTrader on January 31, 2012 at 2:54 PM

You haven’t provided a rationale for where the limits to those exemptions are.

OptionsTrader on January 31, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Why must they be any different than what churches already have? The First applies to individuals, not just churches, so it’s not as though the argument is coming out of nowhere. We already have protections for individuals who refuse to perform a basic job function because of a religious exemption. I don’t really understand why the same can’t be applied to an employer.

Esthier on January 31, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Trafalgar on January 31, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Absolutely agree. And I’m sure you’ve noticed that some of these same non-practicing Catholics were the first to complain about the recent changes in the liturgy.

The co-worker who I mentioned in my previous comment was whining about that shortly after it took effect, saying something about “turning back the clock on the Vatican II reforms.” Never mind that he didn’t actually understand what they were; in his mind, having us respond “And with your Spirit” meant that the Church was going backwards.

PatriotGal2257 on January 31, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Unfortunately, our nation is becoming statist faster than our bishops are becoming consistently pro-life.

Well put. The Church takes non-confrontational positions a lot of time because it doesn’t want to scare away parishioners.

Herald of Woe on January 31, 2012 at 12:40 PM

I think many church leaders are actually democrats first. (Perhaps not always consciously.)

Only secondarily are they pro-life.

shinty on January 31, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Catholics went for Obama big time in 2008.
The president who thinks children are punishment.
The president who believes a girl’s dreams can be achieved if abortion is available to them.
The abortion-on-demand president.
The guy who voted against the Born Alive Act.

Obama will just come out and appease them, tell them what they want to hear–then Catholics will say “Oh OK”.

I’m so tired of the Jews and Catholics who gripe about Obama then back down and support him. Any doubts that he’ll get their vote in 2012?

bailey24 on January 31, 2012 at 3:08 PM

listens2glenn on January 31, 2012 at 1:38 PM

No, what I’m saying is that many high powered Dem’s , Like the Kennedys are not dealth with on abortion because the RCC fears they will not support them as much $$$$$$. The laws that Congress pass when they are pro-$$$$ for the RCC they keep silent even when these laws are anti-RCC doctrine. Money rules….
Shain1611 on January 31, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Apologies for the lateness of this reply.

That makes MUCH more sense, but apparently my Aspergian brain couldn’t grasp the intended meaning without the explanation you just provided.

Thanks.

listens2glenn on January 31, 2012 at 3:08 PM

We already have protections for individuals who refuse to perform a basic job function because of a religious exemption. I don’t really understand why the same can’t be applied to an employer.

Esthier on January 31, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Those protections have to be carefully crafted in the law or they may run into trouble with the courts. In the case of Thornton v Calder SCOTUS found that “keeping the Sabbath” didn’t protect an employee from being fired. Moreover, state laws compelling employers to recognize employee observance of Sabbath were themselves unConstitutional.

OptionsTrader on January 31, 2012 at 3:14 PM

The issue to be resolved is when religious organizations operate as a business. They already have an exemption when they employ their ministers and operate their churches. You are contending they should have broader exemptions for businesses beyond their parish. You haven’t provided a rationale for where the limits to those exemptions are.

OptionsTrader on January 31, 2012 at 2:54 PM

What you fail to understand is that the Catholic Church is more than just an accumulation of separate parishes. It is a universal church (the word catholic means universal). When it operates its “businesses” (schools, hospitals, universities, orphanages,etc.), they are a part of its universal ministry. You cannot separate a Catholic hospital or a Catholic high school from the Catholic Church. And the government cannot force a church to operate against its underlying core beliefs. It is not about exemptions, it’s about an assault on the free exercise of religion.

Trafalgar on January 31, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Any doubts that he’ll get their vote in 2012?

bailey24 on January 31, 2012 at 3:08 PM

He won’t get mine!

Trafalgar on January 31, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Those protections have to be carefully crafted in the law or they may run into trouble with the courts.

They are carefully crafted into law. It’s called the 1st Amendment

In the case of Thornton v Calder SCOTUS found that “keeping the Sabbath” didn’t protect an employee from being fired. Moreover, state laws compelling employers to recognize employee observance of Sabbath were themselves unConstitutional.

The Court ruled that Connecticut’s law was unconstitutional because it had a direct effect of advancing a particular religious practice. So you’re kind of making my point for me here. The government may not pass any laws which advance a particular religious practice, and they can’t pass a law which denies a particular religious practice or belief.

Trafalgar on January 31, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Can you tell me something in medicine that does something 100 percent of the time in 100 percent of patients? Today’s IUDs are designed to primarily inhibit fertilization.

Umm no, it’s primary function is to prevent a baby. It does this by making fertilization difficult, and if it happens then to stop the fertilized egg from implantation. No one knows what percentage of “fertilization” actually occurs and an IUD prevents implantation, but ectopic pregnany is a risk taken with an IUD- and the methods fails 1-2% overall. So more than 2% ferilization does occur. BTW, good try to cover. When someone told you it stopped implantation, you tried to say it did not in fact do that. Now you are saying it isn’t its “primary function.”

melle1228 on January 31, 2012 at 3:36 PM

…my Aspergian brain…

listens2glenn on January 31, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Clever. A Tridentine devotee, perhaps?

Kraken on January 31, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Is it just me, or does that IUD picture that Tina chose remind you of this, too?

OhioCoastie on January 31, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Does a business owned by a religious organization have to comply with laws relating to worker safety, minimum wage, child labor, product safety, sexual harassment, racial discrimination? How do you draw the line?

OptionsTrader on January 31, 2012 at 2:26 PM

I draw the line where the laws conflict with religious freedom.

How is this hard to understand: the government does not (constitutionally) have the power to prohibit the free exercise of religion, ESPECIALLY be compelling you to do something opposed to your religion.

Now if you can point to me how someone’s religious beliefs are being infringed by outlawing sexual harrasment or mandating product safety standards, I’ll see about justifying it. Until then, that is a complete non-sequitor.

(Further, the government has far over-stepped its bounds in those areas as well, but just not on first amendment grounds.)

makattak on January 31, 2012 at 3:58 PM

The Dem’s in congress are made up with more Catholics than other denominations.

Shain1611 on January 31, 2012 at 12:56 PM

and so is the Supreme Court (6 out of 9 Justices are Catholic, and 3 – Jewish)….sooo, what exactly are you trying to imply?

jimver on January 31, 2012 at 4:02 PM

melle1228 on January 31, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Jumping in late here, as usual, so I’m sorry if this has been brought up before.

There’s no such thing as a “fertilized egg”. A “fertilized egg” is an embryo – a human being with its own unique DNA. Understand what implants — not the single cell fertilized egg, but a blastocyst, a developing human that is several hundred cells at this stage. The fertilized egg does not implant. When it reaches the womb, it is not a single cell, and if it still was, it could not implant. Only a one-week-old living human embryo can implant.

Those who are concerned about protecting human life should try to not use this type of terminology, which is frankly just semantic nonsense. It’s much easier to argue for terminating a “fertilized egg” than a human embryo, which is of course why the pro-choice movement uses it.

quiz1 on January 31, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Paper Tiger,

Catholics will still vote 90% democrat and then act surprised when stuff like this happens.

They deserve what they get.

acyl72 on January 31, 2012 at 11:37 AM

I think Obama only got 53% of the so-called Catolic vote -most of whom don’t attend regular Mass/confession etc, et alone believe the moral tenents (natual law) which our Creator has instill in each of us. We do know good from bad we just chose to conviently lie to ourselves as to which is which.(Murder of innocent life is good -”choice” etc.)

The bigger problem is that many priests and bishops through hardened hearts or confusion, support leftist anti-Catholic politics, some more agressively than their faith. Not every Marxist liberation theology advocate in the Church has dissapeared. But then, God hand-picked Judas -nothing new here.
?

Don L on January 31, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Like all people who support socialist programs, they thought it was great when talking about forcing other people to do things, but now that it applies to them, suddenly it is a bad idea.

Monkeytoe on January 31, 2012 at 2:34 PM

and this is the lesson to take home for the Catholic Church…don’t do unto others…

jimver on January 31, 2012 at 4:11 PM

He should update the info on this article; now 111 bishops oppose the mandate.

The Roman Catholic Church is driven by $$$$$$$$$$. Also note that all states that are heavly Catholic, vote for democrats and are liberal. The Dem’s in congress are made up with more Catholics than other denominations. Your Liberal CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNBC and Fox are 90% Roman Catholic.
Shain1611 on January 31, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Riiiight. That’s why there are so many Catholic televangelists exhorting their watchers to send them money /sarc.

dukecitygirl on January 31, 2012 at 4:26 PM

In the case of Thornton v Calder SCOTUS found that “keeping the Sabbath” didn’t protect an employee from being fired.

Or rather, it found that Connecticut’s law forcing employer’s to recognize any Sabbath was unconstitutional. That’s not exactly the same, because in this case, the Supreme Court found that Connecticut was basing a law around a specific religious practice. That doesn’t mean that Connecticut can’t come back and make a law stating that employers must give all employees a day off during the week for First Amendment purposes that are secular or religious.

Moreover, state laws compelling employers to recognize employee observance of Sabbath were themselves unConstitutional.

OptionsTrader on January 31, 2012 at 3:14 PM

But that too is different. That’s an employer forcing religious practices on another citizen.

Here, the government is forcing employers to abandon a religious ideal in order to stay in business. Considering our rights as citizens, I would think the onus is on the government to prove that it has the right to do this.

Esthier on January 31, 2012 at 4:33 PM

But then, God hand-picked Judas -nothing new here.
?

Don L on January 31, 2012 at 4:06 PM

That’s a good reminder that everything has a purpose.

Esthier on January 31, 2012 at 4:35 PM

The issue to be resolved is when religious organizations operate as a business. They already have an exemption when they employ their ministers and operate their churches. You are contending they should have broader exemptions for businesses beyond their parish. You haven’t provided a rationale for where the limits to those exemptions are.

OptionsTrader on January 31, 2012 at 2:54 PM

You have it backwards.

It’s not incumbent upon an individual or a religious organization to prove that they have a right. The presumption is there. So it’s up to you to show why they don’t have that right or why that right is superceded by another’s.

Regarding religious institutions, there’s a long list of court cases that try to find the fine hairs splitting one position from another. They are certainly grey areas. However one thing is clear from case law: you cannot compell a religious organization to act in a way that is fundamentally opposed to the basic doctrines of that religion. They have a 2nd Amendment presumption to freedom of religion.

The only way you can override one constitution right is with another constitutional right. For example a religious practice cannot be constituted so as to deny blacks their constitutional right of assembly or equal protection under the law.

Your problem, and by extent Obama’s problem is that Catholic teaching on issues of contraception, abortion, etc. is crystal clear. There’s no ambiguity there. Thus to force them to purchase health insurance to cover those practices that violate their beliefs, clearly violates their 2nd amendment right.

What right are proposing to counter-mand that? Are you seriously proposing that any individual has a constitutional right to have their contraceptive health costs or their abortion procedures paid by their employer? Unless you can defend and prove that claim, I don’t see where you have a leg to stand on.

PackerBronco on January 31, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Any doubts that he’ll get their vote in 2012?

bailey24 on January 31, 2012 at 3:08 PM

I believe a large percentage of bishops, priests, and other professional Catholics will continue to blur the pro-life issue in 2012…

And most of them will probably vote for the pro-abortion Obama. Again.

shinty on January 31, 2012 at 4:48 PM

PackerBronco on January 31, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Very well made points and I agree with you totally. Just one minor quibble. It’s the 1st Amendment that gurantees free practice of religion, not the 2nd (unless your religion is guns!)

Trafalgar on January 31, 2012 at 4:49 PM

Very well made points and I agree with you totally. Just one minor quibble. It’s the 1st Amendment that gurantees free practice of religion, not the 2nd (unless your religion is guns!)

Trafalgar on January 31, 2012 at 4:49 PM

What if you worship guns? :-)

PackerBronco on January 31, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Very well made points and I agree with you totally. Just one minor quibble. It’s the 1st Amendment that gurantees free practice of religion, not the 2nd (unless your religion is guns!)

Trafalgar on January 31, 2012 at 4:49 PM

What if you worship guns? :-)

PackerBronco on January 31, 2012 at 4:56 PM

I just wonder when the day will come that the 2nd amendment is the only thing that helps guarantee the 1st!

melle1228 on January 31, 2012 at 5:14 PM

The Roman Catholic Church is driven by $$$$$$$$$$. Also note that all states that are heavly Catholic, vote for democrats and are liberal. The Dem’s in congress are made up with more Catholics than other denominations. Your Liberal CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNBC and Fox are 90% Roman Catholic.
Shain1611 on January 31, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Where is your proof of your inflammatory statement. Your name used to link to an anti-Catholic web site, why did you remove that link?

Vince on January 31, 2012 at 5:19 PM

What right are proposing to counter-mand that? Are you seriously proposing that any individual has a constitutional right to have their contraceptive health costs or their abortion procedures paid by their employer? Unless you can defend and prove that claim, I don’t see where you have a leg to stand on.

PackerBronco on January 31, 2012 at 4:44 PM

There is no Constitutional right to health care. Congress enacted the laws and the next congress can repeal them. The Supreme Court may set aside parts of ObamaCare, hopefully it will.

The Catholic church doesn’t have a Constitutional right to operate a hospital or university and only adhere to the laws that it chooses to.

OptionsTrader on January 31, 2012 at 8:13 PM

The Catholic church doesn’t have a Constitutional right to operate a hospital or university and only adhere to the laws that it chooses to.

OptionsTrader on January 31, 2012 at 8:13 PM

You keep coming back to that statement, but in the end it’s a non sequitor since it’s the legitimacy of the law that we’re arguing and whether it out to be enforced and whether it is really constitutional in the first place.

Since you have failed to give a legitimate constitutional reason why the Church should be forced to purchase a product that violates the tenets of its faith, I can only assume that you have given up the game.

Have a great evening. I have enjoyed this discussion.

PackerBronco on January 31, 2012 at 9:17 PM

Before every state and federal election, our diocesan newspaper publishes a voter’s guide. In it is listed everyone running for office, whether incumbent or newcomer, and their voting records and/or positions on key issues. A politician has the choice to participate or not, and if they decide not to, that is noted also. Nowhere in it is the suggestion, implicitly or explicitly, to vote or not to vote for a particular politician. The information presented is a convenient presentation of a politician’s public record, and I’m sure the hope is to help a Catholic voter make a thoughtful and prayerful decision.

PatriotGal2257 on January 31, 2012 at 1:54 PM

We also get the voters’ guide in our diocese. I submit that the guide is simply an extension (perhaps unwittingly) of the MSM slant.

For example, there is some indication in the guide about the candidate’s abortion stance. Then there is the candidate’s positions on global warming, immigration, ethynol, etc. Thus, 1 million abortions a year becomes just another item on the laundry list of issues. The guide is like a list of Gwen Ifill debate topics. Abortion is mentioned but quickly pushed aside in favor of topics which seem to favor the statists’ perspective.

The voters’ guide further ignores many important issues. One example – we Catholics are never called to ponder the morality of raising our neighbors’ taxes. (Money which they must pay or they go to jail.) The practice of outnumbering our neighbors in the voting booth to impose our will on them. Is it right to put future generations in debt to totalitarian China so that today’s citizens can enjoy their entitlements? Isn’t generational theft a violation of the commandment against stealing? We are making people dependent on programs which are destined for collapse. What happens to those dependents then? What of the dangers of centralized government? What of individual liberty? Shouldn’t we weigh the benefits of capitalism against the socialist model? None of these things make the bishops’ radar.

The generous view is that our bishops are in over their heads. More likely, they are easily led by a few statists in their number. Yes, they are speaking out now, but they won’t consider the fact that they could have avoided the current problem by staking out an unmistakable, clear pro-life position in 2008. I doubt they will in 2012. As the election draws near we will see (intentionally or otherwise) more obfuscation on life from the USCCB.

shinty on February 1, 2012 at 12:04 AM

It’s the culture of death.

Sane people recoil in horror, but the liberal left keep marching on.

Theophile on February 1, 2012 at 1:47 AM

A curious thing has occurred I the West.

That worldview that first gave us the hospital system is now, by legislation, forbidden to exercise the tenets of that worldview.

This will not end well.

Cleombrotus on February 1, 2012 at 8:50 AM

A curious thing has occurred I in the West.
That worldview that which first gave us the hospital system is now, by legislation, forbidden to exercise the tenets of that worldview.
This will not end well.

Cleombrotus on February 1, 2012 at 8:54 AM

The Catholic church doesn’t have a Constitutional right to operate a hospital or university and only adhere to the laws that it chooses to.

OptionsTrader on January 31, 2012 at 8:13 PM

The First Amendment gives them the right. Furthermore, where the laws oppose a moral conviction, you bet they will. Abortion is not up for debate in over 60 hospitals and over 2000 clinics that the Catholic Church runs in the United States nor is contraception.

Long before this debate began the Bishops states unalteringly that they would shut down their hospitals and clinics before they would adhere to this law they find morally reprehensible. I want to see that picture; Obama’s shock troops walking into Catholic hospitals, demanding contraception be handed out, Bishops closing the doors to hospitals that provide free help to millions because for them because of their commitment to their faith.

Will make for great video.

Want to see that Obama?

itsspideyman on February 1, 2012 at 9:28 AM

I know this thread is about played out, but I thought Sarah Palin had a good moment of clarity on this.

Duped or complicit, professional Catholics will probably continue to obfuscate on life.

shinty on February 1, 2012 at 10:19 AM

The First Amendment gives them the right. Furthermore, where the laws oppose a moral conviction, you bet they will. Abortion is not up for debate in over 60 hospitals and over 2000 clinics that the Catholic Church runs in the United States nor is contraception.

itsspideyman on February 1, 2012 at 9:28 AM

The First Amendment provides an absolute right to belief, not absolute freedom to operate in any industry with disregard to government rules.

Where a church employs ministers who teach or tend to the sick as part of their ministry, those cases are protected by the First Amendment.

OptionsTrader on February 1, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Have a great evening. I have enjoyed this discussion.

PackerBronco on January 31, 2012 at 9:17 PM

Yes, hope you had a nice evening. Will likely catch up with you in the future.

OptionsTrader on February 1, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Why do health insurance plans need to cover what is clearly an elective process?

Ok Ed, why do insurance plans need to cover Viagra and other ED medications? Getting an erection for the purposes of sex is also clearly an elective process. Men should pay 100% out of pocket for those medications.

As long as patients who want access to contraceptives and emergency contraceptives have access under their insurance plans to see physicians at non-Catholic affiliated hospitals and practices, then I agree, these Catholic affiliated places should not be required to go against their religious beliefs.

However, I don’t believe anyone should be forcing their religious beliefs on me, either. Amendment 1 works both ways.

cmsciulli on February 1, 2012 at 1:30 PM

This Rubio thread is closely tied to this one. :

http://hotair.com/archives/2012/01/31/marco-rubio-already-at-work-to-overturn-the-administrations-contraception-mandate/#start

If PackerBronco sees this, it would be good if he would offer an opinion on what Rubio intends to do.

Thanks
bluefox

bluefox on February 1, 2012 at 2:21 PM

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