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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abortive devices (ie, the IUD)?

IUDs prevent fertilization. But why bother explaining.

Marcus on January 31, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Actually, IUDs don’t prevent the fertilization of the egg, but prevent the implantation of the fertilized egg into the uterus.

That’s why we bother explaining.

Libraritarian on January 31, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Didn’t the Catholic Church support Obamacare?

Mimzey on January 31, 2012 at 11:03 AM

I think they did. My local paper (The Cincinnati Enquirer) ran a bunch of letters to the editor today, which surprisingly ran pretty evenly for and against the Obama administration. I say surprisingly because Cincy and its metro area are pretty Catholic.

I did note one letter reamed the bishops for blindly going along in supporting Obamacare. Lest we forget that Steve Driehaus, one of the last minute cave ins to the Stupak nonsense, lost his seat in 2010. Paybacks are a b*tch.

BuckeyeSam on January 31, 2012 at 11:32 AM

This is not an insurance matter at all really, just a demand by the govt that employers provide employees with contraception.

Congress is empowered to mandate that in Art. Crazy, Sec. Tyranny of the Constitution.

Akzed on January 31, 2012 at 11:33 AM

They have a Constitutionally protected right to believe that and to teach that. They, and other employers, can’t choose which laws to comply with when operating a public business.

When the RCC operates a corporate entity where faith is a condition of employment and they serve members of their faith, they have an exemption.

OptionsTrader on January 31, 2012 at 11:12 AM

But individual members of the Church who oppose contraception as sinful must provide it to employees? So only the institution has rights, not all men who are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights?

A law that is unjust is not a law.

Akzed on January 31, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Marcus – IUD’s do not prevent fertilization… they prevent implantation. An egg can become fertilized with an IUD – but the IUD prevents it from being implanted.

Thank you for posting this story Ed. This is a message that needs to be heard far and wide. There is a petition out there that can be signed – here: https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/%21/petition/rescind-hhs-dept-mandate-requiring-catholic-employers-provide-contraceptivesabortifacients-their/lBxr7SdP?utm_source=wh.gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl

Here is a great piece written by a young man who actually supports the use of contraception but vehemently opposes the mandate that we ALL be required to pay for it – http://www.patheos.com/blogs/badcatholic/2012/01/an-open-letter-to-president-barack-obama-concerning-recent-tyranny-with-pictures.html

Finally, aside from the violation of the first amendment – this is highly discriminatory since *some* religions are excluded from complying with any portion of the law (i.e. the Amish). Why are some more *equal* under the law?

I hope this effort goes down in flames. This is a blatant violation of religious liberty and Sebelius and Obama know it. I hope that this awakens a sleeping giant throughout the nation.

joadard on January 31, 2012 at 11:35 AM

I’d just like to add, I don’t like the fact that the RCC instructs its faithful on how to vote… by throwing in some threat of eternal damnation for the wrong vote. That’s a thoroughly un-American and potentially dangerous concept.

mankai on January 31, 2012 at 10:46 AM

So you missed out on all those Democrat campaign appearances at Black churches?

Deanna on January 31, 2012 at 11:35 AM

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

They have a Constitutionally protected right to believe that and to teach that. They, and other employers, can’t choose which laws to comply with when operating a public business.

When the RCC operates a corporate entity where faith is a condition of employment and they serve members of their faith, they have an exemption.

OptionsTrader on January 31, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Who did that? When and where?

Akzed on January 31, 2012 at 11:37 AM

‎”The Amish do not carry health insurance. The government respects their principles. Christian Scientists want to heal by prayer alone, and the new health-care reform law respects that. Quakers and others object to killing even in wartime, and the government respects that principle for conscientious objectors. By its decision, the Obama administration has failed to show the same respect for the consciences of Catholics and others who object to treating pregnancy as a disease.”

-Most Rev. Timothy Dolan, Cardinal-designate and Archbishop of New York

I wanted to re-post this, as it’s a point worth repeating.

Libraritarian on January 31, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Most women.

faraway on January 31, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Really? Most women use that instead of the pill, condoms, or just anything else?

Esthier on January 31, 2012 at 11:39 AM

joadard on January 31, 2012 at 11:35 AM

I got a tubal 14 years before I joined the Church. I don’t regret my decision…and I don’t think that insurance should have covered it.

annoyinglittletwerp on January 31, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Seconded. What kind of woman looks at that and thinks, “yes, I want that inside me”?

Esthier on January 31, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Additionally, what kind of man looks at that and thinks, “yes, I want to thrust my penis towards one of those”?

MadisonConservative on January 31, 2012 at 11:40 AM

I suspect that those commentators on this thread who are defending Obama don’t hold with the Church’s teaching on contraception, abortion, sterilization, etc.

Rather than debate whether the Church is right or wrong in its moral teaching, let’s take that out of the equation and focus on the issue involved.

We all would agree that slavery is a moral evil, right? Okay, now say the government mandated that you provide for your employees a service by which they would have a slave provided for them. Now, the government is not mandating that YOU own a slave. And it is quite possible that none of your employees will actually decide to purchase a slave under the government’s plan, but you are mandated to provide them the means and the funds to make such a purchase if they wish.

You see, as a moral issue it doesn’t make one bit of difference that you yourself are not purchasing the slave, the moral problem is that you are being coerced by the government to directly participate in commerce that goes against your moral and religious convictions.

If you can’t see that this is a fundamental attack on religion and the free exercise thereof, well, God help you.

PackerBronco on January 31, 2012 at 11:41 AM

They, and other employers, can’t choose which laws to comply with when operating a public business.

OptionsTrader on January 31, 2012 at 11:12 AM

And another thing I think you’re missing here is that the Catholic Church is not operating a “public business”, they’re operating a church, and churches are specifically protected from government intrusion into the practice of their religion under the Constitution.

Trafalgar on January 31, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Really? Most women use that instead of the pill, condoms, or just anything else?

Esthier on January 31, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Most women use the pill like me. And 98% of all catholic women like me are good with the pill.

stingray9813 on January 31, 2012 at 11:42 AM

acyl72 on January 31, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Yep, you get the government you vote for.

cozmo on January 31, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Go bishops!

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.

We need to get government out of our personal lives and stay out of our bank accounts. It’s not just about the power ObamaScare gives them, it’s also about the power they’ve usurped under the guise of “the general welfare” and how they eye our incomes like a ravenous animal who hasn’t eaten in weeks. Little Lord Fauntleroy, the man-child Prezuhdunce, stomps his feet and screams that we have too much and thinks that gives him the right to ransack and pillage our money with his insidious taxes as if the Constitution gives him the right to do it.

stukinIL4now on January 31, 2012 at 11:43 AM

When the RCC operates a corporate entity where faith is a condition of employment and they serve members of their faith, they have an exemption.

OptionsTrader on January 31, 2012 at 11:12 AM

It’s not that faith is condition for employment, it’s that there are some services and some benefits that the RCC will not provide for its employees.

Now if you want to argue that everyone has a constitution right to have their employee pay for their abortions and their contraceptives, go for it.

But I suspect that the RCC has the better argument in that they are not mandated to participate in commerce that goes against their fundamental religious beliefs.

PackerBronco on January 31, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Now if you want to argue that everyone has a constitution right to have their employee pay for their abortions and their contraceptives, go for it.

That should be: “employer pay” rather than “employee pay” obviously.

PackerBronco on January 31, 2012 at 11:44 AM

The Catholic Church is in a tough spot. They love big government programs and open borders illegal immigration on the one hand, but are against abortive drugs and devices on the other. This is going to be fun to watch.

Wigglesworth on January 31, 2012 at 11:44 AM

When does the threat of a completely out of control government go main stream?

To make it simple what limits do liberals believe government has? Any?

Speakup on January 31, 2012 at 11:45 AM

1. If you are not in a monogamous relationship, the birth control you should be using doesn’t need to be covered–you should be abstinent or using condoms.

2. If you are in a monogamous relationship, you should have two salaries to throw at the issue of birth control. If he’s not working, no nookie until he is.

3. The government has no right to tell an insurance company what must be covered in their plans, or tell consumers what must be in the plans they buy. Catholics should not have to cover birth control, and a gay bar should not be forced to pay for maternity coverage. As long as there is full and honest disclosure as to what someone is buying, why can’t anybody buy what they want, within certain restrictions?

Sekhmet on January 31, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Wigglesworth on January 31, 2012 at 11:44 AM

As I’ve said in other blogs-I’m Judeo-Catholic(I’ve started going to Mass again) and it’s no secret that the USCCB has been in bed with the far-left for a looong time. It’s finally come back to bit them-hard. My Bishop is a far-left open-borders nut…but he will likely not comply on this issue.
A government big enough to give you everything that you desire-is big enough to take it AL away.

annoyinglittletwerp on January 31, 2012 at 11:49 AM

The Catholic Church is in a tough spot. They love big government programs and open borders illegal immigration on the one hand, but are against abortive drugs and devices on the other.

Wigglesworth on January 31, 2012 at 11:44 AM

The difference is that topics such as government programs and illegal immigration are open for discusssion and debate within the Catholic Church. No Catholic is required to take a position one way or the other on those and many other topics. However, on the issue of the sanctity of human life there is no room for discussion and no room for any Catholic to disagree with the Curch teaching on this. The sanctity of all human life is a fundamental belief of the Catholic Church.

Trafalgar on January 31, 2012 at 11:51 AM

As I’ve said in other blogs-I’m Judeo-Catholic(I’ve started going to Mass again) and it’s no secret that the USCCB has been in bed with the far-left for a looong time.

annoyinglittletwerp on January 31, 2012 at 11:49 AM

I think that is gradually changing. The Vatican II dinosaurs are dying out and being replaced by JP II priests who are totally solid.

PackerBronco on January 31, 2012 at 11:52 AM

It’s about d@mn time Catholics quit being Demoncrat bootlickers. We’re already seeing the first direct strikes against religious freedom under the Obama administration (like the adoption-for-queers thuggery), and it’s only poised to get worse. Catholic social positions have made them everything from useful idiots for the Dems to partners in crime. (most anyone with a passion against illegal immigration will know precisely what I’m talking about.)

I’m glad my brothers and sisters in Christ are finally clearing the cobwebs from their brains, but goshdarnit people, it sure took you long enough!

MelonCollie on January 31, 2012 at 11:52 AM

The IUD prevents fertilization by altering the cervical mucous and inhibiting sperm transport in the uterine cavity chemically by hormone or inflammatory process. It inhibits fertilization. And here are the number one and
two methods of contraception in the world :

1. Tubal sterilization
2. IUD

Marcus on January 31, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Actually, IUDs don’t prevent the fertilization of the egg, but prevent the implantation of the fertilized egg into the uterus.

That’s why we bother explaining.

Libraritarian on January 31, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Thank you for setting the record straight. Some of us finished high school.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on January 31, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Iblis on January 31, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Exactly right iblis. Michael Gerson over at WaPo wonders why Obama would stab Catholics in the back. Obama will stab anyone in the back to eliminate private options for healthcare insurance. This maneuver is all about statism. That he alone can deny people the right to practice their pro-life faith, regardless of specific faith, is just icing on his little marxist cake.

LetsBfrank on January 31, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Most women use the pill like me. And 98% of all catholic women like me are good with the pill.

stingray9813 on January 31, 2012 at 11:42 AM

That’s what I would have assumed.

Esthier on January 31, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Who did that? When and where?

Akzed on January 31, 2012 at 11:37 AM

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

That’s one scary looking IUD on the front page.

CorporatePiggy on January 31, 2012 at 10:30 AM

That’s what I thought – yikes. It looks like a grappling hook.

Dork B. on January 31, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Sekhmet on January 31, 2012 at 11:46 AM

I’d add this:

#4. If you physically cannot pay for effective contraception, you probably shouldn’t be having sex. Babies are way more expensive than a box of Trojans and if you can’t afford those…

MelonCollie on January 31, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Most women use the pill like me. And 98% of all catholic women selfish, cafeteria catholics who really aren’t Catholic at all like me are good with the pill.

stingray9813 on January 31, 2012 at 11:42 AM

FIFY

Branch Rickey on January 31, 2012 at 11:58 AM

ummm, maybe the bishops should have strongly come out for life before the last election

shinty on January 31, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Good for the bishops and it’s about time! And it’s about time too for everybody else to wake up and smell the coffee on obamacare.

Dr_Woof on January 31, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Most women use the pill like me. And 98% of all catholic women selfish, cafeteria catholics who really aren’t Catholic at all like me are good with the pill.

stingray9813 on January 31, 2012 at 11:42 AM

FIFY

Branch Rickey on January 31, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Whether Catholics use the pill or not, there’s no reason we should all have to pay for it.

shinty on January 31, 2012 at 12:00 PM

This is not an insurance matter at all really, just a demand by the govt that employers provide employees with contraception.

Congress is empowered to mandate that in Art. Crazy, Sec. Tyranny of the Constitution.

Akzed on January 31, 2012 at 11:33 AM

It’s a form of welfare: other people paying for something that you should pay for yourself. I know I’m delighted that the very high deductible on my individual policy is underwriting no co-pays for birth control.

BuckeyeSam on January 31, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Catholics on the Supreme Court:

Chief Justice John Roberts
Samuel Alito
Anthony Kennedy
Antonin Scalia
Clarence Thomas
Sonia Sotomayor

I believe they will all evaluate ObamaCare on constitutional rather than religious grounds, but certainly the events of the weekend have put the real constitutional problems of the individual mandate in stark relief.

I would look for articles in the upcoming weeks attacking the Court’s religious makeup as a pre-emptive strike in case ObamaCare is overturned.

PackerBronco on January 31, 2012 at 12:01 PM

FIFY

Branch Rickey on January 31, 2012 at 11:58 AM

What kind of thread would this be if we didn’t have some righteous judgment.

Esthier on January 31, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Even Wilton Gregory the egregiously horrible ab of Atlanta had a letter read in every Parish at every Mass this past weekend.

Jesus had Judas.
America has Obama.
The Roman Catholic Church in America has SanFranNan and friends.

Branch Rickey on January 31, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Actually, IUDs don’t prevent the fertilization of the egg, but prevent the implantation of the fertilized egg into the uterus.

That’s why we bother explaining.

Libraritarian on January 31, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Thank you for setting the record straight. Some of us finished high school.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on January 31, 2012 at 11:53 AM

They also aren’t 100% effective.

One of my nieces was conceived while her mom was using one of those things. *She a great kid and we’re all glad that she’s here.*

annoyinglittletwerp on January 31, 2012 at 12:02 PM

I have a hard time feeling sorry for Catholics and their leadership. They supported Obamacare and Catholics vote democrat. You made your bed, lie in it.

Though I do support their cause. The government shouldn’t be able to force this on them.

Darksean on January 31, 2012 at 12:03 PM

It’s about time that conservative institutions started showing more defiance against the government. The government, just because it is the government IS NOT to be automatically obeyed. When IT breaks the law there is no obligation to obey it’s command that breaks the law.

wildcat72 on January 31, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Esthier on January 31, 2012 at 12:01 PM

If she is actually Catholic and actually flaunting The Catechism of The Catholic Church in a publicly scandalous way than she has brought righteous judgement on herself.

Branch Rickey on January 31, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Maybe the eyes of some of their flock will be opened to the runaway despotism that is this administration.

Alferd Packer on January 31, 2012 at 10:38 AM

One would hope, but I’ve encountered some pretty thick skulls around my area — several acquaintances of mine who I see regularly at Mass every week have also had Obama signs in their yards and bumper stickers on their cars.

I can only conclude that these people are the same kind of “hear-only-what-I-want-to-hear” voters who likely think that the President and the government would never espouse such a policy so destructive to liberty. Not in America, they think. Well, I hate to tell them: that America is rapidly disappearing each day Obama is in office.

Then there is a girlfriend of mine, a nurse, who insisted that the stipulation about mandatory contraceptives was taken out of the final bill when Stupak and Co. were play-acting with their little protest vote. She looked visibly annoyed when I told her it was indeed in the final bill, but it seemed to me the annoyance was more about my pointing out that she was wrong than it was about the actual policy.

PatriotGal2257 on January 31, 2012 at 12:04 PM

There are many other Religions and Churches also. They all are affected by this dictate and I hope they all join in this blatant violation with the same protest. Government is to protect our Constitutional and the Bill of Rights, not usurp them.

Let’s not get distracted in how or what device or procedure they dictate will be used. That is not the issue.

bluefox on January 31, 2012 at 12:04 PM

…the USCCB has been in bed with the far-left for a looong time. It’s finally come back to bit them-hard….

annoyinglittletwerp on January 31, 2012 at 11:49 AM

-

As a whole the bishops will continue to give moral cover to those who prefer to vote ‘democrat’.

Most of them are Democrats first and pro-life second.

-

your humble correspondent and fellow Catholic,

shinty on January 31, 2012 at 12:07 PM

I have a hard time feeling sorry for Catholics and their leadership. They supported Obamacare and Catholics vote democrat. You made your bed, lie in it.

Darksean on January 31, 2012 at 12:03 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.

Catholic politicians are even worse.

As for American Bishops: they are some pretty bad ones I will admit. But they are a dying breed. The bishops that have been installed over the last 10 to 15 years are very solid. The priests who currently wait in the wings as the next set of bishops are even more so. We just had to get the wacky 60′s Vatican II ones out of the way.

PackerBronco on January 31, 2012 at 12:08 PM

The IUD prevents fertilization by altering the cervical mucous and inhibiting sperm transport in the uterine cavity chemically by hormone or inflammatory process. It inhibits fertilization. And here are the number one and
two methods of contraception in the world :

And it also prevents implantation of a fertilized egg:

“Hormonal and copper IUDs work in different ways. With a copper IUD, a small amount of copper is released into the uterus. This type of IUD does not affect ovulation or the menstrual cycle. Copper IUDs prevent sperm from being able to go into the egg by immobilizing the sperm on the way to the fallopian tubes. If an egg does become fertilized, implantation on the wall of the uterus is prevented because copper changes the lining of the uterus. “

melle1228 on January 31, 2012 at 12:08 PM

If she is actually Catholic and actually flaunting The Catechism of The Catholic Church in a publicly scandalous way than she has brought righteous judgement on herself.

Branch Rickey on January 31, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Not my issue. I’m judged just for not being Catholic. Can’t say I see the appeal of joining.

Esthier on January 31, 2012 at 12:10 PM

But I suspect that the RCC has the better argument in that they are not mandated to participate in commerce that goes against their fundamental religious beliefs.

PackerBronco on January 31, 2012 at 11:43 AM

They do when operating a parish. When they chose to operate a business with more than 50 employees that serves the general public then they are subject to the same laws as others. Most business owners hate the cost and red tape of complying with the law–I do. If it were possible to get out of providing health care by simply citing a religious objection many would.

OptionsTrader on January 31, 2012 at 12:14 PM

There are many other Religions and Churches also. They all are affected by this dictate and I hope they all join in this blatant violation with the same protest.

bluefox on January 31, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Exactly! And it’s way more than just the issue of requiring provision of contraception/abortion services. It’s a direct assault by the government on the free practice of religion and every church, every religion should join together to fight it.

Trafalgar on January 31, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Let’s not get distracted in how or what device or procedure they dictate will be used. That is not the issue.

bluefox on January 31, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Exactly. The issue is statism. Even Obama’s penchant for abortion in all forms is secondary to his and his minions’ lust for power over the plebeians.

LetsBfrank on January 31, 2012 at 12:16 PM

They do when operating a parish. When they chose to operate a business with more than 50 employees that serves the general public then they are subject to the same laws as others. Most business owners hate the cost and red tape of complying with the law–I do. If it were possible to get out of providing health care by simply citing a religious objection many would.

OptionsTrader on January 31, 2012 at 12:14 PM

We’re not aruging red tape here.

Yes, they have to comply with the law, but only when that law is constitutional. Which is what we’re discussing.

Do try to keep up.

PackerBronco on January 31, 2012 at 12:21 PM

It’s a “twofer” for Obama though. He gets to burnish his credentials with the radical secularists in his base (and especially the militant gays who want to take down the Catholic Church by any means necessary), and buy votes of single women who want free birth control.

It’s also even more radical than most people have discussed, because the bottom line is that the U.S. government has just declared pregancy to be a disease. Anyone who cannot see that this opens the door to mandated coverage of abortions up through the third trimester, is blind.

rockmom on January 31, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Agreed, with both Ed and the Anchoress. It was entirely foreseeable that religious liberty would not survive a universal mandate. The precedent that would be set, if this were to be imposed on both the people, would clearly signal the end of our idea of liberty.

A lot of Protestants are behind the bishops on this, even though the contraception issue is not a big deal for most Protestants. The importance of religious liberty is.

J.E. Dyer on January 31, 2012 at 12:22 PM

When they chose to operate a business with more than 50 employees that serves the general public then they are subject to the same laws as others.

OptionsTrader on January 31, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Once again, the Catholic Church is not operating a business like other businesses. They are operating a church. General businesses are not given the same specific protection in the Constitution that churches are. This is an assault on religious freedom. Try to get beyond the vehicle being used to do it.

Trafalgar on January 31, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Statist Marxists everywhere!!

This reminds me of when all you Teabagging Cultisits were out counter protesting and trying to get that 9/11 mosque built! Religious Freedom!!!!!!!

tommyhawk on January 31, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Dang it, must.learn.to.do.quotes.right!

Trafalgar on January 31, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Statist Marxists everywhere!!

This reminds me of when all you Teabagging Cultisits were out counter protesting and trying to get that 9/11 mosque built! Religious Freedom!!!!!!!

tommyhawk on January 31, 2012 at 12:23 PM

islam is not a religion in the same way Christianity is. It is first and foremost a POLITICAL system, a foreign political system just like communism.

It can be argued that islam does not deserve ANY first amendment protection. It would have to divorce itself from sharia, which it will not do.

wildcat72 on January 31, 2012 at 12:26 PM

I read several of the letters from various diocese — many are very weak, including Chicago’s Archbishop George — they complain about “the Administration” — rather than say “the Obama Administration” — many parishioners don’t have a damned clue who “the Administration” is — with a little help from the MSM, Boehner and the GOP House will be blamed, or better yet the Tea Party…

War on.

matthew8787 on January 31, 2012 at 12:27 PM

tommyhawk on January 31, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Try keeping up with what the Constitution actually says. Government cannot interfere with the free practice of religion. There’s nothing in there that prevents individuals from trying to block the construction of a mosque, church, friends meeting hall, sweat lodge, or Mother Gaia worship center.

Trafalgar on January 31, 2012 at 12:28 PM

If it were possible to get out of providing health care by simply citing a religious objection many would.

OptionsTrader on January 31, 2012 at 12:14 PM

I don’t really see a problem with that.

Esthier on January 31, 2012 at 12:28 PM

As for American Bishops: they are some pretty bad ones I will admit. But they are a dying breed. The bishops that have been installed over the last 10 to 15 years are very solid. The priests who currently wait in the wings as the next set of bishops are even more so. We just had to get the wacky 60′s Vatican II ones out of the way.

PackerBronco on January 31, 2012 at 12:08 PM

This cannot happen soon enough for me. The misinterpretation of Vatican II by a few prominent Catholic bishops has been as destructive over the decades to the average Catholic in the pew as the Marxists in the government is to the country.

PatriotGal2257 on January 31, 2012 at 12:30 PM

The ex-communications should continue until the morals improve.

Nathan_OH on January 31, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Try keeping up with what the Constitution actually says. Government cannot interfere with the free practice of religion. There’s nothing in there that prevents individuals from trying to block the construction of a mosque, church, friends meeting hall, sweat lodge, or Mother Gaia worship center.

Trafalgar on January 31, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Or in protesting said mega mosque. I’m not really down with the gay movement, but I’d love to see the muslims have to pass by hordes of gays making out to get to their mosque. And there should be street vendors selling pork ribs.

wildcat72 on January 31, 2012 at 12:32 PM

I watch EWTN regularly, and these protests are serious. I do not expect compromise on the issue.

The discourse I follow on EWTN makes me grateful for the Catholic witness in our nation. Catholics led the fight on the sanctity of life, and many times have been proven correct in their warnings of progressive devaluation of the human being

My prayers go with those who are willing to fight the good fight

If these resistors do not win, we will see religious based institutions cracked open by government hacks, and redesigned to fit the religion of the State

entagor on January 31, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Yes, they have to comply with the law, but only when that law is constitutional. Which is what we’re discussing.

Do try to keep up.

PackerBronco on January 31, 2012 at 12:21 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

The ex-communications should continue until the morals improve.

Nathan_OH on January 31, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Exactly.

I am Catholic. I am a very conservative, orthodox Catholic. The fact that the Church does not see fit to excommunicate every anti-life democrat politician (like Pelosi, the Kennedys, etc) has made me lose a LOT of respect for it.

wildcat72 on January 31, 2012 at 12:33 PM

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

A large percentage of Catholics aren’t regular church goers.

The many Catholics who are Democrats first and pro-life second will continue to enjoy the moral cover provided by church leadership.

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

shinty on January 31, 2012 at 12:34 PM

So Obama is rolling out his religious crusades. Historic I tell ya.

His socialist crusades trump the freedom of religion laws?

I suggest the churches just put him on ignore. That is what he does.

seven on January 31, 2012 at 12:34 PM

I watch EWTN regularly, and these protests are serious. I do not expect compromise on the issue.

The discourse I follow on EWTN makes me grateful for the Catholic witness in our nation. Catholics led the fight on the sanctity of life, and many times have been proven correct in their warnings of progressive devaluation of the human being

My prayers go with those who are willing to fight the good fight

If these resistors do not win, we will see religious based institutions cracked open by government hacks, and redesigned to fit the religion of the State

entagor on January 31, 2012 at 12:32 PM

They are well within their rights to ignore these commands from the Obama Regime because those commands are illegal.

I wish more people realized that we are UNDER NO OBLIGATION to obey commands that are illegal.

wildcat72 on January 31, 2012 at 12:35 PM

It’s also even more radical than most people have discussed, because the bottom line is that the U.S. government has just declared pregancy to be a disease.

rockmom on January 31, 2012 at 12:22 PM

BINGO. O often redefines fundamentals, in this case pregnancy, to work his mischief. On a side note, this redefinition is right in line with his recent statement that ‘our daughters should have access to abortion so that they can follow their dreams’. Truly one of the most twisted thoughts he’s ever expressed.

But back to your point, wonder what people of faith would say about this shift in definition that creates the path to require “preventative” coverage.

LetsBfrank on January 31, 2012 at 12:38 PM

I hope this effort goes down in flames. This is a blatant violation of religious liberty and Sebelius and Obama know it. I hope that this awakens a sleeping giant throughout the nation.

joadard on January 31, 2012 at 11:35 AM

As do I and totally agree. Thanks for the sites.

bluefox on January 31, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Why does Obama hate black babies?

Ricki on January 31, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Most women use the pill like me. And 98% of all catholic women selfish, cafeteria catholics who really aren’t Catholic at all like me are good with the pill.

stingray9813 on January 31, 2012 at 11:42 AM
FIFY

Branch Rickey on January 31, 2012 at 11:58 AM

It’s on now!

bmmg39 on January 31, 2012 at 12:39 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. That is a weak posture, and the State will probably prevail over it because the only thing the State wants is More Power. That is a simple goal and simple goals usually prevail over compromised, “nuanced” positions.

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

The fact that the Church does not see fit to excommunicate every anti-life democrat politician (like Pelosi, the Kennedys, etc) has made me lose a LOT of respect for it.

wildcat72 on January 31, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Take heart! There is no reason for the Church to excommunicate the likes of Pelosi, Biden, Sebelius, et al. They have excommunicated themselves latæ sententiæ simply through the act of supporting or voting for pro-abortion legislation. There’s no further action needed by the Church. The fact that some scurrilous bishops allow them to receive communion is disturbing, but when you understand that when they present themselves for communion they are not in the required condition to receive it, it is a meaningless act.

Trafalgar on January 31, 2012 at 12:41 PM

FIFY

Branch Rickey on January 31, 2012 at 11:58 AM

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

Why, oh why are the buttons conspiring against me? Try again!

The fact that the Church does not see fit to excommunicate every anti-life democrat politician (like Pelosi, the Kennedys, etc) has made me lose a LOT of respect for it.

wildcat72 on January 31, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Take heart! There is no reason for the Church to excommunicate the likes of Pelosi, Biden, Sebelius, et al. They have excommunicated themselves latæ sententiæ simply through the act of supporting or voting for pro-abortion legislation. There’s no further action needed by the Church. The fact that some scurrilous bishops allow them to receive communion is disturbing, but when you understand that when they present themselves for communion they are not in the required condition to receive it, it is a meaningless act.

Trafalgar on January 31, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Since when was contraception considered healthcare?

KirknBurker on January 31, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Obama wouldn’t be stupid enough to enforce this. The first YouTube video showing a bishop being hauled away in handcuffs, or an FBI raid or even a lawsuit would strip away all pretense of the current administration’s so-called “respect” for religion. (I say YouTube because the useful idiots in the mainstream media wouldn’t cover it any more than they did the “March for Life”).

rotorhead on January 31, 2012 at 12:52 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

I think I responded to you when I meant to paste someone else’s comment in. Sorry.

Akzed on January 31, 2012 at 12:52 PM

mankai on January 31, 2012 at 10:46 AM

So you missed out on all those Democrat campaign appearances at Black churches?

Deanna on January 31, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Well, two wrongs don’t make a right.

And I don’t recall any of those black pastors threatening anybody with eternal damnation for how they vote… and even if they did… see the 2W =/= R equation.

mankai on January 31, 2012 at 12:52 PM

The ex-communications should continue until the morals improve.

Nathan_OH on January 31, 2012 at 12:31 PM

*smiles*. I see what you did there! That’s very clever and very true!

The next pope should go on international TV with a list of US politicians who have absolutely no business calling themselves Catholic and giving them one year to shape up. Even a very generous interpretation would make for a list as long as his arm!

…and then the other denominations should follow suit. <|-}

MelonCollie on January 31, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Just have to weigh in here. The COPPER IUD (Paraguard) does NOT allow the egg to be fertilized.

The Copper IUD is a plastic, T-shaped device that is inserted into and removed from the uterus by a health care provider. Paragard works to prevent pregnancy by releasing copper ions in the uterus; the copper prevents sperm from reaching the ovaries

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/278085-copper-iuds-weight-loss/#ixzz1l3ia8X7X

I can’t speak to the newer Mirena IUD.

rightallthetime on January 31, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Three bishops…

Just three? Where are the 30% of them that stood up out loud against the religious scandal of a morally corrupted group at Notre Dame who thought honoring the most outrageoous pro-abortion president in history was a swell thing to do?

This was a man who when a senator in Illinois demanded a law slaughtering any baby that lived through an abortion attempt by starving them to death slowly.

2/3 of the American bishops sat silent during this scandal which defyed God (remiscent of 1930′s Germany anyone)in apparent approval or naive belief that serious destruction of the faith wasn’t sufficiently at hand.

Little wonder that Pope Paul XI stated that the smoke of Satan has entered the taberacle, or that the Marxist priests and bishops who who tried the “liberation theology Marxist corruption of the church” only to be stopped by John Paul XXIII.

Why did the church enable Obamacare (with its inevitable abortion/death panel) to come out of committee without a crisis type resistence?

Why did the USCCB give $15 million plus to institutions like ACORN that helped to elect Obama? Have they remedied that weakness yet? I wait for their announcement of how precisely millions donated for the poor won’t find its way into anti-Catholic political hands again, some of it won’t fund the very death of those impovered pre-borns?

53% of “Catholics” voted for this most anti-life (anti-freedom?) president. What specific aggressive measures have the shepherds taken to move their flocks (such as immediate crisis education?) away from transparent wolves that we have in our nation under the guise of politics in both parties?

Quite frankly, for such highly educated men -men who were historically told by Christ, to be as cunning as serpents, have awoken far too late, and far too few, and far too timidly to do much about a law they allowed/enabled to pass that gives the government such power over moral issues that rightfully belong to God.

There will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth right here in America in the not too distant future.

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

Had a Catholic buddy call me about this yesterday. When (not if) all the Bishops come out in unison on this, the local parishioners will all be getting the same message on fighting this. Obama will, effectively, have at least 1/4 of the population railing against him.

It’s one thing to have the Pope or Bishops come out and ask you to support/fight something. But when your own priest is asking you, it’s a whole new ball-game. And it won’t be just the Catholics, because it’s not just about the contraception, it’s ALL about the First Amendment. If they’ll do it to Catholics, they’ll do it to Baptists, Jews, etc, etc.

I just CANNOT understand why PBHO would let this be used against him. I mean, I knew he was dumb, but never thought he was THIS dumb.

LtGenRob on January 31, 2012 at 10:51 AM

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

Obooba/Sabellius don’t care what you believe.

When Pliny the Younger was a provincial governor in the Roman Empire, he wrote a letter to Emperor Trajan asking whether he should execute Christians who refused to burn incense in worship of the emperor. Pliny, in keeping with the customs of the empire, did not care about forcing Christians to believe that the emperor was a god. But in public they had to behave as if they did. Thus, the Christians were in the dock not so much because of their faith in a risen Christ as over their willful refusal to declare themselves part of the reigning social order. [more at the link]

They just want you to practice their faith, not your own. You can believe anything you want, but you may not act in accordance with your faith.

This is why the whole health care issue is so insidious as used by the left. It is comprehensive control. Anything and everything can impact –or be said to impact- one’s health.

Akzed on January 31, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Exactly.

I am Catholic. I am a very conservative, orthodox Catholic. The fact that the Church does not see fit to excommunicate every anti-life democrat politician (like Pelosi, the Kennedys, etc) has made me lose a LOT of respect for it.

wildcat72 on January 31, 2012 at 12:33 PM

I’m anti-abortion…not pro-life.
I strongly support the death penalty.
I’m not the only Catholic who feels this way.

annoyinglittletwerp on January 31, 2012 at 1:02 PM

PatriotGal2257 on January 31, 2012 at 11:16 AM

“Give consideration to your eternal salvation.”

And he’s not a rogue bishop, he’s stating codified doctrine.

How many people believe that libs like mankai, or the federal government, should be able to question the religious beliefs of Americans with whom they disagree, and find those religious beliefs wanting and therefore not entitled to respect or the protections of the First Amendment?

AZCoyote on January 31, 2012 at 11:19 AM

How do interpret what I wrote as “liberal”? Not wanting clergy to threaten people with eternal damnation of they don’t vote as instructed is “liberal”? Well, I guess it is Classic Liberalism.

I don’t want the federal government questioning my beliefs any more than I want some church to call it a sin not to support a state religion to the exclusion of all other forms of worship (Pius IX, 1864).

I support the RCC here. I don’t want then feds to force them to provide something against their tenets… but that is a totally different issue than the voting issue. My point was that most Catholics don’t know that their church tells them that if they vote pro-Choice (with the caveats noted previously), they are risking their “eternal salvation.” I’m pro-Life, but having a clergy threaten millions of voters with fiery torment if they vote incorrectly is a danger to the Republic.

Sure, we like it when it’s abortion, but what if they decide that contraction laws or death penalty laws or “Living Wage” laws should come with a voter guide and warnings of eternal damnation? As noted above, Pius IX declared it a sin for a RC NOT to believe that the RCC should be “the religion of the state to the exclusion of all other forms of worship.”

Just trying to keep the balance… while supporting the RCC’s right to refuse to provide contraception devices.

mankai on January 31, 2012 at 1:05 PM

annoyinglittletwerp on January 31, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Vatican City had a death penalty on the books for capital crimes committed within it until the 60′s.

Akzed on January 31, 2012 at 1:06 PM

I am a practicing Roman Catholic or at least I try. No true, practicing Roman Catholic would ever support Obama and his minions. No true Roman Catholic who practices would ever use contraceptives. Sadly, there are too many cafeteria Catholics who have fallen away from the Faith and are clueless as to what is Right and Wrong. Contraceptives of any kind, the pill, IUD, condoms, etc., etc. are 100% wrong. Unless the mother can die from getting pregnant, the Roman Catholic Church is very firm, the use of contraceptives is wrong.

Someone said above that 98% of Catholic women use contraceptives, mainly the pill. I am unsure if this percentage is true. However, it is high. First, these are not practicing Catholics, these are nominal Catholics who for whatever reason either do not know the teachings of the Church or simply do not care. Secondly, the problem we have today is that people are very selfish who much rather focus on themselves than give their lives to others. It is all about the self-esteem. About me, me, me and me first. People today want to have the great pleasure of sex without any of the responsibilities that come with it. I ask people to look at Japan and Europe to see the results of the selfishness of not having children, economic collapse. Even for worldly reasons we should be having babies. But people prefer immediate gratification. They prefer their cool car, big home, latest tech toy, going out, traveling than raising a family.

by the way, yes, as a practicing Roman Catholic I have been concerned with the bishops position on Obamacare and illegal immigration. We have to be humane, but we can’t play with the devil and not expect to get burned.

I am a Roman Catholic, I stand for God, The Church and Freedom of Speech. Go to this page, http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/conscience-protection/index.cfm. The United States Conference of Bishops is standing up against Obama. Please link to this site to all of your friends.

I am tired of people demanding everything for free. Contraceptives are not a God given right. It is an elective procedure which if you wish to use, that is on you, but why have others pay for it? 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.

I am fired up about this and it is about freaking time that Christians united and fought back, legally, against a government which is looking to impose on Christians its immoral stance. Protestants and Catholics need to unite or together we will hang!

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

Exactly.

I am Catholic. I am a very conservative, orthodox Catholic. The fact that the Church does not see fit to excommunicate every anti-life democrat politician (like Pelosi, the Kennedys, etc) has made me lose a LOT of respect for it.

wildcat72 on January 31, 2012 at 12:33 PM

I’m anti-abortion…not pro-life.
I strongly support the death penalty.
I’m not the only Catholic who feels this way.

annoyinglittletwerp on January 31, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Amen to that… I’m not saying all Catholics but I would say 70% don’t feel the way you do about abortion or how they vote. The Body of Christ is made up of true Born Again Believers, not those who are still walking by the flesh. (Rom. 10:9-10)

Shain1611 on January 31, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Never before have I used “Most Reverend” when speaking of our Bishoper here in Oregon, but today I will happily. The Most Reverend John G. Vlazny, the Archbishop of the Portland Oregon Diocese issued a statement on January 25th. He said in part:

We cannot and will not comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be
made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all
faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious
freedom.
In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to
stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on
this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve
nothing less.

darcee on January 31, 2012 at 1:09 PM

I am Catholic. I am a very conservative, orthodox Catholic. The fact that the Church does not see fit to excommunicate every anti-life democrat politician (like Pelosi, the Kennedys, etc) has made me lose a LOT of respect for it.

wildcat72 on January 31, 2012 at 12:33 PM

The post-conciliar documents of Vatican II state that the faithful must submit their wills and intellects to both Pope and Bishop on all matters of faith and morals clearly stated.

Therefore, when Joe Biden’s bishop or Pelosi’s bishop declares them worthy of being in a state of grace for participation, you must submit your will and intellect. If you are truly “orthodox” you will submit to their decisions.

Of course, Biden was refused such release in one diocese only to be reinstated in another… so I can see where the confusion might arise.

mankai on January 31, 2012 at 1:09 PM

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

You know how pro-choicers are always telling you to stay out of womens wombs, and it’s none of your business what they do with their bodies etc etc? Yeah, funny how quickly that goes out the window when it suits them.

clearbluesky on January 31, 2012 at 1:10 PM

I’m pro-Life, but having a clergy threaten millions of voters with fiery torment if they vote incorrectly is a danger to the Republic.

mankai on January 31, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Seconded. Anyone who’s studied history will immediately get the shivers at the thought of that kind of statement being issued…it’s not lead to good things.

Vatican City had a death penalty on the books for capital crimes committed within it until the 60′s.

Akzed on January 31, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Huh. I’m not surprised that’s when it was repealed. 1960 was the decade the western world lost its collective mind.

MelonCollie on January 31, 2012 at 1:10 PM

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