Bishops to Obama: No dice

posted at 8:40 am on February 11, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

After a long day of supposed “accommodation” and discussion, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops took a close look at the supposed adjustment of the HHS mandate yesterday.  Their conclusion?  It represents no change at all, and the bishops will press for a “legislative solution” to Barack Obama’s mandate:

These changes require careful moral analysis, and moreover, appear subject to some measure of change. But we note at the outset that the lack of clear protection for key stakeholders—for self-insured religious employers; for religious and secular for-profit employers; for secular non-profit employers; for religious insurers; and for individuals—is unacceptable and must be corrected. And in the case where the employee and insurer agree to add the objectionable coverage, that coverage is still provided as a part of the objecting employer’s plan, financed in the same way as the rest of the coverage offered by the objecting employer. This, too, raises serious moral concerns.

We just received information about this proposal for the first time this morning; we were not consulted in advance. Some information we have is in writing and some is oral. We will, of course, continue to press for the greatest conscience protection we can secure from the Executive Branch. But stepping away from the particulars, we note that today’s proposal continues to involve needless government intrusion in the internal governance of religious institutions, and to threaten government coercion of religious people and groups to violate their most deeply held convictions. In a nation dedicated to religious liberty as its first and founding principle, we should not be limited to negotiating within these parameters. The only complete solution to this religious liberty problem is for HHS to rescind the mandate of these objectionable services.

We will therefore continue—with no less vigor, no less sense of urgency—our efforts to correct this problem through the other two branches of government. For example, we renew our call on Congress to pass, and the Administration to sign, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act. And we renew our call to the Catholic faithful, and to all our fellow Americans, to join together in this effort to protect religious liberty and freedom of conscience for all.

The bishops note that the Obama administration never even bothered to contact them to discover what their true objections are, and what would satisfy them.  The White House simply presumed to know church business better than the bishops and offered an “accommodation” that is anything but.  In fact, that sounds a lot like the process that produced this mandate in the first place.

There are two broad objections in the USCCB statement.  First, they are opposed to the mandate in general for moral reasons, but that alone would probably take the form of a teaching moment for the bishops rather than a call to action.  They note that the overall mandate is “unsupported in the law and remains a grave moral concern,” and that they “cannot fail to reiterate this, even as so many would focus exclusively on the question of religious liberty.” But it’s that question that animates their activism, and it’s not just the fact that these religious organizations will end up paying for these products and services either directly or indirectly — which we’ll address momentarily.  The mandate forces these organizations to facilitate the use of products and services that violate their religious doctrine, under penalty of government force.  It’s exactly the type of government threat from which the First Amendment was written to protect religious practice — and that included the practice of religion outside of worship spaces.

Second, supporters of the Obama administration’s mandate claim that there won’t be any cost at all to pass along from this new policy, based on this analysis from HHS itself, included in last night’s QOTD:

The direct costs of providing contraception as part of a health insurance plan are very low and do not add more than approximately 0.5% to the premium costs per adult enrollee. Studies from three actuarial firms, Buck Consultants, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and the Actuarial Research Corporation (ARC) have estimated the direct costs of providing contraception coverage.

However, as indicated by the empirical evidence described above, these direct estimated costs overstate the total premium cost of providing contraceptive coverage. When medical costs associated with unintended pregnancies are taken into account, including costs of prenatal care, pregnancy complications, and deliveries,the net effect on premiums is close to zero. One study author concluded, ‘The message is simple: regardless of payment mechanism or contraceptive method, contraception saves money.’

When indirect costs such as time away from work and productivity loss are considered, they further reduce the total cost to an employer.

At the same time, LifeNews quoted a Blue Cross study that showed the mandate would cost insurers — and their clients — almost $3 billion.  So who’s right?  It’s Blue Cross, and here’s why.  Blue Cross estimated what the actual costs for providing the mandated products and services would be, while HHS projected estimates of long-term savings.  In truth, no one is really sure whether those long-term savings will come to pass, but what we do know is that costs will rise immediately as insurers have to pay for the contraceptives and abortifacients for which they will get no cost-sharing from the women who use them.  When those costs go up in the short term, so will premiums.  If the long-term savings that HHS predicts do come to pass, all it will do will be to avoid premium hikes far down the road, but the initial impact will force insurers to raise premiums to cover these costs — and that means the religious organizations that have to pay more to cover the costs of the mandate.  So yes indeed, they will have to pay for contraceptives and abortifacients despite the shell game announced by the White House yesterday.

The Obama administration’s “accommodation” was nothing more than a smoke screen intended to get rid of a bad political problem.  The bishops aren’t going to let them get away with it, and that means that Obama will still have religious organizations — and not just Catholics — demanding an end to the mandate and forcing a fight over religious liberty.  Don’t expect it to go on for long, because this will prove disastrous to Obama’s political support in the fall if left in its current status.  I’d give it a week, perhaps less, before we see a real climbdown.


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elm: Even more than Pelosi, Sebelius (as the SOLE responsible party for the execution of the puppet-legislation ObamaCare) should be excommunicated over this, again for the reason of misleading Catholics as to their own beliefs.

Scott H on February 11, 2012 at 9:44 AM

is that a picture of a fishing lure??…./

ted c on February 11, 2012 at 9:28 AM

lol I almost missed the sarc tag… Nasty looking, isn’t it?

catquilt on February 11, 2012 at 9:45 AM

maverick muse on February 11, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Perhaps put Seton Medical Center members on the drafting and advisory board… but get some real hard-nosed statisticians and actuaries involved to make sure it has a very hard edge to it. Not a charity, but a business run on moral and doctrinal foundations. That will confuse the hell out of the regulatory system which isn’t set up to deal with such things.

Already existing companies might want to re-draft their charters, as well, to put moral and ethical guidance from religious doctrines in place and include members of the clergy on call to help on that.

Look for the monkeywrenches that are now provided and start using them.

ajacksonian on February 11, 2012 at 9:45 AM

[matthew8787 on February 11, 2012 at 9:22 AM]

Which is why I’m rather ambivalent about this problem the Church has now with this policy promulgated by Obama. Yeah, it’s an infringement on religious liberty, which is terrible and yeah, it is a major step in advancing the legalization of the killing of the unborn, which is abhorent, but this is not just about Dolan and Keehan. The Church didn’t give a rats a$$ about liberty for the last sixty years as they continually instigated government involvement in every aspect of a person’s life and continually coaxed the government into using it’s coercive powers to establish and ever expand it redistributionist schemes.

So, for the most part, the Church was in the forefront of breaking our social compact and look what it has wrought. Besides having broken the country financially, the monster they’ve helped nurture and raise is now coming after them. If they’d learn from their errors because of this, I’d have a little more sympathy for their predicament now, but I’m sure they won’t, so, …. well, I’ll just wish them luck and leave it at that.

Dusty on February 11, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Good for the Catholic Bishops! When they get it right, they get it right! I hope they stand firm! The protestants could learn a lot from them right now!

JellyToast on February 11, 2012 at 9:48 AM

Would replacing Obama with Romney change anything? Romney Told Catholic Hospitals to Administer Abortion Pills

Gladtobehere on February 11, 2012 at 9:48 AM

I think, also, you are conflating certain things. Blaming ‘the Church’ for the actions of the USCCB is akin to blaming America for actions of the US Congress. It’s not a perfect analogy, but it does give the sense, here.

Scott H on February 11, 2012 at 9:42 AM

I do recognize the Church has been working to a more orthodox position.

Intresting you bring up the blame aspect. I have ha dmany discussion on this and what I consitenly run into is a lack of accountability.

For example here you suggest we should not hold the the “Church” responsible for the USCCB. O.K if not them then who? What typically happens here is I would suggest perhaps Rome itself but then I get told I have failed to understand how the church structure really works. This is then proceeded with a statement that the church is much more autonomous in it’s workings and that it is inappropriate to hold Rome accountable and I should look to the lower lever local leadership.

See what happened there? I should tell you this is actually the discussion I have had with trained leaders withing the Catholic Church. Very frustrating and imo a tad deceptive as an argumentative technique.

Skwor on February 11, 2012 at 9:49 AM

Doesn’t quite answer your question but it at least gives you my basic philosophy on these issues and the church.

Skwor on February 11, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Thanks. It does help.

To let you know, I’m a practicing Catholic and I’ve never been happy with their views on illegial immigration. I can say this; this strikes deeper, at the heart of Catholic faith. The sanctity of life is the most sacred of tenets. John Paul II’s Evangelium vitae IMO ranks as one of the great articles on the specialness of life. So much that I’ve started rethinking my opinion of capital punishment…..not like an Obama evolution (which is what he wants to do in the first place but can’t until he gets a second term) but a very personal one.

I’ve never been in a pew and heard a Bishop’s letter on immigration. I have over this issue. For Catholics such as myself, this is a big one.

Hope this helps you understand mine. :)

itsspideyman on February 11, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Ed, you predict that Obama will back down on this, in fact you said he would do it yesterday.

Obama doubled-down, he always does. It’s the only thing he is ever consistent with. Well, that and lying through his teeth.

Mord on February 11, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Skwor: I would give the _exact opposite_ reason. The reason that my Congress/USCCB analogy fails is that Congress is elected by their constituents, while Bishops are not elected by their dioceses.

As such, NATURALLY you can blame Rome. But that’s the Magisterium. That is not ‘the Church’.

Now, this is a delicate issue, because many people do not see the difference between attacking an end, and attacking a means. As a Catholic, I do not think I can successfully attack the Magisterium on ends. In this case, ‘helping the sick’. Corporal work of mercy, is it not? However, I can certainly attack the Magisterium on the means they believe will best achieve that end.

I do so on ethical grounds. Others can do it on fiscal grounds. But it’s something that you need to be careful about doing.

Scott H on February 11, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Glad, President Romney would reverse this monstrosity via Executive Order in a New York minute. You dance with those who brung you in this business. Get real.

Jelly, notice your words: that you HOPE the bishops stand firm? This is exactly the problem; they cannot be trusted to remain categorically firm. If they bend on this issue, it will be their worst, and possibly fatal, betrayal.

matthew8787 on February 11, 2012 at 9:55 AM

My advice to the Catholic Church: form an insurance company that follows the precepts of the Church and its duties, and offer that insurance openly to any who wish to get it and keep a clear conscience. Make sure that it is strictly run by the Church but is a haven for all who do not wish to have their insurance dictated by government. You will be surprised at the response to this by showing what a moral institution can do in the marketplace. And it will offer a sanctuary to those who wish to be free of government obligations against our liberty and conscience.

I would separate from my current insurance and join in a heartbeat, but my current insurance is through my employer. I have inquired in the past if I turned down the benefit, if I would get the money that would normally go toward my benefit as an increase in pay to do with what I wanted, including securing my own insurance. I was told no, that’s not how it works. If you turn down the plan(s) offered, then you just lose that benefit. You don’t get to have the money that would go toward that benefit given to you.

In fact, when I broached the subject with my HR person, she looked at me like I had two heads. I should also mention that she’s a flaming liberal and absolutely loves Barack.

italianguy626 on February 11, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Maybe that’s hypérbolé or just frustration,….
Lingua Latinae mortua non est

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 11, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Frustration. I went to Catechism from 1969 to 1981 and never once did I hear ae Catechism or mass that Jesus was a personal Savior. All I heard was Jesus is love. That is not hyperbole, that is a very real sad fact. I was saved in the navy several years later by a pentecostal, it was the night I prayed with him that I then realized what first communion was supposed to be, that was an epiphany 15 years to late. Going 15 years without salvation that you now understood the gravity of is humbling indeed.

I struggle daily with what to think of my Catholic experience.

Skwor on February 11, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Skwor: Almost the exact time period you discuss is a very shameful one for the Church, in terms of Catechism. As for myself, I prefer a much more rational approach.

Scott H on February 11, 2012 at 10:01 AM

The Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again …

Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist Jonathan Gruber, who also devised former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s statewide health care reforms, is backtracking on an analysis he provided the White House in support of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, informing officials in three states that the price of insurance premiums will dramatically increase under the reforms.

In an email to The Daily Caller, Gruber framed this new reality in terms of the same human self-interest that some conservatives had warned in 2010 would ultimately rule the marketplace.

“The market was so discriminatory,” Gruber told TheDC, “that only the healthy bought non-group insurance and the sick just stayed [uninsured].”

“It is true that even after tax credits some individuals are ‘losers,’” he conceded, “in that they pay more than before [Obama's] reform.”

Of course, this was all unexpected and unprecedented.

J_Crater on February 11, 2012 at 10:05 AM

The bottom line in this argument is that it’s a direct assault on the First Amendment and a clear attack on religious freedom by the government. That is the issue and we cannot allow the administration to distract or dissemble with smoke and mirrors about cost savings and preventive care. We are facing a recklessly overreaching administration which is determined to strip away fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution.

Trafalgar on February 11, 2012 at 8:57 AM

This is the issue. HA had a couple of threads when this first surfaced on 1/31/12. The discussion evolved into the various methods and procedures of the “healthcare” and completely got off the issue.

You and PackerBronco had a great discussion on this thread:
http://hotair.com/archives/2012/01/31/bishops-pledge-to-defy-obama-administration-on-contraception-mandate/comment-page-3/#comment-5404391

I’d like to see him weigh in on this thread as well.

bluefox on February 11, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Frustration. I went to Catechism from 1969 to 1981 and never once did I hear ae Catechism or mass that Jesus was a personal Savior. All I heard was Jesus is love. That is not hyperbole, that is a very real sad fact. I was saved in the navy several years later by a pentecostal, it was the night I prayed with him that I then realized what first communion was supposed to be, that was an epiphany 15 years to late. Going 15 years without salvation that you now understood the gravity of is humbling indeed.

I struggle daily with what to think of my Catholic experience.

Skwor on February 11, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Yes! Twelve years of Catholic school….the same experience. THEN, because of homeschooling our children, I held Bible study each day…..NOW I understand! Late to the dance, but grateful beyond measure, that I believe with my whole heart.

herm2416 on February 11, 2012 at 10:07 AM

I’d give it a week, perhaps less, before we see a real climbdown.

With this POTUS, a doubling down is more likely.

Barack Hussein “Doubledown” Obama: he knows better than you.

disa on February 11, 2012 at 10:10 AM

He could throw Sebelius under the bus, but at that press conference yesterday, I could already see some tire tread marks.

EMD on February 11, 2012 at 9:44 AM

The look on her face was priceless. “I love me some Saul Alinsky president. Tell them bishops we are giving into them, they’ll never figure out we just put the pea under a different shell. And if they ever do figure it out, we’ll just tell them to ‘eat your peas’”.

elm on February 11, 2012 at 10:13 AM

This issue feels to big to see a climbdown. The powers and principalities of the air know this for what it is and I just don’t see them allowing the current faithless president being allowed to let this slip away.

This goes to the heart of all Christian Faiths, this is a battle I suspect the other side will not budge on.

I am thinking this is way more a spiritual battle than a political one now that the door has been opened.

Skwor on February 11, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Gosh, why isn’t the GOP in the forefront of this clear move to destroy the Church and freedom of conscience. Do the Catholic haters and the pro-death foks naively believe that they won’t be next in line? Have they no idea what evil folks will do-have done, and won’t even feel guilt as did Stalin or Hitler when they made the next level move of killing mass numbers of their own.

This man has demanded fully born babies be slaughters (Illinois senate) and we voted him in after that. This man has asked for a civilian army equal to the military and not a conservative in power responded. Did they not know or care that Hitler also wrote of his intentions before he carried them out? Why would a man so powerful desire a civilian army? Who did he intend to use it against? (no one asked -no one cared) Why did he institute an international illegal scandalous game to remove our guns unless he intends to move against us.

Meanwhile 55% of CT Catholics intend to
vote for Obama.

I now know how 1930′s, 1940′s Germany got corrupted.the people wanter it that way.

We don’t deserve the freedom so many died to provide us with and we seem determined to toss it into the same dumpster that those unborns are filling up.

Don L on February 11, 2012 at 10:15 AM

THIS IS THE ISSUE, PERIOD. ALL AMERICANS NEED TO STAY OUT OF THE WEEDS.

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

This is a U.S. Constitutional and Bill of Rights Issue, not the how or why or with which procedure or method is used to violate them.

This carrot that’s being offered is just that. SCOTUS is scheduled to rule on Obamacare. The Catholic Church doesn’t need to be drawn in to accepting this, as it will aid the Administrations defense.

http://hotair.com/archives/2012/01/31/bishops-pledge-to-defy-obama-administration-on-contraception-mandate/comment-page-3/#comment-5404391

bluefox on February 11, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…

crash72 on February 11, 2012 at 10:17 AM

I struggle daily with what to think of my Catholic experience.

Skwor on February 11, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Words cannot express my disappointment in the New Order Catholic Church, but they sure got this one (issue) right. Some things really are carved in stone – the sanctity of life being one of them.
BTW … Anyone who thinks that an IUD is a “contraceptive” needs an education.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 11, 2012 at 10:19 AM

I still fail to see how contraception is healthcare. Chemo is, insulin is, statins are, etc. but contraception? No.

herm2416 on February 11, 2012 at 8:54 AM

I agree – and contraception is a lot less urgent than food, in terms of health. Why not make free food a right as well, you ignorant libs?

disa on February 11, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Skwor on February 11, 2012 at 10:00 AM

herm2416 on February 11, 2012 at 10:07 AM

My husband had that experience as well. It was when he went through the Anglican Alpha program that he finally got it.

Yet the teachings he had as a Catholic strengthen his understanding now. He just never got the basics until he went to a different church.

I’ve never been in a pew and heard a Bishop’s letter on immigration. I have over this issue. For Catholics such as myself, this is a big one.

Hope this helps you understand mine. :)

itsspideyman on February 11, 2012 at 9:51 AM

I don’t recall that my bishop has ever put it in a letter but I’ve heard his sermons on it. There is widespread criticism locally and I’ve seen people drop out of RCIA over it. Yet I have heard that this diocese is nowhere near as bad as Los Angeles.

Eren on February 11, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Has anyone heard from any Christian Leaders, as the Southern Baptist Assn or the Billy Graham Assn? Also Dr. Dobson?

There are many Religions besides the Catholic Church that are effected by this. In fact, in my opinion all Americans are.

I’m surprised we haven’t heard from the above.

bluefox on February 11, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Health insurance is NOT an obligation of the employer. It was originally introduced as part of the pay package to attract good new employees. Years ago most employers did not provide health insurance at all. So when did it become a mandate enforced by law?

kenny on February 11, 2012 at 10:24 AM

I still don’t understand how “contraception” is a right?

I see contraception as elective, why do health insurers have to include an elective in a health plan? Do these same health plans have to provide for Vi@gra as a right for men?

It doesn’t matter, it’s a constitutional issue, and Obamacare crossed that line many times over, and this is just one more case.

I don’t have sympathy for liberal Catholics, they supported the most pro abortion candidate probably in the history of our country over pro choice candidates, and now they are reaping what they sowed.

Dr Evil on February 11, 2012 at 10:26 AM

The Dalkon Shield is back I see.

Ed, why not join the 80s? the 90s? 2000? 2012? I graduated medical school in 1981 and it was off the market by then.

http://www.mirena-us.com/

How about a photo of an iron chastity belt with a lock?

Marcus on February 11, 2012 at 10:26 AM

I agree – and contraception is a lot less urgent than food, in terms of health. Why not make free food a right as well, you ignorant libs?

disa on February 11, 2012 at 10:21 AM

They blame Boooosh for their loss of freedoms like the good little lemmings they are.

Roy Rogers on February 11, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Just as a sort of after thought–where does Obama get the right to tell insurers they have to do this. Are there no bounds at all to his power? And if not, how did we get to this place? Time for a real close look at how the Presidency is evolving.

jeanie on February 11, 2012 at 10:27 AM

I still fail to see how contraception is healthcare. Chemo is, insulin is, statins are, etc. but contraception? No.

herm2416 on February 11, 2012 at 8:54 AM

I agree. However, the HHS and this ruling uses the generic term of “contraception” but it includes everything. The morning after pill and all others drugs and abortion if I’m not mistaken. They use that word to make people think of “condom”, just a harmless item.

bluefox on February 11, 2012 at 10:28 AM

There has been nothing but turmoil in this nation from the very day Young Lenin took office. Not a day has gone by where there has not been some absurd issue.

kenny on February 11, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Has anyone heard from any Christian Leaders, as the Southern Baptist Assn or the Billy Graham Assn? Also Dr. Dobson?

There are many Religions besides the Catholic Church that are effected by this. In fact, in my opinion all Americans are.

I’m surprised we haven’t heard from the above.

bluefox on February 11, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Hannity had a group on last night it was a pretty interesting show there was someone from the Southern Baptist. He stated that they were all Christians, and they would stand side by side with the Catholics.

The Obama administration have effectively alienated Jewish voters, they are alienating Catholic voters, who’s next?

83% of the country identify Christian but Jarett an Sebelus think the woman’s vote can be culled out of those numbers for Obama’s reelection by trampling the U.S. Constitution.

The tyranny of the secular minority.

Dr Evil on February 11, 2012 at 10:33 AM

Hannity had a group on last night it was a pretty interesting show there was someone from the Southern Baptist. He stated that they were all Christians, and they would stand side by side with the Catholics.

Dr Evil on February 11, 2012 at 10:33 AM

Hannity had a guy from the Southern Baptists on the radio yesterday, I don’t know if it was the same person, but he was wonderful, extremely articulate and intelligent and passionate … made me wish he was the spokesman for the RCC in this.

toby11 on February 11, 2012 at 10:35 AM

The White House simply presumed to know church business better than the bishops and offered an “accommodation” that is anything but.

Don’t look for President NewSpeak to climb down. His Arrogance alone will preclude him from any further “concessions”. This will end up in court. After which, The Chosen One will once again regal us with his superior intellect – as he bashes the courts overturning another piece of his brilliant legislation.

GarandFan on February 11, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Just as a sort of after thought–where does Obama get the right to tell insurers they have to do this. Are there no bounds at all to his power? And if not, how did we get to this place? Time for a real close look at how the Presidency is evolving.

jeanie on February 11, 2012 at 10:27 AM

He doesn’t have this power, but unfortunately the insurers are already cowed and beaten after Obamacare, and they know if they don’t do this, Obama and his henchwoman will make them do worse, so they’ll suck it up and submit. Of course, Obama will make them do worse anyway.

toby11 on February 11, 2012 at 10:38 AM

How about a photo of an iron chastity belt with a lock?

Marcus on February 11, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Well here is a picture of the IUD! You’ll need to page down to the
thread ” Bishops pledge to defy….”

http://hotair.com/archives/2012/01/

bluefox on February 11, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Skwor on February 11, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Any of the battles we have watched over our lifetimes are first and foremost a spiritual battle. When Christian believers of the various faith traditions begin to take this part seriously I believe we will start to see better results in pushing back against the enemy of our souls/spirit.

chemman on February 11, 2012 at 10:41 AM

I agree – and contraception is a lot less urgent than food, in terms of health. Why not make free food a right as well, you ignorant libs?

disa on February 11, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Because it is the fundamental of liberal philosophy that “There is no freedom, until everything is free.”

So in their minds, you are not free to use contraceptives until contraceptives are free. You are not free to have an abortion until abortions are free.

And the collary to that, is any organization which refuses to pay for your free contraceptives or free abortions is by nature, oppressive and evil and trying to take away your rights.

Liberals are stuck in the mindset of an 11-year girl who is whining to her parents because they haven’t bought her a new iPod to which she feels entitled.

PackerBronco on February 11, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Hannity had a group on last night it was a pretty interesting show there was someone from the Southern Baptist. He stated that they were all Christians, and they would stand side by side with the Catholics.

Dr Evil on February 11, 2012 at 10:33 AM

Thank you. I started to watch Hannity and then changed my mind, darn it! I’ll see if I can find it on Fox.

bluefox on February 11, 2012 at 10:45 AM

So when did it become a mandate enforced by law?

kenny on February 11, 2012 at 10:24 AM

That would have been in March of 2010 — ObamaCare.

Dasher on February 11, 2012 at 10:48 AM

I agree – and contraception is a lot less urgent than food, in terms of health. Why not make free food a right as well, you ignorant libs?

disa on February 11, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Give them a chance. They will take their philosophy to its ultimate conclusion. We are seeing them do this in many areas-food and housing to come later.

chemman on February 11, 2012 at 10:48 AM

PackerBronco on February 11, 2012 at 10:41 AM

There you are, finally!! I was hoping you’d weigh in on this latest “magic”.

Also it would be good if you could offer your opinion on this that Rubio is attempting. I had the opinion that since this was a Constitutional/Bill of Rights Issue(1st Amendment) that this wouldn’t work?
Marco Rubio already at work to overturn the administration’s contraception mandate
http://hotair.com/archives/2012/01/31/marco-rubio-already-at-work-to-overturn-the-administrations-contraception-mandate/comment-page-1/#comments

If you have time. Thanks

bluefox on February 11, 2012 at 10:51 AM

I agree – and contraception is a lot less urgent than food, in terms of health. Why not make free food a right as well, you ignorant libs?

disa on February 11, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Give them a chance. They will take their philosophy to its ultimate conclusion. We are seeing them do this in many areas-food and housing to come later.

chemman on February 11, 2012 at 10:48 AM

I suspect that food is right in N. Korea, where starvation is rampant. The ‘state’ does a poor job of incentivizing productivity.

Dasher on February 11, 2012 at 10:52 AM

That would have been in March of 2010 — ObamaCare.

Dasher on February 11, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Exactly. So I guess we know where the solution lies. Throw the bum out of the WH and repeal.

kenny on February 11, 2012 at 10:53 AM

While the question of what a particular mandate will cost insurers is often relevant – and dispositive – in discussions of insurance mandates, it’s utterly beside the point regarding conscience.

What this seems to suggest is that we shouldn’t be allowed to spend more of our own money to meet the mandates of our consciences, or we should neglect our consciences when the net monetary effect is zero. I doubt that anyone would say, “The net cost of having children is zero, so you shouldn’t be able to exercise your conscience rights to not murder your three-year old child.” In fact, that would be revolting: we don’t forbid people from spending their own money to placate their own consciences.

Roxeanne de Luca on February 11, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Hannity had a guy from the Southern Baptists on the radio yesterday, I don’t know if it was the same person, but he was wonderful, extremely articulate and intelligent and passionate … made me wish he was the spokesman for the RCC in this.

toby11 on February 11, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Thank you also. I’ll tune in today and see if that program is repeated. We have repeats of Rush & Hannity on Saturday in my area.

bluefox on February 11, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Has anyone heard from any Christian Leaders, as the Southern Baptist Assn or the Billy Graham Assn? Also Dr. Dobson?

There are many Religions besides the Catholic Church that are effected by this. In fact, in my opinion all Americans are.

I’m surprised we haven’t heard from the above.

bluefox on February 11, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Actually they have – all on the side of the Catholic Church.
Try to keep up.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 11, 2012 at 10:55 AM

I was told no, that’s not how it works. If you turn down the plan(s) offered, then you just lose that benefit. You don’t get to have the money that would go toward that benefit given to you.

In fact, when I broached the subject with my HR person, she looked at me like I had two heads. I should also mention that she’s a flaming liberal and absolutely loves Barack.

italianguy626 on February 11, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Do you pay into the plan or does your employer pay 100%? If the plan is tax free then it is not part of your wages. If it is deducted from your wages and taxable than it should be paid back to you. I suggest you look over the plan carfeully, it sounds like it’s a benefit that is over and above your wages and is something extra that doesn’t have to be paid. Some employers do give their employees a raise if they have opted out but this creates more headaches down the line. Nothing to do with being Liberal or Conservative, it’s all about the tax structure.

Deanna on February 11, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Secular libertarianism Marxism leads to the serving of oneself The State over society everything. Really working out great in Europe, huh?

1nolibgal on February 11, 2012 at 8:54 AM

Fixed it for reality.

With all due respect, I don’t think libertarianism means what you think it does. Libertarians vehemently oppose the welfare state. Try again …

ShainS on February 11, 2012 at 10:56 AM

The President doesn’t have to power to do any of these things and if it were a Republican doing this crap it would be a totally different ballgame just like if a Republican President wanted to cut our own social security % as some kind of tax holiday.

Wagthatdog on February 11, 2012 at 10:58 AM

bluefox on February 11, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Hannity was also surprised by one of his favorite Muslims calling in, yesterday.
He recognized his name onscreen, took his call, and the guy proclaimed support for the bishops, and anyone else resisting this power grab.
Thought that was pretty neat … Sorry, can’t recall the caller’s name.
It’s probably transcribed (at least) on Sean’s website.

pambi on February 11, 2012 at 10:58 AM

The media tells me Obama already compromised and changed the policy. Why can’t you wingnuts ever be satisfied?

DavidW on February 11, 2012 at 10:58 AM

The media tells me Obama already compromised and changed the policy. Why can’t you wingnuts ever be satisfied?

DavidW on February 11, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Sarcasm right?

kenny on February 11, 2012 at 11:02 AM

O/T CPAC getting ready to give out Blogger of the Year Award.

Matt Lewis of the Daily Caller

Just curious but has Ed or AP ever won?

bluefox on February 11, 2012 at 11:03 AM

This is a constitutional crisis and should be framed in that manner. In fact, as we all know, Obamacare has always been a constitutional crisis, and all the Pub establishment wants to do is nibble around the edges to “fix” it.

they lie on February 11, 2012 at 9:08 AM

You tell the truth … ;-) Said it better than I was going to.

ShainS on February 11, 2012 at 11:03 AM

…, like the Nazi insinuations due to the Pope’s German roots, …

That can’t possibly make Soros happy.

SagebrushPuppet on February 11, 2012 at 9:08 AM

Yeah … let’s see a lot more light shed on Soros and how he sold his fellow Jews down the river during WWII.

PatriotGal2257 on February 11, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Actually they have – all on the side of the Catholic Church.
Try to keep up.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 11, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Thank you. You don’t need to get prissy about answering:-)

bluefox on February 11, 2012 at 11:05 AM

This entire deal seems like a farce – While I do not support abortion and forcing of hospitals, conscientious objectors, etc. to have to perform them, this “game” will create even more problems. Who will decide who gets an exception and who doesn’t? Even if the term “conscientious objector” is used to exempt some people, it opens the dam for everyone to claim an exemption from X for Y reason. Leaving those “decisions” to out of touch bureaucrats will force more and more stuff to go underground.

What a nasty web this administration is weaving. (Yes, I know it started before this event.) We have too many people under the guise of “helping others” forcing passage of law without considering the consequences of their “good deed.” Too often the consequences end up hurting more people than they help.

As for the birth control pill, those always have been and continue to be cheap, cheap, cheap. Anyone, and I really mean anyone, should be able to pay for those. If not, there’s the other alternative, use some other form of protection – available in most restrooms or don’t mess around.

Frankly, my biggest concern is whether or not the Church will stand firm? I hope so.

MN J on February 11, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Note to the Roman Catholic Church: Still think it’s a good idea to take taxpayer money to fund your charities? Ever give pause to consider that some may consider wealth redistribution immoral? If you play with snakes, you should shut up when you get bitten.

Note to Barry O: Keep going, buddy, this will be a winner eventually. Now’s not the time to back down. Keep pushing — this is the stuff of heroes.

mr.blacksheep on February 11, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Aren’t these “we must adhere to the law and constitution” church leaders the same ones who howl like a gut shot dog if someone proposes our borders be defended….. without which we don’t even have a country.

bluesdoc70 on February 11, 2012 at 11:11 AM

CPAC — 11:25 The Honorable Rick Scott, Governor of Florida – Marriott Ballroom*
Introduced by: Al Cardenas, Chairman, the American Conservative Union

1:05 From Reacting to Breaking News: Flexing the Muscles of the Conservative New Media
– Marriott Ballroom*
Ed Morrissey, Blogger, Columnist, Motivational Speaker, and Host, “Ed Morrissey Show”

bluefox on February 11, 2012 at 11:11 AM

This is a typical Democrat compromise. It changes absolutely nothing, but it does give you plausible deniability. Sort of like the debt ceiling compromise the Republicans signed on to and people wonder why no one has any faith in Washington D.C.

bflat879 on February 11, 2012 at 11:14 AM

It has come to this? The Catholic Church is “negotiating” with the king of America to have their Constitutional rights?

AnnaS on February 11, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Ed,

I’d give it a week, perhaps less, before we see a real climbdown.

Is there anyone else who is afraid this was planned? That Obama wants the Catholic Church to shut down 1/3 of all the hospitals in the U.S. so he can take them over and remake them in his own image? (blasphemy intended)

You have to think that nationalizing 1/3 of all U.S. hospitals in 2013 would forever enslave us to a nationalized healthcare program that we would never escape.

Could he be that clever??

E9RET on February 11, 2012 at 11:21 AM

As for the birth control pill, those always have been and continue to be cheap, cheap, cheap. MN J on February 11, 2012 at 11:06 AM

There is nothing cheap about the Pill if you consider the long term consequences of breast and cervical cancer, blood clots, and strokes. They are toxic and are not in the best interest of women’s health.

God forgives always
Man forgives sometimes
Nature forgives never.

elm on February 11, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Just as a sort of after thought–where does Obama get the right to tell insurers they have to do this. Are there no bounds at all to his power? And if not, how did we get to this place? Time for a real close look at how the Presidency is evolving.

jeanie on February 11, 2012 at 10:27 AM

While all this contraceptive-women’s health outrage is burning up the airwaves, nary a mention of Obama’s other slick move on mortgages Thursday. Another power grab but this one is going unnoticed.

jb34461 on February 11, 2012 at 11:22 AM

83% of the country identify Christian but Jarett an Sebelus think the woman’s vote can be culled out of those numbers for Obama’s reelection by trampling the U.S. Constitution.

The tyranny of the secular minority.

Dr Evil on February 11, 2012 at 10:33 AM

I’m not so certain that’s true. The new poll that show the well known pro-life Santorum way higher than Pro-abortion ..oooops pro-everything Oromney among women.

Don L on February 11, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Thank you. You don’t need to get prissy about answering:-)

bluefox on February 11, 2012 at 11:05 AM

(chuckle)
I’ve been called a lot of things in me life, but “prissy” aint one o’them, Pilgrim.

~(Ä)~
(you may recognize the symbol)

Karl Magnus on February 11, 2012 at 11:27 AM

…but apart from a revival in the heart and soul of our countrymen I do not see how we pull this back from the abyss. Secular libertarianism leads to the serving of oneself over society. Really working out great in Europe, huh?
1nolibgal on February 11, 2012 at 8:54 AM

Right on. But, I would use extreme caution with the admonition of “serving self over society”. That can quickly turn into a call for socialism. It’s the problem I have with the Church. They have not been bashful about having government mandate the works they wish to see. They have really become lazy in the last 50 years or so, and the contraception mandate should be the wakeup call it needed.

Get the heart of man pointing to God, and the works will follow…not the other way around.

CycloneCDB on February 11, 2012 at 11:29 AM

… Make sure that it is strictly run by the Church but is a haven for all who do not wish to have their insurance dictated by government …

ajacksonian on February 11, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Great idea, except of course until Obama (or a successor dictator) nationalizes the insurance industry too … ;-)

ShainS on February 11, 2012 at 11:30 AM

bluefox on February 11, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Hannity was also surprised by one of his favorite Muslims calling in, yesterday.
He recognized his name onscreen, took his call, and the guy proclaimed support for the bishops, and anyone else resisting this power grab.
Thought that was pretty neat … Sorry, can’t recall the caller’s name.
It’s probably transcribed (at least) on Sean’s website.

pambi on February 11, 2012 at 10:58 AM

That is interesting. I have heard that certain groups of Muslims were against this also. But had not heard of any speaking on radio or TV.
Thanks for the info, will turn on Hannity’s Sat. radio repeat program. Maybe he’ll have that one on replay.

bluefox on February 11, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Exactly which Presidential power authorizes Obama to order one private party to provide services to another without compensation? I must have missed that part of the Constitution where they establish a Monarchy with the power to place people into indentured servitude based on nothing more than executive whim.

The arrogance and lawlessness of this administration knows no bounds, literally.

Socratease on February 11, 2012 at 11:36 AM

I don’t recall that my bishop has ever put it in a letter but I’ve heard his sermons on it. There is widespread criticism locally and I’ve seen people drop out of RCIA over it. Yet I have heard that this diocese is nowhere near as bad as Los Angeles.

Eren on February 11, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Here is the letter:

http://www.businessinsider.com/here-is-the-anti-obama-administration-letter-that-was-read-to-almost-every-catholic-sitting-in-church-today-2012-1?op=1

itsspideyman on February 11, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Frankly, my biggest concern is whether or not the Church will stand firm? I hope so.

MN J on February 11, 2012 at 11:06 AM

This is my concern as well. To say that it was a huge mistake for the USCCB to ever take up the mantle of “social justice,” to offload the Church’s mission and responsibilities to the sick, elderly and indigent to the state in the 60s (30s for Social Security), is an extreme understatement.

Someone here made the analogy of the Tea Party: how it raised awareness to what is going on in Congress and caused people to actively pay attention and to work to get back to Constitutional principles. I posit that the same type of Tea Party mentality has been adopted by many average Catholics in the pew, whereby they are now very much aware of the insipid pandering of some bishops, priests and other religious to the Democrat party and against the core teachings and mission of the Church. We can’t “vote out” an errant pastor, for example, but we can sure make our concerns known in other effective ways which accomplishes the same purpose and gives notice to the Catholic hierarchy in the U.S. that, yes, we are watching.

PatriotGal2257 on February 11, 2012 at 11:41 AM

This is above all not a constitutional issue. It is an issue that was recognized as being true long before the constitution codified it. We humans/mankind has been graced by (Nature;s) God with inalienable rights. No man, nor group of robed politically appointed lawyers, no country, no army, no internation power can take that away -they can only defy God and violate the most fundamental good on earth -the dignity of humans. It is the exact fsult of all dictators, all abortionists,all eco-nuts,that believe in biodiversity (man is just another species)

Depriving man of using his God-given conscience is but the worst form of slavery possible. The masses, raised in a culture of moral anarchy, have yet to figure that out.

The bishops are on the wrong track when they try to make this merely a political or legal issue -there are higher authorites who cannot be maniupulated or bought off.

This issue is the very heart of civilization.It was for that very reason that Pope JPII said that without God(our rights and dignity) there can be no civililization.

Don L on February 11, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Good for them. I was afraid that the subterfuge would work. Now if they will only do more walk than talk we might get somewhere. I still sense that the general religious establishment is cowed from adversary social and political action by IRS threat to their income. Anyone who plays the social justice theme is OK. Step off the reservation just a little, vary from liberal orthodoxy, and risk federal wrath

ironked on February 11, 2012 at 8:51 AM

They are doing the walking, in every church and through many publications, where do you think most of this backlash came from?

neuquenguy on February 11, 2012 at 11:41 AM

I don’t think the bishops are going to roll over on this as easily as the Republicans rolled over in the debt ceiling negotiations.

neuquenguy on February 11, 2012 at 11:46 AM

bluefox on February 11, 2012 at 11:05 AM
(chuckle)
I’ve been called a lot of things in me life, but “prissy” aint one o’them, Pilgrim.

~(Ä)~
(you may recognize the symbol)

Karl Magnus on February 11, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Well, you can add that one to your list:-) I don’t know anyone that can keep up with all that is going on. No, I didn’t know what your symbol meant. But I did look at your website you linked to. Very nice. I like Hardee’s too:-)

bluefox on February 11, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Hannity was also surprised by one of his favorite Muslims calling in, yesterday.
He recognized his name onscreen, took his call, and the guy proclaimed support for the bishops, and anyone else resisting this power grab.

pambi on February 11, 2012 at 10:58 AM

That’s one problem with using religion-specific exemption as a basis for opposing ObamaCare–more opportunity for Muslim businesses to operate beyond the reach of US law (Good luck then relying on medical standards if you are injured near Detroit). ObamaCare should be stopped because it violates the Necessary and Proper Clause, the Commerce Clause, and Congressional Taxing Power. ObamaCare is government overreach that violates the liberty of individual Americans regardless of their religious views.

OptionsTrader on February 11, 2012 at 11:48 AM

I’d be willing to bet that the HHS data assume that women who don’t get insurance-provided contraception don’t get contraception at all. In the real world, many if not most women who want contraception would pay for it themselves. Thus fewer unintended pregnancies than HHS assumes, and lower costs on that side of the comparison.

PantsDailyon on February 11, 2012 at 11:53 AM

I’m not so certain that’s true. The new poll that show the well known pro-life Santorum way higher than Pro-abortion ..oooops pro-everything Oromney among women.

Don L on February 11, 2012 at 11:24 AM

I have friends who are social conservatives (women) and the abortion issue is their litmus test, they won’t vote for a pro choice candidate no matter how much lipstick get’s applied to them. This doesn’t seem to be the case for liberal Catholic women who will look past Obama’s position on abortion. What did he say about abortion at the saddle back debate Obama on abortion “It’s above my pay grade” I agree champ, you’re not really a messiah.

Dr Evil on February 11, 2012 at 12:03 PM

I don’t see Obama backing down at all because the argument they are trying to make is about healthcare and not religious freedom, as his speech and talking points from yesterday confirms. However, Americans not losing their God given rights and freedoms goes to the core of the beliefs of Americans of all ages and demographics and a cause people will become united.

lea on February 11, 2012 at 12:06 PM

I don’t like federal government dictating the terms of coverage to anyone. Congress itself doesn’t have the authority, nor do the president or the rule making agencies.

They passed the da$@ bill, now we’re finding out what’s in it.

obladioblada on February 11, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Will the republican candidates be asked any questions about this issue in the next debate on the 22nd? I ask because CNN is pro Obama, and the discussion on this issue reminds everyone that Obama, constitutional scholar that he is, has over reached on this a foundational 1st amendment issue.

February 22, 2012 8pm ET on CNN (Originally Dec 1, then Nov 30)
Location: Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, Arizona
Sponsor: CNN and the Republican Party of Arizona
Participants: TBD

Dr Evil on February 11, 2012 at 12:16 PM

We can’t “vote out” an errant pastor, for example, but we can sure make our concerns known in other effective ways which accomplishes the same purpose and gives notice to the Catholic hierarchy in the U.S. that, yes, we are watching.

PatriotGal2257 on February 11, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Your comment “We can’t “vote out” an errant pastor” brought to mind a Church that my friend has attended over the years. The Priest starting preaching fromm the Bible. Older Catholics complained, so he was replaced. This happened again and again and last I heard they had their 4th Priest. I’d like to know what the current Priest is saying about this situation.

bluefox on February 11, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Ed, you have more faith than me that BHO will “climb down” on this. This goes to the core of his secular ‘faith’ and his actions show his true inner self and values. It is who is he is. And even the possibility of losing a large chunk of voters will not obviate his behavior or change his decision. My way or the highway. Tyranny.

bobnox on February 11, 2012 at 12:20 PM

That’s one problem with using religion-specific exemption as a basis for opposing ObamaCare–more opportunity for Muslim businesses to operate beyond the reach of US law (Good luck then relying on medical standards if you are injured near Detroit). ObamaCare should be stopped because it violates the Necessary and Proper Clause, the Commerce Clause, and Congressional Taxing Power. ObamaCare is government overreach that violates the liberty of individual Americans regardless of their religious views.

OptionsTrader on February 11, 2012 at 11:48 AM

The problem is relying on a politically appointed group of politically oriented robed lawyers to follow the constitution as opposed to European law (Sandra DaY O Conner) or Kelo away our rights to own property, or find mysterious penumbra’s from mysterious emanations in order to kill 53 million humans so far. Is anyone still intellectually naive to trust our freedom (or in the case of conscience theft-our salvation) to such hands?

Don L on February 11, 2012 at 12:21 PM

My advice to the Catholic Church: form an insurance company that follows the precepts of the Church and its duties, and offer that insurance openly to any who wish to get it and keep a clear conscience. Make sure that it is strictly run by the Church but is a haven for all who do not wish to have their insurance dictated by government. You will be surprised at the response to this by showing what a moral institution can do in the marketplace. And it will offer a sanctuary to those who wish to be free of government obligations against our liberty and conscience.
ajacksonian on February 11, 2012 at 9:26 AM

My understanding is that according to Obamacare the HHS secretary has the power to deny any insurance policy they don’t like. No abortions=no insurance=jail time.

txhsmom on February 11, 2012 at 12:26 PM

is that a picture of a fishing lure??…./

ted c on February 11, 2012 at 9:28 AM

lol I almost missed the sarc tag… Nasty looking, isn’t it?

catquilt on February 11, 2012 at 9:45 AM

No! That’s a retainer a dentist gave JugEars for his mouth!

KOOLAID2 on February 11, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Your comment “We can’t “vote out” an errant pastor” brought to mind a Church that my friend has attended over the years. The Priest starting preaching fromm the Bible. Older Catholics complained, so he was replaced. This happened again and again and last I heard they had their 4th Priest. I’d like to know what the current Priest is saying about this situation.

bluefox on February 11, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Were those “older Catholics” those 60s leftover liberal cafeteria Catholic types? I know quite a few of those myself in my parish — they’re about a decade older than I am, and they all have the attitude that the Catholic Church should bend to their every prevailing social whim instead of being true to their faith to the best of their ability.

I hope your friend who seems to be younger saw this for what it was and tried to speak out in support of the pastors.

PatriotGal2257 on February 11, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Will the republican candidates be asked any questions about this issue in the next debate on the 22nd? I ask because CNN is pro Obama, and the discussion on this issue reminds everyone that Obama, constitutional scholar that he is, has over reached on this a foundational 1st amendment issue.

February 22, 2012 8pm ET on CNN (Originally Dec 1, then Nov 30)
Location: Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, Arizona
Sponsor: CNN and the Republican Party of Arizona
Participants: TBD

Dr Evil on February 11, 2012 at 12:16 PM

I would think they would be asked and if not, one of the Candidates (Santorum?) will certainly bring it up. Actually, I think they all should be asked now and discuss the issue further at the debate.

Thanks for the debate info.

bluefox on February 11, 2012 at 12:30 PM

I don’t know anyone that can keep up with all that is going on. No, I didn’t know what your symbol meant. But I did look at your website you linked to. Very nice. I like Hardee’s too:-)

bluefox on February 11, 2012 at 11:47 AM

So, to the non-military mouths, AMVETS = Hardees?
No wonder this country is going to hell in a handbasket.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 11, 2012 at 12:32 PM

As I believe others have mentioned, one of the central issues here actually has nothing to do with the topic at hand…

Imagine Obama’s overreach if he wins a second term and no longer has to worry about re-election.

BardMan on February 11, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Samuel L. Jackson, who said this week in an interview that the only reason he voted for O’bama was because of his Race:

“I hope Obama gets scary in the next four years, ‘cuz he ain’t gotta worry about getting re-elected.”

Del Dolemonte on February 11, 2012 at 12:35 PM

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