Video: Archbishop Cardinal Wuerl denounces contraception accommodation on America’s Newsroom

posted at 5:25 pm on February 13, 2012 by Tina Korbe

While the administration continues to play cute with its so-called contraception mandate “accommodation,” the U.S. Catholic bishops remain unimpressed. (For that matter, so does the faculty of Notre Dame law school, as Ed reported earlier.) His Eminence, Donald Cardinal Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, joined Martha MacCallum on America’s Newsroom this morning to explain why.

The president says his accommodation ensures that no religious employer will have to “pay for” or “provide” insurance for contraception; instead, those costs will be shifted to insurers. Ed has already thoroughly dismantled the president’s insurers-must-cover-contraception-at-no-cost-to-anyone idiocy, but Wuerl brought up another point: Many religious employers are self-insured. They have no insurance provider onto whom they can push the cost of contraception insurance.

More importantly, the president’s accommodation doesn’t address the fundamental objection to his administration’s original decision anyway: It still leaves the power to define what constitutes ministry in the hands of the federal government. That’s the real problem, Wuerl said.

“It isn’t the prerogative of the government to announce who does what ministries, what qualifies for ministry and what really defines a church,” he said.

Supporters of the president’s mandate love to toss out statistics that reveal just how many Catholics are in disobedience to the Church on this — as though that’s an excuse to trample religious liberty. Wuerl had a simple response to those supporters.

“The teachings of the Church are never determined by the polls,” he said. “That isn’t the norm for Catholic Church teaching: The Gospel is. Revelation is, not the polls.”

Indeed. In 1968, when Pope Paul VI first delivered the encyclical Humanae Vitae, onlookers were already shocked at the steadfastness of the Church, which secular forces fully expected to conform to the world on contraception. In that letter, the pope predicted that it would be a difficult teaching to accept.

“It is to be anticipated that perhaps not everyone will easily accept this particular teaching,” Pope Paul VI wrote. “There is too much clamorous outcry against the voice of the Church, and this is intensified by modern means of communication. But it comes as no surprise to the Church that she, no less than her divine Founder, is destined to be a ‘sign of contradiction.’ She does not, because of this, evade the duty imposed on her of proclaiming humbly but firmly the entire moral law, both natural and evangelical.”

The pope reminded skeptical members of his flock that following this teaching would be an unexpected source of freedom for them — and he presciently warned that its abandonment would make it easier for national governments to impose their will upon the people.

“Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty?” the pope asked. “Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.”

Given the pope’s prescience, perhaps now would be a good time for Catholics to review the “why” of the Church’s seemingly archaic prohibition of the pill and other artificial forms of contraception — not solely out of a sense of obedience to the magisterium, but also out of a desire to reclaim for themselves their freedom and to proclaim their dignity by self-discipline. Contrary to popular perception, Rome doesn’t ban contraception out of a primitive desire to keep women barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. The Church seeks instead to affirm the fullness of the meaning of marriage. It’s a teaching worth exploring even just as a matter of cultural literacy — and there’s no better place to start than Humanae Vitae itself.



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Since this used to be a free country, my response would have been, well fine you are free to have that opinion and exercise your beliefs religious or otherwise as you choose. Just don’t force others who have other beliefs you deem silly to violate those beliefs. See it is simple really, and why we have thrived as a pluralistic society for over 200 years. Obama seeks to change that for whatever reason and the fact that he is causing fights amongst even conservatives on a conservative blog over something that has been an accepted part of American life for decades is evidence of his destructiveness.

txmomof6 on February 13, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Agree wholeheartedly. I am 100% behind the RCC here. I was just having a sidebar with twerp about the notion of cafeteria Catholicism. Sorry to mislead where I was going with that. I should have made it clear that I am disgusted by Obama and this diktat.

CycloneCDB on February 13, 2012 at 7:11 PM

As a non Catholic Christian I have no problem with contraceptives that prevent fertilization. But once fertilization occurs, any other form of birth control becomes an abortion.

The Catholic Church believes that all contraceptives are wrong and they should not in any way have to pay for them. I totally support them on this. Obamacare is a tragedy for everyone and needs to be ended.

Rose on February 13, 2012 at 7:12 PM

“so opting out does hinder” should read “so opting out NOT does hinder”

jl on February 13, 2012 at 7:13 PM

You then covered your behind by the qualifier of “some religions” Surely you can see the flaws in your reasoning?

Mimzey on February 13, 2012 at 7:03 PM

some religions and even some christian sects are deeply pacifist. of course most religions accept war. but that is not what we talk about. we talk about how we trample the religious rights of those that dont.

nathor on February 13, 2012 at 7:14 PM

Does the church have the power to demand the federal government “compromise” its rights in exchange for???….what??..the appearance of being “reasonable”?

The whole position is a joke. Its a con job. The government has no standing to demand or expect this “compromise” of Constitutionally secured rights.

Mimzey on February 13, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Barry, Sorry you didn’t have a daddy around, but that does NOT mean that we want you to be our daddy.

Please get your nose out of my life,and do something different like helping the Country.

amadan on February 13, 2012 at 7:17 PM

Also, the Church is not “entering into a commercial activity as a matter of choice”. The government is coercing the purchase of insurance with fines, hardly a matter of choice.

church employees in businesses like health care and education when non charitable are a matter of choice for the church.

nathor on February 13, 2012 at 7:20 PM

some religions and even some christian sects are deeply pacifist. of course most religions accept war. but that is not what we talk about. we talk about how we trample the religious rights of those that dont.

nathor on February 13, 2012 at 7:14 PM

The issue is not about “some pacifists” of any sect.
Its about violating the Constitutional rights of the church by interjecting the government into having the power to decide what does or does not constitute a valid interpretation of any religions moral foundations.

Mimzey on February 13, 2012 at 7:22 PM

The 1st Amendment was never meant to imply that religious groups get a veto over government policy. We have a President to veto bills. I wish I could be even less sympathetic to Obama’s opponent here, but I stridently object to any mandates on insurance whatsoever. Thus, under my ideal preferences, religious institutions would never face this problem.

I will restrain my gloating to just observing that Nancy Pelosi does agree the majority of Catholics 57% to 38% on this issue–just as she said. Not even Pelosi can be wrong 100% of the time.

thuja on February 13, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Supporters of the president’s mandate love to toss out statistics that reveal just how many Catholics are in disobedience to the Church on this — as though that’s an excuse to trample religious liberty. Wuerl had a simple response to those supporters.

I’ve found that to be a most interesting argument. If 90% or 98% or whatever percentage of catholics are disobeying the Church teaching and given that the percentage of non-Catholics is even higher, then it would seem that most of the populace is doing just fine in providing contraceptives for themselves.

So, why is it that we need to provide them for free?

PackerBronco on February 13, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Does it include condoms or is this for girls only?

Little Boomer on February 13, 2012 at 7:30 PM

The issue is not about “some pacifists” of any sect.
Its about violating the Constitutional rights of the church by interjecting the government into having the power to decide what does or does not constitute a valid interpretation of any religions moral foundations.

Mimzey on February 13, 2012 at 7:22 PM

the goverment will not have to judge what is a valid interpetation of a religion. no one is arguing that.nor scalia nor me nor anyone else in this thread.

nathor on February 13, 2012 at 7:31 PM

I’ve found that to be a most interesting argument. If 90% or 98% or whatever percentage of catholics are disobeying the Church teaching and given that the percentage of non-Catholics is even higher, then it would seem that most of the populace is doing just fine in providing contraceptives for themselves.
So, why is it that we need to provide them for free?
PackerBronco on February 13, 2012 at 7:27 PM

My copy of the Bible says 100% of us has sinned. So the 98% number means that those 2% are doing pretty well holding off on the contraceptives. Good for them!

CycloneCDB on February 13, 2012 at 7:32 PM

The 1st Amendment was never meant to imply that religious groups get a veto over government policy.

thuja on February 13, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Thats a strawman.
No one claimed that they do.

Can the government demand a religion integrate performing executions into their founding doctrines?…Tell ya what!..not a lot of executions…just a few painless ones, now and then. Thats a “fair” compromise, isn’t it?? Why all the fuss?

Mimzey on February 13, 2012 at 7:32 PM

So, why is it that we need to provide them for free?

PackerBronco on February 13, 2012 at 7:27 PM

We don’t. Its a fake issue, meant to incrementally advance the relevance of religion in society.

Its what communists do. Its what they believe in. Its their religion.

Mimzey on February 13, 2012 at 7:36 PM

advance the relevance of religion in society.

Mimzey on February 13, 2012 at 7:36 PM

should read:
“meant to diminish the relevance of religion”

Reworded it and didn’t proof read.

Mimzey on February 13, 2012 at 7:39 PM

Got this link from Mark Levins show a bit ago.

http://www.foramerica.org/

Looks like a good place to rally to attack Obama for his attack on the 1st amendment.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 13, 2012 at 7:39 PM

Hmm. Send that one off to Cindy Sheehan, who claims not to have paid a penny of taxes since her son died.

Given that the law itself allows an exemption for religious reasons — albeit only for those who are willing to state that they will never claim Social Security or Medicare even though they pay into these plans — there’s a chink in the armor, so to speak, that the adroit Church may seek to expoit.

After all, if the Amish can have their half-assed exemption, so should the Catholics.

unclesmrgol on February 13, 2012 at 6:33 PM

cindy sheehan should be in jail if she does not pay her taxes like everyone else! why should I pay taxes if anyone can just invent or delude themselfs into a reason not to pay them!?! AH, NO WAY!

nathor on February 13, 2012 at 7:40 PM

nathor, I posted this to you on another thread and, since you insist on spamming HA with the same posts, I want to make sure you see my response.

If, for example, a religious adherent believes war is a sin, and if a certain percentage of the federal budget can be identified as devoted to war-related activities, such individuals would have a similarly valid claim to be exempt from paying that percentage of the income tax. The tax system could not function if denominations were allowed to challenge the tax system because tax payments were spent in a manner that violates their religious belief.

scalia is a wise catholic judge…

nathor on February 13, 2012 at 5:12 PM

I think Scalia is wise, too. I question your ability to discern between a tax and a mandate, though.

Taxes are levied to support the government. A mandate is hardly that. It’s an order from an entity such as the government to behave in a certain way. The Obamacare mandate will be litigated in the USSC soon, so we’ll be able to see just how constitutional this insurance mandate is.

BTW, do you realize the ramifications if this mandate comes to fruition? For one, most Catholic hospitals, etc. are self-insured. Will they have to drop their insurance altogether? Maybe that’s the outcome the Obama admin wants, so that those folks might have to join with their state exchange.

To me, though, the most powerful consequence of this action is the ripping to shreds the first amendment to the constitution.

I have no doubt that Obama sees this as killing two birds with one stone.

kakypat on February 13, 2012 at 7:33 PM

kakypat on February 13, 2012 at 7:41 PM

After all, if the Amish can have their half-assed exemption, so should the Catholics.

unclesmrgol on February 13, 2012 at 6:33 PM

the catholic church can have their exception if the congress or goverment so sees fit to git it, but its not constitutionally given by default.

nathor on February 13, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Nathor,

It is my impression that all of the Catholic health care and educational efforts are charitable in that they are all not-for-profit. Nor has the adminstration, to the best of my knowledge, made any sort of exemption for charities. And the requirements are not due to the Church’s involvement in those particular businesses (such as requirements issued by states regarding the curricula at parochial schools). In this case Scalia’s “commerce” would either refer to the purchase of insurance(not a choice) or to the fact that the Church is involved in transactions. Everyone is involved in “commerce” per the administration, so where is the “matter of choice”?

That is the problem that has the Church on the defensive. Short of getting out of every charity entirely there is absolutely no way they can avoid providing services they consider immoral. So the president is telling the Church, either stop doing good works, or stand ready to provide abortions to your employees.

It is also my understanding that the administration didn’t say that they COULD NOT have required churches to provide these services. They just said that they would give them a pass – this time.

jl on February 13, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Why do people respond to the reprobate? It is s.i.c.k.

tom daschle concerned on February 13, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Dear Liberal Loons Lurking,

You go do what you want to do.

Leave me and others to hell alone.

The nut job you clowns got elected because 60% of America is out to lunch was your high water mark.

Now you got problems.

Any your the center of it.

Even if you win elections, you too will loose, for where your leaders lead only a dead end of freedom is awaiting any one who finds this evil pot of fools gold.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 13, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Its about the 1st amendment.

Do not let the loon liberals do what they always do, change the subject.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 13, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Haul the Sec. of Health before congress for impeachment.

She is signing off on things she does not have the power to do.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 13, 2012 at 7:49 PM

the goverment will not have to judge what is a valid interpetation of a religion. no one is arguing that.nor scalia nor me nor anyone else in this thread.

nathor on February 13, 2012 at 7:31 PM

You’re misunderstanding my post.
I wasn’t referring to the government judging what is a valid interpretation of a religion…I was referring to a government deciding what is or is not a valid moral basis for any religion.

Do you understand the difference between the two concepts? If so, can you explain to me the difference as you understand it. That way we can be on the same page.

Mimzey on February 13, 2012 at 7:51 PM

Do you understand the difference between the two concepts? If so, can you explain to me the difference as you understand it. That way we can be on the same page.

Mimzey on February 13, 2012 at 7:51 PM

nathor doesn’t understand the difference between a tax and a mandate, either.

kakypat on February 13, 2012 at 7:54 PM

but its not constitutionally given by default.

nathor on February 13, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Explain what you believe the 1st Amendment guarantees religions.

Mimzey on February 13, 2012 at 7:56 PM

scalia words:

If, for example, a religious adherent believes war is a sin, and if a certain percentage of the federal budget can be identified as devoted to war-related activities, such individuals would have a similarly valid claim to be exempt from paying that percentage of the income tax. The tax system could not function if denominations were allowed to challenge the tax system because tax payments were spent in a manner that violates their religious belief.
nathor on February 13, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Has it been resolved yet whether payment for Obamacare is a tax or not?

onlineanalyst on February 13, 2012 at 7:57 PM

The Catholic Church should know that when you take Caesar’s money, you go by Caesar’s rules.

Don’t like it? Don’t take the money.

chumpThreads on February 13, 2012 at 8:01 PM

nathor doesn’t understand the difference between a tax and a mandate, either.

kakypat on February 13, 2012 at 7:54 PM

I see that.

Mimzey on February 13, 2012 at 8:01 PM

i think this contraception exception is to be given to seminars, churches and maybe some charitable works. catholic hospitals and schools that employ non catholics and are definitely not charity, should have no exception.

nathor on February 13, 2012 at 7:06 PM

“maybe some charitable works”

I think your position needs quite a bit of polishing. Let me help you.

Part of the Church’s mission is to feed the hungry and to heal the sick in body or in mind. It’s why we have a hospital system which is the envy of any other, and it’s why many Catholic churches have food banks as an integral part of their operation. Now, as part of some of those operations, we Catholics hire people, and some of the hirelings are not Catholic. But the work in which they aid us is Catholic and integral to our faith mission.

To aid these people, we have, in many cases, of our own volition, provided medical plans. Now, the majority of Catholic medical plans are self-insurance plans — in which the Church provides the insurance to itself. That insurance is, by its very nature, tailored to our mission and meets our religious requirements. It quite obviously does not include contraceptives, abortifacients, or any other form of abortion services.

For the Government to then say that we must change our insurance plans — for which the Government neither taxes us nor pays us — to provide things which are abhorrent to our faith — well, you can see that such insurance plans will not be funded in any way going forward by the Church. Furthermore, the rules requiring this behavior are not in any law passed by Congress, but have been promulgated as implementation rules by the Executive branch.

By law, the Church can, of course, throw its employees into the new insurance exchanges, where the employees will be required to purchase, using their own money, their coverages. That would be a completely fair outcome, I expect, to your libertarian mind.

Now, the people who suddenly find that Mr. Obama lied to them about keeping their existing coverage — well, some of them may blame the Church, but I’m betting the majority put the blame where it belongs — with an Administration which equated a heart transplant to some hypothetical “reproductive rights”.

Yet another position the Church can take is to first enlist the Court of Public Opinion and thence to force politicians, who are quite sensitive to that Court, to do what they should have done in the first place.

Still another position the Church can take is to go to court. Now, you’ve quoted plenty of pieces stating your side of things, but all of them involve taxes — not a requirement to do business with a third party as Obamacare requires.

All of these are valid approaches to solving the problem — some more confrontational than others.

As for libertarians following the law, do you follow laws which also violate your conscience, or do you libertarians conveniently not have such troublesome clogging things to torment you? I’m glad I’m not a libertarian, or, if I had lived in Germany during WWII, I might have killed Jews. I’m glad I’m not a libertarian, or, if I had lived in Ohio in 1859, I might have held slaves at gunpoint until their owners could pick them up. You have a strong concept of rule by law, while I have a strong concept that laws which are on their face unjust are not to be followed. By the way, if you see an illegal alien on the street, do you turn him in?

unclesmrgol on February 13, 2012 at 8:02 PM

The Catholic Church should know that when you take Caesar’s money, you go by Caesar’s rules.

Don’t like it? Don’t take the money.

chumpThreads on February 13, 2012 at 8:01 PM

The Government should know that when you ask for the Church’s services, you go by the Church’s rules.

Don’t like it? Don’t give them money.

unclesmrgol on February 13, 2012 at 8:03 PM

The Catholic Church should know that when you take Caesar’s money, you go by Caesar’s rules.

Don’t like it? Don’t take the money.

chumpThreads on February 13, 2012 at 8:01 PM

What money…and what rules? Does on penny mean assumed obedience to ALL dictates?
They are already compromising for the benefit of people health and care.
They have no requirement for them to negate a bacis moral foundation.
Your claim of “take one bit…accept all demands” is bogus imo.

Mimzey on February 13, 2012 at 8:07 PM

The Government should know that when you ask for the Church’s services, you go by the Church’s rules.

Don’t like it? Don’t give them money.

unclesmrgol on February 13, 2012 at 8:03 PM

It’s the church that’s complaining. The government is not begging them to take the money, so your point is refuted.

I’d gladly see the money going to church-sponsored institutions go directly to Planned Parenthood instead.

chumpThreads on February 13, 2012 at 8:08 PM

the catholic church can have their exception if the congress or goverment so sees fit to git it, but its not constitutionally given by default.

nathor on February 13, 2012 at 7:43 PM

The Amish must contribute to Social Security and Medicare if they are employed by a non-Amish employer, even though their religion requires that they never collect. The rules are different for an Amish employed by an Amish employer — they do not have to contribute to either, nor does the employer.

The Obamacare exemption has been carefully worded to assert that the only people who can claim a freedom of conscience exemption from Obamacare are those who are willing to sign an affidavit forgoing any future claims to Social Security or Medicare — although they are still required to contribute to those programs.

In essence, the only people allowed an exemption to Obamacare are the Amish and a few similar sects.

We have the Government making an obvious accommodation for some religions, but not for others, in their enabling legislation for Obamacare. That’s a hole so big I think the Catholic Church could drive a tank through it if we chose.

Those libertarian laws are so consistent, so fair, so convenient….

unclesmrgol on February 13, 2012 at 8:10 PM

Haul the Sec. of Health before congress for impeachment.

She is signing off on things she does not have the power to do.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 13, 2012 at 7:49 PM

The problem is the Congress gave her that power when they voted for Obamacare. The Sec of HHS has the power to set all kinds of regulations in Obamacare.

txhsmom on February 13, 2012 at 8:12 PM

It’s the church that’s complaining. The government is not begging them to take the money, so your point is refuted.

I’d gladly see the money going to church-sponsored institutions go directly to Planned Parenthood instead.

chumpThreads on February 13, 2012 at 8:08 PM

It’s the liberals who are complaining. I’ve seen plenty of posts from liberals claiming that the Church is often the only healthcare provider for miles around — and therefore MUST be made to abide by these rules.

The Government wants to provide healthcare, but doesn’t operate enough hospitals to self-provide, but we Catholics sure do…

Well, you may get your wish — the Church may see things your way, and the Government too, and the guy needing a Government-paid heart transplant may have to go to the nearest Planned Parenthood clinic.

A laugh riot — heh.

unclesmrgol on February 13, 2012 at 8:13 PM

It’s the church that’s complaining. The government is not begging them to take the money, so your point is refuted.

I’d gladly see the money going to church-sponsored institutions go directly to Planned Parenthood instead.

chumpThreads on February 13, 2012 at 8:08 PM

And your contention is that there should be no complains, when Constitutionally guaranteed rights are brushed aside for political reasons?

Do you really believe that people..on some mass scale.. can’t afford birth control..or that they have “no control over themselves” and must have unprotected sex?
This is a bogus and deflective issue meant to rally a base for support and votes. Thats all it is, and if effective, it serves the purpose of destroying religious influence.

Mimzey on February 13, 2012 at 8:21 PM

I call B.S on the Catholic poll numbers. Give me a topic and I can create a poll that gives you any result that you want.

I also call it on these ” exemptions” for anyone, whether for religion, race, height, weight, or sexual preference.

I thought we were all equal under the law, when did that change?

Someone needs to call bho on how this violates the Constitution.

Let them play the race card, he won’t stop until challeged.

amadan on February 13, 2012 at 8:33 PM

We don’t. Its a fake issue, meant to incrementally advance the [ir]relevance of religion in society.

Its what communists do. Its what they believe in. Its their religion.

Mimzey on February 13, 2012 at 7:36 PM

It also has to do with I wrote on another thread. The basic doctrine of modern liberalism is that there is no freedom until everything is free. So, if you have to pay for contraceptives and abortions, you aren’t really free to have them. Afterall, you might lose your job and then where would you be?

The collorary is that anyone who refuses to supply you these “free” things is seeking to take away your freedom. This goes to your point about communism, since capitalism and private property and free markets are the ultimate destroyer of “freedom.”

Actually, not the the ultimate destroyer. The ultimate destroyer is the human conscience. So beyond the need to be free of material restrictions one also needs to be free of the dictates of conscience. So your point about religion being a threat to freedom is well-taken.

PackerBronco on February 13, 2012 at 8:40 PM

the catholic church can have their exception if the congress or goverment so sees fit to git it, but its not constitutionally given by default.

nathor on February 13, 2012 at 7:43 PM

It looks like someone missed class on the day the professor was discussing the Bill of Rights.

Here’s the lecture you missed in a nutshell: Rights are NOT given by the government and the presumption of the 1st Amendment lies with the people and not with the government.

In other words, the burden of proof is on you.

PackerBronco on February 13, 2012 at 8:42 PM

the bottom line is, that pacifist religions are completely trounced in their central beliefs by being forced to pay taxes that pay wars.

nathor on February 13, 2012 at 6:25 PM

I can’t speak for other religions, but as a Catholic, the Church teaches that war is NOT an intrinsic evil. The Church recognizes that war is sometimes necessary and just – and that it is good to love and serve one’s country in wartime.

Abortion, however is an intrinsic evil. There is never a time when abortion on demand is acceptable. The only case where the death of the unborn child may be necessary is if the mother’s life is gravely threatened by the pregnancy – and that treatment to save the mother’s life will cause the death of the unborn child. That decision rests with the parents and if they choose the mother’s life over the child, that is not a sin.

dukecitygirl on February 13, 2012 at 9:06 PM

Does anybody else find this insulting to women? As a woman, I am capable of making my own decisions, paying for them, and dealing with the consequences. The urge to **** everything in sight does not dominate my life. I’m smart enough to deal with this without the help of government!

If women are half the vote, 98% have been able to manage this for themselves lo these many years, * 50% not of an age to be concerned * 50% are conservative, religious, moral, gay, ugly, or otherwise able to control themselves, * whatever the poverty rate is now, what does that leave – maybe 6 sexually active feminists who need help with it?

What a joke.

jodetoad on February 13, 2012 at 9:20 PM

The Catholic Church should know that when you take Caesar’s money, you go by Caesar’s rules.

Don’t like it? Don’t take the money.

chumpThreads on February 13, 2012 at 8:01 PM

This argument always bothers me. Anti-Christians and liberal ‘christians’ always like to throw that passage up in our faces to shut us up, but since when is our government ‘Caesar’? Does the money have Obama’s picture on it like Caesar’s? Not yet it doesn’t. I thought WE were the government, you know of the people, by the people, for the people… That money is the people’s money, including mine. I’m sick of dictator wannabees taking MY money and doing evil crap with it.

And the argument of anti-war folks not having to pay tax to support it…well, National defense is specifically prescribed in the Constitution. Now, you show me where any of this immoral crap is located, and we can discuss the nonexistant ‘Caesar’ taking MY money to pay for it.

pannw on February 13, 2012 at 9:27 PM

I really hate to say that I’m considering a partition of our Republic, divided into Conservistan, and Liberalistan.
One will be a vibrant economy with many job opportunities.
The other will wilt on the vine due to sloth and crime.

Why should the productive be leeched by the lazy ?

I fear for my Country

amadan on February 13, 2012 at 9:53 PM

The Catholic Church should know that when you take Caesar’s money, you go by Caesar’s rules.

Don’t like it? Don’t take the money.

This makes no sense. The government’s position doesn’t rely on the taking of government money. If Catholic hospitals stopped taking all money it would STILL have to comply with the HHS rules. HHS’ position is that Catholic hospitals and schools must provide “contraceptives” because they HIRE PEOPLE, not because they take government money.

Also, Medicare typically doesn’t reimburse enough to cover the costs of providing service, so by accepting Medicare patients Catholic hospitals are providing a form of charity. If they stopped taking Medicare it would hurt Medicare recipients more than it would hurt Catholic hospitals.

jl on February 13, 2012 at 10:05 PM

the catholic church can have their exception if the congress or goverment so sees fit to git it, but its not constitutionally given by default.

nathor on February 13, 2012

I’m not sure that’s true. It almost certainly would not have been prior to FDR. There is that pesky ninth amendment, for example. And let’s be honest for a moment; there is no reasonable reading of the Constitution under which Obamacare can be justified. For that you have to find a soothsayer who will read the emanations of penumbras.

jl on February 13, 2012 at 10:17 PM

As an Irish Catholic, I don’t want to tell any other denomination what they should do or think. Same with Atheists. Do what you’ve got to do. It’s none of my business. I’d request that you do the same. Thank You.

But if you feel the need to stick your nose in my business, it may well be bloodied when exterted.

Many people left their “Old Countries” to get away from this.

Don’t assume that we’ll bow to whatever law you claim to create.

Old memories die hard.

amadan on February 13, 2012 at 10:23 PM

scalia is a wise catholic judge…

nathor on February 13, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Just as Scripture can be taken out of context to try to uphold one’s opinion, so can the Law.

Scalia is a wise Justice.

bluefox on February 14, 2012 at 2:43 AM

A wrong is still wrong even if everybody is for it and a right is still right even if everybody is against it. Stand firm!

1 Corinthians 16:13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.

Dannyp8262 on February 13, 2012 at 5:45 PM

I would add “Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Isa. 5:20

bluefox on February 14, 2012 at 2:52 AM

I am an atheist and I think I would be hypocrite otherwise. obamacare is what is wrong here, however, the church has no constitutional right to be exempt of obamacare impositions.

nathor on February 13, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Every American has the right to the Protections of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. No President or Congress have a right to violate them; on the contrary they are under Oath of Office to Uphold them.
A business does not lose their rights just because they are a business. A Church does not lose their rights because they are a Church.

You are right, Obamacare is Unconstitutional.

Which came first, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights or this latest Unconstitutional mandate?

bluefox on February 14, 2012 at 3:06 AM

Now, the people who suddenly find that Mr. Obama lied to them about keeping their existing coverage — well, some of them may blame the Church, but I’m betting the majority put the blame where it belongs — with an Administration which equated a heart transplant to some hypothetical “reproductive rights”.

well, the church slept with the “devil” on this one…

Yet another position the Church can take is to first enlist the Court of Public Opinion and thence to force politicians, who are quite sensitive to that Court, to do what they should have done in the first place.

sure, it is possible and absolutely legal to do this public pressure. however, in this I think the church is wrong. no one is forcing the use of contraception on anyone and the $ amount is minimal.

Still another position the Church can take is to go to court. Now, you’ve quoted plenty of pieces stating your side of things, but all of them involve taxes — not a requirement to do business with a third party as Obamacare requires.

the jurisprudence on the first amendment goes against the church case on this one. I think they will lose and even here in HA our bloggers warned that it would be probably so. I think I picked this fight because social cons rational that the first amendment rights would excuse any religious practice of government intervention annoyed me.
I dont hide that I am secularist and I have a firm belief that only with a certain amount of secular imposition overruling religious law, it is possible to give all the very diverse religious groups in the US a large amount of religious freedom both in opinion and practice.
disclaimer: I also have bias against the church.

All of these are valid approaches to solving the problem — some more confrontational than others.

the church accepting the government mandate is also an acceptable outcome.

As for libertarians following the law, do you follow laws which also violate your conscience, or do you libertarians conveniently not have such troublesome clogging things to torment you? I’m glad I’m not a libertarian, or, if I had lived in Germany during WWII, I might have killed Jews. I’m glad I’m not a libertarian, or, if I had lived in Ohio in 1859, I might have held slaves at gunpoint until their owners could pick them up. You have a strong concept of rule by law, while I have a strong concept that laws which are on their face unjust are not to be followed. By the way, if you see an illegal alien on the street, do you turn him in?

unclesmrgol on February 13, 2012 at 8:02 PM

when existing laws severely violate your conscience is a serious issue. fortunately, in a democratic system, such things tend to be rare. also, in a democratic system, you have the free speech to convince fellow citizens of your position and petition the goverment to change the unfair law and this should be your preferred method of resistance against laws that violate your conscience.

nathor on February 14, 2012 at 4:24 AM

We have the Government making an obvious accommodation for some religions, but not for others, in their enabling legislation for Obamacare. That’s a hole so big I think the Catholic Church could drive a tank through it if we chose.

I take the view that no accommodation should be given because these accommodations are obviously discriminatory. make laws and apply them to everyone or dont make them at all.

Those libertarian laws are so consistent, so fair, so convenient….

unclesmrgol on February 13, 2012 at 8:10 PM

there is nothing libertarian here. obamacare is not a libertarian law.
but when I want that religions get no specific accommodations in the country law, its because of my secularist positions, not because of my libertarian positions.

nathor on February 14, 2012 at 4:34 AM

By the way, if you see an illegal alien on the street, do you turn him in?

unclesmrgol on February 13, 2012 at 8:02 PM

no, I would not denounce illegal immigration the same way I would not denounce littering. I am not a law enforcer to take on my expense denouncing all common law breaking i observe. I will denounce violent crimes thou.

nathor on February 14, 2012 at 6:57 AM

I am glad that Cardinal Wuerl is my Bishop. He speaks very Calmly truthfuly and stern. Much like Christ himself. I usually take more of a Peter in the garden approach. I get angry and spiteful when people attack my faith.

huskerthom on February 14, 2012 at 8:01 AM

I’m so proud of His Excellency, Cardinal Wuerl especially the way he smacked down (in his very gentle way) that idiot Soledad what’s-her-name on CNN. She kept harping on and on about how many Catholic women use contraception, blah, blah, blah – the same stuck on stupid arguments. He countered that there are also many Catholics in jail and that people make their own choices sometimes against the teachings of the Church. That is between them and their own consciences. Sweet!!!

mozalf on February 14, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Please someone tell the Bishop that the largest Catholic university in America, Depaul (along with Forham, Boston College and others) is currently offering its employees health care coverage which includes contraception. Also, someone need to immediately alert the Bishop that 77% of Catholic law schools do the same. It would seem that he would want to immediately set right this widespread violation of unalterable bedrock Catholic doctrine. Wouldn’t he? You know, if it was really that important.

plewis on February 14, 2012 at 9:46 AM

I’ll say this for Obama–when he chooses an enemy he goes right to the top. Now, is it stupidity or arrogance?

jeanie on February 13, 2012 at 6:37 PM

*YES*

Katfish on February 14, 2012 at 10:01 AM

This Atheist is supportive of the Church on this issue. I would not ask anyone to be a hypocrite.

OldEnglish on February 13, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Thank you. I find it frustrated that so many people are more interested in bashing the church or saying that they have no sympathy for the church because some bishops supported obamacare or other liberal policies than to join Catholics in this fight. Whatever happened in the past, this type of government over reach is bad for all Americans, and on this issue it is the Catholic church leading the fight. By focusing on whatever the church might or might not have supported in the past and discrediting the church we are playing right into Obama’s hands.

neuquenguy on February 14, 2012 at 10:09 AM

neuquenguy on February 14, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Some people prefer the smugness of being right rather than joining in the fight.

dukecitygirl on February 14, 2012 at 10:33 AM

It is a real shame to see so many prominent Catholics who really believe that the Church’s objection to contraception is only a desire to have more babies and not based on a serious philosophical argument. They ought to at least know what it is they are rejecting. But of course this is not about whether you agree with the Church but rather whether the Church is allowed to freely decide how it does its work and what its own moral rules are.

Joseph Arlinghaus on February 14, 2012 at 11:55 AM

The chickens have come home to roost. The Catholic Church had segments of orders that openly supported Obamacare. They have be taught a lesson which is
Dont mix politics and religion
Nothing in life is free

They may individually espouse opinions but they should never layer the argument with holy scripture. Holy Scripture is directed at the individual and not the collective state or goverment.

While the final outcomes of our lives are still a mystery goverment largess is not. The free state is anything but free and the Holy Scripture clearly tell folks not to ask for free things but to work hard and if you cant then implore folks for help and hope that those attributes that the Holy Scripture finds enabling for eternal life will be found in those that the needy ask for help.
Mandates from the Goverment cannot be found in the Holy Scriptures and those that say they direct goverment programs because of the Words in the Gospel simply are misguided and should sit down with clergly to find the teachings.

nicknack60 on February 14, 2012 at 12:24 PM

neuquenguy on February 14, 2012 at 10:09 AM

I agree that blaming the Catholic Church misses the point. They fail to remember that many many Americans were against this Obamacare. They made their voices heard, but to no avail. As I recall it was this W.H. and the Democrats in Congress that passed it. I have the info on the vote, but I don’t recall any Republican voting for it. Having said that, doesn’t excuse their pitiful performance since the 2010 elections however.

It is never too late to start doing what is right anyway. The fact that the Catholic Church is leading the fight and recognize the Issue as a 1st Amendment violation is what is important. It’s not about “women’s healthcare” That is just being used as a means to an end.

bluefox on February 14, 2012 at 12:35 PM

the catholic church can have their exception if the congress or goverment so sees fit to git it, but its not constitutionally given by default.

nathor on February 13, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Right, force the Catholic Organizations that self-insure to fund and provide abortions… that’s not a problem. I mean yeah their religion doesn’t allow them to do that, but we don’t care.

Sure some will say they have a right to the free expression of their religion; but they don’t deserve rights. They’re a minority that you disagree with, and minorities don’t deserve rights, the majority through mob rule should override minority rights.

Next we’re going to shove a pork sausage down the mouth of all Muslims… just because we can. No problem there, right nathor? forcing a religious person to violate the precepts of their religion is something the government should get to do.

Rights are only “rights” if the government wants you to have them; the government should be able to trample anyone’s rights at any time for any spurious reason without justification…

Or are there rights that are really rights, and other that don’t really count in your book and can be violated at will?

Can I get a list of the “real” rights that I have, and a list of the ones you’ve decided that people don’t deserve anymore?

Speech? Free Press? Are these Rights, or just guidelines that the government can violate at will?

but when I want that religions get no specific accommodations in the country law, its because of my secularist positions, not because of my libertarian positions.

nathor on February 14, 2012 at 4:34 AM

So the First Amendment.. you don’t like it? Or you just don’t like parts of it so we should ignore the rights you don’t want to honor for people?

But of course we should defend all of your rights, because you’re a “libertarian”… just a libertarian that is ok with stripping Constitutional rights from people.

What do you call that flavor of libertarian? Fascist Libertarian? Dictatorship Libertarian? Or just Hypocritical Libertarian?

Or are you considerably more “secularist” than libertarian here? Really, if you’re not willing to defend Constitutional rights, are you sure libertarian is right for you?

Stripping rights from people, empowering the government, oppressing minorities that you don’t agree with… have you really given Communism a try? Because I think you’d like the one-size-fits-all fascist control of the population if you gave the ideas and ideals a chance.

Then you wouldn’t have to try to explain why you’re a libertarian who is working to violate the Constitution… nobody expects the Communists to support the Constitution. It’d be less confusing for everyone.

gekkobear on February 14, 2012 at 1:32 PM

gekkobear on February 14, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Great post. This applies to nathor and others that fail to comprehend the issue and are majoring in minors. Nathor is Anti-American in my opinion as there is no other explanation for his thinking.

bluefox on February 14, 2012 at 2:18 PM

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