Would the HHS mandate have forced Mother Teresa to fund contraception and sterilization?

posted at 12:41 pm on May 22, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

That’s not just a random question that Donald Cardinal Wuerl raises. Most know of Mother Teresa’s work in the poorest of neighborhoods in Calcutta, but she and her order founded and ran hospice centers in other parts of the world — including an AIDS hospice in Washington DC.  The ridiculous nature of the HHS mandate would indeed have treated Mother Teresa’s hospice as unqualified as a religious exemption, and the beatified nun would have had to supply free contraceptives and sterilization services to the employees of the hospice:

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, D.C., said in an open letter on Monday and in a videotaped message that the Obama administration would not have considered the work of Mother Teresa as “religious” and thus would not have exempted her charitable organizations from a new federal regulation, issued under Obamacare, that will force Catholics to act against their faith.

“Under the mandate, even the work of Mother Teresa wouldn’t be qualified as religious,” said Cardinal Wuerl in the video.

“Contrary to America’s great tradition of religious freedom, embodied in the First Amendment, Catholic institutions will now be forced to act against their conscience and provide coverage for drugs and procedures they believe are morally wrong, simply because they serve people of all faiths or no faith equally,” said Cardinal Wuerl.

Mother Teresa founded a hospice in Washington, D.C., where members of her order, the Missionaries of Charity, care for people with advanced AIDS.

The administration’s new regulation includes a “religious” exemption, but that exemption is narrowly drawn and does not extend to Catholic lay persons or to Catholic hospitals, schools or charities.

For those who attend Catholic Mass, expect this and similar arguments in homilies and parish bulletins from now until the point when the mandate is changed or ObamaCare overturned.  The Obama administration calculated that the leadership of the Catholic Church in the US would bend on this matter, but yesterday’s coordinated legal efforts in the courts means that the bishops plan on a very public battle — and will define it as a fight for religious liberty.  In my column for The Week, this puts the Obama administration in the entirely untenable position of having to rescue the Catholic vote by claiming to be more Catholic than the Pope:

Catholics, unlike their evangelical Christian brothers and sisters, are normally not a monolithic voting bloc. Catholics accounted for 29 percent of the vote in 2008, according to CNN’s exit polls, and Obama won a nine-point victory in that bloc, 54 to 45. This demographic includes a significant number of Hispanic voters, a group Obama hoped to win by promising yet again to pursue immigration reform, having failed to deliver even a coherent proposal for it while Democrats held overwhelming majorities in Congress in 2009 and 2010.

Instead, parishioners attending church every week will hear constant updates on the lawsuits and their status. They will hear appeals from the bishops asking Catholics to pressure the White House into retreating on the mandate. Homilies from the pulpit are likely to echo arguments such as this from Cardinal Wuerl, noting that Mother Teresa’s charitable AIDS hospice in Washington, D.C., wouldn’t qualify as a religious organization in Obama’s mandate. How many priests will ask from the pulpit for their congregations to consider the absurdity of government regulations that would have forced Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity to provide free sterilizations and abortifacients? I would bet the number will be more than just a few.

Obama and his team could have avoided all of this simply by allowing the exemption to apply to all religious organizations and not just the churches themselves. Now, however, it’s probably too late; the damage to their relationship with the bishops has been done, and a retreat now would make Obama look considerably weaker. Instead, they will have to fight the bishops and the heretofore sympathetic Catholic organizations in court all the way past the general election, while trying to convince the parishioners that Obama is, to quote an old joke, more Catholic than the Pope.

The bishops will get a significant boost this summer from an unlikely source — the entertainment industry.  A new film about the Cristero War in Mexico during the 1920s will open on June 1st, and as Charles Homans writes for The New Republic, it promises to focus Catholics on this threat to religious liberty in the US now:

THE CONNECTION may not be immediately obvious to non-churchgoers. But, for anyone familiar with the air of aggrieved persecution that has permeated the Church, as well as right-leaning Protestant institutions, since President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued its ruling on contraception, the allegorical value of a Western-style epic about rugged God- and gun-loving individualists doing battle with an overreaching federal government is hard to miss. “Freedom is not just for writers and for politicians and for fancy documents!” Gorostieta, played by Andy Garcia, shouts to his men in the scene that Rice showed the Becket Fund crowd. “Freedom is our home, our wives, our children, our faith! Freedom is our lives—and we will defend it or die trying!” Watching the scene at a recent press screening of the movie, I half-expected to see the Cristeros ride off to battle in sweater vests.

After speaking about the administration’s contraception ruling at a mass at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington in April, Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl urged parishioners to go see For Greater Glory. Los Angeles Archbishop José Gómez has praised the film’s “message of the importance of religious freedom [that] has particular resonance for us today.” Organizers of the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast invited the film’s producer to Washington in April and screened For Greater Glory for an audience of Catholic thought-leaders. “I don’t think the Catholic bishops are going to let the opportunity pass,” Ed Morrissey, senior editor at the popular conservative blog Hot Air and an early champion of the film, told me. “I think they’re looking at this as a great springboard for discussing the HHS mandate.”

The Obama administration has invited a near-perfect storm of opposition among Catholics after winning their vote handily in 2008.  Either they must have thought that they don’t need that edge to win in 2012 even though Catholics made up 29% of the vote in 2008, or that the bishops would cave.  Both look like very bad miscalculations, and For Greater Glory might just have the cavalry riding to inspire Catholics to oppose Obama in November.

Update: This poll is a month old, but it’s directly on point.  Pew’s April survey showed an eight-point drop in support for Obama among Catholics, from 53/44 in March (roughly the same advantage as in 2008) to 45/50 — a change in the gap of 14 points.  That may have had to do with Rick Santorum’s withdrawal from the race, which took place in the survey period, but may also be a reaction to the fight between Obama and the Catholic Church.  I’ll be watching for Pew’s results in May.

Update II: The biggest religious lawsuit in US history … and the television networks largely ignored it:

The evening news broadcasts all but spiked the largest legal action in history to defend our Constitutionally-protected religious freedom. The May 21 editions of ABC’s World News and NBC’s Nightly News refused to report the fact that 43 Catholic dioceses and organizations filed a lawsuit on Monday against the Obama administration. CBS Evening News gave this historic news a mere 19 seconds of air time.

This is the worst bias by omission I have seen in the quarter century history of the Media Research Center. Every American knows about the Chinese communists withholding for 20 years the news that the US had landed on the moon, because it reflected poorly on the government. Our US media today are no different. They are now withholding news from the American people if it is harmful to the re-election of Barack Obama.

That’s OK.  Catholics will find out very quickly through their parishes and dioceses.


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I won’t kiss Barry Hussein Soetoro’s ring. Nor can he kiss my arse.

I’ll obey God, not some tin horn thug with delusions of being a god.

wildcat72 on May 22, 2012 at 12:43 PM

this puts the Obama administration in the entirely untenable position of having to rescue the Catholic vote by claiming to be more Catholic than the Pope:

Barry is he Messiah, dontcha kno w…..

NoFanofLibs on May 22, 2012 at 12:45 PM

36% of California’s legal resident citizens are Hispanics, the majority of which are ardent practicing Catholics. Think about that while listening to Cardinal Donald Wuerl…

SWalker on May 22, 2012 at 12:48 PM

New reality show sponsored by the Obama administation:

Coloseum…lions…Catholics…rating gold!

patch on May 22, 2012 at 12:49 PM

It has always been the progressive goal to transfer Worship of God to worship of the state.

Good that the Church is seemingly finally figuring this out, and fighting back.

Rebar on May 22, 2012 at 12:51 PM

The evening news broadcasts all but spiked the largest legal action in history to defend our Constitutionally-protected religious freedom. The May 21 editions of ABC’s World News and NBC’s Nightly News refused to report the fact that 43 Catholic dioceses and organizations filed a lawsuit on Monday against the Obama administration. CBS Evening News gave this historic news a mere 19 seconds of air time.

This is why I look for my news on Hot Air.

parke on May 22, 2012 at 12:51 PM

No. It would require insurance providers to pay for contraception, not Mother Teresa.

red_herring on May 22, 2012 at 12:52 PM

She’d have had a ministerial exemption for many of the hospice workers since they were members of her religious order.

OptionsTrader on May 22, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Either they must have thought that they don’t need that edge to win in 2012 even though Catholics made up 29% of the vote in 2008, or that the bishops would cave. Both look like very bad miscalculations

Obama tossed Christians (Catholics in particular) under the bus because he thought that universal free contraception was supposed to bolster the so-called gender gap with Romney.

But bear in mind this isn’t just a Catholic thing it is a religious freedom thing. If Obama successfully puts contraception in the hands of sluts attending Georgetown Law, the next thing will be forcing religious employers to provide spousal benefits for same-sex couples or some other attack on religion. The way he has behaved over this issue shows that he has no respect for those of faith, which is understandable if you can sit in a racist church for 20 years and not have a problem with the hatred and bigotry.

Happy Nomad on May 22, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Pew’s April survey showed an eight-point drop in support for Obama among Catholics, from 53/44 in March (roughly the same advantage as in 2008) to 45/50 — a change in the gap of 14 points.

Support that should’ve never been there in the first place, but….alas. **shakes head**

ted c on May 22, 2012 at 12:53 PM

I’m not Catholic, or even Christian, but I support the Catholic Church’s fight here. Should that mighty piece of bureaucratic crap they call ObamaCare be implemented, as a 51 year old woman, I have an issue having to pay for those same things that the Church has an issue with. At my age, why in the h*** should I pay for somebody else’s abortions and birth control? I have no use for any of those things at this point, and when I did, I always paid for my own.

sage0925 on May 22, 2012 at 12:54 PM

No. It would require insurance providers to pay for contraception, not Mother Teresa.
red_herring on May 22, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Riiiiiight. And they are going to to provide it for free and let the magic contraception fairys foot the bill. I gotcha.

tommyboy on May 22, 2012 at 12:54 PM

No. It would require insurance providers to pay for contraception, not Mother Teresa.

red_herring on May 22, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Nice way of spreading the lies. Most religious institutions self-insure so it is still the church having to foot the bill.

Happy Nomad on May 22, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Obama is a lock for re-election. These catholic wingnutz had better get on the right side of history.

Mord on May 22, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Pew’s April survey showed an eight-point drop in support for Obama among Catholics, from 53/44 in March (roughly the same advantage as in 2008) to 45/50 — a change in the gap of 14 points.

‘Cause stopping forced coverage of contraception is way more important than not supporting militant pro-abortionists.

/

mankai on May 22, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Autoplay? Come on, have your IT squad join the 18th century already and quit the autoplay garbage.

Bishop on May 22, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Mother Theresa wants to help the needy, not the rich. She also hates all wars and works for world peace. So your exploitation of her to score partisan points is a bit lame.

lostmotherland on May 22, 2012 at 12:59 PM

They are now withholding news from the American people if it is harmful to the re-election of Barack Obama.

Sounds like there is going to be a lot of news not being reported by the MSM between now and election day.

What are they going to do next month if the SCOTUS strikes down Barry/Baraka/Barack’s “signature accomplishment” of Obamacare? Have a news blackout? Lead with a story on the weather?

Stay tuned (to your computer screen) for all the latest news that’s not fit to broadcast because it makes our genius constitutional law professor, first gay/female president (did you know he went to Harvard?) look like the incompetent fool that he is.

AZCoyote on May 22, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Barry is he Messiah, dontcha kno w…..

NoFanofLibs on May 22, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Well, the imitation Papal regalia will look nice in front of the fake Greek Columns. And he’s tall enough that he can pull off the triregnum far better than all those short Europeans do.

Happy Nomad on May 22, 2012 at 1:00 PM

It seems as if the Obama campaign strategy is to defaecate upon the constituencies that are their strongest supporters. Liberal Catholics were one of the two voting blocks that enabled Obama to win. The other is the African-American community.

First Gay marriage and now a frontal attack upon the Catholic Church?

Those of us who are trapped in and around Crook County, IL are wondering where the Archdioceses of Chicago stands and why Cardinal George is waiting to act…

Crapping on your staunchest supporters is good politics? Really?

CiLH1 on May 22, 2012 at 1:01 PM

The evening news broadcasts all but spiked the largest legal action in history to defend our Constitutionally-protected religious freedom. The May 21 editions of ABC’s World News and NBC’s Nightly News refused to report the fact that 43 Catholic dioceses and organizations filed a lawsuit on Monday against the Obama administration. CBS Evening News gave this historic news a mere 19 seconds of air time.

But every one of them breathlessly covered Sandra Fluke’s “testimony” at the fake Democratic “hearing” on the contraception mandate, and Rush Limbaugh’s response.

Journalism is dead.

rockmom on May 22, 2012 at 1:04 PM

So your exploitation of her to score partisan points is a bit lame.

lostmotherland on May 22, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Wait a second, I thought it was Obama exploiting his shiny new law’s provisions to force mother Teresa’s organization to provide abortion-inducing pills in order to pander to the “women vote” that was lame.

Sorry, I’m trying to keep up.

Mord on May 22, 2012 at 1:05 PM

But bear in mind this isn’t just a Catholic thing it is a religious freedom thing.

Happy Nomad on May 22, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Say it loud and say it proud! Everybody needs to take their views on the Catholic Church out of this mix. Don’t get distracted by what you believe about contraception or abortion, or what you think the Catholic Church believes. This is a direct attack on the First Amendment by the Obama administration. If they can strip your relgious freedom out of the First Amendment, can free speech be far behind?

Trafalgar on May 22, 2012 at 1:05 PM

That’s OK. Catholics will find out very quickly through their parishes and dioceses.

I thought it was illegal now to mention politics in churches.

logis on May 22, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Mother Theresa wants to help the needy, not the rich. She also hates all wars and works for world peace. So your exploitation of her to score partisan points is a bit lame.

lostmotherland on May 22, 2012 at 12:59 PM

You do realize she died in 1997, right? And if a Cardinal (a prince of the church) can’t point out that Barak Hussein Obama doesn’t consider operating an AIDS hospice as religious work then pray tell who can? You want a permission slip from God or something?

Happy Nomad on May 22, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Makes ya’ stop and think what a different world it is without a Mother Teresa in it, and what a really really different kind of world a Baraka Obama is trying to turn it into.

stukinIL4now on May 22, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Obama is a lock for re-election. These catholic wingnutz had better get on the right side of history.

Mord on May 22, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Bucko, the Catholic Church has lasted over 500 times longer than the Obama Administration is going to last, and its fought off enemies that bring swords, not frothy, infantile rhetoric. You’re talking about one of the only organizations that stood athwart history yelling “stop!”, and history caved.

I believe in miracles, but what you think will happen is impossible.

Obama picked the wrong enemy. He will pay the price for it. So help me – and all my Catholic brothers and sisters – God.

BKennedy on May 22, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Mother Theresa wants to help the needy, not the rich. She also hates all wars and works for world peace. So your exploitation of her to score partisan points is a bit lame.

lostmotherland on May 22, 2012 at 12:59 PM

And your understanding of her mission is ignorant AND lame. Her calling was to show even the most despised of humanity that Christ loves them and that love gives regardless of station. That was it. Her mission most assuredly wasn’t politics.

Portia46 on May 22, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Autoplay? Come on, have your IT squad join the 18th century already and quit the autoplay garbage.

Bishop on May 22, 2012 at 12:56 PM

For realsies.

Abby Adams on May 22, 2012 at 1:09 PM

First Gay marriage and now a frontal attack upon the Catholic Church? First Amendment.

CiLH1 on May 22, 2012 at 1:01 PM

This isn’t a Catholic thing it is about religious freedom.

Happy Nomad on May 22, 2012 at 1:10 PM

At the end of the day, this man and his entire administration have no conception of the Proper place of Government and Religion

Is this the most sheltered, Ivy League whackjob ever be elected to public office ?

the question has to be asked, imo: WHO are these people in the Schoools today !?!

These people are Teaching Kids and young adults…

Wow
just WoW

JMG

Gauthijm on May 22, 2012 at 1:11 PM

I thought it was illegal now to mention politics in churches.

logis on May 22, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Discussing the protection of fundamental human rights, like free speech and religion, is not politics. Priests can’t give endorsement speeches for candidates from the pulpit. They can however caution their congregations that fundamental rights, which after all come from God, are being challenged. My priests do an excellent job of it.

Trafalgar on May 22, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Autoplay? Come on, have your IT squad join the 18th century already and quit the autoplay garbage.

Bishop on May 22, 2012 at 12:56 PM

No kidding, I had to use AD Block to shut that thing down.

SWalker on May 22, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Go Catholics! They are carrying the water for us all on this.

J.E. Dyer on May 22, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Is this the most sheltered, Ivy League whackjob ever be elected to public office ?

Gauthijm on May 22, 2012 at 1:11 PM

No, he is a straight up Marxist, and the first of the Marxist ten commandments is, “Thou shall have no other God than the State”.

SWalker on May 22, 2012 at 1:14 PM

You have more faith in the Catholic community than I. Most are uncatechized, secular in heart and soft-headed enough to support the emotionally constructed lies of the Godless left.

Then there are those many Northeast liberal Catholics whose God must be subordinated to their real faith-democratic politics including contraception and abortion.

That the Catholic community (and all freedom-loving souls) are not united strongly on this (46% still like Obama) attests to the shameful failure of catechesis over the last decades, while social justice and the welfare state “Caesar?” held far too much influence on the American Church.

The result may be the loss of religious freedom. Certainly, to reduce the basic right given to us by our Creator (Nature’s God)to the whims of a “supreme Court” (a handful of political appointed lawyers yet) is shear folly.

Don L on May 22, 2012 at 1:14 PM

0bama’s IRS to look at revoking the Catholic Church’s tax exempt status in 5…4…3…

jukin3 on May 22, 2012 at 1:17 PM

They are now withholding news from the American people if it is harmful to the re-election of Barack Obama.

By November, we are going to have a full hour of Mr. Ed or Rachael Madcow just staring at the camera and saying nothing.

Happy Nomad on May 22, 2012 at 1:17 PM

“Your acquiescence or your tax status” retorts The One.

tomg51 on May 22, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Oh, and it appears I misread Mord’s post – it was supposed to be sarcistic.

It’s hard to tell these days considering the left is so far beyond parody as to be unable to distinguish between serious leftist posts and those of conservatives mocking them.

My position still stands that Obama is toast, and he picked the wrong fight. He might have gotten away with this if he were president at the height of the sexual abuse scandal,but the Church has been working around the clock for a decade to make sure that never happens again, and he’ll find that more than a fair few of God’s Shepherds carry a staff in their hands as well as a sheathed sword at their waist, and they realize the time to change weapons has arrived.

BKennedy on May 22, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Don L on May 22, 2012 at 1:14 PM

This is why it’s important not to put too much faith in polls which talk about a sort of “generic Catholic vote”. It’s very important to separate practicing Catholics from CINO’s (Catholic in name only). I think you’d find that practicing Catholics are overwhelmingly anti-Obama.

Trafalgar on May 22, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Mother Theresa wants to help the needy, not the rich. She also hates all wars and works for world peace. So your exploitation of her to score partisan points is a bit lame.

lostmotherland on May 22, 2012 at 12:59 PM

…(pssssssst!)…(she’s not living anymore)…if JugEars know his grandpa on his mother’s side he would have looked like the present Pope…and if he could…deep down, government control freak Barrackjesus, would oversee Mother Theresa pass out the condoms himself!

KOOLAID2 on May 22, 2012 at 1:19 PM

I thought it was illegal now to mention politics in churches.
logis on May 22, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Nope. Never has been. Of course the left likes to act that way.

tommyboy on May 22, 2012 at 1:23 PM

…(pssssssst!)…(she’s not living anymore)…if JugEars know his grandpa on his mother’s side he would have looked like the present Pope…and if he could…deep down, government control freak Barrackjesus, would oversee Mother Theresa pass out the condoms himself!

KOOLAID2 on May 22, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Dave Thomas is gone too, but Wendy’s still exists. It’s kind of like that.

RBMN on May 22, 2012 at 1:25 PM

It’s hard to tell these days considering the left is so far beyond parody as to be unable to distinguish between serious leftist posts and those of conservatives mocking them.

BKennedy on May 22, 2012 at 1:18 PM

I know, and it’s kind of fun. I hope I don’t do it too often, sorry. :) I try to keep it to these kinds of threads so they are even more obvious, since few people actually try and defend Obama’s position on this issue. They all end up looking like Ben LaBolt when they try.

Mord on May 22, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Trafalgar on May 22, 2012 at 1:19 PM

I guess you didn’t look too closely at the 2008 election data.

And the Bishops attacking the Ryan budget was not a poll but you can be sure that they are not too far away from their flocks.

I really want to see the Catholic response to the guy who had 30 kids from 11 mothers and wants a child support break.

I think even Obama or Jesus would vote for the removal of that guy’s Rocky Mountain Oysters.

IlikedAUH2O on May 22, 2012 at 1:28 PM

In one sense I support Obama on this, but if the mandate makes Obama lose the election I say great. I don’t think the government should require any private economic mandates. I just don’t like exempting only religious organizations.

thuja on May 22, 2012 at 1:28 PM

The media cannot ignore this issue forever.

RedSoxNation on May 22, 2012 at 1:29 PM

“This is the worst bias by omission I have seen in the quarter century history of the Media Research Center.”

I don’t think it is going to be the last…

“Election? What election?”

Seven Percent Solution on May 22, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Obama will try to argue that the case is not “ripe” because the rules are not in force, and haven’t even been finalized yet. If the Catholic organizations have to go through a liberal judge the whole thing could be thrown out, giving a big gift to the Obama re-election strategy.

Socratease on May 22, 2012 at 1:31 PM

I guess you didn’t look too closely at the 2008 election data.

IlikedAUH2O on May 22, 2012 at 1:28 PM

I guess you didn’t look too closely at the 2010 election data where Catholics voted 54% – 44% for Republicans.

Trafalgar on May 22, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Barry has been off more than he can chew this time.

GarandFan on May 22, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Pew’s April survey showed an eight-point drop in support for Obama among Catholics, from 53/44 in March (roughly the same advantage as in 2008) to 45/50

I didn’t realize that currently 45% of Catholic Church members were mentally challenged.

MessesWithTexas on May 22, 2012 at 1:38 PM

I really want to see the Catholic response to the guy who had 30 kids from 11 mothers and wants a child support break.

I think even Obama or Jesus would vote for the removal of that guy’s Rocky Mountain Oysters.

IlikedAUH2O on May 22, 2012 at 1:28 PM

The Catholic response will be that conceiving children is sacred act to be performed within the sanctity of marriage, and would condemn the irresponsible actions of this person as a sin. And of course Jesus wouldn’t be in favor of castration, He’d want the man to change his ways, take responsibility for his actions, and live a Christian life. He was all about redemption, no punishment, you see.

Trafalgar on May 22, 2012 at 1:39 PM

But bear in mind this isn’t just a Catholic thing it is a religious freedom thing. If Obama successfully puts contraception in the hands of sluts attending Georgetown Law, the next thing will be forcing religious employers to provide spousal benefits for same-sex couples or some other attack on religion

OR, and this is where the ACLU and Agnostics/Atheists might take note…President PALIN could force you to take actions against gays, lesbians, or the unmarried in your employ. This “mandate” means the government can violate ANYONE’S “right of conscience” this time it’s a Progressive, but one day it might be a “Christianist-Theocrat”, the sort that “Excitable Andy” worries so much about.

JFKY on May 22, 2012 at 1:41 PM

I thought it was illegal now to mention politics in churches.

logis on May 22, 2012 at 1:06 PM

…because free speech is only for Rev. Wright, Rev. Jackson, Rev. Sharpton and the rest of the left.

SailorMark on May 22, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Obama is a lock for re-election. These catholic wingnutz had better get on the right side of history.

Mord on May 22, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Are you implying that the administration would use the powers of the state to retaliate against dissenting organizations? (in the event that the present administration is re-elected)

“Hey, nice church ya got yourself there. Shame if anything should…uh…happen to it.”

SubmarineDoc on May 22, 2012 at 1:45 PM

The media cannot ignore this issue forever.

RedSoxNation on May 22, 2012 at 1:29 PM

An honest media couldn’t, we don’t have an honest media, we are saddled with a Fifth Column Treasonous Media.

SWalker on May 22, 2012 at 1:48 PM

You have more faith in the Catholic community than I. Most are uncatechized, secular in heart and soft-headed enough to support the emotionally constructed lies of the Godless left.

Then there are those many Northeast liberal Catholics whose God must be subordinated to their real faith-democratic politics including contraception and abortion.

That the Catholic community (and all freedom-loving souls) are not united strongly on this (46% still like Obama) attests to the shameful failure of catechesis over the last decades, while social justice and the welfare state “Caesar?” held far too much influence on the American Church.

The result may be the loss of religious freedom. Certainly, to reduce the basic right given to us by our Creator (Nature’s God)to the whims of a “supreme Court” (a handful of political appointed lawyers yet) is shear folly.

Don L on May 22, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Yes, many Catholics don’t know their faith, don’t practice their faith, and are easily led astray because of this. And yet, that doesn’t diminish God, his message, his law, or his love one whit. Amazing, huh?

SailorMark on May 22, 2012 at 1:48 PM

OR, and this is where the ACLU and Agnostics/Atheists might take note…

JFKY on May 22, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Yeah because they’re noted for being so tolerant of religious organizations.

Happy Nomad on May 22, 2012 at 1:54 PM

The Catholic Church is now reaping what they sowed (Paul Rahe’s Column in Ricochet). Let’s hope and pray they win. We should even consider contributing to the lawsuit costs if the Catholic Church would make information available on how and where to contribute.

A. C. on May 22, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Yeah because they’re noted for being so tolerant of religious organizations.

I note your point, BUT you don’t have to like religion to see the threat…. “You don’t need a weatherman To know which way the wind blows.” “Gentlemen, I tell you we must all hang together; or we shall assuredly hang separately.” “When they came for the Communists, I was not a Communist….”

JFKY on May 22, 2012 at 2:00 PM

There are six catholics sitting on the bench of the Supreme Court.

Although, if Obamacare is thrown out, won’t this case be thrown out as moot? If the law the bishops are suing is already overturned by the time they reach the Supreme Court, won’t that mean that there will be no grounds for a decision?

vegconservative on May 22, 2012 at 2:01 PM

You know, I’m a Catholic myself, and I’m sympathetic to these Catholic institutions. But this suit entirely misses the point. To even make this “religious exception” argument accepts the premise that the government has the authority to issue this mandate to anyone in the first place. By going down that road, we’ve already handed them a major victory.

Shump on May 22, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Mother Theresa wants to help the needy, not the rich. She also hates all wars and works for world peace. So your exploitation of her to score partisan points is a bit lame.

lostmotherland on May 22, 2012 at 12:59 PM

“I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ. I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people.” -Mother Theresa

Mother Theresa’s goal chiefly was to spread Catholicism, not help the needy. Medical care in her Homes for the Dying was poor at best and cruel at worst, withholding painkillers in the belief that to suffer was to be closer to Jesus, while at the same time Mother Theresa sought medical care at the most renowned medical centers in the world. She accepted and refused to return donations from Charles Keating and Jean-Claude Duvalier, despite the fact that the money was stolen from the poor, in many cases some of the poorest people on Earth. If you want to canonize Mother Theresa for trying to convert people to Catholicism, then by all means do it. But to pretend that her primary goal was to help the sick and dying and needy is just not supported by the evidence.

sobincorporated on May 22, 2012 at 2:15 PM

You know, I’m a Catholic myself, and I’m sympathetic to these Catholic institutions. But this suit entirely misses the point. To even make this “religious exception” argument accepts the premise that the government has the authority to issue this mandate to anyone in the first place. By going down that road, we’ve already handed them a major victory.

Shump on May 22, 2012 at 2:04 PM

I hear what you’re saying, but it’s not the Church’s place to argue Obamacare on the Commerce Clause basis. That’s already been done and is before the Supreme Court. The Church finds standing in these law suits precisely because it is a religious organization and is seeking to protect its religious freedom under the First Amendment to the Constitution. The Church is looking out for its interests and the interests of all religious institutions in the suits, which is precisely what it should be doing.

Trafalgar on May 22, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Maybe Churches should realize that if they are business’s they have to obey the same laws as everyone else. specially if they are getting sweet tax breaks for pretending to be moral.

Zekecorlain on May 22, 2012 at 2:19 PM

I thought it was illegal now to mention politics in churches.
logis on May 22, 2012 at 1:06 PM

You must have slept through the event in 2000 when (black) Bishop T. D. Jakes turned his pulpit over to AlGore one Sunday morning and allowed the Marxist Gasbag to preach to the assembled congregation. Of course, if you rely on the LSM for information you would have seen NOTHING about it.

oldleprechaun on May 22, 2012 at 2:19 PM

sobincorporated on May 22, 2012 at 2:15 PM

If you’d be so kind as to point out the Atheist, Dawkins, Hitchens Clinic(s) set up right next to Mother Teresa’s you’d get more points…meaning that an aspirin from Mother Tersa is infinitely better than NOTHING from her supposed moral superiors. And the rest of the Keating/Duvalier rant, D@mned either way, I just can imagine what you’d have said had she accepted the cash…stealing from the poor, to assuage their guilty consciences, and buy a little good PR and Mother Teresa was all too ready to help, springs immediately to mind.

JFKY on May 22, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Please God, can this moron and his entire administration of idiots be given their walking papers this November.

Amen

Wood Dragon on May 22, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Obama had no right to mandate any healthcare to anyone. If a non-Catholic, but devout Christian employer/owner does not wish to provide morning after pils or free abortions to his employees on moral grounds, no government in the U.S. should be able to force him to do so. I support the Catholic stand, but it is way too narrow. If they can take your religious freedom, what other God-given freedoms can they try to take. Even libs should be outraged, but unfortunately most believe the propaganda.

Christian Conservative on May 22, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Maybe Churches should realize that if they are business’s they have to obey the same laws as everyone else. specially if they are getting sweet tax breaks for pretending to be moral

And again, when President Palin or Santorum tells your business that it may NOT provide insurance coverage for HIV or domestic partners, you’ll be OK, with that? “Pretend to be moral” that’s good, would you care to stack your NGO/Charities up against either the Catholic Churches or any Christian church’s? For good done versus child molestation/rape/fraud…i.e., good done versus evil done?

JFKY on May 22, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Hopefully this lawsuit will play itself out to the inevitable conclusion of Obama’s defeat. And hopefully Catholics will realize along the way that socialism can be a very destructive force that inevitably betrays its supporters, and begin to break from the Democratic party.

I am of the opinion that while you can be nominally ‘liberal’ as a Christian. You can’t, at least in today’s political climate, be a Christian as well as a Democrat. They are incompatible worldviews.

Blacksoda on May 22, 2012 at 2:26 PM

BKennedy on May 22, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Amen to that!

Our diocese is joining in the effort by the by U.S. bishops, which includes a call for “Fortnight for Freedom” from June 21 to July 4 and designates the feast of Christ the King — Nov. 25 this year — as a day for bishops and priests to preach about religious liberty, both here and abroad.

Catholics nationwide preparing ‘Fortnight for Freedom’ events

PatriotGal2257 on May 22, 2012 at 2:27 PM

What a surprise. The pathetic, lying cokehead in chief has delusions of grandeur and a destructive anti-freedom agenda.

StubbleSpark on May 22, 2012 at 2:28 PM

So, basically, this lawsuit is getting the same news media “treatment” that the State lawsuits against Obamacare received.

Maybe they will be equally as surprised when the matter gets to the USSC.

Blaise on May 22, 2012 at 2:34 PM

A more effective means of proceeding would be to announce the phased closure of all Catholic hospitals, charities and schools affected by the mandate. The cardinal seems to imply that the church will comply if forced to do so. Since aiding and abetting murder (abortion) is a hell condemning offence according to RCC teaching would that mean the his eminence will willingly go to hell to provide abortifacients if ‘forced’ to so provide?

Annar on May 22, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Update II: The biggest religious lawsuit in US history … and the television networks largely ignored it:

WaPo put it on Page A-6 while Bain is one the front page, NYT has it on Page A-17 while Dharun Ravi is on the front page.

JOURNALISM!!!

Pablo on May 22, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Obama had no right to mandate any healthcare to anyone. If a non-Catholic, but devout Christian employer/owner does not wish to provide morning after pils or free abortions to his employees on moral grounds, no government in the U.S. should be able to force him to do so. I support the Catholic stand, but it is way too narrow. If they can take your religious freedom, what other God-given freedoms can they try to take. Even libs should be outraged, but unfortunately most believe the propaganda.

Christian Conservative on May 22, 2012 at 2:23 PM

^^^THIS.

PatriotGal2257 on May 22, 2012 at 2:40 PM

I am not surprised that the LSM is trying to ignore this…

Can’t happen anymore… Uncle Walter isn’t hiding… e-r-r, REPORTING the news they want you to hear anymore…

Khun Joe on May 22, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Please, tell me again how Obama is a smart politician. He does this all the time. An issue that he could avoid at the stroke of a pen and he lets it go nuclear. He’s attacking one part of his base, Catholics, to kiss up to another part of his base, women, and he doesn’t seem to be doing well in either case. The election in November is going to be epic.

JavelinaBomb on May 22, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Please, tell me again how Obama is a smart politician. He does this all the time. An issue that he could avoid at the stroke of a pen and he lets it go nuclear. He’s attacking one part of his base, Catholics, to kiss up to another part of his base, women, and he doesn’t seem to be doing well in either case. The election in November is going to be epic.

JavelinaBomb on May 22, 2012 at 3:33 PM

We know little Bammie is not in the least bit intelligent, but he has a rep for putting together a strong campaign team. That’s based on two facts; one, -that he beat the McCain team. Enough said there. Two, that he beat the ‘unbeatable’ Clinton machine.

Perhaps the ‘Clinton machine’ was just a liberal media-created myth?

slickwillie2001 on May 22, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Maybe Churches should realize that if they are business’s they have to obey the same laws as everyone else. specially if they are getting sweet tax breaks for pretending to be moral.

Zekecorlain on May 22, 2012 at 2:19 PM

“Business’s” what? And then there’s this small detail of waivers….

Deanna on May 22, 2012 at 4:16 PM

I thought it was illegal now to mention politics in churches.
logis on May 22, 2012 at 1:06 PM

ROFL! You can’t be serious or are you Rip Van Winkle? Even John Kerry spoke/campaigned in churches and they weren’t Catholic.

Deanna on May 22, 2012 at 4:18 PM

I gladly join my Catholic friends in causes such as defending the most vulnerable members of our society, including unborn babies, the elderly, and people with disabilities.

I am also on their side in the defense of religious liberty. We must work together to defeat Obama and preserve our God-given freedoms. However –

The insurmountable difference between Roman Catholics and Bible-based Christians is the question of authority. I’m among those who reject the RC claim of authority to dispense God’s grace through RC sacraments (His grace is freely given directly to individuals, Romans 5:1), and to have the final say about the faith and practice of Christianity. Either it is a fact that (as the Bible says) God saves us freely by His grace through our faith in Jesus, or it isn’t. All disputes over Mary, Purgatory, and so on arise from that question of authority.

The Bible, not the Magisterium, is the God-given guide for faith and practice. The Holy Spirit alone is our teacher (John 14:16-18, 26). Whenever we hear a priest or pastor speak, we must check what is said against the Word of God (Acts 17:11).

Here is the question for each of us: When the Bible and the teaching of your church or denomination disagree, which do you believe?

The role of Mary is a prime example of this problem. The final time we read in the Bible about “Mary, the mother of Jesus,” she is merely a member of a group of believers who gather for prayer (Acts 1:14). This occurred after Jesus’ death and resurrection. There is no mention of her role as co-redemptrix, co-mediator, queen of Heaven, intercessor for sinners, or anything else. If she were any of those things, the writers of the New Testament surely would have known about it. But Catholics believe those things are true because the Catholic Church says they are true.

In 2 Timothy 3:15-17, the Scriptures are said to be sufficient for Timothy. If they were sufficient for him, they are for us as well. (While Timothy did not have New Testament writings at that time, this passage is emphasizing the divine origin and nature of Scripture, not the extent of its writings.)

Because the origin of Scripture is God Himself, the authority of Scripture is God’s authority.

When any church’s teachings conflict with the Bible’s — whether that church is RC, Presbyterian, or whatever — it is the Bible that should have the last word.

KyMouse on May 22, 2012 at 4:38 PM

All this warping of Catholicism by the government may be news to the lofty bishops but down here on the ground, where you have contact with so-called practicing Catholics in their everyday life, it’s not surprising that the Democrats would feel safe in even this kind of overreach. I know a woman who disagrees with the Monsignor of her Diocese because of his stance on abortion (!) She thinks she’s a better Catholic than he is. I heard her say that. I know a guy goes to church every Sunday but has been taught to so hate fat-cats that the violation of the tenets of his faith on the sanctity of life is not even on his radar. Plus he watches Good Morning America every day. He’s lost, A dyed-in-the-wool hereditary machine Democrat but don’t tell him he’s not a good Catholic. Unless he’s threatened with excommunication, he won’t give it a second thought. The Church elders, for their part, are desperate for parishioners so have been walking on egg shells for a coupla-three decades. Suddenly they find religion when it looks like the government is close to being an actual threat to their livelihood. Sorry. For this former Catholic until they start to tell their flock what is what, no sympathy. Too bad for the Catholic hospitals. They do the good work but we’ll all be going to the Post Office for our health care in a couple years anyway.

curved space on May 22, 2012 at 5:05 PM

from here:
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2003/10/mommie_dearest.html

The pope beatifies Mother Teresa, a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud.

By Christopher Hitchens|Posted Monday, Oct.

I think it was Macaulay who said that the Roman Catholic Church deserved great credit for, and owed its longevity to, its ability to handle and contain fanaticism. This rather oblique compliment belongs to a more serious age. What is so striking about the “beatification” of the woman who styled herself “Mother” Teresa is the abject surrender, on the part of the church, to the forces of showbiz, superstition, and populism.

It’s the sheer tawdriness that strikes the eye first of all. It used to be that a person could not even be nominated for “beatification,” the first step to “sainthood,” until five years after his or her death. This was to guard against local or popular enthusiasm in the promotion of dubious characters. The pope nominated MT a year after her death in 1997. It also used to be that an apparatus of inquiry was set in train, including the scrutiny of an advocatus diaboli or “devil’s advocate,” to test any extraordinary claims. The pope has abolished this office and has created more instant saints than all his predecessors combined as far back as the 16th century.

As for the “miracle” that had to be attested, what can one say? Surely any respectable Catholic cringes with shame at the obviousness of the fakery. A Bengali woman named Monica Besra claims that a beam of light emerged from a picture of MT, which she happened to have in her home, and relieved her of a cancerous tumor. Her physician, Dr. Ranjan Mustafi, says that she didn’t have a cancerous tumor in the first place and that the tubercular cyst she did have was cured by a course of prescription medicine. Was he interviewed by the Vatican’s investigators? No. (As it happens, I myself was interviewed by them but only in the most perfunctory way. The procedure still does demand a show of consultation with doubters, and a show of consultation was what, in this case, it got.)

According to an uncontradicted report in the Italian paper L’Eco di Bergamo, the Vatican’s secretary of state sent a letter to senior cardinals in June, asking on behalf of the pope whether they favored making MT a saint right away. The pope’s clear intention has been to speed the process up in order to perform the ceremony in his own lifetime. The response was in the negative, according to Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, the Canadian priest who has acted as postulator or advocate for the “canonization.” But the damage, to such integrity as the process possesses, has already been done.

During the deliberations over the Second Vatican Council, under the stewardship of Pope John XXIII, MT was to the fore in opposing all suggestions of reform. What was needed, she maintained, was more work and more faith, not doctrinal revision. Her position was ultra-reactionary and fundamentalist even in orthodox Catholic terms. Believers are indeed enjoined to abhor and eschew abortion, but they are not required to affirm that abortion is “the greatest destroyer of peace,” as MT fantastically asserted to a dumbfounded audience when receiving the Nobel Peace Prize *. Believers are likewise enjoined to abhor and eschew divorce, but they are not required to insist that a ban on divorce and remarriage be a part of the state constitution, as MT demanded in a referendum in Ireland (which her side narrowly lost) in 1996. Later in that same year, she told Ladies Home Journal that she was pleased by the divorce of her friend Princess Diana, because the marriage had so obviously been an unhappy one …

This returns us to the medieval corruption of the church, which sold indulgences to the rich while preaching hellfire and continence to the poor. MT was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction. And she was a friend to the worst of the rich, taking misappropriated money from the atrocious Duvalier family in Haiti (whose rule she praised in return) and from Charles Keating of the Lincoln Savings and Loan. Where did that money, and all the other donations, go? The primitive hospice in Calcutta was as run down when she died as it always had been—she preferred California clinics when she got sick herself—and her order always refused to publish any audit. But we have her own claim that she opened 500 convents in more than a hundred countries, all bearing the name of her own order. Excuse me, but this is modesty and humility?

The rich world has a poor conscience, and many people liked to alleviate their own unease by sending money to a woman who seemed like an activist for “the poorest of the poor.” People do not like to admit that they have been gulled or conned, so a vested interest in the myth was permitted to arise, and a lazy media never bothered to ask any follow-up questions. Many volunteers who went to Calcutta came back abruptly disillusioned by the stern ideology and poverty-loving practice of the “Missionaries of Charity,” but they had no audience for their story. George Orwell’s admonition in his essay on Gandhi—that saints should always be presumed guilty until proved innocent—was drowned in a Niagara of soft-hearted, soft-headed, and uninquiring propaganda.

One of the curses of India, as of other poor countries, is the quack medicine man, who fleeces the sufferer by promises of miraculous healing. Sunday was a great day for these parasites, who saw their crummy methods endorsed by his holiness and given a more or less free ride in the international press. Forgotten were the elementary rules of logic, that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and that what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence. More than that, we witnessed the elevation and consecration of extreme dogmatism, blinkered faith, and the cult of a mediocre human personality. Many more people are poor and sick because of the life of MT: Even more will be poor and sick if her example is followed. She was a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud, and a church that officially protects those who violate the innocent has given us another clear sign of where it truly stands on moral and ethical questions.

Correction, Oct. 21, 2003: This piece originally claimed that in her Nobel Peace Prize lecture, Mother Teresa called abortion and contraception the greatest threats to world peace. In that speech Mother Teresa did call abortion “the greatest destroyer of peace.” But she did not much discuss contraception, except to praise “natural” family planning.(Return to corrected sentence.)

Hitchens, i miss you already! :(

nathor on May 22, 2012 at 5:22 PM

The evening news broadcasts all but spiked the largest legal action in history to defend our Constitutionally-protected religious freedom. The May 21 editions of ABC’s World News and NBC’s Nightly News refused to report the fact that 43 Catholic dioceses and organizations filed a lawsuit on Monday against the Obama administration. CBS Evening News gave this historic news a mere 19 seconds of air time.
This is the worst bias by omission I have seen in the quarter century history of the Media Research Center. Every American knows about the Chinese communists withholding for 20 years the news that the US had landed on the moon, because it reflected poorly on the government. Our US media today are no different. They are now withholding news from the American people if it is harmful to the re-election of Barack Obama.

The media is the enemy.

As demonstrated, the current US media is more corrupt and dishonest than that of a totalitarian communist regime. Sad.

talkingpoints on May 22, 2012 at 8:04 PM

No. It would require insurance providers to pay for contraception, not Mother Teresa.

red_herring on May 22, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Wrong. Mother Teresa would have to contract with insurance providers who have been required to provide contraception.

You need to read a bit of St. Augustine to understand where that would put Mother Teresa, and what she would certainly do in return.

I guess you missed the business with Franciscan University, which just dropped healthcare for its students and is in the process of dropping it for its staff.

unclesmrgol on May 22, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Hitchens, i miss you already! :(

nathor on May 22, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Never met a parade he wouldn’t shit on….

unclesmrgol on May 22, 2012 at 10:12 PM