WH: We’re confident we know more about religious fidelity than a bunch of nuns, or something

posted at 1:01 pm on January 2, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

It didn’t take long for the Obama administration to respond publicly to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s temporary injunction against HHS for enforcement of the contraceptive-coverage mandate. Expressing confidence in their position, the White House insisted that their “compromise” for religious organizations satisfied any risk to conscience objections:

“We defer to the Department of Justice on litigation matters, but remain confident that our final rules strike the balance of providing women with free contraceptive coverage while preventing non-profit religious employers with religious objections to contraceptive coverage from having to contract, arrange, pay, or refer for such coverage,” a White House official said. …

“There is no statutory authority to regulate the third-party administrator of a self-insured church plan and no legal compulsion for that administrator to provide contraceptive coverage where an eligible organization with a self-insured church plan invokes the accommodation, ” the government lawyers argued in an earlier Circuit Court brief.

But there’s the rub. The act of self-certifying essentially facilitates the extension of insurance coverage of contraception to the employees of religious organizations, which means that they end up being the conveyance vehicle of the benefits whether they directly pay for it or not.  In real terms, the organizations will end up carrying the costs of their group risk pool, because premiums will cover the provider costs imposed on the insurers. That’s true whether insurers impose a surcharge for that coverage or not, and that’s also true for insurers in all other contexts, too.  The White House argues that the “preventive” nature of contraception will save insurers in the long run from the costs of the illness of pregnancy, but that’s based on specious long-term calculations that have no impact on year-to-year cost balancing necessary in risk pools anyway.

All this “compromise” does is to offer a transparent sleight-of-hand to give religious organizations some political cover to claim that they are acting within their religious beliefs when they clearly are not.  It should surprise no one that these religious organizations aren’t interested in lying to themselves or other Christians about the nature of this arrangement, even if the White House suffers from the belief that no one takes their prohibitions seriously.

The White House will need to argue in court that they know better how to be faithful to the tenets of Christianity than a bunch of nuns. And, for that matter, a bunch of priests, too:

In a huge victory for Priests for Life, a pro-life organization, a federal appeals court has issued a ruling saying it doesn’t have to pay massive fines to the federal government for not obeying the HHS mandate, which forces religious groups and companies to pay for birth control or abortion-causing drugs for their employees.

An emergency injunction granted late this afternoon in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit means that Priests for Life will not have to obey the contraception mandate contained in the Affordable Care Act as its appeal is being heard. It also means that, tomorrow, Priests for Life will not have to cancel health insurance for its employees.

This absurd mandate will probably founder on the fact that the federal government has imposed an unreasonable restriction on religious expression in service to an end that could easily have been achieved through less-restrictive means — for example, free contraception from the government through expansion of Title IX benefits. This will hopefully be one of the more absurd sideshows in the eventual Supreme Court action this year.


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Lookie here, and it’s only Jan. 2, 2014.

Schadenfreude on January 2, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Not only is Dear Liar a better campaign director than his campaign director, he knows more about religion than the Pope.

rbj on January 2, 2014 at 1:06 PM

“The difference this time is you’ve got me.” -obozo

Flange on January 2, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Of course the Messiah knows more about religious fidelity than the religious. He is omnipotent, you know.

blammm on January 2, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Hosanna v. Tabor begs to differ, uberdouches.

22044 on January 2, 2014 at 1:11 PM

In a huge victory for Priests for Life, a pro-life organization, a federal appeals court has issued a ruling saying it doesn’t have to pay massive fines to the federal government for not obeying the HHS mandate

Anarchists!

forest on January 2, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Here we go again.

celtic warrior on January 2, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Talk about arrogance

cmsinaz on January 2, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Yet, Obama and Sebelius have absolutely no problem with exempting Muslims from ObamaCare.

bw222 on January 2, 2014 at 1:22 PM

To their credit, I think they know more about %$*#ing people than any other administration.

rogerb on January 2, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Welcome to progressive paradise.
There is nothing outside the state. Your chuch, your business, your institutions, your family will serve to be vehicles of implementing the administrative states ends.

gwelf on January 2, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Any reason why CNN links are verboten at HA?

OT – bye, bye

Schadenfreude on January 2, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Worship for the Progressive is gaining power over the individual.

Nothing appeases the Gods of their religion more than forcing someone/something/some group into bowing to your will.

There is no God above the enlightened belief of our Ruling class. Like all other governments and so called “leaders” in the history of governing…..they think THEY no best.

From Alfred the Great, to Genghis Khan, to Alexander the Great, to Marx, Pol Pot, and all the others….no government has EVER existed that doesn’t grow and ultimately fail the individual.

Sadly for us….this one in our country is no different, though we have the veneer of safeguards the Founders installed in their attempt.

PappyD61 on January 2, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Seriously, it’s like our government is being run by a bunch of High School sophomores.

JetBlast on January 2, 2014 at 1:27 PM

why are muzzies and the amish exempt?

DanMan on January 2, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Worship for the Progressive is gaining power over the individual.

THIS is why they can see no valid argument for doing what they do. If you oppose them, you are just “not quite there” and you just need to be “nudged” or moved along by “progress”.

If we could only get Limited government Conservatives to just embrace the simple 5 words that sum up our philosophy.

“When government expands, liberty contracts.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eqYdr2iEhM

PappyD61 on January 2, 2014 at 1:29 PM

WH: We’re confident we know more about religious fidelity than a bunch of nuns, or something

That sounds sarcastic.

But we already know Obama is a better speechwriter than his speechwriters, and a better publicist than his publicists. So why should it be surprising that he understands these issues better than a bunch of dumb nuns, or pedophile priests?

Don’t forget, this is the guy who personally oversaw the operation to get bin Laden, piloted the helicopter, rappelled down the rope, and captured Osama.

You never doubt a man with such talent.

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 2, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Doesn’t Obama write better code the the glitchnado.gov programmers?

Then again, that’s a low bar to clear.

22044 on January 2, 2014 at 1:31 PM

why are muzzies and the amish exempt?

DanMan on January 2, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Because they can. So can you, and any still free US citizen.

I will not comply because I am a free citizen of the United States, not a subject of its government. I consider non-compliance with this monstrosity and the tens of thousands of pages of regulations that are to be enforced by an unelected bureaucracy, and that have left a gigantic carbon footprint on our environment and the United States Constitution, a duty.

Non-compliance is my executive order, and that order reads in part that I do not recognize any government’s claim on my action or inaction in the marketplace, nor upon any personal information I am unwilling to divulge.

Schadenfreude on January 2, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Seriously, it’s like our government is being run by a bunch of High School sophomores.

JetBlast on January 2, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Why do you insult the sophomores?

Schadenfreude on January 2, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Not only is Dear Liar a better campaign director than his campaign director, he knows more about religion than the Pope God.

rbj on January 2, 2014 at 1:06 PM

Barry sets the bar high.

turfmann on January 2, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Wow, no wonder Putin claims moral authority. Yes, he can.

Goebbels rejoices, again. obama makes him very happy, daily, repeatedly.

Schadenfreude on January 2, 2014 at 1:36 PM

“We defer to the Department of Justice on litigation matters, but remain confident that our final rules strike the balance

The only thing the contraception-mandate–and the absurd “accomodation”–strikes is a stake up the a** of anyone looking to the Obama administration to defend the Constitution, whether the principle is religious liberty, freedom of association, right to bear arms, and more.

BuckeyeSam on January 2, 2014 at 1:37 PM

In the beginning, Obama created the heavens and the earth.

portlandon on January 2, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Only 11 months later, a term that began with heady pledges and apparent momentum is in wreckage. Confidence in Obama has sunk like a cinder block hurled into the East River.

The embarrassing showing centers on his bungled implementation of Obamacare, raising doubts about its very viability, and extends to disastrous international zigs and zags that have sapped U.S. credibility among allies and foes. Call it the very worst year of this presidency.

Schadenfreude, pure!

Schadenfreude on January 2, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Seriously, it’s like our government is being run by a bunch of High School sophomores

More like Head Start dropouts

txdoc on January 2, 2014 at 1:40 PM

In the beginning, Obama created the heavens and the earth.

portlandon on January 2, 2014 at 1:38 PM

This says it all.

celtic warrior on January 2, 2014 at 1:41 PM

Not only is Dear Liar a better campaign director than his campaign director, he knows more about religion than the Pope God.Allah

txdoc on January 2, 2014 at 1:41 PM

WH: We’re confident we know more about religious fidelity than a bunch of nuns, or something

Or put another way:

“We’re F*king Idiots, and Proud of it!

ToddPA on January 2, 2014 at 1:44 PM

In the beginning, Obama created the heavens and the earth.

portlandon on January 2, 2014 at 1:38 PM

This says it all.

celtic warrior on January 2, 2014 at 1:41 PM

Yep, this one wins the intertubes today!

22044 on January 2, 2014 at 1:44 PM

“The difference this time is you’ve got me.” -obozo

Flange on January 2, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Exactly.

KMC1 on January 2, 2014 at 1:44 PM

FYI: from NRO–

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/367415/88-percent-religious-freedom-kathryn-jean-lopez

Alliance Defending Freedom – which is representing clients suing the Obama administration, including Conestoga Wood Specialties, run by a Pennsylvania Mennonite family, whose case will be reviewed along with Hobby Lobby’s religious-liberty claim during the spring term — points out today that the Obama administration has suffered a bit of a losing streak in the courts on its abortion-drug, contraception, sterilization Obamacare Department of Health and Human Services mandate. By ADF’s tally, 88 percent of the court decisions on the mandate in 2013 went against the administration: 53–7.

Courts issued a flurry of orders against the mandate even in the waning days of the year, including orders in Alliance Defending Freedom cases filed on behalf of non-profit Christian colleges and universities in California, Indiana, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. The score in favor of non-profit religious entities is 18-1; the score in favor of families doing business is 35-6.

I didn’t realize that the families doing business were doing so well thus far.

BuckeyeSam on January 2, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Seriously, it’s like our government is being run by a bunch of High School sophomores.

JetBlast on January 2, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Please, isn’t Obamacare bad enough without tarnishing sophomore students? They have more sense. They didn’t vote for Obama.

timberline on January 2, 2014 at 1:46 PM

And lo, the website was formless, and void.

Galtian on January 2, 2014 at 1:49 PM

We’re confident we know more about religious fidelity than a bunch of nuns, or something

It’s important to remember what Sebelius claimed after pushing through the contraception mandate. Supposedly Catholics were coming up to her thanking her for making the Catholic church “do the right thing” for women. In other words, the rat-eared wonder does indeed think he’s better than a bunch of nuns, a gaggle of priests, or an populist/socialist in Rome.

Happy Nomad on January 2, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Please, isn’t Obamacare bad enough without tarnishing sophomore students? They have more sense. They didn’t vote for Obama.

timberline on January 2, 2014 at 1:46 PM

And they can build a decent website.

Happy Nomad on January 2, 2014 at 1:53 PM

Schadenfreude you mean ciao
:)

cmsinaz on January 2, 2014 at 1:55 PM

OT – bye, bye

Schadenfreude on January 2, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Shouldn’t that read Ciao?

Happy Nomad on January 2, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Jinx HN
:)

cmsinaz on January 2, 2014 at 1:56 PM

There is nothing outside the state. Your chuch, your business, your institutions, your family will serve to be vehicles of implementing the administrative states ends.

gwelf on January 2, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Gee, just like 1930s Germany or the old Soviet Union. What could possibly go wrong?

Happy Nomad on January 2, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Jinx HN
:)

cmsinaz on January 2, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Hey, great minds think alike! ;-0

Happy Nomad on January 2, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Look, progressives want nothing more than to destroy faith. Specifically Christian faith. Because, generally speaking, a devout Christian (not the Easter and Sunday Mass-style Christians), doesn’t need government. They govern themselves. And that thought terrifies the left–that people can indeed govern themselves.

That’s why everything they do is designed to enslave humans to their ideology, to make them dependent on the left.

The single worst idea a leftist can entertain is that people don’t need them to rule over.

It is literally true that a leftist would rather see people suffer and be reduced to pittance and crumbs, but be dependent on them, than that same person be successful.

Vanceone on January 2, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Shouldn’t that read Ciao?

Happy Nomad on January 2, 2014 at 1:56 PM


Amore

Schadenfreude on January 2, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Obama’s had a long vacation so he’s feeling even more cocky than usual.

A haughty spirit goes before a fall. Even more this time.

22044 on January 2, 2014 at 2:08 PM

If the Federal presumes to dictate who and what is or isn’t a religion in order to enjoy exemptions or benefits or what behavior constitutes religious expression, how in the world isn’t that an “establishment of religion” as well as a prohibition on the free exercise thereof?

tommyboy on January 2, 2014 at 2:08 PM

We … remain confident that our final rules strike the balance of providing women with free contraceptive coverage while preventing non-profit religious employers with religious objections to contraceptive coverage from having to contract, arrange, pay, or refer for such coverage

The regime occupying the White House think that the only way to view issues like abortion and contraception is their way, and that every other way is just plain wrong. This proves that they’re open-minded, intelligent, and tolerant of the various clans and tribes they rule over and their superstitious belief systems.

Oh, no, they’re not establishing a government religion. They’re just telling you what yours really means and what it doesn’t.

Socratease on January 2, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Seriously, it’s like our government is being run by a bunch of High School sophomores.

JetBlast on January 2, 2014 at 1:27 PM

sophomore

From the Greek words Sophos; meaning wise, and Moros; meaning fool, or foolish. Literally, a ‘wise fool’.

1. A word used to denote the stage when a person has gained sufficient knowledge and/or skill to be of some use to his/her society or community, but is still sufficiently untutored or unskilled to perform wisely or correctly in most situations.

Yep, sounds about right.

mechkiller_k on January 2, 2014 at 2:10 PM

The mandate itself is stupid.

But to play devil’s advocate, why can’t the same argument be used against any law?

“My religion compels me to do X, so you can’t make X illegal.”

commodore on January 2, 2014 at 2:13 PM

WH: We’re confident we know more about religious fidelity than a bunch of nuns, or something building a $600m website, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, IRS scandal, math, etc.

redzap on January 2, 2014 at 2:17 PM

But what are sluts like Sandra Fluke going to do???

dpduq on January 2, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Putting this all in perspective is actually quite simple.

The Obama position is that RECREATIONAL SEX is more important than the FIRST AMMENDMENT.

It will be fascinating to see how the supreme court twist words to explain their view of this simple fact.

Freddy on January 2, 2014 at 2:31 PM

In the beginning, Obama created the heavens and the earth.

portlandon on January 2, 2014 at 1:38 PM

because you didn’t build that.

phatfawzi on January 2, 2014 at 2:32 PM

“We defer to the Department of Justice on litigation matters, but …”

LOL. The Supreme Court – the judicial branch, in general – is not in the “Department of Justice”. The criminal moron, Eric Holder, runs the Department of Justice.

Of course, no one expects the Executive branch to understand the difference between the Department of Justice and the Judicial Branch of the feral government.

The Ivy League should be so very proud to have certified and foisted these America-hating imbeciles on us.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 2, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Putting this all in perspective is actually quite simple.

The Obama position is that RECREATIONAL SEX is more important than the FIRST AMMENDMENT.

It will be fascinating to see how the supreme court twist words to explain their view of this simple fact.

Freddy on January 2, 2014 at 2:31 PM

It’s actually simpler than that….the Administration’s position is that the Constitution is outdated, obsolete, and impedes enacting our agenda…and that the courts should just ignore that it exists.

Very few Administrations have had as many ‘legal arguments’ effectively laughed out of court (summarily dismissed) as this one…and I believe that their vapid argument will just be the latest in a long line of ideological drive vapid ‘arguments’.

Athos on January 2, 2014 at 2:37 PM

Gawd it just never lets up with this insane loon.

neyney on January 2, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Nothing doing. Chief Justice Roberts has Obama’s back.

ElectricPhase on January 2, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Since atheists claim, falsely, that they do not possess a religious belief let them foot the bill for the condoms and such as they possess no First Amendment rights with respect to religion to violate. Problem solved.

Who wants dibbs on Sandra Fluke’s share?

Bubba Redneck on January 2, 2014 at 3:17 PM

If there is a hell, Obama and Sebelius will have front row seats in the same section as Hilter, Stalin and Mao.

bw222 on January 2, 2014 at 3:19 PM

This WH knows as much about Christianity as they know about Climate Science, economics, medical insurance, banking, or foreign policy. Nada.

pat on January 2, 2014 at 3:31 PM

“We defer to the Department of Justice on litigation matters, but remain confident that our final rules strike the balance of providing women with free contraceptive coverage while preventing non-profit religious employers</strong? with religious objections to contraceptive coverage from having to contract, arrange, pay, or refer for such coverage,” a White House official said. …

“There is no statutory authority to regulate the third-party administrator of a self-insured church plan and no legal compulsion for that administrator to provide contraceptive coverage where an eligible organization with a self-insured church plan invokes the accommodation, ” the government lawyers argued in an earlier Circuit Court brief.

Didn’t these guys read the Constitution? Since when must one be the member of an “eligible organization” or a “non-profit religious employer” in order to invoke a religious exemption to law? According to their reading, one cannot be an individual or a for-profit organization. One must be an establishment of religion as determined by the Government to have that right.

I doubt these guys have a chance before the Supreme Court. They’ve already torpedoed their own case.

unclesmrgol on January 2, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Someone needs to tell me why an employer has to be a church for this to be an issue. What if it’s just run by a devout, practicing Catholic, for example? Their First Amendment rights don’t apply?

“You don’t have to pay for it?” The typical liberals’ belief that money for federal spending comes from rainbow-surfing unicorns.

And what’s being fought for here (and what the Supreme Court’s liberal wing is ultimately going to uphold), is a Constitutional right to free birth control and abortifacients provided by employers.

It’s bleeping insanity. Where have the adults gone?

FishingwFredo on January 2, 2014 at 3:55 PM

“We’re confident” … a strong indicator that as government official doesn’t know anything about what he’s talking about.

They were “confident” they knew more about health care than doctors or insurers or hospitals too. Heck they’re still “confident” of that.

Their “confidence” doesn’t give me any confidence.

gekkobear on January 2, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Sorry, but birth control is not a healthcare issue. It’s protection from the consequences of natural sexual activity. In the majority of cases, if a woman stops taking birth control pills her health is not going to suffer. In the rare cases where it is used for the health of the woman let the user pay for it much like blood pressure medicine.

Why single that drug out to be given away free and mandated? Why not give away something that truly effects the health of people?

iamsaved on January 2, 2014 at 4:31 PM

As a clergy member of the Eastern Orthodox Church, there is not a day that goes by where I am not lectured on the teachings of Christianity by a Progressive that does not believe in God. They just know everything about anything……

Hening on January 2, 2014 at 4:54 PM

If there is a hell, Obama and Sebelius will have front row seats in the same section as Hilter, Stalin and Mao.

bw222 on January 2, 2014 at 3

Oh there is a hell alright and half the people on this site will greet Obama.

celtic warrior on January 2, 2014 at 4:58 PM

SCOTUS does not live in a vacuum. They’ve seen what a horror this has become. Call me an optimistic fool but I can’t help but believe that in their heart of hearts, the members of SCOTUS would just love to have a do-over and find any reason to put this quivering mass out of its misery.

kurtzz3 on January 2, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Call me an optimistic fool but I can’t help but believe that in their heart of hearts, the members of SCOTUS would just love to have a do-over and find any reason to put this quivering mass out of its misery.

kurtzz3 on January 2, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Nope. The SCOTASS and its head, Benedict Roberts, are perfectly happy with their idiocy. They would make the same moronic decision in a second, happily. After all, the SCOTASS would never do anything to harm a black Precedent, and that’s in addition to their mind-numbing stupidity and America-hate.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 2, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Obama would be wise (something impossible for him) to read Thomas Jefferson…

The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.
Thomas Jefferson

Obama constantly thwarts the will of the people.

Fifty-nine percent of uninsured Americans reported having a negative experience with the new ObamaCare health exchanges in December. ( http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/194289-poll-39-percent-report-positive-experience-with-obamacare-in )

Fifty-six percent (56%) of Likely U.S. Voters view the health care law at least somewhat unfavorably, with 41% who have a Very Unfavorable opinion of it. ( http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/health_care_law )

A fascinating number in Wednesday’s CBS poll is that only 7% of the American public want ObamaCare “kept in place.” A full 93% either believe that changes are needed to the law (48%) or want a full repeal (43%). ( http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/11/20/cbs-poll-93-percent-want-obamacare-changed-repealed )

The poll shows that by a margin of 46–41, likely American voters support a religious exemption for churches, religious organizations, and businesses from Obamacare’s anti-conscience Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate. Sadly, the coercive dictates of the Obamacare bureaucracy don’t hold the same respect for conscience and religious freedom. ( http://blog.heritage.org/2012/12/08/americans-recognize-obamacares-religious-liberty-problem/ )

sadatoni on January 2, 2014 at 5:33 PM

The White House will need to argue in court that they know better how to be faithful to the tenets of Christianity than a bunch of nuns. And, for that matter, a bunch of priests, too.

They don’t need to do any such thing in order to win the case. They can fall back to the same arguments made by a panel of federal judges who decided that pregnancy is medical condition and that denying contraception as part of a health plan amounted to discrimination.

lexhamfox on January 2, 2014 at 5:51 PM

I’m sure King Barack is saying “Damned religious people! Why can’t they be more flexible in their thinking! Like me. Why can’t they evolve?”

GarandFan on January 2, 2014 at 7:15 PM

Obama’s wisdom on sexual morality and all things sexually related came from his trusted expert adviser, Bill Clinton.

easyt65 on January 2, 2014 at 8:15 PM

Time to send in Sister Mary Joe Lewis and Sister Josephine Mike Tyson equipped with rulers into the White House.

J_Crater on January 2, 2014 at 9:48 PM

As a clergy member of the Eastern Orthodox Church, there is not a day that goes by where I am not lectured on the teachings of Christianity by a Progressive that does not believe in God. They just know everything about anything……

Hening on January 2, 2014 at 4:54 PM

Funny, sounds just like a 17/18 yr old too.

Nutstuyu on January 2, 2014 at 10:32 PM