Obama administration empowers dissident Catholics to represent the Church, tries to shift conversation from religious freedom to contraception.
Did you hear that? It’s the sound of the Obama administration taking aim at the Catholic Church. I’m sure there are some who disagree with me, who want me to just relax and stop with the conspiracy theory nonsense. I won’t.
According to Fr. Jesus Urteaga, “If we love truth, we must learn to defend it against all attack.” Make no mistake; we are most definitely being attacked. The Obama administration has declared war on religious freedom, and public enemy number one is the Catholic Church.
Think I’m over-reacting? From Cardinal Dolan’s letter to brother Bishops (emphasis mine):
At a recent meeting between staff of the bishops’ conference and the White House staff, our staff members asked directly whether the broader concerns of religious freedom—that is, revisiting the straight-jacketing mandates, or broadening the maligned exemption—are all off the table. They were informed that they are. So much for “working out the wrinkles.” Instead, they advised the bishops’ conference that we should listen to the “enlightened” voices of accommodation, such as the recent, hardly surprising yet terribly unfortunate editorial in America. The White House seems to think we bishops simply do not know or understand Catholic teaching and so, taking a cue from its own definition of religious freedom, now has nominated its own handpicked official Catholic teachers.
Not only has the administration unilaterally determined that our right to freedom of religion comes from government rather than our very existence; they are now apparently determining what it means to be Catholic. The president has spent three years politically empowering Catholic dissidents like Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Kathleen Sebelius to embolden the lay faithless. Now their cronies are recruiting them to help advance their culture-of-death agenda.
Read the following report from a Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) missionary at the University of Texas:
The University Health Service recently began distributing condoms every Wednesday at two ‘hot spots’ on campus, in an effort to “maintain the academic integrity of the students on campus.” In addition to the condom distribution, various student organizations recently hosted Planned Parenthood for a rally to encourage contraception in direct response to the opposition to the HHS mandate. We were graced with the presence of Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, for the event. During the event, they had “Catholic” students share their experience in an effort to illustrate that this matter was not an attack on the Catholic Church, but an attack on “women’s rights.”
See? Planned Parenthood is recruiting dissident Catholics at a public university to instill doubt in the Church’s teaching about contraception and abortion among their peers, to make dissenters perfectly comfortable in their disobedience to Church teaching. That’s precisely their strategy, to make this a debate about contraception rather than the trampling of religious freedom on which America was founded. Never mind that annoying obstacle called the US Constitution. The administration showed us what it thought of that when it rammed ObamaCare through reconciliation. Also, according to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the Obama administration never sought a legal opinion about the contraception mandate from the Department of Justice.
All of this is really just underwriting Planned Parenthood, anyway. Seriously, who stands to benefit more from this manufactured “contraception crisis” so severe that absolutely every American must have coverage for it with no out-of-pocket expense? Never mind that nobody is actually threatening to take away birth control, and CDC reports 99% of American women call it readily available and affordable. Also, I’m not aware that the cost of Natural Family Planning (NFP) materials like ovulation charts and basal temperature thermometers are covered under the mandate, which aren’t exactly Planned Parenthood’s thing.
Sure, this is a great opportunity to discuss what the Church teaches about contraception and why; we should absolutely do that. However, with respect to the situation at hand, any discussion other than the Obama administration’s toilet paper treatment of the First Amendment is superfluous. That’s precisely what is so insidious about the proposed shell-game of an accommodation. If they can claim that no policyholder is directly paying for contraception coverage, they don’t have to respect conscience rights at all. They can draw the conscience exception as broad or narrow as they want, and it will make absolutely no difference.
Think I’m making this up? Listen to Secretary Sebelius herself. She recently testified to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee, “The rule which we intend to promulgate in the near future around implementation will require insurance companies, not a religious employer, but the insurance company to provide coverage for contraceptives.” That’s the thing. If you’re supposedly not paying for it, on what basis could you possibly conscientiously object? Remember when, in his 2009 commencement speech at Notre Dame, President Obama promised Catholics that their pro-life convictions would be respected by his administration? (emphasis mine)
Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health-care policies are grounded not only in sound science but also in clear ethics, as well as respect for the equality of women.
The Obama administration’s agenda was clearly revealed in further comments by Sebelius during the same subcommittee hearing. Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) inquired, “Who pays for [the contraception mandate]? There’s no such thing as a free service.”
“The reduction in the number of pregnancies compensates for cost of contraception,” Secretary Sebelius answered. Ah, yes! Our trade partner China, where the Catholic Church has been driven underground, has a cost-saving government-mandated one-child policy called The Family Plan, which is no more about planning families than Planned Parenthood is about parenting. You have just been objectified, reduced to a simple cost-benefit analysis. Your inherent value is now determined by the government. Don’t get too expensive, or they might just cut you off in the name of fiscal responsibility, too. But you’re not supposed to notice.
Catholics, just keep drinking the Kool-Aid and toast the dawn of Obammunism.