Before you chastise me for agreeing with President Obama’s health-care mandate that may cause religious people to go against major elements of their faith, let me state clearly: I do not agree with his choices, and I fear their negative consequences on America’s liberty.
Nevertheless, his decisions are actually helping the Catholic Church. Obama’s health-care policy will cause people to possibly go against their faith’s teaching on the right to life. Even his recent “compromise” carries with it the possibility that some religious insurance providers must go against their religious tenets or face the consequences of the federal government.
However, it has positive consequences. These consequences include reminding peoples of all faiths, but especially Catholics, why the church teaches that contraception is against God’s will, and opens the door to discuss why the right to life must be preserved at all costs.
Never before as a Catholic have I seen so many of my religious brothers and sisters discussing the right to life and the church’s stance on these decisions. I have also never been so encouraged at the church’s willingness to defend life as I have been in the past three weeks. Each day at Mass, our priests have been teaching and explaining why these policies are producing a culture of death. Afterward, I hear comments by parishioners stating that they never understood what was wrong with contraception and pro-choice stances because the church has done such a terrible job explaining it – possibly contributing to the terrifying much-cited statistic that 85 percent of Catholic women use contraception.
With Obama’s policies, the church has stepped up its pro-life explanations. It has started to bring not just Catholics together, but people of all faiths who defend the right to life. We are uniting against this portion of the president’s mandate. It is helping bring people into conformity with the teachings of religious institutions. Some good can come from terrible political decisions.
Craig Douglas Albert, Ph.D.
(The writer is an instructor in Augusta State University’s political science department, and is associate director of the school’s Quality Enhancement Plan.)