A non-negotiable freedom

Dictatorial health edict forces Catholics to repudiate tenet of their faith

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This is the position the Obama administration has put Catholics in: The church has been obliged to negotiate with the White House for its First Amendment rights.

Something is terribly wrong with this picture.

Having to beseech the sovereign for one’s fundamental human rights was one of the grievances that led our founders to separate from Britain.

Yet, as part of the new federal health-care act, the Obama administration recently announced plans to force the Catholic church, and other organizations, to provide free birth control as part of their insurance policies.

Such a mandate does violence to the church’s, and many other people’s, moral consciences – and is a clear violation of religious freedoms under the First Amendment.

Not to worry, the president reportedly consoled a Catholic delegate – all while the administration moved to institute the mandate.

Nor is it any consolation when the church or others have been granted leave to negotiate the mandate’s terms with the president’s men.

Sorry, Mr. President. The First Amendment is non-negotiable.

Certainly Republicans have jumped opportunistically on this episode as more election-year evidence of the Obama administration’s modus operandi of pushing the envelope until someone pushes back. But it’s not just Republicans and Catholics who are aghast at what this administration is doing.

Noting that “Few Americans of any political stripe would disagree with the simple proposition that the government should steer away from
meddling in church affairs” and that “Certainly, it should never try to force a religiously affiliated institution to violate a central tenet of its faith,” the liberal editorial page of USA Today opined this week that, “in drawing up the rules that will govern health care reform, the Obama administration didn’t just cross that line. It galloped over it.”

And even MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, a fire-breathing liberal and former Democratic operative, called the Obama administration’s move “frightening, when the state tells the church what to do.”

The administration’s birth-control mandate is “contrary to both Catholic doctrine and constitutional guarantees of religious freedom,” USA Today declared.

It’s bad enough that the Obama administration is being so dictatorial. It’s also being patently disingenuous. Officials tried to claim they exempted the Catholic church and similar organizations from the mandate. What a crock.

“The exemption,” USA Today notes, “does not cover Catholic organizations that employ or serve large numbers of people of different faiths – the very definition of many Catholic colleges, hospitals and charities. Those organizations and the people who lead them would be put in the impossibly awkward position of facilitating contraception even though the church teaches that it is ‘intrinsically wrong to use contraception to prevent new human beings from coming into existence.’”

We have no doubt the administration’s actions will not stand; they are too wrong, and the push-back too strong.

But we can’t just push back every time this administration pushes too far. We can never again allow an American administration to “gallop” over our fundamental rights again.

Comments (72) Add comment
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ultrarnr
967
Points
ultrarnr 02/10/12 - 01:28 am
0
0
This is indeed an issue of
Unpublished

This is indeed an issue of religious freedom: the freedom of non-Catholics not to be bound by the dictates of the Catholic Church in the workplace. What if Catholics didn't believe in child labor laws? Would we let them flout them? This is not an issue of religious freedom. It is another example of the war against women.

Riverman1
98825
Points
Riverman1 02/10/12 - 03:10 am
0
0
Religion has no place in a

Religion has no place in a socialist country.

desertcat6
1140
Points
desertcat6 02/10/12 - 04:22 am
0
0
Ultrarnr, You left one thing

Ultrarnr, You left one thing out. The workplace is own and operated by the Catholic church. Its an extension of their outreach and ministry which welcomes non-Catholic patients and employees. Yes, its appropiate for the church to expect their employees to expect faith based deviation in what is expected of them, what procedures they may perform, and in how they recieve benefits. Patients should know some procedures and resources may not be provided for the same reason.

P.S. There is no war against women. There are some remaining cultural biases that negatively impact women that can be redressed through the courts.

Haki
31
Points
Haki 02/10/12 - 05:32 am
0
0
Another day, another angle.

Another day, another angle. If someone spoke so lowly of me each day, if would possibly sway your opinion of me. But if they never spoke highly of me when its deserved, that would change your opinion of them.

carcraft
30042
Points
carcraft 02/10/12 - 05:52 am
0
0
Ultrarnr- You are free NOT to

Ultrarnr- You are free NOT to work for the Catholic Church if you so chose! But, under Obama care, the Catholic church is not free to chose the benefits it's employees recieve and , according to Obama, pay for services that violate the teachings of the Church. This isn't really that hard to under stand. Remember what Pilosi said, "We need to pass the bill so we can know what's in it"! Well we are starting to know!

southernguy08
536
Points
southernguy08 02/10/12 - 06:17 am
0
0
If these were Muslim
Unpublished

If these were Muslim institutions, this president would NEVER have insisted on these requirements. Your true colors are showing OBAMA. OBAMA OUT IN 2012!!

robaroo
920
Points
robaroo 02/10/12 - 06:51 am
0
0
This whole topic is mainly a

This whole topic is mainly a distraction from the real issues facing the country. While I don't agree with the decision, the Federal Government already has a number of laws against various religious practices. This is nothing new.

Mormon families had one father and multiple wives. Utah had to give the practice up to get into the union. Warren Jeffs is in prison now for marrying underage girls.

Anyone who sacrifices a virgin to the Sun God will spend the rest of his life in prison.

owensjef3
5639
Points
owensjef3 02/10/12 - 07:05 am
0
0
This has been going on in
Unpublished

This has been going on in other States for years.

southernguy08
536
Points
southernguy08 02/10/12 - 07:18 am
0
0
So ROBAROO, you're saying
Unpublished

So ROBAROO, you're saying this infringement on religious beliefs is okay because its been done in the past? Gee, guess there are some that truly believe King Obama can do no wrong. Very sad..

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 02/10/12 - 07:47 am
0
1
This is cloward-piven

This is cloward-piven strategy to the letter. You folks should be prepared to lose many more freedoms before nov. The right to vote will be one.

TParty
6004
Points
TParty 02/10/12 - 07:47 am
0
0
Well Robaroo said what I came

Well Robaroo said what I came to say, if there was a 'like' button- I would have pressed it.

I'll just add: The way I see it, if an employer doesn't want to use birth control, they won't. If an employee wants that coverage, they should not be denied coverage because the employer is Catholic.

Would people behave the same and have this outrage if we changed the Catholic employee to a Muslim employee?

skeptic griggsy
39
Points
skeptic griggsy 02/10/12 - 07:54 am
0
0
To put into effect this
Unpublished

To put into effect this requirement puts into effect women's rights instead of putting into effect the mere wishes of the Vatican to harm those rights! The Vatican has no more right to interfere here in women's rights than elsewhere. It should keep its grubby hands off their vaginas!
It goes after their rights instead of protecting the young against priestly rape! It reflects the misanthropic, misogynist mistaken views of peevish,petulant perverts of morality of Leviticus and Deuteronomy!
With Voltaire, I scream, wipe out the infamy [ Écrasez l'infâme!]!
Fortunately, most Catholics don't follow the Vatican here and most Ctholic women use contraception.
Rationalism marches on!

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 02/10/12 - 08:15 am
0
0
"if an employer doesn't want

"if an employer doesn't want to use birth control, they won't. If an employee wants that coverage, they should not be denied coverage because the employer is Catholic."

So true, then the solution is for the employee to find another employer who does cover birth control and not force the Catholic employer to provide that covereage. Sounds simple to me.

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 02/10/12 - 08:23 am
0
1
If the government can force a

If the government can force a religion to violate it's own beliefs,what can't they do? Do y'all REALLY think that YOUR freedoms are safe? Those of you cheering this lose of freedoms should slow down long enough to realize that yours are next.

witness1959
0
Points
witness1959 02/10/12 - 08:31 am
0
0
This is a First Amendement

This is a First Amendement issue. If the government is telling us what we can and what we cannot do against our religious convictions, where will it draw the line? This is not a womans issue or a conservative vs liberal issue. This is about the governmement abusing its power to get what it want.

Riverman1
98825
Points
Riverman1 02/10/12 - 08:32 am
0
0
This thing has created a

This thing has created a megastorm. It appears the White House is trying to back off the plan now.

Bruno
780
Points
Bruno 02/10/12 - 08:33 am
0
0
I don't see how anyone who

I don't see how anyone who believes in the separation of church and state can back this.

TParty
6004
Points
TParty 02/10/12 - 08:34 am
0
0
Find another job in this

Find another job in this economy sounds simple?

Medical decisions should be between a doctor and a patient. We shouldn't have to stand for insurance companies, politicians or catholic priests to make medical decisions. Employers have to provide health insurance. This health insurance must meet minimum requirements to ensure that an employer doesn't buy some cut rate junk insurance. One of those minimum requirements is that they cover certain prescription medications. I am not diabetic but insulin would be covered for me if I would need it. If some woman doesn't want birth control, then they shouldn't use it. The fact that an organization preaches breeding like bunnies does not allow them to buy cut rate junk insurance that doesn't meet minimum standards.

If the faith healing religions employed people, they wouldn't be allowed to forego health insurance for a box of band-aids because they don't believe in medical intervention. In fact, they have to provide medical care for their children despite the idea that they believe prayer can cure anything. Every once in a while, one of those nuts go to jail for letting their children die of some otherwise easily curable infection or what not.

TParty
6004
Points
TParty 02/10/12 - 08:37 am
0
0
"This is a First [Amendment]

"This is a First [Amendment] issue. If the government is telling us what we can and what we cannot do against our religious convictions, where will it draw the line?

It's easy. We start at no Sharia law in this country, even if it is part of your religious convictions- and move on from there.

faithson
5591
Points
faithson 02/10/12 - 08:38 am
0
0
thanks techfan, good article,

thanks techfan, good article, puts the whole issue in context. The 'top down' administration within the catholic church has become its downfall. How many of us would in this day and age would allow our government to be run by men and only men. Men making decisions on every aspect of modern life, with women relegated to 'support' positions with NO INPUT into how these decisions effect the greater whole, NONE. Many of you old schoolers come from a time when the man was dominate and feel that was just fine. Well it wasn't and it isn't. For what it is worth, women deserve equal rights in all and any circumstance involving decision making. I could write a book about the evils of the Catholic bishops getting involved in the putrid arena of politics in America, this 'uprising' being another example of how they marginalize their authority in the pews.

Riverman1
98825
Points
Riverman1 02/10/12 - 08:46 am
0
0
I wonder if next Jewish

I wonder if next Jewish deli's will have to start serving BBQ pork? Just because eating pork is against their religion doesn't mean they can get away without Sconyers BBQ.

TParty
6004
Points
TParty 02/10/12 - 08:51 am
0
0
I stand by my argument of

I stand by my argument of what is right morally, but I could be wrong legally. I need to look into the "religious conscience exemption" of the health care bill.

faithson
5591
Points
faithson 02/10/12 - 08:55 am
0
0
Catholic institutions that

Catholic institutions that take local, state and government monies in the form of research, grants, indigent care, etc. should be held to account as any other secular institution. I have had situations in my life where I could have taken government money for different reasons, usually being broke. But because I have this 'aversion' to big brother, I never have, never. You take their money, you play by their rules. These Bishop's want their cake and eat it too ! Contraception is a women's health issue to secularists, a sin to the catholic hierarchy. If good catholic women were involved in mandating no contraception, the Bishop's might, just might have a leg to stand on.

Bizkit
37091
Points
Bizkit 02/10/12 - 09:10 am
0
0
The SCOTUS would shoot this

The SCOTUS would shoot this down in a heartbeat. All the Abrahamic religions are paternal-thats the deal. People knowlingly accept a religion and its precepts so as a catholic they choose to oblige with the birth control restrictions-you can't change the religion to fit the culture. Seems like a classic struggle for power over the Pope-numerous kings, etc. have tried to out maneuver the pope. The government can't endorse a religion but it can't endorse a lack of religion either-it has to be neutral. Rastafarians can legally smoke pot for religious reasons-even though it against federal law-Ooops apparently not Janet Reno ruled in 98' it shouldn't be recognized. As long as the church isn't taking federal money then the government should butt out.

carcraft
30042
Points
carcraft 02/10/12 - 09:11 am
0
0
If a person worked for a

If a person worked for a Muslim resturaunt would they be allowed to cook pork in the resturaunt the Muslim owner was FORCED TO PURCHASE? If they worked for a Kosher butcher would they be allowed to bring in a pig The owner of the butcher shop WAS FORCED TO PURCHASE to slaughter? If an employee somkes should he be allowed to smoke in his place of employment and should the owner be forced to buy the employee cigarettes?

carcraft
30042
Points
carcraft 02/10/12 - 09:16 am
0
0
The other issue is the tenth

The other issue is the tenth amendment. What the states do, does not, in no way move the boundries of Constitutional limits on the Federal government!

Bruno
780
Points
Bruno 02/10/12 - 09:18 am
0
0
Faithson, I have to disagree.

Faithson, I have to disagree. The monies given to Catholic institutions are for research on curing things such as cancer they are not given to research the efficacy of contraception. You can't be for separation of church and state and be for this while remaining intellectually honest.

allhans
25447
Points
allhans 02/10/12 - 09:27 am
0
0
The 49% who doesn't pay any

The 49% who doesn't pay any income tax are going for this like a ...(Sorry, can't say that.)

Go ahead, give up your constitutional rights, but be careful, very careful. It will surely come back and bite you.

faithson
5591
Points
faithson 02/10/12 - 10:01 am
0
0
'as a catholic they choose',

'as a catholic they choose', sorry biz, kinda like saying you choose your ethnicity. WE didn't. We just grew up and upon reaching the age of reason and using such, came up with a different idea about just what influences our 'eternal destiny'. Deciding with my wife, just when we would bring this gift of new life into our world is just one of those differences.

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