Mandate has silver lining

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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.

Augusta

(The writer is an instructor in Augusta State University’s political science department, and is associate director of the school’s Quality Enhancement Plan.)

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specsta
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specsta 02/19/12 - 01:34 am
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I think it is completely

I think it is completely irresponsible and selfish for any couple to be actively involved in a sexual relationship, married or not, and to not practice contraceptive methods to prevent pregnancy.

There is nothing "evil" about taking responsibility to make sure an unwanted child is not conceived. This world is full of children who are suffering incredibly, due to a lack of easy access to birth control methods. To bring a child into this world because of some archaic religious law, and to watch that child suffer for no reason, is inhumane and reprehensible.

It is amazing to me how the moral crusaders are so concerned about the meeting of sperm and egg and the unborn life that results, yet they could not care less about that same life after it is born.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 02/19/12 - 05:00 am
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Well specsta.....sometimes we

Well specsta.....sometimes we agree....

btw it is more like 98% of Catholics using birth control......
We need to get out of the bedroom & think about the problems that are breaking our back...geeez..politics can be sticky.

Fundamental_Arminian
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Fundamental_Arminian 02/19/12 - 07:54 am
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I wish Dr. Albert had

I wish Dr. Albert had credited God with the good that has come since the implementation of President Obama's health-care mandate.

God can use mankind's evil intentions and actions to strengthen his faithful followers; in fact, "... we know that for those who love God all things work together for good" (Romans 8:28 English Standard Version). But this doesn't mean that the people responsible for the evil have done something good. God has accomplished good in spite of the evil.

A good biblical example is Joseph's rise to power in Egypt after his brothers had sold him into slavery. As pharaoh's right-hand man, Joseph knew that God had put him in position to save many people's lives during seven years' famine. That's why he later explained to his brothers, "... You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good to bring it about that many people should be kept alive ..." (Genesis 50:20 ESV).

Obama's decisions aren't helping any people or church now being pressured to obey man rather than God. All the help is coming from God, whose grace enables his people to stand firm in this evil day.

corgimom
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corgimom 02/19/12 - 07:55 am
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What is stunning to me, and

What is stunning to me, and that hasn't been discussed, is that birth-control pills are prescribed for other reasons than contraception. And I guess if you have a medical condition, and work for a Catholic organization, you are just fresh out of luck.

I call that the height of discrimination.

In this modern age, there are some medications that women need to take, with certain illnesses, that are known to cause fetal deformities. And I guess if a woman is in that position, and works for a Catholic organization, she's out of luck on that one, too.

Who would think that this is the right thing to do to people? Your health care needs should not be dependent on who signs your paycheck.

If health insurers can pay for contraception for people that work for Catholic organizations (which means that other people will pay for it, let's not kid ourselves, they don't give away free ANYTHING) then why don't they pay for it for everybody? That's religious discrimination. A Lutheran organization, a Baptist organization, a Church of God organization has to pay for it- but a Catholic organization does not.

I foresee some court cases coming on this one.

Why isn't everyone, regardless of who they work for, entitled to equal protection under the law, and given quality health care?

allhans
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allhans 02/19/12 - 11:08 am
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The debate began,all

The debate began,all political, of course, with forcing taxpayers to pay for FREE contraceptives for one and all and the government intrusion on religion. Not many Catholics are so poor that they would stand in line for "Free" contraceptives. They can and do afford their own.

The only way you can get those (who don't already), to use protection would be to take it to their door daily. They know about the health Departments and other locations to get free contraceptive devices of all kinds.
There has been a way for many years...what they need now is.. the WILL.

harley_52
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harley_52 02/19/12 - 10:33 am
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specsta says "This world is

specsta says "This world is full of children who are suffering incredibly, due to a lack of easy access to birth control methods."

Absolute balderdash.

This Country is suffering from the results of liberalism inspired, spineless politician enacted legislative monstrosities collectively termed the "great society" which discourage individual success and encourage broken families, out of wedlock children, and poor performance.

When poor, unmarried, unemployed, uneducated, drug addicted women can make more money by having more babies, don't be surprised when they choose NOT to use the free birth control products they've had made available to them.

bjphysics
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bjphysics 02/19/12 - 10:43 am
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Yeah

Yeah

harley_52
25880
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harley_52 02/19/12 - 10:55 am
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My take on this entire debate

My take on this entire debate is that it's a shrewdly constructed and brilliantly orchestrated campaign to trap conservatives into posturing themselves as ultra right-wing extremists who are against women using birth control pills or devices under any circumstances.

The debate began as a Constitutional objection to the Federal government's plans to force religious organizations to pay for abortion and birth control for their employees. The Administration (with the media's help) has successfully shifted that debate to whether women should be allowed to practice birth control if they so choose. Conservatives will lose unless they re-focus the discussion and clearly state their objections to Obamacare, leaving all the rest of this behind.

The democrats will do everything possible to avoid talking about jobs, the economy, high energy costs, corruption in government, failed foreign policy, illegal immigration, and so forth in favor of this kind of baloney.

They have won this one so far because Conservatives have taken the bait hook, line, and sinker.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 02/19/12 - 11:04 am
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They have won this one so far

They have won this one so far because Conservatives have taken the bait hook, line, and sinker.

so true harley....thanks for that post.

faithson
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faithson 02/19/12 - 01:38 pm
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wait a minute... Dr. Albert

wait a minute... Dr. Albert doesn't sound like one of those; liberal elitist college prof's the right rag on all the time.. hummmmm, me thinks that line of righteous criticizer is blowing smoke up everyone's arse. This guy, and in fact most colleges don't fit the critical assessment being espoused.

faithson
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faithson 02/19/12 - 01:56 pm
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" I fear their negative

" I fear their negative consequences on America’s liberty; the church teaches that contraception is against God’s will; Each day at Mass, our priests have been teaching and explaining why these policies are producing a culture of death; We are uniting against this portion of the president’s mandate; bring people into conformity with the teachings of religious institutions." A POLITICAL SCIENTIST ??? OF WHO'S POLITICAL SYSTEM.... NOT AMERICA'S ! You want to discuss 'theology' and it's tenets, coo til the cows come home. You want to discuss women's health care in AMERICA, keep religious creeds OUT of the public arena, a concept our founding Fathers felt adamant about. So, according to the good PHD, we good faithful Catholics should act on behalf of our beloved church and vote REPUBLICAN. Yea, that's what this LTE is about, a professed Political Science teacher espousing the primacy of one party over another... naw, me thinks there is an AGENDA hear, and a self-serving one at that.

Techfan
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Techfan 02/19/12 - 04:08 pm
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Official Code of Georgia

Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 33-24-59.6:

(c) Every health benefit policy that is delivered, issued, executed, or renewed in this state or approved for issuance or renewal in this state by the Commissioner on or after July 1, 1999, which provides coverage for prescription drugs on an outpatient basis shall provide coverage for any prescribed drug or device approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for use as a contraceptive. This Code section shall not apply to limited benefit policies described in paragraph (4) of subsection (e) of Code Section 33-30-12. Likewise, nothing contained in this Code section shall be construed to require any insurance company to provide coverage for abortion.

(d) No insurer shall impose upon any person receiving prescription contraceptive benefits pursuant to this Code section any:

(1) Copayment, coinsurance payment, or fee that is not equally imposed upon all individuals in the same benefit category, class, coinsurance level or copayment level, receiving benefits for prescription drugs; or

(2) Reduction in allowable reimbursement for prescription drug benefits.

soldout
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soldout 02/19/12 - 04:27 pm
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Get government out of health

Get government out of health care and this problem goes away. Guess how many problems go away when you elliminate government in education and the list can go on and on. How hard is this to figure out?

impossible
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impossible 02/19/12 - 05:11 pm
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Dr. Albert, your letter is
Unpublished

Dr. Albert, your letter is very insightful and stimulating and obviously confusing to those with knee-jerk positions favoring extra-legal unconstitutional usurpation of power by the President and his pandering to special interest groups and their lapdog financial support. Such folks are offended by truth. As one perceptive commentator said, “This isn't a Catholic issue or even a religious issue. Conservatives are falling into the Democrats' trap by denouncing it as such. It's a freedom issue.” Sadly, the Bishops have either been tricked into falling for that trap or, God forbid, have willingly fallen into it. The fact that they supported ObamaCare in the first place makes them suspect of deliberately weakening their opposition
While Obama’s most recent power grab does violate the religious freedom and conscience rights of a lot of Americans, including Catholics, that is not the issue. The real issues are: (1) Violation of the Constitution; (2) Violation of the Declaration of Independence and the unalienable rights that come to us from our Creator; (3) Specifically an attack on the freedom of religion, as opposed to Obama’s insulting “freedom of worship” which reduces that religious freedom to what we practice between our ears and within the walls of a Church building; (4) Violation of the natural law which is written on the hearts of all men, regardless of upbringing, religion, cultural background, education or any other condition.
Neither the entire government nor any rogue President, branch, Czar or Secretary has any legal or moral right to issue laws, edicts, regulations or executive orders violating our constitution or taking away our God-given rights.
I strongly urge the Bishops, politicians uninfected with Obamamania and all others of good will not to limit the argument against such totalitarian violations to an offense against any one segment or religion but to vigorously condemn them as offensive Communist-type attacks on every person – even those who temporarily “feel” that Obama’s actions are beneficial. I urge each person to “think” rather than “feel.”

Techfan
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Techfan 02/19/12 - 07:30 pm
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Forget the freedom of an

Forget the freedom of an individual to have access to all healthcare options covered by their insurance. Just hope your boss isn't a Christian Scientist. For those who don't read previous posts, women in Ga are protected by law from someone forcing their religious beliefs on them when it comes to health care.

harley_52
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harley_52 02/19/12 - 07:46 pm
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Sorry, Techfan, I didn't see

Sorry, Techfan, I didn't see anything posted about Georgia law protecting women "from someone forcing their religious beliefs on them when it comes to health care."

Was it in this thread?

harley_52
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harley_52 02/19/12 - 07:57 pm
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Oh, BTW Techfan, I didn't see

Oh, BTW Techfan, I didn't see anything about the dangers of having a Christian Science practitioner as a boss, is that also covered in this thread or are you just making things up again?

impossible
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impossible 02/19/12 - 08:25 pm
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Techfan. Your post would
Unpublished

Techfan. Your post would have been more reflective and responsive to the issues at hand and to my post if you had ended it with a period right after the word "freedom." So, you only believe in forcing thoser beliefs to which you subscribes on others and making them provide and/or pay for them? How very inclusive of you. Do you believe that the Constitution that has served you and all so well before judges became the supreme law of the land should not be impossed on emperor/dictator Obama? Do you then believe that it should be whatever the President says, except of course when the President is of a Party that actually respects it as written? He, unlike your Obama, would be accused of imposing his views upon you?

KSL
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KSL 02/19/12 - 08:35 pm
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Tech, back when I needed

Tech, back when I needed contraceptives, our health insurance didn't cover the cost. I never understood that. Guess it's business and they would not pay for the on-going cost. They paid for abortions and vasectomies, etc.

harley_52
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harley_52 02/19/12 - 08:56 pm
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Is anyone aware of any

Is anyone aware of any pending litigation in Georgia where a Christian Science minister kept one of his employees from using birth control pills/devices against her will?

I can't imagine what Techfan is talking about.

twolane
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twolane 02/19/12 - 09:30 pm
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the government knows whats
Unpublished

the government knows whats best for you the government..the government will tell you what to think......i can see that in decades to come our society will let the government control every aspect of their life.....you folks are so willing to let them take control of this...i guess personal responsibility is just a sinister joke

twolane
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twolane 02/19/12 - 09:38 pm
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cant wait till obamacare is
Unpublished

cant wait till obamacare is fully instituted so you folks will get an eye opening as to what it really entails...how everyone inside the medicalk field already knows that the government will decide who gets life saving treatments and who gets put out to pasture just like medicare does RIGHT NOW......thats right folks that GOVERNMENT healthcare system turns down more lifesaving treatments THAN ALL PRIVATE INSURANCE COMPANIES COMBINED.....but when the sheeple find out its gonna be too late good luck in finding a doctor in 2015 when its gonna be past the point of no return

twolane
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twolane 02/19/12 - 09:40 pm
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and specsta its none of your
Unpublished

and specsta its none of your business nor the governments nor anyones business what a couple married or not does in the privacy of their bedrooms

twolane
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twolane 02/19/12 - 09:49 pm
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and government healthcare
Unpublished

and government healthcare that would be sorta like the government handling mail delivery...oh wait..hahahaahaha and we see how thats working out cant we

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 02/19/12 - 10:04 pm
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I want those in gov't power

I want those in gov't power to respect the Constitution and religious freedom, instead of disregarding both for the sake of political and partisan gain.

I would also like to better understand why the Catholic Church is against contraception, but maybe this would be a more appropriate discussion for the Your Faith section. I am certainly "Pro-LIfe", as the only alternative is "Pro-Death". But, I have a difficult time seeing clear-cut reasons for why contraception would be sinful in the eyes of God.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 02/20/12 - 10:11 am
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HCWK, I’m not an expert on

HCWK, I’m not an expert on the Catholic Church but from what I have read (and this is only my interpretation of the text), the church is only opposed to birth control by artificial means. They are not opposed to birth control when it is accomplished by natural means, meaning self control. They use scripture in Genesis 38 God slew Onan for practicing contraception (when he refused to give his brother’s widowed wife children so that his brother’s name would be carried on) as one of the basis for their belief. Artificial birth control violates the natural law in that it denies God the purpose of the sexual union for repopulating the earth which was the original purpose of the gift. An uncommon and uncomfortable method of birth control, because of the “me” factor in today’s society, is the method of “natural family planning” based on periodic abstinences in order to space or limit the number of children. This method can be highly effective if the married couple are committed, trained properly and it’s done correctly. I’m sure this seems “unnatural” because our society has been conditioned for “pleasure”, when, how, and with whom we choice.

Personally I am not of the Catholic faith and this may seem foreign to me but if the government can force a religious entity (church, charity, hospital) to cover something that their religious doctrine opposes, who and what will be next.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 02/20/12 - 11:18 am
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Thanks, ICL. Obviously, I'm

Thanks, ICL. Obviously, I'm not a Catholic either, so I was curious about this since I don't believe there is any clear scripture reference to birth control -- one way or the other.

I figured Onan would play into it, but I've looked into this passage before and my take on it is that Onan's sin (in context) was direct disobedience to God's clear instruction, and not so much related to birth control measures. I think it's a bit of a reach to use this passage to as a direct prohibition against birth control, as the real issue here is disobedience. But, the Catholic Church might interpret this story a different way, and that's OK.

Like you, my bigger concern is the gov't denying fundamental tenets of a faith and forcing Catholics to against their principles and their doctrines. But again, not paying much attention to the Constitution is nothing out of the ordinary for this admin.

Thanks, again.

Little Lamb
49044
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Little Lamb 02/20/12 - 11:46 am
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This is a scary post from

This is a scary post from Corgimom:

Why isn't everyone, regardless of who they work for, entitled to equal protection under the law, and given quality health care?

In the first place, to quote Davy Crockett, speaking to the U.S. Congress: It is not yours to give.

In the second place, the government cannot give anything that is has not first taken away from its citizens (I think the Obama might prefer the term subjects over citizens, but that is another discussion).

And in the third place, quality health care is very subjective, and in the eye of the beholder. You will never achieve equality in this world.

Little Lamb
49044
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Little Lamb 02/20/12 - 04:09 pm
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Dr. Albert wrote: Even his

Dr. Albert wrote:

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.

I don't know of any Catholic insurance companies, but I am aware of a Lutheran insurance company that caters to Lutherans. Who knows what moral dilemmas might crop up for them under Obamacare?

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