…How does this work? How does the illiberal language of the HHS Mandate — proposing unprecedented intrusion by the government into church matters — language that, pretty much all Catholics agreed in the first week could not stand, become codified in the next week with the approval of some of those same Catholics? Is this president’s word so trustworthy that it was enough for him to merely say he would change something he did not change and clearly has no intention of codifying?
Were some Catholics simply looking for a face-saving cover? Why, then? Because unity with their party was worth helping to set a bad precedent? What, specifically, in the codified language (or in Obama’s subsequent statement) has assuaged any conscience sufficiently to bring about an endorsement?
Much more importantly, with some Catholics now on board and making a variety of arguments supporting the administration, they are — intentionally or not — helping to distract people from the crux of the matter, which is simply this: when the CDC itself admits (as it did in 2009 [pdf]) that contraception is so widely available that fully 99% of women report using it at some point (so much so that, as Shea notes traces of birth control residue are found in our water supply), why did the administration find it necessary to even go where it went on the issue of contraception; why is it intruding on the churches own rights and abilities to own their conscience and define their missions?
That’s the question; it’s the ball we must keep our eyes on, and some are happy to get distracted, swing and miss.
It’s a political wedge issue, I get that, meant to divide and conquer, and the administration has clearly managed to do that, but this is also a genuinely bad precedent — so bad that I just cannot understand anyone’s willingness to support it, when this administration has demonstrated more than once that it means to put the churches in their places, and that their places are to be within the government’s mandates (hello Hosanna Tabor), or outside the public arena, altogether.
That anyone is willing to overlook the question of constitutionality for the sake of political expediency, I just don’t get….
Catechism of the Catholic Church: Prologue
"FATHER,... this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent."1
"God our Saviour desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."2
"There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved"3 - than the name of JESUS.
1 Jn 17 3; 2 1 Tim 2:3-4; 3 Acts 4:12