Obama plays his Catholic allies for fools

Well, yea–I have to say, given Pres. Obama’s record on this issue as an Illinois senator and his partisan reaction in pushing through legislation, I don’t see how anyone could have thought he would do anything differently.  From Michael Gerson at the Washington Post:

In politics, the timing is often the message. On Jan. 20 — three days before the annual March for Life — the Obama administration announced its final decision that Catholic universities, hospitals and charities will be compelled to pay for health insurance that covers sterilization, contraceptives and abortifacients.

Catholic leaders are still trying to process the implications of this ambush. The president had every opportunity to back down from confrontation. In the recent ­Hosanna-Tabor ruling, a unanimous Supreme Court reaffirmed a broad religious autonomy right rooted in the Constitution. Obama could have taken the decision as justification for retreat.

And it would have been a minor retreat. The administration was on the verge of mandating nearly universal contraceptive coverage through Obamacare without public notice. There would have been no controversy at all if President Obama had simply exempted religious institutions and ministries. But the administration insisted that the University of Notre Dame and St. Mary’s Hospital be forced to pay for the privilege of violating their convictions….

The implications of Obama’s power grab go further than contraception and will provoke opposition beyond Catholicism. Christian colleges and universities of various denominations will resist providing insurance coverage for abortifacients. And the astounding ambition of this federal precedent will soon be apparent to every religious institution. Obama is claiming the executive authority to determine which missions of believers are religious and which are not — and then to aggressively regulate institutions the government declares to be secular. It is a view of religious liberty so narrow and privatized that it barely covers the space between a believer’s ears.

Obama’s decision also reflects a certain view of liberalism. Classical liberalism was concerned with the freedom to hold and practice beliefs at odds with a public consensus. Modern liberalism uses the power of the state to impose liberal values on institutions it regards as backward. It is the difference between pluralism and anti-­clericalism….

Read it all.

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3 responses to “Obama plays his Catholic allies for fools

  1. As much as I hate to admit it, your headline is accurate. I was amazed at how many Catholics bought Mr. Obama’s act (and it was an act) back in 2007. He is the most anti-Catholic president in history. No … he is the most anti-religious president in history. Freedom of religion is under assault at an unprecedented level.

    • I don’t know what the bishops expected when they encouraged the idea of government sponsored health care. They realized towards the end that it might not be what they wanted–but anytime the government is paying the bills, it can set the agenda.

      • Amen. Let’s hope the Bishops have learned a lesson, and I think they have, and that we can undo this travesty to the First Amendment, free enterprise, and the health of our country.

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