The Church against Obamacare, cont’d
“Michelle Malkin devotes her column to the Obamacare regulations requiring Catholic institutions to provide health insurance to employees including coverage for contraception, sterilization and abortifacients. (I’m linking to the version of Michelle’s column posted at her site because it is full of links providing relevant background.) Michelle traces the new regulations back to December 2010:
How did we get here? The first salvo came in December 2010, when the American Civil Liberties Union pushed HHS and its Planned Parenthood-championing secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions in violation of their core moral commitment to protecting the lives of the unborn.
The ACLU called for a litigious fishing expedition against Catholic hospitals nationwide that refuse to provide “emergency” contraception and abortions to women. In their sights: Devout Phoenix Catholic Bishop Thomas Olmsted, who revoked the Catholic status of a rogue hospital that performed several direct abortions, provided birth control pills and presided over sterilizations against the church’s ethical and religious directives for health care.
The ACLU and the feminists have joined with Obama to threaten and sabotage the First Amendment rights of religious-based health care entities. The agenda is not increased “access” to health care services. The ultimate goal is to shut down health care providers — Catholic health care institutions employ about 540,000 full-time workers and 240,000 part-time workers — whose religious views cannot be tolerated by secular zealots and radical social engineers.
Obamacare is an assault on the rights of all Americans. It represents one form of the “soft despotism” that Paul Rahe explores in his book on the subject. What is needed is not just an exemption for Catholic institutions, but rather repeal of the law. The whole damn thing has to go. The assault on Catholic institutions reveals the rot at the core.”
(The following is last week’s article be Scott Johnson at PowerLine on the same topic:)
The Church against Obamacare
We’ve noted many times that Obamacare amounts to an assault on limited constitutional government. One small prong of the assault: the Obama administration’s recent announcement that all employers (with few exceptions) are required under Obamacare to provide health insurance to their employees which includes subsidized contraception, sterilization and coverage for abortion-inducing drugs.
At Business Insider, Michael Brendon Dougherty comments: “This mean[s] that religious institutions, like Catholic colleges and hospitals, or other Christian institutions would be compelled to violate their conscience by cooperating with that which they believe to be wrong. Currently many of these institutions purchase health-insurance plans which do not provide free coverage of these services.” Dougherty reports that in thousands of parishes this weekend, Catholic priests read a version of the following letter to their congregation denouncing this decision as an attack on their religious freedom. Each bishop personally sent the letter out, and so there were some local variations. Here’s the one read in the Phoenix Archdiocese. Here’s another from the Bishop of Trenton. What follows is from the Bishop of Marquette:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
I write to you concerning an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the Church in the United States directly, and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith. The federal government, which claims to be “of, by, and for the people,” has just been dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people — the Catholic population — and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.
In so ruling, the Obama Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled to either violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Obama Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.
We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture, only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.
And therefore, I would ask of you two things. First, as a community of faith we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored. Without God, we can do nothing; with God, nothing is impossible. Second, I would also recommend visiting www.usccb.org/conscience,to learn more about this severe assault on religious liberty, and how to contact Congress in support of legislation that would reverse the Obama Administration’s decision.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+Alexander K. Sample
Most Reverend Alexander K. Sample
Bishop of Marquette
Let’s just say the whole damn thing has to go.