By Dave Andrusko
In “Obama’s ‘Compromise’: A Further Review, Part One,” I wrote about how the Obama Administration’s phony Friday “compromise” is basted in hypocrisy and marinated in politics. The President prevails only if opponents dial back their opposition because they are intimidated by being accused of playing “politics,” unlike the President who, we are always told, NEVER indulges in politics.
In fact, however, resistance to the “adjusted” mandate that compels Catholic universities, hospitals, and charities to paying for health insurance that covers sterilization and contraception has only grown fiercer. To name just a three examples:
First, appearing on CBC’s “Face the Nation” yesterday Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “We’ll be voting on that in the Senate, and you can anticipate that would happen as soon as possible. …The fact that the White House thinks this is about contraception is the whole problem,” McConnell added. “This is about freedom of religion. It’s right there in the First Amendment. You can’t miss it.”
And, alluding to ObamaCare, which McConnell said is “riddled with constitutional problems,” he said, “This is what happens when the government tries to take over health care and tries to interfere with your religious beliefs.”
Second, The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) waited a few hours for further details and then let its opposition be known in unstinting terms. After explaining that the bishops had not been consulted in advance nor its key objections addressed, the USCC said in a statement,
“We will therefore continue–with no less vigor, no less sense of urgency–our efforts to correct this problem through the other two branches of government. For example, we renew our call on Congress to pass, and the Administration to sign, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act. And we renew our call to the Catholic faithful, and to all our fellow Americans, to join together in this effort to protect religious liberty and freedom of conscience for all….The only complete solution to this religious liberty problem is for [the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services] to rescind the mandate of these objectionable services.”
This is hugely significant for obvious reasons—and one not so obvious reason. In a story by the Washington post’s David Brown, a tone-deaf administration “official” (or more likely a politically cynical operative) breezily dismissed the Bishops’ remarks: “We never anticipated that this announcement would win the endorsement of an organization that opposed health reform from the very beginning.” This is blatantly untrue. They opposed not health care reform but components that were morally objectionable.
Third, there will be any number of lawsuits filed against the mandate for a host of reasons by a myriad of organizations. “Friday’s announcement also left unresolved what a Catholic-affiliated organization that self-insures and objects to contraception would do,” reports Brown. Mother Angelica’s EWTN is just such an organization. The Becket Fund has filed lawsuits on behalf of the Catholic TV network and two universities. And that is just a beginning.
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