On the morning of the religious freedom rallies across America last Friday, organizer Eric Scheidler was questioned by a network television news anchor about the goal of the event. “Since the administraiton already provided an ‘accommodation’ for religious objection” said the newsman, ”are you looking for another accommodation?” It was a fundamentally flawed premise, widely held by major media still.
One of the more revealing aspects of the mandate’s mass marketing has been how startling it is to so many people when they hear that there was no accommodation. Let’s clarify.
Kathryn Lopez takes it on directly at NRO’s Corner.
Can we all get one fact straight? As the president was announcing an “accommodation” in a press conference with Kathleen Sebelius on February 10 concerning the HHS contraceptive mandate, a rule was filed in the Federal Register that was unchanged (the word “unchanged” even appears four times in the final rule as filed) from the regulation the same Cabinet secretary had announced on January 20, that had been originally presented on August 1. That August rule had the narrowest of religious exemptions. And that rule was subsequently filed in the Federal Register.
Unchanged, to repeat.
Which Matt Franck explicitly pointed out on Public Discourse.
After three weeks of outcry from religious leaders regarding its Health and Human Services contraception insurance mandate, the Obama administration announced a “compromise” on February 10. But the White House’s idea of “compromise” is nothing more than a classic shell game, leaving the same problems in place that have been the source of controversy since this federal rule was first proposed last August.…
Andrew Breitbart was passionately invested in the battle of ideas engaged through social media. He was a thought warrior whose presence was so pervasive, it’s hard to believe we’re talking about him in the past tense.
There are too many remembrances to keep up with, though WaPo combines friends and foes in this one.
“Media Matters has a long history with Andrew Breitbart,” said Ari Rabin-Havt with the liberal watchdog that was a frequent Breitbart critic. “We’ve disagreed more than we’ve found common ground, but there was never any question of Andrew’s passion for and commitment to what he believed.”
Arianna Huffington, editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, on her website:
“I was asked many times this morning for my thoughts on what Andrew meant to the political world, but all I can think of at the moment is what Andrew meant to me as a friend, starting from when we worked together — his passion, his exuberance, his fearlessness. And above all, what I’m thinking of at the moment is his amazing wife Susie and their four beautiful young children. My love and thoughts are with them right now.”
Paul Krassner, co-founder of the 1960s radical group the Youth International Party (Yippies), who interviewed Breitbart last year for a lengthy, spirited debate that was published in the December issue of Playboy magazine:
“We should put our political and social differences aside at a time like this. It (death) humanizes people in a way that transcends politics.…
I could write an extemporaneous dissertation on the political race and the human race, class acts and class warfare, and the politicization of everything including morals and the natural law and constitutional liberties never before threatened by government. But I won’t.
People have asked me who I support for the GOP nomination and I answer ‘I don’t know’ not to avoid commitment or engagement (I’m always ready to engage ideas) but because, like many commentators and scholars and analysts and observers with far more intelligence than I dare claim, I do not know who the best candidate would be. But I’m willing to state the belief that any of the four candidates seeking the GOP nomination would be far more respectful of basic rights and liberties and the sanctity and dignity of human life than the current officeholder they seek to replace. That sounds like an editorial comment but is at least as much an account of factual record.
Mr. Obama has his points of merit on certain particular issues, on rhetorical skill and for some on personal likeability, though the election of a president is of far more consequence than that.
So let’s be clear on what’s at stake here. What got little to no attention in the 2008 election is, for starters, Mr. Obama’s voting record in the Illinois Senate. I talked and wrote about it, but now it’s coming more to light.
The nation’s number one talk show host drew attention to Barack Obama’s history of supporting infanticide on Friday’s show.…
President Obama’s mandate requiring free access to contraception with virtually no employer exemption is at core a consitutional threat to religious liberty, not a heated debate about contraception and Church teaching. However, it quickly turned into that.
So now that we’re on the subject…
Advocates of President Obama’s contraception mandate should admit that its main purpose is sexual liberation and not “women’s health,” according to a feminist author who supports the mandate.
“The phrase ‘women’s health’ in the birth control dispute is the latest nimble euphemism,” author and blogger Pamela Haag wrote in a Feb. 17 essay published on the “Marriage 3.0” blog.
Access to contraception, she said, “isn’t really about my ‘health.’ It’s not principally about the management of ovarian cysts or the regulation of periods.”
“Birth control isn’t about my health unless by ‘health’ you mean, my capacity to get it on, to have a happy, joyous sex life that involves an actual male partner,” wrote Haag, criticizing White House supporters for discussing contraceptives mainly as “preventive services” for women’s health.
“The point of birth control is to have sex that’s recreational and non-procreative,” wrote Haag approvingly. “It’s to permit women to exercise their desires without the ‘sword of Damocles’ of unwanted pregnancy hanging gloomily over their heads.”
And now that women are speaking out…
In recent posts on CNA’s Catholic Womanhood page, columnists attacked the mandate from various angles – some addressed the issue of religious freedom while others questioned the validity of abortifacients, sterilization and contraception being labeled as “basic medical care” for women.…
The president may have been surprised by the unusual and overwhelming unity among Catholic Americans after he issued an unprecedented threat to religious liberty most directly aimed at Catholic institutions. But he probably didn’t expect a whole movement across America to rise in solidarity with the common cause of resisting his unchecked tyranny.
Call it what it is: The Audacity of Power as Charles Kadlec puts it in an excellent article, as excerpted below.
In one of the boldest, most audacious moves ever made by a President of the United States, President Barack Obama is on the brink of successfully rendering moot the very first clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” (emphasis added). If he forces the Catholic Church to comply with the Health and Human Services ruling to provide its employees with insurance that covers activities the Church has long held sinful — abortion via the morning after pill, sterilization and contraceptives — then the precedent is clear: when religious beliefs conflict with government decrees, religion must yield.
The story line that President Obama miscalculated in picking this fight with the Catholic Church vastly underestimates the man’s political skill and ambition. His initial approval of the ruling requiring the Church pay for abortion drugs and sterilization was but the first step in a calculated strategy to further his goal of transforming America.…
The national firestorm over the HHS contraceptive mandate and conscience rights, President Obama’s ‘war on the church’ and constitutionally protected religious liberty is a confrontation necessitated by unprecedented government action. But all that fire is distracting us from the spark of ignition: Why did the federal government mandate health insurers to cover contraception, sterilization and the morning after pill in the first place?
Why these particular drugs, of all things? Why not other “preventive health services” of which there’s a wide array? They (HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and President Obama) claim it’s because they’re keenly intent on providing healthcare “for the health of women and families,” but nothing is provided for, say, infertility treatment for women who want to become pregnant and couples who want a family.
I saw a spokeswoman for the ‘Reproductive Rights Center’ vigorously arguing for this mandate and wondered…what are “reproductive rights”? There’s no reproduction going on in their business and the rights they represent are limited to choosing or endorsing or providing for their services, which are contraception and abortion.
Under the administration of the most pro-abortion president in American history, the abortion movement has grown into a mafia-style outfit, with power and clout that was well known but still somewhat hidden until the Komen takedown two weeks ago. Planned Parenthood is advising the White House, which is how we got to this point in US history with drugs that can be both carcinogenic and abortifacent being mandated by the ’Health Secretary’ (this sounds so Orwellian) for insurance coverage free of charge to women, provided for even by religious institutions against their fundamental moral beliefs.…
Back in 2008 when Barack Obama was running for president, his media and message-savvy team smugly dubbed him ‘no drama Obama,’ so controlled was his image. They’re going to have to come up with something new for 2012.
His ”war on the church” dominated news cycles last week, and isn’t going away yet. Though “the church” in the headlines is Catholic, other religious leaders have started saying “We’re all Catholic now.”
I’m reminded of Dr. Martin Luther King’s profound remarks in his Letter from Birmingham Jail.
I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to… click here to read whole article and make comments …