The equivalent of the attack on Pearl Harbor has occurred in the midst of faith-based institutions throughout the land. The bomb dropped, in this case, is the decision to compel faith-based institutions to provide artificial contraception, sterilization procedures, and abortifacient pills in their health insurance packages. The attack comes not from any foreign government but from our own.
The positive side of all this is that it is a slow bomb—the bomb bay doors have opened, the payload has been released, but it will take a year to hit the ground: on January 13, 2013 the government’s decision will take full effect. So, unlike Pearl Harbor, the people have some time to react—to kick the bomb back into the plane.
D.C.-based Catholic Advocate is determined to see that happen. On January 20 of this year, the same day that the Department of Health and Human Services announced its new policy, Catholic Advocate president Matt Smith issued a scathing denouncement:
“For President Obama to say at Notre Dame he wanted to find ‘Common Ground’ with people of faith and then allow this decision to move forward, should
send a strong signal to people of faith that the ‘Closed’ sign is on the door.”
“The pro-abortion lobby is raising a toast today knowing their president came through for them again.”
Catholic Advocate was ringing the alarm bells about this months ago. In September of 2011 it was urging its constituents to contact Congress in favor of proposed legislation introduced to the House of Representatives that would “permit a health plan to decline coverage of specific items and services that are contrary to the religious beliefs of the sponsor…or…the purchaser…without penalty.”
The current administration is clearly opposed to this measure, but Catholic Advocate is not intimidated. On January 31 it issued an official press release, National Conscience Protection Grassroots Campaign Launched: Catholic Laity can receive toolkit to contact Congress at www.ProtectOurConscience.org:
“Catholic Advocate is asking for at least one leader per parish in this country to sign up at www.ProtectOurConscience.org. There they will have access to a grassroots toolbox to answer the call to rally faithful laity to reinstate our conscience rights.”
“There are 17,782 parishes in the United States…If faithful Catholics were able to average 115 letters per parish to their Representative and each Senator, Capitol Hill would receive over six million contacts on this issue. We would send a powerful message that cannot be ignored.”
“A primary focus of this nationwide grassroots campaign is building additional support for H.R. 1179/S. 1467 – the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act introduced by Representative Jeff Fortenberry (Nebraska, 1st District) and Senator Roy Blunt (Missouri) respectively.”
The full press release can be read here.
The response is increasingly powerful. President Matt Smith tells Catholic Exchange, “As of last night, we have the commitment of at least 1 parish leader in 147 congressional districts across 42 states. When you do the math, with letters being sent to two senators and one representative per state, that amounts to 43% of Congress.”
This is the kind of reaction that is needed. There is no excuse for Catholics to think that the Health and Human Services ruling will somehow evaporate between now and January 2013. The bomb is falling. It will hit the ground and an entirely new, darker chapter in the story of the Culture of Death will unfold. Catholics must act today.