Obama Swings Left Hook — Catholics Not Down for the Count

The Supreme Court’s decision to grant religious groups a “ministerial exception” in hiring, while important, does nothing to halt the Obama Administration’s relentless crusade to restrict religious freedom.

Now the Administration has announced it will not expand exemptions for religiously affiliated organizations when it comes to insurance. So a Catholic hospital, for instance, will be forced to purchase insurance for its employees that would provide free contraception and sterilization services.

Now, in case you didn’t know, the Catholic Church teaches that using artificial contraception or undergoing sterilization are grave sins. The government has now said, “Tough.”

Even the liberal Washington Post sees this for what it is: a restriction of religious freedom. Its lead editorial called the Administration’s decision “wrong.”

Perhaps the Administration was feeling benevolent because it delayed the implementation of the insurance mandate for a year.

Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan wasn’t feeling the love. He rightly fumed: “In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences.” Dolan said that “to force American citizens to choose between violating their consciences and forgoing their healthcare is literally unconscionable. . . Historically this represents a challenge and a compromise of our religious liberty.”

Folks, I’ve been warning for more than a year now that the Administration is constricting religious liberty bit by bit. It has abandoned any defense of traditional marriage. It is promoting gay rights abroad at the expense of religious rights. And I’ve documented that the Administration, beginning with Secretary of State Clinton, has intentionally used the phrase “freedom of worship” instead of “freedom of religion,” implying that one’s faith is a private matter — and that exercising that faith in public is not a protected right.

Well, if the Administration’s latest move isn’t proof of that, I don’t know what will be.

Now, to all my evangelical brethren who may be wondering why I’m making so much of this — after all, the vast majority of evangelicals don’t have a problem with contraception — I will say this: Which of our religious convictions will we be forced to abandon one day? Will our religiously affiliated groups be forced to hire people who oppose our faith? Will the government force a curriculum upon our schools and homeschoolers? Just a few years ago these possibilities seemed crazy. Now, they seem very real.

I’m reminded of the famous saying of German pastor Martin Niemoeller, referring to the horrors of Nazi Germany:

“First they came for the Socialists, and I
did not speak out —
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists,
and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did
not speak out — Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was
no one left to speak for me.”

Folks, all Christians speak out against this latest attack — and every attack — on religious liberty. Please, I plead with you, sign — and get your friends to sign — the Manhattan Declaration in support of religious liberty. Do it today at ManhattanDeclaration.org.

Because pretty soon no one will be left to speak out for us.

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  • This is what happens when government reduces the Constitution to a word game where they can do whatever they want by controlling the language.  “Worship” vs. “Religion” may not seem significant, but as this article shows, it allows people to slowly chip away at our God-given rights and freedoms.

  • Anonymous

    Catholic hospitals need to just say “No!” instead of compromising and rationalizing.  If this means going out of business, so be it.  A “Catholic” hospital is not Catholic if it violates the teachings of the Catholic Church.

  • Ghin771202

    A simple response that I am sure will work is for the bishops to explain to our fearless president that unles he reverse his mandate in two weeks that every Catholic Hospital and School in the United States will be promptly closed and remained closed indefintely.

  • Nance

    My husband blames this on the liberal USCCB which has for decades failed to provide moral leadership to Catholics in the pews.  They wanted their cozy relationship with the democrats so badly they betrayed their teaching responsibility and toned down the priests who taught the Truth.  As usual we all pay for their perfidy and they escape blame through false respect for the mitre.  Faithful Catholics must be faithful to the Church, not to the men who wear the robes.

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  • Ut unum sint

    We cannot simply dismiss bishops; the hierarchy is essential to the structure of the Body of Christ, a structure that Christ Himself established. What all must do is where the rubber really hits the road, and which makes demands on you as well: to pray, fast, and sacrifice on behalf of “the men who wear the robes”–that they may be faithful to Christ’s will. In other words, don’t make yourself a new righteous, personal authority over them, but pray that those who are in authority use their authority faithfully for the service and sanctification of the Body of Christ.

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  • Joe DeVet

    I’m gonna go with Nance on this one.  The bishops in congress assembled (well, USCCB assembled) did a lot to bring this on themselves…and us.  They have been campaigning for socialized medicine for decades, a toxic idea which is bad in itself, and deadly when executed by a regime as corrupt as Obama.  Their support in general for Obamacare was such that their nitty objections to a few speeches left confusion and only a tepid opposition. 

    After the executive order by Obama, promising no abortion support within Obamacare, then-USCCB president Cardinal George issued a pastoral letter assuring us that they would be watching carefully to be sure that he kept his word.  It was shameful and embarrassing.  Everyone knew the executive order was a sham–that Obama did not mean a word of it, and even if he did it would be of dubious legal standting.  Also, everyone knew that the bishops could “watch” Obama till Kingdom Come, and it would make no difference whatever.  The letter had the effect of giving Catholics who had been for Obamacare moral and political cover for what they had committed.  It’s biggest effect, though, was to make Cardinal George look like a fool and the Church look helplessly confused.

  • Joe DeVet

    I misspoke.  Meant to say the bishops’ nitty objections to a few features (to Obamacare) left confusion and only tepid opposition.

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