ACLU on separation of state and Catholic church: silence
The Friday Letter / Issue #163
Stephen Combs / The Federalist Review
If George W. Bush had done something stupid like force the Catholic Church to buy its employees free contraception, his critics would have rightly called him tone-deaf. Barack Obama has no such hearing loss, and those who say he doesn’t understand the American culture are simply ignorant of his ideology of Saul Alinsky power politics.
“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, most health insurance plans will cover women’s preventive services, including contraception, without charging a co-pay or deductible beginning in August, 2012,” chirped Cecilia Munoz on her official White House blog. She is director of Obama’s Domestic Policy Council.
What part of this does the The View crowd hear? Free! Of course! It’s in our Constitution. Doesn’t it say something about The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave? Or did we confuse that with something from Rules for Radicals?
We are handed this down-your-throat edict as if the Orwellian-named “Affordable Care Act” had something to do with either affordable or care. The only honest word in this term for America’s developing health care slavery is “act.” It’s an act, a theatrical ruse by Barack Obama to plant the government’s boots on the neck of every American subject.
Typical of government-speak, the flackery spewing from the White House blog cleverly contains just enough truth – but not the whole truth – to deceive the uncritical eye. “No individual will be forced to buy or use contraception,” Cecilia explains with calming assurance.
What is most frightening about this statement is that in order to announce that the government will not have a forced-contraception policy (as in China), somebody had to consider it as a possibility. Perhaps we’ll have to wait until 2013 for that bequeath from Mother Obama.
“The Obama Administration is committed to both respecting religious beliefs and increasing access to important preventive services” (like taxpayer-funded abortions), Cecilia gushed.
Bishops in more than 140 dioceses had a slightly different take on the matter, and they read statements at Sunday Mass. “The Obama administration was essentially saying ‘to hell with you,’ particularly to the Catholic community by dismissing our beliefs, our religious freedom and our freedom of conscience,” said Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh.
The government order is “a radical incursion on the part of our government into freedom of conscience,” said Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, N.Y. Their statements were reported by the Associated Press.
The Obama requirement is regulation of church policy. While this usurpation of religious freedom is chilling enough, the order will be financially punishing as well. Calling it a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act prohibiting government limits on religious freedom, the Becket Fund has challenged the order on behalf of two colleges.
The schools are Belmont Abbey College, a Catholic liberal arts school near Charlotte, N.C., and Colorado Christian University, an evangelical school near Denver.
A lawyer for the organization told the AP that the first-year fines for violating the order would be $300,000 for Belmont Abbey and $500,000 for Colorado Christian.
Never mind, said President Obama’s press spokesman Jay Carney. On Thursday he said the administration will not reconsider the decision.
Is the Catholic vote as reliable as the black vote, the Jewish vote, the union vote? Not quite. While nobody can seriously challenge the claim that nearly every major decision is tied to Obama’s re-election strategy, Catholics are not so monolithic as Obama’s other core constituencies. From their words, at least, Catholic clergy are furious that Obama is dictating church policy. Will that drive Catholic voters from the liberal plantation? We’ll see.
In 2008 Catholics broke for Obama 54-45 over McCain, reversing the 52-47% plurality they gave Bush 43 over Kerry (In 2000 they voted for Gore 50-47 over Bush). Obama’s narcissism may prevent him from even contemplating the possibility of losing a core constituency. In any case, the Republican presidential nominee has been handed an issue that equals the job-killing Keystone pipeline rejection in value.
We can just hear it on the campaign trail – or at least we should hear it: Where are the ACLU separation of church and state zealots?
Sources: Rachel Zoll for the Associated Press, White House, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.