Whew! It’s the first time I’ve heard such powerful words from a man of the cloth. I love it! It’s about time!
The man is Bishop David A. Zubik, writing in the Pittsburgh Catholic on Friday.
“Kathleen Sebelius (HHS Secretary) and through her, the Obama administration, have said ‘To Hell with You’ to the Catholic faithful of the United States.”
He added that the administration has damned Catholics’ religious beliefs, religious liberty and freedom of conscience. “It’s like a slap in the face.”
That’s just one strong reaction to the Jan. 20 announcement by Sibelius that the administration refused to change a rule of Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) that requires all employers to provide health insurance covering all birth control expenses with no patient co-pay.
This includes religious hospitals, charities, schools, universities and other institutions. They must pay for employee birth control, contraceptive drugs, sterilizations and drugs that cause abortions. It stops just short of surgical and chemical abortions.
The rule has a narrow exception for groups whose main purpose is the “inculcation of religious values” among people of the same faith.
That didn’t sit well with Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York and head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: “Even Jesus and his disciples would not qualify for the exemption because they were committed to serve those other faiths.”
He continued, in the Wall Street Journal, “The Obama administration has failed to show the same respect for the consciences of Catholics and others who object to treating pregnancy as a disease.”
Sibelius said the administration made the decision only “after very careful consideration, including the important concerns some have raised about religious liberty.”
Uh, yeah, Kathleen. Some do have concerns about religious liberty – which the last time I looked, was guaranteed in the Constitution.
It should be noted that Catholics aren’t alone in objecting to the decision. Christian Evangelicals and Orthodox Jews, among others, are also incensed, as well as anyone concerned about the infringement of religious liberty.
Interestingly, because of a conscientious objection to health insurance, the Amish are exempted from the law, but Catholics’ religious objections are ignored.
The guideline goes into effect Aug. 1, but as a token nod to the religious objections, their deadline was extended to Aug. 1, 2013.
But only the deadline was extended; the requirement for religious institutions still stands – which illustrates the contempt the administration has for people with moral religious conviction.
It should come as no surprise that Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization of Women, told CNS News, “It’s poppycock” for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to “claim that institutions can have consciences.”
For her, there should be no limit on women’s access to birth control, whatever the technique. Conscience doesn’t exist.
Pittsburgh’s Bishop Zubik looked at the broad view.
“This is government by fiat that attacks the rights of everyone – not only Catholics,” and he extended that to all religions. “At no other time in memory or history has there been such a governmental intrusion on freedom not only with regard to religion but even across-the-board with all citizens.”
He said the mandate could be changed with enough pressure on Congress.
“Let them know that you and I will not allow ourselves to be pushed around (or worse yet) be dismissed because of our Catholic faith.”
If you ever had any doubt about the duplicity of the current president of the United States, these events of the last two weeks make it plain.
But Obama’s hypocrisy takes the cake. While he perpetuates his attack on Catholic beliefs and conscience after the new health insurance rule was mandated on Jan. 20, he had the gall to honor Catholic educators at a White House ceremony on Jan. 27!
At the event, 10 people involved with Catholic education were recognized as “champions of Catholic education.” Those honored were asked to tell how each had improved Catholic education in this country.
Psst. Do you think he knows those schools actually teach about and encourage morality and prayer?
Obama cannot tell the truth if it interferes with his goals. He doesn’t flinch from equivocation to impress selected audiences. He makes and breaks promises and totally ignores the reality of what he’s done. He audaciously insults people and groups that don’t meet his political standards and ignores questioning of anything he’s done or said.
Move along now, nothing to see here.
No, nothing, except the evisceration of the Constitution, our history of laws and basic human rights by a man who places himself above all that, despite his oath of office to preserve, protect and defend.
Barack Obama operates on one premise: I get what I want when I want it – and if I don’t get it, I’ll take it.
Beware, Americans. If Obama is re-elected, his second term will be like nothing this country has ever experienced.
Katie, bar the door!
It will be anything goes, and the people be damned.
The country, too.