A declaration of war

While we were all swept up in the spirit of the Super Bowl, the Obama administration essentially declared war on the Catholic Church.

Last Sunday, Catholic priests all over the nation urged their parishioners to speak out against the administration’s newest “Obamacare” policy. This mandate will force Catholic schools, hospitals and charities to buy birth control pills, abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization coverage for their employees under the threat of fines.

In essence, the Obama administration is demanding that leaders of these Catholic organizations choose between violating their consciences and facing excessive fines. He has “generously” given them a year to make up their minds.

Unfortunately, the specifics of Obamacare were never very clear to Americans. The media focused on the “showdown” in Washington between Democrats and Republicans, while ignoring the long-term impact of the convoluted legislation. Here is the issue: “conscience exemptions,” which were promised to Catholic leaders, cover only those organizations whose employees are dominantly of the same faith. However, Catholic hospitals, charities, universities and other affiliated organizations that employ thousands of people of all faiths do not qualify for the exemption.

Can you say “sucker punch”?

As Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh argues, the Obama administration’s message to U.S. Catholics is clear: “To hell with your religious beliefs; to hell with your religious liberty; to hell with your freedom of conscience.” The President is trying to dictate rules to the Vatican without any regard for the Constitution. In other words, he’s bullying the Church into compliance. Ladies and gentlemen, that takes one “hell” of an ego.

Obama’s “Today Show” interview on Monday reaffirmed his disdain for our founding document. The President told Matt Lauer: “Our founders designed a system that makes it more difficult to bring about change that I would like sometimes. What I’m going to keep on doing is plot away.”

Perhaps he figures he’s only got a few months left to “plot away” until he’s a lame duck.

Meanwhile, his cronies in Washington are seemingly oblivious. Nancy Pelosi, a so-called Catholic, seems to be under the delusion that the Catholics favor Obama’s policies as a matter of conscience. And Joe Biden, his Catholic vice president, seems to have fallen off the radar. You have to love these spineless politicians.

Whether or not you personally agree with Catholic tenets is irrelevant to this political controversy. This is a constitutional issue, and, as case law has determined, the Church deserves First Amendment protection. In fact, the Supreme Court unanimously decided a similar case less than a month ago.

The Court held that the First Amendment gives “special solicitude to the rights of religious organizations in decisions about their employees” (Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church v. EOEC). By the Free Exercise Clause, a religious group can “shape its own faith and mission through its appointments” and by the Establishment Clause, government can’t intervene in ecclesiastical decisions.

Then again, Obama doesn’t want to be reminded of his losses. In addition, the mandate exposes the administration’s complete and utter disregard for the charitable services offered by the Catholic Church. One out of every six patients in the United States is treated in a Catholic hospital. Catholic Relief Services helps millions of poor and vulnerable people around the world every year and was critical to the earthquake relief efforts in Haiti. What will the Obama administration gain from this advance? Not much.

The action was nothing more than a sorry attempt to appease his pro-choice allies and will ultimately cost him the Catholic vote. In the last election, Catholics supported Obama by a margin of 9 percent. Oh yeah, and they happen to reside in many of the swing states. Bad move, Mr. President. You don’t mess with the Church.

This petty attack will destroy Obama in the long-term as the Catholic Church fights it to the bitter end. When it comes to matters of conscience, the Church “plays for keeps” and will not back down. If Obama lets this drag on much longer, he might as well quit his re-election bid.

  • Jeff Traughber

    Well said Brandon. Regardless of your religious beliefs, you can recognize that this is an attack on religious liberty. This is equivalent to saying that Muslims should be required to purchase pork for all of the non-Muslims they serve; it is against their religion and also there is no constitutional right to pork. In the same way, Catholics shouldn’t be required to go against their conscience and have to pay for a non-essential health-care service. This should be recognized for what it is: an affront to the first amendment. Thank you for bringing this important issue to the table!

  • Erik

    Man this guy’s angering the wrong crowd. First the church, then the military (by removing combat pay from soldiers who arnt directly being shot at EVERY day). His big head will sure look funny when he doesnt have any power to go with it!

  • Rawr

    Catholic institutions should honor their employees’ religious beliefs as well. Believe it or not, some employees at these institutions may indeed want coverage for these kind of contraceptives. I say the Catholic refusal to accept these terms is a declaration of war on women YET AGAIN.

    • Jeff Traughber

      Are you serious? This isn’t Catholics imposing their religious beliefs on their employees for two reasons. First, they have the option of working elsewhere if they would like to have contraception covered by their health-care. Nobody is forcing them to work at a Catholic institution. Second, there is nothing here that is saying that people who work for Catholic High Schools or Hospitals can’t be on birth control, merely that they won’t have it paid for by their employers (which, by the way, is the same situation that they are in now). If they don’t like that, they should find another job. Otherwise, they need to recognize that the Church is dedicated to its teachings and will not back down when people attempt to force it to alter its beliefs.

    • Celine

      Hello, Rawr,
      As you experience life more, you’ll see how contraception introduces exploitation, usery, and infidelity into relationships. The Church knows this outcome; it doesn’t take rocket science to figure this out.
      Some people think contraception, sterilization, and abortion are somehow “freeing” them (from actual thinkers, aka, Church hierarchy).
      Humans came with the ability to actually “reason”, not act out like animals who can’t help themselves. If contraception is so great, why, with its acceptance by most Protestant religions in 1931, did the divorce rate climb alongside its proliferation?
      The Catholic Church never declared war on women. Use your gift of reasoning and think it all through before slandering Her again.

      • Rawr

        LOL, that was the lamest response I’ve ever read. Why don’t you use your reasoning skills and research how the widespread use of contraceptives has statistically led to less abortions?

        I’m happy contraceptives are allowing humans to control reproduction because the world could use less fools.

        • Jeff Traughber

          Once again, are you serious? The widespread use of contraceptives has led to less abortions? From my recollection, it was contraceptives that were legalized first, followed by abortion. That means that the widespread use of contraceptives came before where we are today with abortion (over 3,000 abortions per day). Contraceptives are not perfect, neither are the people using them. This means that there will be pregnancies produced by those who are on contraceptives. What do you think the parents will do? Statistically, it leads to abortion. This means that abortion is seen largely as another form of contraception. The widespread use of contraception has multiplied the number of abortions, not decreased it. You need to check your facts.

          • Rawr

            HEY DOOD I CHECKED MY FACTS! I didn’t find anything stating that abortions have multiplied, however. Hmm?

            http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-contraception-politics-20120209,0,7660915.story

            Statistics from the CDC are in that article.

          • Jeff Traughber

            The claims I was making are on a different time reference than yours. You are saying that recently, because of widespread contraception, the unwanted pregnancy rates (and thus abortion) have gone down. I won’t contest that. However, the point I was making is referred to in the first paragraph: teen birthrates have hit the lowest mark in 40 years. Notice what happened just before that 40 year mark (within a decade)? That’s right, contraception being made legal. Regardless of the fact that abortion numbers have decreased recently (which may be attributable to things other than contraception), you cannot claim that “the widespread use of contraceptives has statistically led to less abortions” because it is not true that there were as many abortions as there are today before the legalization of contraception.

        • Barbara

          This argument is NOT about contraceptives…It is about FREEDOM OF RELIGION. Many religions, not just the Catholic Church do not believe in abortion….the media keeps calling it birth control…but the mandate being shoved down our throats includes abortion and abortifacient drugs…..NO ONE, whatever their religion, should have to pay for something that is against the the very heart of their religion…the respect for life in all its stages is a basic tenant of many religions…no one is stopping women from using contraceptives or abortions…there is absolutely no way anyone who believe this can pay for it and have a clear conscience. The Catholic Church may seem old fashioned but I’m sure if Obama started forcing the Pennsylvannia Amish to get rid of their carriages and start driving cars, people would be horrified…or if they started trying to make Muslims eat pork or drink alcohol….or if they tried to make Orthodox jews cut off their curls….or Hindus eat beef….This is about FREEDOM OF RELIGION…and it could be your group that gets hit next time….

  • Ceranna
  • Trey Bien

    A couple of questions:

    1. Should a Catholic college (i.e. Notre Dame, Georgetown) or hospital be able to fire an employee (most who are not Catholic) who gets divorced since the church does not allow divorce? Or deny health benefits to the spouse of a divorced employee?

    2. If American Muslims create a college or establish a hospital, can they enforce Sharia law on it’s employees?

    • Celine

      Hey Trey,
      Obviously, the Catholic institutions which hire people of other religions are not discriminating against any belief system among employees. The employer is hiring employees based on their abilities to perform specific jobs. Getting a divorce would not be an ethical reason to fire someone, but if it affects that employee’s work performance, does that count? What if the job entails details that require straight thinking? Lab work, etc.? Taking care of other people? Would the employee jeopardize any lives? Your question is really ambiguous and smacks of not understanding the already over-regulated world of running/owning a business. Oh, and having your own belief system sounds like it has to be regulated now.
      How would you like to be told what to do w/ your own business? By people who do not share your vision nor value system? Adding insult to injury, you then have to pay them tax money!?!@?#
      If some bubblehead wants a job in a Muslim institution, they should expect to be treated like a Muslim. Heads up here: Women get treated like dogs. I know nurses who work under Muslim doctors. Talk about constant brow-beating and being subjected to intense humiliating remarks. Go for it!
      What ever happened to people appreciating their jobs and then TAKING CARE OF THEMSELVES with the money they just earned???? It’s called planning, providing, consequences, ad nauseum. You should seriously check out what Shari`a Law is. You won’t want to work for ANYONE who believes in that system–if you’re in your right mind . . . .

  • Mike

    The problem I have with the Catholic uproar is that it exemplifies how Americans have allowed the statist Democrats to frame the conversation in the first place.

    This isn’t a war on Catholicism. It’s another battle in the war on liberty.

    Why should Catholic institutions be required to provide anything to anybody? The argument we’re having here assumes that it’s okay in the first place for the government to force employers to provide health care in the first place. This is a concept that is completely void of morality to begin with.

    In order for the employee of a Catholic organization to get their “free” contraception, it means that someone else must exert time and labor to deliver it. Nobody can defend that on a moral basis, only an emotional one. Not to mention that the more things employers are forced to provide, the more stagnate wages become. Over time the cost increases the expenses of hiring people and then gets absorbed into the income of the employee.

    • Old Mole

      “Nobody can defend that on a moral basis, only an emotional one. ”

      Really? I think His Holiness the Pope is doing a pretty good job of it myself.
      “Important also in the field of health, integral part of each one’s existence and of the common good, is to establish a true distributive justice that guarantees to all, on the basis of objective needs, adequate care. Consequently, the world of health cannot be subtracted from the moral rules that should govern it so that it will not become inhuman. As I stressed in the encyclical “Caritas in Veritate,” the social doctrine of the Church has always evidenced the importance of distributive justice and of social justice in the different sectors of human relations (No. 35).”

      “Distributive justice” is, for the Holy See, a “traditional value” that I suspect Mr. Pringle is unlikely to share wholeheartedly. It is one of the drawbacks of picking items from a menu when they support your point of view, but ignoring them when they do not.

      Given the Church’s traditional position, I think they are holding the wrong people at fault … had “conservatives” not been so successful in defeating any mention of a single-payer health insurance plan, health care coverage would not be required by any employer, so the Catholic objections in this controversy would be moot.

      • Mike

        “It is in the interests of the market to promote emancipation, but in order to do so effectively, it cannot rely only on itself, because it is not able to produce by itself something that lies outside its competence. It must draw its moral energies from other subjects that are capable of generating them.”

        I don’t think I agree with the Vatican’s entire economic doctrine, but I would agree with the above statement from the letter you referred to. That is, free markets require a confident and moral base in order to operate.

        That moral base is not present in a system of distributive justice. Because in order to implement that, you must first accept that the confiscation of the property of one in order to give to others is principally valid. There can’t be qualifiers such as “as long as it’s done right” because that’s a subjective statement. What one deserves and another does not is a human decision. And when one accepts that as a valid means to achieve the goals they desire, they must acknowledge the means are still valid when they are opposed to the outcome. One would have no right to therefore say that the taking from the middle class to give to the wealthy is wrong because it’s just someone else’s interpretation of fairness. I oppose the concept of distributive justice in its entirety because the same system that is used for fairness will soon be a mechanism for destruction.

        The harmony of the Catholic Church and its acceptance of distributive justice has worked in the US because its means are private and voluntary. It embraces charity and provides fair outcome through its schools, shelters, and hospitals. This is done voluntarily out of a belief system and not mandated by law, which is entirely different.

  • Aaron R.

    Celine – you say it “doesn’t take rocket science” to figure out this trend you have pointed, but I would say it does take a reasonable and less sensationalist mindset to understand that your statement is grossly over generalized and not supported by scientific evidence whatsoever.

    And I’m sorry, but you cannot just take two trends and link them together. I don’t mean to be condescending, but have you taken any psychology courses here? Did you know more people die when Pepsi sales go up? So should we ban Pepsi? (if you haven’t taken a class, the answer is that Pepsi sales go up when the temperature is hot, and because of the high temperatures people swim, and therefore there are more drowning incidents). I’m going to assume your opinion of birth control is tied to your religious beliefs (based off of your argument that “The Church knows” about the negative consequences of birth control), but please, take the time to do a bit of research.

    I am sick of people regurgitating what their priests, etc. have said to them as though these church officials know even a fraction of what doctors, psychologists, social workers, and the like know.

    • Bryan

      Nicely said.

    • Jeff Traughber

      I just want you to know that most Catholics that I know who are actually Catholics (not just by name but by practice) who believe that contraception and/ or abortion are immoral say so NOT because a priest tells them, but because they have researched the issue and looked within themselves to find the answers. Yes, we believe that Church officials tend to be right on many things (they have had a lot of schooling that we haven’t so they are moreso experts than we can claim to be), but we do not take it at face value. We dig deeper and see if what they are saying truly resonates with our deepest held beliefs and values. You are making a gross over generalization by claiming that Catholics simply accept the immorality of actions purely because the Church says so.

      One more point: There are Catholics we well as non-Catholics who are doctors, psychologists, and social workers who have seen what has happened since the acceptance of contraception and say that it is wrong. Do not act as if all of them are in unison against what the Church says. If you wish to stop someone from making an over generalization, then you had better not make one yourself.

      • Aaron R.

        You’re right, I made an over-generalization, and I apologize for that. But I find it peculiar that you point my over-generalization out, and then you follow up with some anecdotal experiences with other Catholics — as though that suggests that what I said was wrong. I don’t doubt that most Catholics you know found answers “within themselves,” but that is nothing more than your own experience, and to imply that that is the case for all Catholics would be an over-generalization as well. I think we should move past experiential arguments then, or we will get caught in this game for a while.

        And perhaps I should have been a bit more clear. I am absolutely aware that doctors and the like can be religious. I should have made a better distinction. What I was trying to say is that I find it silly to trust “church officials” over people who are educated on these issues. You say that I should not act as though, let’s say doctors, are all “in unison against what the Church says,” but I actually think there is some pretty compelling evidence to believe that many, if not a majority, are.

        Consider the American Medical Association (AMA), who explicitly states in their “Code of Medical Ethics” that their principles should not “prohibit a physician from performing an abortion(1).” Or consider the American Psychological Association (APA), whose research found “no evidence that a single abortion harms a woman’s mental health(2).” Then consider the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) who explicitly states they are “working toward safe, legal, and accessible reproductive health care services, including abortion services, for everyone(3).” And these are just a few.

        I want to also say that, just as with any democratically initiated and approved policy, majority approval does not make it right. But I do think the fact that these associations clearly state their support for abortion services deserves more credit than a church official’s opposition. I believe this because I believe someone who is an expert in the field of medical, psychological, and social issues deserves more credit than a church official who abstracts their religious teachings to a modern-day issue (and again, I am not excluding religious people from “experts,” but I am excluding people like say, the Pope).

        You may disagree with that last statement, and that is fine. But as I said to Celine, I think a little more research is always a good idea before making a case for something. I apologize again for the over-generalization, and I hope this post has made it perhaps a bit more clear what I was trying to say.

        1, http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics/opinion201.page?
        2. http://www.apa.org/topics/abortion/index.aspx
        3. http://www.socialworkers.org/ldf/legal_issue/2007/200707.asp

        • Jeff Traughber

          Thank you for your response. I appreciate the fact that you actually do your research and are willing to talk civilly. I also am thankful that you don’t peg me as an unthinking devotee of anything a Church official says (if you did you wouldn’t have taken the time to respond to me). While I can appreciate your points, I also know that there is evidence against some of the claims made by, for instance, the APA. Regardless of that (because I am too tired to look anything up right now), I think that we can agree that forcing a group to do something that is against their religion is against what America stands for and violates the first amendment. Whether or not what Catholics believe about contraception is justified, that has no bearing on whether or not the government has the right to impose practices on the Church that it has deemed immoral. Thank you for your well reasoned response; it is people like you that I enjoy discussing things with because you take a cool headed approach and don’t let yourself get caught up in emotions.

        • Barbara

          There are lots of people that read books about money but they are not rich…there are lots of authorities that have made pronouncements about abortion but they are missing the point….abortion is a spiritual and moral decision…not just a medical or psychological decision…any man or woman that has held their newborn child knows this…anyone who has been at the death of a loved one and had to abide by “do not resusite” orders knows that this is not just a medical/psychological moment…so, yes, religious authorities have an very important perspective when it comes to matters of life and death….

          • Aaron R.

            Abortion is a spiritual decision for those who are spiritual, and a moral decision for those whose morals define life at conception.

            Medicine and psychology, unlike religion, is a universal human issue. It applies to everyone. I guess I am not sure what you mean by “missing the point.” If you are implying that they are missing the “spiritual” point, you must recognize that not everyone holds the same beliefs in regards to religion/spirituality.

            I would argue that people of medicine and psychology (people of science) are perhaps the most qualified for determining what should be allowed in terms of reproductive rights. I am not sure how spirituality/religion is relevant to the issue of rights. Maybe you could comment on that.

    • Barbara

      Many priests are doctors, psychologists, social workers, and the like….you have fallen into your own Pepsi logic trap….

  • Keith Cody

    In America, your health benefits, if they are offered, are part of your compensation. Whether it’s wages earned, bonuses, health benefits, or vacation, it’s all your money and you can choose how to spend it. An employer can disagree with it on religious grounds, but they can’t imposed their belief upon you. Not only does this make obvious sense, but it has been firmly established in US case law. You have the right to practice your religion, but not the right to force your religion upon your employees. Mr Pringle is arguing that your employer can and should be able to tell you how to spend your money. This is wrong and Un-American.

    President Barack Obama clarified the laws regarding compensation. If you want to tell someone how to spend their money, they have to be a member of your church and employee of your church. They can’t just be an employee of a company that has a religious basis. It’s nothing new. It’s been the law of California for awhile. Mr. Pringle seems to have forgot this. And for good measure, he throws in a Supreme Court decision that has nothing to do with the matter at hand. Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church v. EOEC was about the employees of a church or a religious run school. It is not about large employers, Catholic or non-Catholic. Just as Obama’s clarification only applies to large employers, not religious schools or churches. He’s trying to trick you into think the court agrees with him, it does not.

    Mr. Pringle apparently believes the rules of a sovereign nation, the Holy See, superseded the laws of the United States. He argues such in his recent opinion piece. And furthermore he believes the President of the United States must absolutely obey the rules of this nation, the Vatican. America doesn’t have to follow the laws and rules of another country. If not following another country’s rules is the same as war, then every country on earth is at war with each other. This is complete nonsense.

    And it’s not as if the Catholic Church is a bastion of high morals. The current Pope is the guy who was chosen by the last Pope to cover up the child abuse scandal. Rick Santorum somehow believes that the politics of Massachusetts are to blame for his chosen religion’s wholesale endorsement, coverup and whitewashing of the horrible systematic raping of children. He blames liberals, and not the rapists — I mean church leaders. And Newt Gingrich, his fellow Catholic presidential hopeful, seems to have fallen off the radar on the issue. You have to love these spineless politicians.

    Once again Brendan Pringle subjects us to his usual drivel and dishonesty. He employs conservative talking points and name calling to make to make his case. And as usual, the facts don’t get in the way. The facts are: it’s your money, you get to choose how to spend it. That’s America.

    • Barbara

      It is the Rule of Conscience that is at issue here….and though the Catholic Church is imperfect….The Church is correct here….no one should be forced to pay for abortions if they find them morally wrong……As I said, the Church is not perfect but they are standing on solid ground as far as the right of the individual to follow their conscience goes….

  • Scott

    Mr. Pringle:

    If you defend the right of Catholic hospitals to deny women contraceptives based on religious law, would you also defend a Muslim hospital to operate under Sharia law?

    I look forward to your response.

    • Jeff Traughber

      Scott, first of all, Sharia law is only supposed to apply to Muslims. They do not believe that everyone is required to follow their laws (except for the few ultra-conservatives that everyone focuses on). Another point I would like to add is that the Sharia law you are referring to (ultra conservative), while not by any means the most prevalent in the world let alone in this country, wouldn’t be allowed because it takes away the rights of women (again, most Sharia is not like this, but I do know that there are reactionary groups such as the Taliban that enforce this). Catholics are not taking away anybody’s rights. Since when do women have the right to free birth control? The HHS mandate classifying birth control as a preventative measure is essentially equating pregnancy with disease, which is a distorted and twisted view of the gift that it is.

      Secondly, aren’t lawyers allowed to exercise their conscience in deciding whom they will represent? Are they forced to represent every person who comes to them, even if they believe the person is guilty of a heinous crime? Furthermore, aren’t surgeons allowed to exercise their consciences when a person comes to them for an elective surgery (e.g. a young girl who comes wanting a breast implant)? Why is it that it is only when it comes to contraception and/or abortion that you require the service provider to adhere to the beliefs of the person to which the service is rendered?

      In response to your question, I ask you to define what Sharia law you are referring to. If you do not have an adequate response, it will only show that you are using inaccurate representations of one religious group to attack another. That doesn’t seem to be a very principled attack.

      • Ryan B

        I think that Scott is trying to make a comparison between the idea that a Muslim-based company would impose Shira law on its employees (and thus is somewhere you wouldn’t want to work) and the implication made by Brendon that a Catholic-based company has the right to impose their religious beliefs on its employees. Neither has this right to the extent that it has been described in numerous comments above.

        And also, as for free exercise of practice, in none of those cases are there life or death consequences (except possibly the lawyer’s client committing a heinous crime, but the state will still provide them a public defender, in which case that one lawyer isn’t their only option). In the case of an unwanted pregnancy, there are often very real medical reasons why the pregnancy should be aborted if it puts the life of the woman in danger. This happens more often that many people realize, I have a friend who wanted a child, but had to abort it because going through with the pregnancy would have likely resulted in neither of them surviving. In that sense, there is a medical necessity for the abortion to be performed, and in many cases a Catholic hospital is the only place the woman can go to have that done.

        • Jeff Traughber

          Notice that what you are discussing and the topic covered by this article are two very different things. You are discussing what services a Catholic hospital should have to provide to its constituents, whereas the article is concerning health-care provided to that hospital’s employees. Your argument concerning the life and death nature of some cases has nothing to do with contraception to be provided to those employees. Your comments are a complete non-sequiter to the discussion. Please explain how this applies.

    • Barbara

      Catholic institutions not wanting to pay for contraceptives can in no way be compared to Sharia law….I just came back from living in the Middle East…and they REALLY know how to mistreat women there….and I’ve lived in China …they have forced abortions there…it is really terrible….and if we do not allow people to follow their own conscience on this issue, we are headed right down the same path….Our country is founded on the idea that we all have certain rights….Our Constitution and Bill of Rights lay out exactly what those rights are because there is always somebody who thinks they know a better way to run everyone’s lives…One of those rights is Freedom of Religion…and that is what is at stake here…..If Obama looses this battle against the Catholic Church, it’s not going to stop folks from using contraceptives or having abortions….but it will keep Freedom of Religion and conscience intact for all of us….

    • Barbara

      If a woman wants contraceptives she can obtain them in all sorts of other places….the Catholic hospital is not stopping the woman from getting them….the Catholic hospital is simply not participating in obtaining them for the woman

  • Sean

    Don’t you think saying obama “essentially declared war on the catholic church” is a bit sensationalist? and to use the whole “War on _____” seems like a pretty uncreative way of describing the event. pretty low quality stuff.

  • Joe

    The amount of obvious disgust and person attacks towards Obama in this article really make it hard to take seriously. Also, some of the claims are a little outlandish, which makes it hard for me trust any of the information in this article. Sharing you opinion is awesome, but to me, your anger towards Obama is suppressing the issue you were originally trying to write about here.

    One more thing…If Romney is the republican nominee, who do think will really end up with the Catholic vote?

  • Austin

    You have a different idea of what moral and ethical mean. I think it IS moral to put laws in place that ensure employers are meeting the needs of their employees and their customers.

    Look at it this way; our economy is a system of employers, employees, and consumers. In our economy there are a lot of consumers, a lot of employees, and a couple employers. In any given company, there are a lot of employees, a lot of customers, and comparatively very few owners/employers. The primary social and economical value of a company is what it provides for its employees and it’s customers. So we need to think about business accordingly, and legislate business accordingly.

    You’re complaining about legislation that tells business owners how they’re allowed to treat the people they’re making money off of. Conservatives look at business as if the owner is the only person who’s needs and desires are relevant to the business, but this is ridiculous. In the big picture, employers are the gate through which value trickles into the REGULAR POPULATION. And now especially, in this recession, we need to make sure that those floodgates are wide open.

    • Austin

      This was supposed to be a response to Mike.

    • Mike

      Austin, what is it that employees and customers need? Who is the powerful being that recognizes the needs and then has the authority to dictate the solution?

      Believers of a liberal economy acknowledge that no individual is fit to make those decisions for others. Individual people are the best at making that decision for themselves. If you aren’t satisfied with what your employer provides, work for someone else or perhaps yourself. The interesting thing is that this works both ways. Society’s needs are always broadcasted by voting with choices. So if the majority of our society thinks contraception must be covered by their employer, then businesses have to keep up and provide it to employ the best people.

      I hear what you’re saying but in a liberal economy, your concerns about businesses meeting the needs of its employees and customers is taken care of through natural means. No government is capable of making those decisions, and that is a truth that is both logically and empirically true.

      A right cannot be something that requires forcing others to give you something. The right to life, speech, etc. are rights that are inherent and don’t impose themselves on others. Calling contraception a “right” is just wildly inaccurate (not saying Austin did this).

    • Barbara

      And the Nazi’s put LAWS in place to “take care” of their Jewish population….that’s why it was so hard to stop Hitler….it became “institutionalized”…..I cannot provide a person a service that is against everything I believe….making sure a person has cancer treatment is completely different than providing abortions…one saves a life, the other takes a life.

      • Aaron R.

        Really? You are drawing an analogy between Obama’s stance on contraceptive and Nazi Germany? That is quite the stretch.

    • Barbara

      The whole reason we have a Constitution is because everyone has different ideas of what moral and ethical means….When I lived in the Middle East, the biggest barrier to business was that it was considered morally and ethically OK to deceive or trick someone…whatever it took to win was the norm….I like having a Constitution instead that sets out basic human rights but allows diversity.

  • Barbara

    In his February 16 testimony to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut, outlined the bishops’ opposition to the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate through an extended parable of a country where a new law requires all businesses to serve pork, including kosher delicatessens.

    When the Orthodox Jewish community expresses its outrage, Bishop Lori said, it’s met with arguments of “But pork is good for you,” “So many Jews eat pork, and those who don’t should just get with the times,” and “Those Orthodox are just trying to impose their beliefs on everyone else.”

    Bishop Lori’s parable had a happy ending, that people recognized “it is absurd for someone to come into a kosher deli and demand a ham sandwich,” “it is beyond absurd for that private demand to be backed with the coercive power of the state,” and “it is downright surreal to apply this coercive power when the customer can get the same sandwich cheaply, or even free, just a few doors down.”

    “The question before the United States government—right now—is whether the story of our own Church institutions that serve the public, and that are threatened by the HHS mandate, will end happily too. Will our nation continue to be one committed to religious liberty and diversity? We urge, in the strongest possible terms, that the answer must be yes.”

    The full text of Bishop Lori’s testimony may be found online: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/upload/lori-testimony-for-oversight-on-religious-freedom-2012-02-16.pdf