Traditionally, Catholics are statistically politically at the center, with a high variation; many are very Liberal Democrats while many are very Conservative Republicans. Today, they are all united against Obamacare. If you went to last Sunday’s Catholic Mass, you know exactly what this debate is about because every priest no doubt spoke of it.
Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aptly coined ‘Obamacare,’ gives the Department of Health and Human Services authority to form “proper” regulations to enforce the law’s multiplicity of regulations. White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, has passionately defended the Health and Human Services mandate that he says ensures “a woman’s right to services” that include contraception and birth control. According to the regulation, employers and institutions providing health-care for their employees will be required to completely cover the costs for all women for contraception. The rule would not effect other regulations in place requiring certain contraception be prescribed by a doctor, and Churches and church-run institutions are exempt from the regulation. However, church-run hospitals and universities are a different story; they will have to abide by the regulation. Why? As Carney said, Obama “is focused on putting in place the right policy for women across the country.” In other words, an empty concept of reproductive rights to abortion will be enforced. The seemingly obvious unconstitutionality of this regulation (10th Amend., 5th Amend., 14th. Amend) seems to be overwhelmed by a Christian knowledge of it’s lesser-obvious unconstitutionality; the 1st Amendment.
Catholic organizations are beyond angry at this regulation; they cite the fact that the contraceptions mandated to be covered include post-coital sterilization abortion-inducing ‘contraceptions.’ That’s where they draw the line; abortion.
Contraceptions include post-coital sterilization contraception that may induce abortions, medicine such as the infamous ‘morning-after pill.’ That is to say, those medications serve to make the woman’s womb so hostile an environment that a newly fertilized egg, zygote, cannot possibly survive, and dies. The pill more often causes the death of the zygote. The definition of life according to every major Christian church in America defines life in accordance with science, that is to say, at the formation of the zygote. In other words, enforcing this rule would violate religious peoples’ right to not pay for abortions, seen as murders. To Christians, paying taxes that government uses to pay organizations that help pay for abortions is one thing, but being forced by law to pay for their employee’s abortion is a whole other thing.
The anger is about abortion-inducing ‘contraception’ not contraception in general, however, no matter how much Christians are screaming about abortions, Liberal pundits, such as Marjorie Clifton, spew strawmans about the ‘archaic’ nature of general anti-contraception ideology in religion; that even the progressive Catholics are against traditional contraception. From Maddow to Stewart, they’re all drinking the same Kool-Aid and think the discussion is about general birth control. That is a fallacy. Catholics and Christians are speaking about the rule as it relates to abortions, specifically.
Obama shouldn’t underestimate Christians and Catholics anger over this. Rev. Rick Warren, an evangelical Christian, who gave the benediction at Obama’s inauguration recently made this tweet over the rule: “I’d go to jail rather than cave in to a government mandate that violates what God commands us to do. Would you? Acts 5:29.” Evangelical Christians from the south, to no one’s surprise, are giving angry sermons about the rule and spending time and money to oppose it. However, Catholics in cities across the East, North, and in California, traditionally not necessarily right-wing, let alone fundamentalist, are also coming out against this rule with full force. Catholic organizations against abortion in New York City are petitioning and rallying against this pro-abortion rule. The official Roman Catholic Archbishop for The U.S. Military, Timothy Broglio, wrote a letter that was read at all US military personnel masses around the world, and in some citizen-masses. It stated that the new rule under Obamacare is “a blow to a freedom… for which you have seen your buddies fall in battle.” He added “We cannot – we will not – comply with this unjust law.” Catholics and religious people in the Susan G Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer (the largest Breast Cancer charity) pushed and succeeded in pushing the foundation’s execs to no longer provide funds to Planned Parenthood. Then, the Holy Pope Benefict XVI came out against the rule. He met with the heads of the Catholic Church a week ago in America to say “The Church In the United States is called… to proclaim a Gospel which… proposes unchanging moral truths… [however] some current cultural trends contain elements that would curtail the proclamation of these truths…suppressing it in the name of political power or majority rule, they represent a threat not just to Christian faith, but also to humanity itself … of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion.” This was enough to have almost every priest from around the entire nation give ethos-based speeches about religious freedom and oppressive regulations of Obamacare against Catholics. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops came out and said the regulation was “an unprecedented attack on religious liberty.” To date I haven’t spoken to a Catholic who attends mass every Sunday who isn’t angry at this rule, and who hasn’t heard their priest give a sermon about it. Secular Democrats are surprised that a large section of their Democratic constituency are so angry.
Carney responded to the array of attacks; “I understand that there have been objections and that some people disagree with us … But I think it’s important to note here that we believe these services are important and that American women deserve to have access to that kind of insurance coverage regardless of where they work.” Rep. Jan Schakowsky, noted Liberal Democrat, said “Women’s health care should not depend on who the boss is.” The more Liberals keeps speaking about the regulation as a women’s-rights issue the more Catholics and Christians will feel their calls about liberty are unheard. It’s a traditional argument over the tangible concept of Liberty and empty vague concepts of rights espoused by Obama and Co.
What does this mean politically? It means Obama doesn’t have to just coax independents, young people, and what they call “minority groups,” but also now displeased moderate and Progressive Catholics. Speaker Boehner has come out to say that the House will act to reverse Obama Administrations “attack on religious freedom.” 154 Pro-Life Congressmen signed a petition/letter protesting the contraception mandate rule. More then a majority of these Congressmen were Republicans. Mitt Romney, and the other candidates for President, have made this a talking point in their speeches the last two weeks, talking passionately about “religious rights” and the First Amendment. Santorum, the biggest Pro-Lifer in the race, recently received a surge. The view is clear to Catholics/Christians of the center and left: Republicans are against this rule Obama through Carney, and other Democrats, defend it.
My only wish is that every American, regardless of religion, came out of the woodwork in the same fervor against Obamacare that Catholics have, not due to religious sentiment but do to Constitutional sentiment, to Republican sentiment, to the idea that perhaps our government should be limited and abide by its Constitutional restrictions, that liberty is something to fight for. I stand by the Catholic freedom-fighters as not only a fellow Christian, but as a Republican Constitutionalist.
On Carney and HHS:
On Christian/Catholic Response to Obamacare Regulation:
On fact that some contraception cause abortions:
On Republican Leaderhip effort to contrast themselves from Obama on this issue:
On Liberal Strawmans (First one is Rachel Maddow):