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God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

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A Catholic who follows Rome & the Magisterium. I'm against gay "marriage", abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, human cloning. Altar girls, Communion in the hand, Eucharistic Ministers and "Protestant" music in the Church doesn't bother me at all. A proud American retired submarine sailor. Our borders should be secured with a 10 ft. high fence topped by concertina wire with minefields out to 20 yards on both sides and an additional 10 yards filled with warning signs outside of that Let's get energy independent NOW! Back Israel to the max, stop appeasing followers of the Pedophile Prophet. Pro 2nd Amendment, pro death penalty, Repeal all hate crime legislation. Back the police unless you'd rather call a hippie when everything hits the fan. Get government out of dealing with education, childhood obesity and the enviornment. Stop using the military for sociological experiments and if we're in a war don't micromanage their every move. Kill your television, limit time on the computer and pick up a book. God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

B.O. trying to back down?

Catholic Bishops Rep: Obama Mandate Compromise Maybe Worse
by Steven Ertelt | | 2/8/12 12:20 PM

The Obama administration is reportedly considering a compromise on its new mandate that has caused national outrage because it forces religious employers to cover birth control and drugs that may cause abortions. However, the leading pro-life spokesman for the Catholic bishops says the compromise may be worse.

The compromise under consideration by Obama officials reportedly involves applying Hawaii’s contraception mandate at the federal level — a mandate where employees at religious institutions that do not offer birth control and drugs like Plan B or ella can receive it through side benefits not offered by their employer. Employees pay an additional fee but often end up getting the coverage at no cost.

But Richard Doerflinger tells the Weekly Standard the Hawaii model “may be worse” because it would still have Catholic and other religious employers sending women for coverage for drugs that violate their moral beliefs.

He writes: “It’s difficult to know what people may mean by the “Hawaii compromise.” But a central feature of the Hawaii law is that every religious organization that is eligible for the exemption has to instruct all employees in how they can access all methods of contraception and sterilization locally “in an expeditious manner.”

“Just a few days ago the White House was saying that this is just about coverage, that no one has to be involved in getting people to the actual services they object to. It would be no improvement to say: “Sure, you don’t have to include the coverage, you just have to send all your lay employees and women religious to the local Planned Parenthood clinic.” The Administration’s press release of January 20 hinted at such a requirement,” Doerflinger continued. “That would not be a compromise. In some ways it would be worse.”

Doerflinger talked with the National Catholic Register as well and added, “I’ve reviewed the Hawaii law, and it’s not much of a compromise. The Hawaii contraceptive mandate has many of the same features as the new federal mandate.”

He told the Catholic paper, the Hawaii bill “covers all FDA-approved ‘contraceptives’ (including drugs that can cause an abortion); and the religious exemption is very narrow (though it does not include the requirement that the religious organization serve only people of its own faith to be eligible). It adds an extra feature — the requirement that any religious organization that is exempt must still tell all enrollees how they may directly access contraceptive services and supplies in an expeditious manner.”

Recently, Obama administration officials have suggested the White House may back off the controversial mandate that Catholics and pro-life advocates are up in arms about because it forces religious groups to cover birth control and drugs that may cause abortions.

David Axelrod, a top adviser to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, told MSNBC, “I think we need to lower our voices and get together.”

“We certainly don’t want to abridge anyone’s religious freedoms, so we’re going to look for a way to move forward that both provides women with the preventative care that they need and respects the prerogatives of religious institutions,” he said.

“The president and the administration will move forward, but with a grace period or time period in order to work this thing through,” Axelrod added. “We want to resolve it in an appropriate way.”

Meanwhile, Pastor Joel C. Hunter, a Florida pastor who is a close Obama ally and a member of his faith council, told the Washington Post today that several religious groups with close ties to Obama officials have approached the administration about changing the mandate.

Congressman Steve Scalise has led a bipartisan letter with 154 co-signers calling on the Obama Administration to reverse its unconstitutional mandate forcing religious organizations to include drugs that can cause abortion and birth control in the health care plans of their employees.

Bishops across the country have spoken out against the mandate and are considering a lawsuit against it — with bishops in more than 164 locations across the United States issuing public statements against it or having letters opposing it printed in diocesan newspaper or read from the pulpit.

“We cannot — we will not comply with this unjust law,” said the letter from Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix. “People of faith cannot be made second-class citizens.”

Responding to the announcement, Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, stated: “In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences.”

“To force Americans to choose between violating their consciences and forgoing their healthcare is literally unconscionable. . . It is as much an attack on access to health care as on religious freedom,” he added.

The mandate is so egregious that even the normally reliably liberal and pro-abortion USA Today condemned it in an editorial titled, “Contraception mandate violates religious freedom.”

The administration initially approved a recommendation from the Institute of Medicine suggesting that it force insurance companies to pay for birth control and drugs that can cause abortions under the Obamacare government-run health care program.

The IOM recommendation, opposed by pro-life groups, called for the Obama administration to require insurance programs to include birth control — such as the morning after pill or the ella drug that causes an abortion days after conception — in the section of drugs and services insurance plans must cover under “preventative care.” The companies will likely pass the added costs on to consumers, requiring them to pay for birth control and, in some instances, drug-induced abortions of unborn children in their earliest days.

The HHS accepted the IOM guidelines that “require new health insurance plans to cover women’s preventive services” and those services include “FDA-approved contraception methods and contraceptive counseling” — which include birth control drugs like Plan B and ella that can cause abortions. The Health and Human Services Department commissioned the report from the Institute, which advises the federal government and shut out pro-life groups in meetings leading up to the recommendations.

(End of story, my comments follow.)

They can stick the "compromise" up their ass. Next question.


ignorant redneck said...

Side ways, without grease. In public. It's time to fight these demonic servants of ego and evil, and they picked their ground. No compromise.

Jordan said...

I honestly don't know what to make of this, because it's absolutely understandable that employers don't want to bankroll what they honestly consider to be the murder of helpless infants. I'm pro-choice, but I accept that paying for abortions must be a truly sickening concept to many Catholics, and it makes perfect sense to resist being forced into this.

Contraception I'm a little less ambivalent about, since I see it as something that saves lives. Catholic employers know that their lay employees are at perfect liberty to spend their money committing what they might consider to be mortal sin, so my initial reaction is that this is an extension of that principle.

Still, I understand the outrage. The closest analogy I can come up with is the government mandating that employers must offer insurance that covers lobotomies and reparative therapy. I'm sure as hell I would fight tooth-and-nail against that, so I can't fault you for fighting this one.

I haven't even made up my mind, so I don't know if I should wish you luck or what! :( Still, you have my sympathies, and I hope that even if the eventual resolution makes everyone unhappy, it will at least make you less unhappy than you are now.

Teresa said...

I'm passing on an award.

Subvet said...

IR, exactly.

Subvet said...

Jordan, thanks for your kind words. I like the example of mandating coverage of lobotomies and reparative therapy. That would be just as evil, perhaps more so because I've not heard of too many willing candidates for lobotomies. FWIW if the cultural tide ever shifted that way against the gay population, you can count on me for support.

Subvet said...

MRG, thanks!

Doug Indeap said...

Largely lost in the fuming over some supposed moral dilemma is that THE HEALTH CARE LAW DOES NOT FORCE EMPLOYERS TO ACT CONTRARY TO THEIR BELIEFS--unless one supposes the employers' religion forbids even payment of money to the government (all of us should enjoy such a religion). In keeping with the law, those with conscientious objections to providing their employees with qualifying health plans may decline to provide any health plans and pay an assessment instead or, alternatively, provide plans that do not qualify (e.g., without provisions they dislike) and pay lower assessments.

No moral dilemma, no need for an exemption. That the employers must at least pay an assessment is hardly justification for an exemption. In other contexts, for instance, we have relieved conscientious objectors from required military service, requiring them instead to provide alternative service in noncombatant roles or useful civilian work. In any event, paying assessment does not pose a moral dilemma, but rather a garden-variety gripe common to most taxpayers--who don't much like paying taxes and who object to this or that action of the government. Should each of us feel free to deduct from our taxes the portion that we figure would be spent on those actions (e.g., wars, health care, teaching evolution, subsidizing churches, whatever) each of us opposes? The hue and cry for an exemption is predicated on the false claim--or, more plainly, lie--that employers otherwise are forced to act contrary to their religions.

Questions about the government requiring or prohibiting something that conflicts with someone’s faith are entirely real, but not new. The courts have confronted such issues and have generally ruled that under the Constitution the government cannot enact laws specifically aimed at a particular religion (which would be regarded a constraint on religious liberty contrary to the First Amendment), but can enact laws generally applicable to everyone or at least broad classes of people (e.g., laws concerning pollution, contracts, fraud, crimes, discrimination, employment, etc.) and can require everyone, including those who may object on religious grounds, to abide by them. Were it otherwise and people could opt out of this or that law with the excuse that their religion requires or allows it, the government and the rule of law could hardly operate.

Subvet said...

Doug Indeap, I recommend reading my followon post:

If that doesn't help you understand how Catholics view this affair, just let me know.

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