Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Yet Another Journalistic Attack on Religious Liberty

Fr. Father Z's blog: http://wdtprs.com/blog/2012/02/02/
 This morning I heard one of the worst commentaries on the Obama heathcare mandate to date.  Rachel Maddow, who I do not watch and after what I heard will never watch on MS NBC, was interviewed by Matt Lauer.  Just a moment before there was actually a well balanced story about how the Catholic bishops, Republican candidates, even liberal Democrats feel that the Obama administration's mandate is wrong and unconstitutional  (The mandate that all employers provide contraception, including abortafacient drugs, and sterilizaation to their employees or face fines).  So, I guess Rachel was representing the "other" side of the issue.  It was plainly her opinion, and I noted her decidedly masculine attire and hair cut.   She said the Obama mandate was only providing for a woman's constitutional right to have access to contraception provided by their health care plan.  Am I missing something here?  Where is that written in the constitution?  And isn't that what Planned Parenthood's original premise?  to provide such services for "poor" women?  Oh, I guess I'm not missing anything--mandate to provide healthcare insurance to "all" women....Planned Parenthood provides these services...ah, got it.

     During the rest of her interview, she goes on with many exaggerated statements like "the vast majority of Catholics use contraception."  I would postulate that 1) neither she nor NBC has done any kind of research on this oft repeated statistical statement (repitition does not make propaganda, fact), 2) that she, nor NBC or any news agency for that matter, cares to hear the opinion of orthodox, faithful Catholics, 3) that the vast majority of faithful Catholic women of childbearing age actually do follow the magisterial teaching on this matter--at least the vast majority that I am associated with.  Not only were here statements on the feelings of Catholics an exaggeration, but an exaggeration based on assumptions not facts.
     The doosy of statements for me was her "example."  She said that not providing women employees with contraception under the health care plans of Catholic employers (such as nursing homes, hospitals, schools, etc) was like this: 

An Amish man applies for a bus driving job.  They don't discriminate against him because he is Amish, and he is hired for the job.  He shows up for work the next day and says that he can't drive because it is against his religion.  He should not have apply for the job that could have gone to someone else in the first place.
How would this apply to forcing Catholic employers to provide (ie, pay for) something that the Church believes (and I can say with a certain confidence that the vast majority of practicing Catholics agree with) is immoral?  Actually the story should have been something like this:

The government decided all communities should have a bus stop.  They went into the Amish community and said, "We're putting in a bus stop in your community.  You will provide an Amish bus driver."  "It is against our religious principles to drive a modern vehicle."  The government says, "Too bad.  Every citizen has the constitutional rigtht to have free bus ride to every community in the United States.  Therefore, you will provide that for your community."
Frankly, I'm surprised that the Obama administration (and much of the liberal press) doesn't understand the backlash.  It isn't just about contraception--although that is the large part of it.  The issue is the government telling religion-based organizations what they must do, even if it is against the moral, religious, or ethical (however you want to state it) code or law of their particular sect.  This is about the state being able to tell a church what to do.  It is the state infringing upon the churches rights.  It will not stop there.  This is only the beginning. 

I read a bishop quoted on Fr. Z's blog who said: "I will die in bed, my successor will die in jail, his successor will die in the public square."  (I couldn't find the name or the exact quote again to reference it, but I will keep looking).  I doubt he is far off the mark.

Sign the petition against this immoral heathcare mandate here.

For those who may not have been following the news on this subject, here it is in a nutshell, from Stop the Birth Control Mandate. org:

"The Birth Control Mandate On August 1, 2011 the Department of Health and Human Services, directed by Kathleen Sebelius, adopted the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation that “the full range of FDA-approved contraceptive methods” be determined a “preventive care service for women.” Under these new guidelines, mandatory coverage will be provided for surgical sterilization, all prescription contraceptives approved by the FDA - including drugs like Ella that can cause abortions in the early weeks of pregnancy - as well as counseling to promote them. This directive from the Affordable Care Act initiative will be supported by tax payers without a conscience clause exemption, violating the civil and religious liberties of millions of Americans."

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