Head of U.S. bishops: Obama compromise on mandate ‘a hill of beans’; opposition intensifies
Just as the mainstream media initially failed to report the erupting controversy over President Obama’s contraceptive mandate, they are again ignoring the sustained uproar against it. MSM thinks Obama’s faux concession on February 10 settled the matter. According to The Hill on February 13:
The furor over President Obama’s birth-control insurance mandate appears to have vaporized as quickly as it blew up.
The White House faced just two questions on the issue at a briefing with reporters Monday, just days after the intense controversy threatened to swamp the president’s reelection campaign.
To be fair, liberal journalists may simply have difficulty seeing the assault on religious freedom.
But if anything, the rhetoric on our side has intensified. In an Associated Press interview yesterday, Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, who is president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, came as close as possible to calling Obama a liar:
“I want to take him at his word,” Dolan said in Rome, where he will be made a cardinal Saturday. But he stressed: “I do have to say it’s getting harder and harder,” to believe Obama’s claim to prioritize religious freedom issues given the latest controversy….
Initially, Dolan had termed Obama’s compromise as “a first step in the right direction” after hearing about it Friday morning. But later that day, Dolan’s USCCB issued a statement rejecting it, saying the arrangement was unacceptable and raised “serious moral concerns.”…
“Was what was intended to be a concession, and what gave us a glimmer of hope at the beginning … really just amount to a hill of beans? And it seems as if it does,” Dolan said.
In addition, the “Group of Five” top USCCB bishops (Dolan, DiNardo, Wuerl, Lori, and Blaire), who are leading the effort to stop the Obama mandate, sent an internal letter to fellow bishops after Obama’s announcement, which was leaked and states, in part:
But it does not meet our standard of respecting the religious liberty and moral convictions of all stakeholders in the health coverage transaction. Therefore we remain committed to rigorous legislative guarantees of religious freedom.
We remain fully committed to the defense of our religious liberty and we strongly protest the violation of our freedom of religion that has not been addressed. We continue to work for the repeal of the mandate.
Philadelphia’s Archbishop Chaput wrote an utterly withering response to Obama’s compromise. His statement should be read in its entirety. Here are a few excerpts:
Many Catholics are confused and angry. They should be…
[I]t seems obvious that this administration is – to put it generously – tone deaf to people of faith….
But the HHS mandate, including its latest variant, is belligerent, unnecessary, and deeply offensive to the content of Catholic belief…. Moreover, we cannot afford to be fooled – yet again – by evasive and misleading allusions to the administration’s alleged “flexibility” on such issues. The HHS mandate needs to be rescinded….
In reality, no similarly aggressive attack on religious freedom in our country has occurred in recent memory….
Commentators are using words like “gaffe,” “ill conceived,” and “mistake” to describe the mandate. They’re wrong. It’s impossible to see this regulation as some happenstance policy. It has been too long in the making.
Despite all of its public apprehension about “culture warriors” on the political right in the past, the current administration has created an HHS mandate that is the embodiment of culture war….
But it is this administration – not Catholic ministries, or institutions, or bishops – that chose the timing and nature of the fight. The onus is entirely on the White House, which also has the power to remove the issue from public conflict. Catholics should not be misled into accepting feeble compromises on issues of principle. The HHS mandate is bad law; and not merely bad, but dangerous and insulting. It needs to be withdrawn – now.
Wow. I love that guy.
A group of over 35 Catholic religious scholars led by Mary Ann Glendon and Robert George didn’t hold back expressing their rejection of Obama’s compromise either. In a statement entitled, “Unacceptable,” they called it “morally obtuse.” Read here the definition of “obtuse.”
Finally, in addition to several lawsuits that have been filed against the contraceptive mandate, attorneys general in 13 states fired a shot across the bow in a sharply worded letter on February 10 to Obama administration officials calling Obama’s compromise an “accounting gimmick” and expressing “strong opposition” to the “unconstitutional” mandate, which they promised to “vigorously oppose… in court.”
It appears there is no one in the top echelon of the Obama administration who understands what true faith in God means. Liberals may mock our faith, but Judeo-Christian dedication to abiding by our tenets is quite real. The other side doesn’t have a belief they are willing to die for (except perhaps wanton sex, pathetically).
Reprinted with permission from JillStanek.com