In the three years that President Barack Obama has held office, he and his minions have done a great job of trampling the Constitution of the United States. He has consolidated much power in a few executive offices, bypassing and hamstringing Congress; he has given carte blanche to the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate pretty much every facet of our lives (pollutants released, vehicle MPG, light bulbs, etc.); passed a health care bill that many traditional Constitution scholars consider illegal; and has usurped immigration policy with little to no consent of Congress.
Up to this point, he and his gang of left-wing ideologues have pretty much left religion alone. Some of the more far-left have nibbled at the edges (Gay Marriage), but basic freedoms have been left untouched.
No longer is this the case.
Under the health care law passed back in 2009, there was a provision that required religious employers to provide health care coverage for items such as contraceptive devices, sterilization procedures, and other sexual health related education and counseling. One of the key points of this provision is contraceptives. According to the health care bill, these contraceptive measures must be FDA-approved. This is all well and good. Who wants a method that wasn’t proven safe by the FDA? Except that there are contraceptive methods that can cause the demise of embryos both after and before uterine implantation. In others words: the seed has fertilized the egg and unless measures are taken, will produce a baby. To some, this is the same thing as abortion.
Just last week, despite letters and personal visits to Obama from Catholic leadership, Obama has decided that Catholic churches must provide these services, regardless of their religious beliefs. By reaffirming this mandate under the health care bill, Obama has once again shown his disdain for the Constitution and individual freedoms.
Pay particular attention to the second part of the 1st Amendment: “…or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…,”
As a former Catholic (now Baptist) I happen to know very well that the Catholic Church does not support birth control of any sort. By and large, they have kind of looked the other way when it comes to birth control pills (not the “after sex pills”) and condoms. But the leadership of the church, from the Pope all the way down to the priests in the local churches have never wavered from their condemnation of abortion. Many other Christian churches feel the same way. Life begins at conception and abortion is killing one of God’s children.
The Catholic leadership in this country views Obama’s mandate that the church provide these services to their employees as impinging on their free exercise of religion. I happen to fully agree with this point. If a religious body has as one of its main focal points that abortion is not right, then forcing them to provide these services flies in the face of intent of the Constitution. Congress has passed a law that is prohibiting the free exercise of their beliefs.
The decision by the Obama Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, and Congress (who passed the bill) has Catholics up in arms.
“Let’s be blunt,” said [Pittsburgh, PA Bishop David] Zubik. “This whole process of mandating these guidelines undermines the democratic process itself. In this instance, the mandate declares pregnancy a disease, forces a culture of contraception and abortion on society, all while completely bypassing the legislative process.”
“This government by fiat that attacks the rights of everyone—not only Catholics; not only people of all religion,” said the bishop. “At no other time in memory or history has there been such a governmental intrusion on freedom not only with regard to religion, but even across-the-board with all citizens.”
“Kathleen Sebelius and through her, the Obama administration,” the bishop wrote, “have said ‘To Hell with You’ to the Catholic faithful of the United States, to Hell with your religious beliefs, to hell with your religious liberty, to Hell with your freedom of conscience.”
“They have given us a year to adapt to this rule,” he said. “We can’t! We simply cannot! (Source: CNS News)
Traditionally, the Catholics could be counted on to be split about 60/40, favoring the conservative candidate. In 2008 the Catholic vote was nearly split down the middle, give or take a couple of percentage points. Working in Obama’s favor in 2008 is that Catholics make up a very significant portion of the “Independent” voters. While Catholics have mostly voted their own way, regardless of what the leadership had to say about certain subjects, this move by Obama and his crew might be a real difference-maker. Many of those independents within the Catholic Church might have been leaning away from Obama due to the economy (along with many other independents). But forcing the church “to adapt” (according the Sebelius), could very well be the proverbial straw.
People tend to get their hackles up when told they must do something, especially when it goes against their beliefs system.