Devotees of the liberal, mainstream media might think the world has moved on from all that HHS mandate ruckus. Their muted or non-existent news coverage is almost magical, much like how they make the massive March for Life rallies seem insignificant. In fact, both are related and opposed to the culture of death they are committed to. The truth is, this war is far from over.
Respect for Rights of Conscience Act
This is a piece of legislation that should be totally unnecessary. Yet, it may be the fastest means to reverse the precipitous dilution of religious liberty in America. Cardinal Timothy Dolan (president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) and Bishop William Lori (chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty) support senate amendment 1520. It’s purpose is to ensure that those who participate in the health-care system “retain the right to provide, purchase or enroll in health coverage that is consistent with their religious beliefs and moral convictions.”
More information is available at the National Catholic Register in Cardinal Dolan Backs Respect for Rights of Conscience Act: Contact Your Legislator Now.
Additionally, Cardinal Dolan joined with over 500 religious leaders and scholars in signing yesterday a joint statement rejecting the unconstitutional mandate. Those signing this statement include Catholics, Protestants, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Latter-Day Saints, Jews, Muslims, and others. The list of signers includes people from across the political spectrum – liberals, conservatives, and people fitting into neither category.
7 states file suit
Seven states join the growing list of organizations suing the Obama administration to overturn his trampling of religious freedom. More state attorney generals are likely to follow.
The states (so far) are Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas. The suit argues (the somewhat obvious point) that the mandate violates both the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Catholic Lane has the story.
We are all Catholic now
Baptist minister and former governor, Mike Huckabee began a speech recently thanking President Obama for uniting his opposition. Most memorably, Huckabee – echoing JFK’s “we are all Berliners now” sentiment – declared “we are all Catholic now.”
2,500 religious leaders oppose Obama’s mandate
The Family Research Council has released a letter signed by over 2,500 pastors and evangelical leaders opposed to the president’s HHS mandate that tramples religious freedom and conscience rights. Baptist Press has the story.
The National Clergy Council declares a “state of emergency”
The National Clergy Council representing Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical and Orthodox leaders has declared a state of emergency exists due to the president’s extraordinary attack on religious liberty. Lutheran pastor Dr. Normund Lund said “Protestants are beginning to close ranks and join our Catholic friends on this issue.” He noted that the situation is so serious, that this is “an issue worth fighting and dying for.”
Francis Cardinal George on persecution and martyrdom
Father John Zuhlsdorf wrote an excellent summary of observations made by His Eminence Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago:
In February of 2012, Cardinal George reflected on the seriousness of the Obama administration’s health-care mandate:
At the present moment, Catholics in this country are facing challenges to our institutional existence and our mission that we thought would never arise here. — The laws that used to protect us are now being used to weaken and destroy us, and this quite deliberately.
Shortly, thereafter, when the Obama administration and the media touted the fact that the Catholic Bishops are alone on the contraception issue and that most Catholics aren’t supporting them in this battle, Cardinal George wrote:
This is the first time in the history of the United States that a presidential administration has purposely tried to interfere in the internal working of the Catholic Church, playing one group off against another for political gain. What isn’t always understood is that the Bishops of the Church make no attempt to speak for all Catholics; they never have. The Bishops speak for the Catholic and apostolic faith, and those who hold that faith gather around them. Others disperse.
A few days later on at a press conference held at Loyola University on February 18th, he told the Chicago Tribune about the devastating effects of the HHS mandate for Catholic institutions:
The long-term effect is that the Catholic Church will be stripped of the institutions that are her instruments for public service. We will lose hospitals, we will lose universities. That’s not the country I was born in. — Something monumental is happening here.
Particularly chilling is the Cardinal’s assessment of the degree to which he believed religious freedoms (in the United States and other Western societies) were endangered. After the passage of legislation that enabled Civil Unions in Illinois, his eminence stated:
I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square.
Father Barron: HHS mandate is anti-Catholic and un-American
Father Robert Barron, creator of the highly acclaimed Catholicism project says that the HHS mandate is anti-Catholic and un-American:
One small state battle for conscience rights won
Washington state’s governor (Christine Gregoire) decided to force all pharmacies to dispense abortifacients regardless of conscience rights. The State Board of Pharmacy resisted but caved after she threatened to replace board members if necessary.
Pharmacies routinely refer customers to other facilities for a broad range of reasons, but in Washington, that was not allowed. Every pharmacist must dispense “Plan B” or else.
This week, a federal court in Tacoma struck this down. This is so far over the line that a federal court in a generally liberal area agreed. This, with a judge who is not sympathetic to Catholic values.
The case was argued by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. Pay attention to them, they do a lot of good. I consider them to be a moral version of the ACLU. See their complete comments on the case: Court Strikes Down Law Requiring Pharmacies to Dispense the Morning-After Pill.
Where is our apology?
Last week, President Obama apologized to Islamic extremists and the Muslim world in general for an offensive, but innocent action made by mistake. Our president cares deeply about the religious sensitivities of some. Faithful Christians, protected by our constitution and his own promises — not so much. Mr. President, where is my apology?
Here is a good sampling of the zillion new articles written on this topic in the last two weeks:
- A Convergence of Conscience and Command
- A Teachable Moment?
- A Uniter Not A Divider
- All 180 diocesan US bishops have issued a statement about Pres. Obama’s attack.
- Are Liberal Terms Dominating the HHS Mandate Debate?
- Are clergy public servants?
- Birth-Control Mandate: Unconstitutional and Illegal
- Bishop Lori Blasts Congress With Style
- Bishop Morlino: If They Can Do It To Catholics, They Can Do It To ANYBODY!
- Bishops Reject Obama’s ‘Accommodation’
- Cardinal George: no Catholic hospitals in 2 years unless HHS mandate is rescinded
- Cardinal Timothy Dolan issues strongest statement yet against the HHS mandate
- Cardinal urges Senate to pass bill protecting conscience in health care
- Catholic League on Sebelius’s admission before a Senate committee
- Catholic women rally against contraception mandate
- Catholics, Once Again, Considered “Un-American”
- Citizens, Not Sheep – A Call to Religious Liberty
- Contraception Mandate: Turning America Into Europe
- Contraception and the cost of culture wars
- Contraception ruling: Democrats accuse clergy of complicity with GOP at hearing
- Cooking the Books, Disparaging Catholics
- Craziest Hearing on Religious Liberty…Evah!
- Divide and Conquer
- Dolan Wants to Believe Obama’s Not Anti-Christian But…
- False Premises
- Freedom of Conscience vs. the HHS Mandate
- GOP candidates slam contraception mandate as attack on family
- Good news: Obama backs exemptions for religious organizations
- HHS Mandates Rhetoric: Wading Through the Nonsense
- HHS and a Series of Ugly Events
- HHS mandate means “ongoing, comprehensive government surveillance”: two new colleges sue
- His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan signs statement rejecting HHS mandate
- Hollow Compromise on Contraception Mandate
- Homeschooling org. protests Obama plan to mandate school attendance
- Leni Riefenstahl: Congratulations on the HHS Regulations
- Mandate a cure in search of a disease
- Mandate would ‘coerce’ Sisters to betray vow
- Mandating Is Fun!!
- Memo to Jews: After They Come for the Catholic Church, They Will Come For Us
- More things to know about the HHS Mandate
- Mother Angelica’s network isn’t buying Obama’s religious liberty ruse
- Myths abound about HHS contraceptive mandate; here are the facts
- NPR marks ‘Kick a Catholic Week’ with new t-shirt pledge drive gift
- Nationalizing Catholic Healthcare
- Nationalizing Catholic Healthcare
- New Fake Rights Trump Old Real Ones
- Notre Dame faculty calls Obama so-called accommodation “grave violation of religious freedom”
- Obama Administration to Court: “Please Look the Other Way”
- Obama Advisor: Kids from Large Families Are Dumb
- Obama Displaces the Rule of Law with Decree
- Obama Has Stranded the Catholic Left
- Obama Mandate’s Resistance Coalition
- Obama Obeys the Feminists Again
- Obama chief of staff: No more compromise, contraceptive rule is done deal
- Obama’s Anti-Religious Implosion
- Obama’s Catholic Church Gambit: Lessons from American Communists
- Obama’s Values Spark Return of Culture Wars
- Obama’s epic blunder on birth-control mandate
- Obama’s revised HHS mandate won’t solve problems, USCCB president says
- Poisoned by the Pill: Truths about Chemical Contraception
- Political Withdrawal?
- Pres. Obama, the Right Not to Do Wrong, and Politics of Ruse and Delay
- President Obama, Let Us Be Catholics!
- Reid to Allow Vote on Rescinding Contraception Rule
- Religious Freedom and the Contraception Controversy
- Religious Freedom and the Triumph of the Therapeutic
- Religious Liberty, the Contraceptives Mandate, and Civility
- Revised Mandate “Unacceptable” to Over 300 Academics and Religious Leaders
- Revised contraceptive mandate prompts reaction from Catholic groups
- Should It Be Illegal to Be a Catholic Health-Insurance CEO?
- Supreme Court Filing: Obamacare Compels Individuals to Pay for Abortion Coverage
- Team Obama Fumbles Ruling, Offends Catholics
- The Catholic Liberal’s Lament
- The Coming Age of the Laity
- The Coming Age of the Laity
- The Contraception Mandate Fix: Fact vs. Fiction
- The HHS Mandate: One Battle in a Two-Front War
- The Heart of the Issue
- The Libertine Police State
- The Mentality of our Ruling Class
- The Moral Problems of Obama’s “Compromise” on HHS Mandate
- USCCB official: Revision in coverage still violates religious liberty
- USCCB: 6 More Things You Should Know About The HHS Mandate
- Weigel: Divide and Conquer?
- What problem are they trying to solve?
- Where’s the Protestant Support for Catholic Bishops?
- Who’s Out of Tune?
- Why Mandate Birth Control
- Why Obama’s ‘Accommodation’ is a Joke
- Why They Don’t Like the Church
- Why the HHS Mandate is About Religious Freedom AND Contraceptives
- Will the Bishops Go to the Mattresses?