Diary

Obama’s “compromise” merely compromises Catholics

Two weeks ago, the Obama administration was mandating that Catholic institutions pay for healthcare premiums and supply healthcare plans that supported practices that collided with the Church’s religious doctrine. 

A week later, the Administration compromised with an “accommodation” on its behalf. 

Now, the Obama administration is mandating that Catholic institutions pay for healthcare premiums and supply healthcare plans that support practices that collide with the Church’s religious doctrine.

There was no change.  It was the usual accounting gimmick.  In fact, the Administration compromised nothing.  They refused to meet the Church in the middle. 

The media has been framing this as a conflict of Constitutional rights.

It’s not.

Many have been weighing this as a fight between the enumerated Constitutional right of religious freedom against the judicially created right to privacy.

It’s not.

This debate has been entirely focused on the enumerated Constitutional right of religious freedom vs. the discretion given to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on a statute that barely passed Congress. 

That is where we’re at.

Here’s the deal . . .

Two weeks ago the government was forcing religious institutions to violate their right to practice their religion; post-“accommodation” the government is still violating those rights. 

Now, rather that have Catholic institutions pay healthcare premiums that guaranteed for the provision of abortificients by making Church ministries co-pay the medication’s prescription . . . the insurance provider paid by the ministry will provide birth control, the morning after pill and sterilization “free of charge.” 

Obama argues that because birth control lowers the healthcare costs of pregnancy, it is essentially revenue neutral.  And he is right, long term.  But how long is long term?  And even down the road buying birth control becomes a wise “investment” because it prevents other costs from popping up, the morning after pill and contraceptives still have to be purchased from a pharmaceutical company.   

In eleven and a half months, Ministries are going to have to purchase healthcare insurance, and that insurance MUST provide contraceptives and abortificients, and these drugs aren’t going to be given out for free.  Someone is going to have to pay for it.  And health insurance providers, unlike the Catholic Churches, aren’t in the business of charity work.  The costs will be passed onto the buyer, Catholic institutions.  Insurance companies don’t just cut their losses, they pass them onto the consumer.    

Under the Affordable Care Act, Conscious protections no longer exist for religious ministry outreaches of Churches. 

But that isn’t all . . .

It gets worse

Obama stated that these drugs would be “free” for all, employed by ministries. 

If an employee, employed at a secular business, is seeking birth control under their employer’s healthcare plan, they will be able to obtain it — if they will pay a co-pay.  They will have to pay something, but they will get it.

But if an employee of a religious institution seeks birth control, the morning after pill or sterilization, they will get it free of charge. 

Under this law, it will be easier and cheaper to get contraceptives and abortificients if you work FOR a Church ministry rather than in a secular business. 

Liberals mock conservatives when they discuss the “war on religion” in America.  But we didn’t dream this feeling up.  Honest liberals need to realize that this is too far and this is why we feel like our values are under attack.    

Fortunately, the majority of Catholic Bishops have held to their church doctrine and demanded more.  Obama has declared this the end of the discussion.  And we are going to Court. 

Constitutional Questions

It really is difficult to call this a compromise with a straight face.  This Administration seems to believe that they have a choice on whether to respect America’s religious ministries.  The mistake is that they have construed the First Amendment to protect Church buildings only.  But the First Amendment wasn’t written to protect the rights of Churches.  It was written to protect the religious freedoms and rights of the people individually and when joined together as a church.

If a group of people band together under religious pretenses that have governed America since its very first birth control pill was handed out, they may choose to do so.  Obama seems to believe the First Amendment will only protect buildings defined as churches by the IRS code, that isn’t how it’s supposed to be.  The First Amendment protects us all.  Liberals and conservatives and everyone in the middle.

Although the doctrine of judicial review is dangerous, it is our law.  This would be the time to use it.  At the end of the day, no matter what you believe, clearly enumerated Constitutional Amendments, trump agency interpretation of a Congressional Act that couldn’t even pass a filibuster.  Liberals should come together with us on this, it is not just right wingers that can have their rights so easily erased.