What’s Sneaking in Under the Radar?
Boy, Did Bart Stupak Get Duped!
The media has been brimming with reports on the conflict between President Barak Obama and the President of the USCCB (United States Council of Catholic Bishops), Archbishop Cardinal-elect Timothy Dolan. The issue involves recent ObamaCare regulations that threaten first amendment rights of Catholics, and of numerous other religious groups.
- The main players are imposing.
- Coverage is sensational.
- The issues are important:
Freedom of religion
Redefinition of rights and of essentials
The players are imposing
President Obama’s administration announced in August 2011 that the now-mandatory ObamaCare would contain regulations requiring the provision of free birth-control/abortifacient drug services by all employers.
The President of the USCCB, Archbishop Dolan, objected in September 2011, calling the regulation an “unprecedented attack on religious freedom” and urging that it be rescinded. Catholic institutions could not be forced to provide morning-after pills and contraceptives to their employees. This would constitute a violation of conscience. For the first time in history, the USCCB formed an Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, to respond to six specific attacks on religious freedom in the United States since June 2011.
On October 4th, 2011, President Obama, ignoring the objections of the Catholic Bishops, bragged at a DNC fundraiser about the inclusion of contraception in ObamaCare regulations, quipping “Darn tooting!,” a slang expression for “damn right,” derived from a 1928 Laurel & Hardy silent comedy short, You’re Darn Tootin’.
The President of the USCCB Dolan met with President Obama in November 2011, explaining to Obama the Catholic Church’s objections to the regulation.
On January 20, 2012, it became clear that the Obama administration was not planning to satisfy the Catholic Bishops’ concerns. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that the regulations would go forward. Catholic hospitals, universities and charitable organizations would have to comply by August 1, 2013. The appeal by Catholic Bishops for a religious exemption was denied.
The USCCB made the next move: mobilizing Catholics to pressure their elected representatives to restore 1st amendment rights to Catholics. An appeal went out February 5th, 2012 to all Catholics in the United States, to fast, to pray and to approach their legislators opposing this violation of religious freedom. Catholic parishes in the U.S. heard letters from their Bishop on February 5th.
The USCCB website summarized the concerns of the Bishops of the United States and suggested courses of action for interested citizens (including non-Catholics) . The site has been swamped with response, often requiring more than one attempt to access the site.
Locally, Madison’s Cathedral Parish’s Rector Monsignor Holmes explained the background for the religious freedom violation. Cllick here for mp3 of Msgr. Holmes’ talk.
Bishop Morlino of Madison appealed to Catholics to act in protection of our religious freedoms – click here for Bishop Morlino’s letter to all Diocese of Madison Catholics. continue reading…