Another Deal with the Devil – What Did the Catholic Church Expect?

A lot has been written recently about the Obama Administration and the controversy with the Catholic Church.  The mandate in Obamacare requires all employers to provide birth control to their employees as well as abortifacients – the morning-after pills that can contribute to the abortion of a fertilized egg.  Obviously, the Catholic Church’s teachings oppose their use and it caused what the WSJ called a “firestorm.”

Not surprising, the Obama administration backed off its requirement that religious employers cover contraception in health plans, but, instead, is now requiring the insurance companies to provide such coverage without explicitly charging either the religious employer or worker.  In other words, the insurance companies will now have to foot the bill which means recovery of those costs will, no doubt, be picked up by all policyholders in the form of higher premiums.

While the supporters of the provision in Obamacare tried to obscure the discussion by turning it into a women’s issue, I believe it was an assault on religious liberty.

I think Jordan Sekulov and Matthew Clark, in a Washington Post article they wrote, summed it up perfectly.  “The First Amendment begins with these immortal words, ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .’ Yet, the Obama administration made the determination, that regardless of the tenants of a particular faith, it will require religious institutions to provide for its employees (i.e. pay for something) that violates the very purpose and religious beliefs of the institution itself.”

Whether the Obama administration would acknowledge as much, I think its reconsideration of the mandate was a political move and aimed at alienating as few potential voters as possible.

Whether you agree with the position of the administration or the Catholic Church, isn’t the issue here.  What I found more interesting is something I hadn’t thought about but was reminded of by a good friend of mine while discussing this issue.

He reminded me that the Catholic Church was in favor of Obamacare way back when.  And he was perfectly correct.  I had forgotten that the Catholic Church did not care too much about the rights of other employers when they supported this massive health care bill.  InNovember of 2009, for example, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops had “delivered a critical endorsement” to Pelosi “by signing off on a late-night agreement to grant a vote on an amendment barring insurance companies that participate in the exchange from covering abortions.” In other words, so long as abortions would not be covered, the Bishops were officially in favor of a bureaucratic plan that could spell the end to freedom of choice in health care and the eventual bankruptcy of the U.S.

In another example, Kevin Appleby, a representative of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, explained why the Bishops were so desperate to pass the health care bill.  He said that the Bishops wanted a federal health plan to absorb the costs being borne by the nation’s 600 Catholic hospitals to cover illegal aliens.

Not everyone remembers that the Catholic Church supported Obamacare but Presidential-hopeful Rick Santorum remembers:  “They embraced it and …here’s what I said to them. Be careful when you have government saying that they can give you rights, that you have a right to health care, and government’s going to give you something, because once you are now dependant on government, they, not only can they take that right away, they can tell you how to exercise that right, and you can either like it or not. And that’s the problem. That’s what the Catholic Bishops Conference didn’t get, that there’s no free lunch here, folks. If you’re going to give people secular power, then they’re going to use it in a secular fashion. And that’s why, you know, I hate to say it, but you know, you had it coming….”

As my friend reminded me, be careful what you wish for.  When you give the federal government this type of power, what do you expect?

Unfortunately, the Catholic Bishops didn’t read the fine print and now it’s all coming back to haunt them.  Hmmm?  Isn’t this what happens when you make a deal with the Devil?

I get it.  The Catholic Church should’ve known better.

Author Bio:

For over twenty years, Leona has tried to heed her husband’s advice, “you don’t have to say everything you think.” She’s failed miserably. Licensed to practice law in California and Washington, she works exclusively in the area of child abuse and neglect. She considers herself a news junkie and writes about people and events on her website, “I Don’t Get It,” which she describes as the “musings of an almost 60-year old conservative woman on political, social and cultural life in America.” It’s not her intention to offend anyone who “gets it.” She just doesn’t. Originally from Brooklyn, and later Los Angeles, she now lives with her husband, Michael, on a beautiful island in the Pacific Northwest, which she describes as a bastion of liberalism.
Author website: http://www.idontgetit.us
  • Richard Hilger

    The Obama administration would do well to re-read some of the ancient Greek tragedians. In them, the one unforgivable sin and the cause of the downfall of all “great” figures is Hubris. It is defined as “overweening pride that offends the gods.” When a king, like Agamemnon, challenges the gods with his hubris, he condemns himself to destruction. There is no appeal and no forgiveness. It is an affront to the divine nature that cannot be absolved.

  • Dave O’Connor

    It seems to me that in haste to abide with the “Corporal Works of Mercy”, the Church got caught in the wires, and is trying un-hoist itself from the petards. It failed to see, or study, the manipulation of Caligbama. That it was lied to, is nothing these days. To commerce with the liars before the flock is anathema.
    Ron F. makes another good point in addition to the theme and comments; “There are certain issues involving the discipline of children in which the interests of the state and religious freedom are in conflict.”
    There’s a time to study the merits of relligious and secular cooperation, but it seems to have past – unless you’re a Muslim appointee of the White House.

  • Nancye

    From the article:

    Not surprising, the Obama administration backed off its requirement that religious employers cover contraception in health plans, but, instead, is now requiring the insurance companies to provide such coverage without explicitly charging either the religious employer or worker. In other words, the insurance companies will now have to foot the bill which means recovery of those costs will, no doubt, be picked up by all policyholders in the form of higher premiums.

    ********************

    In my not-so-humble opinion, this whole thing will come back to bite Obama in the you-know-what, and he’ll rue the day day he messed with Catholics. At least I hope so come November.

  • cmacrider

    Leona:
    Although I am not a Roman Catholic and don’t ascribe to their position on contraception, the violation of “freedom of religion” is frightening. If the GOP were smart they would be sending the voters a free CD of the movie “A Man for All Seasons.” Although I am an Anglican, it must be admitted that St. Thomas More’s principled stance against Henry VIII on the issue of nullifying his marriage represents a lesson in principle over pragmatism and the necessity of separation of Church and State.

  • Roger Ward

    The Catholic Church made its decision to support Obama’s policies and Obamacare but didn’t think it through. Now it’s come back to bite them. While I’m generally supportive of the Church’s good works, I think they need to accept the consequences of their choices.

    I’m not sure the Founders ever intended for there to be a strict separation between Church and State (show me where it’s written in the Constitution) but I do believe that such a separation is in the best interests of all Americans. The Catholic Church (and all Churches) enjoy the benefits of their tax-exempt status by understanding that they do not have the right to introduce political discourse in their sermons and teachings. Perhaps we need to remind the Churches of their obligations to avoid politics …. or lose this tax-exempt status.

    • cmacrider

      Or possibly the State should recognize that they do not have jurisdiction over every aspect of life since they can’t even efficiently administer those things which are presently in their jurisdiction … can’t create and pass a budget … and can’t live within their means.

      • Roger Ward

        Of course, you’re right about the State wanting jurisdiction over more than it can handle. All administrations have had this fault and failing …. but the worst example of government intrusion is in the White House now. Obama just keeps spending and expanding government; wait till his police come knocking on your door (as they have just done to the Catholics.) The fact that Catholics were complicit by their support of Obama doesn’t change the fact that Obama won’t stop until there is government in every aspect of your life.

    • Joe

      Unless we’re talking about Debbie Whatsername Schultz making an unabashed campaign speech in Martin Luther King’s old church on Martin Luther King’s birthday. Not likely to take the tax-exempt status away from *THAT* church, now are they?
      As my old Evidence teacher used to talk about, the “Sauce for the Goose” rule…and you know how it goes. I want to see St. Patrick’s Cathedral bring Rick Santorum in, to do what whatserface did. Sauce for the goose….

  • DOOM161

    Anyone with half a brain sees it as an issue of religious liberty. But Obama is a self-styled Constitutional scholar, so he can tell you that the founding fathers didn’t mean the First Amendment to be taken literally.

  • Glen Stambaugh

    Or put another way: if you lie down with a snake, do not be surprised when you wake up bitten.

  • Ron F

    I agree that this is an assault on religious liberty. The Catholic Church supported the Act and did not care about the rights of other employers or employees. I think the great problem is the expansion of the federal government which makes these problems inevitable. The more power that is granted to the federal government, the greater the infringement on indiviual and religious liberty. We are now in the position of having the federal government decide when a church is performing a purely religious function and when it is not. I recognize that we cannot have a total separation of church and state. There will always be a conflict with children. Can Christian Scientists withold medical care for children? There are certain issues involving the discipline of children in which the interests of the state and religious freedom are in conflict. In addition, I don’t want the federal government deciding what is a legitimate religious belief and what is not, like in the drug cases. Therefore, it seems the simple answer is the federal government should not do anything other than the specifically enumerated powers.