Obama won’t be expecting the Spanish Inquisition

Posted by: Phineas on January 30, 2012 at 1:02 pm

**Posted by Phineas

It isn’t bad enough that the majority of Americans oppose ObamaCare and want it repealed. No, the administration had to go and tick off the Catholic Church, too.

Background: As part of the implementation of ObamaCare, Secretary Sebelius of the Department of Health and Human Services issued regulations requiring religious groups to provide health insurance that would cover practices and procedures, such as abortion, diametrically opposed to their beliefs. The groups were given a year to comply. (Or else?)

This was too much for Catholic bishops to take, and a letter denouncing this move as an assault on religious liberty was read in thousands of parishes across the land this last Sunday. Here’s an excerpt from one:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers,including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.

In so ruling, the Obama Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled to either violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Obama Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.

We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture,only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.

Each bishop sent out his own letter, so there’s some variation. Bishop Zubik of Pittsburgh said the HHS ruling amount to telling Catholics “to Hell with you:”

Kathleen Sebelius announced that the mandate would not be withdrawn and the religious exemption would not be expanded. Instead, she stated that nonprofit groups – which include the Catholic Church – will get a year “to adapt to this new rule.” She simply dismissed Catholic concerns as standing in the way of allegedly respecting the health concerns and choices of women.

Could Catholics be insulted any more, suggesting that we have no concern for women’s health issues? The Catholic Church and the Catholic people have erected health care facilities that are recognized worldwide for their compassionate care for everyone regardless of their creed, their economic circumstances and, most certainly, their gender. In so many parts of the globe – the United States included – the Church is health care.

Kathleen Sebelius and through her, the Obama administration, 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.

Want to know how seriously the Church in America takes this? One bishop directed that the Prayer to St. Michael be read at services within his diocese (h/t PJM):

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen

Why is that significant? Between 1930 and 1965, when it was last included in regular services, the prayer was recited for the benefit of believers trapped behind the Iron Curtain.

This isn’t just opposition; this is a declaration of war.

It’s also incredibly risky (to put it nicely) for a president who badly wants reelection. Catholics amount to about 25% of the electorate and constitute significant voting blocs in several keys states. Naturally not all would agree with the bishops or think this as serious a matter as they claim. But I’m willing to bet that large numbers will, and that, combined with the already existing ire over ObamaCare and the economy, the President may well come to regret Secretary Sebelius’ highhandedness.

Especially on Election Day.

PS: About that subject line.

LINKS: Yuval Levin, Religious Liberty and Civil Society.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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24 Responses to “Obama won’t be expecting the Spanish Inquisition”

Comments

  1. Sirkowski says:

    This is why you can’t trust Papists. They are more loyal to their papa in Rome than their country.

  2. JoAnna says:

    Sirkowski, Catholics shouldn’t have to choose between being Catholic or being American. That’s why the HHS mandate is such an egregious (and unconstitutional) violation of religious liberty.

  3. MarkJ says:

    Sirkowski,

    I’ll bet you believe in “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” too.

    You’re really a maroon.

  4. Jonas Parker says:

    There are a whole lot of Catholics that are not “Roman” Catholics. This is an attack on ALL Christian churches, not just the Catholics. Shades of the Nazis and how they started the campaign against the Jews.

    Sirkowski, you’re either completely ignorant of history or a bigot, or both.

  5. John Casteel says:

    Kathleen Sebelius may be the worst, ,most corrupt bureaucrat in this administration. And, with competition like Lisa Jackson, Ken Salazar, Hilda Solis, Eric Holder and the lot, that’s a mighty high bar to negotiate.

  6. TillieGlockenspiel says:

    I am a lifelong Episcopalian, not particularly religious, but I totally support the positions of the Bishops and the Catholic Church regarding this.

    This nation was founded by people seeking religious and personal freedoms and I’ll be darned if I will sit idly by and watch Obama and his czars destroy what our forefathers fought to achieve and protect!

  7. Tlaloc says:

    The Catholic Church and the Catholic people have erected health care facilities that are recognized worldwide for their compassionate care for everyone regardless of their creed, their economic circumstances and, most certainly, their gender.

    That’s great. But the second they even think about using that position to impose their views on others, especially in the form of controlling what health care you can get they get to go straight to hell.

    Frankly for this kind of blatant political maneuvering they should have had their tax exemption pulled a long time ago.

    They have a choice, they can help people or they can cleave to their backwards superstition, and it’s not our fault that this leaves them in a bit of bind philosophically.

    Time to pick what century they want to be a part of.

  8. Tlaloc says:

    It’s also incredibly risky (to put it nicely) for a president who badly wants reelection. Catholics amount to about 25% of the electorate and constitute significant voting blocs in several keys states. Naturally not all would agree with the bishops or think this as serious a matter as they claim. But I’m willing to bet that large numbers will,

    Not a good bet. White Catholics are almost identical to the general public in terms of being pro-abortion rights. Latino Catholics are just 3% more anti-abortion rights than the general public.

    Source (from polling just last year).

  9. L.F. Baum says:

    Why is anyone surprised by this? The singular purpose of Obamacare is to close down private insurance, so is this latest obscenity not just the next step in the Master Plan?

    We can only delay the inevitable; the progressive march is unstoppable. Everyone should understand by now the goal is the adoption of a Euro-Socialist national health system.

    They can’t have that until they kill the current system. And so Sebelius continues to stir her cauldron.

    “All in good time, my pretty, all in good time.”

  10. Carlos says:

    @ Sirkowski & @ Tlaloc: with brainiacs like you guys, and those on the leftist blogs going wild right now, it’s no wonder our head Constitution-shredder has had Sebelius do his dirty work. He thinks there’s enough of you fools still out there that he won’t have a problem winning re-election so he can continue his drive to make this just one more failed socialist state.

  11. Tlaloc says:

    The singular purpose of Obamacare is to close down private insurance, so is this latest obscenity not just the next step in the Master Plan?

    “Obamacare” is almost entirely based on the GOP health plan from the 90s (hint that’s why both of the major contenders for this year’s GOP presidential nomination were former supporters of the individual mandate). So was the GOP trying to kill private insurance in the 90s too? Or are you engaging in just a bit of hyperbole?

    Actually the whole point of the Individual Mandate is to keep insurance companies in business. The best way to kill them off would be to kill the IM, which of course is exactly what the right is fighting for (and seriously go team, I hope you manage to get it killed so we can finally get the single payer system we should have had decades ago).

  12. Tlaloc says:

    @ Sirkowski & @ Tlaloc: with brainiacs like you guys, and those on the leftist blogs going wild right now, it’s no wonder our head Constitution-shredder has had Sebelius do his dirty work. He thinks there’s enough of you fools still out there that he won’t have a problem winning re-election so he can continue his drive to make this just one more failed socialist state.

    A) I’m not an obama supporter. He’s been far too right wing for me to vote for the guy. Yes I know that blows your mind but if you actually stopped making stuff up and looked at what he’s actually done, almost all of it is either continuing Bush era practices or putting in place republican ideas from the 90s. The health care reform is a prime example. He handed you the GOP’s policy on a silver platter and the right somehow pretended it was far left liberal. 8-|

    B) That said, Obama’s probably right about his coming electoral fight. His favorables, while not great, are way better than the likely GOP nominees. The economy has been fitfully improving. Opposition to “Obamacare” from independents has been dropping as people find the world did not end.

    Exit question- if Obama supporters are all fools, why are they winning?

  13. One Nation says:

    Will ANY REP nominee Challenge this President???? I seriously doubt it.

  14. Sirkowski says:

    #3 MarkJ
    I’m talking about Catholics, not Jews. If Internationalist Jews really did control our governments, we’d be living in a much better world.

    Catholics have the right to have mixed loyalties. But we also have the right to put their patriotism in question. Can we really trust someone to uphold the rights of free citizens when they are loyal to a dictator? We would be suspicious of Americans who remain loyal to Amhedinejad.

    You think I’m a bigot, right? It’s all right, not everyone can understand irony.

  15. Carlos says:

    Since you consider Obama “far too right wing,” I guess the notion of GW being more of a socialist than a “right-wing nutjob” is incomprehensible to you, right, Tlaloc?

    And the exit answer is, the country is full of fools. But then, what can one expect since public indoctrination centers and universities have been teaching those precious little mushminds for decades that capitalism is evil, socialism is good and only greedy evil people want to keep screwing the poor people, especially minorities. Expecting competition to make sense to someone who despises winners and losers is a useless exercise in frustration.

  16. Tlaloc says:

    Since you consider Obama “far too right wing,” I guess the notion of GW being more of a socialist than a “right-wing nutjob” is incomprehensible to you, right, Tlaloc?

    I guess it depends on who GW is. Are you referring perhaps to Bush?

    Expecting competition to make sense to someone who despises winners and losers is a useless exercise in frustration.

    Well then I have to ask, why is the group who deifies competition also claims to be the group that’s always losing? You claim the country is full of fools and the right hasn’t been able to teach their message…well if the message doesn’t spread doesn’t that indicate a basic flaw in it by your own philosophy of competition?

    Or are you saying that winners and losers is fine just so long as you get to pick who is in which group? Are you even vaguely aware of the massive internal inconsistencies of your world view?

  17. Glenn Bergen says:

    Whoa, backup; what happened to the separation of Church and State? When does HHS start to define policies of a religion? If you are of a particular sect and your teachings proscribe a religious belief/tenet, Is NOT, the federal government obligated to respect the individual’s moral upbringing? So, why don’t we demand that Quakers carry weapons and kill people? We ARE truly at an inpass in this country, either bow down to socialism and give up your personal beliefs.

  18. Drew the Infidel says:

    The myth of “separation of church and state” stands exposed for what it really is. A cheap excuse for harassing people of faith by banning prayer in schools, etc. The unbridled ridicule of Tim Tebow should serve as a sufficient warning; and now this.

    Sikowski and Tlaloc: Seek professional help!

  19. Tlaloc says:

    Whoa, backup; what happened to the separation of Church and State?

    They aren;t telling a church what to do, they’re telling a medical service what to do. If the church doesn’t want to comply with regulations about providing medical services they’re free to get out of the game.

    Do you really believe that a catholic hospital shouldn’t be required to follow regulations? Of course they should. That’s the deal they accepted when they built a hospital.

  20. Oakland Park Tom says:

    You guys have the story all wrong. Look, many “Catholic” or “Religious” Hospitals and “Charities” are really nothing more than taxpayer supported social service agencies. Most “Religious” hospitals were built with tax-free debt and direct taxpayer subsidies. They receive taxpayer funding. Many of these “religious” hospitals are really part of major corporations like Cristus/Ascencion etc. that don’t appear to provide anymore charity or efficiency or lower medical costs than for-profit hospitals. Catholic “charities” receive the vast majority of funding from the taxpayers (IMHO, they aren’t charities, but state supported welfare/social service agencies). Therefore, the taxpayers have an interest in insuring that all persons can get medical treatment from the state without religious interference paid for by the state. Furthermore, taxpayer supported agencies should not be able to discriminate in employment against persons of different faith or against Gay persons. If the Catholic church wants to run a charity or a build a hospital, do it. But do it without taxpayer supported debt, without federal funding, and be a real charity. Just sayin’.

  21. Affenhauer says:

    Wanna see some serious blow-back? Excommunicate Sebelius, Biden, Pelosi, etc and impose a General Interdict until this ‘situation’ is rectified…

  22. Normajean Oberst says:

    How VIP is the right of conscience in American Tradition? Thomas Jefferson, 1809, stated “NO provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man that that whicch protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority.” Last time I checked Thomas Jefferson was NOT a PAPIST!

  23. Normajean Oberst says:

    The incredibly narrow “religious employer” exemption Obama still has fails to protect many if not most religious employers who, by the way provide JOBS which we all are so desperate to have! To be eligible an organization must meet 4 strict criteria, including the requirement that it BOTH hire and SERVE ONLY PEOPLE OF ITS OWN FAITH! (how will that help the poor or aren’t catholic that so many catholic hospitals serve?) Catholic schools and hospitals would have to eject their non=catholic employees, students and patients to be eligible for Obama’s “religious exemption”! Jesus and his apostles would not have been “religious enough” for Obama’s exemption, since they healed and served people of all different faiths..just like the Catholic institutions do today.

  24. jellobiafra says:

    FYI – This is not Socialism guys, it’s Fascism. When the government nationalizes private industry and then creates thousands of intricate laws and rulings to control and profit off of it that is straight out of the Benito Mussolini play book. There has never in the history of this country been a precedent for government forcing a private individual to buy a product or service from another private individual. Think Socialized medicine is bad? Try Fascist medicine – think Al Capone with a stethoscope.

    And Tlacoc, I can’t help myself. I’m sure you’re a compensated spokesmodel for O’dummy, but…really? Do you even understand that there is a difference between Socialism and Fascism? Ever read a history book?

    Your question was the best: “If Obama supporters are all fools, why are they winning?” Well first, who says they are. And second, what are they winning? The right to live in a totalitarian state and live off the scraps of their leviathan? Poppa Doc “won”, Stalin “won”, Hitler “won” and as a result left their countries and countrymen in ruins.