President Obama’s war on religious freedoms provokes massive backlash

Posted by: ST on February 9, 2012 at 5:42 pm

It’s on:

Republicans stepped up their campaign Thursday against the Obama administration’s controversial contraception rule, using the pulpit of the premier conservative conference in Washington to assail the policy as an unconstitutional “attack on religious freedom.”

The sustained GOP criticism, including a letter of opposition Thursday from three state attorneys general, came as key Democrats continued to peel away from the president on the issue or at least call for compromise. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., the party’s 2004 presidential nominee, told Fox News on Thursday that the policy should be adjusted to include a conscience clause.

“I think it can be implemented effectively in a way that protects women’s access but at the same time protects people’s rights and conscience,” Kerry said. “I think it’s an unnecessary debate.”

Vice President Biden, who is Catholic, also reportedly said Thursday he’s “determined to see that this gets worked out.”

At the Conservative Political Action Conference, a string of high-powered Republican speakers singled out the policy, which requires religious schools and hospitals to provide contraceptive coverage to employees.
“This isn’t even a social issue. This is a constitutional issue,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said onstage. “What (the Constitution) says is that the federal government does not have the power to force religious organizations to pay for things that that organization thinks is wrong.”

House Speaker John Boehner, who a day earlier took to the House floor to vow to repeal the policy unless the Obama administration backs off, said Thursday that a “fundamental American value” is at stake. He said at CPAC that lawmakers would debate the issue, adding: “One thing is for certain — this attack on religious freedom cannot and will not stand.”

The President is even losing members of his own party over this one:

At least nine Democratic members of Congress have spoken out against the policy or suggested it should be changed. Among them, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said in a newspaper interview he has told the White House he opposes the policy.

President Obama: A uniter! But not in the way he claimed to want to be.

Janet Daley, writing for the Telegraph, sees this as another disturbing example of the Europization of America:

So why has the President chosen this high-risk path? The White House spokesman says simply that the administration is committed to giving women access to these services “no matter where they work”. In other words, this is an issue of equality: everyone must have the same access to identical provision even if they (knowingly) work for an employer who is opposed in principle to such provision. This is a classic case of government-backed equality vs individual freedom of conscience, of a kind with which we are very familiar in Britain. It is, in fact, a direct consequence of the uniformity which any national healthcare plan must involve.

But it is also a departure from the traditional American view (enshrined in the Constitution) that the government shall not interfere in the people’s right to religious assembly and practice. What the Obama White House has effectively decided is that religion can not be allowed to interfere with the secular values which government has decreed – such as the right to equality in contraception services. Religion itself is being firmly put in its box. If the state decides that contraception must be available to all, then no church or theological text will be allowed to stand in the way. Once again, the US is following where Europe leads: to a future in which all values will be determined and enforced by the state.

As noted earlier, the push back against against this has been pretty significant and wide-ranging. It will be interesting to see how the administration tries to play the middle, especially during an election year. Who would he rather alienate the least – Catholics or “feminist” pro-aborts? That is how the administration views this issue, not whether it is right or wrong from a Constitutional standpoint, which should have been their first and foremost concern.

In an ideal world where leaders in positions of power actually care about the Constitution, anyway …

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10 Responses to “President Obama’s war on religious freedoms provokes massive backlash”

Comments

  1. I too have wondered why Obama would make such a politically volatile move in an election year. Then it hit me. He’s already written off the white-working class vote and doesn’t bother with them. He must have written off the right wing religious vote so why not do something to help appease his core left support? make church-based organizations hand out condoms! Yes, they’ll love it!

  2. Drew the Infidel says:

    By now, each and everybody has figured out why the Islamists here are not tampered with in this fashion: they already have murder as an article of faith.

  3. Zippy says:

    Birth Control pills are not a right but an elective medication (i.e. choice). To force a religious institution who does not believe in such is a crime against said institution forced to adhere to such policy. Naturally, there are incidence where birth control pills are necessary to regulate or lay dormant a disease process, which is another story. In such cases, a letter of necessity to said insurance would suffice.

    He just rolls along and does whatever the F he wants. Hateful P.O.S. that he is.

  4. Zippy says:

    The intended group in focus will not be the group who benefits from said policy. That group will continue to live in the welfare state of producing children as a lifestyle, which we, the taxpaying, working public will be forced to provide for.

  5. MissJean says:

    The comments at the Telegraph and, unfortunately, many sites with a majority of American readers miss the point: The Constitution restricts the government and guarantees freedom of religion. Instead, they’re trying to make it – just like Sibelius, et al – a referendum on a nonexistent “right” to birth control. A majority of Americans may scoff at the Catholic Church’s views, but that doesn’t add any credibility to the unconstitutional restrictions.

    Frankly, this administration already showed that they don’t care about constitutions. Do you remember the Honduran “coupe” a while back? Their president was caught in a case of voting fraud (importing ballots printed in another country!) and was escorted from the country by the military. Our government defined it as a military coupe and cut trade etc. until Honduras allowed their exiled ex-president to return. But very few news outlets pointed out something very obvious to people in Honduras: The military was carrying out the punishment decided upon by their Supreme Court.

  6. Carlos says:

    I have diabetes, and just like pregnacy for a woman my diabetes is a result of choices I made.

    Shouldn’t the government be paying for everything related to my diabetes, including a permanent club membership and for the gas it takes to get there?

    And what about the “special” foods I have to eat? They cost more than “regular” foods, so shouldn’t the government be paying for that, too?

    The sexist feminazi argument doesn’t hold water. This is a case of the government usurping rights guaranteed in the Constitution that they so blithely ignore, and no amount of whining, screeching or ad hominem attacks will change the fact that the Constitution means nothing to this administration but even less to the socialists that support Duh-1 and his thugs.

  7. Carlos says:

    One more thing. Obama’s announcement today underscores a basic lack of understanding of the economy, ANY economy, and that is that there is no such thing as “free.”

    Does he really believe insurance companies will pay for contraceptive and abortion services for purely altruistic reasons? Sure he does, and probably believes a vegematic can fly him to the moon, too, and that’s why he’s cutting the space program!

    The guy is a fool, and the world is full of fools, but he’s a dangerous one.

  8. Cathy Robinson says:

    John Kerry has been interdicted from receiving Communion. People who support the murder of innocents are soulless.

  9. Neo says:

    If I was into conspiracies I would have to wonder if Barack Obama wasn’t a real life “Dave.”
    Between the teleprompter, the late night decisions “all by himself” (nudge nudge wink wink, know what I mean, say no more), and these moments of being unprepared (after a year to prepare), you really have to wonder if Axelrod and Jarrett haven’t stuffed a stick up his butt and made him their slave puppet.