NRL News

Opposition Continues to Mount Against Obama Mandate

by | Feb 28, 2012

By Dave Andrusko 

Cardinal Francis George

An update on the ever-mounting opposition to the Obama Mandate  that requires religiously-affiliated universities, hospitals, and charities to pay for health insurance that covers sterilization and contraception. As explained in Part Z, phone calls are urgently needed to U.S. senators in support of a vital pro-life amendment that is likely to be voted on tomorrow, or within a few days thereafter.

Strongly supported by National Right to Life, the Blunt Amendment would amend the Obama health care law (“ObamaCare”) to prevent the imposition of regulatory mandates that violate the religious or moral convictions of those who purchase or provide health insurance, such as the recent decree that virtually all employers — including religiously affiliated hospitals and schools — must purchase health insurance plans that cover all government-approved methods of birth control.

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Last Friday we wrote about the growing number of lawsuits that have been filed. Those, too, can only grow in number.

In his “The Cardinal’s Column,” Francis Cardinal George, archbishop of Barack Obama’s home town of Chicago, showed just how seriously the Catholic Church takes this assault on religious liberty (

“In the public discussion thus far, efforts have been made to isolate the bishops from the Catholic faithful by focusing attention exclusively on ‘reproductive’ issues. But the acrimony could as easily focus next year or the year after on assisted suicide or any other moral issue that can be used to distract attention from the attack on religious liberty. Many will recognize in these moves a tactic now familiar in our public life: those who cannot be co-opted are isolated and then destroyed. The arguments used are both practical and theoretical….

“The provision of health care should not demand “giving up” religious liberty. Liberty of religion is more than freedom of worship. Freedom of worship was guaranteed in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union. You could go to church, if you could find one. The church, however, could do nothing except conduct religious rites in places of worship-no schools, religious publications, health care institutions, organized charity, ministry for justice and the works of mercy that flow naturally from a living faith. All of these were co-opted by the government. We fought a long cold war to defeat that vision of society.

“The strangest accusation in this manipulated public discussion has the bishops not respecting the separation between church and state. The bishops would love to have the separation between church and state we thought we enjoyed just a few months ago, when we were free to run Catholic institutions in conformity with the demands of the Catholic faith, when the government couldn’t tell us which of our ministries are Catholic and which not, when the law protected rather than crushed conscience. The state is making itself into a church. The bishops didn’t begin this dismaying conflict nor choose its timing. We would love to have it ended as quickly as possible. It’s up to the government to stop the attack.”

In addition, according to a release from Christian Newswire today, “the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Archbishop of New York, His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, joined more than 500 leading scholars, university presidents and other academic administrators, activists, and religious leaders from a multitude of faiths, in a statement rejecting the governmental Health and Human Services mandate” and also “rejecting President Obama’s so-called ‘accommodation’ of religious liberty as a mere ‘accounting trick’ that changes nothing of moral substance.”

Entitled “Unacceptable,” the statement’s original drafters are Professor Mary Ann Glendon, of the Harvard Law School; Professor Robert P. George of Princeton; Yuval Levin, Hertog Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center; Professor O. Carter Snead of Notre Dame; and, President of Catholic University, John Garvey.

Finally, most shrewd observers believe the Obama administration issued the regulations because they thought it would be “smart politics.” We’ve discussed several polls on the mandate. Some  show the public dividing relatively evenly, other show more opposing the mandate (especially among Catholics) than supporting.

The important consideration at this juncture is that Obama has been the beneficiary of largely uncritical mainstream media coverage on the question. But as the opposition grows wider and more intense, the failure of this “smart politics” gambit will only grow more obvious.

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Categories: ObamaCare
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