This Conscience Thing
Catholic leaders object to an Obama administration rule on contraceptive coverage, but will Americans listen?
Has President Obama's Department of Health and Human Services awakened a sleeping giant?
In pews across America, Catholics listened yesterday to letters from their bishops denouncing an HHS requirement that forces virtually every employer in America to pay for health insurance that covers contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients.
As Nancy Pelosi complained during the health care debate, many of her coreligionists have "this conscience thing" concerning the sanctity of human life. Now the executive branch of the federal government is telling them to drop dead.
>>> For now, a church doesn't have to buy condoms for monks or the pill for nuns. But religious schools, hospitals, and social service providers will have to comply with the regulation.
Oddly, the best way for religious leaders to follow their conscience without running afoul of the government is to not serve or employ people outside the faith. "Sectarian self-segregation is O.K., but good Samaritanism is not," observes the columnist Ross Douthat. "The rule suggests a preposterous scenario in which a Catholic hospital avoids paying for sterilizations and the morning-after pill by closing its doors to atheists and Muslims, and hanging out a sign saying 'no Protestants need apply.'"
The American Catholic bishops have pointed out that even Jesus and his disciples might not have qualified for the narrowly tailored religious exemption. >>>
Never mind that caring for the sick, feeding the poor, and clothing the naked are considered religious activities in many faiths. Forget that no one is forced to work for a Catholic hospital or Baptist college. Pay no attention to other ways such workers could affordably obtain these services if they so choose. Under the HHS regulation, the coverage is required even if the employee objects.
Religious communities in contemporary America are voluntary. No one is forced to attend or support any church, profess any doctrine or creed. Government, however, upholds community norms at gunpoint. MORE ...
Catholics account for about 25% of the population in the US (except for the likes of fake Catholics like Piglosi, Lurch and the dead Kennedy). Nothing seems to change the Jewish vote, the black vote or the union vote. Perhaps the Catholic vote and the Hispanic vote are up for grabs now. Will some of them wake now, or will they continues to slumber?