Here Is The Anti-Obama Administration Letter That Was Read To Almost Every Catholic Sitting In Church On Sunday
(Michael Brendan Dougherty, Business Insider, January 29, 2012)
The Catholic Church is fighting mad with the Obama Administration, and nearly every Catholic sitting in a pew this weekend heard the reasons why.
The Health and Human Services Department recently announced it will require all employers (with few exceptions) to provide health insurance to their employees which includes subsidized contraception, sterilization and coverage for abortion-inducing drugs.
This meant that religious institutions, like Catholic colleges and hospitals, or other Christian institutions would be compelled to violate their conscience by cooperating with that which they believe to be wrong. Currently many of these institutions purchase health-insurance plans which do not provide free coverage of these services.
To give an analogy, it would be like the government mandating that all delis, even Kosher delis, serve pork products and then justifying it by saying that protein is healthy, and many Jews who don't follow Kosher laws and many non-Jews go to those delis. The law wouldn't technically ban Jews from owning delis, but it would effectively ban their ability to run them according to their conscience.
Well, the Catholic Church isn't lying down and taking this.
In thousands of parishes this weekend, Catholic priests read a version of the following letter to their congregation denouncing this decision as an attack on their religious freedom. Each bishop personally sent the letter out, and so there were some local variations. What follows is the letter from the Bishop of Marquette:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
I write to you concerning an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the Church in the United States directly, and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith. The federal government, which claims to be “of, by, and for the people,” has just been dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people — the Catholic population — and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful.
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.
And therefore, I would ask of you two things. First, as a community of faith we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored. Without God, we can do nothing; with God, nothing is impossible. Second, I would also recommend visiting www.usccb.org/conscience,to learn more about this severe assault on religious liberty, and how to contact Congress in support of legislation that would reverse the Obama Administration’s decision.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+Alexander K. Sample
Most Reverend Alexander K. Sample
Bishop of Marquette
Personally I don't understand the big deal, I have bought birth control pills with my insurance in the past, what is so new?
Personally, I feel that the bishops need not have proclaimed the Obama administration as the enemy. The bishops could have urged parishoners to work for repeal of the new Health and Human Services regulations.
Personally, I feel that the bishops need not have proclaimed the Obama administration as the enemy.
wandeljw wrote:Personally, I feel that the bishops need not have proclaimed the Obama administration as the enemy.
They didn't proclaim him the enemy, though. They correctly identified him as the author and supporter of a bill they oppose. What's wrong with that?
Well, the Catholic Church isn't lying down and taking this.
If the bishops had sincerely wished to keep politics out of the pulpit, they would have specifically rallied church members against the regulation itself.
The Church of Christ, Scientist (i.e. Christian Science) doesn't believe in medical ttreatment. Should it be able to offer health insurance that doesn't include any medical treatment?
"On appeal, the Supreme Court noted that the exemption provided by 26 U.S.C. 1402(g) is available only to self-employed individuals and does not apply to employers or employees. As to the constitutional claim, the court held that, since accommodating the Amish beliefs under the circumstances would unduly interfere with the fulfillment of the overriding governmental interest in assuring mandatory and continuous participation in and contribution to the Social Security system, the limitation on religious liberty involved here was justified. Consequently, in reversing the district court, the Supreme Court held that, unless Congress provides otherwise, the tax imposed on employers to support the Social Security system must be uniformly applicable to all."
wandeljw wrote:If the bishops had sincerely wished to keep politics out of the pulpit, they would have specifically rallied church members against the regulation itself.
With respect, JW, you're moving your goalposts. Your previous goalpost was whether the bishops "proclaimed Obama the enemy". Now your goalpost is whether they "keep politics out of the pulpit." Churches can take an active role in politics, even from their pulpits, without declaring some politician "the enemy". Obama enacted a policy. The Catholic Church believes that this policy threatens the core values of their organization. Accordingly, the church publically takes a stand against the policy and its author. How is any of that even remotely out of order?
I am describing the act of using church pulpits to deliver a political message. This is what the bishops are doing. To me, this is more than out of order, it is dangerous. Framing a political message in religious terms is how I would define extremism.