Monday 22nd September 2014

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

The Liberal Counteroffensive On The Obamacare Mandate

March 7, 2014 Frontpage No Comments

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

I don’t know why the supporters of Obamacare’s mandate requiring Catholic institutions to provide insurance coverage for contraception and abortifacients have not been forced in public to defend the stark inconsistency of their position. You would think the liberals who support Obamacare would be scrambling to explain their double standard. It is, after all, the American left that has been defined for nearly a half-century now by their stand for dissent and the rights of the individual.
They were the ones who told us that opponents of America’s military campaigns around the world should not be forced to serve in those wars; who told us that Jim Crow laws need not be obeyed by those who objected to them for moral reasons, and that censorship laws were a violation of the freedom of conscience of individuals whose moral codes clashed with those in authority.
High in the pantheon of the American left are Martin Luther King Jr., Dorothy Day, the LSD guru Timothy Leary, the leaders of the anti-Vietnam War movement, liberal theologians who defy the administration at Catholic colleges, and topless feminists on Main Street.
The right to dissent is inviolable, they told us, as American as apple pie. The freedom of conscience is non-negotiable; a healthy society protects dissent in its laws and public policies. Except for Catholic colleges and hospitals that do not want to comply with Obamacare. I have not heard a backer of Obamacare explain this inconsistency in a way that does not rise above the sound-bites about the need for institutions to “protect a woman’s reproductive rights.” It is as if there are no other rights to be considered in the equation.
But there are some signs that the left is feeling the pressure to make their defense in a more thorough and reflective manner. I offer as evidence a column entitled “What the Christian Right Gets Wrong About Sin” by Micah J. Murray on the web site Huffington Post on February 5. I submit that Murray’s argument will be popping up all over the place in this debate over the Obamacare mandate and Catholic institutions.
Murray does not buy the argument that Catholic institutions will have their freedom of religion violated if they are forced to “enable or aid another in doing what the Christian believes to be a sin,” regarding the Obamacare mandate. He thinks this concern of Catholic institutions is rooted in an understanding of sin “primarily concerned with sexual activity — homosexuality, premarital sex, pornography/indecency, and sexual health/contraception.”
It is an understanding, Murray continues, that overlooks behavior that “breaks the peace because it interferes with the way things are supposed to be” and which “disrupts love between neighbor and neighbor, between Creator and created.” He charges Christian institutions with overlooking the ways in which Christians may “enable” sins of that nature; that “if we understand that sin is so much more than sexual rules” we “can see how impossible it is to consistently avoid ‘enabling sin’” as vigilantly as Catholics concerned about Obamacare “do in this one area.” What does he mean by that?
In a nutshell, that Catholic institutions routinely and without protest “enable” what they think is sinful behavior of all sorts, as long as it is not of a sexual nature. He argues that Catholic institutions do not teach members of their congregations about the moral dangers of a car dealer selling a “shiny car to someone who will brag about it from an arrogant heart.” Or those who would “build a house for someone who will live in ‘excess comfort’ while ignoring the less fortunate in it its shadow. And what about the food industry?” Shouldn’t Christians who work in that industry feel troubled about how “we waste over 40 percent of our food supply every day while our neighbors go hungry? Is it ‘enabling the sin of excess’ to shop at grocers that will throw away good food to ensure that ours is perfectly fresh?”
There is more: What about “Christian hotel owners” who do not “refuse rooms to any couple that wasn’t married?” Aren’t they as complicit as a Catholic institution that provides insurance coverage for birth control? Similarly, shouldn’t Christian investors “refuse to do business with anyone whose desire for gain was motivated by greed?” Shouldn’t Christians “shun any politician or entertainer or athlete who lives a lifestyle of pride, arrogance, or excess?”
Murray contends our preoccupation with sexual matters leads us to brush aside what should be our equal concern with enabling those who commit the sins of “pride and arrogance, excess of food and comfort, and neglect of the poor.” His endgame, of course, is to apply pressure to Catholic institutions who do not mount the barricades over these sins; to persuade them to get over it and learn to live with giving insurance coverage to their employees with access to birth control in the same manner that they look the other way over the possibility that a financial adviser they deal with is likely to be greedy and materialistic.
No cigar. It’s sophistry. Come on: There is no reason for a car dealer to assume that one of his customers is motivated by an “arrogant heart” when he or she buys a new car. Or for a contractor to assume that the family buying a home from him is driven by a desire to life a life of “excess luxury,” with no regard for those less fortunate. Or for the hotel owner not to assume that the unmarried couple renting a room from him is living chaste lives. For all the contractor knows, the man or woman buying a mansion from him may be a leading philanthropist. Should a builder require a copy of his customer’s tax returns to see how much they donate to charity before building him a home? Likewise, our local grocer may be an active participant in programs that give the food he does not sell to local charities.
Let’s not beat this to death: There is no inherent evil involved in the examples Murray offers; no reason to believe that anyone in his scenarios is “enabling” immoral behavior. But the same cannot be said about enabling one’s employees to buy contraceptives or abortifacients. There is only one reason to buy those products: to engage in actions that Catholics, as well as many evangelical Protestants and orthodox Jews, are convinced is sinful.
(There is a story told in Unlimited Access, former FBI agent Gary Aldrich’s book about his years in the Clinton White House, describing how Clinton aides used condoms to decorate the White House Christmas tree. I don’t think we are at the point where someone would argue that Catholic employers should be expected to ponder the possibility that their employees who want subsidized contraceptives are planning something of that nature.)
It is difficult to come to any other conclusion than that Murray is deliberately seeking to muddy the waters in this debate over Obamacare. Why is he doing it? Is it a deliberately dishonest ploy? That’s a harsh charge. Perhaps it is simply a bout of partisan political enthusiasm muddling his thinking. But there has to be some reason to explain why he would throw up a smokescreen like this around the motives of those who see nothing wrong with forcing Catholics to violate their freedom of religion. The same can be said of anyone who echoes his case.

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Spinning the Synod

Here are five misleading claims and skewed statements about the upcoming Synod of Bishops Carl E. Olson Here’s a word that hasn’t been used much in recent discussions about the approaching Battle of the Cardin—er, the Synod of Bishops, taking…Continue Reading

Archbishop Coakley: Though City Leaders Do Not Take Seriously Threat of Inviting Evil Into Community, I Do

Washington, D.C., September 18, 2014 (Zenit.org) Here is an article from the Sooner Catholic, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, regarding the black mass scheduled at the city’s civic center for this Sunday. Archbishop Paul Coakley has used…Continue Reading

Report: Bishop Cupich of Spokane to succeed Cardinal George in Chicago

The AP broke the story, and local media is now confirming, that Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane will succeed Cardinal Francis George as archbishop of Chicago. The Archdiocese of Chicago is expected to make the official announcement tomorrow morning at…Continue Reading

Sources confirm Cardinal Burke will be removed. But will he attend the Synod?

Sources in Rome have confirmed to LifeSiteNews that Cardinal Raymond Burke, the head of the Vatican’s highest court, known as the Apostolic Signatura, is to be removed from his post as head of the Vatican dicastery and given a non-curial…Continue Reading

Catholic Education Honor Roll Announced

Today, The Cardinal Newman Society released the list of schools recognized by the Catholic Education Honor Roll as 2014 Schools of Excellence. Since 2004 the Honor Roll has celebrated quality Catholic education throughout the United States. Honor Roll schools receiving…Continue Reading

Hermeneutic of Continuity: Pope Benedict XVI’s 10 Step Guide to Vatican II

pope200

In 2005 His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI gave a Christmas address to the Roman Curia that sparked a “Holy Revolution.” The good pontiff’s comments were received as “epoch-making” by many of those faithful to Sacred Tradition.1 At the heart of…Continue Reading

Satanists Sell Out Controversial Oklahoma ‘Black Mass’ Event, Will Stage Exorcism Despite Christian Protests

The Satanist group that will stage a controversial “black mass” at an Oklahoma City civic center has said that all 88 tickets for its Sept. 21 event are sold out. The co-founder of the group revealed that the ritual will…Continue Reading

Catholic League Bowing Out Of New York’s St. Patrick’s Parade

NEW YORK –  The Catholic League says it will sit out next year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York because parade organizers aren’t letting an anti-abortion Catholic group march. Catholic League head Bill Donohue said Thursday that his organization…Continue Reading

Catholic Cardinal McCarrick Embraces Islam

Catholic Cardinal Theodore McCarrick offered Islamic religious phrases and insisted that Islam shares foundational rules with Christianity, during a Sept. 10 press conference in D.C. “In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate,” McCarrick said as he introduced himself…Continue Reading

MURDER OF CATHOLIC NUNS SHOCKS WORLD

The triple murder of three elderly Italian religious sisters in Burundi has their religious family and the local community reeling. The Italian Foreign Ministry has confirmed Monday’s death of a third missionary, Sister Bernadette Boggian, who wasdecapitated, according to a…Continue Reading

Cardinal Dolan and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

by Hon. Bob Marshall Sept. 8, 2014 New York’s Cardinal Dolan, appointed as Grand Marshal of the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade, praised the decision to allow an openly gay group to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. “I have…Continue Reading

Founder: Catholic Studies programs help colleges fulfill call to faithfulness

St. Paul, Minn., Sep 8, 2014 / 06:03 pm (CNA).- University-level Catholic Studies programs are an essential response to the increasingly fragmented college experience, said the man who founded the first such program 20 years ago. “At the heart of…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to subscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.

 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

'From our friends at The Foundry'


Today . . .

Pope To Albania’s Faith Leaders: Religion Is Source Of Peace

pop527

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met with leaders of the different religious communities in Albania on Sunday afternoon, insisting once again that no-one can use the name of God to commit violence. Speaking at the Catholic University of Tirana, the Pope said “Authentic religion is a source of peace and not of violence….To kill in the name of God is a…Continue Reading

Pope: No To The Use Of Religion As A Pretext For Violence

pope526

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said on Sunday that no one must consider themselves to be the “armour” of God while planning and carrying out acts of violence and oppression. “May no one” he said “use religion as a pretext for actions against human dignity and against the fundamental rights of every man and woman, above all, the right to life and the…Continue Reading

The Forever War

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN The strategy that President Obama laid out September 10 to “degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL,” is incoherent, inconsistent, and, ultimately, non-credible. A year ago, Obama and John Kerry were straining at the leash to launch air strikes on Syrian President Bashar Assad for his alleged use…Continue Reading

Marriage Is Not A Metaphor

By DONALD DeMARCO I passed through the metal detector at the Las Vegas Airport easily and uneventfully. While waiting for my wife, who was the inconvenient recipient of a more thorough random check, I turned to the attendant and told her that I was surprised to pass through the metal detector so quietly since I…Continue Reading

Reconnecting With Mary… Our Lady Of La Salette

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Part 1 This is the first of two articles on the apparition of our Lady at La Salette in September 1846, which has a lot to teach us in our own day. At that time, the small nearby town of Corps, in the Grenoble region in southeastern France, was a poor…Continue Reading

The Saint Who Was Never Born

By DONALD DeMARCO St. Raymond Nonnatus came into the world in the early 13th century (1200 or 1204 according to scholars) in Portello, Catalonia (Spain). His appended name, in Latin, means “not born.” He was taken from the womb of his mother by caesarean section after her death. Shakespeare used this notion of not being…Continue Reading

Bluster And Bluff In The Baltic

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN “I say to the people of Estonia and the people of the Baltics, today we are bound by our treaty alliance. . . . Article 5 is crystal clear: An attack on one is an attack on all. So if . . . you ever ask again, ‘who’ll come to help,’…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Priestly Celibacy: Unnatural? Or . . . Supernatural? The Faith Of The Early Christians

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 5 It is a very comfortable position for the defenders of sola Scriptura to wish to interpret it according to their own criteria. In so doing, they pick and choose verses here and there to justify their views. God’s first commandment to mankind, “Be fruitful and multiply,” seems to be the “dogma” against celibacy.…Continue Reading

Catechesis In The Twenty-First Century

By Don Fier “In order to arrive at a systematic knowledge of the content of the faith, all can find in the Catechism of the Catholic Church a precious and indispensable tool. It is one of the most important fruits of the Second Vatican Council.” With these words in his apostolic letter Porta Fidei announcing the upcoming Year of Faith…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I am currently reading Paul Likoudis’ excellent but shocking book Amchurch Comes Out, regarding incidents of immoral conduct among our clergy, the cover-up, and the accompanying damage that has been wrought within the Church. I recall being alarmed while involved with religious education in our then parish in the late 1980s and attending diocesan seminars for teachers and hearing…Continue Reading

Our Attitude Should Be The Same As Christ’s

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Sixth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Ezek. 18:25-28 Phil. 2:1-11 Matt. 21:28-32   In the Gospel reading today our Lord asks the question of which son did the will of his father: the one who said he would not go into the field but eventually did or the one who said he would go…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . “And Who Is My Neighbor?” The Embryo And The ALS patient

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The prophet Jeremiah in chapter 20 bewails his isolation as a result of the scorn of nonbelievers: “The word of the Lord has brought me derision and reproach all the day.” He describes his temptation to throw in the towel as a prophet tasked by God with a message for mankind: “I say to myself,…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph Of Cupertino

By CAROLE BRESLIN Now that the school year has begun, students — especially Catholic students — will find recourse to their favorite patron saint of studying. Some may choose St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Augustine of Hippo. For those students who find it difficult to retain what they read and write about it, perhaps this saint will encourage them: St.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Mother Teresa Of Calcutta

By CAROLE BRESLIN After returning from a visit to Mother Teresa of Calcutta and giving a retreat to her Missionaries of Charity there, Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, told a class of lay faithful, “Americans are living in a dream world.” He spoke of the thousands of people dying on the streets of Calcutta where Mother had begun her work…Continue Reading

What to Do If Your Boyfriend Wants You to Get an Abortion?

by Krisi Burton Brown | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 2/20/14 4:00 PM Washington, DC (LiveActionNews) — Note: This article is for any girl or woman who is feeling pressured into having an abortion. If you are a guy who is trying to find out how to stop an abortion, please see this article written for dads. 1.  Stand your…Continue Reading

It’s Time to Build Schools, from the Ground Up

February 13, 2014 by Anthony Esolen   It might have been worth repairing, if it had once been noble and beautiful, or at least conceived in an orderly way, for ordinary human purposes. But it wasn’t. It was constructed upon false principles. Its walls looked like those of a bad factory. It smelled like a warehouse. It could be terribly…Continue Reading

Why I am Pro-Life

February 4, 2014   Pro-Lifers   By Therese Recinella   Editor’s note. This tribute was posted on Therese Recinella’s Facebook account. She is graciously allowing us to reprint it in NRL News Today.   There are many things that I could say about my Dad, but what I want people to know is this: My parents faithfully raised 8 children…Continue Reading

Fathers . . . The Essential Role of the Father

Posted on February 10, 2014 by The Catholic Gentleman 13 Comments   Divorce rates skyrocketing; adultery rampant; non-married cohabitating couples; children abandoned by their fathers or mothers; “same-sex unions” adopting children and calling this the “modern family”; pornography invading homes, leading to powerful addictions and total alienation from other members of the family: all of this is a bird’s eye view…Continue Reading

How Much is One Billion Dollars?

This article appeared in the March 20, 1941 issue of The Wanderer. (Well, 70 years later we can add 15 trillion into the example.) Here’s a simple and homely illustration of what one billion dollars amounts to: Suppose we take an imaginary boy, aged 15 years, and assign to him the task of counting one billion dollars in one-dollar bills.…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood

This article appeared in The Wanderer, April 3, 1941.  (WOW, Look what we have 70 years later.) A group which calls itself the National Committee for Planned Parenthood has begun a nationwide campaign to have the promotion of birth control included in State and national health programs. The committee—which, according to propaganda sheets reaching our desk has a branch in…Continue Reading

Questions of Non-Catholics . . . Answered by Father Richard Felix, O.S.B.

Reprinted from The Wanderer April 10, 1941 Why Does God allow us to be tempted? God allows us to be tempted so that we may prove our attachment to him and merit a higher place in heaven. Temptations are the lot of all men; they are the battle ground upon which heaven is won or lost. “The kingdom of heaven…Continue Reading