Tuesday 31st May 2016

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

2016 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Amoris Laetitia is ‘objectively unclear’ since even bishops have conflicting interpretations: Cardinal Caffarra

ROME, May 30, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The cardinal tasked by Saint Pope John Paul II 36 years ago with founding an institute to study marriage and the family has criticized Pope Francis’ recent Apostolic Exhortation on the family for lacking…Continue Reading

34% of “Pro-Choice” Women Who See This Viral Video Turn Against Abortion

A new four-minute viral video is causing over a third — 34 percent — of “pro-choice” women surveyed to view abortion “less favorably.” And 28 percent of pro-choice women who watched the video stated there should be more restrictions on…Continue Reading

‘Biblically wrong’: Oklahoma lawmakers urge Obama’s impeachment over transgender bathrooms

Lawmakers in Oklahoma have introduced legislation calling for President Barack Obama to be impeached because of his administration’s support for transgender bathrooms. Another bill calls for a declaration of emergency in the state. In a measure called Senate Concurrent Resolution…Continue Reading

Oklahoma legislature passes bill making it a felony to perform abortions

Lawmakers in Oklahoma approved a bill Thursday that would make performing abortions a felony and revoke the medical licenses of most physicians who assist in such procedures. This sweeping measure, which opponents described as unconstitutional and unprecedented, now heads to…Continue Reading

Unanimous Win for Little Sisters of the Poor at Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the government cannot fine the Little Sisters of the Poor.  The Supreme Court vacated the lower court rulings against the Little Sisters, accepting the government’s admission that it could meet…Continue Reading

Conservatives outraged over Obama transgender directive to public schools

The Obama administration’s directive Friday that every public school provide transgender access — or face the loss of federal funds — drew swift and strong condemnation from conservatives, with one public official blasting it as presidential “blackmail.” The administration’s directive…Continue Reading

Pro-Life Leaders Decry Scandals, Urge Catholic Colleges to Reject Culture of Death

Concerned by recent high-profile events at Catholic colleges featuring pro-abortion leaders — including Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards, Bill Clinton, Wendy Davis and Vice President Joe Biden — 31 Catholic and pro-life leaders joined a statement urging Catholic colleges to “stand firm…Continue Reading

ACLU launches campaign to strip Catholic hospitals of federal funds

NEW YORK, May 9, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Catholic hospitals across the U.S. are “withholding emergency care” and denying “essential health services,” the ACLU is alleging in a new campaign. They also inflict harm on “transgender and gender-non-conforming patients” “when seeking…Continue Reading

Harvard Law Professor Says Pro-Life Christians Should be Treated Like Nazis

Every day, it seems, the United States is becoming a more hostile environment for people with pro-life and conservative positions. Abortion activists constantly challenge pro-life laws, stall abortion industry investigations, force religious objectors to pay for abortions and attack life-affirming…Continue Reading

Obama plans new push for transgender rights in schools

The divisive and politically combustible issue of bathroom access for transgender individuals is about to become further inflamed, as the Obama administration is expected in coming weeks to aggressively reinforce its position that transgender student rights are fully protected under…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: Notre Dame is Wrong

Notre Dame’s Great Scandal: Honoring Vice President Biden By Thomas McKenna, President of Catholic Action for Faith and Family: The University of Notre Dame has announced that they intend to confer the Laetare Medal, an honor given to Catholics “in…Continue Reading

DoJ to North Carolina: You Have Until Monday to Reverse Bathroom Bill

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory received a letter from the Department of Justice that gives him until Monday to reverse his state’s controversial bathroom bill, reports The Hill. The DoJ said the law is in violation of the federal Civil…Continue Reading

Newsmax

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 su
bscribe 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

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Commentary

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .      

Today . . .

Pope Francis at Santa Marta: memory, prophecy, hope

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta on Monday morning. In remarks to the faithful following the Readings of the Day, the Holy Father focused on the threefold theme of the dynamic unity in Christian life, the signs of which are living memory, the prophetic spirit, and the sure horizon of hope. The Pope took as the central focus of his reflection the Gospel passage of the day…Continue Reading

">Ronald Reagan . . . Memorial Day Address

Planned Parenthood sponsors bill to make it illegal to record and post undercover footage

A bill making its way through the California State Assembly, sponsored by Planned Parenthood, seeks to make it a crime to publish conversations with certain health care providers, notably those associated with abortion facilities. California has already squashed the rights of pro-life pregnancy centers, demanding they offer abortion as an option to their clients, despite their pro-life mission. Now, Planned Parenthood and CA Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez think it’s a fine idea to prosecute someone from posting a “photo…Continue Reading

South Carolina governor signs ban on abortion for babies who feel pain

CHARLESTON, May 26, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – South Carolina has joined 13 other states that forbid abortions to be performed on unborn children capable of feeling pain. As expected, Governor Nikki Haley, a Republican, signed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act on Wednesday. The law restricts abortion to the first 19 weeks of pregnancy. “South Carolina took a courageous stand to protect women’s health and safety in limiting abortion at a point at which the risks…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Perseverance in prayer needed, but not “magic wand”

pope908

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday said “prayer is not a magic wand.” He was speaking during his weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square. The Pope was discussing the Parable of the Unjust Judge – also known as the Parable of the Persistent Widow – from the Gospel of Luke. In the parable, the persistence of a widow forces the unjust judge to grant her request for justice, “so that she will not eventually…Continue Reading

Luther 1517-2017… Five Hundred Years Of Heresy And Doctrinal Confusion

luther

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 9 (Editor’s Note: This is the ninth installment in a series by Wanderer contributor Raymond de Souza on Henry VIII’s book defending the seven sacraments against Martin Luther. De Souza edited this updated version of Henry’s work, which is presented to readers in this series. (This series will appear…Continue Reading

Excluded From Arizona House . . . Racial Healing Meet Has To Find Another Location, Loses Audience

By DEXTER DUGGAN MESA, Ariz. — The chairman of an Arizona Tea Party group introduced a representative of Black Lives Matter Arizona at a racial-healing conference here, saying, “Black lives matter, and of course we agree that all lives matter,” but blacks are unique in U.S. history as “a people who have endured chattel slavery.”…Continue Reading

Havana: The Potemkin Village Of The 21st Century

By ALBERTO MARTINEZ PIEDRA According to the media, it is often heard that many Americans are interested in traveling to Cuba because, as relations between the jewel of the Caribbean and the United States warm, they “want to see the island before it changes.” And they make this statement with a certain degree of optimism.…Continue Reading

Rocky Homilies

By DEACON JAMES H. TONER (Editor’s Note: Deacon James H. Toner, Ph.D., serves at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Greensboro, N.C.) + + + The Holy Father’s admonition in Amoris Laetitia that priests must understand that the moral law should not be thrown at people as if it were so many stones (n.…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred… A Procession To The Ends Of The Earth

By JAMES MONTI Several weeks ago, after attending the Easter Vigil at a nearby seminary, and the emptied chapel had fallen silent, I began to hear the sound of the sacring bell being rung in the sacristy. Puzzled by this, I wondered whether the seminarians were perhaps trying to repair the bell. But then from…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Look To Our Father In Heaven

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Everyone has made a wrong decision at some point in his or her life, and everyone can speak about the suffering or pain caused by bad decisions. What, on the other hand, about the suffering or pain that is caused by doing the right thing? How often can we say that we suffered personally and…Continue Reading

The Marvel Of The Catholic Church Miracles And The Saints

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 2 “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand’.” “Heal the sick, raise the dead, and cleanse the lepers, cast out demons” (Matt. 10:7-8). It is evident that our Lord Jesus Christ gave to His disciples the power to perform miracles, and many of them did just that. Not…Continue Reading

The Church’s Liturgy — Who Celebrates?

By DON FIER There is an ancient Latin saying in the Church that eloquently expresses what her members believe of the efficacy of the sacraments and their relationship to faith: lex orandi, lex credendi (“the law of prayer is the law of faith”). Each of the seven sacraments, as we saw last week, can be classified in various categories. Yet…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. My husband and I are wondering when to say the “Amen” after the Lord’s prayer is prayed during Mass. I believe “Amen” should be said after we say “deliver us from evil.” — J.W., Georgia. A. Although it is correct to say “Amen” at the end of the Our Father while saying it outside of Mass, for example, while…Continue Reading

God’s Prophet

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Tenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: 1 Kings 17:17-24 Gal. 1:11-14a, 15a, c, 16a, 17, 19 Luke 7:11-17 In the first reading today we hear about the death of the son of a widow with whom the Prophet Elijah stayed when he was passing through that region. The woman had been very good to…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Kevin Of Glendalough

By CAROLE BRESLIN Dublin, the largest city in Ireland, lies on the east coast of Ireland, just across the Irish Sea from Liverpool, England. It is the heart of Irish commerce and the gateway for travelers who wish to enter into the heart and soul of the ancient Irish culture of the Emerald Isle. Traveling south past the Wicklow mountains,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Augustine Of Canterbury

By CAROLE BRESLIN A Celtic cross erected in 1884 marks the spot in Ebbsfleet, Thanet, East Kent, where St. Augustine of Canterbury is said to have landed in 597. While some form of Christianity in England may be traced back to the times of the Roman occupation, it did not become a strong presence until the arrival of St. Augustine,…Continue Reading

COMPLETE 3 PART Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Insights On The State Of The Church In The Aftermath Of The Ordinary Synod On The Family

Cburke3

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, recently traveled from Rome to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., a magnificent place of worship which he founded and dedicated. (His Eminence graciously granted an extensive interview to The Wanderer during which he…Continue Reading