A must-read for this President’s Day

A huge h/t to The Anchoress for bringing this to my attention.  It drives home, with blinding clarity, the fact that the issue of the HHS mandate is not about contraception.  I mentioned that when I preached on this topic some weeks back, and it cannot be said enough.  This goes far beyond pills and condoms and tubal ligation.  It goes to the heart of who we are as a people.

From Charles Kadlec, writing in Forbes:

Before our very eyes, President Obama is on the verge of establishing the principle that the right to religious freedom comes not from our Creator, but from those who rule us. A government endowed right granted to women now trumps our unalienable right to act in accordance with our religious beliefs and conscience. Not only does this overturn the First Amendment, it also tramples the nation’s founding principles as announced in the Declaration of Independence. Such an achievement would be the true audacity of power.

The fundamental question is whether the Catholic Church, and by extension, individual Americans have to engage in activities according to the rulings of this and future Presidents, or are we free to live our lives as we choose as long as we do not harm another. Are we free to engage in long standing religious practices that have never before been deemed unlawful, or has the federal government established a de facto state “religion” that it is prepared to enforce through the full coercive power of its financial resources and the imposition of financial penalties.

If the Catholic Church and the American people choose the face saving “Option A” instead of “Option C,” then President Obama will have transformed America. We may be allowed the illusion of exercising our freedom, but in truth, we will be subjects in ObamaLand, required to do the bidding of this and future Presidents in the name of some higher, collective good.

However, the Catholic Church can turn the tables on the President by taking Option A off the table with a humble statement of principal that in the matters of religious practices and conscience, there is a higher authority than government Who it chooses to obey. If President Obama prevails and unleashes the full force of the federal government against the Church, the cost will be the closing of Catholic schools, hospitals and the loss of social services that play a vital part in communities across the nation. Such a stand would make clear to the American people that the alternative to religious freedom would be a mortal wound to our civil liberties and a complete disruption of civil society.

I am not a Catholic, nor do I believe in the Church’s opposition to contraception. But I pray that the leadership of the Catholic Church will have the faith and courage to stand for its core beliefs and use all of its moral power and political influence to defeat the President’s edict. I pray they will reach out across the political spectrum to people of all faiths, agnostics and atheists in the name of religious freedom and individual liberty. By so doing, they, and the institution of the Catholic Church, will have my love and respect for the rest of my life.

Read it all. And pass it on.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    Anchoress also posted a blog with Fr. Baron’s take on this power grab by the Obama administration. The Fr. Baron clip and her blog that you link here are really a combined statement on this issue and should probably be experienced together. In the blog with Fr. Baron’s video, I said the following which kind of applies to the two blogs. I paste it here since there is a different readership.

    I hope this is a wake up call for Catholics, especially the Church herself. Yes, this move by the Obama administration is clearly un-American and I suppose God willing with a Conservative Supreme Court it will be stricken down. But even on top of that important principle is the notion that we can have government run health care and not violate principles of freedom. It is an impossible task to maintain over the long haul. It’s like you’re feeding an alligator by hand. Sooner or later that alligator is going to take your arm.

    The beginning of Fr. Baron’s talk was even more important in my opinion than the Obama power grab. I don’t know if I’m the only one saying this. I imagine I’m not. The more society concedes responsibility to a secularized government, the more we drift into atheism. Am I the only one that sees this relationship? Taking care of our fellow neighbor is a human responsibility, and best done through our religious institutions. By off loading that work to an abstract entity such as the government, we lose the power of Christ’s touch and the connection to the spiritual. We become concerned not through love but through taxes and political maneuvering and special interest appeasement. Has it been a surprise then that while government power and responsibility in the last hundred years has grown we have slowly been drifting toward a loss religious faith? Look across the world. The countries that have the least faith have the highest concentration of government power in people’s lives. There is a reason why Marx was against religion and why all socialist experiments either control religion or outright try to destroy it.

    The Catholic Church should be against all forms of Government power.

  • Mark

    Deacon: Great job, thanks for pulling this together for us.

    Manny: Your comments above (“By off loading that work to an abstract entity such as the government, we lose the power of Christ’s touch and the connection to the spiritual. We become concerned not through love but through taxes and political maneuvering and special interest appeasement.”) … crystallize my own thinking these past few years.

    Too often when faced with a challenging humanitarian problem in our communities we will people say, “Let the government take care of it.” Or, alternatively, people ask, “What’s the government doing about it?”

    Related problem is the more the government takes from us, the less that is left over for charitable giving (which charities and churches both depend upon). Charitable giving comes from that portion of our income (“discretionary income”) that remains after we pay for food, rent/mortgage, etc. AND the paying of taxes.

    Leviathan has replaced the Lord … for far too many people.

  • Joe McFaul

    “Before our very eyes, President Obama is on the verge of establishing the principle that the right to religious freedom comes not from our Creator, but from those who rule us. ”

    Obama didn’t establish this principle. It was established In 1789. “We the people…”

  • ron chandonia

    “The Catholic Church should be against all forms of Government power.”

    WOW! Are we in fact talking about the same Catholic Church whose leader in Rome not all that long ago declared that “there is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago”? Or has the Church suddenly turned libertarian in response to the machinations of a presumably satanic US President hell-bent on assuming totalitarian authority?

    To read some of what is written about the HHS mandate, you’d certainly think so. The Forbes piece itself is nearly hysterical in its insistence that President Obama’s initial approval of this mandate was “the first step in a calculated strategy to further his goal of transforming America,” presumably in a direction no right-thinking patriot would care to go. Is it not even remotely possible that the administration was responding to the same political pressures that have led so many states to mandate that contraceptives be included in insurance coverage for prescription drugs? And is it not also possible that those who approved the mandate expected Catholic institutions to comply because so many Catholic agencies already offer the mandated coverage? (In fact, as we read today, many Catholic hospitals apparently also routinely perform sterilization procedures the Church finds morally objectionable.)

    Over at Commonweal, Cathleen Kaveny just posted a piece about the possible negative effects some of this hysteria may have on the New Evangelization, especially our outreach to young people, many of whom support President Obama and most of whom think mandated coverage for contraception is good public policy. Perhaps some of them will applaud the bishops for taking a firm stand in favor of religious liberty, but as the rhetoric gets ever-uglier, I suspect more of them will interpret this campaign as a partisan power play and will become even less willing to listen to our overall message.

  • Will

    People who do not like government in health care should offer alternatives that will provide affordable health care. Apparently there is no problem as long as you have good health care.

  • deacon john m. bresnahan

    If only Americans would read more history to ground their thinking
    instead of being the victims of every media whirlwind that promotes evil or stupidity–especially worship of the Great God Government (to redeem us of all unfairness and material woes).
    Our Founding Fathers, rightfully, put religious freedom first as something to be cherished and defended.Their biggest fear was Gargantuan-Leviathan government. The Twentieth Century wrote the confirmation of their thinking and fears in oceans of blood. But how many Americans have been seduced into believing the automatic goodness and righteousness of Big Government without exception.
    Government agents are even now carrying their powers into ever more bizarre situations. As in inspecting parent made school lunches to see if they pass government nourishment standards.
    People are laughing at the absurdity of cases like this. They should also see the creeping horror that history shows can be right behind government gone absurdly amuck–especially if the people are conditioned to accept it all as somehow acceptable, noble, or inevitable.

  • kenneth

    The mandate issue absolutely IS about contraception. People are waking up to the fact that the people fighting for total victory on the mandates are part of a movement which fully intends to outlaw most forms of contraception for ALL Americans. That is not paranoia or hyperbole. It is fact. The bishops and the pro-life movement are working to pass “personhood at birth” initiative or amendments in many states, most recently Virginia and Oklahoma. These measures would effectively ban all hormonal contraception. Not even the sponsors deny that. The mandate opponents are trying to cast this as a battle for the principle of “live and let live.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
    Nor is it true that they oppose intrusive state power as a general matter. They oppose it when it works against them. When that power can be bent to enforce their agenda, they have no qualms about intrusive state power. Right now, as you read this, the Virginia legislature is working to pass a law that would force women to undergo the most painful and invasive form of ultrasound available as a condition for getting an abortion.
    It is not a medically necessary procedure, and so there is no other way to characterize it but to call it a medically supervised rape. So they have no reservations whatever about Orwellian government intrusion into someone’s body, just so long as it furthers an agenda they consider to be good. They are not “free exercise” Libertarians in any sense of the word.

  • Deacon Greg Kandra

    Sorry, but no.

    The government is trying to force a religious institution by law to go against its teachings, violate its principles, and cooperate with acts it has taught for centuries are gravely immoral.

    The mandate is overtly anti-conscience, anti-religion, anti-Catholic. And it is anti-American.

    That is not paranoia or hyperbole. It’s fact.

    Dcn. G.

  • http://fromthepulpitofmylife.blogspot.com/ Ruth Ann Pilney

    Thank you, Deacon Greg, that’s a good summary of the controversy.

  • Chris Sullivan

    President Obama is on the verge of establishing the principle that the right to religious freedom comes not from our Creator, but from those who rule us.

    I think the right to religious freedom is innate but that the state is obliged to regulate it’s exercise in the interests of the Common Good.

    The fundamental question is whether the Catholic Church, and by extension, individual Americans have to engage in activities according to the rulings of this and future Presidents, or are we free to live our lives as we choose as long as we do not harm another.

    That question seems to hinge on whether denying contraception coverage to employees can harm them. It think it is clear that, at least in some cases, denying that coverage will harm them.

    God Bless

  • Joe Mc Faul

    The problem is that, here in the United States, we have a long history of restraining religious practices. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, states for example passed laws intended to terminate the parochial school system. It think we would agree that would have been a much greater intrusion Catholic liberty than the health mandate.

    Since the beginning of the republic in 189, a number of religions have been directly affected by laws passed that affect their religious practices, including Mormons, Jehova’s Witnesses, Santeria, Orthodox Jews, Lutherans, Muslims, Lutherans and, on several occaisions, Catholics.

    The mandate may be anti-religious but there is a well established precedent. Arguing it is anti-religious will get you nowhere–the remedy is at the ballot box and you can ask the Mormons how that worked out. I am in favor of religious exemptions for Churches and Church-affiliated entities up to a point because I think the accomodation can easily be made, but that is a political sales job that needs a lot of work in order to be successful.

  • ron chandonia

    Is Catholic opposition to contraception a “religious practice” peculiar to our theology, or is it really–as we have taught–grounded in natural law and therefore at least potentially reasonable even to those who do not share our faith? In their initial reaction to the HHS mandate, the bishops seemed to suggest that the first was the case. They sought a conscience exemption only for a wider range of religious institutions than those covered in the mandate as originally set forth. But it seems as if they rethought that position in the wake of President Obama’s announcement of a modification in the mandate. Now the bishops are asking that the mandate either be revoked altogether or modified so as to exempt anyone who seeks to be excluded on moral grounds. However, it may be especially difficult to sell that idea when so many practicing Catholics say they do not consider our teaching against contraception to be reasonable at all.

  • Mark – Greta

    Ron, at this weeks 20-30′s group meeting, they had several local non Catholic Church ministers and youth group leaders come to support the HHS situtation of the Catholic Church. I think the young people get it that something is very wrong with these growing mandates and now are exploring past mandates and loss of freedom. One inspiring young (to me anyone under 60 is young) man stood up and talked about his support of Obama and how he feels betrayed by this president. It got loud standing applause from the over 250 people attending. He asked how many had also voted for Obama and there had to be about 30% raising their hands and asked how many would support him this time and had a few brave hands. Not scientific, but certainly far different from what the media reports. I think Obama has really stepped in it this time. This can’t be something Obama simply pulls back, but needs to be voted into law that the HHS does not have the power to do these type of things in the future.

  • Mark – Greta

    Republicans offered hundreds of amendments and ideas in the debate and none were allowed. Instead, the democrats went behind closed doors, bought votes to get just enough, and thrust it on the people. 2010 will be replayed again this year and this has stoked up people’s concerns. Bishops are getting huge support from the Catholics in the pews probably for the first time in years and you can expect them with the Pope’s urging to build this to the new evangelization starting in October. But will, how come in three years we have not had a budget from the democrat led senate? The house produced the Ryan Plan and got it through the house vote. Why has there been no response on the democratic side on one of the biggest concerns for all the people, the massive debt.

  • Scout

    Charles Kadlec is the founder of a political organization called Community of Liberty and a big proponent of Ron Paul and the Gold Standard. Obviouisly, he’s got huge problems with the President, right out of the gate. He’s hardly an impartial voice of honesty and reason. He has an agenda from the get-go. While he makes some valid points, if Deacon’s Bench is going to give him voice, I think it would be fair to find some voices on the left who don’t find the recent decision to be as drastic and dire as Mr. Kadlec does. I honestly have problems (and don’t think I’m particularly naive) assigning such nefarious and religious-liberties hating motives to the current administration.

  • kenneth

    And I could buy that, IF you and the bishops acknowledged that the personhood amendments, as construed, and the Virginia ultrasound bill, are also anti-American abuses of power and intrusion of conscience. If not, then it is apparent that the notion of abuse of power and governmental over-reach is wholly contingent on who gets to wield that power and whose ox is being gored. Do you really oppose Obama’s actions in this matter because they represent some fundamental abuse of power or because he’s not using that power to advance your own agenda?

  • kenneth

    Religious practices are always going to be subject to some degree of restriction as all rights have to be balanced against each other. The courts have given the free exercise of religion a very high priority in general. It’s certainly debatable on any given case where that balance should lie, but the courts cannot reasonably grant religious belief an absolute immunity from state regulation or limitation of any kind.

  • Mary H

    Actually, the criteria is, or used to be, that before the federal government could interfere with religious expression, it had to demonstrate both a compelling need AND it had to demonstrate that there was no less intrusive way to meet that need.

    Mormons couldn’t practice polygamy because the federal government decided that there was a compelling reason to define marriage as being between one man and one woman. With the advent of same-sex marriage, I imagine we may soon see that ruling overturned.

    Quakers are allowed an exemption from military service, because I suppose the government doesn’t see a compelling need to draft them.

    Amish people are exempted from paying social security on religious grounds, because the government feels they can demonstrate adequate capability to take care of their own retirement needs.

    For the contraception ruling to stand, you would have to demonstrate that:
    1. The government had a compelling need to make employers provide contraception for their employees.
    2. There was no less intrusive way to provide for the compelling need.

    Clearly, employer insurance is not the only way to provide free contraceptives to women, so there is clearly a way to provide for the need without interfering with religious practice.

  • Mike R

    I dont need to guess if the POTUS has an agenda- I go by his record. He voted in favor of partial birth abortion- a horendous procedure that despite how one might term it, is murder. He also voted “present” (as opposed to “no”) as an Illinois state senator when a bill was presented to provide medical care to babies who actually were born after a botched abortion. In my mind, it leaves no doubt what his agenda is.

  • Will

    Hundreds of ideas? They had control of the Senate, House, and White House and what did they do?

    The Ryan plan will not balance the budget – read a non-partisan evaluation. It would not provide affordable access to health care. It would eliminate many programs that Americans support.

    I do not care if you address me or not, but most people’s names begin with a capital letter, if Deacon Greg Kandra cares.

  • Mary H

    “People are waking up to the fact that the people fighting for total victory on the mandates are part of a movement which fully intends to outlaw most forms of contraception for ALL Americans.”

    If by “total victory” you mean that the mandate would allow any employer a conscientious exemption from purchasing insurance covering contraception or sterilization, that’s true.

    If by “outlaw most forms of contraception” you mean any method of contraception that leads to the death of the unborn, from zygote to fetus, I agree that would lead to the outlawing most if not all forms of hormonal contraception. I agree that a lot of the people who are against this mandate would like to see that, including me.

    However:
    1. Total victory on the HHA mandate will do nothing to outlaw contraceptives, hormonal or otherwise, no matter how much the people spearheading this would like to. It does explain, though, why they would be so upset in being forced to pay for them.
    2. Exactly who else do you expect to spearhead a government mandate forcing someone to pay for contraceptives but people whose religion is against them?

    ‘The mandate opponents are trying to cast this as a battle for the principle of “live and let live.” ‘
    I rather thought we were trying to cast this as a battle for the principle of freedom of religious expression.

    “the most painful and invasive form of ultrasound available”
    I was not aware than any form of ultrasound during pregnancy was invasive or painful. Could you provide me with the medical references on that?

    “It is not a medically necessary procedure, and so there is no other way to characterize it but to call it a medically supervised rape.”
    I would hesitate to call any medically unnecessary procedure ‘rape’, least of all ultrasound. But I await your references.

    “They are not “free exercise” Libertarians in any sense of the word.”
    Quite right. The Bishops tend not to be libertarian, as evidenced by their overall support for Obamacare. This refers only to the “free exercise” of religion.

  • pol

    Uh, the Blunt amendment changed the debate. Likewise the hearing with only men testifying. THAT scene went viral on Youtube and has been a great fundraiser for the other side. Right now, the debate IS about contraception. PERCEPTION changed and the “religious freedom” arguement has lost its’ force with the average voter. In fact, Michael Steele, the former Republican chair said on Hardball, LAST week, that this debate had caused the Republican Party to “hemorrage suburban women voters.” He got HIS numbers from internal polling from the various candidates AND he said that the candidates should shut up about it because it was damaging theh Republican Party. Tonight, he said roughly the same thing except that Romney had so turned off the other candidates that he couldn’t cut a deal with any of them.
    Rick Santorum’ comments these past couple of days are REEALLY not helpful, either. The whole thing is HELPING the other side and NOT just the President, either.
    The Catholics the President lost, he never had in first place.

  • naturgesetz

    There were laws against Catholic schools, but as I recall, in Pierce v. Society of Sisters, the SCOTUS ruled that they were unconstitutional.

    If you are right that the remedy to the current intrusion is at the ballot box, then it would be entirely reasonable for the bishops to want Obama defeated, and nobody should complain that they are seeking it — not saying that they do, just speaking hypothetically.

  • Barbara P

    Mary, I can tell you that form of ultrasound is invasive. I would never want it forced on me.

  • kenneth

    The point is, for us to defend your “free exercise” of religion will require nothing less than for us to accept the total annihilation of our own freedoms. By your own admission, your freedom to not pay for others contraception is the beginning of what you are after, not the end. The price of your religious freedom, as you have defined it, is too high. You are out recruiting the average American to join your freedom fight because, you say, the government should not have the power to intrude on people’s consciences. Yet you also make it clear that’s exactly what you intend to do to us once you’ve put down your present enemy. It’s a lovely wooden horse you’ve constructed, and I do appreciate the offer of a gift, but I’m afraid it will have to stay outside of the gates….

  • kenneth

    I have observed the procedure several times. It is, to say the least, very uncomfortable. It requires the insertion and extensive manipulation of an internal probe and it must be done with a completely full bladder.
    Invariably, hospitals and doctors offices are running a hour behind and so it quickly becomes extremely painful. Like all such procedures, people endure it when there is a serious medical issue at hand and doctors resort to it when no better options are available to make a diagnosis.
    To have the state force such a procedure on someone when there is no valid medical reason to do so is a monstrous abuse of power and a perversion of the practice of medicine. It cannot be justified even if you believe abortion is a grave evil. It is a law which is calculated to make abortion such a painful and degrading process that it will be deterred by force of law even though the state currently cannot outlaw abortion itself.
    To the extent the pro-life movement endorses or condones such a law, it completely invalidates their assertion that they oppose the contraception mandate on some principled stand against government abuse of power.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    You said:
    “WOW! Are we in fact talking about the same Catholic Church whose leader in Rome not all that long ago declared that “there is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago”? Or has the Church suddenly turned libertarian in response to the machinations of a presumably satanic US President hell-bent on assuming totalitarian authority?”

    First of all I said the Catholic Church should be against government power, the Pope didn’t say anything of the sort. I started my comment with “I hope this is a wake up call….” Yes, the Pope has called for a world government. He is a product of a time and place, a European culture infactuated with government bureacracy. With all due respect, he is wrong.

    In fact if you look through history, government power over religion has been nothing but a disaster, especially in an environment of multi religions. Protestant countries persecuted Catholics, Catholics countries persecuted Protestants, atheists of the French revolution, Communists countries, and Spanish civil war all persecuted the religious. There is a sound argument to make for a Libertarian approach.

    Now that I think of it, the obama power grab is nothing short than a step toward the goals of the French Revolution toward religion.

    I am no Libertarian. But if I’m given a choice between a Libertarian government and a State control of our individual lives, I’ll choose the Libertarian. And all Catholics should if they understood the stakes.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    “The mandate issue absolutely IS about contraception. People are waking up to the fact that the people fighting for total victory on the mandates are part of a movement which fully intends to outlaw most forms of contraception for ALL Americans. That is not paranoia or hyperbole.”

    LOL! Keep up your talking points. You are either really paranoid or a complete deceiver. No one is talking about removing contraception from the general population. This is laughable.

    If you are really paranoid, then don’t be. You’ll be able to have all the protected sex your lustful heart yearns for.

  • Joe Mc. Faul

    ActuaYes, the Sypreme Court declared the anti-parochial school laws unconstitutional. I believe our country works pretty well, so I’d agree that it is entirely reasonable for bishops to vote against Obama and to urge others to do so. It’s a free country and we have free elections. Vote.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    Quite right. This president has no religious sensibilities that I can see. If Rev Wright is his idea of a religious man, then heaven help us. Really, Obama was just using Wright for his political purpuses in the black community. Anyone that can support partial birth abortion, and the killing of babies attempted to be aborted but survived has got to have an over arching idoelogy that rules his heart.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    It’s now been a week since Obama proposed his “accomodation” and has had a chance to hear Catholic concerns and our response. He has absorbed it and has not moved an iota toward a real accomodation. He has every intention of shoving this down our throats.

    I think it’s time someone organized some protests. I’m game.

  • kenneth

    I have the evidence of your movement’s own words and actions. There IS a movement afoot right now to outlaw contraception for the general population. That is not in dispute. It is at the core of the “personhood at conception” initiatives in at least two states. Not even the organizers of these initiatives will deny that. Is that movement the same as the anti-mandate movement? Not entirely, but I’d be willing to bet there’s a better than 80% overlap. A good many pro-lifers will admit when you press them on it that they mean to outlaw most contraceptives. In defining them as abortifacients, they have little choice but to press for such an outcome. The fact that they will not achieve it through the near-term act of fighting the mandate means nothing. They are serious about their convictions, and they will never cease pursuing them. That being the case, those of us who want legal access to contraception would be fools to aid them in their current fight.

  • David J White

    Ah, yes, Presidents Day, the day we commemorate Millard Fillmore, Benjamin Harrison, and Warren G. Harding. Not to mention the Current Occupant. No thank you. I’ll stick to observing Lincoln’s birthday on Feb. 12 and Washington’s birthday on Feb. 22. I’m just old enough to remember when they were separate holidays, before all this “Presidents Day” nonsense started.

  • Mary H

    “The point is, for us to defend your “free exercise” of religion will require nothing less than for us to accept the total annihilation of our own freedoms.”
    No, any protection of the free exercise of religion aids your religious freedom also. In this case, our interests are aligned. If this mandate goes through, the precedent is set that the government can require you to buy something you think is immoral.
    “By your own admission, your freedom to not pay for others contraception is the beginning of what you are after, not the end.”
    No, it is not the beginning. It is merely an attempt to maintain the current status quo, where no one is forced to pay for the contraceptives of others against their will.
    “You are out recruiting the average American to join your freedom fight because, you say, the government should not have the power to intrude on people’s consciences. Yet you also make it clear that’s exactly what you intend to do to us once you’ve put down your present enemy. ”
    Perhaps you assume that because Obama was willing to over-rule religious freedom, that we would also try to get what we want the same way?
    I can understand that. You certainly don’t expect better from those who oppose you than those who are on your side.
    I’m not sure though, how making hormonal birth control illegal would intrude on your conscience. After all, the first birth control pills were later made illegal simply because they were too dangerous and were replaced with the current pills.

  • Mary H

    And this is the same procedure women ask for to find out the sex of their child? When I was pregnant, I was unusual in that I *didn’t* want an ultrasound, although the doctor offered it, because they couldn’t give me any good reason for it.
    On the other hand, I understood that abortionists are required to do an ultrasound anyway to make sure of the level of development of the embryo / fetus so that they use the appropriate procedure. It seems this would only require them to show the woman the ultrasound they already have to take. Is this incorrect?

  • Manny

    “I have the evidence of your movement’s own words and actions. There IS a movement afoot right now to outlaw contraception for the general population. That is not in dispute.”

    Show me, and it better not be some blogger or small group. After all, even Captain Queeg said he had evidence. ;)

  • kenneth

    Well, here it is directly from (one of) the horse’s mouths:

    http://personhoodcolorado.com/birth-control-talking-points

    The supporters of this one measure make it crystal clear that the amendment WOULD outlaw essentially all forms of birth control other than condoms, spermicide and NFP. They consider all hormonal forms of contraception to be equivalent to abortion because they can work by preventing implantation. Other sources confirm essentially the same thing. I have tried to pick a couple that have no obvious connection to any partisan pro-choice groups.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/human_nature/2011/11/mississippi_personhood_for_embryos_will_it_outlaw_birth_control_.html

    http://www.livescience.com/16917-mississippi-personhood-birth-control.html

  • kenneth

    “………..Perhaps you assume that because Obama was willing to over-rule religious freedom, that we would also try to get what we want the same way?……”

    No, I assume you will do that because you have a perfect 1,600 year track record of doing things that way, and because the written strategies and tactics of your own movement say you mean to do it again.

    Your movement is not “fighting the Man.” You’re fighting to be the Man. You’re not so much freedom fighters as a rival warlord with Obama. You want the land out from under his thumb so you can get it under your own. One of the wisest elders in my own religion came up with a brilliant saying. “Sometimes,” he wrote, “your enemy’s enemy…..is just your enemy’s enemy.”

  • Manny

    To Kenneth – Hope you see my comment since I couldn’t reply directly.

    Your first link is making medical health claims on the use of certain contraceptive pills. If those medical claims are true, then everyone needs to reconsider their use. Afterall if they were cancerous, then the medical industry prohibits drugs that are dangerous. If the claims are false, then it goes no where. In either case, it has nothing to do with the issue of contraceptives.

    Your second and third links both deal with abortificents. Of course we are trying to outlaw abortion. Non abortive contraceptives are not in question.

    Is that the best you can do? You are paranoid. No one is going to prevent you from buying condoms. No one is talking about removing non abortive contraceptives. Only those with talking points are presenting a strawman argument.

  • Mary H

    OK, now I know what you’re talking about. You’re talking about an ultrasound method that’s only better than the abdominal method for about one week during the trimester.

    ” It requires the insertion and extensive manipulation of an internal probe and it must be done with a completely full bladder.”
    Except for the full bladder part, it sounds like a regular OB/GYN exam or pap smear.
    And this is supposed to be done for a woman getting a first trimester abortion (that’s when those seven days are that you need that form of ultrasound). What do you think a first trimester abortion is? They don’t give you anesthetics and I venture to suggest that the “extensive manipulation” is bit more during the abortion. Which I know because I’ve had one.

  • Barbara P

    Much more invasive than a pap smear or regular exam. I would never have it done against my will.

  • Barbara P

    By the way I wouldn’t want the other exams forced on me against my will either!

  • pagansister

    Having had one for a different reason, not pregnancy related, it is most uncomfortable and most certainly invasive. It shouldn’t be required by law just because a woman has requested an abortion.

  • kenneth

    I’m not paranoid. I’m pointing out the reality that your movement is aiming to outlaw essentially ALL forms of modern contraception – all birth control pills, all hormone-based IUDs, for all Americans, for all time. That is not in dispute. We can finesse the terms of the argument this way or that by calling the Pill an “abortifacient” or not, but the fact stands that you intend to outlaw it for everyone. Not many people are aware of that, and they deserve to be. The folks up in arms about Obama’s mandate are clearly not seeking a mutual hands-off peace or detente with secular society. They have no more respect for freedom of conscience than the man they accuse of being a tyrant and totalitarian.

  • Manny

    Kenneth
    At any given time there are hundreds of issues flying back and forth. You are mixing issues. This is about forcing Catholic institutions to pay or provide for things they hold against their conscience.

    You expanding the argument is a neat little trick of debating. When you have a losing argument, expand the argument to include other issues. You are either deceiving people or paranoid. To be frankly honest with you, you stike me as being too smart to just spout talking points without thinking; I think you’re trying to deceive people.

  • kenneth

    How am I deceiving anyone? All I’m doing is telling people to connect the dots that your own movement itself draws a line between. Yes, this proximate fight is about the contraception mandate. But anyone who joins arms with you in this battle will also be helping to advance an agenda which goes WAY beyond that.
    That’s not paranoia or speculation or deceiving. It’s a plain English reading of your own literature and position papers. I get that you have a moral logic for wanting to do that, but people ought to know exactly what they’re signing on for in this mandate fight. The movement casting itself as a freedom movement in this fight absolutely intends to outlaw contraception as most Americans now know it. Nor is it a someday pipe dream of the movement. They have people working on it on the ground right now.
    I’m a big fan of transparency. If people want to join your movement because they share your understanding of the abortion debate on all levels, great. If on the other hand they just want government out of our lives but support the right to choose contraception on one’s own dime, then they might want to reconsider.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    Ridiculous. You haven’t proven anything. Your “connecting the dots” are either a product of paranoia or deception. This issue is not about ending contraceptives. You are expanding the argument because you have essentially lost it.

  • Mark

    Will, not sure what the issue is on the name bit. If I hit reply under your post, it is obviously for you..

    I will agree with you that while the republican had control, they could have done more. However, you fail to point out they faced the problem. They did not have the 60 votes in the senate as the democrats had to pass Obamacare. Republicans were told that the ideas they presented would go no where because the democrats wanted a massive bill with some demanding single payer government takeover of healthcare. Same was true in trying to deal with the Fannie and Freddie problems. The Senate went after fixing Fannie and Freddie 6 times and were blocked with the democrats like Frank and Dodd saying there was no issue with either. The Democrats long held dream is control of healthcare for if they get that, they have moved a long way toward total government control of our very lives.

    The Ryan plan had nothing to do with healthcare as it came after ObamaCare. It had to do with fixing all the things that ObamaCare ignored and the things the president and democrats refuse to address – the coming failure of social security, medicare, medicaid, and other big programs. Ryan proposed a fix and was showing pushing grandma off a cliff. Yet there has been zero ideas to fix these things presented by the democrats the entire time Obama has been in office. In fact, they made it worse by ripping 500 billion dollars out of medicare funding.

  • Mark

    pol, nice try.

    The USCCB are advising support of H.R. 1179: Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011

    To amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to protect rights of conscience with regard to requirements for coverage of specific items and services.

    This is a clear winner legally and it is improving each week in the polls as the Bishops encourage the priests to keep this in front of the people each week at mass directly in sermons or in the Bulletins. They are also encouraging these well informed Catholics to talk with their family and friends on the issue to inform them of the distortions and lies they will hear from Obama’s PARTNER planned non parenthood. As people grow to understand this is not about the pill being banned, but about forcing the employer to violate religious conscience to pay for it they change their view. There is not an access problem and these services are not expensive when compared to most other prescriptions. This is about shutting down the voice of religious organizations in this country. When you also show them that this same administration has been doing much more on their attack on relgious liberty, they see the game plan.

    This also is showing the media for the lies they are fostering. The clue should have come when every bishop in the USA, some long time clear liberals who have been friends of Demcrats, all lined up together in opposition. The community this may gain favor with the most is the Hispanic community. This week the bishop organized a meeting with the Hispanic Churches and the Hispanic priests to advise them of this attack on their faith and liberty. That word will fly through the close knit community. Democrats really have a blind spot on this one. The tale of the tape will be to see how many want to stand with Obama at election time. They avoided him like the plague in 2010 and I suspect this could really hit them hard this year.

  • Mark

    If you live in a state with age restrictions on the legal killing of the baby, do you know of another way to assure you are not breaking the law? It is a requirement not forced on anyone not wishing to terminate their babies life. So in fact, if it is done without verification and the baby was in fact past the legal age, it would seem the one doing this act would face legal action.

    Also, the medical association is very upset with those describing this procedure as rape. It is essential to help many women with their early pregnancy.

    To say you would not want this forced on you, that is probably true of anyone for a lot of medical procedures. However, the state has made it law that at a specific age, the baby has right to life.

  • Mark

    Kenneth, “One of the wisest elders in my own religion came up with a brilliant saying. “Sometimes,” he wrote, “your enemy’s enemy…..is just your enemy’s enemy.”

    Not sure what religion that is. I think I prefer Christ saying that we are supposed to love our enemies.

    Might be interesting to hear more about your religion and this wise elder. Have names?

    Religious freedom will allow organizations which support birth control to have it in their plan. Some religions approve birth control. Catholic faith does not. Some organization pay for abortion. Just saw that a state that is nearly bankrupt pays for their union employees to have fully paid liposcution and plastic surgery on taxpayer money. America has religious freedom listed first in the bill of rights even before speech. It is that important. The state is also not supposed to force beliefs on anyone such as a secular atheist state demanding religions give up their religious freedom and conscience. Those opposing this mandate are simply asking for their right of religious liberty, not trying to impose you stop using birth control or even that your employer stop doing so if they choose so. That is why this is not about birth control. It could be about paying to have grandma killed when she reaches an age the government no longer agrees benefits society or is to expensive. It could determine anything and thrust it on us no matter what rights it violates. That is how government works in taking away liberty. The bill or rights came about because it became very clear the cosntitution would not be ratified without it. The argument is that the constitution put in place a government that would fall easy to totalitarian government control. those who give up rights because of central government lies, need to wake up. this is not about birth control, but everything else that comes when religious liberty is lost. Why was it first over every other right?

  • Mark

    Kenneth, you are flying all over to confuse the issues. The pesonhood amendments in the states have been discussed for years. In fact, they are happening in the way Roe should have been done, in the various states to allow there to be something that those in the state desire on the local level. Many on the side of abortion say that Roe was bad law for it tripped over itself to discover something clearly not there in the constitituion, the right to kill a baby in the womb. But lets try to stay on target. I could bring up something the Occupy crowd is calling for and try to tie that to this topic. It seems hard for you to stay on one topic, but lets try.

    We are dealing with the federal government removing a right in the bill of rights. The first one listed before all others. No one is stopping anyone from using birth control. In fact, those who work for Catholic organizations can use birth control and in fact it is being shown that some of them even pay for them at this point in violation of Church teaching. That is an internal Church issue to resolve and I am sure the Bishops are now aware if they weren’t before it has been thrust into their face. You might have to pay for it, but there are ways if you are poor to get if free or very cheap. Those promoting birth control should be willing to pony up to pay for it if that is an issue.

    You do not seem to want anyone telling you what you have to do yet you are signing on to giving the government power to dictate what coverage you will have in your health insurance. Lets take this a step further and say that in 2012, Rick Santorum is sworn in as the new president and his administration now has the power you want to give to the government. He calls in his new HHS secretary and lays out the new coverage mandate. I can hear the screams now of those who want the government to have this power over their lives.

  • Mark

    Chris, why do you sign off God Bless? You just gave the federal government the power to regulate the exercise in the interest of the common good. You should sign off Government Bless. who determines what excercise of religion is acceptable and who determines what the common good is. If you read this string of comments, which is for the common good? You might be comfortable giving that power to Obama, but would not be as comfortable giving it to Ron Paul or Rick Santorum or how about a president Pat Robertson who once ran for office. Would what we are allowed to excercise as religious freedom and the common good change with each election?

    “That question seems to hinge on whether denying contraception coverage to employees can harm them. It think it is clear that, at least in some cases, denying that coverage will harm them.”

    No, no one is denying anyone access to birth control if they chose so with their free choice. We do and should regulate prescriptions on issues such as safety and many believe that the harmful impact of birth control is being masked to the growing harm of many women but that is an issue of government FDA. In fact, there are many places for those in poverty to get birth control pills before this mandate or after. This has nothing to do with birth control, but our ability to freely excercise or faith and not have a state determine secualar faith forced on us. This will never fly legally and I think Obama and his team know it. They are testing the boundaries for a lot more mandates to follow and want to see how much the Church does in getting support to protect religious freedom. Frankly what they want is your description which is the state tells us how to practice our relgion for the common good as determined by Obama. Think president Pat Robertson and let me know how that works for you if this wins.

  • Mark

    Supreme court just voted 9-0 on religious liberty to fire employee who violates their religous belief. I am not sure how some of the decisions of the past would play out now with this court in the area of religious freedom challenges. Over time, we will always have challenges to relgious liberty and like all rights under this new court legislating from the bench by inventing out of thin air new rights, you never know how things will play out. What we all should agree on is that we do not want to give the government the right to establish a secular atheist state religion that determine what we can do in our religious practice. If the left wins here, I can’t wait to hear the screams when those rights are being determined by somone they do not agree with.

  • Mark

    Scout, in reading what Charles Kadlec had to say about this being a good move by Obama to fire up base with lie it is about Catholics telling people they cannot use birth control is timing. this might have been a good move on november 1st before the election by a few days, but in doing so now, he has given the Church the time to mobilize with a united USCCB. Who would have expected this type of unity? I bet he got this advice from Catholics like Sebelius and Pelosi. Doubt he will listen to them again before election. What changed in my view is Cardinal Dolan as president of USCCB. I really think he took a measure of Cardinal Dolan face to face and saw someone he thought he could roll. I think others have made that mistake over time. I also think there is another playing a role in this and that is Cardinal Burke who has a close relationship not only with the Pope, but with many others in key Vatican positions. I think it has been very clear to Church leadership that this is an issue they need to go to the mat on and that has led to this amazing unity. If Obama wants this war, I think he has it. The Church has a lot of resources to fight this issue. also, in a lot of key states, this will hurt other democrats. In a close election, this could turn into an electorial map landslide against Obama. Look for democrats in the next month or so to start distancing themselves from Obama and standing with the local bishop arm in arm for religious liberty, the american flag, the constitution, and the bill or rights.

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