The People Spoke. Case Closed. Done Deal.

The people spoke Tuesday, November 6, 2012. 

Barach Obama was re-elected President of the United States of America. Same-sex marriage won four important votes. Euthanasia got pushed back. Democrats strengthened their hold on the United States Senate. Republicans kept control of the United States House of Representatives.

These were fair elections.

Case closed. Done deal.

If you want a pity-party, we-wuz-robbed, how-DARE-they-vote-wrong post-election wail-athon, you probably should just walk right past Public Catholic, because you won’t find it here.

This is America. We decide things by election in this country. We had a big election Tuesday and decided a lot of things.

What we have to do is look at these events through the lens of the Gospels and, as much as we are graced to do so, through the directings of the Holy Spirit. I am going to go back over certain aspects of this election in fine detail in the weeks and months ahead. But everything I say will be aimed at helping us find a way forward. I am not going to re-hash things from the perspective of re-fighting yesterday’s fight. That’s not my way.

My sole aim with Public Catholic is to use what little I’ve learned in my not-so-young life to help equip Christians for what I’ve known for quite some time is coming. I am an elected official and have been for a long time. That gives me certain insights which I hope will help you develop your skills in dealing with the political side of being a Christian.

However, Christianity is not and never has been a political movement. What we have witnessed these past decades is a sharp turn toward heresy and idolatry on the part of many of our religious leaders. They have been abysmally bad shepherds because they have mis-used their prophetic and moral voice to shape the Body of Christ into a political machine and vote delivery system for one or the other of the two political parties. This has gone on so long and been pushed so hard that there are a number of Christians who actually confuse political party affiliation with following Christ.

These people have edited, twisted and manipulated the Gospels to conform the teachings of Christ to political party platforms. From what I’ve seen, these fallen shepherds will always kiss Caesar’s ring when Caesar demands it. They back up, sit down and go along, even when the political leaders they have sold their birthrights as Christians to demand that they turn their backs on everything … including the one or two issues they claimed were why they backed the politicians in the first place.

Never forget: Our Lord was crucified at the hands of a cowardly politician, a group of corrupt religious leaders out to protect their own power and the crowd that followed them.

The election Tuesday was not the end of Christianity in America. But it may have been the end of what Dietrich Bonhoeffer called cheap grace, at least for true Christians. Over seventy percent of Americans call themselves Christian. But many of them are wide-gate, easy-way Christians who consistently choose the world over following Christ.

I created this blog and will be speaking in the future to narrow-gate, hard-way Christians who want to follow Jesus and stand up for Him, no matter what.

You have to decide for yourself which one you are. For now, it’s enough for us to realize, accept and get past one simple fact: The people spoke Tuesday. Case closed. Done deal.

We’ll take one more day for post-election emotional adjusting, then I’m through with it.

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7: 13,14

  • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

    “Over seventy percent of Americans call themselves Christian. But many of them are wide-gate, easy-way Christians who consistently choose the world over following Christ”

    MANY of them? You are very charitable, Rebecca! I’d say the vast majority of them, since more than half who call themselves Christians don’t even go to church, and even those of us who do struggle because, let’s face it, us Americans are used to a pretty easy, comfortable life.

    Rebecca, I thought these two articles were spectacular and thought you (and your readers) might be interested in reading and perhaps commenting on them:

    http://www.ncregister.com/blog/matthew-warner/heres-the-lesson-from-the-election-folks

    http://www.redstate.com/2012/11/07/status-quo-ante/

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Dave, those are both excellent articles. I especially like the one from the Register, since that’s whither I am tending over this. It’s always nice when someone echoes your thoughts. :-)

  • Beverly

    The majority of Americans will forever more vote almost in direct opposition to Church teaching in matters of personal autonomy. The only thing we can do is exercise our autonomy and vote according to our consciences and leave the rest to God. No one can stop us from living our faith in our personal lives. We have only lost our influence over the behavior of others.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Beverly, the one constant is change. This year’s Obama supporter is next year’s neo con. The most important thing is for those of us who follow Christ to be consistent, steady and unshakeable in that, no matter the fashion of the day.

  • Dr. Peter John Resweber

    Jill Stanek (pro-life nurse and activist) posted a portion of an email she received from ’40 Days for Life’ over on Facebook today. She stated that she is “working to get to this point”:

    “Yesterday, I got up after a long, restless night, and helped to get my four small children ready for the day…nervous about the world they’ll grow up in.

    “Today, like you, I feel frustrated. But there isn’t time to complain. It’s time for a gut check.

    “Our culture is a mess. It didn’t happen overnight, and…it won’t be fixed overnight. But we have a choice. We can mope and cast blame — or we can look in the mirror and use this opportunity to fall to our knees in prayer, trust God…and get back to working HARD.”

    I think that gets it exactly right.

    Had we ‘won’ we might be tempted to rest, to go back to sleep.

    And our culture would continue to crumble around us.

    Let this be the needed reminder that we can’t afford that ‘luxury’.

    Someone else moaned that perhaps we were “too optimistic” and suggested the familiar refrain that “it’s all over”. For him and for others who might be tempted to despair and to giving up, I have “two quick thoughts/reminders”:

    “I AM NOT CALLED TO BE SUCCESSFUL; I AM CALLED TO BE FAITHFUL.” – MOTHER TERESA

    “HOPE WAS A THEOLOGICAL VIRTUE LONG BEFORE IT BECAME A CYNICAL SLOGAN” – PETE

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      That’s the stuff. Exactly right.

  • http://ackans.com Mr. V.

    I agree with you, the election is over and it’s time to move on and get ready for the next challenge.

    What I see looming in the next couple of years is the specter of what’s going to happen with the enforcement of the HHS mandate. The exemption for religious organizations only lasts until August of next year, and at that time every Bishop and religious leader will have to offer coverage for abortions and contraceptive to all their employees. That exemption might be renewed; it might also be possible that the HHS mandate gets challenged and overturned on Constitutional grounds before then. But we have to be ready for the worst.

    Worst case scenario, the exemption runs out and HHS stays in with Supreme Court approval. In that case, what are we to do? Our faith and the teachings of the Church, if we hold fast to both, would dictate that we resist participating in evil. I hope our priests and bishops stay strong and do not give in to the forces of evil, even when it’s coupled with the power of law. But we need to be ready for what happens after.

    What I see coming is a large number of churches being hit with exorbitant tax penalties for refusing to conform to the HHS mandate. Their battle with not be with law eforcement or politicians, but rather with the IRS. That agency is not going to look at the right or wrong of the tax code, they’re just going to enforce it. Therefore, when the Churches get hit with the tax penalty, the IRS will come to collect. At that point, it matters little if the dioceses attempt to pay the penalty or resist doing so. In short order, the penalty will be at such an exorbitant rate that the diocese couldn’t pay even if desired. Then the IRS will take the next step, to seize property and convert such to cash to pay the penalties.

    Three years from now, it’s possible that we will see many church properties around the nation seized and liquidated. That includes cathedrals, monasteries, convents, schools, etc. We won’t be underground, per se, but we could very well find ourselves without any places to gather.

    One thought would be: so what? The early church did without cathedrals and the like, and we can too. Our priests will still be here, we’ll just have to work out different arrangements for how we worship.

    I believe the HHS mandate was drafted with the ultimate goal of dealing Christianity a major blow. It’s a sneaky, underhanded way to shut down churches who dare to cling to their beliefs. But we don’t have to let that happen.

    There are ways we could defeat the mandate. One that springs to mind is the fact that being forced to provide abortion and contraceptives to employees only applies if one has paid employees. What if everyone who worked for the Catholic church quit their ‘jobs’ but then kept on working, only as volunteers? That may be far-fetched, but legally, if something like that happened, the Mandate would be a non-issue because it would not apply.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I’m going to stop my thinking with the Supreme Court and pray, pray, pray they overturn it. I may pray a Rosary every day.

      • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

        I like it!!

  • http://theshepherdspresence.wordpress.com Karyl

    I worked at the polls on Tuesday. Fourteen long hours. As I walked with people to the voting booth and set their ballot for them, some of them talked, some were silent, some were angry and very few expressed a grateful spirit that they could come without harrassment to the polls and vote secretly for the candidates. That spoke volumes to me. One woman in her 50′s was a first-time voter. And I had a few 20 somethings that were voting for the first time. That didn’t bother me. What bothered me most were the voters who said they were voting for President only. I still ask myself why. Local branches are important, state governors are very important. The President is not a dictator. I sigh. Rebecca, is there any way a plain Jane citizen like me can educate voters? I know you try. My plan is to continue doing what I do: encourage Christians to follow Scripture and live for the One who is King always.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      That’s really all you can do Karyl. We have freedom in this country, including the freedom to ignore our freedoms.

  • kenneth

    Tuesday was NOT the end of Christianity in America. It was the end of Christendom, a wretched conflation of temporal power and spirituality which has corrupted faith since Constantine switched sides. The church has always been the junior partner in that alliance, and it has not led to virtuous governments or societies. It has led to a sort of forced, false piety and spiritual cover for some of the most nihilistic and amoral leaders our race has ever produced. This coalition of billionaires and ultra-orthodox religious did not fail for lack of trying. You fielded one of the most impassioned and organized and hard working armies ever seen. At the end of the day, however, a decided majority of us simply don’t want to live in your vision of a theocracy or confessional state. We were designed as a secular republic from day one, and we finally, as a people, had to make a definitive choice on that question. You didn’t lose because you failed, or some trickery, or bad luck. You failed because the demographics of people who oppose your policies outweigh those of your supporters. That will be true if we re-ran the election next week and in four, eight, or 12 years from now.

    Before you all run out and spend your IRA on weapons and bunkers or expatriation or getting yourselves measured for a martyr’s grave, give it 30 days and take a deep breath. Lots of deep breaths. Nobody is queing up trains for the gulag. Nobody is going to force you to marry someone of the same sex, or even to like them. Nobody is going to make you replace wine with legalized marijuana for Communion. The sun will still rise and set, you’ll all still be Catholic (or whatever denomination). You’ll all still be here and kicking this time next year as the beautiful, angry white people you are!

    I can offer you this advice as someone who has lived as a persecuted religious minority in this country. You will get through this, and you have a golden opportunity to focus on what really matters with your god and family and people, now that you’re done carrying spears for men who never really cared about you anyway.

    • http://ackans.com Mr. V.

      “You’ll all still be here and kicking this time next year as the beautiful, angry white people you are! ”

      Beautiful angry white people? So there are no black Catholics? Black Baptists? Lutherans? Methodists? Episcopalians? Presbyterians? Pentecostals? Mormons? 7th Day Adventists? Anglicans?

      I think all those churches would be quite surprised to discover they have no black people in their congregations.

      • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

        Not to mention Asians, Hispanics, etc. Yes, I guess it’s only white people that care about morality, and think that individual morality bubbles up to create the kind of society we all have to live in.

      • kenneth

        There are lots of black people in congregations. They are some of the most church-going folk around. But 93 percent of them voted for Obama. Romney’s support was overwhelmingly angry white guys, and traditionalists families.

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          FWIW Kenneth, the black people I know voted for President Obama because he is black, NOT because he is a secularist. I also know a lot of people who voted for Romney very reluctantly, not because they were angry, but because of the HHS Mandate. One thing I’m absolutely sure of: Those who share their reasons for voting a particular way are different from those who don’t. There’s a self-selection in that which is bound to skew statistics, although I wouldn’t think of trying to interpret how. I just know there’s a good-sized fudge-factor in all this certainty.
          As for Tuesday being the end of Christendom, that ended a long time ago. Hundreds of years, in fact.
          I don’t see anyone here overreacting and talking about bunkers and weapons except you.
          One other thing: I wouldn’t count Christianity out just yet.

    • http://jscafenette.com Manny

      Kenneth being Kenneth. It’s been a while since I read one of your commentaries. I hope it’s a while longer until I read the next one. Whenever someone says the roots go back to Constantine, you know it’s a harebrained idea.

      • Rebecca Hamilton

        :-)

  • Ted Seeber

    On the previous page, Measure 80 (Marijuana) did not pass in Oregon.

    Other than that, I’m going to refrain from saying what I feel today on the internet. It is tempting me to convert to Calvinism, but without the saving grace of believing in Predestination or the Sovereignty of God, the Depravity of Man just makes very tempting the Mortal Sin of Suicide.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thanks Ted. I changed it.

  • http://jscafenette.com Manny

    “If you want a pity-party, we-wuz-robbed, how-DARE-they-vote-wrong post-election wail-athon, you probably should just walk right past Public Catholic, because you won’t find it here.”

    LOL, yes how dare they!! ;) I don’t want a pity party. I want my country back.

    “Never forget: Our Lord was crucified at the hands of a cowardly politician, a group of corrupt religious leaders out to protect their own power and the crowd that followed them.”

    I never saw it framed in that way. That’s quite insightful. I’m going to have to remember that.

    “But many of them are wide-gate, easy-way Christians who consistently choose the world over following Christ.”

    Yeah, but the issue is not my relationship with Christ. The issue is my relationship with my government, and how that government is working against Christianity. As I said on Anchoress, I’ll be fine. It’s my country for the future generations that has been degraded. Just as it took me a long time to realize my faith—and I blame that partly on growing up in the 1970s culture—the future generations of young people will be in even worse shape. The culture continues to go down a rat hole. It doesn’t affect me; it affects the future.

    “We’ll take one more day for post-election emotional adjusting, then I’m through with it.”

    Maybe I do want a pity party after all.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Take the time you need Manny. Not everyone runs on my clock. I’m already itching to start the next fight, but I’m going to hold back until after the New Year. We’ll all be better off for taking time to reflect, pray, examine our consciences and love our families.

  • Bill S

    “I believe the HHS mandate was drafted with the ultimate goal of dealing Christianity a major blow. It’s a sneaky, underhanded way to shut down churches who dare to cling to their beliefs. But we don’t have to let that happen.”

    Mr.V,

    You have no understanding of the Affordable Care and Patients Protection Act and the Health and Human Services mandate. Do you really believe the HHS mandate was drafted with the ultimate goal of dealing Christianity a major blow? This isn’t about religious persecution. It is about affordable health care for everyone. It is the Catholic Church’s ban on contraception that is the only hang up. The Church is persecuting employees of Catholic institutions by depriving them of complete health care more than the government is persecuting the Church. I think the Church and you have a persecution complex.

    • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

      No….if the government was really ONLY concerned about making sure that contraception was freely available, it could easily do that without trampling on religious freedom. A government that can send out food stamps can also give out contraception. It chooses to trample on religious freedom anyway.

      • Sus

        We don’t know if the exemptions won’t be extended indefinitely. I hope the exemptions do remain in place as that part of the argument would be solved.

        Our government could give out some birth control, but many need a medical professional to be involved plus follow up.

        In a way, the mandate is pro-life. If I were in a bad situation with a pregnancy, knowing that I’d have medical care and my child would have health care would definitely help my decision not to have an abortion.

        • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

          That’s not the mandate – the mandate is regarding contraception. You could argue that *Obamacare* is pro-life in the way you describe. Providing everyone health care is certainly a laudable thing. I think the actual plan is a disaster, though.

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          What are you envisioning: social workers standing on street corners and handing out packets of birth control pills? The government has the mechanisms in place to provide contraception in any way it wants. The mandate is not necessary. It is an attack on religious freedom for the purpose of attacking religious freedom.

          The mandate has nothing to do with providing prenatal care or well-child care. Nothing. Zero. Zip. Nada.

        • Ted Seeber

          I think I’d rather defund Planned Parenthood, and fully fund WIC. That is, I agree with you in theory but not in practice.

    • Sus

      I agree Bill. There are many other ways to deal a major blow on Christianity beside providing a hugely expensive, controversial health care plan. I’m torn on whether the Catholic orgs should be made to cover contraceptives and abortion. Mostly, I think they should have an exception.

      It would be interesting if there was a vote from the Catholic Americans to see how many are for the mandate and how many are against it. There has to be Catholics that work full-time but are uninsured.

      I think health care should be a right. I don’t want to live in a country where we would let someone die if they don’t have insurance.

      • Ted Seeber

        “It would be interesting if there was a vote from the Catholic Americans to see how many are for the mandate and how many are against it. There has to be Catholics that work full-time but are uninsured.”

        I’m one of them. I’m against the Mandate. But we just had that vote. 50% of Catholics are for the Mandate, and can’t tell an Intrinsic Evil from a marshmallow.

      • kenneth

        The number I’ve seen of Catholic support of the mandate specifically is 57%, about the same as the general population.

      • Rebecca Hamilton

        Sus, do you understand that the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) and the HHS Mandate are two different things? You keep talking as if you think they were the same.

        • Sus

          I do understand they are different things.

          I know that using birth control goes against what your church teaches. It is evident though that many members of your church do use birth control. I think that is where the argument is. There are many Catholics that do NOT want the church to be exempted.

          I have heard the argument that there are women that only go to the doctor when they need birth control so that’s the only health care they are getting.

          • Rebecca Hamilton

            Sus, what are you talking about?

            • Sus

              There are Catholics that go against the Church teachings regarding birth control and do not want the Church to be exempted from having to pay for it.

          • Ted Seeber

            “I have heard the argument that there are women that only go to the doctor when they need birth control so that’s the only health care they are getting.”

            That’s the first I’ve heard of this theory. Can you provide a link to a larger article?

            • Sus

              The only link I have is Planned Parenthood link and I think that link goes against Rebecca’s blog rules.

    • Ted Seeber

      “This isn’t about religious persecution. It is about affordable health care for everyone.This isn’t about religious persecution. It is about affordable health care for everyone.”

      If it’s about health care, then why is the HHS Mandate about providing poison?

      If it’s not about religious persecution, then why not make the religious exemption available to anybody who disagrees with the concept that “contraception is health care” the same way Jehovah’s Witnesses have a exemption to having to get blood transfusions?

      The actual text of the mandate says that this is in fact religious persecution, designed to make women more available sexually to their pimps.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Bill, what you are saying is not true. It would be a simple matter — simple — to provide for free contraceptives without forcing any church or religious institution to be involved in it at all. The HHS Mandate is actually a much more difficult way to do things.
      It’s about forcing the Catholic Church to kiss Caesar’s ring. That, and nothing else.

      • kenneth

        Does anyone seriously believe that government provided contraception versus the mandate would mollify the bishops in any way? They would be crying bloody murder about the use of Catholic tax dollars for contraception. It would simply move the battle line. They are particularly incensed about the prospect of close involvement with contraception, but their bottom line is to oppose the availability and use of contraception at all in society in any way they can do so.

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          Kenneth, this is absolute nonsense. The government has been providing billions of dollars for contraception since Richard Nixon was president. Stop making things up to suit your anti-Catholic bias.

          • kenneth

            The bishops have steadfastly opposed funding of Title X (the program to which you refer). It has at several points in the past been a stated part of their legislative agenda. The fact that they have not succeeded in doing so, and perhaps have made abortion a higher priority, does not negate my underlying point. It does no good to suggest direct government funding of contraception as an alternative to the HHS mandate if the Church itself wouldn’t bite.

            • Rebecca Hamilton

              I’ve been an elected official for 17 years and have sat on the committee that appropriated the Title X pass-through monies for a good number of those years. I am also a Catholic and in frequent contact with people who advocate for the Church’s position on various issues at the legislature. I have never once had the Church or one of its representatives even mention contraceptive funding to me. Not. One. Time.

              As for your comment about the HHS Mandate and direct contraceptive funding; (1) There is no such thing as direct government funding to anyone. That is illegal. It would have to be through an agency of some sort. (2) I have no idea what your “underlying point” might be. If the government has been funding contraception for going 40 years and “the Church” itself hasn’t done anything, your contention that it would magically do so now sounds … ummmmm … more like you’re taking a position and defending it than any serious “underlying point.” There’s no point here, underlying or otherwise, just as there is no legitimate need for the HHS Mandate.

        • Sus

          I do think if the Catholic Church and it’s entities were exempted from the contraceptives and abortion part of the mandate, that the Church would support the mandate.

          How could they not want everyone to have access to health care? It seems to me that the Church is interested in taking care of their members. Health care is part of it.

        • Ted Seeber

          “Does anyone seriously believe that government provided contraception versus the mandate would mollify the bishops in any way?”

          I do. Because they’ve been doing it for 50 years, with the only mention at all being in a pair of encyclicals that were largely censored in America.

        • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

          kenneth,
          Certainly the bishops would not SUPPORT direct government funding of contraception (though as Ted has said, they haven’t fought very hard against it in the past.) They would still fight it. However, the religious freedom aspect which forces churches and individuals to violate their consciences would be gone, and the bishops would be glad about that.

      • Bill S

        “It’s about forcing the Catholic Church to kiss Caesar’s ring.”

        That’s hyperbole. It’s about making Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital or Georgetown University or any other institution comply with a federal law. Ceasar was a tyrant. The U.S. government is of the people, by the people and for the people. You would think the bishops would try to work out a way to comply. This is a dispute between an autocratic church and a representative government. I’m on the government’s side. Listen to the people, not the pope. You should know that. You are an elected official. You should do the people’s will.

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          That’s a fine speech Bill, but it’s not based on fact. The truth is, the HHS Mandate is exactly what I said, an attempt to force the Church to violate its constant teaching or face crippling fines and penalties. “Kissing Caesar’s ring” is a term of speech, an allusion, not a literal fact. However, America, with its constant wars, moves toward empire and a president who wants to bring religion under his heel certainly has the seeds of parallels with that other republic from long ago.

          I’ve said this about 20 times on this blog alone: The HHS Mandate is not a law. It is an agency regulation. It was created by a hand-picked committee of people who were not elected and are not answerable to anyone and signed by the president. Congress had nothing to do with it. That in itself is more than a little questionable.

          The issue is not contraception, not even for the backers of this mandate. It’s eze pz to provide free contraception without the mandate; far easier than the mandate itself.

          • Bill S

            Well. The mandate applies to the whole country. They can’t go from making it a requirement of the employer and the insurance company to having the government dispense contraceptives just because the Church has a problem with it. This is really up to the Supreme Court. Whatever the final ruling, everyone should comply. End of story.

            • Rebecca Hamilton

              The president could rescind it with a stroke of the pen. It does apply to the whole country, you’re right about that, but I’m not sure what point you’re making by saying it. I hope the Court does the right thing. We’ll leave what happens if they don’t to when and if that happens.

            • Ted Seeber

              ” They can’t go from making it a requirement of the employer and the insurance company to having the government dispense contraceptives just because the Church has a problem with it. ”

              Well, to be exact, they’re going from the government dispensing contraceptives to making it a requirement of the employer and the insurance company to do it. The government has always been proud to let the poor have all the contraception they want, free for the asking.

    • Ted Seeber

      #1. I will be going to confession this Saturday.

      #2. The reason why, Bill, is because you at least as an atheist are within your philosophy, even if you’re hiding out among Catholics. Me, with my sin of despair and temptation to the Calvinist Total Depravity of Man, find my anger and depression to be far outside of my philosophy, and yet, overwhelming evidence that they are true.

      Oh Lord, grant me the ability to see Imago Dei in my fellow Americans. Even when it is hidden behind formal and material cooperation with Satan.

  • Beverly

    This will all be resolved by the Supreme Court which will rule in favor of institutions and maybe employers that object to the mandate on religious grounds

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I hope so. But since neither of us sits on the Supreme Court, I don’t think that either of us knows.

    • Ashley

      I don’t think anyone can predict what will happen, other than it will eventually end up in the Supreme Court. The legal issues in these cases are pretty tricky and involve conflicting constitutional principles. Thus far a couple of HHS plaintiffs have won injunctions, one was dismissed on standing, and one was dismissed essentially on the basis that the mandate does not represent a substantial burden on the exercise of religion under the RFRA. The judge wrote:

      “The burden of which plaintiffs complain is that funds, which plaintiffs
      will contribute to a group health plan, might, after a series of independent decisions
      by health care providers and patients covered by OIH’s plan, subsidize someone else’s
      participation in an activity that is condemned by plaintiffs’ religion. This Court rejects
      the proposition that requiring indirect financial support of a practice, from which
      plaintiff himself abstains according to his religious principles, constitutes a substantial
      burden on plaintiff’s religious exercise.”

      This reasoning about indirect financial support is similar to the reasoning courts have used to uphold faith-based initiatives under Bush and Obama. But other courts will probably rule completely differently. It’s going to be a long, interesting haul.

      • Bill S

        “The burden of which plaintiffs complain is that funds, which plaintiffs
        will contribute to a group health plan, might, after a series of independent decisions
        by health care providers and patients covered by OIH’s plan, subsidize someone else’s
        participation in an activity that is condemned by plaintiffs’ religion. This Court rejects
        the proposition that requiring indirect financial support of a practice, from which
        plaintiff himself abstains according to his religious principles, constitutes a substantial
        burden on plaintiff’s religious exercise.”

        If that ruling stands, that will pretty much settle the issue. It would seem that the bishops should see the logic of said ruling and assure the institutions such as Notre Dame and Saint Luke’s Hospital that they are not disobeying Church teaching by complying with the mandate and the ruling. I assume they would have to get the OK from the Pope before issuing such a guidance. It doesn’t seem just that someone sitting on a throne in Europe should have so much say in what goes on in this country. It’s like King George III all over again.

        • Ted Seeber

          We should never have gotten rid of King George III. Tuesday’s vote proves that self-governance is a lie.

          • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

            Well, democracy, combined with education that does not teach critical thinking, and a population that is so used to living in comparative luxury that it’s only interested in the next hit to the pleasure center of the brain is indeed a good recipe for disaster!

  • http://PublicCatholic cris

    Hello Rebecca,
    I’ve just read Jason Hall’s excellent post election post : Good News/Bad News at http://www.ignitumtoday.com/2012/11/07/good-news-and-bad-news/ His article is a perfect adjunct to the many articles you have posted and comments you have addressed on this blog.
    Your stated purpose for creating Public Catholic is “…to empower Christians to stand for Jesus in today’s world.” Your “bio” outlines the legislation you have sponsored and co-sponsored. Those pieces of legislation reflect your confidence as a Christian.
    In your post today, you state, “I created this blog and will be speaking in the future to narrow-gate, hard-way Christians who want to follow Jesus and stand up for Him, no matter what.” To live the truth of the Gospels is difficult in our current culture. Thank you for reminding us and demonstrating to us (in your role as legislator) that standing with Christ in all we do is a Mandate from the Father.
    What you have done on a state level, the issues you address, to me reflect a reality that most of us forget. When an issue important to our Catholic teaching is not accepted on a national level, we wring our hands and complain about our loss. What you have shown is that there are many facets to an issue, not all are addressed in the national arena. You look outside the box for ways to refine and temper some of those facets. You get to work in Oklahoma to get those aspects of the main issue passed. The local and state level is where we must make our Catholic voices heard.
    Jason Hall writes the following: “I find it curious, and somewhat frustrating, how easily people can get invested in a presidential election, where they have very little influence and are unlikely to ever even meet the candidates, but are uninterested or unwilling to engage at the state or local level. Many very important decisions with moral consequence are decided each year in state legislatures and that is where individuals and small groups have great influence. ”
    “For example, almost all pro-life victories of the last several years have happened in the states. In my own state of Kentucky, we have tremendous opportunities to reduce the number of abortions performed with fairly simple pieces of legislation. Unlike presidents, or even members of Congress, in most places state legislators represent a relatively small number of people and often even spend most of the year in their districts. A group of four or five parishioners or pro-life activists should have very little trouble meeting with their local state legislator and impressing upon him or her the importance that many constituents place upon that issue.”
    Rebecca, please continue to do as St. Paul reminds all of us to do: “Work willingly for the sake of the Lord and not for the sake of human beings.” and “… always carrying the shield of faith so that you can use it to quench the burning arrows of the Evil One.”
    May God continue to bless you.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Cris. I’ll read the article you linked to later today.

  • http://www.keeplifelegal.com Rev. Katherine Marple

    I like the ‘black & white’ of this. Right up my alley. I needed the balance of it; my buds are really upset – and reasonably should be…to a point. Time to look at the films to see where we dropped the ball and get ready for the next game. I should have someone like you on speed-dial…lol.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Exactly.
      “Time to look at the films to see where we dropped the ball and get ready for the next game.”


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