USA Today Urges Obama to ‘Grant Religious Freedom the Wide Berth it Deserves’

USA Today published an editorial calling for the Obama administration to back down on its ridiculous attack on the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Last week’s Catholic bashing column from US News and World Report, followed by their declaration that such Catholic bashing  is now “fair comment” just about pushed me to the point of totally disregarding anything that comes from the msm.  The USA Today editorial is a totally unexpected moment of sanity. In language that focuses on the issues and doesn’t bash anybody, they simply outline their reasons for believing that the Obama Administration needs to end its drive to continue the HHS Mandate.

USA Today says that they also publish editorials with contrasting views, which is a good practice. Hopefully, the contrast they publish on this issue will be as well-reasoned and focused on the issues as the one today.

From USA Today:

From a health care standpoint, the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that all employers provide coverage, without co-pays, for contraceptives is sound. It is important preventive care. So says the prestigious Institute of Medicine, arbiter of such things.

Wisely, churches and other houses of worship are exempt from the requirement, but the administration wrote rules so narrowly that they failed to exempt Catholic and other religiously affiliated hospitals, colleges and charities. Its position was constitutionally suspect, politically foolish and ultimately unproductive. The number of women affected is likely so small that the administration could find some less divisive way to provide the coverage.

Instead, the administration is battling Catholic bishops and nuns, Southern Baptists, Christ-centered colleges and assorted religious non-profits that filed challenges across the country. The lawsuits stem from an “accommodation” President Obama offered after his too-narrow religious exemption caused an uproar in 2012.

The accommodation is more of a fig leaf than a fix: Although religiously affiliated non-profits do not have to supply birth control coverage themselves, they must sign a certification that allows their insurance companies to provide it instead. Some non-profits have acquiesced, but not the Little Sisters and others who argue that this makes them complicit in an act that violates a tenet of their faith. If the non-profits refuse to sign, they face ruinous fines — $4.5 million a year for just two of the Little Sisters’ 30 homes.

 

 

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    That is a surprise from USA Today. Still it’s only a half hearted endorsement but I guess I’ll take it. I’ve given up on the MSM ages ago. I’m glad you keeping stepping closer to that Conservative frame of mind. :-P
    Seriously though, you can see why I’ve said that what real choice does a good Catholic have but to vote Republican? And i’m not saying that to win over voters to my view point. It’s just a reality. And that’s not to say Republicans are perfect before someone starts replying. You don’t have to reply to that comment Rebecca.
    That op-ed by that woman at US News and World Report blew my fuse, but the editorial response giving us the middle finger was a complete outrage. No Catholic should ever spend a nickel on that rag.

    • hamiltonr

      This is something I’m trying to figure out Manny. I am probably more disgusted with the direction of the Democratic party than you are. Heartbroken might be a better word. I thought about leaving the party a few years back, but when I prayed about it, it came through rather clearly that I should stay. Then, I was able to help pass pro life bills that would not have become law except for my strategic position as a pro life Democrat.

      I was able to help save lives precisely because I obeyed what God told me to do and stayed a Democrat. Believe me when I tell you that the way my fellow Democrats were treating me over being pro life, that was not an easy thing to do.

      On the other hand, I detest the corporatism of the Republicans. Detest it.

      I am going to have to pray and ask God what I should do. To be honest, I don’t think I belong in either party. In fact, I think both parties are the creatures of special interests and more alike under the skin than most people realize

      I felt/feel the same as you about the US News and World Report thing.

      • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

        I wouldn’t leave the Democratic Party if I were you, especially if there is a strategic position within it. At least someone needs to be a voice from within on cultural issues, as long as you feel comfortable. Dissenters in both parties can really be attacked. I said vote republican. I didn’t say you need to be a republican. On the other issue you raise, there was a time you might have a point that republicans were the corporatist party, but frankly the Democrats have caught up. I don’t know if it started with Bill Clinton but it sure seems to ahve accelerated since then. Dems are just as tied to big business as Repubs. Just look at how the health insurance industry is accomodating Obama. And the auto and computer industries too. Repubs will fight tooth and nail for small business (that’s their base) but big corporations are split evenly.

        • hamiltonr

          I agree with everything you say here Manny. We need to check and see if there are snowballs in the infernal region. :-)

          • Ray

            If you guys think that corporatism doesn’t run rampant in the Democratic party then you are truly deluded. They are as corrupt as the rest of them.

            Both parties are interested in preserving their power and NOT in protecting our Constitution. Most of what they fight for at the federal level isn’t even permitted Constitutionally, but that document is essentially a worthless piece of paper now based on how politicians disregard it and how little the populace understands it.

            There are only 18 ENUMERATED powers in the Constitution. That’s ALL that the federal government is permitted to do. Everything else belongs to the States under the 10th Amendment.

            Educate yourselves and find people who understand this.

            All the “poverty” programs (which don’t work) at the federal level are actually state level powers and not permitted by the Constitution.

            • douglas kraeger

              Suggestion: Any small group (church) can make the decision to educate or take over the nominating committees of both political parties at the local level and thereby endorse only candidates who proclaim that the Founders intended the Constitution of the United States to be the supreme law of the land as they understood it and therefore they would hold as unconstitutional and non-binding any act of the legislature, executive or judiciary that contradicted the clear intent of the founders. If one nominating committee publicly took this position and their endorsed candidates asked all other candidates for all offices this question: Are you competent enough to know that the Founders intended the Constitution of the United States to be the supreme law of the land as they understood it and therefore they would hold as unconstitutional and non-binding any act of the legislature, executive or judiciary that contradicted the clear intent of the founders? and: Do you stand with the founders original intent or do you say we should ignore that? I ask: Is this a good place to start?

            • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber
        • Jacob Suggs

          “Vote Republican: they’re slightly less terrible, sometimes.”

          And I wish I was making fun of you instead of being serious.

          • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

            Listen, there are only two political parties and 300+ million people. Parties try to find the center of a large demographic based on several values, some of which one shares and some one doesn’t. No one is gong to find a perfect fit. I don’t vote and support the Republican Pary because it’ the lesser of two evils. I support it because I believe in a good 75% of its platform. I am Conservative by nature and perhaps genetically. Consevatism by and large makes sense to me.

            • Jacob Suggs

              Oh I believe in a lot of its platform as well, I’m just not sure they do anymore, and I think they’ve warped part of it.

              For example, I’m ok with the idea that we need to enforce immigration laws, but many republicans use that as a thin veil for being anti immigrant. Killing the Dream Act, for example, was inexcusable.

              And I certainly believe abortion to be evil and gay marriage not to exist, but many Republicans are waffling on these issues as well (“Life starts at conception, but maybe it’s actually ok to murder an innocent child if his existence came about as the result of incest.” “I used to think homosexual acts were immoral, but then I discovered that one of my relatives really, really, wants to do them, so that makes it ok some how.”)

              They still support gun rights pretty thoroughly, but the cynic in me has begun to think that’s mostly because it’s a lot easier to waver on principles that aren’t the foundation for businesses that give you money.

              Yeah, I like the principles they say they have, for the most part, I just have little trust that they’ll persue them very much. But they don’t work against them as much as the Dems do, and the Dems don’t seem any less corrupt, so I vote Republican. There are some Republicans that I can honestly say I support pretty thoroughly (Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum), but the party as as a whole has become somewhat laughable, I think.

              • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

                No question. Obama has forced a split in the Replublican unity when it comes to cultural issues. The problem is that independents now support gay marriage. Immigration is a tough issue. In theory I support doing what we can for illegals, but once someone brings up the fact that they broke the law and jumped the line over legal immigrants it’s hard to rebutt it. They gain a certain moral authority.

            • Dave

              “Listen, there are only two political parties”

              Maybe that needs to change. I used to support the GOP because I agree with the strong majority of their platform. Then, I noticed that the platform wasn’t really followed in practice most of the time. I still believe the GOP’s platform is reasonably good, but the party itself needs a lot of reform.

              It will be very interesting to see who the candidates for President are in 2016. I think that may be our last chance to save our country. We need a great leader to navigate our country out of the field of icebergs it’s gotten itself into.

              In the meantime, we’ve got a pretty big election this year. We need candidates who aren’t just the status quo, who aren’t the kind of people that are empty suits bought and paid for by their parties.

              • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

                So how are two splintered parties on the right supposed to beat Democrats when we can’t beat them now when we’re one?

            • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber
              • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

                If we can’t beat Democrats now, how are we supposed to beat them split? Do you see Liberals adovacting for a third party?

                • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

                  The Democrats are not our enemy. An unconstitutional federal government is our enemy. A constitution based on a failed experiment, the idea that the mob is wise enough to rule, is our enemy.

        • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

          Double agree that the Democrats have not only caught up- but with the corporate welfare program known as Obamacare, have exceeded the wildest dreams of most corporate welfare proponents.

      • AnneG

        Rebecca, you mentioned Republican corporatism. I agree. Crony capitalism is corruption at the level of Mexico, world class. But, now, the Democrats are just as bad. The new tech industries are mostly leftist. Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet are all big Democrat donors who profit immensely by supporting leftist programs. Not saying you are supposed to change parties, just those are the facts. And, Kaiser steel, destroyed by many of the social programs is now Kaiser Foundation and Kaiser Health which have profited immensely.

      • Steve31

        Republicans are not great but they’re a lot better than the Demoncrats. If ‘corporatism’ (whatever that means) bothers you more than dead unborn babies, then that’s disgusting, shame on you.

        • hamiltonr

          Steve, if you don’t mind, would you re-read what I wrote. I think you missed my meaning.

      • Dan F.

        Hi Rebecca, your third option already exists: American Solidarity Party – come check us out cpdunitedstates.webs.com or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AmericanSolidarityParty. We would love to have you.

    • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

      I’d vote Republican if I wasn’t convinced that their economics is straight progressive liberalism to the point of causing abortions.

      Yes, that’s right, I said it. Crony capitalism and corporatism causes abortions *directly* by removing from the lower classes such a large amount of resources that they find it hard to survive.

      Playing right into the hands of the “pro-choice” Malthusian eugenics movement on the left, of course, which is perfectly willing to help a white teenager, but if the skin is off white, pushes for contraception, abortion and sterilization.

      A pox on both their houses.

      • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

        Capitalim causes abortions? Ridiculous. Then how come so many rich women get abortions? How come it wasn’t prevelant until 1970s? Did capitalim just begin with the 1970s? Peace, I have no desire to argue.

        • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

          New York City is the most capitalist, most inequal city in the world. A examination of abortion by Zip Code in New York City is very enlightening on this subject:
          http://www.crisismagazine.com/2014/the-real-inequality-in-new-york-city

          Abortion strongly correlates to marriage- or rather the lack thereof. Marriage strongly correlates to income. The inequalities of capitalism have caused marriage and child raising to become unpopular in the extreme. The poor- the disadvantaged- abort at over 10x the rate the rich do. Especially so-called minorities.

          You don’t see Planned Parenthood clinics in rich white neighborhoods for a reason.

          A large amount of the profit in American capitalism, comes from murdering a million “unwanted” useless human beings every single year, decreasing the surplus population.

          And don’t forget who nominated most of the Roe v.Wade and PP v. Casey judges- it wasn’t Democrats.

          • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

            “New York City is the most capitalist…”

            Ha! Do you know what the taxes are over here? I live in NY.
            City and state combined is over 10%, plus almost 9% sales taxes, real estate taxes (and if you don’t own a house it’s still passed on in the rent), high gas, alcohol, and cigarette taxes, the highest road and bridge tolls in the country, and every time you turn around you get a parking ticket, like I just did today. You’re right, there’s a lot of inequality because it’s socialist here. Socialism creates inequality.

            • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

              The taxes are caused by capitalism. Government bought and paid for by the rich, will always freeze out the poor.

              There is no functional difference between socialism and crony capitalism. They’re both centralizing wealth and power to the detriment of everybody else.

              • Cha5678

                Government, whose currency is power, will always freeze out the powerless and scapegoat. Government can be bought by votes, by money, by threat. Governments don’t care the means, they care only of the end result: power.

                You can be rich, and be scorned by the political class if by attacking you they receive more power than the cash you’d provide. You can be poor, and be loved by the political class if by exploiting your case they receive more power. You can be either, and be loved or feared by the political class if you hold influence over others.

                This is true of all political systems. Today’s donors are yesterday’s lords. Today’s advocacy organizations are yesterday’s vassals. Today’s manipulated populism is yesterday’s manipulated mobs.

                We haven’t progressed. We merely changed the names for the kings we serve and titles we claim in service to them. Until we make something beyond ourselves (and beyond our control and beyond our self-serving definition) our king, that will always be.

          • Cha5678

            Because PP was started by a racist eugenicist and still collects money from racist eugenicists. Even Justice Ginsburg recognized that abortion was a public and social policy of eliminating society’s lower classes and races. It’s racist not because of capitalism, but because it was always intended to be racist.

            • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

              Capitalism is inherently racist to begin with. Can’t let those “lower classes” get ahead, it might reduce the ability of your stock broker to buy $1000 omelets for breakfast.

              • Cha5678

                I agree with the second sentence, but not the first. Yes, capitalism and state-regulated economies depend upon a class system and will privilege access to those that would advance the owners’ interest, and withhold it to those that won’t. So the capitalist may hire those that advance through schools and cultures that discriminate against people, and may even hire for nepotism. And the crony capitalist may hire those that advance through the bureaucracy to provide privilege and the bureaucrat may privilege those that advance his self-preservation and the politician may privilege those that advance his self-preservation. But the process is race-blind, which foments the existing institutional racism within the culture, schools and public support systems.

  • FW Ken

    The Institute of Medicine may be prestigious, but it’s hardly independent.

    http://m.nationalreview.com/corner/290664/abortion-rights-advocates-who-compiled-hhs-mandate-kathryn-jean-lopez

    Contraception is not healthcare because pregnancy is not a disease.

  • FW Ken

    The Chicago Tribune also ran an editorial supporting religious freedom. Here’s the money quote:

    The administration should provide a much broader conscience exemption for the insurance mandate. Exempt from these rules is any entity that would be forced to contravene its religious teachings and beliefs. Abide by the constitutional principle: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-01-03/opinion/ct-obamacare-contraceptive-edit-0103-20140103_1_justice-sonia-sotomayor-contraception-mandate-little-sisters

    I wonder if they mean to include individual business owners.

    • hamiltonr

      I think that some of President Obama’s supporters in the press are beginning to see that this particular fight is too costly for the president to pursue. There is, after all, 200 years of American religious freedom going against it, not to mention the First Amendment.

    • Kathy McGlaughlin

      I appreciate all news sources that support religious freedom. It should apply also to individual business owners as well as individuals themselves.

  • Bill S

    The administration simply must go with the court decisions and know it did its best to get free coverage for as many women (and men) as it possibly could. The Hobby Lobbies and Sisters of the Poors of the world will get their court rulings and we will all go from there. What’s fair is fair, as the courts will decide. Same goes for gay marriage.

    • Katherine Harms

      I am still unconvinced that getting free anything for American citizens is the fair thing to do. As for what two gays do together, whatever they do is not marriage. It is their business, but it isn’t marriage.

      • Bill S

        I can agree on our government getting out of the business of trying to make something like contraception free. I say if two gays believe they are married, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

  • markkrite

    Sorry people, Obama is way off base and always has been re the ramming through of ObamaCare and then his so-called “exemptions,” which, as noted elsewhere here, are nothing but “figleafs” attempting to disguise his unbridled hostility and rank intolerance towards the Catholic Church and it’s teachings regarding abortion and contraception. And he needs to be IMPEACHED NOW, before he drags this nation all the way over the line to Leviathon.

    • hamiltonr

      No. He does not need to be impeached. Not only has he not committed any impeachable offense, but this yammering from some quarters for impeachment is seriously destructive to our country.

      Congress needs to do its job and simply overturn that Mandate. They have the power, if they will just use it. Congress has made itself into a cypher. That is the root of the problem with the imperial presidency.

      • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

        We have a country left to be destroyed? News to me.

      • Kathy McGlaughlin

        First I have a question for you. Was it also destructive to our country when the impeachment for Mr. Nixon was yammered for? And there seem to be many, with much more knowledge than I, who opine that this man has committed impeachable offenses.
        But, that being said, I agree with the second half of your comment totally.

        • hamiltonr

          That’s a good question Kathy. I was thinking of the impeachment of Bill Clinton, which I thought was political from top to bottom. I don’t know about what happened with Richard Nixon. I’m not dodging the question; I am frankly undecided about the whole thing. I do know that impeachment should never be used as a political tool. That would de-stabilize our government and harm it even more than the partisan obsessions of our elected officials have done already. I’m totally sick of elected officials putting their party loyalties ahead of the country.

          Welcome aboard the good ship Public Catholic, btw.

      • Katherine Harms

        Obama needs to be impeached because his attitude is, “I have a pen and I have a phone, and I don’t need Congress.” He is a president who does not accept the Constitution as the law of the land.
        The HHS mandate is only one of many bad things that happened during his administration, and it happened because Congress did not do its job. Some, but not nearly enough, of the perpetrators of that atrocity were removed from office in 2010. It is high time that job was finished as well.
        The US is not at the moment a nation of laws, not men. It is a nation of whatever Obama says it is, with dangerously few exceptions. It is time for him and everybody that serves his agenda to be removed from office. I’ll settle for the electoral process, but it must be done if we want to be free people.

        • hamiltonr

          Katherine, you cannot impeach a president for having ideas that you disagree with.


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