Sure and it begins to feel like Grandad’s auld sod, what with the elites getting comfortable with the notion of telling us what we can and cannot do, what business we may or may not conduct, what materials we can or cannot own…because we’re Catholics.
Over at NPR’s Bench Memos Ryan T. Anderson ponders illegalities in the making:
Here’s an aspect of the HHS preventive-services mandate and the “compromise” announced on Friday that has gone unnoticed: It will soon be impossible, because it would be illegal, to be a faithful Catholic in America running a health-insurance company. Friday’s announcement — that health-insurance companies will be required to provide free coverage of contraceptives, sterilization procedures, and abortifacients — entails that citizens cannot operate a health-insurance company in accord with their moral values, if those moral values happen to align with historic Christianity rather than Obama.
Maybe market forces have made it all but impossible to be a major player in the health-insurance industry while holding to these views. But the outcry during the past three weeks about the HHS mandate shows that there are plenty of potential consumers for just such a health-insurance plan. In a free society, shouldn’t an entrepreneuring individual be legally able to run such a business? Not according to Obama.
Well, t’was ever thus, wasn’t it? They’ll be going after the home-schoolers, the crisis pregnancy centers next. And it will go on from there. This is what elites do when they wish to maintain power over folks who have the actual arguments against their doing so:
**Exclusion of Catholics from most public offices
**Ban on intermarriage with Protestants; repealed 1778
**Catholics barred from holding firearms or serving in the military
**Ban on Catholics buying land under a lease of more than 31 years; repealed 1778.
**Ban on custody of orphans being granted to Catholics on pain of 500 pounds that was to be donated to the Blue Coat hospital in Dublin.
**Ban on Catholics inheriting Protestant land
**Prohibition on Catholics owning a horse valued at over £5 (in order to keep horses suitable for military activity out of the majority’s hands)
**’No person of the popish religion shall publicly or in private houses teach school, or instruct youth in learning within this realm’ upon pain of twenty pounds fine and three months in prison for every such offence.
Of course, in the traditional way of the bigot, Catholics who fall in line (“the good ones,” as Archie Bunker might say) will still be allowed to associate with the elites. All you have to do to be “one of the good ones” is unite with the administration, over your church.
UPDATE: I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Scalia has gone extreme.” And I don’t blame you. But then…did you know that the Obama administration just changed the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, so that it now excludes those connected to the churches?: Brad Hirschfield writes:
So after telling us that pretty much everything qualifies, even going out of its way to highlight that neither the type of work nor nature of the organizations matters, the government slips in the fact that if faith or worship are part of your work, you don’t qualify. What?! [Emphasis mine]
. . .If the government wants to re-visit making loans to those who study for religious careers, fine. I would oppose any change there, but I get it. Likewise, if the government wanted to revisit the tax-exempt status of religious institutions, I would get that as well. I would also oppose that, but I would understand it. But taking this out on those who can least afford it is simply wrong.
I actually agree with Hirschfield in that “I get it” but, as he writes:
Perhaps the forgiveness program should be based on overall earnings, as opposed to public-/private or for-profit /not-for- profit distinctions. But as long as those are the distinctions being made, excluding those who work in the religious sector is misguided and counter-productive.
Especially given the otherwise broad definition of public service according to this law, clergy and religious teachers should be considered public servants. On balance, there is no doubt about the public value of faith in America.
I keep wondering if this means soon students at religiously-affiliated colleges won’t be able to get federal loans? I mean…that would be the next logical step, right? Tell me again that he has no animus toward religion.
Marc Thiessen writes today:
. . . many religious employers (including EWTN) “self-insure.” This means the religious organization acts as its own insurance company — paying for care directly and using insurers only to manage benefits and process claims. Many religious organizations took this step so they could opt out of state mandates to provide morally-objectionable services. As a result, in the case of religious employers like EWTN, there is no insurance company to provide the “free” abortion drugs and contraceptives Obama has mandated.
Bottom line: The Obama “accommodation” is a sham…
UPDATE II: Speaking of the Irish, Ed Morrissey notes the Notre Dame faculty is not falling in line, as they were probably expected to:
Three years ago, Notre Dame University provided Obama a platform to speak to Catholics and awarded him an honorary degree. Yesterday, the faculty at the Catholic university — which would be subject to the mandate — gave him the third degree instead, excoriating Obama for a “grave violation of religious freedom”
The press, with a few “credible Catholic liberals” in place, is treating this matter like it’s a done deal; the president, in his benevolence, had doled out to us a measure of something like our constitutional liberty, but it’s not the same, really. If he meant it, he’d never have intruded where he did not belong, in the first place. Once again, if his actual concern was providing pills, condoms, tubal ligations, vasectomies and abortifacients to whoever wants them, he had a ton of options. He wanted this battle with the churches.
MORE: White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew this weekend:
. . .the policy holds true to the “core principles of our country,” which call for respecting religious liberty. He noted that the revision had earned support from liberal Catholics and lay groups.
“The solution that we reached is consistent with those core principles. That’s why it got the support of a range of groups from the Catholic Health Association and
Catholic Charities[walked back - admin] to Planned Parenthood,” Lew said.
George Weigel: Live and Let Live is not the Endgame, here
Bad Catholic: writes a second letter to the president, with couple of gloriously funny captions