Joe Six-Packs’ Public Comment on the HHS Mandate, Part Deux

It’s like déjà vu, all over again. Another year, another Joe Six-Pack penned public comment to the flagrantly unconstitutional HHS Mandate. You can comment too, and every little bit helps, dear reader.

You can opt for the cookie-cutter form here, or you can go all out and send something directly to HHS via the regulations.gov website here. I opted for the latter, black helicopters, drones, and the IRS be damned. Call me crazy.

They limit you to 2000 words, so I served them up the following, noting the new “accommodation” is still lame.

The present Administration, through the Health and Human Services Department, is requiring that all employer healthcare insurance plans (with certain exceptions) provide coverage for drugs and procedures which violate the beliefs of the Catholic Church, Catholic institutions, and individual Catholic Christians.

The new rules require the Catholic Church, and the institutions operating faithfully under her aegis, to provide coverage for contraceptive drugs, abortifacients and sterilization procedures that are contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church. The new “accommodation” outlined by the Administration does nothing to assuage the moral dilemma faced by the Church, her institutions, and her faithful, who are all involved in her mission to the world.

Never before has the United States Government deigned to represent “transcendental truth” on matters of conscience for any religion within the United States. This move is unprecedented.

As stated clearly in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the free exercise of religion must not be impeded by the state. The narrow exemption to the mandate is such an impediment, as it severely limits the ability of the Church to conduct her mission to minister to all peoples, regardless of their religious affiliation. Private citizens are hamstrung by this law as well.

As it stands, neither this proposed rule, nor the most recent “accommodation,” remedies the situation faced by the Catholic Church, her institutions, or individual Catholics. No one can opt out of this mandate in a way where their conscience rights are protected. This mandate violates citizens abilities to conscientiously adhere to the teachings of their faith.

What is needed is a robust, and real way for organizations and individuals to conscientiously object to this mandate, so that their core beliefs, teachings, and moral values are not violated.

Until then, this unreasonable mandate is unacceptable.

See attached for clarity.

You see, you are given the opportunity to upload files that may help bolster your argument. In case you are wondering what I uploaded for “clarity,” it was a little excerpt from Pope Paul VI’s encylical letter Humanae Vitae, saved in the form of a Microsoft Word document. To wit,

The Teaching of the Roman Catholic Church regarding birth control can be found in the encyclical Humanae Vitae.

Unlawful Birth Control Methods

14. Therefore We base Our words on the first principles of a human and Christian doctrine of marriage when We are obliged once more to declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children. (14) Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary. (15)

Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means. (16)

Neither is it valid to argue, as a justification for sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive, that a lesser evil is to be preferred to a greater one, or that such intercourse would merge with procreative acts of past and future to form a single entity, and so be qualified by exactly the same moral goodness as these. Though it is true that sometimes it is lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater evil or in order to promote a greater good,” it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it (18)—in other words, to intend directly something which of its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general. Consequently, it is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive and so intrinsically wrong.

Lawful Therapeutic Means

  1. On the other hand, the Church does not consider at all illicit the use of those therapeutic means necessary to cure bodily diseases, even if a foreseeable impediment to procreation should result there from—provided such impediment is not directly intended for any motive whatsoever. (19)

The complete document can be found at the following link:

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html

And that is all there is to it.

Take a few minutes and send them your $.02 before the deadline. Do it now, before you forget about it.

  • James Aldrich

    Good piece but for future reference, I assume you meant to write “part deux.”

    • Frank Weathers

      Heh! I can barely spell in English. ;)


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