Pelosi and the “Lobbying” Bishops

Pelosi and the “Lobbying” Bishops December 2, 2011

I read this and couldn’t stop laughing. And I don’t know why I was laughing — I guess because it all seems so perfectly on schedule or something:

This lawyer apparently has a strong hate on against Catholics. And a touch of paranoia, I think.

In the sedate and sober world of bankruptcy law, one lawyer’s memorandum sticks out like a sore loser.

“Across the country the court systems and particularly the Bankruptcy Court in Minnesota, are composed of a bunch of ignoramus, bigoted Catholic beasts that carry the sword of the church,” the Nov. 25 filing said.

It went on to call one bankruptcy judge “a Catholic Knight Witch Hunter,” said one trustee was “a priest’s boy” and claimed another trustee is a “Jesuitess.”

It got worse from there. (H/T)

It’s sad, I guess. This lawyer or the client — or both — might be mentally ill; this kind of over-the-top, mouth-foaming hate doesn’t speak to sanity.

But there is so much, lately, that doesn’t speak to sanity.

Take Nancy Pelosi and her assessment that the USCCB, by asking that a “conscience clause” in legislation be an actual, real conscience clause and not a narrow bit of fakery under the name, is nothing but a bit political lobbying:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) on Thursday described America’s Roman Catholic bishops as “lobbyists in Washington, D.C.” in their efforts to persuade the Department of Health and Human Service to rescind a proposed regulation under the new health-care law that would force Catholics to act against the teachings of their church by compelling them to purchase health-care plans that cover sterilizations and all-FDA approved contraceptives, including abortifacients.

The proposed regulation, scheduled to take effect on Aug. 1, 2012, would require every health-insurance plan in the United States to cover sterilizations and all FDA-approved contraceptives (which include abortifacients) without charging any co-pay. The Catholic Church teaches that sterilization, artificial contraception and abortion are morally wrong and that Catholics cannot be involved in them.

Noting that she is “a devout Catholic,” Pelosi said she sometimes disagrees with the Catholic bishops when they act as “lobbyists.”

“I don’t know if I agree with your characterization of what the HHS put forth,” Pelosi said, “but as a mother of five children in six years, as a devout Catholic, I have great respect for our bishops when they are my pastor. As lobbyists in Washington D.C., we have some areas of disagreement.

If anyone is mischaracterizing things, it is Mrs. Pelosi. What she dismisses here as mere “lobbying” by the USCCB is in fact an act of self-protection based on what are supposed to be constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms. There is a quiet battle being fought between this administration and the mainline churches and the outcome will have all kinds of repercussions down the road for all the faithful — not just the Catholics — and their fundamental, constitutionally-defined right to be who and what they are

Pelosi supports “the waiver that exists” which even other Democrats have admitted amounts to no waiver at all. As Sister Mary Ann Walsh and others have pointed out, the waiver is drawn so narrowly that even Jesus Christ and the early church could not meet its strictures. It is a “waiver” in name only

The regulation HHS has proposed includes a “religious exemption” that does not apply to individuals who, under Obamacare, will be mandated to buy health insurance. To qualify as a “religious employer” that will get an exemption an organization must meet all of four criteria: their purpose must be the “inculcation of religious values,” they must “primarily employ persons who share the same religious tenets,” they must “primarily serve persons who share its religious tenets,” and they must be organized under the specific section of the Internal Revenue Code used by churches per se.

As drawn, the exemption from the sterilization-and-contraception mandate would not apply to Catholic individuals, Catholic hospitals, Catholic universities and Catholic charitable organizations. Thus, Catholic individuals would be forced to purchase health insurance plans that pay for sterilizations, contraception and abortifacients, in violation of the the teachings of their church, and Catholic hospitals, universities and charitable organizations would be forced to choose between dropping health insurance for their employees or paying for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortifacients in violation of the teachings of the church.

The church, then, is being put in the position whereby it must either ignore its own moral teachings and provide coverage it considered gravely evil or it must abandon its social teaching and provide no insurance at all.

And as some have noted, it’s Catholics like Kathleen Sebilius and Nancy Pelosi who want to force that choice.

I know some are suggesting there is a “third way” — a solution whereby the church simply drops the insurance and gives the employee a raise to allow them to purchase insurance on their own.

But of course, to do that would mean the bishops were acquiescing to the lie that the “conscience clause” as written is something fair and honest, and should stand as a meaningful precedent. If the bishops were to do that, they would be allowing the government to redefine what a conscience clause actually is, and further devolve the rights of religious people in this country.

They can’t do that. This is a lot bigger than simply trying to find “a way around” an unjust, poorly-written and ultimately right-suppressing bit of legislative language.

The original article notes the president’s press secretary, Jay Carney, sayings Obama has not yet decided on this issue, but that he’s hearing from people “concerned” that he will broaden the conscience clause and give true exception to the churches — and apparently hearing from those people matters.

So, I guess that means the faithful need to call the White House and respectfully request that the president allow the churches to be what they are, in this land of the free and home of the brave, where rights are still supposed to matter.

Of course, in Mrs. Pelosi’s world, this will mean we are all lobbyists, now. But silly me…I thought that’s partly what Democracy was all about.

You can call the White House at 202-456-1414

Food for Thought: A Man for All Seasons is one of my favorite films. Here Joseph Susanka watches it and realizes that, his instincts run more to the wussy and placating. And he suspects that’s not a good thing! I think many of us can identify!

But sometimes, you have to just gird the loins, and fight. Belmont Abbey college says it will close its doors if it must.

Meanwhile, Thomas Peters attended yesterday’s not-much-reported-on hearing exploring whether the Obama administration is discriminating against Catholics.

And read George Weigel on Catholics and Freedom

Archbishop Dolan meets with President

New Bishops will have to be Apologists and Politicians

Natural Law is Catholic

Rick at Brutally Honest

Via Rocco Palmo on Twitter

A bitter pill, indeed

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