by Dr. D ~ February 7th, 2012
(Image via Wikipedia)
This is a story that continues to escalate and shows no sign of going away anytime soon. Here’s a link to my first article on the confrontation between the Obama administration and the Catholic Church over a new requirement to provide for contraceptives and after-morning abortive pills in their health-care coverage of workers in the church’s allied ministries.
The Bishops sent out letters 2 weeks ago to be read in the churches all across America protesting the new requirement and laying down a gauntlet and drawing a line in the sand stating that the church has no intention of ever complying with the order.
At that point, President Obama who personally signed off on the HHS ( Department of Health and Human Services) order had to be wondering how he got himself into this mess during an election year. The administration did back off somewhat by giving the Catholics and others a year to comply with the order hoping to put off any confrontation till after the election. However, the issue continues to expand on many different levels.
One battle front was the military. Letters were sent out to be read by Catholic chaplains in the Army but the administration through the chain of command initially ordered the chaplains to stand down and not read the letter to Catholic soldiers. Some Catholic chaplains disobeyed the order and read the letter from their Bishops anyway. Then a new letter was crafted and approved that left off the part that seemed to encourage civil disobedience against the commander-in-chief.
This whole issue is now taking on a life of its own and becoming larger than just the original issue. Some protestant leaders are now joining the battle with concern over the Obama administrations penchant towards issuing executive orders that could well end up challenging everyone’s religious freedoms in the future.
Here’s a link to an article by Dr. Albert Mohler (President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) who sees it as a larger issue -an attack on religious freedom itself:
Here’s a couple of quotes from Mohler’s article:
“In actuality, the Obama Administration trampled religious liberty under the feet of the leviathan state, forcing religious employers to do what conscience will not allow. Religious organizations such as schools, colleges, and hospitals will be required to pay for services that they believe to be immoral and disobedient to God.”
“Every president faces decisions that test his character and principles. President Obama has failed this test, and the results will be tragic. He has trampled religious liberty underfoot and has announced his intention to force religious institutions to violate their consciences or go out of business.”
Response: This issue is way bigger than I initially thought. I believe that Dr. Mohler and others are correct in framing it in the context of the larger issue of religious freedom and liberty in America. If Catholics do not have the right to follow their own conscience in matters related to their allied ministries than religious liberty has been diminished on our watch. *Top