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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Obama losing with Catholics? Mixed results

Jack Kemp

Obama may have lost support with Catholics who read this website and The Anchoress, But Austin Hill, writing at, offers an alternative view of many American Catholics surrendering unto Caesar what is God's. We will only know the result of what has occured this past week on Election Day 2012.

Here is the link to the full article and some quotes.

After touching-off a global fury with his ruling on healthcare expenditures within religious organizations, the President announced last Friday that he would allow an “attempt to accommodate” (notice that he did not propose to “exempt”) religious organizations with the mandate. Rather than requiring religious groups to pay for birth control, Barack Obama plans instead to require all insurance companies to offer birth control to all women that they insure, and to do so at no extra cost to their customers.

Reaction from prolife leaders to the “accommodation” was swift and negative, while many pundits still argued that it was un-constitutional. Yet the non-profit, Washington, DC-based Catholics United, Inc., offered its blessing on Mr. Obama, noting that “the new regulation will ensure that Catholic hospitals, universities and social service providers that are religiously opposed to contraception and sterilization do not have to provide or even refer for those services, while also requiring insurance companies provide contraceptive services free of charge to any enrollee who wishes to have the coverage.”

And herein lays President Obama’s political victory: he has yet again driven a wedge between some of the Catholic laity, and many of the Catholic clergy. He jabbed a stick in the collective eye of Catholic Church hierarchy over teachings that some Catholics don’t take seriously to begin with, and he now has at least some Catholic lay-organizations praising him for being reasonable and negotiable – even as Catholic Clergy remain disgruntled, and “un-reasonable.”


It’s disgraceful and frightening – and it’s brilliant politics by the President. Catholics and pundits like to pretend that the Church is monolithic on “sanctity of life” issues, but it is not. This was apparent when Father John Jenkins invited President Obama to speak at Notre Dame University in 2009.


But notice, further, what is being ignored by both the faithful, and not-so-faithful: a loss of personal freedom. The President of the United States is using his bully pulpit to force private businesses (insurance companies) to provide a service, while forbidding those businesses from being compensated for it. This tramples upon the right to private property, and our most basic understandings of human freedom, yet Catholics United not only fails to question this, they actually have blessed it – and they don’t seem to even consider what the constitutional ramifications of this might be.


Yet today, many American Catholic clergymen remain ambivalent to their Church’s recent teachings on economics and liberty. Many of them blessed Barack Obama’s candidacy, willingly handed-over more control of private economic resources to our government by approving of Obamacare, and now seem shocked that a politician is using that power in selfish and destructive ways.

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