Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


Smoke and Mirrors (or how stupid does he think we are?)

February 10th, 2012, Promulgated by benanderson

Today the airwaves praised President Barack Obama for his great willingness to compromise in a heated debate. If you filled out the petition “Rescind the HHS Dept. Mandate Requiring Catholic Employers to Provide Contraceptives/Abortifacients to Their Employees” at, you likely received this official White House response  (don’t click this link if you plan on sleeping soon because your blood will boil) in your email today:

Now, as we move to implement this rule, however, we’ve been mindful that there’s another principle at stake here –- and that’s the principle of religious liberty, an inalienable right that is enshrined in our Constitution. As a citizen and as a Christian, I cherish this right.

The right to religious liberty will be fully protected,

Sounds pretty decent, right? Except that it is a lie. What exactly is the “accommodation” that President Obama has made? Get this – contraception will be provided for “free” by the insurers. Of course, the free contraception (and other abortifacients) are not free to all – only those people who are in the plan. So, if you, as an employer, buy the plan for your employees then they receive the “free” contraception. If you don’t buy the plan they don’t receive the free contraception. But don’t worry, you aren’t actually paying for that part of the plan. Got that? I didn’t think so.

The White House’s email finishes with 4 endorsements – two from the “Catholic” side (Catholics United and the Catholic Health Association) and two from the culture of death side (NARAL and Planned Parenthood) which is supposed to demonstrate the goodness of the great compromiser. Well, Mr President, I’ve got some better names to share with you from the Catholic side. Former Vatican Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon, Princeton Prof. Robert George, Notre Dame Law Prof. Carter Snead, Catholic University of America President John Garvey, and EPPC Fellow Yuval Levin issued the following response:

It is no answer to respond that the religious employers are not “paying” for this aspect of the insurance coverage. For one thing, it is unrealistic to suggest that insurance companies will not pass the costs of these additional services on to the purchasers. More importantly, abortion-drugs, sterilizations, and contraceptives are a necessary feature of the policy purchased by the religious institution or believing individual. They will only be made available to those who are insured under such policy, by virtue of the terms of the policy.

Other responses (shamelessly stolen from Fr Z’s site):

Bishop Tobin of Rhode Island:

“At first reading, the so-called “accommodation” offered by the Obama Administration seems to fall short of the requirements of the moral law,” said Bishop Tobin. “Although the discussions about this matter will continue, the bottom line is this: the government cannot require religious institutions or individuals to operate in a way that violates their convictions. Our nation cherishes religious freedom. By what authority does the President of the United States seek to impose this immoral policy? This is the United States, not North Korea.”

Bishop Zubiek of Pittsburgh (video) calls Obama’s accommodations “smoke and mirrors”.

Note: People cannot seem to get this story right. John Delano, the reporter in the above video, posed the dilemma this way:
1) Is a woman entitled to birth control no matter where she works
2) can religious institutions … deny their employees access.

You, John, and most of America are completely fumbling this story! Apparently professional newspeople are using this opportunity to prove that bloggers who work for free are actually more qualified at reporting news than they are.  No employer is attempting to deny women access to birth control here. Let me rephrase this dilemma for you:

1) gov’t can force employers to buy any products or services for their employees the gov’t says they must
2) employers are free to choose to offer whatever benefits they wish to their employees

Which one is freedom and which one is tyranny? It’s amazing how many people have this story completely backward. The MSM is doing their best to add to the confusion.

And here’s Jimmy Akin’s response: Don’t Be Deceived! Evil Obama Policy Now Even MORE Evil!


12 Responses to “Smoke and Mirrors (or how stupid does he think we are?)”

  1. avatar CPT Tom says:

    Father Z adds comments.

    It is good to see (most) of the Bishops stand up against the Administration. It would also be good if some of the Catholic Organisations and Politicians either rescind their support OR they are excommunicated in a very public and dramatic way to reflect the public nature of their scandal and treachery. I am of course in favour of the St Thomas Becket excommunication ceremony. Book, Bell, and Candle.

  2. avatar Thinkling says:

    I liked Phil Lawler’s (catholicculture) suggestion:

    Bishops: “Sr. Keehan, if your CHA endorses the mandate, it will be thenceforth known as HA.”

  3. avatar Nerina says:

    I call it a rhetorical and accounting “shell game.” Your question is exactly right, “how stupid does he think we are?”

    Let’s not forget that Sr. Carol Keehan is one of the Catholic coalition that provided cover for Obamacare. Is anyone surprised by her turnaround? Phil Lawler has a great suggestion.

  4. avatar Dr. K says:

    How long before Fr. Jenkins of Notre Dame approves of the Obama mandate modification?

  5. avatar Jim says:

    The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, under the leadership of Archbishop Dolan, officially rejected Obama’s compromise on Friday night.

  6. avatar annonymouse says:

    Dr. K – I was wondering the same thing.

    But to his credit, I heard from my source that Fr. Jenkins was alerted on Friday as to the forthcoming “compromise” and rather than make a statement of support (like the CHA nun did), Notre Dame University referred the White House to Archbishop Dolan. In other words, despite the apparent attempt on the President’s part to get Notre Dame’s support (and further isolate the bishops), Fr. Jenkins would have none of it.

    Perhaps Notre Dame has learned something through their experience with the President. Perhaps they realize how badly they’ve been burned / how much they’ve been played.

  7. avatar annonymouse says:

    Dr. K – Actually, with the help of Google, I found that Archbishop Dolan said in an NCRonline article that Jenkins referred the White House to the Archbishop. If that’s the case, kudos to Jenkins.

    However, going to the Notre Dame website, there is a link on the home page to their wishy washy Friday statement (which has not been updated despite the Bishops’ strong condemnations):

  8. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    or perhaps ND is like a lot of politicians… tell the most amount of people what they want to hear. When in a situation where 2 sides disagree, say something ambiguous so they both think you’re on their side. This keeps up the donation dollars.

  9. avatar Hopefull says:

    Dumb question? maybe….

    Can someone explain to me why a movement hasn’t begun to impeach Obama for violation of our first amendment rights and/or conspiracy to violate our first amendment rights? I don’t get it, and would appreciate input. I realize lawsuits to reverse the “mandate” are urgent and important, but so too is dealing with the other ramifications. Huh?

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