Last Thursday, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., and Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore appeared on EWTN’s The World Over to discuss the twelve lawsuits filed by Catholic organizations against the Obama administration over the contraception mandate. (I’ve embedded the video at the bottom of this post.) Throughout the interview, Wuerl and Lori sounded familiar notes — this is about religious liberty, not contraception; the mandate constitutes an unprecedented government intrusion into the life of the church; the definition of “religious employer” must go. But they sounded some false notes too.
Posts Tagged ‘President Barack Obama’
In our January 13 editorial, we criticized a ruling from the Department of Health and Human Services that would require all employers to include “contraception and sterilization coverage in their health-insurance plans, including those provided to employees of religious institutions.” Only religious organizations that primarily employ and serve co-religionists, and whose mission is to inculcate its values, according to the “interim final rule,” could be exempt from the mandate. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, we wrote,
argues that compelling the church to pay for plans that cover services the church has long held to be immoral violates the religious-freedom guarantee of the First Amendment. Catholic hospitals, universities, and social-service agencies see their mission as caring for people of all faiths or none, and they employ many non-Catholics. Given this understanding of mission, inevitably there will be a degree of entanglement between any large religious institution and the modern state. That should not be an excuse, however, for imposing secular values on more traditional religious communities.
So, we concluded, President Obama ought to expand the religious exemption to include organizations like universities and hospitals. Apparently he was not persuaded. (Bear with me, this is going to be a long post.)
Just posted to the home page, “A President, Not a Ref”:
President Barack Obama has finally decided to take his own side in the philosophical struggle that is the true engine of this nation’s budget debate.
After months of mixed signals about what he was willing to fight for, Obama finally laid out his purposes and his principles. His approach has difficulties of its own, and much will depend on execution. But the president was unequivocal in arguing that the roots of our fiscal problems lie in the tax cuts of the past decade that we could not afford. And he raised the stakes in our politics to something more fundamental than dry numbers on a page or computer screen.
“We are rugged individualists, a self-reliant people with a healthy skepticism of too much government,” he declared. “But there has always been another thread running throughout our history–a belief that we are all connected; and that there are some things we can only do together, as a nation. We believe, in the words of our first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, that through government, we should do together what we cannot do as well for ourselves.”
Read the rest right here.