Enforce the Law? Who, Me?

On Wednesday, as Thom reported, the Obama Administration declared that it was abdicating its duty (and President Obama’s campaign promises) to defend the federal law definition of marriage. 

Last week, as “liberal” Commonweal  “Catholic” David Gibson gleefully reports, the Obama administration rescinded Bush administration regulations that did nothing but enforce federal statutes which specifically protect health providers, in certain specific instances, from being forced to participate in activities “contrary to his religious beliefs or moral convictions“–any activities, including contraception and abortifacients that cause early abortions.

Unsurprisingly, Gibson defends Obama’s repeal of regulations to actually enforce the law regarding such things as “providing the emergency contraceptive Plan B,” “assisting on infertility treatments,” “prescribing birth control,” and other activities, regardless of the fact that ALL religious beliefs and moral convictions are included in the law.

Contrast Gibson with the real Catholics at the USCCB, who in criticizing Obama’s refusal to enforce marriage law point out that, “Support for actual marriage is not bigotry, but instead an eminently reasonable, common judgment affirming the foundational institution of civil society.  Any suggestion by the government that such a judgment represents ‘discrimination’ is a serious threat to the religious liberty of marriage supporters nationwide.” following end-of-life directives by patients if they conflicted with a health worker’s beliefs

Heck, contrast Gibson and Obama with . . . Obama: speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast three weeks ago: “ultimately what matters is not what other people say about us but whether we’re being true to our conscience and true to our God.” 

So conscience is inviolable for Obama, and it is inviolable for dissenting Catholic theologians that Commonweal idolizes, but when federal law specifically protects conscience governing all religious beliefs and moral convictions including the refusal to participate in abortifacient birth control, Commonweal “Catholics” and the President are glad to let those consciences be violated? 

Liberal “Catholic” blogs are mostly mum so far on the specific issue of Obama’s marriage abdication, but based on their approval of Obama’s conscience abdication, I’m not getting my hopes up for a stalwart defense of Catholic principle.



  • Pete

    Matt, in essence you are saying that in addition to enforcing laws the executive branch has the duty to spend our tax dollars in courtrooms across the USA, participating in lawsuits and arguing that such laws are constitutional. I don’t think that is true. Do you have any precedent, authority, or is this just your hope. I think you are wrong on this, but would be glad to know otherwise.

  • Matt Bowman

    Greg if someone postures himself as a Catholic journalist and uses that posture to fight for forcing pro-life medical professionals to dispense abortifacients, he gets scare quotes and he deserves to.

  • Greg Smith

    Matt – Please consider that putting quotation marks around Catholic when describing a person puts this whole blog on the slippery slope to Culmeny. Other blogs have descended into name calling at the level of a grade school playground. I’d hate to see it happen here.



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