Not on Our Watch

Planned Parenthood and friends today are celebrating what they perceive as a victory over the U.S. Catholic bishops. In truth it’s an attack on religious liberty and more Catholic and other freedom-loving Americans need to make their voices heard. And as lay Catholics we should be outraged by both what Cardinal-Designate Timothy Dolan calls a “foul ball” by the administration but by the characterization — that he or we are trying to force something on others, when the bigotry is just the reverse here.

Jeff Fortenberry, a Catholic congressman from Nebraska is among those who have and continue to. In a statement today he says:

“Americans should not be forced by the strong arm of government to pay for drugs and procedures that are not medical necessities and unrelated to America’s health care challenges. This mandate drives up health care costs and is perniciously targeted at religious providers, who selflessly and compassionately serve the poorest and most vulnerable. Under this rule, within the year, religiously-affiliated medical providers would have to fire and refuse to treat persons of other faiths in order to uphold their own deeply-held beliefs—or be forced, by order of Secretary Sebelius, to close their doors rather than violate tenets of their religion. This is forced discrimination. This is wrong. No American should be forced to choose between their faith and their job.”

He continued: “This Administration’s conception of religious liberty is so far out of the mainstream that all nine Supreme Court justices ruled against it just days ago.  Yet rather than adopt the wisdom of the Court’s unanimous decision, the Administration moves to further suppress religious liberties in a politically-calculated decision just days before the nation’s largest gathering of pro-life youth in Washington.”

Fortenberry is author of the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, which would repeal the mandate to preserve conscience rights for health-care professionals, patients, and institutions.

Ed Mechmann, a lawyer in New York, working at the Catholic chancery office, writes:

Religious organizations of all denominations had denounced this plan, and had called for a broader exemption, in order to respect the conscience rights of those who object to being forced to pay for morally offensive drugs and procedures.  Yet the Administration disdained their request, and made no changes in the proposal.

Again, you could not ask for a clearer example of the hostility of this Administration towards religious freedom.  The secularist, anti-life ideology of our rulers will not compromise, and will force all others to conform.

As Grace-Marie Turner, who helped write the book on Obamacare, this is not just attack on religion and religious liberty but civil society itself.

Fortenberry, Mechmann, and Turner are three lay Catholics trying to do something about this administrations disregard for conscience in the public square. How about we join them? As Mechmann puts it: Elections matter.


Categories:Health Care Pro-Life

  • Dennis O’Donovan

    What will it take for the Catholic Bishops of America to understand that the Democratic Party is no longer their friend? The time of the Democratic party being the party that welcomes the immigrants is over. The Democratic Party is now, and has been for many years, the party of the culture of death and of the homosexual agenda. Due in part to a lack of guidance on the part of our Bishops, we have the most pro-abortion president in the history of the U.S. How is Obama rewarding the Bishops? By attacking the Catholic Church. 54% Of Catholics voted for Obama due to lack of guidance in 2008. We are getting virtually no guidance again in 2012. I will leave it for historians to explain why.

  • Feisty

    You use a lot of words to tell us people’s reaction to said “mandate” but stop short of actually telling us (or linking us) to the actual wording of the “mandate” and thereby allowing the reader to fully understand exactly what you’re referring to in your article.

  • Hank

    “Americans should not be forced by the strong arm of government to pay for drugs and procedures that are not medical necessities and unrelated to America’s health care challenges.”

    Just an observation, but Viagra is $20 a pill. By the above logic, isn’t that a drug that’s not medically necessary?

    I do not wish to offend, but rather to point out that there are many interpretations to things and that perhaps in a country with a historical tradition of religious tolerance, there may be room yet for those whose beliefs condone the use of contraception. It would be great to see some compromise on both sides of this argument.

    • Mary

      Viagra is not paid for by many insurances, either. I know, I am a medical professional, and patients many times must pay out of pocket. Sometimes their coverage includes it, sometimes it doesn’t. And you are right, Viagra is NOT a life sustaining drug. It may be life enhancing, but not life sustaining. There are many things people want that are not life sustaining. Most of these medications have no insurance coverage, or if they do have coverage, include a bigger co-pay than life-sustaining meds for diabetes,( including Viagra or contraceptives). Nothing is free of charge, as this mandate would require.

  • Julie T.

    I completely agree with you, Kathleen. The hubris of our current president, and members of his administration, is breathtaking. I will vote for whomever the Republican candidate happens to be, be he Santorum, Romney, or Gingrich. Living in California, I fear my vote will count for naught, but I will cast it all the same. Sometimes I feel only very public protests in a show of solidarity by people of faith–not like the Occupy movement, but like Dr. King’s peaceful, well-organized freedom marches–are needed to wake up the rest of America before it’s too late. Who could have imagined in the ’60s that we might need to march just to retain rights–our core freedoms–conferred by our constitution?

  • k P Winterer

    When will the Church excommunicate Sebelius? Pelosi? Not punishing these anti-Catholics is indirectly telling the faithful that the Church doesn’t care about abortion. The bishops lack of action is scandalous.

    • Kate E.

      When did Jesus ever excommunicate anyone??? Then why are we calling for people to be excommunicated? Because the Catholic church heirachy does not have their way? When the heirachy takes responsibility for breaking the law of the human decency with their enabling of the the pedophiles and the scandal they have caused then maybe I will listen to what the new replacements in the heirachy have to say about this situation.

      The hiearchy,it seems, is very big on telling women not to use contraceptives. They lost their right to do that when they covered up for priest pedophiles. Many feel they have lost their moral authority.

      • Whitney

        Kate, what Jesus “would do” is completely irrelevant. It is also appalling that you suggest you know more than the leaders of our Church about Catholicism.

      • MaryB

        The Catholic Church is opposed to the use of artificial contraception by MEN and WOMEN, not just women! There are some wonderful writings out there which show why this is true–and one of the basic things is that contraception allows men to USE women, as opposed to loving and respecting them as persons, not just things/objects to be used by men for their sexual cravings.

        The Church promotes Natural Family Planning for couples who want to delay childbirth/space children. It causes no physical harm to the man or woman (which is not true of artificial contraceptives drugs/devices such as the Pill and IUD) and it promotes respect and true love among couples.

        As to the sexual abuse scandal in the Church, are you aware that the rate of sexual abuse of children by teachers in the public school systems in our country is actually higher? Three cases went to court and resulted in convictions in my small rural town in just the past 2 years! Abusive teachers were moved from district to district, etc. all over the country. Yes, this is horrible, but I don’t see the same type of reaction against the school systems as I have seen against the Catholic Church, and why is that?

      • Antonio A. Badilla

        Jesus did not excommunicate but others did it in His name in the Scriptures, so, the idea that a Catholic bishop or the Pope can’t excommunicate because, somehow, that would not be in keeping with the Scriptures, is false. As a government official Sibelius is free to do whatever she pleases, but as a Catholic she can’t do what she did without facing possible excommunication from the Church she claims to belong to.
        Has a “particular’ bishop who was involved in pedophilic acts or covered them up, renounced his moral authority to teach, especially on moral issues? I believe you have a good argument. However, can you say the same of the vast majority of bishops in the entire Church? Deninitely not!

      • Del

        Jesus excommunicated the money-lenders from the Temple. Jesus excommunicated Judas from the Last Supper. Jesus excommunicated most of His disciples when they refused His teaching about eating His Flesh and drinking His Blood (John 6:66). Jesus threatened His own Apostles with excommunication, if they would not believe Him.

        Meanwhile, the few bishops who were guilty of sheltering the homosexual predators have been removed and disciplined, and that was a decade ago. Get with the new millenium.

        Contraception is a grave sin, whether or not our Catholic bishops have your respect.

      • jennfire

        they are not covering up now and are deeply ashamed of those Priests that harmed the children. Two wrongs do not make a right. Forcing the Church to pay for contraceptives is wrong.

      • Steven Reyes

        Jesus expelled the money changers from the Temple with a whip and condemned Pharisees. Not Christ teaches this to the Apostles in Matthew 18:15-18

        15 But if your brother shall offend against you, go, and rebuke him between you and him alone. If he shall hear you, you shall gain your brother. 16 And if he will not hear you, take with you one or two more: that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. 17 And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to you as the heathen and publican. 18 Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.

        The Church has full authority to excommunicate people who perniciously are contrary to God’s Law.

    • Irishtroubadour

      Kate, remember what Jesus said about the sheep and the goats. Those people have goats written all over them.

  • Joe M

    They want to have this ideological battle. We have to make those responsible pay for this politically on election day.



Receive our updates via email.