Some Liberal Catholics Scramble to Justify Obama Decision to Force Catholics to Violate Their Conscience

Obama and the Democrats are intent on creating a society where pregnancy is treated as a disease that must be “prevented” by contraceptives, sterilization and abortifacient drugs. This prevention must be paid for by all taxpayers, including the employers affiliated with the largest identifiable organization opposed to these unethical “preventions”: The Catholic Church.

If we refuse, we are given fines and open ourselves to potentially harsher consequences.

So argues Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan in the Wall Street Journal today:

The rule forces insurance companies to provide these services without a co-pay, suggesting they are “free”—but it is naïve to believe that. There is no free lunch, and you can be sure there’s no free abortion, sterilization or contraception. There will be a source of funding: you.

Some liberal Catholics are scrambling to defend this direct assault on conscience and religious liberty. Patrick Whelan of Catholic Democrats tries to justify the Obama mandate this way:

“…we know Catholic women, and by extension their families, use oral contraception at the same rate as the overall population. For over half a century, since the issuance of Humanae Vitae, Catholics and Catholic theologians have taken issue with the Church’s teaching on birth control.”

This is a red herring. The question is not to what degree Catholics have chosen to ignore the Church’s teaching on contraception. This is about government forcing Catholics who do agree with the Church’s teaching to violate their consciences. Surely this fact is not lost on Patrick Whelan. And just as surely, he’s choosing to ignore the real issue.

Here’s another liberal Catholic attempting to change the subject:

James Salt, executive director of Catholics United, a group supportive of the health-care overhaul law, said the contraception debate “is an issue that rank-and-file or pew-sitting Catholics aren’t spending a lot of time thinking about.” But he said he expected the bishops to maintain vocal opposition to the decision, keeping the controversy alive during the 2012 campaign. “This has the potential to be a major distraction for Catholic voters,” he said. [WSJ]

He wishes.

Does he honestly thing Catholics won’t care that their Churches and public institutions are being forced by the government to subsidize things they don’t believe in? Apparently the position of Catholics United is that religious liberty — and by extension, Catholic liberty — is no more than a “distraction” from the liberal agenda. I think we all appreciate what his clarification reveals about his liberal Catholic mindset.

Bill McGurn, also writing in the Wall Street Journal, argues that faithful Catholics should hope that liberal Catholics unite with us in standing up for religious liberty. I entirely agree. As I wrote yesterday, this Obama mandate should serve as a litmus test for Catholics to reveal where their true priorities and allegiances are placed. I will continue to highlight examples of liberal Catholics failing this litmus test (as I did above) and when they pass it (as I did in my post yesterday). Here is how McGurn states his hope:

“…for those who care about issues such as life and marriage and religious liberty that so roil our body politic, we ought to wish Catholic progressives well in their intra-liberal fight. For we shall never arrive at the consensus we hope for if we allow our politics to be divided between a party of faith and a party of animosity to faith.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself: supporting the Obama mandate is equivalent to harboring animosity to faith. Whatever our differing views are about the Catholic faith, we must be in agreement that animosity towards the faith is completely unacceptable.

As Congressman Chris Smith, a pro-life hero in the U.S. House recently said: “The mask is off. It’s about time we woke up.”

What will it take to rouse liberal Catholics from their slumber? Simple: it will take all of us faithful Catholics promising to loudly wake them.

UPDATE: Even the liberal Washington Post editorial board agrees that the administration should respect religious exemptions.



  • Pingback: Pro-Life or “Anti-Abortion”? Who Decides??? | catholicboyrichard

  • LRoy

    In my book, if you justify Obama’s decision, you are not a “true” Catholic. That’s it.

  • Mrs Baker

    Peter Kreeft says it well in his talk “Winning the Culture War”-politicizing of faith is a handy tool in the enemy’s bag of tricks. When we become “die-hard” Democrats or become married to any party and primarily define ourselves as such, we make it clear which master we serve. Do you serve Christ, and consequently his Bride the Church, or do you serve a political party? Who is your Messiah?
    If nothing else should be clear from the Old Testament, reliance upon politics before God is a death-trap. All those liberal Catholics should re-read the story of the Israelites. Swallow your pride and admit that the man you fought to elect in “hope for change” was a poor choice! And turn to reliance upon God before we end up in “exile” for our sin.



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