Posted by Christopher Johnson | Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 27 Comments

Barack Obama.  Bringing people together since 2008:

Now, suddenly, we have headlines about the president’s “war on the Catholic Church.” Mostly they stem from a Health and Human Services mandate that forces every employer to provide employees with health coverage that not only covers birth control and sterilization, but makes them free. Predictably, the move has drawn fire from the Catholic bishops.

You might not believe who else is angry about it.

Less predictable—and far more interesting—has been the heat from the Catholic left, including many who have in the past given the president vital cover. In a post for the left-leaning National Catholic Reporter, Michael Sean Winters minces few words. Under the headline “J’ACCUSE,” he rightly takes the president to the woodshed for the politics of the decision, for the substance, and for how “shamefully” it treats “those Catholics who went out on a limb” for him.

The message Mr. Obama is sending, says Mr. Winters, is “that there is no room in this great country of ours for the institutions our Church has built over the years to be Catholic in ways that are important to us.”

Mr. Winters is not alone. The liberal Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles, blogged that he “cannot imagine a more direct and frontal attack on freedom of conscience”—and he urged people to fight it. Another liberal favorite, Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, Fla., has raised the specter of “civil disobedience” and vowed that he will drop coverage for diocesan workers rather than comply. They are joined in their expressions of discontent by the leaders of Catholic Relief Services and Catholic Charities, which alone employs 70,000 people.

Interesting.  Whether all this translates into reduced enthusiasm for the President this fall among at least one group of liberals, however small, remains to be seen.

27 Comments to A UNITER, NOT A DIVIDER

January 24, 2012

I can hear it now in the Oval Office:

“Art, I don’t see what the problem is. The Episcopalians are all for it, and they’re Catholics.”
“Um, no sir, not exactly.”
“Well, they dress just like the Catholics. You mean to tell me my friend Gene isn’t a Catholic bishop?”
“No sir.”
And that Schori lady isn’t a Catholic Bishop, either?”
“Well what is she then?”
“She’s a Presiding Bishop.”
“What?? What’s that? Art, put it in a religious context I understand.”
“Sir, imagine a female Ayatollah…”

January 24, 2012

Put not your trust in princes…

Steve T.
January 24, 2012

I’m just amazed and thrilled that fellow Catholics whose Catholicity I long doubted were this upset over this issue. I never expected the individuals named would have been so upset over an issue that opposition to which has long been the hallmark of the liberal Catholic: contraception. I’m used to reading liberal Catholics bashing the Church’s stance on contraception. I instinctively assumed that they would welcome any policy that forced change on the Church. I’m tremendously heartened that they are so aggrieved by Caesar’s attempt to dictate to God.

Ed the Roman
January 24, 2012

It will make it more likely that some will decide that, no, they cannot go along with the political tribalism of their fathers.

January 24, 2012
FW Ken
January 24, 2012

Here’s the text of that letter with the complete list of signatories.


It should be noted that the only Catholic thing they lead is the Democratic Caucus of Universities ”in the Catholic tradition”.

FW Ken
January 24, 2012

More interesting presidential news. The commentary isn’t the point – look at the numbers.


January 24, 2012

Did you see the part about Notre Dame? Its thanks for sinking its principles and inviting Obama to speak is the choice between knuckling under or paying a $10 million fine under Obamacare for not providing insurance for 5500+ employees.

January 24, 2012

Steve T, I too am heartened to see a lot of “the usual suspects” disagreeing very vehemently with the White House on this issue; like yourself, I would have expected them to handwave it away as “Can’t impose our morals on others, don’t have to use the insurance if you don’t want to, must consider non-Catholics employed in such institutions, besides it’s about time Rome got with the modern world”.

Instead, when I see a nun writing on the topic, I automatically imagine it’s another “Patriarchal church tries to repress women and puts their health at risk” apologia, and it turns out to be “This is wrong, you can’t force conscience like this, you can’t dictate Catholic morals have to change”. Pleasantly surprised, to say the least!

Daniel Muller
January 24, 2012

When you’ve lost the National Catholic Distorter,

January 24, 2012

I guess it’s interesting to see this response but forgive me for thinking that if they were too stupid to see it coming they are all in the wrong position. I know Pelosi’s a liar but when she bragged that the bishops had come to her begging for national health care, I believed her. Wait till they’re told that Catholic facilities must provide abortions. And Nancy thanking St. Joseph for it.

January 24, 2012

Steve T,
I don’t think it’s the content of the action. I’m sure the Dem advisers said “most Catholics use contraception and Liberal Catholics have no problem with that.” And that’s likely true. What wasn’t true was the unspoken correllary, “No-one who would have voted for or supported us will be offended. There’s no political blowback on this.

It’s the naked affront of it. The arrogant dismissal of all objections as being meaningless and without substance, a mere excuse to subjugate women. Not so much that the Obamaites think they are right, but that they don’t even have to listen to the Church and that they can dictate to her.

Most of the Liberal Catholics I know are soft on doctrine, but they do love Christ, and they do love the Church, even when they disagree. People dislike it when their mother is insulted.

Allen Lewis
January 25, 2012

From the article:
“The irony, of course, is that the ruling is being imposed by a Catholic Health and Human Services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, working in an administration with a Catholic vice president, Joe Biden. “

May I submit that neither Ms. Sibelius nor the Vice President is a very good example of a Catholic?

The author mentions that the Democratic party is turning into a party which is hostile to faith. Sounds a lot like it to me….

Allen Lewis
January 25, 2012

The President, it seems, is hell-bent on preserving “a woman’s right to choose” at any cost. Let him. It just demonstrates how out-of-touch he actually is.

FW Ken
January 25, 2012

Begging its probably too strong a word, but the bishops definitely supported the notion of universal health insurance, thinking they could get the moral opt-outs they wanted, which would satisfy their notions of social justice and not violate the life principals. I don’t agree that insurance is the best easy to provide health care, but that’s not the point: they got played by the most pro-choice government you can imagine (God grant there’s none worse!).

And I’ve read that Sibelius is restricted from Communion by her bishop and its honored in Washington. If its true.

unreconstructed rebel
January 25, 2012

When one lies with dogs, one rises with fleas.

January 25, 2012

The problem with the NCReporter (as opposed to NCRegister) crowd is that the 40 or so “church official and theologians” are already in denial mode. See the “anti-racism” open letter they sent to Newt and Santorum. So, despite MSW’s misgivings, the rest of his audience is falling in step as Obama and bigots like Amanda Marcotte desired, expected, and planned. Lovely…just freakin’ lovely.

Therese Z
January 25, 2012

And thank heavens that we have Dolan as the head of the USCCB. He is a wonderful combination of mouth and faith and steel. He calls like he sees it, and I think the public will respond to his public resistance against this, because he speaks so winningly.

January 25, 2012

Dear Therese Z.,

From your lips to God’s ears.

January 25, 2012

About Sebelius, it may be true.

Is Pelosi similarly restricted?

FW Ken
January 25, 2012

On a slightly different note, maybe even off-topic : I ‘ve noticed that NBC news has gone into full campaign mode with lots of visuals of a vigorous young president catching a football, charming the crowd crooning a tune, and getting more positive polling. More significant, the economic news has turned remarkably – nay, miraculously – positive. Economic news is never positive.

I quit CBS news over Dan Rather, a morally degenerate liar who was not fired, but still shows his lying face on the lying network.

I quit ABC news over Charles Gibson’s hostile interview with Sarah Palin (of whom I ‘m not a great fan), and a growing realization that the network was the official network of the Democratic Party.

Fox News doesn’t have a report fitting into that time slot, and there is too much yelling on Fox.

So what’s a boy to do for his news?

January 25, 2012

Ken, do the only thing you can do — turn down the volume when it gets loud.

It’s a little like holding your nose when you vote. You may not be totally OK with it, but with it you’re a lot closer to the good stuff when you do.

January 25, 2012

Fox News had an excellent one-hour report focusing on political news at 6 Eastern, repeating at midnight Eastern (I think). You can watch the first forty minutes; the last twenty is a panel discussion. The Fox News hour at 7 Eastern with Shepard Smith can be a trifle annoying but does cover general news reasonably well.

FW Ken
January 26, 2012

Thanks for the info. I’m home early today and will watch the earlier show.

At the risk of a
Really hijacking the thread, here’s a great slideshow of the March for Life, CBS style.

FW Ken
January 26, 2012

CBS has added prolife pix from the march before and after the original entirely pro-choice selection.

January 27, 2012

MSW may have been angry, but if you read the comments to his article, most NCRers don’t see anything wrong.

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