Tuesday, February 7, 2012

And The Hate Machine Rolls On: HHS, Obama and the Catholic Church

by S. Paul Forrest

As part of an ever growing controversy, the Catholic Church has thrown a penalty flag in the game against Health and Human Services upon its handing down of a decision to not expand the religious employer exemptions for HHS mandated preventative health services for its employees working in Church affiliated institutions like Hospitals, Hospices and Charity Organizations. Here we go again: Another wing of the Obama hate machine has found a niche to nest in and Martyr’s Cross to drag along the ground. 

As if taking a page directly out of the neo-conservative playbook, the Catholic Church has concentrated their efforts to condemn the current administration for violating their conscience and their religious Liberties with the recent H.S.S. decision.  From right wing politicians to red state talk show personalities and Clergymen of the Catholic Church, the call of "foul" has been fervently exclaimed against Obama's "continued assault on Catholics".

In an editorial written for the Wall Street Journal, Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan is archbishop of New York City and president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, argued that the new mandate is an offense against religious freedom. As also reported by Annunciation Radio;

“Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), sharply criticized the decision by the Obama administration in which it “ordered almost every employer and insurer in the country to provide sterilization and contraceptives; including some abortion-inducing drugs, in their health plans.” He made the statement in a web video posted at: http://bcove.me/ob5itz9v.”

Part of the mandated health insurance policy which the Church must employ is for employees at indirectly involved organizations and only provides employees with contraceptives if they so desire to take them.  Somehow, the Church has managed to turn the issue into the perception that Obama is forcing Catholics to become sterilized or have abortions against their will and their faith. Given this argument, one can only imagine women and men forced to the ground and fed abortion pills, birth control and water boarded until they use condoms.  What a horrifying image, wouldn’t you say?

As was to be expected or possibly even calculated, the right has wasted no time in attacking Obama on this topic. As Michelle Malkin states; “President Obama and his radical feminist enforcers have had it in for Catholic medical providers from the get-go.” Really?  Now we have Feminist Radicals on the March? Oh, the horror!  What’s next; liberal women wanting insurance to cover the Hospital expenses incurred after a dis-honest rape”?

Forbes writer, Rick Ungar is one who has helped to find the reason in this insanity of this fight with the following information in his article The Truth About Contraception, Obamacare And The Church”;

  • For starters, all churches—or any other type of house of worship— are expressly exempted from the requirement that they offer health insurance to their employees that includes any provision for contraception. The issue under discussion involves whether other entities owned and operated by a church should be obligated to do so under the law.
  • Nobody is, in any way, obligated to acquire or use contraceptive devices. The regulation applies only to what insurance companies must offer-not to who must take advantage of the benefit. Thus, if your religious belief bars you from using contraception, then nothing will get in the way of you and your religious beliefs. You may have the benefit available to you in your insurance coverage, but nothing is going to require you to take advantage of the benefit.
  • The law does not require medical care providers to prescribe contraceptives. If the religious belief of a physician or other health care worker is such that they do not believe in contraception for religious reasons, nothing in the law –or the regulations-would require a doctor or care worker to prescribe a contraceptive device.
  • Drugs, such as RU486 that cause a woman to abort a pregnancy, are not included in the law or regulations. Nothing would require a health insurance company to include this in their policy offerings and, certainly, nothing would require anyone to take such a pill.
  • It’s not like this is something new as over 50 percent of Americans already live in states that require health insurance companies to provide contraception in their policy offerings. Further, states like CaliforniaNew York and North Carolina have the identical religious exemptions as have been promulgated by the Department of Health & Human Services while some states (Wisconsin, Colorado and Georgia) provide no religious exemption whatsoever. Thus, one wonders why religious organizations in these states have not previously raised a fuss.
It should also be noted that most women, including 98 percent of Catholic women, have used contraception.”  If one would look at the statistics for one moment, it is clear what this is all about: More right wing, Christian coalition, dark ages cometh again, political ideology…nothing more.”

The major issue which has fallen into another ring of hell along with the ongoing fight against Planned Parenthood, is the covering in this plan of "Plan B" or the “morning after” pill.  The Christian right has denounced this medication because in their opinion, it constitutes abortion or more dramatically stated, murder most foul.  These same people have claimed that Obama is promoting Planned Parenthood and the evil it represents but they have been singing the same song since the 80’s regardless of who was President at the time.

With all this talk of abortion and the rise of evil, Liberal Feminists pushing abortion pills on innocent Catholics (laughs to self), one would be inclined to believe it was Obama who created the abortion pill. Facts though, as usual, consistently escape the mind of the neo-con, Christian.  In fact, and just in case you were wondering, “on August 24, 2006, the FDA approved nonprescription behind-the-counter access to Plan B from pharmacies staffed by a licensed pharmacist for women 18 or older; a prescription-only form of Plan B was made available for younger females aged 17 and younger.” (Wikipedia)  Does anyone remember who was president at this time?  Let me remind you: George H. W. Bush.

At the end of the long, crazed day and after all the vitriol is said and done, these events of late represent nothing more than religious and politically ideological attempts by Christian Right to demonize anyone who differs in opinion or party affiliation than they.  This is nothing new to most, but what has changed in the attacks of the past three years is the vehemence with which they are being employed against the current President as if no other event in history had ever preceded his Administration’s policy enactments.

The current attempt to raise our spiritual ire against the “anti-Christian” dogma of this President has in the past been proven to be and will most assuredly in the future be proven again to be, nothing more than one more desperate attempt to discredit our President by those who would hate him for condemning their beliefs for his own (and the millions of Americans who agree with him).  No matter the topic or the policy involved, be it from a past President either Democrat or Republican, the right will find a problem with America and as sure as the day is blessed, blame President Obama for it, without hesitation.

And the Hate Machine rolls on…

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