Skip to comments.Are Catholic Leaders Attacking Obama to Help Republicans?
Posted on 05/25/2012 2:35:43 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
E. J. Dionne, a liberal columnist for The Washington Post, suggested in a Monday blog post that Catholic leaders who are opposing the Obama administration's birth control mandate could be doing so to help Republicans in the November elections.
Dionne was responding to the Monday lawsuits from 43 Catholic agencies. They sued the Obama administration over the requirement to provide coverage for contraception, sterilization and some abortifacient drugs in their health plans. These agencies did not qualify for the religious exemption because the exemption defines religious groups as only those that primarily hire and serve coreligionists, and for which religious worship or instruction is not their primary function.
The U.S. Catholic Church will also focus on religious freedom issues for an event called "Fortnight for Freedom," to be held for two weeks this summer.
Responding to the news of the lawsuits, Dionne wrote that he could not understand the timing of the suits. President Obama has backed down from his original proposal, offered a compromise and shown a willingness to negotiate, Dionne noted.
"Many bishops seem to want this fight," Dionne wrote.
In February, Obama offered to change his original proposal. Religious organizations who object to the mandate would not have to provide coverage, but insurance companies must provide it to any of their employees who want it without any additional co-pay or premium increase. Negotiations have also continued between the White House and religious organizations that have objections.
"There is certainly a case to pushing the administration to rewrite the definition of religious organizations under the health care regulations, but no reason to treat President Obama as an enemy of religious freedom," Dionne wrote. "The bishops' 'Fortnight for Freedom' campaign is looking more and more like a direct intervention in this fall's elections."
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has said that Obama's proposed change does not go far enough. They worry that the insurance companies would spread the cost of the birth control services through higher premiums on everyone, which would mean they are still paying for the services. Also, the bishops say that the administration has not shown a willingness to change the definition of what is a religious organization under the exemption.
The narrow exemption is an aspect of the birth control mandate that Catholic leaders find particularly offensive. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the USCCB, made this point Tuesday in an interview on "CBS This Morning."
"I worry that members of [Obama's] administration might not particularly understand our horror at the restricted nature of the exemption that they're giving us," Dolan said.
In a Monday interview with The Christian Post, Sister Mary Ann Walsh said that the negotiations with the White House have not been promising.
Father John Jenkins, president of Notre Dame, one of the institutions that filed suit, made a similar point this week.
"Although I do not question the good intentions and sincerity of all involved in these discussions, progress has not been encouraging and an announcement seeking comments on how to structure any accommodation ... provides little in the way of a specific, substantive proposal or a definite timeline for resolution," Jenkins said in a statement.
Jenkins also explained that they decided to sue now because the process will last months and they need to plan for what will happen with future health plans.
Regarding the claim that Catholic leaders want to help Republicans get elected, Walsh noted that Catholic leaders have recently opposed Republicans on budget cuts to programs for the poor.
In addition to criticizing Republicans on federal budget priorities, the USCCB has taken liberal positions on nuclear weapons, the death penalty, immigration, landmines, and the Cuba embargo in just the last two months, an analysis of USCCB press releases reveals.
We’ll know when the discussion becomes about immigration and welfare, and protecting our nation interests.
According to EJ, the only possible reason for opposing the policies of a half-Arabic POTUS is because of racism.
The tactic being employed by the White House and obviously being disseminated as talking points is to accuse the bishops of being Republicans. It’s possible that many clergy will recoil in horror at the accusation, but at the very least liberal Catholics will be reassured that it’s okay to vote abortion because the Bishops are evil right wingers not worthy of listening to.
I'd just like to make the point that the leftist dirtbags in the press are saying both those things.
When Liberals witness a genuine 'moral stance'; they are of course, suspect; as they can only filter the world through their own damaged prism by which no real 'moral' exists.
The Left; Et Al; are a pathetic lot. They begin in the 'inferior'; and translate life, ever after by same.
The Lynch Mob Media is lying and distorting? Say it ain’t so!!!
E. J. Dionne needs to be given an ultimatum. He says he serves two masters, liberal politics while claiming to be a Catholic. Though he apparently has already chosen which master he truly serves, he should be asked to no longer call himself a Catholic.
No, just following the Constitution. Something the democRats don't believe.
“Catholic leaders” are probably 99.9% Dem voters, so I would say, no, they’re not trying to promote the GOP in any way, shape or form. They’re trying to protect the Church.
When an administration is too liberal for even the American Catholic Church...that is saying a lot.
Any help that Republicans get from the response by the Catholic leadership (and a lot of their followers) to attacks by the Obama regime, is purely incidental and not at all the objective in this death-match. They simply cannot absorb the frontal assault without striking back, much as the Catholic Church has never tolerated kings and despots in the past that have tried to dismantle the teachings of the Pope and Holy See.
The Catholic Church, and their separated brethren, the other Christian professions of faith, have successfully thrown out excessively restrictive regimes, be they kings, or dictators, or just fanatical warlords on a rampage. It is no anomaly that so many Christian hymns have a martial air, that the strong right arm of God calls forth so many human beings in righteous and thunderous wrath to promote the rule of justice and peace.
That’s more or less how I see it too.
What EJ and the rest of the F’n libs don’t get is that it isn’t the gov’ts authority to decide what is and what isn’t a religion and what part of the religion is applicable and what isn’t.
Obama tactics are so obvious.
Religion and the constitution are simply in the way of progress.
The left is hard at work trying to undermine or destroy both.
This election will be the most important election in my lifetime and I’m over 70. Unless every one of the moves of radicals is challenged we’re toast. Death by a million pin pokes is what’s happening.
E. J. Dionne really is a drooling halfwit. He is trying to say the obvious as if there is something wrong with it like “ Are you really going to encourage people to vote Republican? Wouldn’t telling your people to just stay to make this a “fair” election be just as good?”
Maybe somebody ties this moron’s shoes in the morning.
The church is not monolithically liberal. There are many conservative leaders and lay people.
I don’t think it’s 99.9%—but my guess is the great majority of bishops and priests vote Democrat. I don’t know if there is any solid evidence to draw general conclusions, just a lot of case-by-case instances where a given bishop or a given priest has let his leanings be obvious.