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What Compromise? This Policy Leaves Religious Liberty in Peril and Planned Parenthood Smiling
http://www.albertmohler.com/2012/02/10/what-compromise-this-policy-leaves-religious-liberty-in-peril | Friday, February 10, 2012 | albertmohler.com

Posted on 02/10/2012 5:32:20 PM PST by Gamecock

President Obama walked into the White House Press Room today and attempted to pull a political rabbit out of a hat. Faced with an avalanche of mounting opposition to his administration’s mandate that religious employers provide birth control to all employees, the President announced what his staff characterized as a “compromise.” Was it?

After his opening comments, the President stated his new policy:

Today, we’ve reached a decision on how to move forward. Under the rule, women will still have access to free preventive care that includes contraceptive services -– no matter where they work. So that core principle remains. But if a woman’s employer is a charity or a hospital that has a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of their health plan, the insurance company -– not the hospital, not the charity -– will be required to reach out and offer the woman contraceptive care free of charge, without co-pays and without hassles.

The result will be that religious organizations won’t have to pay for these services, and no religious institution will have to provide these services directly. Let me repeat: These employers will not have to pay for, or provide, contraceptive services. But women who work at these institutions will have access to free contraceptive services, just like other women, and they’ll no longer have to pay hundreds of dollars a year that could go towards paying the rent or buying groceries.

This means that certain employers who have “a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of their health plan” will not fund these services directly. Instead, the insurance plan will cover these services without charge to all women employees.

What does this resolve? Well, to state the matter bluntly, nothing. At the end of the day, this “compromise” will resolve the issue only for those whose conscience can be resolved by an accounting maneuver.

The qualified insurance plans do not print the monies required to cover the birth control services mandated by the Administration. They will obtain these funds through the premiums paid by employers — including those employers with “a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of their health plan.”

Will this resolve the issue politically? That remains to be seen. As is often the case, what is presented in Washington as a compromise is really not a compromise in any meaningful sense at all. The very fact that groups like Planned Parenthood celebrated the “compromise” indicates that it was not a compromise at all — just an accounting trick.

There were several very interesting aspects of the President’s remarks that should draw close attention.

First, President Obama said that he had earlier promised that “we would spend the next year working with institutions like Catholic hospitals and Catholic universities to find an equitable solution that protects religious liberty and ensures that every woman has access to the care that she needs.”

Interestingly, that is not at all what Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said in her January 20 statement:

“Nonprofit employers who, based on religious beliefs, do not currently provide contraceptive coverage in their insurance plan, will be provided an additional year, until August 1, 2013, to comply with the new law. Employers wishing to take advantage of the additional year must certify that they qualify for the delayed implementation. This additional year will allow these organizations more time and flexibility to adapt to this new rule.”

The Secretary ended that portion of her remarks with a final sentence, in which she stated that her department would “continue to work closely with religious groups during this transitional period to discuss their concerns.” Secretary Sebelius left no door open for a change in the policy, only a listening ear and “more time and flexibility to adapt to this new rule.” That is a far cry from what the President described today.

Second, the President steadfastly describes this controversy as a Catholic issue, and this is to his political advantage. He spoke of meeting with Catholic leaders and working with Catholic parishes and Catholic hospitals and Catholic universities. He never even mentioned any other church, denomination, or religious group.

The President wants to frame this as a Catholic issue, but it is not. The Roman Catholic Church is the major religious body that maintains teaching against all forms of artificial birth control, but those moral concerns are not limited to the Catholic Church. The mandated coverage would violate the conscience and deepest convictions of millions of American evangelical Christians and their hundreds of schools and institutions which, put together, outnumber Catholic institutions.

Third, the Obama Administration continues to frame the controversy as a concern about “contraception.” Millions of Americans naturally think of a contraceptive as a mechanism for preventing the fertilization of the woman’s egg. They are unaware that the word has been redefined in medical, pharmacological, and political contexts to refer to a mechanism for preventing either fertilization or the successful attachment of the fertilized egg to the uterine wall.

This is not merely a matter of semantics. Any intervention that prevents the fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine lining is an abortion. The Obama Administration has mandated the inclusion of the so-called “morning after pill” and other forms of “emergency contraception” in qualified plans.

Thus, only an accounting maneuver hides the fact that we will all be paying for chemical abortions under the President’s prized Affordable Care Act. Added to this is coverage for sterilizations.

Fourth, the President’s remarks today do nothing in the least to save the health care plans governed by religious groups. These include those smaller groups that self-cover their employee medical expenses and massive denominational insurance plans that cover hundreds of thousands of ministers, religious workers, and employees of church-related institutions. The current mandates threaten to kill one of the most effective and efficient means of covering the health care needs of millions of Americans.

Fifth, the President’s remarks today betrayed a fundamental problem that lies at the heart of this controversy and his own thinking. He clearly sees the controversy as a matter of balancing a policy goal, on the one hand, and religious liberty, on the other. He even spoke of religious liberty as “an inalienable right that is enshrined in our Constitution.”

But, just to state the obvious, a policy goal and an “inalienable right” are not to be “balanced.” A matter of policy, no matter how urgent or important, must be reconciled to an “inalienable right.” This does not mean that such reconciliations are easy nor that every claim of religious liberty is legitimate. Nevertheless, this controversy concerns the deepest convictions held by millions of Americans, and these convictions are rooted in over two thousand years of religious teaching. The President’s remarks today do nothing of substance to alleviate this crisis.

Lastly, this controversy exposes the most fundamental problem with the inclusion of birth control in the Affordable Care Act, and this problem is not limited to any single government policy. This problem is endemic to our culture. Clearly, the President and his Administration are not alone in defining birth control as a form of “preventive care,” putting the prevention of pregnancy on par with an inoculation against disease. That is the greatest outrage.

The President’s inclusion of birth control as a form of “preventive care” also explains why Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards was so pleased with President Obama’s remarks today. She said: “Planned Parenthood’s priority is increasing access to preventive health care. This birth control coverage benefit does just that.”

So preventing the birth of a child is classified with the polio vaccine. As Cecile Richards declared, the Obama Administration’s policy “does just that.”

Anyone who celebrates this “compromise” as a victory is hiding behind an accounting trick. That accounting trick cannot hide the great moral tragedy at the heart of the President’s policy — a policy that leaves religious liberty in peril and Planned Parenthood smiling.


TOPICS: Current Events
KEYWORDS: abortion; obama; sourcetitlenoturl

1 posted on 02/10/2012 5:32:29 PM PST by Gamecock
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To: Gamecock
GET RID OF ALL OF OBAMACARE!! Period

This religious issue thing is a clever ploy.

yOU'VE BEEN CONNED.

2 posted on 02/10/2012 5:35:20 PM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: Gamecock
The report I heard on NPR gave the sense that this was a brilliant, almost perfect, compromise. They came right out and said that the only people who didn't love it were a very small group of Catholic fanatics who were marginalized even within their own church.

Of course, NPR may not have a completely unbiased opinion on this matter ...

3 posted on 02/10/2012 5:36:15 PM PST by ClearCase_guy (I am pro-Jesus, anti-abortion, pro-limited government, anti-GOP.)
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To: Gamecock

Don’t get between a man and his base. Liberation theology not Christianity is what stokes this guy’s fire. Wait until his second term. Then he will show you his true character without the “happy talk”. No code phrases like fundamentally transform, I am the one we have been waiting for or hope and change.


4 posted on 02/10/2012 5:39:30 PM PST by JimSEA
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To: ClearCase_guy
Do these people think that the general populist are stupid, that we can't read, or have critical thinking skills?

Southern Baptist are screaming from the rooftops. This not just a Catholic issue. It is a FREEDOM issue.

5 posted on 02/10/2012 5:46:02 PM PST by Coldwater Creek (He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty Psalm 91:)
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To: Gamecock

Obama’s goal has nothing to do with religion.

Obama just want the churches to abandon the hospitals to be taken over by the government and used to undercut prices to force all other hospitals to bankrupt and be taken over as well, getting to a single-payer healthcare system.

Since Obamacare will never be repealed in the Senate, this will proceed on autopilot more or less fast no matter who is elected.


6 posted on 02/10/2012 5:46:54 PM PST by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (REPEAL WASHINGTON! -- Islam Delenda Est! -- I Want Constantinople Back. -- Rumble thee forth.)
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To: Gamecock

Where does zero get the authority to tell insurers what they must cover? Can he tell them to NOT insure white males?


7 posted on 02/10/2012 5:55:37 PM PST by jeffc (Prayer. It's freedom of speech.)
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To: Gamecock
As I posted on another of Rush's conclusions, Rush is correct here, and "the People" need to become informed about their sovereign rights, versus the "assumed" arrogance of power of this Administration.

The President has no delegated power to "compromise" on an area which is not within his purview in the first place. The Constitution's First Amendment assures that.

There are those here and elsewhere who recognize that this is not about "women's health," or "contraception," or any other semantic terms used by the President and his surrogates. So-called "health care reform" itself was the Trojan Horse used by Obama and his fellow "progressives" to bypass and subvert the United States Constitution's limitations on coercive power.

". . . every word of [the Constitution] decides a question between power and liberty. . . ." - James Madison, National Gazette, January 19, 1792

Ours is a "People's" Constitution structuring and limiting the powers of our government, including that of any elected President.

That Constitution has not been amended to grant this President, or any other President, the right to violate its First Amendment's protections. Those provisions are not within the purview of the President, nor any other branch of the government.

The time has come for "the People," to assert their sovereign will and to reject all efforts to bypass or ignore the Constitution.

§ 1907. If these Commentaries shall but inspire in the rising generation a more ardent love of their country, an unquenchable thirst for liberty, and a profound reverence for the constitution and the Union, then they will have accomplished all, that their author ought to desire. Let the American youth never forget, that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings, and blood of their ancestors; and capable, if wisely improved, and faithfully guarded, of transmitting to their latest posterity all the substantial blessings of fife, the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, property, religion, and independence. The structure has been erected by architects of consummate skill and fidelity; its foundations are solid; its compartments are beautiful, as well as useful; its arrangements are full of wisdom and order; and its defences are impregnable from without. It has been reared for immortality, if the work of man may justly aspire to such a title. It may, nevertheless, perish in an hour by the folly, or corruption, or negligence of its only keepers, THE PEOPLE. Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people, in order to betray them."

Of their Constitution, Alexander Hamilton, one of the authors of THE FEDERALISTS' explanations of the Constitution to the citizens who would ratify it, said:

"Until the people have, by some solemn and authoritative act, annulled or changed the established form, it is binding upon them collectively, as well as individually; and no presumption or even knowledge of their sentiments, can warrant their representatives [the executive, judiciary, or legislature]; in a departure from it prior to such an act." - Alexander Hamilton

In the first of the eighty-five "Federalist Papers," Hamilton also emphasized that:

"... it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection or choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force."


8 posted on 02/10/2012 5:55:59 PM PST by loveliberty2
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To: Gamecock

I wonder what 0bama’s price is for HIS principles, since he thinks our inalienable rights can be bought.


9 posted on 02/10/2012 6:04:42 PM PST by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto.)
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To: UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide
"Obama just wants the churches to abandon the hospitals, to be taken over by the government and used to undercut prices--to force all other hospitals to go bankrupt and be taken over as well, getting to a single-payer healthcare system."

Yup
10 posted on 02/10/2012 6:11:09 PM PST by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto.)
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To: jeffc
Can he tell them to NOT insure white males?

If he gets a second term ... Yes.

11 posted on 02/10/2012 6:40:33 PM PST by ClearCase_guy (I am pro-Jesus, anti-abortion, pro-limited government, anti-GOP.)
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To: Sacajaweau

If the people of this country fall for this crap they have an avalanche of shyt that will follow it.

This is a test.

Obamacare has got to go.


12 posted on 02/10/2012 6:41:40 PM PST by Venturer
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To: Gamecock
The President wants to frame this as a Catholic issue, but it is not.

He wants to do that because he's convinced that it will marginalize Catholics, and everyone else will ignore that the situation might actually affect them in some way or another.

I'm sure the polls that show that the majority of folks don't think this requirement is a problem is making Obama think he can skate on this issue. We just need to convince more people that THEY will be affected by it, as well as Catholics.

13 posted on 02/10/2012 7:17:52 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: Gamecock

Thanks for posting this from Mohler’s site.


14 posted on 02/10/2012 7:48:49 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Coldwater Creek

**This not just a Catholic issue. It is a FREEDOM issue.**

You’ve got it!


15 posted on 02/10/2012 7:50:07 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Gamecock
What Compromise? This Policy Leaves Religious Liberty in Peril and Planned Parenthood Smiling (Albert Mohler Opinion)

Don't Be Deceived! Evil Obama Policy Now Even MORE Evil!
Obama’s Contraceptive 'Compromise' Doesn't Pass the Smell Test ("It doesn't change a thing")
Compromise or Accommodation, it’s still unacceptable. (updated from Catholic Vote)
Pres. Obama’s “Plan B” compromise, Sr. Keehan, and the Magisterium of Nuns
Land Says Obama Mandate Most Anti-Catholic Government Action in 150 Years
Motive, Means and Opportunity: Obama’s Assault on Catholics
(Exempt Catholics) Joe Biden, Bill Daley warned of contraceptive backlash
(Tim) Thomas makes second political statement (Stands With Catholics)
Southern Baptist leader: If Obama mandate isn’t changed, Christians will go to jail
Over 150 congressional leaders demand repeal of HHS mandate

Boehner vows to overturn Obama’s birth control coverage rule
Boehner: Congress to overturn birth control policy if Obama does not reverse course
O'Brien says Archdiocese of Baltimore won't offer birth control coverage
Archbishop of San Francisco says Obama ruling strikes at religious freedom
How Obama Lost the Catholic Vote
‘I am going to stick with fellow Catholics’ in Pres. Obama’s war on Catholics. Wherein Fr. Z rants.
Unholy War
Six Things Everyone Should Know about the HHS Mandate
Santorum: Obama Hostile to Christians
Understanding Oppostion to the HHS Mandate (Part 1): Why the Church Won’t Pay for Contracept

The Bishops Chickens Coming Home to Roost.
65 Orthodox Church bishops call on Obama to ‘rescind’ the ‘unjust’ contraception mandate
Doug Kmiec Writes Obama: 'Friendship Will Not Permit Me to Disregard Duty to Faith and Country'
Catholic Outcry Over Obama Administration's Birth Control Decision Could Factor In Presidential Race
Standing with the Bishops [Catholic Caucus]
Updated: *167* Bishops (More Than 90% of Dioceses) Have Spoken Out Against Obama/HHS Mandate
Outrage!… Military Tells Chaplains What They Can and Can’t Say About HHS/ObamaAssault on Religion
Updated: *153* Bishops (Over 80% of Dioceses) Have Spoken Out Against Obama/HHS Mandate
An Affront Catholics Agree On [Liberal and Conservative Catholics Against Obama Mandate]
Army Silenced Chaplains Last Sunday

Catholic Military Archdiocese & Chaplains interfered with last Sunday by Pres. Obama’s Admin
The Anti-Catholic President v. the Catholic Bishops
Sen. Rubio introduces bill to reverse Obama birth control mandate
Churches balk at birth control rule - Catholics won’t comply, Bishop Kevin Rhoades says
Protestants and Jews declare to White House: We stand with Catholics
Checking the Air Outside [Bp. Zubik's follow up to Obama's “To Hell with You”]
Mohler [Southern Baptist] Says Insurance Mandate Not Just 'Catholic' Issue
An Open Letter to President Barack Obama Concerning Recent Tyranny (With Pictures!)
Lincoln bishop: prepare for 'suffering' under HHS mandate
Bishop David Zubik confronts Obama
Obama’s ‘war on the church’

Pope hits out at 'radical secularism'
‘We Will Not Comply’: Catholic Leaders Distribute Letter Slamming Obama Admin Contraceptive Mandate
‘We Will Not Comply’: Catholic Leaders Distribute Letter Slamming Obama Admin Contraceptive Mandate
Bruskewitz: Fight Insurance Ruling [Sebelius a "bitter, fallen away Catholic"]
Letter from Archbishop John G. Vlazny on the matter of freedom of conscience and decisions by HHS
Bishop Olmsted's Letter to Catholics [Catholic Caucus]
Liberty for the Amish & Quakers but not Catholics. . .
Contraception mandate prompts Peoria bishop to instate St. Michael Prayer (Catholic Caucus)
Phoenix bishop (Olmstead): defy feds on birth control
A letter from Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr concerning HHS edict

Speak honestly: abortion is ‘the killing of tiny human beings in the womb’ – Denver bishop
Bishop [Daniel Jenky] Blasts Secularist Intolerance, Calls For ‘Assertive Action’ to Defend Church
(Pittsburgh Bishop Zubik comments:) HHS delays rule on contraceptive coverage
Dolan: Natural law, not religious preference, dictates all life sacred
Religious leaders blast HHS over contraception mandate
Mandated Contraception, Sterilization: Caesar Demands Church Violate Conscience
OBAMA’S CONTEMPT FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY (mandates coverage of sterilization & contraception)
Implications of Obama Admin move to force Cath hospitals to provide contraception and sterilizations
Catholic doctors’ group launches petition against contraception mandate
Contraception mandate tramples religious freedom, US bishops say

16 posted on 02/10/2012 7:55:30 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: JimSEA; Gamecock
This is all in the plan. The leftist-gay agenda destroyed the big Protestant denominations like the ECUSA, the PCUSA, ELCA etc. -- the orthodoxy ones like the PCA etc. are smaller in number so can't do the commies enough harm.

That done, they are concentrating their fire on the Catholic Church

Their idea is that if they get this roadblock out of the way they can steamroll over all denominations

17 posted on 02/10/2012 7:57:29 PM PST by Cronos (Party like it's 12 20, 2012)
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To: Gamecock

“We’ll force you to cover contraception but we’ll use Orwellian wording so you can pretend to yourself that you’re not covering contraception.”


18 posted on 02/10/2012 10:07:36 PM PST by DNA.2012
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To: Gamecock

The whole thing has got to go.
Any compromise is in effect legitimizing the rest of it .
Any compromise is short sighted .

There is an exemption for muslims . They do not have to spend the $ buying any of this . What do you think is going to happen when the masses of people who do not believe that there is any difference between allah and the God of Abraham , Issac and Jacob are going to do when they find out that they can convert and get 100% free health care out of it ?

The whole thing is a Trojan horse and stupid suckers are falling for a compromise to ease their conscience . Where is your conscience on the fact that if you get an exemption it still does not stop the fact that it still will not stop the rest of your fellow Americans from having to pay to cause the death of other fellow Americans .

You compromise on this and YOU are still guilty for their deaths .

You compromise on this and YOU deserve the sword that will follow you when YOUR compromise does nothing but increase the numbers of the followers of islam .

You compromise to ease your conscience and you will DESERVE exactly what you will get .


19 posted on 02/10/2012 11:53:06 PM PST by Lera
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To: Gamecock; ClearCase_guy
But if a woman’s employer is a charity or a hospital that has a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of their health plan insurance, the insurance company -– not the hospital, not the charity -– will be required to reach out and offer the woman contraceptive care free of charge

This statement is as dumb as a bunch of rocks (my apologies to rocks everywhere). And yet there are still some who think this is a "brillant" solution (like NPR).

20 posted on 02/11/2012 1:07:37 AM PST by HarleyD
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To: Gamecock
Excellent article from Dr. Mohler, thanks for posting it.

Pray that more and more people will see Obama for what he is. Sin makes people stupid. It took a lot of sinning to make America stupid enough to elect Obama. It will take a lot of grace to turn from the road we're currently on, which leads to something a lot like Soviet Russia. This election may be our last chance.

21 posted on 02/11/2012 7:25:28 AM PST by Campion ("It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins." -- Franklin)
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To: Venturer

Go to Kirsten Gillibrand’s facebook page and look at the morons who think this is a great achievement for “women’s health”

You can’t even begin to reason with them.

Paris Hilton and the Kardashian sisters can now “have access” to “free” preventative care!
Phew!!!
Because...up until now, it seems, wealthy women everywhere just didn’t “have access”!!!

Hoooray for women’s health!!! /s


22 posted on 02/11/2012 7:54:19 AM PST by Scotswife
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To: Gamecock; Sacajaweau
Thanks for this, Gamecock. I was loking forward to what Al Mohler would have to say about this: and he does not disappoint. I have long been, and still am, a big Mohler fan.

The problem is not “just” the HHS mandate for fertility-toxic and baby-toxic drugs to be funded by religious organizations, which is brutally offensive in itself.

But even worse is that any, each, and all of us are being forced in exactly the way Connie Sulkowski who runs a real estate office, and Tony Rios who owns a couple of restaurants, and Chuck Schmidt who employs a workforce of 50 in his printing plant. They should not be forced to purchase insurance plans which subsidize an objective “near occasion of sin” for employees.

The fact is that every person legally resident in America (with a few sharia compliant exceptions) will be required, like it or not, to purchase insurance policies which cover goods and services which are abhorrent to a sound conscience. To cover them 100% without co-pay. And we will have no alternative except coercive penalties (huge fines)and, if it comes to that, imprisonment.

The underlying issue isn’t even birth control. It’s Total control --- Total State Control --- of our bodies and our souls.p It’s not just the separation of Church and State. It’s the separation of real moral choice from real life.

Obamacare is totalitarian, and it has to go. The whole thing. That is what the bishops and pastors, Catholics and Baptists, and everybody else with a brain in their head and a spine in their back, should be saying.

Re: Obama (tagline)

23 posted on 02/12/2012 4:12:14 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("May his days be few; may another take his place." Psalm 109:9)
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