First things first, this week saw a decision coming down from the White House that with the new healthcare regulations make it such that the only places of employment which may opt out of offering such coverage to their employees are those which are strictly of a religious nature. This means that Catholic and other Churches, and similar places of worship whose religion forbids the use of such drugs or services will have to choose between obeying this ruling or obeying their religious decrees. But, those religious run institutions such as hospitals, health clinics and others which employ people of differing faiths or serve people of differing faiths will be required under the new health regulations to provide coverage for abortion and contraception based drugs and other procedures. The Catholic Church has decided they will refuse to abide by these rules and will do all within their power to oppose these regulations. So, how could this affect you who are not Catholic or hold the belief that abortion and contraceptive practices are a sin?
Well, there is an easy way for the Catholic institutions to get around these regulations. All they would need to do is pursue a simple policy of employing only other Catholics and offer services solely to other Catholics. Now, imagine if the Catholic Hospital system is forced to only employ and treat other Catholics in order to not become forced to offer and perform abortive and contraceptive services? What happens to those towns where the only major hospital and health systems are part of the Catholic healthcare systems? Would you be ready to have such a restriction to all of a sudden become enforced in your town, city, or where ever you live? Where I live the entire area would suddenly find themselves without a major hospital within hundreds of miles from a fairly good size city and metropolitan area. OK, so I don’t live in Los Angeles, New York, Boston but there are at least 900,000 served by the two Catholic Hospital systems which make up virtually the entire healthcare systems in the area. I have suspicions that a fair number of those people are not Catholics which means, if worst comes to worst, the majority of the population would either need to convert or travel hundreds of miles to receive hospital care.
But the question is why would the Obama Administration choose to force this confrontation? Is the President that tone deaf that he does not realize that the Administration will be cast as the bad guys and the Catholic Church will actually be the injured side and receive the sympathies of the vast majority of people. Of course, I could be wrong and the President may receive the majority of support and win the battle for the public’s sympathies. Even so, the President would have to realize that this is opening up a can of worms for no real gain and a likely defeat once this goes through the courts. For the life of me, I cannot figure what would drive the President, even should he have a tin ear when it comes to the ardently religious, to choose to confront the Catholic Church. I fully understand that the Catholic Church does not have the best of reputations outside of the faithful, but when blindsided with such a needless and senseless attack, this would actually make them a sympathetic victim of unfair oppression.
What can I add? Obviously, I am confused and completely bewildered by this ambush of the Catholic Church and any other religious groups who will also be affected by this ruling. There was no real need to force this issue, yet push the issue President Obama has chosen. Normally, supporting the Catholic Church in anything is not something that would ever enter my life, so, I might just be the perfect example of the average unaffected person. Well, as is obvious, this person who has no real ties to the Catholic Church beyond having spent some life-saving urgent times under their hospital care, and I am actually animated and put out. The Catholic Church can count on one ally in this fight right here at BTC. I hope that many others will also take the side of preserving and protecting religion which in this case is the Catholic Church which has had their religious principles challenged by the long overextended arm of Government.
Beyond the Cusp