Beyond the Cusp

May 10, 2012

President Obama Loaded the Next Campaign Issue

The first contentious issue of the Presidential campaign mutated from the demand that the religiously aligned workplaces such as hospitals, food kitchens, shelters, educational institutions and others would be required to provide insurance coverage for birth control, abortive drugs such as the so-called morning after pill and other medical coverage despite religious objections. This was guaranteed to be resisted and cause loud objections from those on the religious right and they did not disappoint. After the loud protestations were given ample opportunity to be voiced and be identified with those religious conservatives who it is often claimed wish to take society back centuries negating many actions they find objectionable. Then the plan was executed and the objections against this became the war on women. The success of this ploy has been debated with some believing the left overplayed their hand and may have ended up foisted on their own petard while others rejected the arguments from the religious right as narrow minded and anti-women. Whichever side you find yourself siding with, this little skirmish has run its course and played out to give each side gains and losses that the pundits and pollsters are still measuring.

So, now it is time for a new skirmish to be forced into the campaigns. And right on schedule, President Obama came out today and set up the subject and now we wait for the response against the Presidents latest opinion and the next war will be declared. President Obama talked about his evolving thoughts on Gay marriage, another hot button issue with the religious right. I’m beginning to see a trend here. Apparently our President has attained the highest level of awareness on the subject of same sex marriages. He has finally accommodated himself with the right of those who are committed to another person to be married whether they are a man and a woman or a man and a man or a woman and another woman. How universally accepting of President Obama. He also pointed out that this was a subject that, though he supports not just the right to civil unions but actual marriages, he is not in a position to do anything to allow such. President rightfully wrapped himself in the constitution and stated this was an issue for each State to decide. Imagine that, President Obama enforcing the Tenth Amendment and defending the Constitutional rights of the States. Now we get to wait and see if and who will take the bait. Should there be those who believe that the President has negated a Federal Law, the Protection of Marriage Act, with his statement must have missed when Attorney General Eric Holder announced a couple of years ago that the Justice Department was not going to defend this particular law as he and the President did not approve of it. Well, now we might just get to listen to the two sides each screaming as loud as the other for the next few weeks, again.

I really hope that the entire Presidential campaign is not going to simply be an endless series of each side poking the sensitive spots on the other and then ranting about the fact that the other side reacted. Surely we can have a campaign for the highest office in the land that is just a little bit more mature than a grade school game of gotcha or tag, you’re it and no tag backs. We have an economy that has shown almost no signs of life, Iran is rapidly approaching nuclear weapons capability, the Palestinian-Israeli talks are moribund, job growth is so lethargic that they are close to straight-lining, the streets are likely to become battlegrounds for protesters this summer and fall, and the country is more divided than it has been any time since the end of the sixties. Perhaps I am expecting too much than to have the race for President of the United States to be on a level higher than that of running for High School President. I’m waiting for somebody to offer no homework on weekends. Hey, it worked in High School.

Beyond the Cusp

February 4, 2012

Abortion and Contraceptive Ruling and You

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


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