Dear Readers: Normally, I opine about my Catholicism on my “Flight into Egypt” website. However, today I want to share my experience at Mass yesterday, as it goes to the turmoil concerning the implementation of Obamacare and its impact on the Catholic Church.
Yesterday (2/12/12), Father Anthony of Ascension Catholic Parish read the following letter from our bishop:
A few items struck me during his reading:
1) “The Obama Administration is denying to Catholics the fundamental freedom of religious liberty guaranteed by the First Amendment…”. When I heard Obama’s press conference regarding the vaunted “accommodation”, I was struck my the dictatorial tone (click HERE for a link that includes the video). How could Obama order insurance companies to pay for contraception? Where is the legislation? Where is the bill? What portion of the Constitution allows the President to dictate exactly what kinds of goods and services one set of Americans had to give to another?
In his letter, Bishop Brom ties Team Obama directly to a serious threat to the practice of Catholic faith.
2) “We cannot comply with this unjust law.” If they can’t comply with this law, chances are high that they can’t vote for the head of the administration that came up with it, either. In 2008, 54% of Catholics who voted did so for Obama. I suspect that the percentage will be far less in 2012.
3) “This will impact institutions such as ….Father Joe’s Villages.” In the San Diego area, Father Joe’s Villages are a cornerstone in Catholic charity work, and Father Joe is held in very high regard for all his work. The people of San Diego, Catholics and otherwise, will not take any threat to this institution lightly.
I would like to note that there were loud, sustained applause after Father Anthony concluded their letter; such rousing applause is not a common occurrence. I also overheard a few remarks that the Bishop’s letter didn’t go far enough in rejecting Obama’s “accommodation”.
Bishop Brom’s letter was one of many read throughout the nation yesterday. All urge Catholics to contact Congress. For your convenience, here is contact information for our local and state representatives:
Contact Congressman Duncan Hunter: CLICK HERE. El Cajon Office • 1870 Cordell Ct, Ste 206 • El Cajon, CA 92020 • Phone: (619) 448-5201 • Fax: (619) 449-2251; Washington D.C. Office • 223 Cannon HOB • Washington, D.C. 20515 • Phone: (202) 225-5672 • Fax: (202) 225-0235
Contact Congresswoman Susan Davis: Click HERE. U.S. House of Representatives – 1526 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515; Phone: (202) 225-2040; Fax: (202) 225-2948. 2700 Adams Avenue Suite 102, San Diego CA 92116; Phone: (619) 280-5353; Fax: (619) 280-5311
Contact Congressman Brian Bilbray: Click HERE. Washington, DC Office – 2410 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515; Phone: (202) 225-0508; Fax: (202) 225-2558. Solana Beach District Office – 380 Stevens Avenue, Suite 212; Solana Beach, CA 92075; Phone: (858) 350-1150; Fax: (858) 350-0750.
Senator Barbara Boxer: Click HERE. 600 B Street, Suite 2240, San Diego, CA 92101, (619) 239-3884, (202) 228-3863 fax. 112 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 (202) 224-3553.
Senator Diane Feinstein: Click HERE. 750 B Street, Suite 1030, San Diego, CA 92101; Phone: (619) 231-9712; Fax: (619) 231-1108. 331 Hart Senate Office Building; Washington, D.C. 20510; Phone: (202) 224-3841 Fax: (202) 228-3954.
ALSO, CHECK OUT THE BISHOPS’ CONSCIENCE PROTECTION DRIVE.
A few other, related points. My blogging icon, the Anchoress, is following the developments related to this situation closely. Here are a few of her comments:
Over at NPR’s Bench Memos Ryan T. Anderson ponders illegalities in the making:
Here’s an aspect of the HHS preventive-services mandate and the “compromise” announced on Friday that has gone unnoticed: It will soon be impossible, because it would be illegal, to be a faithful Catholic in America running a health-insurance company. Friday’s announcement — that health-insurance companies will be required to provide free coverage of contraceptives, sterilization procedures, and abortifacients — entails that citizens cannot operate a health-insurance company in accord with their moral values, if those moral values happen to align with historic Christianity rather than Obama.
Oh, and in case you have not heard, over the weekend Catholic Charities has walked back its initial approval of the Obama “accommodation” which the press insists on calling a “compromise” and the administration calls a “negotiation”, as in “we are done negotiating with the Catholics”.
One last note: I have always been troubled by my Chuch’s devotion to “social justice”, which is neither in my opinion (see Michelle Malkin’s pieces that cover key aspects of this very topic). I think too many people confuse greed with a healthy dose of self interest, which is a good thing as it allows us to appreciate and utilize our special gifts and reap appropriate and well-earned rewards. Related to this, there is a piece going viral that is a must-read for Catholics that relates to this topic:
In the process, the leaders of the American Catholic Church fell prey to a conceit that had long before ensnared a great many mainstream Protestants in the United States – the notion that public provision is somehow akin to charity – and so they fostered state paternalism and undermined what they professed to teach: that charity is an individual responsibility and that it is appropriate that the laity join together under the leadership of the Church to alleviate the suffering of the poor. In its place, they helped establish the Machiavellian principle that underpins modern liberalism – the notion that it is our Christian duty to confiscate other people’s money and redistribute it.
I think Feb. 12, 2012 represents a real sea-change, and will give many Catholics a chance to reflect on the concepts if individual liberty, statism, and how God, Christ and the Church are best served.
I would now like to welcome my fellow Catholics to the Tea Party.
Check out the SAN-DIEGO LOCAL ORDER OF BLOGGERS.
Indeed, there now seems to be some sense of “buyer’s remorse” for some Catholics, as noted in this Hot Air post: Notre Dame faculty calls Obama so-called accommodation “grave violation of religious freedom”. The following passage sums up a key aspect of how I feel about this entire matter.
I’d hate to tell Notre Dame I told you so, but in fact a number of Catholics, myself included, did warn Notre Dame in 2009 about inviting Obama to deliver that commencement speech. My objection was specific to the honorary law degree Notre Dame awarded Obama for that appearance, a jarring decision given Obama’s previous attacks on the Catholic Church’s positions on life, especially in the Illinois Senate. Now the same law school that awarded Obama a law school degree is shocked, shocked to find that Obama thinks he can arrogate to himself the power to dictate to religious organizations that they have to facilitate actions which are forbidden by their core doctrinal values.