The coming Catholic civil disobedience

By Tom Quiner

The U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops are preparing Catholics for civil disobedience.

Equating their defense of religious liberty with the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the USCCB has planned a two week event called the Fortnight for Freedom (June 21st through July 4th). This comes on the heels of multiple lawsuits filed against the Obama Administration.

The Bishops have provided each parish in the U.S. with a bulletin insert that correlates the moral battle for civil rights in the 6os with our current battle to regain the religious liberties stripped away by the Obama Administration.

Said the bishops about then:

“The civil rights movement was an essentially religious movement, a call to awaken consciences.”

Said the bishops about now:

“This is a matter of whether religious people and institutions may be forced by the government to provide such coverage even when it violates our consciences.”

Casual observers on the scene need to understand that Catholic bishops are not unsympathetic to some Obama initiatives as it relates to income equality. But the HHS Mandate proved too much for them. They quote the great civil rights leader, Martin Luther King:

“The goal of America is freedom. I would agree with Saint Augustine that ‘An unjust law is no law at all.’ … A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.”

To that end, the bishops are preparing the flock to openly defy the HHS Mandate which goes into effect on August 1st. The Fortnight for Freedom will serve to unify Catholics in their collective defense of religious liberty.

The president isn’t impressed. In typical fashion, he dissembles at a campaign stop:

“We don’t need another political fight about ending a woman’s right to choose, or getting rid of Planned Parenthood or taking away affordable birth control. We don’t need that. I want women to control their own health choices … We’re not turning back the clock. We’re not going back there.”

Let us deconstruct the president’s distortions:

1. The lawsuits are about the HHS Mandate, not abortion. Abortion is an ongoing battle, but a different one.

2. The lawsuits have nothing to do with shutting down Planned Parenthood, although the Catholic bishops are in alignment with most of the country in stanching the flow of taxpayer’s money to Planned Parenthood coffers.

3. The lawsuits do not take away affordable birth control from anyone. They simply state that Catholic and other faith-based organization do not want them forced upon them by an overreaching federal government. This is a religious liberty issue, not a birth control one.

Catholics want women to control their own health choices, too, as long as it doesn’t involve killing another human being.

In what is shaping up to be a close election, Barack Obama has gone out of his way to alienate a key constituency. Catholics gave the president 54% of the vote in 2008. He’ll be lucky to win 46% this time.

That is the margin that can swing an election.