By Tom Quiner
I received this e-mail last week:
I was out of town when the Des Moines Register July issue came out, so did not read your article on Obama removing your religious rights until recently (“The Catholic vote could tip the election”).
What bothers me is that I am not a Catholic, but a Lutheran Christian. My branch of Christianity believes in the policies of Obama as to contraceptives, sterilization, and have a different view on abortion. We struggle with our conscience and the Word on many issues and even disagree among ourselves at times.
Our Bishop does not demand obedience.
So by you demanding that Obama follow the tenets of the Catholic church, you are taking away the religious rights of other Christians and the rights of those who do not believe in the Christian God. I do not want my government telling me which theology to follow.
Our Lutheran Social Services and Catholic Charities have long been considered giants in helping others as is our Christian duty. When either of these organizations (or others) sign a contract to supply helping services to others, they are using taxpayer funds and must comply with the rules of the contract which includes civil rights issues for those they serve. Discrimination against some is not allowed.
So if the Catholic church wants to continue doing business with the government, they should comply with the law.
Jo Rod, Ames, Iowa
Here is my response:
Frankly, I’m confused.
In the entire history of the United States of America, the government has not required anyone to pay for contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization against their wishes. It was never considered a “civil right.”
For the record, the HHS Mandate was never legislated, it was imposed by Kathleen Sebelius at the behest of Barack Obama. It is certainly not a civil right.
Obamacare would never have passed if Democrats had been honest and said: we are going to require Catholics to pay for these types of things.
Catholics are certainly not imposing their religious views on anyone else. After all, these products and services were already included in 90 percent of the health plans around the country. Catholics simply didn’t want the government making them provide something that violates their conscience.
How in the world do you make this leap that it is Catholics imposing their religion on others?
If the HHS Mandate loses in the courts, and it just lost its first court case in Colorado, that doesn’t affect Protestants, liberals, or atheists who want it in their own coverage.
Go find coverage that offers it. There’s no shortage of it.
If you want to use birth control, fine.
In fact, it is government mandates at the state and federal level that have contributed to excessive rate increases in health insurance premiums. Why on earth impose yet another mandate, especially when so many of the faithful find it repugnant?
Out in Colorado, a Catholic family took the Obama Administration to court so they wouldn’t have to violate their conscience by providing services they believe to be immoral.
Colorado District Judge John Kane agreed with them, stating that the government’s arguments …
“are countered, and indeed outweighed, by the public interest in the free exercise of religion.”
Do you know what’s really offensive to Catholics? It’s the whole mindset of this administration that treats human life as a disease. As the president said of his daughters:
“I want them to control their own health care choices.”
And if their health care “choices” don’t work out, and contraception fails as it often does, the next step is to simply abort.
To be clear, the HHS Mandate isn’t just about pregnancy prevention, it is about abortion, since abortifacients which end a human life are included.
The Obama administration has gone to extreme lengths to exclude Catholic groups from helping women in need if they don’t refer them for abortions. Catholics refuse to comply with immoral policies such as these. And for the record, there was never a “law”passed which requires faith based agencies to refer women for human abortion.
For example, the Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services division is now disqualified from a federal contract to provide services to victims of human trafficking because they will not refer women for abortions.
Obama simply imposed this requirement.
It seems the president is imposing his own secular humanist religion on Catholics, not the other way around.
For the record, I have tremendous respect for Lutherans, the Lutheran church, and the great work being done by Lutheran Social Services. But you are misguided when you say Catholic social services must “comply” with the law if they wish to continue to serve the needy.
We will never comply to policy which require us to harm the most vulnerable in our society.
The Obama Administration has imposed an evil mandate on all citizens of our country.
They jeopardize our religious liberty.
Catholics will not countenance this immorality, and Mr. Obama should not count on our support in November.
Thanks for writing.
Tom Quiner, Des Moines, Iowa