Barack Obama doesn’t seem to think very highly of your freedom of conscience. In fact, it’s fair to say that he takes glee in assaulting your freedom of conscience. Yesterday I posted about the Obama DOJ’s request to do away with religious institutions’ “ministerial exception,” or their right to consider beliefs when hiring staff. If the Supreme Court accedes to that request, unrestricted lawfare will ensue. Many on the left would like nothing better than to tear down traditional Catholic and Protestant churches and synagogues, and inserting EEO mandates into church staffing gives them the opening to take churches to court, drain their budgets, and force them to hire staff who fundamentally disagree and may even militate against what these religious bodies believe and teach.
That in mind, see how President Obama regards his ObamaCare-related decision to force insurers to pay for contraceptive and abortion services.
Bantering with the audience at a fundraiser in St. Louis yesterday, President Barack Obama bragged about a new regulation, proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services, that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has denounced as an “unprecedented attack on religious liberty.”
“Darn right!” an audience member at the fundraiser shouted as Obama described the regulation.
“Darn tooting!” Obama said back.
The proposed regulation, designed to implement part of Obamacare, will require all private health plans in the United States to cover sterilizations and all FDA-approved contraceptives–including those that cause abortions—without charging any fees or co-pay. These regulations were drawn to implement a provision in Obama’s health-care law that calls for all health-care plans to cover “preventive services.”
Combined with Obamacare’s mandate that all individuals must buy health insurance, the “preventive services” regulation would require all American Catholics to buy health care plans that pay for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortions–all of which violate Catholic moral teaching.
A “religious exemption” in the regulation is so narrowly drawn that it does not include any lay Catholics, or any Catholic hospitals, charitable organizations, or colleges or universities. Thus, many major Catholic institutions in the United States would be forced to choose between dropping health insurance coverage for their employees and students or violating the moral teachings of their own church.
Obama’s “Darn tooting!” reaction is at once juvenile and obscene.
None of this is accidental. It’s not hard to see an agenda at work in both of these stories: The very far left Obama is empowering his subordinates to chip away at traditional faith and the right to practice it. There’s a reason they built ObamaCare with so many clauses putting its implementation at the discretion of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. There’s a reason they passed it before the nation could find out what’s in it. And there’s a reason Obama put Sebelius in at HHS, and put Eric Holder in his: They agree with him and carry out his orders. “Darn tooting!” — the violation of conscience isn’t a bug in ObamaCare or the DOJ action, but a feature.