"Therefore, I am asking that you prayerfully and respectfully make know your objection to this intolerable ruling and insist that your rights of conscience as a Catholic citizen be restored."
- Bishop McFadden (trying to energize the flock into supporting his attempt to deny contraception to church affiliated employees for their own good)
"... a direct shot to religious freedom."
- From Dr. Mark Totaro, CEO of Catholic Charities courtesy of the Catholic Witness who goes on to point out that 70 per cent of his employees are not Catholic, thereby proving the government's point. .
“This same administration said that the churches and the institutions they run, such as schools and let’s say adoption agencies, hospitals, that they have to provide for their employees free of charge, contraceptives, morning after pills, in other words abortive pills, and the like at no cost."
- Mitt "Desperately Seeking CEO" Romney, never one to let facts stand in his way - shows his concern.
So the Bishops, never having gotten over the fact that they have been marginalized as political players by the fact that at least half of American Catholics pay little or no attention to what they say, want to prevent employees of Catholic institutions including colleges and hospitals from free access to birth control as required under the Affordable Care Act. Nobody is being forced to use birth control so the only freedom in danger is apparently the Bishop's freedom to prohibit their employees equal protection under the law. Most employees of Catholic Hospitals are not Catholic and even if they were Church doctrine does not supercede American law. Bishops don't write the law. Thank God. Some of us are old enough to remember the fight over legalizing contraception in Connecticut. The Bishops were on the wrong side of that one. You would think that an organization so fanatically anti-abortion would welcome universal access to contraception. But that would make sense. And it's not about sense, it's about power. Sorry Bishops, those sheep have left the barn. Most American Catholics practice contraception and will continue to do so. That's the trouble with empowering women. They get all uppity and think that they have a choice as to what they do with their bodies.
I hear pundits decrying this as a mis-step by the Obama administration. Please. The Catholic vote is split. There is no longer a Catholic voting block. That was proved in the last election. Particularly around here where the Bishop of Scranton more or less came out and said it was a sin to vote for Obama. Obama smoked McCain, right in the Bishop's own back yard. Those who see this as an assault on religion were not going to vote for Obama anyway. Those who think this is a matter of fairness in woman's health are more likely to vote for him.