Saturday, December 10, 2011

Obama Wants Catholic Vote but Dem Platform Anathema

While Nancy Pelosi disparages her fellow Catholic bishops as D.C. charlatans, illusionist President Obama pulls Plan B from his hat, no doubt one of many elusive 2012 olive branches.

For background, read Bishops vs. ObamaCare on Right of Conscience and also read Bishops Say Obama Destroying Societal Norm as well as Christians Flex Muscles/Wallets: Gov't Influence

And from the Vatican: NEVER Vote for Pro-choice Candidate

-- From "Catholic Vote in 2012: Why Either Political Party Could Win It" by Deal W. Hudson and Matt Smith, The Daily Beast 12/10/11

Battles over abortion, and now marriage, will continue to be the baseline of any appeal to the religiously active Catholic voter. But this year, candidates will discover Catholics are viscerally troubled by three additional issues—religious liberty, budget cuts, and immigration reform.

The most troublesome of these issues for Democrats is the increased volume of Catholic complaints over religious liberty.

The [ObamaCare] bill, as it turns out, is only the tip of the iceberg in this administration’s attack on religious liberty.

. . . In kowtowing to pressure from abortion activists, the Democrats have created a significant problem for themselves in 2012.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Health, abortion issues split Obama administration and Catholic groups" by Jerry Markon, Washington Post 10/31/11

A contentious battle between Catholic groups and the Obama administration has flared in recent days, fueled by the new health-care law and ongoing divisions over access to abortion and birth control.

The latest dispute centers on a decision by the Department of Health and Human Services in late September to end funding to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to help victims of human trafficking, or modern-day slavery. The church group had overseen nationwide services to victims since 2006 but was denied a new grant in favor of three other groups.

The bishops organization, in line with the church’s teachings, had refused to refer trafficking victims for contraceptives or abortion. The American Civil Liberties Union sued, and HHS officials said they made a policy decision to award the grants to agencies that would refer women for those services.

The bishops conference is threatening legal action and accusing the administration of anti-Catholic bias, which HHS officials deny.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Rep. Smith: 'Obama Adminstration's Bias Against Catholics Is an Affront to Religious Freedom'" by Penny Starr, 12/1/11

The answer is discrimination, Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) told the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee: “If you are a Catholic or other faith-based NGO, or a secular organization of conscience, there is now clear proof that your grant application will not be considered...under a fair, impartial, and totally transparent process by the Obama administration. The Obama adminstration's bias against Catholics is an affront to religious freedom and a threat to all people."

Smith, who authored the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, is furious:

“In what can only be described as an unconscionable abuse of power, the Obama administration has engaged in what amounts to bid rigging: denying taxpayer funds to a demonstrably superior organization -- the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) -- with an exemplary ten-year track record of performance that scored significantly higher in independent HHS reviews than two of the three NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) that got the grant.”

“The Obama administration’s discriminatory practice of funding NGOs [non-governmental organizations] that provide or refer for abortions even when they fail to win a competitive process is not only unjust, unethical and in violation of conscience laws, but it severely undermines public -- and congressional -- confidence and support for what is an otherwise laudable program,” said Smith.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Pelosi Dismisses Catholic Bishops as ‘Lobbyists’—For Opposing Obamacare Reg Forcing Catholics to Act Against Faith" by Edwin Mora, 12/1/11

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) on Thursday described America’s Roman Catholic bishops as “lobbyists in Washington, D.C.” in their efforts to persuade the Department of Health and Human Service to rescind a proposed regulation under the new health-care law that would force Catholics to act against the teachings of their church by compelling them to purchase health-care plans that cover sterilizations and all-FDA approved contraceptives, including abortifacients.

“. . . as a mother of five children in six years, as a devout Catholic, I have great respect for our bishops when they are my pastor. As lobbyists in Washington D.C., we have some areas of disagreement.”

The regulation HHS has proposed includes a “religious exemption” that does not apply to individuals who, under Obamacare, will be mandated to buy health insurance. . . .

As drawn, the exemption from the sterilization-and-contraception mandate would not apply to Catholic individuals, Catholic hospitals, Catholic universities and Catholic charitable organizations.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Contraceptive rule a pill for Obama" by J. Lester Feder, Politico 12/7/11

A new rule issued under his health care law requires virtually all insurance plans to cover contraceptives, and Obama is now personally involved in a decision about how broad an exemption for religious employers should be.

HHS exempted a narrow set of religious employers from this requirement — essentially allowing churches to deny contraception coverage to their employees, but not organizations like religiously affiliated universities or hospitals.

Anna Franzonello, staff counsel with Americans United for Life, said that although Obama has said he favors a "robust" conscience clause, "what this actually shows is that robust to him means a fig leaf of protection." The group maintains that emergency contraceptives that would be covered by this mandate are a form of abortion.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Obama turns his back on Catholics" by Michael Gerson, Washington Post 11/14/11

Obama’s [sudden] Catholic outreach is being revealed as a transparent ploy a year before he faces reelection. A portion of the Democratic coalition — including civil libertarians and pro-choice activists — has decided to attack and marginalize Catholic leaders and institutions. And HHS is actively siding against Catholic organizations.

“We are in a war,” Sebelius told a recent pro-choice meeting. Opponents of the administration, she said, are trying to “roll back the last 50 years in progress women have made in comprehensive health care in America.” This is no longer the “presumption of good faith.” It has all the hallmarks of a vendetta.

To read the entire opinion column above, CLICK HERE.

UPDATE 3/6/12 - Catholics called to vote in November (video):