A GOP-led attempt to roll back new rules requiring insurance companies to provide free contraceptive care was dismissed by the Senate -- a rejection of a Republican pivot toward conservative social issues and a victory for President Obama's healthcare law.Senate to the Church: The most important freedom American women have is the right to get laid without having to buy diapers in nine months. So, you will pay for their lifestyle choices, or you will quit teaching, healing, and helping the poor and the oppressed, and retreat to the doors of the parish church.
The 51-48 vote to table the Republican measure showed dissent among the GOP, as several Republican senators said the legislation was too broad for their support.
Republicans say the new Obama administration policy is an affront to religious freedom and an example of the administration's regulatory overreach. The U.S. Catholic bishops oppose the rule.
"The reason that this amendment is being debated right now is that the administration issued an order that's just unprecedented," said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), the bill's chief sponsor.
Church (via Cardinal George) back to the Senate: be careful what you wish for:
I vote for option 4, and further think that all the schools, hospitals, and charitable organizations' buildings should be rededicated as Eucharistic Adoration Chapels and the like (staffed only by volunteers), so that no secular agency can have the easy road of paying a handful of dollars for the prayers, tears, blood and sweat of our ancestors who built up these institutions.
This year, the Catholic Church in the United States is being told she must “give up” her health care institutions, her universities and many of her social service organizations. This is not a voluntary sacrifice. It is the consequence of the already much discussed Department of Health and Human Services regulations now filed and promulgated for implementation beginning Aug. 1 of this year.
Why does a governmental administrative decision now mean the end of institutions that have been built up over several generations from small donations, often from immigrants, and through the services of religious women and men and others who wanted to be part of the church’s mission in healing and education? Catholic hospitals, universities and social services have an institutional conscience, a conscience shaped by Catholic moral and social teaching. The HHS regulations now before our society will make it impossible for Catholic institutions to follow their conscience.
So far in American history, our government has respected the freedom of individual conscience and of institutional integrity for all the many religious groups that shape our society. The government has not compelled them to perform or pay for what their faith tells them is immoral. That’s what we’ve meant by freedom of religion. That’s what we had believed was protected by the U.S. Constitution. Maybe we were foolish to believe so.
What will happen if the HHS regulations are not rescinded? A Catholic institution, so far as I can see right now, will have one of four choices: 1) secularize itself, breaking its connection to the church, her moral and social teachings and the oversight of its ministry by the local bishop. This is a form of theft. It means the church will not be permitted to have an institutional voice in public life. 2) Pay exorbitant annual fines to avoid paying for insurance policies that cover abortifacient drugs, artificial contraception and sterilization. This is not economically sustainable. 3) Sell the institution to a non-Catholic group or to a local government. 4) Close down.
Of course, I'm really in favor of option 5, which is when the morons in the United States Government realize that they're not going to win this religious liberty battle and that it's pretty pointless to be waging war with people of faith over forcing them to pay for someone else's lifestyle/recreational drugs. But times like ours produce morons in government (and in law schools, and in other places, too) after all.