Two Mandates

We’re well aware of the Individual Mandate that is the core of Obamacare.  We’re well aware of that “requirement’s” immorality and of its unconstitutionality.  We’re well aware of the naked power grab that this “requirement” represents for the present administration.  But it’s only background.

Here’s another naked power grab, as the present administration seeks to dismantle our Constitution and replace it with an unfettered government populated by Progressive Know Betters.

We have another mandate, a set of Obamacare regulations that deliberately attack, not the Commerce Clause that is the target of the Individual Mandate, nor the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment, but the immediately following Free Exercise Clause: “nor prohibiting the free exercise [of religion].”

The Obama administration has just implemented new rules under his Obamacare that force

Catholic universities, hospitals, and charities to provide insurance for their employees covering contraception — even though that violates church teachings.

Moreover, these new rules expand “required” coverage to include the “morning after pill” and potentially sterilization and abortion.  Having tried once to dictate to a religious group who will be permitted to speak for them, now this administration is attempting to dictate to all religious groups what they will be permitted to believe, and how they will be permitted to act on those beliefs.  So much for free exercise.

The stakes are clearly understood.  Timothy Dolan, New York Cardinal-designate, describes the stark nature of this Progressive assault.

Never before has the government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience.  This shouldn’t happen in a land where free exercise of religion ranks first in the Bill of Rights.

But this isn’t just a Catholic issue.  President of the Catholic League, Bill Donohue, said he’s been contacted by Protestants, Mormons, Jews, and others who want to join forces with the Catholic League and with the bishops to overturn the new rules.

I’ve never seen anything like it.  They are lining up single file.

President Obama’s reaction to the objections is breathtaking in the cynicism he displays.  At his daily press conference, where Press Secretary Jay Carney recites Obama’s words, he insisted that he still offers

strong support for existing conscience protections, including those relating to health care providers….

and he went on to claim that the new rules don’t change that.  Then Obama, again speaking through Carney, dismissed the objections.

We understand that not everyone agrees with [the new rules].  All I can tell you is it was made after very careful consideration based on the need to balance…[religious rights and] the necessity to provide access to preventive services for women was an important consideration.

But Obama and his rule writers didn’t consider very carefully.  Hospitals can only invoke the “conscience clause,” and get an exemption from these new rules, if they turn away patients of other faiths, something that also is anathema to men of faith.  Theodore McCarrick, a retired Cardinal, points out the fallacy of Obama’s “rationale.”

That means we can’t say what we’ve been saying for 200 years, “Are you hungry?”  We have to say, “Are you Catholic?” We don’t do that.

But this latest move isn’t even just about religious freedom.  It’s about individual freedom, generally.  Government incumbents who will attempt these two pütschen will assault our freedoms everywhere.

Remember this in the fall.

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