Robert George on Pres. Obama’s attacks on religious freedom and Catholics

Prof. Robert George, on his blog Mirror of Justice, comments about Pres. Obama’s blatant attack on the the 1st Amendment, religious liberty and the Catholic Church.  My emphases and comments:

The Obama administration’s abortifacient and contraception mandate is appalling, but I cannot claim to be surprised by it. In fact, I would have been surprised—indeed stunned—had the administration done anything significant to honor or protect the rights of Catholics and others on whose consciences the mandate will impose.

In every area touching the sanctity of human life and issues of sexual morality, the Obama administration is aggressively prosecuting the agenda its critics predicted and its most ardent left-wing supporters hoped for. Those who are driving the train, including key administration officials who self-identify as members of the Catholic Church, have no regard for the ethical beliefs of Catholics and others when they are in conflict with left-liberal orthodoxy. Their task, as they perceive it, is to fortify and expand the “right to abortion” and “sexual freedom” wherever they can.  [Abortion being a “sacrament” for the secularizing “religion” of liberals.] They pursue this agenda with a religious zeal because, in fact, the ideology in which abortion is a “right” and “sexual freedom” is a core value is their religion. These beliefs are integral to their worldview. If, like Kathleen Sebelius, they happen to be Catholics, you can be assured that it won’t be Catholic teaching, or the Judaeo-Christian ethic, that shapes their policies on issues of life and death and marriage and sexual morality; it will be liberal ideology—pure and simple—that does the shaping.

Interestingly, Obama and his people have been willing to break the hearts of those on the left when it comes [to] Guantanamo, rendition, basic procedural rights of detainees and those accused of supporting terrorism, targeted assassinations, drone attacks, and so forth. But they keep faith strictly with them when it comes to anything pertaining to abortion, contraception, and other central components of the ideology of lifestyle liberalism—the conscience rights of Catholics and others be damned.

Pro-life citizens, including many Catholics, who in 2008 allowed themselves to be persuaded that Obama wouldn’t, as his critics warned, push abortion hard and run roughshod over the religious liberty and rights of conscience of Catholics and other pro-life citizens and their institutions, have now gotten a rude awakening. His administration revealed its contempt for religious freedom and the rights of people and communities of faith when it embraced an extreme and utterly untenable position on the ministerial exemption in the Hosanna-Tabor case. In case anyone thought that was some sort of isolated mistake, the President’s abortifacient and contraception mandate leaves the matter in no doubt.

In 2012, it is no longer possible to sustain illusions about what Obama and his people mean to do to us. They are already doing it. “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

I will add, as I wrote elsewhere, that – in light of the probability that the Supreme Court will overturn all this – Obama’s true motive seems to be a long-term goal of being able to say that he really tried to to do all this.

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  1. JohnE says:

    “the conscience rights of Catholics and others be damned”

    And thus the NCR’s long song and dance article explaining a “conscience model” that allows you to do evil “in good conscience”. I just don’t understand why people want to hold on so tight to the “Catholic” label when they don’t agree with what the Church teaches. I suspect we’ll see a lot of waffling and weaseling from institutions that would rather cave in than fight during the coming year.

  2. EucharistLove says:

    A vote for Obama places one soul in danger of perdition. There exists no counterweight to the abortion argument that would provide the moral impetus to vote for a pro-abortion candidate. Wars, poverty, etc., does not compare to 1 million murdered babies annually.

  3. Charles E Flynn says:

    Obama Offends the Catholic Left, by William McGurn.

  4. John654 says:

    A few excommunications could go a long ways to help things. I know none of the bishops want to excommunicate anyone, but for how long will they allow CINO politicians to be used against them. What good is authority if you never use it.

    As a father if I let my kids run wild for months on end, years in the case of the Bishops, and all of a sudden I put my foot down and expect them to listen is laughable, but at least I’m attempting to do my duty as a parent to install some discipline. If anything it would give my kids who were behaving correctly some hope.

  5. anilwang says:

    “Obama’s true motive seems to be a long-term goal of being able to say that he really tried to to do all this. ”

    We actually don’t know his long term goal. I have a more pessimistic view that he’s actually honest. And if he can appoint a few more Supreme Court justices, this will not be struck down any more than Roe versus Wade can be struck down with the current set of judges.

    Even if he’s just trying to appease the secularists and really believes it’s doomed to failure, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes things take on a life of their own. Martin Luther might never have revolted if he knew that the majority of the denomination that bears his name today think contraception, abortion, and same sex marriage are okay.

  6. Ttony says:

    I’m not an American, but is a response along the following lines from the US Bishops possible: “we live in a democracy, and the people’s representatives have voted for this so we will obey the law. And we will obey the law by closing every one of our hospitals in one year’s times so that we don’t have to comply with this law which goes against our conscience. A year will give the government enough time to work out how to adapt to the new situation.”

  7. Supertradmum says:


    It is not just hospitals, but colleges, universities, businesses, the whole enchilada.

    This is war on the Church and her people.

  8. Supertradmum says:

    I wrote on this on my blog as well the other day. Thank you for your comments, Father. This is a great blog and should be checked daily. The clarity of this particular article is ammunition for all of us laity as we try and convince the majority of the errors of the current new law. We need to convince the majority of Catholics why they are wrong.

  9. PA mom says:

    I must agree that it was quite unwise of the Bishops to in any way support the national healthcare agenda. I was reading a book about Mother Teresa in which it emphasized that she would not accept government money for her work even as she was aware that it would allow her to assist more people. It would have been better not to. Not only does it allow the government to have more hands “on the wheel” of the many Catholic institutions than before, but it continues to train more and more Americans to expect every trouble of theirs to be taken care of for them by the government. Compare this to understanding that charity received is theirs by the will and grace of God; and that it is our God-given purpose to be a part of that outpouring of charity to the full extent that we are able.

  10. Iowander says:

    Pro-life citizens, including many Catholics, who in 2008 allowed themselves to be persuaded that Obama wouldn’t, as his critics warned, push abortion hard and run roughshod over the religious liberty and rights of conscience of Catholics and other pro-life citizens and their institutions, have now gotten a rude awakening.

    As one who was so awakened, I have to say that I don’t feel like I have a lot of company. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think very few have bothered to notice.

  11. La Sandia says:

    Do the bishops expect rank-and-file Catholics to make a stink about this? Most have been blithely popping the Pill, getting the patch, and having vasectomies for years without hearing a peep of condemnation from the pulpit. If this is allowed to stand, it will be because Catholics have convinced themselves that grave sin isn’t a big deal.

  12. Poimier says:

    @La Sandia : Who can argue with you ?

  13. Papabile says:

    @Ttony Your suggestion on informing the government that you are closing the hospitals is a worthy one. I have actually seen this work with a private Catholic school when they turned off the public school buses on them. The Nuns simply loaded up the kids on the school buses the last day they were free, took us down to the public school and dumped us on the principal….. all 500 of us, along with our records. Within 3 days, the buses were restored, and free textbooks were also provided.

    However, when it comes to this healthcare thing, now that the bill has established it as interstate commerce, I am quite certain that HHS would simply assert eminent domain over these hospitals on the basis they were interfering with interstate commerce.

    It would be an interesting fight to have.

  14. EXCHIEF says:

    Our only hope to prevail over this evil regime rests in prayer and the prayer that the Supreme Court will reign in this would be dictator on a host of issues lined up to be heard by that court.

  15. anilwang says:

    @La Sandia

    It’s my understanding that currently bishops are only appointed if they are against contraception. However, before Vatican II, most bishops used to require their priests to preach against contraception a minimum of three times a year and have talk on contraception be a part of all marriage preparation. After the Humanae Vitae revolt, it stopped being preached so as not to be “controversial”. As a result, most Catholics just don’t know that sterlization and contraception are wrong.

    If there are any bishops reading, it’s still not to late to return to the minimum of three homily requirement. This by itself will do a great deal to reverse the tide. Most Catholics do want to be faithful. They might not think they can be. They might have some quibbles or difficulties on some doctrines. But on the whole, they want to be faithful to the light they have been given.

  16. NoTambourines says:

    I suspect a lot of people in the ’70s might have decided to bide their time on whether Humanae Vitae was really going to “stick.”

    44 years later, they’ll find Humanae Vitae won the waiting game. But people continue to stand in open (or nearly open) opposition to the Church based on two mindsets, primarily:

    – Armchair quarterbacking what Jesus “would have done.” That attitude is a dangerous slippery slope, as many a heresy over the centuries has claimed an innovation as actually being a restoration of something.

    But God Incarnate could have done or commanded anything He wanted before ascending into heaven.

    – Again, people try to wait out the Vatican, assuming the Church will eventually “catch up” to how totally awesomely “right” they are.

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