The Archbishop of Philadelphia, Most Rev. Charles Chaput, has a good opinion piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer about Pres. Obama’s modifications of his attack on the 1st Amendment (“Plan B”). Read the whole thing, but here is an excerpt from the end:
The current administration prides itself on being measured and deliberate.
The current HHS mandate needs to be understood as exactly that. Commentators are using words like “gaffe,” “ill conceived,” and “mistake” to describe the mandate. They’re wrong.
It’s impossible to see this regulation as some happenstance policy. It has been too long in the making.
Despite all of its public apprehension about “culture warriors” on the political right in the past, the current administration has created an HHS mandate that is the embodiment of culture war. At its heart is a seemingly deep distrust of the formative role religious faith has on personal and social conduct, and a deep distaste for religion’s moral influence on public affairs. To say that this view is contrary to the Founders’ thinking and the record of American history would be an understatement.
Critics may characterize my words here as partisan or political. These are my personal views, and of course people are free to disagree. But it is this administration – not Catholic ministries, or institutions, or bishops – that chose the timing and nature of the fight. The onus is entirely on the White House, which also has the power to remove the issue from public conflict.
Catholics should not be misled into accepting feeble compromises on issues of principle. The HHS mandate is bad law; and not merely bad, but dangerous and insulting. It needs to be withdrawn – now.