Pres. Obama channels his inner Henry VIII in this new “Act of Uniformity”

On the site of National Review there is a piece by Mark Steyn which I recommend.  Here is an excerpt.


Welcome to Obamacare.

The president of the United States has decided to go Henry VIII on the Church’s medieval ass. Whatever religious institutions might profess to believe in the matter of “women’s health,” their pre-eminences, jurisdictions, privileges, authorities, and immunities are now subordinate to a one-and-only supreme head on earth determined to repress, redress, restrain, and amend their heresies. One wouldn’t wish to overextend the analogy: For one thing, the Catholic Church in America has been pathetically accommodating of Beltway bigwigs’ ravenous appetite for marital annulments in a way that Pope Clement VII was disinclined to be vis-à-vis the English king and Catherine of Aragon. But where’d all the pandering get them? In essence President Obama has embarked on the same usurpation of church authority as Henry VIII: As his Friday morning faux-compromise confirms, the continued existence of a “faith-based institution” depends on submission to the doctrinal supremacy of the state.


And I know that the first Act of Uniformity was during the reign of Edward VI, not under Henry VIII.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. St. Louis IX says:

    Vote him and the rest of his minions out of office as soon as possible.

    Let`s not consign his aggression against Christians, and the Constitution to the past, until he is voted out of office.

  2. Maltese says:


    Exactly. What is the moral difference between plan A and B. In both instances Catholic institutions must pay for abortifacient drugs.

  3. Charles E Flynn says:

    I encourage you to read the entire article, even if you will not be able to get the expression “tooth-level surveillance” out of your mind for the rest of the day.

  4. CAR says:

    Fr. Z, For no particular reason early this morning, I wanted to watch the movie, “A Man For All Seasons” (1966). I’ve always enjoyed this movie. However, I found it to be most profound especially now.

    St. Thomas More who refused to sign the Act of Succession…

    Duke of Norfolk, “Oh confound all this. I’m not a scholar, I don’t know whether the marriage was lawful or not but d_____it, Thomas, look at these names! Why can’t you do as I did and come with us, for fellowship!”

    St. Thomas More, “And when we die, and you are sent to heaven for doing your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?”

    Thank you, Fr. Z, for all that you do. God bless you.

  5. Peggy R says:

    FYI. This is important. An NRO entry indicates that the HHS rules as adopted in Aug 2011, were printed in the Federal Register yesterday afternoon. They are FINAL. There is always a few months’ lag from a final order from an agency and publication in the FR. (I’ve worked in utility regulation for years.) So, what we saw happening these past few weeks was the USCCB trying to stop this publication or have rules altered prior to publication. And Jan 20, O said we’ll give you a year to get used to it. O offers vague shell game yesterday that is meaningless, especially given that the rules were published yesterday.

    Now, a new rulemaking must be opened to change the rules. USCCB has to petition HHS to do this. Fat chance. The alternative is to appeal the rules in the US courts, get them vacated. So, this is the USCCB’s next step with the other parties, EWTN, Belmont Abbey, etc.

    Words, just words.

  6. tcreek says:

    I wish we had a bunch of Bishop Steyns, 200 of em. Or maybe 180 would do. We probable got 20 OK MASCULINE ones.

  7. tcreek says:

    On second thought, maybe 90 Bishop Steyns and 90 Bishop Barnhardts

  8. Peggy R says:

    P.S. I think the actual publication of the unconstitutional rules yesterday explains the 2nd statement by the USCCB which was very strong and firm. Their goal was to stop that publication. They were right to do so.

  9. Supertradmum says:

    As seen in some of my other comments, I have thought this all along. What governments hate is an independent source of power over which they have no control. Becket, More, Campion, etc. all faced the egos of their respective monarchs. And the list goes on and on. Why should we be surprised, when Western Civ has not been taught in most high schools for at least thirty years in most states.

    When one is ignorant of history, one is doomed to repeat it.

  10. chantgirl says:

    Yes, whatever “tooth-level surveillance” is, I’m pretty sure it’s invading my personal space. So is this rage I’m feeling righteous indignation or what? I don’t feel disheartened anymore. Now I’m just plain mad. I can’t imagine what kind of country my children and grand-children will inherit if we don’t absolutely make our stand now, even if it involves some serious consequences or sacrifices. As laity, we need to ask ourselves “How far am I willing to go to the wall for my beliefs?”. I think the mandate goes into effect August 1 of this year for regular insurance plans. That is not much time to figure out how to provide alternate solutions for providing for my family’s health. I can just hear the criticism of my family members if I cancel our insurance plan ( how it would be irresponsible since I have a Brady bunch of kids). This is going to get ugly, I’m afraid.

  11. ChronicSinner says:

    I have a moral question for anyone out there who wants to give me what the Church says I should do to answer that question. Here goes.

    I work for a secular company and have health insurance through the company. If our health insurance complies with the HHS mandates, then am I morally obliged as a Catholic to drop out of the plan, even if I would never avail myself of the coverage for intrinisically evil services? Serious question, as I am not sure what I am called to do.

  12. Supertradmum says:

    ChronicSinner, if we all dropped those plans, we would change the insurance world. Drop it, but pray first.

  13. ChronicSinner says:

    Thanks for the feedback, Supertradmum. Prayer is always a good thing. That doesn’t answer my question, however. The question phrased another way goes like this: does availing oneself of an employer paid plan that meets HHS coverage criteria, constitute formal cooperation with an intrinsic evil, even if I do not use the plan to obtain intrinsically evil services?

  14. Supertradmum says:

    ChronicSinner, some of us by nature or grace cannot compromise at all. If you can find other means, do so. I suggest you find a conservative priest as a spiritual director. For myself, unless I am covered by a Catholic insurance company which does not pay for abortion or contraception, I do not have health insurance. But, I have a long history of trying to boycott companies which support such. Sometimes it means suffering to do so. I think there is a moral rule about direct and indirect consequences, but get some advice from a good priest. In England, for example, most Catholics, unless they are independently wealthy and can afford private health and private hospitals, and I have some friends who do so, use a morally corrupt socialist system.

  15. chantgirl says:

    ChronicSinner- if it would be formal participation for the Bishops to allow Catholic institutions to purchase insurance that covers morally reprehensible things, I don’t see how it would be any different for us as individuals. Granted, Bishops have a say as to the kind of insurance their diocese will use, and most employees don’t, but our money would still be subsidizing someone else’s sin. If we pay premiums for insurance that covers contraception, abortifacients etc. and we aren’t using these “services”, then part of our premiums will be used to defray the cost of giving them to others for “free”. Our tax dollars already go to pay for abortions via the Mexico City policy, but most of us don’t have any way to avoid paying taxes as they come out of our paychecks before we even see them. Now, though, we have an opportunity to resist since we still (maybe for a limited time) have the choice as to whether to purchase insurance. I’m not a moral theologian, but I don’t see how this wouldn’t be participation with evil to pay into such an evil system. Besides, I think if we roll on this, there will be bigger and more sinister things down the pike that they’ll expect us to roll on- like end-of-life decisions, mandatory prenatal testing to find birth defects to pressure people to abort, human cloning and organ harvesting, sterilization of the unfit etc. Right now in the UK, school nurses are injecting contraceptive implants under girls’ skin who are as young as 13 without their parents knowledge or consent. In the Netherlands, doctors can make an autonomous decision to end the life of a patient if they deem the patient does not have a good quality of life. With the demographic winter that the West is going to be experiencing over the next century, it is going to be very tempting to insurance companies and governments to see the elderly and the handicapped as less worthy of their care and expenses, and either directly end their lives by euthanasia or indirectly by withholding care. We have to draw a line in the sand NOW, and if we can’t change or repeal this heinous law, disobey it. Our children and grand-children will thank us. Imagine the lives that could have been saved if people in this country had resisted slavery earlier on- we might have been able to avoid the Civil War. God knows if every woman in this country has access to “free” contraceptives and abortifacients that the silent death toll will dwarf that of the Civil War. O God, come to our assistance; Lord make haste to help us!

  16. ChronicSinner says:

    Thanks for your input, Supertradmum and Chantgirl. God bless you both.

  17. AnAmericanMother says:

    Wow . . . just, wow.
    My husband has cancer and is in the middle of chemo. The expense is mind-boggling.
    Dropping our insurance would be a death sentence.
    What then?

  18. chantgirl says:

    American Mother- we still have until August 1st (as far as I’m aware) before this rule kicks in for regular insuance plans. A lot can happen between now and then if we storm Congress with letters, phone calls, and let them know in no uncertain terms that their jobs are on the line. I don’t think the President will come around to our point of view short of a miracle, but Congress might be able to be persuaded. If we are part of the supposed 2% of Catholics who are faithful to the Magisterium on the issue of birth control, we must be the loudest 2% possible. And pray like heck this Lent.

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