Notre Dame Faculty Responds To Obama: ‘This Is a Grave Violation of Religious Freedom and Cannot Stand’

Let us simply call this what it is: it is a new front in a culture war for purely political reasons that Obama started on religion, religious freedom and the right to individual conscience.  It is the imposition of excessive and burdensome regulation from a government that has already repeatedly demonstrated that it is way out of control:

Notre Dame Faculty to Obama: ‘This Is a Grave Violation of Religious Freedom and Cannot Stand’
By Terence P. Jeffrey
February 12, 2012

(CNSNews.com) – Twenty-five Notre Dame faculty members–led by the university’s top ethics expert, and including some of the school’s most eminent scholars–have signed a statement declaring that President Barack Obama’s latest version of his administration’s mandate that all health insurance plans in the United States must cover sterilizations and all FDA-approved contraceptives, including those that cause abortions, is “a grave violation of religious freedom and cannot stand.”

The statement—put out on the letterhead of the University of Notre Dame Law School–is also signed by leading scholars from other major American colleges and universities, including Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, Georgetown, Brigham Young, Yeshiva and Wheaton College.

Prof. Carter Snead, a professor of law at Notre Dame, was one of the lead organizers of the statement, which was published on his official law school letterhead. Notre Dame’s top ethics expert, Snead serves as director of the university’s Center for Ethics and Culture, a position to which he was appointed by Father John Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame.

In 2009, Father Jenkins awarded President Barack Obama an honorary Notre Dame law degree.

Some of the other distinguished Notre Dame faculty who signed the statement condemning Obama’s mandate are Prof. Patrick Griffin, chairman of Notre Dame’s History Department; Prof. Richard Garnett, an associate dean; John Cavadini, director of Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life; Christian Smith, director of Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Religion and Society; Prof. Paolo Carozza, director of Notre Dame’s Center for Civil and Human Rights; Prof. Philip Bess, Notre Dame’s Director of Graduate Studies; and Father Wilson Miscamble, a professor of history.

Other leading organizers of the letter included Prof. Robert George of Princeton and Prof. Mary Ann Glendon of Harvard Law School.

When Obama received his honorary degree at Notre Dame’s May 17, 2009, commencement, he vowed to respect the conscience rights of those who believe abortion is wrong.

“Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded not only in sound science, but also in clear ethics, as well as respect for the equality of women,” said Obama. “Those are things we can do.”

Many Catholic bishops and lay leaders had criticized Notre Dame’s decision to grant Obama an honorary degree–pointing to his long-standing position in favor of legalized abortion on demand, which included going so far as to oppose a law in the Illinois state senate that would have simply said that a baby born alive in that state was entitled to the same rights under the U.S. Constitution as any other born “person.”

In their statement released late Friday, the 25 Notre Dame faculty members and the many other prominent scholars from other institutions who joined them said that Obama’s sterilization-contraception-abortifacient mandate–even with Obama’s proposed adjustments on Friday–remains an “assault on religious liberty and rights of conscience.”

“The administration will now require that all insurance plans cover (‘cost free’) these same products and services,” said the scholars. “Once a religiously-affiliated (or believing individual) employer purchases insurance (as it must, by law), the insurance company will then contact the insured employees to advise them that the terms of the policy include coverage for these objectionable things.

“This so-called ‘accommodation’ changes nothing of moral substance and fails to remove the assault on religious liberty and the rights of conscience which gave rise to the controversy,” they said. “It is certainly no compromise. The reason for the original bipartisan uproar was the administration’s insistence that religious employers, be they institutions or individuals, provide insurance that covered services they regard as gravely immoral and unjust. Under the new rule, the government still coerces religious institutions and individuals to purchase insurance policies that include the very same services.”

The statement also said that Obama’s latest iteration of the regulation is “an insult to the intelligence of Catholics, Protestants, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Jews and Muslims” and “cannot stand.”

“The simple fact is that the Obama administration is compelling religious people and institutions who are employers to purchase a health insurance contract that provides abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization,” the scholars said. “This is a grave violation of religious freedom and cannot stand. It is an insult to the intelligence of Catholics, Protestants, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Jews, Muslims, and other people of faith and conscience to imagine that they will accept an assault on their religious liberty if only it is covered up by a cheap accounting trick.”

When you’ve got Harvard, Princeton and Standford agreeing with Catholic Notre Dame, it is rather glaringly obvious that Obama is just WRONG.

Let me provide a couple of illustrations as to “what an insult to the intelligence” of all concerned this truly is:

1) the Catholic League – very obviously a Catholic organization – is one such organization that will be required to purchase insurance coverage to provide “free” birth control, abortifacients and sterilizations.  Obama says the Catholic League won’t have to pay anything for this; rather the insurance company that represents them will.  But what insurance company is that?  It turns out that the health insurer of the Catholic League is Christian Brothers.  But guess what?  That is ALSO a Catholic organization.  So Catholics are STILL being forced to violate their consciences as Obama tramples all over their religious freedom.  But it won’t just be Christian Brothers who pays for this “:care”; Christian Brothers and the Catholic League share costs such that each pay a percentage of the burden.  So the Catholic League will STILL be compelled to pay for treatment it morally objects to on religious grounds that the Catholic Church has held for one thousand five hundred years.

Many religious – and particularly many CATHOLIC – organizations are self-insured.  So Obama is still demanding that the Catholic Church must pay for “care” it has never had to pay for before.  It’s just a bait-and-switch tactic for fools who love nothing more than having “their intelligence insulted” to make it appear that the Church isn’t under attack when in fact it clearly IS under attack.

2) Take the garden variety situation in which a Catholic organization is not self-insured or insured through another Catholic organization.  In this case, Obama is STILL a liar.  He claims:

“Religious organizations won’t have to pay for these services and no religious institution will have to provide these services directly.”

But they still have to pay for them INDIRECTLY.  And how is that anything other than a completely meaningless and arbitrary distinction???

Unless Obama is volunteering to take over the premiums of all the religious organization that he is imposing his new policy on, THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE TO PAY FOR THIS REQUIREMENT.

Unlimited and unrestricted access to Birth control, abortifacients and sterilizations isn’t free just because Obama declares it by fiat.  Somebody still has to pay for it.  And it is beyond “magical thinking” to believe that the insurance companies won’t increase their premiums to reflect this new level of “care.”

This “accommodation” simply reveals that Obama is a truly dishonest weasel.

One last thing.  If you look at the way the mainstream media propaganda continually depicts this story, it is all about “preventative health care for women.”  This whole boondoggle is being imposed and packaged under the guise of “preventative health care.”  Well, it’s one thing to require an insurer to provide “preventative care” for issues such as the deadly disease of diabetes.  But when you use the same language to describe a human baby as you do a deadly disease, you have crossed the line into being genuinely morally sick.  That is NOT mainstream thinking; that is the thinking of the far radical feminist left that is being deceitfully repackaged into something that masquerades as mainstream thinking.

The other thing that is just beyond nauseating is that the left and their mainstream media allies continually depict this issue as a “birth control” issue as if this is the first time in the entire history of the republic that woman have ever had “access to birth control.”  That is obviously a red herring; rather, this is the first time ever that Catholics have been put in a position in which they had to sacrifice their religious beliefs and violate their consciences to provide something that has obviously been “widely available” for decades if not centuries in America.  It is a false facade, pure and simple.

I am not a Catholic.  I do not believe that providing birth control is evil (although I most certainly DO oppose abortion-inducing drugs as evil).  But the Catholic Church has consistently maintained their belief regarding birth control for 1,500 years.  It is simply stunning that a theology which has endured for a millennium and a half cannot survive the wickedness of one Barack Obama term of office.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , ,

2 Responses to “Notre Dame Faculty Responds To Obama: ‘This Is a Grave Violation of Religious Freedom and Cannot Stand’”

  1. Mr.Owl Says:

    As they always do, liberals have done an excellent job framing this debate and drawing focus away from what’s really happening. They make it seem as though this is another small part of the pro-life/pro-choice debate and that not having this provision is trampling on the rights of women. As I see it, the real issue at hand is government intervention into private organizations and how they choose to compensate their employees. I’m only 23 years old and only in past few years have I developed an interest in politics and government workings. With that, admittedly, small amount of knowledge and experience, I can’t really figure out how it became the governments place to choose what benefits a company or institution offers its employees.

  2. Michael Eden Says:

    Mr. Owl,

    Well, you get it. This is very much about “government intervention into private organizations and how they choose to compensate their employees.” Of course, in this case, it is a particular subset of that debate: the State imposing its divine will upon churches and church organizations and religious believers and forcing them to violate their consciences in a trampling of our 1st Amendment guarantees that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

    It’s about “you don’t need your bogus religion; you can worship Obama now.”

    Here’s a hint explaining where the Democrat Party has gone so completely wrong:

    From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” — Karl Marx

    That is precisely Obama’s view of the world. And it is a communist view. Just like father, from whom Obama got his dreams.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: