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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hey, Mr. President...how's that "accommodation" workin' out for ya?
Posted by Jill | 3:54 PM
Lucy, football, etc.:
Hours after calling the Obama administration's contraceptives compromise a "first step," the Catholic bishops said Friday night they have "two serious objections" to the new policy and will fight its enactment.

First, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said the administration’s plan still includes a “nationwide mandate of insurance coverage of sterilization and contraception, including some abortifacients.”

“This is both unsupported in the law and remains a grave moral concern,” the bishops said in their statement. “We cannot fail to reiterate this, even as so many would focus exclusively on the question of religious liberty.

And while President Barack Obama’s new plan allows religious-affiliated employers to refrain from paying for contraceptive coverage — insurers would be obligated to provide the coverage for free — the bishops said the change doesn’t go far enough.

“It would still mandate that all insurers must include coverage for the objectionable services in all the policies they would write,” the bishops said. “At this point, it would appear that self-insuring religious employers, and religious insurance companies, are not exempt from this mandate.”

The bishops said the president’s plan will require “careful moral analysis” and may still change.

But they made it clear that a “lack of clear protection for key stakeholders — for self-insured religious employers; for religious and secular for-profit employers; for secular non-profit employers; for religious insurers; and for individuals — is unacceptable and must be corrected. And in the case where the employee and insurer agree to add the objectionable coverage, that coverage is still provided as a part of the objecting employer's plan, financed in the same way as the rest of the coverage offered by the objecting employer. This, too, raises serious moral concerns.”

A senior administration official told POLITICO on Saturday that the White House didn't expect to win the support of the bishops with Friday's updated policy. Instead, the official said, the administration was focused on achieving a balance of respecting religious beliefs and ensuring women had access to preventive services.

Where these absolutists are concerned, there IS no such thing as balance. You're either going to run this country as if it were a radical Christian theocracy, or you're going to run it in a sane manner.

If Obama caves on this one and throws 51% of the population under the bus to try to appease the Christian Taliban and the Protectors of Pedophiles, I'm done. Let the fucking right wing have the whole place. But then I don't want to hear any bitching from these morons when the Randian paradise they're going to vote for in November isn't quite what they expected.
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Blogger jcradin said...
Don't worry about Pres. Obama caving, he won't. He is done with that tactic. The only point, as he said in the beginning, is to show how unreasonable and extreme your opposition is by first really trying to compromise and be reasonable, and when you go 50 or 60 or 70 percent of the way and they won't go 1 percent toward you to compromise, you have made your point. He is doing the same thing with Iran. It undercuts the oppostion arguments, that they are reasonable and you ( the President ) are an unreasonable crazy. No, I think he has made his point, the Iranians and the Repbulicans want it all their own way and they have shown the rest of us there is no use talking to, or trying to compromise with them. So don't worry, he ain't gonna cave.

Blogger liberal supporter said...
I don't understand. If religious employers are not required to pay for contraceptive coverage, then they are not paying for things they disapprove of. Further, if their employees are using these covered items, then said employees are heretics. The separation of Church and State was to prevent State power being used to enforce fatwas, disfellowshipment or dietary laws among other things. Will the religious now demand the government kill Muslims who leave the faith, or burn witches at the stake?

Blogger Jimbo said...
I agree with your sentiments but it's not going to happen that we end up with the "Randian paradise". We're way past that point. I grew up in a very traditional Catholic family and even though parents clearly didn't practice BC (six kids) they were both supportive of it. That was the 60's. Figure that the Cardinals and Bishops are totally out of touch with their own flock. This is all political not religious; always has been really.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Religious employers will be paying for contraceptive coverage - the insurance companies aren't going to do this for free. Obama's accommodation simply allows the religious employers to say the letter of the law means they're not supporting contraceptives; the spirit of the transaction, though, means that the employers will pay - or else the costs will be shifted to the premiums of non-religious groups.

Obama should have just said "No." It's a cave without substance when the majority of the people were already with him.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
You seem to completely miss what is going on here. Obama has played this brilliantly. He found a solution that actually gives the bishops precisely what they said they wanted (not to have to pay for contraceptive coverage) without in any way restricting said coverage from any person.

That has completely taken the wind out of the sails of the issue (which had been growing into a real problem given the opinions of some catholic Dems).

The fact that the bishops and some on the right want to continue the fight is pure gold for us. The country is overwhelmingly behind Obama's position on this, so it is a very big losing issue for the right if they actually pursue it.
Especially if it is framed as them fighting for the right of any employer to deny any employee any coverage simply on the basis of what the employer considers his "morality".

With all the potential lines of attack against Obama that the GOP could be using - if O manages to get them to invest their time pursuing this issue, then he is a political genius. This will be a big win for the forces of light.

Hard to imagine why you cannot see that.

Blogger Grung_e_Gene said...
Jill, I think you are wrong about Obama caving, he's allowing the fanatics to remove their masques of civility and reveal their ugliness.

We are witness to the full turgid horror of the Conference of Bishops and the right-wingers whoclaim religious liberty for the church while blithely rolling back women's rights to the 15th century.

Blogger New York Crank said...
There's a long history in this country of religious liberty meaning liberty for me and my religion, not for you and your religion.

Before the American revolution a Quaker visitor to Massachusetts had his ears lopped off for...being a Quaker.

Also today - well just look at the brouhaha over the conversion of an old loft building in Manhattan into a mosque that looks like a loft building, only a block away (although not in sight of) Ground Zero.

Did I mention – nope I guess I didn't – that there was once a street in Greenwich Village named Reason Street after Tom Paine's "The Age Of Reason," one of the books that inspired the American revolution. The street name was changed to Barrow Street after it came out that Tom Paine was a deist, (O, the shame of it!) not an Anglican Protestant.

Nothing has changed except the power of publicity.

Yours very crankily,
The New York Crank