For progressives, tolerance only works one way. With all due respect, certain rubes should have learned that by now.
Obama's federal birth control mandate rolls on:
The Obama administration’s plan to force virtually all private insurers, including faith-based employers, to offer free abortifacient birth control is open for public comment until midnight tonight.That was last night.
The mandate defining birth control as an essential “preventive service” under the federal health care reform law has been strenuously opposed by U.S. Catholic bishops and Catholic universities who say the new regulation’s religious exemption is dangerously narrow.With all due respect, the "bewildered" Fr. Jenkins may suggest whatever he likes. What Obama "had in mind" when he accepted Fr. Jenkins's invitation was to marginalize faithful Catholics and the pro-life cause. Fr. Jenkins aided and abetted that goal. From the president's god-awful speech:
“Jesus himself, or the Good Samaritan of his famous parable, would not qualify as ‘religious enough’ for the exemption, since they insisted on helping people who did not share their view of God,” said USCCB president Cardinal Daniel Dinardo in a Sept 26 statement. “The ‘religious employer’ exemption offered by the Department is so extremely narrow that it protects almost no one.”
In a letter to Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Wednesday, University of Notre Dame president Fr. John Jenkins expressed bewilderment that the school President Obama once visited with a promise to draft a “sensible conscience clause” was on the brink of being forced to offer students free birth control and sterilizations.
“May I suggest that this is not the kind of ‘sensible’ approach the president had in mind when he spoke here,” wrote Jenkins, who noted that the conscience clause drew from the narrowest known state definition of “religious employer,” something unheard of in federal law.
So let us work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions, let's reduce unintended pregnancies. (Applause.) Let's make adoption more available. (Applause.) Let's provide care and support for women who do carry their children to term. (Applause.) 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." Those are things we can do. (Applause.)I asked at the time, "What will sensible mean?" Turns out, in February 2011, it meant this:
The Obama Administration has rescinded a federal regulation from 2008 that protected the conscience rights of health care providers opposed to providing abortifacient contraception, such as the Plan-B “morning-after” pill.But Fr. Jenkins didn't see any of this coming. He listened to Obama's incoherent and deeply dishonest speech, swallowed the lies down whole, and thanked Obama for the privilege:
The Health and Human Services Department under Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, issued the new “final rule,” which leaves health-care workers of federally funded entities a narrower conscience exemption that only protects them from having to participate in abortions or sterilizations.
Notre Dame's president, the Rev. John Jenkins, praised Obama for accepting the school's invitation, despite knowledge that his views differed from many of those taught by the Roman Catholic Church.Baloney. And his "views differ" all right. He's for infanticide, and the Catholic Church is against it. That's some difference. But how good of him to grace Notre Dame with his tolerant presence.
"Others might have avoided this venue for that reason," Jenkins said. "But President Obama is not someone who stops talking with those who differ with him."
One lesson Fr. Jenkins might learn from this experience: what Obama really means when he talks about compromise:
He's very consistent on that. When he invokes "the common ground," "bipartisanship," "working together," "being sensible," "exchanging ideas," or "engaging in debate," he always means we must adopt his point of view.Nevertheless, Fr. Jenkins has no regrets:
The university president said that he “still stand[s] by that decision” to invite the deeply pro-abortion president, despite the opposition of over 300,000 petitioning Catholics and 80 active U.S. bishops. However, he observed that under the new regulations, Notre Dame would be forced to “offer our students sterilization procedures and prescription contraceptives, including pills that act after fertilization to induce abortions, and to offer such services in our employee health plans.”It's a very bad position. But impossible? No. Life comes first:
“This would compel Notre Dame to either pay for contraception and sterilization in violation of the Church’s moral teaching, or to discontinue our employee and students health care plans in violation of the Church’s social teaching,” wrote the priest. “It is an impossible position.”
In addition, the bishops point out that the birth control mandate, which includes emergency contraception such as Plan B and Ella, really amounts to an abortion mandate: both drugs are known to be capable of killing an unborn child days after conception. Ella, a drug indicated for use up to five days after intercourse, is in the same chemical family as abortion drug RU-486.
Relevant Notre Dame posts here.
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