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HHS Mandate: Anti-Catholic and Un-American


FR. BARRON

Source:
National Review
Type:
Bishops, Priests
Date:
2/8/2012

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ABSTRACTThe HHS Mandate: Anti-Catholic and Un-American - By Rev. Robert Barron - The Corner - National Review Online Get FREE NRO Newsletters   Log In   |   Register Follow Us Everywhere         April 16 Issue  Subscribe to NR  Renew  April 16 Issue   |   Subscribe   |   Renew Home The Corner The Agenda Campaign Spot The Home Front Right Field Bench Memos The Feed Media Blog Critical Condition Larry Kudlow David Calling Exchequer Phi Beta Cons Planet Gore UK Between the Covers Radio Derb Tweet Tracker NR / Digital Subscribe: NR Subscribe: NR / Digital Give: NR / Digital NR Renewals & Changes Shop! Donate Media Kit Contact Close To: Your Email: Your Name: Subject: Zubrin: Carbon Emissions Are Good Derbyshire: March Diary Costa: The Ron Johnson Factor Hanson: Iran’s Win, Win, Win Bomb Habeeb: Too Young to Die Sowell: Argument from Disparity Charen: Violence and Family Breakdown Fonte: Saving Sovereignty Prager: They Don’t Know Us Lowry: Meltdown with Keith Olbermann Pipes: It’s Not Road Rage, It’s Terrorism O'Sullivan: The Significant ‘Little War’ Lopez: Desperately Seeking Women Ponnuru: The Culture Warrior Geraghty: Senate 2012 Outlook Fund: Penny Anti Interview: Ringing a Bell for Liberty Barone: The Constitution’s Comeback Sowell: The Death of Mrs. G Murdock: Socialist Hong Kong? New on NRO . . . The Corner The one and only. About This Blog Archive E-Mail RSS Send Print   |  Text   The HHS Mandate: Anti-Catholic and Un-American By  Rev. Robert Barron February 8, 2012 5:52 P.M. Comments 33 Decades ago, priests, religious brothers and religious sisters were colorfully visible features of Catholic hospitals, serving as nurses, chaplains, business officers, and chief administrators. With the decline in vocations, this obviously religious leadership largely disappeared, but Catholic values, for the most part, still animated these institutions. What has begun to concern a number of observers is that, as today’s medical personnel, staffers, and administrators at Catholic hospitals have accommodated themselves more and more to secularist assumptions, even those values are in danger of disappearing. But now the slow and steady creep of secularization has been given a massive push by the Obama administration’s recent mandate that all health-care agencies and institutions must pay for insurance that covers contraception, sterilization, and certain kinds of abortifacient drugs. The state is creating an impossible situation for Catholic hospitals. If they cave in and provide insurance for these verboten procedures, they have effectively de-Catholicized themselves; and if they refuse to provide such insurance, they will be met with fines of millions of dollars, which they cannot possibly pay. In either case, they are forced out of business as Catholic. The secularist state wants Catholicism off the public stage and relegated to a private realm where it cannot interfere with secularism’s totalitarian agenda. I realize that in using that particular term, I’m dropping a rhetorical bomb, but I am not doing so casually. A more tolerant liberalism allows, not only for freedom of worship, but also for real freedom of religion, which is to say, the expression of religious values in the public square and the free play of religious ideas in the public conversation. Most of our founding fathers advocated just this type of liberalism. But there is another modality of secularism — sadly on display in the current administration — that is actively aggressive toward religion, precisely because it sees religion as its primary rival in the public arena. The reason that the Bill of Rights — the first ten amendments to the Constitution — is so important is that it holds off the tendency, inherent in any government, toward totalitarianism, even if that means the totalitarianism of the majority. The very first amendment, of course, guarantees the free exercise of religion in our country. Our founders obviously feared that even a democratic system, predicated upon a repudiation of tyranny, could become so tyrannical itself that it would seek to intrude upon the sacred realm of the religious conscience. As Jefferson, Tocqueville, Lincoln, and many others have seen, our democracy is especially healthy when it disallows a concentration of power — political, economic, or cultural — in any one place. I would hope that American Catholics would argue against the Obama administration’s move, not only because they are Catholics, but also because they are Americans. — Father Robert Barron is the founder of the global ministry, Word on Fire, and the Francis Cardinal George Professor of Faith and Culture at University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein. He is the creator of a new ten-episode documentary series called Catholicism . New .......