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Obama's breach of faith over contraceptive ruling


EJ DIONNE

Source:
Washington Post
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
1/29/2012

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ABSTRACTObama’s breach of faith over contraceptive ruling - The Washington Post Print Subscription Conversations Today's Paper Going Out Guide Jobs Cars Real Estate Rentals Classifieds Shopping Home Politics Campaign 2012 Congress Courts & Law The Fed Page Health Care Polling White House Blogs & Columns Issues: Energy Top Blogs Election 2012 | Felicia Sonmez The Fix | Chris Cillizza Federal Eye | Ed O’Keefe Fact Checker | Glenn Kessler Opinions All Opinions PostPartisan Left-Leaning Right-Leaning Toles Cartoons Telnaes Animations Local Columnist Index Local DC: Politics | News MD: Politics | Communities VA: Politics | Communities Crime Education On Faith/Local Obituaries Traffic & Commuting Weather Blogs & Columns The Root DC Top Blogs Post Now The Buzz Capital Weather Gang Dr. Gridlock Sports Redskins/NFL Capitals/NHL Wizards/NBA Nationals/MLB DC United/Soccer Colleges AllMetSports Other Sports Blogs & Columns Top Blogs The Insider| Mike Jones Capitals Insider| Katie Carrera Wizards Insider | Michael Lee Nationals Journal| Adam Kilgore National Corrections Energy & Environment Health & Science Higher Education National Security On Faith On Leadership Innovations On Giving Blogs & Columns Top Blogs Ideas@Innovations Post Leadership Under God Checkpoint Washington World Africa The Americas Asia & Pacific Europe Middle East National Security War Zones Special Reports Checkpoint Washington Business Economy Industries Local Business Markets Policy & Regulation Technology World Business Blogs & Columns Innovations On Small Business Top Blogs Wonkblog | Ezra Klein Post Tech | Cecilia Kang Faster Forward Where We Live Investigations Lifestyle Advice Carolyn Hax Food Home & Garden Style Travel Weddings Wellness Magazine KidsPost Top Blogs The Style Blog All We Can Eat Reliable Source | Roxanne Roberts & Amy Argetsinger On Parenting | Janice D’Arcy Entertainment Books Celebrities Comics Going Out Guide Horoscopes Movies Museums Puzzles Theater & Dance TV Top Blogs TV Column | Lisa de Moraes Celebritology | Jen Chaney Comic Riffs | Michael Cavna Classical Beat | Anne Midgette Multimedia Innovations Photos Videos The Washington Post Make us your start page Personalize The Washington Post All Opinions PostPartisan Left-Leaning Right-Leaning Toles Cartoons Telnaes Animations Local Columnist Index In the News Mitt Romney Tiger Woods Scott Walker Flying car Dallas tornadoes ???initialComments:true! pubdate:01/29/2012 20:19 EST! commentPeriod:14! commentEndDate:2/12/12 8:19 EST! currentDate:4/3/12 8:0 EDT! allowComments:false! displayComments:true! Photos: Tornado emergency in Texas Your pets, photographed NFL makes fashion statement with new uniforms Peeps, with hipster glasses E.J. Dionne Jr. Opinion Writer Obama’s breach of faith over contraceptive ruling Text Size Print E-mail Reprints By E.J. Dionne Jr. , The Washington Post One of Barack Obama’s great attractions as a presidential candidate was his sensitivity to the feelings and intellectual concerns of religious believers. That is why it is so remarkable that he utterly botched the admittedly difficult question of how contraceptive services should be treated under the new health-care law. His administration mishandled this decision not once but twice. In the process, Obama threw his progressive Catholic allies under the bus and strengthened the hand of those inside the Church who had originally sought to derail the health-care law. Loading... Comments Weigh In Corrections? Personal Post E.J. Dionne Jr. Writes about politics in a twice-a-week column and on the PostPartisan blog. Archive Facebook E-mail RSS Gallery  A collection of cartoons on the presidential race. More Election 2012 A collection of Ann Telnaes animations on the presidential race. You may also like... Greg Sargent Happy Hour Roundup Harold Meyerson The rich get richer This might not be so surprising if Obama had presented himself as a conventional secular liberal. But he has always held himself to a more inclusive standard. His deservedly celebrated 2006 speech on religion and American public life was a deeply sophisticated and carefully balanced effort to defend the rights of both believers and nonbelievers in a pluralistic republic. Obama’s speech at Notre Dame’s graduation in 2009 was another tour de force. His visit to South Bend was highly controversial among right-wing Catholics. Yet his address temporarily silenced many of his critics because it showed an appreciation for the Catholic Church’s contributions to American life — particularly through its vast array of social-service and educational institutions — and an instinctive feeling for Catholic sensibilities. Obama was also willing to annoy some in his liberal base during the battle for the health-care bill by making sure that Catholic institutions do not have to perform or pay for abortions. Rather than praising him for this, the bis.......