White House offers an olive branch to Catholic voters?
February 7th, 2012
06:53 PM ET

White House offers an olive branch to Catholic voters?

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WHITE HOUSE (CNN) – The White House appears to be softening its stance on the controversial rule forcing some religious organizations to provide birth control as part of their health insurance plans.

“The president's interest at a policy level is in making sure that this coverage is extended to all women because it's important,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.  “(On) the other side is finding the right balance…concerns about religious beliefs and convictions. So we will, in this transition period …seek to find ways to implement that policy that allay some of those concerns.”

More than two weeks ago, the Department of Health and Human Service issued a mandate instructing all employers that provide health insurance to their employees include the option for paid birth control, the morning after pill and intrauterine devices. The rule, scheduled to go into effect next summer, excluded churches from participation.  The mandate did not exclude religiously affiliated employers like universities and hospitals creating a firestorm.

Tuesday’s softened rhetoric makes it appear the administration is willing to work with religious employers on a finding a compromise before the rule goes into effect.  But the White House still insists that women employed by these religiously affiliated employers must have access to insurance coverage that pays for contraceptives.

Some leaders in the Catholic Church say that compromise is not enough.

“Implementing the policy as is and allying the concerns are mutually exclusive. If they want to allay concerns they need to change the policy.  Nothing less will do,” Anthony Picarello, general counsel of the U.S. Conference of Bishops told CNN.

The talk of compromise also signals the administration’s efforts to reach out and extend an olive branch to many Catholic voters, a crucial voting block for President Obama in 2008.

While the regulations have caused a firestorm of criticism, a new study released by the Public Religion Research Institute shows the majority of Catholics support the administration’s plan. Nearly 6 out of 10 Catholics think employers should be required to provide this kind of insurance coverage. Among Catholic voters, support for the measure is slightly lower at 52%.

Nevertheless the issue has been fodder for Republicans on the presidential campaign trail.  Republican hopeful Newt Gingrich criticized Mitt Romney for mandating Catholic hospitals provide coverage for abortion pills while he was governor.

“You have a very similar pattern again. Over and over you get the same pattern. And I think a Massachusetts moderate finds it very hard to draw a sharp contrast with someone who is an Illinois radical,” Gingrich told a crowd of supporters in Cincinnati on Tuesday.


Topics: Catholic vote • Health care • White House

soundoff (229 Responses)
  1. Kathryn Harlan

    Obama governing by the hip! His intensions are never thought out, but he wil do anything to get re-elected!! I voted for him, but not next time!! I have had enough of HIS thoughtless policies!! He is not helping this county,he is killing it look at his pick and choose policies on illegal immigration, anti business policies, turn about on PACS..i AM SO OVER HIM!! Obama has one priority...OBAMA!! Thanks for the change Mr President...

    February 7, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • Boomer

      Kathryn...........you are sooooooooooo full of it.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Howard

      obama gambles recklessly with the security, future, and economy of America.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Ellie

      Kathryn you are full of it.......

      February 8, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Jahi Foster

      The administration is not telling people to go have sex....... seriously they are trying to get organizations to provide a service, is it that hard to see? wow you would think that now and days people would grow up and face the fact that not everyone in an organization believes the same thing look at congress haha!

      February 8, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      gerald: nope; changing under very controversial environments requires shifting past policies or offers. It is part of survival. Ultra rigid moralists call it hypocrecy; it is not because it was not done maliciously.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • jean2009

      I know 6 people that didn't vote for him the last time that plan to vote for him this time....so I guess they cancel out your vote.

      February 8, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
      • John

        300 people in my company and the majority said they voted for BO. Now it appears very few will vote for him this time around. People are angry at the BS this guy spews.

        February 9, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • gavinsox

      Kathryn........you go girl. He lost my vote a long time ago. He is the chief panderer.

      February 9, 2012 at 9:28 am |
  2. david nixon

    Obama in particular and democrats in general are secular assholes who have no respect for anything or anyone who does not conform to their amoral line. Uncle Joe Stalin and Adolph Hitler would feel right at home with these guys.

    February 7, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Joe T.

      Last time I checked, most people are in favor of health care providing birth control. Even 98% of Catholic women have admitted to using birth control. Sounds like Obama is basing his decision on "we the people" and not "we the out-of-touch church".

      February 8, 2012 at 9:26 am |
      • therealhawkman

        Joe T. :Last time I checked, most people are in favor of health care providing birth control. Even 98% of Catholic women have admitted to using birth control. Sounds like Obama is basing his decision on "we the people" and not "we the out-of-touch church".

        The First Amendment addresses the rights of freedom of religion (prohibiting Congress from establishing a religion and protecting the right to free exercise of religion), freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of petition.

        Guess this mean that Religious organizations can be forced to provide services that are strictly against the churches edicts. How about the government dictate to you that you must do something that is absolutely against your personal morality? How would you feel then?

        If the government can force a church to do something, it will not be long before you have no choice at all.

        February 9, 2012 at 7:31 am |
      • John

        It doesn't matter how many are using birth control. The majority of Catholics are very angry over this issue. This administration says they are compromising by allowing a stay of one year so "the Catholics can figure out how they WILL implement this action". Isn't this like telling someone I am going to hold a gun to your head in a year and rob your home. If you don't agree to let me rob your home I will shoot you.

        February 9, 2012 at 8:53 am |
      • asdf

        But you're wrong, John. The majority of Catholics AREN'T upset by this.

        February 9, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • geggyg

      Hey Nixon Why do secular people always have to acquiese to the religous groups ideas and practises , while religious groups can ignore and demonise people they dont agree with. By the way not all seculr people are amoral and not all religious are moral, just look at your namesake Pres Nixon ,he wanst a moral guide for america

      February 8, 2012 at 10:24 am |
      • geggyg

        oops meant "wasnt"

        February 8, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Howard

      The Catholic church had better beware of lying, cheating crooks, bearing gifts ... who would do, or say anything to get reelected !!!

      February 8, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Jahi Foster

      The administration is not telling people to go have sex....... seriously they are trying to get organizations to provide a service, is it that hard to see? wow you would think that now and days people would grow up and face the fact that not everyone in an organization believes the same thing look at congress haha!

      February 8, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      david nixon: nixon? the guy who cheated DELIVERATIVELY millions of voters who had elected him? hahahahahahah
      hahahaha, you do have a thick republican skin!

      Let's see: Obama signs health reform, catches bin laden, gives millions to store owners, the care industry, students, etc, also funds needed American infrastructure and makes our economy recover, plus hires a million people! Wow, real great accomplishments. Still you and your comrades criticize him? Gee whiz, you belong in Cuba or Syria. No two ways about ii :)

      February 8, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
      • John

        You list things like they are positive facts. The majority of the people want Obamacare done away with. The economy is still much worse than it was under GB, we lost a highly technicall drone to one of the worst contry leaders in the world.

        February 9, 2012 at 8:46 am |
      • therealhawkman

        Let's see: Obama signs health reform, catches bin laden, gives millions to store owners, the care industry, students, etc, also funds needed American infrastructure and makes our economy recover, plus hires a million people! Wow, real great accomplishments. Still you and your comrades criticize him? Gee whiz, you belong in Cuba or Syria. No two ways about ii :)

        First, please tell me why we needed a more expense health reform. Anyone that needed health care got it. They simply had to go to any PUBLIC HOSPITAL. By law, that public hospital could not deny anyone. Yeah, we needed more BS in the government. Second, Obama didn't catch anyone. The only thing he did was to allow Bin Laden to be taken out. Not a thing more. Third, he did nothing for the American infrastructure but cause more of our tax money to go to companies and organizations that should have filed for bankruptcy; just like the airline industry has had to do. Nothing more, nothing less. Fourth, please tell me one "store owner" he gave money to. Please. I know many. Not a one ever got a dime from Obama's big give-a-way. Not one. So, go ahead, tell me. Fifth, I'll slightly agree, he may have "hired" a million more people.....all in the government. Another way to get more of my tax money.

        Keep wishing for more government intervention in your lives. But, beware of what you wish for. You may not like the end result.

        February 9, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • mike harris

      Hitler was a conservative. That would make him a republicon.

      February 8, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Mike

      really? Since when is America a Christian nation? The ultra-right want America to become a theocratic nation so that atrocities can be justified in the name of God

      February 9, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • EMP

      Ultimately, what it comes down to is this:

      1) This policy does NOT affect churches or church employees which is in keeping with the establishment and exercise clauses of the 1st amendment.

      2) This policy does affect some church run businesses that are accepting state and federal government money through Medicare and Medicaid. Since these businesses are accepting government money, this is also in keeping with the establishment and exercise clauses. If they quit accepting money from the government, they'd have an actual basis of argument for not having to conform to government policy.

      February 9, 2012 at 9:14 am |
  3. Sue

    Seriously am I missing something here? Does it say that the Catholics HAVE to take the birth control? Is someone going to come and first make them get the birth control; second ram it down their throat? Wow

    February 7, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Cancit

      Exactly. Such crap they are spouting as usual. We all know this is just political and no one gives a rats ass about providing birth control.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Read the Constitution

      It is not about forcing someone to take birth control, it's about force religious organizations to pay for something they do not believe in. If that does not go against the Free Exercise clause, I don't know what does. There are tradeoffs with every employer. Chick-fil-a for instance, chooses not to be open Sundays. It may benefit their student employees to be able to work on a day they do not have class, but their employer has the belief that Sunday should be a day of rest. If you want to work on Sunday, you have to find another place. Often we forget that freedom means someone else may do or not do something we do not like. You have the right to use birth control, but you don't have the right to have someone else pay for it (especially a religious organization).

      February 8, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      Sue: seeing a federal doctor for free, saves you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Open your mind. The President Obama's rule disables private insurance doctors for making millions out of people, whatever party they belong to.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      Sue: many young girls are not prepared to have babies. Proof: youths who have killed their toddlers. Our Presidents law introduces discipline and prevents unwanted conception. The church IS NOT A POWER NIGHER THAN OUR FEDERAL STRUCTURE AND OUR PRESIDENT, CONGRESS AND SUPREME COURT. Otherwise this nation is not free and under dogmatic religious control.If so what is next, another inquisition?

      February 8, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Phyllis

      right on .No one is forcing anyone . Except catholic ptiest so they can have more little boys to molest

      February 8, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Kevin

      Sue, this is a good point. It seems to me that they (institutions) only need to provide the opportunity for birth control to be available with the insurance. It does not state that the contraceptives have to used.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • NC Moderate

      Excuse me! I'm a taxpayer and I insist that my tax dollars be used to pay for birth control for all employees of any taxpayer-funded nonprofit or university! If Catholics don't like that, then don't take federal dollars! It's time to turn this argument right side up.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Tony

      They are making Catholic organizations pay for it. That'd be like making you pay for something you don't support, like a free bible to every citizen.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
      • jean2009

        No that is untrue. Employees of religious institutions are paying for health insurance with their own wages. The Church is paying for nothing.

        February 8, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
  4. Larry in Houston

    Does Pres. Obama risk alienating Catholic voters because of the birth control part of his health care law ?

    Short Answer : Not Necessarily.

    I'm a catholic , born catholic, raised catholic – but just like a lot of other "catholics" – we attend Church Service every week, or whenever we can go, either a Service on Saturday evening, or on Sunday Morning, and IF you cannot attend a Service on Sunday Morning, then you can Still Attend a Service on Sunday evening. That being said, a lot of us "catholics" don't necessarily agree with the "Pope" regarding the birth control Issue. Obama doesn't need this, especially in an Election Year.

    ""The Catholic Church opposes the use of contraceptives even though a large number of rank-and-file Catholics disagree""

    Does that tell you anything ? If you read my first paragraph, you will see that I pretty much said the same thing, regarding "don't necessarily agree" got it ?

    Tell you what – If somebody took a Poll, I'd say, or my gut feeling is this : The poll would tell you that "most catholics" would agree with the fact – that IF a female got pregnant through either Incest or Rape, they would tell their daughter to go Directly & Immediately to the E.R. – so she could get an Estrogen Shot. okay ? (not wait 9 or 10 weeks) But let me be clear . They will Also Tell You, that they believe that "Life Begins at Contraception" get that also ?

    Moral of this is, or the bottom line is : There's a fine line – between Their OWN Daughter – and somebody else's.

    Larry IN Houston

    February 7, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • nothing new here

      At least one Catholic is being honest and truthful about what goes on in these churches.

      February 7, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • streetsmt

      Good points Larry,
      How do you feel the church looks upon folks like you; people who clearly disagree with mandated church doctrin, yet do so not because of ignorance but from a position of knowledge, and still call themselves catholics.

      February 7, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
      • Joe T.

        Considering 98% of women in the Catholic church admitted to using birth control, I'd say it's a pretty high percentile group they fit into.

        All the church cares about is the dollar bills rolling in.

        February 8, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • TellItLikeItIs

      You miss the point. The Catholic Church does not allow abortion. It wouldn't matter if 99.9% Catholics disagreed with it , the rule stands.
      Any Catholic who votes for a president who last week told them they have 1 year to comply with his healthcare plan to provide insurance that covers abortion and contraception for employees [which makes them willing and KNOWING accessories to murder] – they have to answer for that before God.

      Now – terrified of losing the Catholic vote – the White House are panicking – but ONLY till after the election. Then it's business as usual and the demand to provide said insurance will be back at the top of Obamas list.

      No genuine Catholic will risk their immortal soul for a mere man who's only going to be president for a short while. Eternity is forever.

      February 7, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
      • judy

        Well said.

        February 7, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
      • Truthfully

        You are absolutely correct and the fact that Obama has shown us he has no respect for our First Amendment rights qualifies him for dismissal -the sooner the better.

        February 7, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
      • Becki

        That is such a ridiculous statement. No where does it say they are required to use birth control, it just has to be offered. If no one buys it, big deal. It's about making making choices available and not discriminating against someone because of who they work for. Unlike some religious followers who truly are trying to force their views on others (Anti-choice people)

        February 7, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
      • VH

        Yet the Church also guides that faithful Catholic voters should not be single-issue voters. Each of the presidential candidates supports policies that in one way or another contradict Catholic teaching and are, as you say, representing the support of intrinsic evil. As the USCCB has indicated, the faithful Catholic must exercise discernment and vote his or her conscience as to which candidate will result in the least evil being perpetrated.

        February 7, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
      • mike proctor

        NO,NO not well said, you or any Church do not have the right to tell me how to live my life, the old man upstair told me that he have given me free will to make decision on my own not someone who cannot control his staff from destorying the lives of young boys. The Church own a business that have many employees of different beliefs and backgrounds and they need to provide health insurance and if the pill is part of the program then the employee made that decision to use or not to use. Religion have been the down fall of man from the begining and it time people stand up and tell the Churches "I LOVE YOU BUT I GOTTA TO TURN YOU LOOSE"

        February 8, 2012 at 11:26 am |
      • Jahi Foster

        wow murder? really! I suppose the church already has control of the sexual behaviors of their masses.....did I miss that? I guess they should start at the top.

        February 8, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
      • SPA Knight

        Becki,
        Perhaps we should make the ten commandments optional as well. Would that make you feel like you have more freedom of choice? Oh yeah, we already have free will.

        February 8, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      Larry, it's bad policy to guess what other people would do based on what you yourself would do.

      February 7, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Heads Up

      Ahhh, yes, Gods word is mandated by the approval of the people! I love good old Fashioned core religious belief. Under the scenario set by you, I would make a perfect Catholic becasue I don;t believe in much of anything the Catholic church teaches but...hey...I want to be Catholic just the same! LOL...when I hear someone tell me they are Catholic I chuckle to myself knowing they are no more Catholic than I am. Welcome to my side Larry! Hahahah. Your wasting your time going to church because what is there to listen to and why sit around with a bunch of non-Catholics when it appears you want to be Catholic? Get that? Probably not. :)

      February 7, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • jerry R

      dreamer...and catholic hater.... THIS IS JUST ANOTHER RADICAL GAME PLAN FROM THE GREAT DIVIDER....and you sucker for it.

      February 7, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
      • Ted Brooks

        I think the point is that church doctrine does not support contraception. What the flock wants is irrelevant. This is tantamount to the government dictating policy for the church. That very thing was declared wrong by the Declaration of Independence.

        Why is it that the government claims the right to delve into the workings of the church?

        February 7, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
      • dreamer96

        Do Catholics still beat their students with the rod or stick?...wow that was religion too and women are still a form of property to the conservatives....All men are created equal...from our constitution...all men...women could not vote, nor slaves they were both property...what a great way to raise little girls...Honey you have to obey your father even if he beats you...and then your husband even if he beats you..and your body is the property of your husband...Men control the women....Just how many Religions put woman below man subjected to the man's control, lesser then a man....Even though the bible says Eve was made from Man's rib...and equal...not mans foot..not someone to be walked on...

        February 9, 2012 at 9:20 am |
      • dreamer96

        Ted why do the conservatives try to tell the rest of the country what we can do with our money...If we want to fund Planned Parenthood..why do you say no...it's our money too...so let us use our money to fund Planned Parenthood and you take your every life is important money, and go buy more weapons and bullets to kill people..

        February 9, 2012 at 9:24 am |
      • dreamer96

        Jerry

        ..All men are created equal...from our constitution...all men...women could not vote, nor slaves they were both
        property...what a great way to raise little girls...Honey you have to obey your father even if he beats you...and then your husband even if he beats you..and your body is the property of your husband...Men control the women....Just how many Religions put woman below man subjected to the man's control, lesser then a man....Even though the bible says Eve was made from Man's rib...and equal...not mans foot..not someone to be walked on...

        February 9, 2012 at 9:35 am |
      • dreamer96

        The soul is eternal...the body mortal...the soul enters at the first breath and leaves at the last breath...

        But this Personhood Pledge says life beings at the moment of conception.that those millions of sperm are not life, or the woman's egg ..but life is the moment the soul enters the body...because the soul is eternal..so it's been around forever....that is when the soul enters the egg...But any Doctor knows that many fertilized eggs to not survive..do not attach to the Uterus wall....And even then, some do not make it to full term...What happens to those souls...do they get in line for the next birth...or go to heaven, or go to hell...I thought the soul was eternal..and the body mortal..do you Christians believe in reincarnation?? Is the soul really eternal...if God creates a new soul for each body...well then the soul is not eternal is it.

        February 9, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Mike, formerly from Syracuse

      No Larry, there is a thick line between rape and incest and consensual sex. Duh.

      February 7, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • George G

      Amen!! Right on, brother! You couldn't have it put it better than you did. "There's a fine line – between Their OWN Daughter – and somebody else's"

      February 7, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • TellItLikeItIs

      Barak Obama WILL lose Catholic voters.
      [1] Because he tried to impose HIS wishes on them and in doing so ignored the Constitution
      [2] Made a U-TURN – not out of respect for the Catholic Faith – but because he wants their VOTES. And Catholics, like any other self-respecting people hate to be treated as though they 're half wits who don't see his underhand tricks

      Obama has just lost himself a hefty block of votes in the foot. Stupid mistake!

      February 7, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
      • Tschrny Wolf

        NOT necessarily, fortunately :)Married couples are aware of the reality :)

        February 8, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Maggy

      One Catholic to another....couldn't agree more with everything you said.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:37 am |
      • Tschrny Wolf

        Maggy: are you prepared to have 15 children?

        February 8, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      Larry in Houston: the church has made a huge mistake. Let us consider a couple who have 9 kids but the father gets fired and cannot support any more children; is the church going to support his family and pay a 850 thousand mortgage? I doubt it. Contraception puts limits all couples may need, especially middle class couples, or the wife may simply be too old to have more babies. Nationallly, our overpopulation requires sensible limits. President Obama is courageously setting rules we urgently need.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
      • SPA Knight

        Look at China who tried to control population by the one child policy and abortion of children, primarily females by the way. They are now faced with importing women from nearby countries due to a shortage of females and they are now running out of workers in the major cities. Their solution? Take parents away from their children in the country side and put them to work in their government supervised factories so that you by cheap products in America. Its a policy that is not only evil but unsustainable socially and economically. Wake up or move to China.

        February 8, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
      • SPA Knight

        By the way, I don't need Obama "setting rules" for my life. I can do very well without him. It's not the government's job to direct our lives. They work for us...well they did once upon a time.

        February 8, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
      • Big El 42

        Thats extreme to compare the genocides in China to this law. Nobody would be force to take any birth control. Each woman would have the choice to take birth control.

        China forced woman to have abortions about 2nd born children.....Im not catholic, but would be extrememly against this type of action.

        February 8, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      ""The Catholic Church opposes the use of contraceptives even though a large number of rank-and-file Catholics disagree""

      Does that tell you anything ? Yes, this reveals to us "Catholics" that we are not faithful. Being Catholic is more than just attending Mass on the weekends. If the ran and file are calling the shots, then we might as well be protestant...or perhaps some of us are but don't yet realize it. Obedience to the teachings of Christ and his Church is not the easy road. Even id 100% of Catholics opposed contraception and abortion it still would not make it alright in the eyes of God. It's a violation of natural law as well as the laws of God.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Dee Bee

      Larry,,,I love your post. I am not Catholic, but I wonder how other Catholics feel about this issue.

      February 9, 2012 at 9:37 am |
  5. nothing new here

    This is not the year for Obama to come out swinging, when it comes to religious organizations covering birth control. However, the truth about the RCC parishioners NOT always adhering to the teachings of the church is all over the Internet, and that is good. The truth about the RCC needs to be told. And the fact that the RCC is still under scrunity for decades of child abuse and corruption will help many more in seeing the real "state of religion" in this country.
    SGK (Komen) has been exposed for the money machine that it is. About time.
    Also, some gains are being made in the gay rights movement, and in legalizing marijuana for medical use. If we keep up the good fight, we will win our country back from BIG religion and BIG government.
    Keep up the good work!

    February 7, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
  6. Vance

    @Larry in Houston – Well said. Bears repeating.....

    February 7, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
  7. Lisa P

    The Bishops seem to have very little faith in their own doctrine and parishioners. If the faithful are truly convinced that contraception violates God's law then it shouldn't matter if IUD's or the Pill are available through their health insurance plans or not. Their resort to blunt economic coercion is just another sign of how badly the Church's claim to moral or spiritual leadership has failed - now they're down to simply beating up anyone who disagrees with them. Some example.

    February 7, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • Becki

      Exactly!!!!!!! How little Faith these churches have in their own followers.

      February 7, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      To Lisa P.: so according to church rules: unfit teenagers should get pregnant, overpopulation that pollutes and poisons our rivers should be allowed, innocent kids should be killed by crazy mothers or fathers. It seems the church laws that allow crimes and destruction are perfectly "holy", hahaha how neurastenic of the church.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  8. Greg in Raleigh

    Where was the public outcry from Catholics leaders during the child sex abuse scandal. The very same leaders who are espousing moral duty and obligations now were noticiably quiet then.

    February 7, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • Letsjustbetruthful

      Greg....my thoughts as well

      February 8, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      To Greg in Raleigh: it seems the priests want more boys they can rape or kill. How gruesome!

      February 8, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  9. pseudorambo

    LISTEN UP CNN, RON PAUL JUST PROPOSED A BILL TO RESTORE 2ND AMENDMENT RIGHTS TO ALL AMERICANS.

    Use popvox.com to automate locating your senators and representatives and use it to send them a message!!!

    Check it: H.R. 2615

    All Americans.

    February 7, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      So the gang that supposedly wants peace to all, now has turned into a weapons supporter? That makes no sense, whatsoever. Will priests force people to confess? will they kill women who confess they aborted?

      February 8, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  10. cali girl

    hold on tight Obama and don't back down. And all you ladies out there, please remember this is an election year and be sure to remember that you rights to health care will be in jeopardy if you vote gop.

    February 7, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      I agree. The whole process of how the church treats women is the way all females have been relegated to lower status. Sire. rich daughtters have risen,because of their parents wealth and status. But poorer women still serve in restaurants, clean bathrooms or work as cooks. Condemning females to birth machines is a way to enslave them. Until all women are truly free, there is no real democracy....anywhere.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  11. Radgast

    I worked for a catholic organization that takes in billions of medicaid money from the state ( yes billions ), while they deny workers insurance birth control such as myself, they have to outsource the medicaid recipients back to the state or other insurers for coverage so it doesn't violate their principles, They were fine to do this in order to get the money from the state, PS, because its a non profit, all excess profits from all that state money is donated to other catholic tax exempt organizations. They make a mint off of the tax payers and found a way around it, I am sure they can find away around this to keep their money machines going

    February 7, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      "....while they deny workers insurance birth control such as myself. " No person or institution has an obligation to forestall the consequences from your recreational copulation. Why not ask the church to have your dog neutered, too.

      February 7, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
      • Lisa P

        catholic engineer

        Larry, it's bad policy to guess what other people would do based on what you yourself would do.

        February 7, 2012 at 8:23 pm
        --------------------------------

        "Recreational copulation"? Really, catholic engineer? You think that's all there is to it? It seems to me you need to follow your own advice to Larry in Houston, who was at least honest about his situation and views.

        February 8, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • janelle

      Since 25% of hospitals in this country are Catholic hospitals, I guess they could just quit taking medicaid patients and let those patients seek healthcare elsewhere if we are going to be so concerned about these hospitals getting medicaid money. And, employees, such as you, are not forced to have to work for employers that won't pay for your birth control or abortions. You are more than free to find employment elsewhere that has the benefits you seek. These are freedoms that we all have. And we all have the freedom to believe what we want to, and worship as we see fit. No one, especially the government can force any of us to compromise our beliefs under threat of punishment. This time the Administration completely miscalctulated and it is going to cost them. It's not just Catholics that are standing up and saying NO to this overreach of government, people of all religions are, because we know the government will come after us next if they are successful against the Catholics

      February 7, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
      • Ron W

        What a lot of people aren't getting is that there's a difference between a "church" and "religiously affiliated employers like universities and hospitals." If churches don't want to fall under federal regulations then stick with being a church and don't expand to other non-church instutions... you can't have it both ways!! Your non-catholic employees shouldn't have to suffer for your beliefs.

        February 8, 2012 at 1:29 am |
      • FLIndependent

        Your response is so typical of one who gives in to the "fear" tactics spread by the GOP and also the Catholic Church. Are you not a woman? Do you not believe in birth control? If not, it's your right, however the vast majority of women in this country use birth control and the Catholic Church, like many religions, need to come into the 21st century. President Obama is only trying to provide all women with access to birth control..if they don't believe in it then they won't use it, but to allow ourselves to be dictated by the Catholic Church that is run by old misguided men (by the way I'm Catholic) is giving up our rights as women. Don't you see that?

        February 8, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      Radgast: your story need be reported to the Supreme Court as soon as possible. Those who imposed those rules have and are breaking our Constitution, plus violating social security laws.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  12. Really

    The issue is Obama's complete hatred of the opinions and rights of people he does not like. A few weeks ago the SCOTUS ruled 9-0 (yes, 9-0) that churches have the right to consider the religious views of church employees; Obama and Holder took the position that a church could not consider religion in its employment practices. By their idiotic logic, a Catholic church could be forced to hire a rabbi or a Methodist bishop. We need a President, not a petulant tyrant.

    February 7, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • jean2009

      Obviously you missed the fact that 98% of the Catholic church families already use contraception. So considering the religious view of the employees of the Catholic church; that would mean the Church should consider the religious views of the 98% of their employees who want their insurance plan to pay for contraception.
      That would be taking SCOTUS at it's word.

      February 7, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
      • Aristocles

        98% of FAMILIES. If there is a family with 10 people in it, and one of those 10 uses contraception, the survey counts the entire family as using contraception.

        February 8, 2012 at 4:09 am |
    • Dan5404

      Polls indicate the majority of Catholics use contraception and approve of the policy,so it's a case of the church dictating personal freedom choices to workers who may not be Catholic. That's intruding on people's rights just as some accuse the Democrats of doing.

      February 7, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
      • janelle

        No one is forcing workers to have to work for a Catholic Institution. You have the right to work for someone else who has the benefits you seek. Just as the religious institutions have the right to uphold their beliefs. The problem with rights is that everyone has rights, not just ones who scream about their rights.

        February 7, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
      • Let the religious war against this Obamanation begin

        Who decided that contraception is a "right"? Has the country gone mad?? Any employer has the "right" to decide what, if any, healthcare benefits they wish to offer their employees. Since when does the government have the right to dictate the detailed level of benefits that any employer must offer to their employees. What's next, dictating the size of bonuses or raises or the size of parking spots? The country has truly gone mad under this lunatic of a president!!!

        February 7, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
      • FLIndependent

        Seriously, you people that are sticking up for the Church on this are really scary. Please come into the 21st Century and get your heads out of the sand. Do you not realize that we are on the road to becoming a theocracy...why do you want religion taking away your personal freedoms? That makes us no better than Afghanistan – remember, the country we're trying to bring freedoms to?? Why in the world was Ms. Bush so concerned about the women's rights in Afghanistan yet the American women bow to pressures from religion here? WAKE UP!!

        February 8, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • jerry R

      obama is lame duck...doing all he can before he gets the boot...and good riddance!

      February 7, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
      • Parrish.

        Obama lame duck? I disagree completely. I know most catholic friends take birth control. He is on the right course to
        this fact. Let me ask you. The catholic church in all truthfulness is a man made religion from many years ago. It really
        goes against all teachings of the king james bible and also holiness standards of what god teaches. So show me
        in biblical terms in a real kings james bible where it teaches against the pill. Show me in words where it said's that
        god is going to send people to hell because there using the pill. I will tell you. Its not there. I think that God is to worried
        about other things than a woman to make a choice that she is not ready to have a child in her future. I think this comes
        down to be honest of a man thing more than a woman thing. I think that God would respect a woman for choosing
        of not bringing a child into this world right now. I do not think that God is going to send that woman to hell because
        she is taking a pill for not having a child. To me. This is the most radical discussion in this political world. Its a shame
        that a church that really does not teach the truth of the lord can stir the political climate and its people to its way.
        Its a form of communism in the catholic faith. This is not the teaching of God. Its only the teaching of the catholic
        church and the founding fathers that has adopted such a horrible doctrine in the church. Forcing woman to be
        there for there own satisfaction and forcing a woman to abide under a man. When god has taught in the bible to
        treat a woman as you would treat Christ. That means Ladies. That god commanded man to treat you as a equal.
        I bet the Catholic Church is not teaching you this?. READ THE REAL BIBLE. LEARN, KNOCK. SEEK. and the truth
        will be open to you. God bless you. This is a communistic faith.. A Cult. Read Revelations about there will be one
        church on the earth that many by the grains of the sands of the seas will be condemn to damnation. The only
        church on earth that has numbers like that, is the catholic church. Open your eyes. Obama will be re elected.
        These Republican fools are fools all around this country that is now in the process of taking peoples freedoms
        away. Just open your eyes and see what is happening. The truth is before your eyes. Thank you.

        February 7, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Becki

      I think you've got that backwards. It obvious that this is about the religious rights hatred of Obama. He is trying to do what's best for all the people in the US, unlike the other side who does nothing but try to divide us. Do you understand what the word "offer" means. And when oh when will the Christians accept the fact that not everyone believes what you do. CHOICE IS GOOD!!!!

      February 7, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
      • SPA Knight

        Choice is good but it should be at your own expense right? Why should others, in this case a religious institution, pay for you to make choices that they find immoral and against their beliefs. If you want to purchase contraception or procure an abortion, you have the choice to do so at your own expense correct?

        February 8, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      Your false story proves it is a lie, number one because you give a totally uni-ndentifiable name. Second, you are not inside the head of President Obama or his feelings; so your assumptions come from inside you,

      February 8, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  13. streetsmt

    Rather than as a reply to Larry, I'll ask catholics this in general:

    How do you feel the church looks upon folks like you; people who clearly disagree with mandated church doctrin on using contraceptives, yet do so not because of ignorance but from a position of knowledge, and still call themselves catholics. ??

    February 7, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      Catholics who disagree with the Church's position against contraception are not coming from a position of knowledge. They are merely embracing the zeitgeist. Want knowledge? Read Humane Vitae. In my experience, the church knows full well that Catholics face the same life exigencies as everyone else, and often simply leaves it to the person's conscience. But, this distinquishes Catholics from the hurd. Genuine Catholics examine the church's teaching and give it serious thought. Thought comes before hormones. The rest of the population can c*p*ulate all it wants, then laught at the Catholics.

      February 7, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • Mark

      The answer is quite simple. It is none of your business unless you are their priest, the pastor of their parish, their bishop or the Pope. As an ex-Catholic, I'll clue you in . . . won't really matter all that much to them so long as the pews are filled. One of the reasons I am no longer a Catholic.

      February 7, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
      • streetsmt

        I'm trying to get a reply from someone in this position, not an ex catholic (I am ex-catholic as well). I'm trying to wrap my head around the thinking of someone like this. Do they ignore it? Do they have a hard time going to church. Do they feel welcomed? Would they tell their bishop their position? etc...

        February 7, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
      • Mark

        Struggling with my Catholicism for many years, I went through all of the above. What I found was overall ambivalence from the Church, almost a "don't ask, don't tell" type of mentality. Catholicism for a lot of people including my folks was just something you did. You went to work Monday through Friday, did the yard work on Saturday, went to Church on Sundays and Holy days of Obligation. Lot of people only went on Christmas and Easter. Didn't seem to matter. For me it bred a lot of repression coupled with ritualistic rote. I dared marrying a non-Catholic in the Church. Still my wife 30 years later, raised three kids, have grandkids. She never wanted to convert, and I was not about to divide my family over a doctrine which would prohibit her from being allowed the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Had a lot of my Catholic friends tell me, "who would ever know?" That's the reality of the Catholic Church.

        February 7, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
      • Mark

        To this day I can recite the mass verbatum, but haven't stepped into the Church in decades.

        February 7, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
      • streetsmt

        Thanks for sharing that Mark.
        When I was being confirmed (how old? Maybe 12, 10?) part of the process was to have the Monseignor come to my house to talk with me and ask questions. My question to him (to the shock of my parents) was how do I know this religion is the correct one? His jaw dropped. He stumbled around and all he could come up with was "well, because it is the only true religion". We'll, I was already known as doubting Thomas (my chosen confirmation name) but that just drove the nail into the coffin.

        February 7, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
      • Mark

        Thank you for sharing as well. Brings back memories. Don't know if this helps or not, but in my struggles I came to the inescapable conclusion that we are not supposed to "know" which is the right way, and I tend to shy away from anyone or anything that tries to tell me unequivocally "We are the TRUE religion". When you know, you have no room for faith, and doubt keeps you honest with yourself. To come back to the topic, I can't imagine God having a huge problem with two people in love taking the time to be responsible enough to take measures that would empower them to choose when to have children when they feel in the best position to be responsible parents. Do I know this to be the right answer? No, but in my heart I believe it is right. Doesn't matter what a bishop, Pope, pastor, priest, evangelist, or GOP candidate says. In the end it will be between me and God.

        February 7, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
      • ModernCatholic

        As the son of a deacon in training. I can you this the catholic church does not care what people think. My father was told this (i'm paraphrasing) "its not about what you believe its about what the church believes". That being said, even though i agree with the use of contraceptives it is not the job of the government to mandate to mandate rules that are clearly in opposition to the religious organizations view. what will happen is that they just wont pay them. Obama is then going to have to risk closing about a quarter of the nations hospitals.

        February 7, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
      • FLIndependent

        You hit the nail on the head Mark – it's all about the collection basket! As a lapsed Catholic I have to wonder why a religion that sees how many starving people there are in this world would deny a women acces to birth control. One, it would prevent unwanted pregnancies so then no abortion necessary, and two, the world is so overpopulated now that our resources are becoming scarcer and humanity is on its way to self destruction. So, does the Church really care about humanity?? DON"T THINK SO!

        February 8, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      I agree. See, the unrealistic christian commands force believers into violating church rules that cannot be humanly kept. So they get a system of moralistic hypocricy. I was brought up as a Christian. No more. I am free and happy now :)

      February 8, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  14. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Well it is amazing of how many people want to call themselves Catholics but give offical doctrine the finger. If you don't spout the offical line, quit calling yourselves Catholics !

    February 7, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • jean2009

      That is one of the prime reasons they are losing so many followers. They are currently losing members at the rate of 1 out of 3.

      February 7, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
      • jerry R

        another religion hater eh?

        February 7, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Mark

      Nature of the beast Ray. Now consider this, two of the GOP candidates ARE Catholic. The Catholic Church officially has a HUGE problem with divorce, yet Newt calls himself devout.

      or you can look at it this way:

      Catholic Doctrine in practice is much like the Pirates Code. Nature of the institution.

      February 7, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      See, religious belief contradicts itself. In that system of power, a few priests are on top, average believers are at their mercy, under total control and manipulated by "holy" guilt.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  15. Gkia

    I hope obama alienating a lot of voters with this arrogant decision.

    February 7, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      Gkia: thankfully your wish will only materialize in dogmatiic christians like you :) Luckily real free moderates realize the great defects of your religion :) bye bye

      February 8, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  16. Charles Kerschen

    Having worked in the Catholic Church with clergy I find this argument ludicrous. You have a hierarchy who is totally out of touch. I've known clergy both heterosexual and gay who were having relationships and I guarantee you that most of them were using contraceptive methods of some type. However, I preached for some who should have wore condoms because they died from Aids. I have a good friend who mentioned to a Priest that he had a vasectomy. The Priest told him that until he had it reversed he had to refrain from Communion and if he died without it being reversed he would go to Hell. I remember in Seminary the Rector saying that the wearing of a condom was akin to murder and a mortal sin. We'd even ask, "What if the little guys can't swim and are DOA?" It didn't matter. It was all about the potentiality.

    February 7, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      I understand now the religious system you describe is sadistic basically. So it focuses on punishment. No wonder third world kids look always sad. Do their priestly "helpers" rape them every night? Investiigation is urgent.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  17. jean2009

    My opinion on this is: not everyone employed by the Catholic church is Catholic, statistics find that 98% of all Catholic women use contraceptives. The kicker is the Catholic church's health insurance policies cover Viagra. If the church offers an insurance plan for its employees to purchase; then it should cover the medical needs of female employees just as it covers the needs of male employees.

    Is the Catholic church actually paying for their employees health insurance or are they providing a group plan as a pool for their employees to purchase with a share of their wages? If that is the case the employee's money, what they need and feel comfortable with, should outweigh what the Catholic church wants. If the Church is withholding money from employee wages for health insurance benefits it is not the Church's money that is being spent . It is the employee's.

    February 7, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Truthfully

      The point here is: the government has no business or Constitutional right to tell a religious organization how to run their business. Likewise, it is unconstitutional to mandate that all people buy health insurance. Anyone who agrees with Obama on these issues should have no problem with Hit ler, Sta Lin, or any other dictator.

      February 7, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      No wonder the Vatican has the richest treasure in the world.! What a fake institution. It thrives on crazy theories and makes its followers crazy too...look at the republicans and their insane ku klux klan.!

      February 8, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  18. racegirl1

    Most people who work for these catholic institutions should know birth control is not an option. Most if not all of the employees are Catholic and don't believe in birth control so they would not need this anyway so it should not be an issue. Just don't apply for a job there if you want contraception. DA

    February 7, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      Easy for you to say. But what if the church is the main employer in poor towns and villages? Look some American major employers are owned by the Church. So?

      February 8, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • jean2009

      Oh so now you think that huge Catholic hospitals hire only Catholic nurses, LPNs, aids, technicians, stenographers, billing clerks, cooks, janitors, etc ....in what lame universe do you live?

      February 9, 2012 at 11:09 am |
  19. Lara Martinez

    I am a voting Catholic. Being Catholic, by definition, means that I believe in and adhere to the moral teachings of my Church. Those people who are calling themselves Catholic AND pro-abortion, birth control, 'ella' abortion pill, etc. are not really Catholics, and I think we all know that. You're either in or out.

    The poll in this article seems a little suspect considering the number of people I've seen on social media and in the Churches, those blogging about the issue, signing petitions and just basically being very energized to fight this "mandate."

    Obama does not have the right to tell ME or my Church what we will be able to believe and practice. That is not a "choice." His "choice" to force his agenda for women's "health" and "preventive" health is all about abortion, not "health." His "choice" violates the very core of my religious beliefs, and his "choice" does not have any weight with the real Catholic Church–those of us who love the Church, write about the Church and talk and defend the Church because we LOVE our Church. It is my "choice" to be Catholic. Who are you to make a different choice for me?

    Keep your laws off my CHURCH! We vote, Mr. Obama.

    February 7, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Charles Kerschen

      Having been in seminary, ect. most so called Catholics know very little about the Churches teachings. Whether that be about GIRM, Canon Law, Gaudem Spes, etc. They know what they've been told, not what they've studied intensively over the years. And I've learned over the years that what you hear from the pulpit is not what occurs behind closed doors.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      Lara: ok, have it your crazy way; but if a rapist assaults you, or your daughters late at night, so you and your husband, or boyfriend, decide to abort the fetus; you will have to abort, regardless of your religion. If not, be prepared to bring up the child of a criminal. Will you later kill him? probably. I pity you.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  20. gammay

    This whole issue makes a good case for single-payer health care.

    February 7, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  21. Chris

    As a viewer and follower of CNN News, I am surprised that this topic had not been discussed for several days. This has changed my view of CNN. Seeing that CNN would rather cover the Susan G. Komen Planned Parenthood Controversy for several days, and not mention this topic until now, is shocking. It has lead me to believe that this is a liberal, pro-Obama news network, and I have made the decision to stop obtaining recent news from CNN. I view CNN as a anti-Catholic and pro-abortion news network.

    February 7, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
  22. MartiM

    This is the most logical and reasoned post I've seen about the topic – wish I could take credit for it. Here it is:

    The fundamental question here is: Does the health insurance belong to the employee or the employer?
    For years HR managers have described health insurance as part of the employee's total compensation package:
    a. I get some payment in cash.
    b. I choose to take some payment in health spending accounts.
    c. I get some payment in subsidized health insurance.
    d. I get some payment in retirement funds (deferred compensation).
    The point here is that health insurance is NOT a gift. It's something that I've earned through my hard work.
    AHCA (Obamacare) makes health insurance my responsibility since I can be fined if I don't obtain insurance by one means or another.
    There are long standing privacy laws that assure that my employer is not informed of the specific care that I receive from the health insurance. This particularly applies to STD, AIDS, mental health, and cancer treatments.
    So, if it's my insurance with the employer simply acting as a bundler to get gain more favorable pricing, then I should be entitled to use it to obtain any medical care that is legal and professionally appropriate. The employer should NOT be setting restrictions on what care may be obtained via the insurance.
    It is no more appropriate for the Catholic Church to forbid the purchase of birth control via medical insurance than it is through health spending accounts, or from the money in my wallet – all of which ultimately came from my employer.

    February 7, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      Congratulations, do you work for an insurance company? It seems you do. I used to have private insurance and I do not recall getting any cash, neither did others I have met. It sounds like you own an insurance company. So take your propaganda somewhere else.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • jean2009

      Great summation MartiM.
      Actually this is what SCOTUS said when they said employer's should consider the religious views of their employees....Hello! If your employees believes they want to buy contraceptives with their health insurance benefits which they are themselves purchasing as a member of a company pooled health insurance benefit....Why should the Church have a right to dictate that they cannot?

      What every happened to free will?
      What every happened to an employee buying what they believe they need with what is their own money?
      Other employees are not paying for their health benefits.
      The Church is not paying for their health benefit.

      February 8, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
  23. Not getting it

    Ahhhh...so that is how separation of church and state works. Actually it is another failure of the health plan no one read. There is no justification I can think of that should allow the government to mandate how we should believe and live. It is not easy living in a society which honers and respects other peoples opinions and belifs but if we continue going down the path that one group should dictate to another- we will all someday find we are being dictated to. There is no reason an employer of religious affiliation should not be allowed to offer a basic plan to employees at reduced cost which excludes abortion or birth control. There is no reason the employee cannot contract out a tag-along plan that covers those things to be paid for with the savings from the reduced plan. This satisfies both parties needs. Hmmm..there will be a thousand reasons why this could not be done but the bottom line is it CAN be done and accomplished. I'm tired of dictating to everyone the wishes of one side or the other. We have got to be able to do better than this!

    February 7, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      According to your thinking, no group or individual should dictate to another...mmmmh. if so parents should not tell their kids what to do. But what if the children are playing with fire or else? What if a husband is driving too fast?

      Your may reply that is private rights. However potential damage of destruction of humans remains the same whether the matter is public or private. Actually,total confession of very personal "sins" allows perfect religious strangers into the private lives of believers, so there is no real difference.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  24. O.T.

    This is yet another violation of the Constitution by a president who has shown complete disdain for it and the rule of law. If the federal government can mandate Catholic institutions pay for contraception, why not abortion?

    February 7, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      No, rather a law that furthers timely medical rules, actually saves lives of fetuses, babies, children and women.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  25. jerry R

    the real issue is just how much are we going to allow the govt to tell us what to do and how to live...and force us to spend our hard earned income.... enough is enough. 350,000 abortions last year...and there are clinics everywhere where these idiots can get free birth control... there must be a better way, perhaps sterilization after the first pregnancy...and force the fathers ID and etc..

    February 7, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Lisa P

      "there must be a better way, perhaps sterilization after the first pregnancy...and force the fathers ID and etc.."

      So much for not allowing "the govt to tell us what to do and how to live," eh? Or is tyranny only a problem when it's men being told what to do, or when government steps in to allow women, minorities or poor people to have some say in their own lives?

      February 8, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  26. norma jean.

    jean2009 is "right on"....It could not have been said more clearly!!!. I'm sick of churches and men telling women what they can do with their bodies while ignoring the men who are liviing their lives without restrictions.Health insurance policies provide service for males and females and yet politics and the church want to limit the women. I haven't heard of them limiting any procedure for men,only women. This doesn't say much for the church.... We at least have rights of choice with health plans......

    February 7, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • Let the religious war against this Obamanation begin

      America beware. This is the exact type of sentiment that leads liberals to believe they can dictate the tenets of a religion must meet their own personal test of values. This is the very mentality that must be cleansed from our government.

      February 7, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
      • Scared of people like you.

        Dear "Let the religious war against this Obamanation begin" your choice of the word cleansed, speaks volumes.

        February 8, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • janelle

      If you don't like the tenets or views of the Catholic church, you don't have to be Catholic. There are many other churches out there you can be a member of with more moderate social views, or you can choose to not be a member of any church or faith. You have these rights. Churches also have rights, and those rights include the right to not have to compromise their beliefs by threat of punishment by government.

      February 7, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
      • jb

        Religions have the right under our Constitution to not be oppressed by the government. They do not have the right to oppress the civil rights of the citizenry. There's a lot of goofy primitive beliefs that aren't allowed in practice by law.

        1. Human sacrifice, whether Voodoo or Old Testament. Yep, can't kill your kid just because you need to appease your deity.
        2. Plural marriage. Mormons stopped. FLDS and Warren Jeffs had their rights proven to them proven to them by a guilty verdict.
        3. Pre-teen marriage. See #2.
        4. Honor killings
        5. Drug abuse, spritual tripping. (With exceptions for some N.A. tribes.)
        6. Religious courts.
        7. Roe v Wade. (Bet that still stings.)

        To paraphrase your statements, "If you don't like citizens having equal rights, you are free to remove Catholicism from the U.S." It's our home, the Pope is just a guest.

        February 7, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      Fine post, Norma Jean :) We women must break the religious chains that have kept us enslaved!!!!!

      February 8, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  27. Inquiring Mindz

    Will these isues eventually result in the formation of yet another denomination? Protestant Catholics?

    February 7, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      Not likely, but superficially possible. See, the two religions "compromised" years ago; still they stay competing for converts. So at bottom they remain rivals.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  28. Let the religious war against this Obamanation begin

    This attack on the Catholic religion must end. And it must end now. This entire administration has now gone over the edge. They must be stopped at all expense. They have now turned the upcoming election into a religious war and I for one will will passionately and with open wallet do whatever it takes to defeat Obama and cleanse our nation's capitol of all the liberal political hacks that must be sent back to their hidden lairs in whatever state they come from.

    They have now opened up an issue that is going to result in a serious can of whoop-ass being focused right on Obama. I plan to give as much $ as possible to whatever SuperPac will take the harshest path forward to defeat Obama and I'm confident millions of other Catholics will soon be joining the effort against Obama. Wake up America, because it won't be long before liberals think they can tell us what we are allowed to believe in. God help us!

    February 7, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • FLIndependent

      I agree – President Obama has opened up a can of worms and people may actually begin to realize how many personal freedoms are taken away by religion! You are just a nut case Obama hater and this plays right into your bias, but that's ok since it's your right to think the way you do. What right has the Catholic Church, who takes our tax dollars, have to deny woman coverage for birth control. The churches themselves are exempt, it is the hospital and instituations run by the Church that need to abide by this – as a Catholic I don't see anything wrong with this as it is the Church that needs to come into the 21st Century. No freedoms are being taken away from individuals here.

      February 8, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Charles Kerschen

      You're funny. The majority of Catholic priests I have known over the years were Democrat. In public they would tow the line but in private it was a different conversation. I remember sitting at a large reception comprised of all priests and they were all castigating the Pope at the time. In walked the Bishop and you could hear a pin drop. What you think you know may not be reality.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      NO, NO, NEVER, NUNCA! YOU MURDERERS KILLED MILLIONS OF INNOCENT FAMILIES DURING THE CATHOLIC INQUISITION, AND THE TORTURES WERE HORRENDOUS. HITLER WAS CHRISTIAN, STALIN TOO. NO MORE OF YOU DOGMATIC PIGS!

      February 8, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  29. jean

    This wouldn't be an issue if we had universal health care. The Catholic church would still be able to tell their parishioners not to use contraceptives and the non-Catholic employees would have access if they desire to use them. Seems sensible.

    February 7, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      Fine idea, but is itt doable? Look at the crazyness of the tea party followers?

      February 8, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  30. ThinkAgain

    Keep your religion out of my womb!

    February 7, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Let the religious war against this Obamanation begin

      Keep your womb out of any religious organization you disagree with!

      February 7, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      Right on :)!!!!

      February 8, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      yes, indeed :)))))))))!!!

      February 8, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  31. ThinkAgain

    When is the Catholic Church – the largest real estate holder ON THE PLANET – going to start paying taxes? All those buildings, land, art collections, etc., etc., etc., and not a dime paid! One of the most corrupt organizations ever, and they get a pass.

    February 7, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      The ultra trillionaire church is tax-exempt? That is outrageous! How much does the vatican spend on charities and world aid programs? Anyhow public donations may offset the cost of the charities, right?

      February 8, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  32. Jerry

    Why do religious organizations get special dispensation to disregard or shape laws that affect everyone else?

    Religious beliefs should be no different to any other strongly held opinions or beliefs.

    February 7, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Let the religious war against this Obamanation begin

      Becuase the US Constitution provides for "freedom of Religion" not "freedom of strongly held opinions or beliefs"...geeeze!

      February 7, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
      • Jerry

        Erm no, the constitution prevents the government from establishing a state religion or preventing the free exercise of any religion (or none). However, there are some limits on this protection. For example, if your religion requires you to take illegal drugs, or to sacrifice animals in violation of local laws, those laws can still be enforced against you, as long as they were meant to be applied generally, and were not passed with the express purpose of preventing religious practices (for example, laws against drug use apply to everyone, not just people who want to take drugs for their religious rites, so they do not run afoul of religious freedom).

        This law applies to everyone and is simply inconvenient for Catholics.

        February 8, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      Right, there is no testament or holy pretext to exempt the church from paying taxes. Now weknow wherethe christian baron r obbers live.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  33. Father of 4

    Well Jerry R,
    You apparently do not understand what this is about, this not forcing anyone to use or purchase birth control, it is about the FREEDOM to choice for oneself. No one is sending in the Birth Control Police to force anyone to use this it is just an option for those who may want it. So Catholic or not the person has the right to choice for themselves, and then that is between them and GOD.

    February 7, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      Unfortunately, the idea you speak about does not prevent human mistaken choices, sick or dying teenagers, and adults who dio not have the discipline to get treated on time. Timely medical exams prevent major pests and costly virus treatments. Since your idea of a god is unprobable and mostly a fantasy, relying on it is dangerous and expensive.
      Regarding personal freedom, well a church who condemns people who use contraceptives and fires non-Christians , does what it condemns: violation of individual choice.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  34. Mark

    Ortho Novum, the "pill", in some cases is prescribed to women with irregular cycles with heavy menstrual flow to help alleviate many of its potentially harmful side effects by regulating the cycle. Currently it is not covered by the policies which The Dept of Health and Human Services are targeting, because it is considered birth control. Prescribed for a legitimate and potentially life threatening condition, the welfare of the patient, a human life, falls below an arbitrary moral issue that refuses to yield in her case. That is just wrong.

    February 7, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • Mark

      Off the top of my head I can think of 8 women I know who are on the pill for that condition. Of those 8, two are not covered for it. Of the two, 1 is because she works for a Catholic run hospital. Her doctor, understanding her plight, provides her samples free of charge.

      February 7, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
      • Lynda, California

        This is too much reality of Republicans. They seem to live in a world where no one needs healthcare, and families can afford to still have 12 children. They need to get real and stop trying to drag the country back to the Victorian age. It wasn't that great. Catholics don't have to get any contraception because it is offered, and in fact the church should be sure their flock will turn it down. However all people who work for Catholic hospitals and Universities are not Catholic. But that is too bad for them right? I guess they have no freedom, or rights as American citizens. And CNN reported that 98% of Catholic women use birth control, so this is just an attempt to keep them in debt by making them pay of pocket for it.

        February 8, 2012 at 12:58 am |
      • mike proctor

        WOW! Ms Lynda California, very good statement on behave of all Women in the World, I have two daughters and we are Catholic and I informed them that their body belong to them and any decision they made concerning what they should take or not to take it left up them and not what some "I know whats best for you man". For you sorry asses who indicated that this is a take over by President Obama "BITE ME" BECAUSE YOU ARE IGNORANCE AND A BIGOT DOES NOT MEAN I HAVE TO AGREE. OH,God told me how to responded to your comments.

        February 8, 2012 at 11:58 am |
  35. I_ern_gyant

    u know i could of sworn that there is a law that seperates the church from the state. plus another that allows freedom of religion. so i guess its ok for obama to spit all over the constitution. a church must go against its own beliefs cuz obama says so. 2 examples of leaders who decided that they can control and regulate religion is kim jong il (an evil dictator) and adolf hitler(an evil socialistic dictator). one thing that makes country great is freedom of religion. muslims, catholics, jews, etc. live amongst each other peacefully in the u.s. because they are allowed to practice religion and follow its beliefs. catholics believe it is a sin to have sex for any other reason besides conceiving. if u dont agree, u are not a real catholic. the church should not be forced to be an excessary to something they consider a sin. that isnt even socialism, its worse; thats communism. lets just destroy are freedoms slowly to the point where we are not free anymore.

    February 8, 2012 at 12:08 am |
  36. masscarol

    The Catholic church has ZERO moral standing with all the pedophiles and the cover up of pedophiles. The pope and his bishops all belong in jail not dictating to free women in the U.S. The Republicans are hypocrites. They take a position on an issue opposite Obama not because they believe it but in the hope some of the mud they sling will stick. The bishops should pack up their dresses and go home

    February 8, 2012 at 12:20 am |
  37. Betty

    I know so many loudly "catholic" hypocrites who blatantly act far, far worse than any of my non-religious friends. When will people let go of religion and embrace decency and personal responsibility instead?

    February 8, 2012 at 12:22 am |
  38. Mike from Calgary

    President Obama visited Notre Dame University in South Bend in 2009 and made a major speech concerning Catholic issues. President Obama reneged on his undertakings to the Catholic community. In this election year, he had another conversion on the Road to Emmaus!! His speeches are starting to ring hollow.
    He batter hope that Romney is the Republican nominee, failing which Obama could have trouble come November.

    February 8, 2012 at 12:27 am |
  39. Aristocles

    While Obama still has this Catholic's vote, I must say this is disturbing to me, and that if he wasn't a good president in most other areas, I might reconsider voting for him. Unlike Evangelicals, Catholics are not single issue voters. I must say that he is antagonizing the Church at a time when he needs the votes. Not very wise of him.

    February 8, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      Aristocles: look prevention of national pests and virus can only be applied through disciplined ways because so many rich people travel aboad and bring in contagius disease. The issue is being taken too seriously. The President's rule does not command people to go die, like bush did through his Patriot Act. Rather timely precaution would save us billions in medical expenditures. Private insurance was not doing a good job. Remember when former patients sued their doctors and private insueers?

      Rather the private plan allowed private business corruption. No wonder the republicans are so upset and against it.

      Now, about your universal plan: rich biillionaires do not need it. Rather they can pay for public medical services. Fair is fair.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  40. mongopoo

    The White House floated the balloon and it burst. Time to regroup.

    February 8, 2012 at 12:58 am |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      Nope. Issues of life or death are not a circus balloon. I admire President Obama for his courage and I trust him even more now. I recognize the need for more discipline to seek mediical care on time. It is the President's job to bring up controversial policies, not only the popular ones.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  41. george of the jungle

    get over it no one is shoving a pill down your throwt. If catholic don't use but don't tell me I have to abide by your doctorin. And don't say change jobs. The church should take care of its other problems . I still see a lot of priest in churches that should have been kicked out . They have enough coverups to worrie about. I love how the evangelical repos act all concerned. You should hear how they preach againts the catholic church.

    February 8, 2012 at 12:59 am |
  42. Aristocles

    I will say this; there is nothing better than an article on religion to get the anti-religious nutjobs out of the woodwork and into the light of day.

    February 8, 2012 at 4:02 am |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      The philosopher, Aristotle was really wise, although I prefer Diogenes, and old man who walked around holding a lap during the day. When people asked him why he did, he replied he was looking for a good man, but did not find him.

      Well President Obama is that good hero who Diogenes could not find. This new republican cackling is futile and not a big issue.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  43. A Reasoner

    Every now and the the Pres does the right thing - then immediately trips all over himself in a rush to compromise it. As it goes "We the people" not "We the Bishops," and forming a more perfect theocracy was never a part of it.

    February 8, 2012 at 6:13 am |
  44. NClaw441

    "Congress shall make no law...prohibiting the free exercise thereof (of religion)..." The standard that has been used in "establishment clause" cases speaks of government "entanglement" in religion as the guiding factor. This standard has been used even when no law has been passed, and even when Congress is not involved. I am not Catholic, and I have no problem with contraceptives (abortifacients are different, but not relevant for this discussion). Is requiring a Catholic hospital to violate its religious tenets (whether observed or not by its members) by providing contraceptives an "entanglement" with religion? I think many of the posts above show that it is, and if allowing prayer by believers constitutes "establishment" of religion when done in certain public settings, then passing a LAW that requires violation of religious convictions surely is "entanglement" and should be struck down.

    February 8, 2012 at 8:39 am |
  45. Joe T.

    If the Catholic church had its way, every family would have 5+ kids. This is not sustainable.

    Keep in mind that 98% of sexual active members of the church admit to having used birth control. Clearly the members of the church (who are funding it) don't care.

    February 8, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  46. David

    The Catholic Church is a fraud. Remember "limbo," where babies who die and aren't baptized were suppose to go? After centuries of preaching it exists, a few years ago they changed their minds and eliminated limbo. And let's not forget the many saints they had to disclaim. Then there is the church's opinion that their clergy can molest young boys and females with no expectation of the churchs' hierarchy to follow the law and report the abusers to the police: just move them to another parish. Now the outrage over contraception when the majority of their members use contraception. The church is nothing but a bunch of hypocritical bigots.

    February 8, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • mike proctor

      HOW! DARE YOU SPEAK LIKE THAT ABOUT MY CHURCH- well,okay AMEN,AMEN

      February 8, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  47. Joe T.

    I can tell you why they don't want to have to provide contraceptives through health care. It has nothing to do with conscience. They just don't want to have to spend the money. The Catholic church is a business. It's pretty simple.

    February 8, 2012 at 9:38 am |
  48. FLIndependent

    This whole issue is one big "red herring' for the religious right and the Catholic Church to use against this President. We voted for President Obama as we all wanted to be treated more fairly in this country and that is exactly what he is trying to accomplish. The churches are already exempt from this, but many people are twisting the facts. If a Catholic hospital or other institution takes our tax money and employs people outside the Catholic religion then it should abide by the law and have to offer birth control. This is giving the choice to the individuals as to whether or not they want the birth control, which DOES NOT take away their religious freedom. All you of that are going against the President on this are also the same people that always call for freedom and personal responsibility. Well then please explain why, if you're so for freedom, that you allow a bunch of old misguided men who run the Catholic Church to dictate to you what you can or can't do with your body. I'm a Catholic and I strongly believe the Church, and many other religions, need to come into the 21st century. If they Church can dictate to us about such things, then why can't every Mormon go out and marry as many women as they like – because there are LAWS forbidding it!!

    February 8, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • jean2009

      If it is taken from the employees wages as part of their benefit. The Church is in actuality not paying for their insurance in the first place the employee is paying for it.

      February 8, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
  49. geggyg

    If the govt passed a law that forced islamic institutions but not mosques to conform to secular laws even if thy contradicted the koran , I bet most of the "good" catholics and other christians making comments on here would cheer the govt on in its actions or go further and demand the mosques be resticted as well, to heck with sepaeration of church and state because most would say islam is not a real religion

    February 8, 2012 at 10:48 am |
  50. Pacifistfollower

    The worry with the United States Catholic Bishops isn't merely over contraception. Yes, it's true that a large segment of Catholic marriages use some form of birth control and for various reasons. I personally believe the Church needs to address this in a new and updated way, examining why Catholics feel this is a "better option" than say natural family planning which also has many unforeseen benefits (outside of just the misconception that it brings "large families"). Yet these people using contraception must have their feelings count, and the Bishops always need to listen attentively and with care. They are not "bad Catholics" or destined to eternal damnation just as those who follow the Church on the issue aren't "traditionalists with backward reasoning".

    But the issue that I see here with the HHS mandate is obviously what happens when government gets a right to directly push a contradictory agenda on religion? It doesn't matter here what Catholics think about contraception – what matters is that the Church currently upholds this belief as part of its faith and is now being forced to submit to it. It's not about numbers – it's about religious freedom. Should I be forced to say the "pledge of allegiance" just because the majority of Americans do so? If I'm an atheist, should I be required by government to have the HHS mandate increase spending on pastors and priests to say prayers as preventive health care? Where does one draw the line?

    I think the Bishops are right in this regard. This is more than a simple "let our employees have free contraception" – it's about following a precedent that could be disastrous for anyone who believes in anything (atheism included)!

    February 8, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Primewonk

      Then have the churches divest themselves of all these businesses. Have them refuse all federal/state/local funding.

      They can then be as discriminatory as they want.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
      • jean2009

        Thank you!

        February 8, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • mike proctor

      Your comment is totally outside the realm of good common sense, here why I made such a statement/ The Country have laws and regulations for all business to go by in reference to how the employee be treated and what programs should be offer to their employee. In the new health insurance laws it is stated that all business should offer the pill to their female employee. NOW! here is the important part of the law you fail to see "IT MUST BE OFFER AS PART OF THEIR INSURANCE PACKAGE" I find nothing in this law that states that the female "MUST PURCHASE THESE ITEMS". The Church is in the commerce business to made a profit off their product sooo they must follow the rules set up for businesses and if they can not do what is required by all, then get out of the business of selling their product. I find it irony that the Church made the statement that it is immoral to take the pill but yet its okay to cover-up the actions of their priest toward children and ruining the children lives, now here where the Government should come in and shut the hold operation down because its a threat to our society but because it a Church we look the other way forgetting about the children. I do have a question for anyone reading this comment-if abortion is so bad(I do not believe in abortion but that my view) why God have it in the animal kingdom and do not tell me there is a different between them and us, "BULL"God made all of us, it just we would like to think they are different. God bless President Obama

      February 8, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
      • jean2009

        Plus the church has no problems whatsoever with paying for Viagra for their male employees. That says it all!

        February 8, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • Charles Kerschen

      It's more about numbers. After Vatican II I talked to an Abbot from a monastery who had attended the sessions. He had recorded everything. I was appalled by what I heard and what he decribed. To think I thought meetings such as this and others were all about prayer, etc. The atmosphere was political and devisive, pure and simple. You say it's about "Religious Freedom." Whose religious freedom? I remember being told by a Director of Priests, "Keep your head down, don't cause waves, don't tell and we won't ask, and send your money in monthly." Religious freedom can come with a price if there isn't a series of checks and balances. The laity need to be involved because at this point they are the more efficacious.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  51. NClaw441

    My comment still awaits moderation 3 hours later....

    February 8, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  52. nobamanov12

    Obama will backoff now, but IF he is reelected he will run rampant and push this and everything else he wants through knowing there will be no repercussions since he will not be running again. he is a liar!!

    February 8, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  53. CatholicHag

    I'm so sick of Catholic crying about this and that! How many of you called-up the USCBC (Bishops' offices in DC) and voice your opposstion to child rape? NONE of you. And, it still goes on. Catholic have brought the largest and shameful disgrace among Christianity ever, and you never said anything about. However, jump all over the president for following what the law says. Plus, many upon many of us work at Catholic institutions and are entitled to birth control, just like you! Plus, aren't you Catholic women tired of men telling you what and why you can't do anything? You have NO voice in the Catholic Church...men only make decissions! Get over it

    February 8, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Jreid

      People are quick to bash the President on birthcontrol but ask the Catholic church to be accountable for all the kids that they raped..

      February 8, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  54. J Russ

    funny thing...birth control is actually free, everyone has free access to it. All you have to do is show a little self control but then I guess that's too old fashioned for this country.

    February 8, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  55. jrt1098

    1) Out here in "the Hinterlands where we still cling to our Guns and our Religion" we believe this is about freedom of Religion !
    2) Pres. Obama was advised against this and yet personally advocated for these provisions, I think it is the most blatant example of his Far Left agenda....and it was the State Run Media and CNN that helped get him elected !

    February 8, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  56. NOvember2012

    olive branch? Does anyone trust anything obama says? Rip up the constitution and give it all to king obummer..he'll take good care of you...hahaha

    February 8, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  57. FLIndependent

    I was listening to C-Span and they are actually debating this topic in Congress – they have NOTHING better to work on?? If we don't rid the House of these tighty righties and TP's we will be doomed. Who wants religion running our lives? They are just begging for something that they can cause controversy over and more division. President Obama is only trying to expand healthcare coverage and is NOT forcing any ideals on any individuals – if they don't want birth control they won't get it – PERIOD!

    February 8, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Jahi Foster

      Right! I agree!

      February 8, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  58. gerald

    Obama cannot be trusted in the slightest. He just made the mistake of making this plain with these new rules. If he had it to do over again he would have waited until after the election to roll them out. Now the cat is out of the bag and he is backtracking to prevent his mistake from getting him a second term. Don't be fooled. He will undo anything he does before now and August.

    February 8, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  59. Hypocrites

    I cannot believe the Catholic church who hid pedophiles for years and years (criminal acts!!) ruined lives is actually TRYING to take the moral high ground and suggesting that they can dictate that the Federal government should adhere to their beliefs about birth control. You can't legislate morality. Offering birth control is LEGAL. Abortion is LEGAL. No one will force a STRICT PRACTICING CATHOLIC (of which I don't know many, being a catholic myself) to stick a condom on or force a pill down their throat. We all have free will. If you want to take birth control, you will. If not, you don't have to. SIMPLE STUFF!!!!!

    February 8, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  60. Jahi Foster

    The administration is not telling people to go have sex. seriously they are trying to get organizations to provide a service, is it that hard to see? wow you would think that now and days people would grow up and face the fact that not everyone in an organization believes the same thing look at congress. Maybe the church should work out their own issues around the world and respect the leaders of the countries they do business in. This is not China Catholics enjoy freedoms in this country people have died for in others. Besides just because its there doesnt mean you have to use it.

    February 8, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  61. Staggslaw

    I'm a 40 year liberal to moderate democrat, and it doesn't take a poll to know most people, including most Catholics, support contraception, but polls don't decide constitutional issues, and I fear the point and the danger are being
    missed. To me this appears a pretty clear infringement of the Fist Amendment right to free exercise of religion that won't stand up in the courts. Why hand the Republicans a lethal issue on a silver platter enabling them to argue: The
    liberals only believe in the separation of church and state when it benefits the state. How can you deny prayer in public schools but permit Government intrusion in religious institutions? This is a very serious constitutional issue and
    coming debate, and unless we can count on the young to turn out sufficiently in the swing states that decide, an issue that could cost the election and establish us beyond my ability to stomach as the party opposed to religion,
    against the separation of church and state when it comes to contraception but in favor of it when it comes to prayer. Wake up people. Do you want to make the non-constitutional right to have your contraception paid for you by the Catholic church against the 1st amendment right to the free exercise of religion the issue that decides this election? The United States Supreme Court unanimously decided for the first time just last month that the First Amendment protects church schools, and the same, and other, principles apply here. This is a disaster that needs immediately rectified before it can do more harm.

    February 8, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  62. DGH

    The Federal Government forcing the Catholic Church pay for procedures for emplyoees that are in opposition to core believes gives the Federal Government overreaching power. The Federal Government directing the support of sterilization and enforcing a religious group to pay for it.

    I recommend watching a clip from the Spencer Tracy film Judgement at Nuremburg, a fictionalized depiction of a man that was sterilized at the direction of the German Government. It is on You Tube. Yes it is the very bottom of the slippery slope, but what will stop the Federal Government from enacting any law it deems as good for the public. Stopping the wearing of religious headgear while driving for the reason that it could limit your field of vision. Stopping the ability to claim donations to churches on taxes. Mandatory use of English language. Microchip all children born in hospitals – for protection against kidnapping. Collection of DNA samples on anyone treated in a hospital that gets federal aid.

    Once the Federal Government can successfully direct the use of birth control, it might become mandatory for certain high risk groups "for health reasons" Could the Federal Government limit person's with certain disabilities ability to have children, limit those below the poverty line, those below a certain age, those above a certain age. What about women with Breast Cancer, Men with heart disease, people who test positive for HIV, colorblindness, diabeates, low IQ, convicted felons, rapists,

    If there is an organization that offers services, Planned Parenthood, and is subsidized by the Federal Government for these specific services then why does any organization have to provide such services if it completely against a tenant of a religion that goes back 2000 years.

    This is not some clown claiming a photo on his ID card is against his faith that he made up yesterday. This is a commonly acknowldged part of a major religion's faith. That individuals of thet faith don't follow a particular part of that faith is between them and their God. Bringing up that many Cathloics use birth control as part of the Government's arguement is actually violating the seperation of church and state. The government evaluating certain tenants of that faith as challengable based on polls.

    The reason I am an idependent, is that I don't want either side's ideology intruding on my life. I definately don't want a future adminstration, Blue or Red making my children or grandchildren take birth control because the US population is too large.

    February 8, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  63. Lefty

    Lefties want Obama to stand strong on this yet if he does reverse course and cave then they'll cheer him for that too. Either way Obama keeps his kool-aid drinking worshipers.

    February 8, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  64. California Conservative

    You know what you can do with your olive brach.

    Liberals are always saying keep religion out of government?

    KEEP GOVERNMENT OUT OF RELIGION!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 8, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  65. LookAtYou

    The problem here is the Church wanting to tell its protestant, Agnostic, Jewish, Hindu, Islamic, Buddhist, atheist, whatever workers that they have to abide by Catholic doctrine in their private lives. No employer has a right to tell you you must have children or has ownership over a worker's body. The Church and the banks, hospitals and universities it runs for its collective profit enjoy a no-tax status, and yet they insist and demand the right to tell the workforce of the United States how it should behave. The fix here, then, is simple: The Church, if it insists on using health insurance to dictate to people it employs how they will live, must deny all tax benefits from the U.S. government, give no employee health insurance and pay each employee more so each can purchase single-payer insurance.

    Besides this, health insurance is something employees work for. It is part of their pay. They should be able to use what they earn however they please without their employer having a say in it. This whole issue smacks of more employer control over employees until we are their slaves. But we should not be surprised. Papists have always tried to control others, which is why the ancestors of us modern protestants came to North America in the first place. America is a place of religious and personal freedom, not one where employers tell the government they are going to force their employees to live according to the employer's moral values. If the church doesn't like this, maybe it should try to do what its primary purpose should be: Converting people to its way of thinking so they agree with its positions. But barring that it has fallen back on trying to force people to behave how it wishes.

    I personally do not believe in abortion, but I do believe in religious and personal freedom. When an employer gives me something in return for my services I should have the right to use that payment how I choose, not they. That is American. If the church wishes otherwise it should stay out of the U.S. entirely.

    February 8, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  66. Age of Reason

    So if a religion forbids blood transfusions, for example, then they do not have to provide health coverage to their employees that covers this? Ridiculous. Contraception is life and death. Ever watch someone die of AIDS? If you don't like birth control...don't use it. See how that works?

    February 8, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  67. Wyze

    Solution is very simple, don't take govt money of you don't want to be told how to use it. Govt does not see Catholic, Jew or Religion, they see people who need some kind of subsidy or help and they try to meet it.

    February 8, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  68. Kamil Zawadzki

    Reblogged this on Outspoken and commented:
    This time of stuff really pisses me off.
    Since when does health care, and all the sub-topics and issues that come with it, have anything to do with religion? Maybe it's because I'm a very secular Catholic that I have such a hard time understanding this.
    But really?
    Dear Catholic Church,
    Despite your preaching of nothing but virtue before marriage, please join us in the 21st century. People – Catholic and non-Catholic – are having sex. In fact, they are starting at an earlier age. "People," here, includes women.
    And if your insurance won't cover contraceptives, then they will seek other ways to find affordable measures. For instance, Planned Parenthood. But oh wait, all the ultra-conservative folk that many Republicans have been pandering to are trying to shut them down, too. So what to do now?
    Well, I guess just keep screwing without using any birth control or condoms, and if nine months later a baby pops out, we always have the welfare state right? Oh wait, Republicans have been trying to shred that, too. So... what now?
    /endrant

    February 8, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
  69. AngryBob

    Rational Catholics understand that you can't have different rules for different employers. It's the governments job to see to it that rules apply to all employers equally. If Catholics don't want people to use birth control, fine, take out a television ad, put up a billboard. However, if they are going to compete in the world of commerce, yes hospitals and other institutions are "commerce" then they're going to have to play by the same rules as everyone else. If they don't like it, they can get out of the hospital business. Quite frankly, I don't know why anyone would go to a hospital that is willing to let an innocent woman die rather than perform an abortion.

    February 8, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
  70. Mireille

    I'm a catholic and I really don't understand what is wrong with giving women a choice. Without insurance the birth control pill can cost about $100/month. It prevents certain diseases as well as pregnancy. Just like mammograms, contraception should be covered by health insurance, regardless of religious beliefs. If you are an employer, who offers health insurance, you should allow freedom to your employees to choose if they need this medication or not. They always have the choice not to take it. This shouldn't be looked at through a religious perspective but the right to have access to health care. I can choose not to take the birth control pill for religious reasons and still support providing access to it. Because my faith guides my life but should not restrain another's.

    February 9, 2012 at 2:58 am |
  71. navin johnson

    Next thing they will legalize polygamy and human sacrifice if their religion allows it.

    February 9, 2012 at 6:41 am |
  72. Lefty

    Why not just give them all waivers like the unions got?

    February 9, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • jean2009

      Actually why not check out the Pinocchio test at this website. Since by 2014 those who currently have received waivers will have to abide with the Affordable Health Care Act. Those waivers expire in 2014 and those companies that offer mini-medical plans will have to provide better plans.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/are-unions-getting-a-disproportionate-break-from-the-health-care-law/2011/03/21/AB1MmN9_blog.html

      February 9, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  73. JWR

    Why not offer those who aren't Catholic a higher salary to purchase their own health care. Is this really a payroll issue? Also, does the Catholic church oppose male vasectomies which are a form of birth control? Why are women always targeted when it comes to birth control?

    February 9, 2012 at 8:22 am |
  74. dreamer96

    I get the feeling it is really about money...paying more for the million plus women's health insurance coverage...The argument that the government is imposing their religious views on those religious hospitals and universities is just what those hospitals are doing to their women workers right now..imposing their religious views on their workers...This is much like any union vs employer...the union is asking for fair worker rights...and the company is saying know because of cost...Does the Federal government require these religions employers to provide a safe working environment, do they have to meet federal labor laws...yes...

    This is also about the many Conservative groups, organizations, institutions...that do not view women as equals but lesser then the males of such groups, organizations, institutions...and subjected to control and less freedom, less opportunity in life....America's own Taliban...oppression of the female population...

    February 9, 2012 at 8:38 am |
  75. OriginalTibs

    Should medical coverage for employees of evangelical fundamentalist employers be restricted to faith healing?

    This issue is being disproportionately hyped not because of contraception, but because the GOP wants to marginalize away the devoted Latino vote.

    It is offensive to see the Church used shamelessly for political gain.

    February 9, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  76. dreamer96

    Do Catholics still beat their students with the rod or stick?...wow that was religion too and women are still a form of property to the conservatives....All men are created equal...from our constitution...all men...women could not vote, nor slaves they were both property...what a great way to raise little girls...Honey you have to obey your father even if he beats you...and then your husband even if he beats you..and your body is the property of your husband...Men control the women....Just how many Religions put woman below man subjected to the man's control, lesser then a man....Even though the bible says Eve was made from Man's rib...and equal...not mans foot..not someone to be walked on...

    February 9, 2012 at 9:27 am |
  77. dreamer96

    Do Religious schools still beat their students with the rod or stick?...wow that was religion too and women are still a form of property to the conservatives....All men are created equal...from our constitution...all men...women could not vote, nor slaves they were both property...what a great way to raise little girls...Honey you have to obey your father even if he beats you...and then your husband even if he beats you..and your body is the property of your husband...Men control the women....Just how many Religions put woman below man subjected to the man's control, lesser then a man....Even though the bible says Eve was made from Man's rib...and equal...not mans foot..not someone to be walked on...

    February 9, 2012 at 9:29 am |
  78. jean2009

    How would all those defending the Catholic Church's policy feel if there were a large number of Church of Scientology hospitals, universities, schools and businesses in this country which would deny their non-believer workers mental health insurance coverage due to it violating that Church's teachings against...psychiatry, mood altering drugs, and psychology?

    The Dark Ages are the Dark Ages no matter where or how it is practiced.

    Basically the Catholic Church is not providing "free" health insurance coverage; the employee is earning it. Insurance coverage for employees is a tax-exempt business enterprise which takes nothing from the businesses' coffers. Therefore, the employee that buys into the company insurance benefit with their labor should be able to purchase a policy (with their rightfully earned wages) that fits their needs.

    Since the benefit is not a freebie from the church...should the church have a right to dictate what they do with their health insurance money any more than they could dictate which house the employee buys with their wages; which car they purchase, or any other item they purchase with wages?

    No one is demanding that Catholics that do not want and do not believe in birth control have to rush out and purchase these items. Only that it be available to those who do want it available.

    Employers should not have the right to mandate what an employee can purchase with money they have rightly earned as part of their wage benefits. That is a slippery slope.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Nick

      I am absolutely okay with any church following its conscience. Birth control is available in any number of places – it does not need to be part of a particular insurance program (neither should ED treatments in my opinion). The nature of insurance is fungable – meaning that any money put into the program can be used for any purpose, so it is not possible to carve out the employer's contribution to insurance (usually half or more of the cost) and say it can't be used for this or that in order to satisfy the conscience requirement.

      The bigger picture is this: Catholic institutions are the largest health provider in the country. The idea here is to force them out of business so the government can take them over and control even more of our lives. And the problem only starts here – what if the government said "you employ Hindus and have to have Hindu services in your building"? Obama had a chance to negate this and did just the opposite – so he comes off looking magnanimous in an election year. Man is nothing but a carnival barker writ large.

      February 9, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • OriginalTibs

      Actually employers who provide health benefits do contribute a significant part of the cost of health insurance.

      I just don't buy into the idea that the religious rights of the employer outweigh the religious rights of the employee. Rules that apply to one business entity should apply equally to all business entities, so the Church should by rights be appreciative that the country affords the Church proper (as opposed to affiliated businesses) an exemption to the rule out of respect for their beneficient role in society.

      But this behavior reminds me of what I would expect in a brat, and it is being capitalised upon by elements of the GOP to drive a wedge between Hispanic voters and the Obama administration, and that doesn't sit right. The Church is being used like a tool by Rep. Boehner and his Sith lords.

      February 9, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  79. Nick

    And here we see the Obama magic – Step 1: Create a crisis. Step 2: Stay above the fray for a while and let it foment. Step 3: Step in and appear to be conciliatory and magnanimous. Step 4: Keep people in the dark so they don't realize that the power to control aspects of your life just shifted to the White House from the people's representatives in Congress. Step 5: Get re-elected and complete the conversion from Republic to dictatorship.

    Had Bush done any of these things he would have been villified. But since a liberal is doing it we're supposed to just accept it like it was our fault in the first place. Excuse me while I cling to my religion and go fetch my Ruger – the rest of you can become "comrades" without me.

    February 9, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • jean2009

      So Nick....i assume Bush kept you in the loop and let you know the real reason he went into Iraq which we all obviously know wasn't for WMD or Osama bin Laden. Too bad Bush didn't let the rest of us know it was for his war profiteer buddies.

      Where were you when he was sending brave young men and women to their deaths, for neither Osama or WMD? i don't remember you calling him out on creating a couple of very costly unfunded crisis, keeping the American people in the dark about the real reasons for Iraq: all to get elected a second time after he had been appointed the first time by SCOTUS.

      February 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  80. reXteryalizer

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    February 10, 2012 at 5:35 am |