I’m now Catholic. (So are you.)

I’m not Catholic. With an estimated 70 million Catholics living in the United States out of a population of 310 million, statistically speaking, there’s about a 78 percent chance that you’re not Catholic either. But as a result of the arrogance of an administration that believes that there is no aspect of American life into which it does not have the unlimited right to intrude, we are all Catholics now.

In case you missed it, the Department of Health & Human Services issued regulations under Obamacare late in January that require virtually all private health insurance plans to include coverage for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortifacients, the so-called “morning after” pill. Employers from across the spectrum are upset with the ruling, but none more so than Roman Catholic churches, dioceses, hospitals and charities.

Observant Catholics believe that the sexual union between a man and a woman is laden with the potential for creating  human life and that life is a divine gift of God. Thus they believe that anything that willfully strips the sexual act of its life-creating potential is sinful.

You are free to disagree. If you are an atheist, on the pill and willing to have an abortion if you somehow get pregnant anyway, the same first amendment that gives you the right to reject the teachings of the Catholic Church on these matters gives the Catholic Church the right to live by and be governed by its own beliefs.

Which means that using the force of government to make Catholic institutions provide contraceptives and abortifacients as a condition of hiring employees is a gross abuse of power and a clear and present threat to liberty.

The argument is not about theology. It’s not about abortion. It’s not pro-life versus pro-choice. It’s not about birth control.

It’s about freedom.

Aside from this direct assault on the faith of practicing Catholics, the fact that a cabinet secretary can, of his or her own volition, without an act of Congress and with no practical avenue of redress, issue regulations mandating that someone must do something that he or she as a matter of personal ethics or faith would otherwise never do, is an assault on the country’s very foundation.

Predictably, some (but not all) prominent Democrats are circling the wagons around the administration. “The power to decide whether or not to use contraception lies with a woman, not her boss,” said New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand. True, Senator. But the power to decide to hire the woman in the first place lies with the boss. There is no right to employment and there is no right – Obamacare notwithstanding – to employer-paid health care.

All of this is further evidence, as if evidence is needed, of government that has slipped its constitutional bonds. If you, like me, are not Catholic and have no opposition to the use of contraceptives, and thus think that you’re not affected, think again.

If a practicing Catholic or a Catholic institution in the United States can be compelled by the government to act against religious faith, it’s only a matter of time before some equally offensive compulsion is brought down upon you by the same heavy hand of a government that refuses to respect its limits.

That’s why we’re all Catholics now.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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73 Responses

  1. Shared Prosperity says:

    49 comments and counting, Wow! For what it’s worth (if it’s not too late), I would like to remind everyone that the Progressive/Socialist agenda and accomplishments remain unbroken since the Woodrow Wilson and FDR era (90 plus years ago). Nixon (a Republican) established the EPA, for heaven’s sake! Even Reagan did little to stop the rise of Federal government influence on the creation of a more just society. President Obama and the last Democrat Congress made incredible progress to establish Social and Economic Justice for many more decades in all areas of our daily lives. We should all be grateful for his vision of equality and fairness.

    I’m ashamed at the blind rage of the Conservative movement as it demonizes President Obama who has reached a peak of accomplishments to rival even FDR, LBJ, and Clinton. Over half of the population in this country is in need of assistance from the Federal government in housing, health care, food, communication, transportation, employment, and renewable clean energy. The rich can create their own bubble of an extravagant life style, immune to the pain and suffering of the less fortunate. President Obama, however, is trying to help these people and is asking for the rich to join in his view of Shared Sacrifice.

    It is time for the Conservatives to realize that the horse left the barn decades ago. Your extreme right-wing interpretation of the Constitution is no longer main stream in any of the major institutions in the United States: Education, Business, Media, Medicine, Wall Street, and Main Street. The support for the Progressive agenda is overwhelming in the Judiciary, Legislative, and Executive branches of our government. If Conservatives were right and had the support you claim, then where are the Impeachment Proceedings to remove the Judges, Legislators, and Cabinet Officers that are violating the Constitution and their oath of office to uphold it? The facts are that you have been out-foxed for generations and don’t have the skills to move the levers of government to slow down or stop the Progressive agenda. Q.E.D.

  2. boqpod says:

    Correction: Kennedy was in front of the Rathaus Schöneberg.

  3. TLC says:

    Well, if you and others like you have such an issue with this, then why don’t we all just exempt private companies from offering insurance on ALL reproductive services: fertility treatments, prenatal care, birth, female health check-ups, prostate checkups, Viagra. This isn’t about ‘freedom.’ It’s about denying a woman’s right to have access to necessary medical coverage.

    Oh, and by the way, Obama is no longer requiring companies to provide it anymore. He went straight to the insurance companies, who have agreed to reach out to workers, circumventing their employers completely.

    OH, what glorious freedom!

  4. TLC says:

    OH, and another thing. Politics is secular. Let’s keep RELIGION and GOD out of it. Some of us aren’t Christians. We don’t want YOUR beliefs sullying our lives.

  5. Robin says:

    L Miles,
    well said. I am glad it didn’t go unnoticed that Mr. Obama while running for president was asked, “What would you do if one of your daughters got pregnant out of wedlock.” He said, “I am not going to punish my girls for a mistake.” The same irresponsible parenting and behavior he expressed in this comment is the same irresponsible behavior we have seen in his presidency. If someone lacks the ability of self-control, let’s kill the fruits of it. Two wrongs don’t make a right, friends. Accountability is what is needed, you made your bed now you have to sleep in it. Unfortunately, ours is a society that has no problem protecting ground hogs and rabbits, but we have no problem slaughtering innocent babies.
    CM Solomon nailed it, if this government control keeps up and people keep standing by and watching, your ideas could come true. All those good people who stood by and did nothing will wish they had!

  6. elm says:

    If you ask in a poll if you use contraception and then proceed with the poll only if the answer is yes, then you are leaving out a vast number of women who do not use birth control. There was no questioning if the woman was postpartum, pregnant, celibate, or beyond childbearing age. To say that 98% of Catholic women use contraceptives is a bold-faced lie, unless of course you are the Guttenmacher Institute who is the right arm of Planned Parenthood.

    To be Catholic, you need to confess and live by the tenets and precepts of Holy Mother Church. To do otherwise, is to make yourself something other than Catholic.

    This is not about women’s rights. It is about the sanctity of marriage and life. It is about not bloodying the hands of Catholics with the killing of innocents in the womb. The first right is the right to life. All others follow and serve this right.

    This action of this administration will surely separate the chaff from the wheat. As the Holy Spirit is the Giver of Life, there is no right to birth control, and heaven help us if we condone the killing of the newly formed life given to us by our Creator.

    Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful and inkindle in us the fire of Your Love.

  7. Kathryn says:

    @Jeff I take issue with some of your arguments and would like to address them.

    1) Yes, women have freedom, and a choice. Most women get to decide whether or not to have sex. The woman who are forced into sexual relations have been legally wronged; they have had that right illegally removed. At this point in time, woman also have the freedom to decide whether or not to take the pill, have an abortion, or undergo sterilization.

    3) This is the first time I’ve heard Santorum’s name connected with this controversy. The reason it suddenly swelled after 10 years is because Obama decided to force all employers to provide free abortifacients, sterilizations, and contraceptives. To the best of my knowledge, Santorum didn’t start anything.

    4) Just because somebody identifies his or herself as Catholic does not mean that person is. A true Catholic accepts all of the Church’s teachings and attempts to follow them.

    9) While I’ll admit that what happened regarding pedophiles in the Church is sad and disturbing, calling it a “criminal pandemic” is a bit of a stretch. According to comprehensive studies, less than 2% of priests are sexual abusers. Furthermore, pedophilia is not a problem restricted to the Catholic Church; plenty of Protestant ministers have been found guilty of pedophilia as well. Beyond that, there have been many instances of teachers sexually abusing students.

    10) Your last statement regarding forcing women “by law to have their rapist’s or brother’s baby” is weak. Again, statistics show that less than 1% of all abortions occur because of rape.

    Why don’t you try to make a reasonable argument, instead of using red herrings and blowing facts out of proportion?

  8. Maggie says:

    Reason Should Prevail (and others), just because abortion is legal doesn’t mean it’s right. Remember that slavery was also legal in this country for many years, and many of the same arguments pro-abortion people use to argue are similar to the arguments slaveholders used to oppress millions of people (for example, that the unborn child [or slave] isn’t a person and therefore doesn’t have rights; that the right to privacy [or property, in the slavery example] can’t be compromised [remember too that there is actually no right to privacy.] etc.

  9. Hendy says:

    Can anyone point to the portion of the bill in which abortafacients are included in the list of supported services? The original HHS ACA summary specifically excludes them (see the 5th bullet point with bold text, “Contraception and contraceptive counseling”). I also didn’t find mention in the ACA full text document.

  10. C M Solomon says:

    In violation of my own FREE advice, I make the following observation of evidence of hatred for the Judeo-Christian Heritage that built the greatest nation in the history of mankind: “Politics is secular. Let’s keep RELIGION and GOD out of it. Some of us aren’t Christians. We don’t want YOUR beliefs sullying our lives.”

    Question: Which of the 10 Commandments that are engraved on the walls of the US Supreme Court do you disagree with?

    Christianity in America doesn’t support a theocracy and is consistent with voluntary freedom of worship (“the free exercise thereof”) – never at the point of a gun or coercion because of a State established Secular Humanism Religion – Socialism. So far, a Christian does not give up his citizenship and his right of free speech to influence political thought.

    On the contrary, when the final death throes of the Religion of Socialism occur, when it doesn’t work, it is usually replaced with Communism that forces compliance at the point of a gun. Human history is a great teacher for those who are honest enough to want to learn! 20 to 70 million deliberate murders by Communists in the last century are all you need to know.

  11. Leslie B says:

    Robin (6:10 a.m.), what Obama said while campaigning was, “if one of my girls makes a mistake, I don’t want her punished with a baby.” To him, a baby is a punishment, not a miracle of creation (by God, Mother Nature, your Higher Power, whatever). It wasn’t going to be HIM punishing them; that would be the innocent child. Otherwise, I agree with what you said.

    As people have pointed out in replies in other blogs and columns, if the Obama administration can do this, they can force Kosher delis to serve ham and keep Muslims from facing Mecca to pray. Why not? Well, there is that little part about “not prohibiting the exercise thereof,” but that seems to have been redacted from Obama’s copy of the Bill of Rights:
    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    This is about forcing people of certain religious beliefs to not only go against their principles, but to pay for it, too. Come on, you think the insurance companies are going to take it out of their own pockets instead of simply spreading it out over the rest of the cost of the premiums?

  12. Abby says:

    You know, people say that they need to keep god out of things. Out of the general picture. Out of the public. That people shouldn’t be exposed to those beliefs. That Catholics opinions on controversial subjects, if they are based on personal faith life, they are not worthy to be upheld. Is it true that the catholic community should be forced to do something because of another’s own personal beliefs? What about the Catholics personal belief?! Is it since catholics don’t provide their employees with the financial coverage for the morning after pill, abortion, sterilization, and other things that go against the employers ethical conscience that they must now be forced to bend to the will of the worker? That if you don’t pay for someone to have an abortion or take the pill against your conscience your wrong? If you prevent anyone from having a choice then, you are against the law. Yes? Well, you, America, are preventing Catholics from the freedom that the constitution rightfully gives to them.

  13. SAHGma says:

    Another reason that we as a country should be looking at a single-payer health system. Insurance coverage or lack thereof should not be the responsibility of employers. All citizens should have access to free basic health care with affordable individual policies available for expanded coverage.

  14. L Miles says:

    I hesitate to add to a long list of comments but today I heard Limbaugh reference a wonderful article by Dr. Paul A. Rahe from Hillsdale College that explains everything in context. It is worth reading every word.


    Two paragraphs hit me between the eyes:

    “In the process, the leaders of the American Catholic Church fell prey to a conceit that had long before ensnared a great many mainstream Protestants in the United States – the notion that public provision is somehow akin to charity – and so they fostered state paternalism and undermined what they professed to teach: that charity is an individual responsibility and that it is appropriate that the laity join together under the leadership of the Church to alleviate the suffering of the poor. In its place, they helped establish the Machiavellian principle that underpins modern liberalism – the notion that it is our Christian duty to confiscate other people’s money and redistribute it.”

    “At every turn in American politics since that time, you will find the hierarchy assisting the Democratic Party and promoting the growth of the administrative entitlements state. At no point have its members evidenced any concern for sustaining limited government and protecting the rights of individuals. It did not cross the minds of these prelates that the liberty of conscience which they had grown to cherish is part of a larger package – that the paternalistic state, which recognizes no legitimate limits on its power and scope, that they had embraced would someday turn on the Church and seek to dictate whom it chose to teach its doctrines and how, more generally, it would conduct its affairs.”


  15. Kristin says:

    Thank you.

  16. Tsubaki says:

    Thank you for your articulate explanation of the current situation. It is certainly refreshing. The arguments have recently been so polemicized that it is difficult to see the core issue. You said it wonderfully: it is not about contraception; it is about freedom.

  17. JoNell says:

    TLC – In your haste to hate on Catholicism, you grossly misunderstand and misstate the situation.
    This has, in NO WAY, ANY thing to do with a woman having access to birth control, sterilization, abortion, etc. The Church will not PREVENT a woman from obtaining those things if she wants them. The Church will simply REFUSE TO PAY for them in ANY way, shape, or form on her behalf. She will continue to be FREE to obtain her OWN insurance policy from the carrier of HER CHOICE; it will simply not be her employer that is supplementing the insurance. She can use the Pill, IUD, Diaphragm, condoms all at the same time if she wants, and can get herself an abortion should she still get pregnant despite her efforts to the contrary. Her chosen employer — CHOSEN EMPLOYER, mind you, because no one has forced or compelled her to CHOOSE to work for a Church that has clearly stated it’s moral objection to said contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion — will simply not pay for them on her behalf. She has the ABSOLUTE FREEDOM to CHOOSE to work elsewhere for an employer that has no such objection, or to CHOOSE to PURCHASE HER OWN INSURANCE.


    You are TOTALLY FREE to practice contraception as FREELY as you CHOOSE, and the Catholic Church is TOTALLY FREE to practice its professed faith without interference from the government, as promised in the US CONSTITUTION.


  18. C M Solomon says:

    JoNell expertly explained the religious, personal, and institutional “rights” that all Americans should understand that originate from our Creator, as guaranteed by the glorious US Constitution. The beautiful part is that there are NO conflicts between the holders of these “rights” if properly observed and exercised. The Founders were brilliant!

    Unfortunately, our country is already in a post-Constitutional era in which political power is allowed to violate any part of the Constitution without consequence. As will be revealed in the next 8 months, we are on the verge of a Police State as the conceit and deceit of Obama and his minions are made visible as they flex their muscles by deliberately picking at the boundaries of the Constitution at every opportunity. (The current false contraceptive issue is a great example).

    The problem is that our beloved country is now under assault by the apostate members of the Presidency, the Judiciary, and the Congress to redefine those “rights” as fluid and subject to the Social Justice dogma in all its forms of debauchery. Obama is not hiding his Marxist ideology any longer. The “positive rights” of the FDR Second Bill of Rights is a good example of his core beliefs. Any unlawful action to benefit the FAVORED, self-ordained, well funded, collective constituency, takes precedence over the rights of the individual (the end justifies the means). Freedom of the Press is a joke. It is a Propaganda Ministry.

    Just yesterday, we learned that the kindergarten “Food Police” in N.C. had rejected a 4 year-old child’s lunch box contents (perfectly healthy) that her Mother had prepared for her. As I said in an earlier post, the right of “health care” as determined by the Autocracy can mean ANYTHING.

    We have elected a Ruler, not a President. What most Americans don’t know is that his “right to reign” is paramount and there is no way he is going to go away quietly, if at all. If he leaves the country in shambles, so be it. We have been a wicked nation and must be brought in line with the rest of the World. That is his Divine Mission.

  19. Michael S says:

    This statement by shared prosperity would have amazed me a few years ago, but I agree that the public, that is mainstream, has abandoned the Constitution in droves…”It is time for the Conservatives to realize that the horse left the barn decades ago. Your extreme right-wing interpretation of the Constitution is no longer main stream in any of the major institutions in the United States”
    So what does that mean? It means that the liberals declared a Constitutional war 80 years ago, and Obama planted the victory flag in 2008. What to do? Declare war on the same liberals, and the first battle is winning the election.

  20. tommy F says:

    “In case you missed it, the Department of Health & Human Services issued regulations under Obamacare late in January that require virtually all private health insurance plans to include coverage for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortifacients, the so-called “morning after” pill”

    Can someone please tell me EXACTLY what “abortifacients” are covered and what Pill is being referred to as the “morning after” pill? Surely the Author isn’t throwing those terms around loosely without clinical proof or is the author just that uneducated and naive? I do not know of a single product that is covered by any health plan or government health plan that falls within this category. I wish people would research these products more and not rely on the characters on our TV to educate them through their biased opinions and obvious lack of intelligence.

    I truly believe it is good that the author of this topic brings these discussions to light but i wish they would get their facts straight and not throw around blanketed terms and statements in order to gain the “shock” appeal. Typical journalism at its best!!

  21. Riftknight says:

    I’m shocked first off by the total amount of ignorance of a handful of posters. This first part of the comment is directed solely at TLC who apparently believes everything the national news tells them. First off TLC, this is a first ammendment issue. Freedom of Religion is a constitutional right, which includes the pursuit and practice of said religion. The Government mandating how religious institutions must act is a direct violation of the constitution. Another thing TLC, religion wants nothing to do with government. It would prefer the same consideration, especially in light of the constitution. End of story.

    Next topic is that the majority of oral contraceptives are in fact abortifacients, which means that following conception, the fertilized egg is unable to attach itself to the side of the uterus, thus terminating the pregnancy. Some oral contraceptives claim to prevent the fertilization, but this is not really true, they just render the Uterus barren, preventing pregnancy. There are some, like Seasonale that put a woman into a chemically induced menopause. Any woman that has ever been on that would like to systematically beat the creator of said drug. So why would a church have a problem with an abortifacient? Because the Bible teaches and I agree, that life begins at conception.

  22. Neil Caffrey says:

    Before the government provided birth control, abortions and became the savior of every bedroom “mistake”, the church and the family dealt with these aborants of society. The proper parenting of children does not necessitate government correction down the road.

  23. I like this blog very much so much good information. “Probably the most distinctive characteristic of the successful politician is selective cowardice.” by Richard Harris.

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