Sunday, 05 February 2012


Ken Berwitz

President Obama's position on Catholicism appears to be that you can call yourself a Catholic, but if you choose to act like one the weight of the government will come down on you.  Specifically, the Department of Health and Human Services is forcing Catholic organizations to provide contraceptive services, and female sterilization as part of its health care.

Excerpted from Charlotte Allen's op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times:

The Catholic Church, which views sex and procreation as inextricably intertwined, forbids both elective sterilization and any effort to prevent conception other than refraining from sexual contact. In response to a request by the U.S. Catholic bishops and some other religious groups that regard artificial contraception as immoral, Health and Human Services carved out a religious exemption for employers. But it was the narrowest possible exemption, covering only employers representing organizations whose primary mission is instructing members in their faith and that serve and employ mostly members of their own faith. In short, Catholic parish churches would qualify for the exemption. Catholic schools, colleges, hospitals, charities and social service agencies all of which minister to all comers without regard to their religious affiliation would not.

Not surprisingly, the American Catholic bishops have presented a nearly united front in opposition to the rule, scheduled to go into effect in 2013. The website lists 140 bishops, more than 70% of the 198 heads of U.S. Catholic dioceses, who have either issued or intend to issue statements opposing the mandate.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York accused the Obama administration of treating pregnancy and women's fertility "as a disease."

What is surprising is that prominent liberal Catholics people who don't even agree with the church's position on contraception have joined their voices in protest. One of them was E.J. Dionne, a widely syndicated columnist for
the Washington Post. Dionne, who has been an Obama enthusiast since well before the 2008 election, accused the president in a recent column of having "utterly botched" the issue of contraceptive services. Dionne admitted that he wished "the church would show more flexibility on this question," but he also pointed out that the sweeping mandate "encroached upon the church's legitimate prerogatives" to ensure that its employment policies reflected its moral values.

Does this sound a little like the Obama administration's latest version of "my way or the highway"?  Maybe a lot like it?  If you say yes, we are in agreement. 

My personal feeling?  There have to be ways of resolving this other than forcing Catholicism to go against its own teachings.  But the Obama administration certainly does not seem disposed to finding them. 

Little wonder that Catholics - even not especially religious Catholics - are up in arms about it.

And what about the political implications?  I wonder if Obama & Co. realize how significant they may be. 

David Brooks, the New York Times' idea of a conservative (which is to say barely conservative at all) has this to say:

I think that [the implication] is enormous because you have Catholics who are upset. You have evangelicals who are really upset. And whatever problem they had with Mitt Romney that has now healed. They have now united with Mitt Romney because they are so upset about this story. And a lot of people think we are a diverse country, we have a lot of different values, that government should get involved it gives money to a lot of these associations but it should give different people with different values the ability to operate in a way they see fit.

When you have the government saying one size fits all you are going to do it our way, or not, well, then that insults a lot of people, he continued. And so I think this is having resonance across the country. It was statements were issued in a lot of masses, a lot of pulpits this past Sunday. And, you know, I think its going to have a significant lingering effect for a long time.

Mr. Brooks doesn't always get things right.  But this time?  He is spot-on.

And if the Obama administration wakes up and realizes that Mr. Brooks is right?  You can bet that HHS will reverse its ruling.  \

Simply stated, Barack Obama values votes a lot more than contraceptive services.  That is an iron-clad guarantee.

Angelica yay! I have been a foollwer of The Preacher's wife and now you too. I am not a blogger just yet...hoping to get there still.Blessings!Michele (02/20/12)


Ken Berwitz

Did you know that President Obama had the effrontery to compare his demands that "the rich" pay "their fair share" to the teachings of the world's greatest religious figures?

Before you assume I can't possibly be right, consider Mr. Obama's ego.....

Now:  here is what he said, yesterday, when speaking at a national prayer breakfast:

"I wake up each morning and I say a brief prayer, and I spend a little time in scripture and devotion. And from time to time, friends of mine, some of who are here today, friends like Joel Hunter or T.D. Jakes, will come by the Oval Office or they'll call on the phone or they'll send me a email, and we'll pray together, and they'll pray for me and my family, and for our country.


"But I don't stop there. I'd be remiss if I stopped there; if my values were limited to personal moments of prayer or private conversations with pastors or friends. So instead, I must try -- imperfectly, but I must try -- to make sure those values motivate me as one leader of this great nation.

"And so when I talk about our financial institutions playing by the same rules as folks on Main Street, when I talk about making sure insurance companies aren't discriminating against those who are already sick, or making sure that unscrupulous lenders aren't taking advantage of the most vulnerable among us, I do so because I genuinely believe it will make the economy stronger for everybody. But I also do it because I know that far too many neighbors in our country have been hurt and treated unfairly over the last few years, and I believe in God's command to "love thy neighbor as thyself." I know the version of that Golden Rule is found in every major religion and every set of beliefs -- from Hinduism to Islam to Judaism to the writings of Plato."

Did I say effrontery?  The word doesn't begin to describe this.  But who is going to call him on it?  Our media???

Let me put it this way:  try to imagine those same words coming from President Bush.  Then try to imagine what the media would be saying today about a President Bush who talks about how deeply religious he is and how supersedingly his religious beliefs inform his actions as President of all the people. 

And try to imagine what they would say about President Bush setting himself up as a messenger providing the acceptable political path from every major religion, with Plato thrown in for good measure.

The attacks would be non-stop for President Bush.  But I'm taking bets they will be non-start for President Obama.

If I am wrong, I will be apologizing on this blog within the next 24 hours.  But don't count on it happening.

These people may call themselves journalists.  They may think they are journalists.  But a great many of them are not.  They are propagandists for the political views they side with, and journalistic neutrality is some wispy little abstract concept to be pontificated about during academic seminars or dinner parties.

WisOldMan He's not challenged by his pets in media, because they know he doesn't mean a single word of what he says. (02/05/12)


Ken Berwitz

....need I say more?

Congratulations to "The Fourth Quarter"-back, Eli Manning - who always seems to pull gamesout at the end - and the rest of the New York Giants on a great victory.  That was the most exciting Super Bowl I have ever seen.

Oh, did I mention that I root for the Giants?


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