Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, released a statement yesterday rejecting the so-called “modification” submitted by the Obama administration to the HHS contraceptive mandate.
The administration had proposed allowing more religious groups to opt out of having to directly pay for the employees’ contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs. But it offered no exemptions for private businesses owned by committed Christians that don’t want to pay for them.
Dolan’s statement read, in part, “In obedience to our Judeo-Christian heritage, we have consistently taught our people to live their lives during the week to reflect the same beliefs that they proclaim on the Sabbath. We cannot now abandon them to be forced to violate their morally well-informed consciences.”
Plus Catholic non-profits, such as Catholic schools and hospitals, would still be forced to buy healthcare plans from insurance carriers that, in turn, would be required to set up cost-free separate policies to provide the free birth control to all employees. This amounts to a requirement that religious-affiliated institutions find an intermediary that would provide contraceptive coverage for their employees.
Dolan said that the bishops will continue to support lawsuits fighting the regulation as they advance in federal courts.
The Left’s Priorities
A federal lawsuit filed Thursday alleges that a portrait of Jesus displayed prominently in the entrance of an Ohio public school is in violation of the U.S. Constitution. The groups bringing the lawsuit, including The ACLU of Ohio and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, contend that the picture at the middle school promotes religion and they want it removed.
“The maintenance and display of the portrait has the effect of advancing one religion, improperly entangling the State in religious affairs and violating the personal consciences of plaintiffs,” the lawsuit says.
The school superintendent told the Columbus Dispatch earlier that, “We’re not violating the law and the picture is legal because it has historical significance. It hasn’t hurt anyone.” The school district is conducting an investigation of the issue now.
Our public schools have become birth control distribution clinics and centers of gang violence. Our kids’ scores in just about every school seem to be dropping. But the Left’s attention is focused on the constitutionality of a picture of Jesus. What an injustice.
Conservatives on the Hill are worried about the perception that their movement doesn’t care about the real issues facing America. But I wonder where the public ever got the idea that the Left cares about their priorities when one of its top concerns is whether school children might catch a glimpse of Jesus.