Quid Pro Quo: The Real Reason for the HHS Mandate “Compromise”?
All day, the American Catholic blogosphere, already reeling from the latest in the decades-long moral crisis in the Church, has been abuzz about the most recently proposed “compromise” on the table regarding the HHS Contraception Mandate. Though the news of the mandate is a year old by now, and something we at Truth & Charity have followed closely through our Facebook page Stand with the US Bishops, it was only recently noticed by the New York Times. One can hardly blame the White House for coming to the sudden conclusion that something had to be done to satisfy us noisy Catholics – for now – once even Hell’s Bible made note of the situation.
Still, the Obama Administration has been known for its doublespeak, its trickery, its false promises, and its systematic under-the-bussing of those its ridden over on the way to where it is today. One can only wonder what is causing this sudden, easily-rescinded, appearances-only change of heart. The answer?
At least that’s my theory. The US Bishops have been the most outspoken proponents of full-scale immigration reform (and, generally, the more liberal-leaning proposals). Mr. Obama needs them to help him push his new immigration agenda, the one he’s been talking about a LOT lately. There’s just one pesky problem: the bishops are not in a cooperative mood. He has to allay their concerns. Why not a little empty promise? It’s the old standby of Obama’s charm. People love a guy who promises the world with a smile.
Thus, we find a sudden interest in changing policies. Obama will still leave those non-religious employers high and dry, but for the bishops, well, their institutions will be “exempt.” Just a bit of political bribery, that’s all. Just a shell game. “Keep your eyes on the magician’s hands, Your Excellencies, and make sure your oohs and aahs are loud enough for his adoring public.”
Not all of the bishops have been able to keep their attention focused firmly on the mandate, that most pressing of concerns. Some have been distracted in recent months by Paul Ryan’s taken-out-of-context political leanings or the revival of gun control politics. I don’t want to get on that tangent. I only want to close with a message to our bishops: We love you and we’ll keep praying for you and fighting with you. We know you want immigration reform. Many of us – liberal and conservative – share that desire with you. Now is not the time. Please don’t allow Obama to change the subject. Don’t give him the praise and cooperation he wants in exchange for his new-found respect for the religious freedom of the few. Resist him until every single man, woman, and child in the United States may exercise their God-given freedom of conscience without punishment from the state. If you don’t stand steadfast for that first freedom, what will really be left of America’s greatness for immigrants to share in, anyway? Don’t drop the ball. God bless you all!