HHS mandate

Dr. Lisa Fullam

When Catholic Academics Abandon the Unborn

A few weeks ago Lisa Fullam, a featured blogger at dotCommonweal, the blog of the politically liberal magazine Commonweal, posted “Hobby Lobby and Science” in which she clarifies for us how the “science” does not support the claims made by the Hobby Lobby plaintiffs and, incidentally, the Catholic Church. She writes, “In medical terminology, a [...]

The Next “Hobby Lobby”: Mandating IVF Coverage

The most cursory survey of the American mass media in July 2014 would have you believe that millions of women are being denied basic medical care and fundamental rights are under total assault because … they can’t get somebody else to buy their abortifacients. Indeed, the U.S. Senate—whose legislative productivity this year suggests it has [...]

“A Legal Entitlement to Contraceptive Coverage”

The U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision that for-profit companies such as Hobby Lobby are not required to provide in their healthcare plans "preventive services" that include abortion-inducing drugs, raises doubts about the constitutionality of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate requiring that all FDA-approved forms of birth control be provided in all [...]

The Hobby Lobby Case: Good News, Not Great News

Many religious folk have been rejoicing at the Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the case concerning the Obama Administration’s attempt to force Hobby Lobby and other religious businesses to pay for contraceptive and abortifacient drugs for their employees under Obamacare. The Court held that the Obamacare regulation forcing business owners [...]

A New Declaration of Independence

Twelve score minus two years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent ... something that no longer exists. In 2014, Independence Day is more commonly called the Fourth of July—a Jacobin rather than a Christian practice, naming holidays after dates. (Imagine celebrating the 25th of December.) The rhetorical shift reflects an underlying reality. Lost [...]

Blind Resentment: The Origins of Anti-Catholicism Today

In a US News and World Report essay that has been widely denounced as incoherent, poorly researched, and bigoted, Jamie Stiehm recently reproached Justice Sonia Sotomayor for her “clear religious bias” in dropping “the ball on American women and girls” as she “undermined the new Affordable Care Act’s sensible policy on contraception.” The Justice did [...]

Is There a “Right” to Birth Control?

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday from opposing legal counsel on the HHS contraception mandate cases. The media consensus appears to be that the justices were hard on the mandate and appear likely to issue a narrow ruling exempting “closely-held” corporations, which both of the plaintiffs are, while leaving open the question of [...]

Birth Control is Not Healthcare

Dr. Malcolm Potts, first medical director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, in a piece late last month in the Los Angeles Times¸erroneously blames the Vatican for denying the Little Sisters of the Poor the alleged health benefits of hormonal contraception.  In fact, the Little Sisters of the Poor are challenging in court their real [...]

Those Intolerable Catholics – In Locke’s Time and Ours

Often touted as a landmark text in the history of religious freedom, John Locke’s Letter Concerning Toleration (1689) is remarkable in wisely limiting the power of “the magistrate … to do or meddle with nothing but barely in order to securing the civil peace and properties of his subjects,” and thus of granting “an absolute [...]

Do All Religions Deserve Respect?

The Obama administration’s war on Catholics will continue into 2014 as many courageous Catholic institutions in the U.S. maintain their resistance to its encroachment on their religious freedom through the H.H.S. mandate. In light of this, we can expect that the public debate about religious freedom will also continue into the new year both inside [...]

When Is An Abortion Not An Abortion? When the Media Says So.

Shortly before the new year, a number of religious organizations were given protection from the HHS abortion and contraception mandate.  While social conservatives and defenders of the First Amendment cheered, numerous prominent media organizations manipulated basic scientific facts to deny that the mandate—required by federal law—forces people to fund abortion-inducing drugs. Media Matters did this at least twice, [...]

A Foreign View of the HHS Mandate

Perhaps it is because I am a European living in Europe and, thereby, not so entangled in the HHS mandate issue (and have less to lose) that I cannot understand the thinking that surrounds the response of some Catholics in the US.  From where I stand, across The Pond, compliance with the HHS mandate is, [...]

Want Religious Liberty? Live Your Faith

From the standpoint of Catholicism there is no more important right than religious liberty. It is the first of our freedoms. As Catholics, we cherish religious liberty because we have been made by God and for God—our hearts are restless, as Saint Augustine wrote, until they rest in Him. God gave us freedom so that [...]

How to Recover the Catholic Vote

One of the reasons that same-sex marriage laws have proliferated so quickly is that their proponents are concentrated geographically in the nation’s power centers: New York, Washington, San Francisco, Los Angeles. Geography can be determinative in politics. Faithful Catholics are numerous, but we’re too spread out. This has weakened our position both as a voting [...]

How Catholics Can Avoid Cooperating with Evil in Public Life

In a recent column, I suggested that the most important thing for Catholics to do politically is to present, argue for, and act on the Catholic understanding of human life. We are defined by our faith, which has to do with an understanding of God, man, and the world, and our goal as Catholics is [...]

Religious Freedom and the Need to Wake Up

 “IRS officials have, of course, confessed that they inappropriately targeted conservative groups—especially those with ‘tea party’ or ‘patriot’ in their names—for extra scrutiny when they sought non-profit status. Allegations of abuse or harassment have since broadened to include groups conducting grassroots projects to ‘make America a better place to live,’ to promote classes about the [...]

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going

Just as Mr. Darcy’s aunt, the overbearing Lady Catherine De Bourgh, held that if she’d ever been taught music she would have been a great proficient, I’ve sometimes had the chumpaciousness to think that if I’d ever learned to draw I’d have been a good cartoonist. These inflated thoughts generally occur when I’ve got a [...]

No King But Cesar

It was one of those modern moments that would be impossible to parody. On Easter Sunday, visitors to Google’s main site were greeted with a unique doodle portraying a solemn-faced figure. Robed all in white and gazing meditatively towards the far horizon, he looked positively Messianic. Had Google, for the first time in the company’s [...]

The HHS Mandate Requires You to Pay for Abortions

In a recent National Public Radio broadcast and accompanying article entitled "Morning-After Pills Don't Cause Abortion, Studies Say," NPR journalist Julie Rovner reported that the Obama administration's contraceptive mandate doesn't force people to pay for abortion-inducing drugs. The article focuses on drugs commonly known as "morning-after" pills, which actually can be used to stop pregnancy [...]

Will the Next Pope Oppose the “Dictatorship of Relativism” as Fiercely as Benedict?

One of the most central insights of Pope Benedict’s pontificate was summed up in his phrase “the dictatorship of relativism.” In his now famous conversation with the German journalist Peter Seewald (the same one on which he said that popes can abdicate), he said this, in explanation: “In the name of tolerance, tolerance is being [...]

The HHS “Compromise” Confirms that Obamacare was a Mistake

The Obama administration has found the policy equivalent of alchemy. Employees of religious organizations will receive contraception coverage. And neither the individuals nor the groups will have to pay for it. It’s magic. Otherwise known as making the insurer pay. On Friday, February 1, the Department of Health and Human Services announced its new rule [...]

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