Monday, 6 February 2012

The fight for religious freedom...

I've been very remiss, as several readers have pointed out, in not saying anything abut the fight going on in the US at the moment over President Obama's decision to tear up the conscience clause relating to health care provision in health insurance schemes.

I have to admit that I haven't been following this closely, but it is important, so do jump in with corrections, additions and other links.

No conscience exemption...

You will recall that President Obama managed to get through more universal health insurance requirements in the US a year or so back.  Now the Obama administration is insisting that even Church run schemes cover abortion, sterilization and contraception.

Not surprisingly, there has been a massive outcry on the part of the bishops, with 153 bishops, representing over 80% of dioceses, speaking up so far.  This is a massive Church: State confrontation.

Secularist ideology

It is hard to understand the politics of this one from afar.  Presumably Obama is counting on the support of the many nominal Catholics who in practice reject the Church's teaching on these subjects. 

But do those cafeteria Catholics really want to see the Church forced to provide such services?  Doubtful I would have thought.

And in fact, pushing this direction is simply increasing the chances that the whole healthcare package will be abolished will be abolished as soon as Obama himself loses or leaves Office.

But this does reflect the increasingly aggressive secularism of the Obama administration, which has been using its influence and aid to harass other countries into accepting tolerance of homosexual practice and more.

It also reflects the increasing rejection in the West of 'conscience exemptions' - already manifested in Australia in the fight over Victoria's abortion legislation and in the Labor Party debate on same sex marriage; in the UK in the requirement that adoption agencies not discriminate against homosexual couples, thus forcing Church agencies out of the business; and in Canada's virulent 'Rights' legislation.

The consensus based on the natural law is breaking down, and increasingly, Catholics are being forced down the path of civil disobedience. 

This is an important fight for the Church to win, so do pray and do what you can to support our US brethren.  And get ready, and really understand exactly what the Church teaches on resisting immoral laws..


HolyCatholicApostoli said...

No Catholic should vote for the ALP* due to their party policy in support of Abortion and their commitment to redefine marriage to include two members of the same sex.

I would recommend reading the Australian Catholic Bishops statement on abortion as ALP Policy

*An exception to this is in the uncommon situation where the Labor candidate is more pro-life than the other candidates that are running.

Kate said...

There is also a case for working for change from within as a group is doing and being viciously attacked for:

HolyCatholicApostoli said...

I think it is great to see pro-life action happening in the Labor party. At elections we vote for a candidate and a party, and while it is true that Labor members have a conscience vote on abortion, whenever Labor is governing they follow the party policy of abortion.
While it is true there is an election cycle in which there is a change in which party is governing and which party is in opposition every few elections, ideally both major parties should have policies that protect all human life and ultimately that is what I want to see.
However, in short term, I think that pro-life Labor members should join the 100% pro-life (and largely Catholic) Democratic Labor Party, which espouses true Labor values and is solidly pro-life.

GOR said...

Four years ago a majority of Catholics in the US (54%) voted for Obama, despite repeated warnings about his pro-abortion record in State and Federal offices. They were swayed by his rhetoric and the support of many ‘prominent Catholics’ in office and in academia. He even received an honorary doctorate from Catholic Notre Dame University over the objection of many bishops, alumni and thousands of ordinary Catholics.

The timing of this mandate is strange both politically and ideologically. Perhaps like Macbeth it results from “vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself, and falls on the other.” Some feel this will serve to unite US Catholics in opposition to the agenda of this Administration and effect a change, come November.

I pray it does – but I’m not holding my breath.