Mar 10

“This is about the government coercing religious institutions to violate their own beliefs.”

So clarifies the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in their feature ‘The Truth Should Not Be A Secret’. It aims to debunk the top myths that quickly circulated out of spin control centers from the administration and their complicit media partners.

I’ve heard every one of them and have had to counter them with facts, time and again, so this post by Becket Fund helps center and ground the debate.

Take this one, for instance:

Myth #5: The federal mandate actually protects women’s health because it increases access to free birth control.

Truth: Access isn’t the issue. 9 out of 10 employer-based insurance plans already cover these services. There is no need for the government to force religious groups to provide these services against their religious convictions.

One could launch a whole debate just on component parts of that sentence in Myth #5.

And then a whopper:

Myth #6: In a recent poll, 98% of Catholic women said they already used artificial birth control anyhow. So what’s the big deal?

The ‘lie repeated often enough’ that is not only addressed succinctly here but nailed perfectly by Michael Cook here.

The government would just prefer that we focus on Catholics and their beliefs about birth control. Because that deflects attention from the far less winnable battle for the Obama administration over denying fundamental religious liberty in America for individuals and institutions.

But that’s what the controversial HHS mandate is about. Which is why so many religious leaders and scholars are speaking out.

Like Dr. Timothy George and Chuck Colson.

The Catholic bishops in America have responded quickly, decrying the Administration’s decision for what it is—an egregious, dangerous violation of religious liberty—and mobilizing a vast grassroots movement to persuade the Administration to reverse its decision.

We evangelicals must stand unequivocally with our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters. Because when the government violates the religious liberty of one group, it threatens the religious liberty of all.

And Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, President of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, who testified by a House Committee on the mandate.

While we are opposed in principle, not to all forms of birth control, but only abortion-causing drugs, we stand with our friends in the Catholic Church and all others, Christians and non-Christians, under the free exercise and conscience provisions of the U.S. Constitution.

“Religious people determine what violates their consciences, not the federal government. The conscience is a sacred thing. Our church exists because overzealous governments in northern Europe made decisions which trampled the religious convictions of our forebearers.

They’re facing off with an overzealous government in the US with either a short memory or deliberate defiance of fundamental founding principles or both. And, as President Harrison told me at the end of the week, opponents of this mandate are not going away. There’s too much at stake.

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Mar 08

And in greater numbers, they’re showing up in media and the public forum to say the HHS, Kathleen Sebelius, Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, and Nancy Pelosi don’t speak for them.

Like Cathy Cleaver Ruse.

And Colleen Carroll Campbell.

In honor of Women’s History Month, I’d like to make a request of America’s political and media elites on behalf of America’s women: Stop lumping us together.

To be more specific: Stop telling us “what women want” in the next president, which political stands are sure-fire winners (or losers) of “the women’s vote” and what constitutes “the women’s view” in debates over everything from the morality of abortion to the limits of government and the best path to national prosperity.

While you’re at it, please stop quoting a handful of self-appointed “women’s advocates” as if they were proxies for all 156 million Americans who carry two X chromosomes. Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards no more represents my views than Sarah Palin represents hers. And I think I can speak for all women in saying that no single woman or women’s group speaks for us all.

Both women were on my radio program last Friday (3/2) for a roundtable discussion on this issue of the moment, which the Obama administration made the issue of news cycles for the unforeseeable future by mandating contraceptives, sterilization and abortifacent drugs in mandated health care coverage as ‘women’s preventive health.’

What it prevents is normal fertility of the female body. And the continued existence of newly conceived life in the womb (hence ‘morning after’ pills as abortifacents). And yet some politicians and complicity media call opposition to this government mandate a ‘war on women’.

Cathy Cleaver Ruse:

When liberal women announce that something is an attack on women’s rights, too many members of the liberal media just dutifully fall in line…It’s about religious freedom, it’s about federalism, it’s about constitutionalism, it’s even about common sense and fair play. We don’t play the gender card, we don’t play that game. We’ve got substantive reasons to oppose this mandate.

When we see polls about Catholics and contraceptive use, we’ve got answers. The Guttmacher Institute may claim that 98 percent of Catholic women use birth control. We know the survey is flawed, but it’s not relevant to the issue we’re talking about. We’re talking about the federal government…pushing birth control pills through religious employers. It’s not about who uses what and when.

If the Guttmacher Institute is correct, and 98 percent of Catholic women are using birth control, it shows that Catholics don’t need help from president Obama on the issue of contraception. They know how to access it, they know how to get it and apparently they know how to use it. So leave us alone. We don’t need our Catholic institutions to get into the business of providing it.

Colleen Carroll Campbell takes issue with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius claiming that fewer pregnancies means cost savings for the health care system (which she told a House panel).

Secretary Sebelius says ‘If we prevent birth, we lower health care cost.’ Now think about the logic of that. Anything that prevents birth and prevents life is something the government embraces to lower cost. So we’re one step away from forcing abortion coverage. When we have the HHS secretary saying that’s how they save costs, we’re marching right down the path of abortion and euthanasia.

Cathy says we’re already there.

The thinking is fewer people to drain the resources means benefits for us. It’s all about choosing who are the winners and losers. Fewer babies means more for us. We’re going to be rationing care, so there is more for us. That’s Obama’s approach to ‘health care’. He campaigned on the belief that abortion is basic healthcare. We know he already believes elective abortion is basic healthcare…

It’s the easiest thing in the world to be a contracepting Catholic in the world today. Everyone will congratulate you and cheer you on (intellectuals, media, dominant culture). It’s the Catholics who follow the Church teachings who are the victims today. We have to swim against the tide. The idea that women are oppressed today, it’s completely illogical.

Colleen wraps with this:

The casual observer would get the impression that the bishops are over here, and women are over there. And the feminist establishment is the abortion establishment. But there’s a chorus of women across the nation groaning when they hear that.

There’s a trend we’re seeing among young women, and they’re vastly pro-life. They’re really driving this ship. The March for Life is dominated by young women, the trends are moving in our direction. It’s our job to spread this awareness.

Dr. J and a young woman from the Catholic University of America did that today on the program. If Sandra Fluke is the poster child of the ‘contraception as necessary health care’ mentality, either Monica Israel or Mary Clare Spence qualify as a poster child of the ‘fertility is not a disease’ belief. 

Which at least attempts to correct the record on women’s history, and take its account out of the hands of revisionists.

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