Dissemble [def.]: To disguise or conceal one’s true motives, feelings, beliefs, or intentions, (in other words, to lie); e.g., every one of the government’s proposed “compromises” on the HHS Mandate.
Cardinal Dolan released a statement about the Obama administration’s second compromise on the HHS Mandate and contraceptive coverage. In summary:
“Compromise? Are you kidding?” (read the Cardinal’s full statement).
As always, there are two sides to every story. From USA Today (Catholic bishops rebuff modified contraception mandate):
The nation’s Catholic bishops on Thursday rejected the Obama administration’s latest proposals to broaden accommodations for religious groups in regulations that require insurance companies or employers to provide free birth control coverage.
This commentary assumes (rather simplistically), that the Obama administration really has made sincere attempts to “broaden” accommodations — accommodations that weren’t initially present in the original mandate — for religious groups. It does not assume anything about what constitutes a religious group, let alone the simple fact that these supposed accommodations do not apply at all to companies or employers that do not fit within the administration’s paper thin restrictions for what constitues free exercise of religion.
Rather, the USA Today editorial assumes that its ordinary readers are too narrow minded to question the President’s sincerity in his attempts to accomodate institutions with moral or religious objections to the Mandate.
Here’s how the MSM, the megaphone for the Obama administration, tells their side of the story: “Look! The Obama administration has made every effort to compromise with the Catholic Church. But the bishops have repeatedly shown that they are unwilling to cooperate.” Thus the public narrative overlooks the fact that it’s the other way around, namely, that the Catholic Church is pleading for a reasonable solution, and that it is the administration that’s unwilling to compromise.
Ultimately, this battle will go to the Supreme Court (There are currently 130 cases against the mandate in the courts right now). Here is what I believe we can expect: a repeat of the Court’s decision on Obama Care — that is, a victory for imposing government and a loss for citizen’s rights (most importantly the constitutional protection of our religious liberty). Here is how it will come about.
You will remember that the Affordable Care Act (i.e., Obama Care) was upheld by the Court last year, because according to Justice Roberts, “It’s a tax.” And Congress has the unlimited power to tax.
Under the President’s recent compromise:
An employer would qualify for the exemption if it fell under Internal Revenue Code, Section 6033(a)(3)(A)(i) or (iii), which “refers to churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of churches, as well as to the exclusively religious activities of any religious order.” (Source: Catholic News Agency)
Observe that even the proposed exemption falls under IRS codes. In other words, although the administration has always insisted (dissembled) that the their Affordable Care Act was not a tax, in legal documents and in court they always presented it as a tax. When the Supreme Court renders its decision in June, will they interpret the case in terms of an infraction on religious freedom, or will they follow their own precedent and determine that the law stands under Congress’s unlimited power to tax its citizens?
It is a tax. Religious freedom is being pigeon-holed into whatever definition the present administration decides to give it. The Court will probably side with the government on this one, again. We are in it for the long haul.
The USCCB has called for conscientious objection if the government does not rescind this law. That will mean unbearable penalties for those who do not comply, which in turn means we will be compelled, financially, to discontinue many charitable services to the poor and sick. Government will take over those programs, and continue to extend its power to tax (and persecute its religious minded citizens). Bleak, but apparently inevitable if the trend continues the way things are going now.
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