A majority of Catholics voted for Barack Obama. And for it, we got a nice photo op at the University of Notre Dame and some ameliorating verbiage. But since then, we’ve seen a long list of actions that’s caused obvious displeasure among many Catholics, including priests and bishops.
And it has some asking if the Obama administration anti-Catholic?
For answers, let’s look at some recent actions by the administration.
Recently, The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) filed a Freedom of Information Act request to discover why the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declined to renew a grant to them to aid victims of human trafficking. But it’s clearly because the bishops refused to refer for contraceptives and abortion.
Sarah Posner of Religion Dispatches Magazine argues that “The USCCB not getting taxpayer money doesn’t mean the government is anti-Catholic.”
So organizations don’t have a right to funding just because they’re received that funding in the past? Hmmm. That’s odd because Posner described the GOP’s efforts to cut funding to Planned Parenthood as “anti-Planned Parenthood activism of the GOP.”
So attempting to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood is anti-Planned Parenthood, but the Obama administrations cutting off funding to the USCCB is just a bureaucratic shuffle?
But if this was an isolated incident, that would be different.
Obama’s National Labor Relations Board has been running its own little Inquisition in its spare time by deciding which Catholic colleges weren’t Catholic enough so the government could tell them who they had to hire. In 2011, both Manhattan College in New York and St. Xavier University in Illinois have been victims of NLRB rulings declaring that they “lack substantial religious character.” Ha! A bit of irony there, huh?
The conscience protections of Catholics are clearly under assault from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which is attempting to force Catholic institutions to pay for contraception (including abortifacients) and sterilization procedures.
The administration’s punting on defending the Defense of Marriage Act along with the stripping of conscience protections led Archbishop Timothy Dolan to write President Obama that his actions may “precipitate a national conflict between church and state of enormous proportions.”
That kind of talk should not be taken lightly.
Michael Gershon wrote for the Washington Post:
Obama’s Catholic outreach is being revealed as a transparent ploy a year before he faces reelection. A portion of the Democratic coalition — including civil libertarians and pro-choice activists — has decided to attack and marginalize Catholic leaders and institutions. And HHS is actively siding against Catholic organizations.
“We are in a war,” Sebelius told a recent pro-choice meeting. Opponents of the administration, she said, are trying to “roll back the last 50 years in progress women have made in comprehensive health care in America.” This is no longer the “presumption of good faith.” It has all the hallmarks of a vendetta.
So in the end, if the question is “Is President Obama anti-Catholic?” I don’t know. But if the question is whether the Obama administration is anti-Catholic? That may be a different answer.