Catholic Church Sues Obama Admin Over Religious Freedom; Forget to Consult WWJD Bracelet

Catholic Church Sues Obama Admin Over Religious Freedom - Forget to Consult WWJD BraceletDeborah Brancheau
Forty-three Catholic dioceses and organizations around the country, including the Archdiocese of New York, lead by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, along with the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., lead by Cardinal Donald Wuerl from the University of Notre Dame, announced on Monday that they are suing the Obama administration. They claim the administration has violated their freedom of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution.

They are filing 12, count ‘em, 12 different lawsuits in federal courts around the country and they have developed a special website called preservereligiousfreedom.org which attempts to explain the insanity in its lawsuit.

This lawsuit is about an unprecedented attack by the federal government on one of America’s most cherished freedoms: the freedom to practice one’s religion without government interference. It is not about whether people have access to certain services; it is about whether the government may force religious institutions and individuals to facilitate and fund services which violate their religious beliefs.

Well, if anyone knows anything about unprecedented attacks on cherished freedoms, I’d think it would be the Catholic Church. Not only will they tell their congregation who’s allowed to get married and who’s not, but they are gonna make it federal law about it by passing an Amendment. If they can’t diddle their altar boys anymore, there is gonna be hell to pay. And hell hath no fury like a man in a fancy gown and sash scorned!

Anywhooo… So what’s the big brouhaha? Well, aside from the fact the Catholic Church doesn’t like being told how to handle their females, as mentioned in the statement from the archdiocese “it is about whether the government may force religious institutions and individuals to facilitate and fund services which violate their religious beliefs.”

Now if you have been playing along with the at-home version of the Vatican vs. Vaginas Game (Trademark) then you would know that the original HHS Mandate had this little snag. It did provide an exemption for religious organizations but the exemption was narrowly defined. Let’s let the law firm of Gammon and Grange explain:

Closed-Door Church Exemption: First, the HHS regulations provide a very narrow exemption for those few religious employers that (1) meet the IRS’s definition of a “church,” (2) primarily employ adherents of their own religious faith, (3) primarily serve adherents of their own faith, and (4) have a purpose of inculcating religious values. These “religious employers” need not comply with the HHS mandate. Unfortunately, most public-serving religiously-affiliated schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, health care facilities, and ministries will not meet this exemption.

Okay, not good. Bad Obama, bad!

So what did Obama do, kids? All together now! He came up with a (drumroll) … COMPROMISE! Yeah!!!! That compromise, as Gammon and Grange explain, “would create a broader exemption for some religious nonprofit employers.”

Oh (sad face) but what happened to that compromise, kids? (Wah-wah) Nothing.

Although President Obama announced on February 10, 2012 an “accommodation” to these regulations that would create a broader exemption for some religious nonprofit employers, the HHS regulations finalized on January 20, 2012 did not include that “accommodation.”  The accommodation-less regulations currently in effect will control unless and until new regulations containing the accommodation are written and finalized. HHS has until August 1, 2013 to issue and finalize those regulations. (Gammon and Grange)

Why did that compromise go nowhere? Oh yeah! The bishops hated it because it didn’t go far enough in allowing anyone with a religious affiliation, like, you know, the Mormon that owns the McDonalds on the corner, to ban his femployees (trademark) from obtaining contraception and other women’s health necessities. Okay, maybe I’m overreaching, but you get the point.

So, what to do, what to do, thought the bishops. Well, WWJD? Would Jesus sit down with Obama and/or Congress and try to work out a compromise that all parties could live with? Would Jesus understand the meaning of the word “compromise” in that you don’t get everything you want; you have to give a little? Or would Jesus sue the sh!t out of the country that doesn’t even charge him rent? Guess what the Bishops chose?

And here we are.

About Deborah Brancheau

Deborah Brancheau is the Managing Editor of RestoringTruthiness.org, a political comedy website inspired by the political satire of Comedy Central's Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Deborah's background is a smörgåsbord of experience. With a bachelor’s degrees in Anthropology and Theatre and a Minor in Cinema/Television, and a Master's Degree in Communication from the University of Southern California, Deborah took her heavily student-loan-funded education and became a sports-writing, high-school-teaching, graphic-designing, university-professing, broke-bum bastard. When that didn't work out too well, she refunneled her expertise into this new venture, RestoringTruthiness.org.