President Barack Obama is falsely claiming that religious objections to aspects of Obamacare have been resolved, says the president of the Catholic League, Bill Donohue. According to Donohue, Obama is moving toward also requiring Catholic hospitals to provide abortions.
The Catholic League is the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization. Donohue made the comments as a guest on the “Istook Live!” daily radio program hosted by former Congressman Ernest Istook.
In Denver, Obama told his audience, ”We recognize that many people have strongly held religious views on contraception, which is why we made sure churches and other houses of worship, they don’t have to provide it, they don’t have to pay for it. We worked with the Catholic hospitals and universities to find a solution that protects both religious liberty and a woman’s health. “
“Dishonest”, “disingenuous,” and “demagoguery” are terms that Donohue applied to Obama’s comments. He added that some individuals — unnamed, but evidently in Obama’s administration — have been fired for giving bad advice to Obama.
Over 40 Catholic institutions, including the University of Notre Dame, have sued to contest the Obamacare dictate that they must provide birth control, abortifacients and sterilization to their employees despite Catholic teachings to the contrary.
Donohue told Istook, “It’s disingenuous. He’s factually wrong. This has never been about contraception. He didn’t mention the abortifacients; he didn’t mention the abortion-inducing drugs as well as sterilization. Why would you want to ask Catholic institutions to provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs unless your ultimate goal was to eventually require Catholic hospitals to provide for abortions?”
Continued Donohue, “Anyone who thinks I’m engaging in hyperbole needs to go back to what he (Obama) said back in 2007 to Planned Parenthood. He said, ‘When I become president, I will sign FOCA — the Freedom of Choice Act,’ which would in fact require Catholic hospitals to perform abortions. That’s where they want to go.”
Donohue was unaware of Obama’s claim that the dispute was resolved until informed by Istook on the radio program, which is hosted at The Heritage Foundation. Donohue thereafter issued a news release calling Obama’s comments “dishonest” and “demagoguery.”
On Istook’s program (which can be heard at www.istook.com, 9 a.m. to noon Eastern time), Donohue added that Obama is trying to create a more restrictive definition of freedom of religion than is found in the First Amendment:
“They, the Obama Administration, are defining a Catholic institution — the non-profits, the schools, the soup kitchens, the hospices, the non-profits and the like — as an entity which serves and hires people only of its own faith,” Donohue said. “That would exclude places where I used to work in Spanish Harlem where most of the black kids were Protestant. We don’t put up signs in our hospitals saying, ‘Jews need not apply.’
"One of the great things about the Catholic Church is that we are 'catholic' with a small 'c,' meaning we’re universal. This idea that you’re not Catholic if you hire and serve people of other faiths came from the ACLU in 2000, which the Obama people have picked up.”
“What he wants us to do is to discriminate,” said Donohue. “He wants Catholic institutions — hospitals, colleges, and universities — to say if you’re not Catholic you need not apply. And then they’ll get you on the law by saying you’re discriminating.”
“We’re not asking for special rights. We’re asking for the rights we’ve had for two thousand years, which is to say that Catholic and Protestant and Jewish and other religions have a right to their own institutions and to serve people of other faiths and to hire people of other faiths, and still maintain their status as a religious institution.
"It’s not the business of the federal government to decide what is Catholic and what is not. Have they ever heard of the idea of separation of church and state? We don’t go around telling the government whether you’re really a governmental agency or not.”
About heads that have rolled over the issue, Donohue added, “He’s [Obama] got himself into a jam on this. He got lousy advice from Catholics, many of who have been fired, by the way. I’ve gotten that from some inside information, because they told him that there would be no pushback from the Catholic community. That’s how clueless these Catholics are who surround Obama.”
According to Donohue, Obama gets advice from Catholics who are not practicing Catholics. He singled out Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius (“the same woman who raised money for George Tiller, the partial birth abortionist”) and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (“I sent her a free copy of Catholicism for Dummies; evidently she hasn’t read it”).
The unresolved dispute with President Obama over his mandate is solidifying Catholics, says Donohue. “Many Catholics at first weren’t sure they agreed with the bishops that this is a threat to religious liberty, but now they do. That’s what the polls show and that’s why Obama’s worried.”
Donohue also told Istook that the fight over same-sex marriage looks like a long one, telling him that “Only a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union between a man and a woman, which the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have endorsed . . . will stop the aggressiveness of those pushing for same-sex marriage.”
Former Congressman Ernest Istook’s “Istook Live!” program can be heard everywhere via www.istook.com, every weekday from 9 a.m. to noon, Eastern. Istook is now a distinguished fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Read more reports from Ernest Istook — Click Here Now.
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