Jesus Died for Your Sinful Insurance Coverage

Our guest columnist is His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, who issued the following “pastoral letter” on January 26, to be read at military Sunday Masses. After the Army chief of chaplains refused to allow the letter to be read from the pulpit, the Archbishop complained to Army Secretary John McHugh, who consented to the letter but suggested that the “unjust law” line be removed.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

It is imperative that I call to your attention an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the Church in the United States directly, and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith. The federal government, which claims to be “of, by, and for the people,” has just dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people — the Catholic population — and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful. It is a blow to a freedom that you have fought to defend and for which you have seen your buddies fall in battle.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those immoral “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.

In so ruling, the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled to choose between violating our consciences or dropping health coverage for our employees (and suffering the penalties for doing so). The Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.

We cannot — we will not — comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second-class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture, only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Your children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.

Therefore, I ask two things of you. First, as a community of faith we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored. Without God, we can do nothing; with God, nothing is impossible. Second, I would also recommend visiting, to learn more about this severe assault on religious liberty, and how to contact Congress in support of legislation that would reverse the Administration’s decision.

Grateful even now for your support, I remain

Sincerely in Christ,
(Most Reverend) Timothy P. Broglio
Archbishop for the Military Services

Archbishop Broglio Calls on Faithful to Stand Against Federally Mandated Health Insurance for Sterilization, Abortifacients and Contraception [Archdiocese for the Military Services]

Military chaplains told not to read archbishop’s letter on HHS mandate [Catholic News Service]


LOL, so Catholic colleges and universities are going to drop health insurance for their employees rather than offer a plan that allows (but in no way forces) said employees to use contraceptives? Good luck with that one!

Hmmmm. Flirting with losing their federal tax exemption much? Plus, hasn’t the Air Force learned its lesson by now? Guess not.

Oh. Wait. I guess it’s the Army’s turn to act stoopid. Meh.

A fire-and-brimstone speech about “forced” contraceptive services, issued to men and women who are trained to kill? The head, it wants to asplode.

Onward Xtian soldiers… marching off to war!
Without the shame of birth control on your bodies.
Pope, the human Master, leads against the pill;
backward into history see his delusions go!

Makes a change from plotting to defeat evil homos.

Dept. of Ladybits TJ: Karen Handel, former GOP candidate for governor and all around asswipe who was probably responsible for PP being cut off from Komen, quit.

And she’s not taking severance so she can burn all her bridges and get some of that sweet sweet wingnut welfare.

@ManchuCandidate: I’m trying to figure out from where. I believe she has pissed off so many people in the Georgia GOP that she’s going to have to leave.

From her resignation letter:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has obtained Handel’s resignation letter to Komen founder and CEO Nancy Brinker, in which Handel states: “I am deeply disappointed by the gross mischaracterizations of the strategy, its rationale, and my involvement in it. I openly acknowledge my role in the matter and continue to believe our decision was the best one for Komen’s future and the women we serve. However, the decision to update our granting model was made before I joined Komen, and the controversy related to Planned Parenthood has long been a concern to the organization. Neither the decision nor the changes themselves were based on anyone’s political beliefs or ideology. Rather, both were based on Komen’s mission and how to better serve women, as well as a realization of the need to distance Komen from controversy. I believe that Komen, like any other nonprofit organization, has the right and the responsibility to set criteria and highest standards for how and to whom it grants.”

@JNOV is like, Peace?: Programming Note: I’m going to throw up a Prop. H8 decision open thread for 10 am PT/1 pm ET

@rptrcub: Woot!

@JNOV is like, Peace?: We got worse stuff going on than drugs in burritos, for example multiple child sex predators in one grade school.

@Dodgerblue: I would now like to introduce our newest Fox News contributor and wingnut martyr, Karen Handel.

@rptrcub: Bitch sez: “I am deeply disappointed by the gross mischaracterizations [er] of the strateg[er]y…”

WTF is their strategery exactly? Oh! To take the money and run.

@JNOV is like, Peace?: Oh great, thanks, now I’m going to have a Steve Miller earworm all morning!

Perfect wedge issue dividing Democratic-leaning Catholics from the party due to GOP and Church misinformation campaign. Mitt was all about this yesterday on the stump. I bet the administration rolls over by June after alienating conservative Catholics and losing their votes.

Remember, 2012 is all about birth control and food stamps.

Hey Lefty, Twitterverse sez decision is out, affirms trial court.

Oh, look – Axelrod is pulling his white hankie out of his pocket.

David Axelrod, a senior campaign adviser for the Obama reelection campaign, signaled Tuesday that the Obama administration may be open to a compromise on a new rule that requires many religious employers to provide contraception to their employees.

@redmanlaw: Sadly, I fear it would be political suicide not to compromise (which in the Obama administration is code for “cave”). Too many liberal Catholics are upset, and it gives the Repubs major red meat for their howling wingnuts. It’s women’s turn–again–to be thrown under the bus. Don’t worry, gays and minorities, they’ll get back to you soon.

@Mistress Cynica: I can’t get Mrs RML to cut our contributions to the Church, so I’m supporting this shit.

@Mistress Cynica: Liberal Catholics are upset? I find that hard to believe, frankly, but if true, they can take their piety and shove it up their hypocritical asses. I bet to a person that those so-called liberal Catholics believe in contraception when it’s personally convenient.

@mellbell: The Conservative Catholic/Anti-Sex League/grandparents of their unmarried teen daughter’s babies/haters of their gay offspring is the faction that all bug eyed about this. Liberal Catholics are pretty cool about contraception, etc. in a real world sort of way as part of the whole social justice ethos. In fact, I bet Liberal Catholics were consulted in the development of the administration’s policy, but that shit fell apart upon encountering the people who really run the Church.

Raw Story: Catholics in the U.S. are more likely that other Americans say that employers should be required to provide insurance that covers free contraception, according to a recent poll.

A survey released by the Public Religion Research Institute on Tuesday found that 58 percent of Catholics think businesses should be required to provide health plans with free birth control, compared with 55 percent of all Americans who agreed with the requirement. At 38 percent, white evangelical protestants were the least likely to agree free contraception should be provided by employers.

Tough for the Catholic laity to argue with a leadership that comes from a position of infallibility, however.

@redmanlaw: That’s my sense as well, particularly as someone raised Catholic. I just don’t see liberal Catholics getting their panties in a wad about this. And if they do, that’s rich.

@mellbell: Oh, those I heard interviewed freely admitted they personally believe in and use contraceptives, but still see it as an encroachment on “religious liberty.” No doubt they all have insurance that covers birth control.

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