Losing the Catholic Vote?

Carol Platt Liebau

1/30/2012 1:21:58 PM - Carol Platt Liebau
The Obama administration has picked a fight that is downright wrong -- and may have real political implications for the President's reelection.

The Department of Health and Human Services has issued an edict that, under ObamaCare, effectively all employers will be FORCED to offer health insurance that covers subsidized contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs.  This means that Catholic employers (like hospitals and universities) and other Christian entities would be forced to contravene their own teachings in order to provide their employees with health insurance.

The Catholic Church is so outraged at the decision (and understandably so) that its bishops distributed a strongly worded letter that was read yesterday at Catholic masses across the country.  (The administration's policy is so shockingly extreme that, yes, even EJ Dionne -- one of the President's most fervent apologists -- has rebuked him for it).

Note that this isn't the first time that the Obama administration has shown appalling disregard for the sensibilities of religious people.  In a recent case, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled against the position adopted by the Obama Justice Department, under which the administration was trying to claim for itself (rather than religious institutions) the ability to determine which employees should be considered "ministers" of any particular religion.

Although the letter that was read from pulpits across America yesterday may indicate the existence of a troubling pattern on the part of the administration, it also threatens to sensitize otherwise disengaged people of faith to participate in the 2012 elections.  And keep in mind that Catholics are the biggest "swing faith" in the country, and contributed mightily to the Republican blowout in 2010.