Archbishop Chaput: Most Aggressive Attack on Religious Freedom in Recent Memory

Posted: Feb 14, 2012 7:55 AM

Although the White House tried to shut down debate about the ObamaCare contraception mandate yesterday, the Catholic Church isn't backing down. According to LifeNews, Archbishop Chaput is highly respected within the church due to his ability to flawlessly defend the pro-life argument. Chaput released a statement yesterday explaining his frustrations with the birth control mandate and once again says, as others have said, the "compromise" the White House made on the matter, really isn't a compromise at all.

An “accommodation” offered Friday by the White House did not solve the problem. Instead, it triggered withering criticism from legal scholars such as Notre Dame’s Carter Snead, Harvard’s Mary Ann Glendon, Princeton’s Robert George, and Catholic University of America president John Garvey, along with non-Catholic scholars including Yuval Levin, the religious liberty law firm the Becket Fund, and numerous Catholic and other organizations.

Many Catholics are confused and angry. They should be.

Quite a few Catholics supported President Obama in the last election, so the ironies here are bitter. Many feel betrayed. They’re baffled that the Obama administration would seek to coerce Catholic employers, private and corporate, to violate their religious convictions.

The HHS mandate, including its latest variant, is belligerent, unnecessary, and deeply offensive to the content of Catholic belief. Any such mandate would make it morally compromising for us to provide health-care benefits to the staffs of our public-service ministries. Moreover, we cannot afford to be fooled – yet again – – by evasive and misleading allusions to the administration’s alleged “flexibility” on such issues. The HHS mandate needs to be rescinded.

Chaput also makes the argument that this really isn't about birth control, but about religious freedom.

Many critics are focusing on the details of this or that particular version of the HHS regulation – the narrowness of the religious exemption, the breadth of the mandate, the hollowness of the grace period. As useful as this approach may be, it risks wandering into the weeds. The White House response on these points is ambiguous and weak. The true magnitude of the issue is getting lost as just another debate about details.

In reality, no similarly aggressive attack on religious freedom in our country has occurred in recent memory.