I really had planned to move on to another issue this week. But with the clock ticking down to “Contraceptive Mandate Day”, the day the Catholic Church in America will either become an institutional outlaw or forced to serve Satan, it behooves us to pay attention.
At the stroke of midnight on August 1, all Catholic institutions not covered by a very narrow religious exemption will become subject to the Obama Administration's mandate to include contraceptive and sterilization coverage in their employee healthcare coverage.
The Catholic Church holds that all intentional contraceptive acts are "intrinsically evil". Thus to comply with the mandate will put the Church in America in the “service of Satan”, and to not comply will make the Church an outlaw.
While the USCCB has taken a national stance against the mandate, it does not dictate the policies of each diocese. Each diocese will still have to decide to comply or not comply, and that includes the Archdiocese of Agana.
As per the current reading of the mandate, if we do nothing, on August 1 the Archdiocese of Agana will automatically begin funding contraceptive and sterilization services through the health care premiums it or its subsidiary entities (schools, charitable organizations, etc.) pays to cover those employees who work for Archdiocesan employers not covered by the exemption (mostly schools).
Let’s review the exemption. According to the mandate, a religious entity is exempt only if it (1) has the inculcation of religious values as its purpose; (2) primarily employs persons who share its religious tenets; (3) primarily serves persons who share its religious tenets; and (4) is a non-profit organization under the Internal Revenue Code.
According to the USCCB, academic institutions and most of its charitable organizations will NOT qualify for the exemption since they exist to serve everyone regardless of creed. What can we do?
Under the initial terms of the mandate, Church-affiliated employers could have simply refused to pay the additional premium for the contraceptive coverage. It would be illegal to do so, but it was still something we could proactively do.
However, after the USCCB outcry over the mandate, Obama granted an “accommodation” which rendered Church employers even more powerless. Obama’s accommodation mandated that insurance companies bear the cost of the mandate instead of the employer.
The accommodation was an insult, for who could be stupid enough not to know that insurance companies would simply pass along the cost of the mandate to its subscribers.
At least under the initial terms of the mandate the Church could have continued to provide health coverage for its employees without contraceptive coverage even if there were legal consequences. However, Obama’s accommodation disemboweled the Church and subjected it to insurance companies and whatever they want to charge.
The Church now has only one option if it does not wish to be a material participant in something it has labeled “intrinsic evil”: cancel all health coverage for non-exempt employees. Thus, as of August 1, hundreds of Catholic school teachers are on track to be without health insurance. Thank you President Obama.
But there is something else. And I think it could work...at least for a few months. And, if Obama can be ousted in November, a few months is all we need.
Before I continue, I want to recognize that what I just said about ousting Obama is probably quite jarring for some. It may seem “too political” for this paper, even for an opinion piece, which this is.
However, as Catholics, we must understand that this is not about politics. This is about our being forced by this President to materially participate in the most serious form of evil - “intrinsic evil”, meaning “always and everywhere WRONG - NO EXCEPTIONS.
I have no authority to officially recommend this to the Archdiocese, but I believe we should claim the exemption for all our Catholic institutions by simply claiming that every one of them exists to inculcate Catholic religious values and “primarily” employs and serves persons who share those values. (The key word is “primarily”.)
The Feds would probably come after us. But it would take time, and we only need a few months - assuming Obama is ousted and the balance of power changes in the Senate..
To “come after us” the Feds would have to investigate who is “Catholic enough” and who is not. This would be the effective equivalent of an Inquisition. And though the likes of Sibelius and Pelosi would no doubt salivate at the prospect of playing Torquemada in reverse, such an action would be too politically dangerous for Obama.
The spectacle of it, the sheer smell of Nazism , (if the bishops play it that way) would shock awake the sleeping majority that is even now rousing from its 2008 hypnosis of “hope and change, hope and change, hope and change...”