There have been a number of quotes worth noting and passing along regarding the many lawsuits against the HHS mandate. Let’s begin with Timothy Cardinal Dolan, appearing today on “CBS This Morning:
Timothy Cardinal Dolan told “CBS This Morning” Tuesday that the compromise reached earlier this year is not sufficient because the exemptions made for churches are too restrictive.
“They tell us if you’re really going be considered a church, if you’re going to be really exempt from these demands of the government, well, you have to propagate your Catholic faith and everything you do, you can serve only Catholics and employ only Catholics,” Dolan said.
“We’re like, wait a minute, when did the government get in the business of defining for us the extent of our ministry,” Dolan said. …
Dolan also criticized Georgetown University’s decision to invite Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to speak to graduates of its school of public policy last week because of her role in formulating the policy.
“Well, I do think that’s a problem. Georgetown is the oldest Catholic university in the country. Part of Catholic identity is to be in union with the bishops,” Dolan said.
“When they would invite someone that is so dramatically at odds with one of the central tenets of the faith, that does bother us,” Dolan said.
Next, an excerpt from Mary Ann Glendon’s WSJ essay, “Why the Bishops are Suing the U.S. Government”:
Like most Americans, the bishops have long taken for granted the religious freedom that has enabled this nation’s diverse religions to flourish in relative harmony. But over the past year they have become increasingly concerned about the erosion of conscience protections for church-related individuals and institutions. Their top-rated program for assistance to human trafficking victims was denied funding for refusing to provide “the full range of reproductive services,” including abortion. For a time, Catholic Relief Services faced a similar threat to its international relief programs. The bishops fear religious liberty is becoming a second-class right. …
More is at stake here than the mission of all churches, including the Catholic Church, to provide social services like health care and education to everyone regardless of creed, and to do so without compromising their beliefs. At the deepest level, we are witnessing an attack on the institutions of civil society that are essential to limited government and are important buffers between the citizen and the all-powerful state.
If religious providers of education, health care and social services are closed down or forced to become tools of administration policy, the government consolidates a monopoly over those essential services. As Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, put it, we are witnessing an effort to reduce religion to a private activity. “Never before,” he said, “have we faced this kind of challenge to our ability to engage in the public square as people of faith.”
And from George Weigel, writing at NRO yesterday:
This argument over the meaning of religious freedom was not initiated by the Catholic Church; it was initiated by an administration that seems to regard “religious freedom” as merely a privacy right to certain kinds of recreational activities (like worship). As in its international human-rights policy (which speaks exclusively of “freedom of worship”), the administration seems unwilling or unable to grasp an elementary truth: Religious convictions are community-forming, and those communities, like the individuals whose conscientious convictions form them, are the subject of genuine religious freedom.
While Obama supporters (including some Catholics) will contend that this is partisan politics, it isn’t — except insofar as the administration has made it so. It was the administration that refused to countenance Catholic concerns before and after the mandate was issued. It was the administration whose apologists (including Secretary Sebelius) bent every effort to turn what was clearly a religious-freedom issue into a “War on Women.” It has been the administration and its Senate allies, like Majority Leader Harry Reid, who have refused to enter into any sort of serious discussion aimed at mitigating Catholic concerns. It is the administration that seems willing to drive the Catholic Church out of health care, education, and social services if that is what is required to enforce the administration’s notions of “reproductive health” and “reproductive choice.” If the administration pays a price for this in November, it will have no one to blame except itself.
Read his entire piece, “The Mandate War”. The fourth and final quote is from Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center:
The evening news broadcasts all but spiked the largest legal action in history to defend our constitutionally protected religious freedom. The May 21 editions of ABC’s World News and NBC’s Nightly News refused to report the fact that 43 Catholic dioceses and organizations filed a lawsuit on Monday against the Obama administration. CBS Evening News gave this historic news a mere 19 seconds of air time.
This is the worst bias by omission I have seen in the quarter century history of the Media Research Center. Every American knows about the Chinese communists withholding for 20 years the news that the US had landed on the moon, because it reflected poorly on the government. Our US media today are no different. They are now withholding news from the American people if it is harmful to the re-election of Barack Obama. …
The fact is that the Catholic Church has unleashed legal Armageddon on the administration, promising ‘we will not comply’ with a health law that strips Catholics of their religious liberty. If this isn’t ‘news’ then there’s no such thing as news.
His entire post can be read on the News Busters site. I’m not too taken with the use of “Armageddon”, but for those who are familiar with the Book of Revelation, it has a certain if strained viability.