Health-Care Humbug: ‘Religious Freedom’ Rallies Threaten Religious Freedom
So what’s really going on here? In short, the lust for money and political power is driving this movement.
The bishops are alarmed that lucrative federal contracts and grants are at risk under the Obama administration. The hierarchy and its charities get millions in government subsidies and they fear that the largess might disappear if administration officials insist that all contractors follow public policy, not religious law, in carrying out programs.
The bishops’ recently lost a $19 million, five-year contract with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to help victims of sex trafficking because they refused to provide reproductive care - or even referrals - for vulnerable women, as the government rules mandated.
Heavens! If this keeps up, the hierarchy might have to turn to its parishioners, not the taxpayers, to pick up the tab for its religiously rigid social services. And a lot of money is at stake. HHS spokesperson Marrianne McMullen told CNN last year that HHS alone has awarded $650 million to Catholic social service agencies over the last three years.
No wonder the bishops are turning up the heat across the board to make sure the Obama administration doesn’t cancel any more contracts. And if the White House refuses to cave, the bishops want someone else living there.
It’s impossible to see the bishops’ crusade, aided by the ever-partisan Religious Right, as anything but an election-year crusade to bring Obama to his knees or kick him out of office.
It’s the 21st century and we live in a nation that supposedly separates church and state, but this whole thing has a whiff of the Dark Ages about it.