- The HHS mandate isn’t about health care: Contraception neither treats nor prevents any disease.
- The HHS mandate isn’t about making contraceptives available: They are already widely available at low cost; 85% of corporations cover them, nearly all government jobs do, and Planned Parenthood and HHS clinics offer them free or practically free to fill the gaps.
- The HHS mandate isn’t about fairness: Under it, if you want a birth control pill you don’t have to worry about co-pays. If you need to take a drug to keep you alive, you have to come up with money for the privilege.
So, what is the HHS mandate about?
- Weakening the First Amendment. The HHS mandate reshapes constitutional rights. It makes a new “right to free contraception” a more fundamental right than the right than to free exercise of religion.
- Neutralizing Opponents. As Cardinal Francis George put it, the HHS mandate “attempts to weaken the unity between the bishops and the faithful.” As George Weigel and Ross Douthat put it, it is a political “divide and conquer” strategy.
- Expanding Executive Power. The HHS Mandate was a giant power grab. Cardinal George, as early as 2009 was warning that it was Obama’s opposition to health care conscience rules (despite his promise to the contrary at Notre Dame) that “could be the first step in moving our country from democracy to despotism.”
Look at the IRS scandal and you find the same contours.
- Weakening the First Amendment. The IRS scandal violates both the “freedom of speech” clause of the First Amendment, demanding Tea Party groups tell it the content of their speeches, and the “freedom of religion” clause, and demanding pro-life groups tell it the content of their prayers.
- Neutralizing opponents. Salon magazine reminds us of four political foes that may have been targeted when George W. Bush was president. The Wall Street Journal objected at the time. So did the NAACP, one of the targets, and congressional Democrats, who called it political “intimidation.” Their words are well-taken. Apply them to Obama’s IRS and the outrage should be exponentially higher with nearly 500 organizations targeted.
- Expanding Government Power. Ironically, the IRS scandal targeted groups whose very purpose is to warn Americans that the government is grabbing too much power through taxes: King George’s taxation without representation. The IRS’s “taxation as vexation” goes one step further.
So does the HHS Mandate.
The fundamental human right, the presupposition of every other right, is the right to life itself. This is true of life from the moment of conception until its natural end. Abortion, consequently, cannot be a human right - it is the very opposite. It is a deep wound in society.
The modern world, which denies personal guilt and admits only social crimes, which has no place for personal repentance but only public reforms, has divorced Christ from His Cross; the Bridgegroom and Bride have been pulled apart. What God hath joined together, men have torn asunder.
If anyone claims to have met Jesus without being changed, he has not met Him at all. When you touch Him, you touch lightning.
As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.
Chant is eminently suitable for the sacred Liturgy because it is sacred in nature. That is, its form and structure make it separate and distinct from the music of the popular culture. Chant in its pure form evolved solely to serve the Liturgy. Deriving from Hebraic cantillations of Jewish worship, its long lines weave around the sacred texts, reaching upward like gothic spires or hands raised in prayer. It has no pounding rhythm, no strong downbeat; it does not induce dancing, frenzy, clapping, finger-snapping, swaying, or other earth-bound activity. Its sole purpose is to carry the sacred texts, pulling our hearts and minds away from the mundane and up toward God.
Am I not here, I who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Do you need something more? Let nothing else worry you or disturb you.
Remember - He is the artist and you are only the picture. You can’t see it. So quietly submit to be painted.
“As one general so aptly put it – they expect us to check our religion in at the door – don’t bring that here,” Rear Admiral William Lee told a National Day of Prayer gathering on Capitol Hill. “Leaders like myself are feeling the constraints of rules and regulations and guidance issued by lawyers that put us in a tighter and tighter box regarding our constitutional right to express our religious faith.”