President Obama ran roughshod over what he regards as the ancient, outdated Constitution of the United States when he issued a ruling that required Catholic institutions, and any other religious institutions that are not houses of worship, to provide coverage for birth control and sterilization as part of the health insurance package for their employees. This Constitution, which the president has characterized as interfering with his ability to get things done, states in its First Amendment that the free expression of religion may not be interfered with by the federal government. This president, notwithstanding, asked to reconsider his ruling, reaffirmed that demand earlier this week.
The national outcry was huge. Many people who are not Catholic stood up for religious freedom, even though they themselves have no objections to the use of birth control. These people recognized the constitutional problem over and above the immediate challenge to the administration of the healthcare legislation scornfully dubbed by many “Obamacare.” These people were very clear that people of faith are guaranteed by the Constitution, which they do not consider to be ancient and outdated, to live according to the teachings of their faith wherever they go. At work, on vacation, in the grocery store, anywhere. This country has been a beacon for freedom of religion shining around the world and attracting millions who were oppressed and persecuted elsewhere. Those who chose to speak out for freedom of religion demanded that the president stop making Catholic institutions provide health insurance coverage that conflicted with the basic teachings of their faith.
Today the president, clearly ignoring the constraints of the old, rusty Constitution which he suffers with little grace like a leg shackle on a convict, announced an accommodation for religious institutions. As soon as I heard the word, I knew that it was not a victory for the Constitution. Accommodation is always a workaround. People create accommodations when they don’t want to solve real problems. This accommodation is no different.
The president, once again demonstrating his disdain for the Constitution, did not announce that due to First Amendment rights, the government would withdraw its demand that Catholic employers pay for coverage that is an affront to their faith. Rather, he announced that the insurance companies that provide health insurance to Catholic employers would be required to provide free contraception, abortifacients and sterilization to the employees of Catholic institutions. He put the burden of providing this coverage to those employees on the insurance company. He simply ordered the insurance company to provide the service without charging the Catholic institutions any premium for the service.
Please explain to me where this president got the authority to make such a demand. If the president can force the insurance company to provide this service for free, then what can he not do? Why even bother with the whole idea of coverage and premiums? Why not just insist that all medical insurance companies simply pay the bill for all health services? Since the so-called “accommodation” is simply a different way of sidestepping the Constitution, what difference does it make how far he steps?
President Barack Obama is a human being created by God, just as I am. He is a husband and father who appears to have a good marriage and be a good parent. He is loved by God just as I am. Christ died for him, as Christ died for me. Barack Obama was granted the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by his Creator, just as I was. I respect his right to live, his right to enjoy personal liberty, and his right to work toward a dream.
I do not think that Barack Obama has any right as the chief executive of this constitutional republic to decree that insurance companies provide and pay for any health service whatsoever. It is the subject for another post, but as an aside, I reject the whole idea that provision of birth control and sterilization is a public health issue, too, and I reject the whole idea that there is a human right to birth control, abortion and sterilization at no charge. We are faced with a man whose ego knows no limit — not a constitutional limit, not a conscience limit. This is a profound danger to us all. I know it sounds disrespectful to call him a dictator-in-chief, but it is my way of getting your attention. He is behaving like dictators do. He behaves as if whatever he wants to do must be done because the universe requires it to be so. I wish I could be a red light and flash “Danger! Danger!” every time Barack Obama disrespectfully shreds another clause in the Constitution of the United States of America.