Sunday, February 12, 2012

HHS Mandate, Catholic Bishops, and Foster Auditorium

First, the bad news: the American government wants Catholic hospitals to either kill people, pay someone else to do the job, or at least refer folks to a willing assassin. Don't worry: it's all perfectly legal. Best of all, from the killers' point of view, the victims are helpless.

Now, the good news: Catholic bishops in America don't think this is a good idea. And they're saying so.

The archbishop whose territory I'm in has some good advice:
"...And therefore, I would ask of you two things. First, as a community of faith we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored. Without God, we can do nothing; with God, nothing is impossible. Second, I would also recommend visiting, to learn more about this severe assault on religious liberty, and how to contact Congress in support of legislation that would reverse the Administration’s decision...."
(John C. Nienstedt, Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis) [emphasis mine]

HHS (Health and Human Services) 'Kill' Order: Background

I've put links to several resources near the end of this post. Briefly, the Federal HHS says that Catholic institutions must do what the HHS says to do. We think there's a higher authority than the HHS Secretary: or even the American President. And that's almost another topic.

Here's what the HHS wants, and why it's a bad idea:
  1. The mandate does not exempt Catholic organizations
  2. The mandate forces these institutions and others, to violate their conscience
    • Paying for immoral acts
    • Helping others commit immoral acts
  3. The mandate forces coverage of
    • Sterilization
    • Abortion-inducing
      • Drugs
      • Devices
    • Contraception
  4. Catholics of all political persuasions are unified in their opposition to the mandate
    • Columnists
      • E.J. Dionne
      • Mark Shields
      • Michael Sean Winters
    • College presidents
      • Father John Jenkins
      • Arturo Chavez
    • Daughter of Charity Sister Carol Keehan
      • President and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association of
        the United States
  5. Many other religious and secular people and groups have spoken out strongly against the mandate
    • For other religious people, the issue isn't contraception
      • It's religious freedom
    • Secular outlets have editorialized against the HHS mandate
      • The Washington Post
      • USA Today
      • N.Y. Daily News
      • Detroit News
      • Other
        • Columnists
        • Bloggers
  6. The federal mandate is much stricter than existing state mandates
    (source: "USCCB: Six Things Everyone Should Know About the HHS Mandate")

Reality, Nostalgia, and the Establishment

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has a pretty good set of resources that explain what's going on with the HHS mandate in question. If what you read there isn't quite what you heard on the news: I'm not surprised.

Back in my 'good old days,' "national security" was invoked a bit too often as an excuse for evil (or daft) behavior. "Womens' health care" serves a similar function today. I didn't entirely trust the establishment then, I don't now, and I've been over this before. (September 15, 2011) I'll indulge in nostalgia now and then: but I don't yearn for the 'good old days.' I remember 'the good old days,' and they weren't.

Links to a selection of those resources:

Current Events and Getting a Grip

I'm concerned, but not worried, about what's going on.

That's partly because I've been through something like this before. Back in the '60s, 'the establishment' was mostly white, almost all male, and either WASP or trying to be sufficiently WASPish. I suppose there's a sort of sadly futile and misplaced valor in actions like blocking the door of Foster Auditorium: but folks who wanted to keep non-WASPs in their place were wrong, and were losing.

Before that, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) chief counsel had said: "After all, the KKK is an old American institution."1 Instead of looking into the Ku Klux Klan's actions, HUAC went commie-hunting in the Federal Writers Project.

Like I said, I don't miss the 'good old days.' At all.

Change Happens

The point is that a half-century ago, America was being run by folks who were desperately clinging to the worst of a set of ideas that had been more popular in their youth.

Today, America is being run by folks who are desperately clinging to daft ideas that were more popular in their youth. It's another set of people, with another set of ideas: but I see the same general pattern.

An entrenched establishment, whose members have been getting increasingly detached from reality, is desperately trying to retain control. And they're losing.

Yes, the HHS mandate in question is dangerous. I also think it's an example of how desperate today's establishment is.

Looking at the Big Picture

Another reason that I'm concerned, but not worried, is that ten thousand years from now my leader will still be 'in office.' The current American administration? Not so much.
More posts about forcing Catholics to violate our conscience:
The Department of Health and Human Services vs. Conscience
Related posts:

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Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.