a don't forget to pray and fast
I mentioned earlier in the week that I have a few links on the HHS mandate, but first I want to make clear my perspective on the HHS mandate in very simple terms.
Last week, I was talking to another mom at ballet class and she asked if our parish had had a letter read during Mass several weeks ago. I said yes we had, and she said, "That was interesting." And when she said "interesting," I got the idea that she really didn't know what it was all about at all. I got the idea that she thought maybe the Church was just preaching about contraception. And so, I told her how this mandate affects me, personally, and how it could affect everyone else. I mentioned before that my husband works for a Catholic hospital. If this mandate is not changed, Catholic hospitals will close, that I have no doubt. Alternately they could stay open, but not offer medical insurance to their employees. You can imagine how many people would stay at their jobs with no medical insurance. Employees would have to purchase their own insurance, and even if they are given the funds to do so, we would still have deal with consciences issues -- even more so on our own. Alternately, they could sell to secular systems, but I'm not sure how viable that is in every market. Also alternately, they could pay huge fines for not complying, but, again, that's not very viable and ultimately patients would be passed on the cost. If the hospitals close, my husband would not have a job. Since he is the only bread-winner in our family, that's a pretty important fact. At least for me.
A wider perspective: Twenty-five percent of patients in hospitals in this country are in Catholic hospitals. In our community, four hospitals are Catholic and four are not. I guess if the Catholic hospitals close those other four are going to get mighty crowded. Think about your Catholic schools, universities, charities. All of those students and recipients of care will have to go somewhere else. Hmm. Maybe that is what our president has in mind. Bigger government can take care of all those needs, right? Maybe that's why he gave the Church the extra year to "work it out."
(The even wider picture, which I think goes without saying but maybe not, is if the government can tromp on your religious freedom they can tromp on any freedom.)
My friend at ballet was, frankly, shocked when I told her the ramifications of the mandate. She honestly had no idea that is what it meant, and jokingly, though with a serious note, said I should be on the news. Ha. The news doesn't want you to know what it really means. The news wants you to think it's all about the big, bad church trying to keep you from getting your birth control pills.
And one more note before I get to my links and an absolutely awesome Youtube video. You may have heard lately the statistic that 98% of Catholic women are contracepting. I know my readers here, if they have heard, are laughing. Our house minority leader Nancy Pelosi even used that statistic. Shame, shame on her. Anyone with half a brain (of course, I have never accused Nancy as having one of those) knows that 98% of Catholic women are not contracepting. If Nancy thought about it, she would realize it is unlikely that she herself is in that 2% (unless at Nancy's age -- 72 -- she is still contracepting). Even if you take out all of the female children under the age of, say, 16, that's still a lot of women -- a lot of women who are not sexually active, and a lot of women who are beyond the child bearing years, or like me, can no longer conceive for medical reasons. That's way more than 2% of Catholic women. Stupid, stupid people use that figure.
Now, please, please pass this video on to everyone you know (just copy and paste these very words into your email: Please pass this video on to everyone you know). If even every Catholic in this country could see this video, the madness would end. I just know it would.
There is going to be a national Protect Religious Freedom Rally this March 23. Please go to this website (Stand Up For Religious Freedom) to see if your city is involved. Mine is and I plan to be there!
The Senate voted last week to table the Respect the Right of Conscience Act (pdf) which is written to fight the mandate. NCR, "The Blunt/Fortenberry Amendment was a necessary measure to begin to restore the religious liberties of Americans that Obamacare has trampled on with its assumption of unlimited bureaucratic power." You can go to this link and find out how your senator voted (if he/she voted "yea" then he/she voted to table it -- and rejected the Amendment). If your senator voted "yea," make sure you have reached out and told your senator just how you feel about the mandate. You can go to this USCCB link and click on "Take Action" to get a note to your senator and /or congressman.
Several Catholic Universities have filed suit with the government to fight the mandate (I don't know all of them but Ave Maria, as well as Bellmont Abbey are two). Sadly there is also a list of Catholic colleges and universities that already cover contraception in their insurance (surprising, I know).
EWTN has filed suit as well. Catholic Social Services, Nebraska's Pius X Catholic High School, and Catholic Mutual Relief Society of American have also joined the ranks, as well as a religious sister and a lay Catholic woman. Two non-Catholic colleges have also filed suits. Some of the suits are against the president and some are against Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
That's all I have time for at this moment, but please, if you have not yet, contact your senator (s) and congressman, even if you already know how they vote -- make sure your voice is heard. And check on the rally -- the only way to force the media to show the other side of the story is to be present and visible.