She walked into St. John Neumann Church in Gaithersburg with the intention of causing trouble. When Fr. Guarnizo tried to explain to her that he could not give her communion unless she went to confession, Johnson’s lover checked the priest. The Catholic Church does not teach that homosexuality is a sin, only homosexual acts. Johnson did not introduce her companion as a friend, or even as a girlfriend — she specifically called her a “lover” (the devil is a theologian). She referred to the act itself, probably knowing that it would put Fr. Guarnizo in a difficult position. When he tried to talk to her, his way was blocked.
So it would appear that the “victim” of the story staged an act of political theater, with no purpose other than to embarrass a religion she has freely abandoned. My sympathy has vanished.
The cardinal does not not speak as someone who can, with the stroke of a pen, order all Catholic Hospitals to shut down. Rather, he lays out the dynamic that will happen if the HHS contraception mandate is not rescinded:
What will happen if the HHS regulations are not rescinded? A Catholic institution, so far as I can see right now, will have one of four choices: 1) secularize itself, breaking its connection to the Church, her moral and social teachings and the oversight of its ministry by the local bishop. This is a form of theft. It means the Church will not be permitted to have an institutional voice in public life. 2) Pay exorbitant annual fines to avoid paying for insurance policies that cover abortifacient drugs, artificial contraception and sterilization. This is not economically sustainable. 3) Sell the institution to a non-Catholic group or to a local government. 4) Close down …
So, for the sake of contraceptive drugs, which have been around for fifty years, the President is going to set in motion a chain of events that will unmake a tradition that has done the nation inordinate good.
In a pluralistic society, we ought to be able to have A) contraceptive drugs, and B) Catholic hospitals. But the president is insisting that we cannot have B if B refuses to embrace A. And that is the bluntest form of tyranny. Ace puts it rightly:
There can be no separation of church and state when the state has its fingers in every pie.
There can also be no separation of business and state, economy and state, free speech and state, sex and state, parenting and state, education and state, or health and state. Because there is no separation, fundamentally, of citizen and state.
The state is all. Individuals only matter to the extent they serve the state and the state’s agenda.
When Barack Obama was campaigning for president in 2008, he declared that marriage is between a man and a woman. For the most part, his position was treated as a nonissue.
Now Rick Santorum is campaigning for president. He too says that marriage is between a man and a woman. What a different reaction he gets.
There’s no mystery why. Mr. Santorum is attacked because everyone understands that he means what he says.
President Obama, by contrast, gets a pass because everyone understands—nudge nudge, wink wink—that he’s not telling the truth. The press understands that this is just one of those things a Democratic candidate has to say so he doesn’t rile up the great unwashed.
And that’s why Tea Partiers are turning toward Santorum. Not because his policies and voting record are Tea Partyish — they aren’t. But scaling down government is but one side of the Tea Party. The other side, which we saw in glorious bloom in 2009, is the satisfaction of telling truth to power. Of asking representatives and senators “Look, just who the hell do you think you are?”
If Santorum doesn’t quite have that (no lawyer-cum-Senator possibly could), he does have a bracing determination to say “This is who I am. This is what I think. This is why.” So the Tea Party finds in him a kindred spirit.
Where it goes from there, I’ve no idea. But I wish him luck.
Moreover, that Santorum’s willingness to defend his positions will ultimately redound to his advantage. Even people who disagree will say “Hey, at least he holds his opinions honestly. And honestly, I need a job.”
Sure the progressive cultural lobbies (feminists, gay activists) will freak, but that’s like saying the sun will rise on the morrow or that a thing cannot both be and not be at the same time. It is axiomatic in the Democratic Party that the GOP nominee HATES(!) womyn and gheys. Hence their response to same is as the tides: regular as clockwork.
So what do we gain by nominating a milquetoast moderate from Massachusetts?
Aside from an excuse that conservatism cannot be blamed, I mean.
I am a bigot. I am a stupid, antediluvian redneck, bitterly clinging to my guns and god, insufficiently educated to note the distinction between my posterior sphincter and divot in the earth. How do I know this?
Because I do not support gay marriage.
If this reasoning satisfies you, by all means, stop reading here. I just saved you five minutes. I’m a giver.
Speaking as a Catholic, I wish the Church would be more open on the contraception question. But speaking as an American liberal who believes that religious pluralism imposes certain obligations on government, I think the Church’s leaders had a right to ask for broader relief from a contraception mandate that would require it to act against its own teachings. The administration should have done more to balance the competing liberty interests here.
I am also a Catholic, but I understand the Church’s reasoning behind the contraception teaching as published in Humanae Vitae in 1968, even, as a husband and father, I understand the difficulties in complying with it.
But to expect Obama to wade through the morass of regulatory fineness to secure for Catholic institutions the liberty to be Catholic strikes me as adorably naive. To support the rights of the religious rhetorically wins plaudits, even from the agnostic left. To support them with the weight of the law, well, that takes work.
In it, Catholic leaders went on to say that the Church “cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law,” as it violates the Catholic conscience. Additionally, the church says that it is faced with a difficult decision — either comply and violate its faith or drop coverage for employees and suffer the consequences. The letter urges congregants to take action and to call Congress in an attempt to overturn the regulation.