1. Religion & Spirituality
Scott P. Richert

Welcome to Barack Obama's America

By January 21, 2013

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Four years ago, on the eve of Barack Obama's inauguration as the 44th president of the United States, Catholics were concerned about candidate Obama's promise to sign the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA). At the time, I argued that the incoming president would not pursue FOCA, because he would not have the votes in Congress to get the legislation passed. Obama had shown himself to be a cautious politician, avoiding numerous controversial votes in both the Illinois legislature and the U.S. Senate, and I did not believe that he would expend precious political capital on a losing cause. (See What Will Barack Obama Do as President? for my full argument.)

In the end, as I predicted, President Obama supported abortion in ways that did not require a congressional vote, such as repealing the Mexico City policy that had forbidden the use of federal funds for abortion and other "family planning" services, but whenever the topic of abortion came up in connection with legislation that the administration was promoting (such as the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as ObamaCare), President Obama tried to downplay the issue or claim that abortion wasn't involved. He wanted to avoid, whenever possible, any direct vote on abortion.

That does not mean, of course, that his support for abortion "rights" has been any less strong during his four years as president than it was during his time as an Illinois legislator and a U.S. senator. Given a platform by the University of Notre Dame, he went to America's best-known Catholic university and made it clear where he stood. (See President Barack Obama at Notre Dame for my coverage of the Notre Dame controversy.) While denying that ObamaCare was meant to cover abortion services, he fought hard behind the scenes to defeat an amendment sponsored by pro-life Catholic Democrats in the House of Representatives to make sure that it would not. And even after the Affordable Care Act passed with the amendment, President Obama, through his nominally Catholic Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, snuck abortion back into ObamaCare through the contraception mandate, which provides for coverage of abortifacient drugs. As of January 1, 2013, business owners who have moral objections to providing their employees with insurance that covers the cost of drugs designed to kill unborn human life either have to act against their consciences or pay fines. In the case of the largest such business, Hobby Lobby, those fines amount to $1.3 million per day. (Hobby Lobby has managed to avoid them while it challenges the contraception mandate in court, but only by buying a few months' reprieve by switching health plans.)

All of this is consistent with how I predicted President Obama would act four years ago. And so, sadly, I feel fairly confident in predicting that President Obama will continue on this path in his second term. Unless the U.S. Supreme Court itself strikes down the contraception mandate as unconstitutional, President Obama will offer no accommodation to employers with moral objections to contraception. Worse yet, should the Supreme Court uphold the contraception mandate, I believe that President Obama--once again, through his nominally Catholic HHS secretary--will expand the scope of that mandate to cover even more abortifacient drugs and, eventually, direct abortions. (It would not even surprise me if he hinted at such an expansion in his Second Inaugural Address today, falling, as it does, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.)

I hope that I am wrong, but I see no reason for that hope. As long as President Obama does not have to take such a policy before Congress, where he might lose on a vote (as he likely would have on FOCA), he will continue to push the boundaries of abortion "rights." And yet, sadly, as his policies increase the number of abortions in the United States through both chemical and mechanical means, his supporters (including the 50 percent of American Catholic voters who cast their ballots for him in November 2012) will continue to claim that he is not pro-abortion, but simply "pro-choice," as if the choice in question involves something other than the destruction of an unborn human life.

To Hobby Lobby, and to every other company and religious organization that objects to the contraception mandate, President Obama offers only one choice: Violate your conscience, or face fines designed to force you out of business.

Welcome to Barack Obama's America: a country of openness and inclusion, so long as you think exactly as President Obama does.

More on President Obama, Abortion, and the Contraception Mandate:

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January 21, 2013 at 4:53 pm
(1) Gatomon41 says:

This is no surprise. People like Obama will slaughter millions and trample over millions more for mere “progress”. Our nations is bound to suffer, and generations will pay for this mistake.

The article, despite delivering bad news, helps. As long as someone is out there speaking the truth, fighting for the truth, there is always hope. I’ve been feeling down in the pits, but this article which speaks out against the haughty brings me hope. There are others out there fighting, and it strengthens me. Thank you Scott. :)

January 22, 2013 at 8:24 am
(2) Bruce says:

I’m just a rube who took one semester of American government in high school but here’s one thing I don’t understand. Why does the president (the executive) have so much influence over the content of congressional acts? He should be allowed the same influence as any other citizen e.g. he can address his Senator and representative as a citizen. Yes, he has the right to sign or not sign legislation but shouldn’t he remove himself (at least in his official capacity as President as opposed to Citizen Obama) from influencing the content? And yet he does have huge influence over content as the (informal) name of the act (Obamacare) suggests.

January 22, 2013 at 10:13 am
(3) The Sarge says:

Great words Scott, as a Catholic I just don’t understand why other Catholic’s cannot see what is happening to our Country, to our future to how “they” are trying to change the the very foundation that we live upon. To many Catholic’s vote for their friends and do not look at their voting record. All you hear is “Oh he’s a really great person.” What is being forced upon us is wrong and half of our faith voted for it … why.???? I guess we will never know. Thank you again for all you do. The Sarge

January 22, 2013 at 10:20 am
(4) Diane says:

Your belief in the redemption of the work of those who fight for the end of abortion is uplifting. There is always hope, aborton clinics are closing, one by one. Maybe someday they will all be closed. Never, ever give up. But the Catholic church has to be vigilant in its message.
The church has a sad history of flirting with Marxist thought and leftist ideology, which made organizing the revolt against Obamacare an unlikely undertaking from the get-go. The mixed signals and cluttered thinking of the Catholic leadership goes a long way toward explaining why so many Catholics have supported Obama.
The church itself had a hand in creating this president by funding training seminars for Obama in his younger days. The church in the past even went so far as to provide millions of dollars in funding to several Chicago groups connected to Obama’s role model Saul Alinsky, who dedicated his “Rules for Radicals” to Lucifer.
The church’s dalliance with “social justice” groups has led many Catholics away from biblical teachings. Where the church should be standing up for human rights and true justice, the laity often receives a mushy commingling of Marxist revolutionary thought with biblical thinking.
The Vatican is deeply wrong on the issue of gun control, which only makes victims of those people the church was meant to help

January 22, 2013 at 10:30 am
(5) Donna says:

Welcome to evil tyranny disguised as our “president.” 4 more LONG years! From my mere human perspective, I don’t know how Our Lady will be able to hold back her Son’s arm of wrath much longer! Abortion will be our down fall across the board. It’s already begun: look at the increasing bloodshed of our littlest brothers and sisters at ALL stages of pregnancy! Look at the recent shootings and lessening of respect for life and decency! Even the strange and violent weather patterns and earthly mayhem: all of His creation objects!

January 22, 2013 at 11:29 am
(6) Nora Saxton says:

As always, Americans don’t look at the issues. They just vote popular opinion.

January 22, 2013 at 11:30 am
(7) barbieahayes says:

Obama exhibits the classic signs of a male who has indulged himself in the homosexual lifestyle: narcissism, woundedness, lack of virtues, against Christian teachings, “all about me” syndrome, lack of value for humanity/unborn children, etc. Men (and women) who have lived with the disorder typically have depraved minds as Romans 1 tells us. These persons who have sinned in this grave manner and who do so repetitively and obstinately will lead the sheep (and our children) to damnation. The secular progressives (his sycophants and other power mongers) are also of a disordered mind. They will excoriate anyone who professes biblical values. Those who voted for Obama, either time, definitely need to examine their consciences and remember that we are required by our faith to inform our consciences of God’s laws and then to strengthen our will in order to make the sacrifices necessary for a virtuous republic. Oftentimes, one can get a glimpse of a person’s conscience through his eyes. Watch how cold Barack Obama’s are!

January 22, 2013 at 11:55 am
(8) Alice S. says:

BO heads up the new political party in America in the 21st century. He is a front for organizations such as Move On.org and many people have no problem with who he is or what he stands for.

But, look at all the people who are in DC this week; not for that fiasco of a coronation/inauguration, but for babies! The unborn. More and more people are moving away from abortion.

I still say with all the base and crude things we are pelted with on a daily basis on TV, why is there no abortion commercial? Showing a real aborted baby! Showing women (and men) grieving over what they have done. In this digital world, there is an upside.

Slavery was not really legislated away. It became repulsive in the hearts and minds of Americans, first. With our faithful prayers to Mary, every day (!) we, too shall overcome.

January 22, 2013 at 2:18 pm
(9) Mary says:

How can our president claim to care so deeply about saving the lives of children that he’s willing to use executive orders to do away with our second amendment rights to bear arms and protect ourselves against criminals, all the while promoting the destruction of unborn babies? How can people not see through the dissonance in these positions? Yes, Scott, welcome to Obama’s America and America’s new state church, where the positions of people who hold to traditional Christian values are no longer acceptable.

Heaven help us.

January 22, 2013 at 4:18 pm
(10) Elle Fagan - artist says:

It is like Tokien “come to life” = life today.

We go along in our day, blind to outright evil and so it is wonderful to see that the “Fellowship” has at least realized the issue and banded to fix it.

I respect my President, but am horrified and have been since Roe Vs Wade , so long ago

IT’S ABOUT LIFE – or we all die a bit.

No nation can call itself good that supports murder in any way.

So we are all a bit insane in our conflict: We are America! We are good! The things we do and support are good! IF we are supporting abortion , abortion must be good. If abortion is not good then we must not support it…..madness!


January 22, 2013 at 8:37 pm
(11) mms says:

We don’t have to be paralyzed by fear, you know!

Just join the growing opposition to abortion (institutionalized murder).
To have an effective voice … join up with movements against abortion like http://www.medjugorje.com.
Everyone should be very very concerned at the repetition of similar errors of history.
Remember what happened under Nazism, Communism, Fascism, Pol Pot, Mao, etc. etc. etc. – beginning with the disabled?
It was then a miniscule small step to institutionalised murder by the state to any other “inconvenient” humans; then to “enemies of the state”.

In the end, atheist totalitarian dictatorships were responsible for:
110 MILLION murders under Stalin and Mao;
6 MILLION murders of Jews under Hitler:
7.5 MILLION murders of Christians under Hitler (Remember, if Hitler was so fond of Christians — as atheists will insist, despite to evidence to the contrary in Mein Kampf and private hand-written notes by his henchman, Martin Borman — why then did he murder 7.5 MILLION Christians?
Then remember that Hitler was a devoted disciple of atheist Friedrich Nietzche).

Then remember how the abortion debate was hijacked by people who were so far removed from Christian teaching that they behaved (and still do) much like the opinion-shapers [at whose] “desks and lecture-halls … were ultimately prepared the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, Maidanek” (Victor Frankl, Jewish psychologist, who survived the Nazi death camps).

Then remember the warning of Dostoevsky that when God is banished, all manner of evil is possible and eventually inevitable.

All is not lost. Just stand up for what is moral and ethical so that you will have no regrets about your own heroism.
Otherwise even more “evil [will] proliferate when good men do nothing”.

January 22, 2013 at 9:44 pm
(12) Salvy says:

Obama couldn’t care less about any shot-up dead school children, in fact he’s glad it happened and was just waiting for some opportunity like this to start hassling law abiding gun owners. The Planet of the Apes have taken control of the governmen-media and how does it feel in church these days knowing some of these creeps who supported Obama might be sitting around you?

January 25, 2013 at 4:16 pm
(13) Nicki says:

Thank you Scott! I now understand more about what the obama-care thing was about. It was sad to read though that 50% of Catholic americans choose him knowing he is pro abortion. I honestly think a lot of Catholics don’t fully practice it or care to. I can’t discribe how many people I know use contraception knowing it can abort a baby. I think those are the Catholics who voted for him because they really don’t care. How you say your Catholic yet use contraception is beyond me. Anyway thank you for your post it helped me to understand a lot. God bless!

February 1, 2013 at 10:08 pm
(14) Brad Naksuthin says:

I’m getting sick and tired of religious groups from the Taliban to Catholics, to Evangelical Christians expecting everyone else to accommodate their views.

Pretty soon every religious group in the country is going to want to have special exemptions.
Already some Muslim women want an exemption from having their photograph taken for a ID purposes.
Already a justice of the peace refused to marry an interracial couple because it was against his beliefs.
What next?
Are Quaker Pacifists going to want an exemption from paying taxes because some of the money goes to buy bombs and bullets?
Are Catholic Employers going to be able to refuse to hire people who have been divorced?
Are Mormon employers going to have the right to deny employment to anyone who drinks Coca Cola?
Is a Jehovah Witness factory owner gong to be allowed to fire people who take the day off to celebrate Christmas?

Religious people need to grow up!!! This is the United States. We have federal laws that supercede your religious beliefs.

Don’t get the big idea that the government is going to allow you to perform animal sacrifice or female circumcision, marry more than one woman at a time, give your 8 year old daughter away in an arranged marriage, or withhold medical care from your children….. just because of your kooky religion says it’s OK.

April 27, 2013 at 9:10 pm
(15) Louis-Guillaume says:

Brad Nuksuthin…. It’s quite clear that you need to grow up, Our Kooky religion has been around much longer than any nations federal laws, When the government tries to force Abortion inducing medications in healthcare plans then its time to call this Athiest regime for what it is, TYRANICAL! If bush was doing this exact same thing people like you would be complaining non-stop, People like you are hypocrites.

But its okay, Youve just been misguided by todays modern “culture”, God’s law is what really matters in the end.

June 24, 2013 at 9:15 pm
(16) shelley says:

Leave Us alone!Go pick on the GAYS=Future real trouble,that will Ruin the new generation.Pick on the Weirdos!

June 24, 2013 at 9:17 pm
(17) Shelley says:

Hock Cares I myself am withdrawing all my daily Lenghtly Prayers!

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