A Silver Lining in the Catholic Mandate Controversy

by Suzanne Venker

Why on earth would a president alienate a portion of his base — Catholic Democrats — at this critical juncture by ruling that church-affiliated hospitals and schools provide health insurance for its employees that includes “all FDA-approved forms of contraception”? Because he’s pandering to his main base, that’s why. Feminists can get an administration to do just about anything they want.

Not that it took much to pressure this president — Obama’s a “sister” if there ever was one. He and his administration insist the ruling is to prevent discrimination against women. Women who work for Catholic institutions, they say, don’t have coverage for birth control or other contraceptive measures. Well, duh: They work for a Catholic institution. I can’t imagine they ever thought they would have such coverage. Demanding a Catholic organization support birth control and abortifacients is like demanding a Jewish organization not honor the Sabbath.

This latest ruling should be a wake-up call to Catholics who insist on burying their heads in the sand in support of the Democratic party. If the term “Catholic Democrat” wasn’t an oxymoron 50 years ago, it certainly is now. No Catholic in good conscience can vote for a party that prays to the altar of abortion and insists the Catholic Church do the same. It’s preposterous. “The Catholic hierarchy seems to be playing a cynical game of chicken, and they don’t seem to care that the health and well-being of millions of American women are what’s at stake here,” said National Abortion Rights Action League New York president Andrea Miller.

Wake up, Catholic Democrats: Your party is a machine with a feminist engine. Catholics, as a whole, are conservative — and there are very few conservative minds left in the Democratic party. I’m sorry it’s taken this latest move from the White House to drive home such a critical point.

But if this is what it takes to turn every Catholic in America into a Republican or independent, perhaps it’s worth it.


— Suzanne Venker is co-author of the book The Flipside of Feminism: What Conservative Women Know – and Men Can’t Say. Her website is www.suzannevenker.com.

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