The Corner

Two Million American Schoolchildren & Election Day 2012

The Romney-Ryan campaign has a web video up that makes a clarifying closing argument about some of the Catholic social services that will be threatened if Obamacare’s abortion-inducing-drug, contraception, sterilization mandate stands (in other words, if President Obama is reelected): 

The Obama administration dictated that every Catholic school, hospital, and charity must include services that many Catholics consider immoral. After President Obama’s mandate, Catholic schools, charities, and hospitals are left with three choices: They could pay for services and violate their beliefs; they could pay fines of $100 per employee per day, leading many to shut down; or they could strip care from everyone they serve and limit the good they did to Catholics only.

Why does this matter? The Catholic Church provides an education to over 2 million American children every year. The Catholic hospital network is one of our nation’s finest. In fact, one out of every 6 hospitalized Americans is being cared for in a Catholic hospital. And the Catholic Church makes serving the poor a cornerstone of its good work. Over 7 million men, women, and children receive food services from Catholic charities every year.

This election, it is critical that we vote for the candidate who’s going to protect these religious institutions.

(Donald Cardinal Wuerl of Washington, D.C., talked about this threat with NRO in July. As did a libertarian Protestant young woman in August.)

The video echoes a concern that has run through Romney and Ryan speeches throughout the general-election campaign. 

It is a reminder, too, that the religious-liberty education campaign that Catholic bishops have conducted these past months (see the new roundup website) has been in response to an unprovoked attack by the Obama administration on religious liberty itself (and not just for Catholics), and thus is responding to an assault on civil society itself. 

It is worth pointing out (again) that there have been lawsuits filed against HHS on account of this mandate, and it is not only Catholics among the more than 100 plaintifs (see Wheaton CollegeTyndale Bible publishersBaptist College . . .). And it’s not just schools and charities harmed but individuals, now that Barack Obama’s Department of Justice has argued that individuals who run businesses like Hobby Lobby surrender their religious freedom when they choose to enter the business world.

Will we defend religious freedom in America? Depends on how many people got the message about its erosion under President Obama. The White House has worked hard to make you look away, insultingly insisting that the top priority of American women is sex, suppressing fertility, equating it with freedom, and mandating the values of the sexual revolution in a civilizational culture clash.

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