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Obama Birth Control Rule Could Cost Dems the Congress

by Keith Koffler on February 7, 2012, 10:00 am

The Obama administration’s decision to force Catholic institutions to offer free birth control could cost Democrats a chance to retake the House and hold the Senate, amid signs Congressional Republicans will force Democratic lawmakers to take a stand on the matter and GOP challengers will make the decision a campaign issue.

Talk in Washington political circles in recent days has centered on whether Republicans are so focused on the presidency that they might be giving Democrats an opening to take the House.

But growing Catholic anger at the new birth control rule could turn such notions into fantasy. More than any other religious group, Catholics were responsible for handing the House to Republicans in 2010, according to exit polling conducted on Election Day.

Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) has introduced legislation that would repeal the policy, meaning House Democrats may have to take a vote on the issue. In the Senate, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) sent a letter to Attorney General Holder asserting that the provision violates the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act and calling on Holder to block it from being implemented.

House Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have drawn clear lines in the battle, with Boehner suggesting the rule violates the Constitution and Pelosi calling it “a very courageous decision.” Both are Catholics.

The inboxes and letterboxes of lawmakers are about to be flooded following a call on Sunday by Catholic clergy for the faithful to write their members of Congress to protest the rule.

Meanwhile, the issue is spreading to the campaign trail. Conservative George Demos, a Republican contender to challenge Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY), on Monday launched a petition to “get Bishop to oppose the ObamaCare mandate forcing Catholic charities and hospitals to provide abortion-inducing drugs – an outrageous violation of their religious freedom.”

Catholics will probably play the lead role among religious groups in determining whether Republicans keep the House and possibly secure control of the Senate.

According to Pew Research, House Republicans gained twelve percentage points among Catholics in 2010, raking in 54 percent of the vote compared to 42 percent in 2008. Catholic support for Democrats dropped from 55 percent to 44 percent.

In the most recent political test of the importance of the Catholic vote, Catholics played a decisive role in the unlikely capture of a New York City House seat last September by a Republican. GOP Rep. Bob Turner won a special election to succeed former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), in part by attracting close to two thirds of Catholic voters, according to polling.

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{ 43 comments }

William February 7, 2012 at 10:14 am

And if they stick with this unconscionable rule, they should lose it all. The mandate is a clear violation of the First Amendment because it restricts the free exercise of religion.

DeniseVB February 7, 2012 at 10:15 am

What happened to separation of Church and State? What next, requiring Catholic hospitals to perform abortions ? I just think it’s icky a President is trying to evoke such power … over religious beliefs. It could lead to other stupid demands on religions, with the threat of losing tax exempt status?

I’m a non-practicing Catholic who left the church over the birth control pill ban in the 60′s. That was my choice as there were other ways to practice your faith without the threat of going to hell ;)

shakedown crews February 7, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Denise, not only that, but the Obama administration recently prosecuted a minister for refusing to perform a lesbian wedding. And yes, eventually doctors who refuse to perform abortions may well be prosecuted as well.

Freedom? I think not.

shakedown crews February 7, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Oh, and I forgot to add, they also want to force the Church to allow for female priests, to limit religious schools from only hiring individuals of their faith as teachers, and force them to allow homosexuals to work as teachers in their schools–all of which violates their religious practices.

William February 7, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Separation of church and state? For these people, the state is the church.

lc southern February 7, 2012 at 10:23 am

Let’s hope the GOP uses this issue to retake the senate and keep the house!

Lanie February 7, 2012 at 10:27 am

If the issue weren’t so serious I’d be laughing at the uproar by “Catholics” who not only participate in the culture of death by using birth control, having abortions, co-habitating, support homosexuality, divorcing and remarrying, and generally living exactly like their pagan/atheist/secular neighbors. (I place Catholic in parenthesis because too many are Catholic in name only. They don’t believe in or practice the teachings of the Church, particularly her moral teachings.)

The difference must be they are being told they must sin by the government rather than choosing to sin on their own.

But what did they expect when the majority are Democrats?

Anonna February 7, 2012 at 10:41 am

That is the difference. People can choose on their own to follow or not follow the Church’s teachings. Many are able to see a difference between their own choices and a government that forces observant individuals and organizations to support through their employment exactly what they avoid in their lives.

Moe February 7, 2012 at 10:27 am

This issue will not just go away, Obama picked the wrong kids to bully. The Pope? Can’t wait for the back peddle, and lucky for us the cat is out of the bag.

Russell February 7, 2012 at 10:29 am

I think that this is much larger than any of us imagine. Once again, the progressives have ticked off one of their voting blocks in an attempt to move the country further left. Now, they have ticked off the Catholics, which is in itself no small feat.
I think that no matter what Carney says or what Barry does will reverse the damage.
Additionally, I find it very odd that any progressive (Pelosi & Reed for example) are religious in any manner. It seems to me that their churches/denominations whould have taken then to the wood shed for their stand on abortion and matters similar.
It will be interesting to watch this in the days to come to see how fast the Barry campain tried to spin this and reverse it.

Susan February 7, 2012 at 10:32 am

Politics should not play a part in this issue at all but unfortunately Obama has politicized our entire society. Mark Levin made a point that we are in a constitutional crisis with the actions of this administration. Obama has violated the Constitution over and over again, while congress and the judiciary sit back and do nothing to stop him. Hopefully the birth control mandate is the straw that breaks tyranny’s back.

A.Men February 7, 2012 at 10:40 am

Stand up — religious people! Obamacare, a war against Christian and Jewish religions.

anneinarkansas February 7, 2012 at 10:40 am

As a Protestant who supports the Catholics, I pray for this to happen.

Girly1 February 7, 2012 at 10:42 am

First, they come for the Catholics….

Let’s hope this venal act costs the DEMS the Presidency, too! The mere fact that Obama thought he could get away with choosing NOW and Planned Parenthood over the Catholic church is another example of his ruthless politicking!

He will try to walk it back, but he can’t unring this bell! He can’t be trusted under any circumstances – a despot is a despot!

Lanie February 7, 2012 at 3:05 pm

I don’t see any reason for Obama to be worried about continued support from the majority of those calling themselves Catholic who have abandoned the tenets of the church and yet still cling to the name. The bishops and the majority of priests are totally in the liberal camp and teach the false doctrine that one’s uninformed conscience can dictate how one votes. This teaching comes up every election and endorsed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops so that the liberals can sleep at night after voting for a Democrat.

Old Timer February 7, 2012 at 10:44 am

Make up of Catholics in Congress

In Senate there are 25…..16 are Democrats and 9 are Republicans

In the House there are 134 of the 435. Speaker John Boehnor is a Catholic.

VP Joe Biden is a Catholic

rawheadrex February 7, 2012 at 2:23 pm

If a member of the corps acted the way V-P Biden does, the Corps would discharge him dishonorably. The Catholic Church does not appear to have sufficient adherence to the code that has let it survive for nearly two millennia or it would notify Biden, Kerry, Pelosi, Sebelius, et al, that they are excommunicate.

Lanie February 7, 2012 at 3:13 pm

First I’d like to disclose that I do not believe the church that those such as Pelosi, Biden, Boehnor, etc. belong to is the true Catholic Church but a heretical one established after Vatican Council II which was implemented to “reform” the church but ended up transforming it into a conglomeration of Communist/Marxist/pagan/Protestant/New Age mumbo-jumbo, keeping a few of the truths of the previous 2000 years but discarding most of them and creating an entirely new religion.

This new religion, therefore, comports with the platform of the Democratic Party, allows for discussion of changing doctrines to establish “social justice”, and basically changing worship of God into worship of self.

Robin H February 7, 2012 at 10:46 am

Keith, I hope you are correct. I’ve been preaching that we need to pay more attention to the Congressional races than the presidential one. They’re not as flashy and interesting, but they are just as important.

As a follow up to this issue, I wish the Catholic church would make a concerted effort to rid itself of the CINO’s. I am not a Catholic, but if they continue to ignore their own teachings (mainly offering communion to those who should not have it) they’re going to get eaten alive. I know it’s hard to give up the money stream, but if half of your members don’t agree with what you’re teaching, why are they there?

I belong to a Methodist church and I’d say half of our members are ex-Catholics.

Anonna February 7, 2012 at 10:48 am

So, how far will Obama and his admin go?

This could end the Catholic Church as an employer — or force them to live as people who offer a service that they plead with their employees not to use — also, will open up employment with the Church to those who only want a job and would enjoy working for a group with one set of values and thumbing their nose in their employers’ faces a la “too cool for you” anti-Catholic liberals.

I also wonder how this advances the muslim agenda in our nation. I know that may seem paranoid, but this admin always has a different goal down the road in addition to what is on the table. Somehow will this end up being in line with “religious freedom” to have four wives? Or to ban dogs from public places as muslim legislators are calling for in The Hague? “Muslims said the presence of dogs in Lérida violates their religious freedom and their right to live according to Islamic principles.” See: http://www.jihadwatch.org/2012/02/netherlands-muslim-politician-calls-for-ban-on-dogs-in-the-hague.html

Moe February 7, 2012 at 11:01 am

Imagine if the Church threatened to close their hospitals, charities and schools?

CAR February 7, 2012 at 6:53 pm

The government simply must provide EVERYTHING!

Jojo February 7, 2012 at 11:50 am

It feeds into the Islamic agenda by getting rid of other religions to make way for “the one true faith.” It is all by design and America is standing by and watching it happen…

veritaseequitas February 7, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Gee, I’m not a dog person, but I might seriously consider having one just to piss off a Muslim. Maybe a pet pig would be even better. A pet pig on a leash. That I could take on a walk through a Muslim neighborhood. While I was singing Jesus Christ, Lover of My Soul.
Seriously, I believe the Catholic church is much bigger than The Communist could ever be. I hope the backlash to this will be immense enough to lose The Communist the election. And I just hope his latest attempt to be God causes God to turn him into a cinder.

QueenOfScott February 7, 2012 at 10:49 am

I’m waiting to hear from Pelosi again and all about the most beautiful word in the world…”the Word”. And then Obama can tell us about the most beautiful sound in the world again…”the Muslim prayer”.

srdem65 February 7, 2012 at 11:13 am

Of the thousands of bone-headed decisions made by the Obama administration, this one stands out as the most disasterous and least likely to aid in the re-election of MrO.

Jojo February 7, 2012 at 11:51 am

Which is a bad thing?

Just2old February 7, 2012 at 12:41 pm

The importance of the Catholic vote cannot be underestimated. Of the 68 million Catholics in America, roughly 35 million voted in 2008, accounting for 27 percent of the total electorate. And a review of data from seven battleground states – Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin – shows Catholics comprising roughly one-quarter or more of the electorate in each.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/02/06/catholic-outcry-over-obama-administrations-birth-control-decision-could-be/#ixzz1licrNm00

sportinlife10 February 7, 2012 at 11:56 am

I’m taken with Girly1′s “First they came for the Catholics…”
Does anyone know the muslim take on birth control, contraception and abortion?

Susan February 7, 2012 at 12:02 pm

On May 17, 2004, then Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney ordered county clerks to issue marriage certificates to same sex couples without the benefit of legislation authorizing this action. On March 10, 2006, Archbishop Sean P. O’Malley and leaders of Catholic Charities of Boston ended their role in adoption services rather than be forced to violate their religious views on homosexuality. The Catholic church surrendered to tyranny without a fight.

Tyranny is the same whether it is disguises itself as a Republican or a Democrat.

veritaseequitas February 7, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Hopefully as well it will cost Obama his presidency. The Democrat party long ago gave up the reins to the left wing liberals who are entirely out of control and must be defeated before any further damage is done to this country and before we lose more of our freedom.
The mantra of the left is going to be that many Catholics do not strictly adhere to the teaching of the church regarding birth control, etc, and so it should be no big deal.- Juan Williams has already started trumpeting this. But the core issue is the fact that Obama and his sidekick, the abortion loving Kathleen Sebelius, think it is their right to impose their sickness on a religious organization.There are a few sane Democrats in office, they need to think long and hard about the direction their party has gone and help to turn it around by working for what is right so that what is left isn’t all that is left.

Just2old February 7, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Well said. Incidently, Juan Williams is an idiot.

veritaseequitas February 7, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Why yes, he is.

shakedown crews February 7, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Nancy Pelosi is a CINO: Catholic in Name Only! She believes in “menu Catholicism”: she picks and chooses which part of Catholic doctrine she will follow and ignores the Church. As such she is not really a Catholic. Maybe it’s time for her to pick a new religion.

Obama has also lost support from the Jews, and evangelicals, so it’s pretty clear that Obama is at conflict with everyone of Judeo-Christian belief. His only fans? Musims. Ain’t that ironic?

SaveUsGod February 7, 2012 at 1:29 pm

and atheists.

creeper February 7, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Not this atheist. Save your generalizations and see my comment below.

SaveUsGod February 7, 2012 at 1:28 pm

The bottom line is our constitution is under attack by this administration. It has waged war on the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 10th amendments. We are so close to a Marxist state. It is frightening. Wake up America!

creeper February 7, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I’m a staunch supporter of a woman’s right to choose and an atheist to boot but this was too much even for me. I hope Catholics in huge numbers make their position clear to Mr. Obama in November. I’m sick of the social engineering by both sides. Pols, get your hands out of our pockets and your noses out of our bedrooms. And stop wiping those filthy hands and snotty noses on our Constitution.

gracepmc February 7, 2012 at 5:49 pm

It’s not about the Catholic Church or whether you are a practicing or on practicing Catholic or use or don’t use contraception. It’s an assault on relgious liberty. It’s unconstitutional. And truly today it’s the Catholic church and tomorrow it’s you or your neighbor or anybody or anything not hog tied to this Administration’s agenda. It’s like chinese water torture — drip drip drip every single solitary day. And hooray! today the illegal immigrants of America get their own federal legislative counsel.

Mr. T. February 8, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Wonder if this administration would ever force mosques to serve ham sandwiches?

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