The Administration’s Ideological Obsession

How can you diagnose when somebody is suffering from ideological obsession?

Consider the case of the Affordable Care Act.  This law was supposed to provide for universal health insurance for all Americans.  Yet the law is filled with exemptions, and the Administration has granted even more exceptions and exemptions as the implementation date for the law approached on New Year’s Day.

Here are just a few of the exemptions that were incorporated in the law itself:  people who can’t afford coverage, even with a subsidy; people with income levels too low to require filing a federal tax return; members of certain Indian tribes; people who can claim a hardship; people who will have a short gap in their coverage;  members of certain religious groups that conscientiously oppose insurance benefit programs (e.g., the Amish); members of a “health care sharing ministry”; people in prison; and people who are not lawfully in the United States.

In the last few months, with all the mess associated with the new health exchange websites, and all the other chaos associated with the law, the Administration has granted new exemptions:  people whose plans were cancelled can get a plan that is not compliant with the ACA; people who weren’t able to comply because of difficulties in signing up for a new plan won’t be penalized; and large businesses with over 50 employees will not be fined for failing to provide any health insurance.

Now, many of these exemptions make perfect sense, and reflect a healthy degree of flexibility in the implementation of a very complex law.

So, what does this have to do with ideology?  Well, despite all those other exemptions, waivers and extensions, one group has not been able to obtain an exemption, despite repeatedly asking for it, petitioning for it, and finally suing for it — religious organizations that have a moral objection to facilitating contraception, sterilization, and abortion, as would be required under the so-called HHS Mandate.

For these groups, there is no flexibility at all.  There is instead an adamant insistence that they will have to cooperate, regardless of their deeply-held religious beliefs.  The Amish get out of the law entirely, but when it comes to Catholic dioceses, schools and charities agencies, the government offers nothing except artificial and unsatisfactory “accommodations”.

Consider the absurdity of the government’s position.  As pointed out by Archbishop Kurtz, the president of the U.S. Bishops, under the Administration’s current policies, large businesses will be able to completely eliminate any health insurance for their employees, with no fine at all, but religious organizations that refuse to cooperate with moral evil will be subject to crippling fines of $100 per day per employee.  The government won’t even grant temporary respite while legal challenges are working their way through the courts.  They can’t even bring themselves to give a break to the Little Sisters of the Poor, who spend their entire lives caring for needy elderly people.

Why is this?  It’s not that hard to understand.  The current Administration is entirely beholden to an ideology of sexual liberationism that considers contraception, sterilization and abortion to be “sacred ground”.  They consider this ideology to be so central to life that they will brook no opposition, and will do whatever it takes to bring to heel anyone who opposes them.

That is an ideological obsession.  It is dangerous to the souls of those who suffer from it, and it is dangerous to any society in which they wield power.

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12 Responses to “The Administration’s Ideological Obsession”

  1. PAtricia says:

    Wells said Ed.

    Sme of us believe he is the devil incarnate. LITERALY.

  2. Ed Mechmann says:

    I certainly wouldn’t go that far, but many of the Administration’s policies are unequivocally evil.

  3. I’m 60 years old so I should not have to pay for any of this. .I also am a Christian and believe that life is precious and abortion is not an option. . If thou want assign abortion make it that. . An Option that the person getting the abortion pays for themselves. . What’s “Pro Choice ” about a group of people who demand we pay for their sins!!! what’s next I have to pay for an alcoholics liquor or drugs for an addict. These are wrong choices people make every day..

  4. Ed Meacham is either ill-informed or lying in his claim that Little Sisters of the Poor case is about forcing Catholics to “[facilitate] contraception, sterilization, or abortion.”

    First, the Affordable Care Act specifically excludes abortion coverage in policies offered through the federal exchange and allows states to do likewise in their own exchanges.

    Second, the Health and Human Services agrees that the Little Sisters of the Poor qualify for the religious exemption. As the Department of Justice emphasized in their reply brief, the Little Sisters need only fill out a form self-certifying their religious objection.

    Third, employer-based health insurance is employee compensation, just like wages or salary. There is no moral difference between refusing to cover contraception in employee health insurance (one form of compensation) and barring employees from purchasing contraception with their wages or salary (another form of compensation). Either way, the employer is intruding on the employees’ religious freedom.

    Churches are protected by the First Amendment Free Exercise clause … but so are individuals.

  5. John Morris says:

    I wouldn’t call it an ‘ideological obsession’ at all. I’d call it a religious belief, because their ideology fulfils all of the dictionary requirements of a religion. And of course, you can tell by how often they talk about tolerance, they are utterly intolerant of other religious beliefs. So it isn’t politics or ideology vs religion, it is a battle between religions.

  6. CiceroTheLatest says:

    Maybe it’s because the leadership of the Church, recognizing the malignant evil of this administration, used its moral authority to guide its flock into making better choices at the ballot box.

    Oh, wait …

  7. Northwick says:

    Ah, Helen. yes, Obamacare means you are also paying for the alcoholics and drug addicts, at least for their treatment. And perhaps their pot “prescriptions” because it’s medicine don’t ya know…

    Democrats – Everything not forbidden is manditory.

  8. craig says:

    I agree with the article: it is indeed ideological obsession, dangerous to the souls of those who suffer from it, and dangerous to any society in which they wield power.

    Well, conservatives (including some within the Catholic fold) warned you all that this would happen if the nose of Obamacare was ever allowed under the tent. And for it we were called indifferent to the poor, haters, bigots, against the Gospel, and so on. A few mea culpas ought to be forthcoming from the Catholic left for helping bring about this mess, and then some genuinely new thinking about subsidiarity instead of granting more power to Caesar as the answer to every problem.

  9. Ed Mechmann says:

    @Crissie Brown –

    Let’s see — you got the spelling of my name wrong, and pretty much everything else as well.

    1. Irrelevant. The issue in the Little Sisters case, just as with all the other religious organization cases, has nothing to do with the federal or state exchanges. It has to do with the employer mandate, and the “preventive services” mandate (that’s what we’re talking about when we speak of the “HHS mandate”).

    2. Missing the point entirely. There’s no dispute that the Sisters qualify for the “accommodation” (not the exemption — that’s only available for churches). But the core of the dispute is whether the filing of the certification (as required for the “accommodation”) is a “substantial burden” on the Sisters’ religious beliefs. The Sisters claim that it is, because they view it as a requirement that they give an explicit “permission slip” for a third-party administrator to provide coverage for the morally offensive items. The Administration, claiming that it knows Catholic doctrine better than the Sisters, insists that it’s not a burden at all. That’s the perfect case of government over-reaching — telling a religious group how to interpret its doctrine, and then trying to force them to violate it.

    3. Nonsense on stilts. An employer declining to pay for contraceptives/sterilization in their insurance plan has no impact whatsoever on an employee’s religious beliefs — nobody has a First Amendment Free Exercise right to that benefit, nobody is denied access to cheap or free contraceptives on their own initiative, and no sane person claims that the use of a contraceptive or a sterilization operation is an expression of religious belief that an employer must accommodate (although maybe an adherent of the Cult of Moloch would). The issue in these cases is whether the government can force a religious organization or person to do something that directly conflicts with their religious beliefs (like forcing Jehovah Witnesses to recite the pledge of allegiance). If you really want to understand this, you need to read James Madison’s “Memorial and Remonstance Against Religious Assessments“.

    Thanks anyway for commenting, however ill-informed, and for your uncharitable interpretation of my state of mind. It gives a nice insight into what we’re up against in our efforts to defend our religious freedom.

  10. [...] agreed with the conclusion of a National Review Online article which said: The current Administration is entirely beholden to an ideology of sexual [...]

  11. I despise this administration.

  12. Dottie Day says:

    I refuse to call it the Affordable (ha) Care Act since we now know that is only one of its lies. Better we call it Trojan Horse Healthcare. Will the Church ever be alarmed at the many other deceits of this law? Is Cardinal Dolan truly representative of our Church in what he said to David Gregory on Meet the Press? If so then I’m more afraid that we will win these conscience court battles and watch our Churchmen gleefully getting behind the President in full-throated support. God help us then.

    This is the Meet the Press transcript that gives me chills whenever I read it.

    DG: “What about Obamacare? You have voiced your displeasure with certain aspects of it in terms of mandates for hospitals and so forth. What about the overall goal? Do you think it will ultimately prevail? Would you like it, do you think it’s important for our country that universal health care insurance be available?”

    Cardinal Dolan responded:

    “Yep, and I’m glad you allow me to make that distinction,” Dolan replied. “We bishops are really in kind of a tough place because we’re for universal, comprehensive. life-affirming healthcare. We, the bishops of the United States–can you believe it, in 1919 came out for more affordable, more comprehensive, more universal health care. That’s how far back we go in this matter, okay. So we’re not Johnny-come-latelys.

    “We’ve been asking for reform in healthcare for a long time. So we were kind of an early supporter in this. Where we started bristling and saying, ‘Uh-oh, first of all this isn’t comprehensive, because it’s excluding the undocumented immigrant and it’s excluding the unborn baby,’ so we began to bristle at that.

    “And then secondly we said, ‘And wait a minute, we who are pretty good Catholics who are kind of among the pros when it comes to providing healthcare, do it because of our religious conviction,and because of the dictates of our conscience, and now we’re being asked to violate some of those.’

    “So that’s when we began to worry and draw back and say, ‘Mr. President, please, you’re really kind of pushing aside some of your greatest supporters here. We want to be with you, we want to be strong. And if you keep doing this, we’re not going to be able to be one of your cheerleaders. And that, sadly, is what happened.”.