The president’s so-called “compromise” is an absurd bit of posturing, a different set of terms for surrender, one with hardly an inch more give, and indeed it may represent a significant broadening of the burden on to even those institutions covered by the original “narrow” exemption.
Every employer will now be obliged to pay for sterilization, the “morning after” pill and standard contraception pills and devices, but the cost will be partially hidden and more widely distributed across all insureds. Astonishing that anyone would buy this as less an assault on religious freedom than the previous rule, but some people want to be persuaded that they were tricked the first time they went to the Obama danced. I will be shocked if the USCCB goes along with this charade, but the president is counting on MSM to try and message reasonability and hoping that the bishops don’t have the stomach for a sustain confrontation with the White House.
UPDATE: Here is the response from five Constitutional scholars, including Robert George, a frequent guest on my radio show. Their conclusion: “This is a grave violation of religious freedom and cannot stand.”
UPDATE: Denunciations of the policy are piling up. The bishops are right to study the proposal and respond only after their mechanism for responding as a group has been honored, but they will denounce this as a sham. Those evangelical, Jewish, Orthodox and Muslim leaders who stood with the bishops before today should continue to do so after today. If a ploy succeeds where repeal is required, the Free Exercise Clause is really gutted of its core supporters.
UPDATE: My radio guest from earlier this week, liberal Washington Post columnist approves of the president’s decision, as does Sister Carol Keehan, who as far as I know has no writ whatsoever to speak for the Roman Catholic Church on issues of law and theology, but is often quoted doing so. Amazing how E.J. nor anyone else int he media can find Harvard Law Professor and former Ambassador to the Vatican Mary Ann Glendon’s denunciation of the “compromise.”
And God bless Jimmy Akin’s whose headline gets it exactly right: “Don’t Be Deceievd! Evil Obama Policy Now Even MORE Evil!”