Springtime and tyranny in no particular order

I never can quite believe in evil in the springtime. How could bad things ever happen when the daffodils are so yellow and the air smells so good?

So the issue I discussed for an hour with two friends on Sunday afternoon felt more like a dream than anything real.

We were sitting in my living room with the windows open, drinking white wine and talking about the HHS mandate, and President Obama’s ongoing war against…everything America is supposed to stand for. In the beginning, when the president first announced the new mandate, I thought, “There’s no way this can gain ground.” Now I’m starting to feel like I’m in that dream where you see the monster coming, he’s not even moving all that fast, but your legs are like cement and you can’t run. Then you open your mouth only to discover you can’t even scream…

Sunlight streamed through the windows, collecting in a warm pool on the rug at my feet. I thought, “The world is perfect and here we sit discussing the end of freedom.” Obama now wants to expand what started out as a mandate for businesses to include universities. Students who purchase insurance through their college should, apparently, be granted the “basic right” of contraception like everyone else. We can’t have them worrying about how they’re going to make their part time minimum wage jobs cover textbooks, notebooks, pens, and contraceptives. Heaven forbid. Never mind that most students have mommy and daddy forking over most of their living expenses. And never mind that students at private, Catholic universities like the one I attended don’t want this coverage. We Catholics live in a sex —–> babies world, and even those who screw around before marriage are generally pretty open to accepting the consequences. But maybe I presume too much.

I’m still completely at a loss over what Obama (or anyone) stands to gain from pushing this mandate forward. Closed hospitals, clinics, soup kitchens, and other havens for the poor and downtrodden do not look–at least to me–like a good deal for anyone. Nor do closed schools. And how, precisely, are Catholic hospitals, clinics, soup kitchens, and schools that do not pay for their employees’ contraception/sterilizations/abortions hurting the government that suddenly sees the need to jump in and get involved? I just keep coming back to the explanation a wise friend of mine gave last year when I threw up my hands and yelled, “Obamacare doesn’t even make sense!!” He just chuckled and shook his head and said, “Well, sin isn’t rational.”

It also isn’t simply personal. Once upon a time the argument went something like this: “It’s my body,” and “Keep legislation out of the bedroom.”

Now what goes on in my body and in my bedroom get described as “basic rights” that someone (else) ought to pay for.

The issue reminds me (granted, somewhat comically) of something my siblings will give me a hard time for basically till I die. They claim I force-fed them oatmeal and fruit when it was my “chore” to cook meals back in the day. Of course I never went so far as to pry their mouths open and funnel the stuff in, but I certainly did force them to sit at the table till they’d finished–and sometimes I’d even save the bowl of oatmeal for lunch and make them eat that–or nothing–then. Yeah, pretty cruel. I remember some days even thinking, “This isn’t that big a deal, I should just let it go.” But different things got in the way…like my pride, and my need to prove that I was in charge, and quite simply my aggravation with them for not understanding the importance of maintaining a balanced diet.

Now we’ve got a bossy president who has decided that contraception and population control are good things–nay, basic rights–so those of us who disagree must adjust our understanding accordingly. Of course, since our barely Christian president understands Catholicism better than we Catholics do, he has every right to cross his arms and give us one year to get over our stubbornness.

Power certainly does corrupt.

Put a community organizer in office, and that power will corrupt…absolutely.



2 thoughts on “Springtime and tyranny in no particular order

  1. At the outset, let me be clear, I am against the HHS mandate. I think it’s a pure and simple example of government overreach where it’s not needed or wanted. However….

    I think the arguement that this is a religious liberty issue is blatently and obviously an obfucastion. The reason is that it absolutely does not force any ‘individual’ to do anything against their religous beliefs. Unless of course, the arguement is that we all ‘pay’ for insurance, through deductibles. If this is the arguement, then we’ve been paying for immoral things all along (but that’s a whole other discussion).

    As an individual, you and I aren’t directly effected by the mandate. We still make our own choices for whatever reasons we choose. It’s just another ‘line item’ on our insurance, and we can use that benefit or not.

    Now, the problem I have is that the goverment if forcing private companies (and now possibly universities) to purchase particular products. It’s forcing the companies that sell these products to confirm to government ‘regulations.’ None of this is new, what is new is that it’s beginning to encroach on what we, as catholics, consider ‘moral ground.’ This is dangerous; there shouldn’t be government regulations other than those absolutely necessary for saftey of consumers. The arguement that contraception is ‘women’s health’ is blatantly false. It’s never been about women’s health and isn’t today. Pregnancy is the result of choosing to have sex; it IS NOT a disease.

  2. I think it goes back to the old parable of the camel. You let him put his nose under the tent, and soon enough you’ve got the whole beast inside. Sure, no individuals are being made to purchase anything (not with THIS mandate, anyhow), but businesses are being forced to purchase goods and services that A) they don’t want, and B) directly violate their religious conscience.

    Looking at this in the long term, it could reasonably be argued that this is only a step or two removed from forcing individuals to purchase services they don’t need or want. (How big a step is it, for instance, from businesses with 50 employees to businesses with 10? 5? And then self-employed individuals?)

    Secondly, how is this NOT an issue of religious liberty? President Obama and his administration have outright stated that Catholics need to reinterpret their own belief system in order to fall in line with this mandate. That seems to me to be the prime example of an infringement on religious liberty. (The “recognized” versus underground Catholic churches in China spring immediately to mind…)

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