Does the Catholic Church Still Count?

November 2011By Kenneth D. Whitehead

Kenneth D. Whitehead was an Assistant Secretary of Education in the Reagan administration. In retirement he now works as a writer, editor, and translator in Falls Church, Virginia. His latest book is Affirming Religious Freedom: How Vatican Council II Developed the Church’s Teaching to Meet Today’s Needs (St. Paul’s/Alba House, 2010).

From the moment it was passed on a strict party-line vote in a Democratically controlled Congress, the misnamed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, popularly known as “Obamacare,” was the target of court challenges, particularly with regard to its unprecedented requirement that virtually all Americans henceforth had to buy and carry health insurance or pay a fine. To require the purchase by all citizens of any particular product seemed to opponents of the Act to go beyond the constitutional power of Congress to “regulate commerce” among the states.

In August 2011 a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta ruled in a two-to-one decision that Congress did not in fact have the power to mandate such an insurance-purchase requirement for all citizens, and thus declared the Act unconstitutional. Nevertheless, since another federal appeals court — in the Sixth Circuit — had already ruled the requirement to be constitutional, and since yet another ruling — in the Fourth Circuit — found that a state did not have the standing to sue the federal government, it seems a foregone conclusion that the fate of Obamacare is ultimately going to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Other objections to Obamacare besides the insurance-purchase requirement have also been raised, and there is considerable talk about modifying or repealing the Act. Whatever the ultimate fate of the Act, whether it is modified or overturned by court action, or is otherwise changed or repealed by Congress, how the Obama administration has been proceeding to implement the law as enacted — that is, what the Obama administration has decided the law should do — has turned out to be highly revelatory, and should be of great concern to Christians and pro-lifers alike. One of the things the Obamacare implementation process has unmistakably brought out is proof of this administration’s total commitment to secularized medical practices, along with a corresponding lack of any respect or consideration whatever for preborn human life, traditional morality, or Christianity itself.

Among other requirements of the Act (as things now stand), is one mandating that all new insurance policies must henceforth include free “preventive” health care for women — that is, preventive care without the deductibles, co-payments, or co-insurance currently found in most policies for this kind of care. To determine just what this new mandatory preventive care for women should consist of, Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services consulted the Institute of Medicine (IOM) at the National Academy of Sciences.

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Back to November 2011 Issue

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When a nation becomes blind, it needs no outside conqueror to devastate itself. And it's narrow-minded thinking to blame just the current leader, because the present leader is simply the latest outcome of such nation's decadent culture in the making for decades and generations now...demanding that 'God bless America', yet unwilling to bless God, and murder God's future generation for such absurd.

Excerpt from

…as the Roman Empire was in decline. The disintegration of the key principles of law and of the fundamental moral attitudes underpinning them burst open the dams which until that time had protected peaceful coexistence among peoples. The sun was setting over an entire world. Frequent natural disasters further increased this sense of insecurity. There was no power in sight that could put a stop to this decline. All the more insistent, then, was the invocation of the power of God: the plea that he might come and protect his people from all these threats.

For all its new hopes and possibilities, our world is at the same time troubled by the sense that moral consensus is collapsing, consensus without which juridical and political structures cannot function. Consequently the forces mobilized for the defense of such structures seem doomed to failure.
Posted by: humblesoldier2
November 07, 2011 06:07 PM EST
Rather than using the overstated, misunderstood comparison to the fall of the Roman Empire, the current trend in the Western world most resembles the 1930s, a time when Darwin's theory inspired eugenic laws on selective breeding, forced sterilization and abortion as "the way to build a race" (or so said Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes when the high court upheld the forced sterilization laws in 1928). I also have heard the '30s referred to as the "devil's decade" and the era of a new hedonism for women.

I can only add: What does the United States (and the Western world) expect when a Marxist-Muslim is elected to the nation's highest office?! He was voted in due the "the latest outcome of such nation's decadent culture in the making for decades and generations now ..." as humblesoldier2 aptly puts it. His last paragraph is also well put.
Posted by: j17ghs
November 07, 2011 07:25 PM EST

Mr. Whitead's article is good, but I am sorry to answer the title-question with the statement that the it is clear that the Catholic Church doesn't count, and Mr. Obama knows that. How many readers of the article have heard the word "sin" in a homily within the past year? I have heard it used once in a homily! The Catholic Church doesn't count because of the self-inflicted damage that has been going on for decades.

Posted by: macroom2
November 09, 2011 07:59 PM EST
The U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference has been strangely silent "when the chips were down". Posted by: OHenry
January 09, 2012 04:04 PM EST
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