“Life In These United States” and “A Disaster of Biblical Proportions”

Barack Obama says more dumb things in a day than some people say in a lifetime. For instance, regarding the shutdown, he said: “The House Republicans are holding the government hostage.” I know that Obama isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer and that he has only a passing relationship with the Constitution, but someone should tell him that the House is a part of the government, no matter how he feels about it. So, were we to take him at his word — always a bad idea! — the House Republicans would be guilty of holding themselves hostage.

One always hears that the president, whoever he may be, commands the bully pulpit, but only under Obama has it been changed into something that could better be called the bully’s pulpit.

I, for one, am getting sick and tired of hearing Obama constantly going on about the needy. In Obama’s case, he is forever referring to them when he’s pushing the Affordable Care Act. For three years, he’s been telling us one whopper after another about this god-awful piece of legislation cobbled together by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi (think Dr. Frankenstein and his assistant, Igor).

He told us that if we liked our doctor and our health insurance, we could hang on to both. He also told us that ObamaCare would not only insure an additional 30 million people, but it would save the average family $2,500. Not even Bernie Madoff would have ever expected anyone to swallow a lie that big. But, as they proved last November, most American voters have very large gullets and no more brains than a herd of sheep.

It is true that the cost of health care will go down for some because of government subsidies. But those subsidies don’t come out of Obama’s pocket, they come out of yours if you pay taxes. So not only will you be paying more for your own health care, but you will be paying for millions of people who will show their appreciation for your generosity by continuing to elect Democrats who will continue to bribe them with your money. What a deal!

The sorry truth of the matter is that most of the neediest people in America are actually the greediest. Just the other day, I was standing in line with my wife at a fast food joint. The two guys in front of us, both of whom wore their pants below their butts, kept comparing wads of twenty dollar bills. I could only assume they made the money mowing lawns. However, when they bought their burgers, they used one of their food stamp credit cards.

The next day, I was at the drug store buying batteries. Again, I had a young fool ahead of me using one of those cards to pay for his purchases. The sad fact, though, is that he had a bigger fool standing behind him than I had standing in front of me. After all, I had helped pay his tab, he hadn’t paid mine.

Obama is now trying to pressure the Supreme Court to put a limit on what people can contribute to political candidates. He spoke of the democratic ideal being tainted by wealthy radical elements. Funny how that didn’t seem to bother him when he still had elections to win. Can we all say George Soros? You can’t get much wealthier or more radical than that old Hungarian commie who learned all about the redistribution of wealth when he helped the Nazis confiscate Jewish property in Budapest.

I have to fess up to a mistake I’ve made more than once. For the past year, I’ve been ruing the fact that Mitt Romney received fewer votes in 2012 than John McCain did in 2008. I must have seen numbers prior to the final tabulation. In any case, I don’t like to spread a falsehood if I can help it. While it’s true that Obama’s own numbers dropped about 3.5 million between 2008 and 2012, Romney did garner roughly a million more votes than McCain.

That reminds me, people, especially Republicans, keep wringing their hands and telling us that we might as well disband as a party because young people, single women, blacks, Jews, Hispanics, Asians and the mass media, all despise the GOP. And although I am not well-suited to play Pollyanna, the fact remains that Obama did lose those 3.5 million votes in his second election, something no two-termer had ever done in the past. In addition, whereas in 2009, the Democrats had super majorities in the House and the Senate, four years later they have five fewer Senate seats, have lost control of the House, and, what’s more, the lion’s share of governors are now Republicans. If anyone should be hitting the panic button, it’s the Democrats. And whether or not, they ever get the glitches out of those damn computers, ObamaCare is shaping up to be the disaster the Republicans all said it would be when Obama jammed it through Congress without a single Republican vote.

In case you hadn’t heard, Carrick High School in Pittsburgh decided to have a Trayvon Martin theme day as part of school spirit week. Some parents were upset when they got the news that their kids were being encouraged to wear hoodies on Trayvon Martin Wednesday. I’m assuming they will be even angrier when they hear the kids will be encouraged to sell drugs and steal from each other’s lockers on Trayvon Martin Thursday and Friday.

In other news, future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones, who played his entire 20-year career for the Atlanta Braves, was invited to toss out the first ball of the National League Division Series. But because he had committed the mortal sin of predicting that the L.A. Dodgers would take the best of five game series in four games, none of the Atlanta players, including his former teammates, would volunteer to catch the pitch. As a result, Jones was forced to pitch to the team’s mascot, a cartoonish character with a humongous head shaped like a baseball. The kicker is that the Dodgers won the series in four games. Perhaps Atlanta should have had the mascot suit up in place of one of their overpaid punks.

Finally, wrapping up the news of the day, a prosecutor in Houston filed aggravated rape charges against a 10-year-old girl who had been spotted by a neighbor touching a four-year-old boy in what they’re referring to as “his private area.” In other words, it’s now a felony to play doctor.

I’m no lawyer, but it seems to me that the charge should have been practicing medicine without a license.

A Disaster of Biblical Proportions

Over the past couple of years, I made a couple of prophecies. The first was that in spite of Obama’s threats, Bashar al-Assad would remain in power longer than Obama would. The second was that although America could probably survive another four years of Obama, I doubted if the nation could survive an electorate that would re-elect him. Nothing I’ve seen in the intervening months since last November has caused me to change my mind.

Apparently, according to polls, even if the Republican House agrees to fund everything but ObamaCare and Obama then shuts down the government in a fit of pique, the majority of voters will hold the Republicans responsible if their Social Security checks are a week late. I mean, just how dumb are we as a nation?

Everyone, including the Catholic Church, labor unions and business owners and their employees, hate ObamaCare, but the voters are ready to punish the GOP in the 2014 elections if they try to kill the damn thing.

I used to just suspect that people got the leaders they deserve. Now I know it for a fact.

Even the United Nations, which helped Al Gore create the hoax known as global warming, has finally come around to admitting that the earth is not heating up. But that’s not going to change anything at this late date. For liberal politicians, there’s simply too much money and power up for grabs by maintaining the farce. For corrupt scientists, there are simply too many grants and department chairmanships up for grabs by pretending that anything other than the sun determines temperatures on earth.

Hell, if the various hucksters could see a way to bamboozle the rest of us, they would dig up the Piltdown Man and once again display him as the Missing Link. He, too, it should be remembered was “settled science” for about 40 years.

One thing you have to say about Pope Francis is that he knows how to grab headlines. In his latest attempt to steal attention away from Lindsay Lohan and Miley Cyrus, he announced that the Church should stop “obsessing about gay marriages, abortions and contraception.” Instead, he wants to focus on social issues. Funny but I thought those were social issues. But apparently His Holiness has a lot in common with Obama, otherwise known as His Schmoliness, and seems to think his divine mission is to oversee the redistribution of wealth.

The more I hear from Pope Francis, the more certain I am that I’ve stumbled across Hillary’s running mate in 2016.

Aaron Alexis, who murdered a dozen innocent people at the Navy Yard, claimed in the weeks before the massacre that he was hearing voices giving him orders. He was pretty sure the voices were coming out of his microwave. It made me wonder if that could help explain Obama’s bizarre behavior. But in his case, I suspect the voice he hears is that of George Soros, who merely looks like a microwave.

I find that I am already sorry that the mayor’s race in New York City didn’t go the way I was hoping. For 12 years, Michael Bloomberg provided the rest of the country with one laugh after another. I am convinced the laughs would never have stopped if only New Yorkers had seen their way clear to electing Anthony (“I’ll show you mine if you let me show you mine”) Weiner.

Instead, we have to rely on Obama to keep us chuckling. But the way the media protects this cluck, we’re not only being deprived of our laughs, but of a few straight answers. For instance, why is it that nobody has asked him why, if Assad’s use of poison gas on a thousand Syrians was a sin of biblical proportions, how it was that when George Bush attacked Saddam Hussein, who had used the same stuff to kill tens of thousands of Iranians and Iraqi Kurds, he deserved to be impeached and tried as a war criminal?

Question: What do Mel Gibson, Laurence Olivier, Richard Burton, Kenneth Branagh, Richard Chamberlain, Ian McKellen, Kevin Kline, John Gielgud, John Barrymore, Edwin Booth and Barack Obama, have in common? Answer: They have all portrayed Hamlet. But none have equaled Obama’s mastery of the role. The others, after all, merely had to memorize the lines and repeat them for a few hours. But as we’ve all seen, with his talk about red lines and his threats about the inevitable consequences, followed by his calls for congressional support, followed by his plea for the United Nations to do something, anything or nothing, he has made the role his own. This schmuck doesn’t need to parrot Shakespeare’s lines; he is Hamlet.

For those who’d say he’s not a convincing Danish prince, not a manly and commanding presence like Gibson, Burton and Barrymore, I’d hasten to remind them that at times the role has been performed by the likes of Sarah Bernhardt and Judith Anderson.

©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.




“Republican Cannibals” and “Lower Forms of Animal Life”

The Catholic Church came up with the concept of excommunication. But as you may have noticed, such Catholic luminaries as the Kennedy clan, Nancy Pelosi, Dick Durbin and Joe Biden, all spent years promoting abortion on demand and nobody in the Catholic hierarchy even raised an eyebrow, let alone said anything about denying them communion.

However, let a Republican take two steps in any direction, and his fellow Republicans want him drawn and quartered. I’m not suggesting that we Republicans should follow the lead of our opponents and turn ourselves into robots. Frankly, I don’t know why Senate Democrats even bother going to work. Harry Reid not only decides how they’re going to vote, but even decides what legislation they’ll be allowed to consider.

I swear, Republicans don’t hate Democrats nearly as much as they hate one another. I have a group of readers who are always trying to organize a lynch mob, anxious to string up what they refer to as RINOs. Those are Republicans whose unforgivable sin is that they don’t agree 100% with them on every single issue.

Even the recent brouhaha over defunding ObamaCare caused more friction between members of the GOP than it did between them and Democrats. What they failed to acknowledge was that the fight wasn’t over an issue, but merely over strategy. They all agreed that ObamaCare was a disaster. The difference was that one faction decided it was worth decimating their ranks in a fight they couldn’t win, while the other side, insisting they alone had principles, were willing to create a hostile environment which might have terrible repercussions a year down the road when the GOP will be trying to hang on to the House and at least make a dent in the Senate.

Department of Homeland Security advisor Mohamed Elibiary had the gall to blast America’s Christians for holding the Muslim Brotherhood responsible for the attacks on Egypt’s Coptic Christians. Someday, someone will have to explain to me why anyone who is not only named Mohamed, but feels impelled to spring to the defense of a Muslim terrorist organization, is employed by this administration. After that, he can then explain to me how it is we have a president who is more comfortable sitting down with Iranian jihadists than he is with House Republicans.

Diplomacy is a con game posing as an art form. Hassan Rhuhani, the recently elected president of Iran, made his mark several years ago when he boasted that while he held the West at bay for two years pretending to negotiate a cessation of Iran’s nuclear program, the centrifuges continued to spin. But we see Obama and Kerry both pretending that diplomacy is the way to go. I guess neither of them is old enough to recall that when the Japanese hit Pearl Harbor, Japan’s diplomats were earning their salaries, expressing their peaceful intentions to FDR.

It occurs to me that perhaps a better name for what is now referred to as Intelligent Design might be Divine Design. Intelligence, after all, has its limits.

As most of you know, when it comes to books, I don’t read a lot of non-fiction. I prefer novels because I feel they are written by writers, not researchers; they are therefore concerned with style, pace and literature as an art form. Also, as a rule, they don’t regard epic length as a virtue.

But I just happen to have read a piece of non-fiction which I am happy to recommend. For one thing, I know the author of “Arguing for the Constitution,” Steven Maikoski. For another, I know he knows his subject matter, and, what’s more, he cares passionately about his subject.

I won’t deny that the book’s length, less than 100 pages, is no small part of its appeal for me. But keep in mind that the Constitution itself is a model of brevity. In an age when we take a 2,500 page health care bill in our stride, it’s worth noting that the Founders were not out to bury anyone in sheer verbiage. Unlike Nancy Pelosi, they fully expected people to read it before they signed it.

Finally, I find that when Obama gives a speech, I am, like a James Bond martini, shaken, but never stirred.

Lower Forms of Animal Life

Having spent a good deal of my life studying the behavior of politicians, particularly those in our nation’s capital, I have concluded that the Potomac River gives off noxious fumes. It’s the cause of the common malady known as Potomac fever. The usual symptoms are a loss of mental faculties, a diminished moral sense and a swelled head.

We’re all aware of the ways it affects the likes of people like Obama, Biden, Reid, Pelosi and John McCain. But even lesser lights exhibit signs of contamination. For instance, Jay Carney used to be a respected journalist, or at least as respected as a Time magazine reporter could possibly be. But once he went to work as a press secretary, he has learned to lie for a living. And not just once in a while, but every single time he finds himself standing at a podium.

Then there’s Marie Harf, who finds herself as the spokeswoman for the State Department. With her nasal delivery and her blind devotion to Obama and Kerry, she appears to be auditioning for the lead in “The Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Story.” The big surprise is that, generally, when you find someone who looks and sounds like a Valley Girl in such an elevated position, one for which she is clearly unsuited, you assume her last name would be Clinton, Pelosi or Schumer, not Harf.

Speaking of the State Department, an agency with an infinite capacity to take a terrible tragedy and make it worse, it has designated the Benghazi massacre a criminal act rather than an act of terrorism. By doing so, it has introduced so much red tape into the process that the Islamics who murdered four Americans are more likely to die of old age than to ever be executed. On the plus side, those virgins waiting for them will also be 50 or 60 years older.

Speaking of the criminal justice system, Barry Bonds, now that a federal appeals court has determined that he was indeed guilty of obstructing justice, will be punished to the full extent of the law. In his case, that means he faces 30 days of home confinement, two years of probation, 250 hours of community service and a whopping $4,000 fine. During his home confinement, Bonds is likely to find the $4,000 under the cushions on his couch.

Considering he was guilty of committing perjury while testifying before a Grand Jury, it sounds like the judges on the Court of Appeals did a little obstructing of justice of their own. Though, come to think of it, lying to a Grand Jury was what Bill Clinton did, and he still got to be president.

I am always trying to persuade wealthy Republicans like Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers to start swaying public opinion by buying up however many media outlets as they can afford. A liberal billionaire recently bought the Washington Post for $250,000,000. For a lot less money, conservatives could buy up local TV stations and newspapers, including Spanish-language dailies, and staffing them with conservatives.

I now have another better way for them to spend their money than on pinky rings and financing losing primary campaigns for the likes of Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. It’s my idea that they should be saturating TV with ads demanding the Senate vote on ObamaCare. When you have the unions, large and small businesses and 60% of the voters opposed to the Affordable Care Act, you do everything in your power to force Harry Reid’s hand. Anyone who thinks the Senate Democrats who are up for re-election in 2014 will commit political suicide for a lame duck president is just plain nuts.

Finally, it was during the First Battle of Bull Run, also known as the First Manassas, that Thomas Jackson received his nickname when Brig. General Barnard Bee extorted his troops by shouting, “There is Jackson, standing like a stone wall.”

Although he’s faced no bullets or cavalry charge, Barack Obama, in his own way, has earned the same nickname. Unfortunately, in his case, he has done so by stonewalling on one scandal after another. In each case, starting with Operation Fast and Furious and proceeding through the IRS targeting of conservatives, the feds snooping on the AP and, worst of all, the Benghazi massacre and subsequent cover-up, he staved off criticism by insisting he couldn’t interfere in an ongoing investigation. Ultimately, he dismissed all of them as “phony scandals.”

I have come to realize that the major difference between “Stonewall” Obama and our dog Angel is that she does her business on the grass, while he does his on the Constitution.

©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.




For the Record

Some people object to the fact that I generally jump around in my articles instead of devoting each to a single topic. They have my sympathy, but I’m afraid I can’t possibly accommodate them. It would be too much like firing a musket at a herd of charging buffalo. You might pick one off, but you’re sure to be trampled to death by the others. Other conservative pundits can do what they like, but I prefer using a machine gun when it comes to liberals.

For instance, Nancy Pelosi once famously announced that we wouldn’t know what was in the Affordable Care Act until it was passed. As if her statement wasn’t shameful enough for a leading member of a governing body, it turns out to have also been a lie. It’s now four years since it was passed, and people still don’t know what’s in it. And by people, I’m including unions, the Catholic Church and even Montana’s Sen. Max Baucus, who had a lot to do with creating ObamaCare, but now calls it “a train wreck waiting to happen.”

But how could it be otherwise? The bill ran 2,500 pages. The regulations run 17,900 pages, and they’re not done yet. I don’t know how quickly you could get through the 20,400 pages, but I’m guessing that if you started right now, by the time you finished you would be very old and you would therefore be denied healthcare by the Death Panels.

What’s more, by his own recent admission, Harry Reid only considers ObamaCare a baby step on the inevitable path to single payer coverage. That means what he hankers after is the system in which the government controls everything connected to health care, just the way it is in Canada and England. Like most socialistic endeavors, it sounds good on paper. But in actual practice, it means months, sometimes even years, before people get the operation they need. The fact that people have been known to die during the delay has its upside. It means that everyone behind them on the waiting list jumps up one place.

People who actually think that system is better than what we’ve had in America are bad enough. But when it comes to those like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, you have to add hypocrisy to the mix. We all know that members of the House and Senate have excluded themselves from the glory of ObamaCare. There’s no way that someone as old as Harry Reid is going to worry about some secret cabal of bureaucrats authorizing a liver transplant.

If I were John Boehner, God forbid, I wouldn’t simply defund ObamaCare, tempting as it would be. We all know that Obama would simply shut down the government, and as much as I, personally, would cheer the closure, Obama is the one with the bully pulpit and the lapdog media and he would blame the closure of national parks, the furloughing of air traffic controllers and the erratic arrival of Social Security checks, on the Republicans. And while it’s easy for the rest of us to tell our representatives to take the heat, it doesn’t make a lot of sense when the GOP will be trying to hang on to the House and take back the Senate a year from now.

Instead, I would force the House to take a well-publicized vote and let the Democrats go on record defending ObamaCare. The last time it happened, in 2010, the liberals lost 60 seats in the House. I would love to do the same in the Senate, but Harry Reid would never allow the vote to take place.

A while back, some people were insisting that the photo taken in the Situation Room at the White House the evening the Navy Seals were risking their lives to take Osama bin Laden’s was photo-shopped. They said that Obama looked too small in the picture. My initial response had been that it looked phony because Obama wasn’t shown sitting in a prominent position. In fact, Hillary Clinton appeared to be the alpha dog in the room, while Obama looked as if he hoped the grown-ups didn’t notice that he was up past his bedtime.

It now turns out that, according to presidential aide Reggie Love, Obama not only wasn’t in the room, but was playing cards with him and two other guys because he was too nervous to watch the action unfold in Pakistan.

According to a John Stossel special, boys are not only being suspended from school for drawing pictures of guns and swords, but are being discouraged from dealing with action in their writing assignments. Instead, they are being forced to write about their feelings.

I am reminded of my own experiences taking two writing classes at UCLA. One of the professors had very limited professional experience. Apparently he had only sold two pieces in his life, both to men’s magazines, as monthlies such as Saga and Argosy were labeled in the 50s and 60s. The typical article would carry a title like “I Was Captured and Held as a Love Slave by Amazons” and be illustrated with women resembling Anita Ekberg and Irish McCalla in skimpy outfits. As a result, the only sort of writing he cared to deal with was the sort of hooey he wrote. So I dropped out after a few sessions.

In the other class, we were asked on the first day to write a 500-word essay on a subject of our choosing. When the papers were returned, mine didn’t have a grade. I asked the professor why, and he said, and I quote, “Humor isn’t writing.”

That struck me as one of the oddest things I had ever heard. Not only were guys like S.J.Perelman, H. Allen Smith, James Thurber and Max Shulman, consistently showing up on best seller lists, but I had heard a rumor that even Shakespeare had occasionally turned out a comedy.

When I handed in my next assignment, the prof asked me if it was humor, I said, “It’s supposed to be.” Not too surprisingly, he tore it in half and dropped it in the wastepaper basket. So I walked out of class, never to return.

That is why when people ask me if I believe writing can be taught, I tell them they’re definitely asking the wrong person.

©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.




Term Limits and the Catholic Church

Recently, Thomas Sowell wrote an excellent piece dealing with term limits. The point he made is that if the idea behind limits was to rid us of those people who spend their entire lives doing little more than voting, we’ve gone about it in a really stupid way.

For one thing, as we’ve seen here in California, it merely means that once one of these palookas has termed out in, say, the state assembly, he merely runs for the state senate or for governor or lieutenant governor or attorney general. In short, he moves on, he doesn’t move out.

Another problem is that once elected to the House or Senate, where term limits are never even considered, it’s next to impossible to dislodge the likes of Harry Reid, Charley Rangel and Henry Waxman.

There is no reason why we should have an actual class of politicians, people, in short, who never have to do an honest day’s work in their lives. And why should a Supreme Court judge be ensconced for life? For one thing, it presumes that we need professionals in those jobs. We don’t. In fact, those who decide on politics as a career are the very people who shouldn’t be there.

I realize that some would argue that you at least need specialized knowledge to serve as a member of the high court, but the fact that so many decisions come down to 5-4 votes suggests that you merely have to possess an opinion, not a law degree.

And it’s my opinion that the ongoing debate over same-sex marriages is much ado about nothing. A few gay activists have pretended that it’s a civil right, but, if so, has there ever been a civil right that’s been taken advantage of by fewer people than this one? We passed women’s suffrage and women got out and voted. We passed the Civil Rights Act and black people went to the schools of their choice and sat wherever they liked on the bus and at the lunch counter. But when it comes to same-sex marriage, it’s mainly sound and fury signifying nothing.

I know that whenever gay marriage legislation is passed, the left-wing news media is sure to share photos of the ecstatic couples. But I am beginning to think that I’m seeing the same couples time and again. I don’t believe that any significant number of lesbians have tied the knot, and I’m willing to bet it’s an even smaller percentage of gay men.

And after all the posturing over gays in the military, I have yet to hear of large numbers of gay enlistments. And I’m sure I would have heard of them, thanks to a liberal media that would be certain to ballyhoo the glad tidings.

If gays had been as successful at selling a soft drink brand as they have been at selling their very odd life style, we’d all be drinking Dad’s Root Beer or Diet Pepsi. How successful? Well, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, hardly the east coast answer to San Francisco, the Green Street United Methodist Church is now refusing to perform marriage ceremonies for straight couples until same-sex marriage is legalized in that state. What’s more, they’re asking other churches to join the movement, and I have no doubt that other churches will follow their foolish lead.

A lesser man might go so far as to say there’s Methodism in their madness. I am that lesser man.

I confess I’m not a religious person, but even I’m aware that the Bible makes no bones about where it stands on the question of homosexuality. Now I’m not suggesting that gays should be stoned, but when the Bible refers to the practice as an abomination, where do churches get off promoting it? I mean, are there any lines in the sand? What’s next? Changing the 10 Commandments to the 10 Suggestions?

Even the Catholic Church is acting more like a social club than a religious denomination. Considering the damage it inflicted on itself first through the pedophile scandal and then through the ensuing cover-up, you would have thought the Vatican would have become proactive. Why is it, for instance, that the Church sits idly by while most Hispanic Catholics voted overwhelmingly for Obama, a man who proudly promotes abortions and homosexuality? Is denunciation from the pulpit a thing of the past?

And why is it that Catholics such as Patty Murray, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and a bunch of people named Kennedy, are never excommunicated for not merely championing abortions, but funding Planned Parenthood and doing everything in their power to make abortions readily accessible to teenagers?

It’s one thing, after all, to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, but if even abortion is Caesar’s, what’s left to render unto the Lord besides a few bucks in the collection plate?

I say if the Church wants people to pay attention to it without having to wait around until Pope Francis dies or retires, it should start booting these high-profile backsliders out on their collective fannies.

Otherwise, when it comes to their members as well as their leaders, we have to assume that the Elks, the Moose and the Rotarians, all have higher standards than the Catholic Church.

©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.




Another Deal with the Devil – What Did the Catholic Church Expect?

A lot has been written recently about the Obama Administration and the controversy with the Catholic Church.  The mandate in Obamacare requires all employers to provide birth control to their employees as well as abortifacients – the morning-after pills that can contribute to the abortion of a fertilized egg.  Obviously, the Catholic Church’s teachings oppose their use and it caused what the WSJ called a “firestorm.”

Not surprising, the Obama administration backed off its requirement that religious employers cover contraception in health plans, but, instead, is now requiring the insurance companies to provide such coverage without explicitly charging either the religious employer or worker.  In other words, the insurance companies will now have to foot the bill which means recovery of those costs will, no doubt, be picked up by all policyholders in the form of higher premiums.

While the supporters of the provision in Obamacare tried to obscure the discussion by turning it into a women’s issue, I believe it was an assault on religious liberty.

I think Jordan Sekulov and Matthew Clark, in a Washington Post article they wrote, summed it up perfectly.  “The First Amendment begins with these immortal words, ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .’ Yet, the Obama administration made the determination, that regardless of the tenants of a particular faith, it will require religious institutions to provide for its employees (i.e. pay for something) that violates the very purpose and religious beliefs of the institution itself.”

Whether the Obama administration would acknowledge as much, I think its reconsideration of the mandate was a political move and aimed at alienating as few potential voters as possible.

Whether you agree with the position of the administration or the Catholic Church, isn’t the issue here.  What I found more interesting is something I hadn’t thought about but was reminded of by a good friend of mine while discussing this issue.

He reminded me that the Catholic Church was in favor of Obamacare way back when.  And he was perfectly correct.  I had forgotten that the Catholic Church did not care too much about the rights of other employers when they supported this massive health care bill.  InNovember of 2009, for example, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops had “delivered a critical endorsement” to Pelosi “by signing off on a late-night agreement to grant a vote on an amendment barring insurance companies that participate in the exchange from covering abortions.” In other words, so long as abortions would not be covered, the Bishops were officially in favor of a bureaucratic plan that could spell the end to freedom of choice in health care and the eventual bankruptcy of the U.S.

In another example, Kevin Appleby, a representative of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, explained why the Bishops were so desperate to pass the health care bill.  He said that the Bishops wanted a federal health plan to absorb the costs being borne by the nation’s 600 Catholic hospitals to cover illegal aliens.

Not everyone remembers that the Catholic Church supported Obamacare but Presidential-hopeful Rick Santorum remembers:  “They embraced it and …here’s what I said to them. Be careful when you have government saying that they can give you rights, that you have a right to health care, and government’s going to give you something, because once you are now dependant on government, they, not only can they take that right away, they can tell you how to exercise that right, and you can either like it or not. And that’s the problem. That’s what the Catholic Bishops Conference didn’t get, that there’s no free lunch here, folks. If you’re going to give people secular power, then they’re going to use it in a secular fashion. And that’s why, you know, I hate to say it, but you know, you had it coming….”

As my friend reminded me, be careful what you wish for.  When you give the federal government this type of power, what do you expect?

Unfortunately, the Catholic Bishops didn’t read the fine print and now it’s all coming back to haunt them.  Hmmm?  Isn’t this what happens when you make a deal with the Devil?

I get it.  The Catholic Church should’ve known better.