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On February 4, after Newt Gingrich lost the Nevada Primary, there was a very small group of reporters asking questions. One of the questions was related to the Obama administration’s HHS mandate requiring Catholic institutions (including hospitals and charities) to begin providing health insurance that included contraceptives, sterilization, and abortifacients. Newt Gingrich’s response to Obama’s mandate was essentially one of rage; how dare Obama attack the Catholic church and flagrantly quash the freedom of religion. Gingrich went on to predict that the Catholic church would rise up and repudiate the HHS mandate as an attack on one of our most basic freedoms. As I wrote in a previous article, Gingrich’s prediction did not occur in a matter of weeks or months, but days. On February 4, when Gingrich had given the press conference, there was a widespread but largely unspoken anger within the Catholic church and in America in general. By February 8, Catholic leaders, joined by other Christian groups, were calling for civil disobedience against the mandate with some stating they would gladly go to jail before complying.

On February 8, when Obama had summoned Barbara Boxer and a host of other Democrats to join with him to “stand up” for women’s rights against the Republicans calling for the mandate’s rescission, the controversy was thought to be dispensed with by the normal repudiation of the Republicans. But either Obama was a fool or so absolutely out of touch with the American people that he didn’t realize that on January 26, a letter from the Catholic leadership was read to virtually every Catholic congregation across the United States repudiating the mandate. By February 8, almost the entirety of the Catholic church along with  a large body of Christian Evangelicals and Jews were against the mandate. Did Obama not realize that the Republicans in Congress were simply responding to the wishes of their constituents, which is how government generally works?
On February 9, Obama finally woke up to the reality of the situation,  hinting that he would be willing to compromise, and began the same smoke and mirrors strategy that had worked for him so many times before. Except this time, he wasn’t fighting against the Republican Congress; it was the American people.
On February 10, when Obama had announced that the Catholic leaders and “pro-choice” advocates had agreed to an Obama-brokered “compromise,” whereby the health insurance industry would provide free “preventative health services” for women, there was a sigh of relief in the Leftist blogosphere. They were thankful that this storm had passed and that the country could now get on to more important matters, like funding more “green” energy. But it appeared very odd to those of us who had been following the story that the “Catholic leaders” that had made the compromise were the same Catholic leaders that had supported the original HHS mandate in the first place. Sr. Carol Keehan, the “Catholic leader” of Catholic Health Association (CHA) who had agreed to the “compromise”, had backed the original Obamacare HHS mandate as far back as September of 2010. Furthermore, there is evidence that CHA had circulated news of the “compromise” even before Obama had supposedly made his decision, which indicates that it was more of a collusion to present a media narrative rather than any real discussion.
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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.


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