Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Obama's Mandate-Pushing the Church Too Far?

It's all so confusing. Who do you believe? Is the latest health care mandate a threat to religious liberty? White House secretary, Jay Carney told reporters at a January 31st briefing that the administration's new health care mandate which requires healthcare plans (including religious non-profits) to cover sterilization, contraceptive services and abortion-inducing drugs, "strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious beliefs and increasing access to important preventative services." About 70% of American bishops, so far, have disagreed with the White House "spin." Many are outraged including Cardinal-designate-Archbishop Dolan, who I am sure is praying about this issue, as he spends time in the Holy Land on retreat. He was quoted as saying (before he left for Israel) that, "Never before has the federal government forced individuals and organizations to go into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience." According to the Catholic League website, Catholics as well as non-Catholics are upset about this mandate and even some agnostics and atheists are opposed to it as well.
Senator Marco Rubio introduced legislation to repeal the Obama administration's controversial mandate.
It makes me wonder. Was this a mistake? Especially in an election year. I recall that in a recent interview with Diane Sawyer, President Obama said that he makes "a mistake, every hour, every day." He said he will "second guess myself constantly." Understandably, we are all learning new things everyday, no one is perfect and it does show humility to admit failure and poor judgment. Timing is also important in life and this seems like poor timing.
One journalist called it arrogance. Arrogance, pride (a deadly sin) and too much ego, sometimes interfers with decision-making. Power can also create problems in decision-making and distort level-headed thinking. That's why presidents and other people in powerful positions needs good advisors.
Time will tell, if this was a mistake to push the Church and it's leaders too far in an election year.