Friday, November 30, 2012

The HHS mandate lurches forward

For those who support Obama's healthcare plan, including the controversial HHS mandate, there appears to be some good news.  Looks like two lawsuits that were challenging the HHS mandate have been tossed out.  Oh well. For me, I see it as the corner America is turning.  I spent most of my life being told that America was only one step away from Big Brother, and that it always had been.  Now, those who were always warning me about Big Brother seem to be the ones chomping at the bit to get us there.

Still, my sympathies are only so-so.  At first, I rallied to the flag, went to HHS opposition rallies, supported my Bishop, prayed, and dived into arguments with those saying they really didn't care about freedom for stupid and evil religion.

But as I did some research, I found out that the US Bishops had largely supported Obama's healthcare mandate.  The only thing they apparently opposed was the HHS mandate regarding abortion, contraception  and the like.  Now there are plenty of warning bells about Obama's plan.  Not that it was all bad mind you. I'm OK with insurance companies not kicking people off the plans when they are too sick, or not denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions   But there were also plenty of concerns, not the least of which was the mandate to force everyone to have health insurance.  Helping to provide is one thing.  But telling us we must have something like health insurance?

But from what I've found out and read, the Bishops were A-OK with all of it, as long as there was nothing forcing those against all abortion and contraceptives (read: The Catholic Church) to support such things.  Never mind the other dilemmas and ethical quandaries and possible erosion of our liberties.  That appeared to be their only concern.  So a part of me, a really deep, deep, dark part of me wants to say 'it serves you right.'  That's not the first time I've seen the Bishops more inclined to support the cause of the progressive over the traditionalist.  They've done it in other instances, in some cases showing the same general disregard for legitimate concerns  and more or less throwing their hats into the ring with a  movement known for its general rejection of any traditional Christian understanding of the world.

Don't get me wrong.  Politically it isn't as if there are very many places for the Bishops to turn to.  It isn't as if the GOP is coequal with the Holy Trinity or anything.  But it is to say I notice the Bishops are much quicker to reject outright proposals and positions held by those trying to defend a more traditional American nation, while they seem more than capable of ignoring some glaring and troubling problems within the proposals of those who seek to overthrow and alter the traditional American landscape.

Forgive me if I'm wrong, and if anyone knows of any articles that show the Bishops actually opposed Obama's troubling healthcare law for reasons other than the HHS mandate, please let me know.  I'll gladly concede the point.  But based on what I've found so far, I have to say, that's what happens when you decide a single issue is all that matters, and the greater forest is irrelevant next to the cause of the tree.


  1. I'm reminded of what I read on a harsher blog once:

    To my Catholic friends: STFU. For 30 years you have been playing your social justice games here and abroad. The communist policies of the current administration are the natural progress of your own progressive policies all over the world. Chickens. Roosting.

    Or as I like to say, when you feed and sharpen Leviathan's teeth, don't be shocked when it up and eats you.

    But, I find in the midst of all this, more understanding in how Catholics and Protestants could end up fighting each other for so long. Not just in discussions, but if you take a larger view of the world, it does seem like there are certain characters and differences between the Protestant and Catholic society. (and I notice that there seems to be a pattern of Catholics trying to get into the Protestant countries, and never for evangelism; hmm...)

    However, I don't find either one to be intrinsically wrong or right (well no more than anything involving fallen humans will have some "wrongness" to it). Yet we want to claim it is. So we end up with group A, which says/believes that X (or not x, !X) is intrinsically bad. Meanwhile, group B says that !X (or X) is intrinsically bad. So when the government say... enforces X, B believes that they are being forced to sin. Then if the government enforces !X, A believes that they are being forced to sin. Thus, political battles become theological battles because now it's not just this or that right or money under debate, it's now people's souls! (so of course it gets bloody)

    Of course, in the debate over whether X or !X is right, nobody considers the "3rd option" that the government doesn't really impact your soul. This was the wisdom of the founders, I think: trying to separate people from the government. Unfortunately, we seem to have forgotten their lessons. Thus, violence continues because what else would people fight hardest for but their souls?

  2. You're right about the differences. As a Protestant, I used to say that the trouble was we (meaning Protestants) spent so much time looking at the forests, we didn't spend enough examining the trees, and that caused too many denominations to be easily uprooted and tossed about with the latest winds of change.

    But now, on the other hand, I'm starting to think Catholics may, at times, spend so much time looking at the individual issues, the trees so to speak, that they miss the overall forest. Hence they, because of issue A, will side with a force that stands against a host of other issues simply because, in this case, they are focused on issue A. I dunno. But it's something I've been kicking about as of late.

  3. Actually I think you're spot on. Protestants perhaps do look too much at the forest, while Catholics look too much at the trees. (very apt I think)

    But then maybe that's the point. Maybe God let His House split because we'll need each other's strength before the Lord comes.

    But then, that could just be me looking a little too broadly. ;)


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