A Thug With Panache

WASHINGTON, Aug. 19, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Students at Catholic universities across the nation are banding together with students at Belmont Abbey College (BAC) in a stand for religious liberty and conscience rights, after the college was warned by the Obama administration last month that its refusal to cover contraception amounted to gender discrimination.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ignited the First Amendment firestorm earlier this month when it ruled Belmont Abbey College was wrong not to include coverage for contraception in its employee health insurance plan, despite the Catholic Church’s prohibition on contraception as intrinsically evil. In addition to the Church’s teachings against contraception as such, it is known that hormonal contraceptives often function as abortifacients.

According to BAC president William Thierfelder, while the local EEOC initially threw out the complaint, the decision was reversed after the affair went to officials in Washington.

Students from the University of Dallas, Franciscan University of Steubenville, De Sales University and Catholic University of America are fighting back, saying the EEOC decision is a troubling indication of the Obama administration’s ideas on “reasonable” conscience protection.

“People need to wake up,” said Michael Barnett, American Life League’s director of leadership development and its LiveCampus college outreach program. “Under Obama, the federal government is forcing a religious institution to commit an act that violates its core values. This is religious persecution and a clear signal of what Obamacare would bring. This is the government imposing its will against the people’s will.”

In a letter to the Belmont, the EEOC claimed that the school discriminated against women by not covering contraceptives: “By denying prescription contraception drugs, [the college] is discriminating based on gender because only females take oral prescription contraceptives. By denying coverage, men are not affected, only women.”

In a letter subsequently sent to EEOC chairman Stuart Ishimaru, Judie Brown, president of American Life League, pointed out, “The Catholic Church teaches that contraception is an evil and certainly not the sort of ‘treatment’ one would expect to find in a health insurance plan designed for staff at a Catholic facility. Your discriminatory actions against the college are unfounded and unconstitutional.”

William K. Thierfelder, Belmont’s president, affirmed that rather than provide contraceptive coverage, “We would close the college.”

“This debate is part of an ongoing political struggle between the faculty and the administration of the school, and it entirely excludes the students and the monks of the Abbey,” commented Ann Visintainer, a senior at Belmont. “We here at the Abbey pray the conflict may be resolved in a respectful and peaceful way, and in the meantime, we will continue to support and cherish human life in all its forms.”

Not only are Catholic schools across the country running to the aid of Belmont, many are gearing up for First Amendment fights of their own in light of the Obama health care “reform” plan.

“This is an incursion into private religious belief,” explained Larry Meo, president of De Sales University Students for Life. “The EEOC is attempting to impose a set of values on a certain group of colleges, and this is the very thing the president spoke against during his campaign.”

Katie Prejean, a Crusaders for Life member at another Catholic college, the University of Dallas, agrees: “True Catholic academies are no longer safe from the Obama administration’s desire to manipulate every citizen’s health care, regardless of religious freedom.”

Martha McAdams, a student at the University of Dallas and president of Texas Students for Life, the statewide student pro-life organization, summed up the issue at the core of the standoff between the Obama administration and Catholic institutions: “At the University of Dallas, as at most Catholic universities, abortion is purposely not included in the university- provided health insurance because it goes against a natural belief that all human life is precious.

Obama must be gunning for a one term presidency, for sure.  If there was any doubt whatsoever about the thugish nature of his presidency, Obama’s jackboot against this Catholic University, to compel it by the force of the State to abandon its fundamental beliefs, dispels any last doubt.  The man is a totalitarian with panache.  But a totalitarian he still is.

The refreshing thing about this shakedown is that Belmont is not backing down. They have threatened to close. That might have a lot of liberals smiling, but some of them must be feeling somewhat uneasy about driving an academic institution underground.  Not so much because of the moral and civil liberty issues involved (how many liberals after all have any sort of decency, really?), but simply because such a movement becomes immeasurable when it goes underground.  Liberals are control freaks and they don’t like it when they can’t see their opposition. 

Just the same, it is a testimony to this University for not backing down. In some ways, it won’t be the worst thing if Belmont closed – if only to show the Birth Control Pill Mamas at the University and the rest of the liberalist clique in our countries that we won’t play ball, and there’ll be consequences if you force us to. 

The most likely solution to this fiasco, however, is that the University will simply get out of the employment benefits business and let the employees pay for it themselves if they want it.   That’s another great feature of Obamacare, isn’t it? 

It includes great benefits for liberals but none for conservatives.  It’s the two tier approach to health care.

I bet those ladies who demanded coverage for their sex pills are going to be really popular at Belmont among the other faculty, eh?!

7 thoughts on “A Thug With Panache

  1. As a Catholic and a snowbird, I participated in many discussions with friends who were fearful of an Obama Democratic presidency, and from my own research I concurred.

    While in Arizona last winter, we participated in Red Envelope Day, where the White House was inundated with millions of Red Envelopes decrying the evil of abortion.

    Unless people stand against the evils in the Obamacare health plan, which may come at great cost to them, and speak out as you and many fine Americans do, thereby risking censure and ridicule, the tide will not be turned. Evil must be met with evil,and not with honourary doctorate degrees such as at Notre Dame this Spring.

  2. There are many behaviors that may seem personal, natural, and a right to some people such as abortion, pedophillia, and homosexuality, but they are still morally wrong acts that have been proven to carry with them the most devastating consequences. Our Catholic society, if it is to survive as such, cannot condone such injurious activities.

  3. Government should be promoting positive social values like those in The Ten Commandments rather than negative ones that kill their citizens.

    Murder is wrong not simply because you object to it, but because it violates the Moral Law. All moral positions impose values. Even the moral position that you should not impose values on others does just that: it imposes values on others. For if we are not to restrain people legally from doing wrong, then we impose on others the effects of the wrongdoing.

    In the case of abortion, the effects are felt by the baby, in some cases by the father, and by the mother who is often misled to kill her own child and must suffer the emotional and physical scars for the rest of her life.

    The effects are also felt by innocent people who are the victims of crime that is spawned by our governments blatant disrespect for life.

  4. Tony real science proves that unborn babies are real human beings that deserve our protection and not capital punishment .

    Dr. Bernard Nathanson proved that real-time ultrasound, which gives a moving picture of the child in the womb; electronic heart monitoring, which detects fetal heartbeats, brainwave monitors, which measure brain activity, fetoscopy, which allows a physician to actually eyeball the baby, simply astounded him.

    Such techniques as cordocentesis even allow medical diagnosis, treatment and surgery in utero. WOW!

    Dr. Nathanson says,“There was nothing religious about it I finally came to the conviction that this was my patient. This is a person! This was purely a change of mind as a result of fantastic science and technology.” Why are our universities teaching our doctors , lawyers, and everyone else that abortion is not killing a living human being.

    Dr. Nathanson fastened an ultrasound machine to a woman undergoing an abortion, and produced ” SILENT SCREAM”, a film that justly horrified the globe. It showed the fetus trying desperately to move away from the vacuum, and then her body parts were successively sucked off. In other words Tony she was trying franticly to get away from the knife and the vacuum. The film produced a massive campaign of defamation agaist Dr. Nathanson from liberal thinkers who like abortion.

    This only made him more determined, so he decided to show an abortion from inside the womb. He attached a camera to a fetoscope and inserted it during a D&E abortion. The resulting film was “ECLIPSE OF REASON”, and that is what abortion is Tony. He no longer does abortions Tony, and demonstrates that our universities are not teaching the truth about this to doctors or anyone else.

    Abortion is the murder of babies! Please stop killing them Canada!
    Godless people don’t care about this because they are programed not to by our education establishments, but we must care. What the Darwinian Humanist Atheist universities have done is given the power over life and death to those they have developed in this way. We are now a Godless Canada a part of Pagandom. This is certainly not the country our fathers escaped to or fought for in the great wars.

    Lets take it back for our future and out children’s. Vote only for pro-family social conservative politicians who pass good laws in Parliament.

  5. I think if you were more familiar with the EEOC, you’d realize that it is apolitical. Obama is not behind their stance on pregnancy discrimination. It has been their policy since 2000, through eight years of George Bush. The facts just lined up in the Belmont Abbey case at this time.

    The problem with the religious liberty angle is that large amounts of the money funding the education of students at Belmont Abbey and other colleges comes from the federal and state governments. They don’t permit discrimination at institutions which they fund.

    Back in the 70’s, when Belmont Abbey was much more Catholic in terms of both the student body and it’s employees (Catholics are a minority in both now), they argued in front of the US Supreme Court that they were not a religious institution, but an educational one, so that they could continue to get federal and state aid.

    I’m sorry that this controversy obscures the fact that Belmont Abbey is a fine college where one can receive a fine education, regardless of one’s religious beliefs.

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