February 3, 2012

A Mitt Romney Op-ed

President Obama Versus Religious Liberty

February 3, 2012

romney-2012-blog-photo-op-ed-religious-liberty.jpg

The Obama administration is at it again. They are now using Obamacare to impose a secular vision on Americans who believe that they should not have their religious freedom taken away.

On January 20, 2012, the Obama administration affirmed a rule that would force Roman Catholic hospitals, charities, and universities to purchase health insurance for their employees that includes coverage for contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization, in violation of their religious principles. This is wrong.

My own view is clear. I stand with the Catholic Bishops and all religious organizations in their strenuous objection to this liberty- and conscience-stifling regulation.  I am committed to overturning Obamacare root and branch. If I am elected President, on day one of my administration I will issue an executive order directing my Secretary of Health and Human Services to issue a waiver from its requirements to all 50 states. And on day one I will eliminate the Obama administration rule that compels religious institutions to violate the tenets of their own faith. Such rules don’t belong in the America that I believe in.

The America I believe in is governed by the U.S. Constitution and I will not hesitate to use the powers of the presidency to protect religious liberty.

Religious liberty is at the heart of the American experiment. As a nation founded in part by religious dissenters, we enshrined it as the first freedom in our Bill of Rights. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” is how the First Amendment begins. James Madison put the moral principle behind the amendment succinctly: “Conscience is the most sacred of all property.” And accompanying the moral principle came the social principle that only religious liberty could ensure tranquility in a new land composed of men and women of differing faiths.

But, now, more than two centuries after the drafting of the Bill of Rights, religious liberty is facing the most serious assault in generations. And the assault is coming from liberalism itself. In the process of implementing Obamacare, the Obama administration is pressing forward with a rule that tramples on religious freedom, taking particular aim at Roman Catholics. The Obama administration is forcing religious institutions to choose between violating their conscience  or dropping health care coverage for their employees, effectively destroying their ability to carry on their work.

Those of us who object have an irrefutable case. American courts have long held as a foundational principle the right of religious institutions to control their own affairs. It was reaffirmed by the Supreme Court as recently as January 11  in a case involving ministerial hiring. It is notable that in that case, Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church v. EEOC, the Obama administration was also challenging the basic time-honored principle of ecclesiastical autonomy. But a unanimous Court rejected the Obama administration’s position, declaring it to be “extreme” and explaining that the suit was “hard to square with the text of the First Amendment itself, which gives special solicitude to the rights of religious organizations.”

Seemingly in line with this “special solicitude,” the Obama administration has put forward a “religious employer” exemption regarding contraception and sterilization insurance coverage. Unfortunately, the Obama administration lawyers narrowed its actual force almost to the vanishing point. It only applies to religious organizations engaged primarily in serving people of the same religion. But that is not what many religious institutions do; serving the broad public is the essence of their divine mission. Accordingly, they will be compelled to provide health coverage to which they object as a matter of conscience.

In an effort to mollify the Bishops, Health and Human Services has now given religious institutions an additional twelve months to comply. That twelve-month extension is a clumsy attempt to push this matter past this year’s presidential election. As long as the rule hovers in front of us, we must keep up the battle. In a polity that provides all manners of exemption on the basis of religious freedom, it is an appalling trespass on the First Amendment.

Liberals and conservatives have made common cause to defend the rights of religious minorities in the past.  But somehow, today, when it comes to the agenda of the left-wing of the Democratic Party—those who brought us abortion on demand and who fight against the teaching of abstinence education in our children’s schools—their devotion to religious freedom goes out the window. They would force Catholics and others who have beliefs rooted in their faith to sacrifice the teachings of their faith to the mandate of federal bureaucrats.

It is a prerequisite to the preservation of our liberty that our government not dictate to religious institutions the principles by which they are to carry out their charitable and divine mission. Religious liberty and freedom of conscience flow from the common conviction that it is freedom not coercion that exalts the individual, just as it raises up the nation.

What the Obama administration has done is indefensible. But this is about even more than President Obama denying America’s Catholics their constitutionally protected rights. This is about the preservation of our freedom. We must come together to make sure that these egregious violations of our Constitution do not stand.

by @ 4:57 pm. Filed under Barack Obama, Mitt Romney
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137 Responses to “A Mitt Romney Op-ed”

  1. wateredseeds Says:

    GREAT! LOVE IT! GO MITT! :)

  2. Ozzy Says:

    1,

    Mitt just lost the atheist vote. :)

  3. GNV Says:

    This right here is amazing. This is a wake-up call to all the fence-sitters who’ve had a problem with Romney’s “absentee boldness.” No one can make an argument against the strength of this piece, in word or in purpose.

    The gloves are coming off. Romney 2012!

  4. Bloodshy Says:

    Powerful stuff. Mitt got his face on the right side of one of the top issues of the election (unless O backtracks in a hurry).

  5. wateredseeds Says:

    I’m gonna call it. If Romney wins the election…it will be on the back of CATHOLICS that abandon Obama because of his attacks on catholic hospitals.

  6. This guy for President??? Says:

    I hadn’t seen this until just now, but it just confirms everything I already thought about Gingrich. How could anyone like this guy?

    Gingrich: Romney ‘doesn’t deserve congratulations’
    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/onpolitics/post/2012/02/newt-gingrich-mitt-romney-congratulate-florida-victory/1?loc=interstitialskip

  7. Jeff Y Says:

    5, here’s hoping…

  8. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    Mitt has a good shot at beating Obama if unemployment is not going down this summer and fall.

    Otherwise, nobody will beat him.

  9. Keith Price Says:

    8. MassCon, you don’t think Mitt could make the case that even thought unemployment is dropping that it should never have taken that long and that Obama’s the blame?

  10. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    9

    I think he could make the case if the numbers support his contentions.

    If we’re adding 250,000 jobs a month in the final months of the campaign, it’s going to be hard for ANYONE, even a Reagan reincarnate, to convince Americans we ought to change course.

    Mitt is the best we have, easily. But the numbers set the stage.

  11. opey Says:

    #9
    No. All media outlets would refute that. There is no chance to beat Obama if unemployment keeps dropping.

  12. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    For O-Mamba to lose at this point, it’s going to take at least one of the following:

    (1) Israel attacks Iran and we look weak when Iran retaliates and we do nothing about it.
    (2) The Eurozone goes into crisis and drags us down.
    (3) Obamacare gets struck down by the Supreme Court.
    (4) Congressional Republicans do something crafty to make Obama look horrible, like passing Ryan/Wyden Medicare reform and he vetoes it.

  13. Nostradamus Says:

    Can’t predict the future regarding the unemployment numbers but…

    Give em hell Mitt!

  14. jaxemer11 Says:

    This can’t have been written by him. Newt told me Romney hated Catholics and Jews. What a flip-flopper!

  15. jaxemer11 Says:

    Obama has been shown to be completely incompetent as an executive. I don’t buy the idea that the only thing that decides this race is the unemployment rate.

    Obama has been a deeply flawed President.

  16. GNV Says:

    14

    Exactly. Look, we all know Reagan was a Roman Catholic, and that he publicly named Newt the next Pope, so this is clearly a frankly fundamental fight that only Newt can handle, historical.

  17. Ozzy Says:

    Masscon or Kieth or anyone,

    Do any of you guys know who this CNN guy, Ruben Navarrette is? I’ve read some of his articles on the internet. He seems to have a grudge against both Romney and Marco Rubio. He really likes to bash my boy Rubio, calling him a falling star and a non-spokeperson for hispanics. Now, he has a problem with Mitt.

    http://race42012.com/2012/02/03/a-mitt-romney-op-ed/

    And here’s an article he wrote several months back bashing Rubio.

    http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120120/A_OPINION0611/201200307/-1/A_OPINION

  18. Keith Price Says:

    15. I’m with you, Jax. Lower unemployment makes the job harder, but I still think Mitt could pull it off by pointing out how terrible Obama has been.

  19. Smack1968 Says:

    This was a horrible…horrible political move on Obama’s part.

    Brilliant political move on Mitt’s part.

    Fantastic Op-ed by Mitt, fantastic.

    This issue is going to be played heavily by Team Mitt in Ohio against Obama.

    All day, everyday.

    Very nice.

  20. Alvin Says:

    13,

    You of all people should be able to see it clearly…….those numbers will lag behind like they have done for Obama’s entire presidency

    With each passing day I feel like we are already in the general election process and out of the primary process. And we will be soon enough. It is just a matter of time. Sometime shortly after Super Tuesday will be my guess.

  21. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    Here’s a thought.

    What if Mitt could use this issue to inoculate himself against anti-Mormon messaging from Obama’s allies?

    What if an attack on Mitt’s religion feeds the idea that O-Mamba is conducting a war on religions?

    What if Huckabee as VP would help drive this message home even harder?

  22. Smack1968 Says:

    Massachusetts Conservative,

    Energy prices skyrockting this Spring and Summer is going to kill Obama politicaly. And it’s going to be easy to connect Obama’s horrible energy prices to the energy crises for Team Mitt.

    If the Unemployment numbers continue to drop throughout the year…you are correct…Obama will win…but they wont.

    Israel will attack Iran this Spring or Summer and Mitt will give Israel all the suuport she deserves, while Obama pisses off Israel.

    All in all…everything still looking good for a Obama defeat.

    It must happen.

  23. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    Obama: “Mitt, why would you repeal something you believe in?”

    Mitt: “You bill is intrusive on people’s religious beliefs and intrusive in general.”

    Obama: “Well, why don’t you repeal that one aspect instead of the whole bill?”

    Mitt: “Why haven’t you?”

    Game. Set. Match.

  24. Noelle Says:

    That is a beautiful Op-Ed. I couldn’t agree more.

  25. Keith Price Says:

    Smack, I sure like you as an ally more than as an opponent! Both you and Matt MWS. :)

  26. Dave Says:

    There is nothing more certain to really rile Mitt up than a government blow to religious charity. When Mitt makes this an issue, the intelligent response by the Obama Campaign would be to repeal the edict, then never mention it again.

    Only that will take it off the table.

  27. Matt "MWS" Says:

    I’ve been spitting nails this past week over this issue. There can be no doubt left that Obama either wants to bastardize the Church, or shove it completely out of the public square.

    But the President who claims to love the poor, should ask himself how all these Catholic schools, hospitals, and charities got to be there in the first place. They are there in many cases, because the secular world failed miserably in its attempts to help the poor. Most of the kids in DC who go to Catholic schools are not Catholic. They are simply escaping a wretched and dangerous public school system. And it’s not like secular groups are falling all over themselves to set up not for profit hospitals and charities.

    Obama has escalated his war with the Bitter Clingers, and for me personally, has raised the stakes this Fall.

    I told a friend of mine after mass last Sunday that I trust Mitt on this issue, since he I think he is sincerely abut his faith, and is part of a minority religion that has itself been persecuted at times.

  28. Dave Says:

    I should mention that Mitt will win big tomorrow….despite some asinine media treatment. This in turn will give him better numbers in Minnesota and Colorado.

    The snowball effect has a ways to go yet.

  29. jaxemer11 Says:

    No President has won reelection, since FDR, with an unemployment rate above 7.2%. The unemployment rate has to fall a lot to benefit Obama.

    It is not about trends. It is about people feeling better or worse off than they were four years ago. If there are still that many people unemployed, it will be a sign that a lot of people are still feeling worse off.

    Reagan was the President to be reelected with unemployment at 7.2%, by the way, and he has a lot going for him that Obama doesn’t. First, he had a plan for the economy … Obama doesn’t. Second, he had political and rhetorical skills that far exceeded Obama’s. Third, he was running against a candidate that was far less threatening than Romney. Fourth, Reagan was a lot more popular at this point in his term than Obama is.

    Obama is in serious trouble.

  30. jaxemer11 Says:

    I only wish Mitt had published this on Monday or Wednesday. It will be forgotten by a lot of the media over the weekend.

  31. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    28

    After population growth adjustment, Reagan was creating 487,000 jobs a month, according to Nate Silver.

    O-Mamba will not even create half that number from now until November monthly.

    But still, it’s about trends.

  32. Ozzy Says:

    28,

    I think Ron Paul is gonna win big. I was watching FreedomWatch with Judge Napolitano yesterday. Apparently Ron Paul got the endorsement of all Pimps and Prostitutes in Nevada. That makes up like, what, 70% of the state’s population. :D

  33. Matt "MWS" Says:

    MassCon,

    #20

    I daresay that even those who despise the LDS would rather have a member of a “false religion” in office who is at least sympathetic to faith, than a militant secularist who seeks to rip religion out of the public sphere, root and branch.

    I think many evangelicals will look at these two and correctly decide who is really out to destroy their church, and it isn’t the Mormon.

    I think this does give Mitt a lot of padding, if not complete inoculation, on the religion front. I think it will prompt all religious people of good will to rally around the guy who doesn’t hate religion.

    Christians need to wake up. We may well be on the threshold of a new era of persecution. Real persecution.

  34. jaxemer11 Says:

    Here is a good article from Silver on how the unemployment rate is actually not that predictive of election results:

    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/02/on-the-maddeningly-inexact-relationship-between-unemployment-and-re-election/

  35. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    31

    With those kind of numbers, prostitutes would be paying each other! That’s where we’ll be as a country in 4 years if O-Mamba gets re-elected ;)

  36. Matt "MWS" Says:

    jax,

    “It is not about trends. It is about people feeling better or worse off than they were four years ago.”

    Trends have a big impact on how people feel. “Are we heading up or down?” is probably more important to most people than “Where am I now?” because it’s the difference between hope and despair.

  37. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    32

    Yep. And not only does it pad him on religion, it pads him on Obamacare too.

    O-Mamba is in real trouble unless he reverses this policy. I bet he does reverse it.

  38. Sidecar Says:

    Very well written. Gov. Romney is correct. This election is for the “soul of America.”

  39. Aaron in Nevada Says:

    I took my family to Romney’s rally in Elko, Nevada today. It was in a large airplane hanger, and the place was packed. I have heard Mitt’s stump speech many times before, but today he was so impressive. He seemed very comfortable, confident and excited. I think he is really getting into his grove.

    All five of my sons (11, 10, 7, 5, and 3) got to meet Mitt and visit with him. They will never forget it.

  40. jaxemer11 Says:

    30 – I dsagree. It is about whether people feel better off, not trends. Contrary to the belief of political junkies, people do not follow the unemployment rate with rapturous attention.

  41. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    39

    People don’t follow the number, but the number dictates media coverage. The media folks see the number and use it to justify positive coverage about the economy.

  42. jaxemer11 Says:

    35 – But people don’t pay attention to the unemployment rate. They pay attention to whether they are employed or not.

    A high unemployment rate means there are still a lot of people that are unemployed.

  43. Matt "MWS" Says:

    Jax,

    I think the voting half of the population is in tune with general economic trends.

  44. Matt "MWS" Says:

    …yes, the absolute numbers will have an impact, but so will trends.

  45. jaxemer11 Says:

    40 – That is a good point, but I’m still not sure I buy it. There is a lot of distrust about the media these days. You can be sure that regardless of what the unemployment rate is, the conservative media will still spin it as being too high. Remember that Fox News gets more viewers than almost all the other TV outlets combined.

  46. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    41

    Many of the unemployed will be voting for O-Mamba, and many of the employed will be voting for Mitt.

    People don’t just vote on how they are doing, they vote on how they perceive the country is doing. The unemployment rate dictates media coverage, and media coverage contributes to how people perceive the country is doing.

  47. jaxemer11 Says:

    42 – I’m not sure about that. We are talking about people who have been tricked into thinking Obama is not a radical and that Newt is not part of the establishment.

  48. jaxemer11 Says:

    45 – There are a ton of middle class, independent blue collar workers that are unemployed right now. They are very unhappy with Obama. You think they are all going to vote for Obama?

  49. Ozzy Says:

    We keep talking about Nevada, but, don’t forget that the Maine caucus also starts on Saturday. Which brings me to this question. Can someone explain to me why it takes Maine an entire week to do their caucus?

  50. Dave Says:

    Experts are predicting that the unemployment rate will drift up….probably above 9% by the end of the year. But even if that were not so, the more relevant number would be the number that have left the workplace.

  51. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    47

    My point was straightforward. People vote on how they perceive the country as a whole, not just how they are personally doing, within reason that is.

  52. alaska jake Says:

    Keep in mind that any decreases in unemployment does not equate with an increase in high paying, good quality jobs. The real unemployment rate is well over 10%. People are going back to work in lower-paying, fewer-hour jobs than before, yet the government still counts that as employed. The media can spin it all they want, but actual unemployed and underemployed people vote. Food stamp use is at record numbers. More people than ever are on the government dole in one way or another, and contrary to what some believe, most people would rather not have to receive assistance from the govt. They want self-sustainable employment. It will be years before the true unemployment situation is resolved, and it will require real change to get there. Obama’s time to justify his record has passed – there’s no where near enough time to catch up before the election.

  53. jaxemer11 Says:

    And the truth is that Obama still doesn’t have a plan for the economy. It has been three years and he has done nothing about it. Do we think he is going to come up with some miraculous solution to run on over the next 10 months?

    He is going to half to. It will be interesting to see how far he goes to the middle. It will be pretty easy to paint him as a hypocrite and someone not to be trusted if he does, given the way he has governed to this point.

  54. Keith Price Says:

    Smack has been saying for weeks that Mitt needs a big enemy to go after. I really, REALLY hope Mitt latches on to this war on religious freedom and makes it one of his biggest rallying cries.

    He has the ability to be persistent. He did it in his fight against gay marriage. He did it when the dems told Catholic Charities they had to offer adoptions to gay couples.

    THIS could be what Mitt has been missing.

    Although, I don’t know how the large block of non-religious voters will feel about it. I would hope they see the value of religious freedom, regardless.

  55. jaxemer11 Says:

    49 – Yep. The reported unemployment rate isn’t the real unemployment rate. Romney and Republicans should emphasize this a lot.

  56. jaxemer11 Says:

    50 – I just don’t agree with that. Reality is perception. If they are doing bad in their personal life, they aren’t going to perceive the country as doing better.

  57. jaxemer11 Says:

    53 – It will make him some friends in the base, but I doubt he wins over many independents by spending all his time talking about a religious war. Especially when Obama is almost certainly not going to engage him on it.

  58. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    53

    Non-religious voters are Democrats anyway. And it’s not like there are millions of non-religious folks who think nuns should be trained to give abortions and priests should be wrapping condoms around bananas to teach kids how to use birth control.

  59. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    Keith,

    This one is a winner unless Obama stops it.

  60. alaska jake Says:

    58. Even if Obama changes policy, Mitt won. It’s another example (the first being that one term/two term fund thing) where Obama reacted to Romney. Puts Obama on the defensive, and makes Romney look more presidential.

  61. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    59

    Yes, true. Unfortunately, this story will go unreported on cable news because the media wants to keep the primary going.

    If this were late October, this would be a major focal point of the campaign and everyone would be talking about it.

  62. alaska jake Says:

    60. . . Maybe, but maybe not. Religious freedom affects nearly everyone from every religion. Attack one, or restrict the rights of one, and people from other religious denomonations take notice. It will be discussed in churches and synagogues, at least informally, as well as within the medical community, another large group. This could be one of those issues that carries more weight than your average political talking point.

  63. Liz Says:

    Go AFTER it Mr. Romney. IMPEACH Obama he is godless, un-American, and extremely expensive.

  64. marK Says:

    I am inclined to agree with the consensus here. Obama really stepped in it with this issue. At the bare minimum, he has united the Mormons AND the Catholics against him. I would be willing to bet that there will be a good chance he could pick up the born-again Evangelicals as well who have been cool to him up to now. And while we’re at it, the Muslims, the Jews, the Hindus, the Seiks (sp?), the Buddhists, and all other minority religions.

    It sets up perfectly the platform from which Mitt can remind voters of all the power grabs this administration has made.

    AND he can use this issue against ObamaCare.

    It takes the whole “Mormons are weird” liberal ploy right off the table because we can use this issue throw their religious bigotry and intolerance right back in their faces.

    Obama is also the guy who just killed the Keystone Pipeline upsetting Labor, the biggest source of ground troops the Democrats have. As I mentioned elsewhere, Labor is already going to have its hands full fighting to retake lost ground in Wisconsin, Indiana, and New Jersey. They aren’t going to be all that keen in supporting a President who stabs them in the back when people are starving for jobs.

    Obama is supposed to be some super-duper campaigner with laser sharp political instincts, but these sorts of things call to question that assertion big-time. He’s just given his opponents a whole arsenal of weapons to use against him.

  65. Vin Says:

    The America I believe in is governed by the U.S. Constitution and I will not hesitate to use the powers of the presidency to protect religious liberty.

    This line would be great if it weren’t written by a man advocating a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

  66. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has filed a lawsuit into Noot’s self-payment via campaign contributions.

    Uh oh.

    http://www.citizensforethics.org/page/-/PDFs/Legal/Letters/FEC/12_19_11%20gingrich%20fec.pdf

  67. LV Says:

    Obama taking on this fight before and election says a lot about the urgency of his socialist agenda…And they’re are doing it through ObamaCare..It makes you wonder what basic rights are being taken away that we don’t know about..

    The anti-establishment conservatives should have been finding out what was in ObamaCare instead of complaining about a stupid mandate in RomneyCare that only concerns one state.

  68. econ grad stud Says:

    My community (Lutherans) have been stung by Obama as well. His justice department attacked the Lutheran Church’s right to discipline its own church workers (Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC).

    I’ve got Lutheran friends in Oregon that voted Obama in 2008 that are pretty much committed to vote anybody but Obama in 2012.

    That’s quite a feat because Lutherans tend to be far outside the uptight Evangelical culture and more in tune with bear swigging Catholics.

    I wonder if the right sort of Republican campaign could flip Wisconsin/Minnesota/Iowa given Obama attacking the Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church.

  69. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    67

    How many Lutherans are in Oregon? There are plenty of Mormons there. If there are enough Lutherans, Mitt could win Oregon.

    Bush only lost Oregon by 4.

  70. marK Says:

    Vin.64,

    I believe that is what is known as a non sequitur.

  71. opey Says:

    would a church be forced to recognize openly gay employees even if it was against its beliefs? Would there be discrimination suits against the church?

  72. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    70

    There is nothing in religion that says gay people ought to be denied basic human rights, opey. Come on, man.

  73. Vin Says:

    69 Just as the powers of the presidency should be used to protect religious liberty, they should not be used to impose religious views upon others.

  74. econ grad stud Says:

    #68 Lutherans aren’t that numerous in Oregon only 3-4% of voters.

    In Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota, Lutherans are 15-30% of voters.

    So Lutherans moving against Obama will tend to be a bigger thing in the Upper Midwest than anywhere else.

  75. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    Mitt is so smart to pursue this cause.

    Just look what it’s done on this board.

    It’s given MWS a reason to like Mitt, and it’s given Econ Grad Stud some sense of alliance with Mitt. It has Smack fired up as well.

    This is genius.

  76. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    This has the potential to lock up the nomination for Mitt.

  77. Irish Right Says:

    Hey, Vin. You do realize that the Constitution set up a process to change something you don’t like about it, right?

    What was that process called … oh yeah, the Amendment process.

  78. Vin Says:

    #76 You are correct that the Constitution was indeed created to be modified, but it was never to be modified to restrict rights. That’s the opposite direction it’s supposed to go. Rights are inherent and inalienable, and the government’s job is protect them.

  79. K.G. Says:

    #8 MassCon

    Mitt has a good shot at beating Obama if unemployment is not going down this summer and fall.

    Rush and others have been saying all along: Obama will cook the books and MAKE the numbers look good no matter what. It’s already happening now. Drudge is out making the case that the numbers are fudged. Will that message cook thru to the American people–especially since anecdotal evidence proves otherwise?

    This may be a battle of religious freedom, but it’s also going to be a battal of lies, damn lies and statistics.

  80. Vin Says:

    Rush and others have been saying all along: Obama will cook the books and MAKE the numbers look good no matter what. It’s already happening now. Drudge is out making the case that the numbers are fudged. Will that message cook thru to the American people–especially since anecdotal evidence proves otherwise?
    This may be a battle of religious freedom, but it’s also going to be a battal of lies, damn lies and statistics.

    I doubt most Americans will believe that the administration is cooking the books. However, I don’t think that will even be relevant. People’s perception of the current status of the economy is usually very anecdotal and based on a vague sense of what they hear and how the people around them are doing.

  81. Vin Says:

    Another thing that muddies the waters on this issue. I object to a private hospital or practice run by a religion being told it must violate its edicts. However, most of these Catholic universities, hospitals, and charities probably receive federal funding. ZING. You get gov’t money, it comes with strings attached.

    I wonder, should an insurance provider run by Jehovah’s Witnesses be required to pay for blood transfusions?

  82. econ grad stud Says:

    The Supreme Court has ruled that sodomy is legal and public institutions may not discriminate against homosexuals. I really don’t understand what else homosexuals expect from the government.

    If they want to redefine marriage into a purely legal/romantic arrangement they shouldn’t be surprised that many others will oppose that. For many others marriage is primarily a religious and family oriented institution. How many couples get married in churches?

    If you want to change an institution that half of society participates in, you ought not to expect everyone to approve. Many folks like marriage just fine the way it was defined when they were married and don’t see why it has to be altered so dramatically.

  83. Ozzy Says:

    If Mitt is gonna side with the Catholic church on this issue, do you think if he picked a Catholic conservative like a Santorum or Jindal as his VP, would it help him in the general, or will it not matter by then?

  84. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    82

    Is Rubio Catholic? I’d think so, since he’s Cuban.

    Anyway, it would serve us breadth to pick Huckabee.

  85. MarqueG Says:

    Any libertarian worth his salt would tell you that Bam’s edict was perfectly predictable, if late by a few decades. He who pays the piper calls the tune. Whether elected official or career bureaucrat, those who tax citizens and launder the funds before passing what’s left to organizations like religious civic organizations ultimately will demand that their beneficiaries dance to their music.

    The logical response would be for the religious organizations to argue that taxpayers not be plundered by the government in the first place. That way, taxpayers would have enough money to donate to the religious organizations’ causes. And the taxpayers as private donors would not put requirements on the faith organizations to suspend their principles to receive the same funds regurgitated by an ever demanding Leviathan.

  86. MarqueG Says:

    80. I see Vin already got there long before I did.

  87. K.G. Says:

    #79: I have to disagree; Obama has already begun the Numbers War. The GOP’s rationale against Obama is that he’s screwed up on the economy by doing everything wrong. Obama’s rationale for staying in office will be that he inherited a mess (he did) and it’s just taking longer than he thought for his policies to take effect, but now they are.

    I say this whole campaign season will be about the “numbers.”

    #80: I have to agree that these are muddy waters if institutions take federal dollars with strings attached. I am LDS; as far as I know, the CJCLDS take NO federal dollars for anything ever for this very reason. They do not want to live with the “strings.”

    On the other hand, even tho the CJCLDS gives charity throughout the world, we do not sponsor much needed hospitals and give healthcare costs, government subsidized hospitals may be a necessity. So I guess the question becomes: Can you take federal money and still be allowed to exercise your conscience?

  88. Ozzy Says:

    MassCon,

    I don’t think Huckabee is willing to leave his FoxNews gig. He seems to like his status as a show host too much for me to see him being an effective VP for Romney.

    BTW, Yes, Rubio is catholic.

  89. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    87

    He may not be willing. But have you noticed how much time he dedicates to providing strategic advice to the candidates? You can tell he still loves politics. I’m not sure he’d deny the offer if proposed.

    Anyway, Huck, McDonnell, Rubio, Jindal, Thune, Jindal in that order is my shortlist.

  90. MarqueG Says:

    See here on the disastrousness of Mitt’s constant gaffes:
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/02/03/why_romneys_rich_gaffes_will_cost_him_113014.html

    Gaffes matter if they affirm the worst perception of a candidate or party. Most presidential campaigns inevitably sink into the mud of battling stereotypes. It never helps, however, to arm the opposition.

    Political scientists call it “issue ownership.” The public perceives certain issues as the wheelhouse of each party. Perceptions fluctuate but endure. And so do the stereotypes associated with them. Democrats are seen as culturally elitist. Republicans are seen as economically elitist. Presidential candidates cannot control the stereotypes they inherit. But they can control how they undercut or underscore them.

    Romney has underscored. It’s not any one comment. It’s the collective narrative they cement. Political junkies are familiar with the gaffes. But the larger public is not. Democrats will seek to change that if Romney is their opponent.

    —8<— [snip!] —8<—

    Most importantly, the gaffes undercut Romney’s general election strategy. Consider what his campaign’s senior strategist, Stuart Stevens, told The New York Times last year: “Our whole campaign is premised on the idea that this is a referendum on Obama, the economy is a disaster and Obama is uniquely blocked from being able to talk about jobs.”

    The bane of that strategy was always Bain. The son does not have the father’s story. George Romney came from nothing. He went on to lead American Motors Corp., an icon of the mid-century middle class. He brought that biography to his presidential campaign. But, in the end, a gaffe helped undermine the father as well.

    Romney reportedly never got over his father’s mistake. At Harvard Business School, Romney carried his father’s old briefcase. And, with each week, he seems to know his father’s burdens as well.

    Romney seeks a referendum on the struggling president. But it’s now difficult to imagine a race against Romney where Democrats don’t convince independents to critically consider the alternative as well. The campaign may become a choice between “out of touch” and “out of touch.” But it did not have to be.

    Exhibit #[infinity]?-999,999,999.9999 in an infinite series: Why Mitt is Awful at Politics.

  91. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    89

    If it’s an infinite series, it must converge on some number or an asymptote. Care to specify?

  92. econ grad stud Says:

    #86 The Government takes away 25% of the economy from taxpayers (religious and non-religious) it seems a bit prejudiced to say over a quarter of the economy is going to totally discriminate against religious organizations, when religious taxpayers pay their share of that 25%.

    If government was smaller and less intrusive this wouldn’t be an issue.

  93. Huckarubio Says:

    Amen! What a word of wisdom. My vote is for Santorum, but this moved me a little closer to bein OK with mitt as the gop nominee….just a little.

  94. Matt Y. Says:

    While Rubio is a Catholic by membership, he has attended the evangelical nondenominational church Christ Fellowship for the last 6 years or so. So both constituencies could feel that one of their own was chosen as the running mate.

  95. MarqueG Says:

    If it’s an infinite series, it must converge on some number or an asymptote. Care to specify?

    Yes, I do.

  96. Ozzy Says:

    MassCon,

    My short list is Christie, McDonnell, Santorum, Rubio, Ryan, Thune, Jindal in that order.

    BTW, do you know you mentioned Jindal twice on your list?

  97. Matt Y. Says:

    possible correction needed: Rubio is a Catholic by baptism, membership, whatever. I don’t know what the right word is; I’m not a Catholic.

  98. Vin Says:

    So I guess the question becomes: Can you take federal money and still be allowed to exercise your conscience?

    I think it’s a difficult, complex question. And even if you allow for religious exceptions, how much leeway do you grant? If, for instance, a particular religion prohibits miscegenation (there are probably many today that do), should they be allowed to refuse treatment of a pregnant women in their hospital because the father is of a different race?

  99. MarqueG Says:

    Rubio is a Catholic by baptism, membership, whatever. I don’t know what the right word is; I’m not a Catholic.

    I think the term is “Papal remote control,” IIRC.

  100. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    95

    Oh, woops. Jindal is meant to be 5th.

    My shortlist is 5 people because that’s historically how nominees always do it.

  101. jaxemer11 Says:

    67 – I just listened to the oral arguments of that case. The government attorney’s argument was insane … and you can feel that all of the justices, including all of the liberal ones, found it almost offensive. The government was basically arguing that the first amendment gave churches no special rights at all. I was happy to see the court slap down their argument in such a forceful way.

  102. jaxemer11 Says:

    77 – Where does the constitution say that?

  103. econ grad stud Says:

    #100 Yeah it got some play in Lutheran media and it really opened the eyes of some Democrats in our churches that Obama is actively anti-1st amendment.

    You know Obama has overreached when religious folks who support Occupy Wall Street, don’t trust Obama on religious freedom.

  104. K.G. Says:

    #97 Or even an unmarried woman. But that’s different. Birthcontrol and abortion are matters of life and death. Treating people with different religious practice is VERY different than mandating practices that are at the heart of Catholic doctrine on Life.

    What if an institution receiving federal aid were mandated to end the life of a terminally ill person rather than pay for their care until they died naturally? Slippery slope.

    I agree: Keep the government and tax payer money out of all of it unless it’s needed regulations that truly do protect the public.

    In this case, it’s mandating the procedures provided by insurance companies. Can the government mandate what our insurance must provide? What procedures must be provided in certain hospitals as long as they are denied equally?

    Those are some mighty big strings.

  105. Vin Says:

    #101 are you proposing that the Constitution be used to restrict personal rights?

  106. jaxemer11 Says:

    104 – Nope. I am asking you where the constitution says it isn’t meant to restrict rights.

  107. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    Jax,

    The Constitution is not meant to restrict rights. Come on, man.

  108. jaxemer11 Says:

    89 – LOL … as if no one else has ever made a gaffe before. Give me a break!

  109. jaxemer11 Says:

    106 – Where does it say that? I missed the clause that says you can’t amend it in a way hat restricts rights.

  110. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    108

    It depends on what you believe the founders wanted. It doesn’t say it explicitly, but it might as well. Just read the 10th Amendment. It says all powers not granted to the government in the Constitution are retained by the states and the people.

    In other words, the feds cannot do anything not outlined in the Constitution. And nothing in the Constitution has to do with restricting rights.

  111. jaxemer11 Says:

    109 – Nonsense. There are no restrictions on how you can amend the constitution. That makes no sense at all.

  112. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    110

    There are no restrictions on how you can amend the Constitution?

    Um, have you read it?

    You need a two-thirds majority in the House and the states to amend the Constitution.

  113. Bloodshy Says:

    109.

    I’m definitely with Jax. The Constitution can and does restrict rights in some cases. What about the 16th Amendment? Doesn’t that restrict a citizens right to keep all of their income? What about federal laws based on the commerce clause? Even if one step away, their power is still based in the Constitution.

    I’m not saying that’s a good thing. Certainly many of the restrictive abilities based in Constitutional arguments are very misguided, but that the Constitution restricts rights in some cases is clear in my mind.

  114. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    112

    Amendments to the Constitution are just that; amendments.

    The Constitution allows the people to restrict their own rights if enough of them agree it’s for the best. The founders wanted flexibility.

    Where I’m coming from is, I view the Constitution as a document that actively protects rights, not suppresses them. Amendments can be added and removed depending on the people’s opinion. After all, don’t we have the freedom to change our own laws?

  115. Bob Hovic Says:

    Very good article by Romney. One would think that getting slapped down unanimously by the Supremes on the Lutheran case would have opened some eyes in the White House. One would be wrong, it seems.

  116. Bloodshy Says:

    As for whether we should have a marriage amendment, I can see two reasonable options: (1) Base it around the traditional definition of marriage (common approach) or (2) Base it purely on the concept that states maintain the rights to define marriage as they choose and they also maintain the right to accept ONLY marriages that fall within their view.

    I prefer the second. It would cause gay marriage to happen where people want it, but not be recognized where people don’t want it. Legally it wouldn’t be complicated as states already deal with marriages that are accepted in one state and not another (cousin marriages, common law marriages, etc.).

  117. Liz Says:

    So, at Vanderbilt University they are forcing Muslim groups to have a Christian leader, apparently. Or something.

  118. Liz Says:

    Yep problem with gay marriage is that kids are already getting jilted in terms of family life. Why lower the bar even further? Marriage is about the kids.

  119. Liz Says:

    Gay relationships are more about bath houses.

  120. Bloodshy Says:

    113.

    Exactly. I think I agree with you completely. The Constitution can and does restrict rights, but we’d be better off if we fought against using it in that way. And I think the founders would be fighting on your side of Constitutional usage as well.

  121. Bloodshy Says:

    Liz – I hear what you’re saying and I feel the same way you do about marriage and gay relationships. That said, I think states should be able to make their own decisions, even if I disagree with them in most cases. I’m extreme on this though for most conservatives. I’d prefer even abortion be left to the states.

  122. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    I think the government ought to be out of marriage all together. It’s a private religious bond. Having it as a governmental institution cheapens it beyond recognition.

  123. Vin Says:

    Gay relationships are more about bath houses.

    Way to out yourself as a someone that’s never actually ever met a gay person.

  124. jaxemer11 Says:

    113 – You can have whatever opinion you want to have about it. That doesn’t mean the constitution restricts the ways in which it can be amended on a substantive basis.

  125. K.G. Says:

    #121: MassCon: When I lived in South America in the early 60′s, they had a civil, legal marriage and a church marriage. The bride, groom and family would dress in nice business clothes, march to the government building and take out their legal papers but they didn’t consider themselves married before God until they had their church wedding.

    Legal marriages are kind of a mess since it really does mix church and state. But marriage in our society is way more than a “private religious bond.” All kinds of legal issues are tied up in marriage.

  126. Keith Price Says:

    58

    This one is a winner unless Obama stops it.

    MassCon, if Obama stops it, Mitt can claim a victory. It shows he can influence things.

  127. Vin Says:
    This one is a winner unless Obama stops it.

    MassCon, if Obama stops it, Mitt can claim a victory. It shows he can influence things.

    Probably not the kind of victory that would Mitt feel victorious tho :D

  128. Keith Price Says:

    InTrade is calling Washington a Caucus. I live in WA and I’m pretty sure we just vote. It’s all absentee. Got voting boxes all over the city.

    Why would InTrade call WA a caucus? I’m I that out of touch?

  129. Keith Price Says:

    128. Wow. I guess I am that out of touch. Sort of.

    SEATTLE (Reuters) – Washington became the first U.S. state to suspend its 2012 presidential primary election on Thursday, a move signed into law by Governor Christine Gregoire to save some $10 million from the state budget.

    So, it’s a one time shift from Primary to caucus for budget reasons.

    I’ve never been to a caucus before, so this will be interesting.

  130. Ellie Says:

    Ugh, more misleading garbage from Newt and Mitt…

    From http://www.healthcare.gov/law/resources/regulations/womensprevention.html : “Group health plans sponsored by certain religious employers, and group health insurance coverage in connection with such plans, are exempt from the requirement to cover contraceptive services. A religious employer is one that: (1) has the inculcation of religious values as its purpose; (2) primarily employs persons who share its religious tenets; (3) primarily serves persons who share its religious tenets; and (4) is a non-profit organization under Internal Revenue Code…”

    The only way a religious organization would have to pay for insurance that covers contraception would be if that group hired people who aren’t a member of their church. So really what anyone’s complaining about is the fact that these religious institutions can’t coerce their non-member employees to abide by their religious tenets by making the health care they disapprove of too expensive for them.

    Only in America could this ever seriously be seen as an attack on religious liberty.

  131. OHIO JOE Says:

    Go back and look at the situation again Ellie because you have no clue about what you are talking about.

  132. Ellie Says:

    Sorry, Ohio Joe, but the facts don’t disappear just because you want them to. The text of the bill has exemptions for certain religious institutions. Feel free to try to prove me wrong, but don’t expect me to ignore evidence just because you say so.

  133. Teemu Says:

    Washington allocated also in 2008 about half of the delegates based on the caucus.
    http://www.thegreenpapers.com/P08/WA-R.phtml

  134. NoMoreModerates Says:

    Is this Romney trying to move to social issues as the economy improves? I am a recovering catholic and simply do not see this as moving catholic voters who are overwhelmingly still economics voters.

  135. Teemu Says:

    So NoMoreModerates = PabloZed?

    Refers himself as “a recovering catholic”.

    Also made some silly comment in another thread comparing Gingrich Freddie Mac money to Romney’s tithing of LDS church.

  136. Nancy H Says:

    If an organization receives federal funds, then they need to follow federal law. Religiously affiliated hospitals (or any institution for that matter) that does not want to be required to provide the same insurance benefits as others, can opt out by declining federal funding. They can’t have it both ways.

  137. Obama Leaves an Opening — Romney Takes It | Race 4 2012 Says:

    [...] this from the beginning. He first pounced on it two weeks ago when the news first hit. Last week  he wrote an op-ed decrying the ham-fisted power grab. And now he is adding it to his stump [...]

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