The Catholic Church wants its own law

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

The Catholic Church opposes providing private health insurance that includes birth control pill coverage, even to its non-Catholic employees. The Catholic Church lobbies our state and federal governments to enforce its brand of "sharia" law. It's only in my lifetime that Italy and Ireland have finally escaped government-enforced Catholic Church law.

Tom Ard
Oak Park

Reader Comments

87 Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Carol from Oak Park  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 1:21 PM

The reason some Catholic organizations were subject to the mandate is because they solicit and accept government funding. This is why they can't discriminate in favor of Catholics in their employment decisions. Frankly, I think the solution is simple. Cut off their government funding and let them discriminate all they want on their own dime. Religious freedom should never include an affirmative right to force your religious beliefs on your non-religious employees.

Dan in Oak Park  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 8:26 AM

JButchM- I knew an actuary that always carried a bomb onto an airplane whenever he flew. It made him feel safer because, while he would never ignite the device, he had calculated the odds of two bombs being on one plane. To your point, just because something costs less does not make it free, even in actuarial terms.

OPRF Dad  

Posted: February 19th, 2012 3:33 PM

It is my understanding that there are Catholic affiliated organizations that currently provide for contraceptive services through their health-care plans. Is that not accurate?

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 17th, 2012 11:21 AM

Dan-the insurance companies agreed to the Obama compromise solution because their actuaries told them the their savings resulting from contraception more than offset its cost. The insurance companies are smart and powerful enough that they would have gone ballistic if paying for the contraception cost them money.


Posted: February 17th, 2012 11:08 AM

Your hatred to the Catholic Church is pretty evident! Maybe you should explore your real issues as opposed to this goofy ruling by fiat that mandates free let me make this clear free services!


Posted: February 17th, 2012 12:58 AM

One of the problems is that the law mandates FREE contraception, meaning NO, ZIP, ZERO, ZILCH co pay, deductible, etc. No one is denying women the right to contraception and are free to buy it anywhere anytime. This has no impact on a woman's choice yet the gov't has no problem legally forcing the church to pay for something it morally opposes and goes against its religious beliefs. Oddly, there is a clause that exempts some religious groups from the law altogether, ie: Amish mennonites

Dan in Oak Park  

Posted: February 16th, 2012 7:37 AM

OPRF Dad, I agree the policy is not intrusive to the individual, but they are not the ones complaining. The Catholic Bishops feel it is intrusive to be forced to provide a service that they believe is immoral. Again, think what you want about the Bishops' position, but I am in awe of the "immaculate contraceptive" created by the administration; a service that costs nothing because the result of not using it is more expensive. Time for me to reread Alice in Wonderland.

OPRF Dad  

Posted: February 16th, 2012 7:18 AM

The policy allows individuals to have choice. It doesn't require anyone to use contraception. How does empowering an individual to make a choice to follow their beliefs become intrusive to that peson. If you don't want contraception, don't use it. But don't deny that coverage to those who would choose otherwise. That's the intrusion.

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: February 16th, 2012 6:03 AM

Obama next will tell families how many kids we can have, and what Sex. They want to have the same planned approach as .... Oh wait, China thought of that first. Nice try.

Dan in Oak Park  

Posted: February 15th, 2012 2:08 PM

This article is an interesting way to change the subject. Abortion is a loser for the Democrats so they need to find another cause to attract women voters, after all who is against contraceptives besides the Catholic Bishops. You can think what you want about the Catholic Bishop's position. I am astounded that for the first time our government can require a private company to provide a service for free.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 15th, 2012 12:47 AM

Ken Trainor wrote an excellent essay about the Catholic Church on contraception. I am suggesting you read it not only because I agree with him, but because he has added some eyeopening facts to the discussion.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: February 14th, 2012 3:53 PM

Mares, the free cell phone program for low income citizens began during the Bush adminstration. To learn more about who qualifies and what type of assistance is available, visit the FCC website.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 14th, 2012 3:07 PM

Russ, they are smart enough but if they have a choice of buying a trinket or birth control pills the female is going for the trinket. The male only buys condoms to protect against STD's. So yes, people are smart enough, but when it comes to money, it's getting the instant gratification.


Posted: February 14th, 2012 1:41 PM

Q, you are assuming that the people are smart enough to use birth control. Given the high cost of child rearing and how cheap contraception already is at the local drug store, I think it has been solidly proven that way too many people in society aren't quite smart enough to use birth control or else we wouldn't have the current Baby Daddy/Baby Momma epidemic we have now.

Recovering Catholic  

Posted: February 14th, 2012 1:39 PM

The church has its own law, in Vatican City, where it belongs. I have heard of a lot of reasons for being cheap with healthcare, but the Catholic Church takes the cake. Any institution that DARES to take a stand on sexual health in the name of "God" while having knowingly masked the actions of sexual predators has quite the pair. No disrespect, but the church needs to get their priorities straight. The crusades have been over for HOW long??? Get with the program already, guys.


Posted: February 14th, 2012 1:38 PM

We already have safety nets for folks too cheap to buy condoms/birth control pills. Isn't that what planned parenthood and community clinics are for? Unless you are living on the street, everyone can afford $3.00 or whatever it costs for a pack of three condoms. Further, anyone who can't afford the $3.00 probably doesn't have to worry much about sex anyway... there is no reason why govt should be mandating coverage of contraception. This has nothing to do with religion.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 14th, 2012 1:38 PM

If you watch all of the day time talk shows, Jerry Springer, and the rest of the mess, and they have, Guess Who Your Babies Daddy Is? Who are the people on that show? With birth control, that will remove some of the guessing.


Posted: February 14th, 2012 1:28 PM

This is the same lame government that gives out free cell phones and free cell phone minutes for all the lazy carpetbaggers in society. The problem with Socialism is that somebody has to get up and go to work in the morning so someone else can sleep in and do NOTHING. Is'nt that special.

NOPE 2012 from Oak Park  

Posted: February 14th, 2012 1:23 PM

Russ is correct...why is GOVT involved in this, & why is it mandating coverage? Another example of how no one has screwed up the US healthcare system more than the Federal Govt, & it's only going to get worse unless Obamacare is repealed & replaced with a true consumer-driven system. Healthcare is NOT a is a high value service that costs money, like it or not. A safety net for the truly needy (not just the lazy) is fine...consumers should be the ultimate deciders & payers.


Posted: February 14th, 2012 1:22 PM

Should men have condoms covered under insurance?


Posted: February 14th, 2012 11:51 AM

The big question is why is government mandating that contraception has to be covered by insurance??? Everyone already has access to contraception - Walgreens, corner gas station, etc. It isn't expensive and anyone with insurance is most assuredly going to have a job that pays enough so they can buy their own contraception. Nothing is FREE, it is being paid for somewhere whether we see it or not.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 12th, 2012 10:43 PM

Q - I think you are right. There are Catholic priests that went to the pulpit today to read Cardinal George's contraception message with a heavy heart. Not all of them agree with the churches teaching on contraception, but they all took a vow of obedience. If they do not want to follow orders from the Cardinal, their only choices is to resign their priesthood. There are not courts to protect their freedom of speech, no forum to discuss the pro's and con's of the Vatican's moral interpretations. Priests have immense power in their parish and church, some power with the diocese, and almost on power with the Vatican.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 12th, 2012 9:04 PM

John Butch Murtagh, You are probably right, but I also think the basic allegiance to Rome, is not as strong as it was 100 years ago, and if you asked a Priest, what his personal beliefs are, I would think you would be able to find Priest's who would have a different thought then what comes from Rome, but I am totally open to being wrong, but that is just my thought on being a Roman Catholic to a Catholic.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 12th, 2012 6:45 PM

Q - not true. The Roman Catholic Church is different it from Catholic Orthodox Churches (for example, Eastern Rite)that have the same beliefs, but do not have allegiance to the pope. Virtually all Catholic Churches in the U.S. have allegiance to the pope and are therefore Roman Catholic. Parish priest have gained more autonomy over the years but have minimal influence over moral policies.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 12th, 2012 1:54 PM

To my understanding, if you are a Roman Catholic, you are going to follow the rules from Rome. If you are a Catholic, then you are more open, as different Priest's are to what they personally believe. Not many people believe in killing, but in our country , we do a lot of it. Maybe it requires more thinking on your own thoughts of what you value as most important to you.

Mr. Borderman from Oak Park   

Posted: February 12th, 2012 1:32 PM

Since the Catholic Church is lately invigorated about their role in politics, and insisting that public policy reflect their own position on birth control -- going so far as to accuse the President of attacking their church -- I look forward this week to hearing they've ex-communicated Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich -- both fo whom support the death penalty which is against the express teachings of Rome.

Mr. Borderman from Oak Park   

Posted: February 12th, 2012 1:30 PM

Sorry: "...who do NOT share their beliefs..."

Mr. Borderman from Oak Park   

Posted: February 12th, 2012 1:28 PM

If churches want to play the political game (instead of the spiritual game) they should pay taxes like everybody else to support the infrastructure they use. This should be especially true in cases where churches are trying it dictate public policy and deny people who do share their beliefs their rights. The Catholic Church needs to clean up its own sexual scandals, and leave American women's bodies alone.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 10:44 PM

We're going 'round in circles, Virginia. You falsely claimed that the Obama adminstration was waging war against religious freedoms. That's been trumpeted for most of the week by the Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, the GOP, extremist pundits and Fox News. The reality is that this kind of fear mongering aims only to divide us. We need to be united and focused. I enjoy discussing issues and concerns with conservatives,liberals or anyone else as long as we all agree that facts matter. You knew that the examples you cited to support your position were not truthful but decided to still post them on this forum. I cannot explain or understand what motivated you to conduct yourself in this manner. I remember reading your columns when they appeared in the Wednesday Journal and thought you to be a person of strong convictions and high morals who drew strength from the teachings of Jesus Christ. Look to Him for guidance and inspiration. It's been busy at home but hope to learn more about those concerns regarding Guam. I'll try to get back to you asap.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 10:23 PM

Looks like the contraception issue is not over despite the fact that President Obama modified the rules to accommodate the Catholic Church's bishops. Cardinal George has ordered each parish in the diocese to read a letter regarding the church position on the subject. The politics of religion continues.

Virginia Seuffert from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 9:49 PM

Jim, First, I ignored your first reference to my figurative language because I presumed you were being sarcastic. Do you not understand the concept? Second, it was a new director of the Houston Cemetery who caused the problem. She should have been fired on the spot. The VA has settled and agreed to pay the legal fees. Third, did you look up Guam? Finally, I personally took the pill to treat endometreosis; I just didn't force others to violate their consciences and pay for it.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 5:16 PM

OPRF Dad -- I am happy now. The entire issue was political and the political solution has taken place. Time to move on.

OPRF Dad  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 4:53 PM

Is everyone happy now? If not, then the argument was never really about "forcing" an organization to provide the services through their insurance plans.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 4:35 PM

Wrong again, Virginia. President Obama never issued an order nor directed veteran's adminstration officials to ban the reciting of prayers or mentioning "God" or "Jesus" during services. The V.A. has publicly stated that the claim is blatantly false. It's a lie! The veterans adminstration policy provides that the family of the deceased will make the decision whether prayers are read at the funeral. Perhaps you would be willing to comment on the proposal by U.S. Rep. John Culbertson seeking to make christian prayers mandatory at all American military funerals regardless of whether or not the deceased was a christian and with or without the consent of the deceased's family. That seems to be clear violation of our first amendment rights. The situation at the Texas cemetery had absolutely nothing to do with the Obama adminstration and you had to have known to be true.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 4:03 PM

Come on, Virginia. There is nothing to your claim that the Obama adminstration is "compelling churches to burn incense to the contraception/abortion gods". I certainly accept that that you have strong opinions regarding first admendment rights but fabricating an outrageous story like that weakens your position and raises questions sbout your own credibility. I also think that you are too quick to dismiss the therapeutic benefits of the pill. It's obviously helping a number of women.

OP Rez  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 12:51 PM

NPR says 98% of catholic women use birth control??

B. Obama from Washington  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 12:36 PM

Looks like I just took the wind out of the sails of this comment thread....

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 11:58 AM

Obama statement from this morning's press conference "Speaking to reporters at the White House Friday, Obama offered a compromise that would allow women to obtain free contraception but would require them to obtain it directly from their insurance companies if their employers object to birth control because of religious beliefs."

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 11:51 AM

"John, where exactly did you find that "grounded information in a logical manner" regarding Virginia's claim that the President Obama is trying to dismantle the constitutional protections of religious freedom?" Jim, I do recall posting that statement. It sounds like something that might have been written on the Trainor "how to think" blog.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 11:43 AM

FOR THE RECORD - EWTN, the organization taking legal action re the contraception issue, is Global Catholic Television Network; that is, the Papal website.

John Murtagh from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 11:37 AM

Tom from River Forest - your post adds a very specific piece of case law from the most conservative and devoted Catholic on the Supreme Court. Thanks for the input. It's add clarity to the dialog.

Virginia Seuffert from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 11:30 AM

Jim, It doesn't matter that the pill has therapeutic effects. The 1st Amendment free exercise clause exempts religious organizations from being forced to pay for it. I am sorry your search engine did not bring up "incense to the contraceptive gods" stories. Did you find the Texas veterans' cemetery and Guam? I am saddened, but not particularly shocked, that all the civil rights liberals in this village continue to support Obama as he tramples all over civil rights.

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 11:27 AM

In Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990) in an opinion written by Opus Dei's own Justice Scalia, the court held that individuals could not ignore laws related to the use of peyote, even if it was an essential part of their religious practice. "To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself." Tell me why that rule doesn't apply to Catholics here?

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 11:26 AM

John, where exactly did you find that "grounded information in a logical manner" regarding Virginia's claim that the President Obama is trying to dismantle the constitutional protections of religious freedom? I don't see it! It's a claim against the president that has no basis in fact and is intended to mislead and distort. I respect your opinion and enjoy reading your comments but cannot understand your position in regards to her factually inaccurate statement.

Virginia Seuffert from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 11:20 AM

JBM, my concern is we focus on the central question: Is this new HHS mandate a violation of the free exercise clause of the 1st Amendment? I admit I have expanded the discussion myself because I see the mandate as part of a broader pattern of the Obama Administration playing fast and loose with the Constitution to get the result they want. In my opinion people of all faiths or no faith at all should be concerned when the federal leviathan reduces the inalienable rights of a free people.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 11:09 AM

Regular use of the birth control pill diminishes the risk for ovarian and endometrial cancer. The pill can also be used to manage diminished bone density, menstrual irregularities, pelvic infections and acne. This according to a column by Eric Zorn in today's Trib.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 11:00 AM

Virginia - the first word of the quote was IF. I know that the church is opposed to child labor in the United States though the opposition is less prominent in developing country. I thought our posts were a dialog to explore viewpoints. I was wrong about that. I apologize if I have stirred the issue in a direction which you prefer not be raised. I cede the subject to you.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 10:58 AM

I trust you are not pulling my leg or sending me on a wild goose chase, Virginia. My search came up empty for information on "Obama adminstration compelling churches to burn incense to the contraception/abortion gods". Are you sure you haven't been punked or fallen for a e-mail hoax? There are a lot of them floating around in cyberspace. Please direct me to your sources for the claims you posted. Thanks.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 10:30 AM

RJ, I did not dismiss your views as anecdotal rather that your friend in England reporting about health care in that country is not evidence of how that country's health care program addresses the needs of it's citizen. I also wondered if there was a report that you might be able to refer me to that offered a critical analysis of how health care works in other free market countries. That's the type of information we need in order to better understand the subject.

Virginia Seuffert from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 10:02 AM

JBM, the Catholic Church favors child labor laws, so it was a stupid question. However, the Amish have the right to pull their children out of school after 8th grade to work. As part of their religion, boys are trained in the family business and girls learn homemaking. They also wished to protect their children from anti-religious environment in public high schools. Although Catholics encourage higher education, they supported the Amish in Wisconsin v. Yoder, as a 1st Amendment issue.

Virginia Seuffert from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 9:50 AM

Another distressing constitutional situation in the Obama Administration does not concern religion. In Guam, only native Chamorro people will be allowed to vote (36% of the population) in a plebiscite to determine the island's future. The Obama Administration has refused to intervene despite the fact that the election committee's action clearly violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the 15th Amendment.

Virginia Seuffert from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 9:41 AM

JBM - a suit has been brought by EWTN; we shall see. Jim, from a Constitutional viewpoint, there have been some very troubling actions by this administration. Compelling churches to burn incense to the contraception/abortion gods is only one. The 2nd largest US veteran cemetery has been forcing ministers to submit their funeral sermons in advance for approval. They were told not to use words like "God" and "Jesus". A chapel was turned into a meeting room and a cross and Bibles were removed.

Opposed to the Nanny-state from OP  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 5:45 AM

@Jim: I'm not sure if you or Virginia consider further creep of the nanny-state "trying to dismantle the constitutional protections of religious freedom," but there's a clear pattern to this administration's actions that seeks to replace our common sense and right/ability to choose with laws that force a very liberal agenda. If objections to this approach constitute an "ongoing attempt by some to discredit and deligitimize his presidency," then so be it. You can drink the KoolAid, I won't.

rj from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2012 12:35 AM

Jim - It's really difficult having a serious moment here when my views are dismissed as anecdotal & then sent off to do your research for you. The Constitution is as relevant to me as it seems to be irrelevant to you - hope I'm wrong about that.If you look up Heritage Foundation - saving the American dream-a plan to fix the debt, redesigns entitlements, addresses govt spending. US debt nearly equals 70% of GDP - Medicare and Social Security faces nearly 40 trillion in unfunded obligations.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 11:32 PM

A question was posed on TV tonight re the Catholic Church's viewpoint on contraception. The question was, "If the Catholic Church was opposed to child labor laws on moral grounds, would it protest U.S. government laws that restrict businesses, profit and non-profit, from hiring underage employees?" The question sounds far fetched, but the legal challenge for both contraception and child labor are based on the same premise.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 10:50 PM

Jim, I recognized that Virginia was raising good points, I did not say that I agreed with them. Virginia brings grounded information in a logical manner something the WJ Comments lacks. So I am glad to hear her views. I have followed Virginia's comments from the days when she was a WJ Columnist. While I rarely agree with her viewpoints, I welcome the clarity and honesty of her writing.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 10:14 PM

John, it's question of consistency. The GOP and the bishops did not raise objections about this issue during the Bush adminstration but today present themselves as champions of the cause. Did they see this as an opportunity to seize upon and create a wedge issue for political gain or simultaneously experience an awakening? As difficult to understand as it appears to be for supporters to explain. Virginia then echoes a blatantly false claim that "this government is trying to dismantle" the constitutional protections of religious freedom. There is simply no evidence to support that charge against President Obama. It's fundamentally wrong, completely unfair and demonstrates an ongoing attempt by some to discredit and deligitimize his presidency.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 9:28 PM

All good points, Virginia, which lead me to wonder why the Catholic Church did not go to the courts to challenge the addendum to a ten year old law. The appropriate place to challenge violations of the constitution is the courts, including the Supreme Court. Instead it chose to take the question of the contraception issue to legality to the press and congress. Perhaps the Catholic Church saw the issue as political; not legal.

Virginia Seuffert from Oak Park  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 8:39 PM

To continue the history of religious freedom: Catholics were allowed to use ritual wine during Prohibition. The Supreme Court upheld their right to educate children in their own schools. The law allows Amish children to drop out of school after 8th grade. A Brazilian sect can use a banned substance in their religious rituals. Seventh Day Adventists can refuse to work on Saturday. The state must have a compelling reason to interfere with free exercise, like forbidding human sacrifice.

Virginia Seuffert from Oak Park  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 8:23 PM

Let's get back on point. Our government was founded - founded - on a desire for religious freedom. Our Constitution protects it. Court decisions have upheld it. This government is trying to dismantle it. We do not force Christian Scientist or Jehovah Witness adults to have medical treatments that are opposed to their teachings, even when clearly the treatment is in their best interest. We only provide these treatments to their children in a limited number of very urgent circumstances.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 7:35 PM

Virginia, the EEOC determined in 2000 that this denial of benefits was a violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The Bush adminstration did not object to the decision. Did you contact any elected official during the years Bush was in office to express your concerns regarding that ruling? I don't recall reading objections being voiced at the time by the GOP or Catholic bishops but perhaps you may be able to provide additional information on the subject. I certainly hope objections that are being raised now are not motivated for political gain.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 7:15 PM

RJ, so do you think that insurance companies play a vital and indispensible role in the delivery of health care to US citizens? I'm not still sure where you stand on that question. Aside from antecdotal evidence, is there information that you have privy to comparing how health care works in other free market countries? It would interesting to learn if citizens in those nations are better served that the millions of uninsured Americans and what percentage of each country's GDP is devoted to health care costs. I don't think that Preisent Obama was motivated by politics to attempt to address the problem. Our economy simply could not sustain the rapidly increasing costs. As you recall, President Richard Nixon tried to implement similiar reforms but was blocked by Senator Edward Kennedy. In his memoirs, Kennedy called his obstructionism the biggest regret of his political career.

rj from Oak Park  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 6:17 PM

Jim - I'm going with the free market system. Obamacare has created vast new networks of paper pushers - more public union workers $$$/pensions- more votes - that is the Democratic platform - it's not about healthcare. Affordable Healthcare Act it will not be. It'll be as efficient as the US post office. A friend lives in England-people die in emergency rooms after waiting days to be looked at. Great system if you're healthy- not so much if you're sick. I'll take that $50 aspirin thank you

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 5:50 PM

Nope, you've missed the point of the question that was directed to RJ. I'm pleased that you posted a response but would ask that you address the role that insurance companies have in bringing health care to Americans. They certainly haven't spent their revenues on research and development. Perhaps you could detail the "innovations" that could be linked to health insurance companies. I'm certain if there were any; we'd have seen them mentioned in ads or commercials. If they do more than shuffle papers and haul in billions of dollars while playing the role of middleman; I'd be interested in learning more. Regarding your justification of the Iraq war, please remember that the 9/11 terrorists were not Iraqis but citizens of Saudi Arabia. The invasion was based on data that the adminstration knew was faulty. Bush did not call the country to war against radical Islam. He falsely claimed that Saddam Hussein was producing weapons of mass destruction. Our country was consumed with fear following the murderous attacks on our soil and was sold on the lie that Hussein was an immenint threat. Other countries are also under the control of a brutal dictator but Bush did not target them for an invasion. Iraq had oil. We had oilmen were in the White House. That's something Dwight Eisenhower warned us about in his farewell speech.

NOPE 2012 from Oak Park  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 4:58 PM

Oh, & Jim, please let go of the "illegal war" fantasy. Congress almost unanimously gave Bush authority to fight an ideology, radical Islam. A new strategy, not always well executed, but necessary and right, accept it or not. Also, I don't believe most Catholics are Dems, but most of the Bishops are. The German Pope appointed very few of them by the way. The Church has indeed been trying to cleanse itself for years, again not always well, but effort is there. Some will never be satisfied, though.

NOPE 2012 from Oak Park  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 4:47 PM

Jim, sorry but you're incorrect and are pointing the finger at the wrong party. No, healthcare isn't a commodity, but it is a high value service with a complex supply chain. Every problem with our system today is the result of GOVT interference, starting with the wage/price controls post-WW2. Mr Obama's ham-handed "reform" is just the worst example yet. "Profit" isn't an evil in this realm. It's how innovation happens. Without it, we'd still be doing blood-letting. Fight the real enemy...Govt!

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 4:41 PM

My apology - I failed to mention John Kerry by name in the first sentence of my previous post.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 4:40 PM

During the 2004 Presidential election the Catholic Church launched a national campaign to embarrass him that led to them refusing him Holy Communion. In 2008, they battered Obama for his liberalism. This year it is contraception. The masses of Catholics are Democrats. Our cardinals and bishops are Republicans appointed by a German Pope. It amazes me that the church continues to deeply involve itself in fundamentalist philosophies while pulling the cloak of silence over its clergy whenever it choices. Separation of church and state is a myth when played by cardinal rules!

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 4:32 PM


Jim Coughlin  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 4:22 PM

Virginia, I appreciate and understand your position. It is a complicate issue. Regarding the bishops who are challenging this federal government requirement, I question why they were publicly silent about the US invasion of Iraq. Did not this illegal war violate the Church's position regarding an unprovoked attack on another country? They would have been a powerful voice for restraint in the days leading up to this tragic war. The Church also has an obligation to the faithful to cleanse itself from the horrors of the worldwide child abuse scandals and fully address the troubling reports of financial malefeasance. Both matters demand complete and honest disclosure. Regarding the recent supreme court ruling; I understand that the government position related to job discrimination against a disabled person. It's sad that this religious organization did not feel compelled to do the honorable thing in this case. Regardless how the justices ruled; I truly feel this person was not treated fairly.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 3:57 PM

RJ, will you agree that health care is not a commodity and that someone should not be able profit from an individual's illness? That's exactly what the big insurance companies have been doing. They shuffle papers and generate huge profits and paychecks for top adminstrators. While I would have preferred a single payer option; I do support President Obama's attempts to address health care reform. Our economy simply cannot sustain absorbing the costs. We have to deal with the fact that too many people are uninsured and hospitals are forced to pass those charges onto those who have coverage. Hence, the $50 aspirin.

rj from Oak Park  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 3:40 PM

When the govt "succeeds" to resolve anything for the collective & can only do so by trampling on the Constitution - in this case-one size fits all healthcare - this is the chaos that results. We haven't seen anything yet if it's not repealed - be prepared for equally distributed misery and more chaos. Unless you're one of the government elites who are totally exempt from any of this - those "public servants" in DC.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 12:04 PM

My father was a way-wayward Catholic. My mother was a Saint on earth. They had nine children. Rythym was not a skill in our house. She lived in fear of my father going to hell and constantly reminded him that he should go to confession. She did so after Vatican II. He replied, I am a much better Catholic now, I don't commit the sin of eating meat on Friday anymore. My point - church law does change. The frequently quoted Guttmacher Institute Report found that virtually all active Catholic women of childbearing age have violated the contraception rule, and that two-thirds do so consistently. That is; they ignore the church's law and risks going to Hell. Snidely, the bishops' sarcastically responded, "If a survey found that 98% of people had lied, cheated on their taxes, or have sex outside of marriage would the government claim it can force everyone to do so." Let's never forget that the reason for separation of state and church in the constitution is because the government is a democracy that excepts different moral value. The Catholic Church is a dictatorship that sets the moral values of its members, irrespective of their viewpoint. The only choice available to members is ignore the law, live in sin, and disdain church. Has anyone noticed the number of empty pews lately?

Virginia Seuffert from Oak Park  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 9:58 AM

Epic, If the law in Illinois abridges religious freedom, then it should be fought. If DePaul wishes to provide these services, they are free to do so, but the First Amendment dictates that they should not be compelled. This is not a Catholic issue. Obama bureaucrats also tried to define what a minister is at a Lutheran school. The administration lost the Supreme Court case by a unanimous decision. Even Obama's appointees could not allow government to violate religious rights like that.

Virginia Seuffert from Oak Park  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 9:51 AM

JBM, You bring up a good point. Who determines what a religious organization is? In this case the government is claiming that any group that serves or employs people outside their own denomination does not qualify. Do Americans really want government hacks to decide? The First Amendment dictates that any rule abridging religious rights must be to meet a compelling need. Paying for a service, widely available elsewhere, is not compelling.

epic lulz  

Posted: February 9th, 2012 12:25 AM

DePaul has been offering birth control to its employees in compliance with Illinois law, as have Catholic universities in all the 28 states that currently have similar laws, without any problems or tantrums or the world ending. One would hope that the Catholics institutions in the remaining 22 states that are covered by the new federal regulations can handle it with similar aplumb.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 8th, 2012 9:51 PM

Virginia - The employees of Catholic Churches were excluded from the law. The question is how much reach the church has in claiming rights over separation of church and state. Should it reach all properties owned by the church? Should it include all rent paying business in buildings owned by the church? Should it include businesses in the chruch's financial investment portfolio. How much reach should the Catholic Church have?

Virginia Seuffert from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2012 3:33 PM

Does no one understand what is really going on here? This HHS mandate is a violation of the First Amendment - period. We do not make the Amish pay social security, and Quakers and members of other faiths did not have to serve in the military when we had a draft. We cannot force members of any religion to purchase a product in direct violation of their beliefs. The mandate also requires religious employers to refer for these services which is forced speech. Where is the liberal outrage?

OPRF Guy  

Posted: February 8th, 2012 2:55 PM

It seems to me we ask the wrong question. Why should employers be in the business of determing what care I receive? Employer health care was begun in response to Govt. wage control of the 50s. Why do employers receive tax breaks for giving such coverage but if I buy it myself I do not? Obama first supported the Wyden-Bennet bill which required employers to pay employees the amount they are covered. They where then free to choose their coverage with no employer involvement. Problem solved!


Posted: February 8th, 2012 10:11 AM

I appreciate your comments, JBM . . . If someone decides to use birth control, there are other options for obtaining it besides the benefits plan that an employer decides to provide to the people who decide to work there.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 8th, 2012 9:30 AM

Should every profit and non-profit enterprise be allowed to choose the personal rights and liberty of an employee as a condition of employment? As far as "in name only." The days of Catholic hospitals running hospitals and universities ended years ago when the church could no longer meaningfully subsidize them. They now operate as enterprises that run non-profit corporations. They receive a considerable amount of public money to survive. They should be subject to secular laws, not just church law.


Posted: February 8th, 2012 8:49 AM

"The church has no right to reject the free will of Catholics and non-Catholics working in hospitals and schools that are religious enterprises in name only." A person has free will regarding whether to work for a Catholic institution. (What does "in name only" mean? Not run by the Catholic church? Who's running it, then? You?) The church has (constitutionally protected) free will regarding the benefits it offers, in good conscience, to the people who decide to work there.

Dutch Elm  

Posted: February 8th, 2012 6:39 AM

It is sad how my once liberal cohorts have embraced mob rule and tyranny. It is the end of the Progressive tide. Watch it recede with the deaths of the selfish boomers - a low down, selfish, greedy and irresponsible generation if there ever was one. Deus Irae anyone?


Posted: February 7th, 2012 11:15 PM

Cardinal Francis of Chicago has statements up on their website. Check it out. The Church has ALWAYS been against contraception. The Church is not rejecting the free will of others. They are not barring them from getting coverage. They just don't want to pay for that coverage because its against the doctrine. But its hardly financial from what I can see the premium costs are not much different.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 7th, 2012 11:05 PM

Kinda scary, John Paul II giving political advise long after his death. Pope Benedict is going to be upset about being upstaged.

John Paul 2 from Oak Park  

Posted: February 7th, 2012 11:00 PM

Um, Tom...the Catholic Church, while imperfect in practice, answers to a higher, more perfect law than Obamacare. Fight the real enemy...the government.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 7th, 2012 10:56 PM

I understand the Catholic Churches moral grounds vehemence challenge to abortions though I am pro-choice. The contraception issue is another story completely. The church has no right to reject the free will of Catholics and non-Catholics working in hospitals and schools that are religious enterprises in name only. I suspect that this is more a financial and political issue for the dioceses than it is a moral issue.

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2017

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2017 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Classified Ad