Here we are with another fight on our hands, we Catholics.
“We’re going to prohibit all companies that receive a contract from the federal government from discriminating against their LGBT employees. America’s federal contracts should not subsidize discrimination against the American people.” So proclaimed President Obama when he signed his latest executive order, banning job discrimination against gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals and trans genders without any accommodation for religious organizations.
“Unprecedented and extreme” was how Bishops William E. Lori and Richard J. Malone, Chairmen of the USCCB Committees for Religious Liberty and Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, respectively, characterized the action.
“With the stroke of a pen, it lends the economic power of the federal government to a deeply flawed understanding of human sexuality, to which faithful Catholics and many other people of faith will not assent,” they continued.
But, as James Kalb points out in The Catholic World Report, “Today everyone respectable rejects the idea of natural order, especially with regard to sexual conduct. People have been taught to view the concept as a high-toned rationalization for bigoted actions growing out of atavistic feelings of disgust.” In other words, we are talking a different language than the zeitgeist.
Let’s step back a minute and realize something. When the government pays for something, it can control that for which it pays. When the government gets involved in something like health insurance, in which it has no business being involved, for example, it calls the shots. Like the HHS Mandate.
The bishops, all Catholics and others of faith need to sit down and think about how and why things have changed in this country in the last 50 or so years.
As the California Healthcare Foundation points out, “Fifty years ago, Medicare and Medicaid did not yet exist, and about half of hospital care was not covered by insurance. In 1960, almost 100% of the spending on prescription drugs came out of the consumer’s pocket, but by 2012, out-of-pocket spending was down to 17%.”
The government, through Medicare and Medicaid, controls a huge part of the medical industry. Think about all the hospitals which have closed or gone bankrupt in the last 50 years. Many of these were Catholic hospitals. Catholic hospitals used to be subsidized by private donations. As did Catholic orphanages and other charities. The practice of contracting with the government as hospitals had to with Medicare and Medicaid, or providing adoption services among other things, and contracting with the government to do so, was simply not how it was done.
I suggest Catholics, most especially the bishops, consider the current situation, and stop promoting government action and, thus, interference in, what should be private charity. Catholic hospitals have closed in huge numbers in the last half century. Many Catholic adoption services have closed in the past few years. Much of the blame can be laid at the door of socialized medicine and government interference such as President Obama’s most recent executive order.
At this stage, it is virtually impossible to turn back the clock. So, we have to start all over again, in small ways, and locally. Christian charity needs to be free of interference from the government. He who pays the piper calls the tune.