The Department of Human of Health and Human Services came out with a statement today, January 20, 2012, regarding a decision for which Obama is ultimately, and should be held responsible, which requires employers to include contraception in their health insurance plans, removing the exemption for organizations opposed to contraception on account of religious convictions. Instead, they are to be allowed an extra year before they are forced to include contraception in their plans — until August 1, 2013, instead of just till August 1, 2012.
It is said that "This decision was made after very careful consideration, including the important concerns some have raised about religious liberty. I believe this proposal strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious freedom and increasing access to important preventive services." This looks like a case of extreme mental reservation. It seems probable that Obama did not want his opposition to religious freedom to have all its consequences this year, because he knew he would then not be re-elected, and is hoping that the decision and postponement of enforcement will please the left, without alienating Catholics, other Christians and believers all too much.
Bishop Timothy Dolan, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops, expressed his and the U.S. bishops' opposition to the mandate. "The Obama administration has now drawn an unprecedented line in the sand," he stated. "The Catholic bishops are committed to working with our fellow Americans to reform the law and change this unjust regulation."
I don't know what the bishops will be seeking, but I wonder whether it might be most prudent not to seek to have the unjust decision repealed immediately, but to deal with it in such as to see to it that the issue ensures that Obama is not re-elected, and that it is repealed by the next president (or recognized by the supreme court as gravely contrary to the first amendment).