It suddenly occurred to me.
We're Catholic employers. Tom and I. In our little company.
Here I was taking on the fight for the Church and then I realized that ... duh ... we are the Church. So I've got to go to my insurance agent and talk about this problem. We're a tiny business and although we don't have to provide insurance for our employees we do anyway. It's the whole "treat them like you'd want to be treated" way to live the faith.
Except now maybe we can't without violating our consciences.
Think of the irony. One of our employees is a steadfast Democrat and, I think, an atheist. And he's our best guy and has worked for us for quite a while. If I have to do a work around on his insurance ... it will be the first time that the government has forced us to raise religion in our workplace. Nice going, Mr. O.
Frank, at Why I Am Catholic, with impeccable timing, has begun a petition at We the People. You have to register but you can leave the zip code part blank if you like. You can view and sign the petition here.
I also will be writing to President Obama, Kathleen Sebelaius, and my political representatives telling them that I don't appreciate them getting their government all over my religion. The Catholic bishops have info further explaining the HHS mandate, with links for writing.
It's Not Just for Catholics
Remember, this isn't just a Catholic fight. There are other faiths and personal philosophies that don't approve of abortion and certainly don't approve of the government stepping on religious freedom this way.
Speak up. It's the only way they'll get the message.
Conversation and Observations
In the course of a couple of email conversations with pals about this mandate, I mentioned that President Obama's group didn't think this through very well if it was going to suck in little companies like ours. A friend responded:
Julie, don't kid yourself. it's VERY well thought out. They could have glommed onto an exemption idea such as works in Hawaii, where employers have to notify employees by mail that they won't offer coverage for contraception and the worker can purchase a rider to the insurance on their own. They said they didn't have the AUTHORITY to work that exemption in. But they have the authority to overstep the constitution.I mentioned that I didn't think they meant for individual employers (Catholics, Mormons, whatever) to begin opting out. I thought they just went after the big guys ...
This was deliberately done, and meant to provoke a war.
Because we will opt out. Although it may be a bloodless martyrdom. My pal's response.
Yes, it's going to force Catholics who offer insurance, like you and Tom, and who do it out of the goodness of your hearts and because you're interested in justice, to stop offering insurance. Which will force people to go on the government rolls, which is what Obama has wanted from the start. It puts believers of all stripes between the rock and the hard place and forces their hands -- he benefits.Food for thought. And definitely when the rubber meets the road.
The Curt Jester has a round-up of "muscular episcopate statements" and his own thoughts. Some I'd seen, some I hadn't. My favorite is Bishop Zubik of Pittsburgh:
The Obama administration has just told the Catholics of the United States, “To Hell with you!” There is no other way to put it.”