Monday, February 13, 2012

Ungracious Catholics Bishops and the Accommodation of Religion ( HHS MANDATE )

I keep hearing for whatever reason that the United States Catholic Bishops were not "gracious" enough when the President did his Friday afternoon news drop of the "compromise" on the HHS mandate. With I might add hardly no notice was given to the Bishops or many other parties.

I think perhaps the Bishops are taking the attitude of Reagan and Lenin in part. : Доверяй, но проверяй aka or Trust, but verify in English. By the time our Lawyers looked at it appears sadly there was little to verify.

Coming back to the how "gracious" or "ungracious" the Bishops were I think it's good to remind our selves what the word accommodation means in the legal sense that we are dealing here. From Mirrors of Justice:

...First, the term 'accommodation' as used in 1A contexts, again if I've got my recent religion clauses history right, stems from cases like Yoder in which courts have found in favor of religious groups seeking exemption from laws of general application. I'm accordingly a bit queasy about uses of scare-quotes round the term in some of our recent posts. For these might be taken to suggest that the employers of those punctuation marks are attributing to the President some arrogant belief that he is doing something magnanimous or supererogatory, rather than something for which he as a constitutional lawyer knows there is precedent - under the Court-supplied term 'accommodation' - in free-exercise-protective caselaw. I assume that the actual reason for the scare-quotes as found here thus far has to do with skepticism as to how accommodating the revised HHS mandate actually is. But of course in that case I am still hoping for verification in actual regulatory text that the skepticism - in which I would joint under previously specified circumstances - is indeed warranted..

There is a lot at stake here for religious liberty , and in this part of legal history the Bishops are playing crucial roles. Precedent will be set that will affect all believers. Including some belief systems that perhaps are not too popular in the USA. This is not romper room , and an aggressive frank exchange is needed here.


Kurt said...

I think all of that is fine. I am happy that the President has found (on his second attempt) a fair accomodation on the religious liberty concern. The bishops have every right to note that while the religous liberty issue has been addressed, they have a universal objection to contraception made available by any means.

James H said...

Well I have yet too see what concession was made here.

And if the real issue was contraception I don't think I would see a good bit of the Christian community still up in arms.

If a real compromise has been made the Bishops have put out quite a extensive second statement. Is ALL of that just "blowing smoke"?