When even infamously liberal Catholic and Obama worshipper Chris “Thrill Up My Leg” Matthews has problems with the Obama administration’s mandate forcing religious institutions to cover contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization in their insurance policies, you know it’s in trouble.

“It gets to that interesting point to me, which is frightening, when the state tells the church what to do,” said Matthews February 7 on MSNBC’s Hardball
 The Obama administration counted on liberal Catholics supporting the mandate. Liberal Catholics may indeed think the Church should condone contraception, but they do not like the idea of the government telling the Church to condone contraception, as this new Rasmussen poll indicates.

Although the mainstream media tried to ignore the story, it has still ignited into a firestorm.

There’s a ton going on, but I want to focus on the main point, which is: This entire debate is not about the contraceptive mandate. It is about the First Amendment. This is about religious freedom.

To that end, Catholic University President John Garvey made a great point on Fox News February 6:

It shows an attitude on the government’s part that religion is something we’ll protect if it’s just happening in church on Sunday, or in the mosque on Friday, but if it has to do with your daily activity or the life you want to lead, it’s not something we want to protect.

In other words, by exempting churches from the contraceptive mandate but not church institutions, the Obama administration is forcing religious people to compartmentalize their beliefs. The administration is saying, “It’s fine with us (at this point) if you live out your faith in church on Sunday, but you must betray your faith in your daily life the other six days.”

When I was in D.C. for the March for Life, a U.S. senator in an off-the-record meeting said what offended him most about the mandate was that Obama gave religious institutions a year to comply. As Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, president of the USCCB, put it, “In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences.”

First they came for the Catholics

Again, this is NOT a Catholic issue.  This is a constitutional issue about religious freedom. Evangelical leader Charles Colson has just posted a video stating the time may be upon us to engage in civil disobedience. When the U.S. Army censors an archbishop’s letter opposing the contraception mandate, this is becoming very serious very fast….

 Dr. Colson encourages us to sign the Manhattan Declaration and petition, which I have done. There is another petition Cardinal Raymond Burke has endorsed at Stop the Birth Control Mandate, which I have also signed.

[HT for Matthews video: Scarecrow]

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