President Obama's policy to ensure that women have access to insurance coverage for birth control has garnered support from Catholic hospitals, Catholic universities, Catholic Charities USA, other religious leaders, and Catholic voters. Ignoring this widespread support, right-wing media have claimed that Obama is engaged in a "war on religion" because of this policy.
Now a right-wing media figure has finally admitted that Catholics don't think that Obama is at war with them. In a Daily Beast op-ed, National Review Online blogger and Judicial Crisis Network chief counsel Carrie Severino wrote: "Many Catholics, despite the overwhelming evidence, have convinced themselves that President Obama is good for them and for people of faith."
Sadly, rather than using this evidence to rethink her premise that Obama is bad for Catholics, Severino posited that it must be the majority of Catholics who have it wrong. Indeed -- in what we can only hope is an extremely poorly thought out attempt at humor -- Severino compared Catholics who support Obama to the victims of abusive relationships.
In her op-ed, headlined "Catholics, Get Real: President Obama Is Abusing You," Severino wrote:
Let's hope Americans who still care about freedom of religion -- particularly Catholics, who have experienced the brunt of Obama's abuse -- wise up soon and seek help. After all, as the Mayo Clinic reminds us, "It can be hard to recognize or admit that you're in an abusive relationship -- but help is available. Remember, no one deserves to be abused."
Severino also wrote:
OK, folks, it's intervention time. Many Catholics, despite the overwhelming evidence, have convinced themselves that President Obama is good for them and for people of faith. Someone needs to tell them the hard truth: you are being abused by Obama.
Just check out this list from the Mayo Clinic on abusive relationships and see if any of these sound familiar:
- Calls you names, insults you or puts you down [accusing people of faith of "bitter" and "cling(ing) to guns or religion ... as a way to explain their frustration"]
- Prevents you from going to work or school [shifting from protection of freedom of religion to freedom of worship -- which limits our First Amendment rights to something we do on Saturday or Sunday, not in the public square]
- Stops you from seeing family members or friends [as in the administration's attempts to negotiate with certain Catholic groups while cutting out their spiritual fathers, the bishops]
The unwillingness to face obvious facts is characteristic of those who, sadly, return to their abusers. For example, even after the president went back on his assurances at Notre Dame that he would "honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause," Nicholas Cafardi, dean emeritus of Duquesne University, said that "the Obama administration has said it wants to work with these organizations so they're not required to violate their conscience. I'm sure they mean that in good faith."
Right. That's what Sheryl Crow said:
Lie to me
I promise I'll believe
Lie to me
But please don't leave
Sadly, this is not the first time that the right-wing media has attacked people of faith for not buying their message that Obama is at war with them. Right-wing media were sure that American Jews would soon turn on Obama. When American Jews did not turn on Obama, the right-wing media began attacking them.