Last night, Georgetown’s Knights of Columbus held a symposium on “Religious Freedom and Healthcare.” The program included a set of conservative religious, political, and legal figures discussing the Obama administration’s recent decisions on the religious conscience exception to the requirement mandating contraception be included in health insurance policies, the intentions behind it, and the proper Catholic response to it.
The symposium’s cast included Timothy Shah of the Berkley Center’s Religious Freedom Project as the moderator of the discussion; Monsignor Charles Pope, pastor of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian as well as the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.; Kellie Fiedorek, Staff Counsel for Americans United for Life; Thomas Peters, the prominent blogger of American Papist run through CatholicVoteAction.org, laid out the steps by which President Barack Obama “exploited” his power to pass the insurance mandate that would “force women to receive access to life-ending drugs”; and Scott Lloyd, Assistant Director of Public Policy for the Knights of Columbus, went over some of the legal details of the mandate.
Starting the night off with the Lord’s Prayer, the panel was observed by a group of roughly 25 people, including the Knights. Shah opened the discussion up for each member to speak briefly so that there would be time for questions and comments at the end. Peters, the American Papist, held nothing back in his criticism of the administration’s decisions:
Before we decide where to go from here, we must first stop to analyze what the Left did to get us here. The Obama administration has exploited it’s power, ignoring the constitution, by way of eight relatively easy steps. First, it has the power. Obamacare provided the federal government with power over the health insurance industry. Second, the power of the HHS mandate allowed Senator Mikulski to make sure insurance plans cover abortion drugs. Third, Obama brought in the experts. Not one of the sixteen members on the deciding committee was pro-life. Fourth, they ignored the media’s response. It was a sham. Fifth, the HHS was an edict and held no care for dissent. Sixth, the administration waited for backlash and gave a phony compromise in response. Seventh, they manipulated the media and claimed the religious right was leading a ‘war on contraception.’ Eighth, and perhaps most disappointingly, Obama exploited the Catholic supporters of the mandate and used them to his advantage.