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George Will And Jay Carney Are Both Wrong – OpEd


On Sunday, George Will said the following: “The Catholic bishops, it serves them right. They’re the ones who were really hot for Obamacare, with few exceptions. But they were all in favor of this.”

Yesterday, Jay Carney said: “And I would simply note with regard to the bishops that they never supported healthcare reform to begin with.”

Both men are factually wrong.

Jay Carney needs a history lesson. No institution in American society has supported universal healthcare longer than the Catholic Church; they’ve been pushing for healthcare reform since Carney was riding a tricycle. The first Catholic hospitals in the United States were founded by the Ursuline Sisters in the early eighteenth century—long before the American Revolution—and they served everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. Indeed, the first Catholic hospitals in history were founded in the fourth century, and from the very beginning they served non-Catholics, such as pagans.

George Will cannot name a single bishop—not one—who backed Obamacare. On February 27, 2009, just a month after he was inaugurated, President Obama undid a Bush administration rule granting conscience rights to healthcare employees who refuse to take part in abortions. It was that kind of decision that eventually led the bishops to oppose Obamacare.

The bishops have long championed universal healthcare as an American right. It’s just that their idea of caring for people doesn’t include killing some of them.

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William Donohue

William Donohue is the current president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, and has held that position since 1993.

One thought on “George Will And Jay Carney Are Both Wrong – OpEd

  • February 16, 2012 at 5:22 am

    One of the legitimate functions of government is to promote equality and fairness for ALL, to have everyone play by the same rules. No one is coming into our Churches and trying to tell parishioners what to believe…or forcing them to use contraception. BUT If the Bishops want to start businesses that employ millions of people of varying faiths -or no “faith” at all- THEN they must play by the rules…ESPECIALLY if they use our tax dollars in the process.  Just because a religious group in America claims to believe something, we cannot excuse them from obeying the law in the PUBLIC arena, based on that belief. They can legally attempt to change the law, not to deny it outright. And if they want to plunge overtly into politics from the pulpit, then they should give up their tax-exempt status. Did I miss something, or when it comes to the “sanctity of life”, is every single righteous Catholic still a card carrying conscientious objector, still refusing to take up arms,  still totally against the death penalty, and still against contraception and birth-control in all its forms? Oh well, hypocrisy is at the heart of politics, and politics masquerading as religion even more so. This country is an invigorating mixture of all the diversity that life has to offer, drawing its strength FROM that diversity. We need to work together to preserve, enrich, and strengthen this unique experiment – NOT to tear it down with poisonous, paralyzing, and un-Christian demonization of each other.


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