by Edd Doerr
GOP shill and former Bush staffer Michael Gerson's column in today's (Jan 31) Washington Post, titled "Catholics betrayed", is a vicious smear of President Obama. Following is part of the response I posted on line in the WaPo on line:
"Gerson is wrong, so wrong it's hard to know where to begin. President Obama's contraceptive decision is a good compromise; it does not apply to strictly religious operations but only to hospitals, colleges and charities that serve and employ large percentages of non-Catholics AND which receive generous funding from taxes extracted from citizens of all religious persuasions. Further, over 90% of sexually active Catholic women use contraception. Persons who object to contraception are not obliged to use it.
"The Catholic bishops may be having a hissy fit, but they are very largely out of sync with most Catholics on many issues.
"The 'Blaine Amendment' (which Congress never passed) is a bogeyman. In 25 statewide referenda in recent years 2/3 of US voters, including Catholic voters, have upheld the American constitutional principle of separation of church and state.
"Gerson amusingly brings up cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan. Dolan, as reported by Jason Berry in the National Catholic Reporter (2-3/16-12), is under fire for when, as bishop of Milwaukee, he transferred funds around to avoid having to compensate victims of clergy sexual abuse.
In short, Obama is more concerned about the welfare and freedom of conscience of ordinary people, Catholics and non-Catholics, than about the stringent dogmas of clerical officials. More Catholics are comfortable with President Obama than with the Gersons and Republicans who regularly thumb their noses at the religious freedom of Americans of all faiths.
"Edd Doerr, President, Americans for Religious Liberty"