Tim Stanley: The Catholic Church has declared war on Obamacare. This could spell the end of Obama ...
ON Monday, 43 Catholic institutions filed lawsuits against the White House in protest at its contraception mandate. The culture war just got hotter, and we just moved a few steps closer to Obama’s eventual defeat.
The election experts will continue to insist that mandating Catholic employers to provide contraception in their workers’ insurance plans is an overall win for the Prez. After all, even Roman Catholics repeatedly tell pollsters that they see nothing wrong with contraception. The world has moved on from the 1950s when most people’s idea of contraception was a cold shower and a rosary, and the conservative Catholic opposition to the mandate is hopelessly marginal. Even a few nuns have reconciled themselves to it.
But life is more complicated than a snapshot poll can ever show. The pollsters make three mistakes. First, they presume that people are telling the truth. The fact that voters regularly say that they back gay marriage yet always vote it down in popular referenda, proves that many don’t like owning up to their own prejudices over the telephone. Second, while the headline figures in these polls show majority support for the equal availability of contraception, other findings within the same reports sometimes articulate unease about compelling Catholic organisations to provide it (in this poll, Catholics voice support for exemptions for religious institutions). There’s an obvious difference between personally thinking contraception is okay but not wanting to see others forced to share your view. No one would mandate a kosher kitchen to serve up pork, no matter how good it might taste.