Rachel Maddow Lays Waste To The GOP’s Bogus Obama War On Religion

On Meet The Press, Rachel Maddow debunked the Republican claim that Obama has declared war on religion and exposed the secret conservative agenda against contraception.

Here is the video courtesy of NBC News:

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Transcript from Meet The Press:

MR. BROOKS: But you can’t–what, what the government is telling them–the, the Obama administration had a perfectly available option to say, “OK, you’re not going to provide contraception, but do it as other states like Hawaii do it, just tell people where to go. That way we square it with, with what you want to do, with your convictions, and we’re realistic.” But the government in, I think, in an act of bureaucratic greed said, “It’s our way or the highway.”

MS. MADDOW: The, the, the idea that, that, that the Catholic Church is being forced to do something that as a church it does not want to do is a misnomer. The initial exception in here is that the Catholic Church that–somebody that is providing the service of being a church, that’s operating from the church, they’re already exempt from this. The question is, as the congressman says, when you want to become a health insurance provider you must follow the rules of providing health insurance. And in this country, that means that you have to cover contraception, and 80 percent of Americans agree with that.

MR. CASTELLANOS: This is–this…

MS. MADDOW: This fits into–you guys want to make this only about religion, but listen, Mitt Romney is campaigning…

MR. CASTELLANOS: No, it is–no, the administration made this only about religion.

MS. MADDOW: …Mitt Romney is campaigning saying that he would like to end–he…

MR. CASTELLANOS: Ask the bishops.

MS. MADDOW: …he would like to end all family planning support at the federal level. He would like to eliminate federal–Title 10. Rick Santorum says that he would like states to be able to make contraception illegal. You can try to make this an issue of, oh, Democrats hate religion, but the fact is churches were exempt from this from the beginning; this is about providing health insurance. And the Republican Party is…

MR. GREGORY: Let me…

MS. MADDOW: …waging war on contraception at this point in a way that the–where the–and that’s where the discussion is going.

The truth is that Republicans are worried about Romney’s ability to motivate their base, so they are pulling a page from the Karl Rove playbook. Republicans are using, “Obama’s war on religion to scare social conservatives to the polls.” George W. Bush won reelection in 2004 based in large part on the fact that the Republicans got initiatives on the ballot in 13 states banning gay marriage.

Imaginary threats to religious freedom are nothing more than a Republican get out the vote effort.

As far as who is talking about a war on religion is concerned, Newt Gingrich said on the very same episode of Meet The Press that, “It’s not just an economic election, you know, he’s basically declared war on the Catholic Church, and that’s the language of Archbishop Dolan of New York. And I think you’re going to see a very severe reaction to the idea of a radical Obama administration..”

Mitt Romney
mentioned it in his (lie filled) Nevada victory speech last night, “President Obama orders religious organizations to violate their conscience; I will defend religious liberty and overturn regulations that trample on our first freedom.”

Rachel Maddow told the truth. It is the Republicans that have created this war on religion. (After all, isn’t creating wars both real and imagined what Republicans do best?) Social conservatives are using this fantasy war on religion to cover on their real intentions when it comes to contraception. The Republican Party has latched on to this because they see it as a way to rally the base while at the same time playing into the notion that Obama isn’t a real American. (Of course, Obama hates Christians. He’s a Muslim).

This war on religion song and dance is nothing new. Republicans dream up an “issue” like this one in every election cycle, because history shows that when they have a lackluster candidate, and no motivating issue, their base stays home. The war on religion is designed to scare the Republican base into voting this November.

The war on religion gambit is nothing more than a get out the vote strategy undertaken by a desperate political party that will say or do anything to defeat President Barack Obama, but as Rachel Maddow showed it isn’t going to be easy to keep up the facade through Election Day, and fool the American people into voting for a candidate who wants to take away their contraception.

27 Replies to “Rachel Maddow Lays Waste To The GOP’s Bogus Obama War On Religion”

  1. I do not think that the Republicans will leave any stone unturned or any lie on told in order to get at Obama.

    But it’s pretty darn stupid of them to stand up and say Obama is fighting the church when really it’s over birth control and all of them take birth control. Who are most of them going to defend when it comes right down to it? They Already have a church that is being busted monthly for child abuse, church attendance is down, the opinion of Catholics towards their churches down and do these Republicans think that this is going to bring them back into the fold? They have got to be kidding.

    I quite frankly do not approve of these decisions where people do not have to dispense birth control pills If it’s against their religion. Go out and find a real job. And I agree with if you’re going to become a healthcare provider that you have to follow the rules provided for providers. I see absolutely no reason that the church should be a healthcare provider other than the fact they want to control their members lives.

  2. I guess we are back with the religious stuff again, since it has worked quite well for the GOP in the past.

    With all the gaffes both Mitt and Newt have made lately, the GOP realizes that it might lose to Obama and ‘bingo’ out comes religion.

  3. The Right uses religion as a tool to somehow control the masses like they do in third world countries.I would like to think that the general masses of Americans are more educated then this, and see through their guise.We can not bypass the first amendment and forget about other peoples religious or non-religious beliefs.

  4. The problem is that the Catholic Church wants to have it all their way, as usual. They want to constantly receive exemptions, but they want to make profits. Catholic universities and hospitals that are run for as-profit entities should not receive tax exemptions, and the employees of the church should not have their rights to health coverage conscripted by the church’s beliefs.

    That doesn’t mean the Church has to provide the birth control. Catholic hospitals will not have to dispense it. The employees can get it elsewhere and have it covered by their insurance – that’s what this is about – whether women can get birth control if they deem it necessary – something over 80% of Catholic women already do.

    The Catholic Church is one of the wealthiest entities in the world, but if Catholics don’t keep having lots and lots of good Catholic babies, ooops, there goes the revenue stream. Not to mention fresh crops of little boys.

  5. Right on Rachel! I’m so glad to know someone is out there throwing light on the Religious Right’s war on Women, and contraception. Thanks for posting the vid!

  6. If the Catholic Church cannot support its charities without taxpayer funds then they have a big problem of their own making. Until now, they’ve taken credit for the work they do–not much mention they were receiving government funding, was there?–and now they’re complaining that the hand that feeds them expects some Constitutional compliance on their part.

    Substitute Jehovah Witness for Catholic Church, substitute “blood transfusions” for “contraception”. Then suppose the J.W.s–while receiving public funding–denied insurance for blood transfusions to their non-J.W. employees. It goes back to that damned old separation of C. and S. thingie again.

  7. Down with your war on religion, too. The drumbeat from the Church is ludicrous since they know they are exempt from all manner of things. They do not have to hire equitably IF the people inside the actual institution of faith may be concerned. Atheists that have non-profits are equally exempt from hiring theists.

    Once they enter into the world of UNIVERSAL social service, they need to hire equally and deal equitably with their employees. And the Catholic Church via its Catholic Charities DOES that.

    But you open the tax issue, and frankly you are wrong. They are NOT for profit. The Church, and you don’t have to like their policies, runs its Catholic Charities etc. as non-profits and they provide excellent services to all comers.

    Every time you suggest screwing over some religious group (Yup – that’ll show ’em!) remember that equality before the Constitution means you’re screwing over your allies, too. The Progressive church community is huge, stands on the side of justice, and is comparatively poor. So unless you wish to harm your allies on progressive justice issues, it’s not a good idea to advocate policies that may do harm to them just because you’re pissed at the ones you don’t like. Until you’re prepared to recommend selective enforcement of our nation’s laws – a point I hope you NEVER reach – don’t toss the baby out with the bathwater.

  8. The work they do is excellent, most communities could not exist without them, and fine with the tax dollars. They DO hire on equal opportunity and provide benefits commensurate with the will of the employee. For the Archbishop to whine about this is absurd – it’s already the case. I’m fine with their receiving tax money – the work they do helping those in need is very costly – so long as they comply, and they do. Rachel is totally correct in saying that actual religious groups – churches, denominational offices, etc. – have the right to hire their own and provide whatever they think is appropriate. I like your Jehovah’s Witness argument, but since there’s not a comparable open-ended service program that takes tax dollars, it’s simply moot. The church has done a good job over the years of dividing the public from the private. What’s stupid is the whining. Good for Rachel calling out the hypocrisy of a man whose institution has been dealt a fair hand legally every inch of the way.

  9. Slightly off the contraceptive issue, but, my antidote goes along with the comment on the church’s real motives; control and greed.

    This is the same kind of issue when Catholic Schools claim to not have “funds” to provide services for their special needs students; they use a loop hole in the law whereas they can ask public school districts for the funds to provide where they claim they cannot. Little problem; obviously, the public schools do not have money to fund their own programs let alone private schools.

    What public school districts have been doing is telling the local Catholic schools (in need), you can use our services–we will even provide transportation if you can’t and your special needs children can come to our location in order to have their needs met…BUT NO!!! They want the money, not the services!

    I have a client who works for a district where the nuns used to show up at her administrative door (7 am daily) and try to shake her down for the money, which she refused, but provides them a list of schools, classes, buses, etc that the the loop hole says public schools can/will provide if there are no funds. The nuns finally gave up; fumed out the door and refused the services…this speaks volumes to how they operate and how they see their followers ($$$)

  10. Thanks for clearing that up for me, Choicelady. I appreciate it. (Shakes head in puzzlement . . . don’t know how I got so far off the track on that one. Must have turned on Fox by accident.)

    yes, I certainly agree that the Catholic Church provides invaluable services in many communities, and I love them for it. I did all my post-grad work at a Catholic University, where the profs were excellent and sometimes delightfully irreverent when it came to the Big Guys in their very tall hats.

  11. If the Catholic hospitals are the only game in town, or if there is life at risk, then they damned well better provide such things as birth control and abortions to anyone who asks. I don’t give a single damn about their religious sensibilities when it affects the general populace.

    If they aren’t willing to do that, then I suggest nationalizing those RC hospitals and care providers that are in places where nothing else is reasonably available (like across town and easily within the golden hour window), let them shut down if there are reasonable alternatives, or only serve a RC clientele.

    If they want to put limitations on their own, that’s between them and their followers.

  12. Uh… you might want to re-examine your statement about Catholic Charities.

    I’ve heard stories of aid being denied people because it violated the religious sensibilities of the providers (i.e., to LGBT couples). I’ve also heard of cases where fully qualified individuals were denied employment with Catholic Charities because of religious opposition to sexual orientation or something like that… the memory is rather fuzzy of the incident I’m thinking of, but I think the person was a transsexual or a lesbian in a committed relationship. Plus they are supposed to have denied benefits to people in same-sex committed relationships.

    I admit it might be regional and based on the politics of the local leadership, but they don’t exactly have a sterling reputation in certain areas.

    (I will grant that according to reports, the aid is almost always given without sermons or lectures, and they ARE considered to be one of the better charities.)

  13. I think it’s time to make this an issue of tax exemption. Clearly they are politicizing the pulpet, and this in clear violation of their tax exempt status.

  14. Catholic Church, ‘Meet the Internet’ and ‘Social Networking’. Obama Wins. Game-Set-Match.

  15. “Secret” agenda? I don’t think conservatives make much of a “secret” about their war against the rights of people to decide if they want to have children or not.

  16. It comes down to rationalism. The best way to sway a group to accepting your otherwise unpalatable agenda is to dig in where rationalism doesn’t live and set up camp there. Was does rationalism cease to exist in the minds of people – the same place their religious beliefs do – the more extreme the beliefs – the less rationalism involved.

    this is meant as no offense to anyone’s religious beliefs – it is just a fact that when we think about our faith – whatever that might be – we are using the emotional part of our brain – the part of the brain most susceptible to being co-opted – and that’s exactly what the GOP has done. They have co-opted religion to fulfill their agenda.

    The HUGE majority of these people don’t give a rat’s ass about the tenants of your faith, they do care that you care, and the stronger you care, the more they are going to exploit those cares. We all know this isn’t about contraception, this isn’t even about religious freedom, this is about getting the votes of people might otherwise vote for a democrat if they didn’t have someone fighting for the one cause that is closest to them – the religious ideological of pro-life.

    In non-election years do you see them out in the streets in droves battling along with you – even leading you in the crusade against the heathen abortionist? No, you don’t.

    What you do have is them telling you on one hand that they fight for the rights of the unborn, no abortions (Unless there is a “truthful rape”), ban contraception. While on the other hand, or the other side of their mouth they are spouting hate against the poor and want to abolish just about every system put in place (“the safety net”) that keeps the poor from dying of hunger and exposure. When they envision “the poor” they seem to overlook the newborn infant who’s right to be born they claim to value above all else. So, what is it? The child has a right to be born to turn around and die of hunger, exposure, or lack of adequate healthcare because their parents weren’t allowed to love that child enough to not want to bring it into that precise situation?

    This whole argument sickens me and is proof that this is all about appealing to the irrational part of people’s brains so that the irrationality of their whole picture can’t (won’t) even been seen. Once you throw the religion into the picture – no one hears anything anymore. The argument can’t be won because we’ve moved beyond the rational. It’s like the republicans went into people’s brains and shut off the switch to all the other issues.

    This pro-life argument is going to go on forever and no one will ever “win” it. The same people who claim government is already too involved in making decisions aren’t going to outlaw abortion or contraception – Bush didn’t, Regan didn’t, and neither is any one of the current candidates, it just isn’t going to happen, I don’t care what comes out of their mouths on the campaign trail. So let’s put those issues aside and choose our candidates on far more rational, and even more pressing issues than this one.

  17. I totally agree, if they want to be in the health care business, then go by the rules of that business. I worked for a couple of years in a Catholic hospital when I was going to university, and I’m not Catholic, and actually have little to no use for organized religion at all. No one asked me what my beliefs were when they hired me. The only truly identifiable Catholics working there were the occasional nuns we would see. Otherwise, employees were just your regular run of the mill medical folks. So, why should I be denied contraception through my health plan there when I’m not even Catholic? This is just more republican crap to scare voters into believing Pres. Obama is against religion. I don’t think the Republican party is capable anymore of running even a remotely honest campaign.

    If the Catholic hospitals don’t want to go by the rules, get out of the business. Simple.

  18. Thank goodness we have Rachel and some of her colleagues at MSNBC to combat the ignorance, propaganda and/or lies. Of course, women should have the right to choose. Children are precious and should not be brought into a world where proper love, care and attention is in short supply. To go along with the concept that Catholics do not entirely eschew birth control, Italy has one of the lowest reproductive rates in the world.
    On another aspect of chosing a candidate. . . if Obama had vetoed the NDAA, he would have had my vote. However, the freedoms that have been guaranteed us by the Constitution cannot be given up. No President should have the power to imprison us without a trial, a lawyer, due process. Not indefinitely, not for a day. Al Qaeda is the machination of our CIA. Of course, after a decade or more of bombs, torture and occupation, there are more terrorists created. We do not know how long we have the freedom of the Internet to speak out. Rachel has broached these topics and I hope she will be allowed to present this greatest threat of all, over and over. until enough become convinced of it.

  19. Purplemuse, your last line is quite profound. I also support a woman’s right to chose. I would hope that her decision would be to use birth control first, the morning after pill next, abortion within the first trimester as an outer limit. This would eliminate much of the force of the right to life argument.
    Moreover, children are precious, delicate creations and should not enter a world where proper love, care and attention are in short supply.
    The greatest issue of all is the threat the passage of the NDAA 2012 poses to our freedoms under the Constitution. No president should have the right to order the military to arrest citizens, imprison them indefinitely without trial or due process. It is too subject to abuse and violates the oath of office and everything our forefathers stood for, fought for, and in some cases died for. A man who was a professor of the Constitution should not be ignorant of these simple facts. How can we vote for such a man?

  20. The Constitution prohibits the government from establishing a state religion. This is a protection of the people against any dominant religion, not protection for religious organizations. All favoritism that has been enacted should be rescinded. Separation of church and state requires that there be no mention of religion at all in any legislation or ordinance.
    http://gosto.org/index.html#War-on-Religion

  21. “Will someone please show me where, in the Bible, there is anything that says contracept­­ion is a sin? It says adultery, fornicatio­­n is a sin, don’t see anything in there about contracept­­ion. And oh, by the way, humans weren’t alive until given the breath of life. And Mike, I wouldn’t want to claim being a Catholic so quickly, especially with, you know, 4000 sexual abuse complaints against its leaders in 10 years?”

  22. I have no idea where it comes from and the Catholic Church. They have some really strange beliefs, such as the priest not getting married which comes from way back in the old days priest who had land and money would pass it to their sons instead of passing it to the church so the church had to make laws making sure they got the land and money. I think the Catholic Church uses birth control as a way to keep the people in their church ( see South America )

    However there are other groups such as Quiverfull who get their ideas of having many babies per woman from the biblical verse that says keep your quiver full. That means have children to be able to continue the fight against the enemies of religion. There are other right wing nut job religious organizations that also are against any type of birth control.

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