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Urgent and Earnest

Kresta Commentary

February 16, 2012

By Al Kresta

Today Congress began hearings on the HHS mandate… Has the Obama administration trampled on freedom of religion and freedom of conscience. Bishop Lori is there and we are joined by Missouri Synod Lutherans, the Beckett Fund and others. I hope you will hear about it in the commercial media. I wouldn’t count on it though.

I’ve noticed and you probably couldn’t help noticing how quickly the press coverage dropped off after the president gave them an opportunity to declare this over. It reminds me of how quickly press coverage dropped off after Roe V. Wade. When the NYT declared it over. They were wrong.

Many people including many of our allies are stressing that nothing has changed since last Friday…When it comes to the actual regulation, it was entered into the Federal Register without change. So in spite of the President’s performance on Friday, nothing has changed.

There are two things that have happened however, one is that allies of the President who were peeling away, like Sr. Carol Keehan of the CHA, have now returned to the President’s fold and have once again left her supernatural shepherds, the bishops. This is a disappointment.

One of the reasons the President was forced to act last Friday was out of political concern. Catholics who had been instrumental in persuading fellow Catholics to vote for him were turning on him. Even they had no intention of standing by while the Federal government intruded into the internal affairs of the Catholic Church. All they needed to return to the President however was the slightest reassurance that he was still their man.

But something else has changed. Never before have I seen the American bishops so exercised about an issue. Never have I seen the kind of white hot focus that we are witnessing from Cardinal Dolan and Bishop Lori… Almost 100 percent of them have been active in resisting this regulation. This is unprecedented.

Something else has changed. I have never seen the Catholics of America so united.

And this is with good reason: We are at an unprecedented moment in American history. Unprecedented in its significance and it is unprecedented in that we recognize it significance. What we can do in response is significant as well – if you want.

The bishops are working with many other religious communities and churches and activist groups to make sure this is understood as a religious liberty and not a contraception issue. We must do our part. The president and the press want to frame this as a parochial issue of concern only to marginal Catholics who are out of touch with the modern world.

We will be making this a daily issue on the air at Ave Maria Radio. Tune into my show from 4-6 eastern each weekday. Download the ITunes and Android apps directly to the right of this video. We will be continuing to post stories and videos at to inform you. But we can’t do it alone.

Commit RIGHT NOW to getting ten other to sign the petition. We have 50,000 signatures. If everyone does that we will have half a million and that will make a huge statement. They felt it with forty thousand, they will really feel it at 500 thousand. Numbers are important. Together, let’s make a thunderous statement to President Obama, Kathleen Sebelius, our lawmakers and the public.

Note: The StopHHS site was discontinued in July 2013.

Al Kresta is President and CEO of Ave Maria Communications.

His afternoon radio program is heard on over 200 stations as well as Sirius satellite radio.

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