Catholic leaders upped the ante Monday, threatening to challenge the Obama administration over a provision of the new health care law that would require all employers, including religious institutions, to pay for birth control.From a strictly electoral point of view, this could end up being a nightmare for Obama and the Democrats. If Hispanics, about 70% of whom are Catholic, can be persuaded to turn against Obama because of this one issue that could have a dramatic effect in a number of states. Approximately 20% of Hispanics are Christian or other Protestant, and they won't take too kindly to the government mandating that a church violate its religious principles either. This could be big.
As CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reports, it could affect the presidential elections.
Catholic leaders are furious and determined to harness the voting power of the nation’s 70 million Catholic voters to stop a provision of President Barack Obama’s new heath car reform bill that will force Catholic schools, hospitals and charities to buy birth control pills, abortion-producing drugs and sterilization coverage for their employees.
“Never before, unprecedented in American history, for the federal government to line up against the Roman Catholic Church,” said Catholic League head Bill Donohue.
Priests reading pastoral letters from their bishops condemning the new policy would be almost as effective as running TV spots in Hispanic communities.
And that's just Hispanics. There are plenty of other Catholics spread throughout the nation that could be equally enraged. Granted, some of them are Catholics-in-name-only like Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry (plus a host of other prominent Democrats who apparently check their religion at the door when they go to work), and those folks won't be persuaded, but many rank-and-file Catholics will be.
This will prove to be a costly mistake for Obama if it's not reversed.