Obama’s mandate on Catholic business owners … Separation of church & state?

The 2010/2011 West Hartford, Conn. school budget for grades K through 12 was about $126.7 million. With fewer than 10,000 students enrolled, that comes out to $12,670 per student. I propose every family who would rather place their children in a Catholic school be handed a check for $9,000 per kid.

Hey, I didn’t ask for all $12,670, I let the town keep more than $3,500 to help fund programs, and keep in mind the school budget does not include any town capital projects for the school system. (Less than 2 percent of the budget is set aside for maintenance expenses.)

Can you hear the ACLU and liberals screaming about the separation of church and state? How dare my tax dollars be used to promote a Catholic education!

I have good friends who will soon have four kids in West Hartford’s school system. They would like to send their kids to Catholic school, but would be unable to fund the tuition themselves. The $36,000 check from the West Hartford school board would go a long way. Tuition at Northwest Catholic (my alma mater) starts at almost $13,000, curiously right about what the West Hartford system pays per student.

Now, let me introduce you to Julie, who was mentioned during the last half hour of Jim’s show today. Julie is a Catholic who owns a small business who will soon be mandated by President Obama’s health care legislation to provide coverage that includes abortion and contraceptives if she chooses to contribute to a health insurance plan for employees. My emphasis is in bold.

Here I was taking on the fight for the Church and then I realized that … duh … we are the Church. So I’ve got to go to my insurance agent and talk about this problem. We’re a tiny business and although we don’t have to provide insurance for our employees we do anyway. It’s the whole “treat them like you’d want to be treated” way to live the faith.

Except now maybe we can’t without violating our consciences.

Think of the irony. One of our employees is a steadfast Democrat and, I think, an atheist. And he’s our best guy and has worked for us for quite a while. If I have to do a work around on his insurance … it will be the first time that the government has forced us to raise religion in our workplace. Nice going, Mr. O.

Where are the liberal crowds with their signs proclaiming a separation of church and state? How dare the federal government mandate portions of my insurance premiums be used for abortions!

See what I did there?

You can’t have it both ways, but let me make it clear I do not suggest Catholics trade their beliefs for $9,000 in transferable tuition per child. The right way to do this is to get the government completely out of the education business and eliminate most federal mandates on individuals and businesses forcing owners to violate their ethics.

Ahh … the I-don’t-support-this-war-so-I-should-not-have-to-pay-for-it argument. Well, your theory does not apply here. First of all, we have the United States Constitution which is an agreement – a contract if you will – between the people and federal government. In that contract, the federal government is charged to preserve, protect and defend the United States.

Now, if you are a total pacifist who is not only against all war, but also against the right to self defense, you may have a case. But that’s not the case is it? You’ll defend yourself and your family, and you’ll also expect the federal government to protect you from enemies both foreign and domestic.

It’s all or nothing folks. Certainly you may have opinions about the justification of military activities or how tax dollars are used to fund weapon systems. You are certainly free to voice your opinion in various ways. That said, you can’t pick and choose which military engagements you will and will not pay for or pick and choose weapon systems … doesn’t work that way kids.

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. RoBrDona on January 31, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Progressive socialism and it’s daddy Marxism are by their nature secular.? I don’t believe that the framers of ObamaCare gave a rat’s furry butt about indignant Catholic business owners being forced to provide tacit abortion coverage. In fact, they don’t care about personal or religious rights on any level at all.? Christian religion in particular has been all but hounded out of public schools (any other is fine).? I guess my point is not that this type of situation is meant to be punitive, it is just not even on their radar anymore – hence predictable. ? ?

  2. Dimsdale on January 31, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    You are correct: the tax money collected for the students in each town should follow the student.? That would make the public schools competitive rather than simply subsidized.? The liberals always talk about the value of education, but refuse to let the parents choose which schools are best for their children, as demonstrated in the way the Democrats and ?bama kowtowed to the teacher’s unions (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2010/02/obama_and_vouchers.html).
    I think that parents that want to send their kids to Catholic schools (and other private institutions) are treated the way Muslim societies treat the “dhimmis”, the non Muslims in their midst: they subject them to a “jizya” tax for the privilege.? How different is that from forcing a family to pay their town’s school tax (a major part of their property tax) and have to come up with *additional* tuition to get them out of the clutches of well meaning, but comparatively underperforming public schools?

  3. Shock and Awe on January 31, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    here’s a crazy idea, cut taxes drastically, and have students pay for public school.? Same as would be for private but run from, but still have the government oversight that liberals crave

    • Shock and Awe on January 31, 2012 at 6:52 pm

      …we need a constitutional amendment that states in no uncertain terms that people’s income is theirs and not governments.? Therefore tax breaks and things for stuff like this can’t be a seperation of church and state issue because its your money not government money

    • ricbee on January 31, 2012 at 10:33 pm

      You’re on the right track,public education has failed.

  4. johnboy111 on January 31, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    42%??of America are Catholic..and we vote..will we get it right this time???

  5. johnboy111 on January 31, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    a great source I use is? canadafreepress.com? They have a?interesting??article :catholic church rejects surrender terms from obama..also great stuff on the death of global warming..check it out..

  6. ricbee on January 31, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    A voucher for all to use as they will. Will find the “public” schools empty.

  7. Anne-EH on February 1, 2012 at 8:35 am

    If my memory is correct, did not the American Muslim community get an exemption from Obamacare, yet it is the same Obamacare that is being pushed onto the Catholic Church? Hmmmmmmmmm.

    • Dimsdale on February 1, 2012 at 9:22 pm

      Nice catch, Anne!? Muslims, Christian Scientists, Scientologist, Amish and so called “native Americans” are exempt from ?bamacare who have a conscientious objection to the legislation.
      So what the hell is a Catholic objection to birth control and abortion?? Chopped liver?? Apparently so, in the “fair” world of ?bama.
      Will all Catholics please proceed to the back of the bus?? Or is it “under the bus”?

  8. JBS on February 1, 2012 at 8:49 am

    One more example of liberal’s good intentions (with our money) gone awry.
    I am sure that when ?bamaCare was hatched, no one even thought about religious objections to contraceptives.
    Oh, those liberals, they really mean well.
    Sure . . .
    By the way, it really makes me mad that I have to subsidize other people’s children’s schooling. And all of those highly paid union positions!
    Time for Proposition 13 (a la California) here in Connecticut?

  9. chelly1222 on February 1, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    “Where are the liberal crowds with their signs proclaiming separation of church and state?” My thought is the change in the catholic church. I am not catholic but have plenty of friends who are. The present day catholic church is very different than that of my grsndparents. Today more use birth control, have premarital sex, and, yes, get abortions. I think that is why you are not hearing as much about this. As a whole, they aren’t up in arms about it because they are ok with it. Obviously not the arch bishop, or others that Jim mentioned. As I said, I’m not catholic. But Would love to hear from any of you who may be catholic, and your thoughts on my thoughts.

    • Shock and Awe on February 1, 2012 at 2:50 pm

      A lot of Lutherans in Germany stood with Hitler…didn’t make it right.


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